28February/2013

Tosca Reno: The Eat-Clean Queen

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Tosca Reno: The Eat-Clean Queen

How a 92kg housewife lost 30 kilos and inspired millions of others to lose weight by eating clean.

You call yourself a “formerly fat house-wife” who turned her life around at 40. How good is life now compared to then?

I’m still amazed at how far I’ve come over the past 13 years. Before my transformation, I was a lonely and unhappy 204-pound (92.5 kg) mother of three who chose to self-medicate nightly with cheese, peanut butter and ice cream. But when I started changing my body, my quality of life changed too. Eating clean helped me become someone who has a healthy relationship with food, strong self-esteem, abundant energy and a body I’m proud of. It also helped change my whole perspective on life. I feel that when you have the nutritional army at work inside of you, you are that much more able to ward off anxiety and depression. In my case, I went from being someone who was constantly anticipating a new disaster around every corner to being someone who couldn’t wait to wake up and discover the possibilities of another new day.

 

How did you become that “fat house-wife” in the first place?

As I mentioned, I was incredibly lonely. My life was defined by being the perfect housewife who could cook, clean and bake like no one else. It is no wonder that food is the ubiquitous drug of many lonely, unhappy mothers – it’s convenient, obvious and always available in abundance. There couldn’t be anything easier for me, the caregiver in my family, than to fill my emptiness with whatever was in the refrigerator. Food numbed me like a drug, but the “high” didn’t last very long. As my waistline grew, so did my self-loathing.

 

Was there a “light-bulb moment” for you, a specific turning point when you decided to change?

The tipping point was when I came across a photo of my daughters and myself from summer vacation. In it I saw an overweight mom surrounded by three lean and healthy-looking girls – and it scared me into action! I realised that if I took better care of myself, I’d be setting a positive example and I’d have a better chance of living a long, healthy life with them. Of course, taking charge of my life meant that I’d also have to end my 17-year marriage. We had tried counselling and even a trial separation, but nothing could rekindle the love we once had.

Life as a 40-something single mother of three was pretty terrifying, but I’ve always believed that once you make a conscious decision to change for the better, good things suddenly start entering your life – and that’s exactly what happened. Shortly after my revelation, a chance encounter with Robert Kennedy further changed the path of my life. I was a teacher, and his daughter, Chelsea, was in my class. As we were chatting in the playground, Robert offered to help me train and eventually challenged me to compete in a bodybuilding competition. As crazy as the idea sounded (especially for a middle-aged woman) I accepted his offer.

 

Can you tell us what “Eating Clean” is all about?

Simply put, The Eat-Clean Diet® is a lifestyle change that involves consuming real, natural foods that will help you build your leanest, healthiest and happiest self. Some of the key Eat-Clean Diet® principles include drinking plenty of water, eating a small meal consisting of a complex carbohydrate and lean protein every two to three hours, avoiding highly processed and sugar-laden foods and making sure you’re getting enough healthy fats. There are no feelings of starvation or lethargy because when you eat the way nature intended, you are getting all the nutrients you need. This keeps your blood sugar levels stable, keeps your cravings at bay and, best of all, keeps you energised and feeling your best. I sometimes get criticised for using the word “diet,” but The Eat-Clean Diet really is a lifestyle change that leads to healthy, steady weight loss and healthy eating for life.

 

Can you summarise the Eat-Clean philosophy in 3 tips that our readers can start implementing in their lifestyles now?

1. Eliminate ALL SUGAR from your diet. This is the most important part: it’s toxic, as addictive as cocaine and can cause a variety of serious health issues. In October of this year, my team and I executed a very successful Strike Sugar social media campaign to help people kick the habit. We got such a wonderful response!

2. Drink more water. It helps the body assimilate vitamins and minerals, flushes out toxins and speeds up the metabolism. As we age, our sense of thirst diminishes, so remembering to drink water throughout the day is especially important.

3. Eat like a baby! A baby’s life is simple: eat, sleep, cry, eat, sleep, cry – and so on. We may have a lot more going on in our lives (and hopefully we don’t do that much crying!) but that’s how frequently we should be eating too. Going back to the baby basics of eating small amounts every two to three hours is key to grasping the Eat-Clean Diet way of life. Eating this way keeps your metabolism stimulated and it keeps you from getting too hungry and making bad choices. Of course, it is important to keep your portions small and your foods nutritious and to combine complex carbs with protein at each meal.

 

My Day On a Plate

Breakfast: Picante Frittata (check out the recipe on www.eatcleandiet.com); ½ cup mixed berries; 2 cups black coffee; 1 litre of water with Cell Food drops and lemon juice

Mid-morning snack: 2 fresh figs with 2 tablespoons all-natural almond butter; 500 mL water

Lunch: 140g beef tenderloin over 2 cups of salad greens with chopped veggies, dressed with apple cider vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil and 2 tbsp ground flaxseed; 1 cup plain green tea; 500 mL water

Mid-afternoon snack: 1 apple; 1 handful natural almonds; 500 mL water

Dinner: 140g grilled salmon; ½ baked sweet potato topped with chopped chives and 1 tbsp pumpkin oil; 1½ cups steamed mixed vegetables; 500 mL water; 1 cup plain green tea

Evening (if hungry): ½ cup kefir with ½ cup chopped apple; 500 mL water and/or 1 cup chamomile tea

 


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