Monthly Archives: November 2013

Bloat Busting Diet

As I type this this morning, my head aches, my face is all puffy, and my fingers look like little sausages to me.  Sorry for the un-pretty mental images, but I’m bloated!

I ate Sugar Freedom style at Thanksgiving dinner, (no sugar, no grains) but I did make some yummy cupcakes, sweet potatoes, and gravy that contained almond and coconut flour.  Plus, there was a good deal of salt in the rub I used on the turkey, so even when I’m on plan I can get pretty puffy if I eat foods that aren’t typical.

If you’re feeling the effects of extra sodium, or extra anything for that matter, give this menu a try today.

Start with warm lemon water.

Start with warm lemon water.

At breakfast:  2 eggs, poached, served over a bed of spinach cooked in olive oil, and topped with salsa.

Snack: 1 organic granny smith apple and a small handful of almonds.

Lunch: 3-4 oz turkey (leftovers you know.) Served with 2 cups salad, cucumber, celery, and olive oil and vinegar dressing.

Dinner: 3-4 oz broiled salmon, 1 cup asparagus, 1 cup sliced mushrooms cooked in olive or coconut oil.

Drink at least 6 glasses of water throughout the day.  The vegetables on this menu have a diuretic effect.  Feel free to have more of them if you’re hungry, and add parsley to any of your cooked dishes to get the benefit of its anti-bloating effect.

If you want another snack, low sugar fruits like berries are a good choice.  Pair them with one ounce of raw unsalted almonds or walnuts if you need something more substantial.

Honestly, I still feel full from last night, so eating lightly sounds great to me.  Remember, you can use this simple menu any day to get rid of bloat and feel lighter and sleeker.

Whatever the day brings, shopping, football, time with friends and family, don’t forget to to add some walking to use up any of yesterday’s extra fuel.  Here’s a simple exercise routine you can do at home: Warm up with 10 squats, 10 stick ups, 10 cross crawls, and 10 leg swings on each side.  Then do 3 rounds of ten each of Total Body Extensions, Close Grip Push Ups, Jumping Jacks, and Cross Body Mountain Climbers.  You can find these exercises at my You Tube channel:  Just search Catherine Gordon.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buE6tyS2TEc

Even if you’re into eating leftovers today, this Sugar Freedom bloat busting menu will be ready whenever you need it.

 

Sugar Free Berry Nut Muffins

During the holidays I can feel left out when everyone else is having muffins, bagels, coffee cake, or other breakfast goodies.  These are an easy substitute.

 

  1. Mix all the wet ingredients together
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
  3. Combine wet and dry mixtures together. I mashed the raspberries while mixing. Leave to stand for 10 minutes to thicken
  4. Fill 12 muffin cups and sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

You can easily substitute blueberries for the raspberries in this recipe.  These are delicious topped with some cream cheese.

The biggest challenge with sugar free baking is the sweetener.  Although these are yummy to me, someone who is used to sugar will definitely notice the stevia.  Still, this is a fantastic change when you get tired of eggs at breakfast!  Plus, these are full of fiber which is important in a diet that manages carb intake.

Easy Grain and Gluten Free Quiche

Make these today, and you’ll have an easy, elegant main dish for breakfast.

Easy and Yummy.

Easy and Yummy.

These keep in the refrigerator for three days, or freeze the extras.

When you eat Sugar Freedom style you need options for your first meal of the day that don’t include muffins, bagels, or boxed cereal.  These fill the bill, and they’re delicious and satisfying too.

My husband says, “Make these anytime. They’re better than hash browns!”

Mini Crustless Quiche

Serves: 6 Yield:12 quiches

5 eggs

3/4 cup cheese, shredded

1/4 cup celery, diced

1/4 cup green pepper, diced

1/4 cup onion, diced

1/2 cup mushrooms diced

3 drops hot pepper sauce (optional)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

 Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with organic olive oil cooking spray.

3. Combine the eggs, cheese, peppers, onions, mushrooms and celery  in a bowl. Mix well.

4. Divide evenly among muffin cups.

5. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Feel free to substitute other vegetables like spinach and red bell pepper.

 

 

 

 

Diets Do Work

As a member of the National Weight Control Registry who has kept more than 60 pounds off for more than 5 years, there is one thing I know about fat loss.

Fat loss, at least in my case, is the result of a change in eating .

This change is specifically intended to reduce body fat.  The principal goal of anyone who wants to release body fat is to find the way of eating that allows that to happen.

Please understand though, that fat release for use by the body’s energy producing system is “Autonomic.”  Which is defined as involuntary or unconscious, as relating to the autonomic nervous system.

