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Mental Health Center

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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.


In your new movie, Union Square, you play a woman with bipolar disorder. What did you learn about that disease while working on that film?

I know some bipolar people and I tried to craft the character's behavior on what I knew personally of these people. They feel the world a little bit differently -- things can hurt much more. But then also there can be these wonderful bursts of happiness and creativity and joyfulness that maybe other people don't experience. They say a lot of the great artists and writers throughout history have been bipolar.

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.

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