10 Questions With Laura Prepon

Actor to author: 'The Orange Is the New Black' star shares how she stays healthy, fit, and balanced.

Medically Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on February 17, 2016
3 min read

1. In your new book that's out now, The Stash Plan: Your 21-Day Guide to Shed Weight, Feel Great, and Take Charge of Your Health, you say you were "at war" with your body for years. Why?

In my 20s I had no energy and felt sick all the time. Actors work long, weird hours -- we're up at 4 a.m. and drink pots of coffee. Weight became a problem. I couldn't take it off or fit into the clothes at work. I always ate well and worked out. I couldn't figure out what was wrong.

2. How did your success in Hollywood and its pressure to be thin affect you?

If you're going to be an actress, you have to be conscious of weight; you just do. For so many years I dreaded fittings, but it's part of our industry. So many actresses become very, very thin. They hit it big and are under this tremendous pressure. All of them lean out. The attention on weight is so strong.

3. Did you seek medical attention?

I had my thyroid checked, saw different specialists, and they all said different things. I tried every diet known to man. It just messed up my body more and became a vicious cycle.

4. Then you met nutritionist Elizabeth Troy, your co-author. What did you learn?

She's an integrated health coach who taught me how the body won't function properly if the gallbladder and liver are blocked.

5. Your health approach includes healing broths, stretching, and preparing your own food. Why?

Broths are important. One of the first things Elizabeth said to me was: "You need to do the broths." Within days I felt better. They have cartilage and collagen. Our bodies need and make collagen; it helps your body operate as it should.

6. The word "stash" in your plan refers to what?

A "stash" is a treasure trove of awesome food. I've always cooked at home and prepared a bunch of food to last a few days. If you're tired and working all day, we take away the worry and concern so you don't have to think about it. It gets you working with food, having a relationship with the food you put into your body.

7. Does your emphasis on stretching and releasing blocked energy paths in the body adopt an Eastern approach?

Ask doctors how long they studied nutrition and how it affects the body. Most will say zero. There is a large population of overweight Westerners right now. Our stretching approach is based on a 5,000-year-old theory.

8. Describe your "80/20" philosophy.

This is not a fad diet. It's a way to live your life. Being the queen of bad diets, I can tell you diets don't work. This teaches people the basics for the rest of their lives. You have to know what your body can handle. In other words, yes, eat butter. But not a stick of butter.

9. What's your current workout regimen?

I swim. I do the rebounder, which is a mini-trampoline. I take dance lessons. I love dancing -- it's freeing and the body loves it. I stretch with Elizabeth to keep things open and flowing.

10. What's your perfect day?

Walking along the streets of Paris, and maybe along the Seine, on an awesome autumn day with my significant other.

Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of "WebMD Magazine."