Dessert/ Dinner/ Exercise/ Fitness/ Product Reviews

Lent Goals


So, today being Ash Wednesday, does anyone care to share any of their Lent goals?

Ryan is giving up all sugary beverages and I am proud of him! He ADORES vitamin water and gatorade so this will be a toughie for him!

Personally, I am not sure what I am giving up yet….I am going to pray about it in my quiet time tonight. Something interesting worth thinking about though is not giving something up for a change but actually adding something in. My pastor was speaking about that last Sunday and if you are tired of just giving up sweets every year and feel the need and desire to grow more in your faith, perhaps taking on something prayerfully might be the answer. An example of this might be dedicating more time to God every day….reading a new book in the bible, praying, keeping a prayer journal, memorizing scripture……the list is really endless. Speaking about Lent, today’s lesson in my beth moore bible study was wonderful as always.

The thing that stuck with the most was that God will often use something HUGE to pivot us and turn us back to Him. There is no such thing as “bad timing” because God’s timing is always perfect. If you feel completely overwhelmed and wonder why all of this is on your shoulders and you can’t possibly go on, remember that God’s hand is always at work. There will often be a crisis that God uses to change our direction for what He has planned for us. And, I promise, what He has planned for us if always better than what WE have planned for us. I remind myself of this every single day!

Anyways, back to my afternoon—-after bible study I hit up the Y. I did some speedwork on the treadmill (alternating between slow jogging speed and sprints for 15 minutes) and then did a short upper body strength workout. Tomorrow is Yoga Thursday as called by Polly! I have nothing planned after work and plan to spend some time on my mat with who else but Dave. I can’t wait!

And then for dinner tonight I tried a new product:


Well, it might not be that new really but it was new to me! This tofu has already been pressed and baked so it is MUCH chewier and denser than regular tofu out of the package. All you do is heat and eat! I cut the big slab into thirds and heated up my portion in a skillet on the stove. The texture was the best thing because it was chewy….but there was NO flavor. I actually had to sprinkle salt on it and I never do that! I would buy this again though and marinate it because it would be much better. I don’t know what they package is saying when it claims to have a “bbq taste”….um, it does not! It would be great marinated or blackened but I wouldn’t eat it plain again!

I also had a baked yam, half of a huge carrot cooked in a little honey and butter (reminds me of being a kid!) and some leftover pineapple-cashew-quinoa stir fry & edamame and corn salad. Both recipes are courtesy of the amazing Veganomicon


Yummy corn and edamame!


I also snacked on a TON of sugar snap peas while preparing dinner. These are like chips to me! I could have easily eaten the entire bag they are just so crispy and sugar sweet!


I’m about to take a bath and read…..but first I just know I’ll be grabbing a super charge me cookie from downstairs! Just a warning! Those things are addictive 😉

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  • Lana
    February 25, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    I have been lurking for months but this post made compelled me to comment. I have given up television for Lent and I have added getting up an extra hour early for quiet time and prayer.

  • K
    February 25, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    I LOVE sugar snap peas – they’re so tasty! Sorry the tofu was tasteless 🙁

    I really like the idea of adding something in instead of giving up something for Lent!

  • Sharon
    February 25, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Oh wow, tofu! Sorry to hear about no taste, but I like plain tofu myself. LOL!

  • FoodsThatFit
    February 25, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    What a positive way to think about Lent. I really like the idea of adding something positive to your life, instead of subtracting an item from your diet. I think we often get too caught up in using Lent as a way to lose weight, and forget the real reasons behind it. Thank you for your positive outlook on it!

  • Amy
    February 25, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful thoughts. I’m not Christian, but I found your passage about God and his intentions so meaningul and inspiring to me. I got some weird work news today that may be changing my path very soon, so I’m finding that especially right now I need to trust that this is what’s meant to happen and will be the right thing in the long run.

  • Courtney (The Hungry Yogini)
    February 25, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    I love the idea of adding something rather than taking it away! Really cool!

    Delicious dinner! Have a good nigth!

  • Michelle
    February 25, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Thanks for your post.
    Lenten goals:
    1. Stay true to the special diet that I am having to go on because of health issues…giving up sugar for the rest of my life–it’s a bit difficult mentally. But I want to feel and be healthy.
    2. Completing the daily 1/2 marathon training sessions 🙂
    3. Minimising my complaining

    Also, thank you for your blog part in regards to God’s plan and strength. I have had some of the hardest months of my life in since Dec..2x in hopstial, break-up, and the word cancer toyed with. I look back and even now and think ‘Ok God, what can I gain from this experience personally and for giving to other people.’. Thank you for reminding me and everyone else, that it’s patience and faith.

