You may know Australian actress Teresa Palmer from starring in films like Warm Bodies, Bedtime Stories, I Am Number Four, The Sorcerer's Apprentice and The Grudge 2 (just to name a few!). But the 27 year-old beauty is much more than a celebrity whose star is rising fast - Teresa is also the co-creator of Your Zen Life, one of my favorite lifestyle websites and an inspiration to many people around the world thanks to her 'Tez Talks' videos on Youtube and her positive outlook on life. I was lucky enough to interview her about healthy living, staying grounded in Hollywood, working with Liam Hemsworth (!) and much more. Read on to find out why Teresa is such an inspiring role model and the most down-to-earth actress in Tinseltown.
Please tell me a little bit about the inspiration behind Your Zen Life, how it came to fruition and what it's all about.
YZL is an online portal for all things health and wellness. Phoebe Tonkin and I decided to create a platform in which people from all over the world had access to information on positive living. We were at dinner in Los Angeles when we discussed our passion for using our profiles to be of service and to affect positive change in the world, this is where the idea was born and it evolved from this point.
Teresa and her best friend, actress Phoebe Tonkin
I know eating healthy is very important to you. What is your diet like?
I try to eat organic wherever possible. I'm typically vegan, however, in my pregnancy (I'm currently five months along) under my midwives recommendation I had become vegetarian. I used to be hyper militant about the food I put into my body, however, now I believe I have a much healthier approach to my diet and ensure that it's well-balanced yet not so strict that I don't allow myself the freedom to indulge every now and then.
Do you see a nutritionist? What advice would you give to people who want to live a healthier lifestyle, starting with a healthy diet, but may not have access to a nutritionist?
I don't actively see a nutritionist, I've seen one twice in the past. Advice I could offer is to gain knowledge on healthy ingredients and make sure you always look at the back of products and read all the ingredients so you know what to look for and what to avoid. A healthy diet consists of well rounded, well-portioned meals with a good balance of protein (eg. nuts, tempeh). Try to avoid red meat and dairy and any other animal products if possible which, in my opinion, ultimately leads to better health. Indulge in healthy fats in the form of avocados and olives and include an abundant amount of greens, fruits and try to make sure you are having lots of different colors (your plate should visually look like a rainbow of food) you can ensure you're making healthy food choices. Also, at the grocery store: shop along the peripheral boundaries where the fruits and vegetables, healthy unprocessed, organic foods are. The closest to nature your food is, the better it is for you.
I understand you Juice! Care to share a favorite recipe?
My greens juice is my favorite! I love doing chunks of pineapple, cucumber, mint, lime, kale and spinach. I try to have a green juice once a day to ensure I'm getting an adequate amount of healthy nutrients.
How do you stay fit?
I balance my week between Pilates, yoga and a combination of weight training and cardio. I try to work out at least four times a week, for an hour a day.
Is it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle while on location for a film?
It really can be, especially when you don't have access to organic foods. It's important to plan ahead and bring food to work with you, to ensure that you're never in a situation where you have to make a poor food choice.
One of my favorite parts of YZL is your inspirational 'Tez Talks' videos, where you speak from the heart, about your personal experience regarding all sorts of issues women face today, including body image. What are you hoping to achieve with these videos and what can your viewers look forward to, regarding upcoming vlogs?
‘Tez Talks’ has become one of the most important aspects of what I do with my life. I really feel blessed to be in a position where I have access to good information and I have had a lot of time to work on self-development. As a result of the position I am in because of my career, I understand and recognize that I have a voice that can reach a wider community. I feel inspired to share my experiences with people and try to lead by example in a positive manner as I think there's so much negativity in the media today that's fueling people to lead unfullfilling lives. I know there's a different way and from the enthusiastic response I've had from viewers, it encourages my desire to continue to work together in this way.
As a famous actress living in L.A., a city that some may assume is superficial, you are a very down-to-earth person and seem truly comfortable in your skin. How do you stay grounded and true to yourself?
I'm very selective in the types of people that I have around me. I embrace authentic, spiritual, loving people who I surround myself with. We're each other's special community and understand the fragility of life and the blessings that it brings. Being around people like that makes it so much easier not to stray from that sort of thinking.
How do you feel about young actresses/celebrities getting plastic surgery and feeling the pressure to stay thin? And do you personally ever feel that pressure and if so, how do you deal with that?
