Steal Sarah Wayne Callies’ Secrets for Staying Calm and Healthy

Sarah Wayne Callies Credit: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Judging from her roles on dramas such as The Walking Dead, Prison Break and, currently, USA’s sci-fi hit Colony (Thursdays, 10 p.m.), Sarah Wayne Callies doesn't mind a bit of tension in her work projects. But when she's at home in rural British Columbia, the actress thrives on wellness habits that calm her mind and strengthen her body. Here's what a typical day looks like.  

Up and at 'em! Callies begins her day between 7 and 8 a.m. in her chicken coop, where she’s raised Rhode Island Reds for five years. “I wanted to feel connected to what I eat,” says the star. “I give them yesterday’s scraps; they give me today’s eggs for breakfast.” She tops two from the morning’s haul with salsa or soy sauce.

The 5-foot-9 actress practices yoga daily, often hatha style because it’s “simple and portable.” (While filming, she’ll arrive on set a half-hour early to do a session in her trailer.) “It’s my cup of coffee,” she explains. “Twenty minutes and I’m a 100 percent better person.”

Local producers supply most of Callies’ diet. “I love knowing what’s in my food and supporting the local economy,” she explains of her early afternoon farm visit. An avid cook, she turns her seasonal picks into dishes such as quinoa with sun-dried tomatoes, arugula and pesto. Traveling often serves as her inspiration: “I’ve worked in lots of different countries, so I’ve accumulated recipes from all over.”

Since she’s not a caffeine fan, Callies, 39, warms up with herbal rooibos. “I have an absurdly massive mug within arm’s reach all day, like during phone interviews,” she says. Her other beverage of choice is kombucha, which she brews monthly with her children (a daughter, 9, and son, 3, with husband Josh Winterhalt). “It’s unbelievably easy, supertasty and saves a fortune,” she says, adding that the probiotics “seem to do wonders.” 

Another passion project that gets Callies' attention: volunteering with the International Rescue Committee. "My grandfather was a refugee," she explains, "so I have some sense of how difficult it can be to leave a dangerous homeland and make a new life somewhere you don't speak the language. It's a privilege to help other folks navigate that transition."

Spending most of her childhood in Hawaii instilled a deep appreciation for the outdoors. As often as her schedule allows, Callies heads to the nearest forest for a hike with her 3-year-old rescue pup. “My dog is a big believer in the fresh-air cure — for whatever ails you,” she says. Even when she’s away from home, the actress relies on walking as “a way of learning the land” and clearing her head.

Music is also “nourishing and vital,” but instead of an iPod playlist, she cues up a phonograph: “Consider me a lo-fi, unplug advocate.” Simon & Garfunkel, Kenny Rogers and Billie Holiday are all in her vinyl collection.

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