Video Transcript: Raw Rules: When to Go Raw Part 1
Carol Alt: Hi, thank you so much for being here today. I want to thank Ty and Charlene. And Bryce, Brianna, Tabitha, and Charity, their kids, for actually talking me into coming to speak today. I also want to thank my manager for making the time in my schedule. Mary Beth Gonzalez who actually—
Okay. So Mary Beth Gonzalez, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, one of my gurus, put this together for me. And my girlfriend, Sofia Carson for bringing my service kitties to my room last night because I was very nervous about speaking. It’s been about, I think about, eight years since I’ve spoken last. And I said to Charlene, I said, “You know, I think that everybody knows about nutrition now. Everybody knows about raw food. Isn’t that kind of an old topic?”
And Charlene said to me, “Well, you know I don’t think so. I think that in reality people don’t know anything about nutrition because they’re confused. There’s so much information out there, there’s so much going on, there are so many different diets, and there’s so much happening in the health and nutrition world that maybe we just need somebody who has been through it all.” And I been through it all. And I lived to tell about it and believe me that was no easy feat.
I know you’re going to look at me and say, “oh, supermodel.” That’s just a title. Underneath this, I am a woman who struggled with health issues since she was a kid and who’s now struggling with this thing to move on. Why is this not going? Oh, there it is. Okay. So my rough start. So here I was, the daughter of a fireman, off of Long Island, a chubby little thing, or as my mother put it, I was “zaftig.” That was a very polite way of putting that I was kind of fat, but I was in the Army, Army ROTC.
Yes, thank you for our troops. And my boyfriend broke up with me and I had to get off Long Island. So I went into the city, was discovered by an agent and started modeling, and knew nothing about health and nutrition. I was just this fat, little teenager who needed to lose weight back in the late ’70s, early ’80s. But nobody really knew anything about nutrition.
So what did I do? I stopped eating. That seemed the easiest way to lose the weight and I did. I lost 50 pounds, 50 pounds. When I was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, this was one of the shots from Sports Illustrated, I was 115 pounds and 5’11”.
I had done that simply by not eating. And that wasn’t the easiest thing to do because I wasn’t going out to dinner. When we broke for lunch, I didn’t go to the lunch table. I had no social life but I didn’t know what to eat. I grew up on pizza, I grew up on Chinese food, I worked at a bakery. Thank you very much. I put on about 20 pounds at one point. And I thought that that was the way life was supposed to be. Just stop eating and then I fainted on set.
And thank goodness that I’m not sure if it was Elle Macpherson, who was here last night, or Kelly Emberg, somebody picked me up off the set and I just kept going my very merry way thinking that if I don’t eat, I will just stay skinny.
The issue with that was that by the time I was 35, I was shooting in the Amazon Rainforest, supermodels in the rainforest, and I didn’t like what I looked like anymore. I had no energy, I was hiding behind rocks to be shot. It was Carol Alt and friends in the rainforest and I was the only one they weren’t photographing. I saw this 22 year old girl who was jumping around and so much energy and she just felt so good in her skin. And I was looking at her thinking, “what happened?” I started out like that at 22 or 23, and now at 35, I have no energy, I feel tired and bloated, I could see the changes.
I could see the wrinkles coming, the gray hair, the inability to lose weight, all those things. I was taking Tums— here we go. I was taking Tums to take care of my indigestion and yes, I was starting my day off with a Scotch and coffee. And sometimes a bran muffin and sometimes a pizza bread and by the way it’s all kind of the same thing because it’s all sugar.
So I was living on caffeine and sugar. I had hypoglycemia, I started getting really bad allergies again…
I thought, wow, I’m in a business of young, beautiful people who are coming up and usurping jobs from me. I really need to do something here to save my career. A friend of mine called me and said, “You know, you’re the healthiest person I know,” which almost knocked me over. I rolled my eyes but he couldn’t see me because he was on the phone. And I’m like really. I’m the healthiest person you know. If I’m the healthiest person this guy knows, we’re really in trouble.
