Jane Seymour

Bond Girl and Medicine Woman

Jane Seymour's 'Insane' Garden, interview Healthy Living Magazine, Stars

Jane Seymour's 'Insane' Garden, interview Healthy Living Magazine, Stars

Jane’s garden cascades down the terraced rescued slope. Peas adorn vines, banana trees bear yellow babies, a fig tree offers ripe ready candidates instead of an early season apple, society garlic’s white and purple and many more colors such as blue, yellow, white and mauve that are understandable from her painting form: blankets in the sea mist over the earth, disappearing over the horizon. “I love my garden. It’s terraced, part of a piece of land that was wild, sliding, and we reinforced and rescued it,” she says, taking a break from painting. “I have everything growing there now: bananas, peaches, passion fruit, blueberries, corn, potatoes, broccoli, beans and peapods. We grow things from seed. I have a lot of beautiful roses. I love to pick flowers and we have our own chickens as well. We have eggs every day.

“My parents loved growing vegetables. But in England there were seasons when you could not grow everything. I never thought you could grow an apple next to a fig or a banana tree—it’s insane.” A favorite from her garden? “I love garlic in my recipes. It’s one of my favorite foods.”

Born and raised in the Borough of Hillingdon, West London, it’s obvious from the start that Michaela “Mike” Quinn of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, which ran six seasons, totaling 150 episodes, and she are not far apart.


Jane Seymour's interview 'Insane' Garden, Healthy Living Magazine, Lifestyle

Jane Seymour's interview 'Insane' Garden, Healthy Living Magazine, Lifestyle

Her family stressed health in more than garden fashion. Her father and mother were John Benjamin Frankenberg, an obstetrician, and Mieke Van Tricht, a nurse. “My father never practiced Jewish traditions,” she says. “He was a humanist.” Her mother, a Dutch Protestant, spent time as a prisoner of war of the Japanese in Indonesia where she lived during World War II. That her father was a doctor and her mother “trained in Red Cross skills” explains her attraction to a role of a lifetime as Michaela Quinn, the first woman doctor in Colorado Springs, circa 1867, who became the single mother of three children after her midwife assistant died from a rattlesnake bite. The show aired on CBS for six seasons from 1993 to 1998. In total, 150 episodes were produced, plus two television movies.

“Dr. Quinn relied on herbs and medications that came from the Native Americans,” she says. “For example, she used willow bark tea for pain which is also the source of aspirin. Working with herbal medicine was one of the fun things we did on the show. Dr. Quinn also had morphine and cocaine but we didn’t focus on it. Even the medical facts were accurate. Certainly the message was one I believed in. At that time few women became medical doctors. I personally believe and my father did that more women should become doctors. Especially in the area of women’s health, because they have a special understanding of women’s health issues. My father was an OB/GYN and he used to train women doctors and midwives; he felt that women had a unique ability to treat other women.”

And she also knows it’s a role that will define her to many people. “The show was very well written and clearly has universal appeal. It played in more than 98 countries. Being Dr. Quinn, a beloved character, and able to export something that is meaningful to all cultures, is an unbelievable honor.”


Jane Seymour's interview 'Insane' Garden, Healthy Living Magazine, Lifestyle

Jane Seymour's interview 'Insane' Garden, Healthy Living Magazine, Lifestyle

So what every woman wants to know is what the secret is. They want to know what Jane does for her anti-agers. And it seems to come down to making the right choices for herself as well as her genes, “I seem to be very healthy right now and it is from good food choices. I believe in listening to my body and believe in supporting things with diet, exercise and I mainly eat organic food, which I grow in my own garden. I eat a lot of blueberries, blackberries and drink juices made from kale, ginger, apples and carrots in the morning, all grown in the garden. I mainly eat fish or chicken and salad from the garden with homemade vinaigrette, which I make from balsamic vinegar. I drink two cups of coffee, that’s it, we drink a lot of water; if we want something carbonated, we mix a small amount of juice mixed with Pellegrino and lime squeezed in it. I drink a glass of wine from time to time but stay away from liquor, never smoke, work out three days a week, do Pilates, Gyrotonics and light weights. I walk and fast walk for exercise from time to time. I go on the reclining bicycle and go on the elliptical machine to get my heart beat up. I tend to stay on the same weight without ever going on a weight-loss diet.”


Food choices rank high on her priority list. “I believe in eating actual foods most of all. I try to eat leafy green vegetables, berries, kale juice, arugula, spinach and get my protein through fish and lean meats like chicken.” For her sons, when they were younger she would make “little dipping plates with low-sodium soy, and they would dip and eat. I got them eating veggies with their fingers, and now if they are not eating enough green vegetables, they’re keen on the juicing machine, so they can get it in their system pretty quickly.”

She’s not a vegetarian and loves one of the sea’s true nutritional treasures. “One of my favorite foods is smoked salmon with really kind of nutty bread, hard bread, with lots of grains. I also love gluten free crackers. I’m not obsessive. If I got to someone’s house I will eat meat if they serve it but I do not necessarily choose to eat the red meat.”

We talked about her views on nutrition supplements, which in her view are insurance for a healthy diet. “I take a multivitamin for women over 50 or a prescription vitamin formula, the one my doctor gave me for pregnancy. I obviously take vitamin D with calcium; fish oil for the omega- 3s; and coenzyme Q10. I meditate and think that is important too.”


“I paint, do watercolors and oils. I have a commission to do today. Painting is healing for me. I design jewelry that comes from my paintings. I have our Open Heart Foundation. The philosophy of Open Heart is my mom used to say ‘when life was tough your instinct will be to close off and to go round and round inside you until it eats you alive, or you can accept and open your heart and be receptive and try to help someone else.’ When you accept, let go and help another, love and purpose come into your life. Now we have Open Heart Foundation for a person making a difference in people’s lives. If you go to Open Heart Foundation, the stories are there. Robin Roberts talks about breast cancer and why she decided to share her journey with the public, which allowed women to be open about it and go through the process itself and help it to become okay and acceptable….”

And what about Angelina? “I think all of us, if you learn about your DNA, if you learn about your family history and you consciously look at what you may be susceptible to have, if there is something to do to prevent or monitor it, you should. Today’s medicine is so amazing—blood tests or scans are available for cancer detection at the earliest stages; if you want to be vigilant, you can be. Some people don’t want to know. I want to know what happened. My family didn’t look after themselves. I do know what diseases run in my family.”


“You know I am very involved in life, with my kids and with really good friends. I love nature, being in the garden, watching things grow. I love what I do. I love my work. Also spending time with my grandchildren. It is pure joy. Being creative is the key to me. I can’t turn it off. I constantly have ideas and I make myself work out. I get up and work out even if I don’t want to. I also do spin class and just went back to ballet. Even if I feel like an old skeleton, I work out. I just did American Girl. I have a movie coming out as well, Austenland, in which the lead character, obsessed by the BBC production of Jane Austen, goes to England to a country house. I am the woman who runs the place. It was in official competition at Sundance and is coming out with Sony Classics. Stephenie Meyer of Twilight produced. I just did episode two of Franklin & Bash. I just finished Unknown Heart with Giles Foster, which will come out in Germany and Europe.”

Jane Seymour cover interview pastel drawing at home in Malibu

Jane Seymour cover interview pastel drawing at home in Malibu

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