Steal the supermodel's simple tips to stay happy and healthy this summer and beyond

By Heidi Pashman
Updated: June 14, 2012

When you start to worry about that one photo someone might snap of you at the beach this summer, think of this lovely lady. In her modeling prime, Niki Taylor was posing for up to six magazine covers a month! Now a mother of four and TV host, Taylor not only manages to find the time to stay fit and healthy, she's also raising awareness about a cause near and dear to her heart. Taylor is working with the 2012 Nexcare give campaign, an annual program by Nexcare Bandages, America's Blood Centers, and The American Red Cross, to encourage people to donate blood. Taylor became especially passionate about blood donation after a nearly fatal car accident in 2001, when a blood transfusion saved her life.

In honor of World Blood Donor Day today (June 14), we caught up with the former SHAPE Cover Girl (make that five covers!) to learn more about her passion project and to find out her secrets for staying fit, healthy, and beautiful with such a busy schedule-and how you can too!

1. Find a Meaningful Cause

Not only is Taylor's cause personal, but she feels that blood donation is essential for everyone. "Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood, and if just one percent more Americans gave blood, blood shortages would disappear," she says. It's especially important to donate blood during the summertime when people are busiest and accidents abound.

Finding meaning in something you're passionate about is a sure way to feel good about yourself this summer. In the meantime, you can go to NexcareGive.com and find a local blood center where you can roll up your sleeves (literally!) and give back.

2. Get Moving in the Morning

Taylor makes the time in the a.m. to pull on her sneakers and hit the pavement. "I get up every morning at 4:50 a.m. and put on my running shoes and go for a nice little jog in my neighborhood. I get up before everybody else," she says. "That's my time. I get to go over what the day is going to bring and I get to pray and clear my mind… It's a lifestyle now and if I don't, I feel like something's off."

This supermodel even says she feels the most confident and sexiest after she's worked out and showered-a great incentive to keep up her daily routine!


3. Switch it Up

To make sure she sticks to her daily ritual, Taylor changes her intensity every other day, "I do alternate my days; every other day I jog, and every other day I walk," she says.

With four kids and a hectic schedule, the former supermodel is happy to get in her morning exercise, but sometimes she'll also stick in a Crossfit routine. "My husband is really into Crossfit. He'll write out programs for me, and if it's raining out I'll do that one day to switch it up."

4. Stick to a Schedule

Getting up at 4:50 a.m. every morning is not easy, but Taylor is strict about her schedule to make sure she gets enough rest (it's called beauty sleep for a reason!). "My husband and I like to stick to a routine. The kids and I are all asleep at 9:30 p.m. every night. We're up at the same time every morning. So I like to get that workout done and over with first thing so I don't have to worry about it for the rest of the day," she says.

5. Make Smoothies at Home

When asked what's always in her fridge, Taylor listed her go-to ingredients for homemade smoothies, "We are always making smoothies, so we always have spinach and kale. We throw in different proteins and frozen fruits like bananas, strawberries, and raspberries."

We agree! Homemade smoothies are a great way to pack in nutrients and protein in any meal or snack-especially when you're on the go. Just be weary of commercial or pre-made smoothies, as they can be packed with sugar. For some great smoothie recipe ideas, check out these.

6. Switch Up Your Beauty Routine for Summer

When it comes to summertime beauty products, simple is better for this supermodel. "Too Faced primer. I put that on every day," she says. She also wears MAC Dazzleglass Lip Gloss. "The color is ‘Date Night.' I love it because it's sticky and it stays on all day," she says.

7. Jog Your Brain

Taylor doesn't just exercise her body daily, she stays on top of the news to keep her brain sharp. "I really like talk radio now for when I'm in the car by myself. I get the run of the daily events and stuff that's happening in the world."

Taylor's sons, Jake and Hunter, are music enthusiasts and keep their mom up to date on the latest trends. "My boys are really into music so they are always turning me onto new bands. I've been listening to Major Lazar, Subtract, and Bon Iver (because of them)," she says.

8. Make Smart Food Swaps

Taylor is always on the lookout for hidden calories-and switching up recipes to make them more supermodel-friendly when she can help it. "There's so much sugar in drinks and dressings and sauces. Try to eat at home whenever you can," she advises. "My husband and I eat a lot of clean, healthy food, lean meats, a lot of vegetables, and not a whole lot of sauces."

One of her favorite simple swaps: "We cook with coconut oil instead of butter."

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