Healthy Habits That Christie Brinkley Lives By to Stay Youthful

14. Christie considers food as her medicine. She’s a huge nutrition nut and pays much attention to what’s in her food. She views food as a… Trista - March 15, 2021
As Hippocrates said, “Let thy food be thy medicine.” Credit: Shutterstock

14. Christie considers food as her medicine.

She’s a huge nutrition nut and pays much attention to what’s in her food. She views food as a source of healing and thinks doctors should play a much more significant role in their patient’s nutrition, saying that they should “be giving patients prescriptions for the type of food that they should eat.” She means business in her 2015 book, Timeless Beauty: Over 100 Tips, Secrets, and Shortcuts to Looking Great, where she also emphasizes that the consumers (that’s us!) have the power to accept or reject ingredients in food if we pay attention.

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Her book covers what secrets she’s learning on eating habits, makeup tricks, skincare tips, and easy exercises, but it goes deeper than that. It includes many personal stories, photographs, and a hefty heap of good humor. If you’re wondering whether Christie has written any other books, we have the answer for you. YES! Her other book, Christie Brinkley’s Outdoor Beauty and Fitness Book, was published in 1983. She was ahead of her game and knew her stuff, even then. Christie’s lifestyle is genuinely all-encompassing, and this will become even more evident as you read on! 

Doesn’t a salad sound refreshing? Credit: Shutterstock

13. This model doesn’t need to be told to eat her veggies! 

Ms. Brinkley has been a vegetarian almost her entire life; she started when she was thirteen! Christie has tried veganism, macrobiotics, and Lacto-ovo-ism. The main thing for her has been that she has not had red meat or poultry since then! There is a catch, though – she will have the occasional piece of fish. “There have just been times when if I didn’t eat a fish, I wouldn’t have anything to eat. If I’m in the Seychelles, everything has got fish tossed into it. It’s natural there.” I guess we can cut her some slack in that case, especially since fish does have many essential nutrients! 

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For lunch, she typically likes to eat a salad with protein, such as beans, while dinner also includes more salad with the added veggies with a bean pasta, rice, grain, or quinoa. Christie has raised her children as vegetarians, and she’s a big believer in the rainbow diet. She maintains lots of colors in her diet, meaning various fruits and veggies, to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients and antioxidants you can get! She also tries to avoid artificial ingredients or white ingredients, like white flour or too much salt. 

The key to exercising often is changing it up. Credit: Shutterstock

12. She likes to keep her exercise routine fun! 

We have all dreaded a workout before, but Christie maintains that the key to fighting that workout burnout is “mixing things up, maintaining variety, integrating exercise into your daily routines, and making exercise fun.” She’s in better shape than most people in their 20s and 30s, so we’re inclined to believe what she says. You may be wondering what she means by maintaining variety: she goes kayaking, plays tennis, and even skis with her daughters when they take a trip. She’s always ready for action! Plus, we can’t forget about her pups – they keep her active too.

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To jumpstart her metabolism each day, Christie tries to exercise for about 20 minutes in the morning. She may take a short run with the pups, especially on a short trail. She says it works more muscles than running on a treadmill, and it’s certainly more engaging to your mind. Other ways she’s kept active: SoulCycle, yoga, bicycling, paddle boarding, surfing, and swimming! She’s able to do all this by eating a light lunch and filling up on healthy snacks during the day. One of her favorite snacks is an apple with peanut butter or a fresh juice with kale, lime juice, orange juice, and an avocado. Yum!

A smile can change your whole appearance – and even your mood! Credit: Shutterstock

11. This celebrity is a big believer in the power of a smile.

Her mom always told her a smile could brighten up her whole face, and she took that tip to heart. Christie’s smile is a thousand-kilowatt smile; no wonder she’s a supermodel! Studies have shown the health benefits of smiling, and of course, mothers know best. Smiling releases happy hormones called cortisol and endorphins. It can also reduce blood pressure, increase endurance, reduce pain and stress, and strengthen our immune system! Smilers in workplace environments tend to be more productive at work and can earn more money on average.

