Tosca Reno


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Twenty Questions

Hope your holiday recovery is going well. My family members left this morning and we are now about to start filming for the evening. My daughter's and a few of their friends are here to help me cook dinner... asparagus, green beans, potatoes, lamb and tofu chocolate mousse for dessert.

Before I fill you in on my holiday I wanted to answer a bunch of questions that have been building up...

The first 11 questions refer to December 12ths food shots. Refer back to this post if you want to see the accompanying shots.

1. Question: Can you have skim milk + banana and whey powder for a post workout shake? Does protein keep you awake at night if you eat it too close to bedtime?

Answer: This sounds like a great shake. Protein won’t keep you up at night.

2. Question: What colour is your wheat grass drink? and does it taste good?

Answer: My wheat grass drink is dark green. I wouldn’t say it’s the best tasting drink, but you get used to it.

3. Question: For us in the USA, please let us know if it is possible to see your new show outside of Canada. Otherwise maybe you could sell the episodes as a DVD someday?

Answer: At this point I don’t believe the show is available in the US. I will keep you posted if a DVD set is going to be made available.

4. Question: I am curious to know what you have sprinkled on your chicken and if you baked it in the oven? Also, what is your protein shake made out of? Thank you again! :)

Answer: My chicken is sprinkled with finely ground oregano. I bake it in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. My protein shake contains: berries, yogurt, ice and clean vanilla protein powder.

5. Question: A couple of months back, you mentioned that you had a bunch of new "Eat-Clean" books in the works. Since the version for men is coming out soon, is there any way you could update us on when the others are due to be released, especially you new cookbook?

Answer: The next book slated for delivery after the men’s book is the cookbook. It will probably hit shelves late 2009 or early 2010.

6. Question: I was wondering if you knew of any good recipes for clean-eating salad dressings and herb/spice mixes for sprucing up chicken, fish etc... Thanks :)

Answer: Always mix a vinegar (white, white vine, apple cider, balsamic, etc) with an oil (olive, pumpkinseed, flax, etc) plus seasonings such as oregano, garlic powder, pepper and salt. Sometimes I throw mustard into my dressings, too.

7. Question: What's in the bedtime snack and what time is it okay to have?

Answer: My bedtime snack is the protein shake I mentioned above. I usually have this after a workout around 8 or 9. I suggest people have a light meal if they are hungry a few hours after supper and before bed.

8. Question: Here's a question with regards to training: I have fairly large upper arms that I am hoping will lean out with eating clean + exercise. Any advice on how to effectively tone this area and get rid of the extra skin that may result thus avoiding "clip the wings" surgery?

Answer: Losing fat in this area is all about eating clean and exercise, especially eating clean since this will decide 80% of your success. Really dedicating yourself to this along with cardio and weight training is all you need to lose weight and avoid surgery.

9. Question: Regarding your "surprise"... not sure what yours is due to, but I've lost mine twice before (for a few months at time) due I think to low body fat and/or undereating. Isn't it really unhealthy - affecting fertility and acting as a kinda menopause that leaches calcium from your bones? What in your/your husband's very knowledgeable opinion constitutes a healthy female body fat level.

Answer: Losing your period (amenorrhea) is an unhealthy phenomenon that usually occurs in serious athletes and those affected by eating disorders, amongst other things. I had already gone through menopause, which is why I was so surprised. A healthy body fat percentage for women varies based on age but is ultimately between 20% and 30%.

10. Question: My wife is 56, looks 40ish,and has in the last 5yrs gained 15-20 lbs, mainly due to stress at her job. She is a beautiful woman even with the added weight. She does work out but the stress causes her to not eat the way she should. She does not feel good about herself because of the added weight. My question is, what can I do to encourage her the most?

Answer: You’re already supporting her by asking how to help her. Have you considered making some healthy meals for her? Give this a try a few nights a week to help her out… it may even reduce her stress a little bit. Another idea is to sit down with her and tell her you want to help and ask her what she wants you to do.

11. Question: What is your favourite apple variety or which do you find is the best digested for clean eating?

Answer: I really enjoy all types of apples. If I can though I usually go for a local granny smith or royal gala.

12. Question: Tosca, I am going to be training for a marathon this spring but still want to follow the clean eating plan, as well as weight train 2-3 times per week. Do you have any suggestions to help keep me fueled while dropping body fat at the same time?

Answer: Just keep eating clean whenever you need to. You really need to listen to your body and give it the best fuel possible. I would also recommend you be cautious of overtraining. Read up on your marathon plans to find out when you need to phase out weight training for strict running plans.

13. Question: I do 4 sets of 12-15 reps with 10 pound db on a 45% bench (bi isolation) and that is killing my bis for days....I still do not see results!???! or just tiny ones...sooo how do u do 10 sets? what weight?

Answer: Remember to do at least 2 different kinds of exercises per muscle group. You should not really do 10 sets of any one exercise. Variety breeds results. Train hard and heavy and vary the intensity by doing light weights and high reps alternated with heavy weights and low reps. Also it takes at least 3 weeks to see results. So be patient!

14. Question: How much bee pollen do u put in ur oatmeal? Do u think it is too much to put coconut oil and almond butter in mine?

