Nothing to lose…

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By Christy Street 

I signed up for the Winter 2017 Clean Kitchen challenge after my aunt invited me to a Clean Kitchen cooking demonstration. Honestly, I was not convinced that I could “do” Clean Kitchen with all the “it must taste good,” healthy alternatives and eat your “plants” 4-8 times per day talk from two extremely fit, beautiful women in pristine white shirts. 

However, I had gotten to a point in my life where I felt like I had nothing to lose. I hated looking at myself, especially in pictures. I hated how hard it was for me to get around. I could barely walk up the small flight of stairs at work without getting winded. I constantly battled guilt for feeling sorry for myself and believing I should just be grateful. I have so many things to be grateful for – a loving husband, two beautiful girls, a supportive family, good friends and co-workers, a great job, health, home, etc. But, I wasn’t happy, and I found myself trying to minimize who I was in every way possible, and I hated that most of all. 

So, with a little skepticism, I took the plunge into the 12-week program.

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How to survive Disney CK Style

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By Meredith West

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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!

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Courtney Turner

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By Courtney Turner

“You could win $1000…” I told myself as I coughed up the $250 to sign up for the Clean Kitchen Challenge. Not that I actually expected to win! It seemed like such a big investment at the time, but I can honestly say that what I gained from the program was priceless. I had recently started working out at Versus Strength & Conditioning when registration opened for the 2018 Winter Challenge. I had just given birth to my second child and was dealing with some mild postpartum depression. I was exhausted, fat, and feeling hopeless. I needed something, and that something turned out to be Versus and Clean Kitchen.

One of the first assignments in the CK program was to identify my “WHY”. Well, I wanted to lose weight and feel better about myself. But I’ve always wanted that. That had never been strong enough motivation for me to make a long term change. I needed to dig deeper. Yes, I wanted to be successful for myself, but what I realized was that ultimately I wanted it for my family. I wanted to have the energy to enjoy my kids; I wanted to live a long, healthy life so I could watch them grow up; and I wanted to be able to set an example for them so that they could lead healthy lives. That is what makes CK unlike any “diet” program out there. It’s not a meal plan or some quick weight loss gimmick. They make you dig deeper because they know that’s where the real change has to happen (not just in your waistline).

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Before/After


With the support of my coaches and the CK community, I did win the challenge. But more importantly, I won a lot of mental battles throughout those 12 weeks – against negative self-talk, emotional food cravings, and all my old excuses. The winter challenge may be over, but thanks to Clean Kitchen I am prepared to win those battles every day. I am in the best shape of my life, physically and mentally, and it’s only going to keep getting better!

*Just a side note for anyone thinking, “There’s no way I can do this program because I’m a picky eater.” Yes, you can! Before CK, I had the palate of a toddler. My diet was full of processed/fast food. I NEVER ate vegetables. I kid you not, the first thing I did after signing up for the challenge was Google tips for making vegetables taste better. I read articles like, “How to trick your toddler into eating veggies.” It was sad. Fast forward to today, I’m eating SIX servings of vegetables a day and I only make bad faces sometimes.

The next Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge begins soon!! Register here.

 

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!

Winter 2018 Progress Pictures

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780+ pounds gone and over 100 lives changed.

And this happened in 12 Weeks. The knowledge and habits developed during these past 12 weeks will carry them onward to week 13 and beyond! We created Clean Kitchen Challenge not as a weight-loss program, but more as a lifestyle program. Our goal is not for our clients to “lose the most weight.” Our goal is for our clients to develop skills and strategies to help them make healthy eating and choices a lifestyle that will carry them much longer than just a short 12 weeks. Congrats to everyone. Your coaches are so proud of all the progress you have made, including the non-scale victories!

Below are a handful of clients who turned in progress pictures for the progress picture vote of “most visual change.” The voting is anonymous, as are the client pictures! The picture with the most votes wins $1000 CASH!!

Are you ready for a change? Check out details on our upcoming 12 Week Challenge!

And the winner of the Winter 2018 Progress Picture Vote is…

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First Place winner of $1000!!!

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Second Place

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Third Place

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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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Green Smoothie Bowl

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This is the perfect quick breakfast or snack (or even dessert!). You can premix the smoothie contents and keep in the fridge up to 3-4 days! So you may want to make triple. If you can find lemon infused olive oil go with that! It really makes the mix smooth and glossy. For extra “tropical” flavor, add in the coconut balsamic, but I have also made this without!

Servings: 1

Combine in a food processor:

  • Big handful fresh or 1/2 cup frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup low fat or fat free cottage cheese
  • 1/2 +/- cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Quest Vanilla Milkshake)
  • 4 frozen peach slices
  • 1 tsp J. Olive Co. lemon olive oil or lemon extract
  • 1/2 tbs J. Olive Co. coconut balsamic (optional)

Toppings:

  • 1/2 small sliced banana
  • 1 kiwi sliced
  • 1 tbs unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tbs hemp seeds (You can find these at most grocery stores, even Walmart. Usually by the nuts and coconut flakes!)

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Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad

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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!

Update: I recently tried this recipe substituting the romaine with chopped kale, and it held up wonderfully as leftovers. 

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 or chopped kale
  • 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

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!

Inspired yet? Sign up for the next Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge here!

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“I just thought I’d share in my happiness because you are a huge part of helping it happen. I decided to go back to my challenge photo and compare and I was shocked! Thank you for helping change my life and so many others! I’m a year and a half out from my challenge and continuing to see results.” 

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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