Actress Jessalyn Gilsig, best known for her roles on "Glee" and the History Channel's "Vikings," says that her journey to a healthy lifestyle started early.

"I grew up with very healthy parents — my mother made everything, from yogurt to bread — and I think it rubbed off on me as kind of the only way I know food," she tells the LA Times.

The 42-year-old actress, who plays the role of Siggy in "Vikings," says that she tried to incorporate exercise into every facet of her crazy schedule, adding that staying physical gives a "little vacation from my brain."

"I like high-intensity workouts — spinning, boxing, cardio barre. I also run, and I have a Spin bike at my house," she says. "I find these exercises more meditative too. I think it's important to get healthy, but I like the high-intensity workouts where you can't allow yourself to think about what needs to be done and conversations that you coulda, shoulda, woulda had."

Jessalyn Gilsig in her Vikings role

Gilsig as Siggy in "Vikings." (Photo: History Channel)

Gilsig added that she stays away from prepared and processed foods, opting instead to make most things from scratch herself. "We eat a lot of salads and beans. I cook a protein once a week," she says.

Having a child has also motivated Gilsig to watch her health carefully, referencing a metaphor her mother shared with her.

“My mom told me, ‘Remember on the plane, they say if the oxygen masks come down, put yours on first before your child, I said it would be impossible, and she said, ‘I know, but they say it for a reason. I realized she was saying the best way to serve your child is to make sure you’re healthy, because they’re so dependent on you."

Check out Gilsig in a scene from "Vikings" below:

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

'Vikings' star Jessalyn Gilsig stays away from processed foods
Actress says she enjoys high-intensity workouts and meals that are simple and healthy.