Breakfast/ Exercise/ Fitness/ Lunch

No Rest For the Weary

Last night in school changed my life! Making homemade marshmallows is so easy! And soooooo delicious!!! The entire marshmallow-making process only took about 15 minutes, start to finish and the result was uniquely fresh, soft, billowly marshmallows. My culinary school partner-in-crime, the great Chef Erin, gives a wonderful marshmallow making tutorial on her blog, using the same recipe that I used last night. I highly recommend checking it out if this weekend you are in the crafty mood. It really isn’t as hard as you think! I promise!!


I also made deeeeeelicious peanut butter cookies that were so unbelievably rich and thick that I could only sample one of them (plus a ton of dough!) before I was full for the night. The recipe I used for these is from the Gourmet Cookbook (the big yellow 990 page book that I call the bible). I didn’t go so far as assembling the smores last night, but I think they will be really really good next week when I have to make them for real 😉 I also had a tea break with some decaffineated black.

And now the not-so-fun news—–I didn’t fall asleep until 2 am!!!!!!!! I don’t know if its the sugar, the stress or Dexter….but for some reason, lately I just cannot get to sleep. Anyone have suggestions??!! It makes my life incredibly frustrating as well as tiring, as I have to get up at 7 am every morning anyways. I have a general rule that if I sleep 6 hours or less I don’t work out in the morning because that’s just way too much going on, but this morning I started my morning with a 30 minute morning YogaDownload just to stretch and bend a little bit. If you start your morning with back bends your day is bound to be better, right? I still feel insanely tired and worn out right now but I do think the yoga helped, even if just a little bit.

For breakfast this morning I toasted up two HempPlus waffles and topped one of them with about a tbsp of almond butter and the other with raspberry jam and had strawberries on the side. My friend, Cathy (the one that made me the lovely Dexter birthday cake!) gave me some of her special tea last night in school to try. It’s called “Red Rose” and is just a traditional black tea but she is Jamaican/British and she says this tea is the closest thing to home for her. I tried it this morning and its really really good and strong. I’ll have to look for some of my own!



For lunch I packed a simple hummus and cheese sammie with 1/4 cup hummus and a slice of provolone on whole wheat bread with a pear. I packed a yogurt for a snack later as well.



Tomorrow is Friday….I have a super relaxing weekend planned with my mom (Ryan is going to Texas for a wedding and I couldn’t go because I can’t miss tomorrow night in school) at home. I just have to make it through the next 48 hours!!!

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  • arielle
    July 17, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    I thought the first picture was snow at first. I was like, isn’t she in Tampa??? I’m sorry you can’t get to sleep…it might be because you come right from school and try to go to bed instead of winding down first. Whenever I’m thinking too much, I have trouble falling asleep.

  • Kel Lee Leee
    July 17, 2008 at 1:07 pm


  • jenna
    July 17, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Oops! I fixed it—tired jenna!

  • Megan
    July 17, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Where in Texas is Ryan going? Just wondering because I live in Texas.

    I love hummus and cheese together, but I can’t find a good cheese substitue since I eliminated dairy.

    When I can’t sleep, I use melatonin. I use a brand that melts under your tongue. It works every time for me. When I know that stress or something else will keep me from a good sleep, I use melatonin. The great part is it is more natural than tylenol pm and other products.

  • Kelly
    July 17, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Isn’t it amazing how easy marshmallows are to make? I remember spending an insane amount on a tiny baggy of flavored marshmallows that apparently got written up in O Magazine. I couldn’t believe how much I spent on them after seeing how easy it was to make them myself. I made them as part of my homemade xmas presents for people last xmas and no one believed I made them from scratch.

  • Kimberly
    July 17, 2008 at 1:32 pm


    I’ve had insomnia/sleep problems since birth, and have found that the only failsafe remedy in my case is exercise. It’s hard for me to fall asleep before 1 or 2am, but on days that I fit in a good long run or elliptical session, I cannot keep my eyes open past 11 or so.

    My sister has been using melatonin lately, and she said it does put her to sleep but gives her INSANE dreams (which can be sort of fun, I suppose 😉

    P.S. That sandwich looks so fresh and appealing.

  • BethT
    July 17, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    I am a tylenol pm devotee. I do not take it nightly or anything, but if I have a string of sleepless nights I take two on one night to re-regulate my sleep cycle. Sometimes one night of deep sleep is all it takes.

  • Kate
    July 17, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Don’t get mad at me, but I think it might be the diet change. I sleep WAAAY better since I’ve been vegan. I’m not saying that you should change your lifestyle, but I’m just suggesting that it may have something to do with it. Or I’m crazy and believe all the good things in my life are because I follow a vegan diet.

