106-year-old Yiayia Stavroula Katsarou lives in a lovely little home in the village of Ano Myrtia, Aitoloakarnania, located in Central Greece.
Stavroula has never taken medication in her 106 years on earth and says her village life with little stress, clean air, organic food and contact with nature is what has helped her lead a long and healthy life.
While being interviewed by HuffPost Greece, she has a little trouble hearing however her son Nikos, who she calls her "guardian angel", helps recount memories of the horror of the wars, the child she lost and buried with her own hands in the Second World War and the battle of Myrtia (July 10, 1943) where she watched German planes bombing her home.
When asked how she managed to reach 106 without ever taking medication or going to visit a doctor, she responded, "Here life is simple. Everything is simple. The air is clean. What we eat is pure. Stress has no place here and money has no value here either.”
The 106-year-old grandmother still has a book "The Recipes of the Monk" written by Father Gymnasio, which she has kept with her since the 1950s. She explains that whenever there has been a time where she hasn’t felt 100 percent, she refers to Father Gymnasios’ natural remedies and recalls a long time ago she fell and broke her hand. Alone Stavroula tied it up very tight and kept it straight with two sticks until it healed.
When asked about her tips to eating well, Yiayia Stavroula says she eats an egg every day, as she says it helps with memory. Every day she also drinks two glasses of wine (Mavrodafni) and also drinks a small amount of Tsipouro, which is handmade by her son. Yiayia also adds that it’s important to eat fruit and vegetables, especially aubergines, zucchini, and pumpkin.
Yiayia Stavroula also loves wheat bread and wild greens, however, she does not eat fried foods or sweets.
"It's not just food. It is equally important that you work your mind. At a late age, I started reading an English book and I also learned a bit of Albanian from the workers we have in the village. If you leave your mind, it will leave you too," she says.
*Source: HuffPost Greece