Gisele Bündchen at 40: Anatomy of a hyper-healthy model lifestyle – Evening Standard

How the supermodel went from frappuccinos and cigarettes to a plant-based diet and meditation
Gisele Bundchen attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019
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Gisele Bundchen and Jimmy Fallon attend the “Taxi” film premiere, featuring a Taxi Cab Drive-In, at the Jacob Javits Center October 3, 2004
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Tyra Banks, Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum, Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima pose for photographers before leaving cement handprints at the Victoria’s Secret store in The Grove shopping mall as part of their “Angels Across America” promotion November 12, 2004
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Gisele Bundchen attends the Victoria’s Secret “Sexy Volume 3: A Tribute to a Decade of Sexy Swimwear” photo exhibit and book launch event at Milk Studios April 5, 2005
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Gisele Bundchen during an appearance on MTV’s Total Request Live to promote “Dream Angels Heavenly” fragrance at MTV Studios May 10, 2006
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Tyra Banks (2L), Heidi Klum (C), Gisele Bundchen (4L) and other models perform at the end of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in New York 09 November 2005.
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Gisele Bundchen walks the runway at The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show at the 69th Regiment Armory November 9, 2005
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Gisele Bundchen poses backstage during “Movie Week” MTV’s Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios December 5, 2005
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Gisele Bundchen walks the runway during the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show held at the Kodak Theatre on November 16, 2006
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Gisele Bundchen walks the runway during the Givenchy Ready to Wear Spring / Summer 2012 show during Paris Fashion Week on October 2, 2011
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Tom Brady, his son Jack, 5, Gisele Bundchen, and their son Benjamin, 3, pose with Red the Fire Truck at Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park July 2, 2013
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Gisele Bundchen and her son Benjamin walk on the field after The Patriots defeat the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015
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Gisele Bundchen during the “Pup Quiz” segment on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” at Rockefeller Center on May 5, 2017
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Gisele Bundchen speaks onstage during David Lynch Foundation Hosts Women of Vision Awards at 583 Park Avenue on May 9, 2017
Gisele Bundchen Visits “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” at Rockefeller Center on April 27, 2016
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Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady attend the 2018 Met Gala on May 7, 2018,
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Tom Brady celebrates with his wife Gisele Bundchen and their daughter Vivian after the Patriots win the Super Bowl on February 3, 2019
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Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady attend The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019
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Gisele Bundchen attendsGisele Bundchen and Tom Brady attend The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019
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Gisele and her daughter Vivian doing yoga at hme
Gisle showing off home cooked food
Gisele with her children Vivian and Benjamin
Gisele and Tom Brady with their son Benajamin
Gisele working out
Gisele Bündchen’s modeling accomplishments have earned her a place as one of the fashion industry’s greats.
Since her career first took off in 1997, the Brazilian supermodel has appeared on more than 1,200 magazine covers and topped Forbes’ annual list of highest-paid models on multiple occasions.
In more recent years, Bündchen has become better known for her philanthropic efforts (which include serving as the global goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme), and her headline-making healthy lifestyle. The latter of which extends to her entire family – husband, Tom Brady, their two children, and Brady’s child from a previous relationship.
Bündchen has confessed she didn’t always prioritize her health in the past, and it was only after she began having panic attacks around the age of 23 that she decided to make a change. “I felt powerless,” she said in a 2018 interview with People, promoting her memoir, Lessons: My Path To A Meaningful Life.
“Your world becomes smaller and smaller, and you can’t breathe, which is the worst feeling I’ve ever had,” she explained. After speaking with a specialist and doctors, Bündchen’s journey towards a healthier lifestyle began in an effort to end her panic attacks.
“I had been smoking cigarettes, drinking a bottle of wine and three mocha frappucinos every day, and I gave up everything in one day,” she said of her previous habits, later telling Vogue Australia she once started her day with a mocha frappucino and four cigarettes for breakfast.
“I replaced bad habits with things that were supporting me and I realized that every day I was feeling better,” she told the magazine of also incorporating exercise and meditation into her routine.
