The world’s oldest living man, Walter Breuning turned 113 on September 21. His secret: eat only two meals a day and lots of fruit.
He was born in Melrose, Montana and still lives there today, residing at the Rainbow Retirement and Assisted Living Center. He says the secret to a long healthy life is to keep your mind and body active. He was born in 1896 and went to work for the Great Northern Railroad when he was 17. After retiring there at age 66, he was manager for the local Shriner’s Club until age 99.
Standing 5’8” tall and weighing 125 pounds, Breuning says he has stayed that same weight for the last 35 years, ever since he stopped eating dinner when he realized how much better he felt. “I think you should push back from the table when you are still hungry,” he told Montana’s Great Falls Tribune. “You get in the habit of not eating at night, and you realize how good you feel. If you could just tell people not to eat so darn much.”
Breuning said he wakes each day at 6:15 and eats a big breakfast of eggs and toast or pancakes at 7:30 and then a big lunch. “I eat a lot of fruit every day,” he added. He also drinks plenty of water and just a little coffee each day. The supercentenarian said he has been healthy all his life thanks to his common-sense diet and hard work. “Work doesn’t hurt anybody,” he said. He still wears a suit and tie each day and walks and chats with visitors. His eyes don’t allow him to read much anymore but he listens to the radio to stay up with current events.
“Life is short but the influences of what we do or say is immortal. There needs to be much more of the spirit of fellowship among us and more forgiveness,” he told the Tribune. “The power of gentleness is little seen in the world.”
His birthday lunch was liver and onions, his favorite, and two birthday cakes, one chocolate and one vanilla. Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer sent Breuning a fruit basket after meeting with him recently. “Boy, I tell you that was good fruit. I ate the whole darn thing. Peaches, pears, everything, it sure was good.”
Pia Hinckle is publisher at The FruitGuys.