Lillian follows a high-raw, near-vegan diet and in this interview she talked a lot about how she discovered that, what it’s done for her, and how she copes with the challenges in sticking to it.
In her lectures, Müller draws the crowds by sharing how she has managed to stay looking so young and healthy: 30 years on a high-raw diet coupled with regular exercise and regular detoxing. Now 57, she began her modeling career 40 years ago, after she won a beauty contest in her native Norway.
Working in London several years later she was spotted by a scout from Hugh Hefner’s Playboy empire. She was chosen as the magazine’s “Playmate of the Year” in 1976, at the age of 25, and went on to become the most featured Playmate in history, appearing on the cover eight times. She caught Hefner’s eye and the pair were an item for a time and remain close friends to this day.
But these days Müller is, she tells me, “breaking out of the mould of being a Playboy sex symbol. I’m using sex appeal for a higher purpose now. The stepping stone of my past creates curiosity and gets me in the door but I’m not about personal gratification as I was when I was younger. Those of us in the raw movement who are passionate about getting this message out are serving a power and energy much bigger than ourselves.”
Müller discovered the raw diet and lifestyle when she sought the help of a holistic doctor at the age of 27. So what led to her decision to turn this into a career three decades later? It began, it turns out, with some serious soul-searching when she turned 50. “I thought to myself, ‘I’ve been a sex symbol but what have I achieved? Have I really done anything worthwhile? Have I done something beyond me or has it just been an ego ride?’ You have to ask those questions at a certain point.”
If Müller is passionate about nutrition and exercise, she is even more passionate about the importance of a positive mindset. “I’ve come to the conclusion that the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of looking after ourselves are even more important than the physical,” she says. “But if you look after all of those areas there’s no limit to what you can do. It’s easy to focus on the physical so much you forget the spiritual. But your spirituality affects your career, your partner, the way you raise your kids… All this is much more important than having a flat stomach.”
“Starting to work on myself so young saved my butt,” she adds. “I’ve met 23-year-old models who are doing Botox – not because they have wrinkles, but because they think it will prevent them. I see women my age having it and they have faces like masks. I like to have some character in my face. And I’m an actress, so I have to be able to make expressions. If I had just been interested in my appearance I’d have had a face lift by now. There’s nothing sadder than an aging bimbo. I vowed I would never be that. But there’s also nothing wrong with having a sexy look. You can still be a conscious, evolved person.”
Like many who have “gone raw”, Müller found to her dismay that an in-depth understanding of what dead foods do to the body was not enough to stop her bingeing on them. “I didn’t throw up and I was never anorexic, but I loved food and I was compulsive about it,” she says.
“Now, because I’ve been doing this so long, my desire for foods like that has gone. But it’s taken 30 years of reading and learning and living it to get to the point I am today. We all have to find a system that works for us and it’s different for each of us.”
These days Müller follows a high-raw diet and cravings for junk foods are a thing of the past. She feels at her best when she eats all raw, something she finds easy “in the spring and summer and into the fall, but some days in winter, even in LA, my body doesn’t want to be on just raw”. So she sticks to fruit and herbal teas during the day, and dinner will be, “a vegan stew or a couple of baked potatoes or baked yams, but always with a salad.”
“The minute you detox you are lifted physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
This has certainly been true in Müller’s case. “Sexy, young guys think I’m 40!” she laughs. “I tell them I’m 59 and watch the shock on their faces because they thought 59 meant really old. I love to say it! They didn’t have any idea that 59 could be young, vibrant and sexy.”
In 59 years I’ve never been drunk or high, so I’ve had a lot of time to think! I want to do things I haven’t done before. What can I achieve, what influence can I have in society? When you’re older, you’re more experienced, you have more wisdom, you’ve met more people and read more books. Shake it up! Make a difference. Have a few wrinkles and love them!”
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