Realtors Author Books on Keys to Healthy Living and Long Life
Mary Prenon | October 2016
Karen Mayo of Exit Realty in Elmsford and Gwen Weiss-Numeroff of Keller Williams Hudson Valley Realty in New City have more in common than just selling real estate—they have both authored books about staying healthy and living a long life.
A Realtor since 2013, Mayo worked in banking and mortgage financing with firms like Wells Fargo and Prospect Mortgage before making the change to real estate. In addition, she is a certified integrative nutrition health and lifestyle coach.
She started writing “Mindful Eating” in 2014, following her own experience of caring for her nephew while her sister was in the U.S. Army. “He had been diagnosed with ADHD and I noticed that his eating habits were not the healthiest—fast food, TV dinners, chips, and foods with lots of additives,” she explained.
Mayo decided to gradually change his diet to include healthier options and his grades slowly began to increase from C’s to A’s. “His teachers wanted to know what was making such a difference in his life,” she said. “He actually started to go above and beyond what some of his classmates were doing.”
She started with breakfast—replacing sugary cereals and pastries with eggs, healthier cereals, or yogurt and fruit. Next, she packed his lunch with a sandwich, fruit and vegetables, then provided a healthy and nutritious dinner, with lots of vegetable options.
“Of course, he resisted at first, but after a few weeks of healthier eating choices, he was so much more focused,” added Mayo. “At that point, I thought if I could do this for a sixth grader, I could help others as well.”
Mayo finished her book in 2015, and began to offer wellness workshops. Soon, she got corporate CEOs calling her in, asking her to come in and talk about health and wellness. Since then she’s spoken at Columbia University and was also a guest on the “Doctor Oz Show.”
“Realtors love the book too because it’s easy to read and it’s helped so many of them to make healthy eating choices, especially when they’re running from appointment to appointment,” she said.
Mayo admits the biggest challenge is time management. “Planning meals takes time, but once you get into the habit of doing that, it becomes almost second nature,” she said.
For busy Realtors on the go, Mayo suggests keeping snacks like nuts, seeds and fruit on hand so that you don’t get too hungry between meals. She also offers several programs including: Group and Corporate Health and Wellness Programs, Weight Management Programs, Group and Private Coaching and Doctor Integration Programs.
Meanwhile, Weiss-Numeroff has seen first-hand how healthy lifestyles can lead to longevity. Her book, “Extraordinary Centenarians in America,” published in 2012, features stories about 30 vibrant individuals across the U.S. who are at least 100 years old.
She began working on the book in 2010 shortly after her mother died of ovarian cancer at the age of 70. “We have short longevity in our family and I wanted to find some answers about how to achieve a better quality of life and live longer,” said Weiss-Numeroff.
At first, she took to social media to find healthy centenarians and initially found someone in her own backyard. Gardner Watts, at 96, had climbed the Statue of Liberty to the crown, and at over 100, is still active today.
From word of mouth, Weiss-Numeroff began to find more and more people who met her criteria. “They were very diverse and from all walks of life,” she said. “There was a gentleman who got married at age 99, a woman who stopped smoking at age 50 and was going strong at 102, and Besse Cooper, the oldest person in the world, at age 116. She later died of natural causes, but had all of her wits about her.”
Weiss-Numeroff also interviewed Ebby Halliday, 101, one of the country’s most successful real estate entrepreneurs. “She was a remarkable woman and one of my favorite people,” she added. Halliday has since passed.
She also spoke with Ruth Gruber, a reporter and photojournalist who covered World War II. “She saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust by convincing President Roosevelt to give them asylum,” explained Weiss-Numeroff. She is still alive today at 105.
Others in the book include: Dr. Leila Denmark, 114, the co-developer of the whooping cough vaccine and longest working pediatrician; Irving Kahn, the world’s oldest active investment professional at 106; pro golfer Errie Ball, 102, and Bel Kaufman, 101, renowned novelist (“Up the Down Staircase”).
“I learned so much about history—the real things that you don’t hear about in history books,” she said.
In looking for a common denominator in all of the centenarians, Weiss-Numeroff found that none were obese. “They didn’t really know the word diet, but most did eat natural foods that are not processed,” she said. “Since all of them lived through the Great Depression, they didn’t eat in excess either. They had no fast food growing up and most did not eat that way. Most of them didn’t smoke either.”
Weiss-Numeroff believes that while some people may be pre-disposed to good and bad genes, healthy lifestyles may be able to turn off the bad ones. “The one thing they all had in common was a good attitude and a great sense of humor,” she added. “They also kept their minds active and were socially engaged. A lot of them also did volunteer activities.”
A Realtor for just over a year now, Weiss-Numeroff had the experience of selling a home to an 83-year old woman who regularly attended Zumba classes. “I used to fear aging, but now I see that it can be really exciting,” she said. “My new attitude is ‘don’t retire—refire’!”
Weiss-Numeroff is also the founder of Corporate Wellness of Hudson & Bergen, which provides health and wellness counseling for employees. In addition, she counsels individuals in her private practice in Pamona. Her book is also available at www.Amazon.com