Get Well

Ray Donovan’s Lili Simmons Will Never Do the Raw Diet Again

But chants every morning for meditation and swears charcoal negates a hangover.

By: Noah Lehava
Photography: Tristan Kallas

A conversation that easily transitions from the holy-shit-I-don’t-want-to-think-about-it potentially frightening future of artificial intelligence, to transcendental meditation, to hangover cures is decidedly so L.A. But also, so up our alley. And Lili Simmons’, too. You see, the actress, who’s starred in cult-faves like True Detective and Westworld (see where the AI convo stemmed from?) and is a regular fixture in Ray Donovan (new season out Aug 6th, mark the iCals, friends), has mastered more than just knowing a good script when she reads one. As I sat down with her poolside at her Sunset Strip home, she turned me into a believer of all sorts of her wellness-y tricks, like the power of chanting—especially with  hectic multi-time-zone schedules—traveling with an AbMat, and bonding over our similar experiences with this one extreme diet (and why she’ll never do it again). You’ll want to keep reading for her other pearls of wellness wisdom.



How she starts every morning:

“The first thing I do when I wake up is grab a glass of water and meditate for 20 minutes. I’ve been into chanting for years, and then I got into transcendental meditation. It’s really amazing. It takes your stress away. It energizes you in the morning. If I can—which is really great on set if I’m working—I try to do it twice a day; once in the morning and once in the afternoon. It’s good for your body, for your health, and your brain. I cannot sell it more. It will make your life better.”


What she’ll say if you don’t have time to meditate:

“If you can’t do 20 minutes, you can sit down and do it for 10. If you can’t do that, then just focus on your breathing—that, in a form, is meditation. Even when you’re driving, eyes open and everything, calm down your chatter-y mind and just focus on your breathing for a moment. It’s going to help you re-energize and have that stillness for a second.”


The stuff that gets her going:

“I used to drink coffee, which I still do once in a while, but it started making me feel a little shaky. I now like drinking green tea. A lot of the time, I like to do egg whites with spinach for breakfast—it’s an easy go-to. When I’m in a hurry, I love going to Earth Bar and grabbing a smoothie.”


What’s in her smoothie?

“I always try to get some detoxes or green anything, not just sugar.”


The one thing she can’t go a day without:

“Working out. I try and do it every day. I have a trainer. I do weight-lifting mixed with a little bit of cardio. He kicks my ass. I love it! I couldn’t imagine life without it. I think women are scared of looking too muscular and I think that’s some bullshit. You still have a woman’s body. Muscle is muscle, and it’s good to be strong. I think it’s the fountain of youth to be honest.”


And how she keeps it up while traveling:

“On the road I try to find a gym that I can work out in, especially at the hotel. A lot of the times I have my trainer send me little workouts. If you want anything to bring with you on a plane or to travel with, buy an AbMat. You just throw it in your suitcase.”


What’s an AbMat?

“You put it on your lower back and it just makes those crunches and those sit-ups even harder. It keeps you super toned!”


To her, wellness is more than just physical:

“Wellness to me is, of course, working out and eating healthy, but also being healthy in the mind and being loving. If you’re not loving and you’re negative, you’re not going to feel healthy. Wellness of the mind is wellness for me.”


The craziest diet she’s ever done (and will never do again):

“I’ve gone vegetarian for a minute…a minute. Then I’ve also tried the raw food diet. It killed me! I think my body needs meat. It doesn’t have to be red meat, it doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but I think I need that protein.”


Her hangover SOS call:

“Charcoal! There are these charcoal capsules and if you take one before bed, after you’ve had a fun night, it soaks up all that alcohol. You feel pretty good the next day. Water, too (obviously).”

Part of the series:

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