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The Perfect Portion

  • Sarah S – Jenny Craig

    Weight Loss Tips for New Moms

    By Sarah S – Jenny Craig, in Inspiration,

    Becoming a new mom can be one of the most exciting and change-filled times in your life. Oftentimes, these changes may temporarily derail your healthy habits. Even if your new bundle of joy has put your healthy lifestyle on the backburner, don't worry — there are plenty of ways to bounce back.
    It’s important to remember that everyone’s bodies and lives are different, so it’s never useful to compare your progress to someone else’s. Instead, you should set realistic goals and create a plan that works specifically for you. To help encourage your progress, it’s best to do activities that you like to do and to make sure you’re not overexerting yourself. You don’t want to become fatigued or injured when you have a little one to take care of.
    Another thing to avoid is paying too much attention to the scale. Although you want to feel healthier and find the best way to lose weight after the baby, what’s most important is that you’re healthy, not that you’re shedding a certain number of pounds. After you give birth, your body goes through hormonal changes, and these fluctuations can lead to things like water retention and bloating1. As a result, the number on your scale might be higher, and it can end up discouraging you when in reality, you’re actually on the right track. It’s important to not give and keep going because most important of all, you are building healthy habits.
    By using the following food, body and mind tips to get back on track with your healthy eating and activity habits, you can get back to your pre-pregnancy weight:
    Food: Focus on Healthy Eating
    For months now, you've been eating a little extra to support a growing baby — which is a good thing! During your transition from pregnancy to motherhood, you may feel exhausted, stressed, or emotionally drained, and these feelings can be increased if you aren't eating well. Be sure to eat a variety of lean protein, fruits and vegetables, whole-grains and nonfat dairy products throughout the day. Avoid crash diets or restrictive eating plans that may deprive your body of important nutrients. Instead, focus on eating healthy, balanced meals and snacks.
    If you are breastfeeding, you still need to be eating extra calories to support your body and to produce breast milk. While you are nursing, the needs for most nutrients increase so it is essential that you eat a healthy diet including a variety of nutrient-rich foods. It is equally important to stay hydrated in order to maintain an adequate milk supply; so drink plenty of water, nonfat milk and occasionally 100% fruit juice.
    Chances are, you are going to have your hands full with a new baby, so to make things easy, keep plenty of one-handed healthy snacks around. Items like fresh fruit, sliced and pre-washed veggies, cheese sticks, single-serving size packages of nuts and whole-wheat crackers for eating on the go are great for new moms. Remember to drink lots of water and eat snacks while you nurse to help keep yourself energized throughout the day.
    Snacking on healthy foods is a good way to keep your blood sugar steady, keep unhealthy cravings at bay, and prevent binge eating. It can also help prevent you from getting hungry late at night and eating before bed2. Another thing to be mindful of is portion control. You might feel ravenous from all the energy you’re exerting, but be sure to follow nutrition guidelines and pay attention to serving sizes. Opt for filling foods that contain fiber such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Fiber not only helps you feel more full for longer, but it also can help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and improve your response to insulin3.
    No matter how hectic your mornings are, you’ll also want to make sure you eat breakfast. Again, it’s about keeping your energy levels up and avoiding getting so hungry that you won’t reach for unhealthy foods later on. Another way to ensure your energy levels are high is to drink a lot of water (8 ounces a day). Research shows that even just mild dehydration can lead to moodiness, problems focusing, and fatigue4. Plus, staying hydrated can keep you full and keep cravings at bay, as our bodies tend to mistake thirst for hunger.5
    Body: Get Your Muscles Moving...But Slowly!
    Be sure to talk with your medical provider before starting any activity plan. When it comes to postpartum exercise, slow and steady is best. In fact, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that postpartum women gradually return to their pre-pregnancy activities. Some ideas to get moving include taking your baby on short walks around the neighborhood or at a nearby park, enrolling in a local "mommy-and-me" fitness class or using a workout or yoga DVD/app while your baby is napping. To add resistance to your workouts and help to restore muscle tone, use a light set of hand weights or dumbbells.
    It can seem overwhelming and unattainable to stick to a morning run daily or hit a yoga class every evening, but that’s okay — you don’t need to have a strict exercise regimen in order to see results. Instead, you might want to focus on squeezing workouts in throughout the day whenever you can. For example, you can do squats while your baby is in a carrier that’s strapped to you, you can take a walk around the neighborhood with your stroller, or you can do a quick HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) exercise at home using an app while your baby is sleeping.
    Any little bit of exercise counts, but it’s also good to do a combination of cardio and strength training. While cardio burns those calories, strength training can help improve your mood, increase your bone mass, and even lower your blood pressure6. It might take some trial and error to find out what workout routines work best for you, but once you find something that is not only effective but enjoyable, find a way to do it whenever you have a free second (and we know, it’s not that often). Exercises that can help fight off that “baby fat” include walking, yoga, pilates and more. These workouts can not only help tone you up, but they can help you fight off any postpartum depression, help with aches and pains, and help fight off fatigue7.
    The key is to set simple activity goals, and plan activities that you enjoy so you won't get bored or discouraged. Always include time to warm up and cool down before and after any physical activity. If you can't find time for thirty minutes of consistent activity, break up your activity into three 10-minute bouts.
    Mind: Give Yourself a Break, "Super Mom"
    In taking care of your new baby, your partner, kids or other family members, keep in mind that you still need to take care of yourself! For new moms, it can be all too easy to fall into a "self-sacrificer" mindset. If you find yourself continually putting your own needs on the backburner to take care of others, you may be in this mindset.
    These behaviors can lead to extra stress and fatigue, which in turn may lead to overeating and decreased energy. You don't want to let the stress of a new baby turn food into a comfort or escape. Remember that your family needs you, but you can't take care of others if you don't take care of yourself first.
    If you find that you need extra support, enlist the help of friends and family members. Pay attention to what your body is telling you and learn to recognize when you're feeling stressed or pressured. When you start to feel overwhelmed, get some fresh air and breathe deeply, take time to stretch or go for a quick walk.
    Set aside a few minutes each day for yourself and make yourself a priority; whether it is to read a book or magazine, take a nap or enjoy a bubble bath. It can also be very helpful to have a regular “stress-relieving” routine or activity that can calm both your body or your mind. This can be anything from a meditation class, a yoga class, or even just seeing a therapist. It doesn't take much to recharge your batteries and remember - you're definitely worth it.
    Sleep: Get those ZZZ’s
    Gone are the days where you can go to bed and wake up exactly when you feel like it, but this doesn’t mean you can start foregoing sleep altogether. Sleep is important for both your mental health and for postpartum weight loss8. Lack of sleep can make you more prone to stress and anxiety, and it can even alter your hormones so that you end up craving more unhealthy foods and storing more fat9. Although there is no exact number new moms should be sleeping, The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night10. However, the reality is that most newborns wake up every three hours and need to be fed or changed and that means that means less sleep for mom.
    Although it’s difficult to fit in the amount of sleep your body needs, there are a number of ways to maximize your number of hours of rest. First, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Switch off taking care of the baby with your partner, and enlist a friend, babysitter, or grandparent on days when everything feels too hard. Try to nap when your baby is napping and do your best to get your child used to a sleeping routine.
    Get Help or Do It Alone?
    Since everyone is different, the best way to lose weight is to find a program that you will follow.
    If you are a new mom and want to learn more about post baby weight loss tips, Jenny Craig can help personalize a plan to meet your needs. We also offer the support and guidance from a dedicated weight loss consultant to help you stay on track. Once you are six weeks postpartum, even if you are breastfeeding, you are eligible to enroll in the Jenny Craig Program

