Thursday, April 30, 2009

Set Your Tivos Cali

Hope some of you were able to catch the Extra segment last night. I can't seem to find the link yet. If you can find it post it in the comments section. Thanks!

I'll be on KTLA this morning between 9:30 and 9:45 discussing The Eat-Clean Diet for Men!!! It's the latest in the series and I'm really excited about it. Check out a preview of the book here.

You can set your Tivos.... or you can watch KTLA live online here.

You know I love your comments so let me know what you think.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Hello Clean Eaters!

Good news - one of my segments for EXTRA! will air tonight. The show airs on many different stations in different cities, so you'll have to check your local listings to see when it airs in your area.

I was asked to reach out to Kirstie Alley, who is appearing on Oprah tomorrow to talk about her battle with weight. I am hoping that I can encourage her to refocus herself. She's a stunning woman, and I know she can make the changes needed to be as beautiful as she was back in her Cheers days.

Tune in tonight, and, as always, let me know what you think by posting a comment here, on facebook, or even through twitter (@toscareno).

Have a good evening everyone!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

LA Here I Come

Rain, rain go away! Portland has been dreary and cold for my whole visit. Here's hoping LA is a little sunnier. Anyway, my daughter and I had a lovely time. I hope some of you were able to catch the AM Northwest segment this morning. If not check it out here. I am filming all day with Extra tomorrow and on Thursday I have a morning appearance on KTLA. I'll give you more details tomorrow.

Monday, April 27, 2009

West Coast Here I Come

I'm heading to the West Coast today. First stop: Portland to visit my daughter, Rachel, and appear on AM Northwest on Tuesday morning between 9am and 10am Pacific Time.

Spotted: The Eat-Clean Diet by Sister in Iron Maxine. Thanks!!


2 photos of your books at Borders in Chicago; it was the Magnificent Mile location. Not as BIG of a display as you deserve, but still something.



Have you seen the book somewhere? Send a pic to

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Earth Day Contribution... A Little Late, But Better than Never

Here is a series of photos showing my Earth Day contribution.

These are the seeds I have started for my vegetable garden. So far I have green onions, Swiss chard, beets, cucumbers and mesclun lettuce mix. I am still waiting for numerous other seeds to sprout including garlic, pumpkins, tomatoes and more.

Happy (Belated) Earth Day!

Remember Clean Eating is Green Eating (less packaging)!


p.s. I'm in Belleville today celebrating my daughter's 18th (!!!) birthday. They grow up soooo fast. Yummy brunch here I come.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Around the Globe!

HI All.

I wish I could travel a bit and see who is Eating Clean around the globe. What fun!!

Anyone else who is following from afar? I would love to hear from you. Who knows we could probably work something out!!

Love and hugs around the planet.
I am always listening.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cook With Me!

Interested in learning to cook Clean Eating style with me by your side?

On May 12th my friend Joanne Lusted with be hosting Eat Clean with Tosca Reno at the Nella Cucina cooking studio in Toronto.

Click here for more details - enter the Cooking School and select May from the calendar on the right-hand side of the screen. Sounds like a yummy Mother's Day present! Bring your girlfriends, your daughters, your mothers, your husbands, your friends, or anyone who could use a few lessons, some yummy food, great wine, and even better company!

Here are some pics from last year's event:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Grinding Flax 101

The Tools: coffee grinder, glass jar (for post-grinding storage), flaxseeds

Here's the coffee grinder I reserve for grinding flax. It's no special kind... just one I picked up at a cooking store. I'm sure to reserve it especially for flax because otherwise the flavor of coffee takes over whatever I sprinkle flax on.

Grinding the flax!

Here are the ground seeds. I grind them coarsely because I prefer that to a fine meal (unless I am baking).

I store my ground flax in a glass Mason jar in the refrigerator. The problem with buying preground flax is that it can lose its potency very quickly and go rancid very quickly. If you find preground flax in the refrigerator section of the store then go ahead in buy, but otherwise grind your own and store it in the fridge!

This is the amount of ground flax I will eat throughout the day - about 4 tablespoons. If you're new to flax start with 1 teaspoon or so and work your way up from there. It can be powerful!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Grind the Little Buggers First!

Hello Flax Seed Eaters!

You are right - flax seed passes through you whole and is not effective at all unless you grind the little buggers first. I use a coffee grinder reserved only for flaxseed.

If you look to the right of the posts, you will be able to follow along on Twitter where I stated that flax seeds need to be ground first. Keep the meal cold and in an opaque container after grinding. Flax seed oil is volatile and goes rancid quickly!

I would say that if you are 20 pounds overweight there is a good chance that you have at least 5 pounds of @#$% in you that could move on out of there pretty darn quick. You will be amazed.

