Her Natural Lifestyle Choices Keep Her Young
by Gerry Strauss
Alyssa Milano has grown up, and most of us have grown up with her. From her days as preteen tomboy Samantha Miceli on Who’s the Boss? to witchy woman Phoebe Halliwell on Charmed, the actress has been a vibrant, relatable and beautiful persona we’ve come to know via television. She was even a named a UNICEF ambassador in 2004. Today, with a young family, her Touch licensed sports apparel line, and the wisdom that accompanies adulthood, her commitment to a natural, eco-friendly lifestyle has become another hallmark of her life.
What connection do you see between eating organic foods and maintaining the energy level that your busy life requires?
I think everything that you put into your body has a connection to how well we function in daily life. As a mom of two, eating organic is a priority; when organic is not an option, it’s about finding the healthiest accessible choices.
I eat tomatoes like other people eat fruit and love papaya. I would put avocado on anything. I also like to cook with healthful herbs and spices like garlic and onions, which is natural for an Italian like me. We keep genetically modified foods out of our house.
Which fitness habits embodied by others have you made your own?
In my Who’s the Boss? days, Tony Danza and Judith Light were always active and athletic. Tony would bring in a tap dance teacher and Judith a private trainer during lunch breaks. Being tutored on set, I had no physical education classes or sports activities, so it was super-important for me to see how self-motivated they were to stay fit and in shape. Their example instilled a desire to take care of myself as an adult.
What role does nature play in your daily life?
I love being outside in my organic garden three or more times a week. Also, the kids and I regularly head outside, which is an easy place to keep them happily and healthfully occupied without my having to jump through hoops.
As an advocate of breastfeeding, which benefits do you think are especially good for mother and child?
In the beginning, a primary benefit is giving your child quality nourishment, including healthy antibodies and other goodies to support health. As they start eating solids, it’s still about maintaining that intimate connection until they’re ready to be weaned and you’re ready to surrender this last physical bond.
How do you balance family life with your acting career?
It’s a hard balance for anyone, especially one who’s detail-oriented and a bit of a perfectionist, like me. The most important thing is to be in the moment, doing the best I can every day. I’ve also learned to be kind to myself when something is annoying me or I’m failing to do so due to some unfortunate imbalance.
How do you and your husband keep both your friendship and love vibrant?
We work hard at maintaining a good and healthy marriage, which can be tested in tough times. I believe that it’s vital to have the ability to laugh. You have to find humor in things, reminding yourself and each other that there is something funny in every daily activity, no matter how mundane or hard. When there’s no time to eat together or be intimate, shared laughter is an easy thing to achieve together. Done daily, it can only make the marriage stronger.
We enjoy date nights once or twice a week when my parents take care of the kids. I’ll put on mascara and change out of yoga pants, even if we’re just hanging out together. Then we do little things like asking how each other’s day went and caring about the answer. We also look for ways we can help each other throughout the week.
What actions does your family emphasize in being stewards of Earth?
We try to be as eco-friendly as possible, including having lights on timers, conserving water and being kind to animals. I cannot stress how important it is to visit a farm and organic gardens and orchards with children so that they see where their food comes from. We can’t take good food for granted.
In addition to a naturally healthy lifestyle, what else do you credit for your enduring youthfulness?
My secret is happiness. I’ve always said that as long as my laugh lines are deeper than my frown lines, I’m living a good life.
Gerry Strauss is a freelance writer in Hamilton, N.J. Connect at GerryStrauss@aol.com.