The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan

With the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead on Sunday, we couldn’t help but catch up with its biggest (and one of its longest-surviving stars) Lauren Cohan. It can be tough to live amongst zombies, and you have to be healthy to outrun them…obviously. Cohan filled us in on workout routines, healthy snacks and how she manages to splurge while still staying balanced…

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

A green smoothie with lots of sprouts, coffee, a salmon salad for lunch, Mom’s Chocolate for a snack, and for dinner, some really nice wine with either fish, quinoa and vegetables or a stew.

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

Eat what you preach, but cheat when you need. I love sweets and I love Italian food, but I also love to cook. So, honestly, it’s balance. I try to not be weird about food; I don’t want to starve. I love exercise, so for me it’s about having a healthy amount of muscle – and knowing where my food comes from. Good energy in equals good energy out.

Any new workouts you’re obsessed with? What are they? 

I’m devoted to yoga and Pilates but I always mix up the week with one new or different class, and I am making TRX a regular part of my own routine.

Do you need to be in shape for your role in The Walking Dead? How do you prepare?

I vary activities but weight bearing, core work, running and hiking/running stairs keep me ready for most of what the show has to offer. Most important is stretching, though – I have always had a bad back and hamstring stretching is lifesaver.

What can we expect for the second half of season six? 

Big changes, and a lot of the group back together again.

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What’s a go-to weeknight meal for you?

When I’m lazy I’ll have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or broccoli with brown rice, seaweed and a homemade dressing. I always have sesame oil, Bragg Liquid Aminos, coconut aminos (for a healthy kiss of sweet) and lemon juice in the fridge.

The moisturizers you can’t live without…

Neutrogena Oil-Free Grapefruit Moisturizer

With spring/summer around the corner, any quick ways you continue to be ‘bikini’ ready? 

A gallon of water a day, I promise you. Fat floats (right outta you) on water.

How do you always start your day on a positive note?

When I feel like I can’t get out of bed, I think of people who really can’t get out bed. With the right mindset, you will always have everything you need.

Where do you love to travel? What won’t you travel without?

I love road tripping, and I’m not a big (good) planner. Jumping in the car and moving just makes me feel good. Most recently, I loved traveling to Nashville and Charleston.

What’s always in your bag? 

Neutrogena Make-Up Remover Wipes, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, EltaMD sunscreen, Pure Encapsulations Women’s Pure Pack, and a biography or two – right now Benjamin Franklin and Malcolm X.

Your favorite healthy snacks…

Perfect bars (the almond butter one) and peeled cucumbers with lemon juice, cumin, and celery salt.

What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?

L’Artusi in New York, Dandelion in Philadelphia, Sotto Sotto in Atlanta, and Sunny Blue in Santa Monica

In the same vein as ‘the new black’ in fashion, what’s ‘the new potato’ right now?

Being here now. When possible, turning my phone off and being fully immersed in only the activity at hand.

Catch up with a Walking Dead alum, Steve Yeun. Also read this interview with the star of its spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead, Kim Dickens.

*Lauren Cohan, photographed at Untitled at the Whitney in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann.