What do the inhabitants of the islands of Okinawa, Japan, residents of Sardinia, Italy, and Seventh-Day Adventists in California have in common? They enjoy the healthiest, longest lives on the planet. Dan Buettner, a writer for National Geographic and a world-renowned explorer, assembled a team of researchers to seek out these “hotspots of human health and vitality,” which he calls Blue Zones, to assess their longevity. In these Blue Zones he found people suffer a fraction of the rate of heart disease and cancer than we do and reach the age of 100 at rates 10 times greater. Then he took teams of scientists to each location to identify lifestyle characteristics and explain longevity. These are the common denominators the world’s longevity Blue Zones share:
Plant-Power (more veggies, less processed foods); Move (find ways to move mindlessly, make moving unavoidable); Plan de Vida (know your purpose in life); Down Shift (work less, slow down, rest, take vacations); 80 percent Rule (Stop eating when you’re 80 percent full); Belong (create a healthy social network); Beliefs (spiritual or religious participation); Your Tribe (make family a priority).
Visiting the Blue Zone in Costa Rica several years ago, I studied with an 88 year-old health practitioner, which is pretty young for the Blue Zone, however his skin was that of a baby’s and was in better shape than most 30 year olds I know. He grew almost all of his own food or purchased it from the local farmer — he’s a yogi, he has a strong social connection with his community and he laughs a lot!
The biggest difference I saw with this practitioner is the way he ate — he lived off the land with a high fiber, high carbohydrate, low fat diet or a plant based diet. Research by world-renowned John Anderson, M.D., studied the effects of diet on diabetic patients and found astounding results. After being on a plant based diet for three weeks all those with type 1 diabetes lowered their insulin levels by an average of 40 percent, their cholesterol dropped by 30 percent and their blood sugar profile dramatically improved and with those with type 2 diabetes 24 out of 25 discontinued insulin medication altogether. There are numerous other studies supporting this — The China Study, The Pritikin Center, The Cleveland Clinic, Stanford School of Medicine and Journal of the American Dietetic Association, to name a few.
Symptoms and “diseases” are simply signs the intelligence of your body is under stress and is being forced to try to adapt. It’s not an indication your body is prone to failures; they’re signs you’re failing to provide the proper environment to support it. The goal of a wellness intervention then is to eliminate chronic interferences of your body so the normal state of health can be restored.
Health is a simple concept. This is why other “dumb” animals are so much healthier than humans. They simply follow natural laws and supply their genes with what they need to express health. We have to stop blaming things like our genes, bad luck, or bad germs when we get sick.
Your body needs to have all requirements met and be free of toxicity. In other words, it’s impossible to be 100 percent healthy by supplying cells with only some requirements and eliminating only some toxins. Plants can’t be healthy if they have water and nutrients but no sunlight. Even if they had water, sunlight, and all required nutrients they couldn’t be healthy if they were being poisoned. The same is true for human beings. You can’t eat all organic healthy foods, have a healthy state of mind and not exercise. Nor can you expect to be healthy if you are poisoning yourself.