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Isabel Gillies: The Law & Order: SVU actress shines as an author

April 2012

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While Isabel Gillies may be best known for her role as Detective Elliot Stabler’s wife on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, her energy these days is focused on writing and family. In 2009, her New York Times best seller, Happens Every Day was published and her follow-up memoir, A Year and Six Seconds: A Love Story, hit bookstores last summer. Both books follow her journey as a wife and mother from the breakup with her former husband, who left her and their two sons for another woman, to her experience of falling in love again after her divorce.

            Her latest book concerns her journey from Ohio back to New York to live with her parents in the wake of divorce. “The book is about change,” she says, “in life, what’ sso hard to deal with is change.” While living with two parents and two toddlers may sound like a nightmare to many of us, Gillies says, “It was a good place to rebuild and recover.”

            The two memoirs were therapeutic for Gillies and gave her the opportunity to share her life lessons with others. Writing gave her perspective on what had happened in her previous marriage. “It’s very easy for this person who’s being left to put on a halo,” she remarks, “if you do that, you’re doing it great disservice to yourself.”

            Gillies, who remarried four years ago, lives in Manhattan with her husband, Peter Lattman, her two sons, and her step-daughter.

 

TD&N: What's your favorite way to stay fit?

Gillies: Spinning. Spin, spin, spin. I’m a big spinner. I’m obsessed. I took my first class 20 years ago in LA, and I started getting reengaged in it last year. It has changed my life. I like the combination of the music and the group. The energy in the room is so intense and joyful. I like group excerise.

 

TD&N: What five food items are always in your kitchen?

Gillies: Greek yogurt, almond milk, frozen blueberries, brown rice, and carrots. What you’ll really find in my fridge are a lot of leftovers because I like to cook. I also love black beans and agave syrup.

 

TD&N: What's the top guilty food pleasure you couldn't live without?

Gillies: Fried chicken, whether it’s wings or a big fried chicken dinner. Of course, it’s free rang! I also love pizza.

 

TD&N: Who's been the biggest health/fitness/food inspiration in your life?

Gillies: Stacey Griffith, my spinning teacher. And Jamie Oliver- I respect his food point of view. My mother, too. She is 70-something and she does yoga. She doesn’t believe in denial, fear of food is bad. You have to treat yourself, but everything in moderation. And my kids inspire me, too, because I have to be around and healthy and about for them. I also want to look hot for my husband!

 

TD&N: How do you fight stress or relax at the end of a crazy day?

Gillies: I am a huge believer in sleep. I try to get as much sleep as I possibly can at night. I don’t write at night. I try to turn off all media before I go to sleep. I am a Type A go-go-go person, and I’m very possessive of my nighttime peacefulness.

 

TD&N: What book is on your nightstand right now?

Gillies: I’m reading a galley right night, but I just finished I Married You for Happiness. I always have cookbooks on my nightstand. I’m reading Night Slater’s book The Kitchen Diaries 4.