When Laura Dundovic isn’t on-set or in front of a fashion photographer’s camera, there’s a good chance you’ll find the actress, model and former Miss Universe Australia working out with mates or chopping up a healthy veggie storm in her kitchen.
But this week, Laura added a new title to her belt, hosting the launch of Vaalia’s vitality collaboration with Aussie fashion label, We Are Handsome. Vaalia and We Are Handsome have teamed up to create a limited edition active wear legging, Babylon, with all proceeds going to Look Good Feel Better – a free community service program which supports women with cancer. And Laura could be more proud to be a part of the initiative.
Here, Laura shares some of her personal approaches to food, fitness, fashion and confidence …
Q. What’s your fitness philosophy?
A. “Never pressure yourself. It’s not about going to the gym every day and feeling bad if you don’t make it. It’s just about being active, like a long walk, or making the effort to move away from your desk a couple of times throughout the day. You’ll begin to dread exercise if you tell yourself to go every day, and it becomes a chore. You’ve got to enjoy those active times. For me, I love to exercise or be active with my friends. It makes it easier and I enjoy it more.”
Q. How does staying active help your health?
A. “I used to have chronic fatigue and exercise really revitalizes me. It helps me feel stronger, both physically and mentally. I’ve had several injuries too, and the stronger I become, the better I feel.”
Q. What exercises do you do?
A. “I really enjoy keeping active. I try to go to the gym at least three times a week and I train with Base Body Babes, which is really fun. It’s mostly strength training and mobility. I did weight training for years, but unless you’re doing it properly all the time, you get to a point where you need a little more ‘all over’ body training. I love running too and in the summer, I try to do soft sand running.”
Q. Do you have a food philosophy?
A. “I eat as clean and natural as possible. I prepare a lot of meals myself and try to eat a variety of different foods. I don’t starve myself. There are days when I’m really busy where I might make bad food choices, and that’s because I haven’t prepped myself. So I try to prepare meals in advance and make the right choices as much as possible.”
Q. What does your typical ‘day on a plate’ look like?
A. “I love to start the day off right, so I’ll have a glass of lemon water, apple cider vinegar, ginger and honey first thing in the morning. It’s a great kick-starter.
For breakfast I’ll grab a yoghurt and almonds, or oats with berries and cinnamon, which is good for your liver. Sometimes I’ll alternate with soft boiled eggs with avocado, cayenne pepper and lime on rye bread.
Snacks are likely to be a smoothie or yoghurt, and lunch is usually a green salad with chicken.
For dinner, I’ll put together a sweet potato, meat and broccoli meal. All delicious and great for you!”
Q. What’s your approach to fashion and trends?
A. “I like to keep staple pieces and spend money on classic items, like a good coat and jeans, leather pants and a nice bag. Other pieces are more trend based and that’s where I have a bit of fun. Unique, bolder pieces can update a look easily, even if it’s something simple like my activewear. At least one piece should be unique!
“I’m chic at night time, but during the day I’m more of a Tom boy. I love a great activewear legging and I have a lot of Jordan sneakers!”
Q. Do you dress for your body shape?
A. “When I was younger my mum used to say to me, ‘those clothes don’t suit you!’ But I wanted to fit in! Now I know my body shape and I wear what suits me.
“Every woman has something beautiful about them and that’s what you want to highlight – don’t worry about the parts you don’t like. Confidence comes from expressing your individuality – that’s what catches people’s attention.”
ABOUT: Laura Dundovic is a proud supporter of Look Good Feel Better. The limited edition Babylon design is available exclusively online at We Are Handsome for $129 until the end of February 2017 or until stocks last. All proceeds go to Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) – a free community service program dedicated to teaching cancer patients how to manage the appearance-related side-effects caused by cancer treatment, leaving them empowered and ready to face their cancer diagnosis with confidence. Women participate in a practical workshop to help patients overcome temporary changes to their appearance as a result of chemotherapy or radiotherapy. The workshop is supported by a team of trained volunteers who present skincare techniques to alleviate symptoms including dryness and sallowness; make-up tips to help with concealing redness and drawing on eyebrows; and advice on headwear including scarf styling and wig selection.
Each participant receives a Confidence Kit, including an information booklet, skincare and cosmetic products to use as tools for application throughout the workshop and to take home. In Australia, more than 125,000 people have participated in the program, which now offers over 1,000 workshops nationwide in 180 venues. LGFB receives no government funding and relies solely on the support of corporate and community supporters. Laura Dundovic