Natalie Portman, nee Neta-Lee Hershlag, was born in Israel but moved to the US when she was a child. She started studying dance as a young girl and landed a lead role in the film The Professional when she was just 12 years old. She continued to find work acting in film and on stage, including high-profile roles such as in Star Wars as Queen Amandala and the lead in Black Swan. Portman won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for her role in Black Swan. She is the face of Miss Dior, an animal rights activist and has been a vegetarian since she was a child. Portman also supports PETA, poverty-relief charities and is an ambassador for WE Charity. She has millions of followers on social media. Portman is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs about 118 lbs.
Natalie Portman’s Diet
Portman has followed a vegetarian diet since she was 9 years old. After reading the book Eating Animals, she switched to veganism, which means she eliminated all animal products from her diet. She went back to eating eggs and dairy during her 2 pregnancies, but she and her children currently follow a vegan diet. Her decision to eat a plant-based diet are for both health and ethical reasons. To get into her role in Black Swan as a prima ballerina, Portman lost 20 lbs. by cutting way back on the carbs, and ate smaller portions of all of her usual foods. After shooting finished, however, Portman says she went straight back to carbs and was eating pasta and bread ‘all the time.’
- Low Protein 20% 20%
- Medium Fat 35% 35%
- High Carb 65% 65%
Portman says she’ll eat pancakes and veggie burgers before going to events when she is unsure what kind of food will be served. She’s keen on black bean and tofu burgers.
All Clear With Veggies
Portman says one reason she prefers a vegan diet over vegetarian is for her skin. She says she hasn’t had a breakout since giving up dairy.
Garden Of Portman
Portman has an extensive garden at her home in Los Angeles where she grows her own fruit and vegetables.
All In the Family
Portman has gotten most of the family in on her vegan diet. Hubby Benjamin Millepied doesn’t follow it, but Portman says she has convinced him to think harder about what he puts in his mouth. Millepied does most of the family’s cooking.
Portman says she ate things like butter and eggs when she was pregnant because all she craved was cookies and cake. As for her favorite vegan cheats, vegan ice cream is her go-to.
What to Eat
What to Avoid
Portman On Food
‘I really love food, and I want to take joy in it, and part of enjoying my food is also knowing that it’s positive for other creatures and not harming anyone.’
Portman On Going Vegetarian
I became a vegetarian when I was 9 because…you watch cartoons and animals have feeling and talk to each other…You think of them as…emotive creatures, not as dinner.’
Portman On Industrial Agriculture
‘Factory farming is responsible for most of the air, water, and land pollution…You can make a difference by even once a day or once a week choosing not to eat animals or animal products.’
Portman On The Benefits Of Veganism
‘I’m vegan and I found my skin is much, much better than when I was a vegetarian.’
Portman On Her Kids Eating Vegan
‘It comes really naturally because…you tend to make 1 thing that everyone eats for dinner.’
Natalie Portman’s Fitness Routine
Weekly Workout Routine
Portman would put in 5+ hours a day for a year preparing to play the role of a prima ballerina in Black Swan, just like real ballerinas do.
One On One
Portman worked with a trainer to get her ballet technique as close to authentic as possible. The film turned out to have far-reaching consequences because the choreographer later became her husband.
Portman says the combination of intense physical exercise and eating very little was hard on her mentally, which very much mimics what real ballerinas go through.
Portman worked out 6 days a week for Black Swan. The day of rest was very important for her recovery.
Portman would swim a mile each day as part of her cardio and overall conditioning routine.
Get Into The Act
Portman says she almost did Method Acting without intending to as she did ballet training for 5-8 hours, and sometimes more, each day.
Portman would stretch every day as part of her training for Black Swan. Being flexible is a big part of dancing, and it also helps prevent injury. Nonetheless, Portman dislocated a rib in rehearsals.
These days, Portman is a fan of Gyrotonics, a method that combines a variety of exercises to increase balance, strength, flexibility and efficiency.
