Wednesday 26 October 2016

Coffee Morning Whispers: It's easier to get older than it is to get wiser

Dan Buettner
Dan Buettner

There is a 'Longevity Expert' in the US called Dan Buettner whose job it is to tell people how to live longer. Dan is a year older than me and looks super fit in that American, horse teeth, tanned, 'I can live forever' sort of way, which doesn't do him any harm when it comes to selling his book, The Blue Zone Solution.

I can't give you the gist of the whole book but, to start you off, Dan has a couple of basic tips on how to reach the Promised Land later than you originally planned. These are the type of tips your mother might give you when you are old enough to leave home, such as:

1. Drink lots of coffee as it's full of antioxidants.

On this premise alone, me and the girls should live to at least 105, what with all the coffee we gulp. However, the amount of cakes scoffed and the subsequent hardening of our arteries will knock 20 years off us.

2. Skip the juicing because it produces too much sugar.

Obviously Dan has never tasted Patsy's cabbage, broccoli and beetroot juice. There's not much sugar in it but the amount of flatulence it produces could power the national grid.

3. Skip the protein shake.

No problem with that. The last person any of us wants to look like is Sylvester Stallone's mother.

4. Go for long walks.

I can't believe I didn't think of this one myself (she said, sarcastically).

5. It is okay to drink red wine.

Yesssss! Pass that bottle of Cabernet. Noooo! I have just read the small print. He means a glass - and a standard glass at that. Not one big enough to hold a bouquet of flowers or a sherry trifle.

6. High-impact exercise does as much harm as good.

As I lay on the ground at my Crossfit class, panting like a felled warthog, I informed the coach of this but she just roared at me to get back on the machine and keep rowing.

7. Cook mostly vegetarian meals.

I still have Josie's pig in my freezer and he's not going anywhere fast. My cholesterol may be going through the roof but someone has to eat the bloody thing.

Lastly, his best and most important tip. He says: "Eat in good company because it's not just what you eat but how you eat and how much you and your friends enjoy a meal together. The secret sauce is the right mix of friends."

I couldn't agree more but Patsy has a tip of her own. "What is the real secret to longevity?" she asked.

"Do tell," Maggie replied.

"Simple, keep breathing."

Can't argue with that!

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