She’s played a butt-kicking superhero, a conniving sister, and a delusional newlywed, but this year, Malin Akerman took on her biggest role yet: mom to son Sebastian. The Swedish-Canadian star is busy with not only a new baby, but also a new TV show, Trophy Wife, premiering tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET on ABC. She’ll also play rock legend Debbie Harry in the upcoming movie CBGB, opening October 11. The stunning 35-year-old found some time in her hectic schedule to share her secrets for staying healthy.
SHAPE: What’s been the biggest challenge being a new mom, wife, and busy actress?
Malin Akerman (MA): It certainly was a change at first to be a working mom. Each day is a juggling act as we balance busy schedules with having fun with our families. Now more than ever, I appreciate the little delights in each day. For me, that’s everything from getting to spend extra time with my family to enjoying my favorite snack during a break on set.
SHAPE: Just five weeks after having your son, you stunned on the red carpet. How did you bounce back so quickly?
MA: It’s really a combination of exercise and eating right. My new favorite snack is Müller’s FrütUp Mango Yogurt because I can easily throw one in the chilled compartment of my diaper bag or keep a stash in the refrigerator on set. Because of my hectic schedule, I make sure to stock the fridge with nutritious snacks that are easy to grab and go.
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SHAPE: What are your favorite ways to work out?
MA: I try to stay active as much as possible while still having fun. Thank goodness in L.A. the sun is always shining, so I love grabbing a girlfriend for a hike. Having a workout buddy helps keep me on track. My husband and I also love to take long evening walks, and with Sebastian in the stroller it adds some weight. Other than that, I take SoulCycle and Pilates classes when time permits.
SHAPE: What was the best fitness advice you’ve ever received from a trainer?
MA: Always shock your body. Keep your muscles guessing. If you always do the same workout your muscles will plateau. As a result, I’m always changing up my exercise routine. I've tried everything from dance classes to yoga.
SHAPE: What are some of your go-to meals for breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
MA: I always eat breakfast because it gives me the energy I need for the day and keeps me from caving into all the bad options on set when hunger hits mid-morning. Breakfast usually starts with Kim Snyder's Glowing Green Smoothie, which consists of romaine lettuce, celery, apple, pear, banana, lemon, and water blitzed in a blender. Then, about 20 minutes later I eat an omelet or some oatmeal. Lunch is usually some kind of salad with protein, and/or a small plate of pasta. For dinner, I’ll have fish and veggies with brown rice or quinoa, and/or lentil soup or something similar.
SHAPE: What “guilty pleasure” could you not live without?
MA: Nutella—I eat it by the spoonful!
SHAPE: Tell us about your new TV show, Trophy Wife.
MA: I’m so excited for this project. We have a fantastic cast and it’s a comedy, which I love doing. The title is tongue-in-cheek because we soon learn that my character is by no means a trophy wife. I play a former party girl who marries an older man and inherits his two ex-wives and four kids (his “bonuses,” if you will). My character has to navigate through learning to be a parent. It’s a true love story and very funny. In fact, when we shot the trailer, I had just found out I was pregnant so my character’s new role as a mom was parallel to my real life.
Check out the video below to learn why Akerman had some hesitations about taking on the role of Trophy Wife.