Rising star Isabelle Cornish on relaxing her diet and how she keeps so fit
Before jetting back to LA for pilot season, the Aussie actress, model and ultimate #fitspo chatted to Buro about how she maintains that famous physique
Stripped down to her new season Calvin Klein Performance activewear and working on her tan atop The Old Clare Hotel's rooftop pool, Isabelle Cornish is every bit the star: self-assured beyond her years and on fire in front of the camera. She's also keen for a chat, sharing everything from her go-to green juice recipe (be warned: she likes her juices "hardcore") to her fitness and Instagram secrets.
The 21-year-old (who already has Puberty Blues, Home & Away and Dance Academy credits to her name) could have been in for a difficult time trying to crack showbiz in the wake of her sister, queen of the cult indie flick Abbie Cornish. But she's not out to be Abbie 2.0. "I like to do my own thing," says Cornish. "She's great as a role model and to inspire me but we have such different tastes, like I'm into all the fashion and food things that she isn't, and we have such a big age difference, there's 12 years between us."
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Cornish is forging her own path, and it's one that taps into her obsession with living as healthy a life as possible. She became a vegetarian at 13, went vegan for three years and while she's since relaxed her diet a little, nutrition is still a subject that fascinates her. "I'm 90 per cent plant-based, which is like a vegan diet but I do consume goat's cheese and goat's yoghurt every now and again," she says. "I don't think people need to be vegan or paleo. It's better not to label yourself but just listen to your body and eat accordingly."
A quick glance at Cornish's Instagram account reveals her diet staples: she uploads snap after snap of delish-looking green smoothies to share with her 194,000+ fans, along with the odd homemade red velvet cupcake (gluten and dairy free, of course) and other health-focused meals. Her go-to green juice recipe is lemon, spinach, celery, kale, ginger and half a green apple - no wonder she's a picture of glowing health.
Cornish is aware that the lion's share of her Insta-following is young girls and she's mindful of that when posting. "I think it's important to always set a good example and show the truth," she says. Not that she needs to worry: she doesn't drink - "I've probably had one drink this year," she says - and she isn't a slave to her phone like so many of us are. "Something that's come up in my acting classes is the importance of having real conversations with people," she says. "So for the last couple of months I've been spending a lot of time without my phone and properly talking to people, looking at them, listening to them."
Did we mention Cornish is wise beyond her years? It's no surprise that she's pooling all her pearls into a website, to be launched in February 2016, titled Life Iz. "It's aims to inspire people to live a happier, healthier life," Cornish explains. "It's going to be plant-based recipes, workouts and a scrapbook-style journal of my life."
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Some would say it's a brave move given the attention Cornish's Instagram images already receive. This year she's had her fair share of body shamers who've voiced concerns that she's too skinny - outcries that The Daily Mail et al have all picked up. But Cornish is open about her exercise regime and her slim physique can simply be put down to hard work and good genes. "I work out six days a week," she says. "I've always loved running because I can do it anytime, especially when I'm travelling. I usually go for 45 minutes and then I do weight training and circuit training probably three or four days a week." She doesn't work with a trainer, preferring to write her own program on a piece of paper before each session - often with sister Abbie in tow.
Cornish has plans to run a half marathon with a friend next year, although she's skeptical about how it will affect her training. "I enjoy mixing it up and I train for the enjoyment of it," she explains. "What motivates me is when you eat right and work out, you feel awesome." She keeps her exercise gear in her car so she's always ready to hit the gym - and it's little tips like that which make her so inspiring.
Shot on location at The Old Clare Hotel
Photography: Michael Naumoff, Vivien's Creative
Styling: Rebecca Caratti, Buro 24/7 editor
Hair & make-up: Molly Warkentin, Company 1
Buro 24/7 Selection
Buro 24/7 Selection