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The chocolate fountain of youth

My mother, 92, has been pretty disciplined all her life about eating and exercising, one reason she likely outlived all her siblings, a husband and an older-age boyfriend.

But she always had one secret passion — chocolate. She eats several pieces of chocolate most days after dinner. Even her doctor a year or so ago told her to eat that chocolate with joy. She does. On some days, she has a better memory than most of us kids!

Today, a Los Angeles Times story in our newspaper should erase any guilt she has about her daily indulgence. It said that “in a study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, researchers reported that chocolate may help improve brain health and thinking skills in the elderly.”

So eat and enjoy that chocolate, Mom. It's good role-modeling.

(Spokesman-Review archive photo)

Retirement destination?

With 10,000 people retiring in the US every day, retirement destinations are a hot topic.

Where shall we go to enjoy life without alarm clocks summoning us to a detailed schedule?

Perhaps the island of Ikaria should be added to our list of idyllic possibilities. On the island of Ikaria, residents seem to enjoy remarkable longevity within an easy-going lifestyle.

(S-R archives photo)

Staying power

“My friend, Angela Morbeck, who grew up on a farm in Uniontown, is the youngest of eight,” wrote Linda Peterson of Spokane. “She is 76. All of her siblings are still living. That has to be noteworthy in some way.”

Agreed.

As long as you both shall live…and live…and live

What if you do want to live longer than your late 70's or early 80's? Are their predictors that will tell you what contributes to a long, long life? Junk food aside, Yes!

The results of a recent study name some qualities and behaviors that contribute to our longevity.

Beginning in the 1920s, more than 1500 children identified as gifted were followed throughout their lives.

People who worked hard did not die sooner than their less ambitious peers - they tended to live longer. Married men benefited from their wedding vows while marriage made little difference for women.

So, enjoy your job, nurture those friendships, avoid risky behaviors and you just could live long enough to celebrate your 100th birthday.

(About Photo: Catherine Johnston's great grandparents Andrew and Etta Forness.)