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COVID-defying nun toasts 117th birthday with wine and prayer – Associated Press

PARIS (AP) Question: How does one cram enough candles onto a birthday cake for one of the worlds oldest survivors of COVID-19? Answer: With 117 candles, you cant.

A French nun who is believed to be the worlds second-oldest person celebrated her 117th birthday in style on Thursday, with multiple treats and well-wishes, cards and flowers to fete her exceptional longevity through two world wars and a recent coronavirus infection.

Sister Andr also got a Mass in her honor and a feast with Champagne, red wine and port. Then came a nap followed by more festivities, including an afternoon snack of baked Alaska, her favorite dessert.

It made me very, very, very, very happy, the birthday girl said. Because I met all those I love and I thank the heavens for giving them to me. I thank God for the trouble they went to.

Sister Andrs big day got rolling with a morning video call with her great-nephews and great-great nephews, followed by a Mass in her honor led by the local Catholic bishop, said David Tavella, the communications manager for the care home in the southern French city of Toulon where the nun lives.

Her birthday feast included a starter of foie gras, followed by capon with fragrant mushrooms. All of it washed down with red wine, because she drinks red wine. Its one of her secrets of longevity, Tavella told The Associated Press. There was also port and Champagne because 117 years have to be toasted, he said.

She skipped dessert because she was tired, but got it served to her later after a nap with three candles and the numerals 117 on top.

Packing on 117 candles would have been impossible.

We stopped trying a long time ago, Tavella said. Even if we made big cakes, Im not sure that she would have enough breath to blow them all out. You would need a fire extinguisher.

Sister Andrs birth name is Lucile Randon. The Gerontology Research Group, which validates details of people thought to be 110 or older, lists her as the second-oldest known living person in the world, behind only an 118-year-old woman in Japan, Kane Tanaka.

Tavella told French media earlier this week that Sister Andr tested positive for the coronavirus in mid-January but she had so few symptoms that she didnt even realize she was infected. Her survival made headlines both in France and beyond.

When the whole world suddenly started talking about this story, I understood that Sister Andr was a bit like an Olympic flame on a round the world tour that people want to grab hold of, because we all need a bit of hope at the moment, Tavella said.

When Tavella talked to her Thursday about celebrating her next birthday in 2022, she replied: I wont be here next year, he quoted her as saying, adding: But she has been saying that for 10 years.

By strange coincidence, Tavella celebrated his 43rd birthday on Thursday.

We often joke that she and I were born on the same day, he said. I never tell myself that she is 117 because she is so easy to talk to, regardless of age. It is only when she talks about World War I as though she lived through it that I realize, Yes, she did live through it!


Leicester reported from Le Pecq, France

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Best film couples & movie relationships, according to a therapist – Stylist Magazine

Jack and Rose, Allie and Noah, Johnny and Baby, Sandy and Danny these are just some of the most iconic movie couples that spring to mind when we think of L-O-V-E.

For us romantics, its a brief snapshot of a couples unwavering passion for each other that we can escape in for an hour or two (whether thats proving their love by building a house, ensuring nobody puts their beloved in the corner, or letting the other hog the door so they could survive a treacherous icy ocean).

But heres the thing; theres more to relationships than the honeymoon period. And none of our favourite romantic films ever seem to show those uneventful days that come later. You know, like the ones weve endured ourselves in lockdown purgatory, as we constantly ask our partner how their day was, despite fully knowing that it was, quite literally, the same as yesterday.

But no matter how unrealistic we know it is, we cant help but fall back on those same tried-and-tested romcoms.

They play to our longings and desires for connection, says psychologist, author and founder of The Village, Dr Kalanit Ben-Ari.

They are also something we can all relate to so many people are in love with the idea of a romantic relationship. When we are touched by a scenario in a film, we are actually in touch with a part in ourselves. It could be our dreams and longing or fears and losses, which might be in our awareness or unconsciously.

Hoping for a happily ever after certainly isnt a bad thing, but I know my own favourite on-screen couples have skewed my own expectations of love and not exactly in a healthy way.

