How to live to be 100
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Let’s be frank, I don’t know about you but I want to live until I’m 100 years old. I want to be fit, healthy, productive and happy, and I want to see my great-grandchildren, heck, my great-great-grandchildren grow up. I’ve just turned forty years of age, and I definitely want to be here to see another forty at least.
Around the world, people living to be over 100 years old are quite rare, but in a handful of places it does seem to be more common. And it’s not just about having a longer life, it’s about really living that life – being conscious in each moment, enjoying it and having fun. I want some of that! So, on the journey of creating this book, I went to some of the healthiest places in the world – places where the numbers of exceptionally old, healthy, fit people are unusually high. You’ll see some of the incredible characters I met in the images peppered throughout this section of the book. And despite these areas being vastly different in geography and climate, generally there are similarities between all these wonderful old people. Food plays a big part, but there are other factors too.
Community & purpose
First of all, the majority of these lovely people are really good fun, and really good company. Now to me, that makes perfect sense, because if you’re a miserable old codger, who’s going to want to hang out with you and care for you? But in all seriousness, a sense of community, of sustained relationships with the people around you, is really at the heart of these pockets of people. Most have a religion or belief of some sort, all of which vary, but I think the message to be taken is the same – that having a sense of purpose, and having people around you to share that with – family, friends, neighbours, community – is really important. You can live alone, but getting out there, keeping in touch with people, laughing and sharing stories, is key.
Movement is pretty interesting too. Exercise as we know it – going to the gym, going for a run – doesn’t exist in most places. Instead, movement and being active is simply a natural habit in all aspects of daily life. Generally things are inconveniently got, it sounds daft but people sit on the floor and stand up and down more often, they walk a lot more, tend gardens; I could go on. In the very act of living their lives these wonderful people are probably getting more ‘exercise’ than you and I do on an average day, without intentionally setting out to do so. It’s a great lesson – we’ve almost made our lives too convenient. Let’s all challenge ourselves to be more naturally active each day and quite simply, just move a bit more!
Food & wine
Diet-wise, the key ingredients and habits do vary wildly from place to place, but on the whole, meat consumption is fairly low and plant-based meals are celebrated. Most people have a garden or outdoor area where they grow a few things – giving the opportunity to get outside and keep active, but also to eat food that is the ultimate in seasonality and freshness, picked right from their backyard. A lot of people have a small glass of alcohol each day (that’s a small glass, and one, not two, three or four!). And many people share meals when they can with the people around them – rushing less, chewing more, and appreciating their food.
What’s the secret?
I guess what these brilliant folk have taught me more than anything is that the secret to a long, happy, productive life isn’t one golden bullet – there’s no tablet out there that you can take to give you a longer life. It’s about the full package – family, friends, community, keeping stress levels low, the simple act of growing, cooking and eating good food, and sharing that food with the people around you whenever you can, sleeping enough and being nice to people. Remember, there’s no such thing as an insignificant healthy choice – they all count, however big or small. It’s about joining all the dots together to give yourself the best chance.
Now I don’t claim to be an expert on all areas of life, but I can certainly help you out on the food front, and that’s why this book exists – to offer a tangible solution to the food part in order to help you live a healthier, happier life. Everything else is up to you – be optimistic, open, and embrace life and all the weird and wonderful challenges it presents us with.
I’m part of a neat little app, called YOU, which is free and totally in the spirit of this book. It’s all about completing daily micro actions around food, mindfulness, movement and love. Getting involved and going on that journey only requires one minute of your time each day, and it’s a great little tool to help you start making small, achievable, sustainable changes.
Everyday Super Food by Jamie Oliver is published by Penguin Random House ⓒ Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited (2015 Everyday Super Food) Photographer: Jamie Oliver
Eating To Break 100: Longevity Diet Tips From The Blue Zones
A distinct version of the Mediterranean diet is followed on the Blue Zone island of Ikaria, Greece. It emphasizes olive oil, vegetables, beans, fruit, moderate amounts of alcohol and low quantities of meat and dairy products. Gianluca Colla/Courtesy of Blue Zones hide caption
A distinct version of the Mediterranean diet is followed on the Blue Zone island of Ikaria, Greece. It emphasizes olive oil, vegetables, beans, fruit, moderate amounts of alcohol and low quantities of meat and dairy products.
Gianluca Colla/Courtesy of Blue Zones
Want to live to be 100? It's tempting to think that with enough omega-3s, kale and blueberries, you could eat your way there.
But one of the key takeaways from a new book on how to eat and live like "the world's healthiest people" is that longevity is not just about food.
The people who live in the Blue Zones — five regions in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the U.S. researchers have identified as having the highest concentrations of centenarians in the world — move their bodies a lot. They have social circles that reinforce healthy behaviors. They take time to de-stress. They're part of communities, often religious ones. And they're committed to their families.
Eat Plants And Prosper: For Longevity, Go Easy On The Meat, Study Says
Nuts For Longevity: Daily Handful Is Linked To Longer Life
But what they put in their mouths, how much and when is worth a close look, too. And that's why Dan Buettner, a National Geographic explorer and author who struck out on a quest in 2000 to find the lifestyle secrets to longevity, has written a follow up to his original book on the subject. The new book, called The Blue Zones Solution, is aimed at Americans, and is mostly about eating.
Why should we pay attention to what the people in the relatively isolated Blue Zone communities eat? Because, as Buettner writes, their more traditional diets harken back to an era before we Americans were inundated with greasy fast food and sugar. And to qualify as a Blue Zone, these communities also have to be largely free of afflictions like heart disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes. So clearly they're doing something right.
