Smoothies are a little sneaky. There are all kinds of fancy recipes out there calling for lots of different add-ins that usually result in a pretty high sugar shake. But here at Clean Kitchen we teach our clients how to make perfectly portioned smoothies so things do not get out of hand. Check out 3 dairy-free smoothies, that are not only simple, but tasty as well!
By Karla Durr
Before starting Clean Kitchen, 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.
There has never been a time when I did not struggle with my weight.
Fast forward 10 years, 2 kids and a lot of ups and downs that included emotional eating along the way, and I was not happy. I “knew” what I should be doing but I just figured I would never be a fit person. It wasn’t in my genes. But I wanted to change that and I did not want my kids to have that same mindset or struggle the way I did as a kid.
In September 2018, I messaged Coach Steve about working out at Versus and began going to classes about three times a week. I told him I just wanted to get into the habit of making myself go without changing my diet yet. (This is funny to me now because of what I know; you can’t out work a bad diet!)
When the promos for Clean Kitchen Challenge rolled out, I asked Coach Michael if I should do it now or wait until I was done teaching in the summer.
Life was really hectic.
Garlic & Apricot Balsamic Shrimp are easy, simple, and best of all delicious! Nothing makes cooking quick tastier than the balsamic vinegars and oils from J. Olive Co, like this pairing of Apricot balsamic and Blood Orange olive oil. Throw it together with a quick coleslaw using the same pairing!
The end of each 12 Week Challenge is always amazing for us. As coaches, we watch our clients go through a major change, and I am not talking about the physical changes you will see in these photos below.
“What I have enjoyed most about the Clean Kitchen program is the absolute FREEDOM I have felt in these 12 weeks.”
“I feel that I have finally achieved that “life change” that I need to maintain weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.”
“I love how easy it is! I really understand now what people mean when they say “lifestyle change” because that is exactly what I feel like CK is.”
Client feedback like this just confirms we are on the right path changing people’s lives for the long-haul. It is not about how much weight you can lose in 12 weeks, though clients lose a good bit. It is not about getting a rock-hard body the fastest way possible.
Clean Kitchen is a LIFE CHANGER.
Because regardless if you need to lose weight or have a goal to build muscle or just feel better, these habits and strategies we coach are how you get there. We help people build a solid foundation of habits and arm them with the know-how to take action whatever the goal is.
You want to lose weight? Do the habits.
You want to gain muscle? Do the habits.
You want to feel better? Do the habits.
Do you want this? Sign up for the Clean Kitchen Challenge and we will teach you.
“It’s a lifestyle change that will effect everyone around you, not just yourself.”
Without further stalling, let’s get to what you really came here for—the pictures!
Here is a sampling of clients who went through the challenge and allowed their photos to be shared with you, in hopes it would inspire YOU to take a chance for real change.
The winner of the Winter 2019 CK Challenge $1000 grand prize is…
By Rachael Myrick
My journey towards being healthy and having a healthy relationship with food has been years in the making. As a child, I struggled with being overweight until I hit my awkward pre-teen growth spurt.
Flash forward to college years, I competed in Miss Mississippi and dropped to the low weight of 100lbs to get ready for swimsuit competition. I severely limited my caloric intake and worked out like a madwoman. Sadly, this is actually what it took to win the swimsuit competition.
My experience then definitely clouded my judgment of what eating healthy looked like. Less calories= less weight in my view.
Eating on the go can seem daunting if you want to eat even semi-healthy. There are so many temptations on a menu, you can get distracted!
As a general rule when going out to eat, if I want to stay on track, I try to eat low-carb.
Not that I think carbs are bad, nor do I cut them out of my daily diet, but I like to know what is in my meal if I am going to truly make a good decision.
Restaurants cook with lots of fat because fat makes things taste delicious. So what you might think as being a “healthy rice” side, could turn into a calorie bomb because it is cooked with fat, paired with your buttery fish and veggies.
You could ask for the food to be prepared without oil or butter, but again personally, that just makes for a miserable time eating out. (Fats taste so good!) You might as well have cooked at home. But feel free to ask if you find yourself eating out a lot. No harm in asking!
How to enjoy your restaurant meal without thinking you completely blew it…
…or trying to order a complicated meal, just stick to my simple rule— pass on the heavy carbs and order extra veggies. I do this every where and most places are happy to accommodate a substitution.
