"I try to make everything that I put on my body and in my body cruelty-free," says Chicago Med star Torrey DeVitto
Working long hours in a hospital can be taxing—even in TV land. But Chicago Med star Torrey DeVitto stays healthy and energized for her role as ER doctor Natalie Manning by employing a holistic approach to nutrition and wellness. And whether she’s staying true to her decade-long convictions as a vegetarian, achieving calm by cutting coffee, or using spiritual work to tap into the mind-body connection, the actress keeps finding new ways to nourish and center herself for the long haul.
Changing her eating habits paved the way for her transform-ational thinking. “I love being a vegetarian,” says DeVitto, 33. “I really feel like it’s a reflection of my whole belief system. I try to make everything that I put on my body and in my body cruelty-free. I do eat dairy, so I try to be conscious about where it’s coming from.”
Her conscious living extends to meditative exercises on set. “I have little things that I’ve learned through my energy healer, like little ways I stand in the corner in between takes and just take 30 seconds to do energy protection or grounding (exercises),” DeVitto, a licensed Reiki practitioner, says.
In terms of protein, how do you stay energized during long hours on set with a plant-based diet?
Everybody asks me that, but some of our biggest mammals, gorillas and elephants, are vegan. I’m constantly eating quinoa, chickpeas—all those plant things that have protein in them. I also love Vega protein powder and thinkThin and Vega protein bars. And there’s a vegan bar called No Cow that’s delicious. I always have some sort of snack on me, which is key.
That is some ER-worthy readiness!
One of my costars went vegan for about a month. For him, it just became a little difficult having to prep his meals before coming to set every day, but in the month he did it, he was like, ‘I do definitely have so much more energy.’ And I don’t drink caffeine or coffee, so maybe that’s a change in my diet that sustains me too.
How has eliminating caffeine been a game changer for you?
I love having a big thermos of hot water with lemon on me at all times now. It does something for me in the morning that coffee didn’t. I've run rather anxious in my whole system ever since I was a kid. Once I stopped drinking caffeine—and I was drinking about five cups of coffee a day—I felt like a whole new person. I couldn’t believe it. I feel like I wasted years of my life, and I realize that caffeine was exacerbating that anxiety so much. I drink a lot more water now. And my favorite (caffeine-free) tea is by Ron Teeguarden, the Dragon Herbs guy. I drink his Spring Dragon Longevity Tea occasionally with honey and almond milk in it. I love it.
Does your holistic approach to health include supplements?
I take a lot of vitamins and supplements. I recently began doing acupuncture and started taking a lot of Chinese herbs from my acupuncturist. I love being able to reach out to that when I’m feeling low or feeling, like, oh, my stomach hurts. I believe in medication—I know a lot of people need medication, and I’m not denouncing that at all. I have family members who are on antidepressants, and I’m like, great, if it works for you, awesome. So in no way am I negating that or taking away from that. But for me personally, I just know being able to find that alternative that I know is holistic boosts my spirit even more and makes me feel really great.
What spiritual practices nourish your mind and body?
Mornings I believe are super, super sacred, and I do this book called A Course in Miracles that I discovered when reading one of (spiritual teacher) Marianne Williamson’s books. And I work with this fantastic energy healer named Janet Raftis. She’s based in Atlanta, so we do a lot of remote healing sessions over the phone. She sends you the audio afterwards so you can sit and listen to them as many times as you need. She has a lot of guided meditations that I’m always listening to. She’s done a ton of retreats that I go to. We do a lot of intuitive coaching together. So she coaches me on how to use the tools that she uses on myself. I got certified with Reiki through her, so I do it myself now, which has been a complete game changer as well.