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The Perfect Portion

Kari - Jenny Craig

By Kari - Jenny Craig, in Eat Well,

Sodium is an essential part of your nutrition, as it helps to transport nutrients, transmit nerve impulses and contract muscles like your heart. However, too much sodium, which is what makes up 40% of salt, can contribute to developing high blood pressure, especially if you are sodium-sensitive. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a limit of 2,300 mg of sodium per day, and your Jenny Craig Menu has been designed to align to this limit.
However, the average American consumes nearly 50% more than that! Here are some notoriously common salty foods to avoid and our suggestions for what you can eat instead.
Avoid These: Tacos/burritos
Tacos and burritos are versatile enough to have at any meal, but did you know that taco seasoning has 411 mg. of sodium? You can easily ease the salt down by making your own seasoning with spices like cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and oregano.
Enjoy These: Leave the cooking to us by having the Chicken Street Tacos or the Chicken Wrap with BBQ Sauce.

Avoid These: Fast food sandwich or burger
Not only are they unhealthy, fast food restaurants are notorious for adding extra salt into everything.
Enjoy These: Enjoy the fun of fast food minus the fat and sodium, by pairing a side salad with your Jenny Craig Salad Dressing and Jenny Craig’s own Classic Cheeseburger or Turkey Burger.

Avoid These: French fries/chips
Potatoes love salt, and French fries and chips right out of the fryer generally have tons of salt sprinkled on! In fact, French fries at some of the biggest fast food restaurants, have a sodium range anywhere from 700-980 per serving!
Enjoy These: Try roasting your own healthy version at home by running sliced sweet potato sprinkled with rosemary and a few drops of olive oil under the broiler. Even quicker: Enjoy our savory Cheese Curls or Ranch Snaps that are full of flavor, fiber and have a satisfying crunch.

Avoid This: Pizza
Salty toppings, like pepperoni, bacon or ham, can easily be mistaken as the culprit for high sodium. Cheese, too, has a lot of sodium, and the average slice of pizza may have up to 760 mg, which can add up quickly when you eat more.
Enjoy These: Enjoy our Stuffed Pizza Bites, with seasoned beef and a blend of cheeses. You can even eat pizza for breakfast with our delicious, egg and spinach scrambled-topped Florentine Breakfast Pizzas. Or if you’re halfway to your goal and discussed your options with your consultant, you can order or make your pizza with less cheese and more vegetables!

Avoid This: Soup
A bowl of soup is a great start to a meal or a complete meal in itself, but be careful: One cup of canned soup contains anywhere from 100 to 940 mg of sodium.
Enjoy This: Keep an eye out for lower sodium options, like our Italian Style Wedding Soup that stays on the lower side of sodium and calories, but offers a great amount of protein and fiber.
Jenny Craig offers over 100 items, from breakfast to dessert, and all are nutritiously balanced to your health. Find out more about the Jenny Craig program by visiting a center near you or calling 866-706-4042.
Jenny Craig Nutrition Guide (PDF)
Kari - Jenny Craig

By Kari - Jenny Craig, in Move More,

A healthy lifestyle consists of making careful food and exercise choices. Jenny Craig can help you with your food options, as we have over 100 menu items to serve your breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and even dessert needs! For the latter, while walking outside on your lunch break or going on a weekend hike are great ways to get moving, there are many opportunities at your local gym that you may be missing out on! Here are 5 reasons you’ll love going to the gym:
1.      Classes. Many workout facilities, like Curves, offer a variety of classes for all fitness levels. You can train with a fitness instructor in a group environment that will encourage you to work harder together!
2.      Variety of machines. Based on your fitness goals, you can focus on cardio and/or strength training with all of the different machines and weights a gym provides. Variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes, so spice up your routine with different machines or variations on cardio (bike, treadmill or elliptical) every week!
3.      Stress relief. Exercise pumps up your endorphins (your feel-good neurotransmitters). Focusing on yourself at the gym allows you to think less about external factors that may be causing you stress. Your exercise will be crafting a healthier you, which can lead to a happier you.
4.      More energy during the day, better sleep at night. The gym helps you have more energy during the day to run errands, work or spend time with friends and family. If you’re going to the gym in the evening, a study published in Mental Health and Physical Activity journal notes that exercise is linked to more quality sleep.
5.      Community. It’s great to be exercising with others as they work toward their health goals as well. Invite a friend who doesn’t have a membership to go with you as well. Plus, if you become a regular in a class, you can make new friends, too.
Gym time can truly be you-time when you focus on creating a fun plan for yourself!
Kari - Jenny Craig

