Jennifer Lopez’s Personal Chef Divulged The Secret Of Her Pre-Super Bowl Diet

Alongside fellow Latina superstar Shakira, Jennifer Lopez delivered one of the most high-energy Super Bowl performances of all time in 2020. But the box office and Billboard chart-topper had to work incredibly hard to be match fit. Indeed, according to her personal chef, J. Lo adhered to the type of strict, intense diet you’d expect from an Olympic athlete.

Lopez may have had to share the spotlight with Shakira at Super Bowl LIV. But during their 14 minutes on stage together, both parties managed to reel through much of their hit-packed back catalogs. “Jenny from the Block,” “Get Right” and “On the Floor” were just a few of the smashes that J. Lo wowed the crowd with.

However, the J. Lo live experience isn’t just all about the songs. The vocalist/actress/dancer proved why she’s regarded as one of the ultimate triple threats with a whole host of dazzling moves. Perhaps her most memorable was the pole-dancing routine, which was presumably a reference to her acclaimed turn in stripper dramedy Hustlers.

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Of course, Lopez’s fashion sense garnered just as much attention. The Hollywood star went through an extraordinary five costume changes during her halftime performance, which lasted less than a quarter of an hour. These included a bodysuit, a metallic outfit and a cape emblazoned with both the Puerto Rican and U.S. flags.

And J. Lo’s efforts certainly generated plenty of headlines. For example, The Independent commented, “Jennifer Lopez and Shakira didn’t so much erase as obliterate the Maroon 5 frontman’s excruciating Super Bowl halftime show with a high-octane, all-guns-blazing performance that went big on Latin pride.” Variety was just as impressed, writing, “These two gave it hip service, and for as long as they were on stage, no one with the slightest love of movement or rhythm could take a knee, or a seat.”

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It takes a lot of work for a woman who’s turned 50 to put those pop stars half her age to shame, of course. But Lopez appears to spend just as much time in the gym as she does the recording studio or film set. Luckily, though, the glamorous star never sees a workout as a chore. “I am 100 percent convinced that working out is part of what makes me so happy,” she told Hello!.

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“Dance has always been a huge part of my life and taking the time to move my body and do something that’s so good for me is key to my happiness,” Lopez added. “And I really believe that when you take care of yourself and work to stay healthy, you’re better able to take care of those you love. So working out is definitely a priority for me.”

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And Lopez has had to get in shape for several of her most famous roles, including her 1998 breakout movie Out of Sight alongside George Clooney. The star also had some revealing scenes in big-screen thriller The Boy Next Door and small-screen cop drama Shades of Blue.

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But Lopez’s raunchiest role probably came in 2019 when she starred as veteran stripper Ramona in the acclaimed drama Hustlers. Lopez, who was in her late 40s when filming the movie, thoroughly convinced as the strip club’s star performer. And her pole dance routine to Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” was regarded as one of the stand-out scenes of the year.

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In fact, Lopez was in such great shape for the film that she had to deny rumors she’d used a double for its more revealing moments. In an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the star claimed that the pole dancing was all her own work. “I have some bruises,” she said. “I took pictures to prove it!”

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“Also, I said to the director… there’s a moment when I go upside down,” Lopez continued. “And I said, ‘I don’t care if I look like a bat hanging upside down, if my face is crushed. Make sure you get me! I don’t want anybody thinking it’s doubles.’ No doubles in this movie!”

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Of course, Lopez’s body has been discussed in great detail by the press ever since she emerged on the scene in the 1990s. In a piece for Vibe magazine in 1999, Dream Hampton wrote, “Her b**t, in particular, has overshadowed her formidable acting ability. It is written about, photographed lovingly (with her cooperation, of course). It is used as an example, in teen mags for girls and grown women’s fashion tomes, of a changing body ideal.”