You can get the backstory in this excerpt of the original book, which was published in 2008. But in a nutshell, Buettner in 2004 rounded up a bunch of anthropologists, demographers, epidemiologists and other researchers to travel around the world to study communities with surprisingly high percentages of centenarians. He and the scientists interviewed hundreds of people who'd made it to age 100 about how they lived, then did a lot of number crunching to figure out what they had in common.
For Mind And Body: Study Finds Mediterranean Diet Boosts Both
A year after that book was published, the team announced they'd narrowed it down to five places that met all their criteria. They gave them official Blue Zone status: Ikaria, Greece Okinawa, Japan Ogliastra Region, Sardinia Loma Linda, Calif. and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica.
In the new book, which was released April 7, Buettner distills the researchers' findings on what all the Blue Zones share when it comes to their diet. Here's a taste:
- Stop eating when your stomach is 80 percent full to avoid weight gain.
- Eat the smallest meal of the day in the late afternoon or evening.
- Eat mostly plants, especially beans. And eat meat rarely, in small portions of 3 to 4 ounces. Blue Zoners eat portions this size just five times a month, on average.
- Drink alcohol moderately and regularly, i.e. 1-2 glasses a day.
The book also features "top longevity foods" from each Blue Zone, some of which we found pretty intriguing.
You may remember this Blue Zone from Buettner's wonderful 2012 New York Times Magazine article entitled "The Island Where People Forget To Die."
As we've reported, health researchers have long praised the Mediterranean diet for promoting brain and physical health and keeping chronic diseases at bay. So what makes the diet of the people on Ikaria, a small island in the Aegean Sea, so special?
"Their tradition of preparing the right foods, in the right way, I believe, has a lot to do with the island's longevity," writes Buettner.
And "what set it apart from other places in the region was its emphasis on potatoes, goat's milk, honey, legumes (especially garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas, and lentils), wild greens, some fruit and relatively small amounts of fish."
Ikaria has a few more "top longevity foods:" feta cheese, lemons and herbs like sage and marjoram that Ikarians use in their daily tea. What's missing that we usually associate with Greece? Lamb. The Ikarians do eat some goat meat, but not often.
Buettner calls the islands of Okinawa a kind of "Japanese Hawaii" for their laid-back vibe, beaches and fabulous weather. Okinawa also happens to have one of the highest centenarian ratios in the world: About 6.5 in 10,000 people live to 100 (compare that with 1.73 in 10,000 in the U.S.)
Centenarians on Okinawa have lived through a lot of upheaval, so their dietary stories are more complicated than some of the other Blue Zones. As Buettner writes, many healthful Okinawan "food traditions foundered mid-century" as Western influence brought about changes in food habits. After 1949, Okinawans began eating fewer healthful staples like seaweed, turmeric and sweet potato and more rice, milk and meat.
Still, Okinawans have nurtured the practice of eating something from the land and the sea every day. Among their "top longevity foods" are bitter melons, tofu, garlic, brown rice, green tea and shitake mushrooms.
On this beautiful island in the middle of the Mediterrean, the ratio of centenarian men to women is one to one. That's quite unusual, because in the rest of the world, it's five women to every one man who live that long.
The sharp pecorino cheese made from the milk of grass-fed sheep in Sardinia, has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Gianluca Colla/Courtesy of Blue Zones hide caption
The sharp pecorino cheese made from the milk of grass-fed sheep in Sardinia, has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Gianluca Colla/Courtesy of Blue Zones
Buettner writes that the Sardinians explain their exceptional longevity with their assets such as "clean air," "locally produced wine," or because they "make love every Sunday." But when Buettner brought along a researcher to dig deeper, they found that pastoralism, or shepherding livestock from the mountains to the plains, was most highly correlated with reaching 100.
So what are those ancient Sardinian shepherds eating? You guessed it: goat's milk and sheep's cheese — some 15 pounds of cheese per year, on average. Also, a moderate amount of carbs to go with it, like flat bread, sourdough bread and barley. And to balance those two food groups out, Sardinian centenarians also eat plenty of fennel, fava beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, almonds, milk thistle tea and wine from Grenache grapes.
Loma Linda, Calif.
There's a Blue Zone community in the U.S.? We were as shocked to learn this as you may be. Its members are Seventh-day Adventists who shun smoking, drinking and dancing and avoid TV, movies and other media distractions.
Tofu links sold in Loma Linda, Calif. The Blue Zones research shows that adherents of the Adventist diet, which is mostly plant-based, have lowest rates of heart disease and diabetes in the U.S. and very low rates of obesity. David Mclain/Courtesy of Blue Zones hide caption
Tofu links sold in Loma Linda, Calif. The Blue Zones research shows that adherents of the Adventist diet, which is mostly plant-based, have lowest rates of heart disease and diabetes in the U.S. and very low rates of obesity.
David Mclain/Courtesy of Blue Zones
They also follow a "biblical" diet focused on grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables, and drink only water. (Some of them eat small amounts of meat and fish.) Sugar is taboo, too. As one Loma Linda centenarian tells Buettner: "I'm very much against sugar except natural sources like fruit, dates or figs. I never eat refined sugar or drink sodas."
