Tosca Reno


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tosca's Tips for Travelling + Protein Pumpkin Mini Muffins

Cooler packed a ready to go! California, here I come!

I have a busy weekend ahead of me and it's far from home. I am flying to San Jose, California to attend Anthony Robbin's Unleash the Power Within weekend. I have no idea what's in store for me - although, I do know that this evening events start with fire walking (oh my)!

I have had to be well-prepared in advance for this weekend with my cooler and training plans ready for me no matter what comes my way. I have always travelled this way, but with Coach Rita in my corner these days I have to be sure I am following her rules. I have no doubt I will stay on track - my determination to bring my best body forward for my competition in October in honor of my husband outweighs all desires to be lazy.

Here's what Rita has in store for me...

This week Tosca will be travelling to the states for a conference.  This means long 10-hour days, little down time and a lot of mental absorption. So, I guess that means 4 days off of training and eating 2 times a day at greasy restaurants….we have no choice. 

Ha ha….fooled ya! 

A choice we do have- we just have to be prepared, organized and prioritize.  Don’t let life get in the way of your goals - incorporate them into your life. There is ALWAYS a way.

In preparation for her trip, Tosca will bring her trusty cooler packed with essentials such as her protein powder (fine as a snack while travelling - just add water), mini packages of natural nuts and seeds, fruit (natures perfect package), hard-boiled eggs, cut up veggies and Rita’s Pumpkin Protein Mini-Muffins (see recipe below) - perfect for pre and post workout.  

Although her eating is quite restricted right now due to upcoming shoots and the show, I told Tosca to not think about what she cannot eat, rather what she CAN eat.  I LOVE eating out, and do so with all of my “eating rules” in place.  Tosca’s diet is based on fresh vegetables (leafy green emphasis), meats (organic, hormone free), fish, seafood, nuts, seeds, fruits.  When ordering at a restaurant, Tosca can order an arugula salad with beets and balsamic dressing to start, a fish or lean steak along with a variety of steamed or grilled veggies. A black espresso for dessert and Voila- an enjoyable meal! Make sure you tell the waiter NOT to bring the bread basket to avoid temptation.  Because Tosca is eating every 2-3 hours, she can have one of her snacks from her cooler pack before going to the restaurant which will keep hunger at bay while ordering and waiting for food.  

As for training, most hotels are equipped with a gym, it will be a matter of Tosca getting it done nice and early, and avoiding the temptation to pass on her workout after so many hours in conference.  I have sent her along with 2 travelling circuits that can be done in her hotel room first thing upon rising if she so chooses.  They're not easy - but they're effective.

Life still happens- so let’s roll with the punches!

Rita's Pumpkin Protein Mini-Muffins

Wet Ingredients
2 cups pumpkin puree (you can roast or cook your own pumpkin, but when not in season or in a hurry, I use organic pumpkin puree – NOT pumpkin pie filling - too much sugar. It does come in a can; I am searching for jar versions. You can substitute butternut squash or organic baby food squash)
3-4 free-range, large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (pure form - not simulated stuff)
1 heaping Tbsp virgin coconut oil

Dry Ingredients
2 cups almond meal (ground almonds)
1 Tbsp baking powder
2-3 Tbsp cinnamon ( or pumpkin-pie spice)
4 scoops (mini scoops) pumpkin seed protein powder - Try Omega Nutrition Pumpkin Seeds Protein Powder or substitute with one of your choice.

1. Blend together all wet ingredients in a blender and scrape out into a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.
3. Slowly mix the dry into the wet until fully incorporated. If batter is too dry add some egg whites. If it's too wet add another scoop of protein powder or almond meal.
4. Spoon mixture into non-stick mini muffin trays (I like WILTON).
5. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approx. 10-15 min (when toothpick comes out dry).

Turn out and enjoy!

Yield- 30-35 mini-muffins (3 per serving size)


  1. Can you use egg-white, whey or hemp protein powder if you don't have pumpkin seed? Will it change the consistency? Thank you!