Im not alone in this, either; as Dr Ben-Ari says: Even though a film can generate feelings of positivity, some might experience an after-effect depending on whats going on in their own life.

For example, a couple at the start of a relationship might be left feeling incredibly positive, whereas couples in an uncertain stage of their relationship might feel a sense of longing and sadness for the disparity between the films story and their reality.

Working closely with Dr Ben-Ari, then, I decided to take a look back at some of those iconic Hollywood couples who many perceive to be epic examples of love.

Some definitely stand the test of time. Others, on closer inspection, have some issues.

Jack and Rose, Titanic

Those of us who have seen Titanic enough times will argue there was space for Jack on that floating door. Which means he sacrificed himself unnecessarily for a holiday romance that had lasted just two days.

Thats right; from the very moment that Jack saved Rose from jumping off the Titanic to the moment he freezes in the Atlantic Ocean, only a little over 48 hours has passed. Anyone else think it was already over for Rose?

Longevity rating: 1/5

Johnny and Baby, Dirty Dancing

Johnny and Baby are from different walks of life who find themselves in the same place at the right time in Dirty Dancing. But, with a considerable age gap between them (and not much in common other than their dancing skills), its likely this love was never built to last outside of Kellermans.

Longevity rating: 2/5

Sandy and Danny, Grease

Shes the ultimate good girl, and hes the bad boy who just wants to get friendly down in the sand. Essentially, Sandy and Danny are complete polar opposites who spend the entire film trying to awkwardly impress each other and their peers.

These typical narratives often carry a deeper meaning to what we see on the surface, says Dr Ben-Ari.

There are unconscious processes or agendas that cause opposites to attract for example, and those who are being pursued might not show any interest as a form of defence mechanism from past pain.

Longevity rating: 2/5

Annette and Sebastian, Cruel Intentions

Yes, its another good girl/bad boy trope.

In Cruel Intentions, Sebastian makes a bet with his scheming stepsister Katherine and winds up falling truly in love with his pure-as-a-dove prey, Annette. When his toxic masculinity finally gives way to vulnerability, though, its too late and we wind up speeding towards the films tragic conclusion.

Longevity rating: 2/5

Josh and Cher, Clueless

Clueless is a full-on Monet: it all looks great from far away but up close-up its a mess. Personally, I swoon over any film with the ageless Paul Rudd, but when Chers true love ends up being his character her eye-rolling, nit-picking stepbrother, Josh it really is a case of as if!

Longevity rating: 2/5

Allie and Noah, The Notebook

Communication is a big deal in a relationship; if you dont tell the other what youre thinking or how youre feeling, then how on earth are they supposed to know?

Noah and Allies short-lived summer romance (which begins, as youll no doubt remember, with him blackmailing her into dating him) is heartbreakingly dragged out through the course of their entire lives, and all because neither of them could be bothered to sit down and have a proper conversation.

Longevity rating: 3/5

Lara Jean and PeterKavinsky, To All the Boys Ive Loved Before

Shes the sweet outsider, hes the cute popular jock: its a familiar story. Unlike Grease and The Notebook, though, these two dont just take the time to get to know one another; they make sure they share the same core moral values, too.

Better still? Even in these modern social media times, its an adorable love letter from Lara Jean to Peter Kavinsky that brings them together. Perfection.

Longevity rating: 4/5

Rosemary and Dill, Easy A

Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson play parents Rosemary and Dill in the classic 2010 film Easy A. They are, quite literally, the backbone of this delightful tale, and they show that mature love can be fun, caring and passionate even while dealing with their daughter Olives slut-shaming drama.

Longevity rating: 5/5

Monica and Quincy, Love And Basketball

Love And Basketball is a cult classic, with childhood sweethearts Monica and Quincy sharing an everlasting bond over the sport. A friendship turns into real love. And, yes, they make some mistakes along the way before finding the right time to be together.

But, as director Gina Prince-Bythewood explains to Shadow And Act about the films iconic sex scene, the whole thing is hinged on the couplds respect for one another.

