You are waiting…

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Many people ask me about the CK Challenge and many are hesitant to commit. I get it. It’s a large chunk of change that you are investing in a program you haven’t experienced yet. So you do the cheapest route and wait, maybe just buy the CK cookbook. But in reality, you don’t need more healthy recipes, you need a change of heart and mind that only a learned lesson can give you.

I find most people are in this “waiting” period. Is there ever going to be the best time to rearrange your normal habits? Sorry, nope. There is never going to be a time you are “not busy” or “have more time” to devote to the change. Life keeps going and will stay the same no matter what, unless you intervene.

Waiting for the right time to invest in your body and health is the same as saying “I don’t care enough to change right now.” That may be a little harsh, but it’s the honest truth. You will care later in life. I understand sometimes health takes a backseat to other obstacles in our lives, but choosing to eat a plant over a donut has nothing to do with whether or not you had a bad day. And it takes nothing but a choice to choose water over sweet tea at lunch. Small choices add up, so do not think to be “healthy” you have to do everything right. I certainly have made a lot of mistakes, but I count those a lessons learned that made me better in the long run. Personally, I believe it would best to not get a point in your life where you regret not taking care of your health.

You have the chance now, no matter your age. Anyone in any situation can benefit from learning healthy lifestyle habits. There are a lot of “experts” and programs out there that promise results. You can get results doing just about anything. But the real question is, are those going to be short-term results or a long-term lifestyle? The CK Challenge has one goal: to make you self-sufficient and make sure you truly understand a realistic view of health and what you can achieve as a normal-working-everyday-type of person that can’t spend 2 hours a day in the gym or in the kitchen—not a professional athlete or model you see on social media. I believe with all my being everyone should go through the CK Challenge, not for the success of the program, but because I know how it changes people. Truly. Now is your time so don’t let this pass…again.

– Coach Jamie

Pictured above is my (Jamie) March 2011 “before” picture.  Before I started my journey. Before I knew what I know now. Before I even dreamed that one day I could coach someone else to try to be better. I am so proud of this before picture. I only wish I had more pictures to remind me how far I have come.

These are Coach Stephanie’s before and after pictures, 6 months apart, from 5 years ago. Technically, Coach Stephanie was my “first” CK Client before there was ever a Clean Kitchen!

Winter 2018 Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge starts on January 21! Registration closes on Jan 19.

Belinda Teston: The Slump

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By Belinda Teston

I was in a perpetual slump.  I worked out at Versus Strength & Conditioning at least 3 times a week and I had heard about Clean Kitchen program, but lacked confidence in my ability to actually do it.  I have done gym challenges where I would lose weight but then sadly, gained it back slowly. I did not realize that I was sabatoging my own progress by not really changing what counts…my habits.

My fast-food ritual of eating made me feel sane in this crazy world.  I had become comfortable with my unhealthy eating habits. These eating habits had developed by convenience and stress, which in-turn, caused my excess body fat to go up and my self-confidence dropped. I would rationalize my reasons for overeating.  Pigging-out was a way to self-medicate my tension. I felt like I needed these foods and that I deserved to eat these foods even though I knew they were doing to me.

Then Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge absolutely changed my life. 

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Chelsey Everett: Enlightenment

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By Chelsey Everett

Years of emotional eating, anxiety, and depression combined with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome led to me being over twice what a normal weight for my height and age should be. I was always a bigger kid, I had kind of accepted that; but when my mom passed away from complications of diabetes and heart disease, food immediately became my comfort and my shield.

My life before Clean Kitchen

 What I thought was a total breakdown in 2014, ended up being a breakthrough. I was getting up at 3:30 in the morning to go to the gym, taking my dad to work, going to work as a graduate assistant, then going to work a part time job. After a full day, I would go pick my dad up, and then complete graduate school work until at least midnight. This was my normal Monday through Friday schedule, which caused intense stress. Because of all this stress, I started having panic attacks, complete with chest pains, heart palpitations, dizziness, and pain in my arms; I thought I was having a heart attack.

I ended up in the emergency room twice because of a panic attack only to be told I was fine and given Xanax to calm down. I never knew if the next panic attack I had would really be a heart attack. My diet definitely wasn’t helping. I was usually skipping breakfast or grabbing something from a drive thru. I almost always worked through lunch only to hit up another drive thru after work or just eat entirely too much at dinner.

