Mom Ali Landry has beauty, brains and a passion for motherhood.
Behind the Scenes With Ali Landry
It could be intimidating to speak with a woman who is not only a former Miss USA winner, but also an accomplished actress and entrepreneur. But Ali Landry is so down-to-earth that you'll soon find yourself swapping breastfeeding stories or sharing a favorite recipe for one of her hometown favorites, jambalaya.
The 39-year-old Louisiana native now calls Los Angeles home with her husband, director Alejandro Gomez Monteverde, and their two children, Estela, 6, and Marcelo, 21 months. With a third baby on the way (UPDATE: it's a boy!), Landry is keeping busy as the host of TV Guide Network's Fashion Wrap as well as launching a new mom-focused website, favored.by.
"I feel like I am most creative when I'm expecting," she says. Here, Landry dishes on her new business venture, her obsession with lime sherbet and why she loves childbirth.
Fit Pregnancy | What surprised you the most about your first pregnancy?
Ali Landry | Being in an industry in which a lot of the attention is focused on your physical state, you're acutely aware of your body image. But I really embraced the changes in my body when I was expecting. I accepted that the number on the scale was only going up and that was OK. In fact, I had never been so in tune with my body and what it needed; i.e., if I was tired, I would rest. Never before in my life had I done that.
I also had no idea how much I would enjoy the birthing process. I love labor and delivery! I had an epidural, but I was still able to experience my contractions. When it came time to push, I felt I knew exactly what to do. I also like going to the hospital because I like being pampered. I like when people bring me things and being well taken care of. As a woman, you feel guilty about so many things, and in that situation you can't really feel guilty—you just had a baby!
Q | How has motherhood affected your professional life?
A | After Estela was born, I really embraced the whole mom-preneur community. I've been working on developing projects in that space and I'm getting ready to launch something new that was inspired by moms talking to moms.
Who better to get product picks from than other moms, right? Favored.by is a site I developed that will allow individuals to share their favorite baby gear picks with a community of fellow moms, eliminating the noise of scattered and negative reviews, and broken ratings systems.
Q | What's it like being a mom-to-be for the third time?
A | When I was expecting with Marcelo, I was so busy running around with Estela that I didn't spend enough time reading pregnancy books, putting my feet up and just thinking about the baby. Now with my third, I'm running around with two kids! But this baby moves a lot. He definitely makes himself known and I'm sure that's going to be part of his personality.
Q | Have your eating habits changed while expecting?
A | In the beginning of my pregnancy I wanted lots of fruits and vegetables from the farmers market, and then I started craving food from my home state of Louisiana—gumbo and jambalaya. Now I'm on a sherbet kick. I've been mixing together lime sherbet, chopped mint, freshly squeezed cucumber juice and thinly sliced watermelon. I also carry around an 80-ounce jug of water with me.
Q | Are you exercising?
A | With two kids and work, I can't spend my extra time in the gym, so I spend an hour with my trainer twice a week and I'll try to take a Spin class if I can, too. It takes nine months to put on the baby weight and it takes nine months to take it off the healthy way.
It frustrates me when I see a magazine that is sensationalizing a celebrity weight loss three months after having a baby. That's just not realistic.
Q | Will you breastfeed?
A | Yes, it's my favorite thing in the world. Not being able to nurse was my biggest fear with Estela. I had heard that nursing was so much work and that pumping was too hard. But I was determined to try. We did have some problems with her latch and it was pretty painful for a month or so, but I stuck it out and nursed her for 10 months.
Nursing forces me to sit down and spend quality time with my baby. I breastfed Marcelo for 10 months as well and I'm looking forward to giving the new baby the same attention my other two children got.
Q | What advice do you have for new moms?
A | After I gave birth to Estela, I felt like I was being pulled in a lot of different directions. I wasn't able to answer my emails or return phone calls, but I wanted to be able to do it all.
At the time, I told a friend I felt overwhelmed, and she said, "The only thing you need do right now is sit down, nurse your baby and take care of her. You just enjoy this moment and everyone will understand."
That was so freeing to me. I let go of the pressures I was creating for myself and relaxed.