Two Point Whoa

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By Samantha McCain

My guess is that if you are right here, right now – reading this – then you are probably on the fence of deciding if the Clean Kitchen Challenge is for you. 

You’re probably trying to justify the cost, the time and all of the other variables we use during self talk when we’re trying to make decisions. 

Can I help?

Stop. 

Just, stop. 

Because whether you’re the person who feels like a job/career is taking over your life, the person who is in a new relationship, the person who is grieving over the loss of something or someone significant, the person who is experiencing a monumental life change or the person who feels like there. is. never. enough. time… this program is for you. 

And if you think you have too many chips stacked against you to think about you right now, then this program is definitely for you. 

Your life will always include SOMETHING – a new normal, with new people who need new things from you. 

But, if you don’t take hold of what YOU need and create a system that allows for it, you’ll always feel like you are treading water.

And if you are anything like me, you are rolling your eyes and mumbling, “You have no idea what I’m up against.”

Wrong. I have all the ideas and I absolutely know where you are. Our situations may not be exactly the same, but.. 

I know what it’s like to walk into the gym feeling like a zombie, but still exhausting myself JUST to check that box because it’s more of an obligation than a commitment to myself. 

I know what it’s like to cram down a hamburger and some french fries in a spare five minutes because I had a hunger headache and ANYTHING was better than nothing.

I know what it’s like to make sure that all obligations are met while missing every single appointment I make for myself, because a list that is marked complete creates an opportunity for more things to be added to it. 

I know what it’s like to let the day run me without a system to help me manage what I can control. 

I hear you. I see you. I know you. Because friend, I am you. 

Consistency is greater than intensity.

My journey through Clean Kitchen has been S L O W. I did my first stint in 2016 with a lot of great results, but I signed up for an advanced version in 2018 because I thought I wanted to tackle a level 2 approach with macros, food timing and a mix of carb cycling.

Fall 2016 CK 12 Week Challenge progress pictures

Hindsight is 20/20. What I didn’t know then is that signing up for 2.0 was the equivalent of me waving a very large white flag for where I was standing and how my relationship with food and stress had evolved.

Right before summer last year, I felt broken and tired. Work was the hardest it had ever been. While I knew that filling my habits was the sweet spot, I didn’t know how to get back to that space. I would buy all of the groceries, but they would be wasted because I didn’t make a plan to use them in a way my schedule would allow. 

I would bring prepped food to work, but meetings would overrun my schedule and I just wouldn’t eat. 

The proverbial road was blocked and I let all the dang excuses drive my car. If you’re here, you know that a tired brain feeds all of the cravings. 

I needed someone to help me break the continual cycle I found myself circling. Knowing and doing are two totally different things, and I needed someone to coach me through the days that were throwing me for a loop. Pride is a hard mountain to climb sometimes, but admitting we need help is the only way over. 

Over the course of the last 14 months, my coach helped me say the hard words I needed to not only say, but own. Sometimes (a lot of the time) it was uncomfortable. I had to get to a space where I was comfortable with being truthful with my coach and myself.

I was so conditioned to saying “I feel great.” as a response to “How are you doing?” By the end of my time with him, I was owning how I felt and why. 

“I feel fluffy.”

“I feel stressed.”

“I could use a drink/something sweet/a Big Box from Canes.”

There wasn’t any shame in my Coach’s response, just a helpful approach to figuring out why I felt that way. Was it the food? Was it Mother Nature? Was it work?

In addition to the habits, we worked through my stubbornness, the fiasco my brain creates when I try to make things complicated and moving at the pace of a sloth to do something I wanted and needed. 

And, it worked. 

CK 2.0 progress pics — our coaching program after the CK 12 Week Challenge if clients would like to continue on with their coach past the 12 weeks.

The monotonous food prep, tweaking the system so that it worked for me and owning my schedule instead of letting it run me – it all contributed to feeling like I’m in control again. 

Sure, I lost the weight I wanted and pushed myself to new levels for performance in the gym. But, I also realized that I could do something for me for a change. And more importantly, that I had control over what my day looked like and the food I fuel my body with. 

