Weather Updates

Cameron Diaz talks healthy living in new book

CamerDiaz's new book is called The Body Book.  |  SUBMITTED PHOTO

Cameron Diaz's new book is called The Body Book. | SUBMITTED PHOTO

storyidforme: 60242464
tmspicid: 21881592
fileheaderid: 10316731

Book signing

When: 7 tonight

Where: Wentz Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville

Tickets: (with purchase of book),

Updated: April 14, 2014 4:47PM

‘If you are what you eat, I was a bean burrito with extra cheese and extra sauce, no onions,” actress Cameron Diaz writes in the new book she has penned with Sandra Bark, “The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body” (HarperWave; $25.99).

Eating fast food was a habit, she says. “I didn’t think I needed to change the way I ate because everyone told me, ‘You are so skinny. You can eat whatever you want.’ But I felt sick in my own body.”

She says her poor eating habits led to problems with acne. After she started eating healthier foods, her skin cleared up.

She knew she needed to change her ways because “our body is like an engine with a series of tubes and hoses. I didn’t want to get to a place in my life where I need to replace a hose. I figured out how to make the best version of foods that I love.”

She recommends eating “whole foods” close to their “natural form.” She cooks healthy foods for herself daily, sometimes starting the day with a savory oatmeal made from steel-cut oats, egg whites, sauteed greens (collard greens, kale, zucchini) and caramelized shallots with a splash of ponzu sauce.

The trick is to make sure that most of the time, you are eating healthy foods but allowing yourself some indulgences, she says. She occasionally has a “cheeseburger from a place where I feel the ingredients are good quality,” and if she has a craving “for a bean burrito with extra cheese and extra sauce,” then she has one and doesn’t beat herself up about it.

For people who need to make many adjustments in their eating habits, Diaz recommends making gradual, consistent changes. “If you drink five sodas a day, just drink two and see the difference. Cut them out completely, and you’ll see a difference. Replace them with water, and you’ll really see a difference.”

When it comes to exercise, Diaz was physically active as a child in middle school but did very little exercise through her early 20s. Her body was transformed from a “skinny frame” into “a strong powerful body” when she was 27 and training for her role in the movie Charlie’s Angels.

“It felt amazing. I watched my body transform over a week of intense training — some days doing upward of 1,500 to 2,000 kicks a day. Kicking, kicking, kicking for eight hours. All of a sudden, I had six-pack abs. It was painful. I would not recommend that anyone blast their body like that. It was an intense, physical challenge. But it woke me up to my own body and what it was capable of.”

She has continued to work out since then and has no intention of ever quitting. “I went to the gym this morning. I did cardio. I went on the elliptical for half an hour. Sometimes I do the treadmill. I do a mile as fast as I can go. ... I don’t like to run too long because it can have an impact on my knees or joints. I’m more of a sprinter.

“Today I also did leg exercises and weights with the upper body. I didn’t go hard today, but I got a good sweat on. I don’t look at exercise as a chore. I look at it as something I get to do. I am grateful that I can move my body in that way.”

Part of the motivation for eating healthy and exercising regularly is thinking ahead to “my longevity,” she says. “I want to make sure I don’t get sick. If I’m blessed to get older, I want to make sure I can maintain quality of life.”

Gannett News Service

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.