It's no wonder they call her The Body. At 56, Australia-native Elle Macpherson looks just as good as she did during her modeling heyday. And what's even more impressive is that the mom of two says she feels better than ever thanks to the diet and exercise regimen she adopted six years ago.
"When I first started my career, it was a very different world — and I was a different girl," the five-time Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover star has said. "I didn't look after myself as well as I do now. Wellness has become a priority for me, in a holistic, natural way."
A CLEAN PLATE
Macpherson currently follows a mostly plant-based alkaline diet, opting for fresh fruits and veggies over acid-producing red meat, processed foods and dairy, which some experts say can negatively affect PH levels in the body.
"I eat organic food when possible," noted Macpherson, who works with London-based nutritional doctor Simoné Laubscher, Ph.D. (they cofounded the WelleCo line of supplements together). "So lots of leafy greens, salads, fruits, vegetables and clean, hormone-free proteins like fish and chicken."
She believes in making small, sustainable changes. "For example, swap cow's milk for almond in your coffee," Macpherson said, "or a bag of chips for organic popcorn, or butter for avocado on your toast."
When it comes to exercise, Macpherson doesn't adhere to a one-size-fits-all philosophy. "I have a long list of sports I choose from depending on how I feel," she's revealed, counting boxing, Pilates, walking, running, hiking, swimming, yoga and cycling as a few of her faves.
"While a six-mile run might be just what I need one week, a mindful yoga class could be more important the next," she explained. She especially loves outdoor activities like surfing, hiking and wakeboarding.
"Rather than sweating it out in the gym, I find variety and getting out in nature brings me true joy and motivates me to move my body every day." Voila!
A DAY ON MACPHERSON'S ALKALINE DIET
- Egg omelet with spinach and avocado. According to Macpherson's longtime nutritionist, she alternates eggs and greens with flaxseed pudding made with almond milk and berries.
- The supermodel drinks three liters of H20 per day!
- Salmon with lemon, olive oil, beetroot salad and pearl barley. Laubscher noted this is one of Macpherson's favorite meals. "She is a very big fish girl; she eats hardly any chicken or meat."
- Smoothie with almond milk, a scoop of WelleCo.'s plant-based Nourishing Protein, half a frozen banana and a handful of berries.
- A couple of dates and green tea.
- Sea bass with a Greek salad topped with goat's cheese or halloumi. Macpherson steers clear of dairy but allows for cheese here and there. "It gets really boring, life with no cheese," admitted Laubscher.