The Journey Continues


By Matt Lee

Journey is the word I like to use when it comes to attaining your fitness goals. It helps me not to get discouraged if I’m not where I want to be. It keeps me centered in the reality that my goals, while they are completely attainable, will require some patience, focus, and remembering that there is no quick fix that produces long term, maintainable fitness goals.

A little back story first.  For those of you that don’t know I am a coach at Versus. I also grew up the chubby kid in my friend group. My friends were my friends and we were tight, but I did get picked on from time to time for being the chubby guy in the group. It also didn’t help that I sweat all the time. And honestly over time, not that I blame them, it put little insecurities into my head about my appearance. I always the kid who always wore a shirt at the beach or at the pool, dreaded the ole “shirts versus skins”, it also made me a little shy.  Yep I was that guy.


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Those last 10 pounds…


How you built an unhealthy relationship with food.

By Jamie Page

I will start this article by saying trying to lose weight sucks. Plain and simple, there is nothing peachy about it. It takes hard work and, above all, consistency. The more I learn about nutrition, the more “complicated” it can seem and I see how people can lose sight of what really matters. So I understand the more you read about opposing diets and supplements, the more confused you will be about which path to take. If you do not take anything else from this article let it be this: Eat more whole foods than you eat processed foods, drink more water than other beverages, and move more. This is the only path to real-feel-good-long-lasting-health. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is a liar.

As a coach, I meet a lot of people who have unhealthy relationships with food. They may not realize it, but this has been built over years of being told to “eat less and lose more”. There is a fear of “doing it wrong” or fear of not eating the “right” foods. You may have an unhealthy relationship with food if:

You think eating “too much fruit” is a bad thing. You might have some confusion on what eating healthy really is. (You may have said, “Aren’t bananas super high in sugar?”) 

You think taking a fat-burner or other supplement is more important than eating plants in every meal.

You think saving calories or macros for a later meal is more important than where those calories or macros are coming from.

This is called “mowing the lawn, while your house is on fire.”

Which means: Focusing on small details rather than the root problem.


Fruits are plants. Plants are good for you. Eat the plant! The problem is not your fruit consumption, it’s all the other food you eat 365 days of the year. Once you get in the habit of choosing more plants, then you can get technical about having “too much fruit” or whether or not you should cut back on the fruit.

Supplements and juice cleanses are not the key to a healthy body. Supplements are suppose to be “supplemental” to an already healthy diet. Juice cleanses are not for losing weight. And if you are using it to “detox,” remember you were born with a liver that does that for you. You just need to change the quality of your food choices.

There is no need to worry about minor details (like macro/calorie counting) when you do not have the foundation of basic healthy habits down—more water than other beverages, more plants every time you eat, and use lean protein sources.  Get down the basics first before complicating things.

If there was a magical pill or supplement that allows me to eat pizza and ice cream every single day and still keep the health I have right now, please inform me ASAP.

There is no right or wrong way if you stick with the basics and real food.

But as far as media shows us, we are conditioned to think there is some secret or misery involved. Here at Clean Kitchen, we take the psycho out of it. We teach that simple steps can add up to huge and lasting results.

In the Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge, we will teach you how to perfect the basics.  We will help you break old school thinking and establish new habits. But first, let’s explain what may be sabotaging all your efforts currently.

Your body was designed to feel awesome.  But, you lose weight by making yourself miserable. Then you just put the weight back on twice as fast. It is a vicious cycle that creates a very unhealthy relationship with food.


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Hope Gustafson’s story of a “brain-retrain.”

I titled this “Hope” because though this is her actual name, this is a story will give you hope for change. If you are looking at getting healthy and fit as “not possible” or “just not for me,” then this story will change your mind. This is a testimony of the transformation of her body, but more importantly her mindset. You really just have to get out of your own way and trust the process. Let time and consistency work it’s magic. Now anything is possible! This new life perspective was brought on by just taking a leap of faith, trusting her coaches, and following through with a process she didn’t trust 100% in the beginning. Slowly her body and mind changed. Without even realizing it, she molded a completely new person! We are SO PROUD of you Hope!!!!!!! Congrats on your new life you have created!!


