Tosca Says...

"It is the food that we eat which is responsible for shaping such a vast array of body types. Yes, the food!" - Tosca Reno, Author of The Eat Clean Diet

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The First Five Changes to Make RIGHT NOW!

People always ask me what it means to eat clean and how should they start their eat-clean journey. It's so hard to explain clean-eating in a few simple sentences! Because there are many components to eating clean, most people make changes slowly rather than cold turkey. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are plenty of clean-eaters who have jumped in with both feet and begun their clean-eating journey with an obliteration of their pantry, fridge, and freezer of anything unclean in one day. That's just not me. 

I'm a work in progress. I eat mostly clean foods each and every day. Sometimes I treat; sometimes I cheat (and usually pay for it later on with a tummy ache or adventurous visit to the bathroom.) When I first started eating clean, I thought I would just jump in and make the switch with no looking back. But I soon realized I would likely achieve more success if I took it day by day and made slow consistent changes. Kind of like "grandfathering in." I grandfathered in clean foods and grandfathered out unclean foods.

Whether you are just starting your eat-clean journey or have just been thinking about it and are still on the fence, what I am about to share is a GREAT way to get started! Even if this is the ONLY thing you do on your eat-clean journey ever, removing these five items from your diet will catapult you into a healthier cleaner lifestyle. 

The following are the top five items to remove from your diet completely. But be warned! Once they're out, it's hard (and oftentimes painful-literally) to let them back in. See my cautionary statement at the end of this post.

I am confident that swapping these five items out for their healthier counterparts accounts for at least half my weight loss thus far! How do I know? Because even over the holidays and all the times since that I have cheated or treated, I have remained at the same weight (not my desired weight yet, but at the 15 pound mark thus far.) This tells me I have created a new baseline weight for me simply by changing these five things!

My plan is to go into more details of each of these items in subsequent blog posts in the coming weeks, so for now I'm just going to list them out for you with some brief insights. And you'll probably see a theme after #2.

  1. White Sugar - Get rid of it ASAP! If the ingredient label of any product states "Sugar," don't buy it/use it/eat it! Opt for Turbinado or Sucunat instead. On the ingredient list, the clean alternative to sugar will be "Evaporated Cane Juice." It's not juice; it's a crystal just like regular sugar and varies in color from semi-white to brown. Crystals range in size from fine to large like you might see atop a large muffin. The size is generally simply determined by the brand and is not labeled as such. You just need to look at it through the bag window, try them, and find your preference. 
  2. White Flour - Never eat anything made with white flour again! Opt for Whole Wheat/Whole Wheat pastry flour instead. Other alternatives include Spelt flour and almond flour. Once you start eating clean and baking some yummy things with these clean alternatives, you'll forget what white flour tasted like. To get you started, I'm going to post my Whole Wheat Clean Eating Banana Bread Recipe this week for you to try!
  3. White Pasta - I know, I know. You've heard all the hullabaloo and tried whole wheat pasta before and it was grainy and nutty and chewy. Yuck. I get it. But the white stuff is not good for you! Try to start with thin whole wheat pasta and not regular spaghetti or other forms (penne, rigatoni, rotini, etc.) Start small and work your way up! 
  4. White Rice - (Are you seeing a pattern yet?) Opt for brown and whole grain rices. Plain and simple. Not from a box with a bunch of other things added to it! (Sorry Uncle Ben). Buy them plain and find ways to spice them up yourself. (P.S. Fried rice from your favorite Chinese Restaurant, while brownish in color, is still white rice! Bummer.)
  5. White Salt - Iodized table salt is also a no-no. The easy substitution is Sea Salt! 
Did you catch on to the theme? White=BAD! If you completely change your consumption of these five items and opt for their healthier counterpart, I guarantee you will start seeing weight fall off, no exercise DVD required (though you should exercise every day anyway.)

* A word of caution! Once you make these changes, after awhile your body will be less able to process them if you go back to eating them (even just once.) Our bodies are not designed to metabolize the above 5 no-nos in the first place, let alone after you have taken them out of your diet for a while! (Ask me how I know this!) So I just want to caution you - if you are going to start removing these things from your regular diet, be ready for a tummy ache or adventurous visit to the bathroom if you fall back to the original refined versions. This should not discourage you! It should show you just how much our bodies need these changes!


  1. YaY!! So excited to see a new post on this site. I'm looking forward to learning more!

  2. Very good information! I did not know about the salt!