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The healthy project: starring Mindy Kaling

The actress and writer reports back after surviving Q's live-better challenges.

Motivation is at an all-time high in the New Year, and, turns out, TV stars feel it just as strongly as the rest of us. In the spirit of trying new things, and inspired by tonight's episode of The Mindy Project(9:30pm ET/PT on FOX), in which Mindy Kaling's title character enlists Danny (actor Chris Messina) to be her personal trainer, we presented the actress with three healthy ways to push herself. Kaling, who is also a writer, producer and director—clearly not one to shy away from a challenge—was more than happy to step up to the plate.

movement challenge: do our 16-minute hotel room workout.

When and where she took the challenge:
"I did this is in my hotel room at the Trump Soho when I was visiting New York for Christmas."

The high and low points:
"High point was wearing my yoga pants and only my sports bra because I was doing this in private and no one could see me! Low point was knocking over a shopping bag when I was doing the squat jump 180s."

How she felt afterward:
"Tired! Awesome. The plus side of this workout (that you can do it in 16 minutes) is also what makes it challenging, because there are no breaks. I couldn't take breaks to wander around leafing through the room service menu."

nutrition challenge: go 24 hours without eating any processed food.

How challenging she expected it to be:
"I thought this would be pretty easy as long as I didn't go to the movies, where all I want to do is eat processed garbage. I luckily avoided going to the movies, and it wasn't hard. Also, I live in Los Angeles, the easiest city in the world to avoid processed food because everyone here is insanely picky and has food issues."

What she ate:
"I was too lazy to try to figure out the deal with meat and whether it was processed food, so I just went vegan and raw for the day. I loved eating almond butter on apples."

How she felt:
"After a day of no processed foods I felt picky—in a good way. Completely superior to everyone because of it."

What she missed:
"I missed diet soda and also sour patch kids."

regeneration challenge: power down your phone and all other devices an hour before bed and sleep 8 full hours.

Her typical night's sleep:
"It is easy for me to get to sleep because I usually wake up very early. I work late on my show with the writers and as an actor have call times as early as 5:30 in the morning, so I am happy with six hours, but usually get about five or five and a half."

How challenging she expected it to be:
"I thought this would be pretty challenging because I love my phone—but then I thought: I can write, just not on my computer. I used a good old fashioned notepad and jotted down ideas for a script I am working on. Turns out my handwriting is incomprehensible!"

How she found disconnecting before bed:
"It was fantastic and it made me really excited to read my texts and emails in the morning, like I was on a remote camping trip."

How she felt:
"When I can sleep eight full hours I feel like Danny Ocean, like I pulled off the greatest heist of all time and I can lead a group of good-looking people to do anything I want."