The boxer and TV personality shares an exclusive first look at her new cookbook and why she’s so passionate about healthy eating.
TV personality and athlete Laila Ali is deeply committed to helping Black people eat their way to a better life.
Her debut cookbook, Food for Life: Delicious & Healthy Comfort Food From My Table To Yours! (January 2018) promises to be so much more than just a collection of her favorite recipes. The former professional boxer turned fitness and wellness expert carefully selected each recipe with promoting healthier eating habits in mind.
"The epidemic we face in our country with people suffering from diabetes, heart disease, obesity and other illnesses is largely connected to our lifestyle choices, and unfortunately the African American community is disproportionately affected,” says Ali."I am passionate about encouraging others and providing all people with tools to improve their health and overall quality of life!,"
As a cooking enthusiast--who has appeared twice on Food Network's celebrity edition of Chopped and served as two-time host of FYI Network series Late Night Chef Fight--this new venture into the culinary world is a welcomed fit.
With her passion for an active lifestyle and wellbeing, Ali shares the cooking tips she credits to her parents about setting a healthy diet for her own children, son Curtis Jr., 8, and daughter Sydney, 6.
"As far as cooking hacks go, I think many parents can relate to how difficult it can be to get children to eat their vegetables," the mom of two shared. "The first step to getting the entire family to eat healthier is to set the example by how you eat yourself, because if you want them to follow then you've got to show them an example of a good leader. Small steps like swapping out processed/packaged foods for whole/fresh foods can make a big difference. Things like swapping out sugary sodas for fresh fruit infused water made with a splash of seltzer and a pinch of natural sweetener like Stevia can make a huge difference around the waistline. I actually talk a lot healthy but still flavorful food swaps in the cookbook."
The 39-year-old daughter of the late, great Muhammad Ali made sure to honor her father and his legacy in her cookbook debut.
"My father and I both have always had a love affair with tasty homemade meals and comfort foods. Another thing my father loved was a great burger at some of the local burger joints he encountered during his worldwide travels. So when my dad was still alive and well, to surprise him during one of my trips to visit him in Arizona, I shared with him that I named one of his favorite burgers after him. It's called 'The Ali Burger.'"
Offering over 100 recipes, Food for Life includes real-life recipes such as Stovetop Ratatouille, Oven-"Fried" Chicken, West Coast Southern Greens and Heavenly Lemon Yogurt Cake.
Food For Life: Delicious & Healthy Comfort Food From My Table To Yours! goes on sale January 23, 2018.
This story originally appeared on Essence.