In The Fast Lane

I just got back from meeting the boy for lunch…what fun! The Honda Grand Prix is going on right now (that’s race car stuff for those of you that don’t know—I didn’t know!) right outside his office and so after we ate we walked over there and watched all the race cars speed by. It’s a pretty big deal actually and all the roads are blocked off. I think I am permanently deaf however in both ears. haha.


For lunch, we went to this organic cafe where you can sit outside and enjoy yummy healthy food and people watch. I ordered the vegan butternut squash soup and hummus plate, which came with a cup of delicious, thick creamy soup alongside a large (I would say about 1/2 cup?) scoop of their homemade hummus and served with a whole wheat pita. I def. cleaned my plate and washed everything down with organic unsweetened white tea. Ryan ordered the special of the day: chicken quesadillas with a side salad. I was worried he would think it tasted “too healthy” with a whole wheat tortilla and not oozing with grease, but much to my surprise he loved it! This morning while I ran errands I snacked on an apple to hold me over til’ lunch.


Tonight we are having our “date night” (we decided to go out to a nice dinner once while I was home and I would cook the rest of the time) at Flemings. I picked it! Now, you might think why in the world would I pick a steakhouse to go to dinner to! haha! Well, it just so happens they apparently have this amazing roasted vegetable platter that I’ve been dying to try! I actually called over there and asked about it and the girl that answered the phone just raved about it, saying it was her favorite thing on the entire menu. I’m pretty pumped. Who knew a steakhouse would be vegetarian/vegan friendly? They are owned by the same company as Roy’s so not only do I get a nice little discount, but I know I can enjoy great service and food as well!

Let’s all not forget to tune into Oprah this afternoon at 4:00 eastern time! A reader kindly informed me that it is on the cruel treatment to animals! I will def. be watching it either at the gym or on the couch 😉

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  • JennaV
    April 4, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Hi Jenna,

    First time commenting here! Your lunch looks fabulous! And I know what you mean about the grand prix…they are setting up for the one in Long Beach right now and it is so noisy!

  • Mango Slice
    April 4, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Thank you so much for reminding people to tune into Oprah today! I saw it this morning “central time” heartbreaking for sure, but a real eye-opener.

  • Mary Beth
    April 4, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    I’m thinking about trying to make larabar-type bars today w. nuts and dried fruit – has anyone tried making these before and does anyone have any tips?? (best technique, nuts and fruits to use, etc.) any info at all would be much appreciated!! happy friday!

  • sweet basil
    April 4, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    question for vegans: do vegans equate human life with animal life? some of the blogs & articles I read either overtly state or imply that they do. im just curious about what the general sentiment is.

    it has been interesting for me to read more about the vegan lifestyle. i do not adhere to a vegan diet, but i do buy locally as much as possible and limit animal products in my diet–the latter mostly for health and environmental sustainibility purposes. suprisingly, i have made changes in my diet–somewhat subconsciously–due to this blog. since reading it i have made vegan cookies;) and upped the amount of plant-based foods in my diet. i also cut out caffeine this week and i feel quite good. ‘

    have a good weekend, all.

  • bikergurl
    April 4, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Mary Beth, I have tried and they are just as delicious as real larabars! I don’t really have any tips. I just ground cashews in the food processor until they were crumbs. I then took them out and pureed fresh dates (very sticky removing the pits!) and then mixed the two together, basically recreating the cashew cookie flavor. I tried to mix it all with my food processor but it’s really old (read: cracked, beat up) and I had to mix by hand.

    Sorry I don’t have any advice on what other combos work but good luck!

  • Alli W.
    April 4, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Thanks, Ryan, for your post earlier. I love it when our boyfriends admit that we are more mature….jk! Just wanted to toot my own horn for a minute and say that I have been a diet coke JUNKIE (we’re talking 5-6 a day) since I came to college (four years ago…), and last week I made a vow to cut it out once and for all. It’s been fourteen days and I have never felt better. I sleep better, I feel less jittery…I’ve even lost a couple pounds. I never ever thought I could give it up, but I did and it is amazing! No diet coke, no caffeine. If I can do it, anyone can! Seriously!

  • jenna
    April 4, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    alli W and sweet basil,

    Congrats on going caffeine free! It is SO hard at first but it gets easier. Take today for instance—I was at Whole Foods (I know, I know—I practically live there and roam around the aisles) at started going for the coffee in the deli section. i was freezing and it sounded so good. But then, I re-evaluated my body and said “what am I really craving? Coffee or just something hot?” And so I picked a nice caffeine-free passionfruit rooibos tea instead and it hit the spot.

