Dinner/ Exercise/ Fitness

Speedy Dinner!

I’m eating a very speedy dinner here because I have to get to work and I can already tell traffic is going to be horrible. The bad thing is, for the first time in a very long time, I’m really not that hungry (!!) Oh no!! I HAVE to eat because I won’t get a chance to for the next four-five hours and I need my fuel because I will be running all night long. All that good bread at lunch must have really filled me up because seriously, this never happens.

So despite my lack of being starving, I made a healthy and light dinner—Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Shrimp, Bell Pepper and Eggplant. I’m just about completely out of groceries and all I have left was frozen shrimp and a few veggies so this seemed perfect to whip up! I made it nice and cheesy too by adding 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese. It tasted really good and I ate it all so maybe I was a little hungrier than I thought πŸ˜‰

I’m taking a baggie of graham sticks (14) to work with me to snack on later. I always need a snack mid-way through my work night! Oh, and tomorrow is PIZZA day at school. We are making homemade foccacia as well as pizzas with any topping under the sun. I’ve been excited for days. Can’t wait!!!!!


This dinner was about 545 calories (see note in recipes section for modifications)

I had a good cardio workout at the gym today too…that lunch provided the perfect fuel for the elliptical machine and bike! I was also able to study for my test tomorrow. Sweet!

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  • Laura
    January 17, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Is the drinking chocolate you drank last night different than hot chocolate?

    Also, how long were you in France you seem to know it so well! Did you study about France before, so that way you would know which pastry shops to visit?

  • Laura
    January 17, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Just to add, I make my own hot chocolate, so it seemed to be the same ingredients (cocoa powder, sugar, and milk). is yours low in calories?

  • Shelley
    January 17, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    hehehe I just noticed your blog subtitle thing (about training to be a pastry chef while still fitting in your jeans). that’s cute, I like it πŸ™‚

    p.s. that pasta looks yummy. and easy!

  • Andrea
    January 17, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    hey jenna! i absolutely LOVE your site… i found it on cristin’s blog because so many other girls love it too! i was just wondering about a few things – how often do you workout and for how long? do you ever turn to food when you are stressed? do you have any ideas for people who do? thanks sooo much for any advice πŸ™‚

  • Andrea
    January 17, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    your dinner looks so delicious by the way…i love the kinds of foods you eat, but for me at college it can be hard…i am often tempted by refined carbs (mainly desserts and candies)…i dont really like meat and i love kashi cereals and bars for breakfast, salads and soups or sandwiches for lunch…but the dinners are usually too heavy (chicken parm subs) or too light (salad bar)… i feel lost and like i am debating whether to be counting calories all the time (like katheats.com) or eating 3 balanced meals (cristin’s blog). what do you recommend for a college student who wants to be healthy? also, all my friends love partying and drinking, but i personally just like to dance and have fun at parties (i hate the taste of liquor). i am often just pressured into drinking to fit in and it makes my eating all out of whack! any advice would be great. keep up the good work

  • Ashley
    January 18, 2008 at 12:58 am

    Hello I love your blog! I am new to it and you have really inspired me! I was wondering if you just put a little olive oil on the pasta as a sauce it looks really great. Oh I was also wondering where you work? Thanks!

  • Sara F
    January 18, 2008 at 2:10 am

    I was wondering if you have any ideas for healthy meals that can be made in a college dorm room. I basically only have access to a fridge, hot water, and a microwave. I really don’t like eating the cafeteria and campus food very often…so I’ve gotten pretty creative with my meals, but I’m always looking for new ideas. Thanks
    ps. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/pasta/pastafrittata.html I was searching for some new recipes tonight and found this one that looks like really easy, really delicious comfort food. You could even substitute some egg whites and extra veggies to make it a little healthier…plus it looks pretty simple to make for one. I want to try it was a little really good Asiago…oh how I wish I had a kitchen right now πŸ™‚

  • jenna
    January 18, 2008 at 3:07 am


    I was in france for 6 weeks and carried with me everyday Patricia Wells’ “the food lover’s guide to paris”…THATS how I knew where to go everyday for the best pastrys!!! I studied french for about 5 years before going so I knew a little bit of the lingo..enough to get around. that hot chocolate is def. not “low calorie” i’m sure. What french food is? Its just a combo of dry chocolate, sugar and vanilla. I dont have an exact calorie count but I’m guessing maybe 115 for the packet plus a cup of milk? I usually just use cocoa and a tsp of cane sugar but when i’m feeling festive I splurge on the good stuff. πŸ™‚