“This past month a picture popped through my TimeHop from right before I started Versus, out of sheer curiosity I did a side by side comparison of that picture and one I knew I had on my phone and there it was — right in front of my face. Proof of the work I’ve put in.”

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If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.


If you say you want to change, then you have to have the will to learn. Change means you might have to take a gut check, admit you don’t know everything, and probably do not know if you really are “eating good.” You have to be willing to learn a hard lesson. If you are “eating good,” how’s that working out for you? You must first be honest with yourself before you can change.

The quote above can truly sum up our clients experiences while in the Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge. If you think our 12 Week program is just going to give you a meal plan to follow, then you may want to pass us up. We are not a cookie-cutter meal planning online service. A meal planning service will not change the root of your problems.

The real root of the problem…

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Paula Artmann: A change in mindset

By Paula Artmann, Clean Kitchen 12 Week program, Summer 2015

Thanks to Clean Kitchen my entire mind set and approach to nutrition and exercise has changed. I was hesitant to sign up for a completely online class and even more hesitant to take the plunge into weight training in the Versus S&C classes. I mean, I am 53 years old- a grandmother!!! Barbells and kettle bells are scary and I felt a little “over the hill” to start now. But change needed to happen and I was ready for the challenge! All I needed was a change in mindset!

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Stephanie Mayfield


Meet Stephanie. Mom of 2. Gained 60 pounds with her first pregnancy, gained 75 pounds with second pregnancy, and had two c-sections. She got her body back. Are you ready to take yours back?

It’s not about “having time,” it’s about making time. We are all busy. Many of us are parents of multiple kids, own our own businesses, new moms, single parents, you name it. You have to decide whether your excuse for “not having time” is worth sacrificing the best of you. When it comes down to it, you are either going to work around that “excuse” or let it get the best of you.


Amy Edwards



You can make a change no matter where you start. Check out Amy’s transformation once she decided to take control of her eating habits.

Amy Edwards, 42, mom of 2. When she started Versus classes (Sept 2012) she weighed 145, lost 8 pounds just from changing her activity level, then results slowed no matter how much she worked out. When the 2015 I Am Versus 6 week challenge (Versus member nutrition challenge by CK coaches) came around in January, we convinced her changing her diet would would be the game changer for her results, and it did just that. Amy lost an additional 12 pounds in 6 weeks.

From January 2015 to June 2015 she has lost over 10 inches from her body, gone from a size 10-8 to a size 4. She now weighs 127 pounds with some awesome muscle to go with it! By using our nutrition coaching principles we teach at VSC Clean Kitchen, she continues to make progress through living her new lifestyle and clean eating habits. We are so proud of you Amy!!!

The Stuffed Piggy Diet: A 12 week diet quality experiment

By Jamie Page
A little disclaimer :

It took me about a month to decide to blast pics of my torso on the internet. I am a very modest person and I am showing these for documentation purposes only. I hope by posting my experience it will help someone get some perspective on what they might need to change on diet quantify versus diet quality if they have a common goal as I did.

Your nutrition should change based off of your particular goal.

Everyone has different body types which require different nutritional plan approaches. A diet with a goal to lose weight will not always be the same as a diet with a goal to gain strength, speed, muscle, performance. My nutrition has evolved over the last 4 years to fit my lifestyle and goals. I have never created a plan that required me to eat foods I did not enjoy. I make my nutrition work well in my daily lifestyle, which is the key to long term success. If you do not enjoy it, you will never stick with it.

The Stuffed Piggy Diet is my own experiment I decided to do.

