With last week’s announcement that her divorce from Tom Brady was finalized, supermodel Gisele Bündchen has been back in the spotlight. It’s not an unfamiliar place for her, though for the majority of her career, the headlines have focused predominantly on the supermodel’s incredibly healthy and holistic lifestyle.
While famous for her lean and lithe figure, the 42-year-old mother of two defies the stereotypical supermodel mold when it comes to her athleticism. “Gisele is more of an athlete than a model,” says Nonna Gleyzer, a Pilates instructor in Beverly Hills, California, who has been training Bündchen for several years. “She is the most physically active person I know and is constantly moving her body.”
You won’t find Gisele on any trendy diets or hopping on the latest workout bandwagon. Instead, she takes a nourishing mind-body approach to diet, fitness, and wellness. Her health habits might seem strict to most, but according to the Brazilian beauty, they help keep her feeling good and promote environmental responsibility as well.
Here are some ways Gisele Bündchen keeps herself healthy on the inside and out.
1. She Starts the Day With Hot Water and Lemon and Green Juice
Gleyzer reveals that the supermodel starts every day with hot water and lemon, a beverage that is great for the immune system, as it is packed with vitamin C. While there is limited research supporting the benefits of lemon water specifically, drinking water prior to eating may stimulate weight loss. One small randomized, controlled trial published in the journal Obesity found that individuals who drank water before eating low-calorie meals lost 44 percent more weight over a 12-week period than those who followed the low-calorie diet alone.
Bündchen follows her lemon water with a fresh green juice she makes at home with celery, kale, and “any greens that she has at home,” says Gleyzer, who also trains celebrities Emma Roberts, Camila Alves, and Vanessa Hudgens.
2. Her Diet Is Mostly Plant-Based
“We eat mostly a plant-based diet. It makes us feel good, and it also has less of an impact on the environment,” Bündchen told Marie Claire in April 2020.
In 2016, Allen Campbell, private chef for Bündchen and Brady at the time, told the Boston Globe that their diet consisted of 80 percent vegetables, but not nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, and eggplants, because “they’re not anti-inflammatory.” The other 20 percent? Mainly grass-fed, organic, antibiotic- and hormone-free lean meats and wild-caught fish or seafood.
Keri Gans, RDN, owner of Keri Gans Nutrition in New York City and author of The Small Change Diet, notes that maintaining a plant-based diet “is definitely a smart decision for being more environmentally conscious.” She doesn’t, however, recommend eliminating nightshade vegetables. “They are packed with nutrition and the research is far from conclusive on their effects of inflammation in the body,” says Gans.
3. Sometimes She Eats Only Raw Food
Bündchen also dabbles in a raw food diet, usually when she is on vacation. “They don’t always do raw, but since it’s so easy to do in Costa Rica, we do a 80/20 raw diet, with big colorful salads and lots of fresh veggies,” Joanne Gerrard Young, master raw food chef, holistic nutritionist, health educator, and one of the former couple’s chefs told Well+Good.
While Gans always endorses eating more veggies, “raw is not always better than cooked,” as long as you avoid overcooking them, she maintains. “For example, many vegetables have a higher antioxidant content when cooked, such as beta-carotene in carrots, and lycopene in tomatoes,” she says.
4. Lunch Is Her Biggest Meal of the Day
Bündchen tends to eat heavier earlier in the day. According to Gerrard Young, Gisele consumes her biggest meal of the day at lunch, followed by a smaller dinner.
While some people prefer eating their biggest meal in the middle of the day, Gans maintains that timing is less important than the quality of the food itself. “What really matters at the end of the day is whether we have met our nutritional needs and have enjoyed our meals without overeating,” she points out.
5. She Drinks Tea
During an interview with British Vogue in June 2022, Bündchen revealed that she uses tea as medicine, revealing a cabinet filled with fennel, chamomile, and peppermint teas. “I always say nature’s our pharmacy. If the kids are sick, I’ll make a fresh ginger tea with lemon and a whole pot of manuka honey. It’s really the best thing you can drink!” she said. “It’s really good for PMS,” she added about raspberry-leaf tea.
