Back from a busy weekend running around Belleville and Kingston... what crazy weather we had over here again. Phewf! I'm glad we made it home in one piece. I have FINALLY answered reader questions below. Please take a look to see if yours is there. Also, I did an interview last week with Michael Ray Dresser and the link is below. Bear with me... it was 1am my time!
Michael Ray Dresser Show Link:
1. Question: Tosca, I am not a coffee drinker and was wondering if you have a clean but yet delicious way to make hot chocolate on these cold mornings. Also if you could please list the brands you use. You are truly and inspiration and I have shared your web site w/family and friends.
Answer: There is a recipe for “clean” hot chocolate in The Eat-Clean Diet for Family and Kids. I believe it was also featured in a recent newsletter. Perhaps a reader could share the recipe? Don’t forget about hot herbal teas in the morning.
2. Question: Happy New Year! I have an issue that I struggle with in regards to eating well and would like to hear your thoughts on it. My husband and child have no interest in eating clean so there are usually plenty of leftovers languishing around. Since I HATE waste, I feel compelled to eat them for lunch or whatever, rather than throwing them away. Needless to day, that begins to be the makeup of my meals, leaving me forever on the hamster wheel going nowhere with my plans of healthy eating. Do you or any of your readers have any suggestions to help me with this? Should I just throw the food out (cringe) if they don't eat it? Thanks for all you do.
Answer: One thing to do is to make less of their meals. You can also try making meals that hide that they are eating well. A lot of the recipes in The Eat-Clean Diet for Family and Kids disguise clean ingredients in sloppy joes, fish sticks, and chicken nuggets. Otherwise, you have to have the willpower to get rid of the unclean foods. You are in a tough spot there… These are a few of my suggestions, but I open this one up to the bloggers, too.
3. Question: Hi Tosca,
I was told that pec flys cause stretch marks? Is this true?
What are the best ways to work your chest if you are a woman? Seems like a stubborn muscle to grow? And you don't always feel the burn when doing chest presses as you do with pec flys.
Intermediate sister in iron!
Answer: Pec flys will cause stretch marks if you are taking steroids or lifting heavy weights and your muscles grow really quickly. If you are lifting with moderate weights you will be just fine. These are great for working the chest. So are incline bench presses and cable flys.
4. Question: Tosca, I was encouraged to hear you were in your 40's and lost weight. I am 47 and over the last year I have lost 80 pounds by cutting out processed foods. Just recently, I heard there was a name to what I was doing...Eating Clean. I recently purchased your book and am looking forward to trying new recipes. My question, what about the baggy skin I am now wearing? Will it always be there? Is there any other way to lose it other than surgery? I have been working out. However, I have been limited in what I can do the past 7 months due to a torn Achille’s tendon and now a torn rotator cuff. Any pointers you can give would be appreciated.
Answer: You have done exceptionally well so far. Be sure to take the time to heal your injuries before jumping back to a full exercise program, but don’t use this as excuse to do nothing. Speak with your physical therapist/doctor about what exercise you can maintain during this time. Once you are healed get back on the weights. Loose skin is a tough matter. Steady, healthy weight loss in combination with weight training will help somewhat by tightening the muscles underneath, but surgery may be necessary to completely get rid of the loose skin.
5. Question: Do you ever have problem sleeping? I've really been having a tough time lately - maybe hormonal, I don't know. Doesn't seem to matter what I do or eat I still wake up in the morning feeling lousy. We even got a new bed! Do you use any natural supp for sleep?
Answer: I do have trouble sleeping sometimes. For me it’s usually because I have too much on my mind. Calcium-magnesium and valerian are natural supplements that are helpful. If the problem persists I would recommend visiting a sleep specialist.
6. Question: I had a question...I'm doing so well on my clean eating, but I am starting to worry because raw veggies (especially carrots and cucumbers) give me severe stomach pain that lasts for hours. Is this normal? I thought I remembered reading about this somewhere on here, but haven't been able to find it. Will steaming help? Is it just raw that causes this? Any feedback would be appreciated, thanks so much.
Answer: Certain raw veggies can wreak havoc on your system. Broccoli, carrots, cukes… these all give me gas pains. Steaming will definitely help the problem as will cutting veggies and pouring boiling water over them and letting them sit for 10 minutes before draining them. Also, wash thoroughly to get pesticides off, which can aggravate the problem.
7. Question: I'm attending Jen H's PHAT fitness camp in Calgary on the 23rd - 25th of January. I know you attended her camp before Christmas...any suggestions for some high energy eats during the lunch break? I plan on packing a cooler filled with a few hard-boiled eggs, veggies, nuts, an apple, and maybe even a turkey wrap. Any other ideas would be much appreciated.
