Cinch Core, Days 1 & 2

Weekend Workouts:  7 mile jog / walk + a few stregnth exercises (Saturday); P90x leg / back video (Sunday)

Just like Detox, the second time around is much easier.  However, I feel like I’m constantly watching the clock, wondering when it’s time to eat again.  Weekends are especially tough because my schedule is so much later.  During the week, it’s pretty easy to stick to a 7am / 11am / 3pm / 7pm schedule, because my work day is very structured.  Weekends, however, start later and often have a flurry of activity during the day that doesn’t allow for a home-cooked meal.  This is where healthy subs and learning how to make the right choices at restaurants will come in handy.  So now let’s discuss the food! 

We had the Fruity Waffle Sundaes for breakfast both days, one of my favorites so far!  I made them as directed in the Shape Magazine, except the first day I subbed a big spoonful of no-sugar-added Comstock cherries for the dried version, and pistachios for pumpkin seeds.  I’m pretty sure Cynthia would not recommend these cherries for her recipes since they’re loaded with artificial sweeteners, but they are delicious, and I had a 1/2 can in my fridge that needed to be used.  On Day 2, I used the dried cranberries, as listed in the book.  My husband’s larger version (2 waffles instead of 1) is shown below.  Also, I finally found fruit-juice sweetened cranberries on Amazon, and they are DELICIOUS!!  Click on the cranberry picture below to see them on Amazon.

Fruity Waffle Sundae (man-size with 2 waffles)


For snack, we had the Parmesan Popcorn with Cranberries, with a few alterations.  I chose to use Smart Pop Kettle Korn instead of making my own, and used a drizzle of coconut oil instead of sunflower.  On day 1 we paired it with dried cranberries and on day 2 we had fresh grapes.  Also, the parmesan cheese seemed like an odd combo with the coconut popcorn, so we instead had a Laughing Cow cheese wedge (35 calories each), which I had bought for the Sonoma Snack later this week.  I chose the Queso Fresco Chipoltle variety.  YUM!! 

Do you like coconut oil?  I discovered it about a year ago and have been using it in place of butter and other oils ever since, but only recently discovered the Nutiva brand, which is hands down the best I’ve tried.  First off, I discovered in the Cinch book that there is a big difference in processing between regular coconut oil (like I found in the baking aisle of my grocery store) and Virgin coconut oil, which is cold-pressed and not mechanically processed, similar to the process for producing olive oil.  The taste difference is also a huge factor.  The other brands I’ve tried are basically tasteless, but the Nutiva has a slight smell and taste of coconut, which I LOVE!  Click on the coconut oil below for a link to see on Amazon.

Popcorn Snack ingredients

Popcorn Snack (for 2 people)

I subbed the 3rd meal for a Black Bean & Mango Salad (see recipes page) so I could use up some leftover items in my fridge.  Once again, it provides all of the puzzle pieces.  Black beans provide both complex carbs (in place of whole grains), plus protein and fiber, then the mango, peppers, onion, and jalapeno provide the produce, and a little olive oil is the plant-based fat.  It’s one of my very favorite recipes – check it out on my Favorite Recipes page!

The last meal of the day is the Avocado Tostadas, which were really good and tasted very fresh.  However, as depicted below, the 1-cup of lettuce basically took over the plate!  I ended up folding them like tacos, forcing the gob of lettuce inside.  I also made my husband his own version, adding some chicken and basically leaving off all the veggies (he’s a self-proclaimed “meatitarian”), but he did eat a salad (loaded with cheese, bacon, and ranch).  Anyway, back to my dinner… has anyone else struggle to find decent tomatoes this time of year?  I recently discovered Campari tomatoes at my local Kroger (see below / click picture for more info), and they’re worth the extra money.  Lime was also a big hit in this dish.  I added some to the avocado and then also squeezed some more on the finished tostadas. 

Avocado Tostadas

Campari tomatoes (click on picture)

All of the recipes this weekend were very, very, good…. but small.  It’s going to take some time to adjust to the smaller meals.  Don’t get me wrong, I was full once my food digested, but after a lifetime of infrequent, huge meals, it just felt like I needed more food.  It was nice, however, not to have that too-full, bloated feeling. 

I spent about an hour this morning prepping food for the next 3 days.  My fridge is full and beautiful!  Enjoy your Sunday!  I’m off to the grocery for a few forgotten ingredients…

Wonderful Weekend

What a glorious February weekend!  After a month of below-average temperatures, we are having 60’s and sun this weekend.  Bill and I went out to a lovely neighborhood that has a great running trail through the middle, plus a bike lane on the road.  He rode his bike and I attempted my first 5 mile jog since the marathon.  It was wonderful.

The rest of the day was pretty restful.  I found an awesome new recipe on the back of a Bush’s Black Beans can – Black Bean & Mango Salad – so I tried that for lunch.  YUM!!  I have posted the recipe on my Recipes link.  I changed it a little bit, omitting the jalepenos and olive oil.  I’m sure it would be great as a topper for chicken also, but I’m avoiding most meats these days.  Working in the food industry, you learn more about food processing than you ever wanted to know, and it’s really turned me off to meat… no need for details. 

Anyway, so then I tried my hand at homemade granola bars.  I’ve been trying to figure out ways to add more whole grains to my diet, but that has been surprising difficult without a lot of unwanted sugars and other added ingredients.  We used to buy lots of granola bars as a grab-and-go breakfast or snack, but the cheap ones are loaded with sugar and other stuff I don’t want in my body, and the good ones are expensive.  So making our own granola bars seemed like the ideal solution.  You can customize them to your tastes with different nuts, dried fruits and other extras, plus reduce or eliminate the sugar.  We ended up making ous with dried cherries, unsweetened coconut, and dark chocolate chips.  They turned out great and I look forward to trying more variations.  I have posted the recipe on my Recipe link.  Enjoy!