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Personal Best: Q&A With Alison Sweeney

By Stephanie Stephens
WebMD Magazine - Feature

Alison Sweeney can be in several places at once and make it look easy. Take her two TV shows. She wrapped her 12th consecutive season as host of NBC's The Biggest Loser early in February. And after 21 years as troublemaker Sami Brady on that network's daytime drama, Days of Our Lives, she's leaving the popular soap at the end of November. She's been on the set of both shows for 7 years while honing her skills as a producer, director, and author. Now 37 and a mom of two, she looks forward to the launch this month of her second novel, Scared Scriptless, on the heels of last year's fiction debut, The Star Attraction. Sweeney reveals how she strives to be the biggest winner at living a healthy life.

Skin care secret

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"The most important thing is sunscreen -- I use Coppertone Sport -- because I burn easily even on cloudy days. People can underestimate the power of the sun. We also need to use the right moisturizer for our skin and the time of year, and I like LaMer."

De-stressing formula

"I definitely do feel overworked sometimes, and the most tempting thing is to try and get enough sleep. With two kids and burning the candle at both ends, I feel like I can always find something else to do before I go to sleep, because that endless 'to do' list calls me."

Favorite healthy snack

"I reach for 2% or non-fat Greek yogurt with blueberries or almonds, cinnamon, and to sweeten, I use natural sugar, honey, agave, or stevia."

Healthy dinner

"I believe grilling keeps food 'clean,' so we grill vegetables and a protein like chicken breast, lean steak, or fish."

Three ingredients always on hand

"I keep eggs for breakfast or dinner, and for cooking and baking, and I keep tons of fruits and vegetables for cooking and eating. I have blueberries, strawberries, and cantaloupe -- oh, and bell peppers."

Eat healthy on set

"There's always oatmeal or steel cut oats for when I make my own breakfast. I also keep different flavored waters. I make a trail mix at home with raw almonds, dark chocolate, dried blueberries, cranberries, and sunflower seeds. When I have a day off, I like to get in a lot of baking or cooking as I plan for the week. For instance, Sunday I tried making new breakfast bars with almonds and oats -- delicious!"

A perfect day, no demands

"I love to read. I'll sit in my backyard with my dogs -- it's a fantastic way to start the day. Then I'll take time to go for a nice long run on the trails in L.A.'s Griffith Park, near my house. Because I like cooking, it think it's super fun to go to the local farmer's market in Studio City to get fresh ingredients, plus there's so much fun for kids there, too.

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