Author Archives: Catherine Gordon

Losing weight and keeping it off: for years.

 

 

IMG_1636IMG_0186It’s been ten years since the pictures on the left were taken, and the one on the right was taken a week ago.  Women First magazine is doing a story on transformation contests, and the picture in the blue dress is a test shot for the official photo shoot.  The publicity is very gratifying, but I admit, these past few weeks since Gordon Studio closed have been a little dis-orienting.  For the past 4 years, I have had somewhere to go to deliver my message about training and nutrition.  As the combination of resistance and interval training for fitness, and Ketogenic eating for fat loss have gained acceptance, more health conscious people are searching for information, so I’m still busy on line, but I do miss seeing the faces and enjoying the company of the women I was training.

So I am working enthusiastically on the next phase of my “Live” training business.  I am putting together a program that combines mobility, intervals, balance, and flexibility with a techniques that specifically give my students the skills they need in order to lift safely on their own.

I got my results by lifting 3 times a week,  combining intervals and dance  2 days a week, and recovering on the remaining two with yoga, gardening, swimming, or even golf with my husband.  Of course the other major element of my fat loss was Sugar Freedom.  Now that I can re-design my work schedule, I am back to the same system, and I have left off my previous intermittent fasting, and I’m back to three meals a day, with no snacks.

It’s working beautifully, as I now have the wonderful experience of never going hungry.  Here is today’s menu:

Breakfast: 2 Eggs, 3 Strips of Uncured Bacon, 1/4 avocado, 1 cup Roasted Cauliflower, 2T Salsa.

Lunch: 2 Chicken Thighs,  Romaine Lettuce Salad with Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing, 1 Cup Roasted Cauliflower, 2T Salsa,

Dinner: 2 Lamb Chops,  Romaine Lettuce Salad with Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing, 1 Cup Sauteed Zucchini Curls, 2T Salsa, 1/4 Avocado.

Believe me, this leaves me full, satisfied, and I can hardly believe I’m losing fat each day on this much food.  Then again, when I track it at www.fatsecret.com, it only comes out to about 1400 calories: just right for my goals.

This brings me to a quiet offer I’m making.

For a very limited time, I will design 4 weeks of training, (at home or gym based) plus meal plans for a very special price.  Just e-mail me with the subject: Summer Fat Loss Plan.

catherine@sugarfreedom.com

 

 

Getting The Most Out Of The Last 7 Days Of The Challenge

We are coming to the last week of our customer appreciation challenge, and I want it to be your very best.

These challenges are so powerful because they teach you how to bring your very best efforts to your heath and fitness goals.  Body transformation is a creative process, and to bring an imagined goal into reality, you need a structure for success.

Here is a sample success structure for creating your shape including:  eating, training, and recovery.

  1. Plan your meals.  Here is the eating strategy that I am currently using:

On awakening: Water, Freedom Tonic, Coffee with organic heavy cream

Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 strips bacon, 1-2 cups non starchy vegetables cooked in pastured butter or coconut oil. 2T salsa, 1/3 avocado.  I make sure to cook enough vegetables for lunch and dinner.

Lunch: 3 oz chicken, 2 cups green salad with cucumber, olive oil and vinegar dressing. 1 cup cooked non starchy vegetable (today is yellow squash and cabbage), 2 T salsa, 1/3 avocado.

Dinner: Repeat lunch.

For the next 6 days simply use different proteins like beef or turkey, and different vegetables like broccoli or asparagus.

Note that I am leaving out my usual serving of fruit for these seven days.

2. Plan your training.  If you are a Gordon Studio member, all you have to do is come to class at least 3 times during the week.  For those of you who aren’t in Sonora, I recommend 2 resistance training sessions, and one high intensity interval session as a minimum, with an extra HIIT session if desired.  Also, add enjoyable movement like, dance, gardening, window shopping, or yoga.  Just don’t over do it, and end up spiking your hunger.

3. Get to bed.  I believe fat oxidation is optimized when we sleep, and we have excellent research that shows that good sleep helps us manage our appetite: especially for sweets and starches.

Here is a body weight HIIT session for you to use this week, or anytime.

 

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Holiday Recipes

Thanksgiving and all of the holidays we celebrate are more fun with guilt and trigger free desserts.

