I am obsessed with ‘Blue Zones’. A concept evolved from the work of Gianni Pes and Michel Poulain, by which their demographic work identified areas of the world where people live measurably longer lives. One of them literally used a blue pen to circle the places around the world where the locals lived measurably longer than the rest of us due to their simple daily habits!
WHERE ARE THE BLUE ZONES?
The blue zones are currently identified as Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan, Loma Linda in California, Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica and Ikaria in Greece.
Okinawa, Japan - The largest and perhaps the most laid-back island from a collection of 150 islands off the shores of Japan.
Sardinia, Italy - A large Italian island in the Mediterranean sea with one of the highest numbers of Centenarians (aka over 100 years old).
Ikaria, Greece - Ikarian's are from a Greek island known as the 'island of long life' that blames their ample years on afternoon naps.
Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica - Nestled on Costa Rica's pacific coast, community plays a huge role in why these guys are out doing us with birthday candles.
Loma Linda, California - Yes, in America. A village of Seventh-Day Adventist's just outside of LA have taken it upon themselves to create a growing community following the blue zone habits.
WHAT ARE THE BLUE ZONE DAILY HABITS?
80% plant based
Most of a blue zone locals diet is made up of local and seasonal beans, oils, fruit and vegetables. Meat and dairy is thought as of a treat and fish consumption is limited to three times per week. Don't worry tough, as a daily red wine is not only fine but encouraged.
Blue zone locals are wonderful at practising both restraint and indulgence. When it comes to feeling full, the Japanese even have a phrase called 'Hara Hachi Bu' meaning eat until you are 80% full.
Shop local and seasonal
You will be hard-pressed to find a commercial supermarket in these spots of the world, so time to learn how to support your local growers, which in turn forces you to eat seasonally. Buy a seasonal meal plan subscription so you always know how to shop!
Nature is the gym of the blue zone local who make it their daily mission to break a sweat through the simple moderate exercise of walking. Incidental exercise like gardening are easy habits that they have consciously made daily routine.
You don't have to ask me twice. The art of the daily afternoon nap has been keeping these guys looking and feeling sharp for centuries.
We all need purpose whether it is making sure you call your Mum every Sunday or maintaining your urban herb garden, purpose doesn't begin and end with your resume. Learn how to turn your phone off and be present.
Life's too short not to be silly. Learn how to laugh at the small stuff and gain resilience for the big stuff.
Why we need to not only drink it, but swim in it as much as possible.
I think its pretty apparent that none of these habits are unachievable. Prioritising these daily rituals is a lot easier than attempting a fad diet. Go blue!
Big BLUE love.