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.
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.
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!
We’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!
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!
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!
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 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.
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.
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!
Always use the serving cups for your dressings so you don’t over pour and add $$ to your bowl.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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!
“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).
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.