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Let's make it clear. We're not calling this "The Actors Diet" to tell you how to eat so you end up looking like a certain celebrity. We know that like all people, actors come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and their diets vary accordingly. But unlike most people, actors have unique circumstances that center around their bodies. Sometimes we need to get strong for an action movie, lose weight to look sick, tone up for a bathing suit scene, figure out how to fit into the same costume for reshoots.
How to deal with all this in the healthiest way possible? Especially when confronted with the crafts service table on set?
"The Actors Diet" will show you how we attempt to navigate these unique challenges.
Food has always been an important part of my world. My parents were always insistent that we eat healthy - lots of vegetables, limit the sweets - you know the drill. My grandfather had a huge garden while I was growing up and we spent countless hours helping him tend to his plants and ate mostly the food that he grew.
When I moved to NYC and began working as an actor, I developed a different relationship to food. Because an actor's body is their instrument and they often need to change it to fit a role, eating disorders are rampant. Every actor you meet is on a different diet of some sort. In an effort to preempt an eating disorder for myself, I went to school and studied nutrition.
During that time, I really got to know my body and how it wanted to be fed. I started to see food as a tool (a yummy tool!) that could help me do the things I wanted to do and see the results I wanted to see. From there, it became easy to understand how to change my body healthfully and stay creative and energized. Now, in addition to working as an actor, I counsel other people around their health and nutrition! (Take a look at my new website - How to Chow)
My hope is that this blog will dispel the crazy diets you hear about in celebrity magazines and tabloids. That we can talk openly about what we eat and what works for us and our bodies. And that it will encourage you to try some new things and see what works for you.
Ugh. I kinda hate talking about my history with food because it’s been such a roller coaster. I’ve been a binge eater my entire life and have spent the last six years balancing it out with anorexia.
In 2003 I had literally worked my butt off to play a ballet dancer. When I stopped the dieting, I naturally gained the weight back. But my managers weren’t happy. My fans called me chubby. My relatives commented. And since I wasn’t booking, I figured it must be because of the weight. I looked for examples of women who were about my size but I wasn’t even sure what I saw anymore; the bingeing and anorexia were taking over every aspect of my life.
In an attempt to get my life under control in a healthful way, I tried to do what I thought other actors did. I went on the zone, did cleanses, ate macrobiotic, got hypnosis, hired a personal trainer, had private pilates sessions, ate specially delivered/overpriced meals, went vegetarian, all while seeing an eating disorders specialist. I would scour magazine interviews with actors, stopping when they described anything having to do with food. “She ate a hamburger and fries,” I would read, and think, “And then what? How much of it did she eat? Did she have anything else the rest of the day? What about the next day?” I couldn’t figure out how other actors did it, why it was so difficult for me to stay as small as everyone else around me without counting every calorie.
I took a year off from show business to come to terms with my disordered eating. I’ve been doing well,and now I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been, both mentally and physically.
Now that I’ve reentered the acting world, I want to hold myself accountable. The same pressures are going to be there and I don’t want to fall back into abusive behaviors. I’m hoping this food blog will present an honest look into this actor’s diet, burgers and fries and all.
That song kept going through my head all through breakfast:
1/2 cup oats cooked in 1 cup water with 2 TB cage free egg whites, 1 TB Ruth's Chia Goodness, and an organic persimmon. We didn't have any bananas in the house today - not even frozen ones (I usually keep some for us and Julius' kong) and they were definitely missed - the oats were a lot less creamy - in fact, they were almost crunchy!
With a pot of Creme Au Caramel Rooibos -
Today has been all about getting the house back to normal - I dragged myself to the gym with the promise that I would only have to do 1/2 an hour of cardio so I could tackle all the laundry, cleaning, etc. I had to restock on a lot more than just bananas so I hit the grocery store too. (We had watched "Food, Inc." last night so I was extra conscious of what went into my cart.)
I chose the Chocolate Raspberry one, which came in this cute burlap sac -
Looks like someone already took a bite (it actually does look good enough to eat):
Smells heavenly, too. Can't wait to take a soak in it later. Thanks, Cyndi!
For lunch I made a salad with farmers market organic greens, shredded carrots, Galeo's World's Best Miso dressing, and some Applegate Farms Organic Genoa Salami:
Plus some Doctor Kracker Cherry Semolina Crisps on the side:
And s'more rooibos (I keep reusing the tea leaves):
Time to get unpacking! I took it easy yesterday so that I could recover from the travel exhaustion but I did find the energy to put up the Christmas tree! My birthday is December 24th, so I'm a bit of a freak about the holiday. I grew up with live trees and sentimental ornaments but since being on my own we've stuck to the fake tree we bought back in NYC, and I've started collecting my own tree trimmers throughout the last few years' travels:
A butterfly from Cambodia last Christmas...
...a Giraffe from South Africa...
And from this September's trip to South Dakota:
I'm so happy it's up!
