Supermodel Christie Brinkley has barely aged during the past 20 years, thanks to a vegetarian diet, careful skincare and regular workouts that include yoga.
Christie, who has a sizzling bikini body at 61, believes a vegetarian/vegan diet is her anti-aging beauty secret.
“I truly believe my No. 1 thing is that I became a vegetarian when I was 13,” Brinkley told Yahoo.” I made the decision because I loved animals and didn’t want to be a part of the slaughter industry, but I’ve been reaping the benefits of that karma ever since.”
Christie continued: “I’ve avoided the constant antibiotic injections into animals and the growth hormones. If you ask me, growth hormones are probably very aging, if it’s trying to make cattle age faster.”
Brinkley joins a growing number of celebrity vegetarians and vegans, who are sold on the anti-aging health and weight loss benefits of a plant-based diet, including Shania Twain and Demi Moore.
The age-defying effects of vegan and vegetarian diets are no surprise to Dr. David Katz, director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center.
“A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature — predominantly plants — is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention,” said Dr. Katz, author of Disease-Proof.
Dr. Neal Barnard agrees. “Studies suggest that free radicals [toxic molecules that form in the body] contribute to aging,” Barnard wrote in his book, the 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart. “A vegan diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, is full of antioxidants which help protect the body from damage by free radicals.”
Christie Brinkley, a mom of three, also said a positive attitude also keeps you young.
“The other thing that I think contributes to a youthful look is a joie de vivre,” said Christie. “I really believe that being flexible and grateful contributes a lot to your happiness, which contributes to your health, and contributes to your look. When you feel good, you look good. And vice versa.”
Brinkley said her vices include espresso, but she believes coffee has health benefits based on scientific studies that show coffee is a rich source of antioxidants.
“I bought a Nespresso machine,” said Christie. “There’s plenty of studies to support drinking coffee. I’ve always believed in a rainbow diet. As many colors and foods as you can eat, the better. And I take vitamins, like Biosil, which I take for my hair, skin and nails.”
Brinkley is also a fan of laser skin treatments and sunscreen. “I’ve had some great laser work,” said Christie. “I’ve tried a couple of different ones. I have had Ulthera. I like that it doesn’t change your face, but it increases collagen, gets rid of dark spots, does a little lifting.
Brinkley exercises every day, doing a combination of yoga and weight-training workouts. Yoga is anti-aging and promotes natural weight loss by reducing stress, building lean muscles and suppressing appetite, said Christina Brown, author of the Yoga Bible.
Brinkley, who has her own vegan skincare line, said her age-defying beauty secrets include daily exfoliating and moisturizing.
Brinkley says staying engaged with the world around her is critical for happiness and successful aging.
“I don’t believe in allowing my age to define me,” said Christie, who reveals her beauty and fitness secrets in her book, Timeless Beauty. “And I really believe attitude plays a huge part in how you feel. One of the best is to care about the world around you. That’s what really matters.”