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Q&A With Shailene Woodley

By Stephanie Stephens
WebMD Magazine - Feature

Shailene Woodley's feature film debut in 2011 opposite George Clooney in The Descendants earned her multiple awards and nominations -- not bad for her first time out. Born in Simi Valley, CA, and working since age 5, Woodley, now 22, appeared in the hit ABC Family series The Secret Life of the American Teenager for 5 years, the lead in the popular WB movie Felicity: An American Girl Adventure, and recurring roles on Crossing Jordan, The O.C., and Jack & Bobby.  More recently, she also appeared in the critically acclaimed film that premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, The Spectacular Now, with Miles Teller.

In 2014, watch for her in the upcoming action adventure Divergent, based on author Veronica Roth's best-selling book trilogy. She's also set to appear in the independent film White Bird in a Blizzard for director Gregg Araki and in The Fault in Our Stars, the big-screen adaptation of John Green's popular novel. Offscreen, she supports women's rights organizations including the Red Tent Temple Movement and One Billion Rising for Justice. Woodley and her mom, Lori, started the nonprofit All It Takes with a focus on "compassionate exchanges and realized acceptance among young individuals in middle school," Woodley says.

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What is your personal health philosophy? 

"I lead an extremely alternative lifestyle and follow a form of thinking based upon the Wise Woman Tradition, a New Age concept that is empowering to women. For my body, I go foraging for wild food, I collect spring water, I know where all the meat, eggs, and produce I buy come from, and I study herbalism. I also believe we neglect our hearts and our minds, and that without conscious thinking and acceptance of 'self' that our stress, worry, and guilt can dominate and in turn can manifest into physical ailments. I'm lucky to be surrounded by a community comprised of my friends and family members who live similar lifestyles that support that thinking."

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

"I go outside whether I'm in the city or backwoods of any state. I connect with the ground, the trees, just breathing fresh air while I go for a walk and I find myself living in my heart instead of in my mind."

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

"It depends on where I am and upon the temperature outside. I find whatever is locally abundant but I also do like seaweed. I sprinkle Three Lily Farm's Spirulina Gomasio on my food -- it's made with hemp seeds, Incan spirulina, and organic onion granules."

What is your typical healthy dinner?

"I eat everything but always in the cleanest, purest form. I go to the farmers' markets wherever I am and gather my food, buying whatever is in season. Eggs are great for dinner with unpasteurized sauerkraut along with fresh veggies. I'm a big believer in fermentation, which has been used for hundreds of years and creates an abundance of probiotics in the body. For the healthy flora that helps digestion, I have one fermented food with every meal, like sauerkraut, its "cousin" pickled Korean kimchee, or the tangy drink kefir -- tastes like yogurt."

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