Cameron Diaz shares diet and lifestyle tips in her new book, The Longevity Book, a follow-up to her New York Times bestseller, The Body Book. The health-conscious actress is known for her roles in movies like There’s Something About Mary, The Mask, and My Best Friend’s Wedding, but more recently, it’s her expertise when it comes to aging gracefully in Hollywood that’s getting her noticed.
A healthy living advocate, this star is serious when it comes to taking care of herself through a healthy diet that increases her longevity. Have you ever wondered what Diaz does to stay fit? Read on to find out.
Diaz’s Healthy Habits
Diaz, who is also a health researcher for her books, does a number of things besides eating good foods to ensure optimal health. Here are some of the things she does regularly as part of her healthy living lifestyle:
1. Goes to the Doctor: Diaz doesn’t just see her doctor when she’s sick. The actress goes when she’s healthy, too, as a preventative measure. Going for checkups is important, and according to her research, doctors want and encourage patients to ask more questions about their health.
2. Continues Learning: According to one Yale researcher in Diaz’s new book, Dr. Becca Levy, people who feel positive and optimistic about aging generally have improved physical health as they age. However, if you don’t have a positive attitude about it, try reading and learning about aging. Studies find that reading alone yields more health benefits than just exercising.
3. Gathers Support: Diaz knows that emotional health is just as important as physical health, and that is why she emphasizes reaching out to friends and strengthening social connections—especially now as research is suggesting higher rates of loneliness and isolation among adults. The impacts of long-term stress take a huge toll, so having an outlet and support can help people stay balanced.
4. Follows the Mediterranean Diet: This healthy diet emphasizes the consumption of fresh produce, whole grains, protein, and healthy fats while discouraging sweets, processed foods, and eating late at night. Studies that followed individuals adhering to the Mediterranean diet over the course of four years found that they had lowered their risk of heart disease, colon cancer, and stroke and reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s by 50%. They also all showed improved cognitive health.
5. Gets Some Exercise: Diaz stresses that it’s important to take helpful nutrition supplements and hit the gym or do some exercise, like yoga, to offset osteoporosis and other age-related health conditions. Research from Stanford University found that runners over the age of 50 who engaged in athletic training had lower levels of inflammation, improved cognitive functioning, and better responsiveness to vaccines than their less active peers.
6. Doesn’t Smoke: Did you know Diaz used to be a heavy smoker? She reportedly went through more than 20 cigarettes a day at the height of her habit. She admits that smoking is her biggest regret and wishes she had never lit up to begin with. Smoking is proven to be one of the biggest aging accelerators. Her advice to anyone who smokes is to never stop trying to quit, because the body does begin to heal itself immediately once cigarettes are out of the picture. She also recommends finding support after making the decision to quit.
7. Follows a Morning Routine: Diaz loves morning time because she has a wonderful routine she follows that starts with making her bed, drinking a liter of water, meditating for 20 minutes, and then eating a healthy breakfast, usually avocado on toast or some hearty oatmeal. After breakfast, she exercises, maybe doing some yoga.
8. Embraces Her Age: After recently celebrating her 43rd birthday with her husband, Benji Madden, and her friends, the actress says that she embraces her age by acknowledging all the accomplishments, experiences, and wisdom she has accumulated over the years.
Recipes, Weight Loss, and the 80/20 Rule
Want to know Diaz’s weight loss and healthy diet secrets? Well, one of them is that she abides by the 80/20 rule. That means that 80% of Diaz’s diet is made of nutritious, wholesome, and homemade foods, while the remaining 20% is given to indulgent cheat foods like cheese, bean burritos, or a juicy cheeseburger.
A photo posted by Cameron Diaz (@camerondiaz) on
She also maintains her healthy diet by doing food prep on the weekend. Every Sunday, Diaz spends hours in the kitchen following recipes and cooking up meals that will last her throughout the week. This is so important for the former fast-food junkie. Some of her favorite foods include:
- Lemon: In her water, salads, or pasta dishes, Diaz loves lemons as they are a great source of vitamin C, contribute to healthy digestion, and support the immune system.
- Avocados: Undoubtedly one of her favorite foods of all time, Diaz loves to eat avocados dressed with—you guessed it—lemon and some salt. Avocados are a great source of healthy fats.
- Brown Rice couscous: Diaz likes to stock up on this staple so that she never has a situation where she’s without it and has to order takeout instead. No thanks!
- Cuban Food: This cheat food always cheers her up when she’s having a bad day.
- Probiotics: Diaz takes a rice probiotic called “Bio-K” to optimize her gut health and digestion—a great way to ensure regularity.
Here’s a recipe she loves:
Cameron Diaz’s Garlicky Lemon Chicken with Broccolini
Nutrition per serving:
- 317 calories
- 9 g fat (2 g saturated)
- 31 g carbs
- 3 g fiber
- 23 g protein
- Vegetable-oil cooking spray
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 4 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 1/2″ cubes
- 1 cup broccolini, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
- 1 whole egg plus 1 egg white, scrambled
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over high heat. Add oil. Sprinkle chicken and broccolini with salt, garlic powder, and pepper; add to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add flour and cook, stirring continuously, 1 minute more. Add rice, garlic, and lemon zest; cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add eggs, stirring vigorously until egg is cooked and chicken is no longer pink in the center, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add juice, broth, and parsley.
Friedman, A., “9 Things We Learned about Cameron Diaz from Her New Book,” InStyle web site, April 5, 2016; http://www.instyle.com/lifestyle/news/cameron-diaz-longevity-book-stays-young, last accessed August 3, 2016.
Hoskins, H., “15 Ways to Eat and Drink Like Cameron Diaz,” The Daily Meal web site, April 22, 2016; http://www.thedailymeal.com/entertain/15-ways-eat-and-drink-cameron-diaz, last accessed August 3, 2016.
Diaz, C., “Cameron Diaz’s Garlicky Lemon Chicken with Broccolini,” Self web site; http://www.self.com/food/recipes/2007/01/cameron-diaz-chicken-dish/, last accessed August 3, 2016.