As for bloating, go easy with flax first - take one teaspoon per day for starts and then work up to more. It can make you gassy but offset this with plenty of water (not bottled! - reduce your carbon footprint). Soon you will be a flax seed loving Sister in Iron and that is not a load of crap!

Good luck and happy @#$% clearing out to all!

The Mighty Flax Seed

Hello Flax Eaters All!

Try to eat your flax in the form of seeds rather than oil since the tiny little gems are full of lignans and fiber that will keep you both full and healthy. Imagine adding 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds to your diet and losing those niggling ten pounds that have been hanging around simply through natural elimination processes! The average North American holds as many as 5 to 25 pounds of accumulated waste in the colon. That is a lot of @#$%!

Go on! Get yourself some flax seeds today. For 5 cents a day you could be healthier and lighter!!!

Good luck!
Let me know how this works out for you.
And Remember,
Eat Clean and Eat Green today. It's Earth Day!

Flax seed magic!

Hello Pa1385 and all other Flax Eaters,

Please try to consume your flax in the form of seeds. Those little brown gems contain lignans and fiber that are beneficial for keeping you full and cleaned right out!! Imagine adding 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed to your diet and losing possible 10 pounds simply by eliminating what has accumulated in your colon. Statistics suggest the average North American holds as many as 5 to 25 pounds of @#$% in their colons. That is a lot of @#$%!

Go on, for 5 cents each day you can be both healthier and a lot lighter.

Hugs and remember to EAt Clean Eat Green today!


Needing Your Help Please!!

What times during the day are the most difficult times to feed yourself and how do you solve the problem (ex. what foods do you use)?

Comment to this post with your reply!


To: PA1385

Hello All!

I said I would assess the nutritional intake for PA1385 if she posted her eats for the day and here it is:

1/2 cup organic rolled oats with 1 tbls. organic salt free peanut butter and 1/4 cup of Fage greek yogurt(fat free).
My first observation is that you should lose the peanut butter and sub with egg whites or a good quality protein powder or just stick with the yogurt. You are also missing complex carbs from fruit which could be in the form of berries. If you are really trying to shed weight omit the berries. Hope you are drinking water here too. You need at least 500 to 1000 ml in the morning. I would like to see you add 2 tablespoons of flaxseed to your oatmeal. It helps with many things not the least of which is providing healthy fats.

1 cup skim milk and 1 scoop of whey protein powder
You need complex carbs here – toss ½ banana into the mix and while you are at it 1 teaspoon of flaxseed. Blend it and drink.

1 organic bean burrito over 2 cups of spring mix salad greens
Is this prepackage? Be careful with anything, organic or not, that is pre-made. There are many hidden ingredients which are not necessarily assisting your weight loss efforts. Sugar is a big one – yes sugar even in a burrito!! The salad greens could be eaten with water packed tuna or grilled tofu instead. Dress with pumpkin seed or avocado oil and chopped herbs.

1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese and 10 grapes

5 oz. salmon ( I eat a lot of salmon) 1 cup mixed baked sweet potato and broccoli.
this is good

if I'm hungry an apple before bed and lots of water during the day.

Other than this I would suggest mixing up your training and cardio. If you are still not happy then arrange a consultation with a naturopath to see if there are some underlying issues. I think the flax seed will be very helpful because it also cleans you out!! You can lose as much as ten pounds just by eliminating what has accumulated in your colon.

Good luck!

Tosca Reno

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I've got some exciting news bloggers. Read below for more...

Tosca Reno to Headline Harlequin’s Nonfiction Heath, Fitness Division

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the best body of your life after 40? Now you can. In her new book, PRIMETIME, Tosca Reno, author of THE EAT-CLEAN DIET series and marquee columnist for Oxygen Magazine, will show you how to hit your stride in the prime of your life.

Together with her team of experts on diet, health, fitness and beauty, including celebrity makeup artist Bobbi Brown, Tosca tweaks her EAT-CLEAN diet and exercise program for each decade from your 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. Fans of Tosca’s EAT-CLEAN series include Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry and Angelina Jolie, who used Tosca’s program to lose her post-twins baby weight.

Set to hit stores in fall 2010, PRIMETIME marks the debut title from Tosca’s new partnership with Harlequin Nonfiction, the women’s publishing powerhouse that launched in September 2008 with radio personality Delilah’s book, Love Matters. The nonfiction division publishes titles across a diverse list of categories catering to its already attentive female audience, including memoir, health, diet, fitness, self-help, motivational and relationship books. Tosca will serve as the Harlequin’s premier health and fitness expert with major North American television, radio, print appearances already planned, in addition to full exposure to Harlequin’s unparalleled distribution into trade and mass-merchandiser channels.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rainy Day

Well, so much for the nice weather we had on the weekend. Today was rainy and gray! I drove to Belleville to visit my little dancer. We had some errands to run and some time to visit before her ballet class.

