Whitney Walton

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Well, you know how you pray for a sign, and the sign he is giving you isn’t really one you want to explore? Yea, that was me with the Clean Kitchen Challenge. 

Treadmills, ellipticals, and weighted hula-hoops OH MY! This was my idea of health before my life with Clean Kitchen and Versus Strength and Conditioning.

Let’s not even get started on the endless weight loss attempts I’ve tried. From Weight Watchers to the Southbeach diet, I tried it all. Nothing worked… Well let’s rephrase that, I didn’t care for it to work. 

In my mind I was always meant to be the girl with “big bones” and a “fluffy tire” around my waist that was too uncoordinated to walk on a flat surface without tripping on air. I had always been the heavy girl and constantly struggled with my weight. So, trying the new health fad seemed like a hopeless loss. I knew it would work for a little while.. but then what? Old habits would sink in and I’d find myself repeating the same toxic lifestyle. 

Since beginning my Clean Kitchen Challenge I have lost 50 pounds and have gone down 4 pant sizes. 

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Karla Durr

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There has never been a time when I did not struggle with my weight. 

Before starting Clean Kitchen and Versus, I had tried everything under the sun and had some success, but the weight always came back. Throughout high school and college, I was eating out constantly and doing whatever I wanted without thinking about how it was affecting my body.

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Coconut Curry Soup

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I am obsessed with this soup. Seriously. Not only is it dairy free, but it is oh-so-comforting. Even better, you can use this coconut curry broth as a base for what ever else you would like to add to it—noodles, shrimp, chicken, more veggies. It really does not matter what veggies or protein you add in!

I’ve made this with the bare minimum as listed below, and I have also added tons of stuff as pictured above. Use what you want and leave out what you don’t want! The real star of the show is the broth so do not skip on any of the base ingredients!

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Fall 2019 Client Progress Photos

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Looking through these pictures you may be thinking, “I need to get on that plan” or “I need what they are taking.”

“That plan” is not something we give you. We actually help you build it for yourself. Ever heard the saying, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime?” Well, that’s the concept here. We actually care that you learn these skills because it will serve you for a lifetime.

And what “they are taking” is nothing but good food and some good sleep habits. We do not want our clients to rely on supplements or gimmick plans. That is not what was intended for your body and health. The sooner you accept that the sooner you can really start to change for good.

What you see here are the results of a little more awareness of what is really going on, a little more effort in changing some lifestyle habits, and getting in an autopilot-groove of the habits. The action steps we coach are the foundation to what your health could become.

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Winter Squash Guide

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Fall is here and so are the seasonal produce! Are you a little intimidated by cooking with those big beautiful squashes? You shouldn’t be. Once you know what they are and how yummy these guys can be, you’ll be making your weekly meal plan all season with them!

Most squash are delicious if you have time to roast them and let the natural sugars caramelize. Depending on size of the pieces you cook, most are good to roast around 400 degrees for 45 minutes.

Splitting them open and scooping the seeds out is the hardest part, so if you want to skip that part just cook them in a pressure cooker! Simply pierce the squash with knife holes and set it and forget it. A good start time would be 15 minutes for a 3 pound squash, then add a few minutes for every pound after that. You’ll be able to cut and scrape out the insides with ease.

In this article we break down some of the different winter squashes you can cook with, along with CK Recipes to get you started. And great news—most winter squash are interchangeable, so feel free to substitute them out in the different recipes. Experiment with a new one you’ve never tried before!

Got some other ideas for us? Post them in the comments below! We’d love to hear how you use your winter squashes!

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5 Habits to Naturally Boost Testosterone

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Why is testosterone important?

Are you feeling constantly drained? 

Brain fog? 

Holding on to body fat no matter how much you workout? 

The facts are the pace of our lives, and all the stress that comes with it, is effecting your natural biology. Testosterone is critical in male sexual behavior and reproduction, but also has important beneficial effects on muscle mass and strength, body fat, bone density, energy and well-being.

Need a little boost? Here are 5 Habits to naturally kick your body back into gear!

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Two Point Whoa

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By Samantha McCain

My guess is that if you are right here, right now – reading this – then you are probably on the fence of deciding if the Clean Kitchen Challenge is for you. 

You’re probably trying to justify the cost, the time and all of the other variables we use during self talk when we’re trying to make decisions. 

Can I help?

Stop. 

Just, stop. 

Because whether you’re the person who feels like a job/career is taking over your life, the person who is in a new relationship, the person who is grieving over the loss of something or someone significant, the person who is experiencing a monumental life change or the person who feels like there. is. never. enough. time… this program is for you. 

And if you think you have too many chips stacked against you to think about you right now, then this program is definitely for you. 

Your life will always include SOMETHING – a new normal, with new people who need new things from you. 

But, if you don’t take hold of what YOU need and create a system that allows for it, you’ll always feel like you are treading water.

And if you are anything like me, you are rolling your eyes and mumbling, “You have no idea what I’m up against.”

Wrong. I have all the ideas and I absolutely know where you are. Our situations may not be exactly the same, but.. 

I know what it’s like to walk into the gym feeling like a zombie, but still exhausting myself JUST to check that box because it’s more of an obligation than a commitment to myself. 

