Last month, I was sent a copy of SASS Yourself Slim to review. I liked the premise of the eating style, so I was interested in reading this.
Basically, Cynthia Sass (kind of a fun name, no?) advocates a balanced approach to eating with unprocessed foods.
The idea is to build a meal with 5 steps, choosing your produce, whole grain, protein, fat and SASS. The SASS part is the seasonings to add flavor, like vinegar, citrus juice, herbs and spices. No salt. The base of the eating plan is 4 meals a day with a dark chocolate snack. There is also a ‘5 day fast forward’ option to jump start your weight loss.
Things I liked about this book:
– The eating plan is sensible for the most part. Unprocessed foods and balanced meals is always a good plan to follow. She does not advise calorie counting, but tallying up some of her meals (300-400) and the average calories per day are around 1500 with the meals (ballpark). So, not a super low calorie eating plan.
– She includes 100 recipes following her guidelines. The recipes are in single portion sizes, which actually is really good for scaling up if needed. I don’t like when a recipe makes 8 servings and the 2 of us have to nosh on it all week. Plus, many of these recipes sound really good! I have some earmarked to try, but I just didn’t get a chance. An example is from her website of the Pineapple Red Quinoa Parfait
– There are guidelines on how to build a meal on your own using her 5 steps.
– She does not advocate artificial sweeteners, which is quite nice (from my perspective since I don’t use them).
– She advised walking for exercise.
– There is some advice on dealing with emotional eating.
Things I didn’t like:
– The claims of losing up to 8 pounds in 5 days. This really would only be achieved by following the 5 day ‘fast forward’ plan. This plan limits you to 5 food choices of spinach, eggs, yogurt, raspberries and almonds/almond butter. The 5 meals a day are comprised of these items and these items only. She does have a test for you to take to see if this part of the plan is for you because she does note it is very restrictive. And it is. Quick tally of the plan is less than 1000 calories per day (more like 800), which is way too restrictive. Of course, it would make the 1500 calories seem like a lot of food! Plus, most of what you lose is water weight anyway, so I don’t know why anyone would do this for 5 days.
– There seems to be pretty general guidelines for eating out and fitting it into the plan. I think her advice is more to just not do it unless you have to, which is pretty unrealistic.
– Mandatory dark chocolate every day. I don’t eat chocolate every day. I know some people do, but there is no option for something other than chocolate as your treat (how about some nuts??).
– Meal timing. It’s just to hard to really time meals to any great degree. Yes, in a perfect world we could do that, but sometimes dinner is late or you eat your snack early.
– No red meat or pork is allowed. She considers eating red meat at a meal a ‘splurge’. Whatever. And very limited potatoes. Other starches daily, but potatoes not very often. That is a starch I eat more than bread.
All in all, I think the book is worth perusing for the recipes and basically how to build a healthy and balanced meal. Skip the fast forward, though.