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A Day in My Diet: Weight-Loss Coach Cynthia Sass

In addition to being a SHAPE contributing editor and weight-loss coach blogger, I’m the sports nutrition consultant for the New York Rangers NHL team and the Tampa Bay Rays MLB team, a book author, and I privately counsel clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long-distance. Because my schedule is so busy, I faithfully follow the eating plan from my latest book S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim, which means that every meal is constructed as a ‘5-piece puzzle’ from fixed portions of produce, a whole grain, lean protein, plant-based fat, and natural seasonings (no counting of calories, grams, points, etc.). This strategy provides structure, balance, and perfect portions, but also lots of flexibility, so from meal to meal I can include foods, flavors, or textures I’m in the mood for and enjoy what’s in season.

Read on for an inside look at a typical day in my diet.

Breakfast: Amped Up Hot Cereal
I’m in LA today and it’s a chilly morning on the marina, so I’m craving something warm. I added water and some fresh grated ginger to ¼-cup dry Bob’s Red Mill 5 Grain Rolled Hot Cereal, popped it in the microwave for two minutes, then folded in a chopped organic green apple and some sliced almonds.
Morning Drink: Organic Soy Latte
Shortly thereafter I enjoyed the second part of breakfast: My must-have organic soy latte with cinnamon and some good old H2O (from a fantastic place in LA called Clementine). The entire breakfast is a spot-on ‘puzzle’ meal. 
Lunch: Power Salad
Back home to fix a salad, my lunch staple. I always start with a few cups of organic greens and in-season veggies, and then I follow the philosophy from book by adding a whole grain ( cooked, chilled red quinoa in this case), lean protein (lentils today), plant-based fat (here, Mediterranean green and black olives), and lots of natural seasoning (a drizzle of white balsamic vinegar, some cracked black pepper, and a few squeezes of fresh lemon in this salad).

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 love to play food stylist when I’m preparing meals at home. I think it’s important because we eat with our eyes too—I believe the aesthetic ups the satisfaction factor.

Lunchtime Drink: La Croix
I keep my fridge stocked with cans of La Croix all-natural flavor-infused sparkling water. Grapefruit is my favorite.  
Tea Time: Organic Green Tea
Organic green tea during a meeting at Venice hotspot Intelligentsia. They’re famous for their coffee, but I love the organic green tea—and how it’s served. I think of it as a hot dose of anti-aging, immune-boosting, preventative medicine.
Afternoon Snack: Cherry-Almond Green Tea Smoothie
Back home and the sun came out, so I took a break between phone clients and writing to whip up one of my favorite cold snacks from my book, the cherry-almond green tea smoothie. It includes frozen pitted cherries, rolled oats, unsweetened organic soy milk, almond butter, loose green tea leaves, and cinnamon.

It’s so good I don’t want it to end, and the addition of the oats and almond butter make it extremely hearty and filling. I savor every sip and love knowing that I won’t be hungry again until dinner.

More Hydration: Water
I sip on water throughout the day. I like it with lots of lemon, sometimes lime or mint, or key limes when they’re in season.
Dinner: Vegetarian Fajita Burrito Bowl from Chipotle
It's been a super busy day and my hubby and I don’t feel like cooking, so we stopped at Chipotle, our usual go-to spot for fresh food fast. I always order the exact same thing: Vegetarian Fajita Burrito Bowl with no rice, black beans, fajita veggies, mild salsa, corn salsa (corn counts as a whole grain!), lettuce, and guacamole. I ask for the guac on the side because sometimes they put on a giant scoop, far more than the ¼ cup serving I aim for.

I love Chipotle’s ‘food with integrity’ philosophy, commitment to quality and sustainability, and their fresh brewed, unsweetened iced tea is yummy. 

Escape: Dark Chocolate
I devoted an entire chapter in my book to dark chocolate, and a few tasting squares of 70 percent cocoa or darker are a mandatory part of the plan. I practice what I preach, so I partake with two squares of Endangered Species brand 88 percent cocoa extreme dark chocolate. Not only are the antioxidants and minerals good for my health, but this ‘daily dark chocolate escape’ as I call it really does satisfy my cravings. I’m not bothered one bit while my hubby indulges in ice cream or salty chips, and it’s the perfect ending to a healthy day.