I’m like I’m having all of these issues but okay, tell me what your story is. He said, “I’m working with a doctor. My girlfriend, they wanted to do a radical hysterectomy, radical infarctectomy on her because she was covered in cancer.” And I just thought there has to be a better way than this. So I brought it to my friend who is a doctor. I was editing his video and I thought, “let’s see what we could do.” After six months, she got a negative diagnosis, but that was positive. She was clean and I thought yeah, yeah, whatever.
Like I don’t want to listen to another person that comes through what we used to call a “studio pipeline.” It would be one guy who’d get into all the models and all the photographers and rip them all off. And I thought, whatever. And I hung up the phone. And then this little voice in my head said, “you know what, you’re sitting here praying for something new and different to happen. You’ve tried every diet from the Beverly Hills diet, I mean there’s nothing worse than frozen blueberries when they’re out of season, Beverly Hills diet.”
“You’ve tried Weight Watchers, which doesn’t work if you’re a very busy person running around because you can’t be counting calories and all this kind of stuff. You’ve tried starving, but you are not healthy. You’re skinny, but not healthy, and it’s starting to take a toll.” So I was like all right, “what have I got to lose?” Picked up the phone, called this doctor, left a message.
He called me back and he said, “So tell me what it is you eat?” I was like what? You’re not going to ask me what’s wrong or why I’m calling you? “No, just want to know what you eat.” And I thought, “wow, this is a real wake up call.”
Nobody’s ever asked me what I eat. So I told him. I start my day with a Scotch and coffee, by 11:00 I’m eating the nacho chips. When I’m on a really feeling skinny day, I have a turkey hero, and by the way I do pasta for dinner but with tomato sauce because I’m a model and I need to stay skinny and I can’t have any of that cream stuff. And he was on the other end, when he finished laughing, I was like “really?” He goes “well, I think you have this, this, this, this, this and this problem.”
I was like oh my gosh, of all the problems in the world that this guy could list that I had, he pegged my top six, my only six. I said, “okay, you got my attention. You got my attention because if you can sit on the other side of a phone line and tell me what’s wrong with me from what I’m eating, then you must know something.“ So I went to visit him and he started teaching me about food. Just food. He started teaching me about the pathology of food in the body. He was teaching me something that, for me, opens up the universe.
I had never heard of raw food as opposed to cooked food. I was like, “I don’t understand, what do you mean raw food?” He’s like, “Well, you know there’s juices, there’s salads.” I was like okay. I went home, two weeks later I called him back and said, “I can’t do this. I cannot do this. This is boring, I am starving, I don’t want another vegetable, I don’t know what you think you’re doing but this is not for me.” And he goes, “Well, I don’t understand, it’s so much to eat.” I’m like, “there’s nothing to eat.” He goes, “Sashimi, tartare, carpaccio, raw milk cheeses, unroasted nuts, raw almonds, cashews.”
I’m like truthfully, that was all the stuff when I was starving myself to be skinny I wasn’t eating because I thought it was fattening. I didn’t know what was fattening and not fattening so I felt guilty all the time. And all of a sudden here’s a guy telling me, you can eat whatever you want, as much of it you want, as long as it’s prepared the right way. I was like “wow, this is now a new journey. This is—oh my gosh, I can eat whatever I want and as much as I want.”
I will never be hungry again. And what’s the worst part about dieting as we all know, we’re hungry right? And that’s what yo-yo dieting is all about. You can stay on this diet for just so long and then all of sudden you’re like, you’re starving. And you eat and then you’re like oh, I ate and I fell off this diet. Now, I fell off and now so I’m just going to do what I got to do and bloat back up again. And here was something that when people said “yeah, yeah, I was raw and then I fell off.” I’m like “what did you fall off of?”
There’s nothing to fall off of. Either you ate raw or you didn’t eat raw. And then you eat raw again. No big deal. And then people started saying to me, “Well, what do you eat for lunch, carrots?” I’m like “are you kidding me?” I can eat so much stuff and now-a-days this place is like raw-some treats, that makes raw tiramisu. I can get raw pickles and raw olives and cold pressed olive oil. There’s so much stuff out there that is raw that can help change your health. You can treat disease by using food as medicine.