Positive self-talk can make you healthier, happier, and more successful! Tosca Reno, Eat Clean founder and master wellness coach shares her advice for positive self-talk, including the Three Es of Wellness (Eat Clean, Exercise and Emotional self-care), her rituals, her mantras, and even her tattoos!


References & Links

Tosca Reno


Books (in order mentioned)


Talk About Talk & Dr. Andrea Wojnicki


Interview Transcript

Dr. Andrea Wojnicki: Thank you so much for joining us.

Tosca Reno: It’s such a great pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me.

AW: Let’s start with your three E’s. Can you tell us what they are and define them for us, please.

TR:Okay, so the three E’s of wellness really explains or captures what the World Health

Organization reveals as true wellness, to be truly Well, you need to pursue three avenues in your life closely. And that is what you eat. So I call that Eating Clean. That’s the first E, it’s how you move your body or exercise as your second E. And thirdly, it’s about emotional self-care. And I learned that the hard way when in my previous life when my step son died, and my husband died and all of that loss, and I could eat clean, and I could exercise, but I was not healthy. I was not well, so I had to do the emotional work.

AW: Do you want to get into the emotional self-care a little bit and tell us what you did? Because you said something to me in one of our communications about meditation and I thought, Oof, I think I need to follow that advice!

TR: So yes, meditation is an aspect of emotional self-care. We can do a number of things to strengthen how we love our head and heart space. And it was about four years into the grieving process after Robert and so many things that happened and I wasn’t doing well. My daughter Rachel, and she basically came here to this house and I was literally catatonic. I was in bed in the afternoon, I’m never in bed in the afternoon, I couldn’t put sentences together. I didn’t know what I was saying or thinking I was just, I was so consumed by grief, I didn’t know what to do. And, and that’s when Rachel just basically said, Mom, you got to start doing something to take care of your heart, your head, something’s wrong. We’re gonna start with meditation. And the first meditation I ever did was with Andy, the monk on the headspace app, you know, free month trial, you go, and you listen to this monk with the beautiful Scottish voice I’ve heard, it’s a great place to start. It’s fantastic. And the reason why it’s fantastic is because he teaches you how to be quiet, but not quiet. In other words, when a thought pops up, he teaches you what to do about that. See, I was terrified of meditation before because I’m a doer. Everything about me is busy, busy, busy. Go, go go.  Do do do. I couldn’t slow down long enough to feel anything. So really the coaching of that voice, and that very basic beginning meditation helped me learn how to meditate. Now I do it. I mean, this morning, I got up, I started, I didn’t even get up, I just hit the play button on my meditation. I’m still in bed, and I start my day with meditation. And I can do 20 minutes unguided…I have a mantra tattooed on my wrist. And it comes from the meditation I like best. It’s by Wayne Dyer. It’s called the Moses code meditation. And basically, it’s a mantra of self. I am strong. I am, I am beautiful. I am, I am worthy. I am and it just to this music, but you’re This is what you’re repeating, and you choose your I Am. But when we say that we are, we are in the moment of God, we are in our godliness because God created us and made us who we are. It’s beautiful.

AW: So a couple things. First of all, I got to make sure I get a picture of your wrists so that I can show people what you were just pointing at, which is a beautiful tattoo that says I am on her. Right?

TR:  Right. Dominant hand.

AW: And it’s a question that I wanted to ask you later on. But I’ll ask it now. Is that your mantra? Do you have a mantra? And if you do, is it I am?

TR:It is I am. And it speaks to also the tribe of women that I have grown and developed with over the last few years. Because at the same time that I learned how to meditate, I also began to participate in a group of people who meditated. And so a group of us have this I am tattooed on our wrists. And we met on Saturday night, for example, had a big bonfire. And you know, yes, it’s a Ladies Night, but it’s also a healing night for us.

AW: So do you feel like there is also like, Is there some power? a connection?

