"My word, I’m as old as the hills."

Back in May, that was 116-year-old Emma Morano’s response to learning that the Guinness World Record for World’s Oldest Living Person had been passed on to her following the death of previous record-holder, Susannah Mushatt Jones. Today, Morano—the last living person who was born in the 19th century—is celebrating yet another milestone: her 117th birthday.

While other centenarians have attributed their longevity to everything from exercise to lack of exercise, Morano’s secret to a long life is pretty straightforward: two raw eggs a day. Morano, who was born in the village of Civiasco in northern Italy on November 29, 1899, has made a practice of eating raw eggs for nearly a century, ever since she was diagnosed with anemia at the age of 20. She also suggests eating a bit of minced meat regularly, and only has milk for dinner.

Of course, genetics can't be overlooked: though Morano, the oldest of eight children, has outlived all of her siblings, several of her sisters lived to see their 100th birthdays (and her mother passed away at the age of 91).

Still, even Carlo Bava—Morano's doctor of nearly 30 years—seems baffled. "Emma has always eaten very few vegetables, very little fruit," he said. "When I met her, she ate three eggs per day, two raw in the morning and then an omelette at noon, and chicken at dinner." Yet somehow, says Bava, she seems to be "eternal."

Though Morano is only about three months older than Jamaica-born Violet Brown—the world's second oldest living person, who will celebrate her 117th birthday on March 10—Morano remains "the world's last living link to the 19th century."