Actress, author and mom-to-two, Alison Sweeney is loved by many for her longtime role as Sami Brady on the popular daytime soap Days of Our Lives and as the host of NBC’s The Biggest Loser. In addition to raising her two children Ben, 6, and Megan, 2, with her husband and working two jobs, Alison has written The Mommy Diet, a book that offers realistic and affordable tips, easy to follow exercises, recipes and advice on how to stay fit before, during and after your pregnancy.
We recently the chance to speak to Ali in regards to her new book, life as a working mom and her upcoming projects. Find out about her favorite fashion brands for kids, tips for staying healthy while traveling and how she finds being a mother changed her as an actor, in the interview below!
CM: As a mom to 2 little ones, an actor, TV host and most recently an author you are officially one of the busiest moms in Hollywood! What is your schedule like taping both shows?
AS: “It’s busy! Shooting both shows at the same time is tiring because sometimes I do both shows in the same day! But that’s usually only 2 times a week. Normally it’s one show or the other, so it’s not impossible to handle. The photo shoots and development meetings and other stuff I’m working on, like The Mommy Diet, fill in the other time. And I try to work out frequently (5 days a week is ideal).”
CM: I’ve been watching Days since 1995, and your character Sami Brady has been through quite a transformation over the years, from villain to victim. Your character is one of the most colorful ones on the show, but I’ve noticed a change since you’ve become a mother in real life. Your acting as ‘Sami Brady – the mom’ feels very real. Do you find becoming a mother has changed your acting in that aspect?
AS: “I do feel that being a mom in real life has colored my acting as Sami ‘the mom.’ How could it not? They have kids the same age – Johnny & Allie are the same age as Ben and Sydney is almost Megan’s age. I enjoy portraying a mom because it comes so naturally to me.
In fact once I totally had to use my ‘mom’ voice with Griffin (the actor who plays Johnny) because he wasn’t paying attention in rehearsal (normally they are great, well-behaved kids who I believe are extremely talented, I adore working with them!). But anyway, that day I pulled out my ‘I’m serious’ mom voice. I got such a funny/cute reaction from the whole crew! Most of whom have known me since I was a kid. They teased me for a while about it.”
CM: Both of your kids seem so easy going! Are their personalities very different from one another? How has Ben adjusted since becoming a big brother?
AS: “They are great kids. Dave and I are very lucky, thank you! They do have different personalities!! Ben is very easy going. He definitely just goes with the flow. Megan… well, she’s more of a spit-fire. She’s vocal about her likes & dislikes. I’ve also noticed a lot lately, she has to discover stuff herself. She doesn’t want to pushed into making decisions. LOL.”
“Ben has adjusted well to being a big brother, he is very proud of Megan, and loves playing with her. When Dave and I decided to just take Ben to New York with us last summer, and leave Megan with her grandparents, (it was only a 3 day trip) Ben cried because he was going to miss “Meggy.” So cute!”
CM: We always see Megan dressed up in little dresses and Ben in handsome shirts. What are some of your favorite clothing brands for kids?
AS: “There’s this adorable line of clothes called Kicky Pants which I love for Megan. So sweet. And 77 Kids has great stuff Ben loves to wear.”
CM: I love the idea of your ‘Mommy Supper Club’! Ali Landry is always raving about the beautiful dinners she has with you and the rest of the girls. How did the club begin?
AS: “It kind of came about accidentally. Ali and I are friends, and then Denise and I met and started interacting mostly on Twitter, hilariously. But then we all realized how much we had in common and how much we all need some girl time, so we came up with the Supper Club idea. It’s nice to stay in, and we all contribute to the meal, everyone brings something. I’m totally a party planner in a secret life, something I love talking to Tori about, and so I usually facilitate the dinners.
CM: There are so many pregnancy books out there, but few dedicated to fitness and health. Your new book The Mommy Diet is very unique! Can you tell us why you decided to write a book for pregnant mothers?
AS: “I think it’s for all mom’s out there. Anyone who needs a little encouragement to focus on themselves in their busy lives, taking care of others. I think it’s unique because it’s focus is on the mom, and her health – physically & mentally!”
CM: I’m currently expecting our third child, and morning sickness (aka all-day sickness) has been plaguing me. Do you have any tips and tricks on how to cope with the dreaded nausea so many women face?
AS: “Congratulations! I found that keeping a little bottle of essential tangerine oil in my purse helped a lot with any-time sickness. I would pull it out and just smell it, or maybe rub a little under my nose. Something about that citrus scent helped me fight the nausea.”
CM: With all of the traveling you’ve been doing lately promoting the Biggest Loser, how do you stay healthy while on the go? What are some of your tips for eating well, while traveling?
AS: “Staying healthy when traveling is all about nutrition. If you’re on the go – you don’t know where your next meal might come from! You have to prepare yourself with portable healthy options. I carry a healthy protein bar which Jillian recommended me. It’s great in emergencies because then I’m not in front of a vending machine snacking on something filled with sugar or sodium, which will leave me hungry in 20 minutes again anyway.”
CM: We are so excited about the new season of The Biggest Loser which just premiered January 4th! Can you tell us a bit about this season and what we can expect from the contestants?
AS: “It was a great first episode, right?! I love this season of BL. Obviously because these contestants are fabulous, sincere and just really good people, but also because I think a lot of exciting things have happened – already! And we’re not even half way through shooting it!”
CM: If you have any other upcoming projects, please feel free to discuss!
AS: “I recently learned my dog Winky is overweight and it really upset me. So now I’m helping Winky lose weight and it’s so easy with the pre-measured food and biscuits in the Hill’s Science Diet Weight Loss System. If you go to PetFit.com, you can see how Winky lost weight in about a month.”
Be sure to follow Ali on Twitter, or check out her blog where she provides some great tips on health, beauty and fitness. You can purchase her new book, The Mommy Diet, through our affiliate Amazon.com.
Photos courtesy of Alison Sweeney for use on Child Mode.