You might remember Christine Taylor from her funny roles in flicks like The Brady Bunch Movie, Zoolander, and Tropic Thunder, but she's also wife to Ben Stiller and mom to daughter Ella and son Quinlin. And although both Taylor and Stiller are totally hilarious, famous working actors, things around their house aren't all that different from yours or mine. Like many parents, Christine is concerned about the chemicals in the products she and her kids are using, the foods they all eat, and the activity they get. And although there's plenty of trial and error, she's got a lot of great tricks up her sleeve.
At a recent event with Whole Foods Whole Body and Nourish Organics (the first USDA-certified organic skincare collection, which you can buy at Whole Foods), Christine caught up with us about how she and her family stay fit, healthy, and happy ...
How did using organic and chemical-free skincare products like Nourish become an important mission for you?
After I had kids, there was a period in my life when I had these babies, and I was looking at every label -- moisturizers, and bath gels, and I wanted everything to be as healthy and organic and natural as possible. And then I sort of took a minute to say, I don't look at any of those labels for myself. I was very conscious of what I was putting in my body but not on my body. For some reason, it didn't connect for me until I had kids and started saying, you know what, you should be more conscious of this stuff. Ben and I talked and we said, let's really focus on health. That doesn't mean a diet. We just wanted to keep things organic, and let's look at labels, and let's be more aware.
What are ways you're able to share that philosophy with your kids?
As a parent, as a mom, you can teach your kids a lot of things. Like with food, and put a lot of things on a plate they'll try or not try, like or not like, but it's just about sort of it being in the house and them sort of seeing by example. Like Ben and I do these green veggie smoothies every morning, and our kids are so grossed out by it! They're like, "Geeugh, you smell like green juice!" And I was just like, "You should just try the green juice." I just feel like the more they see it, over the years, then there's gonna be a day when they'll be at a smoothies place, and they're gonna try it! And also for them to see how much we enjoy it, and ... being healthy and conscious and aware is important for us as a family. I would like that to bleed into [their lives] instead of having to enforce it.
What motivates you to "lead by example"?
We're a family of actors, and there are days where you're getting your hair and makeup done and it's about looking pretty for the movie or the picture. To me, what I say to my kids, when it's about choosing something healthy or not healthy, I'm like, "Okay, this is about keeping your blood pumping, and your heart going, and it's about health. It's not about how you look, it's not about weight, size, shape." Because I just feel like just as an actress and someone who has always been aware of that part of show business, there are those are periods of time where you go through growth spurts and body changes ... And I just remember -- not issues with food, cause I always enjoyed food, treating myself -- but that feeling of wanting to feel comfortable in your own skin. And knowing that I never had the body type of a tiny little petite 5-foot whoever! We all have different body types. So really, especially with my daughter, I want to encourage that this is about health and feeling good, so we're all around for a long time! That is my motivation and drive.
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What do you do to stay active with the kids and on your own?
We used to live on the west coast, where you could be outside year-round, but now [that we live in Westchester, NY] when it's cold, and you can't be outside playing, we do these obstacle courses in the house! I will get in and do it! You break a sweat. I'll do it from room to room. It'll be like, okay, climb under the chair, and down the stairs and then grab something and then jump on the mini-trampoline for one minute! It becomes this game where you try to beat your own time. [Also] I enjoy yoga a lot, and the kids' schedule really take over my life, but I really try to find a couple of days a week to do that. I enjoy playing tennis when the weather's nice if I can. When we're in places where you can be outside and hiking or walking our three dogs, those kinds of activities are fun too!
How do you strike the balance between indulging in the occasional treat and healthy eating at home?
I'm the first one to want to bake a cake with icing -- we love all of that stuff! I think everything in moderation. [We like] finding healthier spins for treats ... interesting ways, recipes that still make you feel satisfied and like you're getting a sweet treat, but you know, has less preservatives or is home-baked. My son loves fruit, so a lot of times, he'll do that, and it's, literally, it varies.
What's your go-to treat?
I love to have a nice little something sweet. I really am like a chocolate chip cookie person or some kind of ... cobbler-y type things, where there's a yummy crust. And I love this perfect fall recipe -- my mom's pumpkin muffins! Or banana bread. That's a great breakfast for the kids. And if you want to indulge a little, you add some chocolate chips.
Can you relate to Christine's healthy living advice?
Image via Nourish