I have just bid farewell to my lovely daughter Rachel. I am sad to leave after such a wonderful weekend here in Oregon.
This morning I had a TV appearance with AM Northwest. I hope some of you were able to catch it. If not, click here for the link. I had a lot of fun with Helen and Dave the dynamic duo hosting the show.
Special thanks for Kierstin Buchner, food stylist extraordinaire, who made my recipes look fantastic for the show with the help of her special toolkit. We snacked on the Sweet Potato Oven Fries from the cookbook backstage after taping. Yummy!!
I will put up a bunch more shots from my trip to Portland later on this week. In the meantime, I have FINALLY answered questions. See below... THERE ARE TONS!!
Q: I've been doing clean eating since the beginning of January and have lost 18lbs so far, in combination with a workout plan of course.
I'll be going on vacation in 2 weeks, that's why I just today started the cooler 1 plan.
Plain oatmeal with wheat germ and flaxseed for breakfast.... what should I say?? It took me 20 minutes just to finish this. It's pretty disgusting. Maybe tomorrow I'll cut 1/2 of my daily apple into this because I don't think I can do plain oatmeal for 2 weeks.
A: You have had some amazing success girl!! Wow! See I love the plain oatmeal (I’m a little nuts), but definitely adding some thinly sliced apple can help. Keep up the good work.
Q: I have a question about the cooler 1 plan. Whatever weight I lose during the two weeks of cooler 1, wouldn't I just gain back as soon as I start back on cooler 2?
A. The plan for Cooler 1 is really to accelerate weight loss for someone who needs to tighten up in a hurry or to jumpstart a weight loss program. It is the way, for example, many fitness athletes prepare for an appearance or modeling shoot. So it will definitely help you get a quick weight loss response. You may gain a bit of weight back when you introduce some foods from the other Cooler Plans back into your diet if you were not obese or overweight before. If you are in either of the latter situations you won’t gain the weight back. At least you shouldn’t. When I do Cooler 1 I lose weight as I am doing now and it will be about 5 pounds. Then when I start eating normally again (ie) Cooler 2, I may gain 3 or 4 pounds back.
Q: Sorry Tosca, those aren't toxins coming out of your feet.
Besides, following the guidelines in your Eat Clean Diet, there is no need to detoxify, you are doing it naturally. Here's what happens with the cleanse you experienced... "The water your feet are in undergoes electrolyzation. This allows rapid corrosion of the iron electrodes in the foot bath. Ferric oxides to the chemist, or rust to most everyone else ultimately turns the water yellow then brown. Insoluble iron precipitates float as scum to the top too." It's just rust. This is something that has been used in countless 'air purifiers' as well to make people think the air they breath is full of crud. You might have seen those commercials where they take out the bucket of water from the purifier and it's incredibly brown.
A: That’s interesting because I thought it looked similar to the water in the air purifier at home. Hmmmm. I don’t know much about ionic cleansing, so I will have to ask Lena what it’s all about. Thanks for sharing.
Q: I've been reading a lot about using coconut oil in protein shakes and cooking to increase the thyroid? What is your opinion on this subject?
A: Coconut oil is definitely an option for use in cooking. However, it is high in saturated fat and should be used in moderation, as with most other oils. Also it is crucial to store any fats properly since they go rancid quickly and need to be handled with respect. Keep them in a cool dark place, not near the stove or a running appliance. Coconut water is another excellent addition to smoothies.
Q: In your updated eat clean diet book you mention cooking oatmeal overnight in a slow cooker? What is your recipe for that so that it doesn't come out dry? Do you put the bee pollen and flaxseed in there as well?
A: In The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook there is a recipe for slow cooker oatmeal. Click here for a link for a recipe on my website, too. You can throw flax and bee pollen on top.
Q: I want to know why in the Clean Eat book Cooler 1 apple a day is allowed but now you say no "Fruit" in the blog a few days ago? I'm confused and I don't want to get discouraged, should I not eat fruit in Cooler 1 even if its only for 2 weeks, will it affect my results? I hope you have time to respond. Good Luck at the Arnold!
