Meal Planning and Jenny News

Looking back at the past two weeks, I’m pretty proud for how I’ve been eating.  The planning has been HUGE for me… and while I made an awesome list of foods that I would be eating, I got a little distracted…. by pizza.

First this one…

Jenny Craig Pepperoni Pizza | No Thanks to Cake

And then this one…

Jenny Craig Margherita Pizza | No Thanks to Cake

While I had a perfectly detailed plan set forth, I got distracted by the tasty, cheesy goodness that was this pizza.

Here’s the part that just might blow your mind.  Both of those pizzas above… they’re Jenny Craig pizzas!  Cooked in the microwave for 1 minute 45 seconds, and topped with my new favorite pizza seasoning from William Sonoma.

Jenny Craig launched several new foods this month, and everything I’ve tasted has been incredible… like SERIOUSLY incredible.  While I know that these foods easily fit into my meal plan, the cheesy goodness of pizzas like this make me question myself and even take a second look at the box.

Pepperoni Pizza | No Thanks to Cake

Truth be told, I ate these pizzas (the Pepperoni and the Margherita) for lunch and dinner for two days in a row…. until they were gone.  This weekend, I went back to Jenny to get more of these treats and to see what other choices had shown up!

Baja Style Quesadilla | No Thanks to Cake

The quesadilla… it’s REALLY good too.  The updated Jenny menu is rounded out with a new Breakfast Burrito, a Cherry Chocolate Walnut Breakfast Bar, and all the recurring Pumpkin treats that make their way back each fall:  Pumpkin Cakes and Pumpkin Cranberry Mini-Loaf.  My freezer is bursting with all the new products, and an overload of pizzas!!

New Jenny Craig Foods | No Thanks to Cake

I’ve written before MANY times about my experience on Jenny Craig:  How I got started, the volumizing recipes that kept me going, and why I still lean on the program heavily today.  In light of the new foods and how GOOD they are, I feel like it’s time again to write a little bit about this fantastic program that helped me to shed 60+ lbs over the past four years.

Jenny Craig Progress Pictures | No Thanks to Cake

I know that there are many of you out there who are THINKING ABOUT what your next step is going to be, many of you that are LOOKING to find a program that will help you finally lose the weight.  For me, Jenny was that program.

Before-After | No Thanks to Cake

I’d attempted to lose weight many, many times… and found myself falling back to my old habit.  Cheating on Weight Watchers, sneaking carbs while on the low carb diet, and ultimately… punishing myself for not getting with the program.

In an effort to end the madness, I decided to try something completely different… something that few of my friends had tried… something that would have me looking at my meal plan in a completely different way. So in November 2010, I began my Jenny journey.

Before - After | No Thanks to Cake

I leaned on my consultants for support, eliminated all the trigger foods from my kitchen, and started to re-introduce physical activity into my life.   It didn’t happen overnight, but it happened… and during the time when I lost the most, I was traveling 3 weeks a month, living out of hotels.  And, I still made it work.

And, if you’ve read my blog for any period of time…. you should know by now that I LOVE GOOD FOOD and have a very picky palate.  Again, I’ve totally made it work.

Before-After Rockstar | No Thanks to Cake

Every day, I’m thankful I made the choice to call Jenny.  Every day, I’m grateful for how far I’ve come.  It is for that reason, I’m sharing my story with you today.

Jenny Craig is actually running a “Pay It Forward” referral promotion right now through 12/31/14.  If you happened to get inspired by this post and by my journey and head to Jenny, tell them Kelly Guy sent you!  Getting referred to the program allows you to get $25 in free food, and telling them I sent you gets me $25 in food too!   We both win! :)

Jenny Craig Pay It Forward | No Thanks to Cake

Knowing how much my life has changed since joining, how much I love where I’m at today, I couldn’t resist once again sharing my story… and talking about how I got here.  With the introduction of the new foods I mention above, the program has gotten EVEN BETTER.  If you haven’t tried Jenny, I encourage you to give it a try…. she’ll take good care of you.

Progress Pictures | No Thanks to Cake

Note:  Jenny Craig did not compensate me in any way for this post.  Instead, I am wildly inspired by their tasty new menu items and wanted to share the news.  

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3 Things I Learned from Menu Planning

After a summer of eating out, grilling out, and spending time on vacation, I used labor day weekend as an opportunity to get my “life” back in order.  

I woke up on Labor Day feeling out of sorts.  In my head, I had deemed September 1st “the first day of the rest of my life.”  And, as an important “start-over” date.  Despite all these great intentions, I just felt nervous.

Would I be able to stay on “plan” this time?  

Would I be able to curb my night-time eating that had been spinning out of control?

How would I incorporate all my work-related dining out activities?

Could I make this work again?

