Before Amy Poehler and Julia Louis-Dreyfus jumped onboard, Old Navy commercials hit their stride in the early ‘00s with model Molly Sims. From that point on, she was practically everywhere — as a host on MTV’s House of Style, the face of CoverGirl, and a centerfold in five of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issues. In this decade, Sims turned her high profile into a Goop-like space on the internet, where she delivers wellness, beauty, and lifestyle insights through her blog. After the release of her best-selling book, The Everyday Supermodel: My Beauty, Fashion, and Wellness Secrets Made Simple, Sims spoke with the Cut about her aversion to eating out, living by a diet based on blood type, and the vital importance of alone time.
How I start my day: I wake up around 6 a.m. I fix two [baby] bottles, and I have coffee with almond milk, an almond creamer, and Truvia. Between seven and eight, I’ll fix breakfast for my family. We’ll have something like brown rice, gluten-free bread, yogurt, granola, egg whites, or pancakes and then fruit. We try not to do muffins and all of that. I crave protein; it’s literally what I need for my O-negative blood type. I just feel better whether I’m having almond butter or egg whites, or avocado toast with turkey. I do the hot lemon water in the morning, but it depends — I don’t do it every day just because I drink one cup of coffee and I love that more. I’m conquering the last eight pounds. It’s just a little depressing when you can’t get back into your clothes. It’s not even like you look bad, it’s that you don’t have as much to wear because you’re not your pre-baby weight.
How I like to sweat: I work out for 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes almost every day. I do circuits. Anything like Body by Simone, Tracy Anderson, or anything with a lot of cardio mixed with leg and arm work. Each day is different. If I do one thing one day, I don’t do it the next day. I’ll run, or I’ll walk, or I’ll hike, or I’ll do Pilates. For me, the best thing for boredom is to always mix it up.
What wellness means to me: It means being conscientious about your body and your life. We spend so much money on clothes and houses and different materialistic things, and yet we spend the least amount of money on our health and wellness. It’s waking up every morning and being conscientious about how I’m going to get my body to be working the best that it can be. I look at it differently now than when I used to strictly model, because modeling was a number on a scale. Wellness also changes when you have a baby, because it’s not just trying to be a size 4. It’s more of How am I going to eat to make this baby healthy? It puts you in a completely different mind-set.
How wellness has changed for me: I’ve become more conscientious about the world, my carbon footprint, and my own sense of life. It’s so expensive to eat organic, but then I’d rather eat organic and have fewer clothes or less of something else.
My biggest wellness struggle is: I have to watch not getting enough sleep. I have to drink more water. Taking care of myself in terms of not having anything to do with my kids, for “me” time. Whether it’s getting a facial or a massage or reading a book or going to the movies — that can help me with my head. Working out also gets me out of my head.
I just met with a pretty amazing doctor here in L.A., Dr. Renna — he runs this company called Lifespan. He focused on how I think about things for an hour. He talked to me about the right now. It’s really important because I’m in a business where I have to do ten things to make one thing work, and I’ve always been in the business of never knowing where I’m going to work the next week. That’s not a normal existence for most people. It’s a very tricky way to live your life. When people say they want to get into our business, I’m like, You see an amazing Instagram app, or you see a retouched picture with full hair and makeup, but what you don’t see is what went into that and how many years of not knowing and still not knowing. It’s such a mindfuck, you can’t imagine.
My wellness shortcut is: People always get mad when you say detox or juice for a couple of days. It’s not a weight-loss thing; it’s a shortcut. It’s changing your taste buds and taking away those cravings. Three days ago I did a full day of just juicing. It sucks and I hate it, but I felt so much better the next day. I was drinking too much wine, I was having too much sugar, I just felt heavy. I double up on the water, and I double up on the lemon because it’s so alkalizing. My shortcuts are also how I travel and pack my food. I put healthy foods into Ziploc bags. When I’m more prepared, I don’t take the whole box and eat it. Always have your car stocked, especially if you live in Middle America or somewhere like California where you’re constantly in your car.
How I eat when I’m alone: I admitted to the doctor that sometimes I don’t like going out to eat because I feel like I don’t have as much control. When I’m home, I’m able to see what goes into my food. I hate being weird like that, but because I’ve had to maintain a certain weight as a goal for so long, that’s just normal.
My wellness advice is: Don’t think of wellness as weight loss. Think of whole, think of natural, think of organic. The best piece of advice is to set goals. The same way you want to do something with work or you want to do something with your personal life, set your wellness goals. Every week we try to do something different, like a week without animal protein. It’s one little thing, but one little thing adds up to two and then adds up to three and suddenly you’re finding that all your dish soaps are organic, or you find that you’re not eating as much sugar or caffeine.
This interview has been edited and condensed.