  • Kristen
    February 25, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Hey I am actually doing something a little different this year. Instead of giving something up I am going to do something. I am gonna help out at the local food kitchen.. i usually give up something but I thought I would change it up this year!

  • polly
    February 25, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Oh Jenna that is a wonderful idea! ADDING something in instead of taking something out. I feel so limited already with my diet (belly not always happy) so i agree… something to add to my life that really sets my day in line with Jesus. hmmmm. I am a sporadic reader! I know I want to read Galations next… just started today. Maybe we can all pick another book to read together in March???

    Just emailed you. 🙂 Massive hugs and woohoo Ryan for his no more gatorade!!! XOXO super charge me cookie baker

    Love, Pol

  • Shelby
    February 25, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    I think that’s a great idea that your adding something instead of taking away. I might just try that myself.

    Mmm, love all the V’Con eats + Sweet P + that awesome looking tofu. Fabulous dinner.

  • Marissa
    February 25, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Great idea about adding something! Sorry the tofu lacked flavor 🙁

  • Laurel
    February 25, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Yes, for those of us who have a tendency toward idleness or laziness, adding a little something can be more of a struggle than giving something up! 😉
    I try to do at least one of each. This year I am giving up eating out (with all those Starbucks I consume, this is going to be hard!) and adding at least 10 minutes of spiritual reading daily to my schedule.
    I love Lent! It is a great time for a spiritual check-up…and Lord knows I’m often in need of one of those! 🙂

  • Jennifer
    February 25, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Yay Ash Wednesday! It had been on my heart for a little while now to do less mindless activity — TV, email, blog reading haha. So for Lent, I’m giving up TV watching (with the exception of UNC basketball… I think God understands ha) entirely and limiting my blog/email time to twice daily. This should be interesting!!! I think it will give me a lot more time to be present with my husband and to spend more time on things that really matter – prayer, reading, time with friends, etc.

  • A
    February 25, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    I am giving up binge eating for Lent! Really, I do it for a variety of reasons, but I am at the point where I am self aware enough to know it and stop. Binging is a very self-absorbed behavior. I want to deal with the problem and I feel like God has given me the self awareness to deal with it. I want to be a better role model for my children if nothing else. Thank you for the opportunity to put this out there. It isn’t something I am sharing with anyone other than my husband.

  • seuss
    February 25, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    I have read your blog for ages but have not commented before. Especially for your readers in recovery from an eating disorder, or even disordered eating or just living in our crazy culture that rewards deprivation, I applaud your interpretation of Lent and adding something to your life. I am Jewish and for Yom Kippur – a fast day – an orthodox rabbi advised me to eat more on that day because for me, a recovering anorexic, that would be the way to let go of what keeps me from being close to my God/Higher Power/etc.

  • Amy
    February 25, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    I am still thinking of my Lenten resolution but I’ll get back to you about it. What struck me was the part from your Bible Study. You’re so right! I had a business school plan mapped out for myself even though I didn’t really love it or know what I’d do after graduation. This past summer, my grandfather who raised me had a massive heart attack. So massive that we really didn’t think he’d pull through. Thankfully he did make it and is doing great! The whole stressful situation put things into perspective and I almost immediately knew what I was meant to do. I withdrew from business school and signed up for pre-requisite science courses. Now I’m accepted into a Nurse Practitioner program and start in the Fall! I really think it’s the path I am meant to follow but I never would have gotten to this point had the awfulness of last summer not happened. God really does have a plan for us! (Sorry this is so long!)

  • katecooks
    February 25, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    i always like to add something. it seems like doing something extra can mean so much more than taking something away. sometimes sacrifice works, but i think volunteer work for example means more than not eating chocolate. im still marinating over what i am going to do though. thanks for posting about adding!!

  • Beth
    February 25, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Jenna, thanks for a great post. I was not planning on giving anything up. My family always gave up foods or drinks and I don’t like having that restrictive mentality with food. You have me thinking that I should make more of a commitment to volunteer work, even though I consider this the easy part of my schedule.

  • Lisa
    February 25, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Thank you so, so much for your comments on the Bible studies you have been doing. Your reflections have always turned my day around, no matter what kind of funk I am in. It is clear to me that God is working through you in wonderful ways… I can’t even explain how much your blog has been a blessing to me. Especially today, as you’ve reminded me that when I feel overwhelmed, it means that God is trusting me to handle everything He’s put on my plate with grace & faith, and that He knows that I am capable of that. I am always awed by His faith in me, just as much as I am by my faith in Him.

