Supermodel Fit with Kelly Gale

Supermodel Fit with Kelly Gale

The supermodel shares her high-energy routine and tips on eating clean in an exclusive interview and short film for V.

The supermodel shares her high-energy routine and tips on eating clean in an exclusive interview and short film for V.

Text: Brandon Tan

Kelly Gale is a force to be reckoned with—one on the runway, in the gym and in the kitchen. The Swedish-born, biracial beauty landed her first modeling gig with mass fashion retailer H&M, but it was only a matter of time before the glamazon would be swooped up by Chanel, Tom Ford, Vogue Italia and Victoria's Secret, ushering her into the world of fashion. Still fresh, at just 23, Gale is no doubt seasoned to the industry, scouted ten years ago. The model has found her ground in wellness, achieving a balance between her mental and physical health through eating clean and working out.

See below for some insight from the guru, an exclusive look at her intense routine and a gallery of steamy stills.

What’s your approach to fitness?

Fitness has been a part of all my life since I was a young child. I started dancing ballet and doing yoga when I was three, before stopping ballet at five to start playing soccer and tennis instead. That lasted until my early teens. I was such a fan of being active I ended up joining all of the sports clubs I had access to, even if I only tried them out for a couple of months in the end. It was anything from beach volleyball and basketball to badminton, rock climbing or even handball at one point.  I think a lot of people assume that fitness only means going to the gym, but to me it’s always been about finding anything active that I enjoy, and finding the balance with having fun.

I’m very lucky because fitness has also ended up being a huge part of my work, which I think of as a great luxury to have something I’m so passionate about organically integrated into my professional life. Having that love for wellness makes staying dedicated far easier as well, everything is harder when we view it as an obligation rather than a pleasure. Usually on my days off, and sometimes before going to set – I end up heading to pilates, boxing or jump rope and when that gets boring, I go rock climbing with friends or find some other activity we can tackle.

Cooking also seems to be a big for you on your Instagram, how do you eat clean without compromising on taste?

I think it’s safe to say I love cooking as much as I love sports. I love creating new dishes and just experimenting in the kitchen, but I never compromise on taste. Living in New York makes it very easy to find options that are both healthy and taste delicious as well. Some of my favorite places in the city for healthy foods are ABCv, Souen, HU Kitchen, Bluestone Lane, Juice Press, Dr Smood and of course Yasuda for sashimi. When I’m traveling, I always bring a big variety of healthy snacks and superfoods – usually opting for vegetables and fish or seafood when ordering food or on set.

I think it also takes a while to get used to healthier foods if you’re used to eating crap, or if you have been brought up eating a certain kind of way. To me, almost everything clean and healthy taste good and you can always play around and make it taste even better.

Any diet or exercise rituals that you stand by?

When it comes to both diet and exercise, I do have a few rules to keep my mind sane. One of which is not counting calories or weighing myself, it’s too easy to go crazy when you focus on numbers and if you are sticking to healthy foods and doing your utmost with exercising, there really is no reason to count numbers anyways.

I also have a hard rule against eating any cane sugar. My mom is a doctor and cancer researcher, and has spoken to me too many times about the harm sugar has on one’s health for me to not completely cut it out.  My diet generally consists of fresh, organic produce (all veggies, nuts, seafood, occasional eggs and lots of raw vegan dark chocolate) and superfoods everyday such as chlorella and spirulina. If I ever need an immune booster I have tons of ginger, tumeric and baobab. That’s kind of it for the constants in my rituals.

How about cheat meals?

I’ve never been a fan of the expression “cheat meals.” It makes the meal seem “bad” somehow, or like something you shouldn’t be having. I only eat foods that nourish my body, other foods I don’t even crave – but I do eat nourishing versions of the unhealthy stuff. Nice cream, which is ice cream made from bananas, chocolate that’s sweetened with coconut nectar, nut butters, popcorn etc. I just don’t believe that to be cheating, my body and soul needs it so there is no cheating. I guess the only cheat for me is an occasional night out drinking, which happens a few times a year.

Can you talk about the importance of physical health to your mental health?

Absolutely. Mental health and physical health are one in the same for me – they go hand in hand. If you aren’t physically healthy, you won’t be mentally healthy either – and vice versa. The mind and body is connected and when one is off, the other suffers as well.

If I’m feeling down for example, or anxious and stressed, a kick ass workout always makes me feel better. Even yoga, a massage or meditating all help to relax both my body and mind. I do wish more schools taught children at a younger age about the importance of physical activity for mental health. Talking more about it and setting up meditation classes at schools would make a tremendous amount of difference. I imagine such practices as a part of the regular curriculum would also greatly affect things like their school work and even making the overall environment a more friendly place with less bullying. Mental health issues are very real and can often times start at a young age.

Words of encouragement to someone looking to embark on his/her/their fitness journey?

Find what you love to do, and do it. It’s always good to try new things and to remember that comparing yourself to others is a road that leads nowhere quickly. Your fitness journey is your own and the focus should be on yourself and nobody else. Setting goals to work towards and laying them down one brick at a time, you will arrive at that place you are seeking. Sure, in the beginning, you’re not going to be lifting the heaviest weights or running for hours or doing 100 double unders in a row with a jump rope, but who cares? Seeing yourself get stronger, better and happier is always an incredible motivator to keep going. Don’t worry about the numbers, focus on the way you’re feeling, connect with your mind and body and don’t look back.

Credits:
Director: Shayan Asadi
Photographer: Ashton Do
Hair: Jhonatan Rendon
Talent: Kelly Gale
Production: #FORDcaptures
Location: Neo U
Special Thanks: Michelle Hu

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