  2. Looks great. Do you have a breakdown of protein, carb, fat?

  3. Could you please tell me where that cooler is from it looks amazing, so practical!! Thank you!

    1. I think Tosca's cooler is from six pack bags. They have a website you can oder the bags from.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. love the gluten free part of this recipe...but darn it all, I am allergic to eggs as well as gluten...insert sad face here

    1. I just made them (successfully, I might add) with unsweetened baby applesauce in place of the eggs and it worked perfectly. Hope that helps!

    2. I was thinking the same thing about gluten!

  5. How many grams of protein powder? How much is a mini scoop?

  6. How many calories are in one of the muffins? It looks great and finally...SUGAR can always use flax meal with water in place of eggs or egg replacer from the store...that will work fine too :)

  7. The muffins are in the oven right now! Can't wait to try them.

    Thanks for sharing.

  8. " determination to bring my best body forward for my competition in October in honor of my husband outweighs all desires to be lazy..."


    Ditto on the question about substitution for whey protein powder and also on # of grams of whey protein required.

    The recipe looks SO yummy!

  9. Sounds like it is all in place! I love that cooler and the muffins sound delish!

  10. Can anyone order your travelling circuits?

  11. Yes please clarify 'mini scoop' as I'm just so ready to make these and don't want to mess up anything! Thanks! :)

  12. yes how much is a mini scoop and calories etc please

  13. Hi Everyone. A mini-scoop is 15 grams. I won't post calories etc. Most of you know I don't subscribe to counting out those minute details for my daily eating. Follow your portion sizes for protein (size of your palm), carbs from veggies & fruit (2 handfuls - or 1 handful if it's an apple etc), and 1 handful for carbs from whole grains. In the case of these muffins - have 2 - they count as protein, fat & carbs from veggies. Enjoy!

  14. Thanks for the egg sub suggestions. I have used the egg replacer (powder) and don't like the results. I get nauseaous when i eat flax...horrlble i will try the applesauce suggestion. Tapioca gel and chia gel are other subs....may have to try them one day.

  15. Thanks for clearing up the mini scoop situation! :)

  16. Trying to find a place in town that sells pumpkin protein, but I think I'm going to have to suck it up and pay the high shipping fee.

  17. Update: I just purchased O. Pumpkin Seed Protein on for $19.98 and that INCLUDES shipping!!! Amazon was going to charge me $26.04.

  18. I tried these out and they are not too bad..the pumpkin give a great flavor but it feels like something is missing...not sure what...they are quite dense tho so it's a good thing.

    1. its probably the almond meal making it so heavy. you could experiment with other flours til you get it how you like it.

  19. mine are out of the oven shortly. Baking with almond flour does make for a dense and "wet" outcome....lots of fat here, but yummy good fat.
    I did put one egg in mine and made a half recipe. I have an allergy to eggs but it is not severe so hope i don't get hives...will serve me right. Added 2 T of applesauce for the second egg. Also added a little bit of cloves. Dark chocolate would have been nice too, but didn't have any.
    I used my regular protein powder, 40 g scoop in the half recipe.

    Nutritional analysis...for my subs
    made 16 mini muffins, each muffin:
    63 calories
    4.2 grams protein
    4 grams carb
    3 grams fat

    First bite...yum... had to cook them an extra 2 min. I really think that a very few mini dark chocolate chips would make these really great!! They need a little more depth but I quite like them. will be hard to eat just 2

  20. These muffins are a great post BODYATTACK snack. I used whole wheat flour instead of almond meal since my daughter has nut allergies. I also added 1/2 cup of applesauce.

  21. I would love to get a copy of this off the couch! I haven't been able to find it in stores! I'm going to make the pumpkin muffins tonight!

    1. I have seen it at places like value village. amazon is probably your best bet though if you want it new :) or

  22. I love these shared stories because it's proof that once a women sets her mind to something the sky's the limit, no matter your age. Health and fitness proves again to e a key to unlocking potential. It's never too late to become the person you might have been!!!


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