Anyone who knows me knows that I am a health nut! I am the person who tells you - right when you are about to bite into your favorite candy bar - “you know high fructose corn syrup can give you fatty liver disease” or some other depressing fact about your "oh-so-yummy" favorite food. I own a
t-shirt that says “I love kale” (seriously).
Why do I do these things? Am I a nerd? Possibly. Or a joy kill? Heaven’s no! It’s because I really, truly care about the health of others. I want everyone I know "to prosper and be in health" like the Biblical disciple John did. My inaugural blog post is therefore dedicated to health! I won’t always write about health, however, because I would like to have a readership of more than 3, so please come along for the ride and I promise to write about other fun topics as well - hence the name for these posts “Health and Happiness”!
As most of you know, I live in Kobe, Japan where I have direct access to one of the healthiest populations on the planet. Japanese women have one of the highest life expectancies in the world routinely living to 87. What is most impressive about them is that they remain healthy as they age. It is not at all uncommon for me to see senior citizens in Japan who are walking and running faster than I ever could! Needless-to-say, I made it my mission to find out their secret!
Okinawa, an island in Japan's southern seas, provides some of the best insight into this renowned Japanese health and longevity. It is home to a coveted “blue zone" - an area known for having a population that routinely lives to the ripe old age of 100! This island has been visited by a host of researchers from The New York Times to National Geographic all returning with similar findings. So what can we learn from the Okinawans? The answers may surprise you.
Know your purpose. Find out why God made you and work towards that goal. Purpose keeps you young and vibrant.
Have a plant based diet. Eat your veggies and avoid packaged foods. Fruits and vegetables of many colors are a staple of the Japanese diet.
Have a strong social network filled with fabulous friends. Love and laughter are good for the mind and body.
Enjoy the sunshine and be active. Why? Vitamin D and fun, fun, fun!
Have a positive attitude and reduce stress. Forget the past and embrace what God is doing today.
Last, and most importantly, world wide research on Blue Zones shows that FAITH is a key factor to health and longevity. It is a common practice for people living to age 100 to attend 4 - 5 religious services per month (oh wait, that’s every week)!
So my friends, let's get moving towards 100! Eat well, get active, de-stress, and have faith!
Peace, love, health, & happiness,
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