BRAZILIAN supermodel Gisele Bündchen has an angelic glow and a sunny disposition, but now, we know why.
She rises outlandishly early and starts each day by turning her world-famous face up to the sun – and I decided to give it a go.
In an interview with Vanity Fair earlier this week, Bündchen walked through her morning routine, which starts well before dawn.
Bündchen told the outlet she gets up by 4.30am, to begin her day with a "21-minute Devi prayer" and a yoga practice.
Then, by sunrise, she's out the door, going on a nature walk so she can greet the sun when it rises.
She tilts her face up to the sun, saying "hello" as it warms her skin, before walking back home to make a green juice smoothie for breakfast.
Despite the hellish early call time, that sounded easy enough, even for a non-supermodel writer-type like myself.
The night before my day of modeldom, I set my alarm for 4.30.
In an attempt at accuracy, I changed the ringer to a "Zen, flutelike alarm," which Bündchen said helps start her morning on a calm note.
However, I should've left my normal alarm (Weezer's cover of Take on Me).
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I did technically get up 4.30, but the wake-up call was apparently too gentle since I fell back asleep during my yoga.
But by 6.30, I was back up and on my feet, getting ready to go outside and greet the sun.
I waited patiently outside my building for the sunrise, which was calculated for 6.53.
Gradually, the sky lightened, but I didn't see the sun peeking out anywhere.
Hoping to get a better vantage point for some Gisele Bündchen-style face-warming, I climbed the tall hill near my apartment.
The sun still wasn't there! I said hello to the clouds, instead, and asked them to tell the sun I said "hey."
Among all Bündchen's "feel-good" practices, I was most excited to feel the sunrise on my face.
Since spring has finally sprung, I had hoped that my diligence in waking up early would be rewarded by a bright, pretty day.
But the lack of sunshine left me feeling grouchy…and cold, too.
In fact, by the time I got inside after several minutes of walking my neighborhood in search of the sun, I was chilled to the bone.
All I wanted to do was put on some thick, cozy socks, crawl back into bed, and crank up my heated mattress pad.
Instead, I put on some thick, cozy socks, shoved my feet into my slippers, and trudged to the kitchen to start breakfast.
To maintain her supermodel physique and good mental health, Bundchen said she's very mindful of her diet.
At her Costa Rica home, Bündchen is surrounded by fertile gardens that she harvests every day for her meals.
That includes a breakfast smoothie, built around healthy greens but customized for her changing daily needs.
Translating Bündchen's locavore lifestyle for New York, I made a quick detour to the deli after my failed sun salutation.
The cashier was visibly startled when I walked in. I can't blame him.
Usually, I only visit after 10pm, to procure an assortment of sandwich materials, chocolate, and limited-edition soda flavors.
But on Bündchen day, I left with a big bottle of Naked Green Machine juice to supplement the smoothie ingredients I already had at home.
I used a pre-mixed matcha latte to give my smoothie a kick of caffeine and some added calcium.
A few frozen berries upped the fiber and vitamin C, and a couple of scoops of vanilla protein powder finished off my balanced breakfast.
After mixing the ingredients in my blender, I took a sip and was pleasantly surprised.
My concoction was delicious. It tasted light (not in a salad-y way) but still sweetly appetizing (not in a vanilla extract way).
I sipped the smoothie over a few minutes, wondering if I'd finally cracked the secret of a breakfast drink that actually felt like a meal.
Unfortunately, in just under an hour, I could hear my stomach gurgling as it plead for solid food.
For me, green juices and smoothies will always be a side dish for more robust breakfast dishes, but at least I have a new recipe thanks to Bündchen.
I'm especially proud that I thought to add matcha to my drink.
I needed the caffeine to keep me upright after my sleep was interrupted and cut short.
I'm also glad that I conducted this experiment on a Friday, because by 10am, all I could do was fantasize about sleeping in all weekend.
While Bündchen's routine isn't as grueling as Kris Jenner's, Khloe Kardashian's, or Victoria Beckham's, it also isn't as laid-back as Cher's.
I didn't need to be in the gym by 5am, which is definitely a bright side!
Actually, it may be the only bright side, since the sun still hadn't come out hours after I first went looking for it.
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I'll leave the yoga and the sun salutations to Bündchen, but I'll keep the green smoothie on rotation.
However, I'll enjoy it from my bed, where I plan to remain until further notice.
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