Please try these. They are easy, delicious, healthy, and great to share with friends.

 

Freedom No-Bake Pumpkin Mousse
Serves 4

1/2 12 oz package cream cheese
1/2 15 oz can of plain pumpkin
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup Xylitol granulated sweetener
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium bowl blend all ingredients well with an electric hand mixer. Pour into dessert bowls or glasses and chill at least one hour. Sprinkle with cinnamon before serving.

 

Sugar Freedom Chocolate Mousse

1 ripe avocado
1/4 cup cocoa powder
10 drops stevia or 1/4 cup swerve (or Xylitol to taste.)
1/4 c raw cream, almond milk, or coconut milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

puree/ serve chilled

6 Week Sugar Freedom Challenge Case Study

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For six weeks starting in May, four Gordon Studio Members took the Six Week Sugar Freedom Challenge and ran with it. Even though I seem to remember one member telling me, “I’m not giving up sugar” when she first joined, her change of heart led to a change of figure.

They all eliminated sugar, grains, and processed vegetable oils from their diets, and they did resistance and interval training three to four times a week. They could choose to eat a bonus meal every week that contained their favorite foods, as long as these weren’t trigger foods. (Trigger foods are defined as any food that you can’t eat in a standard serving without triggering cravings and overeating.) In addition, all four members had their weight and measurements recorded, and they all took before and after photos.

Although they did experience some uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal from sugar and grains, all of them lost significant amounts of body fat, and several inches overall. I’ll begin with Paulann’s results, as she was a challenge alumni who had already lost 10 pounds in the first 6 Week Challenge that Gordon Studio ran at the end of 2014. Paulann lost another 6 pounds in six weeks, but the best part in my opinion as her trainer and coach is the fact that she lowered her waist to hip ratio to .8. This is regarded as a healthy waist to hip ratio, and it is an excellent indicator of good overall health.

The three other participants were doing the Sugar Freedom Challenge for the first time, and I was delighted and gratified by their efforts. Cherie lost 11.6 pounds and 12 inches, Whitley lost 11.2 pounds and 14 inches, and Candy lost 13 pounds and 10 inches.

Although the case study sample was small, every participant lost a least a pound a week, and three of them lost almost 2 pounds a week, which is considered an ideal amount when it comes to losing fat while preserving lean muscle. Even better is the fact that they all improved their strength, balance, flexibility, and energy for daily living.

As a Certified Turbulence Trainer and ACE certified nutrition specialist, I believed that I had the tools to help my clients lose fat and transform their bodies, but nothing compares to the thrill of seeing the combination of Sugar Freedom and Turbulence Training get results live in the studio.

Most of all, I am so grateful to all of the Gordon Studio members and Sugar Freedom readers who have the dedication and willingness to try new and challenging fitness techniques. It is so worth it.

Menu For the Day Before “After” Pictures

We’re coming to the close of another 6 Week Sugar Freedom Challenge, and I want you to have this sample menu.

It’s got a little less fat, no fruit, and it contains some of my favorite water releasing vegetables.  I have noticed that on the days when I eat asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, cucumber, and parsley, I have less bloat, and I wake up looking my best.

Anther tip is to have fish for lunch or dinner.  Simply place a fish fillet on foil, squeeze lemon on top, add salt and pepper, and a tablespoon of salsa.  Close up the foil and cook in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.

Here is your sample menu for the final day of a challenge or transformation contest.

Breakfast:
2 eggs, poached, served over a bed of spinach cooked in olive oil, and topped with salsa.
Snack:
Celery Sticks with organic salsa.  (No fruit salsas for now.)
Lunch:
3-4 oz. organic turkey breast, served with 2 cups romaine lettuce, cucumber, celery, and olive oil and vinegar dressing.
1 cup steamed broccoli.
Snack:
1-2 more ounces of turkey, more celery and salsa if you are hungry for a snack.
Dinner:
3-4 oz broiled salmon, 1 cup steamed asparagus with lemon, 1 cup sliced mushrooms cooked in olive or coconut oil.
I designed this plan for it’s simplicity, and it’s bloat releasing effect.  If you own the Sugar Freedom program this is day one of Sugar Freedom XP.
Continue to drink your tonic each morning, do your 3 Minute Wake Up Call, and perform 3 TT Home Workout Revolution training sessions per week.
Here is the recipe for the tonic:
16oz water, juice of ½ lemon, 1T Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, enough liquid stevia to cut some of the sourness.  If it’s too strong, reduce the vinegar and lemon, and work up to the full amount.
Drink a minimum of 64 oz of pure water per day.
The result?  Expect glowing skin, and a noticably smaller waistline on Picture Day!
Finally, whether or not you are in the challenge, please send your questions to: catherine@sugarfreedom.com, because Sugar Freedom is only as successful as you are.
Catherine

