Dessert/ Dinner/ Pictures From France!

Rethinking Important

Hi guys!

Well my appointment this afternoon was good and bad. I’m going to call it bittersweet. I really wish I would have known about this doctor a year ago….or even two months ago for that matter! He was totally awesome and said that the reason I keep having pains is because I’ve just been trying to alleviate the pain; I haven’t been getting down to the bio-mechanics of the problem. Which is my left foot. He works with professional athletes and says he’s never seen a shin splint he hasn’t healed and wants to make me custom orthotics to correct the problem completely.

This is good and all except for two tiny details: I can’t run again until I get the orthotics (because I just keep making it worse) and I’m not sure if my insurance covers the othotics. Without insurance there’s no way I can get them because they are $480 out of pocket. No way Jose. They are checking on my insurance tomorrow morning and I made a tentative appointment for “casting” (where he specially makes the orthotics to fit my feet and shoes) next week, but until then I have STRICT orders to stay on the elliptical machine or the bike. The elliptical machine! I HATE the elliptical machine!! But doctor’s orders are to get on that thing and just crank away. Bah humbug. He still thinks the half marathon in October is fine but I guess I’m going to have to alert my TNT group that I won’t be practicing with them for awhile. Double humbug!

Despite it all though I found myself really not getting as upset as I could have. Honestly, with all that I’ve been through in the past month, this really just isn’t THAT big of a deal. In the past, I have totally blown out of proportion the “horror of having to take time off” when, in the grand scheme of things its just not a big deal. A big deal is my little brother getting shot. A big deal is a five year old having to go through chemotherapy for leukemia. A big deal is NOT shin splints. No. Its just not. Nor is it that five pounds you think you would just be so happy if you could just lose or beating yourself up because you didn’t make it to the gym in your busy day. Or that extra cookie after dinner. NEWS FLASH: its not a big deal!

So I will pound away at the elliptical and on the bike and force a smile while I try to mend myself. I will still raise thousands of dollars for kids with cancer and participate in my race in October, even if I have to walk it. And then if I still hurt after the race I’ll just focus my efforts into other things that I love, like sweaty yoga sessions and intense spinning classes.

Before I headed out to the doctor today I noshed on a juicy organic pear and a serving of raw milk cheese!


I was SO hungry after my appointment around 5:00 that I went to town on some organic spicy tortilla chips at my parent’s house!



This evening was such a joy because I found tons of pictures from when I was in Paris that I never knew existed! Don’t you love that?! Makes you remember a trip all over again πŸ™‚









My goodness. This wasn’t even two years ago but just seems like a century ago. I never in a million years could have then predicted where I’d be now. Not that I’m in a bad place now, but this was pre-culinary school, pre-blog and I never EVER thought my brother would get killed one month before his high school graduation. Nope…never. Crazy. I guess it really is true that if you want to hear God laugh then tell him your plans! If this wasn’t even two years ago I wonder where I’ll be two years from today! Now that’s a thought.

I started my dinner around 6:15 ’cause I made Ryan a very happy boy by telling him he was having frozen pepperoni pizza for dinner. πŸ˜‰ As for me, I tried something new and the result was fantastic! I bring you now Mediterranean Stuffed Bell Peppers!



Look good? Click here to find the recipe! It was quite fabulous if I do say so myself! I made a big mess on my plate and inhaled it all πŸ™‚


Such a healthy, tasty and satisfying dinner. I will definitely make this again in the future; I love meals like these!

Of course I had a glass of vino while I ate—


And then when Ryan came home later he found me like this—-


Hard at work! (Actually I was nibbling on a very yummy dessert!)


Homemade blondie! Find VeggieGirl’s recipe here. I just modified it by omitting the pretzels and adding sliced almonds + coconut! I love ’em frozen….delightful!

I’m off to do some work and then take a bubble bath to soak my achy yoga muscles! See you tomorrow for Raw Wednesday!

