Happy Monday! As always, I like to start my week with a fresh slate, so despite the fact that it’s actually a day before New Years, I’m ready to rock and roll!
The first order of business, the starting weigh-in. My least favorite part. The time where you get to see the reality on the scale after dodging it for months and hoping the tightness of your jeans was just occasional bloat. I was disappointed to see that I’m back at 137 pounds, exactly halfway back to my original 2010 starting point before shedding 14 pounds. I worked my ass off to get that body, completely reforming my eating habits, getting on a regular workout schedule, and swore to myself that I wouldn’t ever go back. At least I’m catching myself now before slipping all the way back, and I learned so much that year that I’m much more prepared to start over again now.
Starting Weight: 137 pounds (December 30, 2012)
My Goal: 125 pounds
Deadline: April 1, 2013
The Plan: S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim (click for more details)
I am following the S.A.S.S Yourself Slim plan, by Cynthia Sass, which was released previously as Cinch!, and frequently referred to in my previous blogs. The premise is pretty simple – you start with a 5-day detox (the “Fast Forward” phase), losing 5-9 pounds instantly (mostly water & waste weight), then eat a balanced diet with 4 evenly spaced meals throughout the day. It’s not really a diet – more like a new lifestyle!
The 5 Day “Fast Forward” Phase
First step is grocery shopping. You’ll need 8 simple ingredients for the Fast Forward phase: Spinach, Raspberries, Eggs, Yogurt, Almonds, Almond Butter, Oranges / Tangerines, and Balsamic Vinegar.
1) 15 cups of raw spinach, approximately 2 large 10-oz bags. You’ll be cooking this for your breakfast, and also eating daily salads. I also like to use a Spinach / Spring Mix blend for the salads, especially if you don’t like the flavor of raw spinach.
2) 20 cups of raspberries, about 8 frozen 10-oz bags or about 12 small cartons if buying fresh. I much prefer fresh, but they don’t always look good, and can sometimes be very costly. But if you buy frozen, be sure and read your ingredient labels! Some of them have added sugars, listed as “sucrose”, “fructose”, “cane juice”, or many other names designed to hide the word “sugar”. I recommend you buy a split of both for the sake of both taste and cost. Use the more expensive fresh variety for your morning cup of berries, as well as on the salad, but the frozen work well for the yogurt parfait and the smoothie.
3) 2 cups of sliced almonds. You will be using these as a topping on fruit and yogurt, so I like the sliced almonds that you can usually find in the Baking aisle.
10 Tablespoons of natural RAW almond butter, about 1/3 of a 16-oz jar. After realizing the the organic product I had at home had added sugars and oils, I tossed it, then had to look at almost every jar in the organic section before picking MaraNatha All Natural RAW Almond Butter. When in doubt, read the ingredient label and be sure all that it includes is “raw almonds”… no oils or sugars. You can also make your own in a food processor, or at the nicer grocery stores!
5) 60 ounces of non-fat PLAIN yogurt , 2 of the 32-oz tubs. Be sure to get the non-fat, plain variety, such as the ones shown below. Plain greek yogurt is a great option as well, but keep in mind that the plain variety is very tart and you can’t use any sweeteners, real or artificial! If you simply can’t stand plain yogurt, my recommendation is for Dannon’s Light ‘n Fit Vanilla. It does have artificial sweeteners, but is relatively low in sugars compared to plain.
6) 10 large eggs. There are different sizes and types, but I like Eggland’s Best LARGE eggs. Careful not to get extra large! You’ll also want to boil 5 of them when you get home so they’re ready for your dinners. You can store un-peeled hard boiled eggs in the fridge for about a week.
7) 3-4 oranges or tangerines (for flavor & salad dressing)
8) Seasonings – herbs (salt-free) cinnamon and nutmeg (plain, without sugar), balsamic vinegar. NO SALT!
Below is my meal plan, along with suggested times based on my schedule. You can eat at different times, but be sure and eat within an hour of waking (rev up that metabolism!) and then every 3-5 hours.
1) Meal 1 (7:00 am) – scrambled egg with spinach; raspberries and almonds. 2 cups water.
The egg & spinach combo can be a little bland and the spinach flavor really stands out, so I experiment with un-salted seasonings, such as basil, cumin, parsley, and pepper. NO SALT!! Overall, not bad. The raspberries and almonds are very yummy.
Meal 2 (11:00 am) – yogurt parfait with raspberries and almonds. 2 cups water.
This is delicious and tastes like dessert! I add a little cinnamon and nutmeg on each yogurt layer and that really spiced it up. It’s also good with a little sprig of fresh mint.
Meal 3 (3:00 pm) – spinach salad with raspberries, almonds, boiled egg, homemade tangerine balsamic vinaigrette . 2 cups water.
This meal is my least favorite of the day, primarily because I’m not much of a salad fan, and do not care for a strong vinegar flavor. You can experiment with making your own vinaigrette, but the book calls for a mix of fresh-squeezed orange juice and vinegar. I also like to mash a few of the raspberries with the fresh orange juice and use that instead of vinegar.
Meal 4 (7:00 pm) – smoothie with yogurt, raspberries, almond butter, ice. 2 cups water.
The smoothie is great – kind of like a fruity milkshake to finish out the day. I have to add a little bit of water to help it blend, and also add a sprinkle of cinnamon. For those that are used to a super-sweet smoothie (my husband played guinea pig), you might find this a bit sour or bitter due to the plain yogurt and raspberries. I’m not sure what to suggest other than give it time for your taste buds to adjust. By the end of 5 days, you are supposed to have a new appreciation for natural flavors.
Here’s to a succesful detox!