  • Heather
    July 17, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    There’s a restaurant here that makes homemade marshmallows (orange, maple and mocha) and I assumed that they were really complicated to prepare- I can’t believe they’re easy!!

    So where is Ryan going in TX? Dallas by any chance?

  • Rose
    July 17, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Hey Jenna – I’m curious about your sleep problem. I went through this a few months ago and found the causes to be: 1) not “winding down” enough (always had my mind focused on something before bed) 2) exercising late in the day (which you don’t do..) I often find that when I get home from a late class – I am so wired and stay up much later than I should. I bet your situation is a combination of that + the sugar (? not sure entirely though..). Have you tried taking a shower or bath before you go to sleep? That always helps me. Good luck!

  • Kelly L.
    July 17, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Has anyone read any of Elin Hilderbrand’s books? I have read the Beach Club and Barefoot and LOVED them but don’t know which one to read next, or what other ones are good.

    What about Jane Green? I have read Jemima J and the Beach House. I loved Beach House, Jemima J was ok.

    Thanks, I’m posting this on kath’s blog too.

  • ~C~
    July 17, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    I was also going to recommend mellatonin, I’ve never had the crazy dream thing though.

  • Ansley
    July 17, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    For me, it’s naturally hard to fall asleep. On a good night I’m sleeping within an hour or so. (A bad night is a few more hours!)
    But I’ve found that if I do about 10-15 minutes of slow yoga, and really stretch deep into every pose so I feel a very, VERY distinct stretch, when I hit they hay, my muscles kind of melt into the sheets, humming with fatique. It’s a good feeling, and maybe you’ve tried it, but it’s worth a shot!
    Happy sleeping,

  • Chef Erin
    July 17, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Heehee! I *told* you homemade marshmallows would change your life!
    I’ve actually seen that Red Rose Tea at World Market. At mine, they have a wall o’ teas and coffee supplies on the back wall.
    I sometimes have a hard time sleeping in the evening, too- I find with class, and my long drive home, by the time I’m home I’m so awake it’s hard to make myself sleep. I usually have some decaf herbal tea, read a little and take a hot shower. If I try going straight to sleep I have weird school-related dreams. (One night I had a nightmare about making hashbrowns- I was covered in grease, Chef was yelling at me and my potatoes were raw… I woke up in a cold sweat!)

  • ryan
    July 17, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    I will be in Austin this weekend! Sad Jenna can’t go but I think she doesn’t mind being away when a bunch of my old college friends and I get together anyway.

  • Julz
    July 17, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Quick Question Jenna: I remember back when you were following more of a “vegan” lifestyle, as far as your diet was concerned, you commented that when you eat pizza with cheese it would bother your stomach, or when you ate other dairy products it made you feel really sick. Do you think that that was only a mental thing because you were trying to focus on not eating those foods in your diet? Or do you think that more by, slowing incorporating them back into your diet, you have been able to build up your body’s tolerance to such foods. I was just curious! Those mellows look so light and heavenly, like little clouds! 🙂 Enjoy your day and make sure to treat yourself to that coffee at work, especially today when you’re so tired!

  • Katie S
    July 17, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Jenna- Might be too detailed but I know when it’s “that time of the month” for me I have trouble falling asleep… it’s like my mind is never tired!! Melatonin works for me too, but I try not to use it that often because of the crazy dreams haha! But that’s the only one that will put me to sleep quickly and no “hangover” in the morning (which I get from Tylenol PM). Sometimes we just have trouble sleeping! Just try to relax about it and go with it… read in bed for awhile… take a hot bath or shower… that sort of stuff!!

  • angelcubbie
    July 17, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Where does everyone buy melatonin? Just at the average Rite-aid? I’ve been having problems sleeping through the night recently. Also, what brands of almond butter does everyone buy? I almost bought some last night but ten dollars just seems like so much, I want to make sure I get a good brand. Do you all think it’s really worth the price?

  • Jenn
    July 17, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Are you and Ryan having problems? granted this is from an internet perspective but it seems you are becoming distant?

  • Serena
    July 17, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Julz, I go back and forth on cheese – sometimes it upsets my stomach and sometimes it doesn’t. On pizza, I think it’s just that there’s usually so much on there and it’s really greasy – this seems to bother me way more than yogurt or one slice of cheese on a sandwich. Maybe it was the same way for Jenna?

