Author, motivational speaker and wellness consultant Tosca Reno is often thought of as the woman who literally wrote the book on healthy, but like many women, Reno once struggled to maintain a healthy lifestyle. At the age of 40, this powerhouse turned her life around and went from miserable to mesmerizing, inspiring millions of individuals to “Eat Clean”! Since then, she’s authored eleven books and appeared on a number of talk and radio shows. Skinny Mom was lucky enough to steal just a few moments of Tosca’s time to find out the why’s and how’s of her super healthy lifestyle.
1. You’ve become such an amazing inspiration for so many in your clean eating revolution. What advice do you have for busy moms in transforming their eating habits to clean eating, and spreading that throughout their family’s habits as well? One of the keys to my transformation was making the mental shift to finally treat myself with the same amount of respect, love and dedication that I’ve given to my family. I know it may sound selfish, but you need to flip your to-do list so that you’re on top. Think about it: If you’re fit and healthy then you’ll have all the energy you need to look after everyone else. I advise busy moms to plan meals and training sessions for the week and delegate chores whenever possible. When it comes to getting the family to Eat Clean, my main philosophy was to not make a big deal of it. I would slowly introduce healthier foods while making mental notes of the meals that went over well and those that did not. There are some wonderful family-friendly recipes and tips in The Eat-Clean Diet for Family and Kids.
2. How much did exercise aid in your physical transformation and maintenance? My personal revolution started when I learned how to Eat Clean. Up to then I had been able to lose weight by doing cardio, but it wasn’t until I changed my diet that I was able to create the physique I really wanted. People often mistakenly think training is the most important aspect of a healthy lifestyle, but it’s not! I go into more detail in my books, but basically this is the formula I use to illustrate the importance of food in relation to our weight-loss goals: 80% Nutrition + 10% Training + 10% Genetics = Body Beautiful/Body Healthy.
3. Do you have any exciting projects coming up? As the new President of Robert Kennedy Publishing, I plan to continue Robert’s mission of inspiring, informing and engaging our readers; assisting them in becoming the best they can be. Never have North Americans been so overweight and in need of good information. We at RKP are excited about finding new and innovative ways of using technology to help the world lose weight, get healthy and live life to the fullest.
4. What fitness, food, or health/beauty products are you loving right now? I’m really loving my Cellerciser mini-trampoline – just 15 minutes a day not only gives me a great butt, but it makes me smile and keeps me toned all over. And, people are always asking about the best Clean protein powders, so every chance I get, I tell them to give SunWarrior products a try. I’d also love to give a big shout-out to Paula Abdul who has been tweeting about me and my work! She’s working hard to help people make positive choices regarding health and fitness.
5. Out of all your personal and professional achievements, what has been the most shocking or exciting endeavor you’ve experienced? About 10 years ago, an encounter with a certain Robert Kennedy would drastically change the course of my life. I was teaching grade 1, and his daughter, Chelsea, was in my class. We would chat on the playground occasionally when he took Chelsea to school. Then one day, out of the blue, he suggested I enter a bodybuilding competition. As crazy as it sounded – especially for a middle-aged mother of three – I accepted. As we began the process of preparing for the contest, I learned how to eat clean. I learned how to nourish myself. This was the catalyst for everything. My body changed. The quality of my life changed. I was full of energy and vibrating with purpose. From then on, I just knew I had to get the rest of the world as hooked on Eating Clean as I was.
6. What keeps you motivated to maintain your clean and fit lifestyle? What gets you through those bad days we all have? Working out regularly and eating a diet of whole, unprocessed foods has become so habitual for me that I hardly recognize I’m even doing them. I just look them as what I do each day to continuously be at my best. I have a treat every now and then, but I go right back to my eating clean, and usually immediately afterward I’ll head to the gym or out for a run. Before I know it, the endorphins are flowing and I’m flooded with a new sense of respect for myself.
7. What is the craziest, fad diet you’ve ever tried in your weight loss efforts? Probably the most foolish thing I did in regard to weight loss was starving myself. I was desperate to lose the 77 pounds I had gained during university (no freshman 15 for me!). And because I don’t do things halfway, the pounds dropped off, but I was left with hypoglycemia. On several occasions, a severe episode of low blood sugar would cause me to pass out. I hated feeling clammy, sweaty and out of control.
8. What is your favorite healthy meal? I’m really excited that barbecue season is here because I love the Grilled Gourmet Bella Burgers from my new Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook. They’re so hearty that even carnivores love them! And, if you pair them with some parsnip fries, which are also in the book, you’ve got the perfect, Clean summer meal.
9. In one sentence, what advice do you have for women to push through all the roadblocks, excuses, and external factors and become their best self? You have to give yourself permission to change.