Oprah's Wellness Diary: 24 Hours of Healthy Living (and Lots of Gratitude Journals)
The billionaire best-life guru reveals early morning elliptical routine, regular meditation sessions and — yes — "volumes and volumes of gratitude journals."
How much can an OWN network head and Harpo production company chief, Queen Sugar executive producer, Greenleaf actress, philanthropist and Weight Watchers spokesperson (who bought a 10 percent stake in the company in 2015) get done in a day while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle? "My first breath as I am coming out of sleep is always a thank you!" says Oprah Winfrey, who reveals to THR the hour-by-hour breakdown of her routine — all of it on her $88 million, 42-acre property in Montecito, Calif. — that recently resulted in a 42.5-pound weight loss.
6:02 A.M. I have never set an alarm, I don't believe in them. They are … alarming! I put the number in my mind and I wake up before that, usually between 6:02 and 6:20, because the dogs are trained to go out around that time. My first thought in the morning is, "Oh, I'm alive. Thank you!" I hop up, brush my teeth and go take the dogs to do their thing. They do the real downward-facing dog!
6:45 A.M. I make a chai tea or skim cappuccino and put on my sneakers.
7:05 A.M. I am in the gym downstairs in my house by the time "Eye Opener" hits on CBS This Morning. I see what Gayle [King] is wearing on "Eye Opener," what kind of crazy-ass necklace she has on! I have a fantastic Octane elliptical machine ($4,599; octanefitness.com) that is like a power mover — you can increase the length of your stride and your arm movement. I'll do 20 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes walking on the treadmill. I start out at the Level 3 incline setting and then every minute I add to the incline until I get to 12 or 15. And then I do sit-ups.
8 A.M. I do some form of walking or sitting meditation. I like to sit in a window seat in my house or outside on the balcony. If I am in a hotel, I will just sit in a chair. If I have the time, I'll do 20 minutes; if I am in a rush, I'll do at least 10 to 12 minutes.
8:30 A.M. I eat medium-boiled eggs and a piece of multigrain toast for breakfast. I have actually noticed that lately I have been eating breakfast at 8:38. And I take some vitamin D. Then I go on and do my day.
9 A.M. I go through my schedule during breakfast. I have phone calls and video conferences, do my bank wires, business transactions and financial stuff. I try to get all of that done by noon or 12:30 when I am home, since that's 3 p.m. in New York and the banks close soon after that.
1 P.M. Lunch sometimes gets moved back because of the morning, but I like to eat at around 1. I will do soup and a big salad. Usually the salad is made with vegetables that have come from my garden. We have a rule in this house: If we can grow it, we don't buy it. We use it all, everything in the garden, even if it means we are giving it to the people down the street. If I have to start a stand on the street and give it away, we will give away that last damn zucchini!
2 P.M. After that, I have the rest of my day. When I get off the phone with you, I'll have a video conference with my team about the marketing of Greenleaf [OWN's drama series on which Winfrey has a regular acting role], and I will get on the phone with [creator] Craig Wright in the writers room. I will have a conversation later on with Ava [DuVernay], as she is shooting A Wrinkle in Time, about Queen Sugar and where we are in the script.
6 P.M. I like to have dinner by 6 or 6:30 if I am home alone. I cook for Stedman [Graham, Winfrey's longtime boyfriend] and myself, but I don't cook for more than four people. I don't measure things when I cook, I sort of make it up as I go along, so that's hard for me to figure out if I am feeding more than four. Tonight I have a bunch of girls on break coming in [they are graduates of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa, who now go to college in the U.S.], so the chef will cook for us. I always do a protein, two vegetables and a carb. I do a carb because if I try to just do protein and veggies, my body thinks that I am trying to make it diet and then I will end up eating three times the amount of Weight Watchers points, because I am trying to satisfy myself not having the carb. So I do a rice or pasta or polenta or something. My protein is usually fish or some form of grilled or baked chicken.
8 P.M. I like to wind down for the night by the fire. I have a fire going in every fireplace today! And I read to relax. Right now I am reading The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams. And I am loving it so much that I think my new thing is going to be seeing as many of our national parks as I can. I might make a bucket list and put that on there. I also read scripts that are coming in.
10 P.M. I usually get into bed and I have volumes and volumes of gratitude journals by the side of my bed. The last thing I do before I go to sleep is write five things that gave me great pleasure or that I was grateful for.
This story first appeared in the Jan. 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.