Living By Design:  Learn From The Blue Zones.

Wisdom from the Blue Zones can give us insight into changing our environment and naturally enhancing our health trajectory, healthspan, vitality, and joy.  

The Blue Zones provide us with an alternative to “diet and exercise” by showing us how simple life practices that our ancestors would have practiced and appreciated are still valid in our modern world.

Here are some key points from this week’s blog posts:

Tuesday:  Dan Buettner, National Geographic researcher, traveled the world and researched the earth’s longest-living people.  He searched out people who were not just old, but who were living vibrantly, mental sound, and socially engaged up into their 90’s.  On a big world map, he and other researchers circled these sights in blue ink and termed them The Blue Zones.  The five geographic locales are Ikaria, Greece, Okinawa, Japan, Sardinia, Italy, Loma Linda, California, and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica.  

Wednesday:  The Blue Zones’ Power Nine are the general commonalities among these five regions.  While they don’t eat exactly the same thing or spend their day in exact same way, they live with purpose, find ways to move, enjoy good food in reasonable amounts, and nurture social connectedness at all levels.  Each community has a focus and a reason to get up in the morning and embrace life.  The habits that help them live longer, happier, and healthier have been distilled for us and you can find them here.   

Thursday:  START SOMEWHERE creating your own Blue Zone with one strategy at a time.  Mealtime is a great place to start and cooking at home has been proven to boost longevity!  Transforming a healthy choice into an easy choice is the key and there are big benefits emotionally, socially, and physically with just one small change at a time.  Food practices that enhance social connectedness, increase physical activity, and nurture overall wellbeing include enjoying a big breakfast and a lighter dinner, cooking at home as much as possible, and eating slowly with others.    

I’ve been getting lots of questions lately about nutrient depletion from medications.  Beginning next week, I’ll be blogging on the top 12 classes of medications and the nutrients that they deplete.  

While pharmaceutical meds certainly have their place and help many people, they must be unraveled and understood in order to get the best results and avoid bigger problems in the future.  This has become quite apparent among my dental patients.  

In an attempt to treat one problem, more challenges can often surface.  I’ll be giving you simple food strategies to “eat your way into” adding back deliciously what medications may be removing as well as areas where pharmaceutical-grade supplementation may be appropriate.  Thank you for joining me!    

 

Savory Vegetable Broth (slightly modified from Real Food All Year by Nishanga Bliss, MSTCM)

Filled with deep, savory flavor, this nutritionally potent broth can be made with or without bone broth.  I like to make it with my homemade chicken broth.  The roasted onions and garlic are the secret.  I was unfamiliar with kombu but found it to be a type of sea kelp that is delicious and filled diverse minerals.  When organic vegetables are available, I put them in – peeling and all.


Here’s what you will need:

  • 2 Onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 head of Garlic, sliced in half horizontally
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 1 large Leek, trimmed and cut into thirds
  • 1 bunch Celery, including the heart and leaves, cut into thirds
  • 3 Sweet Potatoes or Yams, quartered
  • 2 cups Winter Squash of any type
  • 2 6-inch strips of Kombu
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt

Here’s the drill:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  
  2. Place the Onions and Garlic in a roasting pan and toss with the Olive Oil to coat.  Roast until they begin to brown, about 20 minutes.
  3. Put all of the ingredients, including the Onions and Garlic, into a large stockpot and fill with water (I often use bone broth!) to within two inches from the top.
  4. Cover and bring to a boil.  
  5. Remove the lid and simmer over low heat for two hours.  
  6. Strain and use.  Or, allow to cool completely before transferring into smaller containers for freezing.  
  7. Enjoy as a base ingredient for a savory soup with family and friends!  

 

In our busy world, it is nice to be reminded of the simple things in life!  “Fear less, hope more, eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more, talk less, say more; hate less, love more, and all good things will be yours.”  (Swedish Proverb)

Learning from Blue Zones

Learning from Blue Zones