 

We Are Unicorns

imagesWe Are Unicorns

A few weeks ago, I tore through Harriet Brown’s book,
“Body of Truth,” How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession With Weight, and What We Can Do About It.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have suspected that unrealistic, even unhealthy, weight ideals fostered by Western culture and driven by markets and media are promoting behaviors that make us fatter. The overwhelming desire to reduce body weight and size seems to trigger physiological and emotional changes that drive fat storage and limit happy productive movement.

As a Certified Personal Trainer and sugar reduction advocate, my personal curiosity has changed to a professional obligation as I try to understand why traditional diet and exercise seem to be backfiring on so many women and men who are simply seeking a body they feel at home and at peace in.

Here is my theory. If the media proclaims that a normal, healthy body is too fat, many individuals will go on diets that actually promote more fat storage, and they will be worse off that they would have been if they had never dieted at all.

I thought I was unique in the fact that my pediatrician put me on a calorie counting regimen when I was just eight years old. It turns out that according to Harriet Brown’s research the average age of a first diet for girls is eight. Average.

The earliness of my first diet may not have been unique, but “Body of Truth” does argue that my experience of permanent fat loss may be. This is the current reality for me and many of my readers and clients: many of us have lost more than 30, 50, 70 pounds and beyond, and kept it off for years. In her book, Brown quotes psychologist Deb Burgard,

“People who have maintained a weight loss, who eat flexibly, who are truly at peace with food- they’re like unicorns.”

Deb Burgard’s quote is an accurate description of the way I have felt since 2008 when I turned everything I was doing in terms of eating and exercise upside down. Now, at just shy of age 51 I feel more empowered, more joyful, energetic, and yes, beautiful than I have ever felt in my life. Am I more beautiful than I was at 18, or 27, or on my wedding day? Probably not not, but who cares.

I am living in a body that allows me to fulfill my dreams of love, work, and creativity. Am I skinny?

Nope.

Is any part of my body flat?

Certainly not.

So what. I feel healthy, energetic, authentic, and powerful. I have the enormous honor of doing work that I believe in. When I walk in the door of Gordon Studio, put on the music, turn to my class, and say,

“You know what I want.” (That means the best form and technique my students can give me.)

I feel excitement, purpose, and a kind of wild joy.

I feel magic.

We are unicorns.

The method for becoming a unicorn is this: Eat the food that nourishes and satisfies your, without triggering overeating. Practice move meant that challenges, excites, and even exhilarates you without pain. Rest, recover, and connect how you eat and move to what you want to give and achieve in your life. Want health and self acceptance for everyone else as much as you want it for yourself.

What is more wonderful than being a unicorn? Having other unicorns to play with.images

6 Week Transformation Challenge: Finish Strong

How to Stick the Landing.

Thank you to everyone who voted in the latest Turbulence Training Transformation Contest.

Jim Junette placed second in the Men Over 40 category, and with 4 finalists qualifying, Gordon Studio remains the top Turbulence Training Gym in America.

How does our little studio in rural Tuolumne County keep producing champions?

Were understand that eating, moving, mindset, and support create a powerful structure for success.

Now, those of you who are participating in the 6 Week Challenge are moving into the final week, and I’m going to share some important instructions for getting the results you want in your after photos.

First: Have an eating plan for the next 9 days. We are following Sugar Freedom, and one of the tools for success in our eating strategy is the Bonus Meal. The bonus meal is one meal where you get to eat any of your desired favorite foods, so long as they are not “Trigger Foods.” Note: Trigger Foods are those foods that you cannot eat in a standard serving, and/or those foods that stimulate your appetite so much that you overeat after consuming them.

