Tosca Reno


Friday, February 13, 2009

More for Your iPod, Valentine's Treats, and Questions Answered!!!

The questions were piling up! I can’t believe it! Sorry for the delay, but here are your answers. Let me know if I missed one.

One of my faves is perfectly appropriate for Saturday’s holiday event:

Question: I was wondering if you have any suggestions for a Clean Valentine dessert?

Answer: Just in time for Valentine’s Day… I have posted a great menu plan including dessert on my website here:

Check the menu plan out. It’s tried, true and delicious.

Also, the link to the interview I did with Terry and Elaine Goodlad is up on It's on the right-hand side of the screen in the middle of the page. You can also subscribe to the Bodysport page on iTunes to access it. Enjoy!

Question and Answer:

1. Question: Tosca, you stated in a blog awhile ago that you no longer have your period. Do you take any hormone replacements for menopause symptoms, or go natural? After watching Oprah's shows on Bioidentical I am considering this if I feel I need to some day. Just curious what you do as you are so health conscious.

Answer: At this time I am not taking any hormone supplements. I keep in close contact with my doctor about this and at this time it is not necessary for me.

2. Question: Do you have any words of wisdom to help me deal with stress/ emotional eating? I seem to eat clean for a few days and then 'fall of the wagon' when confronted with stress, fatigue etc. I am feeling very frustrated with myself and wonder if you have any advice...

Answer: It’s all about how serious you are. You’ve got to make the decision to eat clean and not go back. Stress, fatigue, etc. can make you feel out of control so why not take care of the one thing you CAN control… what you eat. Remember, food isn’t a cure for stress.

3. Question: How do you strengthen your lower back & SI joint? Should you stretch immediately after your weight training? and continue to until the next workout? Does it really matter which exercises you do first...biggest muscles to smallest? In one particular routine.

Answer: Good questions. Your SI joint and lower back can be strengthened with back extension exercises such as Supermans on the mat. Be sure to strengthen your abdominals, too. Keeping both your lower back and abs in balance will give ultimate core strength. I usually stretch after weights because I am warm and it is a great way to cool down. I recommend doing biggest muscle to smallest muscles or compound movements (using 2+ joints) vs. singular joint movements, because your muscles won’t become too fatigued. If you do biceps curls before a chest press you may find you’re too tired to do the chest press.

4. Question: Are standing upright rows an important exercise to incorporate? I was told it not a natural positon for your shoulders to be in?

Answer: Standing upright rows are an alternative to kneeling and seated rows. They are not essential. If you feel uncomfortable doing them I would suggest trying the other 2 exercises mentioned above.

5. Question: I am 40 yrs old, 5'6" and 125lbs-128lbs. I've always been tiny and underweight when younger. I have been weight training for almost a year...but find it really hard to put on weight to increase muscle mass. Unlike most people try to lose do I gain weight! I eat 6 meals a day - clean all the time + healthy fats, train hard and long. I want to fulfill my goals and dream. Can you please help me...perhaps I'm missing something.

Answer: In order to gain weight you want to increase the amount of clean food you are eating, especially protein, and decrease your cardio to 2 – 3 times each week.

6. Question: When eating pancakes (clean of course), are the eggs in the batter enough protein to balance out the carbs or do I need to serve eggs on the side as well?

Answer: I would recommend having eggs on the side, too. This of the pancakes as your complex carb from whole grains, you still need lean protein and complex carbs from fruits or veg to balance out the meal.

7. Question: Hi Tosca, Is there a link for all of us to watch your CTV appearance? I am in the US and was not able to tune in.

Answer: You know what, I can’t find the links for this one either and I’ve been searching for the last couple of weeks. I may have missed it. Sorry.

8. Question: I had a question: I was sick for 2 weeks and had to go to Bismarck for a few days. I gained 5 pounds and I'm working on losing them. My calorie intake is usually 2300. I dropped it down to 1800 and I today was my first day back at the gym. Any helpful tips to make sure I get ride of this excess flab would be great. Also how long do you think it would take to lose the 5 pounds? Also my body fat percentage went up by 2% I'm also trying to get this down. I'm 17 by the way in case that helps.

