Better with Age

Palm Beach Gardens resident Valerie Ramsey has lived many lives in her 76 years. In her 20s and 30s, she was a stay-at-home mom raising six kids. In her 50s, she jumped into a career in public relations and marketing at the Pebble Beach Resorts in California. And in her 60s, she began modeling. Throughout it all, Ramsey has looked forward to what’s next, and now, with two published books, she’s encouraging others to do the same.

Photo by Scott Campbell Photography

   “The key to aging gracefully is being excited about life, about having something to look forward to, about feeling that you are contributing in some way—or in several ways,” Ramsey says.

   Her latest tome, Creating What’s Next: Gracefully (PathBinder Publishing, $22.95), explores factors that affect aging (including nutrition, fitness, sleep, stress, and sexuality) and shares her reflections on the questions many people ask as they approach the latter parts of their lives. Drawing from her own experiences—especially her time in the corporate world and as a model for runway and print—Ramsey encourages readers to be excited about life, nurture love and relationships, and keep going. “Pounce on opportunities,” she says. “If something strikes your fancy that you really think, ‘This is it,’ go for it.”

   Ramsey continues to model and speak across the country about her transition into her golden years. Below, she shares 5 tips for aging gracefully and 10 rules to healthy living.

5 Tips to Aging Gracefully

  1. Have a curious mind and be inquisitive. Aging gracefully has as much to do with spirit and intellect as it does with physicality.
  2. Eat a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, which can be found in such foods as salmon, flaxseed, and walnuts.
  3. Start meditating and eliminate negative thought patterns to reduce stress.
  4. Follow a plan to maintain healthy skin. Exfoliate two to three times a week to slough off dead skin cells and keep your complexion glowing.
  5. Keep on moving forward with life. Find your “What’s next?” and do whatever it takes to pursue it.

10 Rules to Healthy Living

  1. Drink a glass of water first thing every morning.
  2. Eat slowly and sit down at every meal.
  3. Eat breakfast or a snack within 45 minutes of waking up.
  4. Try to never eat a carbohydrate by itself. Always add a fat or a protein.
  5. Never go longer than four hours without eating.
  6. Drink at least 64 ounces of water daily. Space it out throughout the day by having small amounts at meals.
  7. Eat dinner by 7 p.m.
  8. Take at least one 15-minute break outside in the sunshine each day.
  9. Get seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.
  10. Choose natural carbohydrates—the ones that come from the ground—such as rice, yams, sweet potatoes, and beans.

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