Vanessa Hudgens: ‘My overall food philosophy is, if it’s real, I’ll eat it’

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Vanessa Hudgens has made several face palm comments over the years but none of us are perfect (she’s a Sagittarius and they tend to suffer from hoof in mouth disease). It would seem that Vanessa has learned from her past mistakes and is moving forward with her life. Vanessa has also become a business woman in her own right. She launched her cactus water brand, CaliWater, in May and started skin care brand, Know Beauty, with Madison Beer. Vanessa also starred in the My Little Pony movie which was released in September and will be in Lin Manuel Miranda’s upcoming film Tick Tick Boom! Vanessa covers the November issue of Shape Magazine. In her profile, Vanessa discusses the seven habits that she has incorporated into her life. One of the things Vanessa says that helps her keep her energy up is staying away from processed food and only eating fish instead of land mammals. Here are a few highlights from Shape:

Jumping in and going full throttle is something Vanessa, 32, has come to appreciate. “I love a good challenge,” she says. “It forces you to figure out who you are and what you stand for.” One of her greatest accomplishments right now: Feeling confident in her skin.

“Over the past couple of years, I’ve really come into my own,” says Vanessa. “When you’re fully accepting of who you are, and you stop trying to suppress pieces of yourself, you can conquer the world. I love how silly I am. I love how excitable I am. And I love that I’m finally at a place where I can access those things. Even the quirky stuff that might have been shut down by other people in the past, like being ridiculous with my friends, those are things I’m now allowing to thrive. For some people, I’m way too much. But I love who I am, and there’s such power in that.”

“At my fittest, I feel unstoppable. You think, ‘There’s no way I can get through 30 reps.’ But then you do, and you remind yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to. Those little victories should always be celebrated. That’s what contributes joy and happiness and power and strength to your life.”

“My overall food philosophy is, if it’s real, I’ll eat it. Many things are processed and contain chemicals and ingredients I can’t pronounce. I want real food. If I’m in Italy, and I see them making pasta by hand, or if it grows from the earth, that’s real. I stay away from the processed stuff. I also don’t eat meat. I’m a pescatarian. What animals go through is so inhumane. That’s not a system that I support.

I eat two bigger meals a day instead of three. Breakfast typically has avocado, maybe vegan sausage, and a piece of healthy bread. Dinner depends on my mood. I let myself have what I want. If that’s a big bowl of spaghetti with clams and a glass of wine, then that’s what I’m eating. Sometimes I crave a salad, and I’ll make a big one with nuts and goat cheese and salmon. Other times, it’s tacos and a margarita. I’ve learned that when I try to be super conscientious of everything I put into my mouth, all I can think about is food. But when I listen to my body and eat what I want, that’s when I’m happiest.”

“I’m so grateful for my group of friends because they’re such unique individuals. We have this bond — we lean on one another, and we’re inspired by one another. Whenever I’m stressed, I’ll tell one of them and they’ll say, ‘I’m coming over,’ and we’ll talk it out. That’s so important. Much of the time, when people are dealing with stress or mental health issues or depression, it’s easy to keep it all inside. But that’s the most destructive thing you can do. Having a community is my stress relief.”

[From Shape]

I love how Vanessa says that she embraces everything about herself including her silly and extra sides that people may not necessarily appreciate. For me embracing and loving all of myself brings complete freedom in life. I also love how Vanessa talks about finding your tribe. Having people around who accept and love you definitely helps with being mentally strong and enjoying life.

I am moving towards a pescatarian lifestyle for the same reasons that Vanessa has decided to go that route. Every time I eat meat in America I tend to gain ridiculous amounts of weight. This doesn’t happen when I live abroad so I am definitely looking at my lifestyle choices. I prefer to make a lot of my own food and sauces because I want to avoid processed foods and preservatives. I also agree with Vanessa about physical fitness. I just started back at the gym a month ago despite some physical restrictions due to injuries I sustained while serving in the military. And although I fight getting up in the morning to go the gym, once I finish I feel so damned good. Anyways, I hope Vanessa continues growing and maturing.

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32 Responses to “Vanessa Hudgens: ‘My overall food philosophy is, if it’s real, I’ll eat it’”

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  1. Haylie says:

    All foods contain chemicals. Even whole foods. Water is a chemical compound. People are bundles of chemicals that we need to function and survive.

    I wish people would stop using the word chemical as a boogeyman.

    • bub244 says:

      Yeah I agree. Unfortunately, like Victoria Beckham, this just sounds like a cover for disordered eating. Does she keep the same energy for ‘chemicals’ in her makeup? Skincare? Appliances?

    • Skeptical says:

      Yep. And is she eating only wild-caught fish? Because fish farms use chemicals to prevent disease in the fish, either vaccines or antibiotics.

