This year, I turned 35 years old. I was at the lowest point I had been in my life in terms of my health. I knew something had to change, but I didn’t know what to do. In the depths of despair, I went to see a doctor for weight loss. Eat this, don’t eat that, take this pill, and come back in a month. I KNEW there had to be a better way.
I have struggled with weight most of my adult life. I have tried a little bit of everything in the past – calorie counting, counting points, fad “diets.” I would have some success with these methods, but it was nothing that I could stick with long term.
I have friends at work that have done the Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge and live the CK way of life. They encouraged me to sign up for Clean Kitchen and just do it. Without giving myself time to think too much about it or talk myself out of it, I enrolled for the Winter 2018 challenge.
The past 12 weeks have gone by so fast for me. This program is designed for anyone to be successful. I’m not sure how they’ve done it, but the daily lessons are timed perfectly. You get what you need when you need it. I also had a great coach who guided me, coached me, encouraged me, and helped me see the positive – even when I didn’t want to.
As a result of my CK experience, I lost a total of 18 pounds and 23.75 inches. It has been amazing to see the changes that happen simply from changing what goes in my body. I went from feeding my body garbage to feeding my body the things that it needs to function better. I have a whole new perspective on food. And the best part was that I didn’t go hungry at all. As a matter of fact, I have been eating more food than I used to. It’s just wholesome, healthy food. No gimmicks, no pills, no counting anything – just simple habits that are easy to integrate in to day to day life.
In addition to the physical changes on the outside, my blood pressure is lower, my lipid panel has improved greatly, and my glucose levels are better than what they were.
Although the 12 weeks are over, I’m already enrolled in the Clean Kitchen 2.0 program and I have signed up for a Versus boot camp. I lost a lot during the 12 week program, but gained so much more! I am excited to see where the next phase leads. I like to tell people that if I can do this, anyone can! It has been life changing.
AKA “The Jenny Bou Spoon” — dedicated to my dear friend, Jenny, who has the same love-obsession with peanut butter like I do. Now we have a spoon full we can eat multiple times and not feel one single ounce of guilt 😉
Because something this magnificent deserves to be served on a golden spoon. So simple, yet so satisfying for a sweet craving. MAKE THIS NOW.
This is a perfect post workout meal or breakfast! You may even just need this in your life for a sweet bite. It is THAT good and decadent! You can make a big batch and keep in the fridge as part of your meal prep for up to 3 days.
Servings: 1 marvelous bowl all to yourself
Combine in a food processor:
1/2 Small sweet potato (about 1/3 cup mashed)
1/2 scoop vanilla protein (We use Quest Vanilla Milkshake)
1-2 tbs unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup cottage cheese
Dashes of cinnamon
Blend until whipped and smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
Great for a large party side! But if you are just making it for your family, just half the recipe to make a smaller batch.
Tip: If you are preparing this for a meal prep or planning on keeping in the fridge a few days, wait to add the romaine. All other ingredients will hold up and soak up the yummy juices, but the romaine will get soggy!
*If making a half batch use 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4+ Apricot Balsamic, 1 tsp sesame seed oil, 2 tbs soy sauce. If you want more liquid, just eyeball it! Nothing wrong with a little more dressing 😉
Crunchy topping: Mix together and add to a pan.
1/2 c raw, pre-rinsed quinoa (you can find pre-rinsed or rinse yourself)
1/4 c sliced almonds
1/4 c chopped walnuts
Spray pan with cooking spray, over low-medium heat. Add nut mixture, drizzle with butter olive oil, pinch of salt. Watch closely and stir until nuts begin to brown lightly, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
1 head Chopped romaine
1/2 bag coleslaw mix
4 green onions chopped
2 crowns of broccoli chopped
Toss with crunchy topping, dressing, and serve immediately.
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.
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.
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!
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
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
fresh mint to garnish
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Line a pizza pan with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, beat egg until frothy, add coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Mix well.
Add baking soda, oat and almond flour and mix until combined.
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!
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.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are golden brown.
Cool completely before adding your cream cheese icing mixture.
Arrange fruit on top of your cream cheese mixture. We used strawberry, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and kiwi. Add fresh mint to garnish.