One of our most popular blog post is “Eating Out in the Burg,” a listing of local restaurants in Hattiesburg, Ms and what our coaches and clients order CK-Style. You’ll notice, most of the meals follow my rule above. And though we think these are helpful to get an idea of how to order at any restaurant or city, we thought we would expand our reach and into other cities!
First up is Tupelo, MS!
We’ve partnered up with FitCamp, a local women’s gym and indoor bootcamps, to give you the scouting report for local CK-approved eats. Coach Casey and her crew are living that CK-Lifestyle and ready to help Tupelo learn the CK-ways. Here’s what they have found around town!
Interested in trying out one of Coach Casey’s classes? Check out their class schedule on msfitcamp.tumblr.com!
Keep checking back, as we will update this post with more entries as they come in!
Chicken salad is a CK staple recipe. We have quite a few! Chicken salad is the perfect, fast meal prep and easy to take on the go meal that fills all the CK meal habits. Needless to say, we are big fans of chicken salad!
Blueberry Balsamic + Rosemary Olive Oil from J. Olive Co. gives chicken salad a new twist and we think it is absolutely delicious!
But this chicken salad was what I call a “happy accident.” My happy accidents usually happen when I completely bomb an original idea for a recipe, but then out of the ashes I become inspired to salvage it.
Originally I planned to do a marinated, bone-in spilt chicken breast with blueberry balsamic, rosemary oil, salt, garlic cloves, and fresh rosemary. I thought it would turn out fantastic, but it ended up being under seasoned. So instead of wasting the chicken, I thought it would be good to add more seasoning and “things” for a chicken salad. And wholah! Blueberry chicken salad was born!
And I think you are going to love it. I know I do!
A letter…journal…ramble by Jamie Page. My thoughts and hopes for where we started and where we are going with CK.
Clean Kitchen is four years old.
As I reflect on how much CK has grown since Fall 2014, I realize we have been building momentum for a long, long time. It’s been in small increments — little steps that felt natural to do at a particular time it needed to happen.
Nothing has ever felt rushed. That is not to say we didn’t feel a sense of urgency to get things moving. It needed to feel right and not forced. There is a hunger we have to keep creating and giving, because the needs are always there.
It’s hard to explain the drive we feel. It is like an insatiable hunger to tell the truth and help people come to a realization that this is not suppose to be so difficult!
I literally have the urge to shake people sometimes! To tell people you can be different, but you do not have to be perfect! You can change YOU. And I don’t mean the cheesy line “new year, new you,” nor do I mean the old you is a bad person, but you can take care of yourself. We are not here to change your morals, but we do mean to change the way you respect yourself.
The Clean Kitchen program is more about becoming a new person that thinks and acts differently—and through this process you improve your health.
People ask me all the time, how do I stay motivated to workout and eat right? Truth is, I don’t have to stay “motivated” because it is who I am. I am not saying I eat perfectly or love to workout every single day, but these habits have become me and make my health what it is.
We created Clean Kitchen to teach people to become the process.
To learn to love the process.
To create a new identity in these new habits they practice every single day.
To live in it forever.
But selling this philosophy is not very easy. Try advertising “you may lose 10-15 pounds in 12 weeks” and not many people are going to be knocking down our doors to get in. People want double that no matter how unrealistic it is.
Once you get it—you “get it.” It’s that “ah-ha” moment when you realize what I am talking about when I say become the process.
Our clients’ successes are not measured by a mere 12 weeks. Their success is measured in the YEARS that follow. Three months turns into 6 months, then 1 year later and they don’t even recognize their pictures on their social media time hop.
Where would these people be if we hadn’t decided to share what we know to be true?
What would their life look like 5-10 years from now if we had decided not to create Clean Kitchen?
We believe we have a responsibility to these people to lay it out honestly. In a world full of fake, unrealistic images of health, we want to be the voice for the normal people. We see a need, we fill it.
People don’t cook enough. Let’s make it easy for them and show them.
People don’t eat real food. Let’s create easy, real-food recipes that are not intimidating.
People don’t have time. Let’s help them manage their time.
People have too much to do. Let’s help them prioritize and organize.
People fall off the wagon. Let’s keep them accountable.
People think they have to suffer. Let’s retrain their brain and rewrite the narrative about what being healthy truly is. Because that is not what other “programs” are selling.
