Here are a few things I’m not good at and/or can’t actually do: mow the lawn, BBQ meat (or anything else for that matter), get my kiddo out the door without screeching like a wounded banshee, and meal plan.
Obviously, that’s the short list, but the one that’s really the thorn in my side is the meal planning (my kid is used to me moonlighting as a banshee). I’m the person you see at the market with a full cart of cucumbers, carrots, chicken thighs, turkey bacon, milk and other things that require refrigeration and preparation, yet I feel as if time and time again I come home to grocery bags filled with snacks and breakfast items, but nothing in between.
Sort of the culinary version of all dressed up and nowhere to go, you know?!
Also, I need to diet. Now, I know we’re not supposed to “diet” anymore, we’re supposed to detox or eat clean or eat this/not that. But you know what? All of that takes PLANNING! Something I cannot do when meals, sports schedules, book club, work plans and bunco collide. So after talking over endless options with my husband (he’s very good at this, and very supportive, in a listening and nodding way that allows me to ramble on – LOVE!), I decided to go back to the one diet that has ever worked for me.
So dear Jenny, here we are, together again, battling the middle-aged bulge (previously it was the post first-year-of-marriage bulge). Jenny has changed hands over the years, but the core program is the same: 1200 calories, nutritionally balanced meals, volumetrics (free food! vegetables, but still, carrots are included and they are often the villans in a detox), and snacks.
When you hang with Jenny, nothing is off limits. True, your favorite chocolate may be a smaller portion but it’s there. Yes!
So to celebrate the kick-off of my thin-by-Thanksgiving diet plan, I concocted this smoothie that has become my go-to treat after Jazzercise. (Yes, Jazzercise, my new love.) Whether you’re on a diet or you just love protein shakes, this one is a winner. Creamy, sweet, smooth and with a bit of heat from the cinnamon. It may not be a chocolate bon bon, but your waistline will thank you for it.
P.S. I drink this in place of the Jenny Craig shakes; depending on your protein powder, this smoothie comes in at about 120 calories. I’m by no means a nutritionist, so take this Jenny-sub with a grain of salt.
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- ½ cup cold coffee or iced tea
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup ice
- Combine all ingredients into a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix.
- Blend on low, and slowly move to high speed until the ice is crushed.
- Drink immediately.