In the midst of all the fears that were running through my head, I realized more than anything that I didn’t have a plan.  I did what any girl in 2014 does, I jumped on Pinterest to find a meal planning resource that would help me along my way.  First and foremost, I wanted to decide what it was that I would be eating for the next week, and food-prep the crap out of my Monday afternoon.

I found several different meal planners out there, some that tracked daily meals, many that focused on family dinners, and only one that tracked all the meals and snacks I wanted to plan.  This one ended up being my favorite, and I have plans to create my own on a rainy day.  We’ll see…

In filling out the squares last week, a lot of lightbulbs went off and I learned more than I ever could have imagine.

3 Things I Learned from Menu Planning | No Thanks to Cake
1.  Without a plan, I had no plan.

We’ve all heard that saying “failure to plan is planning to fail.”  When you write everything down that you plan to eat on paper, you realize this very quickly.  I quickly began to reflect upon how previous weeks had gone.  I had to make healthy choices every single day, and competing with those healthy choices were their unhealthy cousins… unhealthy meals.

I was counting on my will-power to help me make it through the week.  When co-workers asked me to join them for lunch, I could easily say yes… because I was hungry.  I hadn’t had a snack all morning and was ready to eat anything I could find.  When friends suggested dinner out, I didn’t have a plan otherwise… so, why not join them for Mexican food?  And, then, sitting at the table, I’d have to once again make healthy decisions.  To stay on my “virtual” plan, I’d need to muster up the willpower to skip the chips and salsa, and to forgo the quesadillas in lieu of a simple grilled chicken salad.  Sometimes I did well, other times, not so much.

In the end, there were too many decisions to be made every single day, and too many opportunities to slip up.  With a concrete plan in place, I found myself with structure, convenience, and peace of mind.  I’m not saying I executed the plan perfectly, but I was about 150% better than weeks without a plan!

2.  My kitchen was snack-deficient.

By the time I filled out my meal plan, I had already gone grocery shopping for the week.  Now, I was sure I had healthy foods busting out of my fridge and cupboards; however, when I looked at the food I had planned to eat, I found out very quickly that I was completely deficient in the snack department, and I made plans to correct it immediately.

Why are snacks important?  Because in those moments where you get hungry, you define your day.  Do you reach for a bag of carrots and Laughing Cow cheese (a favorite snack of mine) or do you start digging through the cupboard for something-anything that might be tasty?

I had healthy snacks on hand to get me through maybe Wednesday, but I needed snacks for a full seven days.  Outlining what I would eat each day shone a flashlight on the situation and helped me make sure that I had plenty of snacks on-hand, pre-packaged, and ready to go.

Food Prep | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Having a Plan Reduces Stress

Overall, I felt much less stressed throughout the week when it came to making healthy decisions.  I was able to anticipate the needs that came up throughout the week, both planned and unplanned.  I was able to travel out of town and stay completely on-plan with oatmeal from home and a build-your-own salad at a pizza place.

Meal Prep | No Thanks to Cake

My schedule is also nuts.  By the time I get home, I’m tired and hungry.  Having a plan of what was for dinner… and having those foods on-hand and ready to eat/prepare made things so much easier!  And, again, kept me on track…

I felt at-ease, knowing that this area was all planned out… all week long!  One less things to worry about!

I’m going into the this week and have once again written up my plan.  It may change a little bit.  I may eat Subway on Tuesday, and eat chicken on Monday.  Who knows… but I’ll stay within this framework and make good decisions.

3 Things I Learned from Menu Planning | No Thanks to Cake

Mostly, I’ve got all the foods I’ve outlined in my home… prepped and ready to go.  Even if I hit 80% to this plan, I’d call that a win!  I love the feeling of being prepared to be healthy for the week, and I plan on doing just that!

Have you considered meal planning? 

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Jenny Volumizing: Cinnamon Roll French Toast

When I first started the Jenny Craig program almost four years ago now, I utilized a lot of the tools on their website to help me adapt to the program.  Not only were they pages of information about the program, success stories to inspire me, but there were also community forums to leverage.

The community forums were actually one of the first places I ever talked about my blog.  My “online journal” I’d started wasn’t anything that I really intended on sharing… but this community seemed a great place to share my story, and everyone was so supportive!

I still stop into the forums from time to time now… to read about how my online friends are proceeding on their Jenny journey, to share NTTC stories, and to pick up new ideas and inspiration.  I sure lucked out when I ran into this inspiration.

Jenny Volumizing: Cinnamon Roll French Toast | No Thanks to Cake

In a word, YUM!  A simple, simple recipe that transforms Jenny’s delicious cinnamon rolls into an amazing french toast.  If you’re on the Jenny program, this is a MUST try!  If you’re not on the Jenny program, the same approach can be applied to your favorite cinnamon roll.

