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Parker Posey’s New Role

The indie actor talks to WebMD about playing a single mom on the TV show 'The Return of Jezebel James,' and if she wants to have children in real life. Plus, Parker Posey's best and worst health habits.

Did you make the changes in your diet that they suggested?

I gave up wheat and sugar. And coffee. [I] have more energy, [am] not as tired, not taking naps, not moody, not lethargic -- since I [also] gave up red meat, and I eat the occasional chicken. I feel so much saner. And I'm obsessed with bitter melon.

Bitter melon? I don't think I've ever tried it. How did that come about?

I made two or three trips to the Ayurvedic Institute of New Mexico, and one time I was sick and they looked at my tongue and he told me to eat bitter melon -- that it would clean out my system and I was gagging -- it was the worst thing I ever tasted because it's so bitter. But you just keep eating it and eating it, and by the second time I had it, I was a bit more into it. And now I'm obsessed with it and I must eat it every week. It feels so good and I feel so much better after eating it.

Will you share your recipe with this bitter melon novice?

You slice it, keep the seeds in, and you saute it with sunflower oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves, fresh ginger, lemon grass, cumin, mother Indian spices, and you sort of stew it. I eat a big batch of that hot.

Also, if you have the time, which I do when I am not working, I really enjoy the peacefulness of eating a meal -- not rush it. And if you're cooking for someone else it's even better.

What's your worst health habit?

Smoking. I gave it up in October 2006.

No cigarettes, no sugar. Come on: You're a New Yorker. How do you de-stress?

Yoga, totally yoga. There are so many great teachers and yoga studios in New York and I get into all of them when I am not working. Unfortunately, work can be so intense, so during the show I couldn't take as many classes as I would have wanted to.

What's your least favorite form of exercise?

Running is a little absurd to me. It's like running in circles without having a place to go. Serious athletes, of course, reach a level of the zone, but I can't get there. I would never run because it's like: what am I running from?

If you had to lose one of your five senses, which would devastate you the most?

That's a tough one.  I think I would let taste go. Or maybe hearing -- it would be really quiet then. I would value sight the most.

What's your personal health philosophy?

Eat well, nurture yourself, feed your mind, don't entertain negative thoughts. I believe that what we think in our mind affects our body, definitely.

Originally published in the March/April 2008 issue ofWebMD the Magazine.

Reviewed on March 29, 2010

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