Sugar and Eczema?

A study published in 1928 showed that a Low Carb diet helps heal eczema.

“For many years, it has been believed that eczema may be associated with a disturbed carbohydrate metabolism.” B. Usher M.D.

This quote is from a study published in 1928. Here is a link to the abstract:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/502294

I’m sure my mother would have liked to know about this study when I developed a serious case of Winter eczema as a small child. Currently, there are very few published studies that demonstrate the link between sugar metabolism, eczema, and dermatitis, but more are underway right now.

It’s also important to understand how the treatment for eczema, corticosteroid cream, can affect the patients who use it, especially children.

You can learn more by reading the study linked here:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4171913/

The good news is that a low carbohydrate diet was shown to relieve eczema over one hundred years ago, and this way of eating is easily accessible to us today. The pinned post on this website gives you my three day sugar detox for free, and there are plenty of low carb plans that you can easily find and try on the internet.

Managing glucose with food and fitness can be simple and fun. The best part is that physical well being opens the door to a happy fulfilling life.

As always, be well and eat for yourself.

Catherine

Three Day Sugar Detox

Three of the daily food lists below are Keto: 20 grams or less of carbohydrate per day. Two incorporate low sugar fruits and may work well for those who tolerate a higher carb approach. As always, check with your doctor before changing your diet, and I sincerely hope you find good health and satisfaction.

This image shows a low carb food plan for one day.
This image shows another low carb food plan for one day.

Free Three Day Sugar Detox Shopping List For You!

When I was hosting health and fitness challenges at Gordon Studio, this is the shopping guide I would give each participant. The simple Whole Foods here are easy to find and so satisfying.

I like to get the fresh vegetables and fruits at the farmer’s market. At the grocery store, you will notice that most of the items here are found on the outside aisles. The most important tip is to drink some broth if you feel tired and irritable during the detox. Drink water too as the plan has a diuretic effect.

May you find the way of eating that brings you health and happiness!

Omelet, Asparagus, and Tomato
Breakfast on the Sugar Strike
This image shows a low carb food plan for one day.
This image shows another low carb food plan for one day.

The Three Day Sugar Strike Shopping List

No Sugar, No Grains, No Processed Vegetable Oils = No Cravings!

1. In The Produce Aisle

Eat a variety of non-starchy vegetables 

Salad Greens (lettuce, spinach, cabbage)

Other Leafy Greens (Swiss chard or other chard, collard greens, kale, bok choy)

Herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro)

Other salad vegetables (radishes, sprouts, cucumbers, tomatoes)

Other green vegetables (avocado, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, okra, also cauliflower)

Other non-starchy vegetables (peppers, green onions, eggplant, artichokes, mushrooms)

2.Meat, Poultry, Fish, Seafood, Eggs

Do your best to stick to unprocessed organic meats that you prepare yourself.  Eggs are extremely nutritious, especially local free-range eggs.  

Beef: All cuts, especially grass fed.  The recent studies which have connected red meat with poor health outcomes have used conventionally raised beef which is fed grains and corn.  Grass fed organic ground beef has come way down in price, and other cuts can ordered from www.grasslandbeef.com.  It may be wise to limit your consumption of conventionally raised and processed beef and pork.

Pork

Poultry

Fish

Shellfish

I do use the wild salmon that comes in a can or a pouch to get in my omega 3 rich fish at a lower price.  I have definitely experienced sticker shock at the price of fresh wild caught fish.

3. Dairy Case

Cream, butter, full-fat cottage cheese , sour cream, cheeses, ricotta,  full fat yogurt with no sugar added, including Greek yogurt.  You can even make dessert on the Three Day Sugar Strike by mixing 1/2 cup of full fat yogurt with 1oz. chopped raw walnuts or almonds with a few drops of liquid stevia, and a sprinkle of pure cinnamon.  Once again, look for organic dairy.  Remember total dairy= i cup a day on the Sugar Strike due to the lactose content of dairy foods other than heavy cream.

4.Fats and Oils

Note that some of these are high in saturated fats (butter, coconut oil).  My experience and research shows that saturated fats are actually beneficial in the context of  a low carb diet. Avoid oils which are high in omega-6 fats (soy, corn, most safflower and sunflower). Partially hydrogenated oils should always be avoided. 

Butter  (From grass fed cows like Kerrygold Butter)

Coconut oil (Organic)

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  I also recommend local olive oil if it is available.  Many times local oils won’t be certified organic because of the expense of certification.  I adore lemon infused olive oil for home-made salad dressing and mayonnaise.

When I cook chicken, steaks, or pork chops on the stove I use a mixture of butter and olive oil in the pan.

Other oils in small amounts as flavoring (sesame and nut oils)

Other high-fat foods: nuts, avocados, and cream.  

A note on nuts and avocado on the Sugar Strike- 1 to 2 oz of nuts today, and one avocado per day due to their higher carb content, and calorie density.

Frozen Foods

It’s a good idea to have frozen meats, fish, and vegetables on hand.  Don’t forget to thaw your meat in the refrigerator, or in a sink of cool water in time to cook it!