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If you have a hard time faking your smile, you’ve probably been told to practice in the mirror. Instead of that, how about taking on a smile challenge, or maybe even more than one? Try one of these and see if you feel any better after a while. Perhaps you can even get your friends and family to join you! The Post-It-Note Challenge involves writing down things, people, or places that make you smile on colorful post-its. Stick them places that you’ll see each day – or stick them somewhere you’ll forget and wait for a fun surprise. The Social Media Smile Challenge consists of creating a “smile collage” and posting it. Include your favorite smiling picture, a picture of a place that makes you smile. It’s yours to customize! Tag people who you’d want to see a collage from, too. Did you know there are nineteen types of smiles? This last challenge involves taking pictures of all your different smiles and capturing those of your friends and family.

Doesn’t this look delicious? Credit: Shutterstock

10. Christie makes sure to take a probiotic regularly.

Christie may eat lots of salad, but breakfast is one meal that may not have too many greens. Instead, she takes a probiotic pill, pours the contents out over raw oats, and lets that soak in while she adds her nuts and fruits to it. She’s still staying true to her rainbow diet, of course! Protein is still a staple for each meal, especially in the morning. Sometimes she might eat dinner leftovers in the morning because she can’t handle the sweetness, but she is very good at listening to her body. She may even eat the occasional egg depending on what she needs, though she’s not too fond of them. 

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You may not have an earthly idea of what a probiotic is, but that’s okay! We’re here to help. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your digestive system. You probably know that your body has good and bad bacteria in it. The good bacteria keep your system balanced and healthy because they eliminate the harmful bacteria, which is why the occasional supplement can be a great idea. You can find probiotics in food too, so if you’re not a fan of pills, try eating more yogurt, cottage cheese, or even fermented pickles or sauerkraut! Of course, since this affects your health, you should do your research and consult your medical healthcare provider before taking a supplement! 

Eating healthy isn’t just a fad; it’s a lifestyle. Credit: Shutterstock

9. She is a big believer in overall holistic living. 

To her, living healthy isn’t just about looking good. It’s about feeling good and investing in your health and your future. “Your health is your greatest wealth,” she says. Christie grew up in a health-conscious household where carob-covered rose hips were considered candy. When she switched to vegetarianism, her whole family did. She raised her family in the same way with the mindset of “this is good for us; this is how we want to live,” instead of viewing it from a lens of deprivation and negativity. “We don’t feel like we’re denying ourselves. We feel like we’re gifting ourselves good food and good energy.” 

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Christie also hates the concept of dieting – she calls it “deny-eating.” At that point, you only focus on what you can’t have instead of how you’re bettering your life or how you’re fueling your life with good things. She also owns up to trying a few weird diets as a young model – the grapefruit diet rings a bell with many of us! “The only thing that lasts is a well-balanced diet,” she wisely advises us. Though Christie is all about holistic living and treating yourself from the inside, she’s still intelligent about treating injuries and diagnosing yourself immediately – not letting yourself suffer for no reason. “Don’t think it’s going to heal by resting,” she says.

Who could say no to a fresh ball of mozzarella? Credit: Shutterstock

8. Christie doesn’t live a life of strict eating.

Christie knows that life can’t be a hundred percent planned out, and she’s okay with that. She tries to be entirely vegetarian with a vegan leaning. However, if this actress needs certain nutrients or can’t eat a certain way because of geographic or cultural limitations, Christie understands the need to be flexible. One area she flexes more regularly than others is in the cheese department. The model is a massive fan of cheese and doesn’t skimp on it. “Life is too short,” she claims. “If there’s juicy mozzarella cheese and there’s a piece of pizza under it, why not?” 

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Of course, Christie never strays too far from her healthy eating lifestyle. Even her weakness, mozzarella cheese, is decidedly not a terrible weakness to have. Fresh mozzarella is lower in fat and calories than other cheeses, which means you can get all the flavor without blowing the calorie budget too badly. It also contains probiotics, which are not a bad thing! You do need to remember that fresh mozzarella does have a high saturated fat content. Consuming much saturated fat can increase blood cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease. 

