Despite what many doctors advise, 114-year-old Jeralean Talley of Inkster, Mich., America’s oldest living person, says her secret to a long life is to be nice, worship God — and eat pigs’ feet, Time reveals.
In a phone conversation on the eve of her 114th birthday, Talley told TIME, “I feel okay.” These days, the supercentenarian lives with her daughter Thelma Holloway, 75, and says she passes the time by watching The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Wheel of Fortune as well as listening to baseball on the radio — though she doesn’t have a favorite team. She can stay up as late as midnight and feasts on her favorite foods: potato salad, honey buns, McDonald’s chicken nuggets and Wendy’s chili.
Holloway says her mother stayed active over the years by sewing dresses, making quilts and playing the slot machines at casinos. She also bowled until she was about 104 and her legs got too weak — but not before scoring 200 in one game. Now Talley, who sits all day, tries to work out by waving her arms in the air and kicking her feet. Twice a year, she goes fishing for catfish and trout with her friend Michael Kinloch, 54, an engineer she met at church in 1990. “She literally throws her line in, and I’ll run over and try to pull in the fish,” he says. “We do that routine until she gets tired of it, and then we’ll head home.” …
Talley always says, “do unto others as you desire them to do unto you,” and insists that’s the secret to living a long life. Also, eating plenty of pork. Every Christmas, she bakes Kinloch a Hog’s Head Cheese — which doesn’t have cheese, but is basically pigs’ ears and feet in a jelly stock. “I personally feel like it’s one of those things that kind of keeps her going,” he says. He may have a point. Last month, a 105-year-old woman in Texas claimed that bacon was her secret to longevity. Talley is also known for her sweet tooth and has made friends walnut pie with walnuts from the walnut tree in her backyard.
Read more at Time.