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!

Summer 2019 Progress Pics

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Inches, pounds, pants sizes— they all go down. But what builds up is even more important…confidence, self-esteem, knowledge, action, happiness, excitement, understanding, forgiveness… the list can go on.

Do you know what really happens in the Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge? It’s not a weight loss program. It’s a complete re-train of what you think you know, what you think you have to do, what you think you like, and what you think you want.

We do not tell you what to do—we show you what healthy habits are, what consistency really looks like on a day-to-day basis, coach you how to get there and stay consistent. You have a full 12 weeks of practice to get really good at these habits, and as a result, your body composition changes.

These habits are not just for people who want to “lose weight.” These are the habits our coaches use and people living a healthy life, free of yo-yo dieting, crash diets, counting or gimmicks.

Because these habits are not a gimmick. These habits are what healthy individuals do as their “normal.” Do you get that?

We are people who:

  • eat majorly whole foods;
  • drink water as our beverage of choice;
  • we are never on a “diet;”
  • we love eating lots of food;
  • we see food for what it can do for us, rather than the enemy.

If you don’t, you need to sign up for the 12 Week Challenge.

CK is not a magical meal plan, or precise macro-calorie-counting, or special systematic timing of meals. CK is real life application. We don’t go around weighing every once of food or telling ourselves we “can’t eat because it’s not time.” No, we learned to eat they way our bodies were intended to be nourished so there is no need for that.

The CK Challenge is about becoming a “different” person than you are now in every way. Not just physically as you see in these photos below, but in the way you think about food, how you plan, how you measure progress, how you talk to yourself and forgive yourself. More importantly, how you learn to love a process that is foreign to some of you now. By the end of week 12 you will get it, it’s automatic…it’s a habit 😉

Our clients really get it. You can too.

Enroll here for the next Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge

Below is a sampling of client progress pictures from the Summer 2019 Challenge!

First place winner of $1000!!
Second place winner of a free copy of Clean Kitchen: The Cookbook!
Third place winner of a free copy of Clean Kitchen: The Cookbook!
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Absolute Freedom

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By Rachael Myrick

My journey towards being healthy and having a healthy relationship with food has been years in the making.  As a child, I struggled with being overweight until I hit my awkward pre-teen growth spurt. 

Flash forward to college years, I competed in Miss Mississippi and dropped to the low weight of 100lbs to get ready for swimsuit competition.  I severely limited my caloric intake and worked out like a madwoman.  Sadly, this is actually what it took to win the swimsuit competition. 

My experience then definitely clouded my judgment of what eating healthy looked like.  Less calories= less weight in my view. 

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Eating out in Tupelo!

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Eating on the go can seem daunting if you want to eat even semi-healthy. There are so many temptations on a menu, you can get distracted!

As a general rule when going out to eat, if I want to stay on track, I try to eat low-carb.

Not that I think carbs are bad, nor do I cut them out of my daily diet, but I like to know what is in my meal if I am going to truly make a good decision.

Here’s why:

Restaurants cook with lots of fat because fat makes things taste delicious. So what you might think as being a “healthy rice” side, could turn into a calorie bomb because it is cooked with fat, paired with your buttery fish and veggies.

You could ask for the food to be prepared without oil or butter, but again personally, that just makes for a miserable time eating out. (Fats taste so good!) You might as well have cooked at home. But feel free to ask if you find yourself eating out a lot. No harm in asking!

How to enjoy your restaurant meal without thinking you completely blew it…

…or trying to order a complicated meal, just stick to my simple rule— pass on the heavy carbs and order extra veggies. I do this every where and most places are happy to accommodate a substitution.

One of our most popular blog post is “Eating Out in the Burg,” a listing of local restaurants in Hattiesburg, Ms and what our coaches and clients order CK-Style. You’ll notice, most of the meals follow my rule above. And though we think these are helpful to get an idea of how to order at any restaurant or city, we thought we would expand our reach and into other cities!

First up is Tupelo, MS!

