The Good Left Undone – Adriana Trigiani

The Good Left Undone by Adriana Trigiani was published just as I was mentally preparing myself for the one-year anniversary of my mother’s passing.

My mother and I used to love talking about Adriana’s books.  As soon as we heard that one was coming out, we preordered it so we could get it on pub day.  When the book was out, we would read it and discuss it.  This was the first time I was not able to share the experience with my mother.  Though, I have to admit, I did “talk” to her about it in my head.

The Good Left Undone tells the story of Domenica Cabrielli and her family from 1920 through the present.  The story is told in flashbacks as Matelda Roffo is in the end stage of her life. 

Domenica is a headstrong young girl growing up in Viareggio, a city on the Tuscan Coast.  Her best friend Silvio is known in town as “il Bastardo” because he was born out of wedlock.  Even though it was not his fault, the townspeople treated him horribly.  When Silvio is injured by the town bully, Domenica discovers her vocation, nursing.  Due to the incident, Silvio’s mother decides that it is time to leave Viareggio and start a new life elsewhere.  On his last evening in Viareggio, Silvio finally shows his love for Domenica with a kiss.

Domenica’s work as a nurse brings her to Scotland, where she meets a sea captain and falls in love.

As World War II begins, the Italian immigrants face great distrust in their adopted country due to Mussolini’s actions. They are rounded up and sent away. Dominica’s sea captain husband is assigned to work on a ship on which the Italians are transported. What happens on this ship is based on the true story of the SS Arandora Star. Look it up. I had never heard of it.

This family story is full of happiness and tragedy and my Mom would have loved it.

I hope you will give it a try.

You can find the book at your local library, independent bookseller or at Amazon – The Good Left Undone.

Thanks for reading.

One year

It’s been one year. On the daily, I still think “I have to call Mom and tell her…” and then suffer through the gut punch that of remembering you are gone.


I still think about how we used to talk for hours about books. It hit me hard this week because one of our shared favorite authors, Adriana Trigiani, had a new book come out. Normally, you and I would have been doing a countdown to publication day. I did stop, look up, and say “don’t forget to preorder The Good Left Undone so we can start reading it together” last week. In the past I would have devoured the book so we could talk about it. To be honest, I haven’t even started reading it. I just can’t bring myself to start yet. I promise to start reading it next week. I can’t thank you enough for instilling a love of reading in me.

The year of firsts without you is over. First holidays without you. First time I was sick (yep, Covid) without calling you for advice. First Easter without a lamb cake. First Mother’s day without you. I think you get the picture.
I know we all miss you and love you, Mom.

Jenny Craig breakfast and lunch update

Good afternoon everyone! I hope that you are well.

I’ve been distracted by other things (the news, the weather…) and have not given any updates on my weight loss using Jenny Craig breakfasts and lunches. I haven’t stuck to the program as well this past week but I can proudly say that I’m down 11.5 pounds.

Some comments on the Jenny Craig meals I’ve had recently:

French Toast – It looked like one piece of French toast cut into 3 strips. It smelled so good and tasted even better. Thank goodness it was a portioned meal. I could have eaten a whole loaf of bread cooked that way.

Tortellini with Chicken – The creamy sauce and the tortellini were delicious. The chicken “pieces” were mostly grizzle. I ate around them. I wouldn’t eat this one again.

Pepperoni pizza – I’ve been surprised by how good these little pizzas are and the fact that they are filling. I will miss these once I my stash runs out.

Cheese omelette and chicken sausage – Really delicious and filling. The sausage looked a little disgusting but smelled and tasted fantastic.

I am starting to put together my own food plan based on some of the Jenny Craig foods that I’ve had. I am using the Lose It app to make a plan using calories in and calories out. The plan gives me a set amount of calories I can consume in a day and breaks it up into meals and snacks. For example, an 1900 calorie day would break down to 350 calorie breakfast, 125 calorie morning snack, 450 calorie lunch, 125 calorie afternoon snack, 700 calorie dinner, and a 150 calorie evening snack. Those are guidelines to help me plan. Here is my sample menu:

Breakfast (350 calorie budget): coffee 12 oz. – 4 cal, fat free half and half 4 Tbsp – 40 cal, 2 eggs cooked with Pam – 140 cal, Vanilla non-fat greek yogurt 3/4 cup – 120 cal, blueberries 1/2 cup – 42 cal. Breakfast total= 346 calories

Morning snack (125 calorie budget): Grapes 1 cup – 100 calories, water. Morning snack total = 100 calories

Lunch (450 calorie budget): Teriyaki chicken lettuce wrap (www.simplyrecipes.com) – 427 cal, Asian caramelized pineapple 1/2 cup (www.myrecipes.com) – 61 cal. Lunch total = 488 calories

Afternoon snack (125 calorie budget): Cranberry Almond Whenever Bar – 180 calories, water. Afternoon snack total = 180 calories

Dinner (700 calorie budget): Chicken with garlicky green beans and new potatoes – 393 cal, Klondike Bar Health English Toffee – 230 cal. Dinner total = 623 calories

Evening snack (150 calorie budget): 5 cups microwave movie theater popcorn – 150 cal, flavored seltzer – 0 cal. Evening snack total = 160 calories

Total calories for the day = 1897

I think I can do that, don’t you?

