Live long and prosper

Every day, we are constantly being pushed and pulled by influences in our lives… and all those influences change how our lives go and how long they last.

Only 20-30% of our longevity is attributed to genetics, so our day-to-day life makes up the rest.

The places in the world where people live the longest are documented. They are referred to as Blue Zones, a term coined by Dan Buettner, the author and researcher who discovered these locales:

  • Sardinia, off the coast of Italy, and Icaria, Greece, are both Mediterranean cultures where the diet offers a plethora of fresh vegetables, olive oil and red wine.
  • Okinawa, Japan, is also a place where the diet has many plant-based items, and residents are known to meditate often and have a positive outlook.
  • The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica is another community that eats a low-fat diet largely plant-based. Many of the residents say they didn’t plan to live so long, but they are grateful. Most of them work into their 70s, having done something they loved.
  • Loma Linda, CA., is a small tight-knit community of Seventh-day Adventists who are vegetarian.

The quality of life you have is not only about where in the world you live, but how you live.

If you “super-size” your meals too often, it will shorten your life.

If you eat lots of fresh veggies and whole grains, you will live longer.

They tell us we need more exercise; don’t go to the drive-through, get out of your car and walk in.

Of course, the worst thing of all to shorten your life is stress. Studies show the only way you can undo the damage stress causes is to unwind.

hat advice seems like an infernal loop though; here in North America we unwind with food and drink. I envision lab rats in the studies with their feet up, eating mini tubs of Haagen Dazs.

I hope they would have eaten veggies for lunch.

My stress comes from work. Both my chef hubby and I work hard in the tourist season, and we rely on each other to maintain some kind of balance and retain a positive attitude.

The same sense of community exists in all the Blue Zones.

I enjoy the “therapy” of de-stressing with my kitchen gadgets and recipe books, and when hubby isn’t too hungry, he doesn’t mind waiting a bit longer as his wife putzes around to create a meal.

If we can find friends who are free, we will have them over. After all, there is nothing like time around the dining room table to bring people down to earth and make them smile.

Good food and good vibes are the best tonics for a long and happy life.

That age-old concept of balancing the priorities in one’s life is one that never stops being important. If you want to see where you’re at in your life span, check out the Blue Zones website that explains in detail the research done over the years

Their Vitality Compass test may look like just a publicity stunt, but it is based in statistics and algorithms.

I can’t really say “take it with a grain of salt” as salt is something that can shorten your life if you over-consume, but well, you know what I mean.

Considering less stress and more exercise in your life is good, but nobody is saying you have to swear off the occasional tub of Haagen Dazs.

Just make sure you find other things besides food that make you happy.

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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