Not only is she an undefeated champion in the ring, Laila Ali is now undefeated in the kitchen! Last week, this boxer took her gloves off, and got her hands dirty in the kitchen on Food Network’s cooking competition show “Choppped”.
A self taught cook, Laila has been throwing down in the kitchen longer than she has been in the ring. Laila started making meals at the age of 10, then at 18 she decided to become a boxer. Now at the age of 36 and her passion for cooking still strong, Laila is enrolled in culinary school and prepared to begin a new journey.
Knowing a thing or two about what is required to become a champ, she knew she not only had to train with the best to the best, she learned she had to eat the best qualities of food to fuel her body to be able perform at her best.
Her main focus when cooking is incorporating a lot of vegetables in her meals with 80% of vegetables and 20 percent of protein rule. Realizing she isn’t in the ring burning a lot of calories like she use to, Laila has a low-carb eating regimen.
Maintaining a busy schedule, marriage to a retired NFL player, and a house full of kids, she says food prepping is key when trying to save time, sometimes prepping 4 days worth of food all at once, so its easier and faster to cook. She also cooks simple healthy meals that she uses only one pot or sauce pan. When eating out, she asks for steamed or grilled vegetables, and will cheat with her dessert.
Her motto, when it comes to treating herself;
“If I am going to have my calories, I am going to have it in my dessert”.
Not one to participate in fad diets, Laila believes an average person can eat like an athlete and that, “It’s about making your mind up to do so.” If she had to choose between boxing or cooking, right now, she says it would be cooking. Her dream is to have her own cooking show.
Try out Laila Ali’s healthy Shrimp Avocado Grape Fruit Salad recipe below;
12 ounces peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons brown sugar (OPTIONAL: substitute brown sugar with Xylitol)
1 teaspoon chopped shallots
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 peeled avocado, cut into 12 wedges
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle shrimp with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add shrimp to pan; cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring frequently. Remove from pan; keep warm.
- Peel and section grapefruit over a bowl, reserving 3 tablespoons juice. Combine grapefruit juice, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, tarragon, brown sugar, and shallots in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add lettuce; toss. Arrange 2 cups lettuce mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 3 avocado wedges; divide shrimp and grapefruit sections evenly among servings.