THE “EAT-CLEAN” QUEEN TALKS ABOUT REINVENTING YOURSELF
“I believe when you appear in the world as the highest expression of yourself in all things, then life delivers.”
Tosca Reno is the New York Times best-selling author behind “Your Best Body Now” and the “Eat-Clean Diet” series. She is also a certified Nutritional Therapy practitioner.
She has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs. Tosca is also a motivational speaker and wellness consultant, media personality, and model.
Tosca was awarded a 2012 bodybuilding bikini award at the age of 53.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Tosca Reno years ago for another website I own called Mindful Muscle. I personally know people who have literally changed their lives using her program.
Tosca continues to inspire me, and is a great testimony of the resilience of the human condition. A little while back, Tosca suffered some great losses (which she talks about here), gracefully acknowledged it, and is now reinventing herself into the strongest version of herself to date.
Q: What does the first hour of your day look like?
When I awake, the first ten minutes are spent meditating and setting my intentions for the day. I’ve had numerous personal challenges in the last four years, and find that spending time on mental and emotional wellness is as important as physical and nutritional wellness.
Then I get up, and drink a liter of Wetter Water (juice of 1 lemon, ¼ tsp USS – unrefined sea salt – and water). That gets things moving.
Then I plan and execute my workout, usually cardio rebounding mixed with skipping and running. I will perform some Tabata work with functional exercises, and try to extend the workout to an hour or an hour and a half for full benefit – heart, brain, body, soul.
I record all of this in my journal, and sip on Well&Company’s Wake Well as I go. I love the quercetin in it – great for athletes as it boosts endurance and recovery.
Q: What would your friends/colleagues say you excel at the most?
Eating Clean, inspiration, and keeping it real. Also, survival and reinvention. Sometimes I feel like Madonna!
Q: Fun fact most people don’t know about you (not written in any article to date)?
Another time, I was on live TV in the US, and was appearing with Suzanne Somers. We were doing a cooking segment together. I came out with my “TV clothes on,” and stood beside Suzanne.
She said, “You look amazing, but can you take off your heels? You’re too tall.” I had to take my shoes off, and stand beside Suzanne feeling a little undressed, even though no one could see my feet, anyway. She’s just so gorgeous!
Q: What advice would you tell your 13-year-old self?
Girl, if you believe in yourself, you can go all the way. Dream as big as you can, and go get it!
Q: In what ways do you get in your own way?
“I overthink things and worry. That’s when I know I have to get physical.”
My solution is always to go for a run, take the dog for a walk, or do a ten-minute rebounding session to recalibrate my head.
Q: How do you stay emotionally fit?
Emotional fitness is a critical aspect of my self-care. It’s the lynch pin, if you ask me. Without it, nothing has meaning, and when life tosses you a curve ball, you have no idea how to handle it.
I practice meditation and rebounding, but the biggest piece of my emotional wellness comes from Eating Clean, the lifestyle movement I founded to help people learn to eat nutrient-dense, properly prepared, well-sourced whole foods.
“Mainly, I stick to eating NO SUGAR. I make that in shouty capitals, because sugar is a known chemical depressant to brain and blood.”
I developed the Strike Sugar campaign last year to help people quit that bad drug.
I also practice “gratituding.” Even when life is challenging, you can always look around you and find plenty to be thankful for, and this keeps me humble and sane. By the way, Chris, thank you for this interview.
Q: If you had to choose, which of your books is secretly your “favorite child?”
I have to say the original “Eat Clean Diet®” is my firstborn child and can’t believe the revolution it started, but I am so proud of the “Eat-Clean Diet Recharged®.”
It’s the Bible when it comes to Eating Clean. I had some naughty fun writing the “Eat-Clean Diet®” for me. Just saying!
But how do you choose? I became a New York Times best-selling author with “Your Best Body Now” – so that’s a high!
Q: If you had to choose only three exercises, what would they be?
- Definitely rebounding work (type of elastically leveraged low-impact exercise)
- Kneeling cable kickbacks if I had access to equipment (and if not, then lunges)
- Kettlebell swings, because they hit everything
Q: If you had to choose only three supplements, what would they be?
