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Mira Sorvino Tackles Diabetes, Bipolar, and Human Trafficking

The actress tells WebMD about her role in the new movie, Union Square, plus her advocacy work and personal health habits.


As an actress an activist, you travel a lot. How do you eat healthfully on the road?

I think sometimes it's easier to eat healthfully when you're staying at a nice hotel because you can always order a salad. It's not like at home where there are things to munch on all over the place.

What is your best health habit?

I try to eat healthy. I avoid pesticides in food and I try to eat organic as much as possible, and locally grown. I used to work out a lot more, but with the kids there's really not the time to do it every day. When I can, I'll go out for a quick walk or run on the beach. Or when my kids play in the pool, I'll try to sneak some laps around them. But they won't always let me because they want to play Marco Polo with me!

What is your worst health habit?

I definitely like sugar too much. I used to eat a piece of cake instead of a meal -- which is ridiculous. But I don't do that anymore. I used to bake a lot, too, but I don't anymore because I can't resist the temptation. Now I try not to keep sugary things in the house so I don't succumb to them.

Now that you're a mom, how do you teach your kids healthy eating habits?

Like all kids, they're drawn to French fries and cupcakes, but I really try to enforce vegetable and fruits and limit the desserts. Like today, when my daughter came home from school I served her some organic strawberries and grapes for a snack instead of a popsicle.

Has a health condition ever altered your daily life?

During my last pregnancy I had placenta previa and I had to be on hospital bed rest for nine weeks. It made me really sympathetic to people who have chronic illnesses and spend a lot of time in hospitals because it was so lonely. It changed my perspective on hospitals and illness. So now I'm doing everything I can to not be in a hospital.

What qualities do you value in a doctor?

When I was in the hospital I had some tremendous doctors who were extremely attentive. They were very positive, very honest, and called and visited a lot. They weren't people who were just rushing to get out of there -- I truly felt that they cared about me. That was important.

What is your favorite part of your body?

I like my lower lip. And my legs.

What health habit do you wish you'd had as a younger person?

My mother was always extremely conscious about the sun -- she was into sun block and hats way before other people were, so I'm lucky that that was instilled in me early. I feel that my skin is in a better place than it would be had I done a lot of intentional tanning.

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