Padma Lakshmi on Fun, Food, and 40

Top Chef host looking forward to a decade of motherhood and personal time.

Padma Lakshmi of Top Chef
Oh, that we could all be this together at 40 (or ever, really). Padma Lakshmi hit the 4-0 in September, and the Top Chef host recently told Cosmopolitan that she expects to use the decade ahead to add some personal time to her professional successes.

"In your 20s, you've finally got your freedom and you're anxious to experience everything about life. And your 30s are about finding out how to put that into action and developing who you are. My 30s were tiring!," she tells the mag. "I've only just turned 40 in September so I have yet to discover what this decade is about. My only resolution is to be the best mom I can and to have more fun, to just really play and have personal time."

Not to say that being a part of Top Chef isn't considered play time. She told Cosmo that food is a very personal subject for her, and one that's been a vital part of her emotional memory from a young age. "My earliest memories of food are eating spicy and sour Indian pickles at my grandma's house in Madras when I was two-years-old," she said. "I have always had a curious palate and the nose of a bloodhound, and I think it's what stimulated my interest in food."

So how exactly does someone with such an intense interest and exposure to food maintain such a supermodel bod? Apparently a level head and dedication to consistency. "You have to work out a balance -- if you overdo it one day, you have to make up for it the next," she said. "Find real solutions that work for you on a consistent basis."

And according to Padma, beauty is way more than skin deep, regardless of your age. "It's nice to be attractive, but at the end of the day that's no accomplishment," she said. "I look the way I do because my parents' genes got together and made me and I try my damndest to preserve what nature was kind enough to give me. ... As you grow older, what makes a woman really alluring is her humanity, her intelligence, her compassion and her humour."

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