The Blue Zones - I Just Knew It!

New York  Times best selling author Dan Buettner  The Blue Zone offers more proof that my system of eating is right if you want to live long and well. 

If you want to live long and well, read on about Dan Buettner's findings on the oldest people in 6 regions of our planet. These regions are Ikaria, Greece. Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan, Nikoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, and Loma Linda California (wow we actually have a US territory!)

Buettner and his team found several characteristics that were common to all of these areas, and I smiled when I saw the food part. Why? Well, because it’s what I’ve been talking about for years - simple whole foods for the most part, and excluding unhealthy processed foods, especially sugar. 

So let me break the findings down for you - the good, the bad and the ugly:

The best longevity foods are (Include at least 3 of these daily):

        Beans (black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas, lentils)

        Greens (spinach, kale, chards, beet tops, fennel tops, collards)

        Sweet Potatoes

        Nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, cashews)

        Olive Oil (green, extra-virgin is best)

        Oats (slow-cook or Irish steel-cut are best)  and Barley

        Fruits (all kinds) berries, grapes, mango, papaya, pineapple, melons, apples, pears, peaches, plums, dates, bananas, etc. 

        Green or Herbal teas

        Turmeric (spice or tea)

The 4 best drinks are:

        Water     Coffee    Green Tea    Red Wine (no more than 2 glasses daily)

Foods to Minimize include:

        Meat (eat meat only 2 times per week or less; meat servings should be 2 oz. cooked or less; fine to eat up to 3 oz. of fish daily) 

        Dairy such as cheese, cream, and butter (limit as much as possible; Goat and Sheep milk products are good substitutes)

        Eggs (no more than 3 eggs per week)

        Sugar (limit as much as possible — opt for raw honey and fruit instead)

        Bread (when you do eat bread, eat 100% whole wheat or authentic sourdough; look for sprouted grain bread, whole grain rye, or pumpernickel bread)

Foods to Avoid (other than a special treat):

        Sugary beverages (sodas, boxed juices)

        Salty snacks (chips, crackers)

        Processed Meats (sausage, salami, bacon, lunch meats)

        Packaged sweets (cookies, candy bars)

Does This Seem Impossible?

If you have been living on processed foods and take-out for most of your adult life, this way of eating may seem daunting, or even impossible.  The secret is, it is not that difficult.  Here are the steps that make it work:

1. decide that what is in processed foods just may not be so good for your longevity ( think chemicals, preservative, additives, sugar, salt and old food)

2. look at the state of your health and energy, and ask yourself if it could be better

3. learn that preparing whole foods from the list above doesn't take very long

4. learn that by preparing your food you know exactly what is going into your body

5. know that ultimately eating simple whole foods will be less expensive than processed foods and take-out

6. know that by eating simple whole foods you are supporting clean farming

Need help?

Are you a yo yo dieter? Would you like to eat healthy but you don't know how?  Let's talk.