"Entertainment Tonight's" Nancy O'Dell on living the sandwich generation's challenge: making time for yourself amid motherhood, caregiving and career.

On any given day, Nancy O'Dell may be juggling an interview with stars like Madonna and Jamie Foxx orFirst Lady Michelle Obama with the demanding schedules of three kidsdaughter Ashby, 7, and stepsons Carson, 14, and Tyler, 18. But theres one thing the Entertainment Tonight co-host doesnt let slip: her sleep. I really make it a priority to get my full 7-8 hours, she says. My husband, Keith, and I have adjusted our sleep schedules to our kids, so Im usually asleep by 9. As ET kicks off its 34th season this month, we asked the Myrtle Beach, S.C. native, 48, to share her secrets to work-life balance, the challenges of the sandwich generation and her favorite celebrity interview. Weve heard youre a runner. How do you find the time? I wake up at 4:30 a.m. to run on the treadmill, because in the evening Id rather spend time with my family. I also use treadmill time to catch up on TV shows, and listen in during our shows 5:30 a.m. conference call. Whats your advice for beginning runners? Treadmills provide a great way for both beginners and seasoned runners to maintain a running plan. I use it to change up my routine by adjusting inclines and speed. I also try tokeep exercise fun. One day I left my heart-rate monitor on, and found out that a vigorous game of tag with Ashby and our Yorkshire terrier, Buttercup, burned more calories than I had on my morning run. Any tips for healthy meals on the fly? I prep and marinate chicken or fish and veggies in the morning that we can grill for dinner as a family. We grill everythingeven salad! Grilled romaine lettuce tastes great after you add some Parmesan cheese and vinaigrette. You lost your mom, Betty, to ALS in 2008. How was she diagnosed? My moms illness and death were the hardest things Ive ever had to go through. We were very close. Her doctor thought she had Parkinsons at first, but then a friendsuggested she be tested for ALS(amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrigs disease), a degenerative neuromusculardisorder for which there is no cure. She was diagnosed on Nov. 1. I always say that God gave meseveral months to enjoy being a new mom and for my mom to enjoyAshby, who had been born in June, before she received the devastating diagnosis. Whats your advice for other women in the sandwich generationjuggling young children and aging parents? When my mom was first diagnosed, I wanted to do everything myself,and that was impossible, especially since she lived inSouth Carolina and I was in California. I learned toaccept others offers of help. But I didnt make the time to go running, and I didnt watch what I ate. As a result, I didnt feel healthy or have anyenergy. About a month after my mom died, I startedtrying to eat better and exercise again. I knew that if I didnt take care of myself, I wouldnt be able totake care of Ashby and my family. This article originally appeared as on Spry Living