This post is written in partnership with Jenny Craig.
I've been on a weight loss journey with Jenny Craig for 12 weeks now. You can see my 12 week weight loss update here.
One thing I hear a lot from others on Jenny Craig is that it's hard to make dinner for your family and still stay on plan with Jenny Craig. I totally felt the same way the first few days! Then… I figured out the secret.
Plan your family menu based on your Jenny Craig menu.
Each week when I get my pre-planned Jenny Craig menu, I write out our family's menu.
For us, that obviously doesn't mean exactly the same meal, but the same general idea.
You should know by now how much I love pasta. Making pasta for my family to eat and not eating it myself is pretty much torture for me. So, what I'm doing now is making pasta for them if I have pasta, potatoes if I have potatoes, and rice if I have rice. It's such a simple thing to do, but I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything.
It's also been a great way to mix up our meal plan. I've been trying new dishes with Jenny Craig, so it only makes sense we'd try new dishes as a family!
The picture below is a prime example of how I'm making the family's dinner based on my Jenny Craig dinner. I had Butternut Squash Ravioli on my menu, so I made some cheese ravioli for the family and tossed it with cooked sliced sausage, green beans and carrots. The kids loved it and I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything!
Some examples of our dinner meal plan:
Jenny Craig Rotini Pasta & Meat Sauce – Pasta Bake
Jenny Craig Chicken Street Tacos – taco night!
Jenny Craig Margherita Pizza – pizza night!
Jenny Craig Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich – Cheesesteaks
Jenny Craig Chicken Fettuccine – Chicken Fettucine
Jenny Craig Szechuan Shrimp – Shrimp stir-fry
Jenny Craig Roasted Turkey Medallions – Baked Turkey
Jenny Craig Orange Chicken with Vegetables & Brown Rice – chinese take-out
Jenny Craig Butternut Squash Ravioli – Ravioli
Jenny Craig Spaghetti and Meatballs – Spaghetti and Meatballs
Jenny Craig Mesquite Chicken – BBQ Chicken
Jenny Craig Cheesy Chicken Enchilada – Enchiladas
Jenny Craig Meat Loaf with BBQ Sauce – Mini Meatloaves
Honestly, this sounds super simple, but it does work!
As a family, we're eating a ton of veggies now! I thought we ate a good amount of vegetables before, but now – wow! I eat my veggies that are included with my meal, but also the veggies that I make for the family.
Seeing my Jenny Craig meal plated really showed me how much extra we were eating before. Extra veggies (the right kind of veggies) are a good thing, but that extra meat, pasta, potatoes… not such a good thing.
My Jenny Craig consultant told me that about 80% of Jenny Craig clients like cooking. I love cooking and I know that's a big part of why I now need to lose weight. By cooking for my family, I still get to fill that need to cook. But… I also get to cook some yummy vegetable sides that we can all enjoy.
If you've been thinking about trying to lose weight with Jenny Craig, but worried about how it will work when you still need to cook for your family, I hope I helped to show you how we do it in our house!