Aviva (in yellow) enjoys active days with her family. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)
All too often, every scene on reality TV seems to be about glamorous red carpet moments and fabulous, over-the-top trips. One of the latest additions to the cast of Bravo's Real Housewives of New York (catch the season five premiere on Monday), Aviva Drescher, will tell you that life can get messy. In fact, when we caught up with her, she was trying to manage a couple sick kids, all while doing phone interviews from her busy apartment.
Drescher knows how to overcome hard times: she lost her leg in a farming accident at age six. But hasn't let the amputation define the way she lives and the experience hasn't slowed her down one bit! Keep reading to learn more about how Drescher stays healthy and how she feels about the reality TV trend.
What has surprised you the most about taping a reality show?
It's 10 times more work than I had anticipated. I filmed 180 scenes, and 85 percent of that doesn't get used. It's not just going to lunch—filming is actually a really hard job! I don't want to roll out of bed in sweats since millions of people are potentially watching, so planning all of the outfits takes some time. Plus, Bravo doesn't provide hair and makeup. You're on your own with that.
The crew is really nice. There are so many people involved to make a great show—it's not just [executive producer] Andy Cohen and a camera!
What are some of your favorite reality shows to watch?
When you think about it, so much television is covered by reality. The shows are everywhere. Before I started filming, my husband actually banned the Housewives shows from our bedroom. Now he watches them with me, but every time he falls asleep! I find them fascinating, though, and study a lot of reality shows. They are definitely a cultural phenomenon. I really like the Jeff Lewis show Interior Therapy because it's practical and makes house design look like not much work. I also love fashion reality shows and The Apprentice.
As an amputee, you bring a unique storyline to the show. Has that experience changed the way you lead your life?
I lost my leg at age six, and it's part of who I am since it happened so early. I do what I want and lead life as I want: I'm a mom, lawyer and do sports. At this point, it's like wearing glasses.
How do you stay fit?
I'm a big believer in fitness to stay healthy and look good. I work out five days a week, using a stairmaster or taking an indoor cycling class. I also weight train and use the TRX with my husband. To make it easier to fit in, I try to keep most of my fitness routines at home and travel with my TRX. I take exercise seriously and am motivated by how aerobic exercise wards off cancer and disease.
Does that healthy lifestyle also translate into your diet choices?
Yes, I'm almost neurotic with my health. Everything my family eats at home is organic and pesticide-free, and I load up on veggies, like broccoli and kale, as well as green tea, tumeric and berries. I don't do a lot of dairy. I eat a mostly low-carb diet with more vegetables and protein. But I do love fine restaurants with quality ingredients, so when my family and I go out, I just eat and enjoy.
Now tell us: Who is your favorite wellness-minded reality TV star?