Be Well Living with Carla Gugino

At age 13, actress Carla Gugino did her first cleanse. Growing up in Northern California with parents who preferred a healthy lifestyle, she quickly learned the importance of total body wellness. She’s a big fan of green juices, follows a gluten-free diet, and believes in the power of a relaxing bath. Read on for more of Gugino’s incredibly healthy lifestyle.

Wellness Inspiration: Living in Northern California as a child, I was exposed to a lot of healthy living—aka a hippie lifestyle—and took to it quickly. I did my first candida cleanse at 13 with my mom and started doing yoga at that time when I discovered Richard Hittleman’s Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan on her bookshelf. I did the whole 28 days and was hooked. Yoga has been a key part of my life since then.

My biggest wellness inspiration right now is my father. He chose to forgo chemotherapy and radiation to fight his bladder cancer in favor of holistic treatments, such as hyperthermia, vitamin C, and other aggressive natural treatments, with a doctor in Mexico. He also radically changed his diet from one that regularly included steak and martinis to an alkaline diet to reset his pH. It was a truly profound journey to witness. He is now healthy and cancer free. And having a glass of red wine now and then!

Also, my aunt Carol Merrill has been a huge source of knowledge and inspiration on all things health since I was a teenager.  

Health Passion: Things I love to do often: drink green juice, take an infrared sauna, and dry brush (I’ve done it daily for years). If I’m on an intense shooting schedule and/or flying a lot, I find vitamin IVs to be very helpful to keep my immune system functioning optimally. And right now, I’m very passionate about Jean-Georges’ new vegetarian (mostly vegan) restaurant, ABCV! The gluten-free morning glory muffins are a revelation. And nothing is too nut or soy heavy, which I find to be a common problem at vegan restaurants.

Wellness is ______: For me, wellness is when your mind, body, and spirit feel compatible with each other. An overall sense of well being, I suppose.

Relax & Chill Out: I am obsessed with taking baths. For me they work magic. I love to mix up my bath ingredients. Sometimes Epsom salts, other times essential oils, and I’m also obsessed with Jadience Chinese herbal bath products. It feels like you’re bathing in a big cup of Chinese tea, but you really feel the results afterwards. I also take magnesium every night, which I find super relaxing.

Morning Start: I usually start my day with warm water with lemon. Sometimes I add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. And lately I’ve been enjoying Designs for Health Electrolyte Synergy with water and lemon. I also have a foot roller by my bed so I can stimulate all the reflexology points, which is a nice way to wake up!

Exercise of Choice: It depends where I am at the time. If in L.A., I hike a lot and swim. In NYC, I walk everywhere I can. And my favorite hotel room workout when I’m shooting on location is barre3. I have a monthly subscription, which pays off in spades. I’m also a big fan of SoulCycle. It’s the only way I’ve found that I’ll get in a strong 45 minutes of cardio without getting bored. It also inevitably lifts my spirits.

Sleep Routine: Ideally, my natural body clock is sleeping from 10:30 or 11 p.m. to 7 or 8 a.m. (I do like my sleep.) Often that’s hard to do consistently, but when I can, I find I’m much more able to have a night of sleeping five or six hours and still function well. I try not to read emails or check social media right before bed as it just gets my mind going. I find making a list of anything I didn’t get done that day to be very helpful to get it off my mind till the next morning.

Current Reading List: Right now, I’m reading Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith, a highly addictive novel that takes place in England in the late 1800s. I feel like I’m living a double life—one of the beautiful things about an immersive novel. I also recently reread The Untethered Soul, by Michael A. Singer. I find it to be full of practical and profound wisdoms.

Always in Fridge: I’m a big shake maker, so I’ve got lots of magic powders in my fridge. Moringa, maca, probiotic powder, a spirulina/chlorella combo, tocotrienol. And a bunch of fruits and veggies. Spinach, apples, papaya (not usually Hawaiian unless I can get them organic as most of them from there are GMO), microgreens, and lots of lemons and ginger. I also like coconut milk yogurt. And manchego (goat milk) cheese. At the moment I’m obsessed with Big Spoon’s Almond Ginger nut butter. Oh, and avocados are a daily staple for sure.

Pantry Staples: Brown rice cakes, fresh-ground vanilla, coconut oil, gluten-free tamari, a high-quality 70 percent dark chocolate bar…and I usually have some frozen stock to make soups with.

Favorite Way to Reset: I have found Transcendental Meditation to be a lifesaver and the best way to reset daily. I am also a believer in “Everything in moderation,” but I’d add, “including moderation.” I believe indulgences are important. Life is rich and surprising, and we tend to be much happier when we embrace that. An infrared sauna and a few days of cutting out wheat, dairy, and refined sugar is a truly miraculous quick reset, too.

Favorite Healthy Foods On the Go: I add Celtic Sea Salt to a bag of raw Brazil nuts and eat about four a day—great source of selenium and delicious! I always love a rice cake with nut butter or avocado. Drink-wise, I enjoy a cooling green juice in the summer and a warm golden latte (with turmeric, ginger, etc.) in the winter months.

Ingredient I Always Avoid: Gluten. Letting go of gluten has helped me tremendously with lessening migraines, something I’ve battled over the last several years. Otherwise, I eat almost everything. I truly love food.

Can’t Live Without: Well, I do love my morning coffee with hemp milk or homemade almond milk—let’s be honest. But in terms of the larger life picture, my dear friends, my work, and my man of many years make my life exponentially better on a daily basis.

Current Mantra: Be here now.