Answer: As for bee pollen, it is best to use one teaspoon per serving at first and then work up to a few tablespoons. You don’t actually state the amount of nut butter or coco butter you use so I can’t say if you are using too much, but as a rule of thumb use 2 tablespoons of either at a time.

15. Question: Tosca, where do you find Clean dried fruits such as cranberries? Most of the varieties I find in the stores are sugar-laden. Are the ones sweetened with fruit juice any better?

Answer: I find unsweetened dried fruits at my local grocery store. I would recommend using these over the ones sweetened with fruit juice. You might be able to find varieties online.

16. Question: When is the more appropriate time to eat fruit? It would seem that veggies sustain our blood sugar highs and lows better..and with fruit they would drop fast. Okay to use a banana with blueberries and protein powder for post work out?

Answer: Eat fruit a few times a day, but try to get most of your complex carbs from vegetables. Blueberries with bananas and protein powder is a great post workout snack.

17. Question: If you have inherited cellulite and do strength training will the muscle growing eventually over take the cellulite? Especially on the butt area? Do you have and recommendations or suggestions for this issue?

Answer: Muscle will grow and fat will melt away with consistent clean eating and exercise even if you have inherited it. You really have to stay dedicated to clean eating and exercise (both cardio and weight training) to see the best results. There is no magic pill… it’s all about dedication!

18. Question: Tosca, where do you buy your bee pollen? I have done some research on the internet and want to make sure I am buying high quality. I read you should not buy from China and most stuff sold in the USA is from China.

Answer: I buy my bee pollen from a local apiary. Try to use this option. Otherwise, I would suggest visiting your health food store and discussing the available options with them.

19. Question: I love your husbands art work and am so glad you said where it comes from as I had wondered that myself. Does he sell it?

Answer: He paints as a hobby right now, but he may begin selling his pieces in the future.

20. Question: Tosca, I noticed that your coffee cake and some other recipes have 1/2 regular flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour. I have another cookbook that calls for whole wheat PASTRY flour and it says you can substitute 1/2 regular and 1/2 whole wheat if you don't have whole wheat pastry flour. So I am wondering the opposite would work for your recipes. Instead of 1/3 cup regular and 1/3 cup whole wheat, do you think 2/3 whole wheat pastry flour would work? I might give it a try since I bought a large bag of it! Thanks for being such and inspiration!
Answer: Give it a try. Sometimes whole-wheat flour can make things dry. Watch for this while you’re baking.


  1. Hi Tosca,
    Love the hat!
    Love when you answer reader questions.
    Love that you are such a generous spirit with your knowledge & enthusiasm.
    I'm so grateful that I found out about Clean Eating through Oxygen magazine which of course led me to your books. It's changing my life & I'm so excited with anticipation to see how drastically my body will change in 2009! I plan on being in my best shape ever at 49(next August)than I've ever been.
    I can't say it enough...thank you!

  2. Faaabuous Q&A's and photo!! :-)

    Happy Holidays, Tosca!!

  3. You are such an inspiration...even my husband reads your blogs. Could you please be specific about your morning protein shake. Exact amounts and names of company's where you buy the products. You mentioned chia seeds, flax, etc, etc. I would like to know more about the chia seeds, the greens you use and what exactly is the etc, etc.

  4. Hi Tosca! Just made the clean eating chocolate tofu mousse and it's fantastic! What a great way to get my "chocolate fix"! Can't wait to try the Yogurty Coffee Cake. Hope you had a very Merry Christmas!

  5. LOL @ your picture. Love the hat. You are a hoot!

    Tosca...I read every one of those questions and every one of your answers and just have to say "wow".

    You just don't stop.

    As a reader, follower, owner of all your books as well as a monthly purchaser of Oxygen I hope you know that your efforts are not gone unappreciated. When your eat clean diet for men comes out I will be buying it as well. A few recipes and some knowledge for my husband as well as just to support you and all your efforts.

    Thanks. Happy New Year!


  6. I am loving your blog and books. I asked for and received the eat clean cookbook for Christmas. It goes well with my eat clean diet book, which I am rereading.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Hello Tosca!! Craig and I are still hurting from our session last weekend. What a workout!! I'm just waiting for Craig to get home from the gym so I can get there (the gym daycare is closed for the holidays grrr, so it's been tricky getting weight workouts in). My mom's house has a treadmill that the kids and I took advantage of, while we were there for Christmas.

    A question for you, and i'm sorry if it's a repeat. I seem to get painfully bloated after eating an apple (with water to drink). Is this just a coincidence?

    Happy Holiday!


  8. Hello, Tosca!! What a cute picture to begin your post! Hehe... I love the hat :]

    I so appreciate all of the time you put into answering our questions and accepting our feedback. You are so wonderful! I always love reading your q&a posts... I learn so much!

    To the woman who asked about where to find unsweetened dried fruit... most supermarkets sell Sun-Maid and Sunsweet products (they are both very large and very popular companies). Both lines exclusively make (as is suggested in their name) natural, unsweetened fruits, tainted only by the sun's heat. You can buy these products in almost every American supermarket (I'm assuming you live in America), and both lines offer wonderful varieties of fruits. Hope this helps!


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