I know what it’s like to cram down a hamburger and some french fries in a spare five minutes because I had a hunger headache and ANYTHING was better than nothing.

I know what it’s like to make sure that all obligations are met while missing every single appointment I make for myself, because a list that is marked complete creates an opportunity for more things to be added to it. 

I know what it’s like to let the day run me without a system to help me manage what I can control. 

I hear you. I see you. I know you. Because friend, I am you. 

Consistency is greater than intensity.

My journey through Clean Kitchen has been S L O W. I did my first stint in 2016 with a lot of great results, but I signed up for an advanced version in 2018 because I thought I wanted to tackle a level 2 approach with macros, food timing and a mix of carb cycling.

Fall 2016 CK 12 Week Challenge progress pictures

Hindsight is 20/20. What I didn’t know then is that signing up for 2.0 was the equivalent of me waving a very large white flag for where I was standing and how my relationship with food and stress had evolved.

Right before summer last year, I felt broken and tired. Work was the hardest it had ever been. While I knew that filling my habits was the sweet spot, I didn’t know how to get back to that space. I would buy all of the groceries, but they would be wasted because I didn’t make a plan to use them in a way my schedule would allow. 

I would bring prepped food to work, but meetings would overrun my schedule and I just wouldn’t eat. 

The proverbial road was blocked and I let all the dang excuses drive my car. If you’re here, you know that a tired brain feeds all of the cravings. 

I needed someone to help me break the continual cycle I found myself circling. Knowing and doing are two totally different things, and I needed someone to coach me through the days that were throwing me for a loop. Pride is a hard mountain to climb sometimes, but admitting we need help is the only way over. 

Over the course of the last 14 months, my coach helped me say the hard words I needed to not only say, but own. Sometimes (a lot of the time) it was uncomfortable. I had to get to a space where I was comfortable with being truthful with my coach and myself.

I was so conditioned to saying “I feel great.” as a response to “How are you doing?” By the end of my time with him, I was owning how I felt and why. 

“I feel fluffy.”

“I feel stressed.”

“I could use a drink/something sweet/a Big Box from Canes.”

There wasn’t any shame in my Coach’s response, just a helpful approach to figuring out why I felt that way. Was it the food? Was it Mother Nature? Was it work?

In addition to the habits, we worked through my stubbornness, the fiasco my brain creates when I try to make things complicated and moving at the pace of a sloth to do something I wanted and needed. 

And, it worked. 

CK 2.0 progress pics — our coaching program after the CK 12 Week Challenge if clients would like to continue on with their coach past the 12 weeks.

The monotonous food prep, tweaking the system so that it worked for me and owning my schedule instead of letting it run me – it all contributed to feeling like I’m in control again. 

Sure, I lost the weight I wanted and pushed myself to new levels for performance in the gym. But, I also realized that I could do something for me for a change. And more importantly, that I had control over what my day looked like and the food I fuel my body with. 

Busy is relative.

Busy is relative for everyone. Can I say that louder for the people in the back? 

B U S Y  I S  R E L A T I V E.

When I got back on the Clean Kitchen wagon, I lived in a world where early mornings, late nights, things that go boom in the middle of the night and weekend events ran me ragged. But, I narrow mindedly thought my busy was an exclusive kind of busy that no one else could understand. 

It wasn’t. 

And when I thought I might be spiraling to a place where I was constantly sick and very tired, Clean Kitchen helped me help myself. 

Daily, I’m able to tap into what I know to be true and use foundational habits that were drafted and adopted by me through the help of someone who could see the bigger picture when I couldn’t. 

This program is not a solution or a quick fix, but a resolve for approach. 

And when you get to that space or approach, you begin to experience life with a new perspective. And that – THAT – is where the magic of Clean Kitchen really, really lives.

Can I be obnoxiously loud for a second? 

THE MAGIC OF THIS PROGRAM IS NOT FOUND IN THE WEIGHT LOST.

It’s a great byproduct, and you will move more and feel better than you ever have… but, the results really come from the program’s ability to draw a very clear path, encourage you to build habits that help you stay on that path and more importantly – help you realize that you are capable of way more than you might think.

There is SO much language in the general self-help space right now regarding mental toughness, preparing your heart for battle in the arena and living your life in a way that provides for boundaries and safe places. 

And, I found none of the self-help language to be more helpful than the hard questions I was asked by my CK coach, the daily approach to encouragement I experienced with accountability inside the gym and the words consistently spoken over me.

It was never all about the food. It was about the systems I could take to make me feel better – holistically. 

We cannot push, push and push on input/output if we don’t do a systems check on the actual vehicle – and in total honesty? This includes the heart and mind, in addition to the food.

I can’t say enough good things about what Clean Kitchen has done for the long game in regards to my health, but the mental toughness that was cultivated through foundational systems like habits, asking “Why?” and understanding that the journey is full of seasons — that’s priceless. 

If you are on the fence – get off. Rip off whatever bandaid you have stuck on your feelings and do something for yourself. You won’t regret it. I promise. 

Three Year Journey pics of the ups, downs and all-arounds.

Enroll in the next Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge here!