Taraji P Henson is constantly smashing boundaries. She showed up, fearless, and showed everyone that she was meant to do this. She questioned why she couldn’t be cast in certain roles, she worked hard, she accepted less pay than her male counterparts, knowing that one day it would pay off. And now she’s made it.
She works hard every single day to deliver the best performance she possibly can. To support her education she took up two jobs, a secretary in the morning and a cruise-ship entertainer in the evenings. She followed her passion despite the naysayers and she works so hard to maintain her body, her health, and her happiness and deliver the best performances she can.
With her new movie What Men Want already out in theatres, we wanted to see what it takes to live life like Taraji.
Taraji’s wake up call changes depending on what she’s up to during that day. If she’s on set, she might have to be up at 4, earlier in the week she’ll usually get up early and by the end of the week she wakes up later. By Friday her call time is around 3 p.m, so she can afford a little lineup.
She starts the day with meditation and told The Cut: “I try to set my mind right. I try to tell myself that no matter what, today is going to be a good day, so when those curve balls come, I’m not taken by surprise. I can tell the days I don’t meditate because I pop off. Things aggravate me.”
Taraji is trying to live a healthier life, she follows a supplemental regime and tries to make healthier choices, for example, swapping butter for ghee butter, and using coconut oil. She described herself as learning to eat all over again.
She tends to have boiled eggs with fermented vegetables when she’s craving something salty, and a Special K protein bar or protein shake when she’s craving something sweet. She’s very health conscious and says: “You think just because you’re small and you work out that everything is coming up roses until you take a look inside. There are so many things that we eat that are bad for us and that affect you. Coffee on an empty stomach — who knew it could kill you? I know now.”
Taraji trains three days a week minimum, she hired a trainer to push her, because she’s not great at pushing herself. She does a mixture of activities but likes weight-training, squatting, and planks with weights on her back.
“I have a window, where if I don’t go by a certain time, it’s not happening. It’s from 10 to 12, maybe 1. If I don’t go by then, my mind will shut down and I won’t be able to push myself to go. I know that about me, so I make sure to schedule my training session during that time.”
If she’s on set early, she’ll work her workout routine into her day, however, if she has a later call time (say 3 pm) she can head into work whenever and has the luxury of doing her workouts between ten and twelve. Work for Taraji consists of meetings, castings, shooting, filming, speaking, attending events, and an average day can start at 4am and roll late into the evening if she’s recording for shows or making appearances.
With the release of her new film What Women Want, Taraji is proving that
Following a healthy plan is important to Taraji, she knows that when you know better, you do better. She’s tried to educate herself as best she can on all the foods she’s putting in her body and feels better for it.
“I’m sleeping better, I have more energy, and I don’t have as many mood swings. You’d be amazed at the stuff that’s put in foods that acts like a drug. Like, sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine.” Taraji follows a vegan diet, and regularly shares her #veganlife stories on social media to show the different meals she prepares to keep herself on track.
DINNER AND DATE NIGHT
Taraji just got engaged to former NFL player Kelvin Hayden, with the wedding planned for July this year. With such a busy schedule, Taraji always tries to make time for date nights and time with her family. It’s important to her that they go on family vacations too.
After date night, Taraji usually wraps her hair up in a scarf if she wants to keep it straight, swears by a day cream she found at a spa. “I’ve been using Paul Scerri Moisturizing Day Cream for 20 years. I found this cream at a spa. I order it from Amazon. I don’t know if that has a secret unicorn powder in it,” said Henson. “That’s my only thing that I’ve been using the longest.”
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