Five years ago I first heard about The Blue Zones. These are areas around the world with the longest living people. These people have lived a long and unique life and all have the same common elements of lifestyle, diet, and outlook which has led to an amazing quality of life.
There are 5 Blue Zones. Sardinia, Italy; Loma Linda, California; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece, and Okinawa, Japan. I was so intrigued to hear about how these communities are living to be 90 and in their 100's. They're not just sitting around aging they are still active and thriving.
Fast forward to this week the holistic health and nutrition school I am enrolled in had a lecture about the Blue Zones by the man and author of the book. I was so intrigued by everything he was saying.
The average life expectancy in the world is 90 years old but in the United States it's 79 years old! 79 YEARS OLD!!! Why? Why in the US on average are we dying 11 years sooner?
Basically our lifestyle and food chooses. We work, work, work. Stress. We have a lot of stress. We look for outside happiness. If we go to this school, get this degree, make 6 figures we will be happy, if I get married I will be happy, if I get that car or that job I will be happy. We have to be happy with ourselves first.
We have the SAD diet aka Standard American Diet.
If you have 3 or more good friends that you can vent to, talk to regularly you are doing well on this end of staying healthy. Being lonely is equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day!
Not getting enough sleep also takes a toll on our bodies and mind.
The people in the Blue Zones eat fruits and veggies and only eat meat on special occasions or when they are celebrating, they drink wine, they walk all the time, exercise 30 minutes a day, they have fun, and they live by their families and grandparents are close to their grandkids.
So what are the Blue Zones Power 9?
Move naturally. They garden, go for walks.
Purpose. Why do you wake up in the morning?
Down Shift. Stress leads to chronic inflammation.
80% Rule. Stop eating when your stomach is about 80% full.
Plant Slant. Plants and beans are the cornerstone. Meat only a few times a month maybe 3-5.
Wine @5. People in Blue Zones drink alcohol moderately and regularly. 1-2 glasses a day.
Belong. Have a faith based community.
Loved ones first. Put your family first. Keep aging parents and grandparents nearby.
Right Tribe. Have a social circle.