Over the years, Bündchen has fine-tuned her regimen, and she’s even shared components of her diet, workout and meditation through Instagram and interviews. To celebrate the supermodel’s 40th birthday, here’s a closer look at her wellness routine – from pre-sunrise meditation to her daily dessert.
Decoding Bündchen’s and Brady’s exact diet is a bit of a science, and even they have turned to a private chef to help get it right. But in short, Bündchen sticks to a plant-based diet of locally grown and organic produce (the family even has a chicken coop and a vegetable garden).
On the list of ingredients she doesn’t consume, you’ll find sugar, white flour, dairy, caffeine, iodized salt, GMOs and trans fats like canola oil (Brady has also been reported to steer clear of fruits and nightshades like tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers and eggplants).
That might seem like there’s not much left to actually eat, but their chef, Allen Campbell, has given some insight into Bündchen’s (and the whole family’s) meals.
“So, 80 percent of what they eat is vegetables,” Campbell, said in a 2016 interview. “[I buy] the freshest vegetables. If it’s not organic, I don’t use it. And whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, millet, beans. The other 20 percent is lean meats: grass-fed organic steak, duck every now and then, and chicken. As for fish, I mostly cook wild salmon,” he said.
In her 2018 memoir, Bündchen noted that she starts the day with a glass of warm water and lemon, followed by avocado toast or a green juice made with “celery, cucumbers, half a red or green apple, turmeric, ginger, lemon juice and sometimes kale or beets.”
She wrote that lunch is usually comprised of salad or soup, and Campbell has shared that a typical dinner would be something like quinoa with wilted greens.
Even with a strict diet, Bündchen never skips dessert, but she prefers to eat it after lunch. Her go-to treat? Dark chocolate.
“One can never have enough dark chocolate,” she said in a 2015 interview with ES magazine. “I always tell myself, ‘Just one piece,’ but it never ends up that way.”
The model’s Instagram also frequently features treats, but they aren’t your traditional cakes and cookies.
“Most of my desserts are avocado- and coconut-based because those are the best fats for the brain,” Bündchen said in an interview with Vogue, describing a pie that was made with a date and nut crust, avocado, coconut and banana filling and a topping of coconut yogurt, coconut nibs, 70% dark chocolate and pecans.
Raw granola and raw chocolate chip cookies are also said to be on her snack list, according to Campbell. And occasionally, she’ll whip up some gluten-free waffles with chocolate chips for the kids (and herself). “It’s not something I would have every day, but if I’m making it for the kids, I’ll have it, and I’m very happy,” she has said, noting, “I’m never guilty about it.”
Though she often sings the praises of meditation and yoga, Bündchen’s routine includes more intense forms of exercise, too.
On Instagram, she’s posted photos of herself training at the gym and video clips of ab exercises that can be done at home. Bündchen has also trained in MMA, which combines boxing and kickboxing, and she’s even taken up some dancing in the past.
“I love any type of exercise that I can do outdoors,” the model told Marie Claire earlier this year. “Horseback riding, biking and skiing are some of my favorite ways to stay active and connect with nature.”
Her other forms of exercise may vary, but meditation and yoga stay consistent for Bündchen, who has even credited meditation with helping to eliminate the anxiety she experienced earlier in her career.
“I started meditating out of need,” Bündchen told Anderson Cooper in 2018. “I had severe panic attacks, and I didn’t know what else to do really. They started in a little plane, and then it became tunnels, elevators, airplanes, buildings that windows wouldn’t open and then it became my own apartment,” she explained.
“My world just kept becoming smaller and smaller and smaller. I needed to find a solution. I prayed, and it came to me the idea of yoga. I found a teacher and we started practicing meditation,” Bündchen said of how her practice began at age 23.
“It allowed me to see life in a completely different way,” she said. “I had changed my diet, I stopped drinking, stopped drinking coffee, stopped smoking, but I was still having high anxiety about things. The breathing and the meditation daily really helped me because it helped center me.”
The model swears by meditating to start her day, and she’ll get up before the rest of her family (and the sun) to make the time for her practice.
“I wake up at 5:30 in the morning, because nobody needs anything from me at 5:30 and I can take care of myself,” she said to Vogue Australia in 2020, explaining, “It’s like charging my batteries.”
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