Summer diet for Phoenix

The latest Phoenix to hit Hollywood stays fit, naturally

"Coffee... sugar...cigarettes." Summer Phoenix, the youngest and newest actor in the Phoenix clan, is ticking off the vices she has to kick before she's a bonafide body of health. In that order. "Yeah, I'm a true addict."

And though she's sucking on her third American Spirit cigarette (of the twenty she smokes a day) since settling in at a West Village cafe, the 23 year-old actress is making strides towards said goal as she sips her second cup of decaf on this, her second day of a caffeine-free existence. "I got sick, and I had no desire to drink coffee, and so ... I just quit," she explains. Easy as pie. "And, honestly, I feel so much better. Things that would normally stress me out just aren't."

Like every member of her family, Phoenix has also sworn off animal products. She wears neither fur nor (with the slight exception of a pair or two of second-hand shoes) leather. "Let me tell you, $13.99 Payless plastic shoes -- which I do love -- smell really bad in the summertime," she explains. "And, by the way, I'm desperately seeking out the designer who makes good non-leather shoes. The selection out there is vile."

Today, however, she's happy in a pair of cleft-toe Nikes. And as for her diet, she's been vegan since birth - so much as a stray pat of butter in a meal nauseates her.

The tofu-lovin' looker also swears by the health and beauty benefits of such a diet. "There's no cholesterol in it, and I'm convinced that dead flesh in your intestines absolutely contributes to illnesses like colon cancer, heart disease, clogged arteries, and everything else that people are like 'Where did that come from?'"

"And, as for its physical benefits," she continues, "I have a couple of friends who went off their vegan diets and gained weight and were like 'Whoa, what's with the adult acne?' I'm explaining to them that it's not a coincidence it happened when they changed their diet."

And, not surprisingly, yoga plays a role in her life, although it's a minimal, almost non-existent portion of what appears to be a workout regimen. "I used to do yoga regularly at the Iyengar Institute, and then I would take a couple of classes here and there. Now, I just do it occasionally, at home," she says, bashfully wrinkling a forehead a bit. "I've been really bad lately about working out.

She's definitely doing something right now. Not only does she look slim and sexy, slung into her Seven jeans and fitted, recycled-vintage tartan jacket, but in her most recent film -- an English-language French flick entitled "Esther Kahn" which opened last week in select theatres -- Phoenix exposes herself in a full-frontal nude scene, and looks fantastic doing so.

"Yeah, that," she says, blushing a bit. "You know, I ran into Anna Friel in London right before shooting started, and she told me to drink apple cider vinegar and water - that it helps to reduce bloating -- and I think I did do it for a bit," she explains, noting with a karate-chop gesture that apple cider vinegar, with cayenne, can also kick a cold right out of you. "But other than that I did nothing to prepare my body. In fact, I sort of forgot about the scene, until it came about."

Phoenix had best prepare for the heat her new roles are going to bring her.