Ask Alexandra – May 2002
I am curious as to what your diet was while training for the ironman or even during your more tougher workout schedules? Since you are a vegetarian and an incredibly active woman who places many stresses on her body,I am curious as to how you keep your nutrition level at its peak….what do you eat to replenish your iron, folic acid, vitamin B, etc. in place of meat?
| Dear Chris,
I have been a vegetarian since I was 14 and have never felt unhealthy or undernourished from it. The only thing I do notice is that I need to keep my protein up, or I will get unending cravings for sweets. During the Ironman, where I was training up to 7 hours a day (a 90 mile hilly bike ride would take that long, but I was averaging probably 3 1/2 hours/day of exercise during the 9 months leading up to Ironman Hawaii 1997), I at alot of egg whites for protein. I hardboiled eggs and kept the whites in the refrigerator for easy eatin’. I probably ate 18 egg whites a day. While I was actually exercising, I ate clif bars or Powerbars to keep my calories up.
Now, as I move towards veganism, I am getting protein with tofu, tempeh, nuts and nutbutters. I drink a green shake in the morning and later have some nuts, and in the evening Ian and I have a big salad with tofu and tempeh in it. During the day, I graze on soup, nuts, soy yogurt etc. I eat about 2300 calories a day, which is alot for a woman. Once a week I have some egg whites, that is all the animal products I am eating. I will wean myself off those soon too.
For vitamins, I take a multivitamin and 1200mg calcium with 600 mg magnesium, and acidophilus. My nutritionist, Arnell Lindgren, believes in getting most of our nutrition from live food and not supplements, so I am really trying to eat healthily, with less packaged foods. My body fat hovers at 12%, even though I am exercising much less than when I was training for triathlons, and I feel like I have a ton of energy. Thank you for writing, and for your interest.
I am an ardent admirer of you and what you stand for, and also a huge Baywatch fan. You were the only cast member who looked like a credible lifeguard (but still beautiful as well)! I was curious to know if you did your own stunts on Baywatch. If so, what was your most memorable stuntwork?
Best of luck to you, and your future,
| Dear Peter,
We all did all of our stunts on Baywatch, unless there were high falls or fire. I had really wanted to be able to be hoisted up into the helicopter myself – in the episode where I am battling my fear of helicopters because of my dad’s death – but I was not allowed to. There are certain boundaries for what an actor can do, or a production cant be insured, so if it is too dangerous, it is forbidden. It is standard to not be allowed to ski or ride a motorcycle off the set during the months you are filming, because if the actor gets hurt, it will be very costly for the show.
Probably the most nerve wracking thing for me on Baywatch was the “dive off the moving scarab”. If you had dry hair in the scene, you only had one shot! I practiced with Mike “Newmie” Newman, as he was my hero when it came to those dives, but I never got it as right as I wanted. Once, the camera boat was so close to the scarab that I actually hit it as I dove.
I was very proud of the episode that introduces Yasmine, who played my sister, Caroline in the show. The episode opens with me doing all these stunts on a jetski-thing (I think jetskis have you standing up – this had a seat and you rode astride like a motor bike), and Caroline is on a jetty taking photographs of me. For the all the balletic stuff, they used a pro freestyle “jetskier”, but when I have to save Caroline, who has fallen into the ocean, there is a close up of me standing on the “personal watercraft” and driving it, and then I dive off it. Unfortunately, it was too close to see that I was actually doing the driving myself and wasnt being towed! My dive was pretty good too! Especially since I had never driven one of those things until that morning, when the stunt coordinator Greg Barnett took me out!
I loved every single rescue I did, especially when there were alot of waves!
Professionally, what do you consider to be the next great challenge to you in the entertainment industry? (Meaning now that you have acted, co-produced, co-written… etc). Do you have any plans to direct? Perhaps write a book (*nudge* *nudge*)?
Keep up the great work, both as an actress and a highly respected environmentalist. You rock!
I have to admit that I have no aspirations to direct, write or produce! I did co-write and co-produce two environmental videos, Jampacked and The Cost of Cool (which won a Cine Eagle award last month), but I only did that because no one else was doing it, and I really cared about those issues. I am working on a story idea with a writer friend of mine, for a film or tv movie that I would star in, however.
I seem to be doing alot of hosting these days: the series “Winning Women” (about women athletes) on the Women’s Entertainment Network, and “Wild Waters” (a water sports show) on the Outdoor Life Network; a video on hydrogen cars; my environmental talk show, now called “EarthTalk Today”, where I shoot two shows a month. But acting is where my heart is. I seem to be having a bit of a hard time in that department this past year – having only shot one independent film, “Above and Beyond” and the short film,” Breaking Up Really Sucks” – but I am hanging in there! Hollywood is going through alot of upheaval at the moment, and alot of actors are suffering, but I am lucky to have steady work all year round with my hosting gigs.
Of course, if anyone has a great script for me to star in, I would love to read it and if it is right, try and get it made!
Thank you for writing.
P.S. I will leave the book writing to my sister, who is a far better writer than I, but thanks for the encouragement!