If you've ever seen Shay Mitchell's instagram, you'll know that it's an awe-inducing collection of glamor shots, tropical vacations, and food pics. The former Pretty Little Liars actress has become an icon for the effortless cool girl look and gives fans an inside look at her life on her YouTube channel

Since she seems to be enjoying what looks like a dream life, I tried living like Shay Mitchell for a week to see if it would make me feel half glamorous.

The Plan

According to an interview, Shay Mitchell isn't one for strict dieting. Instead, she emphasizes the importance of living a balanced life style. She says she tries to eat healthy for the most part, but she isn't going to feel bad about indulging in pizza or donuts on occasion. 

What really attributes to her shape, though, is her intensive exercise routine. Shay loves to workout and says the key to fitness is variety. She likes to mix up what she does every day of the week. Boxing, hiking, and cycling are some of her favorite activities. 

In honor of this, I'm going to try to do my best to live by this (mostly) healthy diet and making some of Shay's recipes and favorite meals. In addition, I'm going to follow Shay's approach to fitness and challenge myself to add some variety into my workout routine. 

Day One

smoothie, herb, vegetable, banana
Karina Arnold

I started my day off in one of Shay's favorite ways: with a smoothie. I made mine according to the recipe she used (substituting a little with my brand in protein powder) and I thought it was actually pretty delicious and filling. It was a really good start to the week that left me feeling full of energy.

Riding my post-smoothie high, I headed to the gym to try out high-intensity interval exercises like Shay often does with her personal trainer. Since I don't have a personal trainer to work with, I pieced together an upper body workout using Shay's snapchat videos, which involved free weights, some TRX training, and lots of jumping.

I consider myself in pretty good shape. I work out regularly and eat fairly well, but, for some reason, this workout really killed me. I barely finished the hour long session with weak, shaky arms. Although there was no official cardio section of the workout, switching back and forth from the exercises was enough to make me work up a good sweat. I definitely hadn't anticipated how difficult it would be. 

In my post-workout hunger, I was tempted to grab a bag of leftover chips on my counter but managed to avoid the temptation. Instead, I opted for a Shay-approved whole grain wrap with a side salad for lunch and had some roasted salmon with asparagus for dinner. 

Overall, I was feeling pretty good with the day one diet. I wasn't having any cravings yet and I enjoyed all of the food I ate. However, I was a little nervous about the workouts to come, as I was pretty beat up by day one's routine.

Day Two 

Shay Mitchell loves to cut loose and have fun with friends, so in her honor I spent the day at Disneyland. Okay, so, I might have had plans to go to Disneyland anyway today, but it's totally the kind of thing that Shay would do. 

As I was away from home and not making my own food, I tried to follow Shay's guiding principle of balance in her diet. I made healthy choices for the most part, like making myself some oatmeal for breakfast and seeking some of the park's lighter meal options like the chicken kabobs with fresh fruit. 

Like Shay, I also wasn't afraid to treat myself to some pizza and a few of Disney's many delicious sweets. Having treats is part of living like Shay Mitchell, eating those treats didn't make me feel like I was "cheating" on my diet.

Instead, I was able to enjoy the food for what it was and know the next day I would go back to eating healthy. It felt like a positive and sustainable approach to eating than most celebrity diets. 

While I didn't make it to the gym for a formal workout today, I managed to walk nearly eight miles in the park, so I think that's enough to qualify for a cardio day. 

Day Three

After a long day at Disneyland, I woke up on day three with sore feet and feeling pretty drained. I decided as part of living like Shay Mitchell I should listen to what my body is telling me. Today, my body was telling me it needed some time to rest. 

So instead of working out, I started to focus on one of Shay's health goals I had been neglecting throughout the week: my water intake. 

Like most people, I do not drink nearly as much water as I should in a day, so today I decided to prioritize meeting my water goals. I started early by drinking a full glass of water before breakfast and set ounce goals for every hour. That way I wouldn't end up having to chug a bunch of water all at once to reach my goal.