I wanted to share with you a few pics from Maria Peters, Sister in Iron extraordinaire. She found the Eat-Clean books at her local Barnes & Noble. Thanks Maria!! Hmmm... only one copy of the Eat-Clean Diet. Hope that means they're all sold out.

Hi Tosca,

I have to say that I love your books, blog, forum, and other resources that you have put in place for Clean Eaters! Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication - you definitely are an inspiration! Since I started Eating Clean in September, I have lost over 30 pounds and counting along with 30+ inches! I was at the Barnes and Noble in St. Paul, MN on Tuesday purchasing the Eat-Clean Diet Workout Journal and took a couple pictures of your books with my phone. Enjoy!

Your Sister in Iron,

Maria Peters

If you see the books somewhere remember to send me a pic at

I also wanted to share this link to a radio interview I did on KGO San Francisco. The focus was on how a struggling economy can lead to even bigger weight-loss battles. Enjoy!


Saturday, April 18, 2009

This is for Pa1385 and any others out there who are feeling frustrated with their progress. Don’t think for one minute that even I might get upset with my body. I do!! These bodies of ours are changing all the time and give us good days and bad. So what!! We just have to be a bit smarter. If your body is throwing a plateau your way, that means it is really telling you “Tosca, Pa1385 and the rest of you, I am on to you. You did this yesterday, the day before yesterday and three weeks ago. I will just sit here and let you work hard but I will adapt. I will save my energy and keep my fat and I won’t let go! I am smarter than you Tosca!”

Ooohhh! Now that is when I get mad and I think to myself, “Tosca you have to get moving. Try doing it differently. Yes I did do triceps pressdowns and press behind neck every other day for the last three weeks. How dumb was that! Let’s switch things up and do triceps dips and lying triceps stretch instead.” There are many strategies to bust out of these situations. Move differently. Change up exercises but don’t give up.

Pa1385 what are you going to do if you quit? You may go back to your old ways. Don’t do it. The other gals have it right. They want you here with us and we want to see you progress. You may have to change your expectations and you may have to look at yourself differently but you have to do something so stick to Eating Clean and we will all get your through it. You mentioned something very telling to me – you said that the scale has not budged but you have tone. That means you have exchanged fatty tissue for muscle tissue which weighs more so you ARE progressing. This is good. You are on the brink.

Let’s try something. Since we all want you to succeed. Please consider posting your daily eating for one day – honesty matters here. I will post my suggestions and then we will see some change!!

Good luck and I hope you accept my challenge.


Friday, April 17, 2009

The Longest Day EVER

For those of you who were following me on Twitter yesterday you know I had a VERY LONG day!

We were wrapping up the last bit of shooting for the Tosca Series that will be airing on the Viva Network in Canada. We have a tentative air date of June 9th. It might change (hopefully not) but you know I will keep you posted.

So I was up at 5am to get ready for the day and we didn't end until 11pm. WOW! I thought it would never ever end. We definitely got a lot done, though. We filmed training segments and on and on.

Today I am hoping to enjoy the weather a little bit. I'd like to take the pups for a walk. I also need to get my affairs in order for a trip to the west coast I'll be making at the end of the month. I'll be filming with Extra again!! Woohoo!! I can't wait.

I also wanted to give a big shout out to my forum members today. Lots of great questions and conversations going on these days. If you have any questions I recommend checking out the forum. These ladies and gents are true Sisters (and Brothers) in Iron and extraordinary Clean Eaters. Check it out!

Okay everyone... on with day. I think I'm going to make a delicious lunch. It's leg day today and I've got to keep myself fueled for a BIG workout!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where Have You Seen the Eat-Clean Diet??

Last week I asked where you had seen the Eat Clean Diet and I got a couple of responses from you dedicated readers. Thank you!

Here's a submission from my lovely assistant, Vinita. She was at the airport heading out for vaca when she grabbed this shot:

And here's a submission from Marisa. She's got the books featured in her living room complete with autographs and post-its for easy reading just an arm's length away. Thanks Marisa!!

If you see the books somewhere cool (random book store, gym, even in the send a pic my way at 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Pics

Taking a walk with the fam down to the pool which is currently under mega construction.

The kids IN the pool...

Kelsey, me & Kiersten

Kiersten & Kelsey in a post-Easter dinner, sugar-induced tackle

Me doing the repair to my daughter's ear after the brawl. Her sister's hair got caught in her earring and tore it! Ouch & yuck!

The kids climbing on the diggers (as my little nephew calls them). He was in heaven!

