Catherine’s Keto Diet

It has been an eye-opening experience to read and answer questions about weight loss on Quora.com.

When I was a personal trainer and I had my fitness studio, I would often ask what people want when it comes to a nutrition and training program. The simple answer is that they want results.

My history with significant long term weight loss taught me that reducing carbohydrates and building muscle reliably causes fat loss and reshapes the body. When I would offer body transformation challenges at Gordon Studio, nine out of ten participants would lose weight over the six week course, and even the few clients who didn’t lose pounds would lose several inches in all the right places. I even had one student who lost two sizes while staying at the same weight.

Now that I am focused on my creative work as a singer, dancer, and musician I will be sharing my personal program for fitness and nutrition. My new motto, “Eat for Yourself,” encourages my readers here, and my viewers at The Sugar Freedom Channel To find what works for them when it comes to food.

My two essential key’s to permanent weight, fat, and inch loss are:

  1. Drop Sugar.
  2. Lift Weight.

The info-graphic you see above is the macro-nutrient plan I will be using for the next nine weeks to optimize my “instrument” as a performer: my body.

I will share the journey here for accountability, and because it was the success of other women like me who had cut carbs and used resistance training to get lean, healthier, and happier that made me believe I could change for the better myself.

The Sugar Freedom Diet at sugarfreedom.com contains the food lists, and many of the recipes and meal plans I will be using, but I will be limiting my carbohydrates to 10 total grams per day instead of the 20 grams that are listed in the Sugar Strike. This gives me a good sized salad and a serving of a low-carb cooked vegetable each day. My experience with the Steak and Egg diet and Carnivore has taught me that I really can function well without carbs, but I did discover back in 2017 that a combination of very low carb and lifting was the best plan I have ever followed, so for the next nine weeks I will be comparing this plan with the no-plant food plan I have tested since 2018.

Post menopause, I have discovered that I need to find the levels of carbohydrate restriction and fitness training that give me the best chance to dance, create, and perform with freedom. I look forward to sharing what I learn with you.

As always, be well and eat for yourself,

Catherine Gordon

catherine@actwithfreedom.com

Sugar Free Meal Planning

by Catherine Best Gordon

Macro-Nutrients

1. Protein: 1 gram per pound of ideal bodyweight
2. Carbs: Up to your personal carbohydrate tolerance.
3. Fat: Enough to satisfy appetite. Reduce if fat/weight loss stalls.
Meat, Poultry, Eggs, Fish, Tofu
Vegetables that grow above the ground.
Low sugar Fruits: Berries, Melons, Apples, Oranges, Grapefruit if well tolerated.
Fat: Butter, Olive Oil, Heavy Cream, Ghee, Avocado Oil.
Other Dairy: Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, up to 2 oz. of cheese per day if well tolerated.

Extras/Seasonings


Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemon Juice, other sugar free vinegars, herbs and spices.
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Liquid Stevia, Xylitol.


How many meals per day?



Level 1: 50 grams of carbohydrate per day. 3 Meals Per Day. 2 Snacks if desired.
Level 2: 30 grams max of carbohydrate per day 3 Meals Per Day. 1 or 2 snacks if well tolerated.
Level 3: 20 Grams max of carbohydrate per day= Sugar Strike/Ketogenic. 2 or 3 meals per day. May add 16/8 fasting/eating hours if helpful.

Tracking and Nutrition Facts: Fitday.com

Clink the link below for my complete eating plan:

Sugarfreedom.com

Does Jogging Work for Weight Loss?

I answer questions about weight loss on Quora.com, and here is my latest answer to a good question about jogging or badminton for weight loss.

Would jogging or badminton be more effective in weight loss? Let’s say an alternate jogging days of 2km with a daily one hour play of badminton. I’m obese and trying to lose weight!

Here is my answer:

When I finally figured out how to overcome my own struggle with overweight and obesity in 2008, the most important change I made was the shift from traditional steady state cardio to resistance and interval training. Jogging can certainly be effective, and you can get good results in less time with interval training. Here is a quote from and excellent study in the medical journal Obesity on High Intensity Intermittent Exercise:

Conclusions and Clinical Implications

Research examining the effects of HIIE has produced preliminary evidence to suggest that HIIE can result in modest reductions in subcutaneous and abdominal body fat in young normal weight and slightly overweight males and females. Studies using overweight male and female type 2 diabetic individuals have shown greater reductions in subcutaneous and abdominal fat. The mechanisms underlying the fat reduction induced by HIIE, however, are undetermined but may include HIIE-induced fat oxidation during and after exercise and suppressed appetite. Regular HIIE has been shown to significantly increase both aerobic and anaerobic fitness and HIIE also significantly lowers insulin resistance and results in increases in skeletal muscle capacity for fatty acid oxidation and glycolytic enzyme content.

