Monday Monday

Happy Monday, world!  I had a bit of a breakdown over the weekend.  My in-laws gave me a big chocolate heart for Valentine’s Day, which I quickly inhaled.  It was great while it lasted, but then the usual guilt and bloat followed, plus I could not get through my 9-mile marathon training run on Sunday morning.  So here’s the reality… junk food tastes good for a few minutes, but feeling fit and happy lasts all day.  I am sooo fed up with feeling fat and skipping over half the pants and skirts in my closet to find ones that fit.  Being on Cinch has definitely made me more in tune with my body and my feelings and I’ve noticed a definite correlation between my overall happiness and my diet.  When I’m taking care of myself, I’m happier, my skin is clearer, and everything else just seems to fall into place.  When I’m not taking care of myself, I’m moody and get really down on myself.

If you read my blog, you know that I’ve been yo-yoing on Cinch since January.  I’m still down 6 pounds overall, but have had a few too many cheat days.  I think it’s finally time that I realize the sacrifice that must be made.  If I want to look and feel my best – I must quit eating crap except for the occasional splurge (i.e. once a month, not once a day).  If I can’t or won’t make that sacrifice, I must accept that this is as good as it gets.  Period. 

I must say that my husband’s determination has helped inspire me too.  He’s been doing P90X for about 8 weeks now and cutting out most junk food.  So far he’s down about 20 pounds and his overall mood is so much better.  Although he’s more meatitarian and I’m more pescetarian (mostly vegetarian but eats seafood), it’s very helpful to live with someone that is also dedicated to eating well.  I guess that’s why it’s so easy to get off track when I visit family… desserts-o-plenty. 

Soooo, I’m once again “starting over” this week.  I don’t plan to start the actual detox phase until this weekend because I’ve got a lot of [healthy] food in the house that needs to be eaten.  Here’s my meal plan for the next few days:

  • Breakfast (7am): Spinach & feta omelet, 1 slice toast
  • Snack (11am): Yogurt, berry, & almond parfait
  • Lunch (3pm): Coconut veggie medley with edamame, red cabbage, carrots, onions, peppers, and coconut. 
  • Dinner (7pm): Whole wheat pasta with spinach, tomato sauce, parmesan cheese

Now I’m off for a light workout in the great outdoors – it’s 70 degrees today!  Gotta take advantage of this freak February weather.

Last Day of Detox Do Over!

Last day of detox and these 5 days have truly been a cinch!  I was back down to my previous post-detox weight this morning and slipped into my six-month-old-but-never-worn “skinny” jeans  – woohoo!!  I also took about 20 minutes last night to pick out my recipes for the weekend and also next week and go ahead and log them in my menu so there’s no thinking (i.e. temptation) involved in meal planning:

Saturday & Sunday  
Meal Plan Time
Fruity waffle sundaes (shape mag) 8am
Cranberry & cheese popcorn (107) 12pm
Shrimp & wild rice stuff peppers (125) 4pm
Spicy avocado tostadas (119) 8pm
1 Dove dark-chocolate  


My weight-loss goals going forward are pretty modest at 1-pound per week, given the fact that I’ve only got about 10-15 pounds to go and those “fat pounds” (contrary to water/waste weight pounds) are the hardest to lose.  Here’s this week’s weigh-in.  Where is everybody else at these days? 

Starting Weight:   144 pounds  (December 28, 2010)

Current Weight:   135 pounds  (January 21, 2011)

Total Loss:   9 pounds (mostly detox)

Next Week’s Goal:   134 pounds (January 28, 2011)

Cinch Detox Do Over, Day 2

On to Day 2 of my Detox Do Over and feeling great.  Had a good 5-mile run this morning and hope to squeeze in Power Yoga at lunch.  And I love that I don’t even have to think about meal-planning!  Now if only I could somehow capture this diet motivation and save it for a rainy day…

Meal Plan for the next 4 Days:

Meals  Time
1) Egg & spinach scramble, raspberries, almonds  6 am
2) Mixed berry parfait with almonds  10 am
3) Spinach, boiled egg, mixed berries, almonds  2 pm
4) Smoothie with yogurt, berries, spinach & almond butter  6 pm

Today’s Workout:  5-mile morning run, Power Yoga


Here’s a great little motivational clip that I found online.  HAVE A FABULOUS DAY!

