What's Her Secret: Model and Blogger Teresa Moore
As she launches her new food and lifestyle blog, this joyful woman talks the pleasures of good food, friends, balanced living, and positive thinking.
Modeling and food aren't passions that one would necessarily assume go hand in hand. But for Teresa Moore, they certainly do. The model-turned-blogger has transformed her lifelong love of food, wellness, and balanced living into a fun, inspirational blog called Teresa Tastes. We chatted with the upbeat lady about how she feeds both her body and soul.
So, what inspired you to start Teresa Tastes? "Being a person who models, I get to travel all over the world, and I've always been interested in different worldly cuisine. My father's American, my mother's Italian, and I was born in Tonga, which is next to Samoa, and my parents lived in Japan and India and Bali, so I had quite a diverse food culture as a child and a pretty open palate, and I've always been excited about food. When I started modeling, I started traveling all over the world and tasting all these different cuisines, and I had the opportunity to try all these different restaurants, and street food."
That's especially interesting for a model! "Obviously, it's a conflict with modeling because you have to watch your weight. So that was always an interesting thing for me, how to maximize my experience with food and try keep it healthy and simple. Eventually, I saw other girls with quite unhealthy behaviors, in model apartments, girls who were bulimic and anorexic, and I was just a simple, straightforward girl who didn't even think about that sort of stuff, and I remember asking my agency, 'Do I need to lose weight,' and they were like, 'No, no, no. you're fine.' I've always been lucky enough to have a slim figure naturally, but then I started reading a lot of nutrition books and getting really into health. So, I developed a way of living, which is basically eating Paleo; fresh, natural, unprocessed food to maximize nutrition and still have a balanced diet, balanced portion size."
It's interesting that you seem to want to promote a healthy relationship with food, when a lot of people in our society tend to see it as the enemy. "Absolutely. In my industry, there's a binge/ starve thing that a lot of girls do, which is really unhealthy. Just having a basic natural food all the time is what people are leaning towards to have consistency and just be a happy person inside and to allow your body to run the healthiest way, to feed yourself with the best nutrition possible. And to have a healthy image for what your body was made for."
How did you escape the mental trap of seeing food as a negative thing? "I love food, my parents were hippies so we had good, healthy food on the table, so I feel like when food becomes manipulated––all these fat-free, diet foods and things like that, you get a confused direction on what the food is, and 'What is my relationship with it.' On a day to day basis, you're fueled by food, you get hungry, you have to satiate it but you have to satiate it with the right stuff and not be obsessed. Usually if you deprive yourself of something. then you become overly obsessed, so that's not a good place to be."
Sounds like you have a pretty grounded sense of who you are, including joy. How do you keep that going in your life? "I have studied meditation with the Art of Living, which is a center in New York that has free meditation classes, and it's a series of breathing techniques, as well as mindfulness, to kind of just bring you back to a place of being centered. And, just reading a lot of self-help books and Eastern philosophy about where you focus your attention changes how you react. And, trying to be able to control your emotions in a healthy way – instead of eating your feelings, as they say––or, remedying with other things like drugs or alcohol. More like finding a healthy way where I can breathe it out, or exercise it out, or things like having a broader sense of community. charity work, I listen to Ted.com, seeing things are bigger and more interesting, I find that problems fade away and you can focus on the good…. And gratefulness, just saying gratefulness prayers at the beginning, or end of the day, or both. Just say ten new things you're grateful for. I think that's a really satisfying and calming exercise. Because we live in such a privileged world already, that things that are very trivial can bug us out…. Putting into perspective how grateful and lucky we are was really something I needed to learn. We have to try and search for the positive."
What do you do for exercise? "Running is awesome. I travel a lot, I'm probably away two weeks out of the month, every month, so it's a great way, when I'm in a new city, I can kind of explore… I'm just not a gym person cause I feel really constricted. And I also enjoy being in nature, or just seeing people and getting out and about. And you do it the second you leave your front door so it's really efficient, and it burns quite a lot of calories! I just love running! And, I do SLT, which is a Pilates class, it's a machine that's always running away from you so you have a lot of extra tension in your body when you do the exercises."
Can you tell us a bit about your new blog? "Teresa Tastes is a curated fun blog about what are the best, most interesting restaurants in New York, places I think people should visit. It's inspirational. I also think a lot of people are confused about what they should be eating and how they should be looking after their bodies, on my about page I talk about Paleo, and the basics of it, and just keeping it fun and light, and enjoying 80 percent of the time a Paleo diet, and 20 percent of the time you can have a glass of wine, or a sweet treat here and there, and accepting it and making it fun and having a nice time with your friends. It's about living the life you want to live and finding the best things and enjoying it. Also, there's a travel section... I feel we're put on this planet to enjoy beautiful things."