Tonight for dinner we ate sweet potatoes and tofu over rice. This is not a normal meal in our house because there is almost always meat at the center of every dish. I recently finished reading The Blue Zones, second addition, by Dan Buettner and I have to say it has me thinking. I thought it was a good book because it was interesting and enjoyable, but it seems the fact that it is making me think is really what makes it a good book. If you have not heard about this book, Blue Zones are small pockets around the world where people live the longest. The book describes the way these people live and comments on what factors may be contributing to their longevity. This book had been on my list for a while, but it was actually my doctor that finally pushed me over the edge. He thought that by paying attention to what these people are doing, specifically their diet, that it may help improve my health.
I was nervous to read the book because I was pretty sure these long living folks were probably not eating hot dogs and Oreo’s. I put it off for a while, not wanting to read what I kind of already knew, but I’m glad I finally picked it up and I highly recommend it. It is true that the diets are cleaner than Doritos, specifically cool ranch, and Blizzard’s, Oreo cookie of course, but also not as strict as one might think. Most of them were not vegan or even vegetarian. They eat carbs and some drank alcohol. The diets varied from area to area, but the common thread was very little, if any, processed food. Much of it was fresh, often from their own animals or gardens, usually in moderation, and meat was not the primary source of calories.
I’m not going to say their diet is easy in everyday society, or that I will be fully cutting out hot wings and cheesecake, but it also isn’t so extreme that eating more meals in their vain would be difficult to do. So back to the sweet potatoes and tofu. This was a large part of the diet for one specific woman in the book and as it turns out can make for a very good meal, thanks Lindsey. If you have any tips for meals that don’t involve hamburgers and tatter tots let me know because I will be sprinkling them in.
I will likely do some more posts on the Blue Zones because I believe in learning from what other people are doing right but don’t feel like you need to wait around for me, find a copy and send me your thoughts.
If you happen to be my doctor please take note that I have taken your advice and am trying! I’m really hoping that at my next checkup you will tell me that everything looks so good that I should probably just eat Pizza and chocolate fudge brownie ice cream for the next month.