By Chere Di Boscio
Former supermodel Carol Alt has come a long way. Far from her days as a 90’s party girl, model and actress, she’s now transformed herself into something of a raw eating/health guru, and now hosts her own show, Carol Alt’s Living Room, on the Fashion News Lifestyle Network via Amazon Prime.
We love that Carol is into clean beauty – she makes her own shampoo, and when she runs out of moisturiser, she just subs in some olive oil. She’s written several books on raw eating, including Eating in the Raw; A Healthy You; This Year’s Model and many more.
Eluxe Magazine: My first question is, of course, how did you come up with the idea for Carol Art’s Living Room?
Carol Alt: Well, actually, you know, Rocco Leo Gaglioti (who owns the Fashion News Lifestyle Network) and I have known each other since about 2002. I came back to New York. I was doing films for a long time so I didn’t feel the need to live in the city. I lived in Connecticut. I was traveling the world. I was never home. And then at one point I was on the set of a television series I was shooting in Toronto and I just thought, you know I need a life.
So I, yeah, I literally stopped what I was doing. I didn’t want to take any more leads in anything. I wanted more like second or third leads because they had less responsibility and they had more free time because I needed a life and then I decided I want to be by my family, so I came back to New York.
At the same time, Rocco was doing his show. He said to me, “I am doing this whole network thing,” and I was like, “Oh this is very cool. Let me, you know, when you’re ready, we’ll talk, but let me watch you, watch what you’re doing for awhile.” And then he approached me again and said, “You know, what are we waiting for?” I said, “I don’t know. I was kind of waiting for you.”
Eluxe: He’s great. I love Rocco. So it’s in your living room?
Carol Alt: So he was like, “What do you want to do? What do you think we’re going to do? What do you feel like doing?” I was like, “I want to do something more intimate.” And you know it’s funny because that’s really what all the people who came to be interviewed with us, that’s the one thing they said that made them want to do the show more than other shows. It was the fact that it was in my living room, it was intimate, it was all about them but it was an intimate show. And I like that people like that.
Photographed by VITAL AGIBALOW for HENSEL
Eluxe: Actually that reminds me, who have been some of the guests on the show so far?
Carol Alt: Well, we’ve only done the first 7 and we’re trying to figure out what our niche is, of course. So we had Ralph Rucci, Nicole Miller, Zang Toi, Iris Apfel. You know people who have interesting stories. They didn’t just want to talk about, “Oh I did this thing in fashion, this is how I did my launch.” I found people who had really interesting stories. Irina Pantaeva. Literally Irina came out of the Ural Mountains, the Ural Mountains in Russia.
Carol Alt: Yeah, with no background of and no connections in fashion. Nothing. Just this girl with a face. And snuck into Chanel and did all these crazy things. And it was just awesome to talk to all these great people with really, really great stories.
Eluxe: It sounds like you got some good people. And so, I mean how can people watch the show because it’s on Fashion News Lifestyle Network, right? And so, how can we access it?
Carol Alt: FNL is actually on Amazon Prime. You know how to do Amazon Prime, right?
Eluxe: Of course! Ok, so you’re filming this in your living room; so wasn’t it kind of weird? I mean, you got a whole crew in there and you’re like a Kardashian or something?
Carol Alt: You know, it’s funny you would say that. No, I didn’t feel like a Kardashian at all because I have a pretty big living room. So, there was plenty of space for everybody and everybody was relaxed and having a good time. And you know, like I said, so many people responded to the fact that it was in my living room. That was what they were responding to that just everybody came right in. And were right at home. They were putting their feet up. I mean my cats come in and out.
Eluxe: Cats! Yay!
Carol Alt: Our little rescue kitties, they make an appearance. One of my cats jumped right on Iris’ lap.
Eluxe: That’s a good sign.
Carol Alt: Yeah. So it was nice. It was really, really nice. At one point, Jay Manuel said to me, he said, “You know what, I feel so comfortable here, I actually want to tell you what happened with the Tyra Banks,” and he let loose of the entire story, “but you know so many people have been trying to get this out of me but I was never comfortable enough to speak about it and I’d really like to speak about it here.” I’m like, “Well, you’re here in my living room. Go for it.”
Carol Alt: And he did! It was an amazing story. You know, he’s had an amazing life and an amazing career. And it was just really great that he felt comfortable enough, you know, in my life room “quote and unquote” to tell the whole story.
Eluxe: Wow. He’s had a long trajectory with Tyra (Banks). Wow. So that would be a very interesting episode to start off with, I think.
Carol Alt: The thing is, is that the show is actually, you know, we’re trying to make it kind of documentary style.
Eluxe: In what sense?
Carol Alt: In the sense that, so that people who are on the show we’re basically doing documentaries of their life. I am not just saying, “Oh you know, tell me about your career.” I’m saying, “You were born in Pennsylvania but, you know, you were in France. You were the first person to show in France and that’s kind of amazing; I always thought you were actually French.” And, you know, going from there. So, the whole point of the little interviews is that each one is actually a documentary.