When we did it, I was very specific about what I wanted it to be, she said. Its a girls first time, Monicas first time, I wanted it to be the fantasyI kind of wanted to give a blueprint for boys and girls of what to expect. I wanted the reality of it. Sanaa [Lathan] and Omar [Epps] were so dope in that scene, so protective of each other. They just gave the realness, especially just the looks that they were giving each other that said so much, which added organic humor to it which I loved.

Lets just ignore that he was two weeks away from the wedding when Monica finally made her move, yeah?

Longevity rating: 4/5

Jim and Michelle, American Pie

Jim loses his virginity to Michelle after prom. She isnt the porn star of his dreams, but shes quirky, and human, and believable. And, while they may seem mismatched, theyre destined to make it down the altar. Band geek and goofball for the win!

Longevity rating: 5/5

Sarah and Derek, Save The Last Dance

When white ballet dancer Sarah ends up at a majority-Black high school, she meets Derek. The interracial couple go against the grain, much to the distaste of his friends and family, but cringeworthy hip hop dancing scenes aside (Lets put that S-E-X in those H-I-P-S) they support each others dreams 100% and find love together.

Longevity rating: 4/5

Erin and Garrett, Going The Distance

This film made me believe that, if you really love someone, you will spend hours talking on the phone to keep that long distance relationship going. Im here, fresh from heartbreak, to tell you that isnt the case. Going The Distance deals with the idea that you cant physically touch someone else for months on end. And, while Erin and Garrett nearly dont make it, after a time jump, a sensible cooling-off period, and a decision to relocate, true love wins.

Longevity rating: 4.5/5

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Best film couples & movie relationships, according to a therapist - Stylist Magazine

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LeBron James’ longevity and consistency will define him in the end as Los Angeles Lakers push for another title – Sky Sports

If you were to describe LeBron James to a person who had never seen a game of basketball before, or no awareness of the sport, I am not sure you would be able to do it. Where do you start?

Oh, here's a guy built like an upright cargo jet with the footspeed of a wide receiver, the grace and poise of a gymnast and the deftness of touch of a sculptor. He has the same calm intelligence as a chess grandmaster, or a Number 10.

He's also 36, in his 18th season and has only ever suffered one major injury - a groin issue in 2018/19 that kept him out for... 17 games. That's it. That's the longest amount of time he's ever missed.

Beyond that, he's been as ever-present in the NBA as the hoops and the hardwood, averaging roughly 27 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists season in and season out. For some players, that stat line would represent the best night of their careers. For LeBron it's the minimum expectation, the same way you do not question whether the sun will rise in the morning. You know it will. You rely on it to.

It's something of a running joke now that he has not slowed down given, you know, the natural biological consequences of ageing and the fact James has played over 60,000 minutes of professional basketball, including playoffs.

To put that into perspective, you can combine the regular-season minutes of Lou Williams (34, 17th season) and J.J. Redick (36, 16th season), two other league stalwarts, and you would still have less than LeBron's regular-season total.

In fact, over the past three games LeBron has averaged 40 minutes and played four overtimes. The Lakers have won all three, including Wednesday night's 114-113 defeat of the Oklahoma City Thunder in which James hit the crucial three-pointer to send the game to an extra period, before then making a clutch steal on an inbounds play with four seconds remaining to secure the win.

Once again: this man is 36, in his 18th season, having played over 60,000 minutes in the NBA. There are paintings, fine wines, listed buildings and BitCoin traders envious of how LeBron James is ageing.

Yet, typically when we talk of an athlete's longevity, consistency and endurance, it usually comes at the cost of something else: the genuine ability to thrill. Take James Milner and Gareth Barry from the world of football for instance, two metronomes of the modern game but players who did not so much set the world alight as slowly and continuously drill right through to its core.

While they were undoubtedly exciting, dynamic and fearless in their youth, their permanence is what came to define them. The same for the likes of Tim Duncan, Jason Kidd, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Andre Iguodala in basketball. These are players we probably remember not for doing absurd things well into their 30s, but simply for still being there. Over time that tends to take on a remarkable quality in and of itself.

In our mind's eye we picture them as the grizzled veterans they became rather than the baby-faced destroyers of worlds they all once were during their ascendency.