Start your day with a parfait that's certain to sweeten up your morning! Sandwich your Chocolate Muffin between spoonfuls of nonfat vanilla yogurt. Garnish with fresh berries for seasonal goodness. 
Jenny Craig Chocolate Muffin 1/2 cup nonfat yogurt (vanilla or your favorite flavor)  1 cup mixed berries   
1. Cut Chocolate Muffin into 3 layers. 
2. Place bottom later into a 4 oz canning jar. 
3. Add 3 tsp of yogurt on top. 
4. Place second layer of Chocolate Muffin and add remaining yogurt. Add top of Chocolate Muffin and garnish with mixed berries. 
Submitted by Robin W. from Indianapolis, Indiana 
Kari - Jenny Craig

By Kari - Jenny Craig, in Jenny Craig News,

The list of reasons for not losing weight can be a long one, such as being too busy to plan healthy meals, thinking the results won’t last or feeling too tired to work out. But just by reading this blog, you’re already taking a step toward reaching your weight loss goals!
We know how important it is to find support during this transformative time, and our team of consultants is here to help. Over the past 30-plus years, Jenny Craig members have received one-on-one support from dedicated consultations who teach portion control and healthy eating habits.  So what’s stopping you from taking the next step in your weight loss journey with Jenny Craig?
So, let’s bust some common myths you might have heard about Jenny Craig.
Myth #1: “The food is unhealthy.”
Fact: At Jenny Craig, we primarily rely on freezing and shelf-stable technologies to maintain both the freshness and convenience of our portion-controlled foods. Nutrition is our priority, so our team of nutritionists and food technologists work together to make sure that our food is developed with strict specifications for regarding the amount of fat, saturated fat, sodium, and added sugar as well as to emphasize the inclusion of vegetables, whole grain/fiber and heart healthy fats. We also encourage members to pair our meals with Fresh & Free Additions, such as non-starchy vegetables and fruits that are rich in fiber and water, so they help you stay satisfied while you’re on your plan.

Myth #2: “The food is too sugary.”
Fact: Each day of our menu contains less than 10% of calories from added sugar. When following the meal plan, we can include a delicious dessert (i.e. Cinnamon Rolls, Cinnamon French Toast, Key Lime Pie and Chocolate Lava Cake) into the day as they are calculated into this daily average. We also seek to emphasize healthy ingredients, such as whole grains and healthy fats wherever possible in our meals and snacks. And we encourage drinking water and other non-caloric beverages, like tea or coffee without sugar, to help you stay hydrated without additional sugar.
Myth #3: “The food is high in sodium.”
Fact: Jenny Craig menus have approximately 2300 mg of sodium per day, which reflects the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. You can also work with your consultant to reduce your sodium through lower sodium choices in the grocery foods you add to your Jenny Craig Menu every day.
Myth #4: “The plan and food is too expensive.”
Fact: Going out to dinner or buying lunch every day adds up quickly! One meal alone can be about $15-$20, and just think about any additional snacks or your morning coffee run thrown into your budget. At Jenny Craig, we offer a variety of affordable plans to cater to your personal preferences. In fact, menu items start at $3.63 – a tremendous value when it comes to taste, balanced nutrition and support with weight loss.

Myth #5: “Jenny Craig is not sustainable or long-lasting.”
Fact: Jenny Craig works! In fact, a 2014 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine ranked Jenny Craig as one of the top programs for physician referral, based on its high rate of weight loss at one year compared to control groups.
Members on the Jenny Craig program are provided a delicious food and a dedicated personal consultant to help them lose the weight. Members are taught healthy eating tactics and strategies for maintaining weight loss. We also provide recipes online to continue making fantastic, nutritious and delicious choices now that you have the tools to recognize portion sizes.
These may be common myths, but one myth can be busted today: we can help you lose the weight if you put your mind (and body) to it! Discuss your weight loss options with a Jenny Craig consultant by finding a location near you or calling 866-706-4042 today.
Kari - Jenny Craig

By Kari - Jenny Craig, in Inspiration,

Submitted by Lydia D. from Las Vegas, Nevada 
Create your own breakfast skillet with your Sunshine Sandwich and a sensational mix of sautéed spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini.
Jenny Craig Sunshine Sandwich ¼ cup spinach ¼ cup tomatoes ¼ cup mushrooms ¼ cup zucchini Dash of garlic powder Directions
Separate Sunshine Sandwich and defrost egg and ham. In a nonstick pan, sauté tomato, spinach, mushroom and zucchini Cut egg and ham into cubes and mix with sautéed veggies Add garlic powder to taste, and serve scramble with English muffin on the side. Per serving
Sunshine Sandwich (2 Starch, 1 Protein, ½ Fat) + 1-2 Vegetables 1 Free Food  
Lisa Talamini - RD

