Zoë Saldana is a textbook example of a successful working mum. But how does she do it? And how does she manage to stay healthy and fit despite her insanely busy schedule?
The Guardians of the Galaxy star has three sons with her husband, Italian artist, Marco Perego - her two-year-old twins Bowie and Cy and her four-month-old baby boy Zen. That makes a household of three kids under the age of three, which sounds pretty stressful already.
But somehow the 38-year-old American actress, who had her screen debut in an episode of Law & Order, manages to pursue her distinguished Hollywood career at the same time constantly taking it to the next level. And she looks stunning, relaxed and healthy while doing so. But how?!
Here are 5 things Zoe be the best version of herself...
1. Her Mindset, passed on by her mum:
Zoë was born in Passaic, New Jersey the daughter of Aridio Saldaña and Asalia Nazario. When she was just nine-years-old Zoë lost her Dominican dad in a car crash. Subsequently her Puerto Rican mum, Asalia moved to the Dominican Republic with her three daughters.
The mindset of the Avatar star is heavily influenced by how her mum raised her. In a recent interview with People the actress revealed the most important thing her mother taught her growing up concerning perceptions, first encounters and interpersonal relations.
"My mum used to say - if I was going out for an audition, an interview, to go meet some boyfriend's parents or friend's parents or something and she felt that I was nervous, because I was worried about the impression that I was going to leave on someone or something, she would always like tell me, ‘Zoë, Zoë, Zoë', I'm like 'What - what, what?'...
She goes 'I hope you like them'.
"And for some reason, it was always to remind me what I have to feel and think about others matters just as much as what they have to feel and think of me."
Whether it comes to her career, or her personal life, Zoë has held on to that lesson as a mantra. And maybe it's one of the actress' secrets to success.
It seems to be a healthy way of thinking - to let go of what people might, or might not, think of you because at the end of the day you can't control that anyway.
But if you focus on the people you meet and put effort into getting to know and like them, instead of constantly worrying about how they perceive you, chances are they might like you as well. And the best thing about that is they'll like you for just being yourself without you pretending to be something that you're not.
Zoë Saldana and her husband Marco Perego on their way to the Golden Globes.
2. Her attitude towards exercising.
The Avatar star talked to SHAPE about how she keeps herself, and her family, healthy. One of the hardest challenges as a mother of three active little boys and a constantly working Hollywood actress is finding the time to exercise.
Since Zoë usually is working 16-hour days when she shoots a movie and doesn't believe in the concept of getting on a machine for 30 minutes, she tries to work out three times a week by doing 20-minute intervals at the gym or at home - whatever fits best that day.
To compensate for the fact that she can't work out on a daily basis, Zoë found other ways to stay fit and healthy. She told the SHAPE: "I can’t work out regularly, so I compensate by eating a lot healthier than I might otherwise."
"Once you have relatively healthy eating habits, your workout can become playing with your kids, strolling around the neighborhood, playing airplane, or just changing diapers."
3. Healthy Food Choices: Cooking from scratch.
"My husband and I love to cook. I’m going through a phase where I’m making a lot of beans and quinoa. And I love ceviche and stews. But my favorite type of food is Asian. No matter how north or south in the Pacific, I love the spices, the vegetables, and the ways they cook them", the actress told SHAPE.
Simple, fresh and clean eating while pursuing an active lifestyle - Zoë doesn't trust products that come in cans and she's trying to stay away from things that come in plastic as well.
"If my husband and I had different professions, where we didn’t need to shop in supermarkets and could live more naturally, we could eat more sustainably."
Reflecting on the time of her childhood, when she lived in the Dominican Republic she said: "I remember what eating was like when my grandma would pick herbs from her garden and we’d get seafood that had been caught that morning. Life was very simple and much healthier."
"It’s not that I like to eat superlight, just superclean. I like food that is fresh."
The actress is even considering to turn her family, who is already gluten and dairy-free, vegetarian explaining: "Society has a very violent, dysfunctional, and wrong relationship with how we cultivate and produce meat. So if I have to pay more to eat better, then I’ll just balance my checkbook better."
Zoë knows that due to her stellar career she is one of the privileged, that don't have to hold the purse now. But she firmly believes that you can manage to prep healthy dishes for the family even if you're living on a tight budget.
"I know what it’s like to live on a tight budget, but my mom was one of those parents who gave us great food despite our budget. That’s where I get who I am from, and I’d like to be a voice of inspiration for my Latino community, as underage diabetes and high blood pressure are on the rise", the actress explained to SHAPE.
4. She has a healthy self-perception.
"I’ve never wanted different hair or my body any other shape. And I’ve never thought of a person as ugly unless they opened their mouth and their heart was full of venom", she told SHAPE.
Zoë has got things straightened out with herself. She embraces her own and every other type of body shape and appearance. According to the actress, it's all about celebration what makes you unique.
"If we could design ourselves, we’d all be perfect."
And the same could be said about parenting. Mums are giving their best, but of course, there always seems to be something they could do a little better.
Zoë struggles with her own expectations as well from time to time, but at the end of the day, she tries to be not so hard on herself.
When she was asked if she'd consider herself a strict parent by PEOPLE she answered:
"I would like to think that I am, but I'm like in between - I'm measured. But I would like to be a little more strict, they need it. These kids like walk all over me - it's crazy... but they're so cute..."
The actress captioned the adorable pic above: "Taking a break for a play date".
Another of Zoë's great characteristics is the ability to poke fun at herself. The Star Trek Into Darkness star told People magazine about two times she almost lost it during her pregnancy and the reason behind that is absolutely hilarious and utterly understandable.
"There was two times actually - one time we were having ice cream, my husband and I. He eats his ice cream - 'cause he’s a dude - in two bites. And I feel generous and I'm like let me just... I hand him over my ice cream so he can just take a lick, and he ate it in two bites!"
And she is still not over it...
"I still to this day, going back to it, feeling it, look I - I start to shake... I was so hurt. I never wanted to hit somebody so bad. I was just like, ‘Don’t you ever do that!’."
The other time Zoë wasn't able to keep it together whilst pregnant was equally hilarious...
"I was really hungry and I bit my finger, 'cause I was eating and I felt so embarrassed, 'cause I was like 'Who bites their finger? Which adult bites their finger while they're eating?' A pregnant one actually does, so..."
Haha! We get it Zoë, we get it!
5. She encourages her kids constantly.
There is one more thing about 38-year-old actress that caught our eye and it's probably the most important one. When she was asked what her greatest wish for her kids is she answered:
"...that they never grow up feeling conscious of the color of their skin, or where their parents come from or that they can achieve anything - in life."
And that is what really makes her an incredible mother. She tries everything she can to teach her kids that they can achieve whatever they want - constantly - raising them in a mindset where everything is possible, where limits are non-existent.
"Never give up.... Never... Nunca... #neverstopexploring #nuncadesistir #amor #love #twins #gemelos"
What an amazing woman!
Want to hear more experiences from working mums? Find out why 'mornings are sacred' to Olivia Wilde by clicking here.