Howdy friends! Yet another weird and spacey blog post coming your way! Today we discuss diet, places called Blue Zones, and debunk some food myths that could be causing some confusion!
Food School #yum
I am currently in school to get my holistic nutrition certification. So lotssssssss of information all concerning food and what, based on science, is the healthiest way to eat. I am learning so much, and I thought I already had a pretty good handle on food. Apparently not. One thing I did know for certain prior to beginning this journey and now has an even heavier impression on me is this simple statement. “Diets, DO. NOT. WORK. If you want to change your life you must make lifestyle changes.” This is a blog post in itself, so I’ma leave it at that for now.
The Blue Zones
A topic that I find particularly interesting in my research is that there are currently five locations in the world that are considered a Blue Zone. Blue Zones have the highest population of the oldest living people in the world. A gentleman named Dr. Buettner wanted to know why and how these folks were living this long. So he studied these groups for a decade each. So much data came out of these studies. So many things we can take away from the ways these people look at food and what they are consuming. They live on average to 100 years old and have little, but most of the time zero, cases of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, hypertension, etc. Problems that are common in the USA.
Let's start at what they are eating.
What are they eating
First and most important, Blue Zone inhabitants eat mainly plant based diets. With about 90% of their diets coming from plants, they would be considered vegetarian and almost vegan. These oldies eat what is being grown around them! They eat what their specific land area grows. So in the blue zone in Costa Rica they eat mainly beans, squash and tortillas. In Japan, 70% of the diet in the blue zone is sweet potatoes. Add rice into that and you have the diet for longevity. And finally in Loma Linda California, (yep right here at home) their diet consists mainly of slow cooked oatmeal, nuts and beans. When the zones do eat dairy products or meat products they know where the animal lives, and in most blue zones they milk the animal themselves. Meat and poultry is a rarity and only shows up on holidays or extremely special occasions. There are many takeaways from just these three blue zones. 1. Eat from where you live. The closer the food is grown to your home, the more nutrients you can derive from eating them! Here in NC, sweet potatoes and mushrooms are always on the menu! 2. Eat (most of the time) what is in season. This is a difficult one, so of course do this as often as you can! One of my go to snacks is guacamole, and those are neither grown in NC or in season where they are the closest! But guac is easy and healthy so it's a choice I make. 3. Buy your groceries from the farmers market if you can afford! The Farmers Market here in my City is not always something the dude and me can afford, but we try our hardest to go once a week and get vegetables from there! This way you can meet the farmers, ask about their farming practices and develop relationships. PLUS you are supporting local! We all know how important that is!
What are they drinking
This part I’ll keep short and sweet. Most blue zones drink very little alcohol, except the blue zone in Sardinia, Italy. This is where the longest living group of men reside. They drink 1-2 glasses a day of Cannonau wine. (Sounds like a good time to me ;)! ) Their main drinks are green tea, coffee and water. There are absolutely no soft drinks, processed teas, or energy drinks in these zones! These people simply do not need them! With the majority of them drinking green tea from morning to night, this leads me to believe my obsession with match lattes is a good thing!?
Why do we care!?
I know why I care that's for sure. Quality of life. Every single day we are surrounded by people who have a sub-pare life. Mainly because they feel like shit all the time. They have a hard time moving, sleeping, exercising, having intimate relationships. Just living life! If I have the ability to help myself feel good, all day everyday I am going to take it! I want to feel good during my workouts, for myself, my partner and my clients! I love a steady digestive system and a healthy and strong gut flora! After our move in 2018 to NC from FL, I think I let go of my standards of health alittle bit. I sorely paid for it, in January of 2019 I can down with the flu (sounds regular to most I know) that was absolutely awful! I was in the fetal position for four days. This was the first time I had been sick in over eight years, so it was a surprise feeling to say the least. I won't have that again!
I am not a pusher, I do not like when people tell me what I should do. So I won’t tell you what to eat or how you should live your life. What I will tell you is there are thousands of people scattered around the world that feel as good in their 90s as we do in our 30s. There is decades, 5 decades to be exact, of data telling us that whole body, mind and wellness is possible through diet and what kind of diet that needs to be. There are books and articles and research studies dedicated to it. Of course the big pharma, dairy Gods and meat industry titans won’t let us know about these people! They would go out of business! (That's another blog for another day) This stuff is no joke, if you are ready for a change. Not a diet, a LIFESTYLE CHANGE, then pick up one of the following books and lets see how you feel in 30 days! :)
Debunking Myths time!
Myth- Blue Zones only exist in rural european and asian cultures.
FALSE- Loma Linda, California. Home of the Seventh Day Adventist group, in the heart of LA exist and are thriving.
Myth- Vegans only eat salad.
FALSE- I hate salad. My husband has made a rule that there is no salad in the house for a main meal. I eat salad ingredients in burritos and pizza and breakfast sandwiches and stuffed sweet potatoes and guacamole and stuffed shells and, and, and, and. I could go on for a while but now I’m hungry.
Myth- Plant based food is hard to make
Mostly FALSE and alittle true. Its situational. If you already cook just alittle bit in your home, it is a matter of switching ingredients. But I will be honest, if you don't cook at all, and you always eat out, it's still not hard per say. It's just finding restaurants with plant based options and eating frozen Diaya pizzas. It’s not hard to eat a plant based diet, it's just choosing different options. Now don’t get me started on grocery trips and reading every single label, that shits hard. Why in the hell is their powdered milk in everything!?