When CSI: Miami ended its tenth and nal season, co-star Eva LaRue planned to spend more time with her daughter, Kaya (14), and carve out some “me time” with exercise, meditation and read- ing. “Trying to juggle being a mom, my travel, my work—all of it are stress inducers,” says the former All My Children star. With three TV projects in production, Eva’s sched- ule is still hectic, but she’s also found time to collaborate with Jewel Source and launch her business Eva LaRue Fine Jewellery.

Like most busy women, Eva has struggled to nd time and energy to truly tune in to her own needs and desires. “I feel like a lot of my life has been spent worrying about how everybody else is feeling, and making decisions based on what everyone else wants me to do,” she admits. “That’s how most women live: what our kids need from us; what our friends need from us; what our family needs. We really lose sight of what we need to be doing for us to replenish our mind and body.” It’s that realization that prompted Eva to start making a more conscious e ort to nurture her whole self. The result? Eva cheers that she’s slimmer, tter and happier than she’s ever been. “I recognize that I’m a stress eater,” says the ve-foot-seven actress, who began her career at age six. So she has taken steps to reduce the stress in her life in order to maintain balance and her gure, which still looks fab- ulous in a swimsuit.


Being in such a fast-paced industry, it’s often hard for Eva to nd time for herself. Like every mom, she makes the most of the time she can nd. “When Kaya is at school and I’m not traveling, I sit outside where my mind is not rolodex-ing through my iPhone or my computer. I’ve really tried to actively take the time, put technology away, sit and breathe deeply and try to meditate or listen to meditation tapes—just give myself that 20 minutes to tune out. When I take that time, I can feel rejuvenated and con- nected to myself again.” Eva recognizes that as much as technol- ogy has helped her stay organized, she turns to a more Luddite way of scheduling her days. “Good ole paper. I’m a tactile per- son. I like a paper book; I like a paper newspaper. Somehow, it makes me feel I’ve accomplished something when I turn over the last page of a book.”


The irrepressible actress and single mom says she’s healthier, tter, and more grounded than ever. But, like everyone, she still has to concentrate on trouble spots. “Mine are probably my thighs,” she says. “I never had trouble with my [abdomen] but now that I’m older, I do! No matter how many sit-ups I do, I’m just wider.” The change in her body helps motivate her to keep her routine. Thrice weekly Pilates sessions, weights, and an occa- sional dance class thrown into the mix has helped keep Eva t. “Weights help with my musculature and I love to dance—that was my background and it’s still fun for me.”


Always cognizant of nutrition, LaRue loosely follows a Paleo eat- ing plan. Staples of this back-to-basics diet include unlimited vegetables, fruits, seafood and lean meats, as well as fresh herbs and spices, seeds, nuts, and healthy oils and fats. “I love food and comfort food is my downfall,” admits Eva, who adores potatoes in any incarnation. “And Mexican food! I could eat Mexican food almost every day, if I didn’t gain weight.” Limiting her carbs and sticking to a vegetable-and-protein diet helps Eva ward o ab (not that any is evident!). She also chooses grass-fed beef and organic foods, whenever possible, to avoid the e ects of chemi- cals and hormones present in some foods.

However, her love of food keeps her from following too strict a diet. “I’ve learned not to deprive myself and to take small por- tions of something and really enjoy it. I also try to keep healthy stu towards the front of the fridge because if it takes too long to make, I’m not going to make it. I’ll grab bad foods,” says Eva, who lost 18 pounds many years ago and has kept her weight steady. To ward o unhealthy choices, Eva keeps sliced cucumbers and red bell peppers handy. “I keep fresh salsa or low-fat ranch dressing with jalapeño for dipping. I’ve always loved hot and spicy foods, so jalapeños are a staple in my house.” Blackberries and cherry tomatoes are other healthy ready-to-go choices. “Then again,” Eva grins, “there are di erent cookie doughs in the fridge, so when people come over, that’s what Kaya and I use as our excuse to break them out.”


Guided meditations are Eva’s introductions to the day. “That’s my best balance. The meditations help guide and centre me based on whatever is going on in my week. I have guided meditations on everything from relationships with others to forgiveness to cre- ativity and imagination, love, health, awareness and just check- ing in with your body. After a guided one ends, I’ll sit in my own quiet meditation for about another 10 minutes.” Eva’s choices run the gamut from Marianne Williamson to Wayne Dyer. After renewing her spirit for the day, Eva says, “My brain is then o to the races, starting with getting Kaya up and ready for school.”


At 49, Eva seems fearless in letting life happen. In fact, she says it gives her a sense of calm when she lets go and surrenders to everything. “I think stress and anxiety come from hanging on to something. We struggle, we panic, we ght against the machine and, nally, when you let go—what have you lost really? Just your personal baggage. So when you let it go, you oat, you swim— you’ve chosen to save yourself.” VM