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The Hungry Crowd

Cameron Diaz's Secret Weakness: White Bread Soaked in Beef Fat

Actress Cameron Diaz

Actress Cameron Diaz Photo © Cliff Watts / Trunk Archive

Cameron Diaz on The Body Book and the salty, fatty foods she sometimes craves.

In The Body Book, a big part of your healthy eating philosophy is moderation. How do you maintain that on set ?
Just a minute ago I passed a table with buffalo wings. I could taste them on my lips. Then I asked myself if I wanted to feel the way I'd feel after eating a bunch of wings. The answer was no. I eat everything I want to eat. In the end, I didn't want them.

You live in Los Angeles and New York City. Do you find it easier to eat healthfully in one place or the other?
New York has a lot more restaurants than L.A., so I end up eating out a lot more there. But it's just as easy to get clean food in New York as it is in L.A. Anywhere you go, you can ask for something simple like a piece of grilled fish with vegetables. If I'm going to a restaurant for a culinary experience, I'm ordering something from the menu. Otherwise, I order the simplest thing I can. In L.A., I eat at home more.

Do you cook or get take-out?
I'm always cooking for myself. But I'm not a recipe girl. I might look around for inspiration, but otherwise, I just make up things based on what I'm craving. Right now, my regular breakfast, cooked up in the little kitchen in my trailer on set, is this kind of savory oatmeal cake—steel-cut oatmeal cooked al dente, refrigerated, then seared on high heat in a little olive oil. I put fried egg whites on top of that.

In the book you own up to not having a sweet tooth to reckon with. What's your weakness?
Salt and fat. When I was a kid, my mom would broil a rib eye and all the grease and blood would drip into the pan. I would take a big piece of white bread, let it sit in the pan and soak up all that fat and blood, and have that for a snack.

You advocate a thoughtful, sensible approach to eating well, like prepping big batches of grains and vegetables for the week. But what do you do when you get bored of broccoli and quinoa?
That's when I get naughty with sausage. Or I'll add Cholula Hot Sauce to a grain salad or spike it with what my girlfriends call "bacon bits": I mince a bunch of shallots and cook them in olive oil on low heat until they start to color. I let them go another 30 minutes or so until they're nice and caramelized and season them with Maldon sea salt.

What's your idea of comfort food?
A good Cuban meal cooked by my mom. If I can't get that, there's a hole-in-the-wall Cuban place in New York that I love. I'd rather not share the name.

You're a white wine lover. What's your go-to?
I'm a white-wine-on-ice kind of girl—a crisp, minerally white wine. My friend Drew Barrymore has a line of Pinot Grigio, one we can drink effortlessly.

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