Granny Stavroula Katsarou just entered the 107th year of her long and fulfilled life. She lives in a small picturesque house in the village Ano Myrtia in the prefecture of Aitoloakarnania in Western Greece.
She lives in the so-called other Greece of fresh air, locally produced food, less stress. Not that the granny has a life without troubles. In 1943, she had to bury one son with her own hands. He was killed during the Battle of Myrtia, when the Nazis bombarded her village and the broader area.
But she came through.
Apart from a problem with hearing, she claims she never got sick, never took medicine, never had to seek a doctor.
Sometime ago, she fell and hurt her arm. She did not go to doctor but used a very old tradition of healing broken bones and similar wounds: she put two wooden sticks under her arm and wrapped up it tight. The arm was healed.
When she suffers some minor health issues, she says that she consults a book she obtains in the 1950’s with “36 recipes of the Monk” written by Father Gymnasios.
For her longevity, she praises most of all the life in the village
“Here life is simple. Everything is simple. The air is clean. What you eat is pure. Stress has no place here and the money has less value in this place.”
How did she manage to reach 106 years? Her secret seems simple:
Physical exercise, mental training, lots of vegetables and fruits, a glass of wine or two.
Moreover, no sweets, not fried food.
A daily walk has always been part of her life.
With regards to dietary habits she says that she eats an egg every day “because it helps the memory.”
Also on her daily plan are two glasses of Mavrodafni, a sweet red wine. Occasionally a shot of tsipouro, the clear, strong pomace brandy that her son brews.
Lots of fruits and eggplant. She says that zucchini is very important for the health as “it helps everything.”
“You should eat zucchini and if you don’t like it pure, proceed it in a zucchini pie.” she advises.
Her favorite food habits are wheat bread and wild mountain greens. She assures that she never ate sweets and fried food. However she admits that she started some “irregularities” in recent years like eating very small quantities of savory crisps and chocolate pastries.
However, the secret for a long, healthy life is not “just the food, but to keep working on your mind too,” she says.
In old age, Granny Stavroula started to read a book in English, she sat down and learned some words in Albanian from the migrant workers in the village.
“If you let your mind, it will let you too,” she assures.
source: HuffingtonPostGreece via The Best.gr
PS Mediterranean diet with a couple of extras: wine, tsipouro, walk, mental training. Some Greeks claim that tsipouro kills all maladies.