Most of us were introduced to Keke Palmer in 2006 as “Akeela” in the movie, Akeela and the Bee. Since, she has acted in plenty more – such as Rags, Imperial Dreams, and Brotherly Love (released in 2015). But it may come as a surprise that Keke Palmer is also a singer. In fact, she released her debut album, So Uncool in 2007. Combine that with her talk show Just Keke (making Palmer the youngest television talk show host in television history), Palmer certainly has a full schedule! But even with all of that responsibility, she still makes time to exercise and eat healthy.
Palmer explained her motivation for being healthy to “The Cut” magazine. “Do you love yourself? That’s what I ask myself, because after I broke up with my longtime boyfriend, I took a lot of time to realize and understand the concept of truly loving myself — literally treating yourself with care. That doesn’t mean just making sure people aren’t mean to you, or making sure you have good friends, but also physically loving your body and doing right by it. For me, it became motivation simply because it’s not so much about looking nice but more about feeling good. It feels good when I work out. It makes me have energy. When I’m eating well, I’m able to deal with things better. When I started realizing the benefits to my body, health-wise, that’s really what motivated me. I don’t want to be limited by my body because I’m eating poorly or because I’m not exercising and I don’t have the energy. I want to be able to live life to the fullest and so my love for life is what motivates me to keep myself going.”
So what does Keke eat? Well first, let’s talk about what doesn’t she eat. Empty carbs. There is no nutritional value in empty carbs such as white pasta and white bread. These foods fill you up with no nutritional return to your body, hence the word “empty”. It’s a waste of space. Instead, Keke replaces these with complex carbs such as green and leafy veggies, grains, nuts, and lean protein. A typical day for Keke includes a protein shake for breakfast, a salad from chipotle (she loves the steak salad with black beans) and grilled chicken for dinner. Recognizing that we get hungry in between meals, Palmer’s snacks include granola bars and pistachios.
How does Keke exercise? When you look notice her washboard abs and toned legs, common sense says she works out all the time. This is not the case. With her busy schedule, Palmer doesn’t focus on quantity of workouts but on quality. Now, she does exercise daily, but only for thirty minutes – an intense thirty minutes in which she focuses on squats and ab exercises. I know what you’re thinking. Okay, she does squats and ab stuff, but what about cardio? She must do cardio with a body like that. Indeed, she does cardio exercises but not in the typical “treadmill” sense. Palmer makes it fun with dancing! She even works with Asha Kamali, also an actress and professional dancer, to learn dance routines to keep the weight off. Who doesn’t want to dance to stay fit!?
Here are two exercises that will strengthen your core, perk up your posture, and render you eye-catching bikini figure. Keke does them!
Plank Jumping Jacks: Lie down in plank position. Jump your feet towards sides as you do in jumping jack. However, make sure that your upper body remains straight while doing so. Switch back to the same position. (minimum twenty reps to reap the benefits).
Cycling Russian Twist: Sit comfortably on the floor. Now, make 45 degree angle between your torso and the floor. Join both your hands and take them in front of your chest. Raise your feet in the air, while one leg lying straight in the air, and the other one bent from knee. Twist your hands towards the direction opposite to straight leg. For example, if you have straightened your left leg, twist your hands towards right and vice versa. Switch your legs and repeat the same. Complete rotation towards left and right; this will form one rep. (minimum fifteen reps to reap the benefits)
I want to leave you with a quote from Keke. “I think I was blessed at a young age to find my passion and I realized how meditative that was within itself — having something you love that you can lose yourself in. I have a tattoo on my arm that says: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” I truly believe you are what you repeatedly do. You can change. You can become anything that you want to become because you are the one who chooses the habits that you do every day. You can make them all positive, or you can make them all negative.