Last month, I had an amazing opportunity to fly to New York City to speak at a Jenny Craig event.
Yes, you heard that right… Can you even believe it? Truly, I couldn’t believe it either.
I left Denver after work on Tuesday night, catching a late flight completely excited to see that skyline! I had visited New York City briefly back in 2003, but had only spent four hours in the city. Truthfully, it had intimidated me a bit every since. And, even heading back to NYC on that Tuesday, I was nervous. Would I be comfortable? I really didn’t know, but I was excited to get there to test the waters.
This had been a summer of yes, a summer of happy. So, how could a city of 8.4 million people be scary? Surprisingly, it wasn’t.
My friends at Jenny Craig made arrangements for me to stay at the Hyatt Times Square… a perfect spot for a girl who wanted to see the bright lights of the city. I loved it!
When the car brought me to the hotel at 1230 AM, it seemed like a bad idea to just go to bed. So, I went to Bar 54 at the top of the Hyatt… NYC’s Highest Rooftop Lounge.
And, that $23 cocktail (wow!) was my entry into their rooftop patio… and this gorgeous view.
While I chatted it up with a few folks on the roof, I quickly realized what a big day I had ahead of me… and while this city never sleeps, I decided I needed to.
As for the next day, I didn’t have to meet up with anyone until 3pm… so I set out to explore the city!
I. Loved. It. Seriously, I loved everything. I loved the busy-ness of it all. I loved the people and all the tall skyscrapers. I loved it.
To me, it was so incredibly beautiful too… such a treat to be walking in this fabulous city on a random Wednesday! While I mostly just walked, took pictures, and gawked at how ridiculous it was that I hadn’t visited sooner… I also popped into a few places to do a little shopping…
I tried on a few things at Zara, which I love and we don’t have in Denver. I perused the Farmers’ Market near the Rock which had the most beautiful heirloom tomatoes that I wanted to buy, but certainly wouldn’t have time to eat. And, I peeked at the Henri Bendel flagship store to drool over their leather goods (and disqualify a bag I’d been dreaming of buying.)
I only stopped in places that I couldn’t visit in Denver…. and really had a blast out there. Getting a little nervous for the afternoon, I headed back to the Hyatt to get ready for the evening event.
Jenny Craig had planned an amazing evening for editors and bloggers in the New York area to introduce the new Fall Food line. The event was held at the Institute of Culinary Education in Battery Park. The perfect location for this night of cooking! And, we got a peek of the beautiful Freedom Tower!
The whole evening focused on teaching the attendees more about Jenny’s volumizing strategies. I’ve shared with you guys about volumizing for years, as it’s been a HUGE key to my success on the program. So, to have the opportunity to volumize LIVE with the Jenny team was amazing.
The evening kicked off with a brief cooking class led by Chef Cheryl from the institute and Lisa, Jenny Craig’s resident dietitian. I loved hearing their tips for how to volumize your dishes to make them more filling and rich with vegetables. They even shared a few plating tips that I’ve been incorporating into my cooking… Thanks, ladies!
Then it was time for the fun part: volumizing!!! Everyone had an opportunity to try their hands at volumizing the new Jenny foods, and honestly… they did such a fantastic job!
Yes… that’s Jenny Craig food! Don’t these plates look fantastic!!?
After the chefs had worked their magic, it was my turn to speak…
Jenny Craig had asked me to spend a few minutes talking about my weight loss story, how I lost 70 lbs on their program, and to introduce the Jenny Craig Simple Inspirations Recipe contest! Amongst friends: There’s nothing more fun than having a chance to speak about this journey. Such an honor to be asked to join this team for the event and a true pleasure to have an opportunity to address the editors and bloggers in attendance! Such fun!!
Afterward, we all dined on the delicious Jenny fall food line. There were several dishes that I had yet to try (the pot roast and the italian pasta bake!) and I had a chance to sample them – – So good! And, everyone in attendance will be receiving a package containing all the new foods to enjoy! So, I’ll be dining on the whole line very soon.
Special thanks to these fabulous ladies from Jenny Craig who quickly made me feel part of the team and hosted me during my time in NYC. It was so nice to meet all of you in person!
I also adored meeting the amazing Jenny Hacks. A self-proclaimed Manhattan foodie who is losing weight on the program while transforming the Jenny Craig foods into art, I loved having the chance to chat with Arielle! Follow her on Instagram, y’all. Her food creations are GORGEOUS.
And… let’s talk about this lady. My Brooklyn-based, Zumba-leading, fellow Fitbloggin sister, I was thrilled to have a chance to catch up with Nellie from Brooklyn Active Mama. Having her smiling face in the crowd put me at ease. It’s always nice to have “family” around for these big moments in life. Read Nellie’s recap of the evening here.
Last but most certainly not least… I’m incredibly grateful to this city. I’ve fallen in love with NYC. It happened, and in less than 48 hours. I’ll be back, NYC… and I can’t wait!!
Disclaimer: My trip to NYC was sponsored by Jenny Craig; however, all of the opinions and comments about the program are exclusively my own and do not necessarily represent that of the brand.