S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Guest Post and Recipe from Cynthia Sass

Cynthia Sass is a registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she’s a contributing editor at SHAPE magazine and nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays. S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches is her latest New York Times bestseller.

 I love using fruit in unexpected ways, whether it be grilled or baked, or combined with savory ingredients and unique seasonings. One of my favorite combos for breakfast or a snack is to whip up a few fruit tacos. The recipe below is from my latest book S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches. The juicy slices of fruit provide a perfect contrast to the hearty whole grain tortillas and the fresh cilantro and drizzle of balsamic vinegar add layers of flavors. The portion is also generous enough to give you staying power and result in what I call the ‘Goldilocks effect’ – not to little, not too much, just right.      

 Strawberry Avocado Tacos:

  • Produce: 1 cup fresh organic strawberries, sliced
  • Whole Grain: 2 taco-sized whole corn tortillas
  • Lean Protein: ½ cup organic shelled edamame
  • Plant Based Fat: ¼ of a medium avocado, chopped
  • SASS: 1 Tablespoon each balsamic vinegar and fresh, chopped cilantro

Mix the sliced strawberries with the edamame. Warm and fill the corn tortillas with the mixture, garnish with cilantro, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar just before serving.

 In my book rather than citing each meal’s ingredients in traditional recipe format, which lists them in the order in which they are presented in the recipe instructions, I chose to do something different. You’ll always see my ingredients listed according to what I call the ‘5 piece puzzle’ in the same order:

  • Produce
  • Whole Grain
  • Lean Protein
  • Plant Based Fat
  • SASS (my secret ingredient, more on this below)

That’s because each meal in my plan always includes these five ‘puzzle pieces’ in the right amounts, to optimize weight loss results and provide your body with the best balance of nutrients for optimal health. Consistently seeing each meal’s ingredients this way helps the ‘puzzle principle’ become second nature, so this strategy can be used whether you’re making meals at home or ordering from a restaurant menu.

Here’s why I included each piece:


Fruits and vegetables are not only loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, but they’re also filling because they’re packed with fiber and fluid. In this plan they provide the largest proportion of each meal, with an emphasis on in-season options, and an array of colors. 

Whole Grain

Whole grains provide additional fiber and slow burning carbs that better fuel active cells and regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. In the S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim plan the whole grain portion is enough to energize you and fuel your body, while still allowing you to shrink your fat cells.

Lean Protein

Protein revs up metabolism and supports muscle mass, so you can stay toned and strong as you slim down. Options include vegan choices like beans, lentils and tofu; vegetarian proteins like organic eggs and dairy; or for omnivores fish and poultry.

Plant Based Fat

Fats from plant foods are heart healthy but critical for weight control because they add the satisfaction factor to each meal. Fats delay stomach emptying, so you feel fuller longer, and they’re needed to absorb antioxidants, which hitch a ride as fats are absorbed from the digestive tract into the bloodstream.

SASS, which stands for Slimming and Satiating Seasonings

These seasonings, including herbs, spices, vinegar and citrus juice, add flavor and aroma to every meal with no sodium or sugar, and studies show that they pack a 1-2-3 weight loss punch. They boost calorie burning, improve satiety and they’re packed with antioxidants, which aren’t just disease protective – exciting new research shows that people who consume more antioxidants from food weigh less, even when they don’t eat fewer calories.

 And the perhaps the most unique aspect of my eating strategy is that you can customize any recipe to meet your preferences or availability. Simply swap out any food for another that counts within the same puzzle piece. For example, if you’re allergic to strawberries or they’re not in season, trade them for your favorite, or whatever is plentiful in your garden or farmer’s market. Exchange the avocado for sliced or chopped nuts, or replace the edamame with crumbled goat cheese. There are virtually unlimited combinations to enjoy!

Buy the Book
8 Responses to “S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Guest Post and Recipe from Cynthia Sass”
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  5. Tota says:

    I love this!!! I have been having cnsoernativos with people about this exactly (and I was going to make a little color wheel/season guide to help) but since who knows when that will happen, now I can just guide them to you! And I can’t wait for the borscht- I have been looking for a good one.

  6. sweetopiagirl says:

    Reblogged this on Inspiredweightloss.

    • Gunnar says:

      thank you!@Lauren: Totally agree. I’ve given up on produce from you-know-where, not only beuscae of distance but also lack of flavor.@Paul: Many thanks! You have a gorgeous website which I’m very much looking forward to keeping up with.@Nicole: Thank you! I am the same with cauliflower. The funny thing is that I thought I didn’t like it until a couple years ago. Now I can’t get enough.@Jennie: Oh, thank you! Glad to hear it.And to all: My intent here is really to make it a conversation. There are so many great recipes out there, and so much to do with produce that I probably don’t know about! Looking forward to seeing this develop and unfold.

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