You Might Also Like

  • Julie
    May 26, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Thats too bad about your shins. I hope your insurance covers the othotics.

    PS – You are so stylish!! I love your clothes.

  • Mary
    May 26, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Yum. Your dinner looks awesome! I love looking at your pictures from Paris…I’ll be going for the first time in the middle of June!!

  • Meghan
    May 26, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Hi Jenna!
    I don’t comment much but I read almost every day. I just wanted to say thank you for reminding me, and all of us, what is truly important in life. That is a hard lesson I have learned over the past year but, man, it is an important one! I’m glad I learned it at the age of 24 (almost 25!) and not much much later in life. Anyway, keep up the wonderful work on here. You’re great!


  • eatavegan
    May 26, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Jenna, I have to tell you — I was out of running for over a year because I kept getting stress fractures, and I finally took the plunge and got custom orthotics to fix the problem. I had to pay out of pocket and, yes, they were crazy expensive, but they were one of the best investments I’ve ever made. I’ve been running with them for almost a year with no problems and NO PAIN. Knowing what I know now, I would have paid a thousand dollars for them and sacrificed to do it.
    You’re right, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that big a deal, but if you want to run, they’re totally worth it!

  • Rebecca
    May 26, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    First and foremost, you have the cutest clothes ever.

    I’m glad you have a positive perspective about your shin splints. Hopefully, everything will work out, but I am sure you will make the best of whatever comes your way!

  • Melissa
    May 26, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Hi Jenna,
    I hope your insurance covers the orthotics. I hate the elliptical too so I know exactly how you feel about having to ride it, but your outlook is so positive and inspiring. I’ll skip my run tomorrow and ride the elliptical in solidarity!
    p.s. Thank you for sharing the lovely pictures. Paris is breathtaking.

  • Jenny
    May 26, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Thank you for this “it’s just not that important” reminder Jenna. I NEEDED this today more than you can know!

    Beautiful pictures, I miss France! πŸ™‚

  • Nicole
    May 26, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    It’s good news that your shin splints are “fixable”. I hope your insurance covers the orthotics!

  • Nicole
    May 26, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    I really love your tan jacket in those photos!

  • kim
    May 26, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    sometimes we do have to learn to lay down. pain is our body’s way of telling us, hey buddy! give me a break! And we should respect our temple. bravo on your determination and acknowledgement of your health. πŸ™‚

  • Angela
    May 26, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Jenna, thank you so much for your beautiful words tonight. They gave me shivers. You speak so honestly and from the heart. I think we ALL need to hear that on a regular basis. It is so easy to get caught up in the ‘small stuff’ and forget about the bigger picture.

  • Kailey (SnackFace)
    May 26, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Jenna, thank you so much for this reminder. I really needed it today. I’m sorry you have to take it easy on the shins, and I really hope insurance will help you out!

    I love all the Paris pics! Mmm makes me crave Europe!

    Dinner is beautiful πŸ™‚

  • mh
    May 26, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    you are so beautiful on the inside and out Jenna. You keep me in perspective bc I tend to get upset too easily about everything! Your dinner looks fab! I have a question for you or anyone else- do you ever wake up in the middle of the night STARVING? I’ve woken up the past 3 nights absolutely starving at 3 am and I try to wait it out but end up laying there for an hour until i get up and get a snack. It’s driving me bonkers! I eat balanced throughout the day and go to bed fool. Help me!!

  • spicygranola
    May 26, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Your dinner looks so fresh and delicious and don’t even get me started on veggie girl’s blondies. So adaptable and so flipping good! Also, I agree with Julie, your wardrobe is so cute. I love that necklace too. Good luck with the shins (and insurance)!

  • KatieTX
    May 26, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Jenna- If you can, try to find some money to get orthotics. They will change your life. I have unstable ankles and am pigeon-toed. I had to pay $500 for my custom made shoe slip- ins, but they really do make a huge difference. Just think, you will not be able to run without them without permanently damaging yourself. My doctor expressed his worry I would need surgery later in life if I did not get these orthotics. Tell yourself it is cheaper than surgery. I am going to guess insurance will not cover it. They are horrible in that perspective. Just wanted to urge you to maybe try to save up for the next month and invest in them! I love your blog and loved your writing segment on Katheats. You are such a great and interesting writer. Good luck!