  • Jessica
    February 25, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Jenna, the quote you just said (There is no such thing as “bad timing” because God’s timing is always perfect. If you feel completely overwhelmed and wonder why all of this is on your shoulders and you can’t possibly go on, remember that God’s hand is always at work. There will often be a crisis that God uses to change our direction for what He has planned for us. And, I promise, what He has planned for us if always better than what WE have planned for us. I remind myself of this every single day!) really stuck out to me as i feel that way RIGHT now. Thank you SO much for that. Just reading that over and over makes me feel more at peace. I’m giong to print that out and stick it somewhere I will see it all of the time. Thank you again!

  • Natalie
    February 25, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Love this post! I still am somewhat unclear of what I’m doing for Lent, and I’ve been think about it for two weeks. I want to do something more meaningful than giving up some food or tv, I want to do something that benefits others as well as myself. Lets us know if you come up with any other ideas!

  • Michelle Hisae
    February 25, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Well, I don’t celebrate lent, but I would definitely go with the “add” idea rather than taking something away. I would add….hmm…daily “me” time. And I mean it’s REQUIRED. We’d all love a little more “me” time, so here’s a reason to not skimp!

  • Chrissy
    February 25, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Oh my gosh…I just had to comment on your post today. My hubby and I were talking over dinner last night about what we wanted to give up for Lent, and out of nowhere, I said “instead of giving something up…let’s add something in!” That must have been God talking cuz I hadn’t even thought about Lent before that dinner! Anyway, I think it’s such a great idea- we’ve decided that for the next 40 days (and hopefully time after) we’re going to make it a point to do a devotional and pray together before bed every night. I’m really excited about it! Anyway just wanted to share =)

  • Jewels
    February 25, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    I completely agree. I think its nice to do things for others such as volunteer and even be extra nice to a difficult person.

  • Matt
    February 25, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    I’m not very religious so I don’t really do anything for Lent. That’s just my personal preference though!

    Delicious looking eats today!

  • Meg
    February 25, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    I have just started using that tofu…I add my own flavor, but I love it’s texture. I am planning to take something on for Lent, but haven’t decided what yet.

  • brandi
    February 25, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    glad bible study and the Y were good!

    I’ve been thinking about what to do for Lent. I’ve joined in Tina’s challenge to do at least SOME yoga every day in March, so I’m hoping that will just continue through Lent and beyond! That will not only give me a good stretch, but also just some time for me and my thoughts.

    I’m thinking of some othe things, but haven’t made any other final decisions.

  • Red Head, Yellow Dog
    February 25, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    I like the quinoa/edamame leftover combo! looks great!

    I’ve never given anything up for lent but I like the idea of adding something! Maybe I’ll try to incorporate more yoga. I feel like doing yoga is very spiritual.

  • kim
    February 25, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    this is one of my favorite tofu! It said it’s great for BBQing because it’s a firm tofu, not BBQ taste. If you like miso, you can get some miso sauce from an Asian market and slather on some and grill it! You can also cube the tofu and use it as a stirfry. Tofu is so versatile. You can cook it in anything. 🙂 Great meat-substitute.

  • the Clean Veggie
    February 25, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    sounds like an awesome tofu find!!

    Im so sick of hearing everyone giving up sweets – they are meant to be enjoyed 🙂 im giving up facebook because I spend wayyy to much time on that.

  • melissa (fitnessnyc)
    February 25, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    wow! I just bought and tried that exact same tofu for the first time ever tonight also! I wasn’t a fan, I covered mine in soy before I baked it for 45 minutes. I have never been a huge tofu fan though. I think I am sticking with tempeh.

    Lent. I typically give up swearing, but I think I need to challenge myself more this year. I guess I have 3 hours to decide! Good luck Ryan!

  • Babycakes
    February 25, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    “The thing that stuck with the most was that God will often use something HUGE to pivot us and turn us back to Him. There is no such thing as “bad timing” because God’s timing is always perfect. If you feel completely overwhelmed and wonder why all of this is on your shoulders and you can’t possibly go on, remember that God’s hand is always at work. There will often be a crisis that God uses to change our direction for what He has planned for us. And, I promise, what He has planned for us if always better than what WE have planned for us. I remind myself of this every single day!”

    Jenna thank you so much for sharing this. I really needed to hear this right now, as I’m going through a very difficult situation – one that I never saw coming. These words offered me comfort and faith that perhaps everything does happen for a reason; even if we are unable to understand that reason at the moment.

  • Fitzalan
    February 25, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    For lent this year the hubbie and I have decided to go to church every week. Since we have moved we can’t find a church that we like, so we may be ‘church shopping’ every week, but we will get to a service once a week.
    On my own, I have decided to fully commit to a daily lenten devotional. I want to read, mediate and really dedicate a certain amount of time to prayer and God each day over the next 40 days.