Gary Fraser, a cardiologist and epidemiologist at Loma Linda University and an Adventist himself, has found in studies that Adventists who follow the religion's teachings lived about 10 years longer than people who didn't. Another key insight? Pesco-vegetarians in the community, who ate a plant-based diet with up to one serving of fish a day, lived longer than vegan Adventists.
Their top foods include avocados, salmon, nuts, beans, oatmeal, whole wheat bread and soy milk.
Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
We'd love to be invited for dinner by a centenarian here, where they #putaneggonit all the time. One delicious-sounding meal Buettner was served by a 99-year-old woman (who's now 107) consisted of rice and beans, garnished with cheese and cilantro, on corn tortillas, with an egg on top.
As Buettner writes, "The big secret of the Nicoyan diet was the 'three sisters' of Meso-American agriculture: beans, corn and squash." Those three staples, plus papayas, yams, bananas and peach palms (a small Central American oval fruit high in vitamins A and C), are what fuel the region's elders over the century.
Granted, it's not easy to emulate the Blue Zoners if you live in the U.S. where you're likely to be tempted with bacon and cupcakes every day. And maybe you don't want to become a vegan.
But Buettner has plenty to say about simple ways Americans could live like these isolated tribes of exceptional health in The Blue Zone Solution. That's what he's focused on now with the Blue Zone Project: helping communities adapt the cross-cutting tenets of a healthful lifestyle. So far, the project has gotten several towns — and U.S. states — to sign on.
For recipes from the Blue Zones with the ingredients above, check out the web site. And for more photos from the Blue Zones, head to National Geographic.
But what is ikigai and what role does it play alongside diet and lifestyle? In Japanese, iki means “to live” and gai means “reason.” In other words, your reason to live or your sense of “purpose.” Living with purpose — the ikigai lifestyle — is especially prominent in Okinawa, which comprises more than 150 islands in the East China Sea.
Okinawa has some of the longest lifespans and highest prevalence rates of centenarians in the world according to a study published in ScienceDirect. Ikigai as a concept can be defined as simply as spending time with family, keeping up a gentle level of employment or volunteer work, or passing on knowledge by teaching the younger generations. It’s a reason to get up in the morning, it adds shape and color to the day, and it makes a person feel satisfied when their head hits the pillow.
In 2008 researchers from the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine conducted a study to see if they could investigate the association between the sense of “life worth living (ikigai)” and the cause-specific mortality risk. They found that those who reported having ikigai in their lives had reduced risks of cardiovascular diseases and lower mortality rates. Seven years after the study, 95% of respondents who had ikigai were still alive, compared to the 83% who didn’t. Of course more research is needed, but these results certainly show promise.
3. They Eat Lots of Carbs
As mentioned earlier, people living in Blue Zones eat mostly plants. The staple of the Okinawan diet is the sweet potato, while barley- and bean-based minestrone dominates the table in Sicily. This means the healthiest people on the planet are eating plenty of carbs every day. Buettner says the typical Blue Zone diet is comprised of at least 65% carbohydrates, with around 10% of their calories from protein and 20% from fat. One of Buettner&aposs favorite ways to start the day is with a big bowl of brown rice, black beans, avocado and roasted squash. Yum!
One of the key carb sources in a Blue Zone diet is beans. Whether it&aposs chickpeas, lentils, black beans or pinto beans, Buettner says the healthiest people on the planet consume between ½ cup and 1 cup of beans every day.
"We&aposve seen that eating a cup per day of beans probably is adding four years to their lives," Buettner says. "Beans are emerging as the ultimate longevity food because of their protein, fiber and antioxidant content."
However, he says fiber is the main reason to load up on beans, as it has a host of health benefits, and is only found in whole, plant-based foods.
"We have about 100 trillion cells in our gut all helping to modulate inflammation, fine-tune our immune systems and fight disease. They even help govern our mood. These good gut bugs love to eat fiber—something the standard American diet is almost completely devoid of."
Have you heard of the Blue Zones? Those regions of the world known for the longevity of their populations? Ever since reading and listening to How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger, I am all about using food as medicine and living a longer, healthier life as a result.
I’m a vegetarian who eats many plant-based meals, and all of these recipes are not vegetarian or plant-based however, from the 100 recipes, there are many I’d love to try. Sweet potatoes and lentils are staples in our house, and I c Have you heard of the Blue Zones? Those regions of the world known for the longevity of their populations? Ever since reading and listening to How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger, I am all about using food as medicine and living a longer, healthier life as a result.
I’m a vegetarian who eats many plant-based meals, and all of these recipes are not vegetarian or plant-based however, from the 100 recipes, there are many I’d love to try. Sweet potatoes and lentils are staples in our house, and I could eat them at most every meal.
As with any National Geographic book, the photography and presentation are both stunning. It drives you to want to make the food as soon as you can.
Overall, I’m pleased to have this cookbook in my arsenal and can’t wait to try some recipes out soon.
I received a gifted copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader . more
Want to live to be 100? The Blue Zones Kitchen shares recipes eaten by people in the blue zones of the world. What are the blue zones? They are the five areas of the world where people live the longest lives. The blue zones are Sardinia Okinawa, Japan Ikaria, Greece the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica and Loma Linda, California.
What are their secrets? Blue zone diets use the same group of 20 ingredients, with less variety than most diets. People in the blue zones eat more cruciferous vegetab Want to live to be 100? The Blue Zones Kitchen shares recipes eaten by people in the blue zones of the world. What are the blue zones? They are the five areas of the world where people live the longest lives. The blue zones are Sardinia Okinawa, Japan Ikaria, Greece the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica and Loma Linda, California.
