In the second of our ‘Ask Elle’ features, Elle Macpherson answers your questions on achieving balance - from her inspirational summer reading list to beating binge eating
One of my favourite words at the moment is balance. I know it’s a bit of a buzzword. A question I am asked most often - not just by Get The Gloss readers - is how do you get the right balance, between work and family, or work and motherhood? It's something most of us struggle with and is something I have been working on lately; I don’t always get it right, but I am trying. For me, it is both the key to happiness and wellness. Kids, work, creativity, wellness, beauty, love - they are all intertwined.
I love a saying we posted on our @superelixir Instagram recently: “Happiness is the new rich, inner peace is the new success, health is the new wealth, kindness is the new cool”.
Q: "Hi Elle! You always appear to radiate confidence. I'm quite shy in social situations and would love to worry less about how others perceive me. Do you have any go-to tips for a quick confidence pick-me-up on those less-than-sunny days?" - Lucy
Elle: "That’s a great question. When I was a 19-year-old model, I felt like I needed everyone’s approval. I felt the pressure to be a certain size, to have a certain look. These days, I understand beauty truly radiates from the inside out and that this is becoming a more commonly-held belief among women, that if you nourish yourself, be kind to yourself and feel well, you will look well. I believe confidence also comes from a healthy mind-body connection. Some great advice from my wellness mentor and WelleCo resident nutritional doctor Dr Simone Laubscher is to think about five things you are grateful for. She suggests writing them down each morning, or each evening before bed. This simple exercise always keeps me grounded and grateful for the life I have. I also believe in focusing on what is working, where you are making differences in your life, and the more you focus on the solution, the solution gets bigger. Focus on the problem and the problem gets bigger. That’s my experience."
Q: "‘Achieving balance’ is fashionable, yet often a luxury few of us can fit in given our busy, pressured lives. What does ‘balance’ mean to you and how do you prioritise time for yourself given your exceptionally busy lifestyle?" – Florence
Elle: "Balance is a tricky word, but it’s also a word I feel passionately about as I mentioned. If I don’t have balance, or am least trying to achieve balance, I start to feel stressed, I don’t sleep well and it starts to become hard to eat well and exercise. I don’t always get it right and on those occasions, I try and be kind to myself, reset and move forward. No matter how busy I am with business commitments, my philosophy is my family comes first and then everything else falls in around that. It’s the best way I know how to achieve some kind of balance.
"On an individual level, I do my best to stick to my morning ritual of meditation and introspection wherever I am; it helps set the tone for the day and the routine is reassuring. I also love starting my day with some outdoor activity - hiking, swimming, walking, outdoor yoga. This, combined with good nutrition and a good night’s sleep, of seven to eight hours, helps me on all levels. I find if I begin my day well, I am better equipped to handle anything."
Q: "Hi Elle! When I have a routine I find it much easier to take care of myself by eating well, practising meditation and exercising, but when I'm travelling it all seems to go out the window. What tips do you recommend to help maintain healthy habits when away from home?" – Lorraine
"The first thing I do when I board a flight is to double dose my Super Elixir Alkalising Formula (I do this post-flight too) and drink three litres of water throughout the journey. So, if I’m travelling from Miami to Australia or vice versa, as soon as I get on the plane I shake my greens up with icy-cold filtered water or coconut water. This helps me avoid jet lag because it boosts my energy levels, keeps me hydrated and helps with the brain fog you get from time zone change. This is a great way to start a holiday or work trip off well. If I feel well from when I arrive, I’m more likely to make good choices.
"When I arrive anywhere in the world, I always try and go for a walk. Fresh air helps with jet lag and I love to go on an adventure and get a sense and experience of my new surroundings. I will always try and fit in some exercise, so if time is really short when I arrive I’ll do a quick 15-minute ab session in my hotel room to help me feel energised and motivated to do a longer workout the next day.
"Nutrition can be tricky when you are away especially when eating out a lot, so I always travel with our Nourishing Protein travel sachets as a quick meal replacement on the go. For example, if I know I’ll be eating out that night, I might have a Nourishing Protein smoothie for breakfast."
Q: “Hi Elle, I heard that you love reading biographies, I'd love to know your favourites. Is an autobiography is on the cards for you? That's something I'd love to read!” - Shanice
Elle: "These are some of my favourites, the most recent I have read and loved is Prince: Purple Reign by Mick Wall. I also loved What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey, Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight, Wellth: How I Learned to Build a Life, Not a Resume , by Jason Wachob and When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. As for my own autobiography I feel I'm not old enough to write my own. I still have stuff to do. It's going to take me some time!"
"Q: “Hi Elle, I would really like to know to know the one thing that keeps you motivated to stay fit and healthy and that gets you out of bed so early in the mornings. Is it to look good? Feel good? Mental health? To live longer? Or is a combination of all of them? Please can you also give me one huge tip that will stop me binge eating?” - Katie
Elle" "It’s to feel well. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that beauty isn’t skin deep, it comes from within. Feeling well isn’t a quick fix fad diet, it’s about an approach to life. In my late 40s, I learned from my nutritional doctor, Dr Simone Laubscher PhD that by reducing acid-forming foods and replacing them with nutrient-packed vegetables and fruits, the body can return to an alkaline state, rid itself of toxins and allow the digestive system and liver to rest and recuperate. For the body to work optimally, the pH of blood sits in a narrow range of between 7.35 and 7.45, which is slightly alkaline, and the body does everything it can to maintain this value. My simple rule is; eat more plants, less animal foods and to help along the way take The Super Elixir Alkalising Formula , a daily all-natural multivitamin made from 45 premium whole food ingredients to ensure maximum absorption. It’s the only daily supplement I take now – I don’t take any synthetic tablets.
"Simply by being mindful of my body’s alkalinity, I transformed the way I felt. I had more energy and I felt healthier. It made me realise what a profound impact food can have on the way I feel. It’s that realisation that keeps me motivated. My advice is to try to see the food you are eating as fuel for your body, when I eat I like to think about how it’s nourishing me and the benefits all the nutrients are having. It makes me feel good to give my body what it actually needs.
Read Elle's columns every month on Get The Gloss.