Red hot alert! Last night, we cozied up along the catwalk with fashion’s finest in support of The Heart Truth, a national campaign raising awareness for women’s heart disease led by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). This year’s Red Dress Collection show kicked off Fashion Week with more than 15 of our favorite athletes and celebs—Gabrielle Douglas, Jillian Michaels and Minka Kelly, to name a few—sporting scarlet designer gowns. Their individual runway motivation may have varied, as projected on the big screen while they strutted their stuff, but they all shared the collective goal of putting an end to the number one killer of American women. Eat your heart out, heart disease!
Before stepping out in a flowy Oscar de la Renta number, we caught up with Minka and asked her all about her involvement as Diet Coke’s Celebrity Ambassador. Here’s how the starlet keeps her “Sexist Woman Alive” body fit, heart strong and more!
This is your second year as an ambassador for The Heart Truth! What inspired your continued partnership with Diet Coke?
Last year when I learned that heart disease was the number one killer of women in America, I was really inspired to get involved and use whatever voice I could to help inspire women to take care of their hearts because you’re never too young or too old. This year it’s a little different. You can upload a photo of yourself to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag “#showyourheart” and every post Diet Coke will donate a dollar, up to $100,000, so that’s my goal this year.
What have you done personally to lower your heart disease risk?
Living a healthy lifestyle and exercising and eating healthy has been a big part of my life for some time now, which is why working with this campaign made so much sense for me and I’m really passionate about it. So it’s just a fit that makes sense.
Any heart-healthy fitness and diet tips?
I try and get my blood pumping once a day. I work with a trainer three times a week and on the off days, I do yoga or I hike. I just try to be active every day and I try and eat as healthy as possible. I try and be aware of “food-combining,” which I think is very important, but I certainly don’t deprive myself. Everything in moderation is key. I think portion control is also very important.
We saw that you sweated it out with AKT In Motion this week. How was that?
Oh, it was great! That was my first time working with her. Wherever I go, whenever I travel, I try and get something to get involved with or something to do to keep me moving. Aside from the benefits from working out, you know, fitting into your jeans, it’s also, it helps me mentally. When you have your endorphins going, for me at least, you just have a better day. I’m more positive, I’m happy, I’m focused. So AKT, [Anna Kaiser] is incredible and what she does is really good and one of the best workouts I’ve had. We did a bunch of different stuff on the treadmill—I’ve never been so creative on the treadmill before! I consider myself to be pretty athletic and she had me panting. I was shaking by the end of it. She’s such a great trainer, she was awesome. I’m going to probably work with her every time now when I come to New York.
What’s your favorite way to work out?
I have a trainer who kicks my butt three times a week and on the off days I do whatever I can. I get bored very easily so I just, I got to keep switching things up…I just try and find different creative ways to get moving. It’s fun for me. I think your body gets used to a certain workout so if you change it up and you shock your muscles, they’ll respond better than if you just keep doing the same thing every day.
We heard that you’re quite the chef. What’s your favorite dish to whip up?
My favorite thing to cook—they’re not the healthiest things so when I cook, I like cooking for other people so I don’t turn into a big blimp. I like to get my friends fat! In moderation, of course. You know, not everyday. I like to cook, I love to bake. I love baking banana bread and pies and cakes and I love cooking lasagna and I like getting creative with salads. I like looking at cookbooks and getting inspired and going to classes, taking cooking classes.
The Friday Night Lights fan in us has to ask, what was it like to kiss Tim Riggins (i.e. Taylor Kisch?)
It certainly wasn’t romantic—it wasn’t real-life, it was work. It was awkward, because there were a million people watching.
So what’s next? Do you have anything in the works?
Yeah, I just finished with The Butler and working with Forest Whitacker and Oprah and a lot of other wonderful actors and I’m going to start a little indie movie called The World Made Straight next month. I can’t say much about it because it hasn’t been officially announced, but that’s what I’m doing!