08-2003 Self

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Rule 1: Instant head clearer: handstands
"I do them anytime I feel nervous or need to be 'on.' Being upside down gets blood and oxygen to the brain, so I can think more clearly. Before I go on talk shows, I do handstands in my dressing room. Once, I was doing one right before Jimmy Kimmel Live, but I knocked over a lamp and totally tore up my knee. I never said I was good at them. I practically limped on to that show."

Rule 2: How to stay centered: Try a soft-bolied egg
"I eat the same breakfast I ate as a child - a handful of assorted vitamins and two soft-boiled eggs - at the same time every day. Since I grew up with so much routine at home in Berkeley, California, my breakfast ritual helps remind me who I was as a kid, which I think is very important."

Rule 3: A cure for insomnia: herbs
"One of the best pieces of advice my mom ever gave me, besides take your vitamins, is to get plenty of sleep. I need eight hours a night. So if I have trouble nodding off, I take some valerian root, an herb, and Calms Forte, a homeopathic sleep aid. If I really need to knock myself out, I'll drink chamomile tea, too, and put on an uninteresting movie or French fashion television."

Rule 4: Best plan for beating jet lag: Drink water
"Experts say the best way to recover from a long flight is to avoid sugar, alcohol and caffeine. But I love my peanuts and cookies, so I just drink tons and tons and tons of water - 8 ounces every hour."

Rule 5: My mood elevator: singing
"Growing up, I was a theater geek and I majored voice at UC Santa Cruz. To this day, singing show tunes, specifically Gilbert and Sullivan, makes me feel so good, especially if I'm in a bad mood."

Rule 6: Best way to prevent skin problems: Eat right
"I had breakouts in my 20s, probably because of all the junk food I ate once I moved away from home and rebelled against my healthy parents. My friends called me the Doughnut-a-Day Girl, but it was more like three or four a day. Now I don't do much for my skin. I just wash twice a day with Dr. Hauschka Skin Care products. Ever since I straightened out my diet, my skin has gotten much better."

Rule 7: My secret for feeling happy in a flash: Thai massage
"I discovered Thai massage a few years ago, and I try to get one once a month. It's nicknamed lazy man's yoga because the
therapist puts you in deep stretches, yet you don't have to do any of the work. Sometimes it really hurts, but it gets my energy going. I'm absolutely buzzing by the end of the hour."

Rule 8: Best tip to jump-start an exercise program: Bring running shoes everywhere you go
"In high school, I got teased a lot and was so self-conscious about being skinny that I'd wear tons of clothes just to pad myself. I honestly didn't become comfortable with my body until I got paid for it as a model. Still, I didn't became connected to it until I began exercising at 19. Elle Macpherson got me started when we were on a shoot together. She said, 'You have a nice body. You should take better care of it.' She gave me a great advice: Always bring your running shoes, get out whenever you can and just move for 20 minutes every day. I did that and started learning more about exercise. I hired a trainer to work out with me three times a week, because I didn't know my ass from my elbow in the gym. Then, five and a half years ago I discovered pilates, and I'll never set foot in a regular gym again."

Rule 9: No-fail way to stay fit: pilates
"Four days a week at 7:30 A.M., I show up at my pilates instructor's house for a 45-minute session. People think of pilates as just another trendy workout, but I have scoliosis, so I do it to keep that in check, and yes, it also keeps me in great shape by lengthening and strengthening my spine. Going to my instructor's home every morning is like going to the hairdresser: I get in my gossip and my female-bounding time. Sometimes, when I don't feel like working out, she'll just rub my neck and talk to me."

Rule 10: Hangover cure: the Mermaid
"If I've really tied one on the night before, I'll hang upside down for a while or do the Mermaid stretch." [You can, too: Sit on your left hip, knees bent, and grab your right ankle with your right hand. With your navel pulled in, stretch your left arm overhead while leaning to the right. Hold for three counts. Repeat with your right arm, leaning left. Then switch hips and repeat on the right side.]

Rule 11: Top cardio pick: hiking
"Every day after pilates, I hike with my dogs for about an hour. It's great because my abs are 'on,' and my heart is already pumping. Butit's not just physical, it's spiritual too. In the Santa Monica mountains where I live, there are so many trails and new places to discover. Sometimes I'll hike straight uphill for 30 minutes. Then I'll find a big rock, sit on it for a while and listen to the wind or the wildlife. Sometimes I'll sing, sometimes I'll cry, sometimes I'll practice my lines, and sometimes I'll just pick my nose!

Rule 12: Best way to make a decision: from your gut
"My husband, John [Stamos], and I had been designing a house in Beverly Hills, and one month before we were to break ground, I fell in love with this beautiful ranch I found while hiking. When I saw the for-sale sign out front, my heart was pounding, John thought I was nuts. Then he saw it and said, "Well, can I plant a garden here?" We bought the house that afternoon! My impulse decisions usually work out, but they can backfire, too. Like buying that property in Beverly Hills. I don't know what I was thinking. I'm not Beverly Hills folk, I'm just hills folk."

Rule 13: The key to loving your body: focusing on your spirit
"I'm happy my parents look the way they do and that they hooked up. I know people are like, You're tall, you're blonde, you're thin, and they get mad at me for that. And it's true that I'm cashing in on being that standard, but I try to be responsible about it. I condone living a healthy lifestyle and being happy and focusing on your spirit. When you do that, it resonates in the way you look."

Rule 14: Best way to keep your food cravings in check: Indulge them
"My biggest problem is my sweet tooth. I love Milk Duds in movie popcorn, chocolate-covered gummy bears and Junior Mints. And then there's Häagen-Dazs's Cappuccino Commotion. Trust me, I have my unhealthy days, because I never deprive myself of something I want. I also have a real weakness for Double-Double burgers from In-N-Out Burger. I let myself have one every two weeks, and I order them "animal style" - with extra cheese and extra sauce. But instead of getting it on a bun, I ask for mine wrapped in lettuce."

Rule 15: Most misguided beauty move: faking it
"There's this whole new aesthetic that's been created by girls in Playboy who have huge fake b**bs and no pubic hair. I don't know what kind of issues men who like that look have with girls, but it grosses me out. We have a whole generation of guys who don't even know what real b**bs look lie!"

Rule 16: Secret to making love last: a full moon
"It's hard to say what makes love last, because I think it's all based on the individual relationship. Communication is good. And John and I know we like to laugh and keep ourselves amused. Like, he's showing me his b*tt right now. That's the secret, I guess. Show each other your b*tts every once in a while."

Original article: Self 08/2003

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