How to Live 101 Healthy and Vibrant Years - Doris Rilling Tells Us Her 5 Secrets.

How to Live 101 Healthy and Vibrant Years - Doris Rilling Tells Us Her 5 Secrets.


12 July 2015


When I stayed at my friend’s place in Bali, I noticed a picture of a beautiful elderly woman on the fridge door. “That was at my mum’s 101 birthday” my friend Trudy pointed out. I knew that her mum was 101 years old and in wonderful shape - but looking that great on top of all that? She obviously takes very good care of herself- not just on the inside but on the outside too. Nicely done hair, carefully applied make-up and gorgeous red lipstick; and that just underlines her vibrancy. She definitely doesn’t look like a centenarian; someone in her 80s perhaps, but 101? Unbelievable! I knew I needed to speak to this woman. “Do you think I could interview your mum?” I asked Trudy. 10 minutes later, we were in front of the laptop, calling her in the U.S.

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 A warm voice answered the call. If you didn’t know that Doris was 101 years old, you would think that you were speaking to a woman in her late 60s - smart, fully aware and coherent, and with excitement and enthusiasm in her voice.

So I asked her the question that I just needed the answer to - “What are your secrets to being such a wonderfully healthy and vibrant 101 year-old, Doris?” And here are her answers:

  1. “Eat lots of raw garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Also swiss chard, broccoli, parsley, fish and good Mexican food.” 
  2. “Share food and experiences with your friends often – have fun!” - At her age, she still cooks for 20-30 friends on the weekends – and loves it.
  3. “Eat a small snack every 2 hours – I am grazing all day long.”
  4. “Limit the salt”
  5. “Get a boyfriend who is at least 15 years younger – he still can’t keep up with me!” As you can tell, Doris is also a rather cheeky centenarian!

What an inspiring lady! At 101, she still has a zest for life; things she wants to do and looks forward to – and I personally think that this is the biggest driver. To have goals and a purpose no matter at what age, and a supportive social network that you foster and that nourishes you in return; these are what one needs, apart from leading a healthy lifestyle, to live a long, happy and meaningful life. 

Her tips may sound simple but speaking to her was a great reminder to me on what a long life should be all about; living it and enjoying it! I will certainly take her tips to heart – not too sure about the younger boyfriend though! ;)