  • Sarah S – Jenny Craig

    How High Fiber Diets Help With Weight Loss

    By Sarah S – Jenny Craig, in Eat Well,

    Ahhhh, fiber. It’s one of those things we’ve all heard is good for us, and yet it’s hard to hear the words “make sure you’re getting enough fiber” without hearing them in your grandmother’s voice. Here are two facts that may help you shift your perspective just a bit: getting your fiber can be unexpectedly delicious—and it can also be a key player in your weight loss success. In fact, in a recent study1, researchers found that consuming a high-fiber diet helped participants lose weight AND keep it off.
    What Is Dietary Fiber?
    Okay, bear with us here because this part may sound a little less than appetizing. The definition of fiber is the indigestible part of plant food that travels through our digestive system. This basically means that fiber is the part of the food that never gets digested. Instead, the purpose of fiber is to help the other parts of the food get through the digestive system correctly. They fulfill an important role by assisting with your digestive processes, even though dietary fibers are not digested themselves.
    Fiber is divided into two different types —soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and then forms a gelatinous substance as it goes through the digestive system. Insoluble fiber remains solid the entire time.
    Soluble Fiber
    Soluble fiber, as we mentioned, forms a gelatinous substance in your body. It slows down digestion, which can regulate blood sugar levels, and attaches to cholesterol on the way out to help lower your risk of heart disease. Since soluble fiber is not digested you will find that foods with soluble fiber will contribute less calories and a lower blood sugar level than other foods. Foods high in soluble fiber include oats, nuts, peas, beans, apples and blueberries.
    Insoluble Fiber
    Insoluble fiber is found in wheat bread, carrots, green beans, and cauliflower to name a few. It is the type of fiber that helps keep you feeling full so you will not grow hungry as quickly. Insoluble fiber, however, is really known for keeping your digestive system working at a regular pace, and we will cover the health benefits of this in a minute!
    Daily Fiber Intake
    The daily nutritional goal for fiber is about 25 grams for women and about 35 grams for men, which actually isn’t too difficult to attain. You can get this amount of fiber by consuming about 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables a day. Veggies and fruits with the skin on them will contain more fiber2—so try to eat more foods in whole rather than peeling or juicing them, to get the full fiber and other nutritional benefits available. If you make smart switches and additions like snacking on fruits and veggies instead of chips or sweets, then you will be at your recommended amount of fiber in no time!
    How Fiber Helps Weight Loss
    Due to the unique properties of soluble and insoluble fiber, your weight loss journey would be incomplete without an addition of more fiber into your diet. Here are just a few reasons why.
    #1. Healthy Digestion
    It can be difficult to lose weight if you’re struggling with irregularity. Consuming a high-fiber diet helps support healthy digestion by “bulking up” your stool, ensuring that waste moves through your colon at a healthy pace. Just remember that for fiber to do its waste removal duties, it needs plenty of hydration! Make sure you’re drinking an adequate amount of water and other non-caloric beverages throughout the day.
    Fiber also promotes the healthy bacteria in your system which, are anti-inflammatory and can contribute to IBS if their levels are low. So a high-fiber diet will leave your system moving smoothly and happily.3
    #2. Skin Health
    Fiber aids in the digestion process in addition to many other benefits. Improving your digestive health can allow yeasts and bacteria that can cause rashes or bumps on your body to be flushed out before they have a chance to act. High-fiber diets can also help you absorb all the nutrients you need more sufficiently. For your skin, this means making you feel and look healthier. One of the primary reasons for breakouts is an unhappy digestive system, so if you use fiber to get that in check, then your skin (not only your stomach) may thank you for it!
    #3. Preventing Calorie Absorption
    When fiber passes through your body, it increases the speed of digestion. This means that the calories you consume do not have quite as much time to be absorbed so your body gets rid of the calories a little faster than it would without fiber.
    #4. Get Full & Stay Full
    High-fiber foods are, by nature, just plain satisfying. They’re hearty and filling, and since they metabolize more slowly than low-fiber foods, they tend to help us feel full longer. Oatmeal, apples, carrots, and legumes like garbanzo beans and lentils are some examples of high-fiber foods. Although these foods do not have magical fat-burning properties, they do have a pleasing, weighty presence IN the belly, without contributing to long-term weight ON the belly.
    #5. Stronger Bones
    Some types of soluble fiber, such as asparagus, leeks, and oats, have been shown to increase the bioavailability of minerals like calcium in foods4, which may help maintain bone density. Having high bone density can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and lead to overall better strength and a healthier self. Though studies are not prolific, there have been a few that suggest a high fiber diet leads to higher bone density and lower risk for osteoporosis.
    #6. Stay Healthier In General
    According to health experts5, making fiber an important part of your diet will not only help you control your weight—it can also help prevent type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, contributing to better health in the long run. Fiber helps prevent Type 2 diabetes by keeping blood sugar levels steady and helping you maintain a healthier weight.6 It can also lower your risk of heart disease by picking up extra cholesterol in your system7 and pushing it out before it can be at risk for clogging your arteries. (However, be careful of too much fiber...)
    Those with high-fiber diets have been linked to having a lower risk of colorectal and breast cancers8, due to the lack of inflammation in your system. In addition, a high fiber diet has been linked to decreasing stroke risk.9 Overall, fiber has some amazing benefits that may help your general health.
    Fiber Supplements - Good or Bad?
    One shortcut that you may be tempted to try is to take fiber supplements. These fibers are typically extracted from healthy sources, but most studies have shown that they do not produce the same benefits as just eating fibrous foods in their natural form.10 Our nutritionists recommend adding fruits, oats, and of course more veggies to your diet instead of taking fiber pills or supplements.
    Fiber & Jenny Craig
    Our menus are designed to meet expert recommendations for fiber. Jenny Craig entrees that have 5+ grams of fiber include Roasted Turkey Medallions, Broccoli & Cheese Stuffed Potato, Chicken Wrap with BBQ Sauce, and the Classic Cheeseburger.
    If you’re using our Fresh & Free Additions or cooking on your own, here are some other high-fiber, low-calorie foods you might add: raspberries (4 grams of fiber @ 32 calories per ½ cup serving), broccoli (5 grams of fiber @ 55 calories per 1 cup serving) and cooked peas (4 grams of fiber @66 calories per ½ cup serving).
    There is no doubt that fiber is healthy for you—mostly because it resides in plant-based foods that are always good for you to add to your diet. One of our favorite things about fiber is that it is easy to add to your diet. If you do not have time for complicated diet switches then incorporating more fiber is a really simple, effective way to increase weight loss as well as many other health benefits. We would love to hear more about your experiences with increasing your fiber intake—what are your favorite fibrous foods, and best dishes to make with them?

