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My Mother lived to be 80. She was still living on her own, driving herself around, and appeared to be handling her health problems very well.

She had heart disease (quadruple bypass in her sixties) and asthma. Her hesitance to call for help during an asthma attack is what led to her death.

However, she did not have diabetes or high blood pressure.

I am trying to take notice of her healthy living strategies to improve my own life. She was in better shape at 80 than I am at 53! Her metabolism was high. She was always busy; I wondered how she thought of so many things to do!

Here are some of the things she taught me...

1.   Always eat breakfast - ALWAYS
Research has now proven that breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day. It "breaks the fast" as my Mother used to say.

2.  Eat a banana a day
The banana is rich in potassium, and helps keep blood pressure regulated.

3.  Exercise
Now my Mom couldn't do much, but she had a bicycle in the house, and a little stepper thingy she could use sitting down. Walking outdoors wasn't a good idea for her due to her asthma.

4.   Sunshine
My Mother loved her plants. Moving to a retirement center she had to give up her yard, but she still had plants on her balcony and she would sit out there at least 15 minutes a day just to soak up the sun.

5.   Beware of the sun
That may sound silly due to the previous statement, but Mother always had on long sleeves as she sat in the sun. Often, she would wear a hat too. She had beautiful white creamy skin and didn't look a day over 65 when she was 80.

6.   Eat 3 solid meals a day
Include a couple of good healthy snacks in between.

7.   Everything in moderation
Minimize your intake of sugars and carbohydrates, and caffeine.

8.   Eat Healthy
Eat brown rice, healthy bread (only 1 slice when possible) and avoid fried foods and salt.

9.   Drink plenty of water.

10.  Remember you are a spiritual being
This may be number 10 on the list, but it is certainly at the top of her list and mine. Connect to God on a daily basis - throughout the day. Your spiritual condition is vital to your physical and emotional condition. Praying, meditating, reading... all of these contribute to a healthy whole person.

11.   Be a good neighbor. Be a good friend.
Talk to people, smile at them and share your love whenever possible.

12.   Like what you see in the mirror
This should have been first, but I placed it lower because not everyone is at home all day. But if you are, get dressed and ready to face the day just as if you were going out to a job or appointment. I can't recall a single time I surprised my Mother at home to find her in lounging clothes. It just didn't happen. She was ready at a moment's notice to go out or to receive friends. This is one I still have trouble with (as I sit here in my sloppy clothes typing - lol).

Hey, My Mother was a smart woman - Pay Attention!!

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