What’s cooking in 2017? We weigh in on these delicious foods that will be making waves in the new year. Some are great ideas for cooking at home or may be a great complement to your next Jenny Craig meal!
Spice it up
Eaters are slowing down on the salt and turning up the heat by continuing to be more adventurous in flavors. Anticipate seeing warm and Middle Eastern spices like cardamom, turmeric, sumac and cinnamon making an appearance in more cuisines.
If you’re feeling nostalgic for an oldie (but goodie) dessert, wish no more. Classics that even we have such as s’mores, Apple Crisp and other delicious favorites will be coming back into popularity. Speak to a consultant about what tasty desserts we offer that are just as good as the classics!
The popular cooking techniques of charring and smoking foods will be coming into favor--- and not just for meats. You’re likely to be seeing it with produce, snacks and desserts.
Have you tried spiralizing your zucchini, cooking with cauliflower rice or cooking spaghetti squash? These rising stars in the veggie world are adored because they’re a great option for a healthy base and so adaptable to other flavors. They’re also a fantastic Fresh & Free Addition to many of your Jenny Craig foods as one of our members discovered with her Butternut Ravioli Squash.
So long kale! Collards, mustard and even carrot tops are being eaten for their strong nutritional value and vibrant flavors. They’re great steamed and can be a filling addition to your next Jenny Craig meal!
People are loving food with a function, which are foods that have potential health benefits such as coconut milk, apple cider vinegar and avocado oil. Coconut milk is having a significant spike in popularity because it’s not only great for those with lactose intolerance, but can also help improve the immune system of the body.
Asian fast food restaurants sales in the U.S. has grown by 135 percent since 1999 and don’t show signs of slowing. The Kung Pao Beef is even one of the most popular entrees on the Jenny Craig menu and a delicious new Orange Chicken with Vegetable and Brown Rice will be arriving in 2017. Other Asian dishes such as pho and ramen are staples in certain Asian cultures and significantly on the rise in the U.S.
Did you know that more than 40 professional chefs have a hand in creating our Jenny Craig meals? Being serious about losing weight doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the foods you love. At Jenny Craig we have more than 100 meals and snacks items, where 40 chefs make all the difference.
We’ve recently compiled a list of our most popular foods that consistently win among our members. We do encourage you to stick to your preplanned menu to help improve your weight loss potential, as you have discussed with your personal consultant.
Cranberry Almond Barscotti
Egg, Cheese & Turkey Sausage Burrito
Kung Pao Beef
Chicken Pot Pie
Loaded Baked Potato
Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich
Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
Chocolate Lava Cake
Vanilla Buttercream Cupcake
The majority of your meal planning is already done, thanks to your Jenny Craig pre-planned menu. But to truly make your meal complete, you need to go grocery shopping for your Fresh & Free Additions! We know how grocery shopping without a list can go – you end up buying everything down the aisle, which can easily break your budget and block your weight loss progress! To help prevent that and to stay on track, here are eight healthy and versatile foods to include:
Broccoli is so diverse—roast it to create a crunchy treat or blanch or steam it to bring out its bright color. We personally love it stirred into the Chicken Fettuccine or you can enjoy steamed broccoli on the side with some red pepper flakes and lemon juice for a zesty and flavorful bite!
It’s funny to think vegetables can be trendy, but cauliflower has been a hot food item for a few years now. You can toss it into the food processor to create rice or cut huge chunks to resemble a veggie “steak.” Plus, it can take on tons of flavor—try it roasted with some curry powder or a touch of hot sauce for a bit of spice and beautiful color!
3. Spaghetti squash
One spaghetti squash can make multiple meals in a snap. Once you roast and create the “spaghetti” strands with a fork, you can mix spaghetti squash into your next leafy salad or top it with your Spaghetti with Meatballs for a delicious and filling dinner.
