Author Archives: Catherine Gordon

Free Weight Loss Accountability Challenge

It’s been eight weeks since the floor literally blew up at Gordon Studio.

The doors are closed, much of the equipment sold, and everything I kept is put away in its place.

It has been wonderful to get back in the gym, and return to the training that changed my body and my life eight years ago.

So many times, I have pursued the latest thing in diet and exercise in order to get leaner faster.

Every time I have had to face the fact that I can’t get greedy and try to cut my calories too low, while making my training sessions too long.

In my case, that always leads to rebellious over eating, skipped workouts, and beating myself up for fooling  myself again.

Does any of that sound familiar to you?

I don’t stay down for long though.  My solution is to get back to what works:

No sugar, grains, or processed vegetable oils in my food plan, a limit of twenty grams of carbs per day until my appetite is obviously reduced, and three weight lifting sessions per week without fail.

I add bodyweight training, yoga, or dance class two times per week, and I make sure I do activities I enjoy on my two recovery days like gardening, walking with my husband and son, and training and romping with my dogs.

The one thing that guarantees that I will take all of these actions is accountability from a like minded group of individuals who are pursuing clear fitness goals.

If this style of health training sounds good to you, this is my invitation to join me starting September 6th for a four week accountability challenge in the closed Facebook group: Sugar Freedom/LBD Challenge.  The group is free to join.

Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/972825209446395/  and click the join button in the cover image.

If you would like meal plans, tailored training sessions, or coaching by phone or Skype, please e-mail me: catherine@sugarfreedom.com by August 29th.   Tailored plans are $50.00 for a limited time, and weekly coaching is $250.00 for the 4 week session.

Let’s get leaner, stronger, and happier together.

 

Adobe Spark

Three Great Reasons To Get Off Of Sugar

Here are three great reasons so get off of sugar, plus a free meal plan.

There are so many reasons to leave sugar behind, and today, I’m going to share my top three.

#1.  Eliminating sugar makes you look younger.  When I finally committed to changing my health lifestyle, it wasn’t just because I was sick of being overweight.  What really drove me nuts was being asked if I was my son’s grandmother, and being offered the senior discount, regularly, at age 43.  Within six month of going sugar free, I looked so much younger, and my skin looked so much better, that I threw out all of my foundation makeup, and many of my readers report that they have been able to do the same thing, including my sister Patty, who is 5 years older than me.  How does giving up sugar make you look younger?  When the body doesn’t have to metabolize as much glucose, it doesn’t produce as many age promoting free radicals.  Also, burning sugar causes a process called glycation, which increases the visible aging of the skin.  Here is a brief description of glycation from PubMed:

Nutrition and aging skin: sugar and glycation.
Danby FW1.
Abstract
The effect of sugars on aging skin is governed by the simple act of covalently cross-linking two collagen fibers, which renders both of them incapable of easy repair. Glucose and fructose link the amino acids present in the collagen and elastin that support the dermis, producing advanced glycation end products or “AGEs.” This process is accelerated in all body tissues when sugar is elevated and is further stimulated by ultraviolet light in the skin. The effect on vascular, renal, retinal, coronary, and cutaneous tissues is being defined, as are methods of reducing the glycation load through careful diet and use of supplements.
Copyright 2010. Published by Elsevier Inc.

So when you lower your sugar consumption, you can lower your visible age too.

#2.  Eliminating sugar aids weight and fat loss by reducing appetite.  I knew that getting off of sugar, and the foods that break down to glucose like grains, had a powerful effect on my appetite.  In the four years that I have spent as a Certified Personal Trainer and Transformation Coach, I have had the rewarding experience of seeing many of my clients and readers lose their cravings for sugary starchy foods.  The result?  They lost weight without experiencing the hunger and constant “food thoughts,” that are a normal feature of typical diets.  Although most formal studies on sugar have addressed the dangers of consuming too much, one major study published in the journal “Obesity,” demonstrated that  cutting sugar from children’s diets improved their health in just ten days. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.21371/abstract

#3. Reducing sugar consumption improves mood.  When my readers reduce sugar in their meals, they automatically reduce processed foods.  Why?  The vast majority of foods that come in a bag or a box contain sugar.   Eliminate sugar and get rid of foods that have been shown to increase the risk of depression.  A study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that, “In middle-aged participants, a processed food dietary pattern is a risk factor for CES–D depression 5 years later, whereas a whole food pattern is protective.”

The truth is that a sugar free lifestyle can make you look and feel so good that you will be too busy enjoying life to miss the junk food.  So how do you get started?  Here is a sample of the kind of menus I follow every day.  (Be sure to check with your doctor or a registered dietitian before changing your diet, especially if you have a health condition.)

Enter your e-mail in the box in the upper right hand corner to get another meal plan, recipes, and to take the sugar addiction quiz.

Want even more options for great results?  Get the Sugar Freedom System at SugarFreedom.com <===Click here!

These menus help my readers lose fat and keep it off.

These menus help my readers lose fat and keep it off.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 9.32.49 AM

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