Ellen DeGeneres' Energy Secret: 'No Cake, No Cookies, No Candy'

04/14/2010 at 03:30 PM ET

Courtesy SHAPE

With two major gigs–as host of her own talk show and as an American Idol judge–along with side jobs as a face of brands like CoverGirl and Vitaminwater Zero, it’s amazing that Ellen DeGeneres has the energy to eat dinner, much less keep her audience in stitches. So, what’s the slim 52-year-old comedian’s secret to staying energized and fit? “No cake, no cookies, no candy,” says the cover model, talking about her “sugar fast,” in this month’s issue of Shape. A committed vegan, DeGeneres also says her regular regime includes “no animals, no dairy, nothing processed; a lot of soup, veggies, rice, beans, legumes.” And she views these dietary restrictions as a positive thing, saying, “I want to be on my toes; I want to have energy. And as much as the diet seems like a sacrifice, it’s helping me.” She’s also a devotee of daily sun salutations: “I first started doing power yoga in L.A., which really makes no sense,” she jokes. “Power yoga? It’s the opposite of what it should be. Yoga should calm you down!” And how does the star find time for exercise in her crazy, frenetic life? “It’s hard,” she says. “But you have to make time to take care of yourself.” To read more from Ellen, pick up the May issue of Shape or visit shape.com. — Marissa Patlingrao Cooley

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Showing 69 comments

Mary on

Good for you.. Keep up the good work. You look like you are 20 years younger.

R on

Being vegan is not about “restrictions”. It is about opening up to a whole world of food that I doubt the average meat-eating American even knows exists.

Tara on

Now I need a plate of ribs and a nice piece of cake.

Caitlin on


Frederika on

I totally agree that being vegan isnt a restrictive diet. There is a whole other world of healthy, delicious food that isn’t so talked about. I don’t eat meat for example and don’t have refined sugar/sweets, and I in no way feel that my food choices are limited. Making that change took some getting used to, but the results are amazing.

pb on

Ellen is such an inspiration. She looks amazing for 50 years old.

Penny on

I love love Ellen but I gotta say I cant imagine without eating cows, pigs, and chickens!!! OY how sad!!! I had chicken dumplings for lunch and I want more so bad I cant wait to get home!!!!!

Marley on

I am so glad Ellen is a spokesperson for us vegans and vegetarians out there!

ML on

Saw her on tv today and was thinking that she seems to look more amazing every time I see her. I guess now I know why. Keep it up Ellen, you look fantastic!!

Shannon on

Love Ellen!! Do we vegans really need a spokesperson? Why would we need representation? And of course it’s about limitations…we choose to limit our diet. I`m sure you still remember the days when you KNEW it was a sacrifice! It just happens to be worth it, really worth it!

Elda on

i don’t eat beef or pork but i do eat chicken n fish n no sweets, i was a vegan at one time but she’s inspiring me to become a vegan again. Love u Ellen!!

mmlove on

God created animals so that we could eat. Always value ppl over animals – we ARE more important, we have souls & we can be saved from a life of sin & can spend eternity in Heaven

Lovely on

mmlove~ AMEN!!! :)

R on

I’m sorry the two of you live so closed-mindedly. It is possible to live – and thrive – in a manner that is compassionate to all living creatures, both human and animal.

Andrea on

I love Ellen!! Good for her for taking care of herself!!

EM on

Way to go Ellen!! Love her!! You are going to live 100 years. That’s the best way to stay healthy.

Kula on

Ellen is an amazing woman, and she looks amazing. I wish I could look like that at 52 :-) (although I am really working on it)

Jessica on

Lovely and mmlove – according to the Judeo-Christian creation story, animals were created before man. Man was given the task of naming them…nowhere does it say anything about eating them. The eating of animals happens after the fall from the Garden of Eden.

Not that I particularly buy any of it, but get your folklore straight.

E on

I love my milk…
I love my cheese…
I love my yogurt…
I love my healthy, lean meats…
I love my occasional sweets…

Taking away all of that is too restrictive!
Vegan Shmegan!

Meredyth on

Ellen always makes me happy!

E on

And mmlove is correct…..

God created animals so we can eat their meat…. the world just needs to work on more humane ways to kill them.

Wanda on

There’s nothing humane about killing animals.
When there’s plenty of other food to eat, killing an animal is a choice. And why would we ever want to choose to kill?
Way to go Ellen! Go Vegan!

Berjoui on

And having a personal chef makes it a lot easier to eat that way!

