I would have to say that the book "The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest" by Dan Buettner gave me many things to think about over the last month. I really enjoyed reading and sharing some of my thoughts with you. My overall all impression is that all of the lessons that came from each Blue Zone are reflective of the way I think and treat patients using naturopathic principles. The fact that people who followed these principles increased the longevity of their lives was not surprising either. For me it was more of a wonderful affirmation that these principles put into practice create a better overall quality of life. As I read the book, I spent time thinking about my own life and how I was putting the longevity principles into practice. I also often thought of my grandmothers-- one is 98 and the other is 86, wondering which of these principles they used in living so long.
Many of the suggestions offered in the book I have been practicing since I started seeing a naturopathic physician in 1992. I might not have practiced them over my entire life but they really have become part of my life as I learned more about natural health. As I began to focus more on the principles I started to see that most of the roots were already in place, and that they were taught to me by my grandparents. One of my grandmothers lived on a farm so when she moved to Washington D.C. she had a garden in her 12-foot by 12-foot slab of back yard in the alley. We often ate fresh fruit and vegetables or fresh meat or fish that was caught or killed by my grandfather. There was not much processed food in those days. My other grandmother was a teacher and owned and ran nursery schools; supporting children is an important purpose and she retired at the age of 82. Both my grandparents went to church and had strong spiritual ties in the community. Even now at 98 my grandmother does her devotions every morning and every night before bed. I have found The Blue Zones to be a thought provoking examination of my life and values. It has been a honor to share my thoughts with you.