Jenny Volumizing: Pepperoni Pizza Fantastico

I’ve been raving about the new Jenny Craig foods for the past few weeks on Instagram and here on the ol’ blog.  They’re just THAT good!

The dish I’ve grown the most attached to is the new pizza.  Just when I thought I couldn’t love a pizza more than the former Rising Crust Pizza, Jenny introduced the new Pepperoni and Margherita lunch pizzas.

In true NTTC fashion, I’ve figured out a way to transform this awesome pizza into an even more amazing version of itself.

Pepperoni Pizza Fantastico | No Thanks to Cake

I’ve always believed in baking frozen pizzas over nuking them in the microwave.  Seriously, take the extra time and dirty a baking pan… it’s worth it every time.  The “FANTASTICO” comes from the fact that this pizza is so delicious, it doesn’t taste as thought it’s a healthier version of anything…

Note:  I’ll also add that this recipe can be applied any of your favorite frozen pizzas, adjusting the baking time as needed to melt all the cheese and brown the crust.  

Pepperoni Pizza Fantastico

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

Pepperoni Pizza Fantastico | No Thanks to Cake

1 package Jenny Craig Pepperoni Pizza

1 wedge Laughing Cow Cheese – Garlic & Herb flavor

diced onions

shredded spinach

banana peppers

diced tomatoes

Williams-Sonoma Pizza Seasoning

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Remove pizza from the packaging and place on a pizza pan.  Spread with one wedge Laughing Cow Cheese.

Pepperoni Pizza Fantastico | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Layer with your favorite toppings: diced onions, banana peppers, diced tomatoes, and shredded spinach.

Pepperoni Pizza Fantastico | No Thanks to Cake

Pepperoni Pizza Fantastico | No Thanks to Cake

Pepperoni Pizza Fantastico | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Bake at 400 degrees for 14 minutes until pizza is golden brown along the edges.

Pepperoni Pizza Fantastico | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Remove to a cutting board to cool.  Slice and serve!

Pepperoni Pizza Fantastico | No Thanks to Cake

Enjoy!!!

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Strong Reactions to Simple Questions

So… something crazy has been happening for the past few weeks.  I may ramble a little here, but it’s important for me to get this out.  Thanks for hanging in there…

By now, you guys know I lost the bulk of my weight on the Jenny Craig program.  I joined in desperation.  I joined to try something new, and thankfully, it WORKED.

Before-After Rockstar | No Thanks to CakeOver the past year and I half, I’ve moved away from the Jenny program.  I don’t eat their food as part of a structured Jenny Craig food plan, but I do work them into my weekly meal planning.  I don’t do consultations with them on Saturday mornings anymore.  Instead, I stop in just about every week to pick up food.  There are several foods that have become staples to me, and from a convenience perspective, keeping them in my freezer makes sense.

My picky and always-in-a-morning-hurry self loves to pop the JC Cinnamon Rolls in the microwave in the morning before work.  A breakfast that takes 27 seconds to make, is well… my kind of breakfast, especially when it has cinnamon and rolls in the title.

Jenny Craig Cinnamon Rolls | No Thanks to Cake

Regardless, I’ve found a way to maintain my weight by eating half on the program and half off.  This makes it possible for me to grab lunch with customers throughout the week, while eating JC Stuffed Shells for convenience on the days when I’m in the office.  For me, it’s a great mix.

So… something’s been happening when I’ve been doing my “grocery shopping” at my local Jenny Craig location on Saturday mornings.  There’s a new consultant who’s been asking a lot of questions… and asking in a way that just hasn’t been resonating well with me.

“Can we get you on the scale?”

Can you tell me exactly why you don’t come in for consultations?”

Do you know your weight?”

Are you formally on maintenance?”

This sounds like pretty normal chatter for a visit to a weight loss center… but the fact that she’s so insistent has been FLYING ALL OVER ME.  That’s Southern talk for annoying the heck out of me.

Again, this consultant is doing her job.  She is asking the questions she has been trained to ask.  The questions that she’s been guided to ask to benefit her clients most… but to me, I’m reacting as though it is an accusation, an accusation that I need to do more, be more, and lose weight.

It’s been two weeks in a row of considering walking out of Jenny Craig forever, and even with thoughts of stomping out and leaving all those beautiful cinnamon rolls behind, I haven’t.  In each situation, I avoided her questions (much to her dismay) and convinced her to just let me pay and go. In each case, I walked out, feeling defeated, head hung low, and just wanting to cry.   Again, my reaction to this lady doing her job.

This week, I chatted with one of the other consultants regarding the situation… indicating that I was just wanting to buy food for now and asking if we could lower the pressure for a while.  And, in that small little office, I started to cry again.

I hadn’t cried about my weight in some time, and it’s amazing that it always seems to happen in that same office.   With the centre director when I joined, with Amalia (I’m sure I cried with her – love that gal!), and now again this week with Crystal.  As I cried, the words that poured out were my truth (Cue the waterworks): I’m tired.  I’ve focused so hard for the past four years on losing weight, and I just want to be okay with living for a while.  For now, living means I buy food to have on hand, just like I would at the grocery store.  Some days I eat Jenny, and some days I eat Subway; other days I may cook a full meal at the house.  

Crystal was AWESOME, and she totally got where I was at… and she told me to just let her know if/when I’m ready to try to lose again and she and the team would be happy to help.  Love that response!  Until then, she took my order for 7 cinnamon rolls and 4 stuffed shells, and I headed out.

When I look a little closer at my reaction, I realize the consultant who I struggled with for the past few weeks was simply verbalizing the things I ask myself every single day.  I’m really trying to lighten up on myself in the area of self-criticism, especially in the area of weight loss.  In these moments, it was like all my own thoughts and judgment were spewing out from a stranger, a stranger that doesn’t know how hard I’ve worked to get to where I am, and a stranger who had no intention of pushing my buttons like she did.

I wish I could just smile and step on the scale for her, but I just don’t want to right now.  I’ve worked my butt off to lose 60+ lbs over the past four years… and one day, I’ll lose that extra 15 that I’m carrying that I have on my “to-do” list.

For right now, I’m filling my to-do list with things like making plans to see the Cartier exhibit that’s coming to Denver, planning a CAbi Party for later in the month, and knitting a capelet to wear when it gets cold.  Eating healthy and losing weight are always on the list, but in all honestly, they’ve become a given, and are just how I live… frankly, they don’t even make the paper list anymore.

I absolutely know that there will never be a day where I can just eat anything in sight.  That’s not who I am, nor what my body needs.  I’ll always have to be cognizant of what goes in, and I’ve made peace with that… it’s the judgment I’m trying to curb, both internal and external, and man, it’s just not easy.

So, you too might have been wondering when I’m going to share my weight again or to talk specifically about weight loss.  To be honest, I really don’t know.  All I can tell you is that as soon as it happens, you guys will be the first to know… and that in the meantime, I’m working on maintenance and being nice to myself about it.

Thank you to each of you for (albeit virtually) standing beside me on this journey, for celebrating my successes, and listening to my woes.  It’s all a part of the process… and the details are what make them real and what make the process continue.  Even this specific moment contains learning, I just know it… xoxo

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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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