Gifts from Ray: Blue Zone Recipes and Challenge

Today, Ray gave me three books that he ordered for my birthday. They are The Blue Zone Challenge: A 4-Week Plan for a Longer, Better Life, The Blue Zone American Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100, and The Blue Zone Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100 all by Dan Buettner. I must say that I was touched that Ray is encouraging me to live to be 100. That is a good sign coming from my husband of almost 43 years.

Fifteen years ago, the author Dan Buettner, working with National Geographic, began studying where people around the world lived the longest. The idea was to figure out what factors contributed to these long-lived folks’ success in order to offer this information to people who didn’t live in the “Blue Zones,” or the five places where the oldest people in the world live healthy and happy lives. Those places include Sardinia, Italy; the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; Okinawa, Japan; Loma Linda, California; and Ikaria, Greece. A careful analysis of their lives and diets produced some interesting data. While the foods were different in all five zones, the people with exceptional longevity had a few things in common. They ate a diet that was low in dairy, meat, and sugar. They focused instead on beans, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. They also were active in their communities, got exercise through being active in their daily lives, were often engaged in their faith communities, and made an extra effort to create strong family and social relationships. In other words, they were active and engaged in life.

I am not only touched that Ray thought of these books for me, but I am also pleased because our daughter Sarah has already texted that she would be interested in doing this challenge with me. This would add more motivation to the picture for me since I would love nothing more than to have even more of a reason to be in close touch with Sarah. So, I believe the stars are aligning.

I’m not quite sure if we’ll start this week or next, but I’ll keep you abreast of our progress. This sounds like something worthwhile and I figure doing this challenge cannot hurt me. In fact, it will enrich my life on several levels.

So, wish us luck. If you have any experience with this eating program, please let me know. A little guidance would be greatly appreciated!

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