Whether it’s raw or sautéed, kale is a green that is great cold or hot. Its subtle bitterness complements sweeter items, such as carrots or tomatoes, and can also add a textural crunch when baked in the oven.
Cucumbers have a bright crunch that works well in salads or as a tasty snack with your Chicken Cranberry Salad Kit. Cucumbers also have a sweet, grassy flavor, so you can drop slices into your water for an added touch of freshness.
Tomatoes can cross cultural cuisine boundaries. Create a fresh Mediterranean salad with cucumbers, teardrop tomatoes and oregano, a Mexican salsa with diced tomatoes, red onion and jalapenos or roast tomatoes with garlic to create a fresh Italian sauce for your spaghetti squash!
Onions come in a variety of types, so you can mix and match depending on what you want to use them for! White onions will be sharper and more pungent (and are great in pasta sauces). For a crisp bite in a salad, go with a red onion not only for their color, but for their thin slices, too.
Mushrooms have umami—that meaty flavor that gives a decidedly rich flavor to any dish. Top off your Beef Merlot with sautéed mushrooms and onions, or buy Portobello mushrooms to bake and fill with garlic and kale or other cooked greens.
While these eight vegetables and fruits can be used in multiple ways and can easily become household staples, remember that these are just a delicious sample of what you can experiment with by reading your Jenny Craig Grocery Guide! Aim for colors and choose a new fruit or vegetable to mix in. Visit our Recipes page for more veggie inspiration and keep an eye on our Facebook page for more ideas. Happy eating! <br>
Staying away from fats is a strategy many people use to lose weight. However, you may actually be doing more harm than good, because there is such a thing as healthy fat and you may not be getting enough of it. Good fats help increase good cholesterol (HDL, high-density lipoprotein), deliver nutrients throughout your body, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and lower bad cholesterol (LDL, low-density lipoprotein) and triglyceride levels. It's important to understand the difference between healthy good fats vs. bad fats for maintaining proper nutrition.
While all types of fats will expand your waistline, it's best to cut the bad fats and take in the good, in moderation, of course. Fat is a fundamental part of your diet and not getting enough of it can be a detriment to your health. It is important that you are eating enough fat in your diet and to make sure you are choosing the correct fats. The recommended daily value of fat is 20-30%. So, if you are trying to lose weight (about a pound per week), you should be eating 33-50 grams of fat per day (based on a 1500 calorie menu). Now let's dive into how to tell the difference between the healthy and not-so-healthy fats.
The Good Fats
Healthy, dietary fats are unsaturated, such as polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. These good fats are the ones you want on your team when it comes to keeping your heart ticking, as they lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL (the good cholesterol) and decrease your risk of heart disease. Polyunsaturated fats are found in vegetable oils (corn, soybean, safflower) and walnuts, poultry and omega-3 fatty rich foods, such as fish (salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, tuna), flax and pumpkin/chia seeds.
Monounsaturated fat is solid when refrigerated, but liquid when on your kitchen counter. You'll find this vitamin E rich fat in foods you probably already like, such as olive oil, canola and peanut oils, olives, almonds, hazelnuts and avocados. So, pass the guacamole, please!
The Bad Fats
Bad fats include trans fats and saturated fats. These types of fats increase bad cholesterol (LDL), while decreasing good, HDL cholesterol, and ultimately increase your risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease. A mostly man-made fat, trans fat is primarily created by taking a healthy oil and turning it into a solid through a process called hydrogenation.
In the early 20th century, it was found only in vegetable shortening and margarine, but it can now be found in everything from cookies to French fries. Be sure to check food labels for "partially hydrogenated oil" to avoid trans-fat in your diet.
Saturated fat can also be considered a “bad guy.” Saturated fat occurs naturally in animal products (meat, dairy, eggs) and vegetable fats that are liquid at room temperature (palm and coconut oils). It’s best to limit saturated fats to just 10% or less of your total calories, according to the US Dietary Guidelines.
