My Perfect Meal Plan for Weight Loss

My Perfect Meal Plan for Weight Loss is Sugar Freedom: no sugar, no grains, no vegetable oils.

I used to wish that I could add sugar, grains, and high sugar fruits like bananas, but every time I tried re-introduction my cravings came roaring back, and away I would go with over eating.

The truth is that the way I eat now is very similar to the way I used to eat, and the way the actors, singers, and dancers around me ate, when I was working in show business.

My Showgirl Food Plan 

From film sets, to commercial shoots, to the officer’s dinner on the cruise ship I worked on, most of us ate the same way.  My fellow dancers and performers chose protein, vegetables, some fat, and a bit of fruit.  Bread, pasta, and potatoes were out, and we only ate rice  occasionally.

I have studied nutrition for almost ten years now, and I have come to a clearer understanding of why the elimination of grains and sugars is so important for working dancers.  First, wheat and other grains can cause inflammation in susceptible individuals.  This spells trouble for a dancer. Aching joints get in the way of beautiful movement. When the body metabolizes sugar it produces advanced glycation end products or A.G.E.s., which have been shown to accelerate aging.  Worst of all for me, sugar and grains make my insulin levels shoot up, causing fatigue and irresistible cravings.

The Solution

My solution, which allowed me to permanently overcome obesity, is to simply leave those foods out permanently that get in the way of my work.  I would rater act, sing, and dance than eat bread and sugar.

After years of trial and error, I have discovered the macro-nutrient amounts that reliably keep me lean, and that can promote fat loss when needed.  Here is a screen shot of my weight loss meal plan from  Note that as a Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, it is beyond my scope of practice to tell you what to eat. However, I do have the freedom to tell you what I eat.  See the meal plan directly below this post.  The energy, satisfaction, and peace I get from this meal plan, is worth letting go of any of the foods I used to crave.
My perfect meal plan for weight loss.

The Essential Lifts for Health, Energy, and Recomposition

As I was preparing the  training plan for a client today, I decided to list the essential lifts for health, energy, and recomposition in order of importance.

I reserve the right to change this order, but these are the lifts I want all of my clients and Sugar Freedom readers to learn.

I will simply list them today, but in the future I will go into the power of these lifts in detail.

  1. The Squat
  2. The Push-Up
  3. The Deadlift
  4. The Row
  5. The Plank
  6. The McGill Sit Up
  7. The Bicep Curl
  8. The Calf Raise
  9. The Tricep Extension
  10. The Lunge

There you have it: these are my top ten.  I’m printing these out and heading to my training session, and I can’t wait to explore each one with you.

If you need a training plan, e-mail me:

Let’s train.

Appetite Re-Set and Sugar Detox

It’s the day after Valentine’s Day, and I’m sharing my appetite re-set and sugar detox eating plan with you. The biggest problem I have when I eat eat special occasion foods like stevia sweetened dark chocolate, brie, or berries is that these foods can stimulate my appetite.

They aren’t trigger foods at all, but the day after I eat them, my appetite isn’t as easily satisfied as it usually is on the Sugar Freedom system.

Fortunately, I use the simple menu fix I’m going to share with you here.  Note that it is controversial, as it does limit food choices, and it’s a short term diet. (Note: check with your doctor before making dietary changes.) This was said to have been used by the legendary Vince Gironda of Vince’s Gym, and by Arnold Schawarzenegger, for getting lean while keeping muscle.  All I know is that my readers and I find that it absolutely crushes cravings and stops over-eating cold.

Here is what I ate today:  Water, Freedom Tonic: 1T Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar+1T Lemon Juice in 16 oz. of water.  Coffee with Heavy Cream.

Breakfast: 2 Eggs cooked in 2t Butter, 3 Slices Uncured Bacon, 4 Oz Turkey Breast.

Lunch:  Repeat Breakfast

Note: you can choose any meat you like: poultry, beef, lamb, fish, etc. instead of the bacon and turkey.

Dinner: repeat lunch if desired, but I have no appetite for it, so I simply do an intermittent fast until the next morning.

