how to live to 100?

California, United States

Richard Nelson, 99 years old

Loma Linda, California, United States

I was a surgeon and I stopped practicing at the age of 89. I was born in Japan and studied medicine at a Seventh Day Adventist Church university. My years in Tokyo were the most satisfying of my life. My career has allowed me to both contribute positively to society, and to be fulfilled as a human being. I encourage young people to acquire a good education. It is essential to completely realize oneself.
I take care of my health; I am a vegetarian and almost a vegan. I allow myself an ice cream once a week and the rest of the time I eat only healthy food. I also do a lot of stationary cycling and take part in an aerobic exercise group

Unfortunately, my eyesight has worsened terribly. Since I love to read and stay informed, my wife reads to me every day. She reads me news, religious texts, health articles, biographies, etc. It is important, as one gets older, to stay curious and to nurture one’s mind.
We have a happy marriage Carol Mary and I. To be successful in your marriage, you have to invest fully in the relationship and take an interest in your partner. One of the rules that we established at the beginning of our union, and that I still particularly like today, is this: if one of us is angry, the other must try to keep calm to prevent the situation from becoming toxic. This small effort at emotional control allowed us to defuse all of our conflicts


Carol Mary Nelson, 97 years old

Loma Linda, California, United States

I like people. I like to sit and watch them. I like to imagine their thoughts and try to identify their personality type. Each person has their own way of walking, their own body language and it’s absolutely fascinating. It must be said that I’m a therapist by profession.
I used to participate in several activities at the Seventh-day Adventist Church seniors’ residence where I live, but lately I prefer to spend all my time with my husband. Since my husband, Richard Nelson, is 99 years old, every minute with him is precious. Every day I tell him that I love him. You have to love your life partner even more than you love yourself and do things out of love and not out of duty

I pay attention to what I eat because I want to preserve my health as much as possible. I don’t eat sweets; the pleasure of a dose of sugar is nothing compared to the happiness of being healthy.
My worst flaw is impatience. On several occasions I have been impatient with my husband and I still feel guilty about it. In the evening when I go to bed, I take stock of the events of the day and I admonish myself for what I said or did wrong. Religion is very important to me because it gives me a course of action. When I read the Bible, I realize how long is the road that I still must travel, even if I tend to improve. It is important to be tolerant and to love others exactly as they are. We must not slander and we must avoid jealousy, which is very destructive. We must also see the good side of people and things and laugh as much as possible


Helen Dalgleish, 95 years old

Loma Linda, California, United States

I’m a child of the Great Depression. Unlike many members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, I’m not from a wealthy family. My father worked illegally here and there all over California. We moved frequently in search of odd jobs in the cotton fields. One day, luckily, we moved to San Bernardino where my father found work with an orange producer. That’s how we discovered the Seventh Day Adventists. The church offered me and my brothers and sisters an education, which allowed us to elevate ourselves in society.
Later on, as my late husband was a doctor, he took on the role of provider for the family. I therefore raised my children without needing to work outside the home. When my children were gone I went to university to study arts. I got my diploma at 49 years old, which is quite unusual

I had a beautiful marriage which lasted 70 years. Here is my advice to lovers: if you quarrel never go to sleep without settling your differences. Before going to bed, make peace and tell your partner that you love them.
Art takes up a large space in my life. God wants us to take care of our health, and for us to reject everything that does not lift the spirit. Art lifts the spirit. Music, visual arts and literature are examples. Personally I take part in a choir, I write my memoirs, I play piano, I help out with film projections and I would like to get back to painting


I also go to aerobic exercise and I participate in many meetings and assemblies. I have many friends and am very active on Facebook. I have a boyfriend now. I had a weakness for him the moment he arrived at the Adventists Elders Centre where I live and things have developed. We talk and we hug. I think it is excellent for one’s longevity.
It seems as though earthquakes are more frequent and the planet is warming, bringing all sorts of natural disasters. Perhaps it’s the beginning of the Last Judgement. We, the faithful, believe that at the Last Judgement the Lord and his angels will come down to Earth to save us and take us up to Paradise