Answer: I really don’t advocate calorie counting because it is inaccurate and time consuming. It can also lead to eating disorders. Try watching your portion sizes instead. Follow the portion sizes outlined in the Eat-Clean Diet to determine how much lean protein, complex carbs from whole grains, and complex carbs from fruits and veg to have. Keep in mind that body weight can fluctuate a few pounds here and there. The scale can be inaccurate too. Try using the way your clothes feel as a guide.

9. Question: Will you ever consider starting a workout clothing line?

Answer: At this point I am going to stick to books. But I guess I should never say never!

10. Question: I work out at home and have a bench, free weights, resistance cables. I feel like I'm neglecting my back without doing lat pull downs and the seated row exercises. I'm not able to access a gym and feel like those two exercises are what gave me a strong back/v neck taper when I was able to get in the gym and worked out regularly a couple years ago. Can you suggest any exercises I can do at home that would be equal to those two exercises?

Answer: Pull ups are great for lats, as are dips off the bench. You can also do standing bent-over rows and kneeling one-armed rows off the bench to strengthen your back.

11. Question: I know most people are looking to lose weight, but I guess I am a bit of an anomoly. I'm an ectomorph trying to bulk in an eat clean fashion so as to add some more muscle mass. I'd love any advice you could give. Also, on cooler #1 approx. how many calories and % from carb, protein, fat does it total? Thanks in advance!

Answer: As I mentioned above, in order to gain weight I would recommend increasing your intake of clean foods and reducing your cardio to 2 – 3 times each week. As for calories etc. in each cooler, I don’t know the answer to that because calorie counting isn’t a part of Eating Clean.

12. Question: Is it true that you will be putting out a book for men next? This would be perfect for the man in my life! We talk about nutrition a lot, and while his own eating habits are not the greatest, he knows that eating clean is the better way to go, so he is slowly trying to eat better. I tell him about what I read in Oxygen, including your columns, as well as your past books.

Answer: I sure am. I’ll keep you posted on the release date.

13. Question: What did you end up buying for your daughter's birthday?

Answer: Thank you for all of your excellent suggestions. I was so thrilled to read them. You’re just great. I ended up helping her pay for a trip to Cuba for her spring break. She leaves on Saturday. I also got her a trench coat. It is a classic piece that is still young and hip. Kingston gets pretty rainy, so it’s useful, too. Her sisters outfitted her with some things for Cuba from Abercrombie – short shorts that only very young women can wear! T’s and a really nice long T-shirt dress from Velvet. She is all set to go.

14. Question: Where did you get your scarf that your wearing at your daughters birthday? I love it!

Answer: That scarf is from Roberto Cavalli. My husband and I bought it in LV after the Fitness America Pageant as a little congratulations gift for all the hard work. It is sooooo soft and works with so many outfits.

15. Question: Tosca can you give me a recipe for CLEAN banana bread?

Answer: There are banana bread recipes in both the Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook and the Eat-Clean Diet for Family and Kids. If you don’t have those books here’s a link to my Festive Cranberry Pecan Loaf.

16. Question: If I might ask, what did you get your degree from Queens in?

Answer: Bachelor of Science at Queen’s University.

17. Question: I was just wondering how many days a week you do cardio and strength training?

Answer: I do cardio about 3 days each week, and I do weights 5 days each week. I’m usually in the gym for no longer than 45 minutes. My cardio often includes snowshoeing and running with dogs, too. Gotta’ make it fun!

18. Question: Hey, I was wondering if you are on Twitter? If so, I'd love to follow you!

Answer: Hmmm. I haven’t gotten into Twitter yet. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for the suggestion.


  1. RE: Question #10. Vertical pulling motions are always a difficulty for my clients who are working out at home without some type of universal gym set-up.

    The suggestions Tosca made are excellent, and I would like to add another couple options.

    If you aren't able to do pull-ups yet (notice how I said yet! you can do it, it just take practice and determination) then I would recommend getting a set of various resistance bands.

    You can attach these above a door (tie a knot in one end, toss it over the door, then close it) and then you can perform a kneeling vertical pull-down by angling your waist forward so the line of pull matches exactly what your typical pulldown would.

    You can also get one of those 'door-gym' removable pullup bars, and use that as an attachment point for bands as well.

    You can get bands in any tensions, and I even keep some around the house that are extremely heavy duty and will provide up to 200lbs of resistance.

    Hope that helps!


  2. Great Questions and Answers!!
    Happy Valentines's Day!



Tosca's Instragrams