With so many different versions of butter and margarine on the market, it can be overwhelming to decide on the right product for you. Options run the gamut of stick, tub, liquid and spray formats. Ingredients can be animal or plant-based or a mix of the two. Plus, manufacturers may add a range of functional ingredients for health benefits. Here’s a rundown on the most common choices, their health impact and best uses.
Guide to Sticks, Spreads and Sprays
What’s In It?
When to Use
Primarily solid (saturated) fat, can raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
Reserve for baking and making rich sauces where flavor and texture count. 
Stick Margarine
Primarily vegetable (unsaturated) oils which are heart protective, but also contains more trans-fat than butter. Elevates LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and decreases HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
Reserve for baking and making rich sauces where flavor and texture count
Soft/tub and liquid margarine
Primarily vegetable (unsaturated) oils and minimal to zero grams of trans-fat.
Use in place of butter/stick margarine for baking, grilling, frying, roasting, sautéing and baking with less saturated and trans-fat.
Light butter Whipped butter
Light margarine
Half the calories, fat, saturated and/or trans-fat as some of the fat has been replaced with water. 
·         Choose light butter to get the flavor of butter while reducing calories and saturated fat.
·         Try light margarine to reduce calories, saturated/trans-fat.
·         Use both to stretch your portion size or make room for other healthy fats like avocado, nuts, olives, etc.
·         Use whipped butter for a fluffier texture, larger portion and less saturated fat.
·         Note: When baking, you can often substitute light margarine/butter for a full fat product without impacting quality.
Hybrid butter and margarine
Less saturated fat as some of the solid fat has been replaced with a liquid fat like canola, olive or flaxseed oil.  Also provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.
Pick this product if you want to increase your monounsaturated fats.
Stanols and phytosterols
Ingredients that, when eaten in adequate amounts, may help reduce cholesterol levels.  These naturally-occurring ingredients in certain fruits/vegetables, beans, grains, nuts and seeds can be added to margarine to help reduce cholesterol in individuals who have elevated levels.   
Use in cooking or as soft spreads if cholesterol is your aim. 
Liquid cooking spray
A mix of soybean/olive oil and water. Provide zero calories and grams of fat/saturated fat with about 15 mg sodium per 5 sprays. 
Use to top vegetables, side dishes and popcorn and to oil a cooking/grilling/baking pan.
Simple Tips to Streamline Your Healthy Fat Choices
·       Read labels and avoid products that list “partially hydrogenated” oils as an ingredient, as these fats contain trans-fat.
·        Make vegetable oils and soft or tub margarines your primary sources of added fat. 
·       Regularly select products that have <2 g saturated fat and 0 grams of trans-fat per serving.
·       Remember the 80/20 Rule: Think moderation. It’s not necessary to make the healthiest choice 100% of the time, what matters is that you are making healthier choices most of the time.
Kari - Jenny Craig

If you’re committed to living a healthier lifestyle, it’s important to stock your kitchen with items that are healthy for you. It’s even better if these foods have multiple purposes or cross cuisine taste profiles!
Let’s look at a few healthy foods that every kitchen should have stocked—and how you can use them in various ways, too!
Tomato sauce (with no salt added)
Tomato sauce is versatile and very healthy containing Vitamin A, C, and lycopene. Take some inspiration and toss vegetables in a tomato sauce, then spoon it over chicken for a zesty meal. Make your tomato sauce cross different cuisines by cooking it with the following spices or herbs: 
Italian - simmer tomato sauce with garlic, oregano and basil  Thai - cook the tomato sauce with lemongrass, ginger, Thai basil and lime Mexican -  cook with garlic, chipotle, cumin and cilantro Indian flavor - simmer with curry, garam masala and turmeric  Leafy greens
Nutritious veggies such as kale, spinach and collard greens are immensely healthy and packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and can help to reduce your chances of heart disease and diabetes. Create beautiful salads with other fresh, roasted vegetables or pile them on the plate. Top off your leafy greens with roasted chicken or broiled shrimp and a light dressing. If the flavors of the leafy greens are too strong, you can even cook them down in a pan with olive-oil and garlic. Enjoy by mixing into your Jenny Craig meal or eating as a side dish. If you end up buying large leaves, like collards, you can even use them as a wrap for Asian Style Chicken.
Red/Yellow/Green Bell Peppers
This is another vegetable that is filled with vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber. What we love about bell peppers is that they can be eaten fresh or cooked. You can cut the peppers into strips to pair with Jenny Craig hummus and crackers or salsa (a Fresh & Free Addition) or cook in a vegetable stir-fry with sauce. You can also stuff peppers with ground turkey or chicken, or create our Stuffed Peppers featuring our Jenny Craig Pasta Ole. 
Fat-free Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is full of probiotics, high in protein and can help lower blood pressure. Another versatile ingredient, you can pair it with fruits, such as blueberries with a sprinkle of cinnamon to make it a part of your breakfast or a snack. For a savory flare, you can use it for sauce bases, as an alternative for sour cream or even mix it with avocado, tomatoes, diced red onion and lime for a healthier guacamole! 
Step away from simply using salt and pepper, and discover what other seasonings can do to transform produce and meat! Create beautifully golden cauliflower with curry powder, sprinkle cinnamon on some butternut squash for a touch of sweetness, add dill to asparagus, or even sprinkle tarragon to some green beans. Other herbs to consider having on hand at all times are dried parsley, oregano, garlic powder and onion powder to enhance tomato sauces, or for a quick sprinkle on meats and vegetables before roasting or sautéing. 
If you’re looking to lose weight or discover your love for cooking healthier options, these items will help begin your journey. Jenny Craig can help with the rest. The tomato sauce, leafy greens, bell peppers and herbs and spices are listed as Fresh & Free Additions that you can have an unlimited amount of, and that you can pair with your Jenny Craig meals throughout the week. For more information about our program call 866-706-4042 or find a location near you. We can’t wait to discuss healthy, fun options for your kitchen and lifestyle!