Enjoying some Easter sweets.... strawberries & chocolate. Delicious.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Moments

My daughter made her first Easter turkey using my recipe from the Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook across the continent in Portland, OR. Here is what she feasted on with a few of her friends.

Here is what we feasted on at my house this Easter menu:

Breakfast -
Hard boiled Easter colored eggs done with red cabbage (pinks,

purples and reds), blueberries for blue eggs and onion skins for yellow
Huge bowl of fresh mixed berries
Irish oatmeal
Cornmeal and raspberry muffins
Vegetable egg strata
Pancakes with fresh maple syrup (someone had given us some that was only 2
days old)
Hot coffee lattes
Toast with apple or almond butter

Spring vegetable soup with loads of hearty breads

Arugula, romaine heart and mixed beet salad with goat cheese, toasted
pepitas and walnut/avocado oil dressing
Roast stuffed turkey breast, grilled bison and venison sausages and grilled
marinated lamb
Steamed green beans
Garlic roasted asparagus
Roasted garlic heads
Buttermilk mashed potatoes
Cilantro/yogurt hummus
Unsweetened applesauce
Cranberry sauce
Red and white wine (naturally)

Strawberry shortcake (only I failed the shortcake part! I made three
batches on Saturday and they all came out like gluey hockey pucks. So I gave
up and made a sponge cake recipe which I baked in a cookie sheet and then
sliced into fingers). This was served with loads of fresh strawberries and
a bit of fresh whipped cream (oh yum!!)
Almond biscotti (this recipe was a cinch)
Fresh mixed berries
Coffee and tea

I have to get some pics off my camera. I'll post them soon.

Thanks for sharing your Easter moments with me, too.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Weekend Prep Begins

(Here is me and Kiersten after a haircut in T.O. on Friday before my Virgin Radio session)

It's Easter and I feel a little strange. Like any momma duck I like to have all my little ducklings in a row during the holidays, and this year my daughter, Rachel, is not here to celebrate with us. She is working hard on her studies in Portland. I miss her.
I remember how she always liked to do the Easter Egg Hunt. Once when she was doing her undergrad at Western she told me she wouldn't be able to make it home for Easter because she had too much studying to do. All the nieces,
nephews, aunts, uncles, and sisters were running around the big lawn searching for eggs and the next thing you know I saw her walking towards me in her pink coat. I was so happy to see her - I couldn't believe she had come home. This time I know she won't be surprising us - but will be with us in spirit and I will Skype her on Sunday when we are all gathered at the dinner table.

Kiersten and Kelsey are at their dad's house for the first part of the weekend, but will be joining us on Sunday with Chelsea to help with the dinner... both preppind and eating! My mom came up yesterday and my sister and her family will be joining us today.

I am looking forward to have the family ALL together on Sunday.

Today I have loads of prep to do... shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc. I made my menu yesterday while sipping my coffee and watching CNN. My usual morning routine before a workout. Speaking of which, I managed through a workout of my calves (my fave body part... NOT!), abs, and chest. My glutes still need a little more time to heal. It felt great to sweat it out in the gym.

Last night I watched Rachel Getting Married with my mom and Bob. Wow! Total tear jerker! I am still sniffling and feeling sad. Things happen in families, don't they? I thought Ann Hathaway was brilliant. No wonder the called her up for an Oscar nomination for that role.

Okay, now the work begins.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Killer Arms & Glutes

Or should I say killed!! I totally wrecked them yesterday in a nasty workout. I don't know what I was thinking. Sometimes my energy gets the better of me. I lifted really hard with my arms using heavier weight than normal. I still had energy so I decided to work on my glutes. They felt saggy since I had been sitting on my keester all day long writing. I did 3 sets of lunges with 20 reps and 15 pounds in each hand. After this my legs were shaking. So then I decided to balance it our with 3 sets of deadlifts with 11 reps and a 30 lb bar. To ice the cake I did my favorite exercise - kneeling cable kickbacks. After 3 sets of 15 with 65 pounds on each leg I actually had to sequester my husband into pushing me up the stairs. Oh Clean Eaters... I think I overdid it. MY LEGS HURT!!

So I pumped out a bunch of chapters yesterday while happily working alongside my daugher, Kiersten, who was finishing up her final paper of her 3rd for Queen's University. We munched on some dark chocolate to make the day a little more enjoyable!

Now, I am heading into Toronto. I will be a guest on Virgin Radio this afternoon between 5 and 6pm EST. You can listen online here. The Listen Live Link is at the top of the page.

Have a great day Clean Eaters!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Powell's Featured Book... Where Have You Seen It?

