Alison Fadoul, a 35-year-old mother of two in Miramar, is author of the newly published The Hot Mommy Next Door ($14.95, Morgan James), a diet and exercise book for women who want to get back to their pre-pregnancy shape (or improve on it). A certified spinning instructor, she holds a bachelor's degree from Florida State University and a master's from Nova Southeastern University. Visit her website here.
Q: Why all the recent interest in being a "hot mommy''?
A: I think every mom wants to be hot; they still want to feel sexy even though they're a mom. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, for years the image of a mom has not been one of fitness.
Q: What makes your book different than any other diet and exercise book out there?
A: I think what makes my book different and unique is that it's written by a mom, for a mom, really giving them the answer key. I was finding after my second child, on my quest for my personal best body, I was getting a huge amount of feedback from moms that I would run into that seemed to want to have the information that I had but they hadn't put it all together for themselves. ...
I'm just a mom next door. I'm not a celebrity who has unlimited access to trainers and food that's made special and delivered for me.
Q: How would you summarize the path to becoming the hot mommy next door?
A: You first need to define your goals ... Mental preparedness is key. If you're not mentally ready to set out on this journey, it doesn't matter what information you have, you're not going to make use of it.
The book outlines five principles, and all tools to follow those guidelines are in the book: User-friendly recipes, menu options, shopping lists.
Q: What if your kids and husband don't want to eat the way you want to eat?
A: Last night I made a pork tenderloin and brown rice and broccoli and my son almost had a heart attack at the sight of broccoli on his plate. ... As a first-time mom, before I was into this whole fitness and health kick, I made the mistake of not introducing things to him early on.
So I think you try, try again and don't give up ... Like last night, it wasn't an option not to try it, but if they're not going to eat that, then offer him choices. I will bend ... if you don't want broccoli, I'll make carrots or corn. But you pick a vegetable, and you have to eat it.
Starting early on, I think, is the best plan of attack. ... My daughter eats edamame and broccoli and anything, you name it, very healthy. I think that's a product of what I did for her early on.
Q: I think a lot of people will enjoy your idea of a "cheat meal,'' where you get to eat anything you want one meal a week, but how do you keep it from becoming a "cheat week?''
A: For some people, it's like a gateway drug ... you have that one little bite and you keep going. That's why I talk about planning your cheat in advance. It's Monday, look at your calendar. What do you have going on that week or for that weekend? Typically, I like to save mine for the weekend. Do I want to spend it at a birthday party with nasty appetizers or do I want to save it for going out to a nice dinner with my friends and my husband? You really have to plan. ... It's a cheat meal, not a cheat day, so your other meals that day, you're going to still eat clean, you're going to stay on the plan.
Q: What is the most important message you want people to take away from this book?
A: A really important message is the power that moms have to affect the next generation by setting a good role model in terms of eating healthy, exercising, being active. ...
If you take care of yourself first, it's so important. You're going to be a better mom, wife, sister ... You're going to have more energy, be able to keep up with the kids, and have the energy to get up and do it all again the next day. Ultimately, you want to be around as long as possible for them.