LeBron James is different in many ways, but most startling is not that he can still do the things he has always done, from bulldozing straight through opponents to the rim or leaping out of the building to swat a shot into the rafters.

Most startling of all is that - somehow - he is still finding ways of improving on something already pretty close to basketball perfection.

This is probably the right moment to mention that LeBron is now one of the best snipers in the league, canning 39 per cent of his seven attempted threes per game. Those are almost Klay Thompson-level numbers. As per StatMuse, he is also averaging more points, rebounds, minutes, less turnovers and better field-goal, three-point and free-throw percentages than last season.

At what point do you give up waiting for the slump to come and just accept that this is it now, for eternity? That in a billion years when the Earth's surface heats, the oceans evaporate and all other life ceases to exist, only then will LeBron stop scoring 27 points a night, threading eye of needle passes and orchestrating another odd-parts and loose ends championship contender.

Tom Brady, understandably, has been the major talking point in the sporting world this week after winning his seventh Super Bowl at the age of 43. The most tiresome debate imaginable has once again reared its ugly head as the clickbait sites ask once and for all, until next month, who is the GOAT of the GOATs, the champion of champions. That misses the point of sport entirely. Brady's feats are staggering precisely because you cannot feasibly compare them to anything else that has happened before, in any sport, or even in any other aspect of life.

The same goes for LeBron. His career exists as a refutation of accepted truths. Of what the human body can do and what it can't. How long it can go on for. To contextualise him is impossible. You might wonder what the point is. Precisely that.

This is just another article, on another day, the morning after the night before when LeBron James put up 25 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists and won a game of basketball. Again.

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LeBron James' longevity and consistency will define him in the end as Los Angeles Lakers push for another title - Sky Sports

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Experts Unpack Longevity Secrets From 5 Different Cultures Around the Globe – Well+Good

Whats the secret to living a healthy, long life? It was the big question on Daniel Kennedys mind when he set out to direct and produce his (aptly named) docu-series, Healthy Long Life. Besides wanting to know to inform his own personal habits, he had a stake in finding the answer for professional reasons too: As the CEO of Oasis of Hope Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico, helping people live well into old age is one of his great missions.

Kennedy decided to travel all over the world (this was pre-pandemic) to see if he could find the answer by learning from the worlds leading longevity experts. I was interested in going to the longevity capitals of the world, Kennedy says. Of course the research on Blue Zones caught my attention, but there are many other places where [living to be over 100 in good health] is common so I wanted to go other places too.

As of January 2020, life expectancy in the U.S. was 78.7 years, and is projected to increase to 85.6 by the year 2060 (although the ongoing coronavirus pandemic may affect that estimate). We have modern medicine to thank for this, but what modern medicine has failed to do is add more healthy years to life, Kennedy says. We are living longer because we are able to overcome infections and treat disease, but what modern medicine doesnt do as well is prevent disease. With that in mind, Kennedy says he wanted to learn from cultures outside the U.S. that value other healing traditions.

While he did visit a few Blue Zones regionsspecifically Sardinia, Italy and Okinawa, Japanhe traveled far and wide to unsung longevity hotspots too. So, did he discover the secret to living a healthy, long life? Kennedy says he definitely came back from the trip wiser. Here are some highlights of what he learned about longevity from five different countries around the globe.

Kennedy traveled to India to learn more about Ayurveda, a holistic medicine practice that has been around for over 5,000 years, and its potential to increase longevity. He spoke with some of the countrys leading health experts, including non-invasive cardiology pioneer Bimal Chhajer, MD, and spice expert Deepa Krishnan, to learn about how Ayurvedic principles play primary roles in many Indian peoples lives.

Traditionally, Ayurvedic practices are used to bring balance to the body based on each persons individual dosha (their emotional and physical constitution). Ayurvedic physicians and healers use your dosha to help identify, customize, and prescribe lifestyle changes and remedies that aim to balance your energies, prevent disease, and preserve health. In this way, doshas are used to personalize medicine. For example, a pitta dosha is linked to premature aging more than those with a kapha dosha. Ayurvedic healers in India use information like this to inform their health advice.

