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Recipes Uncategorized

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.

Categories
Recipes

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.

 

 

 

 

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Uncategorized

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.
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Uncategorized

Falling Off the Wagon

In this video, I share how a road trip and some over-ripe bananas brought me back to the Sugar Strike.

It definitely helps to have a strategy that you can use if the sugar cravings come back!

Categories
Tools For Weight Loss

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? 

 

Categories
Tools For Weight Loss

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.

 

Categories
Tools For Weight Loss

By the time you try to eat less and move more, it’s already too late.

By the time you try to eat less and move more, it’s already too late.

 You’ve missed the boat, you’re closing the barn door after the horses have left.

 What you have to do to lose all of the excess fat you want, and keep it gone forever is simply this.

 You must find a way to want less food, and crave more action.

 

It Is So Worth It.

 

Understand this above everything else.  Your behavior is motivated by your desires.  By the time you try to control your behavior Mother Nature has taken over, and she is stronger than your personal ego, and good intentions.

 You have to learn to manage what you want,and I can show you how!

 When you eliminate sugars, grains, and processed oils from your diet your appetite will tank, and you will be in charge of your behavior once more.

 Once you are well nourished, and your appetite is well satisfied instead of over-stimulated, you will re-discover the desire to move more.

 The fit, slender people who have been trying to motivate you to eat less and move more aren’t being deliberately cruel. (No matter how they behaved in Eighth Grade.)  They simply have no idea what it means to feel starved and exhausted at the same time just from eating two slices of pizza.

 What I am suggesting is that you stop trying to control how much you eat, and start influencing how much you want to eat.

 What’s the difference?  I can tell you first hand that it is the difference between fulfilling your dreams in a body you respect and cherish, and fighting your body every day for the rest of your life, until you finally just give in to the food addiction and eat yourself to death from diabetes, stroke or a heat attack.

 Yes, this is a rant from the bottom of my soul that says enough half truths, enough worn out sayings, and enough diet dogma.  There is a way to eat every day, and at every meal, that will nourish and satisfy you without causing you to eat to excess and to store that excess as fat.

 I am going to tell you what that way is.  You are going to think, “What’s the catch?”  Is there a catch?  Let me describe my solution and you tell me.  

 You are going to discover the foods that satisfy you without triggering your appetite.  And then you are going to develop a lifelong personal eating strategy that is going to allow you to keep doing  just that.

 With the Three Day Sugar Strike, The Sugar Freedom Diet, and the Sugar Freedom Lifestyle, you are going to break away from your trigger and binge foods.  You are going to get enough distance and freedom from them that you will finally be able to create your own personal eating strategy for a life of slenderness and satisfaction on your terms.

 By now, if you have read this far, I’m going to guess that you have had enough, tasted enough, and consumed enough of every kind of food to last a lifetime.  Now you know that  it’s time to put the foolishness and self destructiveness of overeating behind you.  It’s time to step away from a life that revolves around what you can eat and when you can eat it, and move toward a life that revolves around what you can create and how you can give it.

 It’s been more than five years since I gave in, surrendered, and admitted that I couldn’t have my cake and live my best life too.

 One meal at a time, I leave the cake behind, and the life I get to live instead is so much better than anything I ever dreamed.  Sugar Freedom will be ready soon, and I hope that it helps everyone who tries it to feel fantastic, look wonderful, and have the abundant energy to make their dreams come true.

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Tools For Maintenance

President Taft Lost 60 Pounds on a Low Carb Diet: Then He Gained It Back.

 

1381640643000-uscp-taftI was fascinated last week when I read reporter Nanci Hellmich’s article in USA Today covering the fact that US President Taft had lost 60 pounds on a low carb diet back in the early 1900s.  She wrote,

“President William Howard Taft, the country’s heaviest commander in chief and a high-profile yo-yo dieter in his day, lost 60 pounds in the early 1900s on a low-carb diet with the help of a diet doctor.