  • sweet basil
    April 4, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    I love rooibos tea–I drank it all of the time in South Africa. It’s way more expensive here sadly–I suppose b/c it’s an import, but it good for you and naturally caffeine free.

  • Mel H
    April 4, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    haha Ryan, I love your post. You have a great attitude! Cute Pic Jenna- you are beautiful as always!! have a great date night

  • Alice (in Veganland)
    April 4, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    You look very beautiful Jenna! A beautiful healthy vegan! I wish I could eat that hummus 🙂

  • VeggieGirl
    April 4, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Sounds like a terrific lunch with your terrific “other half” :0)

    I’m watching ‘Oprah,’ and am running out of tissues – it’s extremely horrifying to see the images of puppy mills, and what goes on.

  • jenna
    April 4, 2008 at 8:27 pm


    don’t feel bad. I’m sobbing as we speak and getting snot all over ryan’s blanket. Makes me want to save each and every one of them. right now!

  • JennS
    April 4, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    hi jenna, this is a personal question but, and someone who is engaged, i was just curious. would you want to be engaged now and plan a wedding for the fall so you could REALLY be together when you moved back? just curious 🙂

  • jenna
    April 4, 2008 at 8:35 pm


    I don’t i can even answer this because Ryan reads every word on this blog, I know. Let’s just say I can’t wait to plan a wedding……actually, I just can’t wait to plan the FOOD! I guess it will happen when the time is right!!! 😉

  • JennS
    April 4, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    you are exactly right! thanks for answering 😀

  • linds
    April 4, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    awww I have Oprah on right now….I love dogs…..I used to volunteer at a shelter, walking the dogs..poor babies it’s hard to come back the next week and see who is there and who is not 🙁

  • Romina
    April 4, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    It looks so warm! I’m so jealous!!

    I will definitely tune into Oprah, thanks for the reminder.

  • Julz
    April 4, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Oh I loooove Flemings! They have the best oysters!! And they salmon is delicious too 🙂 Have fun! Oh and they are A.MAZING with wines, and really know their stuff! Even with dessert 🙂 Cheers and Happy Friday Jenna!

  • Julz
    April 4, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    The roasted vegetable platter IS amazing… For all of my family (four of us) we’ve ordered one to split for sides! Mmm you’re going to love it!

  • Jill - GlossyVeneer
    April 4, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    I am so jealous of your lunch. I can’t seem to find very many restaurants that serve whole grain items here in Vegas. It’s all about chain restaurants and over-indulgence.

  • Emily
    April 4, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Hey guys, anyone have any input in my question from breakfast? Thanks sorry to bug. TGIF!

  • Natalie
    April 4, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    I’m glad I got everyone to watch Oprah today! I started crying to but the thing that really bothers me is that I know this show will affect alot of people because of the way puppies are viewed in this culture but I wonder if people would feel the same effect if cruelty to other animals was shown? But at least this will help inform people on one of many issues of animal cruelty.

    sweet basil
    As for the question on if vegans view animal life and human life equally. I have only started the transition to a vegan lifestyle this year but this is question I often ask myself. I know that I believe that every form of life is important no matter what kind and that humans are not superior above all forms of live. I also think that the documentary earthlings has changed my views on this world alot it describes the truth about the harm that humanity is causing that planet and affecting cycles of nature. I believe it is a must see for everyone! If your interested in it I know you can find the documentary on you tube 🙂

  • jenna
    April 4, 2008 at 10:42 pm


    Do you mind re-posting your question?

  • ashley b
    April 4, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    are you in downtown st pete??
    thats where im from 🙂 !!

  • Julz
    April 4, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Sweet Basil- I am not a vegan and I strongly value the life of Humans and Animals equally, and despite many people strongly against my feelings, I sometimes value an animals life more (in CERTAIN situations). I’ve just always been that way, but unfortunately, I am not a vegan. I eat mostly vegetarian and do not consume many eggs or any lactose dairy, but if I told my family that I wanted to follow a Vegan lifestyle, they would not be happy. Despite the fact that my mom was one for 10 years. Haha, it’s very shaky ground :-\

    If anyone else has dealt with this with their families, how did you go about the transition?

  • Molly
    April 4, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    I didn’t know you were engaged Jenna!!! That’s super!! Congratulations!!!!! 🙂 Show us the ring pleeeeaase!

    I missed Oprah…… darn!

