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    Actor to author: The 'Orange Is the New Black' star shares how she stays healthy, fit, and balanced.

    1. In your new book that's out now, The Stash Plan: Your 21-Day Guide to Shed Weight, Feel Great, and Take Charge of Your Health, you say you were "at war" with your body for years. Why?

    In my 20s I had no energy and felt sick all the time. Actors work long, weird hours -- we're up at 4 a.m. and drink pots of coffee. Weight became a problem. I couldn't take it off or fit into the clothes at work. I always ate well and worked out. I couldn't figure out what was wrong.

    2. How did your success in Hollywood and its pressure to be thin affect you?

    If you're going to be an actress, you have to be conscious of weight; you just do. For so many years I dreaded fittings, but it's part of our industry. So many actresses become very, very thin. They hit it big and are under this tremendous pressure. All of them lean out. The attention on weight is so strong.

    3. Did you seek medical attention?

    I had my thyroid checked, saw different specialists, and they all said different things. I tried every diet known to man. It just messed up my body more and became a vicious cycle.

    4. Then you met nutritionist Elizabeth Troy, your co-author. What did you learn?

    She's an integrated health coach who taught me how the body won't function properly if the gallbladder and liver are blocked.

    5. Your health approach includes healing broths, stretching, and preparing your own food. Why?

    Broths are important. One of the first things Elizabeth said to me was: "You need to do the broths." Within days I felt better. They have cartilage and collagen. Our bodies need and make collagen; it helps your body operate as it should.

    6. The word "stash" in your plan refers to what?

    A "stash" is a treasure trove of awesome food. I've always cooked at home and prepared a bunch of food to last a few days. If you're tired and working all day, we take away the worry and concern so you don't have to think about it. It gets you working with food, having a relationship with the food you put into your body.

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