When she wants to stay full between meals, Saldana noshes on fruit, dark chocolate (“I’ll [do] dark chocolate with goji berries [rather] than the milk chocolate packed with saturated fat,” she explained) and popcorn, which comes in handy during late nights on set or when plopping down in front of the TV. “Popcorn caters to all of my senses before I go to bed,” she said.
Fuel Up Early
The super-active actress makes it a point to start her day with nutrient-rich meals, like eggs (“I get pretty creative with [them],” she’s said), a green juice or mashed avocados with sliced tomatoes on toast. Explained Saldana, “I balance out all my food groups and know they’re gonna give me all the energy that I need.”
Don’t Restrict Yourself
In 2015, the Avatar star took to Facebook to reveal she was finished counting calories and obsessing over food. “I am going to remove the word ‘diet’ from my life,” she wrote, adding, “I am going to remind myself that it is not about losing weight, it is about being healthy [and] feeling healthy, for the rest of my life.” Now, she strives for balance. “There’s a serenity to knowing that because four days out of the week you took care of yourself relatively well, you can really just close your eyes and enjoy the pizza or dim sum.”
Tailor Your Workouts
The Guardians of the Galaxy star and mom of three (she shares twins Bowie and Cy, 5, and 3-year-old Zen with husband Marco Perego) knows there’s no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to exercise. “Between travel, meetings and shoots, schedules are rough for me,” Saldana confessed. She tries to work out three times a week, and when strapped for time, she’ll do a 20-minute cardio blast at home. “I run in place for 30 seconds, then do squats, then carry a heavy medicine ball a few times in a row until I get my heart rate up.”
Make Healthy Swaps
Saldana — who eats clean and gluten-free 80 percent of the time and is looser with her and her family’s meals the other 20 percent — has come up with healthy substitutions so she can indulge without feeling guilty. She cooks pizza with cauliflower crust and makes dough out of quinoa flour — that way, her Italian husband doesn’t have to forgo traditional favorites! Noted Saldana, “There are certain things he doesn’t want to part with.” Who can blame him?
Take A Breather
For Saldana, staying fit is a way of life. “I like feeling that I’m giving myself — my body, my spirit, my mind — the attention it needs,” the Hollywood star has said. Sometimes that means unwinding with a yoga class. “I often take for granted how helpful stretching and breathing exercises are,” she revealed. “Yoga reminds me to breathe and slow down.”