Here are a couple of the statements that I live my life by and these encourage me to do what I am now doing.
- I believe that our body has the power to heal itself if given the right environment
- 85% of chronic disease is actually lifestyle related. This means we have the power to actually control our wellness throughout life, but also our illness
- Epigenetics means that even though we are born with a certain set of genes, our environment can actually switch them on or off
- The populations in the “Blue Zones” make it possible to dream that the average health of a population can change and improve.
Have you ever heard of the blue zones?
The Blue Zones are areas in the world that have been studied significantly because they have the highest number of living centurions. The most number of people to live over 100, and not just live but thrive.
In our “First World” countries we seem to be dying to our 80’s rather than thriving. I see and hear statements like “isn’t it normal to become unwell in your 60’s” “It’s just the way it is” “Poly-pharmacy is normal at that age” I work in a hospital and every single older adult (aged over 65) is on more than 5 different medications (poly-pharmacy). This should not be the “norm”, the “Blue Zones” should be the norm.
The areas they have studied significantly in the world include.
- Sardinia Italy: mountain villages have a substantially higher proportion of men reaching 100, and it is the place where people live the longest in the world (20 centurions from 1996 – 2016)
- Okinawa, Japan
- Loma Linda, California: Seventh Day Adventists (This is in America….)
- Nicola Peninsula, Costa Rica
- Icaria, Greece: an island with the highest percentage of 90 year olds on the planet, nearly 1 in 3 make it to their 90’s. Plus 20% lower rate of cancer, 50% lower CVD and almost no dementia
These areas in the world do not have the same culture or diet, but these are the things that are helping these people to thrive.
- Moderate, regular physical activity: More incidental exercise than the norm in Western cultures
- Life purpose: They know and are attached to their reason for living
- Stress reduction: Each area has a different way of managing stress, and generally live within a culture that does not glorify busy-ness and live within their means. Whether this be meditation, prayer or siesta’s they have it sorted.
- Moderate caloric intake: portion control, there seems to be less overeating.
- Plant-based diet: 90 – 100% plant-based diets show improved overall health and increased longevity. This is a big similarity in each cultures diet, it’s not the same food but based around the same principles. Eat more plant-based protein and increase fruit and vegetables.
- Moderate alcohol intake, esp. wine: This consumption of wine is based around the community and social interaction rather than drinking alone.
- Engagement in spirituality or religion: Being part of a community and gathering weekly for the dedicated prayer time increases longevity. Where in your life have you created this community.
- Engagement in family life
- Engagement in social life: some of these communities have a tradition that creates small pods of 5 men of women that are born at a similar time. They are expected to come together every single week for their whole lives to form their own pod community. They get together through all stages of their lives, even in later years for that wine we were talking about before. So amazing!
Buettner (who discovered these Blue Zones) found that the average person can increase his or her life expectancy by 10-12 years by adapting the Blue Zone lifestyle.
So, why am I telling you this!
Well, longevity is related to health and vitality. This knowledge allows us to see and have proof that the way we live, and the lifestyle we lead can have a significant impact on our health and wellness in all stages of life. This gives us back the power.
“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”― Ann Wigmore
But not only our food but our overall lifestyle. We can make changes to our lifestyle and the way we live to create an optimal environment within the body to have humming hormones and thriving fertility. Once you understand that you have control over your hormones our mindset changes and we are more empowered.
This is what happened with me, this is how I changed my story and you can too.