Before the time of Instagram and blogging which today make megastars like Chiara Ferragni millions a year through marketing, and even before the Kardashians were babes in arms, there was Elle ‘The Body’ Macpherson — the first of her kind to use her innate entrepreneurial skills to turn supermodel stardom into a multi-million pound business
Her business success is well documented, with Elle Macpherson Intimates now the top selling brand in Australia, host and executive producer of ‘Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model’ and her most recent venture, health company WelleCo. Their debut product The Super Elixir, has now sold out on Net-a-Porter three times.
Created by Elle’s London-based nutritionist Dr. Simone Laubscher, The Super Elixir is a potent organic powder, designed to help keep the body in a balanced pH state – and it’s what Elle attributes her youthful glow, condition of her golden mane and overall energy levels to. “The Super Elixir is easily the key to my wellbeing at this age. We know eating more green leafy plants builds a strong foundation for wellness, and with modern farming we may not always get the nutrients we need from the food we eat every day. So the need to supplement is sometimes there. And it works for me, I’ve got plenty of energy, my skin, hair and nails are good, I feel more balanced and I don’t crave sugar like I used to,” she says.
Whilst much of ‘The Body’ is obviously in the genes, seeing her grace the cover of this month’s Harper’s Bazaar Australia – it seems whatever the 51-year-old is doing, it’s clearly working. “I look after my body, not so it looks good, not so I weigh a certain amount or that I have a certain silhouette on the beach, but more so I am healthy, strong, energised and happy. That’s more important to me than a number on the scale.” Here’s what Elle had to say about health, happiness and growing older and wiser.
From growing up in Sydney, to the start of your career, what role did health and fitness play in your life?
Aussie’s are naturally a lot more active, our lifestyles are focused around the outdoors, and growing up in Sydney we were always at the beach. I think it’s this upbringing that set me in good stead throughout life. Now living in Miami by the beach again, I feel there are a lot of similarities between Miami and Sydney.
What are your passions?
I love sport and I try to maintain an active lifestyle. I schedule some daily exercise for 8:30am after the school run. I hate the gym so I’ll do a different sport every day if I can. I mix it up, but no matter what, I do 45 minutes of something a day. I love the outdoors. If I’m by the water, I love to paddleboard, surf, swim laps or water ski. I also love to hike or run for about 45 minutes a day.
What triggered the change to really focus on your health and wellbeing?
I have always been focused on health, and wellbeing, I think it’s the Aussie in me but it wasn’t until I was approaching my 50th birthday, and met Dr. Laubscher that this really fell into place for me. Other than introducing alkalizing greens into my diet, what really turned everything around for me was sleep. At first I went to my doctor, and she didn’t tell me to cut wine or coffee or anything. What she did say was to change my lifestyle. The easiest thing I could do at the time was to become really disciplined about getting seven hours of sleep a night. So now I have to put myself to bed at 10pm because I get up at 5am. That’s terrible! But I love it. My stress levels have gone down and it’s the beginning of seeing changes.
How has your diet changed over your lifetime?
The day I learned about being alkaline changed my life and I have Dr. Laubscher to thank for this. I went to see Dr. Laubscher because I had some symptoms that I couldn’t help myself. I had a good diet and exercised but I was tired, sluggish, I’d put on weight and I wasn’t feeling good. Dr. Laubscher said that it sounded like my body was too acidic and not in a balanced pH state. I’d never heard of this before because when it comes to wellness we usually talk about drinking enough water or exercising more but I’d never considered that my lifestyle, as a busy mum of two, could affect my body so much.
It’s known that eating more plants can help keep our bodies alkaline, but I know how difficult it can be to live a strict alkaline diet and honestly, I don’t believe in extremes. I want to live my life and not worry, so I take this alkaline supplement every day. Then there are the obvious things, such as hydrating with water and making sure I have three square meals a day. So the big difference in my attitude to diet and wellbeing from when I was younger is that now I look at my health and diet in a much more holistic way.
It’s all too easy for women to feel critical about the way they look and in your industry, it can be even harder. Did you ever feel insecure or feel like you didn’t fit in during your career?
