Review of Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones
I watch things while I crochet and quilt, and this week, something wonderful came up on Netflix that I am very excited to share with you. I bet you did not know I sit and craft while I view films and shows, did you? I wonder how many of you out there do the same thing? Well the amazing show I found today is all about what people do in “blue zones” or parts of the world where a large part of the population live long, healthy lives to be 100 years old or even older. Here is a trailer of Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones:
“Most of what people think will prolong life is misguided or just plain wrong” says Dan Buettner, the host of this groundbreaking show. In our American cities, we are told to work out, cut carbs and sugar, and take copious amounts of pills to be healthy. Buettner visited five places around the globe to find out what people there do to live such long and healthy lives. What he discovered is shunning carbs and weightlifting were not things any of those people did. He shared episode by episode in this limited series what kinds of things people in Okinawa in Japan, Sardinia in Italy, Loma Linda in California, Ikara in Greece, and Nicoya in Costa Rica have done for generations. These things are so simple they will shock you, and yes, these are things we can all do, believe it or not. I won’t list everything I learned, but I will share some.
In Okinawa, people’s diets are chock full of fresh fruits and vegetables and the people there stay active gardening well into their geriatric years. They also don’t fully retire. Some of them have jobs they do a few hours during the day, and others spend time with friends and family, but everybody from birth to death keep busy doing things that give them purpose, and they believe that having no purpose in life leads to death. They may be onto something.
In Sardinia, they live in a very hilly town, and they have to walk, and climb stairs and steep streets daily. Instead of sitting at desks all day and riding in cars, they are on their feet doing things like making breads and pastas or tending livestock, and yes, they have gardens where they harvest fresh produce. Like the Okinawans, the Sardinians stay busy and great emphasis on their elder care is shown. They don’t have big nursing homes like in America. Instead, they keep their elderly family members with them.
Noticeable trends emerged in all five locations. Not only do people live longer, but they experience lower levels of things like diabetes, cardiovascular issues, dementia and depression, and they have low rates of things like arthritis. They all stay active, lead meaningful lives, and surround themselves with friends and family. Loneliness was not something the people experienced like we do in American cities. Their active lifestyles also contributed to less weakening of the body and there is great emphasis on a healthy diet that is high in complex carbohydrates, fiber, fruits and veggies, and yes- teas and wine believe it or not.
They all ate natural foods and took great pride in cooking and growing their own foods instead of eating out of boxes, cans, and bags like many in America do. They did not move from office chair to car to couch to bed. They moved from the garden to the kitchen, to the homes of loved ones, and back again, happy and active all day. The breathtaking scenery of these beautiful places is surrounded by nature, not asphalt jungles, and there is something to be said for having a connection with the earth and spending time cultivating what is ingested. Fresh air, sunlight, and time outdoors in all weather was a way of life for these people that many in our modern American cities shun.
Another very important thing contributed to long, healthy lives in these places. People did not live with chronic stress. A positive outlook is embraced in these places, but the people living there do not deal with the crazy grind that many in American business jobs do. There was no push to outperform the people next door to have the most status and no push to accumulate more wealth than the neighbors. Having been in high stress jobs the first decade after college and being out of that mess for over a decade, I can personally testify that a stressful lifestyle kills.
I don’t know about you, but being in the job from hell killed my positive attitude and it literally made me too drained mentally to care about my health. I knew that eating fast food and processed garbage all day long was taking years off my life, but I did not have any motivation to do anything about it. This was simply because prolonging a miserable life was not something I wanted. For me, a miracle came one day when I prayed to my father god, Odin to “Get me out of here” and four hours later, he did just that. I got fired that day and never went back to a job in that field.
I do not make as much money as I did back then, but it doesn’t matter. I was so miserable I had lost the will to live. I was just existing. Truthfully, I have talked to a lot of people over the years who expressed to me that they felt exactly the same way, and my advice is to get the hell out of that mess one way or another and move forward with your life. Many of us witches and pagans believe in reincarnation, so yes, we don’t just live once. However, living a miserable life is not worth it, and this show is rock solid proof that a healthy life is facilitated by happiness. Being happy matters.
Our outlook is not everything in life, but it dictates how we feel and think, which translates into what we do, and that creates a lot of what happens to us in life. In that way, we directly participate in creating our own reality. Choices create our future in this way. While we can’t control everything, we can control the decisions we make, and I don’t know about you, but I choose to live a happy life and be as healthy as possible. The food we choose to eat matters. The people we spend time with matters. The things we do matter. All of these things can add or take away years from our lives and these things dictate not only the quantity of years we live, but also our quality of life.
The investigative journalist who hosts this is Dan Buettner, who is a New York Times bestselling author and a fellow of National Geographic. He holds world records of endurance bicycling across multiple continents. He has been researching what it takes to live a long healthy life for decades, and he made sure to share what he learned both in print and in this limited series that Netflix is streaming.
You can find one of the books he has written right here at Amazon.com. It has 100 of the recipes inspired by what he has learned from the people in these so called blue zones: Amazon.com: The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100: 9781426220135: Buettner, Dan: Books
Maybe you are already doing all of these things and you don’t need to learn anything. Isn’t it nice to know there is somebody out there helping other people find out what you already know? If you are like the rest of us, and want to learn more, either grab one of his books- there are several- or watch this series on Netflix. You will be glad you did.
Happy Viewing and Blessed Be!
About the Author:
Saoirse is a practicing witch, and initiated Wiccan of an Eclectic Tradition.
A recovered Catholic, she was raised to believe in heaven and hell, that there is only one god, and only one way to believe. As she approached her late 20’s, little things started to show her this was all wrong. She was most inspired by the saying “God is too big to fit into one religion” and after a heated exchange with the then associate pastor of the last Xtian church she attended, she finally realized she was in no way Xtian, and decided to move on to see where she could find her spiritual home.
Her homecoming to her Path was after many years of being called to The Old Ways and the Goddess, and happened in Phoenix, Arizona. She really did rise from her own ashes!
Upon returning to Ohio, she thought Chaos Magic was the answer, and soon discovered it was actually Wicca. She was blessed with a marvelous mentor, Lord Shadow, and started a Magical Discussion Group at local Metaphysical Shop Fly By Night. The group was later dubbed A Gathering of Paths. For a few years, this group met, discussed, did rituals, fellowship, and volunteering together, and even marched as a Pagan group with members of other groups at the local gay Pride Parade for eight years.
All the while, she continued studying with her mentor, Lord Shadow, and she became a Third Degree High priestess in 2022. She belongs to the Black Dragon Clan.