- Good quality fish oil high in omega 3s
- Bee pollen (it has everything)
- Turmeric for anti-cancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory power.
I get the rest with food.
Q: How has your diet changed since 20 years ago and 10 years ago?
Twenty years ago, I was obese. I ate myself into that condition through emotional ignorance. I gorged on ice cream, peanut butter, and cheese. I was a sugar addict. I didn’t know how to stop. I didn’t have good nutritional awareness. I was on my way to developing Type II Diabetes and heart problems. I was also depressed.
Ten years ago, I was five years into the Eat-Clean Diet® revolution, and had altered my diet and my body completely. Through Eating Clean, I regained my health, my purpose in life, and was completely awake and switched on every day.
I had boundless energy, improved the way my skin and hair looked. Felt invincible. Found my voice. Found my heart and head.
Everything lined up in a new way, and as I became a truer, higher expression of myself, the universe responded with its bounty. Many beautiful things happened as a result, and not all of it was physical.
Q: What are the biggest changes you see happening in bodybuilding right now?
“Bodybuilding is definitely changing. How we think about it is different than the days of Jack LaLanne or Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bigger isn’t always better.”
Biceps aren’t enough.
What we need is a functionally fit body that can cope with the heavy demands of this busy life.
We need to be able to move through the challenges of every day with a sound body and mind, otherwise it doesn’t work.
“I feel we must look past the aesthetic aspects of bodybuilding – see these as the secondary outcomes of training – and launch a new ‘self-care is the new health care’ revolution.”
We can’t rely on others to fix us. We must fix ourselves.
We must accept responsibility for our own health, because that is the ultimate commitment in the owners’ manual of the human body.
I prefer to think of fitness as a series of questions:
- Can I run a minimum of 5K to get away from danger?
- Can I swim for 30 minutes if I had to?
- Can I jump and climb with an able body?
- Can I cycle 20K?
- Can I lift 20 pounds or more?
- Could I do these things if I had to, to save myself or someone else? Or just to get through the day?
The universe is asking us to lean in, to dig deep, and we must be present in the strongest physical condition possible to make it.
Q: Do you meditate or practice yoga? What benefits do you receive?
I’m new to meditation, but I love it. The reason is because I have a difficult time saying no to things. When I mediate, that peace is so hard-won and so powerful in my brain, that I find it easier to prevent other people’s negative energy from invading.
I have clearer boundaries of what I will and won’t accept. It’s wonderful.
I do practice yoga, although not regularly enough for my yoga teacher. It’s on “The List.” However, I do listen to Holysync recordings – these are very powerful for recalibrating the brain. I also walk outdoors for 5 to 10K 6-7 days of the week – many problems are solved during that time.
“Walking seems mindless, but it’s actually scientifically proven as being a powerful vehicle for the human brain for processing time.”
When I’m exercising, although this doesn’t seem very mindful or relaxing, I find that I am so deeply into what I am doing and putting my “mind into the muscle” that I’m unaware of what else is going on around me. It feels healing to do so.
Q: Thoughts on vegetarian bodybuilding and vegan protein powder?
As I have grown in this industry and in my study on wellness, I appreciate vegetarian eating more and more, but I also know that protein is a requirement for optimal human health and no civilization on earth has been completely vegan – they still ate bugs and other protein sources that didn’t come from plants.
I tend to look at meat more as a condiment. And I am deeply aware of where the meat I eat is coming from. But I have to admit a favorite salad for me is, a big pile of greens and anti-cancer veggies sprinkled liberally with hemp seeds and pumpkin, chia, and flax for good measure.
As far as vegan protein powder, I like Sun Warrior because it is raw, sprouted, vegan, and backed by some pretty serious research. I also appreciate that they haven’t filled their powder with questionable ingredients, fillers, and sugar. The protein needs to serve a purpose and this one works for me.
Q: What was the most fulfilling goal that you’ve accomplished?
The most fulfilling goal was saving myself from a life of obesity and ugliness by taking a powerful step out of that past life and advocating for myself. It took a lot of courage to do this as I was walking away from everything I knew financially, emotionally, and otherwise.
