Jane Fonda’s Tips for Healthy Eating

  1. Don’t skip breakfast! Feed yourself regularly throughout the day. Ideally, you should have one-third of your daily calories in the morning, one-third at midday, and no more than one-third in the evening—so you don’t impulsively grab whatever is around.
  2. Keep healthy snacks on hand for between meals—things such as fruit or low-fatcottage cheese or string cheese. Red grapes go well with cheese.
  3. Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Eat an apple or another healthy snack prior to going to the grocery store.
  4. Make a shopping list and stick to it so as to avoid impulse buying.
  5. Keep a food diary for a while, writing down what you eat at each meal. You will be amazed to learn how much more we eat than we realize.
  6. Make sure you’ve consumed a variety of colors before the day is over, especially the superstar foods high in antioxidants and phytonutrients: dark greens and blues/ purplesand yellows/oranges.
  7. Make sure that at least half of the food on your plate consists of fruits and/or veggies.
  8. Eat slowly and chew well.
  9. Eat sitting down.
  10. Eat mindfully. Focus on what you are eating, and don’t read or watch TV while you eat.


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  1. I followed the links and printed out your 14 Tips for Healthy Eating. Thank you so much for posting this! Some of us have trouble with diets but can follow guidelines like these. Looking forward to reading your new book Prime Time! I still treasure my autographed copy of your book My Life So Far, from when you did a reading for Atlanta’s independent feminist bookstore, Charis Books (my favorite bookstore). Hope you come back to Atlanta and do a reading/signing for Prime Time too!

  2. I am 55, have notice that I am losing weight because of no appetite, been ck out, no reason. Got any suggestions? T

  3. I finished reading your chapter, “Now More than Ever, You Are What You Eat”, a couple of days ago. You gave a lot of great, valuable information. I have put a post-it note on that chapter, because I know I will be referring to it quite often. I have to admit, the information is a little overwhelming. I mean, you are looking at a person whose different colors of foods came from Skittles Candy and Fruit Loops Cereal. For a person like me who has horrible eating habits, there was a lot to digest.
    I know you included a list of things you should do to eat healthier like the one here, but I think you should write a Jane Fonda 12 step program (or whatever steps it takes) on how to change to a healthier way of eating for poor fools like me. These steps would be more than just a list of things to do, but would be actual steps to slowly take someone into healthier eating habits . . . . one step at a time. Most diet plans (though I know what you are writing isn’t a diet plan) tend to take the dieter and throw them head first into the deep side of the pool, hoping they will figure out how to swim. The dieter generally panics, not thinking they can swim on their own, grabs the nearest floating device, and yanks themselves right out of the water to the safety of their old ways. This twelve step plan would instead ease any person, dieter or just a person who wants to eat healthier, into a lifelong eating habit. That person would be guided on how to slowly step into the pool, allowing them to get used to the water, have them start off using a floating device, then finally teaching them to swim all on their own. Perhaps week one would have the person look at what they drink throughout the day and change that for the better. Week two may have the person look at how many vegetables they are eating, have them eat more, having the vegetables replace that bag of potato chips. Week three would bring in the fruit concept, replacing that sweet cookie with a sweet piece of fruit. Anyway, something like that would be great for someone like me.
    I am going to try to change my eating habits with the use of your information, but I sure wish I had someone to hold my hand so I didn’t fall flat on my face! I know it seems simple. Get rid of the junk; replace it with the healthy stuff. Unfortunately for someone like me, trying to change a lifetime of bad eating habits . . . . 40 plus years, is not so easy! Okay, maybe not 40, I can’t blame my mother, but certainly a good 25 years! Jane, if you wrote a step by step plan people would love it! No, it wouldn’t have that instant gratification that so many want with losing weight, etc., but would instead give a plan that helps people slowly ease their way into eating habits that will last a lifetime. Gosh, you could even include an app that people could get on their phones or computer for the program!
    Well, the chapter is excellent for me. I just need be brave and march into the world of eating healthier . . . . even though I will greatly miss my sugared cereal, candy, and soda pop!

    • Hi Susan,

      One thing you can trust is that you will not miss those foods. Once you are used to eating real whole foods, you will actually feel sick if you eat the old stuff again.

      Try these two things:

      Slice open 5-6 pitted medjool dates. Slide in one brazil nut per date. Eat these on the go.

      Banana Strawberry Ice Cream

      Slice 2 bananas and 5-6 strawberries and freeze.

      The next day, drop it all in the blender. Pulse and push fruit into the blades between pulses. Do this until it catches. Blend for 5 to 10 seconds. You will be amazed. (use a food processor if you have one)

      You can eat this for breakfast!

  4. I signed up because I have been a long time admirer, but of a different age. I just checked out the history of photos of you on yahoo and have a few questions. Being an activist in the 60’s 70’s was a fad as far as I am concerned, because a lot of the activists are now doing what they fought against and back then rebellion was a cool thing, but seeing how the world is about to burst now, I do not think much was accomplished. You were a mixed symbol to a lot of people. To me, I sensed that you were trying to show the human side of the North Vietnamese and that our United States were against, and your anti-war sentiment was the main drive. My questions are as follows: What is the main reason you used your fame(popularity) to protest against government decision? Were your parents strict? You still seem to speak out for certain liberties. Do you ever see a permanent change for the better in sight? If there is one thing you could fix for the better right now, what would it be? And finally, did you ever date anyone normal? (meaning not millionaire, actor or along those lines). You probably will not get this, but since I was a kid I thought you were cool, but I am older and now more curious about how well I chose my models in life. Thanks for your time.

