Challenge Testimonials!

By Cara Busson Clark on Jan 7th 2016


Four weeks in and I've lost at least 8 pounds (majorly bloated due to PMS at the moment, so I'm not sure what the actual number is). I've got about 30 more lbs to go so I'm gonna keep on trucking for the next year! This is my second challenge with CCN and I'm so very glad I did it. My cravings for sweets are nearly zero and I've never felt so undeprived when restricting calories. It makes me giddy with happiness! I have a LONG (30+ year) history of disordered eating and I'm not supposed to diet, but I need to lose weight. I've just been accepting those two situations (being overweight and not allowed to diet) for several years now. Former "professional dieters" like me think they know how to eat properly and it's just willpower standing in the way. I was eating, restricting, bingeing--losing and gaining hundreds of pounds over and over, but really was starving nutritionally all the while. No longer. I'm eating and can imagine doing this for the rest of my life. XXXOOO


Finishing week 2 and I'm down 3lbs. I feel amazing!! I haven't followed the plan 100% as I've been swapping meals around based on ingredients I have and food I like. Focusing on the timing of the meals has helped so much. I'm actually eating more now than I ever have before! I did the cleanse week last week and actually ate gluten and dairy last weekend (we took a friend that was visiting out on Beale Street in Memphis) and boy did I feel awful afterwards!! My boyfriend joined in this week so I've done another cleanse week. No dairy or gluten at all! No coffee! And I have so much energy and feel so much lighter. My boyfriend who is always skeptical of cutting things out of his diet has even commented on how great and light he feels. I love all of the recipes!! I've never been so excited to prep food. Now I just need to get on top of this whole exercising thing. I know if I start working out I'll easily shed some more weight. I just need a little motivation!!


I was looking for something better for my life. I have never been a fantastic healthy eater nor have I exercised like I should. This program was introduced to me by a friend. I thought she was out of her mind not having caffeine, gluten, dairy, or sugar. "What do you eat??? Grass??"

She was very motivating, pushy, so I figured it's for a small amount of time I'd give it a whirl. I'm SO glad I did!I had an increase in energy and I LOVE the smoothies. I noticed I also didn't have a puffy feeling in my stomach. I was not 100% because I have feet problems so exercise was not getting done. I did still lose weight, but overall this is the perfect way for me to better my life!


Ok- So I joined the group because I leave for Mexico on Sunday!! The goal was not to lose weight (but I did lose 8 lbs.). The goal was to really just get back on track with my eating and exercise after a horrible summer of over indulging. I was 90%+ for eating on track. But my exercise was not great. I traveled nearly every week of the program - so I missed a lot of workouts. That said, my goal is to continue the eating and ramp of the exercise through the end of the year (I call it the Year of Jen). I tried the smoothies and now drink them everyday! Love love love!

Thank you!


I haven't posted in a few. I've been keeping up with my workouts and with the meal plan. Just haven't had a moment to take measurements and weigh in yet (planning to do it Saturday morning). This challenge has showed me that I was starting down the right path as far as eating snacks in between meals but I have learned about the proper combinations of foods to eat, not just for snacks but for every meal. I never thought I could start my day without coffee and I though it would be super hard not having a glass of milk with dinner every night. But I did it. Now I have coffee only once or twice a week and it's for the flavor, not the caffeine. And I occasionally have a glass of milk with dinner, only a few nights a week (usually if we are having something spicy dinner) and it's the correct portion, 8 oz. before I was filling the glass so it was probably closer to 12 oz. I have a ton of energy and I'm sleeping like a rock at night! And most of all, this challenge has debunked the myth that healthy food doesn't taste good. A lot of the meals have even felt decadent! This is how I will be eating 90% of the time from now!


Four years ago my life changed forever. I was involved in a car accident. Before that I was very active, working out 6 days a week and I was in great physical shape. Since then, I've had approximately 100+ needles stuck in my back due to various tests, injections, RFA, etc. two years ago, after having tried everything else with no pain relief, I had 2 titanium rods put in my left SI joint. Unfortunately the joint never fused and I'm back to injections. Needless to say, my daily workouts had ended and I became depressed due to chronic pain and feeling sorry for myself. I became unhealthy and gained some weight and felt hopeless to be able to do anything about it. Having joined this group has changed my life!! I am so thankful for all of you. I have lost a total of 8 lbs and I'm not sure how many inches. Even though I can't do most of the workouts, I am eating healthy and feeling better and am seeing results. THANK YOU for this! I finally feel like I'm back in control if my life!


