Laila Ali Wants Us All to Cook a Meal With Our BFFs in the Name of Wellness

Staying on top of your classes, clubs and your social life is a balancing act in itself. On top of that, trying to live our best lives and keeping up on our wellness game can feel nearly impossible. Like, do I really have time to nail my workout routine and work on my self-care this week? It can feel pretty overwhelming. 

Thankfully, we chatted with Laila Ali, former professional boxer (should I mention that she was undefeated?) and current health and wellness advocate and influencer — and trust us when we say she has the lowdown on everything you need to know about wellness.

Here's how Laila got involved in a career in the wellness space, along with her pro tips for *actually* taking care of yourself when you're in college.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Her Campus (HC): How did you know you wanted to pursue a career revolving around health and wellness?

Laila Ali (LA): As a former athlete, it was a very natural transition. I learned a lot about how to get the best out of myself and the best performance from myself. A lot of that had to do with the nutrition and the food that I put into my body and how it related to my performance. When I had children, I started to do a lot of research about organic and non-GMO food, along with how to use products that were safe in my home.

From there, it came full circle. I thought, "wow, we really can take control of our health." That's when I realized about 5 years after I retired from boxing to figure out what it was that I was truly passionate about and something that is authentic for me. 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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HC: How can college women or recent grads start dedicating more time to their wellness? 

LA: First of all, don’t get too overwhelmed. When you’re in college, a lot of times people tend to eat unhealthy because they’re on a budget or they don’t have a lot of time, but it's all about making smart choices. I like to keep snacks with me so that I don’t have to be in a situation where I have to grab something that isn’t good for me.

I encourage people to start cooking if you can and experiment with cooking! There are all sorts of recipes in my cookbook Food for LifeYou could also ‘batch cook’, making food in large batches and then breaking it down to meal-sized portions for yourself. It’s also a lot of fun to get together with friends and cook with each other — put on some music and just have fun.

I also recommend limiting your exposure to toxins in your environment by choosing products that are good for you. Home Made Simple has a line of hand soaps, dish soaps, laundry detergents and all-purpose cleaners made with plant-based ingredients and without dyes.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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HC: What are some words of wisdom you use as inspiration in this wellness space?

LA: One of the things that I always remember is actually a quote from myself, being, "My confidence comes from preparation." Anything that I’m doing in life, I prepare myself. No matter what field you want to go into, you always want to scope out the scene and see what it takes to be successful. Make sure you’re putting in the work that it takes. You want to make sure that every day you are taking steps in the right direction.

HC: What about leading a life dedicated to wellness makes you feel empowered?

LA: Every day we wake up we have choices to make. Whether you want to work out or not, or whether you want to eat healthily or not. It's just about taking it day by day and feeling that you are in control of your life. It starts with waking up in the mindset that you set for yourself on a daily basis.

Follow Laila Ali on Instagram and check out the Home Made Simple line.