For the month of July I will be dedicating my blog reading and discussing the book, "The Blue Zones: Lessons For Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest" by Dan Buettner.
Today I'll discuss chapter 4: An American Blue Zone The Longevity Oasis in Southern California.
As a naturopathic physician who spends a lot of time talking about lifestyle issues that improve the health of my patients, I was surprised and thrilled to find out about a blue zone in the United States. The reason I was thrilled was because all of these centenarians understand the American way of life. They see the same commercials, go shopping at the same grocery stores, have access to the same exercise options and go to the same doctors who have been trained through the same U.S. medical system as the rest of America. They could be indoctrinated with the same bad behaviors as the rest of the country but they have chosen a different way of life. This group of centenarians have decided to pursue healthy lifestyles. In the beginning of the chapter they talked about how they changed their community to help them get healthy and stay healthy. I see this community of Seventh-day Adventists as role models for the rest of Americans. I see the lifestyle decisions that they made as a path for the rest of us to follow.
As a community they have decided how they want to live their life and they demand that their local stores support them in creating a healthy lifestyle. Many of the Seventh-day Adventists have chosen to eat a semi or completely vegetarian diet. Since they have decided to have that type of diet their national chain grocery stores supply them with healthier food options, vegetarian options and better produce. Any community could require their national chain to do the same. If people actually buy healthier choices the markets would supply them. Our financial support to stores can influence what they keep in stock. I am not suggesting that everyone in the United States become vegetarian but I am suggesting that if your market doesn’t carry healthy foods that you would buy, tell the supermarket and have your neighbors do the same.