On a ranch in California’s Malibu hills, Cindy Crawford—brand ambassador for a wellness-focused way of life—reveals the secret to her success. We’ll have what she’s having
Cindy Crawford wants you to try her chocolate pudding. And although chocolate pudding and Cindy Crawford are not the most obvious of bedfellows, something about the way she is holding it out to you—all coffee-colored eyes, volume-at-the-roots hair, and beauty mark deserving of its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—makes you believe she knows exactly what she’s talking about. “It’s better than any pudding I’ve ever had,” she says, voice low, as if the goods are in limited supply and she’s not entirely sure she should be letting this particular cacao out of the bag. “It’s made with almonds. There are calories, of course, but they’re the good ones.”
The urge to share is nothing new for Crawford. Any self-respecting pop-culture buff will remember when, at the height of her supermodel fame, the self-possessed Illinois native made her debut as host of MTV’s House of Style—projecting both an impossibly glamorous ideal and a refreshingly down-to-earth persona whose main objective was to lift the curtain on the fashion world. Proving she could do more than simply pose for Herb Ritts, Crawford gamely engaged in such consummate ’90s activities as sending herself up with comedian Tracey Ullman, crashing the set of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and telling Naomi Campbell to “behave herself” backstage. But her latest project is much more about looking from the inside out: serving as a board member and ambassador for wellness brand Urban Remedy, founded by Marin-based health practitioner Neka Pasquale (the mastermind behind the revelatory pudding).
Which brings us to the Malibu residence of Urban Remedy investor and Science Inc. CEO Mike Jones. The sprawling, rustic-luxe coastal oasis lies not far from the beachfront abode Crawford shares with her husband, nightlife impresario Rande Gerber, and their two children, Presley, 14, and Kaia, 12. Crawford and Pasquale have met here amid a spread of culinary goodies to, among other things, sample Pasquale’s latest offering, a watermelon-and-cucumber elixir, and chat business—including the brand’s third store, set to open this summer in Santa Monica. Pasquale selected the rendezvous point for its retreat-like feel, complete with resident horses, bougainvillea-framed landscaping, an oversize tepee, and an open barn turned salon-style lounge. The effect is very serenity now, as though one might forget gluten ever existed while lounging in a hanging rattan chair by the Mediterranean-tiled pool.
“My passion is educating people, and Cindy’s excited about that too,” says Pasquale, whose 10-plus years’ experience as an acupuncturist with a private practice informs her brand’s “food is healing” ethos. She began making her cold-pressed juices for clients and launched the full line after noticing their overwhelmingly positive effects. A friend introduced her to Crawford, predicting the two would connect; even now, Pasquale seems endearingly awestruck by the idea of the supermodel as colleague. “I don’t even know how I got to meet Cindy, never mind work together,” she says. “But it’s an example of how when you’re doing something you love—and helping people be the best that they can be—[good] things happen.”
Pasquale’s Eastern philosophies immediately resonated with Crawford. “When I met Neka, I related to her as a mom and as a woman, but I also loved that she had a background in Chinese medicine and nutrition,” she says. “I felt she could help me cut through the clutter: [the idea that] every week there’s a different berry that you should be eating.”
For Crawford, the much-intoned “art of living well” is anchored in simplicity. And while it may seem as though there’s nothing basic about the way she has evolved from red-blooded-American bombshell to business tycoon and ageless mother-of-two, her measure for fulfillment is straightforward. “The reason to exercise and eat well and get enough sleep is so you can do the things you want to do,” she explains. “I can play soccer with my kids, and I can help move furniture without worrying about hurting my back. I don’t want to ever say, ‘Oh I can’t do that because of X, Y, or Z.’ For me, in a broad sense, it’s about being grateful for what you have.”
Finding meaning is a recurring theme for Crawford of late. She recently hosted an episode of Oprah’s Lifeclass series themed around helping women identify their callings (spoiler alert: Crawford’s is communication). But she steers clear of any notion of herself as a lifestyle guru. As she sees it, this moment is about shifting the focus off herself and onto her current mission.
“In my 20s, I represented other people’s brands—I was this ‘for-hire’ girl. And in my 30s and early 40s, I was able to create some of my own brands,” she says, citing her eponymous home collection with Rooms to Go and Meaningful Beauty, a skincare range with Parisian cosmetic surgeon Jean-Louis Sebagh. “At this point in my life, I want to help shine a light on people with great ideas. That’s always been my M.O.—when I find things that work for me, I share them. But now that I’m 48, I just might have more to say.”
Additional Credits: Prop styling assistance by Britt Browne and Sarah Jean Shelton. Food and tabletop styling by Jody Kennedy.