Gina Rodriguez's 4 Secrets to Staying Healthy and Happy

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Gina Rodriguez's 4 Secrets to Staying Healthy and Happy

image via Gina Rodriguez/Instagram

Actress Gina Rodriguez is one of Hollywood's busiest stars. From starring in the hit TV series, "Jane the Virgin" and the just-announced "Carmen Sandiego" revival to making movies (she's recently wrapped four) and raising money for Hurricane Maria victims, she definitely has a lot on her plate.

Her hectic schedule is enough to leave anyone feeling drained, but factor in Rodriguez's Hashimoto's disease, and it's no wonder why keeping healthy and balanced is so important to her. In a recent interview with Shape magazine, Rodriguez reveals just how she does it.

She Eats Healthy Foods for Energy

"Fatigue is already an issue with Hashimoto's, and some scenes can really take a lot out of you," she told the magazine. "That's a by-product of the job, so I keep my energy up by being conscientious about the food I put in my body—eating more fiber and vegetable protein."

Hashimoto's disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid gland. It occurs when antibodies react against proteins in the thyroid gland, causing gradual destruction of the gland itself, which makes it unable to produce the thyroid hormones your body needs. Side effects of an underactive thyroid include weight gain, constipation, joint and muscle pain, and fatigue.

A fibrous diet consisting of whole foods and plant-based protein is effective for those with Hashimoto's, as well as those without it, because it's known to help boost energy levels, keep you feeling satiated longer while also helping with weight loss.

She Takes the Time to Treat Herself

"It's important to celebrate my successes with the people around me," she says. "Eating, drinking, and toasting are big parts of my family gatherings." Which is one of the reasons why Rodriguez isn't super strict with her diet either. "I eat healthily and work out, so I don't worry about having a red velvet cupcake or slice of pizza."

Treating yourself to a favorite snack or meal is important to a well-balanced diet because it allows you to satisfy cravings, while also giving you the opportunity to indulge in life's celebrations without feeling guilty.

As the star told the mag: "I think body positivity is important because it frees up a lot of worrying and a lot of stress we spend on it daily. Instead, put all that time and energy into doing the things you want to do and making your dreams come true."

She Surrounds Herself With Good Female Friends

"Anyone who knows my heart knows that I'm about my ladies and the women around me who uplift me, who have created so many opportunities and paved the way for me," she said. "I was surrounded by women growing up, and in all honesty, they're the reason why I'm here today, hands down."

Keeping your regular girls nights is good for your health. Seriously. A recent study says having good friends is just as beneficial to your health and lifespan as doing exercise, meaning those with a solid network of friends tend to live longer than those without one.

And, just like everything in life, quality is greater than quantity when it comes to friendships. It's not the number of friends that affects your health, but it's how your friends support and uplift you that makes you feel the most vibrant.

She's Working on Empathy

"Hurt people hurt other people. I'm constantly striving to be more empathetic, so when someone says something that isn't kind, I try to picture the pain they're going through," she said. "The only time I've ever been mean to others is when I haven't slept or haven't eaten, so I can only imagine what someone is going through if they're being so mean."

Having empathy is the ability to understand the feelings and emotions of other people. A key component of emotional intelligence, empathy helps us to communicate with one another, to see one another's perspective, and to appreciate someone's feelings without losing sight of your own. In these trying times, empathy is probably one of our biggest life preservers, helping us to stay not only afloat, but also connected to one another.

The Takeaway

By keeping track of your health, connecting with those around you, and staying self-aware like the Golden Globe winner, striking a balance between healthy and happy seems almost effortless -- even for someone as busy as Rodriguez.

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