Gisele Bündchen is getting real about her journey to body wellness.

The renowned model spoke with British Vogue for their June cover story about her food journey and her relationship with her husband Tom Brady.

While Bündchen may be the picture of health now, boasting an organic, nutritious, mostly plant-based diet – she struggled with substance abuse in her younger days.

“From the outside, it looked like I had everything and I was just 22 years old. On the inside, I felt as if I’d hit rock bottom,” recalled Bündchen. “I was starting my day with a mocha Frappuccino with whipped cream and three cigarettes, then drinking a bottle of wine every night. Imagine what that was doing to my mind.”

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She was suffering from crippling anxiety and panic attacks for the entire year as she continued to drink and smoke.

The turning point came when she sought out the help of a naturopath based off the recommendation of a friend. He recommended a diet of vegetables, nuts, small amounts of lean meat and to swear off sugar, grains, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes as she detoxed.

“I think those were the worst migraines I’ve ever had in my life. The doctor, he was French, would call me Adrenalina,” she shared. When she struggled with the diet, her doctor would remind her, adding, “I remember him saying, ‘Well, do you want to live?’ It was that simple.”

Giselle Bundchen – Photo: Steven Meisel/Vogue
Giselle Bundchen – Photo: Steven Meisel/Vogue
Giselle Bundchen – Photo: Steven Meisel/Vogue
Giselle Bundchen – Photo: Steven Meisel/Vogue

It’s a diet she mostly maintains to this day, preferring natural remedies to medicine when she has the opportunity.

“The idea that taking one pill can solve my problems has always felt wrong to me, because that was never my experience,” she explained. “If you put a Band-Aid on a cut, it doesn’t mean that it will go away.”

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Bündchen’s journey with her diet is one that she’s managed to pull her husband along, helping him to explore his palette.

“Tom only ate nuts and grapes when I met him. It was crazy,” she teased. “He’s not a person who dives deep, who researches. I’m very much like that.”

In fact, her relationship with her husband has always been about a push and pull. She wants people to know that relationships take work, especially after having kids together.

“I don’t think relationships just happen; it’s never the fairy tale people want to believe it is. It takes work to be really in sync with someone, especially after you have kids,” she said. “His focus is on his career, mine is mostly on the kids. And I’m very grateful that he lets me take the reins when it comes to our family. He trusts my decisions.”

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The pair share 12-year-old Benjamin and 10-year-old Vivian together, along with 14-year-old Jack from Brady’s previous relationship with Bridget Moynahan.

The Brazilian native has had a long prolific career, but at the age of 40, she’s just getting started.

“I think I feel better in my forties than I did in my twenties and not just physically, because we’re all told that life is over at 40 and I feel like I’m just beginning,” shared Bündchen.

See the full feature in the June issue of British Vogue available via digital download and on newsstands from May 24.