  • skinnyrunner
    February 25, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    great post. i’ve heard from a sermon once that so often we focus on taking something out, usually out of diets, and forget the reason for it is to focus more on God. good reminder!

  • Caroline
    February 25, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    As for Lent, I am trying to say grace more often before I eat. I clearly love my food, but I don’t think I thank Him enough for His bounty:)

    Tofu steak looks fabulous. In fact, I want to steal your entire dinner!

  • Kate
    February 26, 2009 at 7:36 am

    I would love to know when you do decide what you are going to do for Lent-it’s funny b/c I have a lot of friends here at school, but SO few of them are even religious AT ALL. It obs doesn’t bother me b/c I love them, but it makes it difficult to follow my own beliefs and share experiences like Lent here at school (I guess besides w/ my fam). I too want to do something! I have to still think…I’m giving myself til Sunday to come up w/ it!

  • Kati
    February 26, 2009 at 8:13 am

    GREAT POST! I am going to send your thoughts on Bible Study to a friend who is going through a tough time…You are so right that God’s timing is perfect- and I am trying to remind myself of that daily

  • Kristin
    February 26, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Jenna, if you’re looking to add something in for Lent, might I suggest It’s a daily 10-minute-ish prayer that you download to your mp3 player. You could listen to it on the way to work, for example. They do it every single day but I made it a daily committment one Lent and it’s very nice — uplifting music, a Bible verse, some guided reflection. (Yes, it’s a Jesuit [Catholic religious order] site but I don’t remember it being overly “Catholic.”)

    My husband and I are doing the giving up sweets, eating out and meat thing but we are going to donate the money we save on eating out (and I’m sure it will be a LOT) to various charities. So there can be some good that comes out of that, too!

  • Sarah
    February 26, 2009 at 8:42 am

    The edamame and corn salad looks so good! Yummy dinner ; )

  • TanyaS
    February 26, 2009 at 9:36 am

    I’m going to do a give up/add combo – I’m giving up going down the elevator and work and adding the stairs.

  • Christy
    February 26, 2009 at 10:03 am

    I so believe that God used you to talk to me. Yesterday I just found out my grandfather (my heart in this whole world) shattered his hip. I just moved very far away from him and can’t be there and feel like my heart is being ripped out. And I’m struggling with some personal issues that I just don’t know how I’m going to overcome but where you said, “If you feel completely overwhelmed and wonder why all of this is on your shoulders and you can’t possibly go on, remember that God’s hand is always at work. There will often be a crisis that God uses to change our direction for what He has planned for us” is so true. That’s exactly what I needed to hear. This morning I’m praying with an open heart to God for him to lead me where I need to go. Thank you so much for writing that.

    On a separate note, I struggle with an eating disorder and didn’t want to do anything food-related for Lent and had no idea what to do…but now I do, thanks to you! I’m adding in daily devotion time.

    Jenna, you totally rock. Keep up the great work!

  • Christy
    February 26, 2009 at 10:25 am

    I would just like to add that the song “The Hammer Holds” by Bebo Norman (Christian artist) is VERY powerful. I encourage anyone struggling with where life is leading them to listen to this song!

  • Jess
    February 26, 2009 at 10:38 am

    I’m taking something on for Lent instead of giving up. I’ve committed to reading a prayer out of the Book of Common Prayer every day (BCP is the Episcopal prayer book). Last year I gave up meat.

  • Marisa
    February 26, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    peanut butter!! if i don’t give it up for at least 40 days, I might just turn into a jar of it! Seriously, my addiction is getting out of hand…I didn’t have any the other day so I had to start sneaking some out of my roommates jar. Who does that??

  • Danielle
    February 26, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    I have decided to give up meat for Lent. It’s something that’s going to be a real sacrifice for me because I sure do love my chicken.
    I think it’s a great idea to add something to your life though for Lent.

  • Shellene
    February 26, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    First, love your blog! Been reading for several months. I have done Purpose Driven Life several times, but I am doing it again during lent with another blogger.

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  • Aaron
    February 27, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Why not add something *and* give something up? You know, a swap. As for me, I’ve been eating and/or thinking about food excessively lately, so I’m giving up food entirely… except when I need it (in fact, I’ll probably cease reading blogs like this; such a pity, I just found yours a couple days ago and I like it). As the countermeasure I’m adding in spiritual food: prayer and scripture (specifically Job and Psalms).

  • Laura Brandon
    March 6, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Thanks for reminding me that God’s timing is always perfect… I’ve been having some anxiety about school lately, but your words just slapped me in the face and reminded me that HE is in control!