I realized I was not even 24 years old and too young to feel this way. I was only 10 years younger than my mom was when she passed away and I knew I couldn’t continue to live like that. I thought that maybe I just needed a different workout routine.

I hired a personal trainer and started working out 3-4 times a week. My trainer was beyond phenomenal. I thought I should be able to eat what I want and workout and be fine, right? So wrong. I never lost a pound… and I was pissed. I became severely depressed causing me not to care about school work or either of my jobs. I would only allow myself one meal a day and, while I lost weight, I felt terrible. My hair was falling out, I wasn’t sleeping, I was still constantly anxious and I was honestly tired of trying. I knew I had to do something, but I didn’t know what that something was.

I found Clean Kitchen and everything changed.

After months of trying almost everything under the sun, Clean Kitchen entered my life and completely changed my view on food, weight loss, and living a healthy lifestyle. The program taught me to use food is fuel and not therapy. It taught me that I can be that person who cooks meals at home that are not only healthy, but also taste delicious; that I can be the person who brings a lunch to work every day instead of eating out; and that I can be the person who makes better choices because they care about their health and want to live a long, healthy life. Clean Kitchen taught me that eating healthy is easier when you can say “I don’t want that” instead of “I can’t have it.” The 12 Week program isn’t about deprivation at all. It is about enlightenment. The Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge teaches you how to plan and prepare for normal life situations. Whether you’re working late, have an event come up, or just don’t feel like cooking.

In 12 weeks, I lost 43 lbs. and over 40 inches, but I gained so much more. If you are on the fence about doing something, do THIS. You will have a completely changed outlook for the rest of you life!

SIGN UP HERE

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Italian Sausage Meatballs

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One of my favorite meals are the meatballs at Branch in Hattiesburg, MS. This recipe was inspired by that meal! But cooked in my Instapot for 15 minutes! The meatballs are also perfect for using two different ways, one for mom and one for the rest of the non-compliant members of the house. For my meal, I paired my meatballs with a simple side salad. For my son and husband, I made meatball subs toasted in the oven with melted mozzarella cheese! It was a hit and will be in heavy rotation in this house.

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A Christmas Brunch

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My family and I are starting a new tradition, Christmas Eve Brunch, and I think it is a fantastic idea! And though we will have some not-so-CK-food items, there is still a way to sneak some CK Recipes in there that are just as tasty! So if you are trying to lessen the damage done by the holidays without sacrificing taste, here are some ideas you can use for your Christmas morning breakfast — or brunch! Find more brunch ideas in Clean Kitchen: The Cookbook!

Raspberry Muffins

Cookie Wreath Fruit Pizza

Pumpkin Pancakes

Protein Banana Bread

CK Turkey Breakfast Sausage

Balsamic Potato Hash

Spicy Shrimp & Sausage

Walnut Butter and Apples

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Cookie Wreath Fruit Pizza

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My mother is accredited with this beautiful creation! Its a fruit pizza recipe re-vamp! Having just completed the Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge herself, she took on re-vamping a cookie recipe to make a fruit pizza for a holiday party. It was fantastic and beautiful! Even the kids gobbled this one up. We did make some tweaks to her cookie recipe by replacing 1.5 cups of almond flour with oat flour to cut down on some of the fat. If you only have almond flour, then by all means just use that. Let us know how yours turns out!

By Lorraine Siders

Cookie ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1  1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Icing ingredients – mix together and set aside.

  • 1 (8 oz) pkg Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese, softened
  • About 1/4 cup of granulated Truvia sugar substitute
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 teaspoons of lemon or lime juice

Fruit topping:

  • strawberry
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • kiwi
  • fresh mint to garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Line a pizza pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat egg until frothy, add coconut oil, honey, and vanilla.  Mix well.
  4. Add baking soda, oat and almond flour and mix until combined.
  5. Take the dough and flatten it with your hands on the parchment paper lined pizza pan. The dough was a little sticky, just do your best. It is going to be covered with icing and fruit anyway!
  6. I then used a large round drinking glass to cut out the inner ring.  Added the inner ring portion back into the newly shaped “wreath” on all sides.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are golden brown.
  8. Cool completely before adding your cream cheese icing mixture.
  9. Arrange fruit on top of your cream cheese mixture.  We used strawberry, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and kiwi. Add fresh mint to garnish.

Enjoy!