  • Jenny Craig

    The Most Mouth-Watering Jenny Craig Desserts

    By Jenny Craig, in Eat Well,

    There’s no need to ‘cheat’ when you’re losing weight with Jenny Craig because the foods you love are on the menu, even dessert! You'll be happy with chef-crafted dessert options that feature rich chocolate, creamy vanilla, fun sprinkles and even gooey marshmallow. You’ll never feel like you’re missing out on all your favorite treats. Here are our four most popular desserts.
    S’mores Bar
    This quick and indulgent snack will have you reminiscing of starry summer nights by the campfire with your family. Traditional s’mores are a sticky mess, but Jenny Craig’s version is just as delicious, without the hassle. A layer of gooey marshmallow sits on top of crisp graham cracker, all covered in creamy chocolate. It’s the perfect dessert to throw in your bag for an on-the-go confection.
    Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
    Triple the chocolate, triple the treat! Our luscious cheesecake is a smart choice because it’s made with fat-free cream cheese and under 200 calories. This treat includes semi-sweet chocolate chips and each slice is topped with a chocolate drizzle.
    Chocolate Lava Cake
    Often a favorite dessert menu item in restaurants, Jenny Craig’s version of the chocolate lava cake is just as delicious and decadent, but you can enjoy it in the comfort of your home! Indulge in this rich chocolate cake that features a warm and heavenly chocolate center. This divine dessert is merely 150 calories.
    Vanilla Buttercream Cupcake
    It’s a party for your taste buds! Celebrate with our scrumptious Vanilla Buttercream Cupcake topped with sprinkles - it doesn’t even have to be your birthday. It’s a low-fat satisfying sweet with 4 grams of fiber and only 140 calories.
    Lemon Cake 
    You can’t go wrong with this tasty and delightful cake. It's a delicately soft cake with a lemon glaze both bursting with tangy flavor. The ultimate way to end a delicious meal!

  • Jenny Craig

    Life can be hectic. The homework, soccer practices, volunteer activities and errands fill up the calendar, often leaving family dinners a low priority and serving takeout or quick meals on-the-go as the number one option for keeping you and your kids fed on busy nights. But eating dinner together may be one of the most important things you can do with your kids.
    Benefits of Family Dinners
    Having consistent family meals is not only good for spending time with your loved ones, but it also has a myriad of other benefits. Children especially benefit from family dinner time as it has been shown to lead to a better academic performance and higher self-esteem. In addition, dinnertime conversation increases a child’s vocabulary more than being read aloud to; older kids get better grades, and dinner together decreases obesity in kids by implementing healthy nutritional habits.  
    Sharing a nightly family dinner provides a consistent opportunity to create experiences that are meaningful. It is a time to connect with your loved ones and give your children a steady evening family routine throughout the week. It doesn’t need to be a big event each meal. Just by having a simple meal each night is enough as long as you are spending quality time with your children.
    We know life gets hectic with juggling work, extracurricular activities, and everything thing else in between, so adding daily family dinners can be a little overwhelming at first. If you are having a hard time planning a consistent mealtime, use these tips to reconnect with your loved ones and establish a family dinner routine.
    Make a meal plan
    As a chance to initiate healthier eating habits as a family, make a meal plan that suits the nutritional needs of your family. Get your kids invested in dinner together by allowing them to choose a main meal each week (within reason, of course). Look in cookbooks and online for new, interesting and healthy recipes to broaden everyone’s taste buds. 
    Even on designated family dinner nights, your family may still have a full schedule, so look for simple ways to make easy healthy family meals, such as incorporating frozen mixed vegetables into a low-sodium teriyaki chicken stir fry or plugging in the slow cooker in the morning for shredded chicken tacos for dinner. Other family dinner entree ideas include a make-ahead quinoa salad with baked, herb-seasoned cod, whole grain pasta with marinara sauce (an easy way to sneak in veggies, like carrots and zucchini), and make-your-own chef salads, which grant your kids the ability to try a variety of vegetables. 
    Commit to a schedule 
    Between late work nights for you and extracurricular activities for the kids, it’s hard to find the time to come together. Family dinners might not happen every night, but by pulling out the calendar and scheduling family time to share a meal, you and your family will be committed to reconnecting over food and conversation. For example, let everyone know that every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:30 PM is family dinner night so they can plan accordingly. 
    Cook together in the kitchen
    This is the one time it’s okay to have “too many cooks in the kitchen.” Let the littlest kids help set the table by allowing them to be creative with the place settings. Toddlers can color and add stickers to place cards, pick out placemats, and carry napkins and silverware to the dinner table. Older children can help with food preparation in the kitchen, setting them up to learn about fresh ingredients, good habits, and sensible portions. 
    Reconnect - Turn off the screens
    Rules are rules–turn off the TV and leave the phones on the counter, which means even you can wait to send off that last email for work. Dinnertime is a key time to engage with each other, so ask questions about their day and explore their world with them. Share your own funny stories or experiences, too. Not only will you stress less about what your kid is up to, but you’ll be building a tighter connection and strengthening your relationship–all because you took the time to break bread together!
    Eating dinner together each night as a family is a simple task that can have a big impact. It can seem tough to get everyone together, but it is essential not only for your child’s development but also for creating experiences together. Make it a priority to hold a family dinner at least 3-4 nights a week. If you are having trouble sticking to this routine, follow the tips above to help you establish a nightly family dinner routine.

