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FEATURES Nov 6 2012 4:20PM

Annette Larkins Defies Age With These Healthy Tips!

By Kristin Braswell
Google Annette Larkins, and words like “fountain of youth” and “age-defying” are sure to pop up. The beauty has a more modest description of her lifestyle, which includes a diet of raw foods and consistent exercise. TM.com chatted with Larkins about how she maintains her health and gorgeous spirit.
Tell us a little bit about where you are from.
A: I was born in Asheville, North Carolina, but left when I was a baby.  I consider Miami, my home; after all, I have lived in my present abode for 50 years.
What sparked your interest in a vegan lifestyle?
A: I became a vegetarian in 1963 after developing a total distaste for dead-animal flesh. After noticing positive benefits derived from being a vegetarian, I took another step in abstaining from white edibles such as white rice, white sugar, and white flour. Since I felt better each time I removed an unhealthy food choice, it made so much sense that there must be a correlation between eating well and being well. I later read how dairy products cause excessive body mucus; so I excluded them along with eggs. The next phase of my evolution took me to what I call The Kingdom of Living Foods, live and raw, where live is king, raw is queen, and I am a willing and loyal subject. This is the stage at which I am presently, comfortably settled.               
You call the garden you grow your "Fountain of Youth." What do you eat on a typical day?
A: The foods that I consume daily vary depending on my mood; nevertheless, it is safe to remark that my day-to-day diet will consist of dark green vegetables such as collards, kale or lettuce.  Sometimes it may be all of these and more. I like to break the fast—known as breakfast with juice—presently, I am in a wheatgrass mode. I also will partake of noni juice from my garden. I may indulge in one of the dishes found on my DVD Annette’s Raw Kitchen, which includes spicy collard greens, nut balls, pizza, wild rice, et cetera.  

What type of exercise do you do?
A: I generally achieve eight miles of activity throughout the day; a portion is done in my home gym on the treadmill. I ascend and descend my spiral staircase until I have accomplished 50 to 100 floors. I walk, bend, stretch and squat, as I weed, water, nourish, and plant in my garden.  Oh, yes, one of my passionate activities is dancing. I revel in prancing around, free styling to artist like John Legend and Mary J. Blige at the moment; of course, Michael Jackson will continue to add to the excitement of movement. Since it is important to exercise the mind as well as the body, in order to stimulate my brain, I play computer solitaire at a very rapid speed—the purpose is to test how quickly I can place the cards in their proper position. I play computer chess in order to hone my strategic skills.
What are some of the benefits you have experienced over the years as a result of your lifestyle?
A: My memory is as good as or better than when I was younger, and throughout the years I have discerned increased clarity of mind, which I attribute to proper systemic feeding of cells.  Before the change in diet, I would easily and frequently catch colds. Now, it seems that my immune system prevents the flu or cold germs from invading my internal domain. I am physically strong and mentally alert.
Does your family follow the same healthy lifestyle that you do?
A: Although each member of my family has tried different stages of my lifestyle, my oldest son is the one who has managed to hang on the longest; he eats like I do most of the time.
How do you encourage others to live healthily?
A: As for diet, I have produced the above-mentioned DVD Annette’s Raw Kitchen along with the booklets Journey To Health and Journey To Health 2.  Of course, I espouse that food and drink are not the only factors to consider in a healthy lifestyle; exercise is most important. It is also necessary to get enough sunshine, and enough rest. I am always adamant about the significance of having a positive attitude as well.

How do you feel when you hear people saying you are defying age?
A: I contend that I am not defying age; at my age I should be experiencing exactly what I am experiencing—agility, vibrancy, the fruitfulness of life, and the wisdom of age.  I hope to greet each chronological age that I am able to receive with preparedness to carry on in good standing (being psychologically, physiologically, and spiritually sound) for as long as I can.
What are some foods you would encourage everyone to have in their diet, and why?
A: Dark, green leafy vegetables are alkalizing and should be consumed on a regular basis in order to maintain balance in the body. Include as many raw, fibrous foods as possible to encourage regularity and overall nutrition—vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
How does your spirituality and outlook on life play a role in motivating you?
A: The spiritual part of me dictates that the evolutionary plane on which I find myself is not by accident; instead it is by design, and I am compelled to continuously reach for higher grounds, realizing that even though I shall never reach perfection, destiny will, nevertheless, lift me beyond what I ever imagined.   


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