I don’t know what is in store for CK and the years to come. Although I am confident we can and have hopes and dreams that we will, I don’t know if we will ever grow far outside our bubble. But I do feel we are on the path we were meant to follow!
I have always believed this is the path God created for me. In hindsight, I began on this path in 2006. It was the year I graduated college and began working in Atlanta. Every year since I can see where He was guiding me and training me for the skills I needed for Clean Kitchen.
Even when I wanted bigger things earlier in this process, I wasn’t ready to take them on. I needed experiences that would mold my perspective and knowledge to what it continually grows into today.
What is meant to be will happen only by His timing and I should hold steady with the plan already set for me. Believing in His timing is the only thing that keeps me from crawling out of my skin.
The stress, the pressure to build CK, to make it bigger and better by reaching people everywhere — I remind myself doesn’t have to consume me because I know I’m not going at this alone. I have an amazing team of coaches and creatives that have made CK what it is today.
I don’t claim to be a super religious person, but you do not have to be “religious” to believe He has got your back. I can’t tell you how many times I have had conversations with Him to help calm my mind and anxiety about where Clean Kitchen is going.
We are helping the people we were meant to help. If it is our destiny to grow larger, I pray the decisions we make now keep us on the path He started us on. I never want to lose that focus.
When people tell me CK changed their life, it validates and reestablishes my focus. Because every. single. time. I get anxious or overwhelmed with the weight of this responsibility, someone reaches out and tells me their story of how we helped them. To those who have personally shared their stories with me, you have no idea how much encouragement that gives me. It is truly a gift.
Help one more person. Plant a seed. Create a domino effect. That is our mission.
Every event, every post, every article, every recipe, and every one-on-one conversation is meant to plant a seed in one person God has decided we should cross paths. It’s not by chance, but by a larger plan not designed by me.
I have self-doubt everyday. Did I say the right thing? Do I know enough? Do I have what it takes to lead this where it needs to go? Should I keep going? Is it worth the stress?
The answer is, help one more person. Plant a seed. Create a domino effect.
And so we keep going.
Clean Kitchen was made for a bigger purpose. I can feel it. Even if that “bigger purpose” is meant to be a stepping stone for something else. What we do matters. We are ready to take on another year. And I am ready to keep on the path He has set ahead of me, though I have no idea what is in store. If it feels right, I’ll keep going!
Bring on 2019!
“Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformations…it doesn’t matter how successful or unsuccessful you are right now. What matters is whether your habits are putting you on the path toward success. You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than your current results.” —James Clear, Atomic Habits
At Clean Kitchen, we firmly believe that most things are not left up to chance, and if you want true change you have to take action. This is why we created the Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge—to help you learn the daily habits and actions it takes to create a healthy life, not just for weight loss.
Clean Kitchen is not a program with the goal of losing the most weight or strict macro-counting. We are a program that teaches small, daily changes can add up to big results.
Our goal is to change your way of thinking, acting, and planning on a daily basis. We teach people how to eat for life—and real life is not weighing food on a scale or counting macros or points.
So if you are reading this thinking you want to enroll in our 12 Week Program to lose a bunch a weight by some drastic meal plan or strict system, just to gain it all back after your are finished, this is not the program for you. We want clients who are committed to a true brain re-train.
Clean Kitchen is a journey unlike anything you have experienced. So come with an open mind and willingness to be a beginner. Whether you need to shed a bunch of pounds or if you have specific body composition goals, the path all starts with the foundational habits and whether or not you can be consistent at those habits. The “level” of your habits all depends on what you are capable of doing (right now) and your goal.
But let’s get to the real reason you clicked this link—the food.
- 1/3 cup J. Olive Co. Pomegranate Balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 garlic clove, freshly grated
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tbs cup olive oil, J. Olive Blood orange or garlic oil
- Combine ingredients in a small sauce pot.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 5-8 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Set aside to cool. Once the dressing cools it will thicken even more.
Build your salad
- arugula or spring mix greens
- spiced pumpkin seeds and walnuts — I roast in the oven with, cooking spray, salt and paprika, 250 degrees, for about 10 minutes.
- pomegranate seeds
- acorn or butternut squash, baked— I use chopped butternut, roasted in the oven, 375 degrees, with salt, paprika and drizzle of J. Olive Blood orange oil and pomegranate balsamic.
- fat free feta cheese