Writer urges women to put some ‘Sparkle’ into their lives

Women need to add a little sparkle to their lives, said Bay Ridge writer-blogger Cara Alwill Leyba, whose popular blog “The Champagne Diet” has legions of fans across the country.
Better yet, women should BE the sparkle in their lives, she said.
“You’ve got to take the time, even if it’s only a few minutes a day, to enjoy your life and do something you love. Your life will be so much better if you do,” Alwill Leyba said.
The blog, www.thechampagnediet.com, which she started writing a few years ago, encourages women to refrain from dieting and instead, urges them to indulge themselves – albeit by not overdoing it on the portion sizes. Instead of restricting the types of foods they eat, women should eat whatever foods they like. “As long as you try to eat healthy foods and get some exercise, you’ll be okay,” Alwill Leyba.
The blog got its name from the fact that Alwill Leyba enjoys a glass of champagne each day. “My focus is on health and well being. You should eat healthy foods, but you also need to indulge yourself a little. For me, it’s having a glass of champagne,” she said.
Taking that theme further, Alwill Leyba, 32, has written and self-published a new book, “Sparkle: The Girl’s Guide to Living a Deliciously, Wildly Effervescent, Kick-Ass Life,” in which she urges women to take what they love about themselves and celebrate it.
“I don’t like to call it a self-help book. I call it an anti-self help book. Self-help books tell you what’s wrong with you and how to fix it. What I’m saying is concentrate on what is working in your life and build from there,” she said.
“Sparkle” includes advice on such things as stress relief and lifestyle changes. One chapter is titled “Self-Indulgence Can Save Your Life.” In it, Alwill Leyba urges women to take time out each day, even if it’s only for a few minutes, to do something they love. “Even something simple like walking along Shore Road, here in Bay Ridge, and looking at the beautiful trees, can life your mood,” she said.
“I wrote the book because I felt like there were no books out there speaking to women in this way,” she said, adding that she wrote “Sparkle" so that it reads in a conversational tone.
Alwill Leyba, who admitted that she has had weight issues in the past, said she believes her experience can help other women. “I want encouragement from someone who has been through it and I think a lot of women feel the same way,” she said.
Alwill Leyba, a digital advertising director for MTV, has recently branched out professionally to become a life coach. She already has a roster of clients. “It’s exciting. I believe I can really help someone celebrate and improve their life,” she said.
Alwill Leyba is a lifelong resident of Bay Ridge. She is a graduate of local schools – P.S 185, McKinley Intermediate School, and Fort Hamilton High School. She earned her B.A. from Hunter College.
Her blog is gaining more fans as word of mouth is spreading. She said she is hoping her new book reaches many readers, too.
For more information on the book, visit the blog at www.thechampagnediet.com.