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Living to a ripe old age of 100 or more is a feat that few people achieve. The secrets to such longevity are as diverse and unique as the individuals themselves. While these anecdotes provide a fun and interesting look into the lives of those who have lived for a century or more, it’s important to remember that everyone’s path to longevity is unique. These stories should be taken with a grain of salt and a good dose of humor, rather than as health advice. Enjoy these tales of longevity and perhaps find a little inspiration for your own journey through life.
Lucia DeClerck: Keep a Consistent Diet
Lucia DeClerck, who lived through the Spanish flu, two World Wars, and a COVID diagnosis, attributes her long life to prayer, avoiding junk food, and a peculiar habit of eating nine gin-soaked golden raisins every morning. She believes that maintaining a consistent diet is key to longevity.
Sister André: Wine? It’s Fine
Sister André, the world’s second-oldest person, celebrated her 117th birthday with a menu that included foie gras, baked Alaska, and a few glasses of red wine. She believes that enjoying red wine is one of her secrets to longevity.
Arlena Labon: Get a Positive Outlook
Arlena Labon, who lived to be 108, said the secret to longevity is to “love one another” and “treat one another good.” She believes that maintaining a positive outlook and treating others with kindness contributes to a long life.
Elizabeth Francis: Have a Little Faith
Elizabeth Francis, a 110-year-old from Houston, said that her faith keeps her going. She believes that her longevity is “a blessing of the Lord.”
Jessie Gallan: Stay Single
Jessie Gallan, who turned 109 in 2015, said her secret to a long life was “staying away from men.” She humorously added, “They’re just more trouble than they’re worth.”
Kermit Hongo: Get Some Shut-Eye
Kermit Hongo, who lived to the age of 116, was known for her unique habit of sleeping for two days straight and staying up for two days straight. She believed that getting plenty of sleep was key to her longevity.
Dan Buettner: Get Healthy
Dan Buettner, who studies areas with a high concentration of people who live to 100, credits the healthy lifestyle of citizens in Sardinia, Italy, with their unusually high rate of centenarians. They maintain a lot of physical activity and eat a plant-based diet.
Helen “Happy” Reichert: But Not Too Healthy
Helen “Happy” Reichert, who turned 108 in 2010, said that she hates salads, vegetables, and getting up early. Instead, she loves to indulge in rare hamburgers, chocolate, cocktails, and enjoying the nightlife.
Edith Atkinson Wylie: Cheese Puffs and Bourbon
Edith Atkinson Wylie, a 106-year-old Montana resident, credits her longevity to “good genes and perhaps bourbon, water, and Cheetos while watching the 5 o’clock news.” She believes that enjoying life’s simple pleasures, like her favorite snack and drink, contributes to her long life.
Andy Medema: Vodka Martinis and Hard Work
Andy Medema, a resident of Elmhurst, Illinois, lived to the impressive age of 101 thanks to “a vodka martini a day, no cigarettes, and hard work.” He believed that enjoying a daily cocktail and maintaining a strong work ethic were key to his longevity.
Dorothy Howe: And Yes, You Can Have a Drink — or Three
Dorothy Howe, a retired secretary from the U.K. who turned 100 in 2013, said her secret to longevity was smoking 15 cigarettes a day and enjoying a glass of whisky every now and then. She humorously added, “I only drink when I’m out but my doctor said I wouldn’t be alive without them.”
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