Dinner/ Lunch

Packed Lunch and Dinner Repeat

Hi guys~ I hope your Tuesday has found you well. I was feeling a bit migrainey at work today (weather + hormones) but after my lunch, tea and a piece of chocolate sneaked out to me by the pastry chef–I feel a ton better. I’m just not really sleeping too well it seems lately. It takes me a looong time to fall asleep at night! I suppose its because I’m so wired from school when I get home at midnight and then I take a shower and immediately try to fall asleep and find my mind still spinning and working! Does this happen to anyone?! It makes me feel so tired in the morning 🙁 Valerian root and melatonin work well in my experience, I just don’t want to spend $$ right now and would love a free, natural solution! I wish I had time for more yoga…that really helps me!

Anyways! On to lunch! I packed a typical work lunch today: a tofurkey/cheese/spinach sandwich on Ezekiel bread (no more fresh bread! sad!) and had a large juicy red pear along with it. I forgot to put in my lunchbox my tiny piece of chocolate for dessert (I ALWAYS have chocolate!) so it was a good thing Stella, our pastry chef, surprised me with a couple dark chocolate chips! They were divine!



A couple hours later I tried my new snack that I brought. When I was home a few days ago I snagged a Kashi Go Lean “Roll” bar out of my parent’s cupboard. It was the peanut caramel flavor and was just “okay”…it was so chewy and the phone kept ringing, which made it incredibly awkward for me to eat and enjoy. I’ve tried a ton of bars now and I have to say that larabars, think organic and clif bars are still my favorite. But I would still usually choose something like trail mix or peanut butter and crackers over anything. Bars just seem to go right through me! This one was tasty but a little to “protein-bar” tasting for me. I won’t buy it again. I’d rather use my money elsewhere!

I just reheated the rest of last night’s dinner tonight, which made for an easy meal and an easy clean up! I’m out of soba noodles though so when I got home from work I steamed up some brown rice to have instead. Mmm!! This stir-fry was SO tasty!  On the side I cut up two carrots to eat raw. I’ve always been a big fan of “bunny food”. 😉

Tonight we are just baking off our puff pastry that we made last night. I’m sort of scared because I didn’t leave mine in the best shape…it was sort of oozing with butter that should have been more tightly “laminated” in the dough. It’s hard though!!! I guess only time will tell how it’s doing and I’ll see soon……

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  • Laurie
    March 11, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    That happens to me when I work late too! I definitely need an hour of unwinding even if I think I’m tired because otherwise I can’t fall asleep. I usually take a shower or a bath and read for awhile and have some tea, maybe a cookie, and just try to relax and unwind. This way even if I get a little less sleep at least I fall asleep and stay asleep rather than tossing and turning.

  • Susan
    March 11, 2008 at 9:34 pm


    I am confused about your kashi post. Ok, so pretend 200 calories are in 40 grams (I am completely making up numbers), and there are only 200 grams total in the box (5 servings) instead of 320 total grams (8 servings), wouldn’t that mean that each serving still only has 200 calories and there is just less product?

  • Susan
    March 11, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Jenna, no apologies are necessary about the snack! Don’t worry about mentioning it, I eat dinner relatively early since our cafeteria doesn’t stay open late, so I wanted snack ideas.

  • jenna
    March 11, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    For my “desserts” I love:

    kashi cookies (oatmeal dark chocolate or happy tails)
    clif bar
    Late July oreos
    think organic chocolate coconut bars
    trail mix with chocolate chips
    homemade cookie!

  • Betsy
    March 11, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    i’ve always been a bad falling asleep-er. It is quite frusturating, especially after getting home late with your mind churning. Sometimes, if I know it is going to take a while, I’ll take 1/2 a benadryl. Enoough to make you sleepy but not too much that it makes me groggy in the morning. I don’t love taking a pill like this, but it is minimal and will work in a pinch.

    dinner looks AMAZING, as always 😉

  • jenny
    March 11, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    it would be a good idea to put some lavender oil on your pillowcase or you can purchase the a moisturizing lotion that has lavender infused in it since lavender is known to help insomnia.