Some of you may know that my eldest daughter lives in Portland, OR home of America's largest independent bookstore, Powell's. This place is so big they even have guides throughout the store to help you get around. My daughter was there the other day and saw that one of my books, The Eat-Clean Diet, was featured! Woohoo! Thanks Powell's - Pics are a little fuzzy because they were taken with an iPhone

So where have you seen the book/books? In the library, the garbage (lol), a suitcase, on the beach, on the plane, grocery store, Barnes and Noble? Send in your pics to and I'll post them on the blog this week.

p.s. We are getting another 5 inches of snow today!!! This is what my roof looks like!! IT'S APRIL!!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Vision (with help from you)

Just in case you didn't catch this before, here is the QVC link:

Hello Sisters in Iron (and any brothers, too):

Things have been very busy lately and I see by your consistent visits to my blog that you are still my Sisters in Iron. How glad I am of that. I love your stories, comments and posts. Every day I get to read them and it feels like I am being given presents from you. Thank you so much.

This blog is loads of fun for me and I want to keep it that way. My vision for the blog is for it to be a place for me to share my life with you from the happy moments to the crusty bits. I realize many of you have questions and I am happy to field them. I love the fashion questions – Where did I get my leopard scarf? Where did I get my printed skirt that I was wearing in Aruba? I love all questions. Let’s try to keep the questions on this blog about nutrition and lifestyle as much as we can. There are so many other places to learn about training – and so on. It’s not that I don’t like to answer those questions it is just that I like to share a bit more of “ME” in the blog. I want to get to know you and you to know me. Is that a deal?

If you are still keen on having questions answered check out the blog archive to the right of the screen or else visit the forum on where loads of this stuff is posted.

Hugs and more!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Finally Home

It has been a LOOOOOONNGGG journey to and from PA for the QVC appearance!!

I didn't think I was going to make it yesterday and then I didn't make it home last night. Finally, after much waiting, I touched down in T.O. this morning. Phewf!! I'm so happy to be home.

The QVC appearance went very well yesterday. I hope some of you were able to catch it. If not here is the link for your enjoyment.

On Thursday (before my mad dash to PA) we celebrated Chelsea's Sweet 16. I've decided I can't eat French food... a little too rich for my liking. Here are some pics from that night:

And here are some photos from earlier this week when I met Eat-Clean Diet Body Makeover Challenge winner, Melanie Nevins (and her husband Travis). We had a lovely Clean Eating dinner with them after the photo shoot at Grano, an intimate Italian restaurant. Lookin' great, Mel!!

Friday, April 3, 2009



I'm on QVC today sometime between 5pm and 6pm EST. I will post the link after it has aired.

Today is the last part of a 3 part Q & A series. The topic today is miscellaneous... just a bunch of random stuff.

I'll remind you to please check out the Frequently Discussed Topics section on the right-hand side of the blog before asking a question. I'm getting busier and busier with each passing day and I don't want your questions to go unanswered. Doing this would really help me out! Thanks!


Question: How do I get one of those green Eat Clean Diet bags????

Answer: They were especially for the Arnold, but we may be offering them in the future.

Question: Because woman trust you and feel comfortable asking you questions about how they too can feel better about themselves can i be so bold to ask you what your routine is in regards to any treatments you have done on your face and what products you use at home. Thank you Tosca.

Answer: I have done a Pan G Non-Surgical facelift which involved myofacials, laser treatments and peels. This was almost 10 years ago. Since then I have maintained with a number of products at home including Obagi, Clarisonic brushes, etc.

Question: May i ask if you ever had any skin tightening procedures or such around the abs.

Answer: None whatsoever! It's all about exercise & eating clean for me.

Question: When is your show going to air?

Answer: The date has been changed ONCE AGAIN to June 9th. It will be on the VIVA network in Canada.

Question: I was wondering how you can find out what percentage of body fat you have if you don't have a body fat scale? And what percentage is considered healthy?

Answer: Use calipers. They are the best bet and often more accurate than a scale when used correctly. Healthy body fat for women is between 21% and 25%.

Question: I have CFS and am absolutely exhausted all the time. i'm trying to get in the routine of eating clean but as much as i want to i have a really hard time making it to the gym. Do you know of any supplements or anything that can help ease my fatigue so that i can have a truly healthy (and sexy!) body? also, is there a cooler that you recommend? its hard to find a good one that is big enough for everything for the day but not on wheels. haha :)

Answer: I would definitely add cholorphyll and/or wheat grass to your regimen. Check with your doc if this is okay, too. As for a cooler, I don't even remember where I found mine. An internet search should help you out.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Q & A Part 2 - EXERCISE


I'm going to be on QVC again TOMORROW (Friday) for 8 minutes between 5 and 6 pm Eastern!!! Check your local listings. I will post the link once I'm done.

More More More....

