Twenty Years of Health and Wellness
As Taste for Life celebrates its 20th year, we thought we'd catch up with our first cover model, Holly Connell. Time seems to have skipped over Holly as far as aging goes – she looks as stunning now as she did 20 years ago – but she has certainly grown as a person and taken health and wellness by the horns in her daily life.
An Interview With Holly Connell
Holly Connell was 33 when she first posed for us. She is clearly doing something right! Read on to learn her secrets.
A Lot Has Changed Since 1999. What’s Changed with How You Take Care of Yourself?
I’ve tweaked my supplements to better fit what my body wants. Right now, high on my list is L-methylfolate (the active form of folic acid). During routine lab work, it was found I had higher cholesterol than expected considering my healthy diet. My doctor ordered homocysteine testing, which was elevated. Heart scans revealed zero plaque buildup, so it raised the question of what was causing the elevated homocysteine and cholesterol levels.
I then tested positive for the MTHFR mutation. On my doctor’s advice, I started taking methylfolate. When I was retested a couple of months later, all my levels were normal. My energy level increased, and I felt like I had just had a tune-up! I also take vitamin D3, fish oil, probiotics, and, for seasonal allergies, stinging nettle and quercetin. I check in occasionally with a certified herbalist, and he gives me an easy-to-follow list I take to my local market.
How do you stay in shape?
I enjoy walking, hiking, biking, cross-county skiing, ice skating, yoga, and Pilates. Most full moons, I arrange a twilight hike with my husband and a group of friends; we are often amazed by the full moon rising over the mountains. It is great for the soul to witness such natural beauty!
What’s your skin care regimen?
Years ago, I learned that skin absorbs about 64 percent of what’s applied to it. This led me to research products that are certified natural or organic and processed in such a way that I am getting the most benefits from vitamin C, bakuchiol (a plant-based retinol alternative), and plant stem cells.
What are some of your favorite foods?
Recently, my local co-op was selling finger limes, also known as “citrus caviar,” so I was able to try those for the first time. I am always trying new foods, but my favorite go-tos are pumpkin seeds, beans, oatmeal, yogurt, fish, and green tea. I often whip up some kind of bread or cookies that I can never duplicate because I like to take a basic recipe and add chia seeds, hemp seeds, goji berries, applesauce, and whatever else I have in the pantry to make my food healthier. My recipes are rarely the same twice because I use what’s in season or what I have on hand.
What have you learned about health over the decades?
I’ve learned so much more about the importance of organic foods, the benefits of supplements, and which activities work for me to stay healthy. I don’t believe in trendy diets. For me, eating well and keeping active has kept my weight in check. I will admit that I still have clothes that fit from my previous photoshoot with you 20 years ago! I look forward to another photoshoot in 20 more years!