How to survive Disney CK Style

Standard

By Meredith West

IMG_7444_2

West Family

I LOVE DISNEY! My family loves Disney World! Disney is a magical place where wonderful memories can be made with your family, but those memories shouldn’t be at the expense of your health. So of course, we’ve got you covered with our Eating Out in Disney Guide (PDF download below) and park tips and packing tips to always be prepared for any meals during your stay at Disney!

If you really think about it, Disney World—or any vacation for that matter, is just another week. Do you normally wake up on am Monday and say “I am going to gorge myself this week, stuff my face with every treat that comes my way, and not have a plan.”

Nope.

In the Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge, we teach our clients to prepare for the expected and unexpected. Having prepped meals, snacks and a plan for eating out sets us up for success. A few treats or an off-meal will not stall progress towards your goals, but an entire vacation of bad choices can set you back not only physically, but mentally as well. It’s hard to reset after a complete fall off the wagon! Do yourself a favor and at least let the wagon drag you, ha!

Continue reading

“Lox” of Everything

Standard

I am a HUGE fan of Everything Bagels and cream cheese, it is just not a food inline with my goals. So, of course, I had to come up with a more nutritious alternative—Everything Quinoa Biscuit. No bagel is complete without cream cheese, Cucumber-Dill Cheese cheese to go with our plate. So while dreaming up this re-vamp I immediately thought of Lox and Bagels. Typically lox is smoked-cured salmon, but I didn’t have any. Instead I did a “Lox” Baked Salmon, seasoned it to mimic some “lox” flavor combinations, and DANG this was so yummy. To make this even more lox-a-licious, I threw in some quick sides with Quick Pickled Red Onion slices and Warm Spinach with Capers.

Below are the recipes that make up this entire plate. Make all or just a few, but I guarantee you will keep these in heavy rotation. In true CK fashion, these are simple and fast!

Continue reading

Butternut Noodles

Standard

Naturally sweet butternut goes perfectly with sweet caramelized onions. This super simple side dish would pair well with any protein, even for breakfast with a fried egg. We flavored this dish using J. Olive Co. Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and J. Olive Co. Gravenstein Apple Balsamic, garlic and feta to give a savory but hint of sweet taste. The onions do take some time to cook but this is well worth the wait!

Tuscan Herb Butternut Noodles

servings: 3-4

Fresh

  • 1 pack of frozen Green Giant Spiralized butternut squash
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • fat free feta cheese
  • fresh basil

IMG_2866

Pantry

Continue reading

Rebecca Bennett

Standard

By Rebecca Bennett

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.
My journey isn’t over yet, it’s only just beginning. Are you ready to begin your journey? Check out the next Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge details and sign up!

Crawfish Étouffée

Standard

By Meredith West

Fresh

  • 3 cups Seasoning Blend
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 4 oz greek cream cheese
  • 2 lbs crawfish tails (if using frozen be sure to rinse and drain very well)
  • 1/2 cups green onion plus extra for garnish

Pantry 

  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 3 Tbsp Tomato paste
  • 2 cups Chicken Bone Broth
  • 1/2 cups white wine (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp tonys or Flavor God Everything Spicy
  • 3 heaping Tbsp Cornstarch + 1/2 cup water mixed to smooth
  • 1 Tbsp Hot sauce of choice
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions

  1. Add seasoning blend, celery, bell pepper, garlic, mushrooms to pot.
  2. Salt and pepper mixture.
  3. Sautee 10-15 minutes until veggies begin to softened liquid is mostly cooked out.
  4. Add Tomato paste, bone broth, white wine, thyme, basil, tony’s, hot sauce and cornstarch slurry to pot.
  5. Stir to combine all ingredients then add in rinsed and drained crawfish tails.
  6. Simmer on low 15-20 minutes. Stir in greek cream cheese and green onions.
  7. Serve over CK Cauliflower Grits or Steamed Cauliflower.  Garnish with remaining green onions.

Peanut Butter Icing

Standard

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.

Mix. Spoon. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Parfait

Standard

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.

Topping: Oven roasted nuts (chopped walnuts , almonds or pumpkin seeds)

  1. Any nuts of your choosing. Here we used walnuts and sliced almonds.
  2. Preheat oven 325 degrees.
  3. Spray nuts with cooking spray and liberally season with salt. Toss to coat.
  4. Bake for about 5-6 minutes until fragrant.

Topping: PB Drizzle

1 tbs powdered peanut butter (such as PB2 Brand)

1+ tbs water (add more for more drizzle consistency)

optional: 1/2 tbs J. Olive Co. Maple vinegar 

sweetpotatoparfait_2

Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad

Standard

By Meredith West

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!

Servings: 10-12

Dressing

*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.

Salad mix

  • 1 head Chopped romaine
  • 1/2 bag coleslaw mix
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 2 crowns of broccoli chopped

Directions 

  1. Toss with crunchy topping, dressing, and serve immediately.
  2. Optional topping: Tablespoon of chow mein noodles

Belinda Teston: The Slump

Standard

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. 

Continue reading

Italian Sausage Meatballs

Standard

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.

Continue reading