Chrissy Teigen is not a fan of rules. There’s the rule about how much screen time a 2-year-old should get. (Her daughter, Luna, loves Elmo—what can you do?) The one about never eating after 7 p.m. (Chrissy likes to go to bed with a full stomach, so dinnertime is around 10.) Oh, and of course, the most important unspoken rule of using social media while famous: Don’t lurk in the comments.
“I leave little comments on my friends’ pages or random people I think I’m friends with, like John Mayer,” she says. “It makes me look pathetic!”
Chrissy walks into Malibu’s Little Beach House in full glam, wearing a floaty sundress and cradling 6-week-old Miles. Pathetic is not the first word that comes to mind. She and her husband, sure-to-be-future-EGOT winner John Legend, are renting a place in Malibu at the moment. As Chrissy settles onto a couch, I surreptitiously glance at my phone to see if she has tweeted in the 15 minutes since I last checked. (She has.) When you’re engaging with Chrissy Teigen, every update matters.
Chrissy’s suffered several recent highs—and lows
The 32-year-old has had a whirlwind two years. Born in Utah, Chrissy started catalog modeling in her early teens and scored her first Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover in 2014. Her extreme love of food and cooking, inherited from her mom—who lives with Chrissy and the family—inspired her to write Cravings, her 2016 best-selling cookbook.
Now it’s time for the follow-up, Cravings: Hungry for More (out September 18), which she calls “lighter, brighter, and quicker,” though she adds that there are still OG Chrissy recipes. Just think fewer steps, fewer ingredients, and slightly less ambitious instructions. (Chrissy can’t believe she told people to make their own tortilla chips in the original book.)
But it hasn’t been all sunshine and iconic GIF creations. In 2017, Chrissy went public about her severe postpartum depression. “After Luna, I was drinking too much,” she recalls. “I wasn’t eating as much because I was full from drinking. I wasn’t being good to my body. I remember being so bruised from nothing.” Writing another cookbook while feeling this way, she remembers, was “torturous.”
Drifting back to normal after she started taking an antidepressant, she and Legend decided to go on a wellness retreat at COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali. It was there, Chrissy says, that she felt a shift in her whole perspective. “It’s like, what could be more important than mental health? What’s more important than being proud of yourself and doing the best you can for your body?”
This time around, Chrissy wanted to create a cookbook that reflected her new lifestyle. “Two kids in, you can’t eat the way you used to. I changed, so the book had to change. With the first book, I wanted to get people out of the headspace of a 15-minute meal with less than five ingredients. Now I identify more with the people who don’t have time for that shit,” she says, laughing.
As someone who is traditionally more of a strict recipe person, Chrissy has begun to take cues from the more flexible way her mom cooks. Her goal is to empower people to have fun: “Giving people balls is one of the most important factors in this cookbook. You can take risks and still use the flavors that you love, and most of the time, it’s gonna turn out pretty well.”