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.


VeggieGirl said...

Thank you SO much for always taking the time to answer each question so thoroughly - your advice is great appreciated as always, Tosca!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tosca, your fans always appreciate your dedication - Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Luv all the new stuff on your blogg! I bet that new office has something to do with all the inspiration!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes thank-you Tosca, you are an Angel!

Anonymous said...

tosca, I work nocs at a hospital as a R.N. I bought your book about 6 months ago. now everyone is on the clean eating diet, its called our tosca club. the ouestion we have is we usuaay eat apieace of fruit and some protein chicken or egg. and almonds between. what else should we be eating? we all work 12 hours shifts and try to work out after work weight 3 days aweek and cardio 2to3 days aweek. does this seem to you the right way? thank you for being there for all of us welove you. I also sub. to oxygent and love it. I also have your cookbook and theworkout journal and theclean diet book

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the great Q&A! I also really appreciate the Frequently Discussed Topics. It is making it so much easier to get specific answers!

Carolyn said...

thanks for all the great info tosca!

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