You can read the entire study here: High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss

Here are the three main benefits of HIIE for the overweight or obese individual who wants to lose weight:

  1. It works. Studies show consistent weight and fat loss for people who do HIIE.
  2. It takes less time. A regimen of three 12 minute HIIE sessions per week can lead to more weight and fat loss than a program of traditional cardio workouts that last more than an hour.
  3. If you use good form and respect your limitations as you work up to HIIE, there will be less chance of both acute soreness and chronic injuries from your exercise program.
VERIFY: Yes, it is safe to exercise outside as long as you keep a safe  distance | wthr.com

So the answer is that jogging can be very effective if you transform it into interval training. You can use a timer to tell you when to pick up the pace and when to rest. I like to use a 30 second acceleration interval where I jog or run with a 30 second rest interval of walking. You should adjust the interval to suit your fitness level by picking a recovery time that leaves you eager to accelerate again.

File:Badminton-1428046.jpg - Wikipedia

Badminton is an excellent addition if it is an activity you enjoy. I believe that the secret to training for weight and fat loss is that it should feel good and be fun for most of the session, with brief periods of hard work to improve your weight, body composition, and overall fitness.

Of course and effective eating plan is essential to get good weight and fat loss results. The exact program I used to to lose 70 pounds and keep it off for more than 12 years is available here ===>Click Here!<===.

You can also check out this post for ideas on creating meal plans for fat loss in this post: Fast Fat Loss Plan

Whatever fitness activities you choose, give yourself permission to enjoy your training while you work to improve your abilities.

Fast Fat Loss Plan

Fast Fat Loss Plan: 14 days of food and fitness

Valentine’s Day is two weeks away, and I want you to look and feel fantastic, no matter what your plans are.

I’ve been happily married for 20 years, and keeping self esteem high enhances my zest for life and romance. I’ve written this 14 day plan in order to share a way to enhance your shape quickly without the side effects of too much hunger, muscle soreness, and fatigue.

My ketogenic food plan enhances my energy, mood, and shape by getting rid of bloating, flattening the belly, and shrinking the waistline. I developed this plan when I was working with my training clients at Gordon Studio, and it was effective for women and men of all ages. Note: check with your doctor before starting a new nutrition and fitness program.

For my complete sugar free eating program ===>Click Here<=== to visit sugarfreedom.com.

For my book on creating a life long fitness plan you can get my kindle book on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3amo1vi

Here are the guidelines for my 14 day fat loss plan:

  1. Every day: Drink the Freedom Tonic. 1 Tablespoon of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice, and 8 ounces of water. You may add liquid stevia to taste to cut the sourness.
    (We had a saying at Gordon Studio, “Hold Your Nose and Drink Your Tonic.”) It may not taste great, but it helps stabilize blood sugar levels, aid digestion, and we all swear by it to increase fat loss.
  2. Every Day: Drink an additional 6 glasses of water. You can make “Freedom Water” by adding cucumber, mint, ginger, and sliced lemon to a large pitcher of water, and finishing it by the end of the day.
  3. Protein: Eat 1 gram of protein per pound of your ideal body weight per day. I’m 5’1″ and although my preferred body weight at age 56 is 123, I go with 110 grams of protein per day.
  4. Carbohydrates: Limit carbs to 20 grams total or less per day. Here is my list of favorite low carb vegetables, along with their carbohydrate grams per serving.
My Favorite Freedom Carbs.

5. Fats: Have enough fat grams to feel satisfied up to 80 grams of fat per day.

Resistance Training 3 Times Per Week

3 super-sets

8 repetitions per exercise. Do a total of three rounds for each super set.

For example:

Super set #1: Squat/Push up

Super Set #2: Romanian Deadlift/ Dumb Bell Rows

Super Set #3: Reverse Lunge/ Bicep Curls

Here are 5 more examples of effective super sets for fat loss and muscle growth or maintenance: Forward Lunge/Tricep Extension, T-Bend/Overhead Press, 1 Leg Sit To Stand/Chin-up or Dumb Bell Pullover, Goblet Squat/Reverse Fly, Bulgarian Split Squat/ Butterfly raise.

You can complete your fitness session with interval training. My favorite style is to use my favorite House and Shuffle Dance steps Tabata Style. Here is an example of Tabata Style Training:

You can do this without weight if you’re a beginner!

The most important goal is to use these 14 days to discover what exercises work best for you.

