Work It Out: Kitchen Edition

You can’t out crunch a bad diet.


Where’s the chocolate-lovers ab diet?!

Today’s Work It Out post is a little different.  Usually I feature a new workout technique, but this post-Thanksgiving week I’m being a little selfish.  I need to Work It Out in the Kitchen.  Like many others, I indulged throughout the Thanksgiving holiday.  No regrets – it was fantastic – but now I need to reset and not let that sweet tooth take over all the way into the new year.


When I start with the sweet tooth and red wine other indulgences it quickly becomes a habit.  At one point I was eating dessert after every meal… including breakfast.  What works for me is to go cold turkey (pun intended) to reset myself.  I’ve done this in the past through my favorite cleanse, but I haven’t gotten to the “emergency” point yet.  This time around I’m going back to the basics.


Leading up to Christmas I’m going to be doing a Kitchen Workout in addition to my normal routine.  This isn’t about weight loss (my new diet is actually focused on gaining – more on that tomorrow).  The Kitchen Workout is about eating to fuel your body properly.  Eating clean makes me feel energized, keeps my skin clear, and improves my ability to focus.

The following guidelines are what works for me.  For example, I know that I can’t have just a little sugar and stop.  Therefore, I’m cutting it out.  I also know that I can’t be too strict on myself or I’ll go full-speed in the opposite direction.  A Saturday “cheat day” will be employed. :)


The Kitchen Workout

  • Eat clean – minimize processed foods
  • Cut out the sugar (except fruit)
  • Limited dining out
  • Keep sodium to a minimum
  • No drinking on “school nights”
  • Stick to complex carbs
  • Eat small meals throughout the day
  • Take in plenty of protein to feel full and build muscle
  • Incorporate vegetables into each meal


Who else wants to join in the Kitchen Workout?

A good support/accountability network is a big part of staying on track!  Feel free to steal the #KitchenWorkout graphic and show your clean eating pride!  I’ll be sharing some new recipes, as well as more tips for holiday survival.

To get started, check out these posts for more ideas on eating clean:


For some initial food ideas?  Here are a few clean recipes that won’t leave you feeling like you’re missing anything:


Maple TVP “Oatmeal”


 Crab Eggs Benedict, Lightened Up


Grilled PB&J with Tofu Peanut Butter


Tzatziki Chickpea Tuna Salad


Mexican Crustless Chickpea (Vegan) Quiche


Fig and Edamame Kamut Berries with Sriracha-Lime Vinaigrette


150 Calorie Microwave Chocolate Protein Cake


Chewy Granola Cookies


The holidays have begun!  I’ve been invited to a cookie swap… I’m taking my granola cookies so I know I have a healthier option.  Can’t wait to see if anyone knows they are better for you!

Did anyone try the bicep moves Jody shared last week?

Are you making an effort to keep it clean over the holiday season?



  1. says

    Im so so so so so so with you!!
    I need me lottsa energy to do what I have to do and eating your way…our way….is the only way to get there :-)

  2. says

    Nice one, Laura…. I am already a month into my sweetener-free challenge although i have cut out fruit for now. I am loving it, actually… although it is the fruit that really tempts me because I sometimes wonder WHY I am cutting it out because I know the antioxidants in berries are great. 😉 Otherwise, the rest of your goals are nearly already incorporated (although I eat more like 3-4 meals a day)… sodium is the other one I am gradually weaning out. 😉

  3. says

    After the marathon, I knew that I needed to start cleaning up my diet! It started yesterday (I just haven’t posted about it) and I’m working on a plan too – that I can stick with.

    I’m totally ith you on the sweet stuff. Once I start I cannot stop – so I just can’t start!

  4. says

    Neat idea! Totally know what you mean about just feeling “off” when your diet isn’t on point. It can really take a toll on your overall performance! And I’m with Allie, I just love all these recipes you rounded up, I have to check out that quiche! 😀

  5. says

    ohh yes, its a good one! I’m in, but i need an exception. A glass of wine a day. yep, one. I only d one anyway. I don’t eat dessert, so that evens out, yes?

  6. says

    Great idea, Laura! As yummy as indulgences can be, I definitely start to notice myself become sluggish and just uncomfortable overall after several days of overeating! When I am indulging, I want to make it worth it…not just eat it for the heck of it because it’s there…it has to taste exceptionally good!