How To Spot Good & Bad Fats on Nutrition Labels
Now that we know what bad fats and good fats are, how do you ensure you are getting enough of the good, healthy fats and staying away from the less healthy stuff? A great place to start is by reading the labels of the food you are purchasing. With a few easy tricks, you will be able to decipher the healthy vs not so healthy.
On the Nutritional Facts Panel, there will be a section called Total Fat which is further broken up into saturated fat and trans fat. Ideally, you should look for foods with labels that state 0 grams of trans fat and aim for those with less than 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for saturated fat or 2 grams saturated fat per serving.
While the Nutrition Facts Panel does not include amounts of good fats from polyunsaturated/monounsaturated sources, you can read the ingredient list to look for heart-healthy fat sources like canola, corn, cottonseed, flaxseed, grape-seed, olive, peanut, soybean, and sunflower oil, as well as nuts like almonds, walnuts and peanuts, seeds that support healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
A great step on the pathway to a healthy lifestyle is understanding the ingredients in the foods you are eating. And always remember the 80/20 rule! If most of your choices include lean and low saturated fat choices, there's room for an occasional splurge in your day. Dessert- yes, please!
Healthy Fats & How We Design Our Menu
With the Jenny Craig menu, you can enjoy healthier versions of your favorite foods. Our team of nutritionists and professional chefs work to make sure that the Jenny Craig 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.
The Jenny Craig Planned Menu reflects the Dietary Guidelines for Americans* that say a healthy menu should emphasize:
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and reduced-fat dairy products
Lean proteins, including beans, fish, poultry and low-fat cuts of meat
Heart-healthy oils and nuts
The Jenny Craig Planned Menu follows expert guidelines by:
Limiting added sugars to less than 10% of total calories
Meeting or exceeding fiber recommendations
Keeping saturated fat calories to less than 10% of your daily total
*Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015, 8th Edition. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
That sweet, gooey, chocolate candy bar has you convinced you need to eat it right now. Whether it’s because you’re stressed, bored, anxious or are searching for some sort of relief, trying to cure your food craving with a handful of almonds or carrot sticks may not cut the mustard. So you cave, and for a brief moment, everything in the world is just fine. But afterwards as that candy wrapper is staring you down, you know it wasn’t just hunger, but a craving.
“That’s because cravings arise not from your stomach, but your brain–the areas that are associated with memory, pleasure and reward,” explains Lisa Talamini, Jenny Craig’s Sr. Dietitian. “And foods that are typically craved usually include a combo of fat and sugar.”
That makes chocolate, pizza and chips hard to resist, but like anything else in life, this too shall pass in about 10 minutes. Talamini suggests “surfing the urge” and controlling your sweet tooth with these 5 tips:
Say it and breathe
Say to yourself exactly what you’re feeling: “This is a craving, and it will pass.” Then, breathe. Allow yourself to go into a meditative state and search for how you’re feeling. Are you tense, bored, anxious, stressed or scared? Keep breathing, allowing yourself to then focus on how you inhale and exhale, reaching a peak and falling downward. With each breath, your craving will begin to fade and over time, with practice, you will learn how to ride your cravings out through breathing.
Talmini says to use the HALT tactic. “Beware of getting hungry, anxious, lonely, or tired–all common triggers for unplanned eating,” she explains. Recognize these cues and respond with self-care. Eat regular meals and snacks, talk to a friend and get plenty of rest.
If you just can’t give up a certain food, like chocolate, either reduce the portion or choose a lower-calorie, alternative version of the same food, such as the many food options Jenny Craig offers. If eaten slowly and mindfully, your craving will subside with the lower-calorie version and you won’t derail your weight loss journey.
Fight back against unplanned eating by keeping portable, healthy snacks with you. Try keeping a small zipped bag of heart-healthy nuts in your purse or a low-fat cheese stick and non-starchy vegetables (carrot chips, cucumber slices and mini bell peppers) in the refrigerator at work.