Michael’s grandmother, or Nonni as we all call her, turned 90 years old at the end of 2016. Saying this woman is amazing is an understatement, so I was thrilled to get to spend lots of time with her over the holidays as Michael’s family traveled from Tennessee and Florida to spend Christmas in Arizona with us. Christmas evening, over a few glasses of red wine, I asked Nonni to share the secrets for her long, healthy life, and here’s what she told me.
1. Eat Well
Nonni grew up in Italy, so she knows how to eat well. According to Michael, she cooked a healthy, balanced meal every day during his childhood, and she still eats that well today. Her best advice is to fill your diet with tons of fresh veggies. Luckily, pasta is okay too as long as veggies are involved!
2. Always Eat the Skin
On that topic, when you’re eating fruits and veggies, be sure to keep the skin on, as that’s where the nutrients are.
3. Drink the Water
And if you’re ready to really go to the extreme, Nonni offered this tip: steam your veggies when you’re cooking them, and instead of discarding the water they’re steamed in, drink it. She’s done this her whole adult life, so it could certainly be one of the key secrets to 90 years of health and happiness!
4. Drink Wine
Nonni started drinking glasses of half wine/half water with dinner when she was 8 years old. (Seriously you guys, I love Italian tradition!) She still drinks red wine with dinner to this day, and while the research does tout red over white, Nonni sees value in both.
5. Always Buy the Best Skincare You Can Afford
In addition to putting good things in your body, it’s important to put good things on your body too. Her advice for aging gracefully is to always use the best skincare you can afford. While what you can afford typically changes through your lifetime, if you always stay at the top of your price range in this category, you’ll ensure you’re putting top quality products on your skin long-term.
6. Know There’s Still Time to Fix Mistakes
Nonni actually smoked until she was in her 60s, but now she’s nearly 30 years cigarette-free. So while you may think your current bad habits have already doomed you, there’s still time to fix those mistakes. Whether it’s quitting smoking, working out more, etc., it’s never too late to get on track toward a healthy life.
7. Be Happy & Know That Life is Still Short
Although this is a post about the secrets to a long life, Nonni still wanted to emphasize that life is truly short — not just for us, but the ones we love as well. Take advantage of each moment, and be happy. Look on the bright side, and enjoy yourself. We only have one shot at this, so make it amazing!
A very big thank you to Nonni for these tips <3