Rob Lowe talks staying healthy and fit after the stress of 'surreal' Montecito mudslides

It's been weeks since mudslides ravaged Montecito, Calif., devastating properties and leaving 17 dead, and the community is slowly but surely rebuilding. But beyond the emotional toll of dealing with the aftermath, certain unexpected issues have posed potential health risks for its residents.

"Valley fever comes from wet mud with bacteria and mold in it. Once you get it, it is incurable. And it's airborne," Rob Lowe told AOL in a recent interview, describing the disaster that unfolded outside his home as "surreal." "So you've got to adjust parts of your lifestyle, move inside for the immediate future."

Whether he's pitching in around the neighborhood or off working on set, Lowe relies on an optimal protein, low-carb routine to "have the energy I need to get through twelve-hour days."

Recently selected as Atkins' first male spokesperson, Lowe's approach isn't about traditional dieting: "You have to think of it as a lifestyle, because diets come and go. It's your New Year's resolution, and by March you're on to something else," he said.

And for Lowe, adhering to a comfortable but effective plan like Atkins keeps him feeling energized -- even amid the daunting task of working with his neighbors to restore Montecito.

"What often happens is, everyone always thinks everyone else is reaching out, so they don't reach out. And the net effect is that nobody is reaching out," Lowe said. "I've seen that across my lifetime in various situations -- 'Oh, I'm sure everyone's contacting them, I don't really have to do it.' And the truth is everyone's feeling that way. If you're thinking about it, do it."


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