    I work out about 5 or 6 times a week…usually running or yoga and one day of weight lifting. i was training for a half marathon but injured my leg and so i’m just now getting back into distance running. I run for 40 minutes twice a week then hope to start doing a “long” run on saturdays again (about 5-6 miles). Yoga is my favorite form of exercise though and I try to get to classes as much as I can!!! Also, I live a pretty active life…I’m usually on my feet running around all day long whether its in the kitchens at school or at my night job as a hostess at a busy busy restaurant. OF COURSE i turn to food when I’m stressed! What girl doesn’t??! I dont keep junk food in my house though so when I’m stressed I try to eat healthier things….or if I’m really craving something I just eat it and be done with it! I don’t believe in restricting anything…just everything in moderation. If I’m stressed and want a cookie, I’m going to eat that cookie and love every crumb! I recommend not keeping crappy food in your apartment if you are a stress eater…keep things like fruits, whole grain crackers and yogurts to eat when you are stressed and need a little something. I know its diffficult but its so easy to pack on the calories (and pounds!) if you always mindlessly eat when you are stressed out. Ask yourself if you are REALLY hungry…try drinking a glass of water or some herbal tea and then see if you are hungry after that. Good luck!


    You sound like me when I was in college. I never really got into the whole calorie counting thing and I never really worried about making sure each meal was balanced…I still don’t. I think if you eat healthy when you are hungry and stop when you are full, these are things that come naturally. Not things anyone should obsess about. Make sure you are getting a little protein, grains and healthy fat in every meal along with plenty of veggies. Don’t deprive yourself anything because that will just make you want it more and lead to binging! And you can always sip on club soda and lime when you are out! I found it looks like a vodka tonic and no one knows the better….or just have one drink and slowly nurse it for a couple hours. If you can still have a fun time (it sounds like you do–dance!!!) then who cares? You never need to drink to fit in…I felt like that too in college but then I just said to myself “who really cares??!!!” if you don’t want to drink–dont drink! Or just have one. I know how it is…trust me. I was in a sorority and went through a whole period when I was a freshman where I went out every single wed, thurs, friday nights..just drinking and dancing either at the bar or the frat house. But that gets old reallyyyyyy fast. So, do what you know is right–you CAN still have a great time without being drunk–I do all the time! Just be firm with yourself and your friends that you really would rather not have that third rum and coke. Or, offer to be the driver! that works too!! πŸ™‚


    I put the recipe in the recipes section, but yes, I did add 1/2 tbsp olive oil…not to the sauce actually but to saute the veggies in. I used the cooking liquid (water) as the ‘sauce” for this and found it turned out great!

    Sara F,

    I feel your pain! I hated living in a dorm room! Go buy some gardenburger veggie burgers, some amy’s frozen meals, some yogurts, cottage cheese, fruit and veggies and you have the premise for a bunch of meals. You could put tomato sauce on a veggie burger and melt some cheese on top of that and its almost like a “chicken parmesan” but not. I like it and still make it even now when I have “real” kitchen! You can always make a fruit plate too with tons of fruit, cottage cheese, crackers and almonds maybe. That could stand in for a light lunch. Dinners are harder because you dont have a stove….and I hate the microwave! But when you dont have a choice you have to get creative….You can cook pasta in the microwave and also eggs in a pinch. Pasta dressed up with some marinara sauce and steamed veggies is always a good option. To tell you the truth: when I was in a dorm I ate a ton of peanut butter sandwiches! There are cookbooks you can buy though that have specific dorm recipes in them..I have seen them. I suggest going on amazon and searching some out because cooking is always a much better, tastier, cheaper and healthier option than most dining halls!!!

    Oh, and I love frittatas! That sounds great! You are much healthier than I was when I lived in a dorm room a couple years ago!!!

  • Sara F
    January 18, 2008 at 3:30 am

    Thanks for the tips. I’m definitely going to look on amazon for a dorm room cook book. Exciting news though, i just found out that my friend and I got the apartment, OFF CAMPUS, that we wanted for next year….and it has A KITCHEN!!! We’re going to have cooking nights weekly to test out new recipes. In the meantime, if you try out that frittata recipe let me know if it’s any good πŸ™‚

  • Rachel
    January 18, 2008 at 3:32 am

    Sara F,

    Would you mind sharing some of your dorm-room recipes? I’d be really interested in learning some new things to cook!! I get so sick of the cafeteria food but can never think of good things to cook in my room.

    P.S. I like the veggie burger idea, Jenna. I’m going to try it! πŸ™‚

  • Evie
    January 18, 2008 at 3:47 am


    I just recently discovered your blog and wanted to let you know that you’re doing an awesome job and that you are a great role model!
    Keep up the good work!

    Just a quick question, maybe you’ve answered it before, but I couldn’t find the answer:

    You say you used to be a vegetarian, and I can see that you are no longer one anymore. Might I ask why you choose to eat meat again?
    I’ve been a vegetarian for going on a year now, and quite honestly, I can’t go back to eating meat ever again, so I was just curious as to why a vegetarian decided to go back to meat?

    Thanks! πŸ™‚

  • Laura
    January 18, 2008 at 3:50 am

    Thanks for your response Jenna. Have a good night!

