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Alison Sweeney Gives Back

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Most of us know Alison Sweeney as an actress, author and host of NBC's "The Biggest Loser." But she's also a mom who's very concerned about sustaining a healthy life for her family.

Alison Sweeney
Now, she's taking big strides in bringing that principle to the public. Sweeney is teaming up with Crest® Pro-Health™ Sensitive Shield™ Toothpaste in the aptly titled "Summer of Sensitivity" campaign, wherein for every tube of this toothpaste sold from now through September, Crest will give 10 cents to Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity.

We sat down with Alison to talk about her new role as a philanthropic spokeswoman, her tips for healthy living and the things that keep her going as a busy mom.

momlogic: First off, you look great! What are some key fitness and beauty tips that you live by?

Alison Sweeney:Well, my number-one beauty tip is always SUNSCREEN. Even on hazy days -- that's when you can get burned the worst, 'cause you're not feeling it! With fitness, you have to find things that will keep you coming back for more -- a class you really like; working out with a friend -- things that motivate you and make you accountable to actually do it! I've written a whole book about it that will be out in January, called "The Mommy Diet."

ml: How do you teach your children about what true beauty is?

Wow, what a tough subject! But you're right -- it is good to start young. I think we started with our dogs -- we have rescues, and Winky, our Boston terrier, only has one eye. Instead of getting a "beautiful" dog, we love and treasure Winky because of her imperfections, and we talk a lot about how important it is to care for others and be aware of their feelings.

ml: You're a busy lady! How do you balance your work life and your family life?

AS:It is so difficult to balance everything and not feel like something is bound to get the short end of the stick. Believe me, I'm always weighing out my choices, trying to make sure my career gets my attention, and that when I'm with my kids, they have my attention. And ultimately, that's the best we can do! I work hard all day, and focus on my shows when I'm there, or my development projects when I'm there, but when I'm with my family, I put the BlackBerry down and give them my attention.

ml: Volunteering in the community is big for you. How has it affected your life?

AS:I am so proud to be associated with some fabulous organizations. I love the work I do with Feeding America, as well as the MDA and others. It is so important to give back to your community, to make a difference. I always say I'm so proud of "Biggest Loser" because we are trying to be part of the solution to obesity in America, and I feel that reflects sort of my motto in my life. I always strive to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. I think I stole that from my dad.

ml: Tell us about your involvement with Feeding America -- homelessness and hunger is a huge issue in our nation.

AS:This summer, as part of the Summer of Sensitivity campaign, Crest® Pro-Health™ Sensitive Shield™ is partnering with Feeding America. As part of the promotion, consumers are encouraged to "trade up" their sensitivity toothpaste for Crest Pro-Health. In fact, for every tube of toothpaste purchased between July 1, 2010 and September 1, 2010, Crest will donate 10 cents to Feeding America -- with a guaranteed minimum donation of $100,000 -- to support the fight against hunger. I believe that proper nutrition and good oral care should never be compromised, and I am thrilled to be a part of this program.

ml: Lots of celebs are involved in feeding the hungry. Why do you think they are drawn to it?

AS:I was shocked when I heard the statistics of who and how many are [going hungry] in this country. Having enough food on the table is just something I've always taken for granted, and I'm embarrassed to admit that now, knowing what I know about how many hardworking people -- especially kids -- in this country, in my neighborhood, are in food-unstable homes. I think a lot of celebs are happy to work with Feeding America, because we know that they do everything they can to make sure the money is going directly to fighting the problem, towards helping the people who need it, and that makes us confident when asking for support from our fans.

ml: How can we get involved and teach our kids about giving?

AS: It's SO important to teach our children about the importance of giving. That's one of the reasons why I was thrilled to partner with Crest for the Summer of Sensitivity campaign. Crest makes it extremely accessible for people to get involved and help feed more than 37 million Americans in local communities across the country. By simply purchasing a tube of toothpaste, we can support the fight against hunger. As a mother, it's important that I instill good values in my children, and sometimes the simplest acts can make a significant difference in another person's life.

next: Three, Two, One ... Meltdown!
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