After the Fall challenge I'm down 5 lbs and 2 pant sizes! Loving this new food plan and not craving junk like I used to!


In 2006 I decided to go back to school and by the time I graduated, with honors, I had gained significant weight due to more hours sitting than moving. After I graduated my thinking was moving more would equate to weight loss, I couldn’t be more wrong. I struggled for over a year and I only kept getting larger and not in the way you may think; I would start off the morning in loose clothing and by the end of the day I could not stand to even have the bare necessities on. I was so swollen/bloated that I felt as if a pin were stuck in me I would deflate and be relieved. My other major symptom at that time was a tiredness that was so profound that I could not will myself out of bed each day; I knew something was wrong and spent a great deal of what strength and energy I had seeking medical attention, only to be told how healthy I was. My OBGYN is the only doctor who seemed to be concerned and ran some tests; I was told a week before Christmas that year that I could not eat gluten and was Celiac. The reduction of swelling and my energy levels returned to normal almost immediately all those years ago when I stopped eating gluten. Fast forward, today I am not Celiac, but I certainly had some digestive issues up until the beginning of this year which included acid reflux, diarrhea, anxiety and panic attacks, the latter which I was hospitalized for. Again and again, I am told how healthy I am and how they wish all their patients and clients were like me, but that is little comfort when you do not feel 100%. During this same time I sought out assistance in my journey from many sources: nutritionist, life-style coach, personal trainer, acupuncturist, massage, acupressure, lots and lots of literature, allergy and biofeedback tests. Additionally I learned that my body could not tolerate/had sensitivities/was allergic to: any milk products, sesame, orange, leek, spinach, gluten including most all grains, wheat, pork, pear, glue, tuna, turnip, beet sugar, the leaves of strawberries, whatever is in a DPT vaccination, any drug with aine in it, and all synthetic sweetners. I am the ONLY advocate I have!

I joined this challenge with only a week left, however, for a month or more before this time I was following all of Cara’s posts (IG, FB) and tried all of her recipes that she had posted; I started to feel lighter, was curious as to what else I was missing out on, so I bought her two books and joined. My clean recipes were becoming tired and not welcomed by my husband and girls, and I am happy to say that they love these recipes. With all of the before mentioned you would think I had been taking good care of myself – well, maybe not. Prior to this I ate 3 meals a day and my day went something like this: wake up hungry and eat a healthy breakfast; youngest child walks through front door at 3pm and I suddenly realize I have not had lunch, hydrated, exercised, planned for dinner and so on; then the remainder of the afternoon until about 6:30 is running her back and forth from swim team practice; then I have to hastily throw together a huge dinner for two student athletes and a hungry husband; exhausted, I now sit and retire to bed about 11pm. The hardest and most beneficial thing about this challenge for me was (and hopefully the last key to returning to 100% of myself) the timing and planning of the meals and snacks. As for hydrating, I have only ever been a water drinker, however, I saved it all for the afternoon and evening hours and yes, often my sleep was disturbed by having to get up to pee (more than once). When I was young we always had a snack after dinner, just before bed, and for some reason this has still continued as an adult. However, I have noticed on this challenge I am not eating in the evenings after dinner, and on the occasion that I did I felt awful. The other best thing about this challenge was this FB site – I am impressed with the support on it. I hope that my testimony helps someone out there to be their own advocate and to never stop pursuing that 100%.


I finished the Challenge and I am very happy. I started eating healthier in January and by June I lost 15 lbs., but it wasn't working any longer. I was stuck and bored with it and needed something new and this was the answer. I lost 7 more lbs plus inches (don't know how many, I just feel it because 7 lbs. wouldn't make that much of a difference). I followed it 90 percent. I only had trouble with drinking all the water (kept forgetting). I love the food and am now using the new Fall Cookbook. All the recipes have been great and I am looking forward to eating these foods forever. They are so good and there are so many so I will never get tired of them. I feel so good and have much more energy! Not giving that up. Have to say too what a fast month that was! I am so glad I did it. Thank you so much Cara and Allison.


