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Ex-vegan Eva Longoria says running workouts keep her hit at 39: Her diet secrets

Eva Longoria's diet and workout secrets
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Eva Longoria credits running and a healthy diet for her super-fit body at 39.

"I'm a runner," Longoria told E! "I don't need a gym, I'll go run anywhere. In Australia I went running around the botanical gardens and when I got to Paris I ran around the Eiffel Tower."

The 5-foot-2 Eva, who's a tiny size zero, said the best part of running is being able to explore a city while exercising. "It's truly one of the best forms of exercising and the best thing to do while traveling because you get to do sightseeing," she said.

Longoria is a former aerobics instructor who majored in physical education in college. Not surprisingly, she's a longtime fitness fanatic who has always made working out a part of her daily schedule.

When she's not running, Eva hits the gym four days a week doing a combination of cardio workouts, yoga and strength-training.

'I Found the Vegan Diet Too Complicated'

Longoria, who loves to cook, said her diet features lots of fresh vegetables and lean protein. Eva shared 100 of her favorite recipes in her cookbook, Eva's Kitchen: Cooking with Love.

The former "Desperate Housewives" star once tried a vegan diet but found it too complicated to fit her lifestyle. "I love the philosophy behind veganism, but I went from one day eating chicken and meat to eating just salad," she told Health. "I didn't know how to be a vegan. I didn't know about soy or almond butter. I didn't know that there are great breads, so I literally stuck to salads. And I think I passed out the first week."

Eva, who divorced NBA star Tony Parker in 2011, is a former beauty pageant winner (Miss Corpus Christi, 1988) who credits her fitness-minded lifestyle for keeping her healthy physically and emotionally.

"My bachelor's degree is in kinesiology, so it's ingrained in me to work out," she said. "I was an aerobics instructor, and a personal trainer in college, so I was addicted to exercise."

While Longoria has always been lean and curvy, she lost a dramatic amount of weight after her 2011 divorce. The Latina bombshell was shocked how many compliments she got after becoming what she considered scary-skinny. Eva, who has always been thin, said the experience made her realize how warped our ideas of health and beauty are.

"I remember after my divorce, I was so thin and everyone kept saying how great I looked and it was probably the most unhealthy place I've ever been," she recalled. "So it was funny what people would see as 'healthy.' In my worst time, people were saying I've never looked better."

'I'm an Eternal Optimist'

While her divorce was a difficult time, Longoria has moved forward with her trademark positive attitude. She credits her natural optimism for her emotional resilience, and said she's fortunate that she rarely gets depressed.

"It's so funny, because I don't get depressed," she said. "Even after my divorce, everybody was like, 'Wow, you bounced back so quick.' I'm your everlasting, hopeless optimist!"

Longoria has transitioned from acting into producing and is currently working on a documentary called El Voto Hispano. Eva, who starred on Desperate Housewives from 2004 to 2012, dismissed rumors of a "Desperate Housewives" reunion special, saying there's really not much more to add to the story.

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