The irony is that, as with many women, I was more self-conscious when I was younger. Now as I age I just want to be the best version of myself at whatever age that might be.
Do you feel a pressure to maintain ‘The Body’?
I see a difference between when I was 20, when I was 30, when I was 40 and now I’m 51. I have done well with what I have, but honestly, there’s a big difference and I’m ok with that. I dress differently. And I fluctuate from day to day, week to week but the small things don’t bother me anymore. What I have learnt is what bothers me today, will not be bothering me tomorrow.
Growing old is the most natural thing in the world. As I grow older I learn more about the world and myself, and I love that
We all inevitably grow older and look older. You have forged a hugely successful career based on your looks, vitality and health. Does the prospect of ageing bother you in any way?
Growing old is the most natural thing in the world. As I grow older I learn more about the world and myself, and I love that.
Who inspires you?
My close friend Diane Von Furstenburg is such an inspiring woman, and one of the most beautiful women I know, inside and out.
Where did your entrepreneurial streak come from, was it innate or something you learnt through your family?
For me it has always come naturally, I studied law before modelling and although I have modelled throughout my entire career, business has always been a passion for me. I love the constantly evolving challenges.
Elle’s nutritionist on living alkaline and glowing skin
Dr. Simone Laubscher has over 15 years of experience in the nutrition industry and is a specialist in disease prevention and ageing. With a PhD in oxidative stress and toxicology and a bachelor degree in science and nutrition, she has treated many celebrities including Sinitta, Billie Piper and Gordon Ramsey.
What is your philosophy to eating?
My philosophy is all about balance and the 80:20 rule so you keep your weekdays clean and more alkaline and have a little fun on weekends. I’m not a big fan of dairy and gluten for most patients and I usually suggest no carbs after 5pm so that patients wake up feeling more energised. Pescatarian is the way I live but I rotate in 31 other organic proteins for other patients depending on their digestive systems.
What sort of benefits can be seen and felt from having an alkaline diet and using the Super Elixir?
Everything associated with good health is when you run more alkaline. Overall eating more plants and eating less animals will allow you to live more alkaline and adding in a clean organic super green product will allow you to have a life and stay alkaline. You will tend to have more energy, sleep better, have less sugar and food cravings, your skin will hold more moisture and look less tired and you will feel less bloated.
Is having an alkaline diet achievable and affordable for a normal person with a busy working life?
It is impossible to live 24/7 alkaline so what The Super Elixir will do, is fast track your life if you can’t nail an alkaline diet on a daily basis. This literally allows you to have your cake and eat it too!
How does food affect our skin?
Fruits, salads and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and water. This supports cell function so that goodness can get delivered to the cell and toxins removed. Since your skin is made up of cells, by eating well you support your skin’s ability to health itself, produce more collagen and hold more water so it looks and feels more vibrant.
As upsetting as it is to admit, most of us will never look like Elle Macpherson. But that healthy glow, that is achievable
Here’s Dr. Laubscher’s top tips on achieving glowing skin:
- Drink 2-3L water per day
- Alkalize by fast-tracking your life with an amazing clean organic product like The Super Elixir
- Eat more plant based foods and reduce animal products
- Introduce good essential fatty acid products such as flaxseed oil and take 2-3 soup spoons per day
- Try to move your body every day, even walking would be amazing. Elle moves her body every day, even if it’s just for 30 minutes
SUPER ELIXIR Chia Breakfast Pudding
Start your day the Super Elixir way – our greens to go, go, go!
- 1 cup almond milk or coconut water
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tsp The Super Elixir
- 1 tsp natural, unprocessed honey
- Your choice of fruit for garnishing
1. In a bowl combine almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla, The Super Elixir and honey and mix well
2. Allow to sit for a few hours or over night until seeds have absorbed most of the liquid and the mixture is thickened in consistency
3. Spoon into a bowl and garnish with some toasted nuts and your choice of fresh chopped fruit
What are the added benefits?
Don’t be fooled by the size… chia seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch! Chia seeds are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. They are loaded with fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and various micronutrients. Also, Coconut water is great for hydration but you can also use filtered water or almond milk. And of course your daily dose of The Super Elixir with over 40 specialised ingredients to feed your cells from the inside!