Have you ever looked at Cameron Diaz and thought, "Man, I would love to look like her"? Well, here's the good news — with her new fitness and nutrition tome, The Body Book, she really, really wants you to. But the bad news? It'll take a lot of work.
Whether it's thanks to her "one of the guys" demeanour, her much-publicized love of surfing and snowboarding, or just because you loved her in "The Sweetest Thing," when Diaz talks about getting fit and healthy, you actually feel compelled to listen. And unlike some stars, there are no trends to follow, just a surprisingly massive amount of science to get through.
Now, this isn't necessarily advice you haven't heard before, but something about the way Diaz relays it — through a combination of information, personal anecdotes, and yes, the very real fact of knowing what she looks like — drives everything home in an interesting and palatable fashion.
Below, check out 15 tips we found genuinely useful from Diaz's "The Body Book" — though we're in no way harbouring illusions about looking like her after following them.
You've heard it's the most important meal of the day a million times, but Diaz points to two very specific things she needs it for: being able to think straight in the morning, and brightening her skin enough to add makeup to (that last tip is from her makeup artist).
Put Ponzu In your Oatmeal
As an addendum to the last point, savoury lovers will adore this brilliant recipe Diaz gave for her favourite breakfast: oatmeal, sauteed zucchini with collard greens, caramelized shallots, egg whites and ponzu sauce. A little more interesting than berries, don't you think?
Fill A Giant Bottle Of Water Before Bed
Diaz emphasizes over and over throughout the book the importance of getting enough water, and gives her trick for ensuring she at least starts the day right. "Every night before I go to sleep, I fill up a big glass bottle with water and put it on my bathroom counter. First thing in the morning, right after I brush my teeth, I drink it." Benefits include everything from replenishing your organs to helping you poop.
Check Your Pee
Diaz doesn't mince words about bodily functions, or about her attention to them. Point in fact? Her emphasis on checking the colour of her pee to make sure it's pale yellow (good hydration) and not dark yellow (which indicates dehydration).
And While You're At It ...
Don't be afraid of looking at your poo, either. While Diaz doesn't go into as many specifics, as, say the Bristol Stool Chart, she does advise watching for significant changes in your bowel movements every time you flush.
Processed Foods Are Killing Healthy Bacteria
We already knew processed foods contained little in the way of nutrition, but we were shocked to read the additives contained in them to keep them on the shelves longer actually kill the healthy bacteria in our gut. So try to stop with the boxed goods, people.
Exercise By Helping Others
A small one, but a good one: get exercise at the office by volunteering to go pick up other people's lunches. Love this.
Move Before Responding
You've often heard you should count to 10 if your knee-jerk response is anger when in the midst of negotiations, but Diaz goes one better and advises people to get moving. If possible, stop the conversation that's prompting angst and go for a walk or jog for 10 minutes. You'll find you're better prepared and less stressed about whatever it is you need to decide upon.
You're Not Hungry, You're Stagnant
Instead of snacking when you're feeling hungry after sitting around a bunch, work out. That might sound like a recipe for a crazed fitness lady, but as Diaz points out, what you're usually feeling is your body's need to gain oxygen — and you can only get it by making it work.
"Pain Is Weakness Leaving Your Body"
As far as exercise mantras go, this one is pretty great. Diaz details the transformation she went through at age 26 on the set of "Charlie's Angels" and the martial arts master who taught her to appreciate her body and work it harder than she ever expected. But we mere mortals can apply it to the burn we feel in our abs, backs and quads after a new, tough workout.
You're Going To Regret Lasering Your Pubes
While Diaz does recommend a bit of maintenance, she points out that pubic hair has some biological imperative (even if we're not sure what it is). And from an aesthetic perspective, "like every other part of your body, your labia majora is not immune to gravity. Do you really want a hairless vagina for the rest of your life?"
Make Like A Baby At Bedtime
Parents are all too familiar with the concept of creating a bedtime ritual to get their little ones in the mindset for bed, but we tend to lose those routines as we get older. For Diaz, who says she sleeps in hotel rooms more than her own bedroom, in varying time zones, a bedtime ritual is the only thing that helps wind her down.
"Aging Healthfully Is Aging Happily"
Diaz very sweetly discusses her respect for her grandparents' strength and the obsession in our society with looking young, but nails it with one single sentence: "Our bodies age every single day that we are lucky enough to be alive." You might be able to change how your body ages, but there's no stopping it from happening, and no point in stressing about doing so.
Bad Habits Can Be Fixed With Slightly Better Habits
There's a lot in this book about forming healthy habits that stay with you for life, like building exercise into each day. But we like this specific take on breaking the bad habits, which is: figure out your personal routine as it applies to the habit, and find something at least a little more healthy to replace it with. In Diaz's case, it was a venti latte, which she replaced with a smaller decaf soy latte.
A 15-Minute Playlist Can Make Your Day
If you have difficulty finding time to move for the (minimally) recommend 15 minutes a day, create a 15-minute playlist you love and have yourself a little dance party. You know, kind of like this.