National Geographic explorer, Dan Buettner, studied long-lived communities around the world to determine best practices for longevity. His book, Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer, was released in 2008, and became a national best-seller. Then he worked to implement the practices in various places and measure the successes. He reports the outcomes in his latest book, The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People.
Blue Zone community projects are starting all across America, with three kicking off here in Hawaii. Two of these three communities are located on the Big Island in Hilo and Waimea (Kamuela). The celebratory starting day was October 17 for the Big Island Blue Zone projects. Fun and educational activities and booths were followed by Dan Buettner’s presentation and book signing.
So what are the 9 Lessons (or what he calls the Power 9)?
- Move naturally. He especially emphasized vegetable gardening!
- Purpose. Why you wake up in the morning.
- Downshift. Release stress. Connecting with the Earth in the garden is one great way!
- 80 percent rule. Stop eating when your stomach is 80% full.
- Plant slant. More beans and vegetables, and only small amounts of meat about once a week.
- Wine @ 5. One to two glasses of wine with friends and/or food.
- Right Tribe. Social circle that supports healthy habits.
- Community. Attend weekly faith-based services.
- Loved ones first. Life partners and keeping family close together.