I am thrilled that I just found this article in my old email file. This article was originally written for The Patch online when I had a column called “Here’s To Your Health.” The Patch recently re-vamped their website and lost almost all my links to articles. So, as luck would have it, here is the original article as it appeared in The Patch, December, 2010. ENJOY!
Here’s to Your Health
“Oleda Baker breaks the age barrier, looking decades younger at 76”
By Mary Anne Christiano
Growing up, I remember seeing pictures in Cosmopolitan magazine of a glamorous model that resembled actress Sharon Tate. As years went on and I saw other pictures of the same model, she never seemed to age; the model’s name is Oleda Baker. Now she is 76-years-old and is still a head turner.
Baker hasn’t gained an ounce since her modeling heyday. She hasn’t had a facelift either, but her face remains fresh and wrinkle-free. Her skin glows, her eyes sparkle and her cheekbones can cut diamonds. All her photos are 100 percent natural – no Photoshop or retouching.
But not only is Baker gorgeous and youthful on the outside, her annual tests, such as cholesterol and blood pressure, matched those of a person at least 25 years younger than her age.
The vivacious entrepreneur has done so much in her lifetime. In addition to being a high fashion model, columnist, artist and CEO of a company that develops anti-aging products, Baker has written more than 10 books on health and beauty. In her latest book, “Breaking the Age Barrier” she shares her wisdom and health and beauty secrets.
According to Baker, there was a twin study done on 3000 twins by a group of doctors which proved only 30 percent of aging is caused by genes and 70 percent is caused by lifestyle and environment. This is what Oleda also believes.
In “Breaking the Age Barrier” she said that both of her parents were overweight at one time in their lives. Her father was in poor health at the age of 40. Baker also had a brother named Harry, who passed away recently. Harry weighed 360 pounds according to Oleda.
“He ate himself to death,” she said, sounding regretful. “He destroyed himself through eating. He had no control.”
Watching her dad turn his health around is what piqued Baker’s interest in well-being at the ripe old age of 14. With vitamins, minerals, facial exercises and a few other tricks, Baker has kept her health and looks in optimal condition.
Although Baker started taking charge of her health at a very young age, she believes it’s never too late for anyone to turn his or her life around.
“There’s hope for anyone,” she said, when I asked if that also applied to those who may have abused their health and looks with drugs and alcohol.
What fascinated me most when I read Oleda’s book was that she eats everything. She enjoys bread, desserts and even pizza. Her advice is simply, “Just eat less.”
Baker eats a balanced diet of vegetables and salad. She eats meat and potatoes, but not too much. “If you have rich bread, you don’t need butter,” she said. “If you have great bread, you can get used to it [plain without butter.] You cannot go through life without eating the foods you love. I eat pizza. I eat sweets. I take my vitamins and minerals.”
She also makes a nutritious smoothie every day, made from antioxidant rich foods such as yogurt, blueberries, strawberries and bananas.
Another thing that surprised me was that Baker doesn’t worry about funky artificial ingredients from foods such as yellow #5 or chemicals in make-up. Perhaps her ways may inspire me to rethink how I’m spending my hard earned cash on expensive natural beauty products and simplify with products that do the trick, but aren’t as pricy because of the natural ingredients they contain. And that led me to my final question to Oleda …
What are the top three things a woman can do for her health and beauty if she is on a budget and restricted for time?
1. “Eat less. Buy less. That takes nothing. It saves you money. It makes you healthy.”
2. “Have good friends. It’s really necessary in this world to have fun, to have friends, to be able to talk to someone, to have friends you can trust.”
3. “Get some exercise of some form.” However, Baker disses jogging, running and jumping.
She said,” Some older people have bone problems, joint problems. It can be caused by too much pounding on a hard surface and hurting the joints. You don’t feel it at the moment. You pay your price as the years go by.”
I think Oleda’s biggest beauty secret of all is that she is a warm, good-hearted person. Her upbeat nature is inspiring. We chatted as if we’ve known each other all our lives. I hung up the phone feeling giddy and fuzzy, as if I just talked to an old high school friend.
Beauty may only be skin deep, but Oleda’s radiance goes straight to her soul!
For more information on Oleda Baker, go to: http://www.oleda.com
For more information, contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta at: MaryAnneChristiano@Gmail.com
As an updated side note, I’d like to say that to this day Oleda Baker was one of my favorite people to interview because she is such a warm, down-to-earth person. We’ve been keeping in touch via email and always wish each other a Happy Birthday, as we are both Leos. Oleda is such an inspiration!