I walked away from everything.
And, one step at a time, with no money and nothing else in hand, I rebuilt my life. I went back to school, found a house where I could raise my girls, supported myself, and taught myself how to care for myself through Eating Clean and exercising.
The latter two learned from the teachings of Robert Kennedy, whom I met while teaching his daughter in Grade 1.
To transform myself, as I did, from an obese lump who saw the world as an empty place to this new empowered, leaner, happier, and more productive version of myself, was the most dangerous, yet most rewarding thing I have ever done.
“I believe when you appear in the world as the highest expression of yourself in all things, then life delivers.”
However, I also know that life is a shifting, changing landscape with obstacles thrown at you all the time. In the last four years I have survived the loss of my stepson, my husband (Robert Kennedy), the loss of his business and mine, and more.
“These have been the most challenging and difficult times I have known. And yet, I am here in a different version of who I was – the Madonna thing again – finding the meaning of who I am all over again.”
Do you know what has consistently saved me? It’s knowing that I have a gift – that gift is writing and touching people’s lives – and using it to move me to a higher place. That skill and my warrior spirit along with plenty of grit and gratitude has helped me make it.
Q: Being such a high-performer that’s done so well over the years how do you deal with slumps/lulls to stay motivated?
I expect, anticipate, even welcome the slumps and lulls. I know they are coming, we can’t stop them. So better to say, “When a lull comes, time to get thoughtful, creative and spend time on those aspects of business.”
“There isn’t anyone on the Forbes list that hasn’t failed or had difficulty to contend with. They are on that list because they have grit and courage.”
I look at these as opportunities. Even now, in the wake of having to close Robert’s business and all the pain that that brought with it, particularly losing most of my business too, I look at this as an opportunity. I call it “pruning for growth.”
It means this is the perfect time to start from zero and put in my life the things that matter now. It’s time to be relevant, to shift, to grow.
Q: What’s your next big project (or what are you hungry for)?
I have a beautiful and powerful audience. It’s time to give them what they want on a bigger scale. It’s time to take them along on a Tosca Reno journey of resilience and change in a personal, deeper way.
To that end, I am working on my website offerings and with my publisher writing a new book – one that is not about anything I have written before.
I thought I wanted TV, but it takes courage to know who you are and what you want in a public space. TV sounded glitzy and glamorous, but I could see it wasn’t going to be good for me, so I turned the show down.
I am working on new aspects of myself and my offerings so that there is a greater personal connection to the audience I have built. On April 15th/14, I re-launched my website, pulling it out of the destruction, and did so to an audience of nine million on that day.
I also appeared on Dr. Oz, so that helped. Today, those numbers are still in the millions with a higher than average conversion rate. I have a huge responsibility to serve and take that very seriously. I can only do that when I show up as the highest version of myself and I intend to do so.
For information about Tosca Reno please visit her website ToscaReno.com
For more ideas on how to eat clean and lose weight, watch this video – Clean Eating 101: Tips & Tricks for Weight Loss and Eating Clean
Chris Willitts (creator of V3), is the founder and owner of Vegetarian Bodybuilding.
V3 Vegetarian Bodybuilding System is a mixture of science and author’s advice, providing users with optimal diet and exercise. This system is designed for vegans and vegetarians only.
A lot of research has been put in this program. Furthermore, a lot of professional bodybuilders and athletes tried and tested the program, praising its progressiveness and efficiency.
The program is about taking control of your own body and health according to your potential and needs. And worry not; you’ll get plenty of proteins with this system. It will boost you with energy, and you’ll feel just a strong as any carnivore would (perhaps even stronger, depending on how much you invest in your exercise). It avoids vitamins deficiency and provides you with a lot of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Instead of saying things like “I think a plant-based diet is good for athletes and bodybuilders,” the V3 Vegetarian Bodybuilding System claims “I know a plant-based diet is good for athletes and bodybuilders, and I have results to prove it.”
To find out more, visit the website at V3 Bodybuilding – How to Eat Clean and Lose Weight