Why ignore science’s abilities when it comes to aging gracefully? Credit: Shutterstock

7. This actress is not opposed to getting a little “work” done. 

She has been loud and proud about her cosmetic work, and rightly so. “To ignore science would be ridiculous.” She has been honest about her experiences with advances in the cosmetic procedures field. She has had Clear and Brilliant laser treatments, lip and cheek fillers, Botox treatments for muscle relaxation, and her favorite: Ultherapy. It’s a non-invasive procedure to lift and tighten the skin. She likes it so much. She has even become an ambassador for it! It uses ultrasound waves to increase collagen production in the areas it’s used on, like the neck, chin, and chest.

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As she points out, she has been in the beauty industry for over 40 years, so she has significant experience in the field. She wants women to know that it’s acceptable to change something they’re not happy with or tweak something with a new, non-invasive treatment. She has also treated the lines between her brows with a Botox-like therapy called Xeomin. “If something is bugging you, see what science and technology offer you to feel great. I think today’s modern women should support one another’s choices to look and feel our best.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

Don’t underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep! Credit: Shutterstock

6. Christie is all about getting the right amount of sleep.

Instead of getting more hours of sleep, Christie focuses on getting the right amount of sleep. She finds that she’s at her best when she gets six or seven hours of sleep instead of eight or more. More rest makes her groggy, plus a consistent routine makes her feel more refreshed in the morning. Science backs her up on this one, as it does on most of her tips! She’s a fan of watching Stephen Colbert’s monologue, then falls asleep sometime during the rest of his show (sorry, Stephen). 

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So clearly, it’s not just about the duration of sleep. The routine — and when Christie falls asleep — is important too. Falling asleep at 2 am will feel different from falling asleep at 10 pm. Furthermore, your body feels the difference. Optimal bedtime routines can lead to better executive function, better memory retention, improved focus, and enhanced cognitive flexibility. Pay attention to your sleep hygiene – aka your bedroom environment and daily (or nightly) routines that promote better sleep. They can consist of your sleep schedule, comfort level in your bedroom, and healthy habits during the day.

It’s great to keep your mind active. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Christie exercises her brain too.

She’s a believer in exercising your brain, too, not just your body. It’s essential to keep your mind active and challenge yourself to learn new things. Christie took on the challenge of learning Italian by taking at least an hour each week to study new words and practicing her conversational skills. Her goal is to speak Italian with the locals the next time she goes abroad. Learning a new language helps improve critical thinking skills and memory retention. People who can speak multiple languages are better at multitasking since learning a second language can develop new areas of the mind.

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Our brain is a muscle, and it needs training, just like our body. If you need ideas on how to exercise your brain, we have some suggestions! Memory aids are great tools to use to keep us sharp. Calendars, lists, and other reminders can help organize your thoughts much more easily. Reading is also a great way to keep our brain strong. When we read, our brains are not just absorbing the material in the book; they’re also creating neural connections and becoming more efficient and therefore making us more intelligent. The last tip we have is doing something creative – do art, do a puzzle, or even sing. Involving yourself in something artistic, or even just a hobby, keeps your brain engaged. 

Though you may want to scoop a spoonful, resist the urge and keep this for your exfoliation. Credit: Shutterstock

4. This model exfoliates every day. 

At this point, she has perfected her skincare routine. One of Christie’s secrets is exfoliating every day, which sounds pretty intensive. It is something the model/actress has done for the past 40 years, she says, and she credits it to an article she read once about men looking five years younger than women the same age. They said it was because men shave every day and the daily exfoliation with their shaving made them look more youthful, so she decided there was no way she was letting them get away with that! Her routine is a daily gentle exfoliant from her skincare line. If she feels a little dry, she’ll add in a touch of her line’s own moisturizer too, which has olive oil and honey.

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If you’re interested in the idea of frequent exfoliation, keep in mind that it’s important not to over-exfoliate. Dry brushing is a great way to exfoliate since you can control the pressure you use, and there are no chemicals involved. To dry brush, you use a coarse, natural-fiber bristle brush over your dry body (not moisturized or damp) in a particular pattern. The idea behind the practice is that the brush removes the dead skin and helps your skin eliminate toxins through your pores. You should still not dry brush more than once or twice per week, so talk to your dermatologist before embarking on any hardcore skincare regimen.

