When legendary actress and style icon Audrey Hepburn passed away in 1993, she was survived by her two sons, Sean Ferrer, from her first marriage to Mel Ferrer, and Luca Dotti, whom she had with her second husband, Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti.
The brothers have since been honoring their famous mother's legacy in a lot of different ways, including setting up a charity, the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund. They've also opened up a few times about what life was like living with the actress, and have often shared some interesting things we would've never known otherwise.
More recently, Dotti has written a cookbook, a tribute to his mother, titled Audrey at Home: Memories of My Mother's Kitchen. In the book, he touches on Hepburn's favorite healthy foods, her outlook on life, and her best beauty secrets, all of which helped her maintain a youthful appearance up until her death.
Dotti sat down for an interview with Yahoo! Health to chat about his new book, and took the time to share four key things that Hepburn always swore by:
1. Staying hydrated
Drinking lots of water was something Hepburn did a lot, and insisted that others also do.
"She was really about drinking a lot of water and eating a lot of vegetables. It was a matter of how she was brought up," he explained.
2. She ate a lot of potatoes
Being Dutch and Irish meant that potatoes were a "big, big part" of Hepburn's diet. "Sometimes we tend to forget, she was Dutch, so potatoes were a big, big part of her diet. … [And] her father was Irish. Potatoes for her, they were a sustainable thing," Dotti said.
3. She had a "detox" day
To ensure her body was in tip top shape, Hepburn did a detox once a month. During this time, she would drink even more water and only eat fruits, vegetables, and yogurt. According to Dotti, she would often do it "to get over a jet lag, because you feel bloated after so many hours of sitting on a plane."
4. She was mentally young
Dotti believes that his mom's positive outlook on life helped her life to the fullest. "She was naïve in the sense that she was like a young girl," he recalled. "Every time that she found something new, or went to a market, or got a new recipe, she wasn't blasé. She was so excited, like a little girl."
Even when she was sick in bed, she was making plans for when she got better.
He continued, "She took life by the day. … She never sounded panicked by the idea of being sick. She was more worried about others, about us, about the kids. … My mother, she was really interested in living the day. She was very interested in life. Even when she was in bed, she was saying 'oh, when I get better, we have to go to Australia. It's beautiful there.'"
This isn't the first time that Hepburn's family are opening up about her eating habits.
In the August edition of People Magazine, Dotti set the record straight about his mother's slim figure. Contrary to popular belief, Hepburn, who was 5-foot-7 and weighed no more than 110 lbs. her entire adult life, was not anorexic.
“People think because she was skinny that she had an eating disorder, but it’s not true,” clarified Dotti. “She loved Italian food and pasta. She ate a lot of grains, not a lot of meat, and a little bit of everything.”
Robert Wolders, her partner from 1980 until her death, backed up Dotti's comments.
"She didn’t diet. We had brown bread with jam for breakfast, lunch would be chicken or veal or pasta, often with vegetables from the garden, and for dinner we often had soup with chicken and vegetables," recalls Wolders. "She had chocolate after dinner, baking chocolate. She had a finger or two of Scotch at night.”
Her thin frame was a result of a period of malnutrition she suffered during World War II when food was scarce. Hepburn, who came "very close to death," ended up surviving but she suffered from anemia for the rest of her life, and this kept her from putting on weight.
If you're interested in finding out more about Hepburn, you can get a copy of Dotti's book here.