Canned Goods

Canned versions of the above vegetables, also olives.

Nuts and Seeds

Most nuts and seeds will return to your menu after the Three Day Sugar Strike.  As above 1-2 oz of raw organic almonds or walnuts per day are fine.

Condiments

Mustard, full-fat mayo (Not made with soybean oil!), salsa, pesto, dill pickle, sugar free relish, hot sauce. Braggs Organic vinegar, or any vinegar without added sugar.

Other:

Unsweetened almond or Coconut milk

Unsweetened coconut flakes

Unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder .

5.In the Spice Aisle:

Look for interesting organic spice mixes.  I use curries, ginger, cumin, iodized sea salt, cinnamon, turmeric, vanilla, etc. to add interest and variety.

Remember: No Sugar, No Grains, No Processed Vegetable Oils = No Cravings!

Drink plenty of water- with a squeeze of lemon or lime if you like.  Coffee with cream in moderation. 

That’s the plan! Combine this with movement you enjoy and let me know how it goes.

Apple Cider Vinegar Study Shows Big Benefits

Watch to discover how ACV improves health.

I’ve been drinking a tonic of one tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar, one tablespoon of lemon juice, 8 ounces of water (240ml), and a few drops of stevia for almost 10 years. I’ve always known that it reduces my cravings, and it keeps my night time leg cramps away.

My readers and viewers have been asking,

“Do you have any studies to share, or proof that it works?”

Now I’d like to share a link to a meta analysis of ACV research:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34187442/

Here is the link to the lemon juice study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32201919/

Watch the video to learn why ACV is a win, win, win.

Be well, and train for what you love,

Catherine

No sugar For 14 Years

Is a sugar free diet sustainable?

Find out in the video below.

Catherine Gordon Wears a Betsey Johnson Dress From 1988

I stopped eating sugar, grains, and processed oils in 2008, and it changed my life for the better. Now that my blood sugar is stable, and my insulin resistance is vastly improved, I almost never experience sugar cravings.

If I do have a craving, I have learned to substitute nourishing foods and enjoyable activities that replace the snacking, shopping, and smoking I used to do.

You can learn more by watching the video in this post. There are also many posts in the history section on the right that describe the way I have been eating and training for the past 14 years. So many of us are looking for ways to consume less and create more as we look toward the future. As always, I want you to eat for yourself, and train for what you love.

https://linktr.ee/catherineonstage

Sugar Free Diet Plus Strength Training

How much is enough?

Catherine Gordon in her home office/gym.

In my latest video I talk about two studies that show how a little exercise spread out through the week goes a long way to improve insulin sensitivity and strength.

One wonderful benefit of insulin sensitivity is the way it normalizes appetite. When I eat a sugar free diet and do a regular resistance training program, it’s easy to satisfy my appetite and get things done.

In the video, I describe the 6X5 exercise method that was used in the study described here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/08/220815085707.htm

To turn this method into a workout I would do Dumb bell squats, Push ups, Romanian deadlifts, and Bicep Curls for six reps, five times per week. Do the exercise movements for one set without weights as a warm-up.

Link to the video on YouTube.

How To Train If You Want To Perform.

When, I was in college, I learned this age old advice to actors:

“Only pursue a career as an actor if you can’t do anything else.”

From 2012 to 2020, I tried to channel my exclusive desire to work as a theatre professional into a career as a Certified Personal Trainer, fitness studio owner, and diet book author.

Although I helped thousands of people lose weight and gain strength, this choice caused me a lot of harm. It also harmed my family and other relationships because I was desperately unhappy once I gave up acting, singing, and dancing in order to do something to help people: something that mattered.

In her book, “Big Magic,” Elizabeth Gilbert writes,

“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”

What fascinates you? What are you compelled to pursue? What kind of training would free you to create your world?

Giving up sugar and cardio freed me to to act, sing, and dance again. Something about metabolic health has lessened my obsession with the way I look. What’s even more important is that good mental health is removing my obsession with what other people think or say about the way I look.

For the performer, the body is the medium. Today, my medium is a mature woman with gray hair, a few wrinkles, and a zest for life that is bigger than it ever was in her youth. I eat, train, and practice in a way that keeps my body as ready as possible to respond to the demands of my creative spirit.

My specific training is a combination of resistance, intervals, dance and yoga. These routines can all be found in my earlier posts on this blog. This post asks you to consider what kinds of training would develop your ability to be truly happy.

Now, I’m going to practice my piano and guitar. Later, I have choir practice and dance class downtown. In between, there will be cooking and housework to do. With acceptance of the fact that I only want to work as a performer, I have the energy and enthusiasm for all of it.

I wish you the time, energy, and enthusiasm to create the life and living you long for.

Carnivore Confessions.

I have three primary faults: greed, sloth, and vanity.

I have plenty of other faults in different permutations and combinations, but greed, sloth, and vanity are like the three primary colors that mix with black and white to produce an extraordinary spectrum of shades.

My three primary faults get in the way of my usefulness by keeping me out of service.

