Star Beauty Secrets: Carol Alt Goes Raw
February 16, 2005
At age 44, supermodel Carol Alt looks better than ever -- so what's her beauty secret? "Extra" went straight to the source for the unprocessed answers.
Carol invited us to meet her at Manhattan's Whole Foods Market, where we found her fountain of youth: eating raw. Carol's new book, "Eating in the Raw," reveals her diet secrets; it's full of raw food dos and don'ts, which she shared, only with "Extra."
"This is guilt free eating, man," Carol told us. "It's guilt-free and hunger-free. I'm always full, that's the thing; raw food is nutrient-dense. What that means is that it is constantly feeding your body."
"My body got younger and my face got younger," Carol said of her experience on the diet. "It saved my life."
It also saved Carol's career. Eight years ago, Alt was about to do a shoot, and she admitted, "You know what, they couldn't shoot me because I was not in bathing-suit condition."
But now, long and lean once again, Carol joins other raw food lovers like Demi Moore and Alicia Silverstone. But you don't have to be Hollywood royalty to eat raw, just follow three basic tips:
Step one: Don't heat food above 118 degrees.
Step two: Read labels carefully.
"We want the raw with the enzymes,"
Carol reminded us.
Step three: Plan ahead. "One
day a week, you put together your stuff for the
week and move on," she recommended.
And if you want to get started eating raw but don't want to go totally raw right now, try these suggestions:
A) When cooking, add cold-pressed olive
oil afterward. If you're making a pasta
sauce, for example, don't use oil at all with
your tomatoes to get the sauce started. Stew them
in water and then, just before you're ready to
serve, add the cold-pressed (raw) olive oil. You'll
get the benefits of the raw oil and spare yourself
the detriments of cooked oils
B) "Sauté" in water instead
of oil -- just remember to stir more.
C) On salads don't give in to the temptation
to use bottled dressings. Mix cold-pressed
ones like olive oil, Udo's Choice oil or flaxseed oil
with raw apple cider vinegar. Add spices if you wish.
D) Eat foods you are already familiar with,
but make them raw. Guacamole and salsa are
easy to make raw (find these and other easy recipes
in Carol's book). When you shop for cheeses, look (and
ask) for the raw-milk varieties from licensed cheese
vendors. If you eat whole-grain breads, you'll love
sprouted breads. Get used to finding them in the frozen
food section and keeping them in your freezer at home
until you're ready to make a sandwich.
E) Stay away from highly-processed foods
like canned gravies and soups and begin reading lists
of ingredients on packaged foods. You'll be amazed what
sorts of strange additives with unpronounceable names
are in what we eat every day.
Finally, if all this food talk has you feeling hungry, try your hand at this special "raw" recipe:
PASTA A LA MARINARA
(Thanks to Quintessence, New York City)
5 pounds of yellow summer squash
6 large tomatoes
1/2-cup sun dried tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1/2 bunch of fresh basil
1/4-cup (loosely packed) fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4-cup red onion, chopped
1/2-cup cold-pressed olive oil
1/4-cup lemon juice
5 dates, pitted
1 tablespoon evaporated sea salt
1/4-cup olives, chopped
1/4-cup tomatoes, chopped
1/4-cup red bell peppers, chopped
1/4-cup red onions, chopped
For the "pasta," thinly slice the yellow squash with a sharp knife, or, better yet, use a turning (spiralizing) slicer to cut squash into curly strands. Set aside. For the marinara sauce, put all the sauce ingredients in a blender and puree until creamy. Pour sauce on spiralized yellow squash pasta and top with olives, tomatoes, bell peppers and onions.
A "parmesan cheese" may be made by putting an equal proportion of sea salt and raw sesame seeds in a coffee grinder and blending until flaky, like the consistency of ground parmesan.