Kari - Jenny Craig

By Kari - Jenny Craig, in Eat Well,

When one is striving for weight loss, one’s meal pattern may be focusing on eating more lean proteins, vegetables and fruits. However, there’s the lingering question of how to manage low calorie or diet items, like honey-sweetened cookies or sugar-free candies made with sugar substitutes (loosely, sugar substitutes are any sweetener that can replace sugar aka sucrose).
There are two major categories, nutritive/non-nutritive, plus sub-categories beneath.
·         Nutritive sweeteners
o   Honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, etc. which contain fructose. These also still contain the same 4 calories per gram as sugar.
o   Sugar alcohols: sorbitol, mannitol, erythritol, lactilol or isomalt (2-3 calories per gram)
·          Non-nutritive sweeteners
o   ACE-K, aspartame/Equal, sucralose/Splenda, stevia and monkfruit. The latter two are regarded to be “natural” as they are food-based.
Many of these sugar substitutes add sweetness, of course, and some do not have any calories. While some artificial sugars are derived from sugar (such as sucralose), they can be used to substitute sugar at a fraction of the amount the recipe calls for due to being even sweeter than sugar.
So, are sugar substitutes safe? The answer is yes—but in moderation. Sweeteners like stevia, sucralose, ACE-K and aspartame are mentioned in the US Dietary Guidelines as GRAS, or “generally recognized as safe,” in moderate amounts.
Jenny Craig’s approach is to take advantage of both healthy ingredients and portion control to minimize the need for added sugars and non-nutritive sweeteners. The menus meet expert guidelines to limit added sugars to less than 10 percent of total calories and currently a few Jenny Craig products include sucralose and ACE-K to provide sweetness without extra calories.
If you would like to be proactive about your sugar consumption, look at how much sugar you consume during the week, and find ways to modify it. For example, if you used to take sugar in your coffee, try a sweet-flavored roast like French vanilla, raspberry, coconut or cinnamon. You can discuss other ways to moderate your sugar intake by meeting with one of our consultants at a Jenny Craig center near you.
Kari - Jenny Craig

Kirstie Alley recently chatted with Harry Connick, Jr. on his talk show Harry about keeping healthy with Jenny Craig, her dating life and being a new grandmother! Check out her interview and the amazing success stories of three other Jenny Craig members. 
“It’s just simple. I really needed a no brainer,” Jenny Craig spokesperson Kirstie Alley told Harry Connick, Jr. on a recent episode of his talk show, Harry. “The food is delicious. You really learn portions and everybody who does it gets a consultant.”
Kirstie Alley, who had previously lost weight on the Jenny Craig program, came back to Jenny Craig as a spokesperson, because “the program works.” Kirstie is currently a member of the Jenny Craig maintenance program. “I’m on maintenance, so the program’s a little different,” explained Kirstie on the show. “I eat whatever I want to eat in the correct proportions, and then I have one meal of theirs a day.”
Kirstie, who is recently a new grandmother, chatted with Harry about everything from dating to joking about being the perfect potential farmer’s wife. “I cook. I love animals. I love farm animals. I like land,” she said. “I go to bed really early. I’m a farmer’s wife.” 
The episode also featured the success stories of three women who lost weight on the Jenny Craig program: Nicole (lost 45lbs), Natalie (lost 45lbs) and Sloan (lost 60lbs). They discussed the positive results after losing weight with Jenny Craig, including increased energy, patience and happiness at home with their families.
“I feel like I’m just a better version of myself,” explained Sloan, who lost a total of 60 pounds* while on Jenny Craig. “It’s great to see the family get involved–their habits changed.”
Nicole, who credits her consultant for helping her stay on track, offered her advice, “Don’t be overwhelmed by whatever your number is. Take this one day at a time, and let your Jenny Craig consultant be your cheerleader. They are wonderful, and they are there for you.”
*Results not typical. Members following our program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs per week. Sloane, Natalie and Nicole received promotional consideration.