The Top Chef hostess is growing in more ways than one

By Michael Y. Park
Updated December 01, 2009 01:00 PM

It’s about time TV foodie Padma Lakshmi put on some weight – and it’s all thanks to her coming baby and her healthier attitude about life, she says.

“One of the reasons I think I’ve gained weight pretty quickly during my pregnancy is that I’m not exercising as much as I do normally … I can’t. I’m feeling tired, and I have this business to run,” Lakshmi, 39, tells Page Six Magazine in an interview to run Thursday. “You hope that with age, what you pay for in gravity, you gain in gravitas. I’m sure my thighs looked better when I was 25, but I think my mind is better today.”

The former model appears on the magazine cover baring nearly everything but her burgeoning belly for a nude photoshoot.

Lakshmi, who once was married to award-winning author Salman Rushdie, also says that she’s still reassembling her life after their split in 2007.

“I [have been] reconstructing my life and putting it back together in a way that looked more appropriate to who I was,” she says. “At this point in my career, I’m still growing. Jewels, spices and teas – I sound like Magellan.”