Kennedy also experienced the benefits first-hand of the pungent spices so prominent in Indian food (and in many cases, important to Ayurvedic remedies). Turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, and saffron, are just a few of the common spices used in Indian cooking that are linked to lowering inflammation, the root cause of chronic diseases and cognitive decline. In this way, what you eat can be directly tied to disease prevention and living a longer, healthy life.

What I learned from Dr. Chahhajer is how food is being used to promote healing, Kennedy says. He also works with patients in areas of anger management, forgiveness, and stress management. All of these ways, he says, inspire more balance, which he believes is essential to longevity.

Watch the video below to learn more about how turmeric is good for longevity:

Since Kennedy is the CEO of a hospital in Mexico (and he himself has Mexican roots), he decided to see what he could learn in his own country, too. In Mexico, he spoke with Mayan shaman Bartolome Poot Nahuat, Pedro Batiz, the co-founder of Divine Flavor, and various centenarians about their lives and practices.

Like in India, Kennedy says living a life of balance was something the experts he encountered spoke of, even if they didnt use Ayurvedic principles to inspire it. Kennedy says what he learned in Mexico was to be present. [Many of the people I met] dont focus on yesterday or tomorrow, they focus on today, he says. For many, being part of a close-knit extended family and community are key; life is lived together, not alone. To this point, a2019 United Nations report found that living with a child or extended family members was the most common living arrangement for elderly adults in Latin America.

Like Indian cuisine, Mexican cuisine traditionally uses lots of health-promoting spices. Cayenne pepper, garlic, cilantro, chipotle powder, and cinnamon are all common spices in Mexican cuisine that are linked to warding off chronic disease by lowering inflammation.

Watch the video below to learn more about the health benefits of garlic:

When you look at Israel on a map, its right in the middle between Africa, Asia, and Europe, so all the traders from these regions crossed through Israel and brought their healing traditions along, Kennedy says. Because of this, Israel is really a melting pot of wisdom from all three of these continents.

Kennedy says the biggest longevity lesson he learned from Israel was using food as medicine. (Yep, food, once again!) The food in Israel is so incredibly fresh. Fresh vegetables, fruit, and fish are a huge part of the culture. He learned first-hand about the longevity-boosting properties of the Mediterranean diet from experts including Ronit Endevelt, Ph.D., the director of the nutrition division for the Israeli Ministry of Health & School of Public Health and Haifa University, Ayala Noy Meir (a professional olive oil taster), and Uzieli Hazay, who runs the Etrogman juice bar in Tel-Aviv that sells many natural remedies.

Hundreds of studies have linked the Mediterranean dietwhich advocates for lean proteins, whole grains, seafood, and plenty of vegetablesto longevity. There have been studies upon studies that have shown that the Mediterranean diet can lower the incidence of heart disease by as much as 70 percent, Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, a cardiologist and the director of womens cardiovascular prevention, health, and wellness at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, previously told Well+Good. Its why the eating style popular in Israel (and other parts of the Mediterranean) is so often recommended by doctors here in the U.S.

Watch the video below to learn more about why the Mediterranean diet is linked to longevity:

The infamous China Study, one ofthe largest comprehensive studies of human nutrition ever conducted, is what drew Kennedy to China. The study, which collected data from 6,500 adults in 65 prefectures in China over the course of 20 years, was a partnership between Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventative Medicine. Kennedy spoke directly with lead researcher T. Colin Campbell, PhD, who wrote the book The China Study($15) to learn more about its findings.

Once again, Kennedy says one of the biggest lessons he learned was through food. Dr. Campbell shared with him that one of the major takeaways of the China Study is how plant-based eating can protect against chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease. I saw first-hand what plant-based eating looks like in China by visiting the market, Kennedy says. I was amazed at the incredibly vast variety of vegetables there were. In the U.S., you might find three or four different types of apples and a few different types of mushrooms, but in China, I had seven different mushrooms in one meal and they have many more different types of apples. I saw carrots in a huge variety of colors! (Gastroenterologist Will Bulsiewicz, MD, previously told Well+Good that eating a wide variety of plants was the number one best thing you can do for your gut, which in turn affects your health as a whole.)

