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Q&A With Idina Menzel

The actress and singer talks about her new movie, 'Frozen,' plus food, fitness, and family.
By Stephanie Stephens
WebMD Magazine - Feature

With credits in stage, film, television, and music, Idina Menzel, 42, has won a Tony Award for her green-girl portrayal of Elphaba in the musical Wicked, and garnered a Tony nomination for her character Maureen in Rent. On television, she's played Rachel's biological mother, Shelby Corcoran, on Fox's hit series Glee. Also a songwriter, Menzel, who's known for her strong and emotional performances, has recorded four of her own albums. She's toured since 2012, singing classic pop and musical-theater favorites in venues such as New York's Carnegie Hall and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. This month she voices her first Disney animated film, Frozen. Early next spring, she reunites with the stellar theatrical creative team she's worked with previously in a new musical, If/Then. Menzel has been married to actor Taye Diggs for 10 years and the couple has a little boy, Walker.

How do you nurture yourself?

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"Along with enough sleep and taking proper supplements, I steam -- in my steam shower. I find it's very healing, more than just your typical "tea and honey." I let the steam get into my throat and I can even warm up my voice and vocalize. And I steam my skin, which is great for getting all that stuff off of my face. When I was playing the Green Witch in Wicked, I had so much makeup to get off -- it was an ordeal. The steam really helped, and my skin looked good.

How do manage your health?

"I think it's about staying in front of any illness. If I feel anything, I run to the doctor."

What's your go-to tip for great skin care?

"In addition to steam, I like Kate Somerville's Purify Clarifying Cleanser."

When you're overworked and stressed out, how do you reset and unwind?

"Ever since I've become a mom, my priorities and perspective on things have changed. Sometimes when things are feeling a little chaotic, I try to focus on my son and what he needs. That really makes me understand the insignificance of things that I'm stressing about.

"For instance, if I get on stage and get nervous, I form this image of him in my mind, and I think, 'None of this matters -- if I screw up, or someone doesn't like me out there -- that's nothing in comparison to what I need to be a great mother.'"

What's your go-to healthy snack and why?

"Blueberries. Also, I'm trying to be gluten-free, so I enjoy the bars from Pure."

What's your healthy dinner?

"I love sushi. I eat lots of chicken, or a piece of grilled fish like tilapia, with spinach and Brussels sprouts."

What three ingredients are always in your refrigerator and/or pantry?

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