Answer: You have mentioned some great options there. A protein shake might be helpful to assist in muscle recovery. Packaged tuna and nut butter on a wrap with banana are great options. And be sure to have A LOT of water with you.
8. Question: Tosca...how do you prepare your talapia? Did see it in the book except the coated kind for kids - yummy!
Answer: I usually bake it in the oven at 350 degrees F with lemon, rosemary, and olive oil.
9. Question: Any word on when your show on the W network begins?
Answer: The date has now been pushed back to sometime in March since we are still doing some filming. I will post on my website, on here, and on the forum when I know.
10. Question: I was just wondering your opinion on the packaged items (cereals, cookies, crackers, etc.) in the organic aisles of the grocery store? How do I decipher the Nutrition labels of these organic items? I can read/pronounce these items mostly, but does this mean I should still avoid them? One cereal marketed for kids, for example, has just these 3 ingredients: organic corn meal, granulated organic sugar cane juice, and sea salt. Are these products clean options for my children? Thank you for listening!!
Answer: They are better options for kids, but processed foods should still be had in moderation. Sugar cane juice is still sugar regardless of its organic nature. I like to stick to foods I can recognize as something that came from as close to the source as possible… veggies, lean meats, grains, etc. I would encourage you to look for products with as few ingredients as possible, and without sugar as one of the main ingredients. I do have a section on nutrition label reading in The Eat-Clean Diet for Family and Kids.
11. Question: Tosca - wondering what your thoughts are on a new 'natural' product called PGX? I've heard good things but curious about your opinion.
Answer: To be honest I an unfamiliar with this product. After some research I see that it is a fiber supplement. I find fiber supplements aren't necessary when eating clean since you will be getting what you need from whole foods.
12. Question: Do you weigh your protein before or after being cooked? I've read it loses an ounce after being cooked.
Answer: I don’t usually weigh my foods. I use my hands as a guideline for the amount. The palm of your hand is the perfect amount of protein for you, just as the palm of my hand is the perfect amount of protein for me.
13. Question: I received a Vita-Mix for Christmas from my husband and am wondering if eating many of my fruits and vegetables in "liquid" form is any different than eating them in a "solid" form? I have been making fabulous whole juice combinations like: 1/2 apple, 1 carrot, 2 c spinach, 2 stalks celery, 4 strawberries, 2 chunks mango, 2 scoops clean protein powder, 1 TB flax, 1TB wheat germ, 1/2 TB bee pollen, 3/4 c water and 1 1/2 c ice and then drinking the mixture for my 2nd and 4th meals of the day. I know that I should get my protein from real food and some days I don't add the protein powder and eat 5 oz egg whites with the juice.
Answer: Juicers are great! Sounds like you have a good balance going on with your protein and veggies, and I like that you are drinking the mix in two sittings rather than one. That is the problem with juice sometimes... it's more than you need, but you are doing it right!
14. Question: With a fresh veggie sandwich on whole grain pita bread, would walnuts added to it be enough protein to balance it out?
Answer: They are a good source of protein, but I would stick to them in moderation since they are heavy on fats. I would rotate them with chicken breast, tuna, or salmon to be getting the leanest proteins.
15. Question: I'm not sure if this is a stupid question but is there such a thing as "Clean Whey"? If so, what brand is it so I can use it in my shakes?
Answer: No such thing as a stupid question. Clean whey can be hard to find, but it is out there. I would recommend scouring the Internet for a good source. I don’t use whey protein since I am lactose intolerant so I can’t help you with a brand. Picking up an Oxygen magazine and reading the brands the girls use can be helpful, too.
16. Question: I wondered if you have any tips on what type of weigh scale is best to use? I use a pretty simple digital one, but it seems to give me different numbers when I check several times in a row. Is there any one style of scale that is better or more accurate than another? I know there are pricier versions that measure body fat etc. But I don't know if they are any better than a cheaper scale?
Answer: Don’t worry about the fancy ones that measure body fat percentage, because they are usually wrong. I have a digital scale at home. I don’t use it very often though because they can be inaccurate, too. Buying a basic, simple weigh scale is best, but spend a little more on it. I’ve found German models are the best.
17. Question: For sure I will watch QVC that morning. Do you need people to call in with "testimonials" about your recipes? I have used (and still use) a lot of your recipes. My kids love them.
Answer: Absolutely. That would be great!! Thank you.