by Kelsey Murray
To the vegan and vegetarian population, Natalie Portman, star of The Black Swan, has been somewhat of an icon. Since October 2009, Portman announced she was making the switch from vegetarian to vegan. She had been a vegetarian for many years, but decided to cut out all animal products from her diet, including milk and eggs.
Now, the mother-to-be has decided to become more lax with her diet. Earlier this week, Portman announced that she has started adding eggs and dairy products back into her diet.
“I actually went back to being vegetarian when I became pregnant. Just because I felt like I wanted that stuff, and I was listening to my body to have eggs and dairy and that sort of thing,” she said. “I know there are people who do stay vegan [during pregnancy], but I think you have to just be careful, watch your iron levels and your B12 levels and supplement those if there are things you might be low in your diet.”
Ballet dancers are well known for their long, lean muscles, and actress Natalie Portman really gave it her all when she was chosen to play the lead in the new movie Black Swan. In addition to a rigorous diet, she followed a strict 5-8 hour exercise schedule, working with former professional dancer Mary Helen Bowers. Bowers, the founder of Ballet Beautiful, a program that combines traditional ballet with stretching and strengthening exercises, worked with Portman 6 days a week.
“With Natalie, I was focused on making sure her body was that specific shape of a ballerina by strengthening the backs and insides of her legs,” says Bowers. “With ballet you’re really focused on the inner thigh and butt, and just lifting and lengthening everything, including your arms. You’re not using weights but holding up the weight of your own arms is a challenge.”
Try one of Ballet Beautiful’s signature moves, the Ballet Beautiful Bridge. This move targets your inner thighs, the backs of the legs and your glutes — tightening and toning the area from your knees to your waist and giving you a lifted and sculpted bottom.
Actress Natalie Portman portrays a prima ballerina in the upcoming film Black Swan, and she was determined to look the part. “[Natalie] took [the role] very seriously,” said director Darren Aronofsky. “These dancers get really, really skinny.”
Natalie took her diet and workouts to such an extreme that Darren began to worry about her. “At a certain point I looked at her back and she was so skinny and so cut — I was like, ‘Natalie, start eating,’” Darren told Access Hollywood. “I made sure she had a bunch of food in her trailer.”
The 29-year-old actress said she’s glad to be done with the filming, so that she can go back to her normal eating habits. Portman is a vocal supporter of vegetarianism, and indulged in pasta when shooting ended. “It was pretty immediate. I was ready to leave the ballet life,” she said. “I was like, ‘Please don’t let there be re-shoots for this [film] because I don’t think I could get back into the costumes!’”