Courtesy Cameron Diaz
She’s funny, gorgeous, and in insanely good shape, but does Cameron Diaz really know what it means to eat well?
Turns out yes, and the actress, who’s currently filming the remake of Annie as Miss Hannigan, proves it in her new hardcover, The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body.
Unlike other A-list actresses who promote juicing, fad diets, and weight loss systems, Diaz keeps her food real and doesn’t believe in quick fixes. “Here is what this book is not,” she writes in the introduction. “It is not a diet book. It is not a workout regimen. It is not a manual to becoming a different person.”
When it comes to nutrition, Diaz hopes her readers will get the connection that food can taste good and still be good for them. She isn’t afraid of eggs, cheese, or pasta (though she leans towards whole wheat and quinoa varieties). She makes roast pork with her mom during the holidays. She cooks with all different types of oils and includes a helpful list of how to use them.
We admit to rolling our eyes a bit when she admits that she’s one of those people who doesn’t really like sugar, but that was only because we’re a little jealous our brain isn’t wired that way. And she does confess a weakness for foods that are “salty, greasy, and fatty.”
The book, which is filled with handy charts and plenty of sound scientific information, is worth a read. But if you’re pressed for time and looking for ways to make little changes that will pay off big in 2014, here’s where to start:
1. Chug Water When You Wake Up
Did you know that after a full night’s sleep, you’re dehydrated simply from breathing? That’s why Diaz fills a large glass bottle with water before bed and leaves it ready to go. In the morning, after she brushes her teeth, she chugs the whole thing. “Once I drink the water, I feel it immediately. I go from being a wilted plant to one that has been rejuvenated by the rain,” she writes.
2. Eat a Big, Savory Breakfast
When she was growing up, Diaz says that her mom always encouraged her to eat a big breakfast to give her energy for the school day, and it’s a habit that’s stuck with her. But she doesn’t reach for sweets like granola or pancakes, which can mess with blood sugar levels and cause irritability. Instead, she plays with creative combos like oatmeal mixed with sauteed zucchini and collard greens, caramelized shallots, and egg whites, which she then tops with Japanese ponzu sauce and lemon juice. “I’m always looking for new ways to build flavor and have fun with my carbs,” she writes.
3. Drink Your Probiotics
You’ve probably heard of probiotics, the healthy bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods that nutritionists recommend for maintaining balance in the digestive tract. But Diaz cautions that you need to read the labels and look for probiotics like L. acidophilus, L. casei, and Biofidobacterium, which survive better inside your stomach than some of the others that are used to make yogurt. To get her daily dose, Diaz chooses a rice-based probiotic drink like Bio-K Plus.
4. Love the Lemon
Diaz adds this fab flavor booster to salads (in place of fatty dressing), pastas (along with parmesan), and her water bottle. Lemons help digestion and are believed to boost immunity; they also contain lots of essential nutrients such as vitamin C, calcium and magnesium.
5. Exercise in Sneaky Ways
Diaz reminds readers that working out doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing thing. She suggests squeezing in movement when you can, whether it’s doing butt squeezes while brushing your teeth, lunges while waiting for coffee to brew, or taking the stairs (preferably at a run!) rather than the elevator. She writes, “As long as you remember that part of being active is moving continuously through the day, you can become an active person RIGHT NOW. Just move.”
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