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Padma Lakshmi of Top Chef talks the workout that has changed her body at age 49

Padma Lakshmi has been busy during self-isolation from the novel coronavirus.

The Top Chef star has been taking care of her daughter Krishna as well as posting cooking videos to social media – the former supermodel is a skilled chef with several cookbooks to her name.

And the 49-year-old beauty also found time to pose for the September cover of Women’s Health, on-stands August 4. Inside, she talks about the workout that has changed her body as well as how she’s using her platforms as a megaphone to amplify the voices of other cultures on her new Hulu show Taste The Nation.

Looking better than ever: Padma Lakshmi talked to Women's Health about how she stays in such great shape

Looking better than ever: Padma Lakshmi talked to Women's Health about how she stays in such great shape

Looking better than ever: Padma Lakshmi talked to Women’s Health about how she stays in such great shape

Not bad at all: She will be 50 in September but still looks great in a bikini; seen this weekend

Not bad at all: She will be 50 in September but still looks great in a bikini; seen this weekend

Not bad at all: She will be 50 in September but still looks great in a bikini; seen this weekend

The 5ft9in wonder also commented on how she consumes upwards of 7,000 to 8,000 calories a day while judging Top Chef.

‘Those chefs are cooking to win, so they’re putting in as much lard and butter and salt as they can,’ said the TV vet.

But the ex-wife of Salman Rushdie has leaned on Pilates to keep her supermodel shape. 

‘I started going to Pilates a few years ago, because my chiropractor recommended it for my back. Pilates changed my body. It made me strong in places I didn’t know I needed to be. I have a butt now that I didn’t have during my modeling career!’ admitted the star.

Work it: 'I started going to Pilates a few years ago, because my chiropractor recommended it for my back. Pilates changed my body,' said the cover girl

Work it: 'I started going to Pilates a few years ago, because my chiropractor recommended it for my back. Pilates changed my body,' said the cover girl

Work it: ‘I started going to Pilates a few years ago, because my chiropractor recommended it for my back. Pilates changed my body,’ said the cover girl

Gone fishing: And here is that butt that Padma talked about

Gone fishing: And here is that butt that Padma talked about

The best workout for women: Pilates is know for strengthening the core and also the backside

The best workout for women: Pilates is know for strengthening the core and also the backside

Gone fishing: And here is that butt that Padma talked about. Pilates is know for strengthening the core and also the backside

The star said she is proud to be a famous female chef.

‘The professional food world is dominated by men. But most of the actual cooking of food in the world is done by women. And we women have always had to make do with whatever we can. We’re a little bit like water—we find our way because we’ve had to,’ said Lakshmi. 

And she wants her 10-year-old daughter to be just as good with a whisk.  

‘I’m trying to think through the practice of cooking with Krishna. I want to pass down more than just heritage and culture— also how to live ethically, and be kind and fair and detail-oriented. There are metaphors for life that you can find in the act of cooking,’ she said. 

Happy dance: The siren added, 'It made me strong in places I didn't know I needed to be. I have a butt now that I didn't have during my modeling career!'

Happy dance: The siren added, 'It made me strong in places I didn't know I needed to be. I have a butt now that I didn't have during my modeling career!'

Happy dance: The siren added, ‘It made me strong in places I didn’t know I needed to be. I have a butt now that I didn’t have during my modeling career!’

Her cooking style is casual and she improvised, which is just how the leggy beauty likes it.  

‘I’m very fluid with my cooking. I’m not a formally trained chef. But because I’ve been judging people for over a dozen years on television, I was afraid people wouldn’t be down with me doing this kind of ad hoc cooking [in my videos]. I’ll say, ‘Normally we use red onions in this, but I’m using shallots because that’s all I have,’ and I think that’s useful information for viewers.’ 

The cover girl also touched on having surgery to remove invasive tissue as a result of lifelong endometriosis.

‘At first, I was relieved. It wasn’t until a year after the surgery that I started getting really pissed. Like, “Wait a minute, I lost a week of my life every month of every year since I was 13 because of this sh*t, and I could have had this operation at 20 rather than 36?”

Mini Padma: She wants her 10-year-old daughter to be just as good with a whisk. 'I'm trying to think through the practice of cooking with Krishna. I want to pass down more than just heritage and culture— also how to live ethically, and be kind and fair and detail-oriented. There are metaphors for life that you can find in the act of cooking,' she said

Mini Padma: She wants her 10-year-old daughter to be just as good with a whisk. 'I'm trying to think through the practice of cooking with Krishna. I want to pass down more than just heritage and culture— also how to live ethically, and be kind and fair and detail-oriented. There are metaphors for life that you can find in the act of cooking,' she said

Mini Padma: She wants her 10-year-old daughter to be just as good with a whisk. ‘I’m trying to think through the practice of cooking with Krishna. I want to pass down more than just heritage and culture— also how to live ethically, and be kind and fair and detail-oriented. There are metaphors for life that you can find in the act of cooking,’ she said

‘I’m shocked that a health professional didn’t say, “This is weird. Your cramps are above and beyond what they should be.”‘

And Padma also talked her new Hulu show Taste the Nation. The concept was born following the 2016 election.

‘I was always self-referring to my own immigrant story, and I kind of got sick of talking about myself,’ said the Vogue favorite.

‘I started trying to find and understand the stories of other immigrants, to prove my political points. Taste the Nation is about exploring American food and how it evolves, and using food to get into a community. Because for so many of us in America, other people are deciding our narrative. Other people are telling our story in a more amplified way than we’re able to because we all don’t have access to that megaphone.’

As far as the Black Lives Matter movement, she said, ‘The only good that can come from this period of deep struggle and pain in America is a greater understanding of each other. We need every voice to play a part in making our country more inclusive.’

Smart cookie: And Padma also talked her new Hulu show Taste the Nation. The concept was born following the 2016 election. 'I was always self-referring to my own immigrant story, and I kind of got sick of talking about myself,' said the Vogue favorite. 'I started trying to find and understand the stories of other immigrants, to prove my political points'

Smart cookie: And Padma also talked her new Hulu show Taste the Nation. The concept was born following the 2016 election. 'I was always self-referring to my own immigrant story, and I kind of got sick of talking about myself,' said the Vogue favorite. 'I started trying to find and understand the stories of other immigrants, to prove my political points'

Smart cookie: And Padma also talked her new Hulu show Taste the Nation. The concept was born following the 2016 election. ‘I was always self-referring to my own immigrant story, and I kind of got sick of talking about myself,’ said the Vogue favorite. ‘I started trying to find and understand the stories of other immigrants, to prove my political points’

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