Personal Best: Jordana Brewster

The 'Dallas' and 'Fast & Furious' star shares her healthy living secrets.

Medically Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on April 12, 2013
5 min read

With the revival of Dallas, which just wrapped up its second TNT season, actor Jordana Brewster stirs things up on the legendary Southfork Ranch as the cook's daughter, Elena Ramos. And in the film Fast & Furious 6 (which premiered last month), she takes her fourth turn as Mia Toretto -- the hard-action series began in 2001 with The Fast and the Furious. In her teens, she had a recurring role on As the World Turns and later appeared in TNT's Dark Blue, NBC's Chuck, the films The Invisible Circus, Annapolis for Disney, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequel. A graduate of Yale University, Brewster was born in Panama City and has lived in London, Rio de Janeiro, and Manhattan. She now calls Los Angeles home.

What's your go-to great tip for great skin care?

"I was just at the mall looking for tinted moisturizer! I drink a ton of water, 16 glasses a day. Also, be careful what you put on your face, and then remove it. With all the makeup I wear on set, some days I like to have nothing on my face."

When you're overworked and stressed out, how do you reset and unwind? 

"Sometimes I'm in Dallas or Los Angeles or on a plane to London, so regardless of where I am, it's really important to ground myself. I do Vedic meditation 20 minutes in the morning and again in the afternoon. It's really easy -- I started with 5-minute tapes I bought online. It helps me be mindful and present for the challenges we all face with stimulation and technology coming at us all the time.

"I love my two Labradors."

What's your go-to healthy snack and why?

"Chickpea snack bars from The Good Bean for protein are a go-to. I also mix almond butter in Greek yogurt with Stevia -- sweet and savory at the same time."

Healthy dinner?

"When I go out, I like grilled fish -- I don't like to make it myself because I really don't know how. For a really healthy Mexican dinner, I whip up an egg frittata in a whole wheat tortilla and dip it in Trader Joe's guacamole mixed with Greek yogurt. I also make healthy pizzas with whole wheat pita bread, low-fat cheese like mozzarella, Yves meatless pepperoni, and tomato sauce."

What three ingredients are always in your refrigerator and/or pantry?

"That would be egg whites and Greek yogurt -- I try to eat organic as much as I can -- usually Stonyfield. I keep some kind of high-fiber bread -- Rudi's or Ezekiel. I always have kale and arugula. When my husband makes a smoothie with Greek yogurt and a banana, I try to put a handful of kale or spinach in there! I like a MorningStar veggie burger on a whole wheat bun."

What about when you're on set -- what do you stash in your set trailer?

"I pack a lunch box and put an ice pack in it -- I make my own breakfast or lunch every day -- like a kid going to school. I prep the day before because it makes things easier. Sometimes I mix plain oats, yogurt, strawberries, and stevia, and let that sit overnight. It's yummy, like porridge. I might take the pizza I mentioned above."

What does a perfect day look like for you, when you have no place to be and no calls to return?

"It varies. On a really rainy day I like to go to the movies alone -- documentaries. I might see a friend for coffee -- it's so good to connect. I really miss my girlfriends, and that's what's hard about shooting in Dallas. I could spend a mellow night with my husband at our favorite restaurant, just hanging out."

What's your workout regimen like?

"In Los Angeles, I train with Harley Pasternak. It makes the workout fly by because we're talking the whole time. In Dallas, I work out alone. Today I did ½-hour on the treadmill, then eight sets of 16 reps -- boring. I usually download a podcast to keep my mind engaged as I'm methodically repeating the exercises. My biggest challenge is stretching -- I really just want to get out of the gym, but I know stretching's really important. I use a foam roller to stretch my IT (iliotibial) band."

How do you keep healthy on the road and on the set?

"You have to know how to cook for yourself. I shop at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods and if I'm working for 4 days, I'll shop for 5 days of food. The fridge is always stocked so I don't have to go for fast food -- I don't let myself get too hungry."

What three makeup items do you never leave home without when you're traveling?

"I never leave home without eos lip balm (my lips get so dry), baby oil to take makeup off, and Terri Lawton moisturizer."

If you could visit any one place on earth, where would you go and why?

"I'll give you three! India, because I practice Vedic meditation and that originated there. A trip would be spiritually fulfilling. Next, it's Africa, because I love to see what I've never seen before. Then Greece because I'm reading a novel set there, and it sounds so beautiful and rich."

What do you always keep in your purse? 

"I'm addicted to my phone. I keep all-natural hand sanitizer, a bottle of water, and my glasses for driving at night and seeing movies. My dad wears glasses, too."

What's the best life/skin care/fitness/health advice you ever got?

"My mom told me to always take makeup off before going to bed. She told me, 'Don't touch your face,' but I do. Also, 'Get enough sleep' -- I try to get 7 hours."

When you're trying to lose 5 pounds, what's the first thing that goes and why?

"It's alcohol, because I like martinis or red wine -- both totally superfluous and to cut them is one of the easiest ways to cut calories. I can't live without carbs but I do really watch sodium content -- it's in so much of what we eat. It can have a big impact on how bloated you feel."

What cause is near and dear to you?

"I'd say the approach taken by Stand Up to Cancer, which funds the most innovative research to help find a cure for this epidemic. I did participate in the telecast, but I'd like to do more.

I like organizations that help women in third-world countries. It's not always so helpful just to say, 'Here's money.' I prefer organizations that teach skills relevant to areas where women live -- I'm looking more into that."

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