‘Abs Are Built In The Kitchen’: Here’s How To Get Your Body Snatched Like P-Valley’s Brandee Evans

P-Valley star Brandee Evans’ body is insane in the best way. We’ve noted just how well her sculpted arms, chiseled legs, and curves shine brightly during her various red-carpet appearances. Most recently, she stood out at our 17th Annual Black Women In Hollywood Awards, wearing a fitted golden number and strutting down the carpet. 

While we admired her outfit, most of us also wondered how she kept her body snatched on-screen and off. Well, we got some answers. We recently sat down with Evans to discuss her workout routine, self-care practices, how stress impacts weight, and the importance of cultivating healthy eating habits. Check out our conversation with the actress below. 

ESSENCE: Your body has been snatched. How can you prepare for your role as Mercedes in P-Valley? 

Brandee Evans: A lot of it has been stress, to be honest, but normally, it’s the diet. Many people think that you have to be in the gym 50 million times; I used to think that, too. Also, my trainer, Scott Parker, has me on a nutrition plan where I’m eating a lot of spinach and avoiding the breads and the sugars. And if I do have those foods, I have to detox and do my cardio. Abs are built in the kitchen.

Are you also cutting out the alcohol?

I’m not drinking. I’m already not a drinker. And if I do order a drink, I’m always childish, always ordering the sweetest drink possible. So even with that, I thought about it the other night, and I was like, “Oh, I want to drink some wine, but I want my abs.” I have to be on camera for P-Valley soon. 

Let’s chat about your clean habits and cardio! 

When I go to Atlanta, specifically, I am at EFFECT Fitness. It’s cardio-based, and I love it. I also swear by meal planning because I don’t have time to cook, given I am a caretaker for my mama. When I finish caring for her, I’m exhausted and don’t feel like cooking for myself. I was so focused on cooking for her that I didn’t have time for myself. So, I hired a Black chef. He’s spoken with my trainer and nutritionist, Scott Parker, about how much sodium I need.  

Getting back to your role as Mercedes in P-Valley. Her body is stacked! We were wondering if you have a full-body workout regimen. 

Cardio is a full-body workout for me, and everyone’s body is different. I know a lot of women who are snatched in various ways, like my costar Gail Bean and me, for instance. You have different body types. You have the slimmer girls, you’ve got the curvier girls, and you’ve got more plus-sized girls as well, and everyone has a different thing they’re working on. I try to be cautious about telling people what I would do. But a full-body workout for me is simply cardio. If I do too many weights, because my arms gonna rip up naturally, that’s genetic. I will be looking really strong. I still like to look feminine. Cardio looks like a boot camp for me. I might be doing jumping jacks, squats, lunges, or running in place.

I also have a fitness group on Facebook and always tell people to join me on that platform. I started it during the pandemic, and now there are over 1,000 women in the group, and we work out together.

What are some of your self-care practices inside and outside the gym? 

Of course, the gym is my therapy. I don’t feel like myself when I don’t go there, and my energy is unhealthy. However, I’m still working on establishing healthy outlets outside of that. I’m trying to protect my peace. We all know that we can easily fall into the trap of not feeling sexy or comparing ourselves to others on social media.

I love that. The girls who watch P-Valley are wondering if you do your own stunts. Do you? 

I will just say Mercedes is in her 20s, but Brandee is not. So, the body is very different. It’s been humbling for me as well because I was a former dancer. But yes, I’ve done my stunts a lot on the show. I enjoyed swinging and running around the pole and Superman, but it hurt. It’s all core strength and cardio.

I imagine you’ve felt empowered throughout your role, especially since we recently learned you were doing all your stunts. Can you talk to us about tapping into femininity while being fit? 

I love that because I’ve always said that stunts helped me be more confident in my body since the beginning of the P-Valley. I want women to be healthy. I say fitness isn’t about being skinny; it’s about being healthy.

It takes a lot of courage and confidence to go to a gym. Even with a private trainer, you might not have a private gym, which can be intimidating. What self-care affirmations do you do before and after a hard workout?

My motto for my fitness group is you don’t have to keep up—you just don’t give up. I remind my women who come with me to the gym of this, too, because I know that if you’re trying to lose weight and look at fit people, it can get discouraging. I try to motivate others while reading the room.

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