Live to 100? No thanks!

I get a handy-dandy email in my inbox every day from Oprah’s magazine. I like her magazine and always find something useful, whether a book review or an article about a do-gooder in some random far-flung part of the world. Because Oprah is queen of the world and can cover whatever stories or topics she chooses, you never see ridiculous headlines or teasers on the cover of her magazine, like what we see on so many magazines. Sometimes I’m downright embarrassed by them while waiting in line at the grocery store: do we need to know that Hilary is cheating on Bill with a lesbian lover? Do you really want to guess which celeb’s backside is completely covered in cellulite but only partially covered by a yellow bikini? I’m never embarrassed by the cover of O Magazine.

So today’s email had Dr Oz’s tips on 10 things you can do to live to 100 — or beyond.


I’m all for healthy living, but I most definitely do not want to live to be 100 — or beyond. I’m exhausted just thinking about that. Perhaps living to 100 — or beyond — but never growing old, feeble, and/or dependent on others wouldn’t be too bad, but given my not one, but two bouts with cancer, coupled with my degenerating joints, I’m guessing that won’t be in the cards for me. If I live to be 100 — or beyond — but my knees won’t bend and I’m stuck in a wheelchair, or even worse in bed, relying on others to care for me, I’m going to be hopping mad. Not that I have a death wish, but I am realistic. The average age of women diagnosed with breast cancer is 61; I was 20 years ahead of  the curve. While strides have been made in treatment, and while my personal recurrence rate was predicted to be low, I don’t know that I can rationally expect to live another 57 years — or beyond.

Maybe I’m taking Dr Oz too literally. Does he really think that by following his 10 tips, we can live to be 100? I dunno, but here are his suggestions.

1. Eat red foods. The examples he give are beets, which relax blood vessels, and red cabbage, which protects against cancer. I love, love, love beets, so perhaps my blood vessels are relaxed. However, I clearly did not eat enough red cabbage, as it most definitely did not protect me from cancer.

2. Drink a cup of black tea. It’s supposed to boost survival rates of those who suffer a heart attack by 28 percent. Ok, I admit that stats like these confuse me. Does this mean that black-tea drinkers who have a heart attack are 28 percent more likely to not die from the heart attack, or 28 percent les likely to have a heart attack in the first place? I’m confused, but I do drink a lot of iced tea, so hopefully I’m covered either way.

3. Dial one phone number from memory every day. Not using speed dial or your cell phone’s memory exercises the brain’s “chunking” ability. By grouping info into chunks, you can keep your brain active and alert. I think working a crossword puzzle does the same thing, but don’t quote me on that.

4. Use the first stall in a public restroom. Ok, I do this whenever I am stuck and must use a public restroom, although I avoid public restrooms at all cost. Being the good germophobe that I am, I already knew this trick. See, most people seek privacy in a public restroom, so they tend to use the farthest stalls. More use equals more bacteria, which freaks me out. Now I’m wishing I hadn’t shared this tip, though, as I predict a rush on my preferred first stall.  Some days I wonder how I’m able to leave the house at all.

5. Take the stairs, two at a time. We all know that taking the stairs instead of the elevator is preferable for good health, but Dr Oz says take that a step further — literally — and take two stairs at a time. Easy for him to say, with his long legs. I’ll try it, even though my legs aren’t long, but I’ll probably have to use the handrail, which I’m pretty sure is covered in germs. Never mind.

6. Stretch after you shower. Stretching is good. Tight muscles and tendons are bad (says the girl who hates to stretch). Once your muscles are good and heated from the shower, it’s easier to stretch them, and stretching promotes good posture and helps decrease muscle soreness from taking the stairs two in one go.

7. Hold your breath. Dr Oz touts this as a mini workout for your lungs, and something that can be done anytime, anywhere. He recommends holding your breath for 10 seconds, then blowing it out through pursed lips, which activates all the little nooks & crannies in our lungs. I tend to hold my breath while using a public restroom, so as long as I blow it out through pursed lips, I guess I’m good.

8. Do the reverse warrior. Dr Oz does a lot of yoga, and if he says the reverse warrior is the most important pose, I believe him. Click here to see how to do it. This pose strengthens the legs, increases flexibility in the spine, and stretches the hips, inner thighs, and groin. Get to it, y’all.

