Book & Product Reviews

Book Review: “The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged!” by Tosca Reno

Bordeaux International sent me this book to read and review, and I must say that after reading a few of Tosca’s books- I think this is the third one that I’ve been given to review- I really quite like her. Her books are directed more for women who are in their 30’s-60’s and who have steady careers and are making a decent wage, but even so, her advice is accessible to everyone.

Here are a few things that I noticed as I read the book:

– Testimonials. This book, like her other books, is reminiscent of a magazine-style (which makes sense, considering she is so closely affiliated with Oxygen magazine). That’s fine; it makes the pages interesting with using plenty of boxes, different fonts, and pictures to illustrate. But I really don’t like the testimonials that are spread throughout. Whenever I see “testimonials” in a book, it’s an instant turnoff; it makes me think of something kind of cheap and it makes me suspicious of just how reliable this kind of diet is. That’s really unfortunate in the Eat-Clean books, because this diet is, I believe, the best way to eat and it is how I tend to eat: eating real food, not processed crap. So the testimonials, I feel, put this book at a disadvantage.

– No excuses. “I am not good with tolerating excuses because we are all busy people. We all share the same 24 daily hours to be productive and live our daily lives. I don’t want to hear that you don’t have time. You must consider what will happen if you don’t start now and take the time, which rightfully belongs to you… Obviously what you have been doing thus far does not seem to be working very well.” (page 71). I adore Tosca’s attitude towards excuses. She doesn’t accept them, and neither should we. It’s frustrating, if people say that they want to “get healthy” but then they counter with “…but I just don’t have the time to do it.” Moreover it can be rather insulting: oh, so you don’t have the time, but I do? Like Tosca says, we all share the same 24 hours; we get to choose what we want to do with them. If health is important to you, then you can find a way to make it a priority.

– Real food, not protein bars. Tosca points out that with many protein bars, “you might as well be eating a chocolate bar instead!” (page 195). Bars can come in handy on occasion if we’re pressed for time, but mostly they are just glorified candy. And that goes for a lot of supposed “health food” bars, as well. It’s better to choose real food over bars.

– Addressing problems that come along with losing weight. Not many books talk about “loose skin” that people have to deal with after losing a substantial amount of weight, but in this book, Tosca actually goes into great detail about the different options that are out there. She objectively presents a variety of options (exercise, invasive and noninvasive procedures, lasers and skin tightening, cream, tummy tuck), and after she talks about each one she also gives her own opinion about what she thinks of them. I love that she talks about confidence being key for a healthy relationship with our bodies.

– The Sugar Problem. I was so glad to see this topic covered with plenty of references to academic articles. Added sugars don’t offer any nutrient value and they are detrimental to our health, so it’s best to get our sugar from sources such as fruit instead.

– Practical examples and advice. Tosca offers her tips for how to overcome hurdles that we might come up against. Preparation is a big one with her.

This is a great book for someone starting out on their healthy journey. There are also recipes at the back, all of which look tasty but, like many of the recipes from her other books, are targeted towards people who may have access to pricier or health food items. That’s my one caveat with the Eat-Clean books; the recipes aren’t too accommodating for lower-income readers. However, the advice is excellent, and her philosophies on eating are ones that I whole-heartedly agree with. Besides that, the book is put together in a very aesthetically-pleasing way, and you can pick it up and flip through a couple pages easily without needing to sit down and read the whole thing in one go. I know that I’m going to read this book again and it’s also one of the first books that I would lend to someone who wanted to learn more about adopting a healthier lifestyle.


  1. Cammy@TippyToeDiet

    Although I don’t follow her version of eating clean, I did use her previous books to get ideas for adjustments I could make to my earlier diet. She almost lost me with the “no sugar” edict, but got back in my good graces by sharing that she has a weekly splurge. 🙂 (If I’m not mistaken it’s a cookie.)

    Thanks for the review, Sagan!

  2. J

    “It’s frustrating, if people say that they want to ‘get healthy’ but then they counter with ‘…but I just don’t have the time to do it.’ ”

    “Bars can come in handy on occasion if we’re pressed for time, but mostly they are just glorified candy.”

    : Kind of a contradiction in your lecture there. It’s the second mentality that leads to the first one. And some people Don’t. If you’re a person who works 12 hours a day, how are you supposed to take the time to make a completely healthy/natural foods meal, then get done all of the things that need to be At Home, and then also sleep a healthy number of hours on top of all that. “Pack a healthy lunch” you may say. Real food is more much expensive than processed food, and if you’re in a place where you don’t have access to a fridge, natural food doesn’t tend to fair well outside the cold box after a few hours.

    My point is some people have excuses for not eating 100% healthy, though I don’t feel it applies to people trying to lose weight (which obviously isn’t the same thing).

  3. Sagan Morrow

    Cammy- I love how you’ve said “HER version of eating clean”. I think you’ve got a good point there. There are sort of different “ways” to eat clean… and we can adopt some ways and then alter them as it fits appropriately to our lifestyles.

    J- You’re right, and I should have been more clear. When I said that bars can come in handy on occasion, I was referring to bars such as lara bars with just a few ingredients (such as cashews and dates, for example), or homemade bars… I meant bars that are actually made up of REAL foods. Yes, people have excuses for not eating 100% healthy, and I don’t think ANY of us DO eat 100% healthy. And that’s okay. Also, real food is only more expensive than processed food if you don’t shop the sales or if you aren’t looking at the long term (for example, you can make several healthy meals out of a few whole foods, whereas one packaged meal just lasts for that one meal). A fridge isn’t always necessary either- I keep food in my locker such as salads, fruit, soups, pasta, and it never goes bad from sitting there for a few hours. I feel very strongly about this 🙂 But I do apologize if it seemed as though I was “lecturing”. That was not my intention.

  4. Amber

    Great review! I’ve loved her previous Eat-Clean Diet books and this one is no exception. I do disagree with you about it being so expensive to eat clean. I actually spend LESS money now following Tosca’s plan than I did before. Sure the initial shop to stock up on things I’ve never purchased before like bee pollen, flax seed, certain oils, and natural nut butter was a bit pricey, but after that, my grocery bill has actually decreased. I watch for sales on fresh meats & vegetables and buy my grains in bulk for better prices and I plan my meals around what I’ve bought on sale. I’m not spending ridiculous amounts on fast food and eating out at restaurants as often so I save a lot of money there. If you’re creative when it comes to buying your groceries and don’t just buy what’s on your list but look for sales and be a frugal shopper and stick to your budget like I do, it’s definitely easy to stay on track and eat clean on a budget!

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