Elle Macpherson, at 52, has the kind of physique that teen girls covet.
But the supermodel-turned-entrepreneur’s attitude toward her figure -- and her life -- has changed since she was regularly gracing the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
Her natural wellness company, WelleCo, has collaborated with designers such as Aerin Lauder. Last year, she also co-founded the Elle Macpherson Body lingerie company.
Here’s what the Miami-based mom has to say about the joys of wakesurfing, an alkaline diet and her sporty kids.
You follow an alkaline diet, which attempts to ward off disease by managing the acidity and pH of bodily fluids through certain foods. What do you eat in an average day?
A lot of people will say that if you eat right, you’ll be fine. But we’re not farming the way we used to farm, and certainly not in America. So it’s very hard to get all the nutrients we need in our diet.
I was taking synthetic vitamins for a long time and wondering why they weren’t doing anything. I wasn’t sleeping much, I was putting on weight, my hair was lackluster and my nails were brittle. My exercise routine seemed boring and I wasn’t feeling well-nourished. For me, it’s not good enough just to look good. The way I felt became absolutely paramount to me.
Now, I get up in the morning and have half a liter of water and then a hot water and lemon. I might have a chia tea pudding soaked in almond milk. Then I take my Super Elixir alkalizing greens supplement and water on a school run for my kids. Then I’ll work out. I try to have a protein shake straight after. Or, if I haven’t had the pudding, I might have eggs or oatmeal. I’ll usually have a vegetarian lunch with lots of greens. I might occasionally have some goat cheese. Then, for dinner, I’ll have some fish and veg or chicken and veg.
I don’t deprive myself of anything. I don’t really like the way I feel when I have wheat, dairy or sugar. But other than that, I eat lots of food -- regularly three meals a day and two snacks.
And how does your fitness regimen now compare to when you were younger?
In my 20s, I didn’t have to do anything. I was 6-foot and long and lean. No children. I had plenty of time, so I could do 1,000 sit-ups or run 10 miles -- I’m not saying that’s what I actually did, but I could because I had the energy.
Now, in my 50s, I do an hour a day. The difference is that I’m not in the gym grinding it out. I’m doing something I love -- paddle boarding, hiking, waterskiing. At the moment, I’ve been boxing. Sometimes I’ll do spin classes with girlfriends. I schedule it in my diary every day -- I don’t double-book myself. I just do it relentlessly -- as much for my head and my heart as anything else, not because I have to look a certain way.
Have you picked up any health and wellness tips from your two kids and stepson?
They inspire me in lots of ways, but not their eating habits. I have a 13-year-old who runs on adrenaline and low blood sugar all the time. A snack like a piece of fruit doesn’t really cut it for him. That’s why we created the protein powder for kids. Otherwise, it’d be Oreo cookie milkshakes all the time in the afternoon and wondering why he can’t get his homework done.
We love to ski together -- they’re much more acrobatic than I am. I like the slaloms, they like to do jumps. And wakesurfing -- that’s a really fun sport. We’re doing quite a bit of that. We’re a sporty family.
What’s your morning routine?
I put the alarm on for a quarter past 5. For 20 to 40 minutes, I don’t pick up my screen at all. I do some sort of meditation. I go to bed early, so I don’t wake up tired. I wake my son up at 6, have my water and make breakfast. Only then do I look at social media, and only for a moment.
Any New Year’s resolutions?
I love the fact that we get to start a new life every single day. I don’t think we have to wait until the first of January to make changes. It might be as simple as making sure I drink enough water, or I reach out to people important to me on a regular basis.
Does this sound all too earnest? I’m really not that boring, I promise you. I have a conscious life. I have a rich life, a joyful life, a life I find invigorating. I’m not numb, which is cool.