Category Archives: Cinch!

Edamame Cashew Stir-Fry

Here is another recipe inspired by a recipe from Cynthia Saas’ Cinch! book. I changed up some of the vegetables and the sauce to suit my fridge contents and family but it is still a simple, yummy, healthy, stir-fry.

2 Tbs Vegetable oil
1 Small onion diced
2 Medium carrots grated
2 Tbs ginger grated
3 Cloves garlic minced
1 Tbs Soy sauce
2-3 Tbs Water (approx)
1 Red bell pepper chopped
2 Cups shelled edamame beans (frozen or fresh)
3 Baby bok choy chopped
5 Green onions (whites and greens) chopped
1+ handful of Cashews

Heat a wok over high heat. Add oil. Once oil is hot add the onion and cook until translucent (a couple of minutes). Then add the carrot, Garlic and Ginger. Stir well. Mix in the soy sauce and enough water to create a bit of steam to cook the vegetables. Once carrots start to soften add the red pepper. If the Edamame beans are frozen add now and allow to sit on the top of the other veggies to steam for a minute. then stir in. Cook for 2 minutes. Then add the Bok choy, green onion and Cashews. Turn off heat and stir well. Serve over a bed of warm Quinoa or brown rice and garnish with a few extra cashews.


Cinch! Day 5

Day 5 was great! Here is what I ate today…

Breakfast – Spinach scramble with WW toast
Lunch – leftover WW prawn pasta and salad
Dinner – Chicken Palou (a traditional Indian rice dish) and Cucumber tomato salad
Snack – WW toast with almond butter and banana with a glass of almond milk
and of course my daily chocolate escape

I made my menu plan for next week and went grocery shopping today. Here is the plan for next week’s dinners:
Monday – Chicken Stir-fry over Quinoa
Tuesday – Tuna melt with Salad
Wednesday -Indian Prawn Curry
Thursday – Veggie Quesadilla
Friday – Turkey and brown rice Stuffed Peppers
Saturday – Salmon Ginger rice bowl
Sunday – Pizza

I’m looking forward to cooking the meals for the whole family this week as opposed to cooking one dinner for me and one for hubby and the kids. As I try them out I’ll post the recipe’s for the good ones.

I’m getting really good at making up my own recipes on the fly. It is so easy once you memorize the 5 pieces of the puzzle. I find the only thing I’m consistently going back to the book for is serving sizes which are in a very convenient table on pages 185-187 But I know it won’t take me long to get those down pat too.

Tomorrow should be interesting… we are going to my parent’s place for dinner and I know that I won’t be able to eat everything that my parent’s are serving for dinner (Perogies, Smokies and Salad). So I’m planning on taking my own lean protein and whole grain. I still have not tried to eat out but I’m sure it is doable. I’m going for lunch with my girlfriend on Tuesday so it will be a good test. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Pesto Spinach Pizza

Day 3 and 4 of the Cinch! plan have been going really well. I’m not feeling as hungry and actually have more energy than I did before! Here is a recipe that I made up yesterday for lunch that was super yummy!

Whole Grain – 1/2 Whole Wheat Nann or Pita (sliced along the edge and pulled apart so it is still round and thin)
Produce – 2 Cups Spinach
Vegetable Fat – 1 Tbs Pesto
Lean Protein – 1/4 Cup grated mozzarella or cheddar cheese
Sass – Chilli pepper flakes

Heat your oven to 400F. Put the nann or Pita on a baking sheet and into the oven for about 3 minutes until slightly crispy. While Nann or Pita is cooking wilt your spinach in a medium frying pan. Remove Nann or Pita from oven and spread with pesto, add spinach and sprinkle the top with the grated cheese. Return to the oven for another 5-7 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. I like to top mine with the chili pepper flakes. Yum!

Day 2 – Cinch!

Today is Day two of the Cinch plan. This morning I felt awful. Dizzy hungry and grumpy… Not fun with two little kids. I had my breakfast from the “fast forward” menu as planned and then I sent Cynthia Sass (author of the book) a message on her facebook page and asked if I should be making any adaptations for breastfeeding. She was awesome and got back to me right away. Her response was “Breastfeeding moms should skip the 5 Day Fast Forward and double the whole grain portion in each of the “core” meals.” So change of plans going forward. I made up a menu plan for the rest of the week using recipes from her book and making up some of my own using her simple “5 piece puzzle” method. Once I have tried them out I’ll share the really good ones.

Next week I will try to incorporate my meals into our weekly menu with things that the whole family can eat so I’m not cooking two breakfasts, lunches and dinners.


I don’t watch a ton of TV and I really try to limit it during the day but I often get sucked in when I’m feeding the baby in the afternoon and my son is sleeping. So I flipped it on last week and watched a bit of Rachel Ray’s talk show. Cynthia Sass was one of her guests and she was talking about her new “diet” (I like to think of it as an eating routine). I instantly fell in love with her straight forward philosophy to eating and weight loss called Cinch! After having two babies relatively close together (they are 18 months apart) my body is in need of shedding a few pounds. Hubby and I are not into all the sports we were prior to having kids and it seems to be catching up with me much quicker than him. Not to mention the fact that we don’t have the best eating habits. I feel tired and sluggish during the day when I really need to have lots of energy to keep up with the kids. I also think my poor eating habits (skipping meals cause I’m “too busy” then filling up on crap) leads to moodiness and generally feeling crappy. Even worse it causes weight gain and that leads to more bad feelings.

So I jumped right on to Chapter’s and bought the book (on sale I might add) It came in the mail on Monday and I decided to waste no time and started it today.

I elected to do the “5 day Fast-Forward” (optional) to kick-start my body and get some instant results and feel better. I have 4 meals a day no further than 5 hours apart and no closer than 3 hours apart. For this fast forward I am eating different combination of just 5 foods and they are:
1: Spinach (fresh or frozen)
2: Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
3: Non fat yogurt
4: Almonds
5: Eggs

My thoughts so far… I had points during the day where I felt hungry… but it was no worse than what I normally feel if I have missed a meal because I was hungry. Although my portions were far smaller at each meal I did feel satisfied after eating. I have a hard time drinking enough water during the day so I have found a cup that holds exactly 2 cups of water and I have one at each meal which makes 8 cups a day (mandatory) Then throughout the day I have a cups of tea or carbonated water. After 5 days all foods are fair game as long as they fit into the “5 piece puzzle” at each meal

The 5 piece puzzle include the following:
1: Produce
2: Whole Grain
3:Lean Protein
4:Plant based fat
5:SASS (Slimming And Satiating Seasonings)

I love that you must have dark chocolate every day. I also love that she supplies you with lots of recipes that work with the routine as well as the tools to create your own meals at home or eating out. In general Americans (and I’m guessing Canadians too) don’t eat enough veggies and fruits and eat too many meats and carbs. Her Cinch! method ensures you get the right proportions of each food group throughout the day helping to regulate your body. No calorie or points counting here just common sense proportions that are easy to eyeball. I’m looking forward to feeling better and looking better too.

I am not going to track my “weight loss” but rather I have a goal to be able to fit back into my size 6 jeans and clothes within 3 months. You are all my witnesses and I full expect you to ask me how I’m doing along the way 🙂