Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cinch! A Book Review

I'm not sure where to begin when writing a review on a book about weight loss. Was that an un-PC way of categorizing this book? Am I suppose to say these types of books are "guides" to a "new way of eating"? Or an "innovative" way to adapt to a new "healthy lifestyle"? Well, for better or worse, my style of communication has never EVER been described as subtle or nuanced. Remind me to tell you about the time in college when Anna came home and told all of us roommates that the Extreme song, "More Than Words" didn't actually mean organizing a church service project or adopting a highway. It was subtle. It was nuanced. It was lost on me.

But there are reasons that I am so bi-polar conflicted about diet books. And there, I said it. Diet Book. And speaking of categories, in the realm of scales and BMIs, I'm in the category of Obese. And I have four very dear friends who struggle with Bulimia and Anorexia. My friends have happy tales in that they are in recovery, by the way. Most have kids; all live healthy normal lives.

And yes, that juxtaposition was deliberate because all five of us have one glaring thing in common: We have the exact same relationship with food. We think about it, talk about it, post about it, and eat it. The love and the hate, the obsession and the guilt, the push and the pull, the give and the take, the tomato and the tomahto! Oh, wait . . .

Anyway, it can be exhausting. And discouraging. And depressing!

But that right there is the main reason I enjoyed reading Cinch! Cynthia Sass requires you to look honestly at your emotions while taking care of your body.

The Cinch! plan has two parts. The first 5 days is the "5-Day, 5-Food Fast Forward" plan. Sass gives you quite wonderful recipes that are made up of some mix or match variation of 5 ingredients: spinach, almonds, low-fat plain yogurt, raspberries, and eggs or tofu. And not for nothin', I would highly recommend the Greek Yogurt, Raspberry smoothie with 2 Tablespoons of Almond butter and cinnamon. Delicious. (Almond butter? Spread a layer of raw, unsalted Almonds on a cookie sheet and put in 350 degree oven for about 10 min or until brown. Swirl in food processor with a tad bit of olive oil if it gets clumpy. YUM).

She then lists countless amounts of spices to add to the mix of ingredients, including my staple, Balsamic Vinegar. Thank you, Sass! And who knew you were named after the Slimming And Satiating Seasonings you so highly recommend in your book! Kidding. She even uses her awesome name as an acronym and, also, as an adjective of how one might feel after following her plan. Lucky, Cynthia. All I could think of for my name was: Rage Against Garage Openers and Romping Among Green Onions. Which probably explains why I'm writing a book review instead of an actual book.

The second part of the plan is the Cinch! Core. Sass then gives us meal guidelines, which consists of a whole grain, lean protein, plant-based fat, and a SASS, of course. Um, and chocolate chips are actually included in the plant-based fat section of your diet. Just for this bonus alone, I think the book should be re-titled SCORE!

But most importantly, she makes you Spill Your Guts! (a close second to Score!) by journaling after each meal about your physical and emotional experiences with food. She seems to especially focus on helping the reader/participant focus on the emotional core issues with the food that you just ate. Each day she asks a couple of different questions, always ending with "What are you learning about your relationship with food?" Which felt especially refreshing to me because she seemed to take a more holistic approach to weight loss. YAY! (that would be short for Young Amish Yodelers).

All that said, I have decided to start this diet/wayofeating/newlifestyle the day after Martin Luther King Day on January 18th. A new year and an inspiring man who overcame the seemingly impossible. Eating right and journaling honestly. I can do this. And I think you should join me!!

All opinions of this book are my very own. I was not paid to read this book, but was given a copy to write this review.

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