I never imagined that I would ever eat healthy and like it. The beginning of the challenge was tough for me. It has changed my lifestyle!!! I love how I feel. I lost 10 pounds and my clothes are either fitting again or they are to big. I am so thankful for this challenge and the change it has made for my life!!! Super proud of you Cara Clark!!


This challenge was just what I needed when I needed it. I stuck to the plan 80% of the time and although I didn't get as many workouts in that I normally would have, I learned so much more. I make better choices at the grocery store and when eating out. I'm down 6 lbs and lost a total of 4" across my body. Even more important I'm helping others learn to eat better and I'm committed to my health. Lastly and most importantly I have learned to forgive myself. One slip up does not mean I failed. That has lifted such a weight off my shoulders and is priceless. Thank you everyone for your support and motivation. Your posts and pics kept me going on this journey. Here's to day 31 of the rest of our lives!!! Cara & Allison you two are amazing and I look forward to many more CCN approved recipes!!!


I can't say if I lost weight because the scale is down stairs and with the crutches it's just not worth the trip. However, fitting into my cloths is a little better. One thing I can say is that this has made me realize that I don't eat enough, often enough. In fact my kids don't either. We tend to come home starving and eat the easiest, fastest thing which tends to be the least healthy. With this program I have been better about planning further ahead so that we all eat better. My husband loves it because we are eating a lot more at home as opposed to running out to Chipotle after a busy day. I haven't been perfect but I know I am going to keep trying to get a little more organized. I got the recipe books and we are going to continue this healthy trend. Thank you so much for this challenge!


I made the cheeseburger stew yesterday and my husband said "This is healthy?" He loved it!


The Roasted Veggie Pesto Pizza is amazing! I keep wondering if it's really good for me. I feel like I'm cheating or something.


Loving this food plan, feel more energized, down five pounds and feeling difference in the fit of my clothes!


As I pack my lunch tonight I am reflecting upon my new appreciation for food and just how delicious it can be. Since I started this challenge I eat each serving of vegetables at each meal and enjoy them alot.I use to want to have fruit with each meal wanting something sweet and I've noticed I don't need that anymore. I just wanted to post this tonight,while I haven't posted alot, I just wanted to share this with the group. Thank you Allison and Cara for this awesome challenge!!


I've been continuing this lifestyle from the Summer Challenge...made some permanent changes (morning smoothies, VERY limited bread and sugar). Losing 7 pounds is second to how AMAZING I feel....never bloated or sluggish, thinking more clearly, better workouts, less moodiness.

As a Fitness Professional, I am surrounded by folks who seem to have "the magic solution" to fitness and health....everybody has "their idea" of the BEST WAY to be fit and healthy. Folks.....there is no comes from THIS type of eating...the type of eating and fueling that just MAKES SENSE.Trust the process.


Love this challenge! I've been following about 80% (been traveling a lot for functions on the weekends and Saturday night/Sunday brunch aren't always on point). I haven't lost any weight but I feel and look so much better! I'm more toned, have a flatter stomach, have much more energy, sleep like a log at night, and wake up feeling refreshed! Thank you Cara and Allison for such an amazing meal plan! Can't get over how delicious everything is!!!


Turkey chili for dinner tonight. I don't typically get unsolicited compliments but tonight my 18 year old told me the chili is really good. Thank you Cara and Allison.


My family loves this quinoa pasta dish from the spring challenge! My 3 year old (who basically lives on yogurt and watermelon) finished her dinner -spinach and all!


I did not think it was possible to crave, of all things, collard wraps and an apple ginger smoothie. I was wrong! I was craving both after the gym, and they did not disappoint!

On another note, I have had ups and downs during the cleanse. The persistence of the posters on the Facebook page have been VERY helpful. Those that have had small or large setbacks but keep pushing on...I love those posts and they are super inspiring.

Last night I had a big moment. I went down to the pantry, and in a typical wave of nighttime snacking weakness I grabbed a handful of these random wafer-like snacks we have. I even started eating one. Then I realized "what am I doing, why am I eating this" and I actually spit it out and put the rest away! I don't think I have ever done that in my life. So...thank you!!!


I had 2 people tell me yesterday I have to be the healthiest eater! I watched my co workers eat donuts yesterday and I'm so passed even wanting those they don't even look good!!!