Kate Mansi proved to be a fearless force when the stunning actress took over duties for an already established role in “Days of our Lives,” but as Abigail Deveraux, her portrayal of the mental health struggles that this character faced on the wildly popular soap earned her a well-deserved Daytime Emmy. Now, Mansi, who has also starred in “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Office Mix-Up” is bringing the strongest version of herself yet, in Amazon Freevee’s “Casa Grande.” On the show, the actor plays Hunter Clarkman, and tells M&F Hers that she’s become more “empowered, unapologetic, and brazen” since taking on the part.

We sat down with the girl from Calabasas, CA, to find out more about her non-negotiables when it comes to her work, health, and fitness.

“I’m always drawn to stories that have women that are dealing with things,” says Mansi. “And this character, who I just played on Casa Grande, Hunter, she goes through a lot of turmoil from her past trauma.” The series follows the trials and tribulations of a group of families that live in the farmland of Northern California and deals with hot topics such as class, immigration, and culture. Mansi herself is a natural performer, and was a dancer before hitting big in Hollywood, but in order to stay sharp in front of the camera, the star has set a list of non-negotiables as relates to her mental and physical health.

Kate Mansi Loves the Great Outdoors

Growing up in a family that owns a cabin in the Sierra mountains meant that Mansi was able to develop a passion for the great outdoors that still lives with her today, as she navigates a busy career and tight shooting schedule.

The actor tells M&F Hers that she always makes time for a walk, hike, or climb. “I’ve climbed Mount Whitney, I love being in nature,” she says. “We were shooting Casa Grande in Petaluma and it was beautiful out, no one was around, so on my off days, or off hours, I would do a lot of hiking and saw some incredible trails while I was there. I’m a sucker for new adventurous things,” adds Mansi, explaining that her father introduced her to ice climbing as a child. “Ice climbing just adds that layer of intensity, which I love. Ice climbing is a real practice in being mindful, and being present.”

Kate Mansi Practices ‘Flexible Consistency’

Since the working hours of a busy actor are highly irregular, changing with short notice and differing from day-to-day, Mansi appreciates that maintaining a consistent number of hours for exercise means being flexible about the timing of sessions. “If I’m not working, usually I go to The Class (where workouts include a hybrid of Pilates, dance, mindfulness, and cardio) at 7am, twice per week, and then I try to go on Saturdays as well, and that’s ‘in person’. Then, If I’m working like yesterday and I didn’t have a chance to go, I do an online virtual class. “

Kate Mansi Loves to Mix It Up With Yoga

“It took me a while to get into it, because I don’t typically love the heat, but in being a dancer, I’ve always loved yoga. And then I found yoga ‘sculpt’ which incorporates weights into it, and that felt like the perfect synergy of everything that I love. You feel that high intensity and I really like the flow.”

Kate Mansi holding a shake weight
Storm Santos

When It Comes To Treats, Kate Mansi Is More About ‘Balance’ Than ‘Allowance’

Mansi spent time as a vegan before deciding that a pescatarian diet, only eating fish in terms of meat, was right for her. When she feels the urge to deviate from her regime, Mansi gives herself permission to be in the moment. “I’ve always been a bit averse to the word ‘allow’ in this context, because it feels like it comes with a connotation of ‘good’ and ‘bad,’” says Mansi. “I lean more towards ‘what does my body need right now to feel well, good or satiated.’ My favorite go-to drink is something without a lot of sugar so that I don’t feel hungover. I’m a huge Mezcal (a spirit made from agave) fan, and I love 101 Cider Lavender Charcoal or Pulp Culture’s ‘RELAX.’ It has zero sugar, super mushrooms, and adaptogens, so that there is absolutely no hangover, and with it being 7% alcohol, it still gives you a good buzz too.”

Mansi is always aiming for balance, so while treats might involve socializing with friends, they may also include making the time to care for herself. “When I think of ‘treating myself’ I apply that to self-care with frequent massages, Myodetox (physical therapy), acupuncture, and cupping are the most relaxing forms of wellness for me personally,” she says. Enjoying the balance between life and fitness has also allowed Mansi to enjoy her moments in the gym more, no longer putting as much pressure on herself than she did in her youth.

“I think that’s what has changed is that I ask myself in my approach to everything, ‘why are you doing what you are doing?’” Now, Mansi has her eyes on the prize rather than training out of fear or duty. “I always think it’s such a joy when people underestimate you,” she says. “Because it just gives you that fire and I feel that for myself, and I also felt that a lot for Hunter.”

Watch Kate Mansi as Hunter Clarkman in “Casa Grande,” streaming now on Amazon Freevee.