    I never feel like I’m getting *good* sleep either lately. So I also want to know more about brands/where to get melatonin! Tylenol PM does usually help but I don’t love how it sometimes makes me feel sluggish in the morning.

  • Megan
    July 17, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Here is a link to the brand of melatonin I use. I have dreams every night so I don’t know if they make a difference when it comes to dreams.

  • Alex
    July 17, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    I hate to say it, but I take a sleeping pill every night. My mom keeps trying to get me off it & switch to something more natural (like melatonin), but honestly I have found it is the only thing that works for me. I was an insomniac throughout high school and most of college, and when I found the sleeping pills I take now that work for me EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, I was elated. I know it probably isn’t the best approach, but being sleep-deprived for 6 years of my life was quite enough of that. I would recommend the melatonin, though – if you have never taken sleeping pills before, I think it would probably be effective.

    And on another note – Jenn, that is a ridiculously personal question bordering on rude.

  • ryan
    July 17, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Oh my God Jenn, are you serious? We live in separate towns and can only see each other on Saturdays and Sundays, so yes that makes it difficult but necesarry. So no, zero problems, everything is great, and surprised you could get that from Jenna not being able to go to a wedding with me. We just don’t have enough money at the moment and she couldn’t go til Saturday anyway so it made no sense.

  • ModelBehavior
    July 17, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    You have the cutest coffee/tea mugs Jenna, i love that yellow chocolate one you have too, where do you get them from?

  • Jessica
    July 17, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Sleeping advice: Try to be out in the sun, just for a few minutes even. If it’s nice outside I try to get in a short walk around my neighborhood. For some reason this really helps me fall asleep at night.

  • AshleyH
    July 17, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    hey everyone, I was diagonsed with IBS yesterday by my doctor and know allot of other people have problems with thisso I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on what works for them. Thanks!!

  • tfh
    July 17, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Katie S, I notice the same thing (about hormonal-related sleep problems).

    I had terrible insomnia no matter what I did until I finished grad school. Frustrating. The worst part is, people would say to me, “When your body is tired enough, you’ll fall asleep.” No. I just couldn’t shut my mind off.
    I think it also became easier for me to sleep after I got married. Coming home to an empty apartment after a stressful day is emotionally exhausting.

    P.S. Ryan’s right, I think. If you’re secure in your relationship with someone, you’d kind of rather not have to accompany them to every event in which they are hanging out with all their old buddies!

  • nicole r.
    July 17, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    I’d recommend melatonin. Its a hormone produced normally by your pineal gland in your brain sort of behind your eyes that makes you drowsy in keeping with your body’s circadian rhythm. When you take a supplement, you’re adding to the amount already there and making it a bit more potent. Your body always responds by becoming drowsy, so sleep you should!
    Please do NOT take tylenol pm!!! Tylenol is actually really quite bad for your liver. Honestly I wouldn’t even say you should take tylenol for aches and pains, so definitely don’t take in just to fall asleep in the absence of pain!!

  • Chandra (Eating to Live)
    July 17, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    Aw, lack of sleep is the worst! as I was going to comment this post I was thinking to mentioned melatonin, but I see that nicole r. beat me to it 😉 Well, I second it!
    you can read more about it here

    finally, those marshmallows and peanut butter cookies look awesome. how do you not weigh 400 pounds?! lol

    I hope you get a good rest tonight! Take care…

  • KatieF
    July 17, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime tea sometimes helps me fall asleep. I do notice that I have more trouble falling asleep when I haven’t been excercising as much as usual. Hope your sleep troubles get better soon! 🙂

  • Anne P
    July 17, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    i always have trouble falling asleep when i haven’t exercised… my body just isn’t worn out enough i guess. also, if i’ve been out or having had time to wind down i have trouble falling asleep, too. the other night i had a bunch of girlfriends over for snacks and wine, and after they left it was like 11:30 (i am lame and usually go to bed at like 10:30 since i have to get up for work, boo) and i didn’t fall asleep for almost an hour… which is crazy for me. normally it takes me like 5 minutes and i’m done. but i was just really wound up i think. i recommend a bath and reading, just quieting yourself after a busy day 🙂

    also, totally makes sense on the wedding! my boyfriend hasn’t come to all my friend’s weddings with me either, a couple of the ones i went to last summer no one else was really bringing dates so sometimes you just want to get away with your college friends! 🙂 have fun, ryan!

  • dolores
    July 17, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    wow, ryan, a little quick to jump to the defensive…take a chill pill

  • natalie
    July 17, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    Hey Jenna,
    I actually took melatonin for a while last year to, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It makes you feel so wierd falling asleep, like you can’t tell a dream from reality. All the insane dreams left me waking up in the middle of the night as well. Also, if you have to wake up in less than seven hours you will fell super exausted in the morning!