Marjorie Jean Smith, 90 years old

Loma Linda, California, United States

I find myself questioning my contribution to the world. I’m not always sure of my worth, but I try to be a good influence on others. I’ve learned to carry myself in an exemplary fashion as my father and husband were both pastors. My husband and I were missionaries to Thailand for seventeen years. I learned Thai there, and taught the Bible.
I’m happy but I suppose that I was more so when I was surrounded by my late husband and my children. I had a wonderful marriage and magnificent children.
I have no illness, no pain. I’ve been a vegetarian since birth. I drink an enormous amount of water, mostly eat unprocessed food and I eat very sparingly in the evenings; generally my supper consists of a bunch of grapes.
I do aerobics every day, I attend cooking workshops, I participate in religious services at the Seventh Day Adventists Church three days a week and, for the other four evenings, I go to movie screenings with friends from church. We believe we must be careful in our choice of films to watch and we avoid movies that contain sex, blasphemy or the consumption of tobacco.
The secret to longevity? Keep to a vegetable diet and avoid alcohol and cigarettes, along with tea and any other stimulants. Belonging to a church comes with a lot of support and a great feeling of contentment. One must also cherish their partner, shower them in attention such as letters and Valentines’ presents


Dorothy Reid Womack, 94 years old

Mountain Home Village, California, United States

I was married, but it was an unhappy marriage and I divorced him. My husband was very angry on top of smoking and drinking too much alcohol. Nonetheless, he was still a blessing in my life since it was thanks to him that I became a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Sometimes I wonder if I was right to leave him but I tell myself that God knows what he’s doing. 

What is a husband’s role? He provides food, shelter, protection and love. That’s exactly what God brings me. Religion is everything to me. No matter what happens to me, I know it’s God’s will.
I live alone in a small cabin beside a stream. The housework and the maintenance of the grounds and garden keep me very busy. I never get bored. I still drive my car, I help with the church administration, I read a lot and I see friends every day. 


The Seventh-day Adventist community is very close. I also have friends outside the church, including Catholic friends, Mormons and even a few hippies!
My plans for the future? Set up a club for young people where we watch DVDs with themes about youth and personality development


Irving Leonardo Hertlein, 90 years old

Yucaipa, California, United States

All of my social activities are related to the Seventh-day Adventist Church and to spirituality. I’m happy and satisfied with my lot and I live one day at a time. I never get angry and I am at peace with God. I go to church, I follow the Ten Commandments, and I read a lot to pass the time. I read the Bible, religious texts, and Adventist World magazine which is the Adventist church’s monthly magazine. I am also passionate about embroidery, which surprises more than a few.
My greatest regret is that I left Brazil, my home country, to come and live in the United States with my family. We were well established in Brazil. I have had many disappointments in my career as an accountant because I was an immigrant. But the most difficult test certainly remains the fact that my youngest son has left our religion.
My wife and I have been completely vegan since I had prostate cancer seventeen years ago, and we pretty much eat only organic food. In the morning, after taking a half hour walk, I eat some assorted berries, a banana, a cup of soy milk, a piece of bread that I make myself and a smoothie in which I put acai, alfalfa powder, blueberry powder, wheatgrass powder and protein. For lunch I eat rice, black beans or tofu and cassava, with a large green salad to which I add beets, carrots, dandelions, radishes, cucumbers, sweet peas and a little hummus. In the evening I only eat a few nuts and fruits that are in season. I take vitamin B, C, and E supplements, as well as garlic capsules, and I take lemongrass tea to improve my blood pressure. I drink a lot of water throughout the day and sleep at least seven hours a night.
Donald Trump is so rich and yet so poor at the same time. I would like him to keep quiet, to listen, to stop uselessly touching off arguments and to cooperate with the population to improve things. One of the major problems in California is that there are too many illegal immigrants. Some of them don’t want to work but want access to free health care and food stamps. Newcomers must submit to American rules and laws as well, I should know. In this sense, I agree with some of the governments policies


Wilma Hertlein, 86 years old

Yucaipa, California, United States

My husband and I are very happy together. Having a good marriage takes a lot of humility. You have to give way constantly. We solve our problems by communicating. we hold hands constantly, we still sleep in the same bed and we kiss tenderly.
I occasionally go to the doctor for a diagnosis, but I never take the medication he prescribes. I do my own research and I treat myself with food and natural products. That’s how I completely healed my osteoporosis.
I am concerned with young people today. I would like to help them. They are so noisy, overexcited and unhappy. Young people, slow down! Do not force things, respect your parents, love them, do not lock them in retirement homes, be careful and patient, do not have your children raised by others and, above all, respect the laws of God