    • Laura says

      totally understand about indulgences being “worth it.” I’m not wasting a treat on a silly candy. I want homemade cake!

  7. says

    I’m not sure how I did it, but I’ve never noticed the PB & J with PB tofu. I just checked out the recipe, and wow.. it sounds pretty darn awesome!

  8. says

    You know this is how I live! My thought with food is “what is this going to do for me, not to me”. Tony is learning this now since I’m in charge of his eating right now. He totally gets it and can already see the changes in just 3 weeks! It’s amazing how your diet can really change how you feel and how you look.

  9. says

    ha! i do the no drinking on ‘school nights’ thing. i find sometimes these little rules really add up! and i feel better the next day given that most of my intense workouts are during the week and i have to watch my hydration.

  10. says

    Seems like a reasonable plan in the kitchen! I’m glad your throwing an off-plan Saturday in there…required for sanity reasons! I’ve got to work on my sweet tooth myself…I’m more or less at the “dessert after every meal” phase.

  11. says

    Oh some great sounding recipes (heading to check them all out now). I try to just stay on my normal routine period. That makes me feel so much better. Sometimes being vegetarian helps with all the parties, potlucks and suck. My choices are often insanely limited and I tend to just bring a dish for myself.

    • Laura says

      When I was vegan it was SO much easier to avoid those things. I guess my guidelines work in the same sort of way – those party treats are simply foods I don’t eat.

  12. says

    Those recipes look incredible, Laura! Yes, I’m doing my best to “eat clean.” For me that’s sticking to my WW plan and being mindful of everything I eat. Don’t just stick it in my mouth because it’s in front of me. I’m doing ok so far. Love the graphic…so cute…so You!

  13. says

    I try not to stress too much about clean eating because of the toll that it takes on my mental state, but I definitely find myself gravitating towards healthier eating just because I feel a lot better that way. I’m okay with not eating dessert after every meal, but those ‘Saturdays’ are definitely needed 😀

  14. says

    I’m in! Well, mostly. I won’t completely cut out sugar, but keep it relatively low. Baking Christmas cookies has a long tradition in my family, but I will share the cookies I make with the people around me and only consume reasonably amounts.
    Besides that, I’ll keep eating the things I love, like salads, fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. And when it comes to treats, I’ll focus on quality over quantity.

  15. says

    I’m there, I’m there, I’m there!! I need to clean it up a bit too – I have gotten into the dessert and heavy comfort food habit, and it really does make a difference in how I feel. I am adding more juice into my daily eats, more clean and raw – more energy!

  16. says

    Ive been eating quite a bit of rubbish recently and thinking of doing a cleanse; did you not find that you lost much muscle mass when just eating fruit/veg/lentils..any advice would be appreciated!

    • Laura says

      I didn’t lose any muscle, but I wasn’t lifting like I am now. At the time I was running and doing P90X. The cleanse includes protein powder, and then incorporates a serving of lean protein after day 10. Worked perfectly for my needs!

      • says

        Ah thats great thanks, lifting is the majority of my work outs now, with some sprints thrown in now and then – adding some protein powder in and looking forward to day 11 haha! Just feel like i need to get rid of all the rubbish ive been putting into my body, was just hoping i wouldnt lose stacks of muscle. :)

  17. says

    When I get into the habit of snacking on sweets…it’s like I’ve never seen chocolate before, haha. I’m trying to balance that out :) And that tofu grilled PB&J looks so neat! I’ve never thought of mixing peanut flour with tofu before! Brilliant 😉

  18. says

    Cute idea! This holiday my husband and I went on an out of town trip which involved no feast and days of hiking, so I’m in the opposite place of most people right now :). But, it’s good to stop the over indulgence now, then carry it through the end of the season!

  19. says

    Love the graphic at the top! Since starting CrossFit I have definitely been eating better and cleaner. I can see a difference in the same aspects as you- more energy and definitely much clearer skin! Cutting out (most) sugar and salt has also helped me lose some weight and maintain it. Working so hard exercising makes me not want to ruin it with what I put into my body. Having protein with each meal in the form of eggs, greek yogurt, almonds, chicken and tuna also keeps me full and full of energy. Great post, working it out in the kitchen is just as important as working it out in the gym!

    • Laura says

      You are so right about working hard contributing to wanting to eat clean. Why both if you’re just going to throw it away in the kitchen?