What are their secrets? Blue zone diets use the same group of 20 ingredients, with less variety than most diets. People in the blue zones eat more cruciferous vegetables. They make beans tasty. In the blue zones, people use olive oil. Foods in the blue zones are supplemented with fresh herbs and spices. The people in blue zones eat more fiber than most people, and they drink red wine.
Am I going to change my diet to match the diets of those in the blue zones? No. The meals in the book do not appeal to me. There was not a single recipe I was interested in trying. I'd rather live a little less long. . more
The Blue Zones Kitchen includes recipes from the so-called “blue zones,” areas where the residents (particularly older ones who adhere to the more traditional diets) live longer than anywhere else on Earth, largely because of what they eat.
I’ve tried three of the recipes—roasted vegetables, sweet potato tarts, and a ratatouille—and all were approachable and included ingredients I was easily able to find at my local grocery store (some ingredients might be a little tougher). The sweet potato tart The Blue Zones Kitchen includes recipes from the so-called “blue zones,” areas where the residents (particularly older ones who adhere to the more traditional diets) live longer than anywhere else on Earth, largely because of what they eat.
I’ve tried three of the recipes—roasted vegetables, sweet potato tarts, and a ratatouille—and all were approachable and included ingredients I was easily able to find at my local grocery store (some ingredients might be a little tougher). The sweet potato tart recipe did tell me to use far more potatoes than I actually needed for the filling, but otherwise the recipes worked and were delicious. I would be interested in making more or even purchasing a copy of the book to consult, since I initially borrowed it from the library.
I’ve seen some complaints in other reviews that the recipes aren’t “really” healthy because they sometimes include things like white rice and sugar, but the book is a record of what people in these areas actually eat—and they sometimes eat sugar. If you want a zero sugar diet, that’s a different cookbook. However, in addition to the recipes, The Blue Zones Kitchen includes information on the general diet of each area, the staple foods in each area that promote longevity (such as olive oil or sourdough bread), and other habits that the residents have. This means that, while sugar is eaten, the people don’t have dessert every day. (Also, the sweet potato tarts I made had no sugar in the actual sweet potato filling, just some brown sugar sprinkled on top, so it’s clear how this would be a much healthier dessert option than, say, a cupcake.) Similarly, the people in these areas do eat meat but rarely, so the authors decided to make all recipes vegetarian (though I think fish might be mentioned occasionally).
A communal approach to food and strong social networks all also important for longevity, and the book clarifies this time and again. It’s not just about cutting out bad foods or eating the “superfoods” it’s a whole approach to food and living.
If you’re looking for a straightforward cookbook with simple whole ingredients and approachable recipes, I would recommend this. I don’t personally cook a lot simply because I find it a bit boring and I have other people in my life who actually enjoy cooking, but I had no problem with any of the recipes I attempted so far, and I thought the meals turned out great. (I also generally do like vegetables and prefer them to meat, however, so I can see how that might play a factor.)
Fascinating cookbook! Big takeaways are that the less meat and dairy and the more beans and fresh veg and whole grains the better for lifespan. Seems obvious.
I found it interesting that fewer ingredients seems to also have a huge impact. The book is broken into five places which are part of the blue zones. Food is not the only element that grants long life - walking, love, simplicity, community.
So many that I want to make but to first try:
Minestrone Three Ways
Quick Greens and Onions
O Fascinating cookbook! Big takeaways are that the less meat and dairy and the more beans and fresh veg and whole grains the better for lifespan. Seems obvious.
I found it interesting that fewer ingredients seems to also have a huge impact. The book is broken into five places which are part of the blue zones. Food is not the only element that grants long life - walking, love, simplicity, community.
So many that I want to make but to first try:
Minestrone Three Ways
Quick Greens and Onions
Tofu Steak with Miso Mushrooms
Steamed Purple Sweet Potatoes
Culantro Coyote (new ingredient to me)
Hearts of Palm Ceviche
Bean Souo Three Ways
Baked rosemary chickpeas
Eleni’s Sourdough Bread
Coconut Chia Pudding
Walnut “Meat” Loaf
Veggie No-Meat Balls (with aquafaba- new to me, but is chickpea liquid)
Part of a recipe- tofu ricotta
No Tuna Tuna Salad
TLT Sammy (tempeh, lettuce, tomato) . more
Boring, boring and boring. haven&apost we seen this already in many other books? I was disappointed with the recipes and some weren&apost really what is considered healthy. Pictures were okay, but I so much wished this book was so much more. The front looked great.
[image error] Boring, boring and boring. haven't we seen this already in many other books? I was disappointed with the recipes and some weren't really what is considered healthy. Pictures were okay, but I so much wished this book was so much more. The front looked great.
The author has identified the areas where people live the longest and explored their lifestyles and diet. There are a lot of delicious sounding recipes in this book. I need a copy so I can try these recipes.
Can’t wait to start trying these recipes! I’ve made a few and they are delicious which helps when trying to eat healthy
This is a wonderful cookbook, if you can really even call it a cookbook. It could just as easily be called a “geographical expose’” or a “photographic sketchbook”. Regardless of which way you classify this work, the author’s focus is upon five areas of the world where remarkable human longevity has been realized and this author does a spectacular job in fusing the reality of the lives lived in those regions with the recipes that he shares in this book. Here you may expect to find food preparati This is a wonderful cookbook, if you can really even call it a cookbook. It could just as easily be called a “geographical expose’” or a “photographic sketchbook”. Regardless of which way you classify this work, the author’s focus is upon five areas of the world where remarkable human longevity has been realized and this author does a spectacular job in fusing the reality of the lives lived in those regions with the recipes that he shares in this book. Here you may expect to find food preparation combined with a deep sense of the cultural community from which these recipes emerge.
