International supermodel, television host, actress and founder of WelleCo talks waking up to the importance of self-care
How do you start your day?
I’m a morning person, so I wake up early and start my day with a cup of hot water and lemon. Sometimes I add ginger, mint and pinch of cayenne pepper – it’s great for detoxifying and it’s a brilliant metabolism booster. I meditate for 20 minutes each morning. I resist looking at my phone because I prefer to wait and answer emails and texts once I’m at my desk. Occasionally, I’ll call another early morning friend or family member for a quick chat, but it’s usually a no phone zone. A good espresso is my weakness and I tend to indulge in a few on the weekends, but I try to keep it to a minimum during the week.
How important do you think self-care is when it comes to beating stress?
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the value of nurturing activities, such as tending to a garden and cooking. I’ve found that grounded pastimes like this slow me down and help me focus on what’s really important. Starting and ending the day calm is great for beating stress and helps me feel fulfilled and at peace. At night, I often do a yoga class or some poses at home before bed – my aim is to have continuous sleep that’s full of dreams.
How do you strive to be a good role model to your children?
Parenting is the most rewarding experience and the gift that keeps on giving. I choose to guide my children, but ultimately it’s their lives and their own journeys of learning. I am open hearted and open minded in my communications with them and I take care with my own decisions and how I choose to live my life so I’m leading by example.
Was there a lot of pressure as a model to simply be thin, rather than healthy, and how did you overcome that?
It’s easy to worry about how you look, especially when your income depends on it. I’ve always been athletic so, for me, it was more about being strong rather than thin. Today I love mentoring young girls who are just starting their careers. Body, heart, and mind are things I talk to them about, with a big emphasis on wellbeing and nutrition as well as finding their passions and core values. I believe in taking responsibility for my own wellness journey, and I’ve noticed that if I’m well nourished on the inside, it shows on the outside.
If you’re feeling de-motivated, what’s the exercise activity that gets you back in the zone?
One gentle step a time. Often, we try to do too much and set impossible goals for ourselves. When we don’t meet them it perpetuates the feeling of not being able to achieve what we want for ourselves, which then becomes de-motivating. For me, enjoyment is my prime motivator. I love to spend time moving outdoors and always mix it up. One day could involve a bike ride or stand-up paddle board and the next might consist of yoga or simply walking the dogs. Easy does it, but make sure you do it.
Was there a defining moment in your life that made you aware of the importance of self-care?
When I was younger I saw a clear correlation between youth and beauty, but as I matured I noticed the relationship between wellness and beauty. When I turned 50 I realised I could no longer rely on genetics alone – I needed to make some changes in my lifestyle and diet in order to feel and function at my best. My nutritionist from Harley Street, Dr Simone Laubscher, introduced me to an all-green, all-natural plant-based vitamin, mineral, probiotic, and prebiotic – a one stop powder that turned my health around, and this philosophy and formula later became the basis of WelleCo’s SUPER ELIXIR Greens (£26, welleco.co.uk), our hero product. I never really understood the profound influence nutrition has on the body’s ability to heal and function to its maximum potential until recently. Understanding that clearing the body of toxicity is really important, and that includes toxic thought processes as well as behaviours. Four years later and the difference in my health, wellbeing, vitality and fulfillment is enormous.
Why do you enjoy cooking?
I eat a predominantly vegan diet so preparing healthy, nutritious plant-based meals is therapeutic and I love the results! My fridge is always stocked with plenty of organic, locally-sourced seasonal vegetables, proteins, nut milks, snacks such as hummus and tahini, and fruit and sprouts that are nutrientrich. I love to put soaked almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in the dehydrator so they’re nice and crunchy – it means I get all the taste and health benefits without the need to smoke, roast or fry them. They’re a great snack or topping for salads, or I add cinnamon and nutmeg and green stevia to make a granola.