  • Jenny Craig

    4 Jenny Craig Entrees that Make Great Salads

    By Jenny Craig, in Eat Well,

    Salads are a great way to mix in Fresh & Free Additions as a side dish, but how about integrating your meal plan entrée into a fresh salad of greens, herbs and other vegetables? Here are 4 Jenny Craig entrees that make great salads.
    Tuna Dill Salad Kit. Our Tuna Dill Salad Kit is packed with flavor. It comes with tuna, a dill and Greek yogurt dressing and wheat crackers to add some crunch. You can wash some Romaine lettuce to create your own lettuce wraps topped with freshly sliced tomatoes, or mix in some onions, avocado, cucumber and cilantro to add some brightness and texture.
    Chicken Sandwich. Our Grilled Chicken Sandwich is packed with protein, and the boneless, skinless chicken breast has been grilled and seasoned to perfection. Bring the grill to your salad by adding your chicken to a bed of grilled vegetables, like zucchini, squash and peppers, or mix the chicken breast into any greens your heart desires.
    Green Beans with Garlic & Olive Oil. While featured as one of our favorite Jenny Craig side dishes, our Green Beans with Garlic & Olive Oil are already dressed for salad perfection. Finely chop red onion (or shallots) with basil and add them to your green beans.
    Ramen Noodles. Our delicious Ramen Noodle Bowl with Chicken & Veggies is a classic comfort meal with a rich broth and succulent chicken and mushrooms that are complemented by the crisp carrots and red peppers. You can transform your ramen into a noodle salad by straining the noodles and accouterment from the broth, then letting it chill. You can add some crunch with coleslaw mix and scallions, and a touch of sweetness with mandarin oranges.
    Transforming these Jenny Craig entrees into salads allows you to experiment with different Fresh & Free additions all year long. Continue to check the Perfect Portion for more delicious ways to pair your Jenny Craig menu with other sides or enhance your meal with seasonal flavors—it’s one more way Jenny Craig makes food even more fun!

  • Jenny Craig

    Top 10 Questions for a Nutritionist

    By Jenny Craig, in Inspiration,

    Do you have questions about the right foods to eat, portion sizes, weight loss, or the how-to’s of a healthy lifestyle? Sarah V., our Jenny Craig Nutritionist, answers some of the most commonly asked questions. Please use the comment box below if you have any additional questions!

    1. Is eating gluten-free healthier?
    Gluten-free diets are typically followed by people with celiac disease, an inherited autoimmune condition. Eating a gluten-free diet without having celiac disease, or a sensitivity to gluten, does not necessarily contribute to weight loss or a healthier diet.
    2. How can the Jenny Craig program work with foods such as cupcakes, lasagna, etc?
    We seek to emphasize healthy ingredients, while minimizing added sugar, non-nutritive sweeteners, sodium and saturated fat. The Jenny Craig program is designed by nutritionists to incorporate whole-grains, lean protein, healthy fats, low-fat dairy, vegetables and fruits which reflect the guidelines of major government and health organizations for a proven and balanced approach for weight management.
    3. Why can’t I eat a lot of fruit to lose weight?

    Of course, fruits are rich in water, high in fiber and full of nutrients. Members should be encouraged to eat whole fruits rather than juice or dried fruits. However, fruits do contribute calories (about 60 calories per serving) and sugar to your diet and therefore should be consumed in moderation. It is important to consume healthy amounts of each food group so that you have a well-balanced diet.  
    4. How much does fitness and exercise matter?
    Physical activity, whether moderate/vigorous, natural, recreational or strengthening, contributes to various health benefits as well as assisting your body in maintaining weight loss.
    To achieve the health benefits of physical activity, 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days is suggested. However, on maintenance it is recommended to strive for 45-60 minutes. 
    5. Do you need to adjust your diet as you age?
    Yes. As you age it is important to continue to consume a healthy diet, stay active and monitor your health. Nutritional needs do change as you age, and it is important to educate yourself and understand nutrient requirements specific to your body.  
    6.What’s the most important tip, post-Jenny Craig?  

    Portion control. Moderation is key to enjoying your life and maintaining your healthy weight. Use visual cues to remind yourself of proper portion sizes.
    It’s important to continue those healthy habits that you have acquired along your weight loss journey, while maintaining a good support system.
    7.How can I watch for sodium?
    Staying mindful, monitoring your food and paying attention! Keeping yourself aware of your sodium intake is important. Reading the nutrition labels on your foods and keeping track of how much salt you add to your cooking can help you monitor your sodium intake.
    8. What are the most notorious things that cause weight gain on maintenance?
    Old habits are one of the biggest reasons why people can’t lose weight or keep it off. Stay motivated, be consistent and continue to incorporate positive changes into your life.     
    9. Why is there so much bread on the program?
    The program currently consists of 50-60% carbohydrate, 20-25% protein and 20-25% fat.  The menu balances a variety of grains, as well as vegetables, fruits and low-fat milk products that all contribute to the carbohydrate content. These parameters reflect the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines and are not considered high in carbohydrate.  
    10. Do you recommend meal prep?

