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Rachel Hunter: You are what you eat

The model and TV star pens her thoughts on healthy eating during filming of New Zealand's Next Top Model.
Rachel Hunter

I loved being on New Zealand’s Next Top Model this week and meeting all the girls. They are really focused on the competition now, and it’s great to see everyone taking it seriously.

Although I’d have loved to have been on the photoshoot as well as the SkyJump, I got to see more of the models’ personalities, which is super-important in modelling. How you come across when you do your go-sees is a vital factor and can often be the deciding point as to whether you get the job or not.

The point this week was to make the girls face their fears.

I know all about that because I was at the top of the Sky Tower and I have a huge fear of heights. I’ve had surgery on my back though, so I wasn’t able to go out on the ledge – luckily!

The show did a great job of highlighting the fact that what terrifies one person is no problem for another. AJ was terrified of the spooky stuff and the SkyJump, but she handled the creepy-crawlies no problem.

And although Hillary was fantastic at the jump – she was jumping and freefalling all over the place – she was terrified of the creepy-crawlies. She still pulled through when it came to getting a decent shot though, which I found really interesting.

Up until nowI haven’t had strong feelings either way about Hillary as she’s been a bit hit and miss, but I’m impressed with her progress.

Seeing the girls in action is always different to seeing them on TV, and one thing that struck me was their eating habits. When Yanna was still in the competition, there was a great camaraderie in the kitchen as she’d cook for the girls, but since she left I haven’t seen anyone eat very well. There is so much bad food around!

I do worry that a lot of teens seem to live off chips and energy drinks far more than we ever did.

When I was modelling, it was drummed into me that you need to eat well if you want to succeed. Yes, you can get away with eating more junk when you’re younger, but every aspiring model needs to moderate the junk and mix it with food that will look after your body.

I always have a banana in the morning, and if I’m out for the day, I’ll take chicken sandwiches, boiled eggs and an orange with me.

Don’t get me wrong – I love a coffee, and I’m no angel. I have terrible sugar cravings in the afternoon that I’ll sometimes indulge with a chocolate bar. But you are what you eat, and I’ve brought my kids up to eat their greens – even though neither of them can resist Pineapple Lumps when they come back to New Zealand.

My son Liam is an amazing athlete, and he’s far more vigilant about what he puts into his body than I ever was. But he is very driven, and he has a goal – he wants to play professional ice hockey and he’s prepared to do what it takes to get there. So the message is easy – enjoy the treats, but be prepared to do what it takes if you want to succeed.

Tyne’s elimination was a bit of a surprise as she’s done well until now. Her leaving is going to change the dynamic of the show. She came into the house as the girl who had been bullied at school, then became the one who had the most fights and created discord. It’ll be interesting to see who takes on that role now.

Aroha can have a sharp tongue sometimes, and Bianca has certainly felt the sting from it. Bianca has shed a few tears in this competition, but she is truly amazing and to me, she and AJ are obvious finalists. They are so different to each other, which is fascinating. AJ has a huge, really out-there personality and she’s incredibly colourful, while Bianca has a habit of retreating because she still can’t quite believe she’s here. But they are both kooky, and both have a vulnerability that really works on camera.

We’ve reached a point in the competition where every girl is showing both strengths and weaknesses, and it will come down to stamina – just how well they can continue pulling out good shots.

Brigette came out with a gorgeous shot last week, but really, it’s the only truly spectacular shot we’ve seen of her. Aroha and Rosanagh have done well up until now, but they are in danger of sliding behind some of the other girls like Issy and Arihana, who are both stepping up to the plate. Arihana has a great editorial look that works well in the European market – she could do well over there.

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