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plant-based diet. One cup of beans a day adds three to four years in life expectancy. Plant a garden to grow fresher, pesticide-free food. Eat meat an average of five times a month and in small-por- tioned stir-fry, soups and pasta. Consume fewer calories. Drink wine in moderation. Check out BlueZones.com/recipes.


Maintain Relationships – “If you have fewer than three friends, it’s the equivalent of smoking for 20 years,” Buettner maintains. “Growing old in place and staying at home instead of a retirement or nursing home is easier to accomplish when you have a social network.” Meet regularly with friends.


Have Faith – A faith-based life taps into a larger resource far greater than oneself and enhances a sense of purpose, social net- work and calm content.


Prioritize Family – Amid the busyness of life, make the most en- joyable family time and nurturing activities each day’s first choice.


“Over the last eight years in Florida, our sponsor, NCH


Healthcare System, has helped to build well-being infrastructure and sustainability for approximately 400,000 people; that swells to nearly 1.2 million during high season from January to April,” says Deb Logan, executive director of Blue Zones Project-SWFL (Southwest Florida). “We have 33 Blue Zone-approved restaurants that collectively make an additional 176 plant-based menu items available locally; the first half of this year, they sold 130,000 Blue Zones-inspired dishes.” Te healthful community philosophy was vital in Hawaii, when


the Kīlauea Volcano spewed lava, sulfur dioxide and acid rain. First-responders staffed checkpoint stations around the clock to protect the public from dangerous areas, exposing themselves to combined sun and volcanic heat. Te Hawaiian Blue Zone team delivered smoothies, beverages and paletas—healthy popsicles made with real fruit—to help workers stay cooler. Tey also deliv- ered them to volunteers and public service groups, including Hope Services Hawaii, which built tiny houses for families displaced by volcanic activity. “We don’t come into an area and say, ‘Tis is what you must do.’


We say, ‘Tis is what you can do.’ Te readiness must come from the city level, businesses, schools and nonprofits,” Buettner says. “Te right leadership must be committed and prepared to follow through on multiple years of initiatives.” He remarks, “In the end, my hope for the future lies in the


fact that communities care about their health. Blue Zones isn’t about the quantity of years, but the quality of life, and oſten that adds years, too.” Connect with the freelance writer via AveryMack@mindspring.com.


The five original Blue Zones are:


Ikaria, Greece; Loma Linda, California; Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica;


Okinawa, Japan; and Sardinia, Italy.


Blue Zone Certified Cities C


ertified communities have achieved their predetermined goals (outlined in project blueprints) as attested to via a


combination of the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index and community-reported metrics.


California: Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach Redondo Beach


Iowa: Algona, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Fairfield, Harlan, Iowa City, Marion, Mason City, Muscatine, Oskaloosa, Sioux City, Spencer, Spirit Lake, Waterloo, Woodbine


Minnesota: Albert Lea


Cities and other areas transforming to Blue Zone status Hawaii: East/North/West Hawaii, Kapolei/Ewa, Koolau- poko, Manoa/Makiki/McCully/Moiliili, Wahiawa, Wailuku/ Kahului (aka Central Maui)


Oklahoma: Pottawatomie County Oregon: The Dalles, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Umpqua


Southwest Florida: Ave Maria, Bonita Springs, Estero, Golden Gate, Immokalee, Naples/East Naples Texas: Fort Worth Wisconsin: Beaver Dam, Horicon, Juneau, Mayville


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October 2018 31


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