Leighton Meester Shows Off Toned Body, Talks Surfing With Adam Brody

When it comes to diet and fitness, Leighton Meester Opens a New Window. is living her best life, finding that sweet spot between obsessive dedication and relaxed follow-through — and the results show in her beautiful photos in Shape’s April 2019 issue Opens a New Window. .

“I usually eat a ratio of 60:40 or 70:30 of healthy foods versus whatever I want. If I have a really nice, fulfilling breakfast and lunch, then for din­ner, all bets are off,” the actress told the magazine of her daily eating regimen.

Starting the morning off right with a time-saving smoothie recipe Opens a New Window. hack sets her up for flexibility. “For breakfast, I keep all the stuff for my morning smoothie in the freezer in resealable bags, so it’s pretty much all measured off,” she said. Inside those bags: “A lot of kale and spinach and collard greens. I might blend it with spirulina and chlorella powder and a bunch of flaxseeds and chia seeds and mangoes and bananas.”

The Single Parent star’s afternoons are even easier, thanks to some outside help. “At work, I have salads with chicken or turkey or fish prepared by a personal chef,” she noted. After that, it’s time for a little bit of diet fun. “For dinner I’ll maybe eat tacos or whatever I crave — and fudge mint cookies. I love them so much that we always joke, ‘Have you had your cookie today?’ Like it’s my vitamins.”

For exercise, the Gossip Girl alum does a mix of gym work with a personal trainer and surfing, a skill her husband of five years, Adam Brody Opens a New Window. , taught her. “Last year, I got really into it,” says the mom of 3-year-old daughter Arlo Opens a New Window. . Now, “for the last six months, surfing has pretty much been my main form of exercise.” The activity fits perfectly with her carefree fitness philosophy: “I have found that when I don’t have a physical result in mind when I’m exercising — it’s not just about getting sore or getting abs or burning fat — I feel much more confident. I’m working on a skill, and that is so fulfilling to me.”

Scroll through to see the pay-off of Meester’s balanced diet and fitness regimen, and read more of her inspirational quotes.

Playing Aqua Woman

Surfing helps Meester get a strong core and legs. “Plus, being in the ocean is such a spiritual experience that you forget you’re getting a real workout,” she told Shape.

Credit: Peggy Sirota

On Being Unbalanced

“I just don’t believe in balance. I think that’s not possible if you’re a working mother — and with single mothers, I can­not even imagine that,” the actress revealed. And though she makes time “for soaks in the tub,” she says, “there’s often a toddler in there with me.”

Credit: Peggy Sirota

What Makes Her Happy

“I gain a lot more confidence from time with my friends and family [than my career] — people whom I love, who love me, and whom I’ve built relationships with — and that goes for people at work as well. Truly, those things are what make me the happiest, and I think that if I’m doing well on that side of things, then I’m doing well.”

Credit: Peggy Sirota

Her Centering Tricks

“I do little touches during the day to make myself feel more centered or rejuvenated. I drink my tea in the morning, have an essential oil diffuser in my trailer and use a foam roller to give myself a massage whenever I have a chance,” she said. And cannabidiol is a go-to. “I use CBD balm to try to reduce the stress and tension in my shoulders and hands,” she added. 

Credit: Peggy Sirota

A DIY Kind of Woman

“I like to make a lot of my own products — bath salts, body scrub, lotion, cuticle oil, and the soap that I use. When you buy a natural product, you can read the ingredients — everything is natural or organic, and you can find those yourself. There are amazing products out there that can be $20 or $30, which you can make for less than a dollar.”

Credit: Peggy Sirota

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