Have you heard more and more about Blue Zones lately?
Those five magical areas of the world where people live significantly longer and healthier lives.
If we don’t live in …
Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
Or … Loma Linda, California
– are we doomed to die in our seventies?
As far as I can tell, there’s no literal fountain of youth in these places. It’s all about what they eat and how they live.
My husband and I have, in the last year and a half, attempted to create our own little Blue Zone.
We eat a plant-based diet, walk daily, practice yoga and drink the occasional glass of red wine.
Some would argue, my younger brother for one, they’d rather eat and drink what they like and live a shorter, happier life. If reducing your alcohol intake and giving up meat would truly make you miserable, then it’s a valid argument. Many people also state they have no desire to live to a hundred. But, keep in mind, the one-hundred-year old’s in these Blue Zones feel and act like a seventy-year-old!
There’s no question, switching to a plant-based diet is quite the commitment. You’ll shop more regularly for fresh fruit and veg, plus you’ll need to stock your pantry with plenty of nuts, legumes, and whole grains.
It’s not all about the food in blue zones. It’s also the way they live.
A common thread with all five zones is religion and spirituality. People who are religious or spiritual are, according to Dan Buettner, the Blue Zone founder, happier. Happy people live longer!
They’re also active throughout the entire day. This part is tough. How do you achieve this while doing a job that requires you sit at a desk for hours on end? Many people exercise before or after work. They’ll also walk during their lunch break. Is it enough? From a practical level, I think it’s good. What I would add – if you can, without getting fired – is the thirty-minute rule. I have a little timer (shaped like a pig) on my desk. It has a dual purpose. I set it for thirty minutes, and during that time I stay completely focused (unless my Mom Skypes), on what I’m working on. When the timer goes off, I get up from my desk and perform some type of physical activity. If you have your own office, I suggest closing the door, putting on some boppy music and shaking your stuff. Should someone walk in on you, unfortunately, that’s their visual to erase. 😊
If you’re far too sensible for such nonsense, some lunges and squats will get the heart pumping. Better yet, start your own Blue Zone club at work. Every thirty minutes, you and your co-workers meet up for a little stroll through the building. Ten minutes every half hour seems a lot – or might to your employer!! But when you come back, refreshed and ready to focus for another uninterrupted thirty minutes, they’re bound to see the value in your new healthy approach.
Another common thread with these long living, healthy folk, is the time they spend with family. Meals aren’t consumed while watching television or staring at iPhones. They’re savored, unrushed opportunities to chat and laugh around a table together. Again, tough to do when your daughter’s got soccer practice and your son’s at cub scouts. Maybe on the days you can do it, make this family time as special and unplugged as you’re able.
If you’re into healthy living, Blue Zones is an interesting and detailed topic. I’ll be writing more blogs on the subject and sharing recipes and ideas with you for…
Your Own Blue Zone.
#bluezones #happiness #Nutrition #healthylifestyle #longevity