Athletes & Celebrities

Former Boxing Champ Laila Ali Talks Life Outside the Ring

The four-time boxing world champion and healthy-lifestyle expert on training, family, and what her famous father taught her.

Laila Ali

BALANCING ACT

“Having kids and a career is always going to be a challenge when it comes to time management. There are simply not enough hours in the day to do it all! For me, it comes down to setting priorities. Family always comes first.”

AVOIDING THE ROUTINE

“I like to mix things up. One of my favorite circuits is to do 15 minutes on the StairMaster, 15 minutes of treadmill sprints, 15 minutes with the heavy bag, and then finish with some free-weight moves.”

ARNOLD’S APPRENTICE

“Working on Celebrity Apprentice with Arnold Schwarzenegger was fun but also super challenging. You’re dealing with these seemingly impossible tasks on incredibly tight deadlines and working with people you don’t really know. You’re definitely given real challenges for business executives.”

BEING A BLOGGER

“I’m passionate about empowering people to live their best lives. I’ve learned a lot over the years and enjoy sharing how to improve your health and vitality. I use my blog, lailaalilifestyle.com, to encourage people to take control of their health.”

UNDEFEATED CHAMP

“I occasionally find myself missing being in the ring, but the last time I tried to spar I got hit with a body shot and realized I’m good; I don't want to get hit anymore.”

Life Lessons 

“The biggest lesson I learned from my father [Muhammad Ali] was to have tolerance for all people. Everyone has something to say and needs to be met. We may not always agree, but it’s important to see things from other perspectives.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

“Cooking is the only way to know exactly what is in your food. You can go out and order a salad, but it could have 1,800 calories! All it takes is a little prep and planning. I try to eat well at least 80% of the time, but I enjoy myself, too. I eat pizza and ice cream with my kids on the weekend!”

CLEAN CUISINE

“My go-to dish when I want something easy is some red cabbage with fresh vinaigrette made from lemon, red-wine vinegar, salt, pepper, onion powder, turmeric, and olive oil. It’s crunchy and just sour enough to satisfy my cravings.”

IN MY KITCHEN

I started cooking when I was a kid. I’d call up my grandma and ask her how to make this or that. Over the years, my cooking has evolved. I mostly eat clean, but some of my favorite dishes to make include Creole-style cuisine like seafood gumbo or jambalaya. I’m finishing up a cookbook [due out fall 2017] that will focus on flavorful, satisfying meals packed with nutrition.”

DOWNTIME

“I get a lot of relaxation from cooking, but a massage, a manicure, and a pedicure help me recharge.”

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