TR: Oh, yeah. Yeah, the circle, the sisterhood, the tribe, the struggle, life, you know, life is real. It’s not always a piece of cake. So in that there’s a great deal of power. So meditation was where I began with my healing of emotional self, which was really quite broken. And I wouldn’t say that I’m completely fixed. I still have experiences where I’m trying to break through the craziness of myself. I grew up in a time… I can be crusty.

AW: there’s nothing crusty about you.

TR: That’s, that’s sweet. I grew up in a very strict Roman Catholic household. My parents were Dutch immigrants. And this, it was a, it was a difficult, difficult childhood. My mother was physical, very violent with us. And I think because I was the biggest of the siblings, even though I wasn’t the oldest. I got more somehow. So it’s, I didn’t I didn’t know how to actually be loved. I didn’t know how to be warm and open. That’s why Right. Yeah. And that’s because be vulnerable was dangerous. So I had to break through that crustiness. And it took a long, long time and a lot of work. And a lot of grumbling and a lot of fugly cries and snotty noses and falling and blackness. Yeah.

AW: So you when you’re meditating, do you think about that stuff?

TR: I do. And I do energy work. So I work with women who can move your energy, I’ve done shamanic journeying, so that I can tap into my power better, but the meditation helps what also really helps us journaling. So I think so. So my morning routine basically is wake up, hydrate, I don’t consume anything other than water, I don’t turn on my phone other than to play the meditation, meditate, or whatever it is, in the meditation, whether I get a message, a small lesson, somebody shows up, a word, whatever, then I journal immediately. And that’s 10-15 minutes, but I love to write. And then from there, I feed my brain by reading something like thinking Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, or the 21 day miracle by Ed Rush or something that feeds my soul. So that I know that I fed my brain. And that’s the beginning of my day.

AW: That sounds like a fantastic ritual.

TR: It’s good. I need I need to do it to ritualized because, well, first of all, humans are hardwired in our brains for ritualization. Yeah, we like that. Which is  why PMS to me means please, more structure

AW: I love it. I like that.

TR: I need it. I need the lines.

AW: I’m with you on the structure – ask anyone.  Okay, so I’m looking for, I guess, tactics and strategies.

TR: Okay

AW:  that will enable myself and the listeners in positive self-talk. So waking up and hydrating, and then there’s the meditation, journaling, right?

TR: Yep

AW: reading and nourishing your brain…?

TR: to think about all of these things, what we’re talking about, from the gentle waking up from pushing your phone away, other than to listen to meditative music, listening for the messages, connecting with yourself, writing, practicing gratitude, hydrating, all of these things are acts of self-love. Your brain is most creative and most absorptive that first hour after you wake. So when your first messages to yourself are loving yourself, finding the quiet speaking, the gratitude journaling, to cement the thoughts in your brain, because neurons that fire together wire together, this is all like a self-fulfilling cycle of love, right? Oh, she’s loving me, that’s good. Well, then I’m going to feel better about the next thing she does, I’m going to love myself some more, I’m going to do the writing, I’m going to do the thankfulness, then I’m going to do something else to love myself. And then you’re going to get out of that bed. You haven’t even left the bed yet. And you’re like, I really feel good, I need to eat something. Now you’re not going to go eat a Twinkie because that’s going to take all that positive vibrational energy, and squash it. And then you’re going to want to do that workout because your body is on fire, and so on. Right? Each of these things gathers momentum. That’s why it takes time to develop the habits of wellness. But when you live a lifestyle of wellness, it feels less like a diet less like punishment, less like starvation or restriction. It feels like life.

AW: So you use the word momentum, which is what I was thinking when you were talking about the cycle, right? You start off your day with positive momentum. I was thinking that the three E’s and maybe particularly emotional self-care, they’re obvious, but they’re not. And they’re certainly not easy. Otherwise, we’d all be doing it. And we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. Do you know why?

TR: Why?

AW:  That’s my question. Why? 

TR: Because eating and exercise are just execution. That’s easy. You just how to eat or exercise, I can do that. feeling something? That’s a whole other ballgame. There’s no go from A to B to C get result. You have to feel it. That’s why I say the emotional self-care for me was some of the hardest sets and reps I’ve ever done in my life.

