There's a reason (actually, a lot of reasons) we love Alyssa Milano — and we're far from the only ones. At 44, Milano has household name recognition as an actress, yet still somehow stays impressively down-to-earth. She uses the considerable reach of her voice to make positive, pro-woman statements about fat-shaming, unrealistic post-baby body expectations and pressuring moms to breastfeed. As a spokeswoman for Atkins, she sends a message to women that's not about looking perfect, but about feeling healthy, nourished and overall awesome.
We lucked out and got the chance to pick Milano's brain about some of her day-to-day habits as a mom, partner, friend and, of course, a woman. Get a glimpse into how this super-likable star keeps her lifestyle healthy, sane and balanced.
SheKnows: What’s your go-to healthy breakfast?
Alyssa Milano: I love a half-cup of plain whole milk Greek yogurt mixed with 2 tablespoons of no-added-sugar grated coconut, blueberries, 2 tablespoons of slivered almonds and a packet of sweetener like Truvia or Splenda. I also love the Atkins Milk Chocolate Shake because it’s ready to drink, delicious and great for busy mornings. It gives me the energy I need along with sufficient protein and healthy fat to stay full.
SK: What’s your favorite healthy snack? What about snacks you make for your kids?
AM: I try to make sure snacks are made up of a nice balance of healthy fat, protein and fiber for appetite-control. I’ll give my kids things that I enjoy, like almond butter with celery or apple slices, cucumber boats filled with ricotta and sprinkled with seasoned salt and hummus with vegetables or low-carb crisp breads.
SK: Do you have any dinner recipes that the whole family loves, kids and parents alike?
AM: Yes! Some of my favorite things to make include Parmesan-crusted chicken with cheesy cauliflower bake and taco night with fresh guacamole. I have all the fixings and just use lettuce cups in place of tortillas.
SK: Can you describe your workout routine?
AM: My workout routine includes running around with my kids, going on walks and Pilates. I love group classes like spinning. In the summer, I love playing with my kids outside. I’ve learned that exercise alone is not enough to stay healthy — it's a whole lifestyle.
SK: Do you have an emotional wellness routine?
AM: I keep a journal/day planner, which really helps me stay organized and focused.
SK: How do you fit in time for yourself, time with your husband and quality time with your kids?
AM: It’s definitely a balancing act. While the kids are in school, I try to use that time as my alone time to focus on myself. I’ll take Pilates class or work in my garden. I’m really into making homemade soaps! I love the time I get to spend with my kids after school and always try to come up with fun activities to do with them. Once they're in bed, David and I can connect and talk about our day and spend quality time together catching up.
SK: What’s your favorite date night (or day) activity?
AM: Any time we get to spend together is appreciated — a nice dinner, maybe a movie.
SK: Do you have any favorite entertaining/hostessing tips or ideas?
AM: Plan ahead! Prepare dishes ahead of time if you can. Keep it simple. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy your guests.
SK: What’s your best tip to working moms for having a healthy work-life balance?
AM: Don’t try to be perfect. Do the best you can. Enlist help!
SK: What was your biggest surprise when you became a mom?
AM: How I had so much love inside me to give to someone.
SK: What's your biggest day-to-day challenge as a mom?
AM: Trying to fit it all in. There’s not enough hours in a day.
SK: Can you tell me a little bit about your female community?
AM: Yes, I have a great circle of friends. Some of them I met when I was pregnant with Milo at our prenatal yoga classes. Others I’ve met along the way at work or at our kids’ activities, like baseball and soccer.
SK: Any tips for how to stay sane in the current highly charged political climate?
AM: Stay engaged, active and empower others to do the same. It's up to us to change what we don't like and fight for what we know is right. Don't just sit back and watch. Be an active participant in your community and country. Every small gesture makes up the big gestures. Resist, rinse, repeat.
SK: As your kids grow up, how do you see your career and lifestyle changing?
AM: I’m lucky to have a job where I can bring my kids to work. I love the days they come visit me on set. My goal is and has always been to do work that my kids can be proud of — to set a good example for them. As long as I can still spend quality time with my kids, I'll continue to do what I’m doing and hopefully make them proud.