On FX's Justified, Cathy Baron has been playing a woman of questionable repute, but off-screen this multitalented actress is helping people to improve their lives. Dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle, Cathy is lending her experience and enthusiasm to LifeKraze, a new app that helps others put their best selves forward. BFTV recently spoke with her to get her tips on eating better - and snuck in a little Justified chat, too.
"it's never as hard as people think it's going to be," said the actress, who is vegan and has a degree in Nutrition. "You have to stick with it. Once you start eating healthy, you really do feel better eventually. At first, there's a couple of weeks where it takes awhile, but it really does get better."
The biggest assumption out there when it comes to healthy eating is that it also means uninteresting eating. "I hear that all the time. I disagree because I live it," Cathy continued. "I don't think it's taking the fun out of it. I actually think that finding new foods is fun. I enjoy learning about something I'd never known existed before."
Here are a couple other common misconceptions that Cathy says aren't necessarily true:
There's such a thing as too much protein. While people nervous about alternative sources of protein should know that you can find a healthy amount of it in certain non-meat items, "Anything that you eat too much of can turn into fat," cautioned Cathy. "If you eat too much protein, that can't be processed in your body and that could turn into fat."
Low fat means healthy. "A lot of low fat meals are packed with sugar and salt," she said.
Soy will turn a man into a woman or soy is generally bad for you. "This is not true," she explained. "Now some people are allergic to soy and shouldn 't be eating it. Soy is also an additive in many processed foods, and it's not healthy eaten in that way. If you read a study that discusses negative side effects of soy, check to see if it was funded by the meat industry." But, she added, "Okinawans are in a blue zone and consume 60-120 grams of soy protein per day. They have the longest, healthiest lives of any population on the planet."
Carbs are bad. "Also not true," said Cathy. "Eating too many carbs will create adipose tissue, just as eating too much protein or fat will. Carbohydrates provide an excellent source of energy in the form of glucose which is the energy source for cells, tissues, and organs. Just stay away from added sugars and you will be fine. Like everything in life, there is no specific formula - the amount of carbohydrates you eat should be adjusted to you and what makes you feel the best."
Milk is required in the diet for strong bones. "Not true! Humans are not actually built to be consuming cow's milk, which is why a lot of people are lactose intolerant," she explained. "There is no proof that we need milk for strong bones, only proof that we require calcium to be healthy. Other sources of calcium that are healthy are bok choy, broccoli, collards, kale, and okra. Any dark green leafy vegetable will be a great source of calcium."
Cathy is putting her advice into practice with a series of videos on the LifeKraze blog entitled "Cooking with Cathy Baron." You can watch the first of these at the end of this interview. "I'm sharing recipes that are healthy, quick - maybe fifteen minutes or under - and that are easy to make. I'm showing people how to do it and trying to make it funny," she explained, adding that LifeKraze users can also message her with any questions. It's not Cathy's first video project; she's also a painter, and you can check out some of her painting videos on Vimeo.
Back on screen, Justified fans know Cathy as Teri, the prostitute who's struck up a romance with Johnny Crowder (David Meunier). "I love David," she said of her co-star. "He has a special place in my heart. He's so kind and he's just so grounded and just genuinely a good person. And he's really talented. We would talk before we had our scenes and he was like, 'What can we do that's interesting?' He's always thinking ahead and thinking of how the audience is going to see it."
Unfortunately, you won't be seeing any more of Teri in the remaining two episodes of the Justified season, "and there's a reason for that," Cathy continued. "I hope I'm back next season!"
Till then, she has plenty of other projects to keep her busy, from her involvement with LifeKraze to other artistic work. Cathy is working on a screenplay, and also supports a number of charitable causes. While her character on Justified might be a little suspect, this lovely and outgoing actress has a heart of gold and is putting it to good use.