AW: tougher than changing your diet, tougher than…

TR: diet was easy for me. exercise Easy, easy, falling down in the grass, sobbing your guts out? No, that’s not easy.

AW: So when you don’t have the momentum – when you wake up in the morning, and you’re like, oh my gosh, I have to be done my shower in the next 30 minutes, because I have a meeting. But you’re sleep deprived. And the last thing you want to do is hydrate meditate, journal and read…?

TR: Choose one and be okay with it. Because what we normally do is we start that whole cycle of you’re dumb, you’re stupid, you failed, I’m going to ruin it, I’m going to wreck it, I’ve already wrecked it, I failed, right?  So this is exactly what happened to me this morning. I had my gym clothes on, I was ready to go and just sweat it out in the gym, I had done my rest of my morning routine already, I get a call from my realtor and my accountant, we’re going to be them house in 10 minutes. Well, I can’t get a workout in 10 minutes, I quickly changed my clothes, I have to do this meeting, I was okay with that. I know my lifestyle is solid. And if I miss a day, it’s not going to wreck me. In the beginning it feels like it’s going to wreck you. You’re just learning how to do it. But ultimately you get to a place where it’s just second nature. And I know that I can do my workout after we’re done here. And I know that I can do it twice as hard tomorrow, if I want to that negative self-talk for me getting rid of it was a big job. Because I was the best at negative self-talk. I started my fitness career at the age of 42. I was looking at the oxygen cover models with the ripped abs and butts. They knew what triceps were and I didn’t, I was so insecure, I had the negative self- talk going all the time, until I finally had the realization. You know what? People looking up at you for what you’ve accomplished in a time where no one expects it and you are a better person for all you’ve done. All you’ve achieved and all you’re wrong is just be raw, and forget about what everybody else is thinking. And you stay focused on I did my best.

AW: One thing that I was actually thinking on my way here that I’ve noticed about you in the few times that we’ve met now, is balance. And I think you just articulated that without using that word right? Because you said if I if something happens that I need to do a one at I can do that.

TR: Do you know what I have? I have what I call wellness hygiene or wellness literacy, meaning I can in my mind, the equation is eating clean exercise emotional self-care, okay, something comes up. Well, I have enough emotional self-care to know that it isn’t going to wreck my day. Because I’ve already got the other two pieces in place or if they’re not in place. Tomorrow’s another day, I can practice forgiveness. I go on, most of us throw our hands up in the air and say it’s over. I’m done. I’m a failure, you know, go down that whole road. I just say, Well, today’s Not today. Tomorrow’s another day.

AW: Right. Tomorrow’s another day.

TR: wellness literacy, wellness hygiene, no point making yourself crazy, or what you didn’t get done.

AW: I love that wellness, literacy and wellness hygiene. It’s like tomorrow, you’re always starting at zero. Actually, you’re not starting at zero.  You’re starting at something, right?

TR: Never say you’re starting at zero unless you’re in your very early days because no amount of calorie counting fad diets trendy anything can trump lifestyle, lifestyle trumps all, remember living a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis long term, it’s the only thing that can actually override your genetic expression. When we have a healthy lifestyle, we can do that. So if you know that lifestyle is your ace in the hole, you know that going down the path of negative self-talk because you didn’t accomplish something in the day is counter to your wellness. Tomorrow’s another day saddle up, honey. Let’s go. 

AW: That’s very empowering. I wish you people could see the way she’s looking at me. I’m so empowered. So your comments about lifestyle reminded me about Blue Zones. And a few months ago, in one of my weekly blogs, I was talking about Blue Zones, because I find them absolutely fascinating. And for those people who don’t know, Blue Zones are places in the world where people tend to live longer. So there’s a lot of research about what factors distinguish these people, and particularly the lifestyle factors that are associated with them. I was thinking that eating clean exercise and emotional care seem to rate high that in these areas. And I know that you’ve been to one of those Blue Zones, which is in Costa Rica.