  • Cecile
    May 26, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Thanks for being such an inspiration and great role model. Your reminder of what is truly important is so great. Thank you!

    Good luck with your shin splints!


  • jane
    May 26, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    have you ever thought about over the counter orthotics? i realize i am not a doctor, but i work in a running store and have been around enough people who understand running and biomechanics (some in the medical field) to know there are really good over the counter orthotics that are not expensive and very EFFECTIVE. seriously, and it’s worth a try before investing close to $500 in custom made ones. the best ones i’ve heard of are called SuperFeet (read about them at their website: i’ve recommended them for numerous people with shin splints and had wonderful results.
    Good luck!

  • Matt
    May 26, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Sometimes life is just full of surprises! Sometimes good and sometimes bad unfortuneatley. I wonder where I’ll be in two years?

  • Melanie
    May 26, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    That stuffed pepper looks so good! I hope your insurance will cover the orthotics; that’ll make a huge difference for you, I’m sure. And, working is *always* better with a kitty snuggled up with you!

  • ttfn300
    May 26, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    orthotics have always been covered under my insurance, but i’ll point you in this direction: I have had orthotics made by multiple people over the years, and have had different experiences… but email me if you want more of my 2 cents, however helpful (or not) it may be πŸ™‚ One thing you’ll want to consider is minimizing time in shoes w/o good support for your feet, since they are the root (or sole-haha) of the problem…

  • katie s
    May 26, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    I love this post, Jenna! It is so true, so often we fret over the small stuff and it can almost encompass us. We can lose touch with reality, or “the bigger picture” so easily. Thanks for pulling us back down, Jenna! And I hope you are able to get your orthotics! I have had them for over ten years, they work like a charm!

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance)
    May 26, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    stuffed peppers look AMAZING!
    thinking about you and hoping that insurance covers everything you need!

  • Emily
    May 26, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    I’m glad you found your doctor and hopefull that your insurance will pull through. You have such a great outlook and remain a reminder to keep track of what really IS important. πŸ™‚

    I also loved seeing your Paris pictures – I’m determined to get there soon.

  • Adi ( - repaired!)
    May 26, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    I love that cat plate jenna. And I’m not even a cat person! πŸ™‚

  • Abby
    May 26, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Isn’t perspective amazing? Sometimes you wish you didn’t have to go through the rough stuff to appreciate the little things, but it’s all a learning experience. When you’re healthy, you don’t think about it. When you’re sick or hurt, all you can think about is wanting to be healthy.

    Things will work themselves out and even though I’ve only been following your blog for a short time, I have a feeling that whatever happens won’t keep you down for long. Cross training could be extremely beneficial, as you know.

    I have a question completely unrelated to this post, but I’ll hold it for another time.

  • Samantha
    May 26, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Your Paris pics are wonderful…LOVE the top in the 2nd pic, and you’re just stunning!

    Sorry to hear about the dr’s appt, bittersweet for sure and here’s hoping the insurance will help out. After watching my hubby battle shin splints and achilles/arch issues (he has no choice but to run since he’s military), I feel for anyone who endure it.

    I now think I’ll go for a stuffed pepper for supper!

  • Laura
    May 26, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Aww, that pic of you and Dexter reminds me of me and my boy Oliver. He sits on my wrist the same way when I’m typing on the computer (“come on, mom, pay attention to ME”)! Dexter’s a handsome boy!