A: Fruit is limited in Cooler 1. What I should have said was limited fruit. Follow the plan as stated in the book, and I apologize for the confusion.
Q: That water looks nasty! Is it "chunky"? Yuck! How can they tell that you're low in calcium? Just curious!
A: I am not sure how they can tell I am low in calcium. I need to do some more research on ionic cleansing. Please see the question above regarding ionic cleansing for more information.
Q: If one lacks Vitamin D does that mean your calcium goes down? Please clarify?
A: Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium. So if you are not getting enough vitamin D from food sources or from sunlight you will have lower calcium absorption.
Q: When you began eating cleaning and when you lost 60+ pounds, how many days were you running? I usually do cardio 5 days through the week because I'm trying to lose weight. I know I have good muscle tone, you just can't see it because of the fat. Also do you find it hard to stick to Cooler 1? What is the max number of weeks you will do Cooler 1?
A: I was running about 5 – 6 days each week. What I should have been doing was a combo of weights and cardio because I just wound up a smaller, but still flabby version of myself. As soon as I added in weights and eating clean I shaped this great healthy body. Cooler 1 should only be used for 2 weeks at a time because it does not contain enough nutrients for long term eating. It can be hard to stick too, but not if you’re determinged.
Q: When do you think is the best time to do cardio to burn fat? I've read different things about when to do cardio. For example, in the mornings or evenings. Just wondered what your thoughts were on this.
A: Do cardio when it is best for you. I often do it in the morning before breakfast. But if I wake up hungry I will eat and do my cardio an hour later. What’s more important is incorporating it into your schedule so that you will actually get it done and not put it off.
Q: Is squatting one of the best exercises for you glutes? I always feel them the next day...sweet pain of course...just wanted to know what your choices for glutes are.
A: I love squats! Sweet pain is the best… as long as it’s not too much pain. That can indicate injury. I also love prone hip raises, kneeling kickbacks, and lunges. See The Butt Book for a bunch of options, too.
Q: I have a different kind of question. A lot of times when I'm working out...during the last few reps or sets...I sometimes feel I can't do it...a bit of anxiety follows. I get through it...but I don't like that feeling like I just want to stop when it gets a little too tough. But if you don't continue...your muscles don't grow. Do you every feel like that and if you do or don't can you suggest how to get over that feeling. I really luv working out, luv the results, even the pain :), but that little voice saying "I can't just stop" really upsets me. I hyperventilated about 10 years ago for other reasons...and sometimes I think it'll happen again. But this sport requires you to breathe, so how do I over come this? Any wise advise. :')
A: I will share a secret with you – I often feel the same way and I have been doing this for a while. The feeling does not happen with every exercise. It happens most with squats where I am lifting more than 150 pounds on my back. I worry that I won’t be able to get back up and what would happen if I couldn’t. That is why it is important to have someone spot you for some of these truly challenging exercises. I also talk to myself in my head and encourage myself to push through it. I will say things like, “Come on Tosca you can do this. You are strong and you have goals for yourself!” or “Just do it girl! Push it up!” I will often visualize myself on top of a mountain all muscley and totally powerful. Or I picture my old fat self and that really motivates me to go on. Thank you for asking this question. I thought it was just me and that I was holding on to this dirty little secret but if I do and you do then there must be others too. We are all Sisters in Iron.
Q: If you have 60 lbs worth of plates on a 40 lb bar...are you squatting 100 lbs or 60 lbs?
A: 100 lbs.
Q: Love your t-shirt, where is it from?
A: Thanks. I picked it up at Ruehl.
Q: For the "no fruit" aspect of the plan - is that because of the simple sugars/excess carbs??
A: Fruit is not recommended in Cooler 1 because of the high fructose levels that can spike your blood sugar and increase fat storage.
Q: I was wondering if there is anything "clean eating" that can help with bloating and cramps for that time of the month. A week before my period I feel bloated, achy, and just plain mean. Then when I do have my period I do begin to feel better other than some bad cramps. This does hurt my progress with eating clean and working out because of how awful I feel. The cravings for something bad to eat. Also just feeling achy that makes me not want to work out. So I was just wanting to know if there was some clean food that can help with these areas. So I wouldn't feel bad around this time of the month, and that can also help me stay on track. Thank you!!