A Natalie Portman Ballerina Toning Routine
Most of us don’t have hours to devote to dancing every day, but you can tone like a dancer with these moves:
The Bridge: Lie on back, knees bent, feet on floor, stomach pulled in. Lift 1 leg toes pointed toward ceiling as you lift hips off floor. Lower hips without touching floor. Do 30 reps, then switch sides and do 30 more. You can also do this on tiptoes.
Butt-Buster: On hands and knees, bring 1 knee into chest, then extend behind you, keeping leg straight. Do 30 reps/leg.
Abs Exercise: Lie on back, arms wide (2nd position), knees slightly bent. Pull in stomach as you lift upper body, bringing arms overhead. Keep stomach pulled in as you lower in control to the floor. Do 30 reps.
Arm Toner: Sit with legs extended, hands next to hips, fingers away from body. Lift hips off mat, keeping chest open and neck long. Pull in stomach and bend elbows slightly. Lift and lower hips, keeping stomach pulled in and hips off floor for 30 reps.
Essential Stretch: Lie on back, 1 leg straight up. Use your hands to pull your ankle toward your nose, keeping knee straight. Repeat on opposite side.
Portman On Prepping For Black Swan
‘Working 5-8 hours a day for a year, it’s what real dancers live through. It was an amazing experience, but definitely a difficult one.’
Portman On Her Trainer
‘I had the privilege of working with Mary Helen Bowers for a year in preparation for the film Black Swan and her system works for non-dancers by simplifying the balletic exercises that result in these beautiful lines.’
Portman On Her Strenuous Exercise Routine
‘My new regimen gave me a sense of discipline, a much better body image, and so much more strength.’
Portman On Real Ballerinas
‘I do wonder now how people can do this kind of role when they have a family.’
Portman On Working Through Injury
‘All dancers are always dancing with an extreme injury, not just a sore muscle. They’re dancing on a sprained ankle or with a twisted neck or something.’
Natalie Portman’s Supplements
Because vitamin B-12 is difficult to get from plant-only sources, Portman gets monthly B-12 shots.
Portman drank Mother’s Milk tea to support lactation while she was breastfeeding. The tea contains fennel and fenugreek which also promote healthy digestion and contain antioxidants, which boost immunity and help prevent disease including cancer.
Natalie Portman’s Lifestyle
As a busy mom, Portman gets sleep when she can. She usually goes to bed by 11 and is up 7 on days she isn’t working. She’s not a morning person, however, and hubs usually handles things like breakfast for the kids.
Portman is an advocate for animal rights and humanitarian issues, including the feminist group, Time’s Up. She also supports sustainable jewelry, and her engagement ring is made of ethically-sourced diamonds set in recycled platinum.
Portman switched to veganism after reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals, and she narrated the documentary adaptation of the book.
As a child, Portman learned to speak Hebrew, and she also studied other languages, including French, German, Arabic and Japanese.
Portman On Sleep
‘If I didn’t have kids or didn’t have to go to work, I’d probably sleep ’til noon!’
Portman On Her Work Ethic
‘I was different from the other kids. I was more ambitious. I knew what I liked and what I wanted, and I worked very hard. I was a very serious kid.
Portman On Schadenfreude
‘I love beauty and I love glamour, and they can be part of the sweetness of life in the face of really dark things — and that has great worth.’
Portman On Empowering Women
‘I’ve been so inspired by the many women I’ve met through Time’s Up…Whenever I think I have too much to handle, I see what they’re doing and know I can do more.’
Lightlife Bacon Substitute
Kite Hill Nut Cheese
Van Leeuwen Vegan Ice Cream
Mother’s Milk Tea
Christophe Robin Rose Shampoo & Conditioner
Dior Lip Glow
Rouge Dior No. 999
Miss Dior Perfume
Dior Hydralife Pro Youth Cream
Pai Chamomile and Rosehip Calming Day Cream
Bioderma Makeup Remover
Joëlle Ciocco Cleansing Wash