Photographed by VITAL AGIBALOW for HENSEL
Eluxe: So, let’s move on to food. You’ve been eating raw for quite some time now, right?
Carol Alt: Yes. I’ve been doing this since, let me think, 1996.
Eluxe: Oh my gosh! Wow. Well, that explains I guess how you’re looking so amazing probably. So exercise, raw diet. But when did you start getting interested in more natural living?
Carol Alt: Well, what happened was, I was on the set of a project that I was working on and basically they were using my name, it was Carol Alt and Friends in the Amazon. And it was back in the day when they were burning the Amazon and I was trying to do something and, you know, help people, save the animals…that kind of thing. And I came back from the trip early because literally on the trip they pulled my manager over and said she is not in bathing suit condition. Which was mortifying to me because I had just flown in the night before and everything was fine and now all of a sudden, I’m like the little fat girl on set.
I couldn’t do anything. I was bloated. I didn’t feel good. I didn’t really understand what was happening. So I left the set and I flew back to LA. I kind of went into seclusion and frankly I started praying. I was like: holy mackerel I’m dying. I remember when my father died. He secluded himself away, he didn’t feel like being around people. And he said, “Carol Ann, when I didn’t feel like being around people, I should have known something was wrong.” And I’m sitting there going, you know, I don’t want to be around people. Don’t call me. Leave me alone.
I went to Palm Springs. And out of the blue, a friend of mine called me and said, “You know, you’re the healthiest person I know,” at which I rolled my eyes at, because I literally was not feeling good. And he said, you know, “My girlfriend, 22 years old, they wanted to do a radical hysterectomy, a radical mastectomy on her. And I just thought there had to be a better way. So I took her to this doctor I met. He put her on this and that and the next thing I know she had a negative biopsy. So, what do you think? You should call him”.
Of course, I rolled my eyes because, you know, I used to call it ‘the studio pipeline’. The studio pipeline was that one person got their claws into like an accountant or doctor, got their claws into somebody in the industry and then the next thing you know, they’ve got everybody and then they rip everybody off.
Eluxe: Oh my gosh.
Carol Alt: I would stay away from anybody who came down studio pipelines. Well the next thing I know, my inner Carol is saying: what are you doing? You have been asking for help from God and then this comes along, you’ve tried so much other stuff way less worthy. Why not just give it a shot?
So, I called the guy that he gave me the number for, his name was Dr. Timothy Brantley. I started to telling him what I ate. And after, he stops laughing at me because he was like: how you surviving on that? he basically took me under his wing and he literally became my guru. I just couldn’t get enough of the information. Because I knew in my heart of hearts that this information was the most important information I was going to get in my life.
Eluxe: What were you eating before?
Carol Alt: I would start my day with…well, I was having a white pizza bread. My driver would show up in the morning with white pizza bread for me and that was…I looked forward to my white pizza bread. My favorite thing in the morning would be a scotch and coffee. People would be like, oh my God, you’re drinking scotch in the morning. You know, it was one shot. It was, you know, my favorite thing in the world. I’d have one shot and then I’d start my day.
And what he (the doctor) taught me was, I was adrenal blown and I was hypoglycemic. So the coffee with the caffeine was draining my adrenals even more even though it was kicking me to get out of bed. And whether I did white pizza bread, a bran muffin or a croissant or a shot of scotch, whatever I ate, it was sugar to the body and I was basically hypoglycemic.
So, once he taught me all of that, I was able to undo everything that I had done. I started my day with a gigantic breakfast. I had breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dinner like a pauper. That’s what I teach that in my books. It’s really important to start the day with a heavy duty breakfast because you don’t get hungry and when you stop and eat lunch, you’re not thinking with your tummy. You’re thinking with your head.
Eluxe: Tell me a little bit more about your typical meals today. I mean, it’s definitely no longer coffee and scotch.
Carol Alt: No. No. Today, I had green tea for breakfast with a raw bar. I do a raw egg, but I’m extreme. Okay. So I do raw eggs and I do a raw protein powder with mushrooms, you know, powdered mushrooms. And my lunch which I was trying to scarf down is a salad. I do really big mixed salads. So, I’ve got cabbage and broccoli and lettuce, 3 different kinds of lettuce and avocado, onion, hemp seeds, dehydrated pumpkin seeds, Udo’s Choice oil, a little olive oil as well, sea salt, beans, you know, I mean.
Eluxe: Nice. I know you can eat so well.
Carol Alt: I lack for nothing. I mean, I eat more now. I eat like a queen all the time.
Eluxe: So basically for the show, just a little bit more information. You’ve got 7 episodes so far and are you are working on a second season?
Carol Alt: Yes.
Interviewer: Good to hear! I really look forward to seeing those! Thanks for speaking to us, Carol!
Carol Alt: You’re most welcome.
For more information on Carol Alt’s Living Room, please click here.
All images: VITAL AGIBALOW for HENSEL
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