If the American nutritionist Victor Lindlahr had been looking for a blueprint to define his theory that ‘you are what you eat’, he might very well have conjured up an image of Maren Tschinkel. For although the German supermodel was born some 58 years after Lindlahr’s book by the same title was published, she is the very embodiment of the now famous adage.
Tall, slim, and blonde, Maren looks the epitome of health as she stares out from the magazine covers on which she features. Since being crowned Miss Germany in 2018, Maren, 24, has hardly been off the front pages of the world’s most famous fashion titles.
But she is quick to point out that she works hard to look as good as she does, following a strict routine of eating healthily, exercising daily, and staying off the booze and cigarettes.
Maren is now using her personal experience to encourage others to follow a healthier lifestyle.
“One of the most important things to know about health and fitness is that we are all individuals,” Maren, a former personal trainer, says. “There is no sense of following diets and starving yourself without knowing what’s best for your own body. Our body will always tell us what it needs and what isn’t good for us.”
This is never more acute, she says, than when you feel hungover after a heavy night out. “That’s when our body is clearly communicating with us to tell that alcohol is toxic and not good for our system. But think how amazing we feel after a long walk in the fresh air or after a workout in the gym.
“Our body is constantly communicating with us even after food. While we feel great after having a light salad, we might not feel so good after a big meal of fast food.
“It is also important to listen to your body when you feel hungry. You might be lacking proteins and you automatically will be wanting a steak or fish. In those situations, it’s important to get the right food to your body as your body will tell you what you need.”
Eating healthily has been a way of life for Maren since she was a young child growing up in Ravensburg with her parents, and she has become an expert in knowing just what her body needs to keep fit and look good.
“It is very important to understand your individual body. For my body, healthy carbs are very good and give me the right energy I need for my workouts, but I must stay away from fats because I can’t digest them very well.” Whilst you are what you eat, you are also the product of the lifestyle you choose to lead. An advocate of routine for both body and mind, Maren says: “It’s important to have a routine for your body which includes fitness and food, as well as a routine for your mind which includes taking time for yourself and doing things that make you happy.”
A daily routine should consist of one thing that makes you happy as well as a workout, even if it is just 10 minutes before going to bed. And make sure your routine extends to the meals you eat. “What is also important is trying to get a routine with your meals. Try to eat at the same time every day.” To give an example, Maren explains that every morning, at the same time, she eats the same breakfast of oats and cereals with Greek yoghurt, to give her the carbs and protein she needs. She has this fruit, for vitamin C.
Eating the right things, at the right time, has become Maren’s mantra, as well as the importance of exercise. “We really need to take care of our body. We have one body and once we ruin it, we cannot simply replace it or fix it. It is the only place in which to live.”
Once our physical health has been optimized, Maren says, our mental health will also improve. “Happiness is the ultimate goal of life, and it all starts with physical health.
“So, my message to you is this: listen to your body. Reflect how you feel after different meals, how you feel after a night out having alcohol in your system, or how you feel after a walk in the fresh air.
“Try to do more of what makes you feel good. Taking care of your body is the most important thing and needs to be on the first place of your priority list.”