Often we get so wrapped up in marking things off of our spring cleaning checklist – wiping down the walls and trim, laundering curtains and bedding, and sweeping the front porch – that we forget we might need to do some spring cleaning of our own diet and exercise routine, too. After you’ve let the fresh air in the house and thoroughly dusted, mopped, and scrubbed every nook and cranny, here are a few tips to get started on another spring project, a new healthier lifestyle for you.
Clean the pantry and refrigerator <br>
If Valentine’s Day chocolates are still sitting around in the pantry, throw them in the garbage. Review the boxes of snacks, crackers, and chips you keep in the pantry and toss anything that is past expiration, stale, and, of course, is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Eliminate fattening, high-calorie foods from your refrigerator, too. Then, replace these unhealthy eats with fresh spring fruits and vegetables, like asparagus and strawberries.
Spruce up your gym routine <br>
Are you stuck in an exercise routine rut? The treadmill and elliptical can get boring quickly, so this spring, make it a fitness goal to try at least three new fitness classes. Take a shot at the circuit machines for some resistance training that will target and tone your muscles. Give a group exercise class a try for cardio training that’s more exciting than running on the treadmill for an hour. You might even meet a new workout friend that will help keep you motivated. Or, skip the gym altogether and take advantage of sunny spring weather by going on a bike ride, jog, or hike. Bring the family along, too, for a fun outdoor activity!
Workout wardrobe sweep <br>
During your household spring cleaning, you probably donated a box of old clothes, but did you take a look at your workout clothes, too? Pants that are too big, socks with holes in the heel, and tank tops with stains need to go! Clean out old gym clothes and then purchase a few new key pieces to refresh your workout wardrobe. Even a pair of new running shoes can be just enough motivation to get you started on a new weight loss journey this spring.
Refine your rewards <br>
If the new season isn’t incentive enough to begin a new diet and exercise routine, take a look at how you reward yourself along your weight loss program. Select new, exciting springtime-themed rewards that interest you, like a new swimsuit for summer, a new pair of strappy sandals, or a manicure in spring’s hottest shade after you’ve reached one of your goals.
New moms have a lot on their plates—and in addition to tending to your baby and your own health, you may also want to start losing some baby weight. Over the years, our consultants have fielded countless questions about when and how to start this particular kind of weight loss journey. The good news is that Jenny Craig can help you with your weight loss after the birth…as well as a few other things you might not even expect!
When to join
As a new mom, you are welcome to join or rejoin Jenny Craig once your baby is six weeks old. Nursing mothers typically follow an 1800 calorie or higher menu to meet increased calorie requirements and will be advised to limit weight loss to ½ to 1 pound per week.
Easy, tasty and healthy food
The Jenny Craig program was designed to take the guesswork (and the hassle) out of weight loss. But as it turns out, many of our new-mom clients have discovered that our easy, nutritious and tasty menu is a life-saver during those sleep-deprived early months. Your consultant is there to help you arrange your day to ensure you get in all the foods you need to lose weight healthfully and have the energy you need as a new mom. The best way to take care of your new baby is to take care yourself and Jenny Craig makes that much easier. Take away the time with food prep and you gain the time to really enjoy this precious time in your life with your new baby.
Get into the routine
Many of our new-mom clients have noticed yet another benefit of joining Jenny Craig: The establishment of a routine. During the early months, the baby’s just beginning to establish a feeding and sleeping schedule and it takes a while for it to settle into a rhythm and while that is working itself out, you can rely on the Jenny Craig menu with its three regular meals and snacks to create an anchor in your day that can be easily adjusted to your newborn’s variable schedule.
How can something so small change your life so completely? Believe us: It can. But by entrusting Jenny Craig with your weight loss journey, you’re taking control of your weight and your health, too. Not only will it feel great to get out of those maternity clothes, you should also feel good about giving your body the nutrition it needs to stay active and energetic—two words that will soon describe your bundle of joy. <br>
Leaving the dishes for days in the sink, interrupting others or even sleeping through the alarm. We all have some bad habits, sometimes they can just be small and a point of humor for family and friends, but others such as eating fast food all the time, not exercising or frequently working late can affect your health and your happiness. It’s always a good time to work on getting rid of pesky habits and work toward being the happiest and healthiest version of you. Here are some tips to get you started:
Identify the root and acknowledge the issue
Habits exist because there is a trigger or behavioral trend that you react to. It could be stress, boredom, depression or even laziness. By identifying why you fall back on this habit, you will be able to acknowledge the issue and devise a plan to change to a more positive reaction or trigger. For example; if you eat mindlessly when you are bored and watching TV, identify the impulse to reach for a snack and instead, do a few simple exercises like jumping jacks in front of the TV. You will establish a new routine and increase your fitness, not your waistline.
Give yourself time
Research shows that it can take three months to fully establish new habits and break old ones. While that may seem like a long haul, every day is one step closer to a new you and it will get easier with every passing day. You also don’t need to try to do it all at once. Start with one key change and work toward it. Once you feel more confident, add another one to the list.
Create a plan and write it down
The best laid plans are the ones that are indeed planned, so sit down and make a plan for the changes you want to make and devise steps on how to achieve them. You will feel more in-control and confident with a clear plan of attack and those bad habits won’t stand a chance.
Treat yourself when you succeed
We all know we are more likely to succeed if there is a tangible reward at the end, so when planning your changes set yourself a reward when you hit the one, two and three month marks. Things like a pedicure or getting your hair blown out can be fun non-food rewards.