    • Maria says:

      Yes. I saw a list from one of those “green” sites about chemicals to avoid in shampoos. One of them was citric acid because of its use in cleaning products – never mind that it’s just basically a component of citrus fruits. The language regarding this topic is often very distorted.

  2. Noki says:

    Its not a secret that there is something in American foods that is completely unnatural and addictive ,that is why a huge part of the population is obese and speaking from someone who has lived in S.A,India,UK and the US I have never seen such an unnatural zest for food especially the cheaper foods aimed at the masses. Whenever i visit US the first few days after eating the food leaves me feeling very different.

    • Jules says:

      I travel a lot and I absolutely agree. But you gonna get in trouble for calling Americans obese, though it is the truth.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      I’m not a dietician, but even I know feeding cows grain ( rather than the green grass they are biologically meant to eat) changes the amount AND composition of fat. Factory farming is bad for animals and people.

    • Emily says:

      There are different rules about what can be pumped into animal products in the US. Hormones are illegal in Canadian beef for example. But I’ve noticed American milk making its way into Canada so I only buy milk with the maple leaf.

  3. Juls says:

    It’s not just the chemicals in our food, there’s also the SUGAR. There is so much sugar in our food in America. You really do have to read ingredients. Any time you can make your own sauces and such from scratch it’s so worth it because food tastes so much better fresh and you can leave out the sugar and junk.

    • The Hench says:

      Yeah – I used to suffer from terrible IBS and acne issues and for 15 years I cut out gluten, wheat and dairy in an attempt to control it.. My epiphany happened after watching “Sugar, The Bitter Truth’ with Dr Robert Lustig who ran through how the body processes sugar and the toxic effects it can have. Then I realised how much hidden sugar I was eating in things like chilled soup and even flavoured soya yoghurt in my ‘healthy’ diet. I cut it right down to less than 20g a day, if I can. No more IBS and I can eat whatever I want, including bread, without issues – IF I stay off the sugar. I also have much more consistent energy levels – I used to get to mid afternoon and just crash.

      • purplehazeforever says:

        I might need to look into that. I have IBS pretty bad…maybe, I do need to figure how to drink decaf coffee without the creamer. Or just switch to decaf tea.

    • Christine says:

      You are so right. My son had to eliminate a variety of things for a year, and I was shocked at all the sugar being added to things that 100% don’t need sugar. Mayo is the example that always comes to my brain first, but there are so many others. There is no telling what my diet would be today if I hadn’t had my eyes opened.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      So, so true. Make your food at home whenever possible, so you know what goes in it.

      • Ry says:

        I agree with you. My son definitely had different mood reactions to certain foods. Cooking clean is best. I’m a terrible cook, but ideally, it’s best.
        I do think the gut and overall health and mood are extremely affiliated. There are also great places with ready made meals although quite costly.
        As for this one, I don’t know what to make of her and I don’t think about it one way or the other lol. I don’t know her to know if she has any negative food issues so I won’t speculate. But. Just from what I’ve read about her in her interviews, she seems dopey af to me. It’s not a crime. Before I listen to anyone, I always consider the source.
        To be fair, the interviewer asked her the questions being that it’s Shape magazine so of course it would be about food. I hate that so many people use these pictures of body types the average person doesn’t have and then highlight her advice on how to get said body as though it’s gospel. She has money and trainers and time. That’s how she got this body.

  4. Skeptical says:

    Vegan sausage is real and not processed?

    • hindulovegod says:

      I caught that, too. She’s espousing a whole food diet but what she eats isn’t that. It’s fine, obviously. Eat what you like. But don’t misrepresent it.

      • Skeptical says:

        Exactly. And “processed” is such a misunderstood term. If I buy a jar of passata to make my own pasta sauce, I’m buying something processed, no? The tomatoes have been peeled and cooked and maybe had some salt added, then jarred and heat-sealed. That’s industrial processing. So are canned and jarred tomatoes bad? And let’s not forget that a lot of processed foods are more affordable than fresh, so people on limited incomes have little choice but to eat these foods. Sorry for the rant, but I hate when influential celebrities distort and demonize terms like “processed.”

    • SarahCS says:

      Side stepping the whole (very valid) ‘what is processed food’ debate, there was a great article here in the UK recently questioning the assumption that all these new vegan foods we now have access to are super healthy because they’re plant based. It needs to be a conversation a lot more than it is.

      I’m largely pescatarian although I don’t eat much fish and do eat meat from time to time and I did go through a phase of loving the compromise as my boyfriend likes meat and a lot of the new products are genuine substitutes (particularly things like sausages and burgers) that he also enjoys. But, two things, one the massive amount of plastic they often come in, and two they’re not necessarily particularly healthy! So I’m cutting back again. Although quorn sausage rolls are fairly regularly in my shopping basket… Mmmmm…..

