Singer and actress Lea Michele wasn’t particularly strong as a high school volleyball player, but she stuck it out anyway.
That was what Michele — who shot to fame on the TV series “Glee” — told an audience of teen girls recently at an event sponsored by Gatorade in Santa Monica. She joined Women's World Cup champion Julie Foudy and sports TV host Rachel DeMita to encourage girls to play sports, even if they’re not destined for Olympic glory, to help build a lifelong foundation of well-being.
Before the event, Michele sat down to chat about how playing volleyball as a teenager galvanized her current fitness habits — and what she does now every day to look after herself.
Make good choices
This was something I had to remind myself of, especially after I started on “Glee,” which was a show that required so much energy that I knew I was going to have to take time outside of work to build my endurance. I like to pick workouts that are not just me at a gym with music blasting. I like hot yoga, SoulCycle and hiking. I find them to be spiritually engaging as well as physically challenging.
You are what you eat
My mother taught me that your body is your temple, and that what you eat fuels you and impacts your skin, eyes and energy levels. I start with a healthy breakfast. An egg white scramble with greens, some goat cheese, avocado toast using Ezekiel bread. Or a smoothie with kale, bananas, blueberries, broccoli. Everything I get is straight from the farmer’s market.
It’s fine to snack all day, providing …
If you keep your home healthy, you’re not going to snack on bad food. I keep with me dried figs, dried cranberries, almonds. At home, it might be some gluten-free pretzels. In the morning, I’ll slice up some grapefruit and apple and put out blueberries, apples and blackberries and as I’m doing stuff around the house I’ll pick at it. I’m never hungry because I’m snacking on good stuff all day.
Vitamins and supplements
I do intravenous vitamin treatments once a week, especially if everyone around me is sick and I want to keep my immunity strong. My favorite supplements are from [Gwyneth Paltrow’s] Goop. They have a product called “Why am I so ...tired?” It’s made such a difference.
At this time of year I make soup all the time. I’ll use a homemade veggie stock, and build from there. Because I’m mostly vegetarian, I have to find my protein through beans and greens and will pack my soup with as much of that as possible.
It’s all about the attitude
I never felt I had to change who I was to be beautiful, and I attribute that to my parents. But we’re in a different age now, and the world of social media influences what people find beautiful and it’s very intimidating. If you’re on Instagram for more than five minutes you’ll be thinking about how to lose 20 pounds or whether you should dye your hair and why you aren’t more toned. But being healthy comes before any type of external beauty.