EATING HEARTY: Hazel Green, 100, recommends eating good old fashioned meat and veg, except for the vege, but with plenty of extra milk and sugar.
EATING HEARTY: Hazel Green, 100, recommends eating good old fashioned meat and veg, except for the vege, but with plenty of extra milk and sugar. Renee Albrecht

100-years-young, Hazel's long-life dietary secrets

HAZEL Green turned 100 and this week passed on her secret.

"Good eating," she said, outlining some of the diet tips responsible for her long and productive life.

"Steak, dairy products and lots and lots of sugar," she said.

"I've cut down on salt though. I used to put extra salt on corned meat, but I'm giving that up."

Milk, sugar and salt, combined with those nice juicy steaks have been the country eating staples that saw Hazel outlast the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Berlin Wall and the USSR.

The fax machine, the VCR and the audio cassette were passing fads by comparison.

For practical dietary guidance, Mrs Green also recommends a regular treat of good old fashioned traditional rice pudding.

Plenty of sugar in that, she agrees - and plenty of full cream milk.

It is one of her favourites, along with custard, which is kind of the same, but with eggs and corn flour instead of rice

"We lived on sugar. You've got to have some sugar in it."

She likes her steaks fried in fat and preferably medium rare ("just a bit of pink in the middle").

"I've always enjoyed a good meal," she said, "everything you shouldn't eat.

"So long as it doesn't have any herbs. Herbs are rubbish.

"And not too many vegies either," she said.

The only flaw in her otherwise vitamin-free diet is her salads.

"I like salads - just ordinary food.

"We didn't have big events," she says of the most exciting and scary century humanity has ever had.

"We made our own fun," she said.

A lot has changed, she agrees, but mostly not for the good.

"I reckon our simple ways were the best."

Born in Toowoomba, she was eight when her family moved to Coles Creek and later to Cooran, almost always on a dairy farm.

She has outlived both her sons but has five grandchildren, two of them still in the Traveston area.

"I had two sisters and three brothers. They're all gone too."

There were no phones, no fridges and no washing machines in the world of Hazel Green (nee Cumner) as a young person.

"The old scrubbing board was how we did the dishes."

How does she feel about her birthday celebration?

"It just annoys me," she said. "They're cooking me something. They won't tell me what. I suppose if it makes them feel good that's alright.

"I just go along as it is. I take it as it comes. It's just another day," she said.

Just another one out of the 36,500 days, not counting about 25 more for the leap years.


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