Gans applauds Gisele’s love of tea, “as it is packed with nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties that may help prevent against certain cancers, decrease heart disease and maintain immune health,” she says. She isn’t aware of any scientific research supporting raspberry-leaf tea as a PMS treatment, however.
6. She Has Eliminated Several Things From Her Diet
“Trying to limit overly processed foods with high amounts of added sugar, sodium and saturated fats is recommended,” says Gans. Still, some of the foods on Gisele’s “do not eat” list — such as coffee, caffeine, and dairy — actually have health benefits, Gans notes.
7. She Eats Organic
“At our house, we try to eat organic foods that are in season and locally grown,” Bündchen told Marie Claire. “We believe that by buying locally, we’ll have a better chance at getting foods that are fresh and also support local farmers.” She also grows her own produce and eats eggs laid by her chickens. “I love seeing my kids get excited when they find fresh eggs in our chicken coop or harvest the vegetables from our garden,” she added.
While Gans is all for Gisele’s plant-based diet and support for local farmers and the environment, scientific evidence to date “does not show organic foods being more nutritious than conventional,” she notes. “What is most important is that no matter where a person lives is that they have access to fruits and vegetables of any kind.”
8. She Indulges on Occasion
Every once in a while, Bündchen does allow herself to indulge. “I’m not super strict and believe everything is okay in moderation,” she told Marie Claire. “My ultimate guilty pleasure is dark chocolate.” Gerrard Young adds that Gisele loves her raw vegan desserts and she has them “all the time.”
Gans supports the occasional treat. “Indulging and not being super strict is definitely important for an overall healthy eating mentality,” she says. “I should hope that if Gisele wanted a piece of dark chocolate every single day of the week that she would allow herself one.”
9. She Practices Meditation and Mindfulness
Bündchen also believes that beauty starts from the inside out. “My routine certainly varies, as we travel a lot, but I usually start the day by taking a few deep breaths, doing a few stretches, and meditating,” she told Marie Claire.
“Meditation allows me to calm and clear my mind, and exercise helps me feel energized.” She added learning to focus her mind has helped her achieve “a sense of inner balance” in her life. “My goal in any situation is to allow myself to be fully present, as our well-being depends on connecting our mind, body, and spirit.”
Gleyzer adds that stretching is essential for Gisele “because she really believes in flexibility and likes to stay limber.”
10. She Does Yoga
Bündchen also told Marie Claire that yoga helps her “stay centered and balanced” and also brings her “clarity and peace.”
In her 2018 book, Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life, she elaborated on her practice. “[Yoga is] so serene that I can be in a state of meditation while I practice,” she said. “Whether it involves music or mantras or breath work or meditation, [yoga is] a powerful beautiful spiritual practice. Yoga gave me back my life.”
11. She Does Pilates
Bündchen does pilates three times a week with Gleyzer, using a reformer or whatever other equipment she has access to. “She likes to do a whole body workout,” Gleyzer says.
What makes pilates a great workout? Gleyzer explains that it avoids putting any stress on the joints and muscles while strengthening muscles and toning arms. “It also increases flexibility in the spine, joints, and muscles and helps prevent injury,” she says.
12. She Focuses on Form and Technique
If you want to take a page out of Bündchen’s workout playbook, Gleyzer suggests focusing on form and technique, unlike some of her other clients who focus on getting through a workout as fast as possible. “Gisele is focused on proper breathing and focuses on form and technique. She is very meticulous. She goes deep into her body,” says Gleyzer.
13. She Hydrates
Because her lifestyle is so active, Bündchen prioritizes hydration. In addition to drinking water, she “loves coconut water,” says Gleyzer. “She drinks it from real coconuts.”
Staying properly hydrated can affect everything from how your organs function to sleep quality and mood, according to Harvard Health. How much water is needed for ample hydration depends on a variety of factors, including body weight, activity level, and age. You can use a hydration calculator to determine your exact needs.
14. She Enjoys Outdoor Exercise
Bündchen loves breaking a sweat outdoors. “I love any type of exercise that I can do outdoors; horseback riding, biking, and skiing are some of my favorite ways to stay active and connect with nature,” she told Marie Claire. “Not only do these activities help me stay in shape, but they help in giving me clarity and perspective. Being active fuels my body, mind, and soul. It just makes me happy.”