It’s a quiet morning here in my Caledon home. My coffee is at my side as are two of my daughters, Rachel and Kiersten. We are enjoying each other’s company as well as warmth, water and power, conveniences we have had to do without for several days over the Christmas break. Funny how you can take such things for granted, not realizing how lucky we are to possess them and then be knocked for six by the flick of a switch, plunging into darkness and cold. Had I not been something of a country girl, perhaps even a bit of a pioneer, I may not have known how to find the water valves on our lines and turn them off to prevent pipes freezing, or thanks to matches and a gas stove, could melt ice and snow for wash water and to fill the buckets necessary for rinsing toilets that no longer flush. It was a simple matter to cook oatmeal and boil eggs, too. I didn’t mind stoking the fires here and going to bed early simply to keep warm in the company of a good book or however many of my daughters I could squish into my bed with me. It has been challenging this holiday season but also full of gifts that didn’t cost a penny. I feel somewhat whole again. So what does this New Year look like for us? Is it too much to hope for balance? May I cast a wish for simplicity? Shall I dream of new possibilities? What is there lying in wait for 2014? Let me begin by sharing a piece of news I want you all to know. I am a new mother! A bit shocking I realize for you to read that but it is true … since losing both Robert and Braden, I have been considering making Chelsea officially, through adoption, my daughter. Not that she wasn’t before in marriage and in love, but it worried me that with no surviving immediate family members, she was essentially orphaned. I wondered, if I were in her shoes, how that would make me feel and to me what would matter is to belong. I wanted her to know without a shadow of a doubt, that she belonged, that she has a mother and sisters and that we are a family, unquestionably, undeniably. With Chelsea’s blessing we processed the adoption. A few days before Christmas we got the wonderful news that the adoption had been approved and that I was to be her mom. For our entire family there could not have been a better gift. For Chelsea perhaps the best gift of all, to belong. We have not stopped celebrating this news, taking the opportunity every time to raise a glass in toast to our family and to her. Chelsea is my little warrior. I am proud to be her mother.

In the same way that “pregnancy” delivers something new, the creative process also delivers gifts. Becoming a mother to such gifts, whether actually a child or a new idea (I consider myself the mother of The Eat-Clean movement as well as my daughters), is a sign of a fertile brain ripe with ideas, creativity, dreams and wishes. It is to be entirely human to follow through and I believe that 2014 will be a year exploding with such newness. Too long my past has been coloured with darkness. I now wish to feel totally alive with hope and will strike out to own what I have created, namely The Eat-Clean Diet®, all the books I have written in the series as well as the newest member of my literary family, The Start Here Diet. It is still hugely exciting for me to hold a brand new book of my own creation in my hands. These too are my literary children and I will nurture and love them deeply. Taking the responsibility for helping the collective “us” on the planet become healthy, fit persons is my challenge. Perhaps I have adopted you, too. Together we will change the plight of our human state of overweight and poor health to something clean and sparkling once again.

At the same time I wish to further educate myself and will do so because I have a passion for learning and because I want to keep my brain healthy. This is my idea for wholeness because what good is a lovely exterior if the inside is rotten? Not for me to languish in ignorance I will test myself further and am considering now how to return to school to further my education in food studies and science. Stay tuned.

I will be travelling and much more present this year, not only promoting my new book but doing many appearances and public speaking engagements. No more darkness for me. I can’t wait to meet you, to look into your eyes and to see the spark of something new there.

Much happiness and joy to all.

Yours in good health for the love of it.

Tosca Reno

Mother Daughter Pioneer Author Woman