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!

Sweet Potato Parfait

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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 

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You are waiting…

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Many people ask me about the CK Challenge and many are hesitant to commit. I get it. It’s a large chunk of change that you are investing in a program you haven’t experienced yet. So you do the cheapest route and wait, maybe just buy the CK cookbook. But in reality, you don’t need more healthy recipes, you need a change of heart and mind that only a learned lesson can give you.

I find most people are in this “waiting” period. Is there ever going to be the best time to rearrange your normal habits? Sorry, nope. There is never going to be a time you are “not busy” or “have more time” to devote to the change. Life keeps going and will stay the same no matter what, unless you intervene.

Waiting for the right time to invest in your body and health is the same as saying “I don’t care enough to change right now.” That may be a little harsh, but it’s the honest truth. You will care later in life. I understand sometimes health takes a backseat to other obstacles in our lives, but choosing to eat a plant over a donut has nothing to do with whether or not you had a bad day. And it takes nothing but a choice to choose water over sweet tea at lunch. Small choices add up, so do not think to be “healthy” you have to do everything right. I certainly have made a lot of mistakes, but I count those a lessons learned that made me better in the long run. Personally, I believe it would best to not get a point in your life where you regret not taking care of your health.

You have the chance now, no matter your age. Anyone in any situation can benefit from learning healthy lifestyle habits. There are a lot of “experts” and programs out there that promise results. You can get results doing just about anything. But the real question is, are those going to be short-term results or a long-term lifestyle? The CK Challenge has one goal: to make you self-sufficient and make sure you truly understand a realistic view of health and what you can achieve as a normal-working-everyday-type of person that can’t spend 2 hours a day in the gym or in the kitchen—not a professional athlete or model you see on social media. I believe with all my being everyone should go through the CK Challenge, not for the success of the program, but because I know how it changes people. Truly. Now is your time so don’t let this pass…again.

– Coach Jamie

Pictured above is my (Jamie) March 2011 “before” picture.  Before I started my journey. Before I knew what I know now. Before I even dreamed that one day I could coach someone else to try to be better. I am so proud of this before picture. I only wish I had more pictures to remind me how far I have come.

These are Coach Stephanie’s before and after pictures, 6 months apart, from 5 years ago. Technically, Coach Stephanie was my “first” CK Client before there was ever a Clean Kitchen!

Winter 2018 Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge starts on January 21! Registration closes on Jan 19.

Belinda Teston: The Slump

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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. 

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Italian Sausage Meatballs

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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.

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Raspberry Muffins

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Servings: about 36 mini muffins

Fresh

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt cream cheese (or sub for extra 1/4 cup of cottage cheese)
  • 1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries or strawberries (1/2 cup reserved for in batter mix, other 1/2 cup to top mini muffins)

Pantry

Directions 

  1. Add all ingredients to food processor, but reserve 1/2 cup raspberries to top mini muffins with. Mix well.
  2. Pour batter in mini muffin pan.
  3. Top muffins with remaining raspberries, one per muffin.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.
  5. Drizzle with a little honey to serve.

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Coach Jamie’s Favorite Kitchen Things

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Being in the kitchen a lot you get a feel for what makes the process easier. These are a few of my favorites and ones I use daily! I may add more to this list later so keep checking back 🙂

Check here to see details about our next upcoming Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge. It’s our online coaching program designed to help you become self-sufficient in the kitchen and in daily habits so you’ll never need another gimmick diet again.

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CK Holiday Menu

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By Meredith West

When it comes to holiday meals, we all know the true stars of the show are the sides. The turkey or meat option is really just an after thought. We have you covered with a CK Holiday Menu that, even if you don’t control your portion sizes, at least there is not too much damage done with these recipe re-vamps of holiday classics!

Download this entire menu of recipes in this article here.

Be sure to check our “CK Friendly Thanksgiving” post for even more holiday recipe ideas!

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Beans in a Bundle with Maple-Dijon Dressing

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I LOVE “Beans in a Bundle” with Catalina Dressing. We have every year around holiday meals. Here is a healthier twist on using other dressings, with hint of maple!

Fresh

  • Turkey bacon
  • 12 oz fresh steamed green beans or 2-3 cans of whole green beans

Pantry

  • 1/2 cup J. Olive Co. Maple Balsamic
  • 1 tbs J. Olive Co. butter olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbs course grain Dijon mustard

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix the dressing.
  3. I like a lot of “sauce” and this is one you can dial back or make more of depending on preference. For the dressing mix together the Maple Balsamic, butter olive oil, salt and course grain dijon mustard. Set aside.

Assemble the bundles.

  1. I slice the bacon slices in half. Use one “half slice” per 5-6 whole green beans. You can secure the bundle with a toothpick if needed.
  2. You can use canned or fresh green beans. I have used both. My family prefers the softer texture of the canned green beans. If you have fresh you can simply steam them before assembling the bundles.
  3. Place bundles in a greased, oven-safe baking dish and then pour dressing on top.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.

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Butternut Stuffing

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This is a twist on stuffing using cubed butternut instead of bread, and loading it up with some CK Turkey sausage. This is a perfect guilt-free holiday recipe! I highly suggest getting some J. Olive Co. Maple Balsamic vinegar to turn that turkey sausage into “maple” sausage :). I have made this with both regular balsamic and with the Maple balsamic. Both are equally delicious!

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