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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
|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.|
Cynthia Sass has done it all! She’s one of the few registered dietitians who have consistently worked in every aspect of nutrition communications – as an editor, writer, columnist, blogger, best-selling author, speaker, spokesperson, and a contributor to a national news network.
Best-Selling Author & TV’s Favorite Food Coach
Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author and columnist based in New York City. One of the most well-known and well-respected nutritionists in the country, Sass has been a guest on The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The Rachael Ray Show, The Dr. Oz. Show, The Biggest Loser, Nightline, CNN, ABC World News Tonight, Fox News Live and local TV stations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Cleveland. For over 8 months, Sass was a weekly guest on the nationally syndicated Morning Show with Mike & Juliet. She is now an ABC News contributor and Good Morning America’s “Food Coach.”
Cynthia has been quoted in the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Reader’s Digest, Ladies’ Home Journal, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Prevention, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, O the Oprah Magazine, Glamour, Seventeen, Fitness, Self, Shape, Health, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Marie Claire, Cooking Light, Eating Well, Vegetarian Times, Runner’s World, US Weekly, In Style and many other national and international publications. She has also been a guest on national radio networks including Health Radio Network, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, and National Public Radio.
Co Author of Flat Belly Diet! and Cookbook and more!
Sass is the co-author of Flat Belly Diet! and the creator of its deliciously slimming eating plan. The book, which spent 24 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, was AOL’s #1 searched diet in 2008 and the Flat Belly Diet! Cookbook, which Sass co-authored, is also a New York Times best seller. Cynthia’s first book, Your Diet is Driving Me Crazy: When Food Conflicts Get in the Way of Your Love Life, received a glowing review in the New York Times and was a “Books for a Better Life” awards finalist. Cynthia also contributed to Today Show travel editor Peter Greenberg’s book The Traveler’s Diet: Eating Right and Staying Fit on the Road. She’s the co-author of The Ultimate Diet Log, a unique food and exercise diary that harnesses the power of journaling to help readers target and meet customized goals. Cynthia’s highly anticipated new book Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches was released by Harper Collins January 1, 2011, and soared to #1 in all books on amazon.com by January 5.
Cynthia Sass; Nutritionist and Reregistered Dietitian Extraordinaire!
Cynthia is the former nutrition director and grocery guru columnist at Prevention magazine. She is now a contributing editor, blogger, and weight loss coach columnist for Shape, the food coach columnist for Remedy, sports nutrition columnist for Tennis, and a contributing editor, columnist, and the sole nutritionist for Athletes Quarterly, an exclusive publication for professional athletes. She’s also on the advisory boards of Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, A Taste of Home, and Healthy Cooking magazines. An in-demand freelance writer, Cynthia’s feature articles have been published in Good Housekeeping, Shape, Self, Fitness, Women’s Health, Ladies’ Home Journal, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Reader’s Digest, More, Cooking Light, Eating Well, Vegetarian Times, Prevention, Parade and other magazines.
Cynthia graduated with highest honors from Syracuse University where she earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in nutrition science. She completed a second master’s degree in public health at the University of South Florida, with an emphasis in community and family health education.
Sass is one of the first registered dietitians to become board certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD). She is the sports nutritionist for the New York Rangers NHL team and Tampa Bay Rays MLB team, and also served as the nutrition consultant to the Philadelphia Phillies from 2007 to 2009. She maintains a private practice in Manhattan where she privately counsels a wide range of clients, from professional athletes, models and CEOs to new moms, teens, and couples.
Cynthia’s gift is the ability to explain complicated science and the human body in a clear, simple and entertaining way and to make it memorable. Affectionately known as “Sass” by her clients, Cynthia has a communication style that has been described as that of a sister or friend who just happens to be one of the most trusted health experts in the country.
By Cynthia Sass, Guest Editor
4:00 a.m. The Blackberry alarm is beeping. Yikes, 4:00 a.m. already? I feel like I’ve been asleep for 5 minutes. Gotta give my kitty cat Toonces a little love before I crawl out of bed. He’s giving me that adorable look that says, “Stay!” After a little snuggle time, I start my day the usual way: coffee (with organic soy milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg) and Howard Stern. Howard doesn’t start until 6:00 a.m., but I’m listening to the replay of yesterday’s show, which I missed because I was doing back-to-back radio all morning. Yay! Time to shower, check email, Facebook, and Twitter, and get ready to go. Throughout, I’m nibbling on a Cinch! breakfast: quick-cooking whole oats topped with cherries (frozen, warmed up in microwave) and sliced almonds with a sprinkle of ground cloves. Just before shutting down my computer, I find out that Vogue included Cinch! in its round-up of 5 new diet and wellness books. Yipee! VOGUE!!! I feel like Carrie Bradshaw! Woke up my hubby to kiss him goodbye. Couldn’t resist sharing my Vogue news. He sleepily squeezes my hand. Aww, he’s the best.