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A year earlier, an interview piece for Movieline began, “I find all 66 caramel-colored inches of Jennifer Lopez lying face down on a poolside chaise. Her bikini top is slightly loosened, her nether regions are towel-draped, and a masseuse is kneading oil into the precipitous peaks and valleys of her formidable body. Her skin glints as if it were flecked with 24-karat gold.”

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Thankfully, Lopez has always been happy to talk about her body and how she keeps it in shape. For example, in a chat with Hollywood Life the star revealed that she’s much more of a morning person when it comes to working out. “I don’t like doing it later,” she said. “It’s harder to get there when I have my day going already.”

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And a little variety in the gym appears to help Lopez with her discipline. “When I’m in New York, I work out with David Kirsch – he’s an amazing trainer,” she added. “When I’m in LA, I work with Tracy Anderson. I like the balance that they both give me. They have two totally different approaches. I like switching it up with my body.”

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So what exactly are the differences between the two routines? Well, Anderson allows Lopez to improvise a little more when she’s on the East Coast. Much of her workouts there revolve around weights as well.

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By contrast, Lopez works up more of a sweat when being trained by Kirsch. Circuits, abdominal exercises and even martial arts are just a few of the elements of the star’s exhausting Los Angeles routines. And Lopez is also put further through her paces with the high-intensity exercise known as HIIT.

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There’s also one particular exercise that Lopez favors more than any other: the Spiderman push-up. In addition, Kirsch informed SELF that a bosu ball routine is “pretty comprehensive… If you’re short on time, you can do it as a standalone move and feel like you accomplished something. You can also incorporate it into your regular upper-body or core workout.”

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And Lopez certainly isn’t afraid to show off the results from her strict gym routines. In May 2020, for example, she uploaded a post-workout photo to her Instagram account in which she wore coordinating camouflage leggings and sports top. She wrote alongside the image: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, Lopez’s words were appreciated by her fans and quickly racked up millions of likes. An appreciative follower commented, “I need to come workout with you and get back into shape.” Another stated that they would “always admire your dedication,” while many couldn’t believe that the woman in the photo was about to turn 51.

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Moreover, Lopez has been happy to give out advice for those wanting to emulate her strict fitness regime. “Drinking plenty of water, especially before a workout, can help you push harder and get more out of your exercise routine,” she explained to Hello!. “I try to keep my body hydrated and well rested after every workout. That way, I’m ready to hit it hard again the next day.”

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Lopez doesn’t recommend using coffee as part of your water intake, though. Indeed, she informed Hollywood Life that she hasn’t consumed caffeine in a very long time. The star has cut out alcohol from her lifestyle entirely as well, after consulting with HayliePomroy, a well-respected dietary expert.

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Another of Lopez’s exercise tutors, Tracy Anderson, revealed to People magazine that the star is just as disciplined when it comes to her food intake. “I have her eating very clean, because she needs really good fuel for all the things that she’s doing,” Anderson said. “It’s all organic and it’s all very well thought out, with the balance of very high quality proteins and a lot of nutrient-dense food… everything is fresh.”

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Moreover, Lopez told Hello! that she sticks to her nutritious regime if she’s spending time with loved ones as well. “Most restaurants offer healthy, low-calorie meals, so I watch for things on the menu that fit my lifestyle,” she stated. “And I make sure I drink lots of water throughout the meal.”

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In fact, even the foods Lopez eats in between meals are supremely healthy. “I also love to relax with my kids after a workout and share a healthy snack with them,” she added. “I always carry fruit and veggies with me to give me something to snack on.”

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And Lopez will occasionally adhere to an even stricter diet, as she did during a particular ten-day stint during 2019. Alongside her boyfriend, former MLB star Alex Rodriguez, the singer reduced her carb intake even further than usual and cut out all sugars from her food intake. She didn’t find this particularly easy, however. “Alex and I have struggled through,” Lopez admitted in a January 2019 Instagram story. “Anybody who stuck with us through the whole 10-day challenge, congratulations.”

