What's Her Secret: Julie Henderson

The 'Sports Illustrated' swimsuit model shares tips on eating clean while traveling, boxing as stress release and the importance of good friends.

Art by Tanya Leigh Washington

As evidenced by her latest collaboration, The Julie Henderson for Au Naturale Organic Lip Palette, Hendserson believes in clean living inside and out. This busy Sports Illustrated model shares tips on eating well while traveling, boxing as stress release and the importance of good friends.

What does wellness mean to you? "As I've gotten older, I've been more aware of wellness, and more interested in taking care of my body, mind and soul. It's more than just what you eat and what you drink—it's a way of life."

As a busy model, how do you maintain that well-being on a daily basis? "With my job and traveling all the time it can get rather difficult, being on a location in the middle or nowhere and wanting to eat organic. So to be realistic, there's only so much you can do….I'd say, trying to eat really well and clean, working out and doing something that makes you feel good inside and confident. People are different, some people like a yoga class where you stretch it out, and some people like really sweating out the toxins and wanting to cleanse everything. I like a little mix of both. I like to feel like I'm cleansing something by sweating a bit, but yoga and something a little bit more calm is also good for relaxing and meditating."

What's your fitness regime? Any favorite workouts? "I wish I could tell you I work out every day but let's be realistic, I don't think anyone does. I try to as much as I can. With traveling it's harder, you're jet lagged and all you want to do is sleep. You've got to listen to your body, otherwise you're going to run it down and get sick. When I travel, I find exercise is the best remedy for jet lag. Even a 20-minute workout, like a walk in the park, a jog or a yoga class—something to get your blood flowing really helps. I like to mix it up! You've got to keep your mind interested in what you're doing as well. I like to change between either running or a barre class, a boxing class, a yoga class. During summer it's really beautiful outside, so I like to be more active outside, riding a bike or going for a swim. If you keep your mind open and try new things, there are all these possibilities of keeping yourself active."

Which also offers some great mental benefits, right? "Absolutely. I think it's really good for your mind, too. Last winter I was boxing quite a bit, I really loved it. I thought it was so fun and great, and also a good way to release stress. If you had a really bad day and you punch the bag, you feel so much better!"

In terms of inner beauty, what else helps you feel balanced and happy? "When I feel stressed and aggravated, like yesterday, you know you have one of those days where you just wake up on the wrong side of the bed and everything was just not going my way. I was like, 'What can I do?' Take three deep breaths, that didn't work. It was one of those situations where I had to pick up the phone, call a really good friend of mine and just vent—let it all out, like word vomit, in a way. And after that, I felt a thousand times better. Having friends and family who can be there for you and share experiences in life with you, bad or good and everything in between. [It's better when] you have a buddy to share it with."

What's your diet like? "Well, I try to eat as many greens as I possibly can. And that can sometimes be a really hard thing to do. Because either you're out and about and people just want pizza, or burgers, I'm like, 'Can I get a salad?' And I find when I travel, with the planes and the jet-lag, I always just want something really pure and clean in my body. Your body feels so gross from the plane, you're bloated, you're dehydrated. I just want a huge salad, even if it's 6 in the morning. I try to eat organic. When I know I'm going somewhere [on a shoot] and I know the catering on the location isn't going to be great, I try to pack a little granola bar or maybe a smoothie or a bag of almonds, just something to keep myself going. When you eat badly, you feel it, you feel gross inside. Which affects your confidence and your presence."  

Yup, our insides definitely show on our outsides! "It's so true what they say, 'You are what you eat.' It goes back to when we were kids, and teachers and parents were trying to encourage you to eat better. I was like, 'What are you talking about, I'm not a chicken nugget!' But as I got older, I see that even drinking enough water can make a difference."

How does your organic approach relate to your lip palettes with Au Naturale? "This whole cosmetic line really sparked my interest when I found out it was vegan, gluten-free, paraben-free and cruelty-free. And learning that what you put on your face goes into your skin and into your blood—fifty percent of what you put on your face goes into your body. You read some of the things you put on from your day-to-day makeup, and it's absolutely disgusting. I'm so proud and happy that it's so clean you could almost eat it, like candy! It's just a cleaner way of life, which goes with my mentality. You don't have to give up good beauty products to live a healthy life." 

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