    Post-Jenny Craig, meal prepping allows you to incorporate a healthy and balanced diet into your busy lifestyle. It is a helpful way to plan pre-portioned meals and have them ready for you throughout the busy week. Preparing your own meals in advance puts you in control of what you eat and provides you with simplicity and convenience.

  • Jenny Craig
    We were impressed by all the entries for our third annual Simple Inspirations Recipe Contest, where Jenny Craig members created fun dishes to tantalize our taste buds and demonstrated what’s possible with a little inspiration, creativity and Fresh & Free Additions. Recipes were submitted for the following categories: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, Snacks & Sides, Desserts & Shakes, and Fresh & Free Additions.
    Here is a sneak peek at the winning recipes in each of the categories, as well as a few special categories we added on. The full recipes will be available soon in our upcoming e-book that will be featured on our website!
    This Very Berry Barscotti Parfait submitted by Jamie B. combines sweet cherries with a crunch using our Barscotti with Cranberries and Almonds. It’s smoothed out with nonfat Greek vanilla yogurt, which adds another sweet and protein-packed punch. Not only do you get a delicious texture from all the ingredients, but you also get a crumble from the bar and the bite from the cooked cherries. It’s also gorgeous to look at with its deep red syrup and layers of flavor.

    Lunch & Dinner
    Cooking a Jenny Craig entrée into two different dishes was a clever way to go for our Lunch & Dinner category. Maria R. created a Chicken Zoodle Soup using our Chicken Pot Pie. She removed the crust and heated up the filling in combination with chicken broth and zucchini noodles to create a warm, hearty meal. She then took it a step further, using the crust for an Apple Tart! With a bit of apricot preserves, cinnamon and apples, she baked up the perfect ending to a delightful lunch or dinner, and showed anything is possible with one Jenny Craig entrée!

    Snacks & Sides
    Nothing gets our mouth watering like crunchy snacks, and these Snappy Ranch Rings created by Robin W. had us savoring this snack down till the very last bite! These Snappy Ranch Rings replace your typical fried onion rings with Ranch Snaps for a crunchy, flavorful coating that works perfectly when baking these onion rings in the oven.

    Desserts & Shakes
    Chocolate on its own is already a treat, but Cheryl B. created this Velvety Chocolate S'Mores Shake that had us feeling like we were indulging on a decadently delicious dessert. Not only does this shake combine our S’mores Bar and Vanilla Dream Shake, but it also has two surprising elements: A can of diet cream soda and frozen riced cauliflower. The cauliflower provides a velvety texture without as much sugar as a banana would!

    Fresh & Free Additions
    This Tasty Mediterranean Veggie Tomato Soup recipe created by Shelley B. is a savory starter and takes only minutes to prep and cook, thanks to sautéing vegetables like yellow squash, peppers, mushrooms and zucchini and adding it to our Creamy Tomato Vegetable Soup.

    We had our very own Jenny Craig employees participate as well and found two recipes we couldn’t get enough of! Sherry S. took our Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Creamy Tomato Vegetable Soup to create a Cajun Style Gumbo (pictured below) bolstered with okra, peppers, onions and Cajun seasoning for a warm, spicy bowl of flavor. Olivia V. surprised us with her Breakfast Burrito Bowl, where she takes our Egg, Cheese & Turkey Sausage Burrito and, with the help of a tortilla pan, creates a shell that holds the filling along with some spinach and delicious salsa.

    Photographer’s Choice
    A picture is worth a thousand words, and with food pictures being all the rage on social media, we wanted to award someone for appearance and making our mouths drool. Daphne L. submitted her recipe for a Salisbury S hepard Pie in our Lunch & Dinner category. We were drawn to all the colors of this dish that included Salisbury Steak, mixed vegetables, rosemary, and garlic, followed by a fluffy layer of mashed cauliflower and potato, and then sprinkled with crushed Cheddar Cheese Crisps to top it off!

    No Thanks to Cake Choice
    This was a bonus winner, picked by one of our blogger’s No Thanks To Cake. Jessica H. submitted the Game Day Trio for the Lunch & Dinner category. Jessica took our Loaded Baked Potato and transformed it into bacon-cheddar potato balls and a stuffed potato with spinach and artichoke, plus baked some cauliflower with a red pepper hot sauce that she blended herself!

    Congratulations to our winners, and thank you to all who entered! Keep an eye out for our Simple Inspirations Recipe book to be released later this year. In additional to including these delicious winning recipes, we’re also including all types of tasty ideas to inspire your Jenny Craig creations year round.  

  • Jenny Craig

    Trade Body Bashing for Body Bonding

    By Jenny Craig, in Live Life,

    You deserve to feel good about your body. Although it may be hard to believe, you can move past self-criticism to self-acceptance to even appreciating your body and all it can do. Here are six ways to better befriend your body.

    1. Make a Body Can-Do List
    If you’ve long-held a negative image, you might have overlooked all the things your body has been able to do. Make a list of all the physical or sensual pleasures you can enjoy regardless of your weight. Do you like how it feels to walk, run, dance or do yoga? Do you feel good when someone hugs you? These things are a result of what your body does/has done for you – allow yourself the time to appreciate it fully.
    2. Check Yourself Out – In New Ways

    People who have a negative body image often engage in negative self-talk, especially in front of the mirror. Next time you start to “over-check” yourself in the mirror, pause to practice the S.T.O.P. technique to take a pause and practice something more positive.
    I have choices here.
    What am I thinking, feeling and saying to myself? “I look so fat in these jeans. I should be embarrassed to be seen in public.”
    How true is this? What do I deserve to feel? “Truth is, 6 months ago, I couldn’t fit into these jeans. I am looking more fit and healthy than I have in ages. I deserve to enjoy how I feel in well-fitting clothes.”
    Pick a more balanced view. “I’m looking pretty good today, and I’m proud of all the changes I made to get here.”
    3. Tune-In to Your Physical Experience
    When you walk, lift weights, practice yoga, etc. focus on the flex of your muscles and the energy of your movements. Simple activities like raising a barbell, stretching in the morning or relaxing in bed at night enable you to positively experience your body in motion.
    4. You Can Wear It Well
    The same physical confidence you exhibit while working out can be transferred to the rest of your activities. Make it a practice to stand tall, walk briskly, hold your head high, and you will begin to communicate body-mind confidence.
    5. Enjoy the Pleasure of Touch
    Deep tissue massage can release tension, relax your muscles. It also enables you to practice being kind to your body.
    6. Give Yourself a Makeover

