She’s an actress, a television host, a mom, and now, with the launch of The Star Attraction, a novelist. And somehow Alison Sweeney still has time to cook a healthy dinner. (What’s your reason again?)
Part of her focus comes from her job, since Sweeney’s the host of NBC’s The Biggest Loser, and she’s accountable to millions of viewers who watch her count the percentage of fat loss among the participants each week.
“I do notice people looking at what I’m ordering or what’s on my plate when I’m out to eat,” she says. We bet!
Because Sweeney’s privy to some gold-standard fitness and nutrition advice, we’ve been eager to hear what she’s learned on set that she puts into practice back in her own kitchen. Find out now…
Do you have a name for the way you eat? In other words, are you Paleo, mostly plant-based, etc.? I eat fresh. My family and I try to have as much fresh food as possible and to avoid anything processed.
I love that. Do you get asked a lot about what you eat, given your role as the host of The Biggest Loser? I do notice people looking at what I’m ordering or what’s on my plate when I’m out to eat. I love it because it holds me accountable, and I’m proud of the fact that I live a healthy lifestyle.
I’m sure you’ve learned a ton about nutrition on the show. What’s something that’s really resonated with you? I’ve learned so much about nutrition—most importantly, that you need to count every calorie, including snacks. Once I started to count calories and really chronicle everything I ate, I had a better understanding of what I should be eating and in what quantities.
I see chicken in your fridge. Where do you source it and how do you like to prepare it? We love organic chicken. We had friends over this weekend and slow cooked it on the BBQ. Grilling is a great clean way to cook chicken. It adds flavor without needing a lot of oils or fats to prepare. We often will cut up a chicken breast and add it to our salads, quinoa, whole grain pasta or just make a chicken sandwich with whole grain bread.
I noticed you have pita and bread. Does that mean you’re good with carbs and gluten? Yes. I have two young children, and we focus on having a healthy diet but we do include carbs and gluten, just not in excess.
What are you planning with the corn on the cob and the bell peppers? One of my favorite snacks is sliced bell peppers, so those are for when I’m on the go. The kids love it as a snack, too. I slice them up, and leave them on the counter while I make dinner and everyone sneaks a few. The corn on the cob was to go with the BBQ chicken for our dinner party.
When you’re not hosting a party, what’s a typical dinner at your place? We love to grill. I’ll often marinade the fish, chicken, or steak and my husband will grill it while I prepare the salad and veggies.
I see organic blueberries. Are they for breakfast? I’m a creature of habit. Every morning I have oatmeal with blueberries and a little agave. It’s the best! I also have blueberries as a snack for my family because there are only 80 calories in a cup, and it’s also a great source of vitamin C and fiber.
Speaking of fruit, are you into juicing or making smoothies? My husband is the pro at making smoothies and fresh juice, and I love them both. There’s a great recipe on my Facebook page for a blueberry smoothie that I love before or right after a workout. —Melisse Gelula