Quite frankly, I must say that I’ve enjoyed the photography every bit as much as the recipes. The photographer, David McLain, captures the essence of these people in such a way that the wholesomeness and simplicity of their lives seems to jump off the pages at you. The photography makes you want to “be where they are”, “live as they live” and yes, “eat as they eat”. McLain displays the unique beauty in the brand of poor person that really isn’t lacking anything and in fact possesses much to be desired. A reader can gain motivation from this book to exercise their own communal organizations and similarly express their healthiest local recipes.
Taste is More Than Skin Deep
Anyone addicted to only superficial taste isn’t going to like the recipes in this cookbook. The people who will enjoy this cookbook are those who can experience food beyond just the tongue sensation. Just as beauty is more than skin deep, so taste extends beyond mere taste bud sensations. There is a taste and enjoyment that arises with the knowledge that you are consuming substances which enhance your health and contribute to your vitality. And there is a wonderful peace in knowing that the substances you are consuming were not produced in a way that harms other humans or other animals. As your taste develops beyond the sugary and greasy sensations that dominate most of the world, you will experience subtle flavors that you never really noticed much before, if at all. The author says that once you “stop napalming taste buds with fat, sugar, and salt, nuanced flavors emerge from food, and textures become more pronounced.”
Geography & Community Matter
Of interest is that the people portrayed in this book may not be so self-disciplined as to maintain these heathy diets on their own, so much as they are nudged into this discipline by their surroundings and in many cases by poverty. This book implies that the benefits of longevity stems not only from diets, but also from decreased stress, simpler environments, a sense of community, and more rigorous daily exercise. The exception to this may be the folks in Loma Linda, California who are Seventh-day Adventist’s and who cite Genesis 1:29 as their basis for forsaking meats and eating only plants, herbs, seeds and fruits.
Many of the ingredients for these recipes are fresh out of the wild or self-maintained gardens. The primary ingredients are plant-based-fare such as fruits (papaya, coconut, avocado, pineapple, blueberries), herbs, vegetables, tubers, nuts, beans (black beans, lentils, garbanzo, white beans), whole grains, and greens (spinach, kale, fennel fronds, parsley, beet tops, turnip tops, chard, collards). These are the kinds of things that can often be self-produced, collected, or acquired relatively inexpensively. Many of the recipes are soups or stews that can be created for many and stored in the refrigerator for long periods.
A Pictorial Food Guide
It’s amazing how many people don’t know what certain food components look like and therefore have a hard time finding them in the grocery store. I had never cooked with fennel or leeks until reading this book. Of great help is a wonderful pictorial included at the end that shows nice illustrations of nearly all of the ingredients, even herbs.
A Summary of the Books Important Tips About Eating
• Eat more cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, cabbage, etc.) because they help slow the metabolism.
• Eat less or no meat, eggs or sugar. If you consume eggs be sure they are free-range without hormones or antibiotics. Skip any product that lists sugar among its first 5 ingredients. Canned pork products have been rated as cancer-causing by the World Health Organization as smoking
• Eat fresh herbs (rosemary, oregano, sage, mint, garlic, turmeric, cilantro, myrtle, thyme, saffron, etc.). The author equates herbs to a “live medicine chest”.
• Grow a garden at the very least a herb garden. You’ll need it for a daily supply of fresh herbs.
• About 8 pounds of bacteria live in your gut, some good, some bad. The toxin-producing bacteria feed off of the meat and eggs you eat, while the healthier bacteria like fiber.
• Drink red wine in moderation as it nearly triples your ability to absorb antioxidants and good bacteria. Red wine also works to produce compounds that lower inflammation.
• Eat with friends and family. Consolidate friendships. Share hospitality. Cement family ties by hoisting a glass of red wine at meal time.
• Pause before a meal to express gratitude.
• Fast occasionally.
• Eat a big breakfast and very little at night. Try to do all your eating within an 8-hour window.
• Snack on nuts (almonds, pistachios, brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts or peanuts) every day.
• Eat only sourdough or 100% whole wheat bread. Bleached white flour metabolizes quickly into sugar.
• Olive oil increases good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol but use it cold or only lightly warmed. Getting it too hot changes its character from good to bad.
• If you eat fish, eat the middle-of-the-food-chain species that are not exposed to high levels of mercury (sardines, anchovies, cod).
• Use fermentation (sourdough bread, pickled vegetables, wine).
• Avoid soft drinks. Drink only coffee, herb tea, water and red wine (in moderation). Drink at least seven glasses of water daily.
• Don’t use too many ingredients. Too many ingredients create molecular stress.
• Stop eating before you feel full.
• Don’t ever retire. Maintain a strong sense of being and purpose by committing to social circles and fostering a sense of mutual aid.
• Minimize use of the microwave because it destroys nutrients. Steaming is better.
The Recipe’s I’ve Tried
• Sardinian Flatbread (Page 65) – This recipe produces a dry, paper-like but brittle bread that I didn’t find appealing directly, but which has value for its use in other recipes in the book, such as lasagna and pizza-like dishes.