By early afternoon, I started to notice a difference, namely in my energy levels. I did not have any caffeine this day, but I felt like I was bouncing off the walls. I also felt a lot happier than I normally do and more motivated to get my work done. The huge changes that I saw today really made me reevaluate my water consumption and motivated to put in more effort to drink consciously.

Day Four 

After one of Shay's delicious smoothies, I went to the gym to tackle another HIIT workout, this time focusing on my legs. It proved to be as, if not more, difficult the second time around and again I left with muscles that felt absolutely dead.

Despite the difficulty of the workout, I really enjoyed working out hard. It made me realize I was stronger than I thought and made me excited to keep working to build up some muscle.

salad, spinach, salmon
Shea McCollum

For dinner, my family and I all went out to to celebrate my sister's last day in California. We went out to a great Italian place and for the hundredth time this week I was greatful for Shay and her super flexible diet. 

I got a delicious and healthy salmon curry dish, but was also able to have a slice of my sister's margherita pizza. It was so nice to be able to feel the benefits of making healthy choices but still be able to indulge and not feel deprived. 

Day Five

Shea McCollum

One of Shay Mitchell's favorite things to do on the weekend is visiting a farmer's market to pick up some fresh fruits and veggies. I decided to visit my local farmer's market to see what I could find. I browsed the different vendors, tried samples from all of the different farms, and got a delicious fresh fruit smoothie.

I loved being out in the morning; getting to talk to people who help make the food I was eating. It really humanized the whole process and made me a lot more aware of the importance of knowing where my food comes from

As for my workout, I wanted something chill to go along with my relaxing day, so I decided to try out a yoga tutorial on YouTube. It was a good way to stretch out my muscles after the past couple of days and to refresh my mind.  

Day Six 

After another breakfast of Shay's signature smoothie (which I think I actually might be obsessed with), I decided to go for a hike.

I have to confess, I am one of those stereotypical girls who lists hiking as one of her hobbies, but rarely goes on a hike. I was happy to have a reason to get outside and do it. 

I went to a trail that I'd never been to before and remembered how great exercising outside feels. I got to enjoy the beautiful sights, talk with my family, and take some time to reflect on my life. It amazed me how much I was missing out on by getting stuck in my regular gym routine. It definitely motivated me to reconsider adopting some of Shay's routines beyond this experiment. 

Day Seven

Today was the day that I was looking forward to the most. Shay Mitchell always talks about how kickboxing is one of her favorite ways to stay in shape. So I signed up for a kickboxing class near by so I could give it a try.

I don't really know what I was expecting going into it, but it was a delightful surprise. The workout itself was pretty difficult, which is saying a lot after the kind of workouts I was doing this week. We started off the workout with some high intensity interval warm ups, followed by six different combinations on bags, and finished with partner work. 

I honestly don't think that I've ever had so much fun while working out. At one point, I got so caught up in what I was doing I forgot I was working out and not just having fun with a punching bad. Plus, it made me feel like some badass heroine in a post-apocalyptic movie. It was invigorating and amazing and I totally understand why Shay is obsessed. 

Shea McCollum

As far as nutrition, I think today is the day I really figured out good timing for my meals. I learned I need to eat breakfast at least an hour before I workout to give myself time to digest and if I don't have a snack in the afternoon I will get hangry before dinner. I also managed to drink a lot of water today, so overall I felt very accomplished! 


Overall, I really enjoyed my week of living like Shay Mitchell. I know when people try out celebrity's reviews, they end up talking about how difficult it is to meet the extreme's of a celebrity's diet and how unsustainable it feels. 

However, I felt by following Shay's loose but healthy guidelines I was able to become more conscious of my body and how to take care of it. I loved all the food I was eating and never felt deprived because I could always grab a piece of pizza or have ice cream when I needed to stay sane.

In addition, changing up my workout routine made me enjoy exercising more. It broke me out of my habits and made working out into something I looked forward to. 

I would definitely recommend trying out Shay's lifestyle for anyone who feels stuck in a routine and wants to live a healthier lifestyle. It's probably not one that will give you results the quickest but I definitely think it's one of the best for building a positive and sustainable relationship with nutrition and fitness.