TR: Yes.

AW: I’d love to learn more about what you observed there.

TR: Generally, when I go down to Costa Rica, it’s for my retreats. And the culminating experience of the retreat is that we go to Nicoya Peninsula in the Blue Zone for a day. What

that means is for the retreat guests and myself is they have experienced several days of learning

how to eat clean, cook, exercise, meditate, journal, get spiritual with self. And now they’re going to go to this place where they see this expressed in the people and you have a traditional meal prepared by Costa Rican peoples, and you sit in the restaurant with their table. It’s very humble, and you eat this meal made with love. And you see the traditional food that’s grown in the backyard over there. And you see men that are 93, 107 years old, wow, they’re mobile, they have their teeth, full heads of hair, they come they understand everything. And they flirt. They have what’s called brillo in Spanish, right, which is the sparkle in the eye,

AW: you must have a photo of 107 year old man flirting with you?

TR: there are. And so then this time, we got to go to the community center. And we brought food that was prepared to the restaurant and we fed the elders at the community center. And then we had a special surprise a treat because a gentleman who was not he was blind, play the guitar for us. And then we all danced. And it was like pure magic and joy. And what we’re seeing is health, the purest expression of health or wellness in these people through their joy laughter through what they eat, through how they treat the elderly in the community through how they treat those citizens who have less ability, perhaps the person who can’t see you see what health looks like you don’t see people in carts, you don’t see people on motor scooters that can’t get around. You don’t see obesity, you don’t see rotting teeth or psychotic episodes, you don’t see people running around with guns shooting people, you see the joy of life lived out in these people. And you see the value of how a lifestyle creates this the abundance of living.

AW: So if someone was to go into Nicoya and say, what is your secret sauce? What’s the secret here? What did they think it is?

TR: Well, they think it’s having coffee with their friends and loved ones.  very important to be part of the community. So this is a thing. The elders are not sequestered. They’re Welcome. Everybody sits at the table together. So that’s one thing.

AW: So it’s connection. And there’s no age-ism. Is age revered? Is it the opposite?

TR: I’m telling you, the way that the older people are treated is touching, there was not a dry eye in the house, not a dry eye, you just see something that you know is right and beautiful. It touches you. The other things that they have are they they’re very proud to show you that the corn that we’re eating in the tortilla that they made came from the garden that was grown over there, that the hundred year old till the soil and because these are not GMO seeds they are these are heirloom seeds. The chicken that they raised is grass fed, there’s no antibiotic, the water, water is key water is the number one nutritional deficiency in the world. Number one, but their water flows through a limestone bed. So it’s pulling out the minerals. And these minerals go into the bones, the teeth, the hair, the eyes, the brain, the nerves, and creates a healthier, stronger human being. Well, we’re not doing that we’re drinking water that has no electrolytes, no minerals in it. So no wonder we have osteoporosis and dental disease and nerve damage and brain malfunction. So you are bearing witness to the wellness that should be yours. And you go and you see it and you just think…

AW:  I would love to go…

TR: bucket list. Let’s go Let’s go !

AW: I have a list of questions. So I want to hear things you do to stay on track. And you’ve already shared some of those things you say to yourself, maybe other than your mantra. And then also what do you say to yourself when you have setbacks?

TR: You got this. So that’s what the other tattoo is. Infinite power. These are Aramaic symbolsthat tell me every day, infinite power, you have the ability, you have the power, you will not crumble.

AW: That’s what you tell yourself when I am isn’t enough?. Okay, we’re gonna have to get a photo of that tattoos. Yeah, I’m thinking about the three E’s. I love that it’s a list. I love that it’s structured. I love it. It’s simple. I even love the alliteration. But I feel like if I’m about to embark on the three E’s of wellness, I want to know where to start. How do I decide what to do first?

