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10 Reasons Claire Danes Is a Healthy-Living Rock Star

She Cheats on Her Diet—and Doesn't Feel Guilty About It

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Danes has been in showbiz since she was 13, so she's certainly no stranger to rocking those red carpets. But don't expect the blonde beauty to go through any extreme diets or crazy juice cleanses along the way.

"I eat in moderation and try not to worry about it. I mean, I'm young, healthy, and I think every now and then it's good to indulge the soul," she says. [Tweet this quote!] "I try to eat sensibly. I cheat, but for the most part I eat in a clean way."

RELATED: The 10 Habits of Happy People

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She Works Out to Feel Great (Not Just to Look Great)

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"I exercise more for mental relaxation than anything else," Danes says.

Case in point: After a brutal breakup in her younger years with singer-songwriter Ben Lee, the actress admitted it was fitness that helped stabilize her emotions and bring some equilibrium so she could move on.

These days she turns to dancing for staying healthy—the happy way! "Some of my happiest moments have been dancing. Right now, I'm really into Jamaican jams and Caribbean soul."

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No Critic is Ever Going to Hold Her Down

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No matter how successful you are in life (on screen or off!), there's always going to be some criticism. But Danes doesn't let it stress her out.

"I have to expose myself and then accept the judgment that audiences and critics will have. And that's okay. I appreciate the elliptical nature of it. Sometimes people are more in the mood to be nice to me than others, and that's great… You can't totally deny or ignore it, but you can't turn it into a measure of your self-worth."

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She Refers to Her Son as a "Beautiful Butterball"

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The hot mama and her husband Hugh Dancy welcomed a new addition to their family last December (a now 11-month-old son named Cyrus), but she's found balancing work and motherhood surprisingly doable.

"It's nice to have Cyrus at the end of the day. He takes me out of whatever darkness I've had to experience at work. It's a quick fix. He is a beautiful butterball who brings me so much joy," she says.

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She Embraces the Power of Spanx (and Isn't Afraid to Say It!)

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The adorable actress has always been pretty candid when it comes to her red carpet secrets, often admitting to getting some extra help from modern shapewear to appear more sleek. At the 2013 SAG Awards (where she took home the award for best actress), Danes even mentioned the power panties in her acceptance speech, saying, "I'm a brand Spanx-ing new mom!"

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Her Quick Fix for Dealing with Stress? Sleep!

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Getting enough rest is a pre-requisite for Danes to make it through her busy days without a hitch—thanks to a few helpful reminders from her husband.

"I come from the land of therapy and love it, therapy is great, but Hugh really helped me discover that a lot of the time, I'm just tired," she admits. "I don't have to go through this labyrinthine explanation, there doesn't have to be that much back story. I can just be in need of a nap."

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She's Not Afraid to Ask for Advice From Crazy Successful Women

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After two Golden Globes and two Emmys for her role on Homeland as ruthless intelligence officer Carrie Mathison, it's hard to believe the dedicated actress couldn't find work for two whole years before the series debuted. To get her through the tough time, Danes sought advice from an older, legendary generation of actresses, including Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon, and Jodie Foster.

Their words of wisdom? "You have to pick your battles. You have to come to work from a place of love. [Tweet this quote!] You have to stay hydrated when you have crying scenes," Danes recounted. "You have to go to college. And you have to ask for money because there's always more money and they won't give it to you because you're a girl!"

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She Spends Her Days Doing What She Loves

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Danes chose a career that helps keep her fulfilled—something she says is necessary for a happy life. "If you do something that you're not genuinely passionate about, it is a little soul-crushing. Just not worth it," she says. "The reward is getting fulfillment out of doing the thing you love." 

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She Has Crazy Confidence

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Danes attributes her unshakable self-confidence to her artist-turned-personal-manager mom, Carla Danes.

"Before anyone can make a great mark to impose their vision on the world, they have to have the confidence to do so—and my mother gave me that confidence," she's said. [Tweet this quote!]

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Her Beauty Routine Focuses on the Inside First

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According to the actress, getting a full night's sleep, hydration, and staying fit has a bigger effect on her outer beauty than any skincare item. But when she does have to reach into that medicine cabinet, Danes chooses super-gentle Cetaphil.

"My skin is a bit sensitive, so Cetaphil is my standby. I also use toner and a light layer of moisturizer—I use a lot of Kiehl's and other natural brands."

Catch Claire Danes starring on Homeland Sundays at 9pm ET/PT on SHO!

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