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Padma Lakshmi

Michael Simon/startraksphoto.com

It's not really quite fair that someone who spends half of her time on TV chewing and swallowing should look so darn lovely while doing so.

But such is life, and Padma Lakshmi is livin' it.

The Top Chef host, author, model and mom turns 45 today and in honor of... OK, go ahead. Stop for a minute to digest that news. We know you've seen enough bikini pics of the leggy stunner to be pretty blown away... And now, moving on!

Of course it's her job to look camera-ready, whether she's sampling 12 Quickfire concoctions or wading through six courses during Restaurant Wars—and sure enough, she does. We checked, we paused, we screengrabbed. Always stunning.

But even though we could be jealous that she looks so much better eating at work than we do, we love that the now 45-year-old mother of 5-year-old daughter Krishna readily admits that it all kinda goes to hell during filming and she works hard to maintain her enviable figure.

"I love food way too much to starve myself just to look good. I will put in the work at the gym so I can enjoy what I eat," she told Fitness about two years ago, adding, "After I finish this photo shoot, I'm going out for pizza, and I'm literally going to take down a whole large pie by myself!"

And we bet she looked great doing it!

In honor of Padma's 45th b-day, feast upon these 13 times she looked PWE (perfect while eating):