Supermodel Icon Christie Brinkley Tells All About Enjoying Life and Her Dedication to Vegetarianism to Maintain her Youthfulness

From appearing on over 500 magazine covers in her career to turning heads and leaving hearts aflutter in “National Lampoon’s Vacation”, she’s been the woman of our dreams for as long as we can remember. Now, after an unbelievable 50 years dominating the modeling industry, the legendary Christie Brinkley is still one of the most beautiful people on the planet, both inside and out.

Amazingly, after a career that includes being the face of COVERGIRL for decades, starring in “Chicago” on  Broadway and stealing the show on TV favorites like “Parks and Recreation”, Christie’s biggest claim to fame is her unbelievable heart. Whether she’s battling on the front lines with PETA against animal cruelty, being an ambassador for SMILE TRAIN or launching healthy brands and products like her Bellissima Prosecco Organic Wine, she’s still doing what she loves most – using her fame to help our world become a better place for all of us.

From memories from her early days in front of the cameras to the secret power of mushrooms, Christie took time out of her amazing NEW YOU cover shoot to share stories, advice and laughs about her life, her career and her many secrets to health and happiness.

NY:   You have been an icon in the modeling world and beyond for so long. When your career started, did you ever think that you’d experience this level of success?

CB: When my career started, I could never have believed that I’d still be doing this, approaching my big 7-0! In 1976, I became the face of COVERGIRL for 20 years until 1996! But in 2005, again I became a spokesperson for COVERGIRL’s new anti-aging Advanced Radiance Compact Foundation. It has been and amazing experience and I’m so grateful.

NY: You’ve been named one of the most beautiful women in the world by countless publications over the course of your amazing career. How much of a need have you felt to live up to that standard when out in public, and has that feeling changed over the years?

CB: Who can live up to that billing? No way. But I do like to hear it (laughs). Thank you.

NY: You don’t become an icon in the modeling industry and beyond without evolving and reinventing yourself…What was your most important “NEW YOU” moment, both personally and professionally?

CB: I am writing a book right now – an autobiography – and it’s made me realize that I’m constantly interested in doing new things.  Discovering new things, learning more, going in a different direction. That’s what I hope to keep doing, just constantly seeking out new things, new adventures, new things to try. It’s hard to nail it down to one thing, but I think it’s important to keep doing that.

I look back at my life. I realize that one of my trademarks is constantly looking for new boulevards, new adventures, and new challenges.

NY: How has your dedication to vegetarianism helped you to maintain your health and youthfulness?

CB: I became a vegetarian when I was 14 years old because I didn’t want to be a part of the violent slaughterhouse system. I love animals and I find that I have been literally reaping the good karma from that.

I found out that I have avoided all the antibiotics and growth hormones that they pump into those animals to get them to the marketplace faster. It’s really important for people to think about at least not eating meat a few days a week, if that’s all you can do, because it’s so much better for you, but also for our planet.

NY: You have been very active over the years in everything from politics to animal rights. Why has it been so important for you to fight for the causes you believe in?

CB: Well, I think at a certain point you realize that with a certain kind of notoriety or celebrity comes the attention of the media, and you can use it to talk about yourself or you can talk about the world around you. I prefer to talk about the world around me and offer up some ways that we can make it better together.

NY: From gracing national magazine covers to promoting your amazing products, you have always shown an infectious enthusiasm for everything you do. How have you developed and maintained such an amazing energy level throughout your life?

CB: I think being a vegetarian, for one thing, has given me a lot of energy because I wasn’t going to be eating the animal protein. I knew instinctively that I needed to find other ways to have good nutrition.  I have a real awareness of how food is fuel, and can really fuel your day with the good things that you eat. I always follow a Rainbow Diet. I love Sakara Life, I even have a code to get 25% off: SakaraxChristie.

Also, I find that my enthusiasm for life, for adventure, for everything, stems from my true gratitude for each and every day that I’m lucky enough to have. I think my enthusiasm stems from this real gratitude for wherever I am, for the people around me, for everything, every aspect of my day.

I also think that my enthusiasm for the products that I endorse comes from the fact that I always ask myself, “Will it make somebody’s day better or happier?” And if I feel that, then I know I’m on to something, and that makes me enthusiastic about going to work.

NY: You have been a very notable and loyal member of the Long Island community for many years. What makes Long Island a special place to call home?

CB: I’m originally from the West Coast. I grew up in Malibu. I love the ocean. I love nature. When I came out to the East Coast and went to the Hamptons on a modeling assignment, I just could not believe the natural beauty of Long Island.

