Guardians of the Galaxy star Zoe Saldana covers the June issue of Shape and opens up about family life with husband Marco Perego-Saldana and their three sons — 2-year-old twins Cy and Bowie and 3-month-old Zen.
On her diet: “I can’t work out regularly, so I compensate by eating a lot healthier than I might otherwise. 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.”
On her workout routine: “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. 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.”
On diets: “I don’t believe in cheat days because I don’t believe in diets. 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.”
On her food philosophy: “If my husband and I had different professions, where we didn’t need to shop in supermarkets and could live more naturally, we could eat more sustainably. 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. And we’re starting to move in the direction of becoming a vegetarian family; society has a very violent, dysfunctional, and wrong relationship with how we cultivate and produce meat. 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. I know what it’s like to live on a tight budget, but my mom was one of those parents who gave us great food despite our budget. That’s where I get who I am from, and I’d like to be a voice of inspiration for my Latino community, as underage diabetes and high blood pressure are on the rise.”
On healthy body image: “If we could design ourselves, we’d all be perfect. But we can’t, so why be unhappy about it? I’ve never wanted different hair or my body any other shape. And I’ve never thought of a person as ugly unless they opened their mouth and their heart was full of venom.”
For more from Zoe, go to Shape…