Busy is relative.

Busy is relative for everyone. Can I say that louder for the people in the back? 

B U S Y  I S  R E L A T I V E.

When I got back on the Clean Kitchen wagon, I lived in a world where early mornings, late nights, things that go boom in the middle of the night and weekend events ran me ragged. But, I narrow mindedly thought my busy was an exclusive kind of busy that no one else could understand. 

It wasn’t. 

And when I thought I might be spiraling to a place where I was constantly sick and very tired, Clean Kitchen helped me help myself. 

Daily, I’m able to tap into what I know to be true and use foundational habits that were drafted and adopted by me through the help of someone who could see the bigger picture when I couldn’t. 

This program is not a solution or a quick fix, but a resolve for approach. 

And when you get to that space or approach, you begin to experience life with a new perspective. And that – THAT – is where the magic of Clean Kitchen really, really lives.

Can I be obnoxiously loud for a second? 

THE MAGIC OF THIS PROGRAM IS NOT FOUND IN THE WEIGHT LOST.

It’s a great byproduct, and you will move more and feel better than you ever have… but, the results really come from the program’s ability to draw a very clear path, encourage you to build habits that help you stay on that path and more importantly – help you realize that you are capable of way more than you might think.

There is SO much language in the general self-help space right now regarding mental toughness, preparing your heart for battle in the arena and living your life in a way that provides for boundaries and safe places. 

And, I found none of the self-help language to be more helpful than the hard questions I was asked by my CK coach, the daily approach to encouragement I experienced with accountability inside the gym and the words consistently spoken over me.

It was never all about the food. It was about the systems I could take to make me feel better – holistically. 

We cannot push, push and push on input/output if we don’t do a systems check on the actual vehicle – and in total honesty? This includes the heart and mind, in addition to the food.

I can’t say enough good things about what Clean Kitchen has done for the long game in regards to my health, but the mental toughness that was cultivated through foundational systems like habits, asking “Why?” and understanding that the journey is full of seasons — that’s priceless. 

If you are on the fence – get off. Rip off whatever bandaid you have stuck on your feelings and do something for yourself. You won’t regret it. I promise. 

Three Year Journey pics of the ups, downs and all-arounds.

Enroll in the next Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge here!

CK Book List

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Coach Jamie’s Book List

There is always someone out there who knows more than you. I could never learn everything I needed to know about nutrition or fitness even if it was my job…oh wait, it is….good thing there are smarter people out there than me!

The sooner you realize that, the better and more successful you will become. The most successful people have mentors and teachers—forever. Whether you personally know that teacher or you follow their work from behind a screen, you can learn from their wealth of knowledge to make you better in any area of your life.

Be the forever-student.

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Blueberry Chicken Salad

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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!

blueberryrosemarybottles.jpg

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Fall 2018 Progress Pictures

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600+ pounds gone forever.

135+ inches, from their waist alone, gone forever.

Weight-loss is a big draw for anyone to do a “challenge,” but ours is more of a brain-retrain. When you know better, you do better. But sometimes knowing what to do is not enough. You need accountability and a system in place to keep you consistent. This is what we coach and teach.

The Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge is not a “challenge to lose the most weight.” It is a challenge to change your life. And all our clients go through a life-changing experience during the 12 weeks. The by-product are the amazing results you see below.

Average weight-loss is about 10-15 pounds of body fat. But what is not measured on the scale is measured by the massive amounts of inches lost, and the boat-load of confidence all our clients, not just the ones you see here, gained during their time with us.

We coach people from the inside out and change not only their bodies, but their perspective about healthy living too.

So without further ado, here is the winner of $1000 and the Fall 2018 Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge!!

Clients5-8

First place winner of $1000 CASH!

Clients13-16

Second Place winner of one month free CK 2.0 coaching!

Clients17-21

Third place winner of a copy of Clean Kitchen: The Cookbook!

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Maple Balsamic Tea

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Drinking vinegar mixed in water has long been used to help aid in digestion. For me personally, I know if I eat a big meal that doesn’t agree with me I can drink a little vinegar tonic and it helps my system.