    Practice a double act of compassion – donate your larger size clothes to charity and then invest in clothes that flatter your body type, reflect your personal style and express your confidence in maintaining your healthy changes. Updated cosmetics, skin-care products and haircuts can also strengthen body confidence.
    Friends for Life
    You and your body can become good friends. The friendship requires love, attention and patience to grow and overcome often years of bad feelings. Know that you can let go of these negative feelings, come to enjoy your body and find it easier to maintain your healthy choices for life!

  • Jenny Craig

    Why Everyone Loves Radishes Right Now

    By Jenny Craig, in Eat Well,

    Food trends are fun to follow, as they’re a way to explore various ways that food can be prepared to bring out its flavor and versatility. We’ve highlighted gadgets like the air fryer and the many ways cauliflower can be used as a nutrient-rich substitute for carbs, and now it’s time to shine the spotlight on a small vegetable that packs a spicy punch: Radishes. Let’s find out why everyone loves radishes right now, and the various ways to enjoy them.

    You’ll typically see radishes as small, bright pink bundles in the produce section of grocery store, but did you know that there are multiple varieties with different spice levels? Here’s a list of the variety of radishes you can choose from:
    ·         Watermelon Radishes: When cut, you’ll see patterns of pink and white, which makes for a stunning presentation.
    ·         Cherry Belle Radish: This is your standard supermarket radish.
    ·         French Breakfast Radish: The name alone sounds delicious! This variety is mostly oblong in shape with a white tip and roots.
    ·         Easter Egg Radish: These are more petite than Cherry Belles, but have a similar taste and texture. You’ll also see them in a variety of colors, like purple, white and crimson color.
    ·         Black Spanish Radish: The spiciest—and largest—radish of them all! You’ll see them with a black or brown skin.
    Consumable from leaf to radish

    You can even use the leaves and stems to make a quick salad, or sauté the greens into eggs or as a side dish with some ginger, garlic and shallots. 
    Raw spice
    When we say spicy, we don’t mean that the radishes will heat you up like a pepper. Rather, the radish has a bite that can be peppery or similar to horseradish, with a spicy tingle typically felt in your nose.
    Raw preparations of radishes are very easy and fun, as you just have to wash the radish then slice or dice however thinly you’d like. You can use the watermelon radish for a bright, colorful salad, or some Cherry Belles on your Chicken Street Tacos to add some crunch. Black radishes and watermelon radishes are particularly delicious when pickled, which can lend itself to a salad or adding it on top of a sandwich or Turkey Burger.
    When cooked, radishes lose their heat and become sweet with a slight kick. The French Breakfast radish is particularly delightful when roasted, but you can also roast Cherry Belles. You can add cooked radishes to your Turkey & Wild Rice to elevate a fall favorite, or complement the pecans in your Pecan Glazed Chicken, as radishes can be a touch nutty. You can also use an air fryer to lightly fry a radish to add a crispier component to a salad or other meal!
    You always have options to add some spice to your culinary life, and now you have another Fresh & Free Addition to explore! And when you find a radish preparation or recipe you can’t get enough of, be sure to share it with your Jenny Craig Community.

  • Jenny Craig

    Who’s in Your Support Network?

    By Jenny Craig, in Inspiration,

    “A friend is someone who knows your song in your heart and can sing it to you when you have forgotten the words.” -Author Unknown
    Ongoing support is critical to helping weight loss success. Researchers in one study compared people who decided to lose weight with the support of family and friends to those who decide to go it alone. Ninety-five percent of those who joined with support completed the program, while only 76% of those who joined alone followed through*.
    Thinking back on your weight loss journey, did you have a friend and/or family member who supported your weight loss efforts, volunteered to be your walking buddy, encouraged you to stick with your program, etc.? How did having their support make a difference in your success? 
    During your weight loss, it will be important for you to identify friends and family who will continue to positively reinforce your goals and actions.
    To maximize the benefits of these relationships focus on two skills:
    Communication Skills
    When juggling a variety of roles as spouse, partner, parent, friend and/or working professional, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of telling, informing or instructing versus connecting, where both parties are truly heard and understood.
    Remember the real intent of communication: to make a connection. That means expressing yourself in a way that you are heard and understood, and actively listening so that your partner is heard and understood also.
    To Be Heard + To Hear = To Connect
    It’s not what you say…it’s how you say it!
    Often, unintentional meaning creates miscommunication. Determine which words match your current style. Which ones would best express your intention to connect?
    “You make me so angry I could scream!”
    “I am so angry I could scream!”
    “You” statements generate defensiveness.
    They minimize your ownership of your feelings.
    “I” statements generate concern.
    They reinforce you own your feelings.
    “You should get your weight back in control.”
    “I’m worried that your weight is affecting your health.”
    “Should” statements generate resentment. They put you in an authoritarian position.
    “Feeling” statements generate concern.
    They show you genuinely care.
    “I think you’re rude to tease me about my weight.”
    “I feel hurt by what you said about my weight.”
    Thoughts are debatable.
    A common response:
    “No, I’m not rude…I was just kidding”
    Feelings aren’t arguable.
    A common response:
    “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean for you to feel that way.”
    Support Skills