• Pumpkin Fritters (Page 74) – These were delicious but seemed much sweeter and sugarier than seemed healthy. I probably over did it with the confectioners’.
• Chickpea Patties (Page 81) – Gobbled these up very quickly. A wonderful substitute for meat and you can even make sandwiches with them.
• Sweet and Spicy Carrot Medley (page 98). Loved this. It seems to get better the longer you keep it in the refrigerator and you can pull it out quickly for a salad-like side dish anytime.
• Cream of Pumpkin Soup (page 109) – I had never used leeks before I made this and now I’ve discovered that I love leeks but always be sure to wash leeks very well, as soil always seems to get trapped in the folds. My garden made an over-abundance of butternut squash and this recipe was a great way to use them. You can really spice this up by increasing the turmeric and cumin, if you like.
• Sweet Potato Bites (Page 125) - These were great. Gobbled them up. Be sure to drain your sweet potatoes well or this will turn out too runny.
Nicoya, Costa Rica
• Creamy Butternut Squash Soup (page 149) – Again, got to use up that massive harvest of butternut squash. So easy to grow and so filling!
• Hearts of Palm Ceviche (Page 156) – This is another dish that keeps well in the refrigerator and seems to get better each time you pull it out. You can eat it outright, as a side dish, salad, or as a dip. I often dished it liberally upon sandwiches. Great flavor.
• Black Bean and Potato Soup (Page 163) – It’s amazing how good diced potatoes are in the various bean stews included in this book. They are all tasty, but gaseous.
• Summer Ikarian Stew (Page 198) – Great if you love black-eyed peas and collard greens.
• Fennel Pot Pie (page 199) – I didn’t even know what a fennel was until I read this book but now I always notice fennel in the grocery store. This is a great dish but complex to make. Using fennel fronds and leeks has aided me in recognizing and differentiating the subtle tastes that emerge in prepared dishes.
• Black-eyed pea salad with mint and onions (page 208) – I used fresh spinach and fresh mint for this one. Mint is a lovely herb and one that your taste buds will appreciate more and more as you leave off sugar.
• Lentil Salad with garlic & herbs (page 218) - Realized that I had all the ingredients for this while I was writing this review so I threw it on the stove. I love lentils. I threw in a little cayenne to spice it up. Turned out great! Very filling.
• Eleni’s Sourdough Bread (page 223) – This book inspired me to try my hand at sourdough bread and it’s really much easier than I ever imagined, especially if you have a bread machine to do the kneading.
Loma Linda, California
• Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies (page 251) – I’ve actually made these numerous times. Quick and easy to whip up and so tasty and healthy.
• Veggie No-Meat Balls (page 273) – These are tasty but mine came out a bit too dry because I used dry chickpeas. Be sure to use canned chickpeas for these.
• Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger (page 278) – These are a great substitute for meat burgers.
I really love this book. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thumbed through it and how often I consult if for cooking. In fact, I love it so much that I’ve been tempted to start shipping multiple copies to all of my friends and acquaintances. My daughter, a licensed nutritionist, brought me to reality on this account remarking: “Dad, everyone won’t share your enthusiasm for this cookbook”. I realized she was quite right, but lamented this was a very unfortunate truth, for I fear the great majority of us just can’t see the incredible beauty and simple truths that emanate from poor people who subsist only on what is abundant for them. The beauty of their quaint simplicity, void of the incessant longing that plagues so many in the world, is captured fully for you in this lovely book.
On the remote Greek island of Ikaria, he said people outlive the average American by more than a decade. On Ikaria, 97% of the people are over age 70 and Buettner found only three cases of dementia. By comparison, there's a 50% chance of dementia for Americans who reach 85.
A common side dish is wild dandelion, boiled like spinach. These greens have 10 times more antioxidants than red wine, according to Buettner. Chickpeas, also a favorite on Ikaria, are the cornerstone of every longevity diet in the world, he said.
Chickpeas with Potatoes and Carrots
This One Soup Recipe Could Help You Live to 100
Bust out the cookware, we know what's for dinner. Turns out an easy-to-make, inexpensive soup that you likely enjoyed as a child could help you live longer. Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World's Healthiest People, shared this minestrone soup recipe that comes from a Sardinian family known as "the world's longest lived family."
Well, isn't that the raddest title a family could have.
According toTODAY, the Melises family digs into a bowl of this soup every single day at lunch. My first thought: I would be bored out of my mind in a matter of weeks, maybe days. Not so with this recipe, though. Other than a base of beans and fregula&mdasha toasted semolina pasta that's popular in Sardinia&mdashthe family rotates ingredients to incorporate whatever is growing in the garden. And now you've got my attention.
The only downside: The soup takes an hour and a half to cook. Which is basically the end of the world for us always-doing-something ladies. But don't discount it yet&mdashSunday is a glorious day to prep food for the week. And sure, you could go with a shorter version, but allowing a longer cook time enhances the nutrients your body gets from the ingredients, like cancer-fighting lycopene in tomatoes and immune-boosting carotenoids in carrots. Plus, it just tastes better. So simmer on, my friends, simmer on.
How to Live to 100: Secrets From Centenarians
Want to live to be 100 years old? Then you may want to read and heed the long-life advice of these centenarians.
As researchers work toward unlocking the keys to longevity, a small group of people known as centenarians are providing helpful clues. What’s a centenarian? It’s someone who has lived to be 100 years old or older, and researchers believe that both genetics and lifestyle behaviors play an important part in a centenarian’s health and longevity.
