(NEW YORK) — Cameron Diaz is an actress, a model and now an author whose debut book is focused on nothing less than helping women lead their best lives.
“LADIES!! I wrote this book for YOU and YOUR BODY… And I’m so excited to share it with you!!,” a makeup-free Diaz holding the first bound copy of The Body Book posted on Instagram.
The actress, currently filming a remake of Annie, turned to health experts and relied on her personal experiences to offer women “a holistic, long-term approach to making consistent choices and reaching the ultimate goal: a long, strong, happy, healthy life,” according to the publisher’s website.
Diaz, 41, appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America Monday to discuss The Body Book and to share her favorite recipes and healthy living tips with GMA viewers.
Read below for Diaz’s tips on easy ways to incorporate exercise in an on-the-go lifestyle like hers and the five steps she takes to deepen her own mind-body connection:
Cameron Diaz’s Morning Oatmeal
I’m always looking for new ways to build flavor and have fun with my carbs. For instance, I prefer savory over sweet, so in the mornings when I make oatmeal, instead of eating it with something sweet, I make a yummy concoction of sautéed zucchini with collard greens, caramelized shallots, and egg whites. I top it all off with ponzu sauce (a Japanese sauce made from rice vinegar and citrus) or some lemon juice. It’s a breakfast that is delicious and savory and all the things that I love to taste. I created this dish so that I could eat oatmeal in the morning, because it is an awesome source of complex carbohydrates.
How Your Body Works at the Cellular Level
Every one of the trillions of cells in your body participates in chemical reactions that provide fuel, build bones and skin or other tissues, and dispose of waste. You are the sum of all of these metabolic processes. An active, fit body has sharper thinking skills, quicker reflexes, and a stronger immune system than one that is inactive. In Chapter 7 we looked at how insulin helps your cells convert glucose into energy. The more you move your body, the faster that conversion can happen. Physical activity plays a huge role in how quickly you can get that glucose in the cell. Using your available energy helps your body access stored energy more quickly.
When your cells are working efficiently, you feel AMAZING. When your metabolism operates efficiently, you feel POWERFUL. The key to all of this is eating for energy and then using that energy through MOVEMENT. The reason our body wants us to eat is because it wants us to move.
No matter how much you don’t feel like getting off the couch and going to the gym, or training for your upcoming 5K, or walking home from work; no matter how sore your muscles are at the end of a workout, you always feel really good after you’ve exerted yourself. And those good feelings are related to how your body is working at the cellular level, because how we feel on the outside mirrors what is going on inside, and vice versa.
So: are you an active person or a sedentary person? As long as you remember that part of being active is moving continuously through the day, you can become an active person RIGHT NOW. Just move. Each moment is an opportunity — so take advantage of every single one. It’s that simple.
Move Your Body
Movement can be done all of the time, and it should be. Here are a few ideas:
Mind-Body Connection Exercise
Here’s a little exercise that you can do to start connecting to your body. It’s a subtle and quiet way to tune in to your body one-on-one. You can do it as a part of your morning or evening ritual or whenever you can fit it into your day.
STEP 1: MAKE SPACE
Pick a time when you can relax. Find a spot where you can lie down and spread out. Maybe it’s on your bed or on your couch or on your living room or bedroom floor.
STEP 2: RELAX
Lie down on your back, and let your body sprawl. Maybe your body wants you to spread your arms and legs like a snow angel, or maybe you want to fold your hands across your chest with your legs bent.
Pay attention to how your body feels. Is it comfortable? What does it want you to do? Whatever it is, do it. If you can’t quite get comfortable, take note of that, too.
STEP 3: BREATHE
Once you’re in a comfortable position, bring your attention to your breath. You might take a deep breath in through your nose and blow it out through your mouth, really pushing it out at first, then start to relax into your breathing naturally.
STEP 4: MOVE
As you relax into breathing, move your body. Turn your legs side to side, twisting at your waist. What does that feel like in your hips, your waist, your legs? Now move your arms, maybe to support your movement of your lower body, or maybe they feel nice resting across your forehead. Then stop thinking about telling your body how to move and start just letting it move on its own. As you take each breath allow your body to find its movement. Nothing it does is wrong!
STEP 5: LISTEN
If you keep breathing and moving at the same time you will find that your body is speaking a language of movement to you. It is telling you how it needs to move, whether that means sitting up to touch your toes or crawling onto all fours and arching your back.
The more you get used to listening to how your body feels, the more you’ll find that every movement you make throughout the day is an opportunity to connect with your body. You’ll connect to hamstrings in the back of your legs and your glutes every time you step up onto a stair. You’ll start to see how your stomach tightens up when you go to pick up your purse and how your biceps curls it up onto your shoulder or forearm.
Move mindfully instead of mindlessly, and you will open a continuous dialogue with your body.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Susan Scutti, CNN
Sonia Moghe and Wayne Drash, CNN
Sam Penrod, KSL.com
Nate Sunderland, EastIdahoNews.com