  • Carrie H
    March 11, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    This may sound really stupid, but it is something I’ve done to help myself fall asleep when I’m having trouble since I was little…
    I count backwards from 100 reeeaaally slowly. I try not to think about anything else and focus on the numbers, each spaced out a couple of seconds. It works for me, oh, I’d say about 80 percent of the time. And I never really get past about 70, because if I’m not asleep yet I get bored, lose count and have to start over!
    Good luck. It is no fun to have trouble sleeping. Thanks for all your great advice all the time.

  • Cara
    March 11, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    The same thing happens to me, especially if I workout late at night. Also the time change thing could be messing with your internal clock as well.

    Good luck with the pastry!

  • jenny
    March 11, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    hey everyone, i read in a beauty book about witch hazel being a good skin toner. (i know this is not food related but just wanted opinions). do you think they are? and also they say that castor oil is good for your hair and eyelashes (makes them soft). where do you get castor oil? and what is “castor”?

  • Romina
    March 11, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    I have a horrible migraine today too. The weather has been fluctuating and it’s just horrible. I also get the same thing with sleep. If I have a test and have been studying, my mind won’t shut off. One night I kept reciting pages from a textbook. I had dreams about pages!

    Mmm. I always make extras of the stirfry because I just know I’ll crave it the next day!

  • ChocolateCoveredVegan
    March 11, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    I love that you always have chocolate. A meal just isn’t a meal without chocolate, right? ;o)

  • Ashliqua
    March 11, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    Hey Jenna,

    Regarding the waffles you made on Saturday (sorry I’m just catching up on the blog from the last few days now!), do you think the batter would work to make pancakes instead of waffles (sadly I do not have a waffle maker)? It seems similar to another vegan pancake recipe I’ve used so I think it would work, and I hope you say yes because they look wonderful and I’d love to try them! 🙂


  • Hallie
    March 12, 2008 at 12:00 am

    I’m pretty sure you can get castor oil at health-food stores (whole foods?)in the supplements section. It was recommended to me when I injured my ankle because it’s supposed to reduce swelling. I haven’t heard about the other benefits but it sounds like it would work for dryness.

    I’m not really sure what “castor” is either…I think it’s something from our grandmothers’ time.

  • nicole r.
    March 12, 2008 at 12:59 am

    Hey Jenny–

    I love witch hazel! It makes your skin feel tingly and clean without making it tight and dry. I love to use it in the summer when I’ve been outside and feel gross: i keep my bottle in the fridge so it’s nice and cool!! Lovelyy—especially when you look at the cotton ball and see how well it really does work (gross).

    The other thing you can do with it is mix with calamine lotion for bug bites and it helps so much. Orrr make a face mask with kaolin powder (which you can find at a few beauty supply or health food stores). Sorry for all the info haha i really like my products.

  • emily
    March 12, 2008 at 1:06 am

    Love the blog! If your mind keeps cooking (ha ha ha) even when your body isn’t try repeating a soothing mantra or image and of course deep breathing to put yourself in a calmer state. Hope you get more rest tonight.

  • VeggieGirl
    March 12, 2008 at 1:36 am

    ahh, I do hope that you will be able to catch up on some much-needed rest tonight – at least you’re staying fueled/energized with delicious meals! your lunch and dinner look marvelous!

    don’t be scared – you’re going to do just fine in class tonight!! can’t wait to see photographs of the results :0)

  • Grace
    March 12, 2008 at 1:51 am

    I love witch hazel, too! I use it as a toner, since my skin is so sensitive. It works amazing. I have a slight acne problem when I’m stressed, and this is the only thing that helps without irritating it further.