Dozens of letters between Taft and his English physician provide “a detailed look at patient care for obesity during this time,” says historian Deborah Levine, an assistant professor of health policy and management at Providence (R.I.) College and author of an article, out Monday, in the Annals of Internal Medicine. She says that although the letters have been available for years, she believes this is the first time they have been analyzed. “People today may be surprised that patients were seeking care for obesity as early as the beginning of the 20th century.”

The article was of special interest to me because we know from the history books that Taft gained all of that weight back, and more.

If you read my most recent post, you won’t be surprised when I say that Taft’s problem was that he didn’t, or couldn’t,  stay on his physician’s version of the low carb diet.  If you find an eating strategy that works for fat loss, it is my experience that you will need to stick to that strategy in order to keep the excess fat off.

The question I want to answer is why President Taft couldn’t stay on the diet.  In the article, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/14/president-taft-low-carb-diet/2962131/, I read that Taft was instructed to eat lean meat and gluten free biscuits.  I can’t help thinking that if he had been allowed more fat, and if he had eliminated grains instead of just gluten, he might have been able to break free of the cravings that were driving his appetite.

It must take incredible strength of will to get elected President and lead a nation.  We all know people who are amazing in their energy, productivity, and generosity who have not been able to shed the fat they wanted to and keep it off.

Ultimately, the answer to permanent fat loss lies in the ability to manage the hunger and appetite that drives your eating behavior.  By eliminating sugar, grains, and processed oils from my eating plan, I have finally soothed the savage beast that was my appetite from childhood all the way though my early 40s.

Today, I continue to craft the the last few elements of The Sugar Freedom Diet in order to make it ready to release to the public.  I am so excited and hopeful that in writing this plan, I will be able to offer a solution to the problem of overwhelming appetite, and free my readers to live the way they want to: healthy, slender on their own terms, and full of the energy they need to run a household, a business, or even a country!

Categories
Tools For Maintenance

Why Do Dieters Gain the Weight Back?

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This past week has taught me the answer to a vital question,

“Why do so many dieters lose weight, only to gain it back?”

Answer?

We find what works, lose weight, (or release fat as I like to say) and then we stop doing it.

I actually do believe in the effectiveness of diets. A diet, in my practice, is a specific program meant to reduce weight or body fat level.

Dieting is what I do when I am actively seeking physical change through eating. When my goal is reached, dieting ends, and maintenance begins.
What I am trying to teach in my work is that maintenance is simply an enhanced and expanded version of the Diet that enabled you to reach your goal.

Too many people completely abandon their effective eating strategy once their goal is reached.

Here is where the confusion starts- Fat Loss and Weight loss aren’t the “Lifestyle” that so many people hold as the Holy Grail of Fitness. Maintenance is the lifestyle.
Maintenance, and thus the lifestyle, begins when the goal is reached.

My secret is to spend some time in maintenance after the achievement of each meaningful goal, experience the peace of stability, and then press on.

Very soon, The Sugar Freedom Diet will be available on this website.  Tomorrow is the Photo shoot to reveal the evidence that what I did more than five years ago to finally overcome obesity is still working.

The Sugar Freedom Diet has two phases:  The Three Day Sugar Strike, and The Sugar Freedom Diet.  I wrote Sugar Freedom because, back when I was starting my fat loss journey, I was desperately seeking examples of  middle aged women like me who had accomplished what I wanted to accomplish.  I found that there were plenty of role models who were more than happy to share their training strategies, but I had a hard time finding anyone who could answer this question,

“What, exactly, did you eat to lose all that weight?”

Here, at Sugar Freedom.com I will answer that question, along with the incredibly important follow up:  “What do you eat to keep it off?”  Just as important is the awareness that what I choose to eat today doesn’t just satisfy my appetite: It is literally the fuel for my dreams.

There are plenty of experts and successful dieters today who will tell you to cut sugar out of your diet inorder to lose weight.  With Sugar Freedom, I will do my very best to show you how, with all of the honesty and clarity I can muster.