I named it “Stuffed Piggy Diet” because, well for the first month I felt like I had a “food baby” at all times. There was a lot of eating when I did not want to eat. I was literally eating, what felt like, 4 pounds of food at most meals. My highest calorie days I was eating 2700 cals, my lowest days where 2300-2500 cals. Some of you may think this sounds awesome and you can go crush any type of food until you reach the calorie goals. Not so fast! I explain in detail later, but this diet was strictly whole foods. Lots of green veggies, lots of protein, and a whole lot of sweet potatoes.

These are my results of consistently eating an average of 2500 calories per day for 12 weeks, with only 2 cheat meals and 1 beer the entire time.

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Larona & Jennifer : January 2015

I thought I ate healthy because I didn’t eat much processed foods”
Larona Barnes, January 2015
“I thought I ate healthy because I didn’t eat much processed foods; but I knew I didn’t eat right because I was so lethargic by 2 or 3p on a daily basis. With the help of Clean Kitchen I have totally revamped the way I eat. Over a month, I learned the correct meal ratio of protein/carbs/fat for my body type, good choices and bad choices, easy portion size tips, and how to adapt old recipes to make them healthier. Clean Kitchen was a totally rewarding experience! I have a notable change in energy level and very easy to manage approach to eating – that can be applied to any dining situation.
      I am very thankful for this process. Thought I was just signing up to lose some lb and shape up, but the change was def more psychological. I feel like life is full of struggles where at the core people feel like they’re not enough – whatever it is for each person, but body image and happiness is central for most people. I think the most valuable take home message through all of this was starting to rewrite this message in my head. I haven’t necessarily lost notable lbs – realizing that I maybe didn’t need to! 🙂 My clothes are fitting better, energy – mentally too, confident and HAPPY with myself. Most imprtant gain out off all this is self happiness. Thank you very much for all your help! I have never experienced a gym like this, it’s was great!”

“Trust me if I can do this anyone can. I AM BUSY – (like we all are) – with 3 kids, a husband that leaves for work for a month at a time, two business that I own and several charitable and social organizations that I serve on boards for I always thought there was no way I had the time to eat clean.”
-Jennifer Smith January – February 2015, (10 weeks in CK)

I have known for years that I would have to eventually change my eating habits if I ever wanted to see the results that matched all my efforts in the gym. I kept telling myself it wasn’t t like I had lots of weight to lose.

BUT…as I got older maintaining my current weight was also getting harder. So with a new year starting I decided I wanted to let this be the year that I finally made some changes and I signed up for Clean Kitchen. I knew that I wasn’t a horrible eater because I rarely ate out and never ate fast food or fried food but I didn’t know what exactly I needed to change to get better results. I have always heard that it is 80% diet and 20% exercise but I never believed that and was always a nay sayer about food making that much of an impact vs working out hard.

Clean Kitchen changed all of that! Clean kitchen and the coaches showed me what whole foods really were and how to eat the right mix at each meal to stay full and get somewhere towards achieving my goals. With the help of the coaches and their encouragement they helped me realize that I wasn’t eating enough. I would eat a decent breakfast, a small snack a couple of times day maybe and then a HUGE dinner (with no regards to how much veggies, fruits, carbs, fats or proteins). During clean kitchen I learned to eat smaller meals more often throughout the day as well as to incorporate more veggies and proteins to get lean. AND these changes weren’t as hard as I was expecting. A plan and meal prep days are really as important as they say. Later in the week when you are busy and running out the door you will be so glad that you did all that food prep!

Trust me if I can do this anyone can. I AM BUSY – (like we all are) – with 3 kids, a husband that leaves for work for a month at a time, two business that I own and several charitable and social organizations that I serve on boards for I always thought there was no way I had the time to eat clean. I WAS WRONG and Clean Kitchen taught me how to manage, prep and plan to fit this busy life. I started to see the results quickly and have toned up and gotten leaner as a result. I highly recommend Clean Kitchen for anyone that wants to learn more about eating clean and for those that haven’t been getting the results they’ve expected in the gym. It changed my life and I will always use the skills that I learned to plan and prep my meals for the rest of my life. Thank you Versus and Clean Kitchen!