There are some of us who still can’t quite believe
that New York Fashion Week is upon us once
again, but for the models hitting the runways this
week, preparation is well underway—castings and
fittings, yes, but also doing everything to ensure
that their bodies are in top form to take the
catwalk. For this, many of the industry’s top faces
(including Karlie Kloss, Martha Hunt, Irina Shayk,
and Miranda Kerr) rely on modelFIT, the gym
opened last year by Justin Gelband and Vanessa
Packer in NYC.
We’ve done the modelFIT workout before ( and
loved it ), but of course, that’s just one part of the
fitness equation. So an important question
remained: What does a runway model eat when
she’s prepping for weeks of runway shows? That
would fall to Packer, who heads modelFIT’s
nutrition and wellness program. Here, she reveals
her insider tips to keeping her model clients slim
and energized. (Spoiler alert: There is chocolate.)
1. It’s not how many calories you eat, but how you
“I never count calories. I base my meal plans
and system of eating on seasonality, alkalinity,
and food combining. The last is probably most
important, because it ensures proper digestion:
With food combining, it’s important not to mix
proteins and carbohydrates in the same meal
as it will impede proper digestion and cause
bloating, gas, and constipation.”
2. Your meals should start light, and get heavier
as the day goes on.
“Begin your day with warm water and lemon
followed by a juice or smoothie, which will
boost alkalinity [aka your body’s best natural
pH balance for cells to thrive], give you energy
with raw living vitamins and minerals, and will
hydrate you and prep you for the day ahead.
For lunch, I like to keep it light with a salad
with vegetables—if you want to include a bit of
protein, you can add grilled salmon or some
hard boiled eggs. Dinner is my heaviest meal. I
always begin with a leafy green salad before
my entree. I usually opt for either a hearty
grain bowl with lots of vegetables, or I’ll do
fish or lamb with roasted veggies on the side.
My go-to dessert is organic dark chocolate. ”
3. Stay hydrated—just not at mealtimes.
“It’s important to drink water throughout the
day, but not as much while eating so you don’t
flush away all the important enzymes in your
mouth and esophagus.”
4. Snack if you must—but make it count.
“I’m not a big snacker because I think it’s
important to sit down and enjoy a meal; your
body responds better to that. However, if you
are a gal on the go, try packing some crudité
with hummus or smashed avocado, or even
summer rolls are a great option.”
5. But avoid THIS snack at all costs. “Don’t reach
for nuts as a midday snack—it’s one thing I try
to steer people away from, and they are always
surprised. Yes, they have healthy fats and are
packed with protein, but they are very heavy
on the digestive system and very dehydrating.
Also, if you opt for roasted instead of raw, they
become very fattening because the oil found in
the nuts is compromised when heated.
If you absolutely need to have nuts, only have a
handful and make sure they are raw and
organic. And, make sure you hydrate
afterwards.” [Editor’s note: We recommend
pistachios over almonds .]
6. Make sure you steer clear of these bloat
“I recommend avoiding carbonated beverages.
They make you gassy and bloated, and some
say they can cause cellulite. I also tell my
clients to stay away from dairy as it is very
mucus-producing, and can cause bloat and
constipation for the people who don’t digest it
properly. Fried foods are always a big no-no.
regardless of the date or season.
7. Maintaining high energy levels is actually
simpler than you think.
“Stay hydrated, eat light through the day, and
opt for sustainable caffeine options like green
tea. Also, make sure you are getting the proper
amount of sleep.”
8. NOW is the time to get on those healthy habits.
“Fashion Week is an important time to stay on
top of your game, especially with all the
parties and goings-on—but it’s also a time
when people usually break out of their healthy
routines. Before fashion week is a great time to
get your body on track by eating properly,
getting lots of sleep, and working out, so if you
don’t have time during the mayhem at least you
know you put in the work before.
9. And when the mayhem does commence, let this
superfood give you a boost.
“I am loving matcha these days. I feel like it
gives my metabolism (and energy levels) a nice
COURTESY OF BREAKAWAY MATCHA
Vanessa’s pick: Panatea Ceremonial Matcha Green
Tea Bag, $99; panatea.com
10. To go along with your improved diet, keep
mixing up your workout.
“I love yoga, Pilates, and running. A
combination is important so you create
dynamic muscles and work different parts of
your body. This will yield better results.”
11. And finally, keep that mood running high.
“Meditation is an incredible healer and all-
around mood balancer. I think hot baths are
really soothing and an easy way to give
yourself some pampering at home, and to get
some ‘me’ time.”