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Shadow and Bone Star Jessie Mei Li Shares Swimsuit Photo With Amita Suman

She’s all about that vegan life.

Shadow and Bone star Jessie Mei Li genuinely enjoys spending time with her costars, even going on vacations with the cast. Li, who plays Alina Starkov on the Netflix fantasy show, shared a picture of herself sitting next to Amita Suman (who plays Inej Ghafa), both wearing bikinis as they relaxed on a boat, looking out over the water. "Oh my gosh this is a stunning photo! I love that the cast are friends and choose to spend precious time together 😍," a fan commented. Here's how Li takes care of her health and happiness.


Junk Food and Sustainable Beauty


Li loves vegan junk food. "Oh, I'm a sucker for anything. My friends and family laugh because I have such an addiction to potatoes," she says. "English fish and chip shop chips are like my absolute favorite thing, and they're on any high street in the U.K. But I've recently discovered that there are many places, especially in London, that do vegan donuts. I'm a huge, huge fan.  Definitely. I go for the natural, vegan options when I can. I'm also very passionate about sustainability, and I found some really great places that have sustainable skincare and things that don't come in plastic bottles. I feel like a few years ago when I first started out being vegan, I found it difficult to find things, whereas now it's just everywhere. People are changing the way they package makeup and beauty products as well, which is really exciting."


Training and Stunts

Li's background in martial arts helped with training for Shadow and Bone. "I like going to the gym, and I asked if I could go a few times with them to meet the personal trainers working with everyone, but actually, I didn't have a huge amount of training," she says. "The stunt sequences that I had as Alina were fairly pared-back, and they didn't call for a lot of difficult moves. I have a background in martial arts. I did it growing up and through my teenage years, so I had a vague understanding of how to throw a punch. I did a bit of training, but not as much as some of my castmates who had these insane stunt routines."


SPF Every Day


Li is big on skincare, especially protecting her skin from the sun. "Growing up, I wish I had seen more faces like mine," she says. "The Chinese side of my family is big on skincare. They are always telling me to wear sunscreen. The one I'm using at the moment is Pai British Summer Time SPF – I use it every day."


Vegan Diet

Li says switching to a vegan diet changed her life. "I'm not being hyperbolic—it was the best decision of my life," she says. "For me, veganism is not about health. It was initially for me about the environment, and then I learnt more about animal welfare and agriculture. Those became the key reasons why, despite for years saying that I could never give up my meat, I've been vegan for four years now."


Walking For Self-Care

Li has certain self-care rituals she swears by. "A nice long walk by yourself if there are beautiful green spaces around, that's brilliant," she says. "You can listen to a podcast or just listen to the sounds going on. I think it's really grounding. I love being around people, I love chatting to friends, but I think having that time to be with yourself and be with your thoughts and get a bit of exercise is just brilliant. I try and go for a long walk every day if I've got time, and it always makes me feel ready for the day. Or in the evening, it makes me feel ready for bed. Just work out all of your pent-up energy."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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