  • Natalie
    April 4, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    Julz how old are you? Like I said I have started to transition into veganism over the past few months but i’m 17 so when I told my mom she really did freak! But I explained to her and showed her what buying animal products does to our world. It didn’t have as much of an impact on her as I hoped but at least knew I was doing it for a good reason. It also helps by slowing introducing vegan foods and recipes to your family. I also had to show my mom alot of nutrition label for her to understand that there are good protein sources out there that are vegan. Sure she still worries but she has also become very supportive. 🙂

  • ana
    April 5, 2008 at 12:30 am

    I am loving the gorgeous weather you have there! I was actually on the beach at St. Pete’s when my family cruised through Tampa on the way to my grandparents’ house in Sun City Center! I love FLA, sigh…

  • Ella
    April 5, 2008 at 1:31 am

    My parents were shocked, too. Just lead by example and they’ll come around.

    Jenna’s the perfect case…she’s a walking billboard for eating healthily. That’s about the best any of us can do!


    P.S. I think age differences can add a great dynamic to a relationship. It’s always great to have multiple perspectives.

    What really counts is whether you feel like someone is helping you to be a better person and lets you keep evolving…and doesn’t mind evolving with you.


  • Ella
    April 5, 2008 at 1:33 am

    oh, and that is my fav kind of bottled tea…I wish they made all the flavors w/o sugar!

  • Stacey M
    April 5, 2008 at 2:35 am


    I alluded to this on Kath’s blog, but as a nutritionist perhaps you can help me. I think my rather low (yet unintentionally so) daily fat intake may be the culprit in my occasional urge to [night] “binge”. (I noticed that I seem to go for any foods with higher fat content at this time — so it’s not really “hunger,” but just kind of a pit in my stomach that craves fat!) I get 25-45g or so per day, but I am getting the feeling this may be too low. This is probably due to a diet including lots of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, fat-free dairy products, healthy frozen meals, etc., and probably not enough oils. How many calories / fat grams would you recommend for a 20-year-old college student (~5’5 and 124 lbs.) What is the daily range you aim for? Thank you so much! Anyone else can chime in, too.

  • jenna
    April 5, 2008 at 3:12 am


    Oh no! I’m def. without a doubt NOT engaged. No ring. No nothing. Maybe in the near future…but not now!

  • Natalie
    April 5, 2008 at 3:38 am

    Thanks for clearing that up Jenna. Molly’s comment had me looking through old posts to see if there had been any big announcment!

  • Kristin
    April 5, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    I’m a nutrition major and have some experiance with your issue, so I figured I’d put in my two cents;
    I think you’re on the right track with getting to the bottom of your “binges”. I had a similar problem last year, in which I was not taking in enough healthy calories or fat, which made me crave large, unhealthy amounts of “bad” food… and my philosophy is, besides trans fats, theres no such thing as “bad” foods… it’s all about moderation. Well, I turned foods that could be ok on occasion/in moderation INTO “bad” foods by bingeing on them and eating them in excessive amounts, because once I had a taste I felt I couldn’t stop! I really honestly equate this to my lack of proper nutrients, because I was not getting enough, and the restrictive quality of my diet lead to my uncontrolled urges to overeat at various times. Even throughout these binges, I still ended up losing too much weight because I was not intaking enough fat/calories on a regular basis, and was not healthy at all- now that I am working on gaining the weight I lost back, I have come to a much healthier point where I am including enough nutrients (i.e. enough healthy fats) in my diet so I have not felt the urge to binge in a very long time!
    I allow myself little treats at least every couple of days, and that combined with my proper balanced nutrition has really changed my whole perspective on eating healthfully, and not feeling the urge or need to go overboard. I suggest trying to up your fat intake, because low fat is not necessarily the way to go! As a nutrition major I want to stress it is important to keep your saturated fat under 10% your total calories, and keep trans fats as low as possible. However, healthy unsaturated fats are the way to go- your body needs them, to transport vitamins, insulate the body, protect your organs, and store energy! So including more healthy fats from nuts and nut butters, healthy oils such as olive, canola, safflower, or sesame, as well as foods like avocados and olives would be very beneficial to you!
    25-45 g of fat is pretty low, especially if you are eating an average 2000 kcal diet. That’s only 11-20%, The reccomendation for fats is 20-35% of your total calories. So I would figure out about how many calories you intake, and get an idea from there. (If you want me to do the math for you, I can- just jot me an email or comment on my blog)
    However, don’t stress out over exact calories, etc… I know from experience that can make you crazy! Getting an idea is good, and keeping around that range is the important part, as long as the fats are from healthy sources I’m sure you’ll be good!
    Good luck!


    P.S. A bit of personal blog promotion- I’ve been upping healthy fats significantly in my own diet, so if you want to see how I do it just click on my name and you’ll find my blog =)