Today, for instance, the Texas-born actress, 36, is in the car on her way to the airport. She’s flying to New York to promote Desperate Housewives, whichwill wrap in May after eight crazy-successful seasons. And what'll she do the first morning after filming ends? "Sleep!" she laughs. After call times at 5:30 a.m., she says, "I haven't hadsleep in eight years." No doubt.In addition to her day job, Eva moonlights at many passions: She runs Eva's Heroes, the nonprofit she founded, inspired by her developmentally disabled sister. She also co-owns Beso restaurants in Hollywood and Las Vegas, wrote the best-selling cookbook Eva's Kitchen, executive produced The Harvest (a documentary about child migrant farm laborers), and is getting her master's degree in political science and Chicano studies. Before she zipsacross the country, Eva talks food, the day she walked overhot coals, and the positivephrase that helped her get through her divorce.
Q: How do you define a healthy life?
A: People think health only has to do with your physical being, but for me, it's so much more. I remember after my divorce, I was so thin and everyone kept saying how great I looked and it was probably the most unhealthy place I've ever been. So it was funny what people would see as "healthy." In my worst time, people were saying I've never looked better. [But now] I have a great diet and exercise routine. And I try to have a healthy outlook. I'm your everlasting, hopeless optimist!
Q: Where does your positive attitude come from?
A: I was just born with that. It's so funny, because I don't get depressed. Even after my divorce, everybody was like, "Wow, you bounced back so quick." I was like, "I am not letting this take over. Something great is around the cornerI can't wait to see what's going to happen."
Q: You mentioned eating well and exercising. What's your go-to?
A: I love to cook. But when I'm on set, I have food delivery sent there. Before I could afford a food delivery system, I would make my breakfast and lunch, I'd pack some snacks, and put almonds in my purse. I was always prepared because I was always hungry. It's funny,I would be like, "Nuts anyone?" And they'd say, "What is in your purse?"
Q: So it looks like you're eating grub from the bottom of your purse.
A: Yeah, exactly. Just the raw almonds, I soak them in water overnight. It makes them plump, and they pop in your mouth. I learned that from a Tony Robbins seminar. Fifteen years ago, I went and after that I became a vegan. For, like, a year, because I was just like, "Oh my God, he's scared me into never eating meat again!" [Laughs] It didn't last though.
Q: Did the Tony Robbins seminar change anything else for you?
A: No, it just confirmed everything that I was already doing. You know, "Take chargeof your life!" I am. That's why I'm here! I did walk the coals. I walked over the fire. I love self-help, anything that's going to move you forward in life. The second I saw The Secret, I was going, "Oh, I live mylife this way. So I'm doing good."