The shoreline is so jagged. You’ve got the bays on one side, which we don’t really have in California. You can shove off from a shore on a little boat and then pull up in a restaurant in another village, and that’s so magical to me.

You can go kayaking, you can go windsurfing, you can go to different towns and inlets, and it’s so amazing. There are windswept beaches with giant sand dunes and gorgeous beaches, and it’s spectacularly beautiful with farmland and giant old trees. I feel so lucky to live here.

NY: What are some things that you do every day to look and feel your best?

CB: If I’m home, I like to like watch the morning news and catch up on all the world’s events. Then, I’m ready to start my day. I love to spend a little time in nature every day. If I’m going to the grocery store, I might also stop at the beach and catch the sunset before I head home, take a walk in the woods, or spend time with my chickens.

I make my own honey and I have bees. I love touching nature like that… it recharges my batteries.

I also love to start my mornings with my cup of coffee with RYZE, which is made with apoptogenic mushrooms, so it gives me a lot of good energy as well.

As a vegetarian and being aware of health and nutrition, I read so much about ancient Chinese medicines that incorporated a lot of the mushrooms.

I love the RYZE mushrooms because it’s so easy to throw it into my coffee.  I’ve had a lot of injuries. I was in a helicopter crash and injured a lot of my body. Injured ribs can give you arthritis and stiffness. Since I’ve been having the mushrooms in my coffee, my shoulders are moving again and my hips are swiveling again, so it’s great!

NY: You have experienced countless photo shoots like this over the course of your career. Are there any funny stories you can tell us about one of those experiences?

CB: Oh, gosh, where do I begin? I mean, well, one of my favorites was when I was on a photo shoot on a boat with Sports Illustrated, and they wanted me to climb up on this type of sail called a spinnaker.

I’m just in this little, teeny scrap of a piece of material that they were calling a bathing suit. I’m holding onto a rope, and then the giant spinnaker goes out and lifts me up high into the air, like maybe 40 feet above the bow of the boat. They needed a dumping line, which is a line that they can pull on one side to dump some of the wind out to bring me back down, but they forgot to tie it on.

I’m up there in the air going, “Okay, ready to come down!” And they said, “Well, you’re going to have to jump. Just make sure you don’t land on the boat!” So that’s what I did (laughs).

NY: How have your priorities changed over the years, both personally and professionally?

CB: I really prioritize friends and family. I think it’s really important to make time to relax and laugh and catch up with each other. That’s what gives me the greatest joy, and it’s really important to prioritize joy.

NY: You’ve launched your brand of Organic Prosecco – Bellissima Prosecco. How do you decide what types of products and companies to give your stamp of approval to?

CB: I am all about celebrating everything that you can celebrate. Hey, it’s Monday. Let’s celebrate! That’s what opening up a bottle of Prosecco or a bottle of wine, but especially my sparkling prosecco, because it makes that noise, which is just so celebratory. As soon as you hear that popping, spirits lift as the corks fly, you know?

I was really, really thrilled that my wines are all made with 100% organic grapes. Grapes are one of the dirtier fruits, so it’s a no brainer that you want your wine to be organic. We’re also vegan, cruelty free, and non-GMO.

To top it off, our runaway hit was when we put out a zero sugar prosecco and people fell in love with it, so this year we expanded our line and we just put out five delicious wines that are all organic, vegan, non-GMO and zero sugar. It’s practically health food. It’s just clean, crisp, delicious wines.

NY: What types of foods or snacks do you indulge in to treat yourself?

CB: I have to admit, I would swing by Carvel and they have these things called flying saucers, which is sort of like an ice cream sandwich. I watch the news and I think, with all the stress in the world and everything going on, why not. But now I’ve weaned myself off of them and I’m feeling much better.

NY: What advice would you give any of us looking to develop a Supermodel level of confidence?

CB: I always say smile. A smile is the best thing you can put on your face because a smile can literally have the power to elevate the mood and light up a room. Well, that and my COVERGIRL Melting Pout Matte Liquid Lipstick (laughs)!  I’ve said to my kids ever since they were little, “You guys just put your lips in a smiling position and it instantly makes you feel better,” and now science has proved me correct. If you put your lips in that position, they have proven that it releases feel-good hormones in your body. So it’s good for you to smile, and it’s fun!

HAIR BY Mitch Barry
MAKEUP Moyra Mulholland
STYLING BY Deborah Watson

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