Cinch Day 6 & 7

Today’s Meal Plan:

Meal Plan Time
Fruity waffle sundae 7am
Avocado dip with crackers  11am
Salmon ginger rice bowl  3pm
* Office party * 7pm

Today’s Workout:  20 minutes on the indoor trainer (picture below!), strength-training, 3-mile jog.

Riding the indoor trainer in my husband's "Tennessee Room"

The next phase of Cinch is 25-days long and similar to the first phase, it involves 4 meals spaced 3 to 5 hours apart, starting within an hour of getting up in the morning.  The book offers 100 recipes to mix and match for the daily meals, all of which look amazing and are pretty easy to make, but you can also substitute your own meals as long as they match up nutritionally.  As Sass puts it, its just like putting together a puzzle, and the goal of this next 25 days is to learn how to put together the puzzle yourself so you can keep up your healthy eating habits.  Although not a nutritionist, fitness and nutrition have long been a passion of mine and I’ve gone through quite a few courses on the subject.  Now I just have to master the art of practicing what I preach!  

On that subject, I had my first slip-up last night.  I had been doing so well, even getting through several major temptations throughout the day, but when I get home, it’s habit to immediately seek out food and dinner was going to take some preparation.  Thankfully, I do not keep any junk around the house, but suddenly everything in the pantry looked wonderful.  I started with my daily dose of dark-chocolate, and then I rationalized that I could have a second one since we’re allowed to have up to 100-calories of dark chocolate per day and the ones I bought are only 50.  But I ended up having 4 before moving on to a slice of bread, spoonful of peanut butter, 5 baked black-bean chips, and a 1/2 cup of milk.  But I stopped there and realized I’d already eaten enough calories to account for dinner.  Hey, I saved myself the cooking time!  Yes, I slipped up, but all is not lost.  Once again I feel like this is a learning experience for me.  Unlike past occasions when I’d give up and go back to my old habits, it’s not realistic to think we can all live by a strict routine all the time, so I’ll just consider it a splurge and move on. 

I posted today’s meal plan and workout schedule above.  Although this diet does not require working out to achieve success, it’s recommended.  I actually enjoy staying active, so maybe sharing my daily workouts will give you some ideas.  I like to try and get a short workout in first thing in the morning (typically cycling or yoga), then my primary workout at lunch (usually weights and jogging or a class).  I’m fortunate that my employer has an on-site gym with personal trainers on-staff and is also located on a large park with running trails, plus they give us an extra half hour for lunch if we use it to work out.  And yet a lot of my co-workers still don’t take advantage of it and I just don’t understand! 

Yesterday and today’s breakfast was the Fruity Waffle Sundae (1 waffle with 1/4 cup ricotta, 1/2 cup cherries, 1 kiwi, pumpkin seeds) and it was awesome!  Mine didn’t look as pretty as the magazine picture, but oh well.  I subbed fresh cherries instead of the dried cranberries, and I think next time I’ll sub flax seeds for the pumpkin seeds.  They just tasted a little odd with the other ingredients.  Overall, I’d give it an A- recipe with quick and easy prep!

For lunch (yesterday), I subbed my own meal because I didn’t have time to prep a recipe from the book.  So I chose a 1/2 Almond Butter Sandwich with Grapes.  By the way, the Maranatha Raw Natural Almond Butter is the best I’ve ever had!  Not only does it taste great, but if kept in the fridge, it doesn’t require stirring.

Yesterday & today’s snack is the Avocado Dip (1/4 avocado, 1 egg, dash pepper & cayenne), plus Baked Black Bean Chips (in place of whole grain crackers), and a Tangerine.  I wasn’t sure about the combo of avocado and egg, but actually it was pretty good.  I guess the egg works as a filler since using more avocado would add a significant amount of calories and fat.   Have you guys ever tried the Guiltless Gourmet Black Bean chips?  They are so good and you get 18 chips in a serving for only 120 calories and 3 grams of fat!  And did I mention that they are delicious!?  For more info, click on the picture below.


