Friday, March 5, 2010

Ask Chef Mary...How do Actresses' Look so Great on the Red Carpet?

Dear Chef Mary,

The Oscars are coming up on SUNDAY, as you know. I’m always amazed how flat actresses’ stomachs look in their dresses. Do they eat and, if they do, what do they eat?



Dear Lucinda,

Eating for the camera is an art. Actors and actresses usually have a team of people to help them plan out a regimen leading up to the event. It’s not just about eating right on the event day; it’s about keeping a very healthy diet up until the event. Though you may not want to go to such extremes, some of these tips do work for the average person to look their best in front of the camera. Here’s a break down that some actors tend to stick to. Pick and choose what you want to follow.

One month from the event-

  1. Water consumption is key. Consume the recommended daily water intake as far in advance as possible. Your body will get used to the quantity of water and therefore can flush out toxins quickly with out retaining it.

The weeks before-

  1. Remove wheat from your diet and any foods that may give you an allergic reaction- nuts, wheat, gluten, etc.
  2. Incorporate lean proteins (article) into your diet.
  3. Sweets should consist of fresh whole fruits; make them dark so you can really get your vitamins and minerals out of them.
  4. Eat lots of greens and vegetables in either salads or as steamed sides.
  5. Reduce your sodium intake by at least two-thirds.

The beginning of the 4th week-This week is crucial. It’s time to get serious.

  1. Keep water intake as consistent as possible.
  2. Try to stick to the leanest proteins possible such as halibut, egg whites, cottage cheese and chicken breasts.
  3. Canned tuna should be avoided because of the high sodium level and beans should be replaced with one of the lean proteins from the lean protein_____??.
  4. Use citrus and herbs as your main flavor enhancers.
  5. Add fresh ginger and mint tea to help increase food digestion.

Two days before-

  1. Continue with the list above
  2. Remove bulky and gaseous-itemed foods like cabbage, broccoli, mushrooms and beans out of your diet. They tend to make your stomach look a bit bloated.
  3. Keep water consistent.
  4. No alcohol consumption.
  5. Sleep at least 8 hours.

The day of-

  1. Remove garlic, shallots and onions from your diet, as you don’t want the odor to linger in your breath or your pores.
  2. Start your day with an egg white omelet with tomatoes, zucchini and bell peppers.
  3. Snack on walnuts, cottage cheese, a small fruit smoothie or yoghurt with dark berries.
  4. Eat a salad with spinach and vinegars and lean chicken and dinner-baked halibut with steamed non-gaseous vegetables.

Actresses not only stick to a very strict regimen but they also incorporate exercise like yoga, cardio exercises and Pilates into their day as well. It’s easy to maintain this schedule when you have a great team of people helping you out.

Lucinda, this a very long list of to do’s and may not be necessary for most people but, for a bride, anniversary or a big occasion, some of these hints might be helpful. Out of the entire list, avoiding alcohol the day before is the most important. Enjoy the Oscars!

Happy Cooking!

Chef Mary

For more great cooking tips, recipes and stories from Chef Mary, visit her blog. To learn more about Chef Mary, check out her Hail Mary's Inc. Web site. E-mail questions for Ask Chef Mary Fridays to or click the Ask Chef Mary link above.

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The information provided is general information about healthy eating. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice or treatment that may have been prescribed by your physician or other health care provider. Always consult a physician before starting any new diet or regimen.