(Living Well With)

Zoe Saldana's Self-Care Practices Go Beyond Working Out & Eating Healthy

It’s probably your favorite, too.

The past year has caused many to rethink their personal views on health and wellness. For starters, so many have learned to take ownership of their personal health, whether that involves wearing a mask regularly and scheduling a vaccine appointment or simply taking time to work out or indulge in some self-care. Zoe Saldana is one of those taking said ownership. In addition to the COVID journey experienced by the rest of the world, the actor explains that the past year opened her eyes to other existing health crises, one in particular that hit home with the loss of her friend and Avenger’s co-star Chadwick Boseman, who died in August 2020 of colon cancer.

“Seeing the effects of the devastating disease firsthand, I realized the incredible importance of raising awareness surrounding screening [for colon cancer] early and often, knowing that this can ultimately save lives,” says Saldana to TZR, who has partnered with Colorectal Cancer Alliance (CCA) and LetsGetChecked to raise awareness around the disease that took her friend too soon. “Both in working with LetsGetChecked and just overall during the pandemic, I’ve learned a lot about how I can take control over my personal health from home. There is no question that doctor offices and hospitals can be a source of anxiety for many, only exacerbated by the pandemic itself, but I’ve realized firsthand the convenience of at-home testing.”

Ahead, Saldana discusses her work with CCA and also reveals how she cares for her body and mind daily.

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What have you yourself learned about your own personal health since partnering with CCA?

I think there is definitely a tendency for people to avoid check ups for fear of what they might find out, but both LetsGetChecked and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance have taught me that screening early and often can be lifesaving and taking this agency over your health is incredibly empowering.

What are some ways people can get involved in this cause and initiative?

An important step is having a conversation with a loved one, family member, or friend to get checked early is a great way to get involved in halting this deadly disease. Having these conversations, however difficult they may be, sooner rather than later can be lifesaving and, though not the easiest conversation topic, a great way to do your part in raising awareness. The earlier we have these sometimes uncomfortable conversations with those in our life, even if perhaps they aren’t actively partaking in screening in the immediate, the earlier Colon Cancer screening will be on their radar so they can map out their own plan to keep themselves and their loved ones happy.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Right when I get up, I take a moment to take a few breaths and then I have a glass of water before going to get the boys.

When you have the chance to treat yourself, what do you do?

Every once in a while I will treat myself to some dark chocolate-covered almonds and a glass of rum.

What are you listening to these days?

I am really into podcasts these days and I love listening to all types of music.

One thing you can’t live without is…

I cannot live without my family, they are my everything.

Where are you dreaming of traveling to? Why?

I have been dreaming of going home to the Caribbean and enjoying the beach with my family.

What’s your go-to secret weapon when you want to look and feel good?

Drinking lots of water and getting sleep.

Do you have a favorite workout/wellness practice?

I love dancing and getting cardio in by running after the boys.

What’s the best piece of relationship advice you’ve ever received?

To spend unscheduled time together.

What’s a healthy meal you always make/order?

My husband is Italian so we love to make pasta with protein and veggies. I also enjoy having an arugula salad for lunch.

Do you remember your first big splurge? Do you still own it?

My first big splurge was buying my very first car. Unfortunately, I do not own it anymore.

What’s the small stress-saving luxury you swear by at home?

The Instapot! I can make quick and healthy delicious meals for my family, it saves me a ton of time.

What are you saving up for at the moment?

Retirement, even though I don’t plan on doing that for many years, ha!

One thing you want to go back and tell your younger self?

Listen to your intuition.