  • kristin f
    May 26, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    What an absolutely wonderful post. It is things like the “not a big deal” comment that make me such a fan of your blog. I can’t always be strong, but I can choose to pick my battles (and make them the ones worth fighting). Thank you for the reminder – that five pounds isn’t going to make life easier…

  • Emily
    May 26, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    I have those $480 orthodics…which I paid for out of pocket after paying for the $200 orthodics that didn’t work. BUT…now I’m pain free – I think you should find some way to pay that even if the insurance doesn’t cover it. You’re health and mental well-being are definitely worth it!

  • Katrina (gluten free gidget)
    May 26, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Yummy stuffed peppers!
    I made VeggieGirl Blondies yesterday too! (the almond-fig kind) I took your suggestion and put them in the freezer. They were A-MAZING after dinner tonight!
    Your Paris pics are gorgeous, by the way.

  • elise
    May 26, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    loved the photos…its crazy how life works. im sorry about the elliptical restriction. your attitude ASTOUNDS me. jenna, seriously, your open mindedness and willingness to take things as they come your way is one of the most inspirational things about you!

  • Tamara
    May 26, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Hey Jenna! Just got back from our Florida vacation and wanted to say hi. So sorry it didn’t work out to meet up, but I really hope we do one day soon. Your Paris photos are so neat!!

  • emily
    May 26, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    It’s been a tough year for me workwise (although still nothing to really complain about) and “it’s not a big deal” has basically been my mantra! My students laugh because as kids are screaming in my face (threatening to kill me, etc) I am quiety muttering – I haven’t told them I’m saying my mantra. Thanks for reminding your readers not to sweat the small stuff. I know you’ve said you are struggling but you have handled the last weeks with an amazing amount of grace.

  • LisaR
    May 26, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Hey Jenna! Are you still training for your sprint tri? I haven’t heard about much training for it and was wonderinf how it was going or if you were still doing it? I’m still thinking about doing one!

  • Christina MINDFUL LIVING
    May 26, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    you look so beautiful in your pictures, jenna! Your outlook on the shinsplints is great, too…. if any good can be taken from what you have been through recently it definitely is the fact that it puts EVERYTHING into perspective…it makes you take a step back and say “wait…this is not a big deal at all whatsoever” so kudos to you!

  • Courtney (The Hungry Yogini)
    May 26, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    So true. Thank God for time, it let’s us see the bigger picture. It’s sad how much we obsess over such silly little things in our lives when really we should focus our energy on loving our lives and all the joy it brings! Friends, Family, Experiences…FOOD! So much to celebrate, even in times of sadness as you have clearly shown us.

    Much love to you Jenna.

    Oh, and I just can’t get over those pictures. They are AWESOME!

  • Sarah (now in FL)
    May 26, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    You should send these photos to a modeling agency!

  • Jessica
    May 26, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    I am jealous of all of those Paris photos. It looks amazing there- and you look so happy in them!
    I totally agree about what is important. I hope that the orthotic’s work out for you but if they don’t there are a MILLION other great things that you can do. It really takes the pressure off of news (like what you got today) when you can step back and put it into perspective. I think it gives you a helathier mind set. My mom told me once that everything that is going to happen is going to happen, it is better to embrace the current and gain strength from it then to try to fight it and become weakened.
    Let me know if you come up with some great alternatives for cardio. I love to run too but need to force breaks (knees – boo) and am not in love with the elliptical by any means.
    Good luck!

  • Bec
    May 26, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    well at least you have an answer now, hope the insurance works out!

  • Jessica
    May 26, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    And might I add that I truly do admire your strength. I know we have not met but you have been in my thoughts for the past weeks.

  • Shelbney
    May 26, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Hey Jenna,
    You are so right about what’s a big deal and what isn’t. I try to remind myself of that all the time to keep myself in check. Life sure is easier when you realize what is important. “Don’t sweat the small stuff” is one of my favorite attitudes! You look more like John in your wine picture than any other I’ve seen. You really are doing so well Jenna. You had remarked in another post about your strength, I think you are amazing. I don’t think I could have gotten off the floor yet. So proud of you.

