Penelope Cruz‘s easily one of the best actresses out there and is aging so gracefully that I highly doubt she’ll look any different in 10 years. 

The key to her amazing looks is her intense diet and workout routine that gives her body the tools it needs to stay in shape, stay lean, and even shed baby weight insanely quickly.


Penelope’s approach to diet is simple. She focuses on eating foods that make her feel good. But that doesn’t mean she considers certain foods bad…she just thinks of them as less healthy.

She relies on her self control and desire to consistently feel strong and healthy to help her avoid certain foods. She makes it easy on herself by following a fairly strict Mediterranean Diet.

This means she eats plenty of lean protein, whole grains, fresh vegetables, and nuts. When she can, she also uses tons of fresh avocados and extra virgin olive oil in her recipes. 


When she’s on the go, Penelope is happy to eat breakfast out or in a hotel restaurant. During those times, she tries to keep it simple, choosing a breakfast with eggs and a side of bacon. 

This gives her a naturally protein-dense and low-carb breakfast that helps her start the day off right.

When she’s at home and has a bit more time, she’s happy to make a fresher and more colourful breakfast. Somedays, this could mean a gluten-free English muffin with avocado and poached eggs on top. Others, it could be a serving of Greek yogurt with seasonal fresh fruit,  and a drizzle of honey.

It all depends on what she has in the kitchen and what she’s craving at that particular point. 


For lunch, Penelope tries to keep things lean. She’ll often have a large salad with sautéed or baked fish and seasonal vegetables. If she’s craving something warm, she’ll have a salad similar to this one.

This is a dramatic change from her days when she would overindulge in burgers and fries—we’ve all been there and I know just how hard it is to give up junk food for good. 

If she’s looking for something a little heartier, the Mediterranean diet allows for reasonable portions of rice, quinoa, or other whole grains served alongside sautéed vegetables, hummus, or beans. 

If she’s on the go, she can easily grab some hummus and veggie sticks to take with her.

There are no limitations here, save for avoiding overly processed foods


For dinner, the Mediterranean diet allows for just about anything that’s fresh. It doesn’t tend to encourage eating tons of red meat, but Penelope isn’t afraid to indulge in a steak every now and then.

She’s from Spain and LOVES incorporating Spanish food into her diet whenever possible. This often means fish, lamb, and some lean cuts of red meat get served alongside her favourite rice and bean dish. 

She’s even allowed to indulge in a little wine with dinner every now and then. It all comes down to moderation, and like the other meals she makes in a week, Penelope’s dinner options are designed to make her feel her best. 


The star isn’t out to starve herself. That’s why she’s happy to snack whenever she’s feeling hungry and her snacks always stay true to the Mediterranean diet.

She often reaches for nuts like whole almonds or peanuts and satisfies her sweet tooth with fresh fruit instead of processed energy bars. She still gets plenty of nutrients and protein, just without the added ingredients of store-bought convenience foods.


Though Penelope follows the Mediterranean diet, she does keep things a bit stricter than the diet alone calls for. She actively avoids eating gluten and, as I mentioned, doesn’t drink much alcohol these days. She also avoids eating meat from animals not raised in a free-range facility. 

She’s always careful to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.


Penelope’s workouts are just as functional and consistent as her diet. Before having first her baby, she kept a fairly standard workout regimen.

She did plenty of cardio, lifted weights, and worked with a professional trainer. Now, her workouts are a bit differnt.

Instead of spending hours in the gym, she now takes time to do Bikram yoga

This type of yoga is done in a heated room and can, depending on the class, double as a cardio workout. Most of Penelope’s classes last up to 90 minutes and leave her drenched in sweat by the end of the session.

She tries to head to the yoga studio at least a few times each week and widely credits her yoga practice for giving her so much energy. 

That said, she still makes time for traditional workouts and often works out with her personal trainer, Gunnar Peterson.

Penelope loves doing dance exercises to build strength and tone, and Gunnar Peterson tries to incorporate this into her gym routines. However, she’s no stranger to traditional strength training.

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Penelope Cruz loves to focus on her abs and her legs. This is part of what helps her maintain the curvy yet lean figure we all know.

Her favourite exercise is the twisting lunge. She does a standard lunge with arms raised overhead and holds it in the down position for a few seconds. Then, she lowers her arms to her sides and twists to one side before returning to center and repeating the process on the opposite leg and twisting direction.

This helps tone her quads while also building her core strength with every repetition. 

She’s also been known to go for a swim, working her arms and legs while also giving her a cardio workout at the same time. 

Penelope is all about making exercise fun and loves to find ways to combine cardio and strength training whenever possible. It means spending less time in the gym and more time with her family, which is always a priority for her.


The Penelope Cruz diet and workout routine are quite simple but obviously, work very well for her. So if you want to have a similar routine, eat a diet rich in lean protein, fresh fruits, and vegetables, and avoid processed foods at all costs. Take the time to exercise every day and find ways that make that exercise fun for you. 

Hope you liked reading about Penelope Cruz and if you have any blog post requests, let me know in the comments!

Love Rachael xx

Featured image credit: Makarenko /

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Rachael is an Australian born certified personal trainer and nutritionist who holds a Bachelor degree in Science.

After struggling for years to find an exercise and diet program that is tailored to women striving for lean and toned body with no bulk she designed her Lean Legs Program. This program is tailored to each body type and focused on helping women get toned but feminine bodies, without getting bulky.

Her mission is to empower women and help them stay in shape in a healthy and balanced way.

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