Jessica Gomes – Think strong not thin

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    NOBODY knows how to get swimsuit-ready better than Aussie model Jessica Gomes. Here, she shares her secrets.

    It was after Aussie supermodel Jessica Gomes decided that she wanted to be strong, not thin, that she started enjoying exercise.

    “I’m never going to be a waif – that’s not my body type – so I found that exercising and dieting to be thin was unmotivating; it’s not a positive mindset to be in,” the 29-year-old says. “Then, a couple of years ago, I changed the way I approached diet and fitness and now I look forward to meals and really enjoy exercising.”

    As a catwalk model and David Jones ambassador, Gomes’ face and body is her currency, so she knows all too well how important it is to find enjoyment in what you eat and how you exercise.

    “I need to be swimsuit-ready at any time of year. And I believe that’s more than just looking good in a bikini – I now know that I look my best on the outside when I’m healthy on the inside – my skin is better, my hair is healthier and I’m in the right mindset.”

    MORE: 10-minutes to a great bum

    While Gomes has graced the pages of many international fashion magazines, it’s how she looks in a swimsuit that shot this Perth-raised beauty to fame, and she’s best known for her six appearances in the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated.

    “I’ve learnt how to make sure I look OK in swimwear fast,” she says.

    Jessica Gomes
    Jessica Gomes  Picture: Penny Lane

     

    AN ENERGISING DIET

    Gomes follows the Clean & Lean plan, created by celebrity wellness guru James Duigan, which she says is easy to follow and not “faddish”.

    “I’ve eliminated a lot of sugar from my diet and I eat a lot more healthy fats,” the LA-based model says.

    She swears by her uplifting breakfast of scrambled eggs with avocado, and agrees with many in the health world who say sugar is the devil when it comes to feeling healthy and shedding kilos, as is a low-fat diet.

    “I used to follow a low-fat diet but I was always craving sugar,” she says. “Now I’ve increased healthy fats like coconut oil, nuts, avocados and oily fish, and I feel satisfied and no longer have any cravings – except for protein.”

    MAKING FITNESS FUN

    Gomes likes to mix it up when it comes to exercise, and while pumping iron in a gym is a major part of her regimen, so is getting “incidental exercise” by taking part in outdoor pursuits she loves.

    “I’m an Aussie girl who lives in LA. I’m lucky that both places are geared up for being outdoors,” she says. “I love hiking in the mountains and every time I fly back into Sydney, I try to head straight to the beach. Feeling the sand under my feet and seeing the ocean keeps me grounded.”

    MORE: 20 ways to eat organically

    But it’s doing weights that Gomes is passionate about – and not only because of the physical effect on her body.

    “It’s important for a woman to feel strong, not thin and weak,” she says. “Feeling physically strong helps me feel mentally strong and empowers me to take on the day.

    “Lifting weights has changed the way I feel about myself. I love that physical afterburn and the energy it gives me.”

    While she makes time to do some form of exercise for an hour every day – “even if it’s just a walk” – she admits she “steps up the pace” before a swimwear shoot or parade.

    “Exercise is very important at this time. I swap more gentle exercises like Pilates for more intense workouts like soft-sand running and boxing.”

    Jessica Gomes. Picture: Tony Gough
    Jessica Gomes at the weekend’s races. Picture: Tony Gough

     

     

    HER SECRET BEAUTY WEAPON

    Gomes says the one product she uses liberally, from top to toe (and tummy), is coconut oil.

    “I treat my hair with it, I rub it into my skin and I cook with it. Coconut oil keeps me glowing and healthy inside and out.”

    JESSICA’S FAVOURITE HEALTHY RECIPES

    + Salmon en Papillote with Ginger & Lime

    5cm piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
    2 garlic cloves
    4 spring onions, finely sliced
    1 red chilli, finely sliced
    4 salmon fillets
    1 lime, juiced
    1 lime, thinly sliced

    Preheat the oven to 200°C.

    Mix the ginger, garlic, spring onions and chilli together in a bowl. Place each piece of salmon in the centre of a sheet of baking paper, and top with a quarter of the ginger mixture. Sprinkle each fillet with lime juice and top with a few slices of lime. Cut 4 sheets of baking paper, each large enough to wrap around the salmon, then fold the paper over each fillet and tuck the edges in to form a parcel. Place the parcels on a baking tray and bake for about 12 minutes, then serve.

    + Digestion Smoothie 

    250ml filtered water, rice or almond milk or equal parts water to milk
    2 brazil nuts
    1 tsp coconut oil
    1 tsp cinnamon
    10 seasonal berries
    1/3 cucumber
    Handful mint leaves, washed
    1 scoop fibre supplement

    Blend all of the ingredients and serve immediately.

    This story originally appeared on Body & Soul.