You can e-mail questions to Catherine@dareshine.com

I’ll be blogging for the next 2 weeks to fill in all of the details for this Fast Fat Loss Plan.

In the meantime, be well, and eat for yourself.

 You can click the sponsored link below for the Kettle Bells I recommend.

https://amzn.to/2MkyZJJ

Thanks!

Catherine

 

 

Three Day Sugar Detox

This shopping list is one of the most important parts of the Sugar Freedom Diet that I published through Clickbank.com six years ago.

The three day “Sugar Strike,” is a whole food ketogenic diet that I wrote in order to pass on the way I was able to finally get off of sugar and permanently recover from overeating, overweight, and obesity.

Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation to eat a ketogenic diet. It is simply my way of eating, and my training clients have used it to lose weight quickly, typically five pounds over 3 days. Note that much of that pound loss comes from the fact that a low carb approach has a diuretic effect so it reduces bloating. Here is the shopping list:

Three-Day Sugar Strike Shopping List
No Sugar, No Grains, No Processed Vegetable Oils = No Cravings!

For the Daily Freedom Tonic: Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemons.
Mix 1 Tablespoon Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar with 1 Tablespoon lemon juice. Mix with at least 8 ounces of water and drink each morning.

Drink Bone broth, vegetable broth, or bullion for “Keto Flu” feelings of low energy, headache, and cravings. These replace the sodium and electrolytes that can be lost in the first few days of going low carb.

1.In the Produce Aisle:
Salad Greens (lettuce, spinach, cabbage)
Other Leafy Greens (Swiss chard or other chard, collard greens, kale, bok choy)
Herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro, etc.)
Other salad vegetables (radishes, sprouts, cucumbers, tomatoes)
Other green vegetables (avocado, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower)
Other non-starchy vegetables (peppers, green onions, onions, eggplant, artichokes, mushrooms)

2.Meat, Poultry, Fish, Seafood, Eggs, Tofu

Eggs: Preferably Organic Free Range.
Beef: All cuts, especially grass fed.
Pork
Poultry
Fish
Shellfish
Tofu (The simple tofu that comes in a “brick” that is found in the produce aisle.)

  1. Dairy Case
    Heavy Cream, butter, full-fat cottage cheese, sour cream, full fat organic cheeses, ricotta, full fat yogurt with no sugar added, including Greek yogurt. (Note: heavy cream is the only dairy on the 3-day sugar strike. Add the other dairy choices once carb cravings have eased.)

4.Fats and Oils

Butter (From grass fed cows like Kerrygold Butter)
Coconut oil (Organic)
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Soy Free Vegenaise (Made with grapeseed oil)
Walnut Oil
Macadamia Nut Oil
Avocado Oil

Note: home-made mayonnaise is your best choice, but if you’re concerned about using raw egg, or you need the convenience of prepared mayo Grapeseed Vegenaise is helpful for mixing with canned tuna and salmon, and for sauces and dips for wraps and veggies. Use sparingly.

Frozen Foods
meats, fish, and vegetables on hand. Frozen berries after the 3-day sugar strike.

Canned Goods
Canned versions of the above vegetables, also olives. Tuna and wild salmon.

Nuts and Seeds
Raw Organic almonds
Walnuts
Ground Flax Seed
Chia seeds.
(Note: no nuts on the 3-day sugar strike.)

Condiments
Mustard, full-fat mayo (Not made with soybean or canola oil, Soy Free Vegenaise as above.) salsa, pesto, dill pickle- up to 2 per day, sugar free relish, hot sauce, Braggs Organic vinegar, or any vinegar without added sugar. Bragg’s Aminos, Coconut Aminos.

Other:
Unsweetened almond or Coconut milk
Unsweetened coconut flakes
Unsweetened Chocolate and cocoa powder.

Three Day Sugar Strike Meal Plan

Breakfast: 2 eggs, spinach sauted in olive oil or butter. One tablespoon of salsa.

Lunch: Large mixed green salad with 4-5 ounces of meat, poultry, or fish. Oil and vinegar dressing. One cup cooked low starch vegetable.

Dinner: Repeat lunch.

The point of the Sugar Strike is to reduce carbs to 20 grams per day, while you enjoy simple, nourishing foods that won’t cause sugar or carb cravings.

If you get hungry, have a hard boiled egg or some more meat, poultry, or fish.

The point is to give up some variety in exchange for satisfaction, energy, some fat loss, and de-bloating. After three days, if the food plan feels like a good fit, you can continue on it with a typical weight loss of about a pound a week.

This has worked for me and my readers for several years now, and I hope you find it helpful.

Be well, and remember, eat for yourself.