 I follow this plan for a maximum of 2 days in a row, then I return to the Sugar Freedom program.

I drink plenty of water throughout the day, and I have some chicken broth if I feel droopy or low energy.  This strategy gets me into strong Ketosis, gets rid of bloat, and best of all stops any desire to over eat or even consider eating any of my husband’s chocolates.

So there you have it: a very low carb/Ketogenic strategy to crush cravings after any holiday.  Visit for a complete eating strategy, or e-mail me at for custom training plans and menu designs.

You really can find your style of clean eating, and get lean for life.



Three Diet Fixes You Can Use Right Now

Portable Breakfast
Delicious: So slow down and enjoy your food.

Three Diet Fixes You Can Use Right Now

1.  Find out exactly how much you are eating with

Fat secret is a totally free, easy to use, and accurate food and calorie tracker that gives you the information you need in order to be confident that you are following your food plan correctly.  For example, if you are starting a Ketogenic diet, you need to make sure that you are eating 20 grams or less of carbohydrates a day in order to get into nutritional ketosis for the first time.

If you are training to build muscle, you may be following the advice to get one gram of protein per pound of your lean body weight.  It’s pretty hard to get the results you want if you’re guessing, so it’s always best to have an accurate tracking program.

2.  Simplify Your Menus

You don’t need to prepare elaborate meals in order to create satisfying meals that you actually want to eat.  As a matter of fact, studies show that a little less variety helps to reduce appetite.  That way you eat less automatically.  This is a strategy I have literally been using for years, and it never fails.

Here’s how:  I pick 3 proteins, 3 carbs, and 3 fats as the basis of my meals for the day.  I have even used the same foods for 3 days in a row if I absolutely have to shed fat fast.  Here is an example of a daily meal plan using this tip:

Proteins:  Eggs, Shrimp, Chicken.  Carbohydrates: Avocado, Romaine Lettuce, Tomatoes.  Fats: Cream, Avocado Oil, Olive Oil

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs, 1/4 avocado, shrimp.

Lunch: Chicken breast, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, 1/4 avocado

Dinner: Shrimp, romaine lettuce, tomato, hard boiled egg.

Olive oil and vinegar dressing, and 1T home made mayo (made with avocado oil, 1 egg yolk, lemon juice, and cider vinegar) are included to make these meals enjoyable without over stimulating my appetite.

3. Slow Down and Chew Every Bite.

Recently, I was shocked to learn that eating too fats was a common cause of stomach bloating.  Imagine, instead of doing all those crunches that really don’t help to get you a flatter belly, you could simply slow down and enjoy your food.

Try this experiment: see what happens when you try to chew each bite 30 times.  By practicing the 30 bite technique, a healthy sewing pace of 20 per bite will become natural and normal.

My readers, clients, and I can assure you that quick fixes like these have helped us lose up to 5 pounds in three days.

If you want to simplify your workout, I highly recommend The Venus Factor plan that you can find at this link. ===>Click Here<===

I used this program to get fantastic results before I became a personal trainer.  The entire program can be done with Dumb Bells, which is a big plus if you train at home, or in a busy gym where the bar bells and the squat rack are often taken!

I hope this report was helpful, and I want you to e-mail me: if you need tips, strategy, or coaching to help you reach your goals.

P.S.: E-mail me if you want to join the free Facebook Accountability Challenge that starts September 6th.

Get Your Best Body Ever- After 40!


Default Bodyweight 400

 This is a class favorite at Gordon Studio:

Warm Up:
Y-Squat- 10
Arm Crosses-10 per side
Prisoner Lunge-8 per side
Mountain Climber- 10 per side
Leg Swing- 10 per side

Rest 30 seconds

400 Challenge:

25 Jumping Jacks
25 Body Weight Squats
25 Push Ups
25 Total Body Extensions

Rest one minute and repeat 3 times for a total of four rounds (400 reps total).

We got through it quickly enough on Friday that I added this incredibly simple finisher:
Cross Body Mountain Climbers: 20 Seconds on, 10 Seconds off for 4 rounds.