    What does it mean to be supported through change? It means being accepted, cared about, listened to, understood and believed in – even when you are challenged to believe in yourself. During your weight loss, your Consultant supports you, empathizes with you and helps fuel your motivation to reach your goals. However, it is key to have a supportive environment outside as well.
    Expand Your Network
    If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to build a wider network of family, friends and others who can support you in strong, positive, nurturing ways. Start by assessing your current relationships.
    Do You Have a Supporter or a Saboteur?
    This is an important question. Sometimes the most logical person - your spouse, partner, friend or family member – isn’t necessarily your best bet. Changes in your looks and lifestyle can upset the previous balance of your relationships. For some, your changes are exciting; for others, they may be a bit threatening. Give everyone time to adjust. In the meantime, ask for support from those who can easily give it.
    Here are some questions to help separate potential supporters from saboteurs:
    Does this person understand what I am going through?
    Will this person be there for me when I need them?
    Is this the right person to talk to if I was struggling?
    Does this person know when to be “tough” and when to be “tender”?
    Can this person and I openly communicate?
    Good to Know…
    In a study comparing weight maintainers to weight re-gainers, researchers found that weight maintainers received more compliments on their healthy eating habits and higher levels of dietary support**. Weight re-gainers, though, received more verbal reminders, encouragements and offers but few compliments or shared participation with their eating and activity behaviors. The takeaway: positive versus instructive support may be more helpful to supporting successful weight maintenance – and if that’s the case for you, it’s important you ask for it!

    Make Your Own Personal Support Checklist
    Affirms me when I do well.
    Eats healthy meals with me.
    Participates in physical activity with me.
    Compliments me on my physical activity habits.
    Shares healthy self-care activities with me.
    Listens to wins and challenges.
    Assert Yourself Graciously
    To be assertive means to express yourself in a way that is neither passive or aggressive, but balanced. It requires you to be clear and direct about your wants and needs while considering the wants and need of others. It takes practice to find the middle ground, but when you do, you are more likely to stay on top of your weight goals and gain the support you need.
    Assertiveness Tips:
    1.     Recognize the other person’s point of view.
    2.     Take responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and actions.
    3.     Be direct and specific when stating your wants and needs or refusing a request.
    4.     Invite the other person to support your decision. 
    When Others Try to Change Your Mind
    Passive Response
    Aggressive Response
    Assertive Response
    Husband eats ice cream in front of you
    Walk away hurt.
    “You’re just trying to tempt me to fail.”
    “I know how much you love your ice cream.Still, it’s easier if I am not exposed to it.It would mean a lot to me if you ate it when I wasn’t around.”
    Friends at work want to go and eat fast food for lunch.
    Say nothing and eat high-calorie food.
    “The only place we ever go is where I can’t find a healthy choice. I guess I’ll just skip eating out with you.”
    “I love going out to eat every week. My challenge is that I have trouble finding food I like to eat. Why don’t we try a new place this week? That would help me find some new healthy options.”
    Wife wants you to skip your walk for a TV show.
    “Okay…just tonight.”
    “You’re trying to make me feel guilty for walking instead of spending time with you.”
    “I understand how much you want some time together, but I know I’ll be much better company if I go on my walk first.”
    Partner urges you to have seconds at a dinner party.
    “Alright, if you insist.”
    “Just because you want to go crazy with the appetizers doesn’t mean I have to!”
    “It’s delicious, isn’t it? I’ve had enough though, thanks anyway.”
    Forgive and Move On
    Ultimately letting go of those who can’t support your efforts and be focusing on those who can and will serve your weight maintenance efforts best. Hanging on to frustration, anger and resentment drains your emotional energy, can take a toll on your physical health and may set you up for weight regain. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting; it just means freeing yourself up from the influence others have over your success so that you can move on to maintain your goals. That means expressing yourself in a way that you are heard and understood, and actively listening so that your partner is heard and understood also.
    * J Consult Clin Psychol. 1999;67: 132-138.
    ** J Behav Med. 2016 Jun;39(3):511-8

  • Jenny Craig

    7 Brilliant Areas to Add Spinach

    By Jenny Craig, in Eat Well,

    Leafy greens are great for filling you up without feeling muddled down or heavy. One green that can be found all year long is spinach. Whether it’s served raw or cooked, this dark leaf provides nutrients, like vitamins A, C and K, and iron, fiber and magnesium in just one cup—no wonder Popeye couldn’t get enough!

    As the weather cools down, we decided to look at ways on how we could incorporate spinach into our meals outside of the typical (yet delicious) salad. Here are 7 ideas we’ve come up with!
    1)      Stir into soups and stews. You can either add your spinach toward the end of the soup-making process or cook it down before adding it to the broth. You can also substitute spinach into recipes that call for other leafy greens, like kale.
    2)      Spin in your smoothies. Spinach doesn’t have a distinctly strong taste, and as our other suggestions have shown, it’s easy to mix into recipes you love. You can create a great smoothie and get extra nutrients by taking spinach, blending it with water, then adding a ½ cup of banana, mango or pineapple for a touch of sweetness.
    3)      Top your pizza. Spinach is not only a great topping for pizza as it pairs with tomatoes, but it can be used raw to dress a pizza as well! Take spinach, raw onion, tomato and a dressing of your choice for a simple way to add more veggies to your pizza.
    4)      Toss into pasta. Pasta is a great vessel for many flavors. You can keep your dish simple by tossing the spinach with the noodles once they’re cooked, then add some tomatoes and a touch of oil for seasoning. You can also add spinach straight into your sauce, and let it cook down.
    5)      Blend into pesto. One fresh sauce to consider for adding spinach is pesto, which can be used on pasta, as a salad dressing or cooked meat. You can also cut some of the basil out and substitute that amount with spinach as well.
    6)      Sautée into eggs. Spinach cooks down very quickly—you can take a few handfuls and it wilts down in minutes. Try it scrambled in your eggs, or make an omelet with mushrooms and diced tomatoes for a veggie-packed breakfast.
    7)      Stir-fry your spinach. While stir-fried sides typically consist of peppers, onions, garlic and snap peas, adding spinach is another way to gain more density and nutrients in your side dishes can help you feel fuller longer.
    Spinach has so many possibilities, and all it takes is adding a handful (or more!) to add some additional brilliance to your dishes.