That is an epidemic in our industry, which is awful because we are on the world stage. Beauty should be embraced at all stages of life and also there should be more celebration of the state of one's spirit rather than what size pants they wear or how many wrinkles a person has. When you radiate with love, it makes you so much more of a beautiful person. I don't place judgment on those who choose differently but in my personal belief, it is a waste of time to try and live up to another person’s idea of what physical beauty is.
You're a very spiritual person. In one 'Tez Talks' video you talk about 'Manifesting Greatness and Love' and how you manifested your fiance, Mark. Can you tell me a little more about that?
I'm a huge believer in manifesting, I think when you ask for it in the right way, it comes to you. I believe no dream is too big and my greatest dream was to meet a partner who shared the same beliefs and ideals about life. I manifested Mark, as well as many other things in my life, manifesting is easy once you understand that it's all about the approach and how you must stay in a high vibrating frequency in order to create the space for other high vibrating things to enter into your realm.
With her fiance - actor/writer/director/producer Mark Webber
You have mentioned in your vlogs that you have gone through some tough times in your life. What advice would you give to people who are fighting some sort of battle at the moment and are reading this interview right now?
Just to understand that life is full of peaks as well as valleys and that every adversity we face is an opportunity to grow. And to understand that the pain you feel is one of the greatest gifts in life because there is a lesson in it; I now look at pain as a beautiful healing rather than something to be fearful of.
Who or what inspires you the most?
Mark and any other person who faces adversity bravely and dedicates themselves to a life of service and self development. I honestly get inspired by different people, everyday.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself living with a big family, continuing to grow the wellness community that Phoebe and I have created. Developing film, TV and book projects with Mark. And expand Tez Talks to be a portal where I can travel and talk about my experiences and reach out to a more global audience and continuing to be of service.
You have the whole day free to do anything you want. How would you spend it?
With Mark. I would do a yoga class in the morning, have a green juice. Go on a picnic with Mark, my mum, best friends and the kids then spend the rest of the afternoon at our friends beach house doing water sports and hanging with family. I would finish the night off with a veggie BBQ and watch a horror film after the kids are in bed! Pure bliss!
If I came to your house and opened your refrigerator, what would I find in there?
Spinach, tomatoes, gluten free wraps, glass bottle of water, olives, sundries tomatoes, miso paste, onion, half eaten avocado's, celery, tempeh, kombucha (when I'm not pregnant), Fabes fruit sweetened gluten-free cookies.
Top 5 Favorite Books
1. The Baby Book by Dr William Sears
2. By Myself and Then Some autobiography by Lauren Bacall
3. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
4. A New Earth by Eckhart tolle
5. Anatomy of The Spirit- Caroline Myss
Favorite websites you visit frequently:
Favorite Beauty Products:
Artistry Creme LX moisturizer
Artistry Youth Xtend products
Almond oil for whole body
Teresa is the global face for the prestige beauty line ARTISTRY
5 Things you cannot live without:
1. Fiancé, family and friends
2. Organic whole foods
3. My black stretch pants!
5. Your Zen Life and Phoebe Tonkin!
(I have to ask you this question because my local readers would kill me if I didn't ask!) You recently shot a film in my hometown, Edmonton, with Liam Hemsworth, John Malkovich, Billy Bob Thornton and Oliver Platt. What was your experience like filming here? What was it like working with such amazing actors?
I LOVED Edmonton. I fell in love with Noorish restaurant whilst I was there. It was a really sweet city. I had fun going to Yoga and taking a run in the park in the city. I loved the enthusiasm of the people there and how much they embraced us all. I loved all my costars, it was a pleasure working with both Liam and John again. It felt like a close knit little family. Liam has a cracker sense of humor and always had us laughing. I'm actually working with his brother Luke right now, who is so similar to him.
Teresa and Liam filming 'Cut Bank' in Alberta this past summer
What's next on your plate?
I'm shooting Kill Me Three times with Simon Pegg, Sullivan Stapleton, Alice Braga and Luke Hemsworth. I just wrapped my film The Ever After with my fiancé Mark Webber and Melissa Leo. I wrote the film, produced it and financed it so that was exciting. I have a Terrence Malick film coming out called Knight Of Cups with Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett. Then of course I'm getting married in December and my baby comes in Feb so I'm very excited to start this new journey!
100 years from now, how would you like to be remembered?
As a wonderful mother and wife who alongside her family helped create a beautiful change in the world towards consciousness and positive living.
Teresa recently posed pregnant for WHO Magazine's Body Issue