Gina Rodriguez doesn't just talk when she communicates. She exclaims, and she gushes, and she effuses. That emotion that pours out of her character on Jane the Virgin; it's authentic, and it's constant — even when she's just talking about beer. The actress and activist (she made a cameo in Lin Manuel Miranda's latest song to raise money for hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico), just teamed up with Stella Artois for the company's four-part "Host One To Remember" series.
"It's like my favorite — it's my hands-down favorite beer to drink," Rodriguez says, interrupting herself. She's not speaking in hyperbole; that's legit excitement. "The only things I can talk about in my life are things that are very true to me," she confesses. And Rodriguez doesn't half-ass any of those things, whether they're work or play. Case in point: When she took up Muay Thai boxing as a hobby, Rodriguez didn't just hire a Hollywood trainer to teach her; she spent a month in Thailand learning from the pros.
Just before the launch of her Stella campaign, Rodriguez caught up with us to chat about the things that fuel her newfound healthy lifestyle — hard work, good energy, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.
She has daily "a-ha!" moments.
Rodriguez talks candidly about healing her younger self. "I rejected taking care of myself," she admits. But change didn't happen suddenly or rapidly. At 33, change is a daily occurrence for the actress. "One of my favorite words is teshuvah, and it's to return to the good," Rodriguez says. "I feel like every day, I'm always revisiting that moment of 'Okay, that needs to go — that part of me needs to change.' It never stops."
Gina recognizes her strengths.
Admittedly, Rodriguez isn't the best cook, although she says she bakes a mean banana bread. "I don't know if people want me to make a full dinner for them," she laughs. Still, she's the sleeper hit at parties: "I'm good at hors d'oeuvres. My thing is like the cheese plate. I'll cut the bread, I'll hand out the beer."
"Guilty pleasure" isn't in her vocabulary.
Right now, she's obsessed with dark chocolate, and when she wants it, she'll eat it — without feeling bad. "When I do indulge, it's always in my control," Rodriguez says, adding, "I definitely don't ever deprive myself."
She eats clean because it helps her function better, not because its trendy.
"I need to fuel myself," Rodriguez says about the foods she eats. That means she eats as simple as it gets, hitting every important category: greens, protein, fiber. "I do spinach smoothies in the morning or some kind of egg situation," she reveals. For lunch and dinner, Rodriguez has salad with chicken or fish. "What I'm putting in my body, how I'm taking care of my body is important," Rodriguez says. "It's my instrument, and if I want to be able to continue to do all this work and try to be of service to others, then I need to be as strong as I possibly can be."
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