When Jeff and I come to CT for Thanksgiving, we are lucky enough to be invited to stay with his Aunt and Uncle. We have our own comfy room and bathroom, a treadmill and all kinds of workout equipment, and the best part is BREAKFAST!!
Each day, Uncle Dave makes us a gourmet breakfast to start our day. Here are a couple of the breakfasts we enjoyed this year:
Say hi to our Chef - Dave Marcial!
This morning's delicacy is Peach French Toast.
He soaks bread in a french toast batter mixture of eggs and brown sugar over night. In the morning, add peaches or whatever type of fruit you prefer, on top of the soaked bread, taking out a few pieces to lay on top of the fruit. Then bake in the oven for ______
This was my portion
With maple syrup from their trees!
Another morning we had thin, crepe like omelets.
Pour the beaten eggs into a pan to make a thin layer. On top add some tomato, basil and cheese (if desired). Once the egg firms on the bottom, instead of flipping it, take a baster of water and squirt a small amount until the egg. Then put a lid on the pan. This steams the eggs and since you are not flipping it, it doesn't get too fluffy.
Then roll it up and serve
It is delicious - Light and not too filling.
It has been a busy time with the family in CT and I am behind on my blogging. So the next couple of days will be some catch up blogs.
This dinner is from Friday night after Thanksgiving. We spent a relaxing day around the house. Here is my pug niece Emma
Contemplating what to do...
And we were treated to a special dinner by my brother in law and his girlfriend Tina!
They made poached salmon with roasted vegetables. First you roast the vegetables into the oven to roast (we had red peppers, onions and tomatoes). Then you chop them up and set them aside. On a separate cookie sheet, you put the salmon and asparagus into the oven on 400 to cook for about 10 minutes. Take it out and spread the chopped roasted veggie mixture on top and then put it back in the oven. Change the temp to broil and broil for 10 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through.
Then we had steamed kale with tamari shaved almonds on top and some sourdough bread.
After dinner, we played a game of celebrity. And at the request of my husband, Judi (his step mother and my mother in law) made a delicious pecan pie. It's the holidays!
It's really nice to be back in Los Angeles. Here's what my last day in the Boston area looked like -
We woke up, packed, and checked out of the hotel so that we could all head over to the bakery where my cousin Rachel (the one who made the marvelous Thanksgiving treats) works, Swiss Bakers in Reading, MA.
She treated us all to a lovely pastry breakfast!
I began with a free sample of Raspberry Croissant...
...then ordered a cup of herbal tea and this jumbo pretzel (which I ate about 1/3 of)
A bite of a chocolate weggli -
And a bite of a special treat isn't even available in the bakery yet - PRETZEL CROISSANTS!!!
Absolutely unbelievable. Buttery, light, flakey, and pretzel flavored!!!
There were 12 of us packed into that tiny bakery for well over an hour (with only one table) so we decided it was time to say our good-byes and continue on with our travels. We bid adieu to Abe's family, who was driving back to Philadelphia, and the rest of us killed some time before our flight.
We headed to the nearby Jordan's Furniture, which I'd never heard of before but apparently they're all over Massachusetts. As their slogan aptly describes, "Not just a store, an experience."
An experience, indeed. This place was crazy!
The Reading location had a whole town made out of jellybeans:
Yup - those are beans:
And so are these:
So much stuff to look at! Fenway's Green Monster:
This place was perfect to get out of the crazy weather (it was blustery and c-c-c-cold) with our cousins.
They even had trapeze (the main reason we went here, since you may remember that Franny and Mark both go to trapeze school in L.A.)
Insanity, this place was. We didn't even check out the giant furniture store part.
After saying goodbye to our cousins, it was just me, Abe, and Aunt Gail. We stopped by Flour Bakery since it was near the airport.
It was a really cool place - Gail ordered a soup and Abe got a sandwich to go but I didn't have anything. The place was super crowded, especially with kiddies since it was near The Children's Museum.
We also wandered into the Boston Fire Museum, where the two super charming guys showed us around:
They shot "The Departed" here!
We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare - surprisingly, the lines were super short. Logan has a pretty good food court with interesting options. I hit the counter of Ufood Grill:
I ordered a salad to eat on the plane and enjoyed a cup of vegetarian chili, without cheese:
A bite of Abe's hummus and veggie sandwich from Flour Bakery:
And a crunchy New England apple:
I got hungry on the plane about 3 hours later. I dug into my salad, which had chicken, cranberries, and walnuts with a sweet pomegranate dressing:
Around 20 minutes later I was still hungry so I ate this organic pear. (FYI - not my beer in the background!)
We watched A LOT of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" ...
And I read the first 100 pages of Kathy Griffin's autobiography, which my sister-in-law Anna brought for me. She said there was some stuff in it about eating disorders/Hollywood that I could probably relate to and there sure was - I had no idea Kathy Griffin was also a binge eater/anorexic...it was helpful for me to read about that, plus her struggles with persevering in this super brutal business....
It was the perfect plane book; I may have to save the rest of it for our trip back east for the Holidays!