Greed, which shows up in my overeating and over spending, slows my body down and increases my guilt over debt, waste, and clutter. The guilt makes me want to hide from the world. My food greed shows up as fat that makes me shrink from the work I want to do.

That longed-for work has always been in the arts. The longing to act, sing, and dance for a living has been with me ever since I saw my first musical, “The Student Prince,” with my mother in Chicago when I was six years old. Vanity, my third primary problem, keeps me from pursuing jobs by convincing me that I am not pretty enough to get paid to perform. In the past, sloth and vanity combined to give me the excuse to wait until I looked better to go on auditions or book performances.

My excuses faded away when I went carnivore.

Within days of eliminating almost all plant foods from my eating plan my constant hunger, persistent desire to shop, and obsession over what people thought of me began to disappear.

By week two, I was going to the gym to lift weights, do intervals, and practice dance, in spite of the fact that I used to think I wasn’t fit enough to be seen at the gym. The vanity which shows up as avoidance and insecurity wasn’t getting between me and the progress I needed to make as a performer any more.

Today, my need to look younger and prettier in order to be accepted is shifting into a desire to be strong and energetic in order to be of service.

Carnivore Paradox.

My animal based diet has cleared my mind to the point that I am deeply aware of my impact on the environment due to my dependence on animals to survive and thrive. My family bought young hens, and they are laying most of the eggs we eat now. I drive less by combining shopping trips, especially because I learned that cutting just six miles of driving each day offsets the carbon impact of my diet. Best of all, my greed and vanity have diminished to the point that so many products like hair color, cosmetics, fast fashion, shoes, purses, and the latest decor just don’t tempt me the way they used to.

Carnivore cleared my path from consumer to creator.

I confess that my dependence on animals makes me concerned about my impact on the planet, but by eliminating most plants from my way of eating I end up consuming less of everything else, including meat.

My hope is that everyone can find a way of eating that brings peace and energy to life. If we can shift from and economy of extraction to an economy of experience, we can continue to survive and live fully together.

Three Myths About Weight Loss

And what to do instead.

 The Top Three Myths About Weight Loss Are:

1. Eat Less

2. Move More

3. No Pain No Gain

These three myths have caused enormous suffering to the countless individuals who have struggled to lose weight after cheap food became abundant and skinny bodies became fashionable in many parts of the world during the last century.

The three big myths all have something in common. They violate the Einstein Rule which is:

“Solutions must always be as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

All three myths over-simplify weight loss to a devastating degree, especially for people who respond to popular diet and exercise programs by experiencing hunger, fatigue, and injury.

My experience with long term recovery from obesity, and as a personal trainer, certified nutrition specialist, and body transformation coach has taught me that people who have the physiological tendency to store fat in response to the Standard American Diet simply cannot get leaner with  Standard American Weight Loss Advice.

Let’s take a closer look at myth number one.

“Eat Less.” The two biggest promoters of fat building are hunger and cravings for fast foods.  Naturally slender people in a state of good physical health have very little trouble choosing nourishing foods. They eat to satiety and get on with life. 

People who tend to store food as fat, whether this is a result of genetics, life events, economics, or  environment increase appetite to the point of uncontrollable cravings when they try to eat less by counting calories.  What gets measured gets managed, and counting calories with apps and food labels makes it easy, so it’s no surprise that people try this first. 

The trouble is that the foods with fewer calories rarely deliver the amount of nourishment and satisfaction required to turn off the drive to eat.  This leads to the anxiety and frustration that can only be relieved by a fast hit of hyper-palatable foods. Once you get on this hunger, craving, overeating roller coaster it takes a highly nutritious eating plan to get you back on solid ground again.

This plan is simple: adequate protein, carbohydrates, and fat for energy and satiety. (But not too much of either one.) The trouble is that these foods aren’t the ones that are advertised, marketed, and offered to you at every turn. They are the foods you find at the farmer’s market, the butcher, and in the dairy case.  These are not the foods you find at work, in line at the the places you shop, or at the drive thru window. 

Fat burning, weight releasing, inflammation healing foods generally require you to plan, shop, and prepare. I wrote Sugar Freedom in 2013 to demonstrate exactly how I planned meals, shopped, and prepared food in order to overcome obesity and help my clients and readers literally lose thousands of pounds and inches. 

 I believe that you will discover your best diet when you take the time to ask, “What foods nourish and satisfy me?  What foods make me feel good, not just while I’m eating them, but after I’m done?”  The antidote for mythical diet advice is to address the quality of your food and how you react to it before you try to change the quantity of what you eat. 

Once your nutritional needs are met, you will have the freedom to adjust how much and how often you eat, because you have replaced the foods that were over stimulating your appetite.

The most important take away is this: trying to eat less of foods that have been specifically developed to cause cravings and drive consumption will only cause more cravings, hunger, and frustration.

The old advice of eating like your grandparents, shopping the outside aisles off the grocery store, and reserving treats for special occasions is actually a lot more helpful than, “Eat less.”

In my next blog post, I will address myth number two, and share my experience with what works better.

Then I’ll move on to myth number three. All of these myths apply to the goal of finding the individual process that leads you to good health.

Until then be well, and eat for yourself.

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