Most importantly, centenarians can help teach us how to live healthy and long lives. Most centenarians are thought to have a genetic advantage that allows them to live healthier, longer lives than other people. Research has shown that more than half of centenarians have close relatives who have also lived to a very old age. In fact, some centenarians have lived long, healthy lives despite "doing everything wrong" when it comes to following a healthy lifestyle. Others, however, have been rewarded for taking all the right health steps over the course of their lives.
Is Longevity All in the Genes?
"My mother never exercised a day in her life and is about to turn 108," says Karen Preston, age 69, of Palm City, Fla. Preston's mother, Vivian Henschke, of Longmeadow, Mass., smoked most of her life, had two cocktails before dinner just about every night, and never really watched what she ate.
"Mother did nothing by today's standards to help her have great longevity," says Preston, who attributes her mother's long, healthy life to good genes. Interestingly, Henschke had her children at ages 39 and 40, which also demonstrates the exceptional fertility shared by many people who live to age 100. Researchers believe that centenarians' bodies, including their reproductive systems, tend to age more slowly than the rest of the population, giving them a genetic advantage for successful aging.
Is a Healthy Lifestyle the Key to Longevity?
According to the New England Centenarian Study (NECS), a study of centenarians living in and around the Boston area, certain lifestyle factors tended to be more common among centenarians, including:
- Not smoking. Although they grew up in an era where the risks of smoking were not well known, substantial smoking is rare among centenarians. Nicholas Pierro, age 100, of Jacksonville, Fla., once smoked, but stopped at around age 60 to avoid the negative effects it was having on his health. "I did a lot of smoking," Pierro admits. "And then I realized that I was getting a pain in my chest, and so I stopped smoking and then the pain went away."
- Maintaining a healthy body weight. Very few of the centenarians enrolled in the NECS were obese, and nearly all the men had body weights that were considered lean.
- Exercising regularly. In a study that examined the genetics and lifestyle factors of a group of Okinawan centenarians, researchers found that these Japanese centenarians exercised fairly regularly throughout their lives. Louis Charpentier, age 99, of Leominster, Mass., started exercising long before going to the gym was common. "When I was 20 years old, [my friends and I] started weight-lifting," Charpentier remembers. "Finally I could lift 125 pounds over my head, and I only weighed 150 pounds!" Charpentier still does standing exercises and chair exercises to keep him in shape. Pierro has also kept moving throughout his life. He worked as a landscaper when he was younger and continues to spend time working in his yard.
- Eating a healthful diet. The Okinawan centenarians tend to eat a very healthy diet, low in calories and high in fruits and vegetables, fiber, and good fats, like omega-3 fatty acids. "I don’t eat very much," says Charpentier, "but I always eat a fruit, a vegetable, and a little meat, and I always make sure that I get sardines and salmon at least once or twice a week."
Centenarians Share Their Secrets
Each person is individual, and what works for one may not work for another — but these centenarians believe their lifestyle decisions led to their longevity.
Pierro says that one of his secrets to successful aging was to stay debt-free for most of his life. "For less than seven years I had a mortgage. [Then] I paid everything outright and I've lived that way until today," Pierro says, explaining that not owing any money gave him the piece of mind he wanted. "That is the secret to longevity right there."
Charpentier attributes his longevity in part to staying active in his community. He maintains a colorful display of about 265 Christmas foam carvings in his yard that draws thousands of visitors each year. He still works on his hobby, wood and foam carvings, every day. To live your healthiest life, "keep busy doing what you like," Charpentier recommends.
How to live to be 100 - Recipes
The Blue Zones Kitchen
100 Recipes to Live to 100
Praise For The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100&hellip
&ldquoThe photographs are gorgeous and the write ups are very interesting.&rdquo &ndashMan of La Book
&ldquoIt&rsquos gorgeous and full of delicious sounding recipes.&rdquo &ndashRead. Eat. Repeat.
