Along with her Caribbean-blue eyes and goofy laugh, the actress and former model Cameron Diaz is known for her wide variety of film roles, from “There’s Something About Mary” and the “Shrek” series, to “Being John Malkovich” and “Vanilla Sky.” Now the California beauty can add author to that list.Diaz, along with writer Sandra Bark, have penned a book—“The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body.” It’s not some celebrity’s unrealistic, starvation diet that involves subsisting only on green tea all day, or their grueling workout regimen designed by their three personal trainers that no regular human being could ever follow.
Instead, the book is dedicated to sharing the science of how your body works so you can make better choices when it comes to fitness and nutrition and live a happier, healthier life. Diaz admits that she didn’t eat healthfully in the past. The naturally skinny star could eat whatever she wanted—essentially, coasting on winning the genetic lottery. As she says, “If you are what you eat, I was a bean burrito with extra cheese and extra sauce, no onions.”But she soon realized that her skin and her energy levels were paying the price. What she learned along the way about her body, fitness and nutrition inspired her to create a book that would inform and empower other women to take care of their bodies. “No matter what shape it is, how much you love or hate it, whether it feels tired and worn down or lively and invigorated,” she writes, “your body is the most precious thing you have.”Check out some of the healthy living tips from her book that are worth adopting:Wake up with water. After brushing her teeth, Diaz chugs a large bottle of water every morning. “It completely wakes up my digestive tract,” she said in her January 2013 appearance on “The Dr. Oz Show.” Then she refills it several times throughout the day and makes sure she always has it nearby. According to Diaz, your body needs about 10 cups of water a day to stay hydrated.Feed your hunger. Plenty of models and actresses go hungry as an unhealthy way to watch their weight, but not Diaz, who loves good food and lists cooking with family and friends as one of her favorite activities. In her book, Diaz talks about the importance of listening to your body’s hunger cues and quelling it with whole, nutrient-dense food. “Hunger is that cue that comes from within you,” she said to Dr. Oz. “I always liken it to a red light on a dashboard on a car that says, ‘I’m about to run out of fuel.’” Diaz recommends always starting the day with a healthy breakfast, such as oatmeal or eggs with chopped vegetables, having a small portion of protein with each meal, and carrying around healthy snacks, such as nuts and fruit, to help you refuel when you need it.Focus on exercising for the right reasons. Rather than working out to reach a certain number on the scale, Diaz, who breaks a sweat daily, focuses on how exercise makes her feel as her motivation—it boosts her mood, gives her more energy, and prevents disease. “An active, fit body has sharper thinking skills, quicker reflexes, and a stronger immune system than one that is inactive,” she notes.Sit less and keep moving. Any time you’re in a situation where you have to sit—whether at your desk at work or at home watching your favorite TV show—do something to break it up and move around. Diaz also suggests squeezing in bouts of exercises to stay active throughout the day, such as standing push-ups off the counter while your bread is toasting or even good old-fashioned jumping jacks. “They’re one of the best ways to exert yourself without needing anything other than the ground beneath you,” she writes. “Try doing 20 to give your heart a little boost in the middle of the day.”Stop comparing yourself to others. Diaz has talked in the press about a quote that really resonated with her: “Comparison is a brutal assault upon one’s self.” “It’s so true,” she said to Dr. Oz. “When you’re comparing yourself against someone else, you’re saying what you are isn’t good enough.” Diaz suggests looking at yourself in the mirror with a loving eye. “So often we look in the mirror and loathe what we see,” she writes, “but we should remember that the most important thing is to love what you are and be honest about who you are. Make time to stand in front of the mirror and identify all the different beautiful parts of your body that you love … The more you love your body and give it attention, the more connected you will be with it.”MORE: Why We Need to Stop Using the Term ‘Real Women’