Here's how the actress and business owner stays in great shape while eating what she loves.

Jaime Milan, reviewed by Lisa Valente M.S., R.D.
January 20, 2021
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shay mitchell
Getty / Gregg DeGuire / Contributor
| Credit: Getty / Gregg DeGuire / Contributor

Shay Mitchell is an actress (you've probably seen her as Emily in Pretty Little Liars or as Peach in You), mom to 1-year-old daughter Atlas, founder of Onda Sparkling Tequila and chief business officer of her luggage company BÉIS. Like us, you may be wondering how the 33 year old manages all of this while staying healthy, strong and sane, so we asked her for her tips and tricks.

What Shay Mitchell Eats in a Day

Shay isn't a fan of restrictive diets. She says, "I'm a choositarian, I choose what I feel like having." For her, that means striking a healthy balance between whole foods as well as treats like pizza or a cocktail. She says, "I'm a big fan of intuitively eating. I listen to my body and go with it."

Part of the intuitive eating movement is honoring your cravings, but also paying attention to your body's cues. During quarantine, Shay says her relationship with food changed. She says she was eating pizza or mozzarella sticks almost every single day, and felt like something was off. "I just didn't feel my best...I got to a point where I thought I should cut back. I wanted to feel more alert and balanced," she says. 

So, she tapped her intuition, cut back on the takeout and started incorporating more whole foods into her diet. Shay says she loves to go to the farmers' market because it inspires her to eat more veggies. She says, "I like things that are pretty to eat. The other day I found purple peppers at the farmers' market. I like eating the rainbow!"

Shay says she loves to make rainbow bowls or stir-fries and challenges herself to get creative with whatever is in the fridge. Or, she says, "I like to have a salad with lunch and dinner, but I always need to have something else with that—like some grilled shrimp, chicken or pasta."

Between meals, she likes to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. She says, "I have a five gallon water bottle that I attempt to drink every day." She also likes to prep healthy snacks ahead of time to help her stay on track. She says, "Having snacks already premade in the fridge makes [eating healthy] so much easier." Shay opts for easy, grab-and-go snacks like charcuterie boards (a girl after our own heart!) or cut veggies and dip. She says, "I'm a big condiment person." (We personally think she'd be a fan of our Crudités & Dip recipe!)

Beyond her produce-packed meals, she also makes room for the occasional indulgence. Shay says she always has frozen pizza in her fridge and loves dessert-like smoothies. She says, "I'll never deny myself this coffee smoothie I love that includes dates, cold brew, maple syrup, cashews and ice. It's such a nice sweet treat. It would be great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream." She also keeps a case of Onda in her fridge for when she wants a fun cocktail.

Shay Mitchell’s Exercise Routine

Shay says that this year she wanted to focus on "360 health," which means taking care of her mind, body and soul. She says, "Self-care for me is really taking time to be by myself and do whatever feels right in that moment. Whether that's working out, watching TV or going for a walk."

And staying active is a huge part of Shay's health journey. She says that in the past, she'd get into a good workout groove, but fall off the wagon. She says her objective this year is to "integrate small goals I can commit to," rather than making huge, unsustainable changes.

To help her stay accountable, she partnered with Openfit for her "Four Weeks of Focus" program. This at-home workout program includes five, 30-minute classes each week that users can do along with Shay.

She says, "It's been so much fun. It feels really good just having something to commit to and focus on." Plus, since the program only runs for four weeks, Shay says, "It's not that daunting. Anyone can find 30 minutes a day and this is the perfect program to see results in a short amount of time." (Interested? You can sign up for her program here.)

The Bottom Line

We love that Shay practices intuitive eating and listens to her body when something feels off. We also love that she incorporates lots of fresh, colorful veggies into her diet and doesn't deprive herself.

Lisa Valente, registered dietitian and EatingWell's senior digital nutrition editor, also appreciates Shay's style. "Listening to your body is so important, and it can be hard to do. I love that Shay is eating intuitively and including a variety of foods in her diet. Sometimes that will mean mozzarella sticks or coffee milkshakes, and sometimes that means salad and fresh vegetables from the farmers' market. Also, salads usually need some protein, fat or carbs to help keep you full, so good for her for not just eating a sad bowl of lettuce. Small, sustainable changes—whether for your foods or your workout routine—are definitely the way to go."