Why this up-and-coming actress never misses a workout: She can do it anywhere

Emayatzy Corinealdi doesn't do memberships. The outdoors is her gym, and it's always open.

Emayatzy Corinealdi doesn’t do memberships. The outdoors is her gym, and it’s always open.

(Mike Windle / Getty Images)

Actress Emayatzy Corinealdi is getting increasingly used to being in the spotlight. She costars in “Miles Ahead,” actor-director Don Cheadle’s new film about jazz trumpet legend Miles Davis. She also appears in the Amazon original series “Hand of God” and in the “Roots” miniseries remake that will air on the A&E Network in May. Having lived in Kentucky, Germany, Ohio, Kansas and New Jersey before heading west to pursue acting in Los Angeles, Corinealdi, 36, believes in keeping things healthy but simple.

Did your cooking and eating habits change when you first came to L.A. from New Jersey?

Up until that time, I was pretty much eating the same. It was more about me getting my mom on a healthier path of eating when she was diagnosed with cancer. She was in New Jersey and I would create these elaborate meal plans, and in doing that I started them for myself too. I started to lose weight that I didn’t set out to lose. My mom got a kick out of the fact we were doing it together. It was a special time for me and for her too.


What advice do you have for people who want to do the same, to embark on a healthier path?

The first thing is to incorporate leafy greens and fresh vegetables into your diet. It will be helpful if you can at least start with that, and then from there start to take away a couple things, especially fried foods. Limit it to once a week or once a month. And juice is so much more accessible now.

What’s your usual exercise routine?

I was a track runner and have always been very sporty. Track sets a good foundation. I’ve always been an outdoors person. I don’t have memberships. I go to the park and jog or I hop on my bike and ride. When I go to the park I have some free weights I keep in my trunk, so I do a couple of miles and pull out my weights. It’s not something I have to think too much about.

Do you mostly cook at home?

I love, love, love to cook. I love my Trader Joe’s. But my shopping consists of about four different places. [My husband and I] also eat out; we have a Friday date night.


Is it hard to stick to cooking with your new career demands?

That was tough when I was filming “Roots” in Louisiana, where the food was really heavy. I was, like, “Can I please have a piece of grilled fish!” It can be a challenge, but you figure it out. I loved those beignets. Those were going to bring me down if I didn’t leave!