Leighton Meester is a woman of many talents. She isn’t just an actress — she’s also a singer, songwriter, mom and wife, and now, with the help of husband Adam Brody, she can add surfer to the list.
The Single Parents star, 32, said that surfing is one of the new things she’s recently tried.
“Last year, I took up personal training. My husband also taught me how to surf, and in the last year, I got really into it,” Meester tells SHAPE for their April cover. “For the last six months, surfing has pretty much been my main form of exercise.”
Now the former Gossip Girl star is fully addicted to hanging ten, and not just for the workout.
“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,” she says. “I’m working on a skill, and that is so fulfilling to me. Plus, being in the ocean is such a spiritual experience that you forget you’re getting a real workout.”
Meester applies a similarly relaxed approach to her meals.
“I usually eat a ration of 60:40 or 70:30 of healthy foods versus whatever I want,” she said. “If I have a really nice, fulfilling breakfast and lunch, then for dinner, all bets are off.”
And to hit that balance, Meester is a creature of habit.
“For breakfast, I keep all the stuff for my morning smoothie in the freezer in resealable bags, so it’s pretty much all measure off — 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,” she said. “At work, I have salads with chicken or turkey or fish prepared by a personal chef, and then 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.”
Meester is also a big fan of natural beauty and wellness products to get her in a happy mindset.
“I do little touches during the day to make myself feel more centered or rejuvenated,” she said. “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. I use CBD balm to try to reduce the stress and tension in my shoulders and hands. And I’ll make my bath as relaxing an experience as I can with essential oils and salts, maybe do a hair mask or under-eye patches.”
“I like to make a lot of my own products — bath salts, body scrub, lotion, cuticle oil, and the soap that I use,” she continued. “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.”
But beyond things and objects, Meester looks to her family and friends to “feel fulfilled.”
“I try not to look to my status and my career as a life goal. I gain a lot more confidence from time with my friends and family — people whom I love, who love me, and whom I’ve built relationships with — and that goes for people at work as well,” she said. “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.”
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