Love her or loathe her, as she starts her MDNA tour later this year with a Dublin bound date, there’s no escaping the fact that Madonna is in the best shape of her life. Toned, healthy and glowing, with not a bingo-wing in sight. So how does the best looking mum on the block keep herself looking so great?
Her tipple of choice is now a good pint of stout in a country pub. In a recent interview she claims, ‘it’s really important to me that I have a normal life and I do things that everyone else does’. Just a normal girl?
Well, for most of us it’s clear she’s doing something we’re not. So how can we get her glowing complexion, sparkling eyes and, above all, those toned arms?
Her road to no flab is firmly routed in Ashtanga yoga,, a high-octane, aerobic form of ‘power yoga’, and the star is the most famous exponent of its benefits, practising for two hours every day, six days a week. ‘No more pumping iron, no more Stairmaster, no more treadmill’ she says, ‘I’m gym-free. I’m liberated!’
And hand in hand with her yoga goes Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science which categorises people into three distinct personality types known as doshas – fire (pitta), air (vata) and kapha (water). All of the practices of ayurveda are geared towards balancing the doshas, because, devotees believe, when they are balanced, the body and mind are healthy. Ayurveda involves complete lifestyle changes according to a detailed knowledge of your personal consitution. Those who practise it take part in massage, exercise, diet and meditation to treat the body and mind ‘type’ together. As a pitta (fire) type, Madonna steers clear of caffeine and red meat, eating little and often, and uses essential oils like bergamot, lemon and juniper to relax and rejuvenate.
She has also succumbed to the newest health fad to hit the UK – Biological Terrain Analysis, from Dr Laz Bannock – who uses medical analysis to pinpoint problem areas in diet and lifestyle. The procedure assesses body fluids to get a picture of overall health, including ageing, immunity and energy levels. Dr Bannock (medical Director of the Matt Roberts personal training group) works on the theory that if your chemistry is out of balance, your body won’t be working at its full potential. The tests are carried out on different body fluids to build up an overall picture of health, including areas of dehydration, acidity and low immunity. Specific diet and lifestyle changes are prescribed to detox and rebalance the body’s pH levels and improve inner health.
But giving up the gym in favour of yoga isn’t the only change – her diet has had an overhaul too. Its well known her favourite drinks are 7-Up and diet root beer, her favourite snack is plain old popcorn and she has an aversion to red M&M’s. But not so well publicised is the star’s love for ginger tea to give her energy, and MACA, a South American ‘wonder-herb’ which is reported to burn fat and boost energy, health and vitality.
Her favourite dish is Toro Tartar, a scoop of raw tuna topped with Ostreta caviar at uber-fashionable New York restaurant Nobu, where she can finish the meal off with Green tea ice cream. For most mere mortals, however, the exclusive tables at Nobu are a no-no, so you’ll be happy to hear their recipe book will be published later this year.
Luckily, Madonna’s favourite Japanese foods are perfect for her macrobiotic diet. According to macrobiotics, meat, dairy products and sweeteners like sugar should be avoided, along with black tea and carbonated drinks. Good foods are grains, brown rice and pasta, seasonal vegetables, beans, soy products, white fish, fruits, nuts and seeds cooked in as many different ways as possible.
With a personal nutritionist to create her meals according to these macrobiotic, low-fat, vegetarian principles, it’s probably a bit easier for Maddy to stick to the diet than the rest of us. Which is why it’s so gratifying to hear that, just like any normal woman, her real favourites are dairy products like cheese, butter, fudge and chocolate. Never one to go
with the flow, she reportedly craved butternut squash and mooli (a long, pale sort of radish) while she was pregnant rather than the usual chocolate and cakes, but did admit to hankerings after eggs, olives and crisps, too.
You can take the girl out of Hollywood, but you can’t take the glitz out of the girl so even if she is after a simple life, it stands to reason that La Ciccone’s not going to give up a bit of old fashioned pampering. The Agua spa at the Sanderson Hotel is her favourite – offering everything from facials and reflexology to shiatsu, reiki, Thai bodywork and massage. She is a fan of the Dr Hauschka organic range of skin care, based on aromatherapy principles, and sticks rigidly to their cleanse, tone and moisturise regime. And her love of aromatherapy doesn’t stop there – she even had a personalised perfume created for her by Francoise Rapp of Arom’Alchemy whose scents combine aromatherapy with classic perfumery.
The superstar claims she eats whatever she wants, and says, ‘if you stop worrying about being fat, you will not be fat.’ But a low-fat diet, two hours of yoga a day and regular massage and beauty treatments must help.
Madonna swears by Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream, a daily moisturiser made of natural products