Chatting with Maria Menounos

 

Don’t be jealous of Maria Menounos. She works hard to be fabulous.

And the 32-year-old model, actress and TV correspondent wants you to succeed, too.

Menounos’ book, The Everygirl’s Guide to Life (It Books/HarperCollins, $19.99), gives pointers on how to keep it all together — literally. There are even tips on cleaning out a closet.

She’ll answer all your questions this weekend at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, which is having its annual Girlfriends Getaway bash.

“It’s an A-to-Z guide for all women of all ages,’’ says the Massachusetts native. “Everything I do, from beauty tips to how I time-manage, eat, travel.’’

Menounos packs a lot into her schedule. She juggles two hosting gigs on Access Hollywood and the Today show with acting and commercials.

“One day I’m in Afghanistan, then I’m at the Oscars, then I’m in the weeds covering the fires in California,’’ she says. “I work seven days a week, 20 hours a day. My life is very extreme.’’

Also extreme was her weight loss soon after graduating Emerson College. Having packed on pounds from a “dorm diet,” the onetime Miss Massachusetts slimmed down from a size 14 to a size 4, losing roughly 40 pounds.

“I used to have a horrible fast food diet,’’ Menounos recounts. “I was in and out of the hospital because I wasn’t eating right.’’

These days, you won’t catch her ordering in greasy takeout or pulling into the drive-through. Her meals are carefully planned out.

“We can’t control that many things in life. We can’t control the jealous, evil person trying to take us down or our boss screaming at us,’’ she says. “But we can control what we eat. The second you clean up your diet you feel like a million bucks.’’

In her purse at all times to ward off pangs: a sliced apple, almonds and gluten-free pretzels. In her fridge: homemade black bean mango salsa, quinoa salad and, a nod to her heritage, Greek yogurt. She also works out when she can, but doesn’t “obsess.’’

Another survival strategy: organization.

“When I first started out, I was sloppy and disorganized,’’ she says. “But in my industry, you have to be super prepared. I learned a lot just by being exposed to the biggest stars in the world and seeing how they did it.’’

Speaking of stars, does she have any favorite interviews?

“Well, the dream one was the Obama family [on the campaign trail in 2008 with Access Hollywood],’’ she says, adding, “but Hugh Jackman has the craziest abs on the planet. Rock solid.’’

Madeleine Marr

For more info on The Marie Claire Girlfriends Getaway Weekend, Friday-Sunday call 800-235-6397or go to www.loewshotels.com

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