She continues to slay it on the red carpet and top best-dressed lists while starring on the big and small screens. We all know her as the Type Four, marches-to-the-beat-of-her-own-drum Rue in Euphoria, for which she nabbed an Emmy Award, might I add. Of course, I’m referring to none other than Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman (AKA Zendaya).
Courtesy of Vogue, I took a deep-dive into Zendaya’s life: a Disney star turned full-fledged celeb, singer, self-proclaimed workaholic and (Virgo) perfectionist, Auntie Daya to her nieces, painter, homebody, and true-crime podcast junkie (a girl after The Everygirl’s own heart). Between her many talents and interests, leading role in Euphoria, and starring in cinematic roles, it left me wondering how she finds the time to stay healthy. Thanks to an interview with Cosmopolitan and various other sources, I got the inside scoop. Read on for five healthy habits Zendaya swears by and my experience taking a stab at them.
1. Find a workout that’s fun for you
Let’s be real: We know all too well that if a workout doesn’t bring the fun factor, we’re not sticking with it, and Zendaya agrees (we knew we loved her!). In a YouTube interview with Justine Magazine, Zendaya confessed to being gym-averse, so she gets her workouts in by doing activities she loves: dancing and choreography. When she does hit the gym, you better believe she’s making it entertaining. Case in point: Zendaya doing plank variations on a medicine ball and killer Pilates movements.
My experience: Until a few months ago, you could say I was a gym rat, and lifting heavy weights was my happy place. But I found that I had to continue digging really deep to keep it up, and the motivation waned—it just wasn’t fun anymore. Taking a cue from Zendaya, I switched it up with some at-home workouts that deliver the perfect combo of sweat and joy (rebounding and obé Fitness classes FTW) and found my second wind.
2. Discover what motivates you to exercise
Believe it or not, celebrities sometimes need a little push to work out too. Zendaya shared her unconventional way of keeping herself accountable on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: wearing various wigs she had collected from her red carpet appearances and showing up to her gym as a different character. OK, so most of us don’t have wigs lying around, but you get the idea. Identify what helps you stay consistent with your workouts and get to it. Whether it’s a ride-or-die sweat buddy, your satisfying post-workout smoothie, or booking a non-refundable fitness class, use it to your advantage to work out on the reg.
My experience: This was a no-brainer for me—there’s nothing like a new, flattering workout set to pull me away from a binge-watching marathon and get my body moving. While I can’t get a fresh ‘fit for every workout, I use the next must-have waiting in my shopping cart as an incentive (and, trust me, there are enough to keep me going for months).
3. Practice body positivity
A body positivity advocate through and through, Zendaya is all about self-love and being authentic. “There is no such thing as ugly—that’s a word that doesn’t really enter my vocabulary,” she said in an interview with New You. “It’s important to find out who you are and love who you are … It’s very freeing when you’re just like, ‘Yo, I’m just going to do me!’” And she does just that—and with style, no less! Zendaya called out Modeliste Magazine for retouching her photos to make her hips and torso appear slimmer than IRL. The magazine later released the issue with the original, unedited images from her cover shoot (now that’s a happy ending if there ever was one).
My experience: TBH, I have a lot to learn from Zendaya. I’m still working on loving myself as I am and not chasing an idea of perfection I have lingering in my head every day. My go-to practice? Catching myself when I’m nit-picking my body and flipping the script with being grateful for what my body provides: the gift to exercise, a canvas for my latest fashion finds, and the ability to enjoy (mostly) all the delicious foods.
4. Make your meals balanced and eat what you’re craving
Zendaya has been a vegetarian since she was 9 years old, and she gets creative about fitting veggies into her diet. Enter: the summer rice salad recipe she shared with Seventeen that is built around a healthy mix of fats, protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates. But don’t be fooled by the rice salad recipe—she’s also VIP status with Postmates (I’m not exaggerating, just read Postmates’ blog). She admitted to Harper’s Bazaar that she doesn’t cook out of laziness and dislike for following directions (that’s the kind of relatable celeb we love!). “I can have anything I want; that’s the beauty of ordering food,” she said.
My experience: Zendaya’s diet reminded me that it’s all about balance. I tend to fall into the all-or-nothing trap, so I channeled my inner Zendaya and, alongside the rice salads I made (BTW, I’d rate it a 7/10 for flavor and ease), I finished off my lunches with DEUX Cookie Dough (my latest obsession) or a couple of chocolate peanut butter cups. I’m keeping Zendaya’s rice salad in my summer meal rotation, but when laziness strikes and the chopping of vegetables is just too much to wrap my head around, Postmates it is—no guilt or shame here.
5. Opt for matcha over other caffeinated beverages
It’s no secret that The Everygirl editors are obsessed with Starbucks, and it turns out Zendaya is too. Her go-to Starbucks order? A Venti iced matcha green tea latte with coconut milk. And that’s her only source of caffeine—she told Harper’s Bazaar that she goes sans coffee, soda, and energy drinks. Zendaya may be onto something: Matcha boosts your energy at a slower pace than coffee and contains L-theanine, an amino acid found in the green tea plant that can reduce stress.
My experience: I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a matcha snob, so I was hesitant to give what’s been dubbed “The Zendaya” a go. While it was too sweet for my liking and I usually take my matcha with oat milk, I like the coconut twist and would order it again to appease a post-meal sugar craving. Because I have Crohn’s and go without the same three beverages, this healthy hack Zendaya swears by was already part of my repertoire. But if there’s one main takeaway from Zendaya and her workout and diet tried-and-trues, it’s do what works for you.