Total Body Stretch

With modifications this can be done by all fitness levels, and they feel incredibly empowered afterward.

With TT we can actually get our students to astonish themselves with their own abilities, and when they feel great, junk food loses a lot of its appeal.

One of my students, Dody, reached her goal weight of 145 pounds last week- down from 161. She said that she wasn’t really aware that it was happening. She knew her pants were looser- a lot looser, but that the 145 on the scale was a shock.

Been there! When I got back to 122 after Vegas I was thinking, “How did that happen?”

Simple- total commitment to Sugar Freedom, no cardio except walking, and TT.


After I met with my fitness colleagues in Las Vegas, I made a promise to myself that I would eat, train, and teach in a way that I know to be consistent with the best current science, and with my experience, and that of the most successful trainers and coaches I can study.


I realized that I had to answer and act on this question once and for all:


Do you want to teach what is popular, or do you want to teach what works?

Two years ago, I made a choice to teach what was popular, and I lost the body of my dreams when I slowly but surely re-gained 15 pounds over the course of the following year.


I don’t think it’s coincidence that I finally got my weight back to  goal range after I took a break from the cardio/aerobic classes I had been teaching.


My transformation happened after age 40, and what I have to accept once and for all is that, for someone like me who is susceptible to obesity, steady state, moderate intensity cardio sessions that last an hour or more are simply not an option if I want to maintain my fat loss.


The proof is right in front of me when I see my Turbulence Training students get leaner, stronger, and dare I say it, great looking bodies week by week.


Women in their teens, twenties, and early thirties may be able to cut their calories to the bone and do as much cardio as they want, but I have to accept that at almost age 50, I can’t.  


So with patience, good technique, and the right eating strategy for your body, you a can get to your goal weight after 40 and beyond.  And the best news is that that you can enjoy the journey.


Speaking of 50, my friend and colleague Shawna is that age, and her challenge burpee program is right in line with what I know to be effective:  You can check out her training program by clicking the blue link underneath Shawna’s picture:

Shawna at 50: Amazing!


You Can Lose Weight When You Travel.

How to Lose Weight When You Travel

Adventures in Sugar Freedom

If you’re new to the Gordon Studio Sonora Website, welcome!  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know it’s dedicated to helping you build your authentic ideal body, and keep it for good.

One of the biggest challenges of weight maintenance is learning how to eat when you’re out of your usual habitat.  After all, one of the most  powerful keys to permanent fat loss is learning how to cook healthy, satisfying food for yourself and your family, and generally home cooking has to happen at home.

It’s not boasting when I say that I have my food and cooking plan dialed in.  Typically, I make my big pan of vegetables in the morning, I make sure I have lettuce washed and ready for my mid-day salad, and I make sure I have a healthy protein source ready to go at any time.  It’s no fun to have to thaw and cook a chicken when you’re already hungry.

This is, to put it simply, is the discipline of permanent fat loss: to be willing to prepare for success.

Traveling for work or vacation is a different story though, isn’t it?

One of the perks of travel is that someone else is doing the cooking and cleaning up afterward, right?  One of the problems is that the food on offer is typically part of the Standard American Diet:  Lots of grains, conventionally raised meat, salty snack foods that are full of soybean oil, and sweets.

Even at the breakfast buffet for the meeting of fitness professionals I attended last week, the first foods I encountered were big baskets of bagels and pastries.  My new friend Adriana turned to me and said, “Why does this have to be the first thing we see?”  This being the “Carbage.”  (Thanks for making up that word Jimmy Moore.)

I suppose that one solution would be to book a room with a kitchen, go shopping, and just keep cookin’, but what if you need a break from that, or what if you’re having working lunches?

I’d like to offer a few of my travel friendly foods, and a few tips to help you make wise choices at restaurants, buffets, and even airports.

My travel friendly favorites are:
Organic Granny Smith Apples
Raw Almonds
and Organic Beef Jerky

These three items can go in your suitcase or carry on, and the three different textures and flavors are very satisfying.  I have literally made a mini meal of these three foods, and tumbled into bed after a long work day- especially if that workday involves learning new workouts and fitness techniques.

