What does “Blue Zone” mean to you?
When I say the words “Blue Zone”, do they mean anything to you?
If not, I hope you will continue reading, because these two words can change and even extend and improve your life.
Blue Zones have been identified around the world by explorer/author Dan Buettner. They have been found to exist in Japan, Italy, Greece, California and Costa Rica. But what defines a Blue Zone? Very simply, a blue zone is an area where people consistently live to be 100 years old or more. More importantly, they are not warehoused in nursing homes in wheel chairs being fed food that doesn’t need to be chewed, but rather they are vital and vibrant. They still work if they choose, they till the land and garden, they socialize and they enjoy life.
One Blue Zone woman, when asked the secret responded, “We forget to die”.
This entire concept fits in beautifully with my ongoing outrage at our society that programs us to get achy and old, stop working and moving, cease to learn and create and simply begin the expected, predicted decline. Before we’re 50, we begin to get AARP invitations, and when we turn 64 we get a letter telling us we’ll be eligible for medicare in one more year.
What about TV?!… You have to be tough if you’re planning to watch any reruns from your youth. Watching Leave it to Beaver or The Andy Griffith Show sentences you to ad after ad for prescription medications, burial insurance and so on. Give me a break! We are inundated with not so subliminal programming to get old. Take a ticket to the fast track to decline. And about your doctor…once you’re on one medication you experience side effects (because they all have them), and your doctor then puts you on another prescription drug to suppress those symptoms… Before you know it you’re on 4 or 5 medications with more in sight.
These Blue Zone inhabitants aren’t buying what we’re being sold. They don’t overeat, and they eat largely a plant based diet. Not a doughnut or a cheeseburger and fries in sight. They don’t go to the gym to work out. Their exercise is incorporated in their daily lives. They don’t sit like we do. They walk, and they keep moving. I always say, “If you keep moving, they can’t catch you.” And this applies to aging as well. You have to reprogram your mind to stay young.
Allow me to rant about another aspect of our “modern” society that drives me crazy. What about the COA that exists in nearly every city and town? Council on Aging? Give me a break! Let’s give you advice on aging… on how to do a better job of getting old? Come on people! Let’s rename this and call it the Council on Youthing, or COY. I think that would be a much better frame, if you will, for the people who use the services they provide. Grandma says she’s “going to the Council on Youthing this morning to watch a movie” with friends. Much better mental message with that one, don’t you think?
And that ties in with another trait of the people who live in the Blue Zones. They are social. They are not isolated even when they are older. Notice I said “older”, not “old”. You must wrap your head around the fact that our society is not going to encourage us to stay young and healthy. Where is the profit in that for medicine and big pharma? The answer is they only make money when we are sick and getting sicker, and our SAD (Standard American Diet) is the perfect vehicle for their profit at the cost of our health, wellness and longevity.
So, do you have to move to Sardinia or Okinawa to live this way? No! There are programs in this country to create Blue Zones here in the U.S. One of the most recent ones in the news is in Tulsa, Oklahoma where the life expectancy is far less than the national average. The people of Oklahoma, on average, smoke more, are more overweight and have more incidences of diabetes, heart disease and mental illness than the national average. Their newly adopted goal is now to focus on prevention rather than the traditional allopathic healthcare model where you wait until you get sick to prescribe medication to suppress your symptoms. That is not healthcare; that is sickness care!
Three things to pass on to get you started on the right path to greater longevity and a Blue Zone style of living: get adequate sleep, keep moving (at lunch, go for a walk instead of having dessert) and eat sensibly with emphasis on vegetables, watching/cutting down your portions.
Join me for my weekly “Ask Cheryl Anything” call every Wednesday at 4 pm EDT. If you can’t make it live, there is a replay. Here’s the link for the June 27, 2018 call: https://instantteleseminar.com/Events/108711255
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness in Your Life!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC
Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show, Thin Strong Healthy, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog http://ThinStrongHealthy.com Cheryl offers ongoing information and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier. Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylAMajor. She is also a full time residential Realtor with Coldwell Banker with more than 25 years experience.
P.S. Check out all the free recipes for great tasting healthy eating in the Recipe Section at http://ThinStrongHealthy.com