  • Laura
    January 18, 2008 at 3:53 am

    Jenna, I asked Danielle this, but I’m curious about yours, how much are your yoga classes?

    Jenna, Kath just explained how her and her husband met? How did you meet your boyfriend since you all live in different cities? I don’t like bars (which you mentioned your not a big fan of) so sometimes it seems it will be difficult to meet people once I graduate college!

    Sara F. are you premed? I heard Washington U. has a good med school. (I’m not premed)

  • Sara F
    January 18, 2008 at 4:03 am

    I am definitely NOT pre-med. Washu does have an amazing med school, and sometimes I feel like I am the only one without a plan to major in math or science. πŸ™‚ I actually haven’t declared a major yet. I am currently taking six credit hours in advanced spanish and another three in a class focusing on cuba. I’ve also been taking art history. I don’t know what the heck i am going to major it…but I do know that i LOVE languages. I hope to start hebrew next year and take a bit of Italian aswell before I graduate.
    What school are you at…and what are you studying? I love that I’m getting to meet other college students through this site…lots of fun!
    ps. I know what you mean about it being difficult to meet people…i have a pretty serious bf…but I definitely didn’t meet him at WashU! πŸ™‚

  • Sara F
    January 18, 2008 at 4:05 am

    I definitely don’t mind sharing some of my dorm room recipes…though I use the term recipes pretty loosely. πŸ™‚ I’ve got some serious studying to do now…but I will try to post them in the morning or afternoon tomorrow.
    ps. what school are you at? (if you don’t mind me asking…no pressure to answer πŸ™‚ )

  • Katie
    January 18, 2008 at 4:11 am

    Hey Sara F,

    I went to SLU for undergrad and I’m from St. Louis! Are you from St. Louis? I’m guessing no since most kids at WashU aren’t! I’m actually going to grad school at the University of Tennessee this year but I’m so excited to come back to St. Louis next year!
    Volunteer Katie

  • Chandra
    January 18, 2008 at 4:15 am

    I just wanted to let you know I love you blog, and I’m getting some great meal ideas from it! Today I tried a pasta/shrimp/black olive dish with a tomato pasta sauce instead of my usual olive oil/parmesan or white sauce – it was great! And your breads have all looked amazing this week! I wish I could try one! πŸ™‚

  • Sara F
    January 18, 2008 at 4:26 am

    Actually I AM from St. Louis! I’ve lived here my entire life, though I never thought I’d end up at school here. I have a couple of close friends at SLU right now. What are you studying in grad school?

  • Ryan
    January 18, 2008 at 4:54 am


    Jenna and I met in the elevator in my condo complex one morning on our way to work, she said she was an executive downtown (she was really an intern in college living with her dad I found out later after she sucked me in) oh well, life is funny sometimes I guess!

    Jenna, at dinner tonight I had the best thing I have ever eaten, lobster macaroni & cheese, please tell me there is a halfway decently healthy way to make this?

  • Rachel
    January 18, 2008 at 6:41 am

    Sara F,

    Whenever you get the chance with the recipes is great! My email is rmehlhaff@wisc.edu, if that makes things easier. I go to Wisconsin-Madison, but Wash U was actually my first choice and I was very close to enrolling there!!

  • jenna
    January 18, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Awww yes, I love the elevator story πŸ™‚ Ryan tells it best! haha!

  • jenna
    January 18, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Oh, and Sara, I think my yoga classes are 13 a class, too? I dont really know for sure because I always just buy large packages of them at a time like month unlimited or a package of 10. It’s worth it!

  • Trina
    January 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Elevator story was cute!!

    Jenna, what are the different types of yoga classes? I have never been to one but I noticed you had different names for them. It might be fun to try out!! I can do them for $4 a class!!

  • jenna
    January 18, 2008 at 10:02 pm


    There are TONS of different kinds…I love bikram (hot yoga), ashtanga and just plain old power yoga…you should really research them online or look in a book though because seriously there are a lot of different kinds that are all so interesting if you are thinking about trying it! I’ve never heard of $4 a class though….its sort of expensive but its always something I don’t hesitate to spend the money on because I love yoga and the benefits it has to my body. I could go on and on and on about it! Do try it! I got Danielle (another reader) into it and now she loves it too! πŸ™‚

  • jenna
    January 18, 2008 at 10:08 pm


    I seriously was a vegetarian up until the moment I got off the plane in paris. I had been one off and on for years and I still don’t eat meat often but it just wasnt very feasible to be one in paris because there really weren’t any veggie options. It wasn’t really a mental choice….i just ate a ham sandwich because I was starving and that’s all there was. And I loved it. haha! I only buy all natural organic meat when I do choose to eat meat and still would never touch veal or lamb. But..being in culinary school I sort of have to experience it all or else I would be limiting my experience!