A regular on both the red carpet and magazine covers, Kate Hudson, 36, is a fashion icon and fitness role model who believes that looking good and feeling good should go hand in hand.
So, when she is asked, "What do you eat?" or "How do you work out?," she steers clear of quick fixes such as diets or one-size-fits-all workout plans that have not worked for her in the long run. What has worked for her over time, she says, is healthful eating, physical activity, mindfulness and adjusting her routine based on how she feels on a given day. As a bonus, it also boosts her daily level of joy. The Fabletics co-founder shares her flexible and forgiving approach to health and fitness in her new book, "Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body." Her new film, "Mother's Day," is a romantic comedy about motherhood in the modern age. Directed by Garry Marshall, it costars Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston and opens April 29.
What is your approach to working out?
Every day I try to do an hour [of cardio] but some days I can't because I'm traveling. I often combine things like walking and meditation … it lets me focus on my breath and also experience nature. There are some great meditation apps that can guide you through it.... Or, I do a mantra meditation while walking.
On days that you can't work out, do you compensate by eating less or different types of food?
I am always cognizant of what I am eating — it's become second nature. You need to tune in when changing your lifestyle. I still want to go to a restaurant that I love and have the foods I want to eat. But I'm not going to do that all the time. I know what I'm going to eat in the morning, including the amount of calories and fat. So I don't need to follow a strict diet.
You were young when you won a Golden Globe and were nominated for an Oscar, for the 2000 film "Almost Famous." How did early professional recognition affect your view of yourself?
When all of that happened, I had just met my [now] ex-husband [musician Chris Robinson]. I was so in love and excited to be a part of everything that was happening. Two years later I was pregnant with [my son] Ryder.... I love what I do and I am incredibly grateful for my career opportunities. But family is everything for me and always has been. So, during that time I was just so happy and I felt lucky that I was able to work … and to start a family.
How do you cope with stress in your life?
Meditation has been the most helpful and life-changing thing for me. You can feel the difference when you meditate on a regular basis. At least I can.... I started practicing [transcendental meditation] a year and a half ago so I meditate 20 minutes in the morning and I try to do another 20 minutes in the afternoon. This is the first time I've made it a point to meditate every day.
What role does self-confidence play in your life?
Some days you feel more confident than others. But insecurities always creep in; we're human so it's a natural thing to have happen.... [But] is it worth expending energy to work from a place of fear? No, I want to understand why I'm feeling this way and try to move past it.... The thing that keeps me confident is simple: I'm here. I'm alive.... And I want to lead by example for my kids [sons Ryder, 12, and Bing, 4].
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