    Jenna, I totally understand. I realized I just need to have some down time for myself before sleeping. I count my 30 minutes to an hour of relaxing as sleep when I can’t seem to get in more sleep. I rather have 6 restful hours versus 7-8 crappy sleep. Hope that makes since; it’s been a long day! Hope you sleep is better tonight.

  • Paula
    March 12, 2008 at 1:51 am

    I have never had trouble falling asleep until recently. My boyfriend used to always joke that I would fall asleep 5 minutes into any movie – even in the middle of the day! I have even fallen asleep in a papasan (spelling?) when we have company over! Terrible and pathetic, I know. But over the last 5 months or so, I’ve had a hard time falling asleep. Sometimes it takes me 2 hours! And there doesn’t seem to be any changes in my life since then… so bizarre.

    Anyway, Jenna, I really hope your head stops hurting! And I hope class goes well tonight and puts you to bed quickly!

    Hope everyone has a good night! Take care!

  • Dinah Soar
    March 12, 2008 at 2:26 am

    Love your blog!…I have trouble falling asleep too…find it best to wind down for an hour or two…read or watch some TV in bed which usually puts me to sleep…or take a benadryl as mentioned above if I’m “desperate” and I also have a sleep CD that always works when it really is bad…it’s by Lifescapes…called Sleep…has delta waves which emulate brain waves in deep sleep and can assist those who have trouble falling asleep…I found it at Target…Bed, Bath and Beyond often has them too…but at Target they are $10, at BB&B they are $15….Lifescapes does have a website where you can order the music CD’s….

  • Meghan
    March 12, 2008 at 2:31 am

    Ew, migraines are horrible. I have chronic migraines and after many tests and trying infinite amounts of homeopathic herbs, teas, relaxation techniques and so on, my doctors decided to put me on a very mild anti-depressant. It’s actually a sedative and I take it right before bed. Anyways, it was just CREEPY how I felt the first few days of taking it, it’s disgusting to feel how a drug is effecting you. Now I’m used to it and I’m getting a ton more sleep and way less migraines than I used to, but I still can relate, Jenna! I hope you get a restful sleep tonight, they always seem to be the best solution to lots of problems!

  • blueberrybabe
    March 12, 2008 at 2:33 am

    Hey guys. Before I go back to the serving sizes thing- I just wanted to thank whoever posted to me and advised NOT to buy a food scale. You are correct I am trying to gain weight and for some reason i thought a food scale might help with that. Now that i think about it though… it is really silly to need to be so accurate FOR ME. maybe for others it would be great, but you are right! so it is decided i am not getting one! thanks 🙂

    One more i will say what my thingie is with the Kashi Go Lean Crunch is- the box says there are 8 servings, 1 cup each, 190 calories each (total calories in box=1520). However, I only get 5 cups out of the box. When I spoke on the phone with Kashi they told me it is by weight, not volume. So if I get 5 cups out of the box then the calories in each cup are 1520/5= 304. I feel really silly now typing about stupid calories I just wanted to inform u guys what I learned!

  • Sara F
    March 12, 2008 at 3:22 am

    Veggie girl-
    I tried the banana bread and loved it too. I made mine a week or so ago but instead of a loaf I made mini muffins. They’re excellent with jam. anyway, being new to vegetarianism/veganism I’m pretty excited about all the new baking possibilities. I’ve been baking mostly from Veganomicon. Tonight I made a half batch of the chewy chocolate-raspberry cookies. They made the whole house smell delicious and they tasted just as good. They are super rich and chocolatey, so much so, that even chocohaulics like myself will probably only need one to be satisfied. They would be excellent warm from the oven with a little “ice-cream” If you get around to trying them I’d love to know what you think…you’ve probably got a better idea of what a good vegan cookie tastes like than I do. I’m a newbie. 🙂

