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.
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!
Update: I recently tried this recipe substituting the romaine with chopped kale, and it held up wonderfully as leftovers.
*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 or chopped kale
1/2 bag coleslaw mix
4 green onions chopped
2 crowns of broccoli chopped
Toss with crunchy topping, dressing, and serve immediately.
By now I think most people understand my love for sauces. And this post of recipes will not disappoint the sauce-addicts of the world! The J. Olive Co. Neapolitan Herb Balsamic and Garlic Olive Oil is the perfect combo to make a rich and tangy flavor to any comfort food recipe. In this post we have Red Beans & Rice and a “ketchup,” Oven “Fried” Green Tomatoes with Comeback sauce, Roasted “Everything” Eggplant and yellow squash, and Balsamic Potato Hash! Let’s get cooking!
Clean Kitchen is all about making healthy eating really simple to do, and this is exactly why we have partnered up with J. Olive Co. to give you even more inspiration in the kitchen for easy meal ideas. Today we show you a recipe to cook for dinner, then re-vamp it for lunch the next day.
J. Olive Co. offers so many unbelievable flavor combinations of their infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars to transform any dish into a flavor bomb! All you have to do is pour the flavor on!
Why CK loves J. Olive Co. products:
Packs a big flavor punch without all the sugar found in other dressings or marinades.
Olive oils offer your body a boat load of healthy fat and antioxidants. Healthy fats keep your hormones happy!
Balsamic vinegars offer antioxidants and help with your digestion!! Which translates into a healthy gut and better nutrient absorption.
All their oils and vinegars come in sample bottles you can keep with you for dressings on the go! A perfect CK-type-of-hack, but also great to sample all the J Olive Co. flavors. Trust me, you will want more than one combo.
In Clean Kitchen, we do not count calories. Because when people eat, we are not looking at our plate knowing exactly how many “calories” we are eating. We eat portions of food, not counted out macronutrients. No calculators, no adding up your macros. Just simply use you hand size as your guide to portion control.
No this does not have pasta in it, BUT if the kiddos wanted it (or even you), just throw in some whole wheat pasta and call it a post workout meal! This has all the flavor of lasagna but is way easier to make. This is basically the Clean Kitchen Spaghetti Sauce recipe with an extra 4 cups of broth added to it and a special cheese mixture to dollop on top.