CNN: How did that experience, and learning more about heart disease, change the way you looked at exercise and nutrition?
Janney: I've lost 15 (to) 20 pounds since the summer. I've been doing Pilates three days a week, and I have three dogs, which gets me out walking every single morning. It's been nice to slim down and bump up the exercise.
CNN: Do you have any favorite foods that you've had a hard time giving up?
Janney: I don't believe you have to give everything up completely. I am my mother's daughter. I like cream sauces. I like macaroni and cheese, all that comfort food.
I love chocolate, but now I go for 88% and 90% dark, dark chocolate to treat myself.
I go for Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream in a recipe. It's kind of a game to see how I can take a recipe and make it healthy and still make it taste good. It's a challenge I'm enjoying.
CNN: So you like to cook?
Janney: I do. I'm not the best cook, but I do like to get inspired -- you know, get the cooking magazines or watch cooking shows.
Basically, I like to have people over to my house, because I usually hate going out to restaurants. So I'm trying to give them more reasons to want to come over to my house. Like, "Oh, my God, Allison's a good cook."
CNN: What else is a staple in your diet? What do you have for breakfast?
Janney: I've been doing juicing ... kind of an almond milk mixture. And then if I'm still hungry, I make steel cut oats or have oatmeal with some banana in it or a little agave to sweeten it. And that keeps me going.
I eat a lot of salads. Whatever I eat is mostly 70% water. I eat tons of salads and greens and peppers and scallions and avocados, my favorite food on the planet. I've been eating a lot of soups and one-pot meals, with quinoa, with chicken breast and tomatoes and thyme.
I really try to stick to that, and I find I feel better; I have more energy. I'm 50-something, and I feel better than I felt 20 years ago. So it works.
CNN: What do you do for stress relief?
Janney: I'm trying to learn to meditate. I haven't been able to achieve it successfully yet because I get impatient.
I do these breathing exercises where if I start to feel stressed I breathe in for -- I start at a high number like eight -- and breathe in for eight counts and breathe out for eight counts, until I feel like I can go down to seven and then to six ... and it really does calm me down.
Getting a dog I would highly recommend for anyone. Animals are great for stress. The morning comes, and you have to take those dogs out. And I feel better because I don't feel guilty.
CNN: What would you like to tell women about heart disease?
Janney: We only get to be here once; why not feel the best you can feel? Start making choices that are going to make a difference in your life and the people's lives around you.
You just have to consciously be aware that we're not going to be here forever. This is not a dress rehearsal. This is it. This is all we have. And if you look down and you can pinch more than an inch, it's time to start taking it seriously.
CNN: You've been called one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood. What haven't you done that you'd still like to do?
Janney: Really? Wow. I just signed up for doing a series for CBS called "Mom." Anna Faris plays my daughter. It's a multicam series, the first time I'll be doing that sort of format where I'm performing in front of a live audience for television. I'm really excited about that.
There are lots of types of roles that I'd like to do that I haven't done yet. I've always said I'd like to play action hero; a really physically demanding film role would be fun.
I want to be challenged, work with great people and find better roles. Like the role that I found in C.J.; I like the women that I play who are inspiring to other women. That makes me feel good about what I do, that it has a lasting impact on the world.
I want to do more Broadway. I want to continue doing film. I want to have this show ("Mom") with Chuck Lorre be a great success.