There’s an office party tonight, so no cooking required, but I hope they have some healthy options!  How is everyone doing?

Cinch Day 1 – 5 Day “Fast Forward” Phase

Day 1 is in the books! 

I’m glad I was off work and planned to spend New Years Eve at home with my husband, because the grocery shopping, recipe study, and food-prep was more time-consuming than I expected.  I suggest starting on a weekend!  My husband thinks I’ve gone crazy, ha ha ha, but I’m having fun.  Of course, I also spent some extra time taking pictures and working on my blog so I could share my experience with everyone, but it was worth it for the motivation factor.  Apparently it’s working too because my sister has agreed to join in!  Good luck, Liz!

I consider myself somewhat of an expert at the grocery store and know very well how to dissect a food label, so I was surprised to find that it was a little challenging to find acceptable forms of my 5 ingredients.  Here’s what I found…

  • 15 cups of raw spinach, approximately 2 large 10-oz bags.  

  • 20 cups of raspberries, about 8 frozen 10-oz bags.  Cascadian Farms is the only one I found that didn’t included added sugars and is found in the Organic or Health Food section.  I tried to get the significantly cheaper regular variety in the frozen foods section, but they included “liquid sugar”.  Be careful and check your labels!  I also considered fresh, but 10 pints at $3.99 each would have been quite costly!

  • 2 cups of sliced almonds.  At first, I purchased a bag of bulk almonds from the produce section and chopped them up in my food processor, but then discovered that you can also buy the sliced almonds in bulk (for cheaper!) in the Organic section at Kroger.  But if they don’t have any bulk at your grocery store, you can also find bags 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.

  •  60 ounces of non-fat PLAIN yogurt. , 2 of the 32-oz tubs.  I decided to try 2 different kinds to see which one I preferred.  The Stonyfield Farms product was almost twice the cost, but organic.  Be sure to get the non-fat, plain variety.  0% greek yogurt is OK too, but I think it’s a little too bitter since I can’t use any sweeteners for the Detox phase… I normally add fruit, agave or honey to sweeten it.


  • 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.

  • 4-5 tangerines (for flavor & salad dressing)
  • Seasonings  – herbs (salt-free) cinnamon and nutmeg (plain, without sugar), balsamic vinegar.  NO SALT!



  • Meal 1  (9:30 am) – scrambled egg with spinach; raspberries and almonds.  2 cups water.

The egg & spinach combo was a little bland and the spinach flavor really stood out, so I had to add some pepper.  NO SALT!!  Overall, not bad.  I might try some adding spice tomorrow.  The raspberries and almonds were very yummy.


  • Meal 2  (1:00 pm) – yogurt parfait with raspberries and almonds.  2 cups water.

This was delicious and tasted like dessert!  I sprinkled a little cinnamon and nutmeg on each yogurt layer and that really spiced it up.  I might also add a few sprigs of mint next time (I grow mint in my kitchen).


  • Meal 3  (5:00 pm) – spinach salad with raspberries, almonds, boiled egg, homemade tangerine balsamic vinaigrette .  2 cups water.

This meal was 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.  I think tomorrow I’ll omit the vinegar, and blend the fresh-squeezed tangerine juice and raspberries for the dressing.  I thought the egg might taste strange with the fruit, but actually it was a good combo.



  • Meal 4 (9:00 pm) – smoothie with yogurt, raspberries, almond butter, ice.  2 cups water.

The smoothie was great – kind of like a fruity milkshake to finish out the day.  I had to add a little bit of water to help it blend, and also added a sprinkle of cinnamon and sprig of mint.  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.

Summary… surprisingly, I did not feel very hungry between meals and the meals were pretty good.  Not a cheeseburger and chocolate, but tasty without the guilt!  Looking forward to Day 2…