    • Chris, 1) My father played Tom Joad in “Grapes of Wrath”,” “Young Abe Lincoln,” “Twelve Angry Men,” etc etc. I adored him. He/his roles were my influnece. They were about justice, equality
      2)There are some changes. Not enough.

      3) I would stop violence against women.. Then everything would change. The challenge is to do all you can but don’t get attached to outcomes.

      4) Tm Hayden was neither rich nor in the film business

      • Thanks for taking the time to answer me. I did not mean to barge in on a healthy eating post with unrelated questions. I have always admired you and thought you would have been pretty exciting to hang out with. I was curious what sparked the rebel protesting you displayed and continue to display. I was not old enough at the time to judge you as an anti-American. I never did think that, and it is just because you were a star that you got hounded that way. If I was on one of those tanks in the picture back then, it never would have amounted to anything other than my friends laughing at me. I can understand your answer number three. You had some interesting relationships. I would have to say that there has been significant progress on that over the years. Now it is socially unacceptable with unpleasant outcomes for offenders, where as from what I gather, back when I was a kid, abuse was much more predominant but not as visible as today. It was kept behind closed doors and ignored. I think violence in general, needs to be stopped. As long as it is being put in the spotlight, less of it will happen and I consider that progress. Once again, thanks for your time and answers. I never expected to actually get a response from you.

  5. Hi Jane,

    I realized after finishing your new book, that you had covered almost all my questions. One question remains- make-up for women- we want to look our best in our Third Act, and I would love to hear your thoughts. I particularly loved the eyeshadow you wore on Joy Behar’s show. I realize this may seem inane to some. I think women over sixty today are most apt to have beautiful skin. We learned at an early age how to take care of our skin. Now how to keep our faces glowing.

    thank you.

    • Pris, I use L’Oreal’s Age Reperfect Pro Calcium for older skin. One for day and one for night.

  6. #6 Dear Jane! You suggest eating a variety of colors every day. I guess that could work easily. I eat a box of M&M’s every day or at least one dark green, a blue, a yellow and an orange :). Variety of colors: check 🙂

    (just kidding) XO

  7. Hi Jane..thanks so much for your honesty and your candid writing about depression and eating disorders..I feel sometimes we have lived somewhat parallel lives in that I battled bulimia/anorexia for 14 years in high school and college, depression all my life (both sides of family, low self esteem and had a very demanding perfectionist father. Luckily I have overcome the eating disorder,my self medicating alcohol abuse, made peace with my dad who is now in his mid 70s..I still battle the depression and finding the right meds..I guess my question to you is did you find the eating disorders have left any permanent damage to your body?..I am trying to eat a better balanced diet with more fruits and fusion drinks,,I have difficulty eating veggies, always have hated them but have tried fruits and supplements..i am worried that the bulimia/alcohol had has some permanent effects..Besides the teeth issues (multiple crowns and enamel issues) I have recently been diagnosed with severe iron deficient anemia, My red cells are fine but my body cannot store iron and my bone marrow test indicated NO iron in my marrow and low ferritin level as well as low immunoglobulin IGg IGg1..I start IV iron treatment next week, so I am hoping that will cure the extreme fatigue..I am thankful no cancer which was one thing they were looking for..I am also thankful I am sober and not longer have and eating disorder and at 47 am beginning to like myself..Looking forward to the new book..let me know if you have any insight to past eating disorders and future health issues..thanks and it was great to watch you on Charlie Rose tonight,,take care and best..Amy

    • Wow, Amy, so sorry you have these lingering issues. No question that bulimia has long-term effects on the body. I think my osteoporosis is related to that. All we can do now is try to eat as healthy as we can and remain physically active. That can help with bones, joints, et . I send you strength

      • thanks for your strength Jane..that really means a lot to me!

  8. Hello Ms Jane ..I’m a newbie here and am glad I’m joining..I just returned your new book to the library and it is awesome..I couldn’t renew it because there were so many holds on it but I will buy it soon.
    Jane, I feel very inspired by all your comments and am working towards becoming a better me (I am 72) taking better care of myself. The one thing that is keeping me from life right now is the knee pain..I have been putting off the surgery for fear.. but after reading how well you did.. I
    feel a little better..I know we are all different,and how we fare.. but God first.
    Thank you

  9. Hi Jane, My name is Janne (pronounced as Jan) Brown and I am from Stratford, Ontario, Canada. I bought three of your workout videos – Complete Workout, Easy Going Workout and the Low Impact Workout. I bought the Complete Workout yesterday and the other two today.I tried the Complete Workout this morning but only got as far as the stretching exercise with the weights. I am 53 years young and I do go to the gym and do RPM (spin class). When I am not doing RPM, I would rather be home doing your exercises in our finished basement. I like the privacy and the convenience of doing exercises anytime I want. I wear a trach (from the result of a car accident 12 years ago) to help me breathe and I do the exercises to the best of my ability. I know the Easy Going and Low Impact Workouts will work very well for me. I walk a lot too. Now the snow is gone (after a long winter!), my boyfriend, Ed, and I are going out and riding our bikes. Thank you so much, Jane, for inspiring us all to keep healthy!

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