Question: Did you gradually add a few more each workout? I have been trying to do just one after 6 months, and I still can't go all the way up. How did you do it? Assisted chin-machine or just pulling up for dear life?

Answer: When your body weight gets low enough chins come easy. Until then do half chins or assisted chins every day until you are all the way up!

Question: Do you think you'll compete again and how would i find out about competing in canada in the maritimes,what would be the names of these competions so i could search for them? What times of the year is competion time? And i was wondering about the contest your husband had going on at oxygen ,the ab contest? was a winner chosen?Thanks so much i love your blog and all your pictures no matter what your wearing.

Answer: I won’t be competing anytime soon. These last 2 were pretty tough on me. But I can never say never. To find competitions in your area I recommend an internet search. Since I don’t live in the maritimes I am not sure about comps in your area. They run all year round.

Question: I have a Q. Should I out work out a few days if i worked out to hard to the point were my legs and butt have been sore for 4 days. I ha d just switched my routine and was lifting very heavy. i did the step machine the next day,and then jogged and walked on a steep incline the next two days. What is better. light work out after or no workout on the sore muscles?

Answer: Sometimes light exercise after an hard day can be good, or a hard workout focusing on a different group of muscles. It’s best to give 24-48 hours rest between sessions focusing on the same muscle group. Listen to your body.

Question: Who came up with the different rep sets....6-8, 10-12 etc. What are the advantages of each?

Answer: I don’t know who came up with these classifications. I’m sure my husband knows! The advantage of each is to work the muscle in different ways. 6-8 reps with heavy weights challenges the strength of a muscle, while 10-12 challenges the endurance of the muscle.

Question: Can you elaborate on Giant Sets? and how often they can be performed?

Answer: Giant sets are as follows; choose 5 exercises for 1 body part and do them in succession. Repeat as often as you like.

Question: With regards to ab it a myth that you shouldn't exercise them after 6pm or you won't sleep? It this IS true why wouldn't one sleep? thx.

Answer: That’s a myth. Exercise whenever you can and eat clean.

Question: Do you know of anywhere in the Toronto area where fitness competition shoes can be purchased?

Answer: Yes but you won’t like the answer – stripper stores! That is where you buy your princess shoes.

Question: How do you firm up the lower part of your glutes. I do very well with the upper part but have a hard time isolating the part that flows into the hamstrings. Thank you.

Answer: Well, the glute muscles span the glute from top to bottom so isolating the lower part is difficult. I like prone hip raises with weight.

Question: Can you work your calves everyday? I think the answer is yes but I'm not sure. Would you be damaging unrepaired fibers if you did?

Answer: Don’t train calves every day. Train them 2 or 3 times per week. The greatest growth comes from stretching calves too. So lift and stretch.

Question: Tosca would you suggest that if your work out lasts longer than an hour (wts only) that it is too long. I like the idea of feeling energized when leaving the gym. i do, but sometimes i feel exhausted. i do like to listen to my body. i am trying to figure out a good routine for me to get in 3 cardios at least a week but i will not give up wts to do so. i get in the 3 plus cardios but leave feeling wooped at times after pushing myself to extreme. i usually do interval training. I almost think i should concentrate on walking at a incline at intervals at 35%. It really makes me sweat and can get my heart rate without exhausting my legs. I should mention i would consider myself in excellent cardio shape and have been lifting wts for 25 plus years. What do you think?

Answer: Interval training is especially exhausting. Interval training + weights = no wonder you are whooped! Feeling completely beat after a workout isn’t a good sign. Try doing your cardio at a different time of day so you are not exhausting your body in one session. If you are doing a heavy leg session with weights leave your cardio to the next day to allow time for your muscles to recover slightly. Tone it down, girl! Otherwise you might injure yourself.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Q & A Part 1 - Diet

So it was been 1 month since I have answered questions. Since there so many I will be answering them in parts. Today's part - DIET!!

FYI - Notice on the right side of the blog page I have added a Frequently Discussed Topics section. Check this out before asking a question please. Thanks bloggers.


Question: I want to know what you think about carb cycling? Will it work because it seems you really have to count your carbs and not over do it right? On the other hand some days you want to eat a nice plate of pasta (okay maybe just me) and not feel so guilty and then the next day not eat starch or grains? What do you think?

Answer: Well, considering in the Eat-Clean Diet I recommend having complex carbs and whole grains and fruits and veg each day, carb cycling doesn’t seem like the something I would recommend. Counting carbs isn’t fun either. I would honestly encourage you to stick with the portion sizes suggested in the Eat-Clean Diet. If you are looking into this for a special training program I would recommend you speak with a professional in the field.