  • Michelle Hisae
    May 26, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    I definitely overthink things that just aren’t worth my time. I think it’s built into us humans. You’re totally right, fretting over little things just takes away from the big picture. The big, beautiful picture that is life. Enjoy it, don’t waste it by worrying! I should take my own advice…easier said than done. :/

  • Alison
    May 26, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Great post Jenna. Your attitude is an inspiration!

  • Marissa
    May 26, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Great Paris pics!

  • Hil
    May 26, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Thank you for this post. Truly. Sometimes its hard to keep things in perspective, but as you say, there are so many causes of worry and stress in life that just aren’t a big deal.

  • Sarah (LovIN My Tummy)
    May 26, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    I had the WORST shin splints playing college ball, and orthodics really did help…for awhile. I didn’t pay that much for mine, maybe you can try to find a different orthodics maker for a new quote?

  • Nicole
    May 26, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Have you ever heard of a book called “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly?” You must read it! It definately puts things in perspective!

  • Stef
    May 26, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Anytime I’m feeling down or stressed out, all I have to do is read your blog for a healthy dose of perspective! You have such a great outlook on life, in spite of everything you’re dealing with right now. It’s great to see that from such a horrible tragedy you’ve emerged as an even STRONGER person! I’m praying that your insurance company covers the orthotics!

  • Miss Tiffie
    May 26, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    that sux about the running…

    i absolutely LOOOOVE the paris pics you are so gorgeous inside and out <3

  • Caroline
    May 26, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Thanks for offering some perspective on what really matters:)

    Your stuffed pepper looks amazing!

  • Angelina
    May 26, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    I really hope your insurance covers the orthodicts, so you can get back to running.
    I love the perspective you have gained and how you can look at situations such as these now, and say, it really is not a big deal.
    I think we can all learn from that.

  • Leah
    May 26, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    Keep positive Jenna! I have went through the same thing (and still am!). I tried to treat all these little nit-pick injuries and I didn’t realize until a year or so ago that I have terrible bio mechanics. I’ve went down the orthotics road as well, but I am having some serious issues making them work for me. I hope you can get them covered by your insurance and I hope that you can get them to work out for you. Good luck.

  • Leah @ Simply Fabulous Now
    May 27, 2009 at 12:30 am

    Jenna, I loved this post. It was really refreshing to hear you discuss the things that are not important in life comparable to the things that are. You really gave me something to think about. Thank you for that!

  • Lara (Thinspired)
    May 27, 2009 at 3:27 am

    You have such a wonderful attitude, Jenna. Your photos are lovely. Thank you for sharing your positivity with us!

  • amethyst
    May 27, 2009 at 4:58 am

    Salut Jenna! You have such a brilliant attitude and great strength – super fΓ©licitations! Your Paris pics are fab. I lived there for 2-and-a-half years and also had a brilliant (but hard-working!) time. I loved your guest feature on Parisian attitudes to eating, too. (Your peppers look dΓ©licieux, btw πŸ™‚ ).
    Also, just wondered how Ryan was doing after his run with you (as I’ve deeply missed running – a major passion in my life – since I had back problems)? I’m sure you’ll find a way to get your orthotics…
    Bonne JournΓ©e πŸ˜‰

  • Heather
    May 27, 2009 at 5:46 am

    Hi Jenna!
    I’m sorry to hear about your inability to run for awhile. But your positive attitude is so refreshing. I KNOW that you can handle this. It is just another obstacle that God is praying for you to conquer. YOU CAN. AND YOU WILL!
    I’m transferring schools next year because Framingham State has a better nutrition program. My orientation is today and I’m a little bit nervous. Pray for me! (I’m taking raw almonds, an oatmeal raisin walnut CLIF bar, an organic Cascadian Farms peanut butter granola bar, and a mix of 3/4 cup Kashi Heart-to-Heart with 2 tbsp raisins). Hopefully, that will tide me over ’til 5!

  • Denise
    May 27, 2009 at 6:05 am

    That’s EXACTLY how my black kitty sits with me every night when I’m on the computer!!