I started thinking about this idea because I like to drink an Apple Cider Vinegar Tea occasionally. ACV is known for it’s health benefits, but did you know that other fruit based vinegars are just as beneficial? Mixing J. Olive Co White balsamics and water are very popular with clients, but why not the darks too?!

Let’s holiday this up and get cozy! It taste and smells like Apple Cider! You could even substitute the maple out for other J. Olive Co. Balsamics!

Servings: 2

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tbs maple balsamic
  • 1 tbs unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1 /2 tbs honey
  • dash of cinnamon

Rebecca Bennett

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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!

Peanut Butter Icing

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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!

Changing my life, saved my life.

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By Will Easterling

About mid-way through the Clean Kitchen 12 week challenge, it hit me. I realized at that point in time, that Clean Kitchen didn’t just “change” my life in so many positive ways, I began looking at CK as “saving” my life. I began to realize how much this program was going to positively affect the quality of my life and actually help lead to a longer life as well. And by living a longer, healthier life, I thought about how many more great memories I will have now have spending time with my family and doing all the things I love to do. I realized that the nutritional habits we create today not only affect us in the short-term, but they most likely have even greater long-term affects.

“I came to a point where I wanted to make sustainable changes, but I didn’t know how. There are too many “diets” out there promising “this and that” which made the change I desired and needed way too confusing. So for years, I chose to do nothing.”

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The Suck

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(Image graphic from physiqonomics.com)

By Jamie Page

I have watched countless people start the process only to completely stop right before the real change can happen.

And yes, I mean people I have coached personally and there was nothing I could have said or done to get them past the hump.

I have also watched hundreds of people wait through “the suck” and come out the other side winning.

We can’t predict how fast progress will come, we can only control how we get there. We tell all our clients who come through the CK 12 Week Challenge in the first month you are fighting against every fad-diet you’ve had results with.

You are going against the grain of everything you see in magazines and social media. You have to ignore your friend’s “20 pounds lost in 2 weeks” results with the latest-and-greatest supplement. And it sucks having to trust a process that is so simple you think to yourself, “there is no way this is right.”

But that is just it. It is really so simple. If you can be really consistent with simple, you can have amazing results, and even better an amazing quality of life FOREVER.

But let me tell you 3 reasons why you think it sucks.

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T1D + CK

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By Heather Williams

I’ve been a Type-1 Diabetic going on 15 years.

Living with T1D is a full-time balancing act requiring constant attention to avoid acute, life-threatening hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or the long-term damage done by hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Blood sugar levels must be monitored with finger pricks throughout the day and night. Insulin doses must then be carefully calculated based upon activity and stress levels, food intake, illness and additional factors. These calculations are rarely perfect resulting in tremendous ups and downs and mental exhaustion.

People with Type 1 have a life expectancy that is 12 years shorter, on average, than that of the average population. I refuse to accept this statistic and will do everything that is within my control to live a long, active and healthy life. This is why I signed up for the Clean Kitchen 12 week Challenge.

With weight gain from medications and it being a constant battle to stay in good control, I wanted to see if Clean Kitchen could help with my eating habits, which in return would help my blood sugar levels.

My fasting blood sugar was a little high on Day 1 of Clean Kitchen. But after 12 weeks in Clean Kitchen my basal insulin was reduced by 45%, my bolus insulin reduced to 0.5-1, and lowered Hg a1C by 0.3.

I could not be happier with the results. I feel better, have great energy, slept better, and lost extra weight I had picked up. But the biggest difference Clean Kitchen made was in my diabetes. And for that I will be forever thankful. I lowered my hemoglobin a1c from 6.8 to 6.5 (which is awesome), and I did it while reducing my basal insulin consumption by 45% and drastically reducing my bolus insulin for food intake!

I lost 10 pounds and 16 inches from my body!

Thank you Coach Anna, Coach Stephanie, and to everyone at Clean Kitchen for helping me make this possible and help me feel in control of my T1D!