&ldquoWhat an amazing book! The pictures are gorgeous. I also enjoyed the travel stories and health information to incorporate into every day cooking and eating. So many great recipes that I can&rsquot wait to try!&rdquo &ndashInstagram: @books_with_bethany
&ldquoThe Blue Zones Kitchen is an beautifully presented package and contains the kind of page-turing information that will make it hard to put this book down once you&rsquove started, unless it&rsquos to try out one of the tantalizing but healthy dishes pictured on its pages.&rdquo &ndashRun Wright
&ldquoI&rsquove already flagged almost half the book to try. The Okinawa and Ikaria sections are definitely looking like they&rsquoll be my favorites, but honestly, there is so much deliciousness in these pages. Plus, you need a solid cookbook collection for eternal life. &ldquo &ndashInstagram: @jenabrownwrights
&ldquoWho doesn&rsquot want to live longer, right. This book has a ton of recipes, bright and beautiful pictures of both food and culture, and for the weirdos out there like me, the cover has an awesome book-feel.&rdquo &ndashInstagram: @thelastbiteblog
&ldquoAs with any National Geographic book, the photography and presentation are both stunning. It drives you to want to make the food as soon as you can.&rdquo &ndashJennifer &ndash Tar Heel Reader
&ldquoIt was chock full of delicious recipes, beautiful photographs, and fascinating stories about the five regions (blue zones) that are the focus of this awesome cookbook. I absolutely LOVED flipping through and reading about Sardinia and Okinawa. This was truly a gem of a book.&rdquo &ndashA Bookish Way of Life
&ldquoThe Blue Zones Kitchen is so much more than a cookbook! I like that the recipes have a backstory thanks to Dan Buettner&rsquos research. I really enjoyed all aspects of the book.&rdquo &ndashLiving My Best Book Life
&ldquoIt&rsquos a beautiful book, full of National Geographic quality photographs, not only of the food, but of the people who cook it in their environments.&rdquo &ndashEliot&rsquos Eats
&ldquoThe Blue Zones Kitchen is actually more than a cookbook, it's also a wellness book, a travelogue and a resource for healthy eating and longevity. Because it is published by National Geographic, you know it's going to be full of beautiful and breathtaking photos of food as well as the blue zones it represents and some of the people living their best lives in the five blue zones.&rdquo &ndashKahakai Kitchen
&ldquoI think this is a great book to add to any cookbook collection.&rdquo &ndashFrom the TBR Pile
&ldquoCookbooks aren&rsquot something that I typically read through. I love buying them and flipping through the recipes, making a dish here and there, but that&rsquos about as much love as they usually get from me. The Blue Zones Kitchen, though, I literally read through this entire book front to back. The idea of these Blue Zones was so fascinating to me, but the stories of the people in these areas is what I found truly captivating. I loved reading about the author&rsquos journey through these communities, and how food plays a part in their daily lives. Dan Buettner&rsquos detailed storytelling paired with the beautiful photographs from David McLain reminded me of times when my own grandmother was teaching me recipes that were passed down to her.&rdquo &ndashPNW Pixie
&ldquoAs a mid-level foodie and kitchen improvisor who tries to eat mindfully (though I&rsquom not a vegetarian), I found this cookbook really expanded my idea of meat-free eating.&rdquo &ndashBibliotica
&ldquoAbout 15 years ago, National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner identified the places around the world where people live the longest and he drew a blue line around each area. He discovered specific dietary habits that people in those Blue Zones had in common, and developed this cookbook filled with recipes inspired by those locations: Sardinia, Italy Nicoya, Costa Rica Ikaria, Greece Okinawa, Japan and Loma Linda, California. Food is a great way to get to know a culture, and these stories and photos will whet your appetite. Now is an ideal time to try these recipes if you live to be 100, you just may get to visit all five places in person.&rdquo &ndashForbes.com
&ldquoIt sure is tempting to think that you could (healthfully) eat your way to 100.&rdquo &ndashBetter Homes & Gardens
&ldquoIt'll help you lose weight and live longer&mdashbut this is definitely not your typical fad diet.&rdquo
&ldquoSimply put, Dan Buettner has written the ultimate manual for longevity.&rdquo &ndashNY Journal of Books
&ldquoAs our &ldquoEating to 100 TODAY&rdquo series continues, special anchor Maria Shriver reports on &ldquoThe Blue Zones Kitchen,&rdquo in which author Dan Buettner shares recipes from places where people live longer and healthier. He says one common denominator among long-lived people is a plant-based diet.&rdquo &ndashMSN.com
&ldquoSo, that's what people in the Blue Zones do to make it past 100 years old. No elixirs, pills, or workout regimens here. Their "fountain of youth" is really quite simple&mdashstaying active eating whole, plant-based carbs and socializing with friends can really add years to your life.&rdquo
&ldquoBlue Zone residents, whether they're home in Loma Linda, California Ikaria, Greece Okinawa, Japan Sardinia, Italy or Nicoya, Costa Rica, all eat very little meat. Instead, they subsist on a largely plant-based diet filled with beans, nuts, and cruciferous vegetables, which Buettner has written about in a new cookbook.&rdquo &ndashBusiness Insider
"His list of staples shows that eating foods linked to longevity doesn&rsquot require a big food budget or living near a grocery market filled with all the latest-and-greatest products. The key is eating a plant-forward diet and whole grains&mdashall foods you can find no matter where in the world you live." &ndashWell + Good
&ldquoIn his book, Buettner lays out many dos and don&rsquots for longevity diets and has a helpful guideline to get you on the longevity path&hellipOther tips from Buettner&rsquos book includes retreating from meat, cutting down on fish, reducing dairy, slashing sugar, and eating lots of beans and nuts&hellipLuckily, Buettner has an entire book of 100 recipes to help guide us along the way.&rdquo &ndashLa Cucina Italiana
Just good old-fashioned beans
On Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula, for example, the day might begin with a warm corn tortilla stuffed with savory black beans. On the Italian island of Sardinia, lunch might be a steaming bowl of minestrone, packed with fava beans, cranberry beans and chickpeas. On the Japanese island of Okinawa, dinner might include a tasty stir-fry with green beans, soybeans or mung bean sprouts.
Coincidental? I don't think so. A 2004 study of people 70 years or older in three different cultures around the world found that for every two tablespoons of beans a day individuals consumed, they reduced their risk of dying by 8%.
Other research has shown that beans not only provide the complex carbohydrates, proteins and trace minerals our bodies need, they also supply the fiber our microbiomes require, boosting our immune systems. That makes sense, because Blue Zone residents don't achieve their extraordinary longevity by relying on superior genes alone, but also by avoiding obesity, diabetes, heart disease, dementia and cancers better than the rest of us.
By contrast, nearly two thirds of Americans now report themselves to be overweight or obese, according to Gallup. And according to a recent Harvard study, we have a shorter average life expectancy than residents of nearly any other high-income nation — largely because of our diets and lifestyles.