Cameron Diaz on Water, Aging, and Those Body-Hair Comments

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Cameron Diaz.
Cameron Diaz. Photo: Dave J Hogan

Cameron Diaz is an actress, Charlie’s Angel, producer, and former model. She just released her second lifestyle–wellness book, The Longevity Book, which takes an in-depth look on how to age well. The Cut talked to her about gulping down water, the cellular approach to aging, and those pubic-hair comments in her last book.

How I start my mornings: It’s very important to start your day off with a lot of energy. It’s about setting yourself up so that you can have a productive day. For me that starts with getting up, brushing my teeth, and drinking some water — I drink a liter of water straight down — I meditate, I work out, have breakfast, and I get my day started.

What wellness means to me: We take wellness for granted, as something that most of us are born with. But just because you get older doesn’t mean that you have to get ailments. Not everyone gets to be born healthy, strong, and capable. You shouldn’t just let it dissolve away as you get older. It is something you can hold onto.

I look at well-being as a responsibility that I have to myself that nobody else can do for me. I have to embrace and engage in it actively on my own. It’s my responsibility. That’s why writing this book was so important to me, because it was information I didn’t know before, and in knowing it, I am more empowered. If people don’t have this type of knowledge, how are they going to be empowered to live a happy, healthy, strong life?

We’re made up of trillions of cells and we kind of ignore our cells, we don’t give them a lot of credit. We look at them as wholes. I wanted to understand, and I like to understand, how they function. We really exist on a cellular level, and that’s actually where aging takes place. Our cells have to replicate and regenerate constantly, for us to live. There are five pillars of well-being, with nutrition, physical activity, good sleep, stress release, and loving, connected relationships. The five pillars also impact how our cells change, along with genetics and environment. But our choices also make as much of a difference.

On food: As I’ve written in both The Body Book and The Longevity Book, nutrition is pretty much the ultimate. It’s first and foremost to your well-being. It’s important to get nutrition by not relying on supplements, but from whole food — foods that haven’t been processed or preserved with chemicals. It’s about really indulging in a varied, nutritional diet.

On aging: I just understand it more. I’ve always embraced aging; I have no problem with aging. Knowing that only 150 years ago, life expectancy was 40 and now it’s 82 for women is something to be celebrated. We’re living longer than we’ve ever lived on this planet as humans, and there’s a huge responsibility with that. There’s a lot that comes with that — economically, across all sectors from government to private, the medical industry, jobs, our environment will need to sustain lives with resources. It’s a lot.

My biggest wellness struggle: Aging really is your responsibility. You need to understand and know what “good” means, if you’re attempting to do a good job at it. You need to know what good nutrition is, what good physical activity is, what good sleep is, what it means to connect to people, what it means to release stress, what is the optimum for you, and what you can accomplish. Don’t beat yourself up, but do the best that you can on a day-to-day basis.

On her body-hair comments from her last book: That was one of those things that got grabbed ahold of and completely misinterpreted. People who don’t understand or who just went to the lowest comment just grabbed ahold of it. I was really talking about choices and making educated choices, and knowing that making an educated choice is really the most important thing we can do to empower ourselves.

My biggest wellness struggle: I would like to get more sleep, but I think that’s for everybody. I just want to sleep more.

This interview has been condensed and edited.