I think diet books are usually a bunch of nonsense. No blood-type diets,  “Skinny Bitches”, and no Atkins for me, thank you very much. However, I recently discovered a book written by an inspiring woman who has opened my eyes to those “diets” that I’ve always been skeptical about.

To some of you, Tosca Reno is no stranger. Ms. Reno writes a column for Oxygen magazine and has a huge following of both men and women that have gotten healthier, fitter, and lost weight successfully on her eat-clean “diet”.

The Eat Clean Diet Recharged Book Review

Tosca does NOT preach strict dieting, will not force you to give up meat, and won’t berate  anyone who doesn’t eat
“intuitively”. She makes it clear that she is not trying to invent a new way to diet, but is here rather to give people knowledge, guidance, and ideas on how to eat a cleaner, less-processed diet. The book was so easy to read and Tosca’s “voice” so friendly, yet authoritative that I couldn’t help but finish the book in 48 hours. Of course, the photos didn’t hurt. 🙂

If you’ve done your homework and enjoy reading blogs and articles on health, then most concepts in this book won’t be life-changing for you, but what WAS helpful was the way Tosca introduces key concepts – whether it’s new research, personal recommendations for nutritional ratios, tips on portion size etc. – to explain WHY and HOW this diet will work to give you a healthier, stronger body.

The book is split into 17 chapters, each addressing a different topic or issue. I admit, I didn’t read ALL chapters in depth; rather I skimmed some and read others in-depth depending on what concepts were new or interesting to me. It will be different for each person and this book is well-organized so the reader has the option of jumping to the chapter that is relevant to them. There is plenty of hand-holding, explaining, and detail – check out a brief summary of what I think were the most interesting chapters below:

Ch. 1: The Eat-Clean Diet Principles

According to Tosca, following the Eat-clean diet will help you achieve your ideal (aka happy) weight, whether it means you gain some, lose some, or stay the same.

–       Tosca advocates 5-6 smaller meals a day to keep the metabolism going: I used to be a 3 square meals a day with 2 snacks person, so for me, I had to scale back the size of my meals and up the size of the snacks. A process that was actually easier than I thought it would be!

–       The winning combo: Complex carb + protein at every meal.

–       Portion control. Tosca teaches you how to eyeball different food groups to help you eat more yet still lose weight.

Ch.2: What to Expect

Here, Tosca tells you why you can eat more calories that you did before and yet still lose weight. She sets some realistic expectations for the reader and gives reasons for weight fluctuations throughout the diet.

Ch.3: Breakfast – An entire chapter

Tosca mainly preaches the benefits of oatmeal, suggests toppings and additions she incorporates into her oats, and teaches us how important it is to add some protein to our AM meal! She prefers hers in the form of egg whites but introduces vegan options as well.

Here’s a sample breakfast Tosca would approve!

Ch.4: The basics of metabolism

Ch.5: Hydration – the power of water (How much water should you drink?)

Ch.6: Reclaiming your life (Why Clean Eating is a lifestyle plan, not a “diet”)

Ch.7: Shopping Clean (How to meal plan)

Ch. 8: Eating clean on the go (Suggestions for eating clean on the go and while you travel)

Ch. 9: Eating Clean in Social Situations

Ch. 10: Getting started with exercise (Start small. Incorporate weights. Make it an integral part of your life)

Ch. 11: Cellulite, Loose skin and saggy bits (How to diminish unwanted lines with your clean diet)

Ch. 12: Longevity

Ch. 13: Making the most of superfoods

Ch. 14: Meal plans and grocery lists (One of my favorite chapters!)

Tosca gives 4 different meal plan ideas, each 1 week long and the basic guidelines, grocery lists, and how it’s supposed to work. It includes a vegan menu, a “cooler 1” menu (for greater weight loss), “cooler 2” menu (a laxer version of cooler 1), and a family menu for when you have to cook for your spouse and the kids.

Ch. 15: Recipes

Ch. 16: FAQ’s

Ch. 17: The Eat-clean diet at a glance (summary of all the key concepts)

Overall, I highly recommend you pick this book up if you need a little guidance and definition as to what a clean diet looks like. Tosca gives great tips on how to eyeball portions, what to eat, and fantastic recipes. I love her style of writing and casual yet commanding tone. It definitely gives me confidence in what she teaches. The recipes themselves are easy to follow, contain natural wholesome ingredients that are not hard to find, and actually taste good!!!

If you already eat pretty clean and you are happy with your weight, energy levels, and eating patterns, you probably already know most of the advice from Tosca’s book…but her recipes are awesome! Meat-eaters and vegans alike will learn more than a thing or two from Tosca’s cooking ideas, so if that’s what you’re after, her cookbook – The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook –  may be what will suit your needs better!

For more information on the books or to see results of many Eat-Clean dieters, check out Tosca’s website at Eat Clean Diet. http://www.eatcleandiet.com/