7:00 a.m. Off to the CBS Early Show to do a fun “restaurant re-do” segment. I chose 4 restaurant meals that aren’t waistline-friendly and show how to make a healthy DIY version of each. For example, instead of onion rings, which absorb 5 tablespoons of grease, you can whip up a super crispy baked version that’s deliciously satisfying and won’t leave you feeling sluggish and lethargic. Sipped some H2O in the greenroom while watching the show’s interview with the homeless man with the “golden voice”—tried not to cry my makeup off.
9:00 a.m. Off to ABC News in Times Square for my weekly “Food Coach with Cynthia Sass” segment on Good Morning America. Today’s topic: the office diet. Many of my clients eat 3–4 meals a day at work and spend more time at the office than at home. I offer tips for how to make your workplace conducive to your New Year’s resolutions, such as recruiting a lunch buddy for accountability and support; and stashing a bag of frozen broccoli in the office freezer, which you can toss with a little sundried tomato pesto from the fridge. . . . I grab more H2O and hurray! In the green room at ABC, I get to see part of my Rachael Ray segment (which was pre-taped) about my new book Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches. The food looks delicious and Selena, a Cinch! devotee, looks like a knockout on TV. She shrunk from a size 10 to a size 4 by following the plan and she’s still Cinching daily. Love her!!!
11:00 a.m. Grab a large green tea, check emails, return some phone calls. No time for a real lunch before my next gig, so I start to nibble on my “emergency back-up kit”—stuff I brought with: organic soy nuts for protein, whole grain crackers, and organic baby carrots, followed by a Chocolate Coconut Chew Larabar—tastes like dessert, but it’s super clean. The only ingredients are dates, almonds, walnuts, unsweetened cocoa powder, and unsweetened coconut—that’s it! I’m officially obsessed.
12:00 p.m. Head to The Martha Stewart Show to film a segment about my new book. So excited to meet Martha and reunite with Jen, who will share her personal Cinch! success story with the audience. She’s 30 pounds lighter than when I met her and looks and feels phenomenal. Jen’s a single mother of 4, who struggled with weight her whole life. Once again, I have to fight back the tears. Lots of hugging. We have so much fun getting false eyelashes, meeting Martha—who is incredibly nice, truly, truly wonderful, wow, what an honor to be there and show her MY recipes!—and being with a fun, live studio audience.
4:00 p.m. Happy to be home, change into some comfy clothes, and get caught up on emails. But first, a healthy snack. Even though it’s a chilly day, I’m craving a tropical smoothie. I toss frozen pineapple, barley flakes, organic hemp milk, macadamia/cashew butter (Artisana organic, soooo yummy), and fresh ginger into my blender. I savor every sip as I decompress and hang out with Toonces (hubby went off to Texas today).
5:00 p.m. Time to squeeze in a walk. If I miss it, I don’t sleep as well. Plus, it invigorates me and helps me clear my head. One of my favorite things about living in Manhattan is being able to walk everywhere. I pop in my ear buds (more Howard Stern, love those replays) and decide to go whichever way the traffic allows. That’s one of my walking games. If I’m heading east and the light is red but it’s green to go north, I go north. It’s like an adventure. I always discover cute restaurants or shops and it’s less stopping and starting, so I can maintain a good stride.
6:00 p.m. Today wasn’t a client day, but I check in with a few via email and texts then talked to my hubby, who is visiting his family. Many more emails waiting for me and questions or comments on my Facebook page. I could spend hours on end connecting with people there. I feel like I have the best job in the world!
8:00 p.m. Just posted my blog at Shape.com. Time for dinner. When I’m pressed for time, my trick is what I call take out with a twist. I order steamed veggies with brown rice and tofu. After it arrives, I quickly sauté the veggies in my signature stir-fry sauce: blood orange juice, Japanese rice vinegar, fresh ginger, and crushed red pepper and sprinkle the dish with chopped cashews. This way I get all the flavor without the goopy oil/cornstarch overload. No TV tomorrow morning, so I crack open a lime seltzer (bubbles = bloating so I keep it flat on nights before I’m going on TV, no pun intended!). After dinner, back to the computer. Being out of the office all day means major catch up!
11:30 p.m. Just got off the phone with my book editor. Cinch! hit #1 in books on Amazon.com. Woo hoo!!! I’m over the moon! Take pic, send to hubs. He calls to congratulate and promises to take me to Pure Food & Wine (my favorite restaurant) to celebrate when he gets back. I call my friend, make plans to go ice skating at Bryant Park Friday, then thoroughly enjoy my Daily Dark Chocolate Escape (a mandatory part of the Cinch! plan), a few squares of Mast Brothers Madagascar 72% dark chocolate (you can use your own fave as long as it’s 70% or darker). Toonces is meowing, the signal that it’s time to catch some zzzs. Time to wash off my false eyelashes and snuggle.