Here is an example.  My go to Sugar Strike breakfast is two local, pastured eggs, 2 slices of local uncured bacon, and mixed vegetables sauteed in coconut oil.  I like to season my vegetables with turmeric, ginger, and iodized sea salt.  I always make extra vegetables to serve with lunch or dinner.  This breakfast keeps me full, and full of energy until noon, when I thoroughly enjoy my lunch.  Eating Sugar Freedom style helps me find the balance between enjoying my food, and obsessively craving it.

Back when I first reached my goal, I hoped that I could find a way to go back to eating the trigger foods I used to crave.  Now I understand that that way is closed to me if I want to maintain my weight for good.  That’s just fine: It really is because my life is fuller without them.

Please leave a comment or question about Sugar Freedom.

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Uncategorized

Welcome To Sugar Freedom

“You have to eat grains.”

“You have to eat wedding cake.”

“Giving up sugar is unrealistic.”

“You have to use cheat days to get lean.”

“If you eliminate foods you’re a restricter, and you’ll gain all the weight back.”

“Food addiction doesn’t exist.  It’s an excuse for people who have no willpower.”

Some of these statements are simply things I read that were written by nutritional experts.  Some  were pronounced right to my face.  Some led to behavior that hurt me deeply, and all of these statements made me angry.

For the past five years, I’ve tried to be reasonable and open minded about eating and training for permanent fat loss.

Now I’ve had enough.

I know that everyone who wants to release fat doesn’t have my specific issues with food, but every time I go back to the sugar and the grains, eating disaster strikes.

I have heard from diet experts, most of whom are male and have never had a weight problem, that my problems with sugar and grains come from the very fact that I avoid them and try to restrict them.  They claim that the solution is calorie balance, and that I really should cheat regularly to achieve low body fat.  They have case studies galore to prove that they are right about this.

I don’t care.

I have the conviction and wisdom of my own experience, and what I know for sure is that when sugar and grains are out, beauty, freedom, and peace of mind are in for me.

Do you want to know the truth about the before and after pictures you see above?  The best body of my life, the body of my dreams, was achieved on a sugar and grain free, high vegetable fiber diet.

Now, my eating strategy is politically incorrect because of it allows, even encourages, the consumption of saturated fat.  I do my best to eat pastured butter, eggs, meat, and cream in order to get the greatest benefit from these fats, and to avoid the damage that can come from consuming processed fats and the foods that contain them.

Believe me, I’m not chowing down on bargain bologna.  I am also aware of the fact that a living creature had to give its life every time I eat meat,  so I do my best to consume no more than I need to be healthy and feel satisfied.

In addition, I consume serious amounts of organic vegetables, especially leafy green ones, and I add low sugar fruits in moderation.  In the past, I have kept my nutritional cards close to my chest, but after my last two bread and sugar nightmares, I realize that I have to start telling it like it is if I honestly want to help other people create the figure of their dreams.

I am so grateful to the researchers who are studying food addiction right now.  Dr. William Davis, Dr. Robert Lustig, and Ashley Gearhardt at Yale University are just a few of the doctors and researchers who are asking why some of us go completely nuts when we eat sugar, flour, and the treats that are made with them.

Perhaps the greatest barrier to understanding those of use who experience the pain and fear of food addiction is the fact that we are not in the majority of people who are overweight or obese.  The research currently underway at Yale indicates that 15% of the population may be dealing with a drug-like response to sugary foods.  In addition, Ms. Gerhardt discovered in her research that you don’t have to be overweight to suffer from food addiction.

In my case, I achieved a normal BMI back in 2008, but when I eat sugar or flour, especially with fat mixed in for good measure, madness ensues.  I am writing this blog for those of us who want both physical and emotional recovery from sugar addiction.

Your story may be very different.  If you’ve part of the 85% of the population that can handle eating sugar and grains, you may think I’m a little bit nuts.  (Hey, at least I can eat nuts!)  But I have to stand up and tell the truth about how I made my transformation stick.

In the past, I wanted to be liked, and I was so afraid of negative judgement and comments that I was willing to censor my beliefs.  Now I realize that it is time to write this blog for the 15% of people who are like me, and hopefully for the people who love and care for them as well.

So welcome to Sugar Freedom: The Journey to Health and Fitness, and the Will and The Skills to Keep It.