Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Steps for a longer life...do I buy it?

Being a blog follower means one receives short reflections, written in a dry, enticing, or even humorous manner (your call) in fields pertaining to said person's interest. It's perfect. It could even be comparable to a magazine subscription, although you will miss the slick feel of a paper product in your hands (and that, to me, is irreplaceable, never to be bested by a blog or iPad or anything).

***Side note: Interested in assessing the health of your heart? Try hitting the wrong key on your keyboard while you're working on a blog post and watch the screen melt away, to be replaced by something that looks nothing like your post. Yes, it's awful.***

I felt like a magazine subscriber today when I read the latest post from a blog I follow: "The French Broad - Lessons from an Appalachian Table" (http://www.thefrenchbroad.com/). The writer, Mark Rosenstein, was sharing thirteen tips gleaned from Dan Beuttner's The Blue Zones. The subtitle says it all: “Lessons for living longer from the people who’ve lived the longest.” Wonderful, eh?

I thought these tips were very interesting... (borrowed from Mr. Mark Rosenstein)

1. Eat more slowly
2. Focus on food
3. Have a seat
4. Eat early
5. Eat 4 to 6 vegetable servings a day
6. Limit intake of meat
7. Lead with beans
8. Eat nuts every day
9. Buy a case of quality red wine
10. Treat yourself to a "happy hour"
11. Take it easy
12. Eat less

Some of these I heartily agree with. I need to tape number 12 to my forehead...and the kitchen cabinet...and on my table. I love food. I remember hearing a speaker, a slender young woman, declared the very same thing with a smile on her face. I was surprised. But why else is food there except to enjoy (besides for our nourishment, of course? ;) Number four is still a norm at my parents' house, and one that I firmly believe in. It's not always possible, that's for darn sure, but I feel so much healthier after a light meal in the evening. Number 7 and I have become friends only recently - in the past few years. Ahh, but beans are good!

But numbers 9 and 10 take the cake. This is a man after my own heart. What complements a superb meal better than a glass of wine (in my case, red)? When I come home after teaching eight students (that was today), I give myself an hour of down time before digging into the next project. I eat my dinner while reading a book or watching some television, and if there's wine to be had, I'll have a glass in hand. Bliss.

I've ordered The Blue Zones from the library. I'm curious to see what else Buettner has to say.

If you're feeling disgusted that I've written all these paragraphs and not a word about China, this paragraph's for you. I was shopping for pasta at my local greenie store today and wandered down the soup aisle, curious to see if anything would catch my attention. I picked up a package of ramen noodles (nope, nothing like the official "bad-for-you-but-oh-so-tasty brand), curious about the taste and idly wondering if I should buy it (in case you were wondering, it was infinitely more expensive than the other stuff at 79 cents per package. No "5 for a $1" here). I flipped it over, intending to read the ingredients, and lo and behold, "Made in China" stared boldly up at me. Ah well. No soup today.

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