So now that we know you won’t starve, what should you pick at the restaurant of buffet?  Let’s keep it simple shall we?  Although breakfast is often a carb fest on the road, there are usually some whole foods like eggs, bacon, and fruit available.  At lunch, eat a big salad for the fiber and nutrients the leafy greens will give you, and at dinner- if you focus on the pleasure of the location, or the opportunity to grow professionally, you really don’t have to eat dessert.

If you’re like me and you don’t eat sugar but you love cheese, ask for it instead.  At steakhouses in particular, cheese for dessert is definitely in style.

The simple foundation of the Sugar Freedom Diet on the road is:  Vegetables cooked in butter, Salads dressed in olive oil and vinegar, simply prepared meats of the best quality you can find, whole fruits, and some full fat dairy if it agrees with you.

Ten years ago, it would have been hard to eat this way when traveling, especially at airports without a full service restaurant.  Today, whole items like fruit, eggs, and vegetables are pricey- but at least they’re available at airport food courts and convenience stores.

I hope these eating tips help, because five extra pounds of travel bloat is not my idea of a charming souvenir.  I lost two pounds of fat in Las Vegas last week.  That helped to make up for losing some money in the casino.  Oh well.  That’s entertainment!


Get a Great Body and Win Cash!

To get the Turbulence Training Program That Has Worked Wonders at Gordon Studio:

Click Here!

 Congratulations to Kim, Peggy, Melinda, Sandra, and Melanie.


We are five for five when it comes to Gordon Studio clients who have completed a 12 week transformation and made it into the finals of this worldwide contest.


Everyone has lost multiple inches in all the right places, and Kim placed second in the 17th contest by doing three TT Training sessions a week the were just 30 minutes long!


A Friendly Competition

There is only one Certified Turbulence Trainer that I know of who has had more clients make the finals, and that’s Mike Whitfield with six.


What do you say Gordon Studio members and blog followers, shall we try to make it 7,8, or more finalists for Gordon Studio?  Wow, I would love that, because there is nothing more gratifying than sharing the incredible feeling of vitality and accomplishment you get from completing a Turbulence Training Transformation Contest..

Here are the rules for the current contest:

Rules of the 18th
Turbulence Training
Transformation Contest 


1) The 18th Turbulence Training 12-Week Transformation Contest runs from Sunday, September 1st to Monday, December 9th, 2013.

  • All transformations must be submitted before midnight, EST, on Monday, December 9th, 2013, at midnight EST.
  • The last day to enter if you want to complete a full 12-week Transformation is Monday, September 16th, 2013.
  • You can still enter AFTER that date, but you won’t be able to complete a full 12 weeks, as you must submit your entry no later than Monday, December 9th, 2013, at midnight EST

2) To enter the TT Transformation Contests:

  • You must use Turbulence Training or 24-7 Fat Loss workouts to achieve your results.
  • You must provide “Before and After” photos via email or by posting them in the Transformation Forum of the Turbulence Training Membership Website.
  • All entries for the 12-week Transformation Contest must be received before Midnight, EST, Monday, December 9th, 2013.

NOTE: If you have placed in the top three of any previous Turbulence Training Transformation Contests then you are no longer eligible to enter the 18th Turbulence Training Transformation Contest. You may only win a prize once.



3) You must take “Before” photos on Day 1 and “After” photos on Day 84.

  • All photos must include your face and a newspaper from the current date in order for your transformation to be entered into the contest. There are NO exceptions.
  • To view a sample of proper photo documentation, visit this link:

Watch “How to Take Your Transformation Contest Photos”



4) Photos can be posted in the Turbulence Training Membership Website Transformation Forum or can be entered by email (see details below).

  • It is highly recommended – for your success – to post your photos, workouts, and nutrition in a training journal in the Turbulence Training Membership forum.
  • Recording your photos, workouts, and nutrition will dramatically increase your chances of losing fat and reaching your goals because of the power of social support found on the forums.

5) In addition to providing Before &amp; After photos, each contestant must write a 300 word essay on their before and after success story. This can be posted on the forum or sent by email.

