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Happy Monkey Club

Lessons from the Blue Zone

What is a Blue Zone?

A Blue Zone is a geographical area that has been studied and identified as a place where people live on average 10 years longer than the rest of the population. Not only do they live longer but they do so independently, doing what they love. You can imagine how this peaked my interest so I bought the book to learn more.

There are 5 such areas identified in the world and I had the privilege of hosting 12 happy monkeys near the Costa Rican Blue Zone in Nicoya. We met a family and spoke with a 91 year old coffee farmer who lives the life of the Blue Zone. The following are a simplified version of the 9 lessons learned from studying the 5 Blue Zones in the world.

The 9 lessons of longevity

  1. Move Naturally: walk, garden, clean etc. Move daily
  2. Hara Hachi Bu: Eat until you are 80% full, cut your calories by 20%
  3. Plant Slant: Eat more plants (fruits and veggies), grow a garden, limit meat and processed foods, lead with beans. Eat nuts daily 1-2 ounces.
  4. Grapes of Life: Drink red wine (moderately) 1 glass/day
  5. Purpose Now: “Why do a wake up this morning?” have a purpose each day, share it. Learn something new.
  6. Downshift: Take time to relieve stress, reduce the noise. Meditate 10-30 minutes daily.
  7. Belong: Connect to a community of like minded individuals, through religion, activities or volunteering.
  8. Loved ones first: Put family first always. Marry, have children, stay close.
  9. Right Tribe: Connect with others who share your values. Identify your inner circle who you can be vulnerable with. Be likable.

Seems pretty simple. How many small shifts are you willing to make?

What to learn more?

Read the book: The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for living longer from people who’ve lived the longest, by Dan Buettner. Check out https://www.bluezonesproject.com/
Visit a Blue Zone and learn first hand.

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