11390291_747001642065804_4181858216122549198_nWe’ve partnered up with FitCamp, a local women’s gym and indoor bootcamps, to give you the scouting report for local CK-approved eats. Coach Casey and her crew are living that CK-Lifestyle and ready to help Tupelo learn the CK-ways. Here’s what they have found around town!

Interested in trying out one of Coach Casey’s classes? Check out their class schedule on msfitcamp.tumblr.com!

Keep checking back, as we will update this post with more entries as they come in!

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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!

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Jill Rutherford

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It’s really no secret that I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life.  Two years ago I was at my heaviest, and I was miserable to say the least. 

I read about Clean Kitchen and all the results past clients had, but I had an abundance of excuses as to why I wasn’t going to try the program, one of the main reasons being the cost. 

I took matters into my own hands and bought the CK cookbook as I, once again, ventured into a healthier version of myself.  I made great progress on my own for a while, but I eventually fell back into bad habits. 

I knew something had to change, so I finally made the decision that my health and well-being was worth the investment and to trust this program that so many others have had great success in.

I participated in the Summer 2018 Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge, and it taught me, for the first time in my life, how to eat to live instead of living to eat.  Even though it’s all very self-driven, having your own personal coach to help guide you and hold you accountable and to answer any questions you have makes all the difference. 

I have nothing but great things to say about the program and what it taught me, and the fact that I’ve been able to sustain it since the challenge ended is everything. 

The absolute game changer was when I decided to try a Versus class.  About 3 weeks before my CK challenge ended, I joined Anna’s outdoor class at Oak Grove.  I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to do the workouts because of some old injuries, but Anna put my mind at ease, and there’s been no looking back. 

Thanks to Anna’s Versus Outdoor class, I am stronger than I’ve ever been, and I’m continuing to see amazing changes in myself.  Like Anna keeps telling me, “This is just the beginning.”  I couldn’t be more grateful for being a part of the Versus family; their encouragement and support is like no other!

With 45 pounds gone, 17 inches lost , 2 dress sizes down, I’m a believer in this process! I truly believe this program is one of the best investments in yourself you can make. Want to learn more about the CK Challenge? Check out the FAQ page here.

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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!!

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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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Salad Bowls at The Salad Station

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Salad bowls (or bowl meals) have long been a favorite around Clean Kitchen because they are fast, versatile, and fill all the CK habits! Now we have a restaurant in Hattiesburg, MS dedicated to just that, and we couldn’t be more excited.

We’ve partnered up with The Salad Station to create not only 5 yummy bowl combinations, but also the CK Lemon Parm Vinaigrette dressing! Menu cards will be available at all locations to help you build you CK-Bowl!

The Salad Station is a “build your own salad” place. Pile as much as you want in the bowl in any combination. You pay by weight of your bowl contents—which can be problematic if you do not have a plan. So naturally we wanted to help you navigate their huge selection on the salad bar.

In Clean Kitchen we plan! So here are 5 CK-Approved-bowls that won’t break the bank. All bowls were under $8, with dressing and tax included! After all, it’s all about portion sizes and having a plan!

The bowls you see here are the actual bowls I made, weighed, priced AND ate!

Pro tips:

  1. Always use the serving cups for your dressings so you don’t over pour and add $$ to your bowl.
  2. It’s not a bad idea to “meal prep” for several meals while you are there! If you plan to make multiple salads, just go before the busy hours around 10-11am or after lunch.

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Eat. Work. Sleep. Repeat.

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I often say to my son, You gotta do what you have to do, before you can do what you want to do.

Now, I am usually referring to him doing his homework or chores so he can play with his friends. But I am, in a simple way, training him with some sort of work ethic for mundane task and stating the facts of life that nothing is given.

Everything is earned in one way or another. He might as well learn that now with simple day-to-day routines, because I know in the long run it will translate over into other areas of his life.

You can apply this mantra to any part of life where you need to create some self-discipline. There are things you have to do in order to get the things you want.

Eat. Work. Sleep. Repeat.

Every single human does this daily. But not every person does this the same way. The amount, the time, and the quality of each step shapes pretty much everything we do in our daily lives, as well as our energy level, productivity and our body composition.

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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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