  • Robin
    May 27, 2009 at 6:07 am

    I agree with the previous posters. I had to pay $480 out of pocket, but have had no problems since, and I was in very rough shape when I got them. That was the best money I have ever spent as I have ran injury free for the past year and a half including 4 full marathons and 2 half’s.

  • Matt (No Meat Athlete)
    May 27, 2009 at 6:10 am

    Sorry to hear that you’ll need to take time off, I hate machines too. To run outside for an hour is a blast, but on a machine it’s no fun. But you have to do what’s necessary, and if running without pain is important to you, then take that time off. I hope your insurance covers the orthotics!

    Very good perspective about what’s important πŸ™‚

  • Brittany
    May 27, 2009 at 6:11 am

    I couldn’t agree with this post more. Lots of things that I tend to stress over aren’t a BIG deal. How clean the house is, if I work out everyday, etc. When big events do happen in our life it really puts everything in perspective.

    I also just found out news that will keep me from running, at least for a while. I torn the meniscus in my left knee. I got an MRI yesterday and have my follow up on Thursday. So I’ve been taking spin classes, walking, and avoiding the elliptical because I’m pretty sure my hatred of it rivals yours. But as you said, there’s no need to stress out about it, because in the grand scheme, things like this aren’t such a big deal.

    Although, I do hope your insurance covers the procedure and that you are able to run again. πŸ™‚

  • Jenna
    May 27, 2009 at 6:29 am

    i LOVED every sentence of this post Jenna! πŸ™‚ This was really great and I’m so glad your attitude has changed about your shin spints and running (I’m so sorry for the reasons it has changed). Your Paris pictures are so cool!! πŸ™‚ Thank you for the recipe as well!

  • meghan
    May 27, 2009 at 6:44 am

    you’re so right, in the grand scheme of life and all the shoddy things that happens to us, the little things are really not that earth shattering. what’s unfortunate is that sometimes it takes something horrible to happen for us to realize that.

    i really hope your insurance will cover everything! also, so ironic you posted these parisian pics, as my mom and sister just landed there this morning!

  • Holly
    May 27, 2009 at 7:10 am

    I am crossing my fingers your insurance covers your orthotics!

    You always have such a great outlook – I love that! We all need a reminder about those things now and again πŸ™‚

  • Sarah
    May 27, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Good luck with your insurance but also keep that positive spirit! I think this post will make us all take a look at ourselves to see what is truly important. Thank you! Love the Paris pics.

  • kirsten
    May 27, 2009 at 7:50 am

    jenna, you look just like reese witherspoon in that picture with your hair braided from Paris!!

  • Becci L.
    May 27, 2009 at 8:47 am

    I cannot wait to make these stuffed peppers! I will have to do it when my hubby isn’t home, as he won’t eat any kind of peppers. Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Leila
    May 27, 2009 at 8:52 am

    I hope your insurance covers orthotics! I had to get some a few years back and they are life savers. But if the insurance doesn’t cover it, you might want to check and see if there is a chiropractor college in your area. I go to one to get treated for my IT problems and it’s really cheap because it’s a college. Mine also offers orthotics at a much more reasonable rate again because it’s a college. And don’t worry about quality, the discount is mainly because it’s teaching interns, but there is an attending always there. This might be an option to help reduce the cost.

    good luck, fingers crossed.

  • Monica
    May 27, 2009 at 9:47 am

    you are just too cute. I love all of your pictures from Paris. It makes me miss Europe so much!

  • Amanda @ Cakes and Ale
    May 27, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Good job putting things in perspective… your positive attitude never ceases to amaze me, Jenna!

  • Kath
    May 31, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    I had to wear custom orthotics for two years prior to my foot surgery. They really did help me a lot. Hope yours do too!

    Consider this the month of biking and have fun exploring new neighborhoods πŸ™‚

  • Reto
    December 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Jenna, … i just like your smile ;n)
    Christmas-greets from Switzerland, RΓ©To