My grandmother immigrated to New York in 1917 from a small farming village in the Ukraine. She died a few years ago at the age of 102 and was very healthy and functional until her late 90’s. While age and the eating habits of the modern United States caught up to her in her later years, we always knew that there was something about her upbringing in rural Ukraine that contributed to her health and vitality.
From the stories she told, I knew that her family was not wealthy but they were always well fed. They had enough money and were able to grow enough food to avoid going hungry. Food was a priority in her Jewish heritage. And for those who are familiar with the term “epigenetics,” this meant that her DNA stock was probably very strong,
Through the years, I have attributed her longevity to many of the common-sense health habits we all know are good to practice:
She didn’t smoke, but regularly drank small amounts of red wine after an evening meal. Every morning she drank hot apple cider vinegar and honey. She preferred home-cooked meals to restaurant dining and she didn’t eat to excess. She enjoyed taking long walks and stayed lean most of her adult life. She was faithful about taking nutritional supplements and maintained strong, personal connections to her family and friends.
But I now realize that there were other habits that were a natural necessity among hard-working people living in a harsh environment. These habits played an even greater role in her ability to stay active, strong and healthy well into her 90’s. And these habits can dramatically improve your health and performance, too! ...