TR: I thought about that and created a 12 week program. So I can walk people through exactly that. And I packaged it in such a way that it feels like you’re getting beautiful mouthfuls of just the right information at the right time. So that will be launched in September. But for anybody listening to this now who’s questioning where they fit in that list of three E’s? Am I taking care of my eating clean? Am I exercising? Am I taking care of my emotional self, and you want to know where to begin? You’ve heard me say a couple of things already starting with perhaps hydration. Starting with meditation, starting with journaling, practicing gratitude. In my family, we have a game. It’s called the gratitude game. So if one of my girls calls me and they’re whining or the other the phone because they didn’t have a great day at work, I will say okay, hold up, stop the phone right there. Let’s list off 10 things, each taking a turn of what we’re grateful for. So Kiersten will say I’m grateful for my curly hair. And I’ll say I love my feet. And we go back and forth. And you’ve just gratitude yourself out of your funk. And that’s an easy one anybody can have.

AW: So for you, you knew that the emotional self-care was the thing that you were not achieving to the standard that you needed to, right?

TR: Well, I didn’t know what I didn’t know until …, I fell on my face. Yeah.

AW: So my question is, do you think that we should focus first on the thing that we are most deficient in? Or vice versa?

TR:  I think there has to be a readiness; I do not think that the exercise of emotional self-care is going to be easy for everyone. So I’m not saying start with the easiest, I say start with the thing you can commit to. For me, it wasn’t emotional self-care, because I didn’t know what the heck that was. I didn’t know. That was not a thing we were raised with in my household, right, the people that I chose, and the men that I loved, didn’t teach me that I had to learn that. And that was the gift of Bob’s passing, and Brandon’s passing. And the business passing was learning that, and I was a willing student because I was so broken. My goal every day, my desire in life is to be with my children, so I can see them raise their families. And so I had to fix it. I had to do something about it.

AW: Then would you say your first step was meditation?

TR: Yeah. One hundred percent.

AW: And you already had the exercise and eating clean?

TR: Yeah, I was, I already had that figured out. Because my past showed me that. I competed. I had competed at the age of 52, just after Bob passed, so I could figure that part out. I had that down, not so much the head heart space.

AW: I love the fact that it’s three things because I’ve heard this before. It’s like a tripod, or a stool. If any of them is absent, it falls over.

TR: Exactly. I fell over. I definitely fell over. I think you’re right on there.

AW: So I have another question. And that is, do you think it makes a difference whether when we’re trying to convince ourselves or inspire ourselves to change behaviors for the better whether we make a public or a private declaration?

TR: I do. And I think you have to make a declaration to self, you don’t have to go public, I do think that you need to declare it for yourself. Yes. And so in my three E’s of wellness, there was a piece where I asked people to do the work of writing out their definite purpose statement, which is borrowed from Napoleon Hill. But it is so powerful, it’s really a document that encodes your manifesto to yourself and what you wish to accomplish and how you’re going to accomplish it.

AW: okay, so it’s not necessarily the public private, but it is the formality of it.

TR: So I made a statement earlier where neurons that fire together wire together, if you think it, write it, speak it, your wiring those neurons together, so that this is now a thing, you formalize it on paper?

AW:Okay, here’s a question that might sound like it’s coming out of left field. But you are such an inspirational role model for many of us, including your followers on Facebook, and so on. Do you have a role model?

TR: Wow. First of all, thank you. I’m very blessed. I have a beautiful audience. And I count myself lucky every day. I work very hard to cultivate strong relationships, on my website, in my platforms, and anywhere I go, because I’m very grateful. I look up to people who are making success out of mess. So I’ve been lately following Mel Robbins with the 54321 Rule. And Brené Brown. And I also love people like my mother, who was who was really raised as a child witnessing the atrocities of the Nazis. She made a life for herself with nothing out of nothing. And the courage to do that. When it felt like the whole world was falling apart. I think about the little heroes and every day; I look for my heroes and the everyday person. It’s not all glamorous, Instagram life. It’s not right. It’s being real. When the cameras off. Yeah, right. Yeah, I think that’s beautiful.

AW: So what do you think about Jane Fonda?