Question: I have a question for you - I work in the hospitality industry and I have absolutely insane hours.This week my schedule was Sunday: 11pm - 7:30am, Monday: off, Tuesday: 7am - 3:30pm, Tuesday: 7am - 3:30pm, Wednesday and Thursday: off, Friday: 11am - 7:30pm and Saturday: 11am - 7:30pm and my schedule changes every week. I get up at a different time everyday and go to sleep a varying times as well. How can I get my 6 meals on track with such insane hours?

Answer: You treat your work nights as your days and days as your nights, then treat your work days as regular days. Continue to eat every 2 – 3 hours during the times you are awake.

Question: Could you share with us some of the "challenges" you faced eating on vacation? What snacks did you bring with you or purchase to help you maintain your schedule of eating 5-6x per day? Also, what did you typically order at mealtime to ensure that you were eating clean options?

Answer: The biggest problem is eating enough and on schedule. Usually I end up skipping some of my regular smaller meals because I can’t access food. So I stash nuts, oats, apples and boiled eggs and that gets me out of trouble.

Question: When you list that you drank 6 oz. of wheatgrass, is that 6 oz. of water with one cube of wheatgrass or 6 oz. worth of wheatgrass cubes IN water? Do you have a hard time choking it down? I find it like drinking grass clippings in water. Did you always enjoy drinking it? Do you have any suggestions for kicking it back?

Answer: It was 6 oz. of frozen wheat grass in a tall glass of water. I just took it back like a pro! You could try mixing into a smoothie if you are having a hard time taking it.

Question: Knowing that you are not endorsed by any brand, which brand of chlorophyll do you take and is it a pill, powder or drops? Also, how to you prepare your wheatgrass and where do you get it?

Answer: I like the liquid kind of cholorophyll. As for wheatgrass look for it in a natural food store. It can be bought in liquid or frozen form.

Question: Tosca do you think it is adequate to just eat smaller portions of cooler 2 instead of doing cooler1 for a couple weeks, if i want to see more results. Is the distilled water and all to show less water weight ect. my goal is not to have the temporary effect but long term . Or does cooler 1 make you drop real fat at intermittent times, or will just reducing intake fix that also.

Answer: A portion size change will make a difference. Cooler 1 is best used for plateaus, but by all means try smaller portion sizes, too. Do what works best for you. Some people have a very hard time with Cooler 1. Distilled water reduced sodium levels, which can cause water retention. This is best used for competition prep when your skin has to be thin and tight.

Question: What do you eat 2-3 days prior to a competition and what do you eat the day of the competiton?

Answer: Check out my competition blogs from back in September and November. They are archived here on the site.

Question: How many protein shakes a day can I have? I add fruit to mine and water.

Answer: Stick to 1. Remember, it’s more important to get your protein from whole foods (chicken, fish, eggs, etc) than a synthetic product like protein shakes and bars, which can be filled with processed ingredient.

Question: I know you do not endorse any protein supplement, but I'm so confused when trying to buy one. Is it possible for you to tell us wich one you use ? Also, do you have a trick to avoid snacking at night ? I will eat super clean all day long but then, when I watch tv at night, I just want to eat sugary desserts.

Answer: I switch it up from time to time, but I enjoy Raw Power and Living Harvest. Changing your routine at night might help to avoid cravings, or grab water or fruit before sitting in front of the tube. Having healthy snacks at the ready and the junk out of the house is key!

Question: I have a question for you. I am a 30 y/o mom of 3. I have a lot of excess belly fat on my 5'4" 155 lb. frame from my wonderful kids. I exercise 6 days/week, alternating 3 days of cardio and 3 days of strength. No matter how well I eat, it doesn't seem to budge. I am VERY frustrated and I am looking for answers. I use your recipes and follow the lifestyle the best I can, with a slip-up every now and then, but still the scale does not budge, and the clothes are not fitting any better. I would appreciate any advice you can give.

Answer: Well something isn’t working and I can’t tell what it is from your note. Why don’t you send me an email at so I can learn more.

Question: Is it true that the body can only absorb 25 grams of protein at one time?

Answer: True!

Question: Tosca, when it comes to consuming protein bars or protein powders do I also need to consume complex carbs from either fruits/vegetables/whole grains in order to complete my 'protein/carb' combination? Or do the bars/powders alone have enough protein & carbs for one 'meal'? (some examples of the protein bars that I eat are: Luna, Clif bars, meso-tech bars).

Answer: It really depends on the bar. Some offer lots of complex carbs, and some are mainly protein. I try to pair a bar with a piece of fruit. As for powders, if you mix them into a shake throw in some oats and fruit to make it a complete meal. I have lots of complete meal shake ideas in my cookbook.

Question: Tosca, Is it true that foods high in vitamin C should be consumed with protein in order for the protein to be fully absorbed by the body?

