A Fresh Start After 40
It’s been a tumultuous couple of years for Eva La Rue: She left her career-defining role on All My Children, ended her nine-year marriage, landed on the hit TV series CSI: Miami, and loved and lost again. But the irrepressible 43-year-old actress and single mom will tell anyone that she’s healthier and more fit and grounded than ever. She shared with Natural Solutions how she keeps herself balanced, body and soul.
How hard times made her rethink
Last year was a tough year of change emotionally, spiritually, psychologically. There was a lot I hadn’t dealt with from my divorce [from actor John Callahan] that needed to be cleared out, and it ended up being a cleansing year. I learned how to meditate. It’s hard, I mean really hard, to clear your head. I try to take a little space every day. I also started working out a lot, changed my eating habits, and lost 20 pounds—the “anger and resentment pounds” I’d gained since my divorce.
Her new way of thinking about food
I’m a total stress eater, and comfort food is my downfall, namely potatoes in any incarnation and Mexican food. But I started cutting out carbs, and found that if I stuck to vegetables and protein, I felt less sluggish and bloated. And I choose grass-fed beef and organic foods whenever possible, [to avoid the] effects of chemicals and hormones that we end up consuming. But I still love an occasional burger; I’ve learned not to deprive myself and to take small portions of something and really, super enjoy it.
Her post-40 workout regimen
I’ve been working my upper body because I had lost so much muscle in my late 30s. I used to be a dancer, and I do Pilates and yoga, which keeps you toned but doesn’t quite build muscle. Now I use machines and free weights, doing three sets of 10 to 15 reps with the heaviest weight I can lift, three days a week.
Getting her body back after pregnancy
I was 35 when I had my daughter; my body is totally different now. I used to be able to lose a few pounds in a week—all of a sudden I had to work my butt off. I was down to my original weight after a year of really working at it, but I still couldn’t get back into my original jeans size. I had the lovely muffin top; my butt got saggy. I don’t think anyone’s immune to looking at her body and going “dammit!” But I do think it makes you more forgiving of yourself. I think, “Why didn’t I prance through the streets naked when I was 20? Why wasn’t I in a swimsuit, and proud of it, all the time?”
On being an advocate for your own health
A passion of mine is support of the Ovarian Cancer Coalition. My grandmother and great-grandmother died from the disease. With ovarian cancer, there are few clear health markers, and the only way to find it is with a transvaginal ultrasound or a CA-125 blood test, which is not always accurate. And because it can present in many ways—diarrhea, back pain—it can be misdiagnosed as well, meaning late-stage diagnosis, and your survival rate goes down significantly. Women are intuitive; when you know in your gut something’s wrong, you can’t sit back and let symptoms go. Get a second opinion!