Our favorite health advice of the year from Eva Longoria, Jillian Michaels, and the rest of our 2012 cover models.
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The best of 2012
Health magazine's cover models aren't that different from you and me. They may have fame, and stylists and trainers, but at the end of the day they're faced with the same tough questions as the rest of us: "What's for dinner?" Or, "How am I going to get by on six hours of sleep?"
Each month we ask these down-to-earth celebs to share their tricks for living a healthy lifestyle on a hectic schedule. Here's our favorite advice of 2012—from Eva Longoria, Jillian Michaels, Rebecca Romijn, and more.
Interviews by Amy Spencer.
2 of 11Art Streiber
Eva Longoria (January/February)
Q: What's your go-to for healthy eating?
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?" … I soak raw almonds in water overnight. It makes them plump, and they pop in your mouth.
When it comes to your "why," write it down and put it everywherein your car, on your phone. Remind yourself constantly why you're doing what you're doing. Then remove any sort of temptation. Build a support system, whether it's a workout buddy or a mom from day care, so you have that person to call when you have a moment of weakness.
Q: What's the best advice you've ever gotten on how to live well?
[Whispers] My friends don't give good advice. Just kidding! Gratitude is something that creates a great space to live from. Just saying, "I'm grateful for today; I'm grateful for the person that I am." It's incredibly healing.
Q: I bet the number-one question you get is: How do you eat all that great food and stay so slim?
That is the number-one question, and the answer is I eat a little bit of everything and not a lot of anything. Everything in moderation. I know that's really hard for people to understand, but I grew up in an Italian family where we didn't overdo anything. We ate pasta, yes, but not a lot of it. Pasta doesn't make you fat. How much pasta you eat makes you fat.
Q: The entire nation is obsessed with your abs. We want to know your secrets.
OK, the first thing is genetics. My brother and I, our body types are exactly the same: ripped abs, big arms, skinny legs. And the second thing is my training. As far as ab sets, the most I do is maybe 30 reps, but there are always some kind of rotational movements using my core while I'm working out. And I train extremely hard, so that's why my abs are so strong—I use my core in almost every exercise I do.
I use the apple trick. If you're sitting in front of the TV and just want something to munch on, I'll go for an apple. Refrigerated Fuji apples, nice, crisp, sweet. Man I love 'em. Eating apples is good on so many levels. There's fiber in the skin that's really good for you. It helps with digestion and helps you absorb all the nutrients of everything you've eaten that day. Apples are a really good thing.
Have the same breakfast every day. I eat oatmeal six days a week. It's not that I don't like variety—if I have time, I love to make an omelet—but I'm always in a hurry in the morning and steel-cut oatmeal with agave and cinnamon allows me to go through my day without thinking about it. And then if I'm going out to dinner or a special opportunity comes up—for instance, my husband and I went wine-tasting in Napa—I can spend those calories on something special, rather than waffles for breakfast.
I've recently discovered tequila, thanks to my friends who are north of 35. Good tequila makes you feel different. According to Doctor Google, my favorite doctor, it acts in your central nervous system in a different way [than other forms of alcohol]. If I have a glass of wine, and I'm a little bit tired, I'm ready to go to bed. But if I have a little tequila on the rocks, and I'm a little tired, I'm not more tired. I'm kind of thinking, maybe we should go do something....
If you call and say, "Can I do anything for you?" nine out of 10 times, do you know what they're going to say? "No, no, I'm OK." When you are going through cancer, you feel out of control, so you overcompensate. So basically, you insist. Call and say, "While you have your doctor's appointment, do you mind if I come watch your kids?" Or, "I'm just going to drop off groceries; you don't even have to come to the door."
I have one of those neck pillows with beads in it that you stick in the microwave and put around your neck. There are probably rats in there because I've had it for a decade. But it's amazing and smells like chamomile and calms me down.