Hello everyone! Happy Book Club Monday! Every Monday, I offer a book review. The books range from books on diet, nutrition, cookbooks, and books about cooking. Check out the Badger Girl Book Shelf to see past reviews.
The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged!
I am really excited about this week’s book: The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged! by Tosca Reno. I have to say that Tosca and her food revolution are the reasons that Manatee and I started on our clean eating journey.
Tosca inspired us to let go of processed foods and the other junk we were putting into our bodies. This is a great book for someone who is ready to commit to a clean eating lifestyle OR someone who is ready for a BIG change. I am not going to lie, eating clean is not easy, but I can tell you that it will be the most empowering and rewarding change you can make for yourself and your family.
Who is Tosca Reno?
I don’t know her personally (though I kinda wish that I did), but here are the two key points to know about her:
- She WAS an overweight woman in her mid-forties who was disappointed with how she looked and felt.
- She IS an incredibly in shape fifty year old bikini model.
Yup. It’s never too late to make a change people.
Tosca Reno is also the face behind the Eat Clean diet. True Eat Clean disciples may be able to point out other leaders in this food revolution, but I only know Tosca. She has written a ton of books and The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged! is her most recent piece of work.
What to Expect- Voice
Tosca’s voice is very conversational, enthusiastic (!), and at times, this reads like a manifesto. She is a friend, but a friend who wants to call you to action and sometimes call you to action very loudly (!). Now, I am biased because in graduate school, I was told that you only get five exclamation points that you can use in your entire life. I think Tosca breaks that rule on the first page (and I do break that rule on the blog ). But, motivational/diet writing (and blog writing) is a very different genre than academic writing. Regardless of her over the top enthusiasm, , she conveys that she cares about you and tells it like it is. Don’t you wish you had friends who were willing to make that same commitment?
Tosca is quite long-winded, minus the recipes at the end, she goes on for 280 pages. But on the flip side, she gives you everything you need to be successful in this way of life from background research, meal plans, shopping tips, you name it, she covers it.
She also anticipates all your complaints, questions, and challenges to what she says. Perhaps you are not the only one who has had these concerns? She knocks down each and every argument you could have against her. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a little annoying when you realize that she has a point (and you’re like me and like to be right), but her arguments are logical and backed by evidence.
What to Expect-Layout
She starts with an overview of the Eat Clean Principles and then moves in to what you can expect from this diet. She then breaks it down into some of key principles with chapters on Breakfast, Basics of Metabolism, and Hydration. She inserts a motivational chapter Reclaiming Your Life to rev you up in case you are having doubts about the work and changes that go into this lifestyle.
She moves into what I think is the most valuable part of her book: her application chapters, how you actually apply this in real life with information on Shopping Clean, Eating Clean on the Go, Eating Clean in Social Situations, and Getting Started with Exercise.
The next chapter is a bit random in my opinion, but addresses what happens when someone loses a lot of weight (Cellulite, Loose Skin, and Saggy Bits). Even though I think it is random and a chance for her to justify some operations, I do have to admit that I have actually heard people justify NOT losing weight because heaven forbid their skin sags. So she does address it, so that does not count for an excuse people! Nor does the excuse that you might have more wrinkles if you lose weight.
In case she lost you talking about cellulite, she has another motivational chapter Longetivity to remind you again why you need to follow this diet. She follows with practical resources Making the Most of Superfoods and Meal Plans and Grocery Lists and then 100 pages of recipes.
She ends the book with a Frequently Asked Questions section and a wonderful, one-page The Eat-Clean Diet at a Glance.
I buy into Tosca Reno. She makes sense. She has the ability to motivate you and she does come across as caring for your best interest. She finds a balance between showing you the science and not burying your under the science of her claims. That’s an art in itself.
The biggest con of her book are the recipes, and specifically, the recipe ingredients.
Bee pollen, really Tosca? Where am I going to find bee pollen? And maple sugar crystals? I drove all over Madison, confused (and frustrated) many store owners, and the closest I came was maple sugar powder and do you know how freaking expensive that is? Don’t ask. Just don’t ask. Especially since Manatee is reading this. You (and HE) do not want to know. Trust me.
And when it comes to baking, you pretty much have to build another pantry to hold all of the random sweeteners and flours that she expects you to have (barley flour, brown rice flour, amaranth flour, spelt flour, kamut flour, really?). I just can’t help but thinking there has to be an easier way (which is why I am working on my OWN cookbook, but that is another story).
This is a great book and a must-read for anyone who is flirting with the idea of clean eating. Now it is long, so if you want to brush up on the basics, I would advice you to check out her abbreviated version: Just the Rules.
In this book, you get the main points minus the recipes. It’s great as a refresher or for those who want to learn clean eating but don’t have the time to invest in a 300+ page commitment.
I love hearing your suggestions about other books to read, so please keep them coming!
Any questions about clean eating as a lifestyle? Or recipes you would like to see cleaned? I promise I won’t require you to buy bee pollen or three different types of flour.