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Julianna Margulies: Working Mom, ALS Advocate

How this busy actress takes care of herself and those with Lou Gehrig's disease.

Julianna Margulies: The Early Years continued...

Over the next decade, Margulies garnered awards and attention as well as a healthy bank account, thanks to her Emmy-winning role as Carol Hathaway on NBC's medical drama series ER. But after 6 years, she turned down the producers' offer of a reported $27 million contract to return, deciding instead to move back to New York City and try her hand at theater and independent movies. There, she met her husband, with whom she had a whirlwind courtship, marrying him when she was 7 months pregnant.

"The gift of having Kieran when I was older is that I see things differently, and I love that," she says. "I know I'm in an industry where age suddenly seems to be a bad thing, but the older I get the more I embrace what it gives me and my family."

When Margulies agreed to star in The Good Wife, her son was 13 months old. "I was a wreck," she admits, "but Kyra Sedgwick sent me an email that said, 'My first day of work [on The Closer], my kids were still in school and my guilt was devastating. But the gift I gave my husband and kids was their own relationship.' It was one of the best things I have ever read," Margulies says. "When I'm home, I'm doing everything. When I'm not, my husband may not be doing it my way, but he's getting it done. You have to be willing to let children have their own relationships with their father when you're not around. Sure, the bath might not happen," she says with a laugh, "but the kids aren't working in a coal mine."

Margulies on the Art of Self Care

Sharing responsibility for parenting has been another important lesson in learning to let go. "As a younger person, I thought I had to do everything myself. But then why do we have friendships and family? You can't do it all by yourself, and it's silly to try."

To maintain her energy, Margulies takes care of her body. The need for a healthy diet was ingrained by her parents, who taught their children the importance of daily protein and leafy greens. "I'm not a believer in denying myself anything -- I think people who do that end up binging and not being happy," she says. "But I eat for energy."

That means Greek yogurt with berries or an egg-white omelet with tomato and spinach for breakfast, followed by a ginger/carrot/apple/beet drink when she arrives on set. Lunch and dinner consist of salad and a lean protein like salmon. Between meals, she snacks on almonds, vegetables, and fruit, avoiding bread and sugar.

She skips soda in favor of water, although she does indulge in a morning cup of coffee and the occasional glass of wine on a weeknight. "Saturday nights, my husband and I will go out and have steak and martinis and dessert. Nothing crazy, but I make sure I have a good time!"

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