    This is just what happened to me, but I hope you find what works for you. 🙂

  • TaraT
    July 17, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Hi Jenna – could your trouble sleeping have been related to the fact that you drank tea last night? Although it was “decaffeinated” there are generally still traces of caffeine, although minimal, your body could have been extra sensitive to it last night. Just a thought…

  • jenna
    July 17, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Thanks girls for all your great sleeping advice!!! I will take everything to heart!

    Re: wedding—-I’ve been so down for the last couple weeks because I CAN’T accompany Ryan to the wedding :(…its a huge bummer for us but the flight alone was close to 300 dollars and we just don’t have the money right now and it wouldn’t make sense for me to fly out Saturday morning all the way to texas and then fly straight back on Sunday. Ryan and I are both super bummed though….

    Oh–and we definitely are not having problems, to put all’s mind to ease. At least none that I’m aware of. Long distance is tough, of course, but we have been going strong for over two years now and are still planning on moving in together in December when I graduate after completing my externship. 🙂

  • jenna
    July 17, 2008 at 9:02 pm


    I still don’t drink regular milk because, for some reason, that really does make my stomach upset and I prefer soy milk anyways so why not? Cheeseless pizza is actually really yummy and something I’m sure I’ll still get from time to time. The first time I ate cheese pizza in a couple months it DID bother my tummy but then the next time I felt fine. I’ve been doing a lot of research actually on lactose intolerance and apparently people that have an intolerance can still eat yogurt but milk bothers them, so that seems to fit my situation pretty well. If something like cheese does really bother me again in the future I will steer away but since my body was craving it (super bad) I don’t think it is that bad of a thing to indulge. 🙂

  • Foodie
    July 17, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Love the inspiration mug!

  • Jessica
    July 17, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Hi there, new to your blog and love it! I have a running/nutrition blog if you want to check it out.

    I also have problems sleeping. My doctor told me that Tylenol PM is perfectly safe and non-habit forming, so I use it on occasion. However, the cookie dough was probably your problem. I can never sleep when I bake cookies and end up eating too much of the dough.

  • Evan
    July 17, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    Oh- and Jenna, I am lactose intolerant too. Cheese and yogurt have some of the lowest amount of lactose in dairy products, and milk, cream, etc have the highest. So there is your answer to why milk bothers you. I can eat cheese etc, and I can put a splash of milk in my coffee if I desire, but that last time I ate ice cream I threw it up (sorry, TMI) and haven’t returned to it again (I’m not a huge sweets person so it is not a big deal). My mom drinks Lactaid and says it REALLY helps with dealing with lactose intolerance.
    And to get to sleep, no clue, maybe a third glass of wine??! 😉 just kidding.

  • Serena
    July 17, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    Jenna and Ryan, My husband and I were long distance for all of our relationship before we got married, and even for a little bit after we got married! So I totally empathize with the bad parts to being long distance, but it also made us treasure the time we did get to spend together and we are great and happily married and living in the same city now – so you have lots to look forward to and only a short period of time left to be apart (even though I’m sure it can seem like a long way off)! You guys seem like a really great couple.

  • RhodeyGirl
    July 17, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    hey jenna… my fiance and I also do the long distance thing. I am in Rhode Island and he is in Philly but we still make it work! Sometimes I think it might even be better because we enjoy the time we DO have together so much more!!!! and it makes me even MORE excited for the day we get married and move in together (and i move down to philly wa wa)

    have a great night!

  • jenna
    July 18, 2008 at 1:01 am

    Ashley H,

    I spent about 6 years in agony over IBS (it seems to fade with age and now it rarely bothers me….knock on wood!)—-my super super advice is to buy a vial of pure peppermint oil and everytime you feel an “attack” coming on, put a drop on your tongue. I don’t know why, but for some reason that has saved my life a million times over!! Its amazing actually because it really really works!


    I found the chocolate mug at a tiny shop in Paris 😉 Most of those cute mugs are actually my roommates..the chocolate one is my baby.

  • NJ
    July 18, 2008 at 1:11 am


    The question is, who DOES have a lot of money right now? 🙂

    You guys are too cute, BTW.

  • Jennifer
    July 18, 2008 at 1:35 am

    I definitely vote for the tea causing the sleeplessness– even the decaf does have *some* caffeine in it. Look for “caffeine free” for late at night, I know that makes a huge difference for me!