TR: I love. She seems evergreen, and I love that she’s been able to keep herself relevant with her decades. First of all, she’s blessed to be in her 80s now, and she’s worked hard for it. But it’s still a blessing. Because no one has a guarantee on lifespan. I look up to the fact that she’s been willing to do it. And every time she throws something new at you, like I remember at the Oscars when she wore that man shirt with the pink ball gown skirt. And I’m thinking that’s amazing.

AW: She looks good.


TR:  And now she’s what 82 and she films 10 hour days for her show, which is a massive hit. Yeah. So I just think you know what? She can do it. I can do it.

AW: You definitely, you definitely can. So after hearing this, can imagine that many of our listeners are really going to be interested in signing up for the three E’s. Can you tell us how to make it happen?

TR: Yeah, sure. So you can just go to ToscaReno.com and right now there’s a waitlist because we actually go live with the launch in September, and we will take care of you because we also engage with people who are interested.

AW: So when I think of you and your story Tosca, I think of many things. Resilience, which we’ve talked about in depth, also optimism, energy, discipline, and I still think balance because you eat clean, but you’ll allow yourself to have a glass of wine for goodness sake, amongst other things. Right?

TR: right.

AW: Here’s a tough question. Is there one skill or trait that you think has helped you most?

TR: Probably my stubbornness, which can be bad and good. But in my case, that stubbornness has led to survival has led to thriving has led to success has led to taking risks. Yeah, you know, stubbornness be an awful thing. I’m Dutch. I was born with it.

AW: I didn’t know what you’re gonna say. stubbornness. Yeah, I think if we’re honest, all of those traits that really propel us, there’s a good side of it.

TR:  I think when you’re stubborn, it means you’re ready to fight the fight. You’re not afraid to back down, you bring in your courage, you bring in what you got, you bring in your lady balls, you’re going to do it, you’re going to do it, whatever it takes. I’m going to do it. Once I have left this chapter of my life. I’m in the victory pose. I’m going all the way. Look out world.

AW:  Okay. Is there any other general advice that you have for listeners in terms of positive self-talk?

TR: I do have one piece of advice. And this is it. The minute you start thinking, I can’t do it, think I can. And I’m going to tell you why this works. Usually when I work with clients in the gym, I will get them going doing something I’ll say now I want you to do the 20 let’s say 20 pound curls, actually do it. And they can’t. Now I tell them Okay, now we’re going to do 20 pound curls. And you can do it. And the minute you say you can you automatically can, and I get them to do it. And then I’ll say and give me five more reps when you’re tired. Five more? No, no, I can’t do it. I can’t do it. You can do it. You can do it. You can do it. And the five reps come out. So your strength in being able to perform at life, whether it’s exercise, eating clean, emotional self-care, or anything you do, lies in your words. And be careful with your words because your brain is always listening. If you just told your brain I can’t well then you get but if you told your brain I can then you can.

AW: beautifully put. I am definitely going to quote you on that. Thank you so much for your time and your expertise. Tosca.

TR: Oh, thank you. This has been for me, richly rewarding. The time has just flown by, really.

AW: Thank you so much.

TR: Thank you.

THANK YOU for listening and reading!


One last thing – If you’re not already signed up for the TAT email blog, you really are missing half the fun! Just go to TalkAboutTalk.com to sign up for the blog and to access all of the past blogs. I’d love to hear from you.




The TalkAboutTalk weekly email blog is your opportunity to receive one concise email from me each week, highlighting knowledge & strategies that will help us become more effective communicators. SIGN UP NOW!:




TALK soon!

   TalkAboutTalk CORE BELIEF:

“When we communicate effectively,

we can be a better manager, work colleague,

parent, partner and friend.”




“TalkAboutTalk is the

communication learning platform

that enriches our relationships

and enhances our career success

by providing us with

knowledge, strategies and confidence.”







***When referencing resources and products, TalkAboutTalk sometimes uses affiliate links. These links don’t impose any extra cost on you, and they help support the free content provided by TalkAboutTalk.