25 August 2014

Mrs. Stewart's thoughts on age

My Nana celebrated her 95th birthday last month. (Nana is on the left, her sister, Aunt Alpha, is on the right.) Aunt Alma was recently diagnosed with cancer and only hasa few months to live. My aunt Peggy took Nana to see her last week. Are they not the cutest?! Nana has never used hair dye and it is a beautiful dark blonde as it was when I was growing up.
I want to live to be in my 90's like Nana, Muzzie, and some of their siblings. So, I was pleased to find Living the Good Long Life by Martha Stewart at my local library. There are so many good tips. Mrs. Stewart is 73 years old and does not look it at all. She claims to never have had plastic surgery, but I'm not sure about botox. She says that because of the steps she takes in the book, she looks and feels 30 years younger than her age. I thought I would share a few here without breaking any copyright laws.
  • Healthy Eating "I believe in eating real food. And by real, I don't mean something that passes for food, that's been processed and preserved until it no longer resembles the beautiful, organic bounty that nature gives us. I grow much of what I eat because I love to have a garden. But even when I'm food shopping or eating out, the same principle applies: quality and purity matter." Adopt a Blue Zone Diet (Mediterranean).
  • Healthy Fitness "I exercise for an hour every single morning. It's as if I've signed a contract with myself to wake up and get on the treadmill and lift weights. It's nonnegotiable. Do I always feel like workingout early in the morning? No. Much of the time I'd rather read a book or return e-mail. But I do it. All that gym work enables me to lead as active a life as possible. I cycle, I hike, I garden, I ride horseback. I take walks almost every day."
  • Healthy Brain "My college history professor once told me: 'There are no good young historians.' I don't know if I believed him at the time, but I have come to realize he was right! Whether it's physiological or just the accummulation of life experience, I think differently now. My process includes more lateral thinking, more synthesizing of different points of view, and more judgment that comes from a larger store of experience and the wisdom of years. I always encourage others to be prepared. if you often feel as if you don't remember names or can't recall current events or an interesting book you just read, studying up before a party or a meeting is a good idea, because you will have all the facts at your fingertips. you have to work to be a better teacher or conversationalist. But if you do so, people will be impressed by the scope of your knowledge, and your conversations will be more intriguing. Achieving that level of discipline isn't easy. There's so much coming at us every day, from the media we consume to the people we encounter. As we get older, we're more easily distractible, and we're less able to shut it out. I know that when too much input, there's less output from my mind. People say I have a great memory-that I never forget anything. If that's true, it's because I work at it."
  • Healthy Outlook "I rarely think about how old I am or how old anyone else is-age is just a number. What matters most to me is how engaged, curious, and interesting a person is. I've watched certain people age and admired their approach. Take my friend David Rockefeller. He's 97, but you would never know it because he is so full of ideas. His closest associates are fifty years his junior and, as a result, his conversation and interests have stayed totally relevant and modern. Similarly, record producer Clive Davis bucks the limitations of age-he hangs out with rap stars, which is admittedly unusual for someone of his generation, but I think that by understanding their langugage and their poetry, he is totally in tune with those who are probably two generations younger...The hallmark of successful aging is getting what you want out of life and doing the things you love to do regardless of age. Whether we are 20 or 80, life can be meaningful, purposeful, and beautiful as long as we have the right guidance and the right solutions to make it so. It's never too early to start and never too late to begin."
  • Healthy Living Every Day "Taking a preventive approach to health is vital to a good, long life. In 2007 I tore my labrum, the fibrous cartilage in the hip socket, while doing frog pose in yoga. After the injury I remember feeling horrible. I tried acupuncture, heat, a cortisone injection, and painkillers. I had to make a decision, and I had to concede that I really was limping-I could see it in my television segments. So I interviewed doctors and had the operation (hip replacement).Within three days I was walking again and back at work. I did everything I could to recover, and worked through physical therapy every day...since the toll of being less mobile is far worse overall than the risks associated with certain surgeries."
  • Healthy Looks "I'm determined to succeed at aging gracefully. I always say, 'It's never too early or too late to start.' I know that age should not be an obstacle, but I don't always believe it when I look in the mirror. If I see a crow's foot, I put cream on it. If I look tired, I pat cucumber or witch hazel under my eyes. As we age, we have to keep at it on a regular basis; prevention, upkeep, and improvement are a vital part of an ongoing healthy lifestyle. I believe that true beauty really is inherent, and comes from character and strength. The women I think are the most attractive are both confident and interesting, but they also take care of themselves." Her book has her skincare and make up routines.
  • Healthy Home "Your home should be a reflection of how you want to live-right now, and for the next phase of your life. It needs to have a good layout for your changing physical needs, and offer you a sense of security and calm. It's a place to think, do, make, and enjoy. When you get down to it, we need only a few of our creature comforts to live well-for me, that means having plenty of room to entertain, good light so I can read in bed, and sufficient space for all my animals. Although I'm fortunate to have more than one home, the truth is that my ideal home will someday probably be one large room with a kitchen attached. Day to day I live, write, and create in my kitchen and crafts room, because these are areas of a home that are most inviting to me. Think about how you can focus on the essential spaces in your own house and make them the best they can be. Happiness doesn't come from wanting to be somewhere else. Happiness comes from finding beauty and stimulation in your everyday surroundings."
  • Healthy Living into the Future "I believe in preventive health and I try to live according to its principles. I know that the more vigilant I am about my care today, the healthier I'll be tomorrow. It requires discipline in making good choices each and every day: Do I reach for that pat of butter? Do I exercise or watch a movie? But you just learn to ask, Should I or shouldn't I?"
  • Healthy Caring "My maternal and paternal families never sent an elder to a "home." There was quarters for "Grandma." But we were lucky, with longevity on our side, with good health and strong physiques. And we were a large enough family to be able to share time with the grandparents, to be inclusive and accommodating." This chapter discusses what steps need to be taken to care for elderly parents/family members.
  • "Up until the very end of her life, my mother, Big Martha, paid attention to the details of her daily life: she wrote down her appointments, she faithfully went to her hairstylist and colorist, she put out an outfit to wear each day, she got dressed up every week to go to church. She kept her driver's license current so that she would be able to drive her friends to church or doctor's appointments. I think staying up with these little things made a big difference in how long she lived and how well she lived. She felt competent, needed, and vital. It kept her optimism and spirits up, which in turn reinforced her motivation to care for herself. That's a big lesson: no one is going to do it for you; you are in control of how you live every day."
This is a very "Martha" book. It is full of useful information to enrich your life. I wanted to keep this list so instead of just photocopying pages, I thought y'all may enjoy what I've shared. The best chapter in my opinion is not the healthy looking chapter, but the healthy mind chapter. She mentions reading, learning new technologies, healthy outlook, and so much more. It's a good book at the very least to check out at your library and take notes as this is just her summaries in each chapter, not specifics.


  1. Your Nana and Aunt are beautiful!

  2. Thank you! They are sweet as pie.


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