Allow for slips
No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes and slips off. By understanding there will be times you fall off the wagon, you can better prepare yourself to get right back on. One bad day does not equal failure, keep going and keep challenging yourself to do better. <br>
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 savory Pepperoni Pizza or Margherita Pizza for one of your meals. You can even bake them in the oven to make it deliciously crispy.
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)
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!
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
Plain yogurt is a good source of protein and calcium, but you may get tired of eating yogurt regularly without any flavor. Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet or savory, here are four ways to spice up your serving of plain yogurt. Jenny Craig members: remember, one serving of plain yogurt is 6 oz or ⅔ of a cup and counts as 1 Milk Choice. When selecting your yogurt, look for fat-free, low-fat or light and grab one that contains approximately 100 calories, 12 grams of carbohydrate, 8 or more grams of protein and less than 3 grams of fat per serving.
1. Fruit <br>
Whether you like them fresh or frozen, a mix of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries can sweeten up a cup of plain yogurt. Berries are a good source of antioxidants and fiber so you will be getting a boost of other nutrients with this snack. Or, mash up your favorite fruit to mix with plain yogurt instead. Use a mortar and pestle to mash up bananas, peaches, kiwi, or pineapple for a refreshing twist. Play with different fruit combinations to really make it your own! Enjoy this blend first thing in the morning or after a workout to satisfy your sweet tooth and keep hunger at bay.
2. Special Spices <br>
Spices add an interesting pop of flavor to your yogurt. Try cinnamon, ginger and clove for a spicy treat. Or, mix cinnamon and apple slices into your yogurt for a creamy, apple-pie inspired dessert. A dash of pumpkin pie spice will transport you to your favorite fall holiday in a snap!
3. Cucumbers & Dill <br>
Craving something savory? Mix diced cucumbers and dill into yogurt and enjoy it like a dip with carrot sticks, celery, and other raw vegetables. Dill has a very strong flavor and adding cucumber to the mix can add texture to your healthy dip.
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 journey to reach your goal weight?
Let's bust some common myths you might have heard about Jenny Craig.
Myth #1: "The food is unhealthy."
Jenny Craig 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, protein, 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.”
Jenny Craig 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.”
Jenny Craig Fact: The prepackaged food 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.”
Jenny Craig 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 weight loss plans to cater to your personal preferences. In fact, menu items start at $3.79 – 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.”
Jenny Craig 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 weight-loss program receive delicious food and a dedicated personal consultant to help them lose the weight. In addition, members are taught healthy eating tactics and strategies for maintaining weight loss. We also share helpful nutrition and eating tips to help members continue making smart eating choices now that they have the tools to recognize portion sizes. Jenny Craig helps members of all ages create a long-term weight loss plan. Unlike the fad diets, our program actually works. We are here as your partner through every step of your weight loss journey.
Discuss your weight loss options with a Jenny Craig consultant by finding a location near you or calling 866-706-4042 today.
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
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.
Sunshine Sandwich (2 Starch, 1 Protein, ½ Fat)
+ 1-2 Vegetables
1 Free Food
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. On top of that, butter vs. oil is a common question as more people are wanting to make the best choice. We are breaking down the most common choices, their health impacts and best uses.
What's the Difference & When to Use 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.
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
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.
Cooking Spray vs. Oil
Is cooking spray better than oil? Well, cooking spray is primarily made of oil (unless stated otherwise), but it can have other artificial ingredients that would not be found in pure oils. We always recommend checking the label to see if the cooking spray you are using contains artificial ingredients. The convenience of a cooking spray is that is can be sprayed, saving you calories by preventing you from using too much1. A thinner coat of cooking spray will usually get the job done for a quesadilla, for example, but it may not provide enough slip for different foods.
Butter vs. Oil
Many people wonder, which is healthier butter or oil? Although butter adds excellent flavor, switching to olive or canola oil may be a healthier choice2. Because of the high levels of saturated fat in butter, it may increase your risk of heart disease3. In addition, margarine contains trans-fatty acids that can be bad for your health. For an overall healthier choice, use olive or canola oil to prepare your food and use butter sparingly when the flavor is important.
Plant-based Options & Substitutions
Whether you are in a pinch or may want to incorporate more plant derived oil or butter into your diet, there are several different options you can choose from. Common plant-based oils that are widely used include olive oil, avocado oil, cocoa oil, shea oil, and safflower oil. The most common is olive oil. These oils contain omega fatty acids, oleic acid, and other important vitamins. Again, the taste of these oils might be different than what you are used to using when cooking, but the health benefits are something to consider.
Coconut oil is another popular alternative. Many people praise coconut oil for its many health benefits and a multitude of different uses. The fats in coconuts are medium-chain triglycerides that may be more easily digested by the body as opposed to animal-based trans-fat4. However, it is still very calorically dense as it is mostly saturated fat.
Coconut milk can be another tasty option in place of butter in baking and in sauces. However, it does give a rich coconut taste, so make sure you take that into account beforehand.
If you have a sensitivity to dairy or casein, ghee, or clarified butter, can be another good option to cook with. It is almost identical to butter, but it does not have lactose or the milk protein casein5. It also performs better than butter in high heat, but people tend to prefer the taste of real butter over ghee.
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 plant-based, vegetable oils, and soft or tub margarines your primary sources of added fat.
Regularly select products that have less than 2 grams of 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.