So when will your next Bonus Meal be? Will you have it on the 23rd, the day after the challenge ends? Do you celebrate Christmas, and do you want your special meal on the 25th? Hanukkah begins on the 17th: will that be your bonus day? Remember: The bonus meal comes once every 7 days.

The Gordons celebrate on Christmas Eve, and I’ve scheduled my next bonus meal will be for the 16th.

Now, this is important: leading up to “after” pictures on the 22nd, I want to follow my photo ready eating plan on the 19th, 20, and 21st.

Here is a sample day from that plan:

Day 1
Breakfast:  
2 eggs, poached, served over a bed of spinach cooked in olive oil, and topped with salsa.

Snack:
Celery Sticks with organic salsa. (No fruit salsas for now.)

Lunch:
3-4 oz. organic turkey breast, served with 2 cups romaine lettuce, cucumber, celery, and olive oil and vinegar dressing.
1 cup steamed broccoli.

Snack:
1-2 more ounces of turkey, more celery and salsa if you are hungry for a snack.

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

I designed this plan for it’s simplicity, and it’s bloat releasing effect. If you own the Sugar Freedom program this is day one of Sugar Freedom XP.

Continue to drink your tonic each morning, do your 3 Minute Wake Up Call, and perform 3 TT Home Workout Revolution training sessions per week.

Here is the recipe for the tonic:

16oz water, juice of ½ lemon, 1T Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, enough liquid stevia to cut some of the sourness. If it’s too strong, reduce the vinegar and lemon, and work up to the full amount.
Drink a minimum of 64 oz of pure water per day.

The result? Expect glowing skin, and a noticably smaller waistline on Picture Day!

Finally, whether or not you are in the challenge, please send your questions to: catherine@sugarfreedom.com, because Sugar Freedom is only as successful as you are.

Catherine

Will You Vote?

Hello Everyone,

This is why I became a Personal Trainer and diet author. After 35 years I found the solution to my weight problem, and I wanted to share it with my family, my community, and the world.

I am so honored by the dedication of Jim, Janet, Phyliss, and Pam. They are all finalists in the current Turbulence Training Transformation Contest.

By combining TT and the principles of Sugar Freedom, they have achieved amazing results.

Please go to this link===>http://www.turbulencetrainingcontest.com/vote_1114.shtml<===== to see their before and afters, read their essays, and vote. There is no need to opt in or share your name or e-mail. The success of my students and readers keeps me going every day. Sometimes, I do get tired, and I want to eat the way I see everyone around me eating. Then, I think about my clients and their commitment, and I can stick to the plan that has given me a real purpose in my working life. It is so worth it. http://www.turbulencetrainingcontest.com/vote_1114.shtml

Jim J.- Men over 40
Janet L.- Women over 40
Phyliss R.-Women over 40
Pam J. Pro Division

It’s Sugar Freedom Day!

What better day than November First to get off of sugar?

Yes, the halloween candy frenzy is over, and I can’t think of anything scarier than the masses of candy that could be haunting your house today.

My 13 year old son had a blast last night trick or treating as Dr. Who with his friends, and I am so grateful that I have no idea where his pillowcase of loot is stashed right now.

In years past I would certainly find his bucket and swipe the sugary junk that he was least likely to miss. Yes, I ended up eating the loser candy that nobody really likes, but I’m an addict, so that’s no surprise.

This year, I feel calm, happy, and satisfied right now after my breakfast of eggs, uncured bacon, cauliflower, and avocado. In a little while I’m headed out to the indoor farmer’s market for raw cream and other freedom friendly goodies.

This is when I want to remind you that the key to getting and staying off of sugar is to “Eat Something Else.” If you ate out of bounds yesterday, please don’t ry to starve or deprive the sugar out of your system. Get your healthy fats, moderate protein, and abundant “above ground” vegetables today so that you feel great tomorrow.

Last night we had a wonderful soaking rain here in Sonora, and I got to walk the puppy in the fresh air today. I’m so grateful that I don’t have to experience the joint pain that I used get after eating bread and sweets.

Now it’s time to focus on our very best training and eating strategies as another Turbulence Training Transformation Contest wraps up in a little more than two weeks. I’ll be drinking my tonic and plenty of water, staying away from processed meats and cheeses, and making sure to eat the water releasing veggies like asparagus, cucumbers, and spinach at every meal.

It is so worth it!

