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How Hollywood eats for the Oscars

A celebrity dietician reveals how stars fuel up for cinema's biggest night.

As awards season draws to a close, A-listers are putting the finishing touches on their Academy Awards-worthy appearance, from workouts to wardrobe to, of course, diet.

And that often means making a call to nutritionist to the stars Haylie Pomroy, author of The Fast Metabolism Diet Cookbook, to whip them into red-carpet shape. Pomroy’s clients include Jennifer Lopez, LL Cool J, Reese Witherspoon—and a slew of pro athletes. She usually puts them on a stress-reducing clean eating plan seven days before a big event that’s loaded with anti-inflammatory fruits, whole grains and plant-based protein for sustained, calm energy.

“My clients have fast metabolisms because they work very hard,” she says. “We created this strong foundation, so if they party like rock stars at the dessert bar or martini bar, they burn through it.”

Not joining Leo and Lupita at Hollywood's Dolby Theatre on Sunday? These snack suggestions will help you manage stress and look your best for any occasion.

for a clear head...

Two days before your event, start noshing on walnuts. “It’s my favorite nut for acuity and awareness,” Pomroy says. The amino-acid rich snack is high in phytosterols that enhance brain performance and cognition and contains a substantial dose of selenium—key to a properly-functioning thyroid that’s able to keep energy up and support brain cognition.

to make skin glow...

About a week before you have to be in front of the cameras, load up on dark leafy greens and eliminate common allergens like dairy, corn, wheat and soy, which can cause dark under eye circles. And keep your fruit bowl stocked: Vitamin C-rich foods, such as grapefruit, produce a lit-from-within glow. Asian pears are a natural diuretic and make skin look taut. Stone fruits, like peaches, cherries and plums, stimulate collagen and elastin production for firmer, younger-looking skin, Pomroy says.

to soothe your nerves...

If you know you’ll be served dinner at the event, like the Emmys, bring your own chamomile tea or passaflora (passionflower) tea to the table, Pomroy suggests. Both herbal teas have a calming, slightly muscle-relaxant effect. In the days leading up to your big night, make sure you’re eating fruit—and not drinking fruit juice—consistently to keep your blood sugar stable so you have sustained energy. Eat a piece of fruit right before the event and pack frozen diced mangos as a refreshing snack.

to beat bloat...

Three to five days before the event, eat mainly cooked and pureed veggies, and avoid most raw vegetables to keep your tummy looking tight. “There are some exceptions, such as radishes and jicama, which are great raw and are great to snack on,” she says. Sprinkle dishes liberally with parsley and cilantro—they contain phytonutrients that aid digestion and de-puff the lower belly.

Try Pomroy's signature flat belly salad:

¼ c. lime juice
¼ c. diced cucumber
½ diced papaya
1 tsp. fresh cilantro

Mix all ingredients together and serve immediately.

to keep energy up...

What’s really in stars’ sleek clutches on the red carpet? (Or—more likely—carried around by their assistants?) Turkey jerky. Pomroy recommends a protein-based snack for stable energy levels throughout the day. She likes Shelton’s Jalapeno Turkey Sticks, since the capsaicin in the pepper helps with digestion.

to have on hand when hunger strikes...

Pomroy creates a “crash kit” for clients on event day. Depending on the stars’ diet, the kits contain individual portions of breath-freshening snap peas, spiced radishes, jicama with lime juice, turkey sticks or turkey jerky, sliced plums, and her signature Metabolism Energy Shake, which packs 26 grams of protein and only 6 grams of carbs.

to celebrate that night...

At the after-party, Pomroy tells clients to gravitate to the raw bar. Shrimp cocktail, oysters, tuna tartare, steak tartare and ceviche are all high in protein and low in fat, so you’ll fill up without feeling weighed down. For every alcoholic drink you down, make sure to have a glass of spring water to head off a hangover.

to detox the morning after...

Pomroy gives clients a healing cabbage soup recipe to help their bodies recover after a night of celebrating. You can add extra vegetables or chicken for a heartier dish, or add an extra kick with cayenne to rev your metabolism.

Detox Cabbage Soup

½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 quarts chicken broth
1 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
½ tsp. black pepper, or to taste
½ head cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
14.5-ounce can Italian-style stewed tomatoes

In a large soup pot over medium heat, stir-fry onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons of the chicken broth until onion is transparent, about 5 minutes.

Add remaining broth, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Stir in the cabbage. Simmer until the cabbage wilts, about 10 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes. Return to a boil, then simmer 15 to 30 minutes, stirring often.