Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Secret: Just Don't Die!

Back in the day when I was a vegan, regular faster, and religious exerciser, I recall an old Dannon Yogurt commercial that featured some very old folks from a part of Russia or the Ukraine. These folks were over 90 or 100 years old and remained active and spry. And whaddayaknow, these ate yogurt as a good portion of their diets. I researched to find out more about these people and how they lived. Needless to say I was quite surprised to find out that they also were regular cigar smokers and quite heavy vodka drinkers. Thus was the beginning of the end to that leg of my quest for eternal, healthy life.

The November, 2005, issue of National Geographic has the cover picture and story entitled, "The Secrets of Living Longer." It features long living people groups from Okinawa, Sardinia, and American Seventh Day Adventists. The lifestyles of these three groups are quite varied, and have few things in common. Nonetheless, the article lists a few 'dos' and 'don'ts'. Among these are putting family first, keeping active and socially engaged, eating fruits, veggies, and whole grains, and not smoking.(You know... the same stuff your mother was telling you 40 years ago!)

The quote that proved most germane to the whole article was one from 103 year-old Sardinian, Giovanni Sannai. His erudite summation stated, "Nobody knows why people like me live so long, and neither do I." (Which leads me to believe that Giovanni is a conservative. If he were a liberal he would have reams of advice for everyone to follow.)

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