Besides eating healthier, I’ve also started going back to the gym. I don’t always enjoy going, but I always feel good after. I mostly want to increase my stamina by walking on the treadmill.

Here’s to eating healthier and moving more!

Thanks for reading!

Jenny Craig Week 1 results

I’ve been distracted and haven’t been posting my Jenny Craig food and results. I thought I’d share my results after week 1. I lost 4.8 pounds during the first week. I would have lost more if I had stuck with the menu on Saturday and Sunday.

My thoughts on the Max Up program after one week and one coach call:

1. If I am going to spend $180 a week for a program, I expect all foods on the menu to be included. I shouldn’t have to purchase your shakes separately OR go to the grocery store to purchase “snacks”. Everything should be included. This is part of why I cancelled my Max Up program.

2. If all of your advertising and marketing states that coaching is included -it should be included! During my one and only coach call, my “coach” informed me that at I am not eligible for coaching because I have chosen to have my food auto shipped. WHAT???? She said that the coaching sessions are meant to help you choose your foods and if I’m just getting what is on the weekly menu, I don’t need a coach. Basically if I can choose my own food I am on my own. Um….no. That means I would need the coaching MORE! This was the #1 reason why I discontinued the Max Up program.

3. I decided to switch to a breakfast and lunch only program. Of course, since I was downgrading my program , the website wouldn’t let me. I had to set up a whole new account using a different email. Not user friendly.

So my final thought are – the food program works. The upselling and poor experience during my coaching call were a big turn off. I will post more once my new breakfast/lunch order arrives.

Thanks for reading.

Jenny Craig Day 3 dinner and Day 4 breakfast

Last night I just was not in the mood for The Jenny Craig food that was assigned for dinner, so I thought it was a good time to experiment. I ordered 3 chicken tacos in hard shells – No CHEESE and extra salsa from Chipotle. I also had a watermelon mint mojito. How would this affect the scale in the morning??? Up .2 pounds. Totally worth it.

Back on track this morning. I didn’t get a photo because I overslept (darned mojito). breakfast was egg, cheese, and turkey sausage burrito. It was ok.

Smell/taste: C/C. Serving size:B. Ease: A

See you at lunch!

Jenny Craig Day 3 Lunch

I had a 1/4 C of mixed nuts at 11am. They were delicious

Today’s lunch is the Chicken Ranch Melt. It is quite tasty. The chicken chunks are good. I’m very picky about my frozen food chicken. I can’t stand rubbery chicken, which is usually in frozen meals. This does not have that. The cheddar ranch spread is nice. All in all, I am happy with today’s food.

Smell/taste: A/A, Serving size: B+, Ease: A+

I’m looking forward to lasagna for dinner tonight.

Thanks for reading.

Good morning! Day 3 on Jenny Craig

So, I’m down another half pound. The Jenny Craig app says that is a total of 4.9 pounds since starting on Monday. I started trying to eat healthier on 1/15/22 and have lost a total of 9.5 pounds. So, my portion control and emphasis on vegetables has been working. Yay me!

This morning’s breakfast is a Jenny Craig chocolate muffin. It is supposed to be paired with a Jenny Craig shake but they are not included in the $150+ meals. So I made my own smoothie.

Chocolate muffin

One thing I have noticed is my joint inflammation has improved greatly. This is probably a combination of losing weight and eating less of the foods that cause inflammation. I’m happy.

See you at lunch time!

Thanks for reading!

Jenny Craig Max Up Day 2

So, I’m very confused. This morning the Jenny Craig app said that I had lost 4.4 pound. Now it says I’ve lost 6.4 pounds. I’ll take either one.

Today’s food has been good, so far.

Breakfast was the Sunshine Sandwich – an egg white, Canadian bacon, and cheese on an English muffin. Smell/Taste – A, Serving size- B, Ease – A. This was a very tasty sandwich. I had some mixed nuts as a snack between breakfast and lunch. So far, I’ve stayed satisfied.

Lunch was the Margherita Pizza. IT WAS SO SMALL!!! It was very tasty. Smell/Taste: A, Serving size: C, Ease: A. I had this with a cup of lemon and ginger tea.

Stay tuned for my dinner review. I believe it is going to be Beef Stir Fry Bowl, a salad, and a S’mores Bar for dessert.

I can’t wait to weigh myself tomorrow morning! I don’t think I have EVER said that in my life.

Onward and downward (instead of upward!)

Thanks for reading!