When Margaret Denise Quigley (you know her best as Maggie Q) isn’t kicking major booty on screen in films like the Divergent trilogy, you’ll find her advocating for animal rights, cooking up new business ventures, or actually cooking in her kitchen.
Doing her own kick-ass stunts (yep, Maggie does all of her own action scenes in Nikita, the Divergent films, Designated Survivor, and more) and building businesses (like ActivatedYou and Qeep Up) mean Maggie needs some serious fuel.
A lifelong athlete and vocal environmental activist, Maggie has always naturally maintained a super-lean physique—but she’ll be the first to let you know just how strong she is.
“My mother is Vietnamese. My father was a skinny Irishman from New York, and I’ve been an athlete my entire life,” she previously told Women’s Health. “Don’t assume what my strengths are. It just shouldn’t be acceptable to make comments about anyone else’s body. You never know that person’s story.”
Maggie is also outspoken about the way she chooses to eat (which is plant-based, btw). Here’s the down-low on what her day-to-day diet looks like.
Maggie Q follows a vegan diet, but she doesn’t call herself vegan.
“I don’t [call myself vegan], because it has become a weird, negative term and people feel very judged by it,” she told The Beet. “So I like plant-based better because it’s friendlier: It’s inclusive. You can’t judge people. They have to be where they’re at, and you have to accept them for where they are.”
She’s been plant-based for more than 20 years.
After learning about animal-welfare issues at a concert more than two decades ago, Maggie completely overhauled her diet.
“I attended a concert and a PETA Asia employee was tabling outside of the show… We connected, and she sent me information on animal-welfare in the fashion, food, and entertainment industries,” she told Veg News. “It made me sick, but nothing prepared me for the truth of the environmental impact of meat production. I quit cold turkey and never looked back. I didn’t understand how I could have ever claimed to love animals but hadn’t made the choices to protect them.”
Maggie credits the intentions of her vegan diet with making it stick.
The reason Maggie’s plant-based eating stuck without a hitch? She focused on benefits bigger than just herself. “When I [gave up meat], my convictions were rooted in animal cruelty and environmental impact,” she told The Beet. “That’s why I gave up meat. Because it wasn’t about me and vanity and health, my convictions were very strong—so I never fell off the wagon.”
Her family is converting to plant-based eating, too.
Maggie’s advocacy for animal rights and plant-based eating have rubbed off on her family. “I have two sisters who don’t eat meat and one who is transitioning slowly,” she told Veg News. “My mom and dad have had several health scares in the last few years, and because of those issues, they are now paying attention and looking to make the change.”
“Everyone comes into the light in their own time,” she said. “The beginning was very hard because, culturally, Vietnamese food isn’t vegetarian. Our signature dish, Pho, is beef. I told my mom if she wanted me to still eat our food, we needed to invent a vegan version together. She was into it, and we did! I don’t feel challenged because my convictions are so rooted in compassion. If someone doesn’t see that, it truly isn’t my problem.”
Maggie starts most days with a green juice and a smoothie.
Maggie has a busy work schedule, but she has a go-to morning routine. “One thing that rarely varies is my morning,” she told Veg News.
When she can, Maggie starts her days with a health shot (made of wheatgrass, turmeric, ginger, and lemon), a blended green juice, and/or a smoothie.
Maggie is also known to whip up an acai bowl or two.
She’s a big fan of probiotics.
“I have always struggled with gut health,” Maggie told Thrive magazine. “Whatever brought that on, I couldn’t say, but breaking down foods has been a challenge for me even before I knew what that challenge was.”
That’s why Maggie created supplement brand ActivatedYou with Dr. Edison de Mello.
“I wanted to create a line of probiotics that had everything I was looking for,” she told Thrive. “In my journey to improve my own health, I became extremely passionate about helping others out of the hole I was in.”
Wheatgrass helps her feel better.
When asked what makes her feel energized, Maggie pinpointed one food. “Wheatgrass. There is nothing like it,” she told Thrive.
Maggie hired her own vegan master chef to feed her on the Nikita set.
Maggie has talked about how it’s difficult to find plant-based food while filming on a set. “I don’t deal with food from production,” she told The Beet. “It’s not real food.”
So, she decided to invest in her own solution. “On Nikita, I worked so many hours and needed so many calories (that) I hired a chef who learned the art of vegan cooking and mastered it! I loved her and I miss getting food from her every two hours! Yes, that’s how often I ate.”
Protein smoothies are a post-workout must for Maggie.
Maggie’s go-to sweat seshes include Rise Nation, Katonah Yoga, and hiking with her dogs. “My rescue dogs are my life and hiking with them is probably my favorite form of exercise,” she shared on Qeep Up’s site. “We can go for hours and nothing makes them—or me—happier!”
Whatever workout she picks, though, Maggie downs a protein smoothie immediately afterwards. Her go-to recipe, per Qeep Up:
- 1 banana
- 1 cup peaches, berries, or mango
- 2 scoops brown rice or pea protein powder
- 1 Tbsp almond butter
- 1 Tbsp maca powder
- 5 cups cashew milk
- fresh mint leaves
Maggie loves to cook.
“I feed people. I love to cook. If you are around me, I will make you food. It’s what I do…. lol!” she told the Tory Daily blog. In fact, she has a full-on chef’s kitchen so she can whip up all of her fave veggie-packed dishes. It has custom cabinetry, stone counters, and top of-the-line appliances.
Her fave dish is kitchari.
Kitchari is an Ayurvedic dish made of rice, mungbeans, and spices. “Kitchariis one of my favorite foods on the planet. Simply put: It’s perfect. (For me, anyway.),” she wrote on the Qeep UPdate blog.
“Whenever I need a reset or my immune system is struggling, or even when I need clarity of thought because of external stressors, I turn to this nourishing Ayurvedic food. I love the principles of Ayurveda because they are all about bringing the body into balance.”
She’s tired of people telling her to eat a cheeseburger.
Maggie previously opened up to Women’s Health about body shaming she’s experienced. “When you depend on someone else’s perspective, you always get judged…People think you’re lucky to be skinny, so they have a license to say mean things about your body.”
“It used to hurt me. Now, it makes me laugh,” she said. “I’ve raised my metabolism by being an active person, so I need more food than most people. But people tell me that I don’t eat actual food. Like, how do you think I function? I don’t put anything into my body but the air that I breathe? I can’t tell you the number of people who’ve said I need to eat a cheeseburger. I’m like, really? I need to eat a cheeseburger? You can eat a cheeseburger and I’ll be okay over here.”
Maggie is also a major fan of doughnuts.
Maggie loves doughnuts so much, she’d eat them all day every day. “If doughnuts were healthy, I’d have a strict diet of only them,” she told US Weekly.
Eating, doughnuts or otherwise, is always on her mind. “I think about my next meal as my current meal is ending.”
Oh, and she always keeps hot sauce in her purse.
When Maggie spilled out everything in her purse for a US Weekly print story, hot sauce was front and center. “How much do you love that the most prominent item in my bag is Hot Sauce! 😂 Cuz….a girl needs flavor. Oh-kaaay,” she wrote on Instagram. (I see you on that Sky Valley Sriracha, Maggie…)
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