When I received the book I excitedly delved into it, but unfortunately quickly lost my excitement. I knew within the first 100 pages or so that this just wouldn't be for me. You're talking to a girl who tried weight watchers, low carb-high protein, high carb-low protein, the all junk food diet, soup fasts...you name it. The only success I've actually had (and it's admittedly been slow success) has been to eat less and healthier foods, but not depriving myself of something if I'm really craving it, and to exercise. I really envy people that can be strict with their diet and stick with it even if they're miserable. I just can't...and nobody would want me to because I've been known to become slightly homicidal when I'm miserable and hungry.
The book consists of 2 stages: the optional 5 day fast forward (there's a short "quiz" to determine if it's for you!), and the core plan. I knew there was no way in HELL I could do the 5 day fast forward. The 5 day fast forward consisted of eating 5 ingredients, and nothing but those 5 ingredients, for 5 days. The ingredients you ask? Spinach, raspberries, almonds, eggs and plain yogurt. Cynthia stresses organic is the way to go if your budget allows. Now I absolutely LOVE yogurt and raspberries...However I am really really really not a fan of spinach, eggs quite often make me sick (major upset stomach and...well you get the idea), and I'm pretty sure I have a slight almond allergy. So after having 3 of the 5 ingredients unavailable to me, and knowing there's no way in heck I'd eat tofu again, I was unfortunately unable to partake in the fast forward. This is when I started to lose the wind in my sails when it came to this book...but I pressed on hoping that the core plan would be more "me".
The core plan is much less restrictive than the fast forward and consists of using a 5 piece puzzle consisting of the 5 following groups: produce, whole grain, lean protein, plant based fat, and SASS (the snazzy nickname she gives to the allowed spices and seasonings!). Cynthia also goes through what beverages are allowed on the plan...and let me tell you, pop/soda aint one of em. Which, for me, isn't the hugest deal as I'd done no soda September and carried it on through most of October on my own. Even now I only drink pop every once in a while. However, she asked me to give up my Splenda and coffee creamer...crazy talk! As most of you know, I'm an RN and I start work at 7am...meaning I'm up at the butt crack of dawn because I'm one of those people who needs my time and space to wake up. That being said, my coffee with creamer and Splenda is a necessity...When I'm leaving the house not sure if I've actually remembered to brush my teeth, put on deodorant, or put pants on, I've got my coffee. I understand the premise behind getting rid of all things artificial, I do, and I was willing to give it a shot.
Oh! Did I forget to mention the absolutely MANDATORY chocolate daily? Yeah that caught my attention too! How can a plan that includes chocolate every day be bad? Yes ladies and gents, Cynthia forces you to eat chocolate. I'm saying with true conviction that this would be the best part of my day!
The lovely thing about this book is that Cynthia gives you pages upon pages upon pages of recipes to make the core plan easy for those of us who want it to be simple and uncomplicated. Pick a recipe, buy the groceries, make the food, eat it. Easy peasy right? Well, let's just say that reading through these recipes showed me just how "un-clean" I eat. Yes, I do eat veggies with every meal and eat salad at least 4 times a week, but I had very very few of the ingredients in my house, meaning that I would have to do a major grocery shop. Now I don't mind buying produce, I do every week anyways, but I usually stick with the old standbys that I know my family will eat too. After sitting down and figuring out how much everything would cost, it wasn't feasible for my budget. I graduated university in 2010 and had my 1 year of not having to pay the government or the bank back for paying for my schooling...since then I spend a TON of money just on debt repayment. I'm talking almost $1000 a month! Add onto that a car payment, insurance, mortgage payment, house insurance, life insurance, bills, gas etc etc etc...we absolutely HAVE to stick to a budget when it comes to our groceries. There are no willy nilly trips to the grocery store for this and that, we just can't do it. Now, I'm not going without or starving or anything, I just shop the fliers, buy what's on sale and plan our meals around that. It's life right now and I'm OK with it. I do feel bad, however, that the budget I'm having to live with really made it impossible for me to really give this plan a real go to give it a proper review.
You don't absolutely HAVE to use the recipes that Cynthia gives you in the book. You are able to create your own meals using the 5 piece puzzle, and there are recipes online too if you do a quick search for her or visit her website, Facebook, or Twitter
So overall, this plan was just not feasible for me, but I would highly recommend it for somebody who has the funds, and does well with strict but simple to follow plans (and has the time to plan, organize, and prepare all the meals). Especially after reading the results that Frances and her hubby-to-be Abel had on their blog Deminishing Doll and Co. AMAZING.
I want to thank TLC book tours and Cynthia Sass for giving me the opportunity to read this book. I will definitely be hanging on to it for when I actually have the means to follow the plan as it needs to be followed. I can say with confidence that if the plan is followed as intended, you will lose weight, learn about healthier eating, discover the emotions behind your eating, how to incorporate exercise into your life, and learn about how to keep proper nutrition in your life permanently. This book is definitely worth a read!
|The lovely author herself|