Abs after age 50?  Yes: With Sugar Freedom

Abs after age 50? Yes: With Sugar Freedom

A New Way To Get Off of Sugar, and Reach Your Goal Weight

My friend James Giada has some great tips for you today. I couldn’t agree more!
Top 5 Tips to Going Sugar-Free Pain-Free

We all know that sugar is at the heart of the obesity epidemic, not to mention at the root of all of our deadliest diseases…………cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Sugar is not your friend and you know it needs to go.

The problem is, going sugar-free is not easy.

But, if you think you may be ready to go sugar-free and you’re worried you will struggle, it is important to keep things in perspective…….after all, if you were an elf it would be much more difficult……………

Buddy the Elf : We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.

Because you are likely not an elf, cutting sugar can be realistic for you, but it never hurts to have a few tools to help you make the process a bit easier.

I have been coaching nutrition and fitness for more than a decade. Much of that time has been spent studying what it is that makes people successful with their diet and what causes people to fail. By learning some of the common characteristics of success, I can put together plans of action that will increase the likelihood of my clients being successful.

Here are 5 simple things you can do to increase your likelihood of success with going sugar-free.

1. Replace your Sugar Calories: Everything we eat has calories. You can’t just cut something out and expect that it won’t be difficult. Part of the reason, cutting sugar out is difficult is because by cutting it out you’ve immediately removed calories from your diet. Those calories will be missed and your body will respond with hunger pangs making your life difficult.

The best options to replace sugar are proteins (chicken, beef, eggs) and vegetables.

By eating more protein, you will also be fueling your muscle tissue which will give your body the desired aesthetic shape you are looking for while the amino acids in your protein can also be quickly converted into energy when needed.

Veggies will help to fill you up by providing volume to your meal along with providing you with vitamins, minerals and anti oxidants that will not only improve your health but also help you to fight off cravings.

2. Stay Hydrated: As you reduce sugar your body will release much of it’s water stores. It is very important to drink more fluids to replenish these stores. Dehydration causes lethargy and can create emotional distress. Additionally, dehydration is often confused with hunger. All of these negative side effects lead to more food (sugar) cravings.

Drink at least 2-3 litres (65-100 fl. oz.) of water every day.

3. Be Prepared: Preparation is the key to dietary success. Most bad nutrition decisions are made at the spur of the moment, when you just want the “easiest” option. Think about it. Most times we order dinner in because it’s way easier than preparing our own food.

When your fridge is filled with plenty of prepared veggies and lean meats it is much easier to make the right choice. If your next meal is as simple as opening up 2 containers to portion out a serving of protein and a few servings of vegetables all of the sudden, ordering in becomes more work than making your own meal.

Take some time every week to chop veggies and prepare some lean meats ahead of time, so that your fridge is stocked with food, ready to go.

4. Keep a Food Journal: Writing down everything you are eating is one of the most effective accountability tools I’ve ever come across. The simple task of having to answer for all of your food choice actions makes you more likely to want to make the best food choices.

Tips to keeping a food journal:

Be honest – record everything you eat and the time you ate it.
Be accurate – record portion sizes as closely as you can measure.
Be complete – include details such as how the food was prepared, and the addition of any toppings or condiments.
Be consistent – always carry your food diary with you or use a diet-tracking application on your smart phone.

5. Build your Support Network: It is nearly impossible to have success with any type of dietary change without the help of others. Search out a support network whether it’s your family, friends or an online forum. It is important to know that there are people that care, have your back and want to help you.

Many other people have experienced what you are going through. Anytime, you are struggling, reach out to your network. It is important to know that you are not alone.

Going sugar-free is one of the best things you can do for your fat loss and for your health. Your body will thank you for going through the process and you will be thankful that you made the decision.

About James Gaida:
I am a fat loss expert and certified Precision Nutrition Coach. I have spent more than 13 years coaching clients in both nutrition and fitness. In that time I have also became certified as a Specialist in Performance Nutrition and a Certified Fitness Trainer. I also own many leather bound books and yeah, I’m kind of a big deal!

My baby, 4 Day Fat Loss (4DFL) is dedicated to teaching simple techniques to rapidly burn fat, increase energy and live a healthier life. If you want to find out how to burn fat quickly and transform your body check out the 4DFL Method.