Helen on

Silly me. I thought religion was supposed to be about love and compassion but it seems to have become a (lame) excuse for people to not care about anyone other than humans and their own salvation.

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E on

Some don’t kill them humanely, but rather inhumanely. Ignorant people like you are crazy to think God didn’t give us animals to eat and use their skin to keep us warm.

Humans have dominion overs animals. Read the Bible!!!!!

Or….. don’t you have one? Aetheist?

disappointed on

As a religion major in school, those of you that say ‘read your Bible’, I would respond that the you should educate yourself on the history of the creation of the ‘Bible’, the other books that were deemed ‘non-canon’, etc. Knowledge is power, limited knowledge is ignorance.
I cannot in any way comprehend how a person can view themselves as superior to another sentient being. Anyone who would say it is too restrictive or they deserve to eat meat, you are very self centered. To be a true citizen of this Earth, one must respect and value all animal life. To suggest an animal does not have a soul is incredibly selfish and niave.

Denise on

When there’s plenty of other food to eat? Here in America perhaps but if there was enough food production in the world there wouldn’t be hunger.

Wow on

I will buy this issue. I need some advice on diet, and I think I am interested in this energy inducing diet. I put on some weight this winter, and started eating candy again. BIG MISTAKE……

R on

E – For the record, I don’t live my life according to the Bible, so this statement means little to me, but apparently it means much to you:

Genesis says: ‘And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.”‘

While it might say that we as humans have dominion over animals (to protect, perhaps? Ever think of it that way?), it says here that at the supposed beginning of time, our food would be from plants, trees, fruits, etc.

Just sayin’.

boo on

ellen is the poo. : )

MsChoiceAlways on

Keep up the coverage of vegan celebrities! Great to see Ellen here!

Anja on

Yeah Ellen for being a vegan.. the animals thank you xoxoxo

KG on

With so many people moving towards a vegan diet, it’s great to see vegan representation in major media, with major celebrities! Thanks for the coverage, and mentioning her compassionate lifestyle choices. For those of you that have a problem with it, forget about it. And quit arguing the bible on here that’s just silly, I am surprised you aren’t also attacking her because she’s gay.

Noah on

I love Ellen, and I love being vegan. Good to see People magazine cover this popular lifestyle choice.

Julie on

I am so proud of Ellen and so happy to have her in my corner speaking out for the vegan lifestyle! As an animal lover it feels wonderful to know that the food that you use to nourish your body was not obtained through the torture and death of helpless animals. Also, vegetarians and vegans are far heathier than our omnivore brothers and sisters with lower cholesterol levels and less incidents of heart attacks and cancers.

Thank you Ellen for being who you are!! Thank you People Magazine for discussing this often-overlooked topic!

BC on

I’m so glad that you’re sharing Ellen’s compassionate decision to “go veg!” with your readers. Being vegan is, not only the healthiest choice one can make, but also the most environmental and loving choice. These days, you can find cruelty-free versions of ANYTHING you’re craving, so there are no limits on a vegan diet.

Alicia on

I’ve been vegan for 4 years and was vegetarian for almost 6 years before that. I’m not a health food vegan.. I still eat a TON of desserts, and not light, fruity ones either! I’m talking cake, non-dairy ice cream, cookies, cinnamon rolls, hot fudge brownie sundaes. My meals are also pretty heavy, and definitely not salads or anything close. However, I still reap the benefits of being vegan – more energy, almost never sick, lower body weight, and I’ve kept a great deal of muscle mass, even though I haven’t weight trained in about 4 years. Granted, I feel even better and lose weight quickly and easily if I switch to a sugar-free, mostly-raw vegan diet, but you don’t have to give up great food to get benefits! You just have to give up the animal products! I noticed the greatest benefits by giving up dairy products – my horrible allergies almost completely resolved, my skin cleared, and my energy level went up.

Jessica on

What an inspiration Ellen is. Let’s hope the rest of the world begins to follow her lead and act with the compassion and thought that are driving her decisions. And thank you, People, for helping to make this issue mainstream.

Jennifer on

Ellen rocks, totally love her!!!! The fact that she is vegan makes it all the better!!! Love you Ellen!!!.

Toby on


Daniel on


The consumption of innocent animals is one of the leading CAUSES of world hunger.