Catherine

The entire Sugar Freedom is available at: SugarFreedom.Com

Is It Normal Not to Lose Weight After 2 Weeks of Working Out?

Throughout the year, I will be answering the Quora questions I get the most from my followers, and the question of the day is:

Is it normal not to lose weight after 2 weeks of working out?

When I was doing my original body transformation in 2008, I didn’t lose any weight for the first four weeks. I was also participating in an on line forum with other women and men who were using weightlifting, interval training, and whole food nutrition, (nothing out of a bag or a box) to get lean and lose weight. I remember that about 25% of the posters on that forum didn’t experience any weight loss for the first few weeks.

After I began working as a certified trainer in 2012 I noticed the same thing in some clients who started a training program. Here is my theory on what happens to keep the scale from moving at the beginning of new fitness program. First, there is truth to what you have heard about muscle being heavier than fat, but beyond that, if you are training hard enough to experience muscle soreness, you will retain water due to the process of body re-composition.

Muscle hypertrophy is caused by the micro tears in muscle tissue that happen during a body re-composition training session. It takes water to heal those micro tears, and I believe that soreness and water retention can explain why the scale doesn’t move even though your body is getting leaner.

This is why I recommend taking at least three measurements at the start of a training program, and continuing to measure for life. The scale can’t tell you if you’re getting leaner or smaller if dropping sizes is your goal. So Measure your chest, waist, and hips as a reference.

My original 12 week transformation

In addition, you need an eating and macro-nutrient plan if you are serious about your goals. I am not making a recommendation, but I will share that I overcame obesity with a ketogenic approach that includes 80–90 grams of protein, 90 grams of fat, and fewer than 20 grams of carbohydrate per day, mainly from vegetables that grow above the ground.

When my clients’ weight loss got off to a slow start I would suggest tracking, weighing, and measuring their food for a week.

I hope these suggestions help you to start getting the results that you want, because I believe so strongly in the benefits of working out for life.

Do you have a question about fat loss? Leave it in the comments.

Click Here to go to my profile on Quora.

Is It Better To Walk or Jog to Lose Weight?

I’m happy to answer this question because it lets me dig in to some of the things I’ve discovered about walking, jogging, running, and sprinting in the course of the past 45 years.

When I was in the 7th grade, I struggled to jog a mile in P.E. even though I was pretty good at sprinting. It wasn’t until I learned how to do intervals in my 40’s that I was able to use walking, jogging, running, and sprinting to lose weight and to increase my speed and endurance.

There are some good studies that demonstrate the connection between muscle fiber composition and running ability, here is an article in Runner’s World that goes into this topic in depth:

https://www.runnersworld.com/advanced/a20784071/how-muscle-fiber-recruitment-affects-running-performance/

It’s good to understand how your muscle fiber genetics can affect your walking and running, but my experience with walking and jogging for weight loss is that the method you enjoy the most will give you the best fat loss.

I suggest using walk/jog intervals like this: warm up with five minutes of easy walking, then jog until you become winded. Your level of conditioning will determine how long this takes. Ease back into a walk until your breathing and heart rate come back down, and you feel eager to jog or even run again. Repeat this sequence for eight rounds, and then walk until you feel completely rested. Repeat the interval session if you wish.

When I was a certified trainer, I learned that fat burning and conditioning happen during recovery from an interval as well as during exertion.

In other words, every time your body returns to baseline from the exertion of jogging or running, you are getting just as much fat burning benefit as when you are working on your endurance. To wrap up my answer, I will say both walking and jogging enhance weight loss and fat loss, especially when you perform them in intervals.

No matter what, enjoy your training, and I wish you well.

Catherine Gordon

What is a good way to lose weight?

I answer reader questions on Quora, and here is the one I just answered this morning:

“What is a good way to lose weight? I’m always tempted to eat right after I promise myself I won’t, and I end up feeling extremely guilty after.”

Here is my answer:

I struggled with my weight during my youth and young adulthood. I controlled my appetite with cigarettes and diet pills until my mid thirties. When I gave those up, I became obese, and I wasn’t able to stop overeating until I made a major shift in my eating and training habits.

The simplest change in my eating was guided by an old saying among bodybuilders,

“Nothing out of a bag or a box.”

Of course there can be exceptions to this suggestion, but it can help you to think about what is left to make up your menu plans. Consider the outside aisles of your grocery store. Here’s a description of my shopping pattern starting on the left and working my way around the store to the right: vegetables and fruits, dairy, eggs, meat, butter, bacon, and cheese. (No, I don’t go overboard with the last six items.) In order to get nourished and satisfied, I set macro-nutrient targets for protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

There are plenty of satisfying foods in the outside aisles of your grocery store.