So we could even say that fat release is controlled by a sub-conscious system.  Just as you don’t deliberately create red blood cells, you can’t deliberately extinguish fat cells.

So what can you do?

From my experience as a dieter and as a trainer, I have learned that you can manage your nutrition in a way that produces fat loss.  The  great challenge comes from the fact that different strategies work for different kinds of people.  Even more confusing, what worked in your teens, twenties, and thirties, can stop working as you cross into your forties, fifties, and beyond.

Where restricting calories and adding cardio may have worked like a charm when you were 23, your body’s priorities and its hormonal profile change over time, so if you’re stuck at the same weight even though you’ve cut calories and increased movement, it may be time for a new strategy.

Now, my insulin and leptin sensitivity have been out of whack since I was six years old.  The evidence of this comes from my bread and sugar binges, and the fact that high glycemic foods have stimulated my appetite instead of satisfying it ever since then.  You may have been able to live on pasta, bagels, breakfast cereal, and muffins, quite easily for most of your life, but if you’re starting to put on fat, and your old diet and exercise strategies have stopped working, it may be time for a new approach.

You may think that “Diets Don’t Work,” but the fact of the matter may be that “Old Diets Don’t Work Anymore.”

I don’t want to forget the primary goal of any diet that I would follow:  It must provide adequate nutrition and energy while causing fat release.  That means that we have to seek out and prepare foods that give us the win win of satisfaction and good health.

To make that idea practical, Sugar Freedom, and the Sugar Freedom Diet, starts with breakfast every day.  This idea is not new in the world of fat loss, but what I have found is that breakfast has to establish a foundation of nutrition and satisfaction that stays with you throughout the day.

It’s time to make breakfast, so I will post a picture of yesterday’s and get on making today’s.  More to come on why diets do work!

This is where it all begins.

This is where it all begins.

Find Your Fat Loss Goal

Last week I wrote about how you can begin to find your ideal weight with one simple measurement.

 That measurement is “Waist Circumference,” and if you’re a woman it should be below 31.5 inches for optimal health.  Guys: your goal is to get it below 37 inches.

 Yesterday, I found a fitness calculator that shocked me.

 It determines your fitness age with a formula that takes into account the time and intensity of your exercise habits, your resting heart rate, and, yes you guessed it, your waist circumference!

http://www.ntnu.edu/cerg/vo2max 

Click the link above to take the test.

I was completely shocked when my result came back at under 20 years old, but the combination of Turbulence Training and The Sugar Freedom Diet has made my waist six inches smaller than when I started my fat loss journey in 2008, and they have made my resting heart rate surprisingly low.

I want the same results for you, and this is why:

A smaller waist means improved insulin sensitivity, and a slower resting heart rate indicates improved blood flow and less stress.  These two benefits are like two streams from the fountain of youth, and they give us the energy and well-being to go out and do what we love to do.

What would you do if you had boundless energy, and you felt like you looked fantastic?

Would you travel more?  Go dancing?  Open your own business?  Volunteer at your child’s school?

Remember last week’s blog where I wrote about “Media Weight?”  Well guess what, Media Weight has absolutely nothing to do with your health.  The astonishing thinness of the images that sell products are intended to raise the bar on your desires and expectations of yourself.

The “Mad Men” in advertising know that if they can put the standard of beauty out of reach, they can keep selling  you the products and services that they claim will finally help you measure up to their ridiculous standards.

I am writing to encourage you to take happiness back from the media and the “Madvertisers” by determining your fat loss goals in terms of action instead of appearance.

Let me explain.  If contemporary standards of appearance are absurd, and they have nothing to do with heath or natural beauty, why not blow them off and concentrate on how you feel and what you do instead?

 

So the next step in permanent fat loss isn’t picking a number on the scale, no not at all.

The next step is to determine what your ideal body will allow you to do.

The body of your dreams is simply the body that has the health and energy to let you pursue what makes you happy, and guess what?

This very state of happiness with what you do will go a long way toward eliminating your desire to overeat.

So right here and now I’m asking you to write down three things you love to do, or would love to do, that would be enhanced by fat loss and fitness.

By combining a simple waist measurement with three things you love to do, you will have established a brilliant fat loss goal that will be like a powerful magnet that draws positive people, actions, and opportunities right to you.

I have seen it time and again in my students that when their goals become about health, happiness, and action the fat loss frustration falls away, and their lives take off.