The Jenny Craig Cinnamon Roll has been my favorite on-plan breakfast for a LONG time now.  And, I’m loving the ability to mix things up a little bit with this breakfast.  Cooking them in a griddle makes them have amazingly caramelized edges, while retaining their chewy goodness…. Best.  Jenny.  Breakfast.  EVER.

Cinnamon Roll French Toast

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

Jenny Volumizing: Cinnamon Roll French Toast | No Thanks to Cake

1 package of Jenny Craig Cinnamon Rolls

1 egg white, separated

2 Tbsp. skim milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

cooking spray

1 Tbsp. sugar-free syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Cook your frozen cinnamon rolls for 10 seconds in the microwave.  Remove packaging.  Note:  Resist temptation to eat the cinnamon rolls immediately…

Jenny Volumizing: Cinnamon Roll French Toast | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Slice in half horizontally.

Jenny Volumizing: Cinnamon Roll French Toast | No Thanks to Cake

3.  In a small bowl, whisk together milk, egg white and vanilla.

Jenny Volumizing: Cinnamon Roll French Toast | No Thanks to Cake

Jenny Volumizing: Cinnamon Roll French Toast | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Preheat a skillet or griddle to medium heat, prepared with cooking spray.

5. Meanwhile, prepare the cinnamon rolls.  Coat each piece of the cinnamon rolls with the milk mixture.

Jenny Volumizing: Cinnamon Roll French Toast | No Thanks to Cake

6.  Place the rolls on the skillet, cut side down.

Jenny Volumizing: Cinnamon Roll French Toast | No Thanks to Cake

7.  Cook for about 1 minute on each side, until egg mixture is cooked and taking care not to burn the cinnamon.

Jenny Volumizing: Cinnamon Roll French Toast | No Thanks to Cake

8.  Remove rolls to a plate and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar, if desired.

Jenny Volumizing: Cinnamon Roll French Toast | No Thanks to Cake

Jenny Volumizing: Cinnamon Roll French Toast | No Thanks to Cake

Jenny Volumizing: Cinnamon Roll French Toast | No Thanks to Cake

9.  Add 1 Tbsp. sugar-free syrup if desired.  Dig in, and enjoy!!

Jenny Volumizing: Cinnamon Roll French Toast | No Thanks to Cake

Jenny Volumizing: Cinnamon Roll French Toast | No Thanks to Cake

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If you love this recipe for volumizing with Jenny Craig cuisine, click here to see my full list of volumizing recipes!

Jenny Craig Volumizing Recipes Collection | No Thanks to Cake

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Jenny Volumizing: Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

One of the great things about having a weight loss blog is that I get to hear from a lot of you!  Whether you are just getting started, on the Jenny Craig program, or just stopping by to say hello, your messages are ALWAYS appreciated!  Thank you so much for reading and for saying hello!

Every once in a while, I get a message from one of my Jenny friends with a new volumizing idea… and that’s exactly where the inspiration for today’s recipe came from!  Check out Lexie’s email below…

Email from Reader Lexie | No Thanks to Cake

I share her email, as it’s just another example of how inspiration goes BOTH WAYS!  Receiving a note like this is INCREDIBLY inspiring to me, and reminds me that this is not just my journey… we’re in this together!

So, thank you, Lexie, for saying hello, keeping this girl motivated, and giving me an amazing lunch to eat on Sunday, while staying fiercely on plan.  Check it out below…

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

I made a few variations to Lexie’s original recipe, but a few things remain the same:  you’ve got the spicy goodness of buffalo sauce, a little light ranch to cool it down, and a MUCH more filling version of the Jenny Craig Grilled Chicken Sandwich to enjoy!

Try my version or Lexie’s… either way, y’all are in for a treat!

Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

1 package Jenny Craig Grilled Chicken Sandwich entree

1/4 cup shredded lettuce (I used butter lettuce)

2 tsp. light ranch

1 Tbsp. buffalo sauce (I used Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic flavor)

2 cherry tomatoes, sliced

salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Prepare the chicken per the package instructions in the microwave.  Defrost the bun for 20 seconds, between a layer of paper towels.

2.  Remove the chicken to a cutting board and finely dice.

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Place in a small bowl and toss with buffalo sauce.

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

4.  In another small bowl, combine the lettuce and ranch.  Add freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Toast your bun on low in a toaster.

6.  Slice your tomatoes, and place them on your freshly toasted bun.  Top with salt and pepper, if desired.

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

7.  Carefully add your chicken with a spoon.  Note:  This will make a voluminous sandwich, so stack carefully!

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

8.  Add the lettuce mixture to the top of the bun.

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

9.  Build your sandwich and get ready to be wow’ed!  Note: I cut my sandwich into two pieces to make it easier to eat.  I also kept a napkin handy… which I totally needed!

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

Jenny Volumizing:  Chopped Buffalo Chicken Sandwich | No Thanks to Cake

 

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