Kennedy also learned about how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is ingrained in many peoples daily lives in China. Similar to Ayurveda, TCM focuses on bringing balance to the body. One principle of TCM is qi, which is life energy that runs through the body. TCM doctors and healers often focus on ways to maintain qi through herbs, acupuncture, meditation, and movement. TCM is used prominently to prevent and treat disease and is a cornerstone of longevity in China.

Japan is home to one of the seven Blue ZonesOkinawabut Kennedy also spent time in Tokoyo and Kyoto meeting experts including Akitsugu Moriyama, the president of the Cancer Control Society of Japan; Mikako Harada, MD, an oncologist and expert in anti-inflammatory nutrition; and Takafumi Kawakami, a mindfulness expert and the deputy head priest of Shukoin Temple in Kyoto, Japan.

Kennedy says that the importance of mindfulness was a lesson he took home from Japan, something he saw through the elaborate matcha tea ceremonies that are held as well as in the types of exercises that are commonly practiced in the country. Japan is also a culture that really celebrates growing older as opposed to in the West where its something thats often viewed as a negative, he adds. (Just take Respect for the Aged Day, a national holiday in Japan where the elderly are given gifts from their local government and families gather together to honor their older loved ones.) Age-specific terminology is used to address older people. This complex of linguistic and social practices contributes to the acceptance and appreciation of old age, the paper reads. Feeling appreciated and valued can lead to feeling happy, which is directly linked to longevity.

While all the places Kennedy visited while filmingHealthy Long Life have their own unique ways of life, there are a few commonalities. Living a balanced life and finding ways to manage stress is key. So is eating lots of plants and flavorful herbs. Being connected to others is another way of living each culture valued. So maybe there isnt One Big Secret to living a healthy, long lifebut rather a few habits and traditions to cultivate daily.

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I’m A Longevity RD & Here’s How I Took Care Of Myself When I Had COVID-19 –

The first thing I decided to make was an antioxidant-rich beverage filled with cranberries, red currants, cherries, raspberries, lemon, and honey. I mixed those ingredients in the food processor, then added the concoction to hot water. Not only is the drink delicious, but it's also a simple way to increase your intake of immune-supporting vitamin C.

For the first few days, I didn't have much of an appetite (though I did retain my sense of taste and smell), so I opted for nutrient-rich and soothing drinks instead of solid food.

Along with the berry beverage, I also drank hot ginger tea with lemon, turmeric, and honey.Turmeric and ginger are high in anti-inflammatory properties, while hot water with honey also has a range of soothing health benefits.

For protein and gut support, I drank bone brothand when my appetite allowed for it, I'd use the broth as a base for vegetable soup containing blended leeks, broccoli, onions, herbs, and spices.

After the first three days, I continued drinking tea and incorporating berries and other antioxidant-rich foods into my diet. I also started transitioning back to my traditional everyday diet of nutrient-dense meals, with protein like chicken and fish.

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117 Year Old French Nun Links Red Wine to Her Longevity – VinePair

On Thursday, the French nun Sister Andr turned 117 and celebrated with an exceptional feast. A first course of foie gras set the tone for capon with fragrant mushrooms, and was washed down with a hearty glass of red wine.

David Tavella, the communications manager for Andrs care home in Toulon, told the Associated Press that red wine is one of Andrs secrets to longevity. Across the table, red wine, Champagne, and port flowed as Andrs friends toasted in her honor.

The meal concluded a few hours later with Sister Andrs favorite dessert, Baked Alaska. It followed a mass in her honor, led by the local Catholic bishop, and a video call with her great, and great-great, nephews.

At this point, Sister Andr is in line to become the worlds oldest living person. Shes currently Europes oldest and the worlds second oldest, right behind Kane Tanaka, who turned 118 last January.

When asked how shell celebrate her next birthday, Andr replied, I wont be here next year. But dont be perturbed, shes repeated the phrase every birthday for the last ten years, so winemakers better start setting aside their best reds for the next feast.

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