A: When you know that time is coming you need to make a game plan. Pack your cooler for the day, put your workout schedule in PEN so you don’t change it, and maybe plan to meet a friend at the gym so you don’t bail out. It’s been shown that working out will actually decrease cramping and bloating experienced during PMS. As for foods, it’s important to limit your sugar and salt intake, which can really increase bloating. Wheat and dairy products can also increase these problems. Stick to lots and lots of veggies and lean meats during this time. I would also encourage the consumption of plenty of healthy fats like borage, fish and other intensely nutritious oils. They do help.
Q: Can you elaborate a little about the different categories of competing ie. Fitness, Figure, Figure Masters, Fitness Model and Fitness Model and how far developed you need to be for each.
A: The physique industry has blossomed in the last few years and there are many categories in which to compete. Unfortunately there is little consistency among these competing sports. The best thing to do is to select a contest and then work closely with the coordinator to understand the physique requirements. Literally each contest has different requirements. It is too difficult to list them all here (perhaps an upcoming Oxygen article would answer that question). Obviously bodybuilding would be the most muscular and fitness or bikini model is less so but they still choose the most muscular, ripped girl on stage at show time anyway!
Q: Hi Tosca~ just wondering what type of hair removal process you would recommend if any? What might your helpers think of Laser hair removal? Does waxing actually weaken the muscles underneath the skin? thx.
A: Personally I use waxing because I don’t like the idea of shooting lasers into sensitive areas such as the armpits and groin where there are large concentrations of lymph nodes. I do not know if waxing weakens the muscles underneath our skin, however, considering that our muscles and skin are not the same entity I can assume that if anything waxing would create more slack in the skin rather than weakening the muscles. I imagine this would only get really bad if you were waxing everyday.
Q: Is it okay to change your routine everytime you do a workout? Say for example it's chest, back and shoulder day...can you change the routine every week instead of doing the same routine for 4 wks and then change it?
A: This sounds like a great plan. It will always keep your body guessing and you will work lots of different muscle groups. I often suggest a change at 4 weeks because most people don’t have the time to create new plans every day and then they fall into ruts.
Q: Does Bikini Model competition still require the same weight training dedication and what look would the judges be looking for? Soft, cut curves, etc?
A: Absolutely!!! If I knew what the judges were looking for I would be a winner every time but the truth is that no one really knows and for each contest it is different (read the earlier question and answer). I do know from experience that no matter what the judges say they are looking for they ALWAYS choose the most ripped muscular girl at show time!
Q: Just curious why most of the followers pics are missing and listed as 'undefined' is there something wrong with the site?
A: I haven’t noticed this problem. I am also not very techy. If the problem still exists I would recommend speaking with a computer-smart individual.
Q: I have been weight training heavy and eating clean. I find that I am always sore after a workout 12 hrs after to be exact, and I only workout 3 days a week. It takes several days for my body and muscles to get repaired and grow. I do see results though. Is this okay? Is it okay to wait till you are completely healed before working out again? I find that if I do workout more...my body gets stressed and fatigued not to mention more pain? Am I an anomaly, lucky or doing something wrong? I don't believe I am overtraining. t
Sat - Leg & Glute Day
Sun - Arms & Abs
Wed - Chest, Back & Shoulders
And I change the routine of exercises every work-out - could this be the culprit (my body doesn't have time to adapt say for 4-6 weeks)?
A. You are doing great! Keep up the good work. Listen to what your body is telling you ie). pain or not and celebrate in the fact that you are getting results from your efforts.
Q: Is it necessary to work your forearms separately, or do they just develop by doing other compound exercises?
A: I would recommend working your forearms separately if you are looking for specific muscle growth in this area, of if you use your forearms a lot in your career. Otherwise, forearms will be worked during most upper movements because you are gripping the weights.
Q: So is there a new book in the making!? :)
A: There is always a book in the making. Check out my website for a preview of The Eat-Clean Diet for Men that will be launched soon.
Q: When competing what was your body fat%?
