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Lifestyle & Wellness

At 89, Mary K. is not on a single prescription medication. How her decades of healthy living has paid off.

At 89, Mary K.  is a marvel. Her decades of regimented routine of working out, vitamin supplementation and health education is paying off. Being fit and healthy is a gift all her 10 kids, grandkids and great-grandchildren say is an example to follow.

Is it great genes? Not so much, she would say. Her mother died at age 68 of cancer. Her dad died of cancer, as well. Even Mary K. said she battled basil cell carcinoma three decades ago.  What is the magic formula, then?

“My daughter found a nutritional book in a small health food store in the ‘80s and we both started following the diet and cooking advice,” she says. “It was then that I saw the link to food, vitamins and health. I started seeking out alternative, holistic care and reading everything I could about wellness.”

Friends in her hometown say she leads the charge in creating small wellness groups, inviting friends to participate in vitamin programs and even calling a major whole foods chain to locate in her town. It did.  Some rebuffed her. Some denied vitamins make a difference. The proof, her friends and family say, is in the way she has aged.

She not only looks decades younger, but she isn’t battling aches, pains or lack of energy. Her mind is sharp and clear.

Her routine includes rising at 6:30 a.m. four times a week to hit the treadmill (walking), twice a week she includes Callinetics, as well as floor exercises. Her vitamin supplement regimen is even more impressive.  Breakfast includes a loaded smoothie for breakfast packed with pea protein, collagen powder, fresh fruit and an immune defense formula. 

Mary K. with her daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter

Lunchtime vitamins include Vitamin C, B Complex, CoQ10, elderberry, echinacea. a mineral chi formula (great for the skin, she says) and hawthorn berries. Nighttime vitamins include Omega 3s and she also regularly includes food enzymes to aid with digestion (she says she does not have digestive issues).

Her bout with carcinoma was the result of skin X-rays in the 1940s. As a teen-ager, her mother took her to the doctor for the X-ray treatment to avoid acne. The damage showed up three decades later. Today, you cannot tell that she has undergone multiple surgeries for carcinoma that appeared on her face. “I think as a result of that exposure, everyone in the family knows to question the most simple of procedures. Is it necessary? Why would I undergo something I don’t need?”

Today, she is a master gardener with her own organic vegetable garden. While she doesn’t consume alcohol, an occasional glass of red wine is in order when her wannabe sommelier son comes to town. Her true guilty pleasure? “An occasional cinnamon roll. The best!” she says.

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