Actress Nikki Reed does not just dabble in projects. She co-wrote and co-starred in the film Thirteen at just age 15, then went on to land the role of vampire Rosalie Hale in the Twilight series, one of the highest-grossing franchises in movie history. Two years ago she married actor Ian Somerhalder, less than a year after their first date. After watching the documentary The True Cost, about the impact of cheap clothing on the environment and factory workers, she turned into an advocate, launching her own sustainable fashion company, called Bayou With Love and available at Anthropologie, plus a side line of natural beauty products under the same name. Oh and want to know what else? She took on starting that business while pregnant with her first child. “I’m literally growing two babies at once,” jokes Reed, who has an August due date. We talked with her about how she’s staying fit, happy, and healthy through it all!
“Being pregnant gave me instant perspective. It’s the first time in my life I’ve passed on anything that isn’t exactly what I want to be doing. Pregnancy is the moment you find your path and do what you want, when you want, how you want. I’m building and launching a company that’s been a dream of mine. I honestly feel better than ever.”
“As an actress, I’m surrounded by chatter about my body. How do I look on the red carpet? Whose dress am I wearing? I’ve always rebelled against that, but being pregnant has given me this new and powerful appreciation for my body. Why do I suddenly have this layer of fat? Oh, it’s because my body needs to create breast milk. Why am I hungry and thirsty? Because my body is creating amniotic fluid. I want to write my pregnant body love letters, it’s so f*cking cool!
“Ian jokes that he wants to keep me pregnant forever. I’m a very driven person with lots of energy. I can run multiple companies, read four books at once, and take a conference call while cooking dinner. But pregnant, I’m a better version of myself. I’m really chill and relaxed, which I think is the greatest blessing.”
Such a Cali Girl!
“I realize I may sound like the crunchiest person in the world, but once a month I go to a studio for a sound bath. The idea is to meditate while listening to the vibrations of big bowls. Everyone else in the room has a quiet, introspective moment, and I lie there trying not to laugh, because it’s party time in my belly. The baby moves around so much!”
End of Acrobatics
“The hardest part of being pregnant, for me, is not being able to do some activities that I love: mountain biking, AcroYoga, and riding my horse. I can either feel frustrated or I can learn to have a different relationship with those things. I still see my horse, but I take him for walks. I watch my brother do AcroYoga and celebrate his progress. And I still enjoy the outdoors, although I nixed the idea of taking a camping babymoon with Ian. I’m finally getting to the point where sleeping on the ground doesn’t sound like much fun.”
But Yes to Exercise
“I still do workouts. I take a 30-minute walk every day. Five days a week, I do 30 minutes of cardio, usually either jogging—which is now kind of a combination of jogging and scooting—or the elliptical. I carry 2-pound weights and do hills. I do yoga. I lift weights. I do workout videos when I can’t do outdoorsy things. And I just got water weights, so I can work out in the pool. I’ve always been an active person. It’s what makes me feel good. As long as the baby’s fine, I’ll keep it up.”
“For the past eight years I’ve been a plant-based eater. Carbs are a huge staple of my diet and I try to be conscious of my intake, like, ‘Maybe you don’t want another stack of toast, since you’ve already had six pieces.’ Right now I really love cashew-based chocolate ice cream!”
“I normally love to cook, but since I’ve been pregnant I’ve lost interest. So all day I’m like, ‘Hey, what are we eating?’ Luckily, Ian’s a closet chef, and he’s also the sweetest man. When I told him I felt bad about always asking for food, he said, ‘Being able to do this for you is my favorite thing in the world.’ ”
“We waited months to tell even friends and family that we were expecting. It started out with us not knowing how long we’d keep it private. Then it started to feel like we had this really cool thing, a secret with just each other. The downside was that I had moments of wishing I could do things other pregnant mamas were doing. But the upside was that we started the journey without having to open up about it to anyone else, and that made it special.”
“We’ll take the baby’s first month for ourselves. After the baby arrives, we’re doing one month of silence. Just the three of us, no visitors, and we’re turning off our phones too, so there’s no expectation for us to communicate. Otherwise, every five minutes it would be, ‘How are you feeling? Can we have a picture?’ You don’t get those first 30 days back, and we want to be fully present.”
Surprise in Store
“A close friend had a son and I remember thinking, ‘I hope I have a son one day.’ Then another friend had a girl and I thought, ‘How fun would it be to have a miniature version of yourself ?’ You can’t lose, no matter what. It’s the greatest and only true surprise of your life.”
Excitement Is Real
“I’m an early bird and took the pregnancy test before dawn. I didn’t have my glasses or contacts and I can’t see without them. I was squinting, thinking, ‘Are there any more lines?’ I yelled to Ian, ‘Get up!’ He ran into the bathroom, read the test, and we were so excited. We watched the sun come up together, just thinking, ‘Wow, we’re going to have a baby.’ ”