  • Jenny Craig

    Simple Ways to Re-ignite Your Inspiration

    By Jenny Craig, in Inspiration,

    It’s important to find moments that commit you to the reason why you’re losing weight in the first place, especially when you’re finding yourself unmotivated.
    You may have heard the travel saying, “It’s not about the destination, but about the journey.” Weight loss is results-oriented and we all love seeing the results every week to keep us motivated.
    However, weight loss is about getting to know yourself—and your body—as you go through a lifestyle change. And when change comes into play, you should keep your sources of inspiration nearby as weight loss isn’t always a straight road.
    Inspiration can come up in the most surprising ways, and here are simple ways to re-ignite your motivation to keep you going.
    Big Picture
    Focus on your “why.” As mentioned above, make sure the reason why you’re wanting to lose weight is clear. Write it down somewhere where you can read it every day to motivate you.
    Keep a weight loss journal. Write about your experience and feelings, and keep track of sources of inspiration. You can then look back on where you started, and discover how far you’ve come!
    Use your social network. You have support all around you, and can choose how to use it to your motivational advantage. Whether it’s talking to friends and family or posting progress photos on social media, you’ll discover a group of cheerleaders to keep you going.
    Self-care. Sometimes life can come in with something that may throw your planning out the window. This is where you have to remember that you are human, and life happens. Try and plan for stressors or those moments where you do go off plan, and re-commit to your future decisions and reactions.
    Small Wins
    You have many opportunities to focus on goals outside of your scale. We like to call these “small wins,” and when you think about all the times this has happened to you, it can help put your journey into perspective and show that you’re making progress!
    Turning down a fattening food. Did your friend offer you a piece of cake, or are you at a potluck that is full of fries, nachos and cookies? You have all the tools to turn it down politely—and give yourself a high five for doing so.
    Going on a longer walk. Getting your body moving is a great way to clear your head and feel powerful, and one activity that is great for both is walking. Not only is it free, walking can be done at a leisurely pace or quickly during a break at work. You can increase your distance gradually, or even go for different elevations—either way, it’s a way to track your journey and feel great as you are literally going the distance.
    Trying out a new veggie. Adventure is out there, and available to you via your local grocery store. Trying out a new veggie, like artichokes or cauliflower, allow you to experiment in your kitchen and discover how enjoyable it is to try something new.
    Looser pants. One of the easiest ways to track progress outside of weight is the sensation of recognizing that your clothes are no longer fitting you. Plus, it offers a chance to reward yourself with new items that can transition with you while you’re losing weight.
    When you re-ignite your inspiration, you can find ways to seize opportunities and moments that have been in front of you all along. We’re inspired by your weight loss journey and are always happy to share other moments of inspiration with you as we cheer you on.
    http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/weight-loss-motivation-tips - section18

  • Jenny Craig
    The aging process varies from person to person and depends on various factors, such as genetics and lifestyle choices. One thing that is consistent, however, is that lean tissue (your muscles and organs) begins to shrink through a process called atrophy, where cells shrink in size. In turn, fat goes up steadily, especially around the center of the body, and combined with a slowing metabolism, you’ll most likely experience weight gain.

    One way to combat the aging process is through keeping a healthy lifestyle—especially when it comes to your diet. Losing weight after 40 years old doesn’t have to be hard. If you’re not following the Jenny Craig program, here are a few diet changes you should make when you’re 40 to help deter weight gain:
    Eat regular meals—and snack, too. If you’ve been one to typically skip meals, now is the time to commit to eating three meals with snacks in between. Skipping meals makes you more susceptible to eating higher calorie foods, especially when you’re on the go and fast food options are everywhere. So, make sure to eat and have healthy snacks on hand to keep your blood sugar even to avoid an energy crash later. Eat healthy fiber. Foods that are high in fiber help keep you fuller longer, and can help with weight loss and maintenance. Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are high in fiber, and vegetables and fruits are also high in water content. Some delicious vegetables to start with are carrots, broccoli, leafy greens (spinach, kale) peppers and onions.  
    Eat lean protein. Protein can help with muscle health. Your protein choices also contribute to your overall health, such as the omega-3s from fish, which helps with heart health. Choose lean proteins like chicken, fish, legumes and Greek yogurt, but also keep an eye out for how they are prepared, as each preparation adds calories, too. When it comes to preparations, look out for words like “grilled” and “baked” and limit choosing the “fried” option. Drink plenty of water, and monitor other drinks. Water flushes your system and helps nutrients circulate around your body to help with normal bodily functions. Keep an eye out for how many alcoholic beverages you may be consuming, too, as those can be calorie-laden choices. If you are going to drink, consider using seltzer water as your mixer, and have a glass of water next to you to ensure you’re hydrated. Know your portion sizes. While choosing leaner, lower calorie foods is great, it may all get thrown off by overindulging. For example, you may have a square of dark chocolate, but if you know that once you have one square you typically eat a whole bar, then that’s something to be mindful over. If you find that you’re still hungry even after eating your portioned-out meal, consider drinking water since hunger can sometimes be mistaken for thirst, or bulking up on more vegetables since they are low in calories.  
    Health Risks to Be Aware of As You Get Older
    Knowing the health risks that are common in women in their 40s and older is important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Here are two of the most common health concerns:
    High Blood Pressure - A woman’s risk of developing high blood pressure, or HBP, increases once menopause is reached, if she is overweight or if there is a family history of it. It’s often hard to catch because it carries no signs or symptoms. High blood pressure makes the heart work harder than normal and if left untreated, it can lead to several other health problems, including heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure is preventable by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes a healthy diet and regular physical activity. Heart Disease - Heart disease is the most common cause of death for women in the United States. Symptoms of heart disease include pain, pressure, or discomfort in the chest. Other symptoms may be completely unrelated to chest pain, such as nausea, pain in arms, or unusual fatigue. Heart disease risk factors include pregnancy complications, diabetes, and inactivity, among many others. In order to reduce these risks be sure to get the recommended amount of exercise, maintain a healthy weight and eat a healthy diet.  
    If you are approaching the 40th mark, these diet changes are all wonderful places to start, but remember that your overall lifestyle plays a role in how aging affects you. Stress and lack of movement may allow signs of aging to become more prevalent, so find ways to deal with stress and move more throughout the day. Whether you’re making these changes earlier or later than 40, the important thing is that you’re starting now to help your body stay strong, healthy and active to experience all life has to offer.