September 2016

A Day on a Famed Nutritionist’s Diet

As a nutritionist, health writer and author of weight loss books people often ask me, “What do you eat?” I’m proud to say that I really do practice what I preach – I faithfully follow the eating plan from my latest book S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim, which means each of my meals is constructed as a puzzle with specific portions of 5 pieces: produce, a whole grain, lean protein, plant-based fat, and natural seasonings. I love this strategy because it’s simple and visual – there’s no need to count calories, grams or points; and the puzzle provides structure, but lots of flexibility. From meal to meal I can include foods, flavors or textures I’m in the mood for and enjoy what’s in season.

I split my time between New York City and Los Angeles but I’m in LA right now. Here’s an LA day in my diet:

BREAKFAST 8am:
It’s a chilly day in the marina so I feel like a warm breakfast. Since strawberries are in season one of my favorites right now is a mock strawberry crisp. For a delicious but healthy crumble topping I combine two tablespoons raw almond butter with a quarter cup rolled oats, working with my fingers until the texture is uniform. Then I slice some organic, local strawberries (yum!), add a squeeze of fresh Meyer lemon, warm in the microwave for 45 seconds, and lightly mash with a spoon to release some of the juice. Topped with the crumble it’s I-don’t-want-it-to-end delicious, and I still have one puzzle piece left – organic soy milk, my lean protein, which I thoroughly enjoy in an amazing latte from Intelligentsia, my favorite coffee spot on Abbott Kinney Boulevard in Venice.

LUNCH 12pm:
Salads are my lunch staple. I always start with a few cups of organic greens and in-season veggies, and follow the philosophy from book by adding the other puzzle pieces. Today my whole grain of choice is cooked, chilled red quinoa, and I combined my lean protein, plant-based fat and natural seasonings by whipping up a quick batch of hummus made with chick peas, extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice and roasted garlic. Each day I mix it up with different toppings, but this salad structure leaves me feeling nourished, energized and satisfied, and I don’t get hungry again for about another four hours.

SNACK 4pm:
I’m still blown away by how plentiful citrus fruits and avocados are in California. I have both on hand and it’s a beautiful warm day, so I decide to make the California Sunshine Salad from my book – sliced oranges tossed with sweet corn kernels (a member of the whole grain family), organic edamame and sliced avocado, seasoned with brown rice vinegar, thyme, cracked black pepper and organic lemon zest. It’s aromatic, refreshing and satisfying.

DINNER 8pm:
I’m in the mood for something spicy and this meal, also from my book, is one of my go-tos. I sauté a sweet red bell pepper in organic low sodium vegetable broth, then add a handful of spinach, crushed red pepper and a dash of white pepper. For lean protein and plant based fat I toss some broad beans with vegan basil pesto. I place the veggies on a bed of cooked barley (today I used purple) and top with the beans. I love to play food stylist when I’m preparing meals at home. I think it’s important because we eat with our eyes too – the aesthetic ups the satisfaction factor.

ESCAPE 10:00 pm:
I devoted an entire chapter in my book to dark chocolate, and a daily ‘escape’ as I call it is a mandatory part of the plan. Tonight I partake by enjoying one of my homemade truffles (the recipe is in the book) pressed with a fresh mint leaf. Not only are chocolate’s antioxidants and minerals good for my health, but this small indulgence really does satisfy my cravings, so I’m not tempted when my hubby munches on chips or cookies. It’s the perfect ending to a healthy day!

Get Cynthia’s book, S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches, $15.99

Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, CSSD is a registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition and public health. Frequently seen on national TV she’s the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays, a contributing editor and blogger at Shape magazine, and she privately counsels clients across the country. Her latest New York Times best seller is S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches.
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