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Lopez may seem like she’s willing to try anything on the menu if it’s healthy enough, then. But there are two nutritious foods that she tries to avoid, according to Lopez’s own chef. “I know Jennifer doesn’t love salmon,” Kelvin Fernandez told Us Weekly in May 2020. “So if I’m cooking salmon for the [table], I always got to do a sea bass or a halibut or cod for Jennifer.”

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Fernandez was keen to point out that Lopez’s dislike of salmon isn’t to do with its nutritional value, however. “She’s just not a fan of the texture and the taste of salmon,” the chef explained. Lopez also isn’t keen on berries, either, although she has to ensure there are always plenty around as they’re a favorite with her kids Emme and Max.

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In fact, fruit in general isn’t something that Lopez especially enjoys. Vegetables, on the other hand, are a different story. When asked about what’s always stocked in the star’s fridge, Fernandez replied, “There’s always greens like spinach, cucumber, and celery to make green juice. They love starting their day with a green juice.”

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“I think the most important thing is that the pantry is always stocked, the fridge is always stocked,” Fernandez continued. “The team does a very good job. I think what the most important thing is Jennifer and Alex love consistency, so the team does a great job following that up.”

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Fernandez admits that he can sometimes feel anxious when it comes to cooking for his celebrity clients. “I can’t remember the amount of times that I would have to ask over and over again about dietary restrictions and allergies, just because you don’t want to mess up, even though you know,” the chef confessed. And there are certain occasions when Fernandez has to be more alert than ever.

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After bagging the Super Bowl halftime show gig, Lopez decided that she needed to commit even more stringently to her healthy lifestyle. Indeed, in order to be as fit as possible for the performance, which was viewed by more than 100 million people, she adopted a pretty extreme diet. And this included constantly having the same food.

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“There were simple carbs and complex carbs and different types of carbs that we had to implicate into the breakfast, lunch and dinner structure,” Fernandez explained to Us Weekly. And the chef was left surprised by some of Lopez’s choices. “I’ve never had breakfast vegetables before,” he admitted. “But this woman was having egg-white scramble with vegetables three different ways and every single day.”

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Of course, J. Lo wasn’t the only Lopez family member whom Fernandez had to feed at breakfast time. The chef will often serve up more calorific dishes such as eggs Benedict or French toast to satisfy the star’s children. Fernandez’s efforts haven’t always been appreciated, however.

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On one occasion, for example, Fernandez cooked a large platter packed with rice and chicken for all the Lopez family to dig into. Unfortunately, the matriarch of the household didn’t like being tempted by such dishes in the run-up to her big day. And Lopez ensured that she told Fernandez about her discomfort.

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“The next day she’s like, ‘Kelvin, you served me rice,’” Fernandez recalled. “And I’m like, ‘No, no, no, no, no, there was chicken, there was salad. You grabbed the rice!’” Following his discussion with the superstar, though, the chef made sure that he altered how he dishes out the meals that he’s lovingly prepared.

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Thankfully, Lopez was able to see the funny side of the incident. Nonetheless, Fernandez went on to add, “From that moment I said, ‘Alright, Jennifer. I’m going to serve you every single plate individually. Do not look at anyone else’s plate. Do not look at what anyone else has.’”

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Of course, Fernandez doesn’t hold a grudge against his superstar boss for voicing her concerns. In fact, he believes that Lopez has every right to expect nothing but perfection in the kitchen. “If I mess up once, I will hear it,” the chef continued. “And she deserves to put me on my point.”

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Moreover, Fernandez has nothing but admiration for Lopez’s commitment to her cause. “She’s such a hard worker. When she puts her mind to something, it’s incredible how much can be accomplished,” he continued. “When she wants something healthy, she’ll stick to it.”

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But surely Lopez has at least one weakness when it comes to her diet? Well, Fernandez told Us Weekly that the star and her family aren’t averse to the odd Mexican dish. “They love taco day,” he revealed. “It could be Tuesday, it could be Wednesday, it could be Thursday. It doesn’t matter. They love tacos.”

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