“Raising animals for food is extremely inefficient—for every pound of food that they eat, only a fraction of the calories are returned in the form of edible flesh. If we stopped intensively breeding farmed animals and grew crops to feed humans instead, we would easily be able to feed every human on the planet with healthy and affordable vegetarian foods.” –GoVeg.com

Luis on

Ellen is doing a great job of bringing the benefits of vegan nutrition to the masses. That being said, I wonder if she realizes that Cover Girl tests on animals? I hope that she can convince them that they do not need to do this. That would be great.

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R on

Good point, Luis. I wish that she would stop endorsing their products or, like you said, make it be known that they do test on animals and that that can be changed!
Still love her, though.

Marina on

What a wonderful article. Thank you Shape magazine for stepping up and acknowledging a vegan lifestyle is great for the body and crucial for the environment. Keep it up and I will subscribe once again. I was so sick of all the meat and diary ads and articles .

Vegannlovinit on

I’m a Christian vegan.
I’ve only got three things to say:
1) Dominion is not the same as tyranny.
2) you can never know if an animal has a soul or can be saved or goes to heaven — unless you’ve been to heaven and seen no creature other than humans, don’t pretend like you know.
3) after recognizing the pain that Christ went through under our hands FOR US I would’ve hoped that my fellow Christians would identify with His compassion and love; I’m disappointed.

Lillia on

It is great to see articles like this one! Very uplifting and inspiring! Veganism isn’t a trend that is going anywhere-it’s here to stay.

Kenny T. on

Go Ellen!

I found veganism to be more liberating than restrictive — I started feeling better about my health and my impact on animals and the environment.

If anyone’s interested in trying out vegetarianism check out vegpledgenow.com!

Jaya Bhumitra on

Kudos to Ellen for being a vocal vegan. However, since becoming vegan myself I have discovered so many new ingredients with wonderful health properties that have expanded my cooking options rather than limited them. And with no animals harmed in the production of my food (and clothing and beauty products) my conscience is clear to enjoy every meal. Love Ellen, love her lifestyle. Thank you, People, for featuring her and her beautiful ideals.

Jennifer on

Yet another completely unrelatable person. No sweets? No life, no fun. Life is way too short to remove yummies from one’s diet.

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jenny on

My husband and I went from vegetarian to vegan 2 years ago. I make delicious meals of hearty stews, pasta dishes, Indian, Asian & Mediterranean & Mexican dishes. Why is this lifestyle choice often met with hostility from meat-eaters? Most omnivores are so stuck in their mind-set of habit, culture or laziness or that vegans can’t possibly get enough protein. As long as the diet contains a variety of grains & nuts, legumes, and vegetables, protein needs are easily met. Diets that are rich in protein, especially animal protein, are known to cause people to excrete more calcium than normal through their urine and increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Ever watch an under-cover video from a factory farm and see the look of fear, misery & pain in the animals eyes? There are millions of factory-farmed animals suffering in horrific conditions their entire miserable lives to end with a cruel death? That’s what I see when I look at a plate of meat – death. If you truly ‘love’ animals you would see that too.
Please consider this compassionate, healthy & delicious way of feeding your body.
Thank you Ellen and People.com!

Jess on

Ellen is fabulous, and I’m so glad she is vegan now!

Rhonda on

Wow!!!! I can only pray I look like that at 52. She is an amazing person in her personal life and her career.

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Julia on

Veganism is not about dietary restrictions it is about protecting animals. Being vegan is great for the body, but lets not lose perspective about why most people, including myself, choose this way of life.

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Christopher on

Thanks Ellen for being a wonderful example of how healthy a vegan diet can be (and for being such a positive and hilarious force of nature)! I concur with the other vegans on this site, though, “restrictive” is the wrong word to describe the diet. There are many dishes that most meat eaters already eat that are vegan; they just never thought about it. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pasta with marinara sauce, lots of Indian, Chinese, etc. dishes, and so on and so on. The decision to stop harming other creatures by devouring their flesh was the single best decision I have ever made in my life. Trust me, you will sleep better at nights knowing that you stopped killing sweet and innocent animals.

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Mark on

Ellen is great and it is great to have her as part of the compassionate animal rights movement. I love to hear comments from jerks like “now I need a plate of ribs” just shows that they know killing and eating another living creature is wrong and selfish, it’s their lame attempt at trying to pretend they are cool. Pathetic.

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George Walker on

Ellen Degeneres – the best TV show host ever, love ya Ellen~:.

Carpet Shampooer · on

oh i love Ellen Degeneres, you can always say that she is the best talk show host “”

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