  20. says

    Love that graphic!! Blue hair looks good on you 😉 Seriously though! I need to do this… I’ve been awful about my eats as of late. I shouldn’t let it be an excuse but things have been hectic and I’ve allowed that to interfere in the kitchen. I’m hoping over the next few weeks things will get back to normal and I can get back on track! Gotta get rid of those gingerbread cookies I just bought though… #fail. My sweet tooth goes into OD during the holidays! :-/

  21. says

    Awesome post 😀 Your advice will be diligently as I approach exam month at university lol! Followed by a vacation to Mexico (with all you can eat buffets) and then followed by Christmas holiday.

  22. says

    YES! I always am amazed that people still ask me how many crunches & how much ab work they have to do to lose their tummy… I tell them the kitchen is the place to start! :)

    I eat like this pretty much right now so I am already on board!!! Holidays do not deter me!!! :)

    I am taking time off for 7-10 days from a lot of social media starting Saturday cause my sis will be visiting & been 6 years since I have seen here BUT she eats like me so all is good!!!! :)


    • Laura says

      Right?! you can crunch all you want but that core isn’t going to shine through a layer of butter.

      We’ll miss you, but enjoy your time with you sister. Can’t wait to hear all about it! :)

  23. Tracey says

    I am in. Love the idea of a Kitchen workout! After all it is 80% of the equation. I am working on eating clean and getting the men I live with to do the same. They have FINALLY switched to brown bread after 20 years of efforst. Now for Meatless Mondays in 2013!

    • Laura says

      That’s no easy task! There are so many great meatless recipes out there… I bet you almost could fool them with a hearty bean chili!

  24. Anna says

    I’m in! After way too much sugary treats lately I declared myself “Sugar Free” on Sunday (minus natural sugars in fruit). It’s definitely great to know others are cleaning it up too!

  25. says

    Sign me up; I’m all in baby….as soon as I finish this glass of wine. Kidding!
    I’m all about clean eating and could certainly use a little detox after last weeks feeding frenzy!!
    And I did try Jodi’s bicep moves. Talk about an amazing woman!!

  26. says

    I’m right there with ya girl! Last year I was even sneaking cookies into my breakfast! But I was kind of surprised I didn’t have to force myself to go “cold turkey” this year…I woke up the day after Thanksgiving and couldn’t even THINK about food! Super creamy thick chocolate shake to the rescue! Washed down with a mug of (half-caff) coffee and I was set for HOURS! After two days of that and kinda “picking” at my meals throughout the rest of the day, I finally started to get my appetite back just a few days ago, but I’ve still been craving raw veggies like crazy! Have to say…my body knows what’s good for me! :)

    • Laura says

      I have been there! Actually, I get that way after some of Zach’s menus. LOL! I’m doing the same thing with veggies though – I can’t get enough right now. as much as I hate to admit it, there is only so much rich food I can eat. *sigh*

  27. says

    I am happy to say that the Kitchen Workout has become my pretty standard way of eating. I actually DON’T like to do cold turkey or ‘cleanses’ post indulgence, but, then again, I rarely feel like I have overindulged–at least in the recent past. My mindset is often ‘this really isn’t the last time I’ll ever be able to eat this,’ even on holidays like Thanksgiving, so I can try to eat sensibly.

    Although, my mom’s wedding dinner this summer when I licked a plate of what was essentially butter sauce comes to mind as an aberration from this norm.

    I’m not perfect. Sue me.

  28. says

    SIDE NOTE: I read up more on TVP and soy flour (which is bob’s red mill) isn’t the devil when it comes to phytoestrogens. My hormones are pretty fucked (I can say fucked on your blog, right? good because I said fucked twice. whoops, three times), and I was concerned about that. I love TVP oatmeal and TVP in general, but I’m going to be choosy when it comes to soy products.

    And I’m blogging about this tomorrow.

    PS nice graphic. 😉 I’m thinking I should have added your website to the bottom of it, but that would just clutter it up …

    OH and I kind of want to make a graphic for this with the kitchen workout rules. I’ll use your blue logo, coolio? Steal it from my post tomorrow.

    • Laura says

      I told you!!! 😛 And NO you cannot day fuck on this blog. Fucker. 😉

      I am going to do an “unveiling” but I just couldn’t wait another second to use it!!! You rock so hard. Still need to email you about the header. I’m a slacker. Emailing you NOW.


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