A: At contest time my body fat level is usually 8 to 9 per cent.
Q: Tosca, you once mentioned that your nails are a protein base on top of your own nail. Can you tell where one would get this done? As most places use chemical based products that aren't so good for you. Can you tell where you go? Thanks!
A: My friend Franca does my nails out of her home. I found Franca at a local salon and day spa. I would recommend checking out some of these in your area.
Q: Hi Tosca~ I have a question about your favourite topic...'calves'. Please don't get upset...I need help!!! :)
What are the best, best, best exercises to do? High reps and sets until you feel the burn, right? How do you know you've done everything you can and it's genetics at play? How do you know you have high or low calves and which are easier to develop? How do you know you can only build power and not definition? I really want'em and have more than I ever did...but they're not poppin'! Any help, tips, miracles are welcome!
A: You will have to make growing calves your life every day. Squeeze them, contract them, stretch them and train them like it is all you have to do. Do high reps with low weight and do low reps with high weight. Keep trashing them and of course eat right. They may never grow wildly big but they will be defined and better than what you currently have. Good luck girl!
Q: Is it true that you can actually lose weight by using skim milk in your protein shake? Or at least maintain your weight?
A: Drinking skim milk alone and doing nothing else will not help you lose weight. Drinking skim milk instead of cream, half and half, or whole milk along with exercise and a clean diet will help you lose weight.
Q: You are so beautiful. I was wondering what you use to get your skin tanned or do you use a tanning bed during the grim Canadian winter months. I live in Northern BC and our winters are so long! Can you recommend a great sunless tanning product.
A: Thank you. I will occasionally use a tanning bed during the winter if the sun has been hiding for a long period of time. Usually I use a spray tan booth or my at home spray tanner. On my face I usually only use bronzing powder.
Q: I noticed that oat bran packs a good bit of protein. I believe 7 grams per serving. Do you think it's necessary to add any other protein when eating it? Or is it fine to eat oat bran by itself for a hot cereal?
A: That sounds like a great hot cereal in the morning. Good balance of protein and carbs from whole grains. However, about 15 – 20 grams per meal is a good amount of protein. Either eat this much oat bran or add one or 2 yummy hard-boiled egg on the side.
Q: Tosca! I really need your help I see that you answer your readers questions so I was wondering if you could give me some advice. I know you said your daughter went through an eating disorder so I'm sure you could help me. I recently developed an eating disorder myself first I developed Anorexia Nervosa and then because my body couldn't handle not eating I turned to Bulimia. It was very bad in the beginning I was bingeing and purging 5 times or more a day then for a few months I seemed to get better I found out about your book, and I was weight lifting and eating right. But then a few weeks ago I started relapsing and I've come to terms that I can't do this on my own anymore. I want to tell my parents and my boyfriend but I'm so scared I don't know what they are going to say or do. Plus I know that insurance won't cover the costs we don't have that money to spend so that I can get the help I need. Even if I do tell them what can they do? Some advice would be much appreciated.
A: I can’t help with the insurance issue but I do know for sure that you must get some help. That doesn’t need to be a scary situation. Find a professional who specializes only in eating disorders who can counsel you through this. My daughter found the most useful aspect of this process to be the weekly meetings with a group of women also suffering with ED’s. She also really liked the food tracking process which helped her stay accountable to herself regarding what she was or was not eating.
Q: You recently said overcoming emotional eating is all about how serious you are. Do you have specific food suggestions for conquering the emotional eating sweet tooth and sugar addiction? Especially mid-afternoon snacks?
A: That is what Eating Clean is all about – providing a structure for eating. It not only gives you the times to eat but what to eat.
Q: Aside from intolerances, is there any other reason to remove dairy from the diet, similar to your Cooler 1 plan? I like to include cottage cheese and yogurt in my diet but curious to know whether I'd get better results without.
A: Eating dairy is a great way to get protein, Vit D, calcium and more. I would recommend including it into your diet in moderate amounts each day. I do not include it in Cooler 1 because of the high natural sugar content from lactose, however, Cooler 1 is not a representation of a healthy, long-term nutrition plan.