    I used the following recipe to make tofu balls with marinara sauce and pasta for dinner last night. They were wonderful. I only made a half recipe which yields 8-9 balls. I saved half and made the BEST SANDWICH EVER for lunch. I just tossed three of the tofu balls back in a frying pan (no more oil of course) and heated them back up. Then I smooshed them down on a whole wheat bun with some dijon mustard and dipped the sandwich in ketchup. Instant “meatball” sub. SO DELICIOUS. It’s also cheap and lasts for 2-3 meals. You should definitely try them!
    -1 lb. extra firm tofu (diced in to small chuncks)
    –1 small finely chopped onion
    -3 tbsp soy sauce
    -1/2 c oatmeal
    -fresh basil
    (flour for rolling balls, a little canola oil to pan fry)
    Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Use a fork to mash it all up together. roll into 1 1/2 in balls coated lightly in flour. Fry in pan with a little oil until all sides are golden brown and slightly cripsy. Throw it on top of some noodles and add a chuncky marinara sauce. DELISH!

  • nicole r.
    March 12, 2008 at 3:32 am


    i get migraines too, and actually woke up with one this morning 🙁 usually that only happens when i sleep too late and skip coffee time (eep…bad, i know..but i love my coffee and am not going to give it up, im healthy its fine). but, because they’re so bad and i get them so frequently (i had to get an MRI once to check it out…all’s ok though!) my doctor actually gave me a prescription for this medication called relpax. when i get a migraine, i get the whole 9 yards: nausea, visual aura, sensitivity to sound, and intense vicelike pain usually around my temples and the back of my head, though sometimes also around my eyes. the only thing that used to help was taking a nap instantly with my head under the covers to further block the sound and light. but! this medicine helps SO MUCH. i know you said you want to stick to holistic, but honestly nothing like that ever helped as this does. i can take one, and within 20-30 minutes be able to get on with my life—this is absolutely unheard of for me. if your headaches are bad enough, i really strongly suggest you speak with your internist about getting a prescription.

  • Liza
    March 12, 2008 at 6:44 am

    How do you manage to spend $40 a week on food?? I’m so impressed and would love some tips to save money at the grocery store. Although I always am prepared (with a list) I spend about $75-$100 a week on food! Healthy eating is a priority for me (as I know it is for you too) so I would love to know how you budget so effectively!! Thanks!

  • jenna
    March 12, 2008 at 12:28 pm


    Its so hard! I just make a list and stick to it!! It helps that I don’t buy any milk or meat though!! That seriously saves a ton of money….just don’t let yourself buy anything extra at all!

  • Lindsay
    March 12, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Jenna ~ I have night class on Thursdays and feel the same way… I am always dead tired in class, but when I get home I am wired & can’t fall asleep!

  • jenna
    March 12, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Sara F,

    So did you you officially become a vegetarian? That’s wonderful! Congrats! Those tofu balls looks great and so easy..I might be trying them soon! 🙂

  • jenna
    March 12, 2008 at 1:06 pm


    I might increase the liquid a little bit to make pancakes because the batter that that recipe produces is quite thick, which works for a waffle iron but you might want to thin it down just a bit to make pancakes. Let me know how they are! Sounds good!

  • Phoebe
    March 12, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Hi Jenna, I have two comments:
    First of all, one weird mental trick I use to fall asleep is to go through the alphabet naming something for each letter . . . I go through countries, capital cities, movies I’ve seen, kids in my dorm, whatever. It always makes me tired because it’s a little bit of mental effort and at some point it gets kind of exhausting to think of the next thing!
    Second of all, the New York Times has been having a blog on migraine with many different contributors that has some really interesting things posted. Here’s the link:

  • VeggieGirl
    March 12, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    **Sara F:

    That’s wonderful!! Actually, I HAVE made those cookies, but used orange marmalade instead of raspberry jam – they turned out FABULOUSLY!! definitely a great cookie, period :0)

  • Briana
    March 12, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Hey I wanted to go ahead and make a comment on your sleeping issues….I have a tough time going to sleep and my mom sent me some natural pills from a place called swansons they are called knockout and are an herb suppliment they seem to be helping me so you should maybe give them a try!