Answer: This is one I haven’t heard before. Usually iron and vit C need to be consumed together more max absorption.

Question: Tosca, I'm a bit confused about the clean eating rule of combining complex carbs and protein at each meal. Do complex carbs from whole grains need to be consumed at every meal/snack or is it ok for your complex carbs to come just from fruits and vegetables at each meal/snack?

Answer: Consume complex carbs from whole grains a few times a day. I like to have them at breakfast, and lunch, and sometimes at dinner.

Question: Is there an accurate way to calculate how much protein a person should be consuming each day? If so, what is it?

Answer: The best way is to use the palm of your hand. Use this as a guide for each protein serving you have 5 – 6 times each day.

Question: Is there a difference between 'whole wheat' and 'whole grain'? If so, which one would you recommend over the other and is one a better/cleaner choice over the other?

Answer: Whole wheat refers to the whole wheat grain, whole grain refers to a variety of grains. Either are acceptable as long as the ingredient lists shows they are actually whole. Don’t just read the front of the product.

Question: I want to know what food or meal you crave or treat yourself to? What can I indulge in if I'm craving pasta, pizza, or schezuan (the crispy stuff with noodles or rice)? What meal would satisfy my craving for fat and starch especially around PMS-it's my worst week!

Answer: I usually like to treat myself with some cheese. It is my favorite! Indulge in whatever you like for your treat meal. Just don’t make it a whole day of treats. PMS time cravings can be brutal. I recommend lots of exercise, avoiding salty foods, and filling up on lots of veggies.

Question: I have a question about rice noodles. I love Vietnamese Bun - I get the one that has the grilled shrimp (does have a lemongrass sauce on it - not sure what's in it) and it has rice noodles (I'm assuming white rice - but you mention rice noodles in one of your books as being ok). Then you pour a nauc man sauce over the top. I think it has vinegar, a few veggies, some peanuts, and spices. It may have a tad of sugar -but its not overly sweet. It is a very light dish and feels clean. Is this a good option to eat? It's my favorite at the vietnamese restaurant.

Answer: Sounds good to me. Maybe have the sauce on the side so you can add in little bits here and there. Try different protein options from time to time, too.

Question: I have a question for you: I am 5ft 1" tall, 39yrs old and weigh 121 lbs. I want to lose 5-7 pds. If I follow Cooler 1 is that too much food for me seeing I'm not the "average" height woman? What is adequate amount of protein/carbs and fat for me? I do cardio 6x week (45min) and free weights 3x week. What do you suggest I do?

Answer: Your have portion size measurers built in. Use your hands as a guide. See the Eat-Clean Diet for more information on this. You can adjust Cooler 1 to fit your size by using portion sizes. Your exercise sounds great. Give Cooler 1 a try!

Question: I usually eat cooler 2 since I was a fairly active individual. At the end of January, I was involved in a car accident, and am now restricted to low impact cardio and the only weights I'm lifting are less than 5 pounds. Should I be eating the same amount of protein or should I scale it back a bit?

Answer: You may want to reduce all of your portion sizes since your activity level has decreased. However, since your body is in recovery mode don’t forget to give it the best quality nutrition. This will really help you. Bottom line: listen to your body… if you’re hungry EAT something clean! Once you’re fully recovered you can go back to being a hard core trainer! My best wishes for your speedy recovery.

Question: Do you think the fact that you periodically go on cooler 1 is the reason you have the excellent results of reducing belly fat?

Answer: Nope! It’s because I eat clean every day! Consistency & dedication = results.

Question: I have a question about belly fat it more the food you eat or how active you are to get them flat? Which exercises for lower abs and how many reps/sets and how often per week?

Answer: What you eat is always more important. Remember the body beautiful formula: 80% diet, 10% exercise, 10% genetics. You NEED to eat clean in order to see results. As for ab work: you can train them everyday using a challenging number of reps. This will vary based on your strength and the exercise. I like heel raises, reverse crunches and hanging knee raises.

Question: Are you gluten intolerant? If so, you've mentioned that you eat Ezekiel bread. What brand do you use? I'm assuming that the Food for Life brand isn't gluten free.

Answer: I have never been officially tested as gluten intolerant, but sometimes wheat products do cause me to bloat. I like to try gluten-free products because a lot of my readers do suffer from this problem. Ezekiel bread is not gluten free.

Question: Do you have to use roasted peanuts? I have read where roasting takes nutrients out. Doing this I figured on leaving out the oil. What are your recommendations?

Answer: I tend to use peanuts in major moderation since they are high in saturated fats. I prefer almonds instead. Roasting changes the fat composition and can often turn the good fats to bad. If you must roast, do it on occasion and do a dry roast in the oven.