Note: I gave up my fitness and nutrition certifications in 2018, and I am careful not to make diet recommendations. I simply share the methods that helped me personally overcome obesity more than a dozen years ago.

The most important idea I want to share is that minimally processed foods satisfy my appetite, while foods that have been processed and packaged leave me even hungrier than I was before I started eating.

A lettuce or cabbage wrap at lunch instead of a traditional sandwich.
Colorful vegetables for roasting.

By writing down my menu in the morning, and following it throughout the day, I avoid cravings and guilt, and I have plenty of energy for working, training, and fun that don’t involve food.

The bottom line is that in order to stop overeating, I had to replace the foods that stimulate my appetite with foods that satisfy it.

My motto is, “Eat for yourself,” and I sincerely hope that this is the year when you will find the nutrition plan that works for you.

My complete nutrition plan including a three day sugar elimination diet, ongoing weight loss, eating out guide, shopping lists, and maintenance plan, is available at Sugarfreedom.com.

My Perfect Carnivore Meal Plan

Perfect macros for my goals: 102 grams of protein, 88 grams of fat, 6.4 grams of carbohydrate, 1250 calories.

One Diet that Always Works

When I was preparing to sing at Carnegie hall in 2019 I had two essential goals for my nutrition plan. It had to allow me to get leaner, and it had to be anti-inflammatory.

When you are a singer, and you eat anything that causes inflammation, the first place you notice it is in your voice. The vocal chords have to lengthen, shorten, and vibrate in perfect sync with the demands of the singer’s intentions.

Getting ready go on.
Onstage at Carnegie Hall

The vocal chords, like the heart and the digestion, are autonomic. Here is the definition of autonomic:

1 : acting or occurring involuntarily autonomic reflexes. 2 : relating to, affecting, or controlled by the autonomic nervous system or its effects or activity autonomic drugs.
Autonomic | Definition of Autonomic by Merriam-Webster

Any inflammation will reduce the vocal chords’ ability to respond to autonomic reflexes.

I Went Carnivore in March of 2018

I expected to lose body-fat and have more energy, but I didn’t expect more glowing skin, more hair growth, smaller moles, and extra high notes at the top of my vocal range. It was as if eating mostly meat and animal foods had reset my body’s growth regulation to increase growth where I wanted it, and limit growth where I didn’t.

How is it possible that one diet could help me lose fat, and grow longer thicker hair at the same time? I believe that the healthy action of the Carnivore diet comes from the way it heals hyperinsulinemia.

Here is the definition of hyperinsulinemia:

Hyperinsulinemia (hi-pur-in-suh-lih-NEE-me-uh) means the amount of insulin in your blood is higher than what’s considered normal. Alone, it isn’t diabetes. But hyperinsulinemia is often associated with type 2 diabetes.
Hyperinsulinemia: Is it diabetes? – Mayo Clinic

I believe that the Carnivore Diet allowed me to improve my insulin response to food to the point that my entire body was able to perform better.

Eating in the Time of Covid-19

When we went into physical distancing in March of 2020, all of my singing events were cancelled, and I decided to go back to a low-carb diet that incorporated many vegetables and some fruits. My appetite increased immediately, and my motivation dropped. I attributed this to the lockdown blues, but since I returned to Carnivore after Thanksgiving a little more than 3 weeks ago, the sun has come out, my motivation has returned, and I’ve even lost some fat.

I have decided to claim the right to eat mostly meat, but I have designed the meal plan I posted here in order to keep my meat consumption at or below the amount of meat consumed by the average American which, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was about 10 ounces of meat per day in 2019. The meal plan above contains 10 ounces of red meat. It is my opinion that red meat is safe and healthy in the absence of sugar, grains, and processed vegetable and seed oils.

I intend to honor the animals I eat in order to live by living fully with honesty, integrity, and generosity. Now that I eat mostly meat, I consume less of everything, including meat. I look forward to consuming less and creating more.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, productive future for all of us.

Catherine

Simple Pork Roast Recipe

Start with a two to three pound pork roast.  I like to pick one that has a cap of visible fat.  This, along with the butter in the recipe, will baste the roast as it cooks. 

Ingredients and directions:

Pork Roast 2-3 pounds

Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder

3 Tablespoons of butter: at room temperature

Pre-Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Place the pork roast in a baking pan, and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder.  Add a sprinkle of herbs like Thyme, Rosemary, or Herbs de Provence if you have them on hand.

Spread the butter over the top of the seasoned roast, then put the roast in the oven at 450 degrees for ten minutes.  Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue to roast until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees: about 20 minutes per pound.

You can’t beat a tender pork roast for the price!