      • OriginalLala says:

        I’m vegetarian – and this is my general take on this topic. If you wouldn’t eat meat sausages, burgers etc every day because they are not a health food, then you shouldn’t eat the plant-based version everyday either. They shouldn’t form the basis of anyone’s diet any more than their meat counterparts should.
        But the idea that they should be demonized is also kind of insane – a vegan chocolate cake is still cake, why would anyone think that’s something to include in your daily diet?
        We buy the Beyond Sausages once a week because they are delicious and we enjoy them but I’m not under any pretense that they are the nutrition equivalent of kale lol

        I guess the point here is that food companies don’t have the buyer’s health in mind (never forget that!) and that too many people either don’t use their common sense when buying food or aren’t equipped with good, and sound, nutrition education.

      • Skeptical says:

        Definitely an important conversation to have. And nothing wrong with eating those things as long as you read labels and ensure that what they contain is something you are okay with e.g. check sodium levels, protein source, etc. Packaging is another whole issue for sure! And an indulgence is always fine…I assume that’s what quorn is because I’ve never heard of it. :)

      • myjobistoprincess says:

        How we chose to categorize ourself with our food choices is impossible nowadays. Too many things going on: plant based diet & non processed but vegan sausage? hmmm…. It doesnt make sense, but it never will never. We’re just somewhere in the spectrum of strict vegan to yay red meat, and all natural to 100% processed. I just happen no to like meat that much, but I do have bits and pieces here and there. I also prefer 2 feet animals, no feet animal like fish and exoskeletons things like lobster. But hey, I dont say no to butter and some milk in my coffee. I love veggies, and would rather eat plant base all the time in theory, but in real life, I go get myself hotdogs when I dont have time and it’s noon, and i’m lazy. She’s right what we do to animals is the worst thing, but then again, i’m sure she owns a leather purse, a leather jacket, boots or belts. Or maybe a duvet pillow or duvet winter coat. We can’t make it perfect. I’m sure she’s pro environment, but you know, those sunglasses are made of plastic…
        She’s happy that way, she feels good about her choices, she feels she’s doing the right thing, and that is what is important.

    • wildflower says:

      She could be making it herself? I make a vegan breakfast sausage with black beans that is delicious. She certainly has enough money to have her food prepared for her.

  5. Pix says:

    Honestly, I think she looks healthy and happy. I love her and always will because Gabriella Montez and Troy Bolton set up an entire generation of kids to look at interracial dating as the norm. She/her character changed the standards of beauty from Sharpey ‘s blond hair and blue-eyes to Gabriella’s brown skin, brown hair, brown eyes. I wish I had that when I was a growing up but I’m glad HSM did that for the next generation. So cheers to Vanessa!

  6. Case says:

    “People are gonna die, but it’s like, inevitable?” This is all I see when I look at her. People make mistakes and say dumb things sometimes, but this one is hard to shake for me.

  7. Lemon says:

    People can eat what they want and make their own food rules.

    That said, I’ve been following intuitive eating dieticians and came across the “food science babe”, she’s really great. She’s got an education in… food science! She goes through and explains the food additives that you can’t pronounce, what they do and why they are safe to eat. A lot of people, myself included, fell into clean eating without really understanding how much research and science goes into regulating food.

    So yeah it’s great to eat whole foods but packaged and prepared stuff is ok too.

  8. Jules says:

    I used to eat a lot of fish, less so now after reading about how over-fished the oceans are, how disgusting fish farming is, and high mercury levels in wild fish. So there are no easy answer here except we need to take a real hard look at how we treat the earth, and what we put in our bodies.

    • Viva says:

      Yes! I always cringe when people claim they don’t eat meat because of animal welfare, the environmental impact, and the effect it has on their bodies and then say they just replaced their meat intake with fish. I agree, many nations must change their diets, but simply replacing meat with fish is not the solution

  9. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    What has she done to her face? Did they photoshop her cleft chin or has she altered it?

  10. Crooksandnannies says:

    Y’all I’m confused. Is fish not meat? Literally speaking. It’s the flesh of an animal. I understand being a pescatarian but it sounds (to me) like we are bandying words about to distance ourselves from the fact that we eat meat. I know there’s a debate about what fish experience/comprehend vs mammals- but I’m pretty sure when you eat their flesh you’re eating meat.

    • Thirtynine says:

      I never understand this either. If you’re not eating meat because of your compassion for animals, why eat a fish? It really bothers me that fish are not regarded as valuable as living creatures as mammals. Fish are intelligent, sentient beings too.