6) The Transformation Contest will be judged by Craig Ballantyne and voting may be opened to the public.

  • By entering this Contest, each winner of a contest prize consents to the use of his/her name, and/or photograph in any publicity carried out by the Contest Sponsor and its advertising and promotional agencies without further notice or compensation.

7) Prizes are as follows:

  • For the 12-Week Transformation Contest there will be four categories:
    • Men Under 40
    • Men Over 40
    • Women Under 40
    • Women Over 40
  • Each category will reward the following prizes.
    • 1st Place Grand Prize – $1000 plus a 3-Year Platinum TT Membership
    • 2nd Place – $500 plus a 2-Year Platinum TT Membership
    • 3rd Place – $250 plus a 1-Year Platinum TT Membership

8) The Contest Sponsor’s rulings are final and without appeal in all matters related to this Contest and the awarding of the Prizes. The Contest is subject to all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws and regulations.

9) Entering by Email

  • To enter photos by email, send to:Support (AT)
  • All entries become the property of the Contest Sponsor and will not be returned.
  • Contest Sponsor, its advertising and promotion agencies assume no responsibility for lost, stolen, delayed, damaged, illegible, incomplete, postage-due, garbled or misdirected entries or entries that have been submitted through illicit means, or do not conform to or satisfy the Contest Rules or for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers, access providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any entry to be received or traffic congestion on the internet or at any website, or any combination thereof including any injury or damage to an entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from playing or downloading any material in the contest.

    If you enter, you may be added to the Turbulence Training email marketing list.

10) The Contest Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to modify, cancel or suspend this Contest should an external circumstances arise which are beyond the reasonable control of the Contest Sponsor. The Contest Sponsor is not responsible for any errors or omissions in printing or advertising this Contest.

The Contest Sponsor collects your personal information for the purposes of registration, program evaluation and to keep you informed about The Challenge. The Contest Sponsor may, if consent was given during registration, also contact you from time to time with information about other ways you can lose weight.

The Contest Sponsor will not share any personal data about entrants with any

other party. The personal data collected for this Contest will not be used for any other purposes unless entrants provide explicit permission as indicated on the entry form. For more information about our privacy practices or to obtain a copy of our Privacy Policy,

By entering this Contest, entrants agree to release and hold harmless the Contest Sponsor and their respective employees, officers, directors, agents, representatives, successors, assigns, advertising and promotional agencies from any liability for any loss or damage of any kind to the entrant or any other person in connection with this Contest or participation in any Contest related activities, including but not limited the taking of a urine test or, if declared a winner, the use or misuse of a prize or any portion of a prize including personal injury, death or property damage.

This Contest will run in accordance with these Contest Rules, subject to amendment by the Contest Sponsor. Contest Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, amend, modify or terminate this Contest or the Rules at any time in its sole discretion and without notice.

Entrants must comply with these rules, and will be deemed to have received and understood the rules if they participate in the Contest.


Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Certified Turbulence Trainer



I want to encourage all of my local TT students to participate.  If you can’t make it in to Gordon Studio, and even if you can and you want to to Turbulence Training at home or at your local gym, here is my affiliate link to buy the TT program, and get all of the training sessions that I used to help my students- and many many more:



        Click Here!


When it comes to transforming your body, nothing beats TT, plus, you could win 250, 500, or even 1000 dollars in the 18th Transformation Contest.  Sandra, Kim, and Melinda did it, and you can too.


One more detail: If you take your pictures by September 3rd, you will complete your 12 week transformation before Thanksgiving.  (Just a friendly reminder for those of you in the U.S.)


I will be entering the contest myself, even though I’m not eligible to win a prize, in order to test the effectiveness of my new “Sugar Freedom Diet”- “No , Sugar, no Grains, No Cravings”  is my motto.


Let’s make this the best contest ever, for heath, energy, a great body, and fun!


Ten Transformation Tips

In ten days, I take my “after” photos for the 17th Turbulence Training Transformation Contest.  I’m not eligible for a prize, but several Gordon Studio students are in it to win, so I want to share my best fat loss tips with them, and all of the Beauty Building readers.