9. Chew your food 20 times. Grandma said it first, but Dr Oz tells us why: not only does it slow us down and helps us avoid eating like a pack of wild animals, it can decrease our risk of diabetes. Horking down food too fast leads to overeating, which can lead to obesity, which can lead to diabetes. Dr Oz says if you don’t want to count out how many times you chew, get into the habit of putting your fork down in between bites.

10. Cut your cravings in half. Instead of trying to deny your cravings, Dr Oz recommends giving in to them, but only by half. So instead of gobbling down a bag of potato chips, eat half the bag. Instead of devouring the carton of ice cream, just eat half of it. Actually, the example he gave was a cookie. One cookie. Which he wants you to break in half. So I’m guessing he would counsel me to go ahead and pour myself a glass of champagne, but to only drink half of it. Yet another reason to not live to be 100 — or beyond. I want the whole glass!

18 Comments on “Live to 100? No thanks!”

  1. I love your sense of humor! I’m still chuckling away… I’m a bit closer to 100 than you, but still 100, egads is right!

  2. mmr says:

    Sitting here trying not to laugh too hard because it will make me cough– this post cancer germophobe forgot to wear hand sanitizer and let about 50 people hug me last weekend, so now I’ve got bronchitis. Oh well, got to stick the insurance company with yet another dr. visit before next year’s deductible kicks in…. 😉

  3. gozzygirl says:

    I’m with on not wanting to live to 100 if I’m not able to do what I want to do. In fact I keep thinking that I’d rather die of a heart attack or doing something that I love (like bungee jumping or downhill skiing) than wither away and die. But I don’t have kids, so my perspective is a bit different. Are you sure you wouldn’t want to live to 100 if it meant you could see your great grandchildren playing baseball?

  4. Oh, tough call, Gozzy. Living long enough to see great-grands playing ball would be sweet. Maybe I’ll have to start memorizing phone numbers and counting as I chew after all.

  5. David Benbow says:

    I don’t plan on outliving my health any longer than I have to (I’d like to see my kids have kids), but I definitely don’t want to be a burden on those around me. I’ve seen too many old people who can’t see, hear or walk and are just running out the clock. If I could put my dog to sleep when her time had come, I hope I’ll be able to make the same decision for myself. (Sorry to be a downer on your blog.)

  6. Quality not quantity for me please.

  7. Marie says:

    You had me from your title 😉 Loved this so much – made me laugh out loud (some good tips there too) Thank you for the laugh which I needed very much today xxx

  8. […] week for me emotionally, so it was wonderful to have something to smile about – thanks to The Pink Underbelly for her very funny take on how to live to 100 via Dr Oz and Oprah and to Brenda for her vividly […]

  9. These tips are great but I’ve got the King of Kings for living beyond 100 and keeping fit – become a vampire. It involves red food galore, indulgence of cravings, and you could just FLY up those stairs. Best of all worlds, if immortality is your thing. ~Catherine

  10. elizabeth connolly says:

    My Dad is 91 an in good health for his age. But I know he wakes up thinking,” is today the day.” No, I do not want to die of old age. At first I thought the ist item on list was red food which i took to mean red meat and thought okay i can do that. But with no exercising , mental or physical and drinking the grape( that picture of champagne starting me drooling and that’s while i was sipping red wine) i’m making plans for only 5 years at a time. As far as seeing grandchildren and greatgrandchildren,I’m able to do that now because of being a loose young girl who met the love of her life at 17 and started early. So enjoy every day when you can and my theory is everything in moderation. Your blog keeps me smiling,EGADS. love. P.S. The vampire idea is giving me pause.

  11. Terri says:

    Great post. Love the humour and even learned a trick about public restrooms. I will be a first stall girl from now on:) Hope you had a great week!

  12. christy says:

    I’m with you. Bring on the bubbly….and lots of it!!!

  13. Carolyn Thomas says:

    Sigh…. Poor Dr. Oz, so intent on ratings that his focus on anti-aging and miracle supplements and downright non-evidence-based “medical entertainment” show content is indeed cringe-worthy. For example, his advice to eat only half a cookie when you have a craving tells me instantly that he is clearly not like the rest of us. I don’t even know a living breathing person who actually stops halfway through a little cookie. Halfway through broccoli, YES. Cookies, NO.

    I love this delightful post of yours, and would like to repost it on my blog HEART SISTERS: I’m not a cancer patient, but what you write here about living to 100 rings so true for heart patients as well. Please let me know if I can have your permission to repost.


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