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★FitStars: How True Blood’s Lauren Bowles Stays Fit, Sane in Hollywood

true blood

Lauren Bowles, aka Holly Cleary on the HBO hit show True Blood.

Are you one of the millions watching True Blood? We are. (We—and especially Tish—are suckers for all things vampire.) So when we heard that Lauren Bowles, aka Holly Cleary, was a big fan of healthy living and yoga, we knew we wanted to chat her up about it! Read on for how workouts and a healthy diet help her power through long shoots, her take on staying sane in Hollywood and her best advice—that is totally FBG endorsed and approved!

Interview with Lauren Bowles of True Blood

  • FBG: We hear you love yoga. What kind do you like best?
  • LB: I’m a big Hatha and Ashtanga fan when I really want to get my sweat on. When I’m in the need of a little restorative breath and stretch work…Yin. Denise Kaufman at Sacred Movement is a Yin goddess! You leave class feeling like you’ve gotten a massage, no joke.
  • FBG: How often do you practice?
  • LB: A good week, I can get about three to four classes in. More busy weeks, only one. But I make sure to always squeeze in at least one.
  • FBG: What other workouts do you do?
  • LB: I’ve become kind of a workout fanatic. In addition to my yoga practice, I work out at the gym at least five times a week. I’m kind of a class whore….treadmill class, spinning, Viper, body conditioning. You name it; I’ve tried it! I belong to Equinox, which offers tons of options. I love it because you don’t get bored, and your body doesn’t get complacent. The truth is…I love to eat. As you get older, you’ve got three choices…eat less, work out more or gain weight. I pick the gym!
  • FBG: How does yoga and working out help you to get through your busy schedule?
  • LB: To be honest…it kind of adds to my busy schedule because I always prioritize it into my day. But, boy, do I sleep better when I do. And sleep, for me, is everything.
  • FBG: Does being fit help you as an actress on True Blood and other movies/shows? How?
  • LB: You know, it sure helps me to fit into those mighty short Merlotte shorts! But in all honestly…more than aesthetically, I’m more self aware and confident in myself when I feel strong. I think that emanates more than any number on the scale.
  • FBG: There’s a lot of pressure to fit in a certain size in Hollywood. How do you deal with that pressure?
  • LB: I’m sure I’ve gotten AND lost jobs because of the way I look. It just doesn’t matter. I refuse to partake in the insanity. Life’s too short.
  • FBG: What’s your diet like?
  • LB: My husband and I are total foodies. We got married in Italy, and I must have eaten the equivalent of an entire pig when I was there! (Along with barrels of wine and wheels of cheese). Add to it I’m an avid baker. But my diet has gone through a real evolution. Nutrition has become kind of a habit of mine, and I read about it incessantly. Books like The China Study and Clean really got me to look at food beyond the way it tastes and really think about what it’s doing for my body. There seems to be no doubt that the best diet for both our bodies and the planet is a whole-foods plant-based one, which is what I subscribe to at home. But if I’m at a fantastic restaurant and I know where the meat comes from…all bets are off. Plus, I’m obsessed with Baby Cakes, a NYC vegan bakery that just found its way to LA. I met the owner Erin McKenna and kinda felt like I was meeting Angelina Jolie.
  • FBG: What advice can you give to others about being healthy and fit?
  • LB: First and foremost, love your body the way it is. You can’t beat something into submission and expect it to look good. If you can come from a place of acceptance and care, nothing can stop you.
  • FBG: Anything else?
  • LB: The other day my daughter looked at herself in the mirror and said “Mama…I’m so beautiful.” Granted, she’s three so I’m not battling many outside influences yet, but my heart just sang.

Yep, we love her. Couldn’t agree more with her advice. And, no doubt, her daughter is already picking up her self-loving and healthy body-image teachings! Any other True Blood and Lauren Bowles fans out there? —Jenn 

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  1. Tam says:

    Love this interview! She seems very grounded. She describes how eating healthy and exercise is a lifestyle and not a means to an end. She is a great example for me because I am a class junkie as well, and sometimes feel like a wimp for not using the machines. She affirmed my belief that I am still doing good things for my fitness and health. Thank you for this one.

  2. Vicki says:

    Interesting post, and i’m not really a lover of the vampire theme so i don’t know this actress. She seems like a cool person. Especially love that her daughter is the epitomy of self-acceptance.

  3. Tish says:

    As an actress in training and as an FBG I’ve got to say this is one of my favorite interviews to date. Hearting singing!!! ♪♫♪

  4. Tish says:


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