Zoe Saldaña knows how to get the world’s attention for a good cause. On Thursday the Avatar star shared a video encouraging people to donate money to the Ukrainians, while showing off her sensational figure in a swimsuit. “Please click on the link in bio to donate to Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher’s @gofundme #standwithukraine fund. Also remember, refugees come in all shapes and skin colors. Donate to other funds aiding refugees worldwide,” she captioned it. So far, the Go Fund Me campaign has raised over $20 million dollars, closing in on the $30 million goal. After making your donation, read on to see 8 ways Zoe Saldaña stays in shape and the photos that prove they work—and to get beach-ready yourself, don’t miss these essential 30 Best-Ever Celebrity Bathing Suit Photos!
Zoe prefers interval training over cardio. “Between travel, meetings, and shoots, schedules are rough for me. I try to work out three times a week, but I don’t believe in getting on one machine for 30 minutes,” she told Shape. “If I do a lot of cardio, it usually just means I’ll be dragging my feet for the rest of the day. And when I’m shooting, I really don’t like to be strict with my workout, since I’m already putting in 16-hour days. So I do 20-minute intervals either at the gym or at home, where 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.”
Zoe was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in 2012, so she has to pay attention to what she eats. “Once you know better, you can’t not care,” she explained to Shape about her devotion to healthy living. Like many stars, she follows the 80-20 approach. “I don’t believe in cheat days because I don’t believe in diets,” she explained. “I try not to deprive my body of anything, because the moment I have just salads and protein for a few days, I crave carbs. But when I eat everything in balance, I think less about food and more about everything else. It’s about eating to live, not living to eat.”
“I can’t work out regularly, so I compensate by eating a lot healthier than I might otherwise,” she explained to Shape. “Once you have relatively healthy eating habits, your workout can become playing with your kids, strolling around the neighborhood, playing airplane, or just changing diapers.”
Zoe tries to eat clean. “I grew up partially in the Dominican Republic, and I remember what eating was like when my grandma would pick herbs from her garden and we’d get seafood that had been caught that morning. Life was very simple and much healthier. It’s not that I like to eat superlight, just superclean. I like food that is fresh. I don’t go for things that come in can—and I’m losing trust in things that come in plastic,” she explained to Shape. “So if I have to pay more to eat better, then I’ll just balance my checkbook better. For example, I’d rather get the dark chocolate with goji berries than the milk chocolate packed with saturated fat.”
Zoe encourages a plant based diet. She says that she and her kids are “starting to move in the direction of becoming a vegetarian family.” She explained to Shape that “society has a very violent, dysfunctional, and wrong relationship with how we cultivate and produce meat.”
“I like feeling that I’m giving myself—my body, my spirit, my mind—the attention it needs,” Zoe told Women’s Health about her motivation to do yoga. “I often take for granted how helpful stretching and breathing exercises are,” she says. “Yoga reminds me to breathe and slow down.” The key for her is being intentional and pushing her body in some way.
Zoe confessed to The Zoe Report that she has two “secret weapons” that reap immediate benefits. “Drinking lots of water and getting sleep,” she revealed. “If you think you have a speedy metabolism and your body seems to need more fuel to keep its engines revved, you may want to take some extra sips during the day,” says the Mayo Clinic.
Zoe has one “stress saving luxury” and it might surprise you. “The Instapot!” she told The Zoe Report. “I can make quick and healthy delicious meals for my family, it saves me a ton of time.” “Even if weight loss isn’t the goal, having a few healthy Instant Pot recipes in your arsenal can be ideal when you have a hankering for a cozy soup but don’t have all day to sit in front of a hot stove—or don’t have hours to wait for the slow cooker,” says our sister site Eat This, Not That!
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more