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Jennie Garth’s Balancing Act

The 90210 star talks about her healthy lifestyle, volunteering, and parenting a child with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

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What’s your guilty-pleasure food?

Cupcakes or fried tortillas.

What’s your personal formula for balancing work, family, and personal time?

Balancing everything in a woman's busy life is really hard. You have to make sure you are giving everyone their needed time and attention, and then remember to give yourself some. We have a family calendar on our kitchen computer. It gets a work out!  We also are blessed to have a wonderful nanny who has been with us for 16 years. She is the only one we trust with our babies. She helps me so much. And Peter is incredibly helpful and such a wonderful father and husband.

How did you get into fighting shape for dancing round the clock on Dancing with The Stars?

I went into dancing with no cardiovascular strength and 10 extra pounds. Getting in great shape was one of the reasons I wanted to do the show. Soon we started dancing eight hours a day, and I couldn't get enough food. It was awesome.

How do you recharge your batteries?

I like to be outdoors: hear the sounds and smell the smells. I love animals and being around them really recharges me. 

If you hadn’t been an actor, what do you think you would have pursued as a career?

I might have been a teacher...of what I'm not too sure.

What’s your personal healthy living philosophy?

No smoking, no drinking, getting enough sleep, laughing a lot, and appreciating the people who love me.

What’s been most challenging about teaching your children to eat healthily?

Getting enough protein in my girls’ diets is tough. We eat chicken and turkey. It's hard to come up with different options for them.

Who makes the doctor’s appointments in your house?

I am blessed with a very "hands on dad." Peter helps me with every aspect of raising and caring for our children. So, we both make doctor appointments, and take the kids to them. Peter's family has several pharmacists in it, so we have learned to research and learn about any and all medications the doctors prescribe, until we are comfortable with them.

There are so many worthy causes to champion, what inspired you to support the American Heart Association? What do you do to help?

My father struggled with heart disease starting in his late 30s. Heart disease is something that my family has lived with as long as I can remember. It affected us all. So, naturally being able to help just feels right. I would do anything to have been able to change things for my father and want to help others who are struggling with this life-altering condition. I am especially interested in helping educate women on the unknown dangers they face regarding heart disease, since it is the #1 killer of American women. A big part of that misconception is the fact that most women don't think they are likely to get heart disease, that it is something that men get. If I can bring awareness and help someone, nothing would make me feel better.

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