I WANT MORE KIDS!
One of the food world’s brightest stars dishes about cooking and family
Chrissy Teigen has never been afraid to speak her mind. When one of her 10 million Twitter followers “respectfully” asked whether the mum of Luna, 2, and Miles, 4 months, was pregnant again as she walked the red carpet at the Emmy Awards on Sept. 17, she immediately shot back. “I just had a baby but thank you for being soooo respectful,” she tweeted.
Not that having another child with her husband of five years, Egot-winner John Legend, is out of the question. “John wants however many kids I want. That’s the good thing with John – he is down for it,” says Teigen, 32. “Are we ready right now? No! I really love having two, but I think when I’m 70, I’ll look back and say, ‘Oh, I wish I had more.’ I can’t see myself regretting having a ton of kids.”
Making her dreams of a big family a reality is something that will take planning. After struggling with infertility, Teigen became pregnant with both Luna and Miles via in vitro fertilisation (IVF). “Miles was actually made at the same time as Luna,” she says. “They were sharing the same little petri dish together. It’s crazy.” And with a number of embryos left “on ice,” there are more siblings-to-be waiting when the time is right. If she were to conceive naturally, though, “it’d be awesome,” she says. “I can’t even fathom it because it’s never happened to me. I’m totally fine with it not happening because I’ve been in a position where we’ve been able to control it – the timing and scheduling. It would be chaos otherwise – but I love chaos too.”
For now, she’s happy to have added a sibling to her family of cookbooks with the release of Cravings: Hungry for More. The book was another feat that didn’t come easily. When her 2016 New York Times bestseller Cravings sold nearly 300,000 copies, her fans couldn’t wait to see what she would cook up next. But as she began developing recipes for Cravings 2 shortly after Luna’s birth, Teigen was diagnosed with postpartum depression.
“I started looking at food and was like, ‘I’m just not in the mood.’ It’s like going to the grocery store when you’re full. You just don’t want the same things. Food wasn’t that thrilling for me,” she says. “That was one of the first times I knew something was wrong.”
Simple tasks like leaving the house were difficult. “I’d ask people who came inside why they were wet. Was it raining? How would I know – I had every shade closed,” she wrote in an essay for Glamour. “Most days were spent on the exact same spot on the couch and rarely would I muster up the energy to make it upstairs for bed. John would sleep on the couch with me, sometimes four nights in a row. There was a lot of spontaneous crying.” But with a diagnosis came relief. She was prescribed an antidepressant and sought help from a therapist. (Teigen told CBS Sunday Morning she believes she avoided PPD the second time by
eating her placenta after giving birth to Miles.) As she recovered, her energy – and her appetite – slowly returned to normal.
“When Chrissy is living her best life, food is a huge part of it,” says Adeena Sussman, Teigen’s co-author, who moved in with the couple while working on Cravings and Cravings 2. “It was great to see her pick that love of food back up and just run with it when she was feeling better.”
Teigen also resumed entertaining at the Beverly Hills house she and Legend, 39, bought two years ago, and where the cookbook was photographed. “John and Chrissy both love hosting,” says celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin, Teigen’s close friend. “They’re so good at it, and their home is just so cosy. It’s the place everyone wants to hang out on the weekend.”
The couple’s relationship is equally enviable. “John tells me I’m sexy all the time,” says Teigen. “Honestly I fight it because there’s only so much that someone can say or do before you’re like, ‘I know you’re not telling the truth.’ But he really pushes it and he wants me to know that he loves my new body or he loves the way my skin feels. When I’m feeling totally filthy, he always lets me know that he is still totally turned on by me, which is great.”
Adds Legend: “We inspire each other. She inspires my songs, she inspires me to want to be a better husband and a better father. We support each other fully in everything that we do.”
That includes not only A-list opportunities but everyday routines. Although she’s busy developing recipes, shooting Lip Sync Battle – the TV series that she has hosted since 2015 – and travelling around the world for Legend’s tours, Teigen remains grounded.
“Luna’s at this age right now where it’s so cool to be present for every little thing she does. Even driving her to school in the morning has brought us so incredibly close,” she says. Motherhood has also influenced her latest cookbook. “I was more accepting of cutting some corners, and that has to come from having two kids now. I was wanting to put together a meal that John and I could eat together but not be exhausted from making it,” she says. “So a lot of the recipes are a bit quicker and have fewer ingredients. It’s like, ‘ Wow, you can tell she’s at a different point in her life when she did this.’ ”
Christine Diane Teigen, correctly pronounced Tie-gen, as her social media followers recently found out (see box), wasn’t always so confident behind the stove. While taking classes at Orange Coast College in Southern California, she was discovered by a modelling scout at her part-time job at a surf shop.
“I wasn’t entertaining anybody,” says Teigen, who met Legend on the set of his music video “Stereo” in 2006. “Once John and I really found a home – we had a little place in Studio City, single storey, huge kitchen, tiny bedrooms – we loved to entertain. When I had a space that I was proud of and had all the tools, that’s when
I was like, ‘OK, this is awesome.’ ” Teigen turned her growing passion for food into a blog, So Delushious!, in 2011 and quickly garnered a following. “I liked that the food looked relatable,” she says. “I wasn’t a food stylist. I wasn’t using lights, and Instagram wasn’t filtering things. It was very raw and cool, and people felt like they could post anything there.”
Her unfiltered attitude toward social media extends to her Twitter and Instagram accounts, where her posts have included her post-baby stretch marks and a video of Luna proudly explaining how she “pushed a boy” during her first week of preschool.
“There is a lot of relatability in our lives,” she says. “We’re homebodies. We like to stay in. We get to do over-the-top, awesome things a lot, but we really love being a family. We really love being together, and I find more happiness in the smaller moments than those huge nights out.”
Teigen says there’s only one aspect of her life that she’d keep private. “I would never get into crazy detail if John and I were really struggling through something on a weird relationship level. I can’t imagine what that would be, but I would probably avoid it if that happens,” she insists. As she says this, she laughs, thinking of her fans: “Now they’re all going to think that it happened anyway!” The couple’s arguments are “over the dumbest things,” she says. “John loves telling me things when I’m in the midst of something – like when I’m opening up the oven and my head is inside of it and I’m checking on a roast, he’s like, ‘Hey, babe, I’m going to China tomorrow for two days.’ And then I totally don’t know that’s happening and I’m wondering ‘ Where’s John?’ for two days.”
Teigen’s relationship rules epitomise #couplegoals: Never rehash arguments (“If we say we’re over something, then we don’t dwell on it”) and never go to bed angry – or hungry.
“John watches all my TV shows,” she says. “We’re addicted to The Affair and Homeland.” Her idea of a perfect, romantic date night is as attainable as one of her recipes: “Handmaid’s Tale and a braised meat.”
“I try to stay in as often as possible, but John loves a date night,” says Teigen. “I think that’s why I love cooking – it’s to entice him to stay home”
Teigen with Legend, Luna and Miles on vacation in Bali on Aug. 11. Stealing a moment backstage at Lip Sync Battle.“I cook because I love food and I love to eat. It makes me happy to serve people”
“I wanted the food to be lighter and brighter but still nice and hearty,” says Teigen of Cravings: Hungry For More. ($18, amazon.com)
Cravings : Hungry for More, by Chrissy Teigen published by Penguin Books, RRP $45.