This morning, I started the day with a big glass of water before feeding the cat, the dog, and the fish: in that order.  I guess that tells you who rules the animal roost around here?  Yep, Princess Muffins.  Then I made a cup of coffee, and sat down for my inspirational reading.


When I was done I asked myself, “What could I write that would be most helpful to anyone in the contest?”  This fits in with the motto, “The more you help others, the faster you will see results.”  So here are ten fat loss ideas for the next ten days.


1.  Follow your eating strategy faithfully.  This is not the time to suddenly go nuts by drastically reducing calories, or jumping to a brand new diet.  This is the time to keep your body nourished and satisfied, and for most of us that means colorful vegetables will be on the menu.  I have found that things fall apart for me and some of my students when we don’t keep up with our salads and other vegetables, both raw and cooked.  I believe that nutrient density is a key to satiety, and no matter what your nutrition strategy is, it’s hard to beat spinach, kale, cauliflower, etc. for that quality.


2.  Follow your training strategy faithfully.  Get your three training sessions in, but don’t suddenly ramp up the weights or intensity.  By now you’ve been using the principle of progression whenever you’ve trained, so stick with it.  In my case, when I’ve tried to add extra cardio to burn more calories, I’ve just ended up tired, cranky, achy and hungry.  (That sounds like the four dwarves of weight gain.)

“She Who Must Be Fed First.”  Please note the royal wave.


3.  Drink water.  Eight glasses a day makes good sense.  By making sure you’re hydrated it’s a good bet that you won’t reach for high calorie beverages.


4.  Limit or eliminate alcohol.  Although I have lost fat and transformed while drinking, I do believe that alcohol impairs the judgement and resolve we need to bring our transformation ship in to a great landing.


5.  Meditate, or at least spend quiet time each day.  You need this time to reduce stress, and feel grateful for the changes you’re making in your body and life.  During meditation we connect with the subconscious mind, which has a vast impact on our success.  Spend time reassuring your body that it can trust you, and it will release fat.


6.  Think kind and loving thoughts about your body, and the world around you too!  You can help the process by wearing your favorite colors, listening to your favorite music, and taking part in your favorite non-food pastimes.  Don’t wait for the end of the challenge to start enjoying your stronger fitter physique.


7.  Establish non-food rewards.  Even after five years of transformation experience I still get cravings, and I experience frustrations that make me want to reach for the brief oblivion of junk food consumption.  If you get a craving, breathe, feel it, let it pass through you, and then reward yourself for your maturity and fortitude!  I have white board where draw a dot for every craving that I breathe through.  The more dots, the better the reward on picture day.  By the way, we’re going on a short vacation right after my contest deadline- and yes reward shopping is involved.  Shoes anyone?


8.  Reach out for support.  I’ve already told a few friends that I may be calling or texting them if I get a craving.  If you’re in the contest, your best source of support is often the other participants.  Plus, if you’re like me, you may find it easier to honor the commitments you’ve made to other people, than it is to stick to the promises you’ve made to yourself.


9.  Print a copy of a calendar for the next ten days and post it where you can see it.  Write in your training sessions and photo time at the very least, and it helps to schedule shopping and food preparation as well.  Are you having your hair done, or getting a spray tan?  Write in the tasks that pertain to the challenge- especially the fun ones!


10.  Take care of your skin.  Don’t go out and get lotions or tanners that you don’t have any experience with.  If you want to use a tanner test it a week before to make sure you don’t react to it.  Personally, I tried some new face creams a few days ago.  I think I layered on too many at once, because my face suddenly turned red and hot.  The reaction only lasted 30 minutes, but you don’t want that to happen on picture day!


It’s funny, when I sat down to write this post I thought, “Ten tips?  Have I got that many?”  I guess I do, and more.  I’ll leave you with this, if your TT Strategy is working, just trust it, and stick with it for ten more days.  Then take you pictures and enjoy the results.  If they turn out the way I think they will, I have confidence that you’ll be Turbulence Training for good!