Here are some specific examples from my students at Gordon Studio:

Traveling to Thailand, water skiing again, kayaking, hiking, ballroom dancing, becoming a licensed Zumba instructor, getting promoted, getting pregnant :), becoming a 4H leader, protecting and informing the community during the Rim Fire, getting that first paying job as a photographer, getting the lead in another play, and on an on!

Please note that none of these achievements are the direct result of weight loss.  They are the direct result of more confidence, and more energy.

I want you to have the confidence and energy that is yours when you eliminate the aches, pains, and frustrations of poor training, and when you leave behind the obsessions and cravings of poor food.

Let’s beat the media at their own game by being happy in spite of what they show us and try to sell us.

P.S. Did you write down the three things you would love to do? 

 

To Lose Weight: Answer This Question First.

Do I need to lose weight?  Pardon me for stating the obvious, but  your fat loss journey begins with this question

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You see, there are two weights which dominate our thinking in our contemporary culture.

#1. Healthy Weight

#2. Media Weight

Media weight you ask?  What in the world is that?

Media weight is the is the size and shape that dominates in advertising, on television, in print, and on the web.  Media weight is different from the current fashion in  the look of actors, musicians, and other celebrities.  In most cases, the people we pay money to see when they act, do comedy, dance or offer some other kind of performance have some kind of talent or skill that goes beyond appearance.

Media Weight represents the look that advertisers are after when they want to sell products.  

Notwithstanding Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, the female form preferred by the media to sell products has become more and more slender since the 1950’s.

When I worked as a commercial casting assistant back in the ’90s there was a sense that it was always safer to send a tall slender actor for consideration by the client.  If an actor wasn’t model slim, she needed to be incredibly talented for the casting director to take a chance on her.  Bottom line, when it came to casting, skinny was safe.

To this day, I’m still not sure why this was the case.  Did big companies like Proctor and Gamble do market research that showed that we like to buy things from skinny people?  Is it that slenderness is something that women started to aspire to in the last century: especially after 1970? Is my theory correct that discontent drives consumption, so advertisers promote a physical standard that is impossible for 95% of the population to achieve: Thereby leading them to buy more stuff to make up for their perceived inadequacies?

And what does all of this have to do with you, Dear Reader?  Well, in my work as a personal trainer it becomes clearer and clear to me that what advertisers present to us as desirable has nothing to do with health.

Now we come to the most important point in this article: What is a healthy weight?  An even more important question is this one: What is a healthy weight for you?

Don’t worry, I promise to answer this question by the end of this post.  In the face of advertising and confusing mixed messages on whether BMI or Body Mass Index is a good measure of health, I do have  a very simple way of gauging a healthy weight for my students, and for you.

Simply measure your waist.

Here is a quote from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

In fact, recent findings indicate that WC is a stronger marker of health risk than is BMI.(WC stands for waist circumference.)

 So what is a healthy waist circumference?  See the article below from the Heart Foundation website.

 

 

Your waist measurement compares closely with your body mass index (BMI), and is often seen as a better way of checking your risk of developing a chronic disease.

Measuring your waist circumference is a simple check to tell how much body fat you have and where it is placed around your body.  Where your fat is located can be an important sign of your risk of developing an ongoing health problem.

Regardless of your height or build, for most adults a waist measurement of greater than 94cm for men and 80cm for women is an indicator of the level of internal fat deposits which coat the heart, kidneys, liver and pancreas, and increase the risk of chronic disease.

How to measure your waist

1. Find the top of your hip bone and the bottom of your ribs.

2. Breathe out normally.

3. Place the tape measure midway between these points and wrap it around your waist.

4. Check your measurement.

Are these waist measurements suitable for everyone?

Waist measurements should only be used for adults to check their risk of developing a chronic disease. The waist measurements above are recommended for Caucasian men, and Caucasian and Asian women. Recommended waist measurements are yet to be determined for all ethnic groups. It is believed that they may be lower for Asian men.

 

So this is where we begin.  If your waist measurement if over 31.5 inches for a woman and 37 inches for a man, it’s time to take action.

 

The solution to my own struggle with fat was to learn Turbulence Training and follow the Sugar Freedom diet.  By addressing my overeating, and finding a way to train safely and effectively, I finally got to a healthy BMI, a waist circumference I feel great about, and I opened the door to finally figuring out what I wanted to do with my professional life.

 

I want to encourage you to start in the same place.  What is your waist measurement?  If it’s higher than healthy, take action to get it lower.  Then, it will be time to consider your appearance as a motivator for change.

 

In my next post we will look at setting the goal for your ideal authentic body.  Reaching a  healthy waist circumference is the first stage of your transformation journey.  A healthy WC is what you need.  Next we will address what you desire.