Makeup can be a fun hobby for many of us. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Christie is still a little girl at heart.

She loves to play with makeup, just like a little girl. Her go-to is a more natural, neutral, golden-toned look to warm up her skin for an everyday look. This celebrity always starts with a primer under her foundation and illuminator. Christie likes a brown liner, which is excellent for blue eyes. She prefers a nude gloss for a casual, day-time look, but if she wants to make her lips look bigger, she’ll add on a lip liner. If she has an event to attend, she’ll opt for a cat eyeliner and false lashes – Christie’s a classic gal! As far as nails go, this model prefers to do them herself since she has no patience for salons. 

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For blondes who want to imitate Christie’s look, focus on light, natural colors like beige, peach, or pink hues. Warmer tones will warm up your skin and make you look rosy instead of garish. If you are going with a bold lip, make sure the undertone is warm instead of cold. For women over 50, skin tends to be a little drier, so go for a hydrating foundation and apply a sheer layer instead of trying to cake it on to cover wrinkles or blemishes. This next tip is easy: curl your lashes for maximum effect. As you age, your lashes may become thinner and more brittle, so avoid any mascara that will make your lashes clump.

Extensions can be quite deceiving! Credit: Shutterstock

2. She wears hair extensions! 

It may be hard to believe, but Christie loves to wear hair extensions to feel like she has her full hair back. When this superstar started modeling business, her hair in a ponytail was as thick as her wrist. With each pregnancy, she explains, it became thinner and never returned to its initial thickness. She likes to use Hair2wear extensions when she goes out. To protect her current head of hair, she uses a professional line of shampoo and conditioner, plus a root volumizer. When she steps out of the shower, she rough-dries her hair upside down, then styles it however she wants.

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“When I was younger, I used Sun-In and lemon juice to brighten up my blonde color. Now I see Sharon Dorram in New York City every six to eight weeks.” Sharon is a world-renowned expert colorist whose signature style is low-maintenance, which seems exactly up Christie’s alley. If you cringed when you read about using lemon juice to lighten her hair, you’re not alone, though that was a trendy thing to do back then. In fact, there is some science behind it too! It changes the color of hair isn’t really about the lemon juice itself as much as the reaction that happens when the UV light hits it. The lemon juice’s acidity level magnifies the response. 

Wouldn’t you get a massage every week if you could? Credit: Shutterstock

1. Christie gets a weekly massage! 

She gets a deep tissue massage at her home every Sunday night. Massage therapy is not a new concept; it has been around for thousands of years and has been used to cure many ailments. Massages are also primarily accepted as both a relaxation tool and a therapeutic healing tool. Getting a massage can relieve stress, alleviate pain, treat arthritis, fatigue, and headache. Deep tissue massage therapy uses firm pressure and slow strokes to massage deep layers of muscles and the tissue around the muscles. It is also used to break up scar tissue and “knots,” which are rigid and painful muscle adhesions that can inhibit circulation and cause pain and inflammation. Massages can lower cortisol and increase oxytocin, which can relax the body and reduce stress. It has also been found that massages can be more effective in relieving certain types of chronic pain than medication. 

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She also loves to take a relaxing Epsom salt bath. When she was performing in the hit play, Chicago, she would take an Epsom salt bath each night, but now it’s more like once a month. Though there isn’t actual scientific backing for this one, many people swear by Epsom baths. Epsom salt’s chemical name is magnesium sulfate, and many users of Epsom baths believe that soaking in a bath with the salt allows the magnesium and sulfates to be absorbed into the skin. Whether this is true or not, do we need an excuse to take a hot bath? It is considered safe, easy, and inexpensive, so dive in! The only catch? If you’re using an Epsom salt bath for aches and pains, make sure the water isn’t too hot since that may worsen any swelling instead of making it better. Do you want more youthful tips? Read about anti-aging foods that will keep you feeling young