By Patricia Danflous

What’s a girl from Atlantic City, New Jersey doing in California’s wine country?

Carmel Baronoff’s simple answer is “living well.”  One of the youngest in the boomer generation, the former model, television host, grandmother, lifestyle coach and entrepreneur, is living life to the fullest with a forever young mindset.

Born in Atlantic City with life passages in Philadelphia and Boca Raton, she has found new roots and new pursuits in California.

“Now that I moved out to the Temecula Valley wine country, I am really into wine tastings,” she laughed. “I just love wine. I can’t tell you about the way it feels out there in the wineries –  the energy, the air, the smell of the wine and enjoying the farm to table food that’s prepared with the different wines. Each winery has a special, unique feel with great activities like the grape stomping I recently did with my sister. There’s just so many fun things to do out here.”

Baronoff’s passion for enjoying the moment reflects her belief in the law of attraction. “I so believe in it,” she stated. “At first, I was a little skeptical, but as I kept practicing I recognized the secret to using the power of the mind. You just can’t say ‘dream it,’ lay on your couch and not do anything.”

One of eight children born to Italian Catholic parents, the lifestyle coach grew up with a family and food-first philosophy. “I’m really close with my brothers and sisters,” she said. “My dad instilled family into us at a young age emphasizing that other people come and go, but your brothers and sisters will always be there. And food always brings people together.”

So, what’s a girl from a big Italian family that thrives on pasta, bread, hoagies, pies and cakes, doing promoting eating right, exercising, mindfulness and preventative healthcare?

In a mile-a-minute exuberant response, Baronoff will tell you that it’s just what happens when you follow your dreams. Starting off as a cosmetologist at about 16, she enthusiastically transitioned into the fitness business, owning gyms and competing in body building, earning a “Miss Fitness” title along the way.

As the wellness focus matured, Baronoff studied integrative nutrition, eventually opening a spa restaurant serving healthy cuisine and a specialty soup that was in high demand even on a hot day in Florida. Fueled by her nutrition knowledge as well as a commitment to living with meaning, she developed, produced and starred in “Living Well with Carmel.” The nationally syndicated PBS television program spotlights holistic methods to live dreams no matter what age the pursuit begins. Through interviews with celebrities and demonstrations, the down-to-earth host encourages others to get out of the box, think big, live with joy and have fun in good health. “Living Well with Carmel’s” product company, Youthful Life features a complement of holistic resources.

“Integrative nutrition is more than what you eat, more than exercise and sleeping, it is about your spirituality and awareness of living in the moment,” the living well expert continually emphasizes. “Many people live in the past, holding on to hurts and many tend to worry about what’s going to happen. We need to live in the present where it’s more joyful and happier because nothing’s happening. It’s just now.  “That’s why I love to be with my grandchildren, to study children or go to a playground and just watch – children are in the moment. They’re just having fun.”

A proponent of meditation, Baronoff is convinced that wellness involves healing the body and the mind  along with the right food.

“I believe food is a factor in reversing many illnesses,” she said. “However, I do believe that one person’s diet could be another person’s poison. Remember, it’s all about bio-individuality. I could thrive well on a vegan diet, for example, and you may lose your hair. The important thing is to be aware of what is best for you although I do recommend organic foods and home cooking.”

And a splash or two of apple cider vinegar. Her Youthful Life Blazing Apple Cider Vinegar is not only hot and spicy to the taste but is also proving a hot commodity with national distribution in stores such as Wal-Mart, Kroger and thousands of local gourmet markets.”

It all started with flu-like symptoms and Baronoff’s investigative skills.

When a raging sore throat pulled her down a few years ago, she tried apple cider vinegar after researching holistic treatments. “It wasn’t just vinegar, though, it had great things in it like turmeric, ginger and garlic. I swear I got rid of my sore throat quickly. Of course, I couldn’t stop there. I knew I could make something of my own that would be even better to help people.”

Mixing, blending, testing and tasting for days – with many hours wiping tears away from the sting of jalapenos, Baronoff’s organic recipe is now, she says, “selling like wildfire.”

A Youthful Life olive oil is Baronoff’s current venture. “I have 400 olive trees in my California home,” she explained. “How could I not use those olives?”

Owning her own winery is also in the young baby boomers’ plans. She’s in the dreaming stage right now and she’s not sitting on the couch thinking about it.

Heading out to the Temecula Valley wine country?  You just might find Baronoff – living well and enjoying the present. 

I believe food is a factor in reversing many illnesses,” she said. “However, I do believe that one person’s diet could be another person’s poison. Remember, it’s all about bio-individuality.


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