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Women's Health

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Personal Best: Q&A With Archie Panjabi

The British actress talks about beauty, food, and her laid-back exercise regimen.

What kinds of things are always in your pantry or fridge?

I always have a few spices like turmeric and whole peppercorns, as well as fresh ginger, garlic, and extra-virgin olive oil. With just those few things you can add flavor and kick to everything from Italian food to curries, or just perk up a basic like eggs. Fresh ground pepper on eggs can make all the difference.

Do you have any unusual secrets to staying slim?

Hot water. This is also something l learned from my family, from my culture. After meals I make a cup of hot water, drop in a slice of lemon and a squeeze of honey. I find it helps me digest my food and also sort of puts an end-cap to the meal -- so I don't continue snacking or searching for something sweet when I really don't need or want it.

Do snacks figure into this equation?

I do snack, especially when I am working crazy hours, but I try to keep it to a minimum, because it can get out of hand. I tend to eat a lot of blueberries, raspberries, and almonds. When I was a child, my mom gave me a little pile of almonds with a drizzle of honey on top during snack time, and I still find it's the most satisfying thing; it really cures cravings. When nothing but chocolate will do, there's this ganache from Maison du Chocolat ... just a little nibble is enough, really! Oh, and I love these chocolate flakes I get from England, which remind me of my childhood there. I don't deny myself, but I do have this one belt [on the set] that is so tight, and I can tell when I'm up a few pounds. In fact, all of my clothes [on The Good Wife] are tight!

So how would you drop those pounds?

Well, maybe I'll cut out bread and pasta for a few days, steer clear of fried foods, and definitely make sure to drink that hot water! I actually was heavier in my 20s, and I tried every diet tactic you can imagine. The only thing that worked, and has let me stay this size, really is the very basic concept of moderation. I'm glad I learned that at a young age.

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