Healthy Hollywood: Nia Long's Stress-Free Secrets

I have a major girl crush on the gorgeous Nia Long.

During a pre-interview for her segment on Access Hollywood Live to promote WE tv's "The Divide," I had a 'this girl is cool' moment.

Unlike, some celebrities, Nia is not pretentious! She's completely down-to-earth and talks as if we've been friends for years.

Right before our interview, Nia, 43, told me how at this stage in life, she can't stand the Hollywood glam and would rather hang out her in yoga pants all day. I can relate!

Nia, who is super excited about her TV gig as a married high-powered attorney in "The Divide," reveals the most important thing in her life is balance.

"That sounds like such a simple things, but when have many people who depend on you and lots of responsibilities, it can difficult thing to find on a daily," Nia says.

As a mother of two boys, aged 13 and 2, she tells me meditation helps her stay grounded.

"When I don't do it I can feel the difference. Meditation is really just time for you to quiet your mind. I think we all live chaotic and hectic lives to a certain extent. You need to take a few moments to be quiet and not worry about what needs to be done or what you did or didn't accomplish or did I do everything right, just take that moment to be quiet and settle into what's going on right now," she adds. "When I don't practice, I feel stressed. So, balance and meditation go hand in hand."

The Brooklyn-born actress tells me her grandmother introduced her to meditation when she was a little girl. Nia was raised by a busy single mom and her grandma would often take care of her.

"Every day around 2 o'clock, my grandmother would say 'Come on, let's relax.' She would lie on her back and her arms would be folded and she would meditate. I thought she was crazy. We would listen to this tape of this man telling us to take deep breaths. I thought it was the weirdest thing as a child, but by the time I was 13, I just embraced it and it was our daily ritual together," Nia reveals.

As a child, Nia also learned to eat well. A habit she's very conscious to pass on to her two kids.

"I was raised as a vegetarian," she explains. "My mom is a vegan. I'm not either today, but what I am thankful is I know better. A lot of people don't have the education on what a healthy diet is and how important it is. I was the kid who had the chunky peanut butter made from real peanuts with no sugar or additives. I had the peanut butter and jelly almost every day on that hard whole wheat bread – which is honestly my favorite treat today."

Now, Nia makes sure her own kids are eating their veggies, noting, "I put greens on my kids' plate every day. If I have to do it in a smoothie, they get a smoothie with greens. My little one just had a veggie burger with cucumber and tomatoes for lunch. If you start your kids young with healthy foods and a colorful plate, you will be surprised how those healthy habits will follow them throughout adulthood."

Healthy Hollywood loves Nia's approach to health and also the fact, despite being a successful actress, she's truly a hands-on mom. There's no army of help raising her kids!

-- Terri MacLeod

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