dinner party

Transform Your Kitchen into a Gathering Place for Friends & Family

 

Sure the kitchen is where you cook, but it can also be the heart of your home where you gather with family to share stories from the day and where you welcome and share meals, recipes, and good times with friends. 

Sure the kitchen is where you cook, but it can also be the heart of your home where you gather with family and family to share good times. Click To Tweet

Many of the Blue Zones Power 9® principles – developed by studying common practices in the original blue zones where people live the longest – can be incorporated into your kitchen routine. These include the principle of spending time with your Right Tribe and putting Loved Ones First. Research has shown us that the world’s longest-lived peoples either were born into or tend to join social circles that support healthy behaviors. On the island of Okinawa in Japan, for instance, five or more friends form strong bonds which last throughout their entire lives. These groups are known as “moais.” Not only do these groups get together often to share life’s celebrations but are also there for each other offering support when times are hard. 

Research has shown us that the world’s longest-lived peoples either were born into or tend to join social circles that support healthy behaviors. Click To Tweet

Since human behaviors are believed to be “contagious,” aligning with health-conscious individuals can positively impact your health. And the kitchen is the perfect place to hang out together. In Blue Zones Communities in the U.S., people participating in moais report positive benefits that range from making new friends to reduced feelings of loneliness and isolation. They also report that it’s easier to cook and eat healthy meals when supported by others with like-minded goals. These groups often meet and enjoy camaraderie while preparing meals together and sharing them at the table. And there’s always the potential to build long-term or even lifelong friendships.

...aligning with health-conscious individuals can positively impact your health. Click To Tweet

Entertaining in your own kitchen can help forge new friendships and strengthen old ones too. To optimize your kitchen for entertaining or casual meals with one or two friends, here are some interesting and unique tools to consider. You’ll find them helpful whether you’re already living the Blue Zones lifestyle or just getting started.

Entertaining in your own kitchen can help forge new friendships and strengthen old ones too. Click To Tweet

Make Your Next Salad a Meal to Remember

Eating more vegetables by adding fresh salads to your diet doesn’t have to be boring. Buy some greens, then ask your friends to come over and bring their favorite salad add-ins. Then enjoy time together chopping and preparing the salad together. Serve it from this beautiful 6-quart acrylic bowl that’s see-through to really show off salad ingredients. It comes with servers that store on the rim and has a chamber at the bottom that keeps salad cool until you’re ready to eat. It’s also perfect for serving chilled fruit.

Add Photos of Family & Friends

If you don’t already have photos on display in your kitchen due to limited space or lack of time to frame and hang photos, this unique message board may be the answer. It not only has an interesting modern geometric pattern but lets you hang notes and pictures using either magnets or push pins which are included. Just fill the board with happy photos of friends and family members from every generation and place on your fridge as a reminder of the Loved Ones First and Right Tribe Power 9 principles. You’ll never lose sight literally of what’s important in life even when you’re busy in the kitchen.

Time for Tea

Make time for tea with this beautiful automatic tea set that serves six. It can be fun for moais but is elegant enough for the holidays and special occasions. Tea has many health-boosting properties and residents of the original blue zones in Okinawa, Ikaria, and Sardinia are living proof. They consume tea on a daily basis reaping benefits such as a lower risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses. Tea has also been proven to relieve stress so having a cup or two with a friend or spouse can be a great way to wind down at the end of the day.

Sharing Good Conversation at the Table Made Easy

 

Gathering around the dinner table is a perfect time to share what happened throughout the day, but if you’re feeling like you need a bit of a conversation boost, try The Hygge Game to help get you started. For a fun, free option, try our Blue Zones Conversation Cubes.

Add Natural Sweetness with Honey

Honey can be added to foods for natural sweetness or used as a substitute for white sugar in recipes. It contains antioxidants and has also been used for thousands of years for anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial purposes. It’s popular in the original blue zones. In Ikaria, for instance, it’s stirred into coffee daily. Serve honey in style from this lovely bee-inspired glass honey jar with a pewter lid and serving spoon.

[Shop the Award-Winning Blue Zones Nicoya Honey]

Start Your Mornings with a Traditional Ikarian Cup of Joe

 

You can feel good about starting your day with a cup of joe because coffee is packed with antioxidants, has a plethora of health benefits, and is a staple beverage in the original blue zones. That’s why we’ve developed our own Blue Zones coffee collection. If you’d like to take it a step further, brew a cup of traditional Ikarian coffee with this beautiful Turkish coffee pot that comes in five different sizes depending on your crowd. This method of boiling finely ground coffee beans creates a foamy, rich creaminess to the resulting coffee. The fine grind delivers more concentrated antioxidants, boiling instead of filtering and brewing extracts more of the healthy compounds in the coffee, and the resulting coffee also has less caffeine than in you’d get in a typical American cup of coffee. So it’s healthy and delicious.

Eat Your Veggies

 

One of the most important things the original blue zones have in common is a diet based primarily on plant-based foods that are supplemented with only small amounts of meat. This is the origin of the plant-slant principle and why you’ll be eating lots of veggies if you’re living the Blue Zones lifestyle. If you are, this sturdy wooden cutting board with three storage containers is the perfect tool for your kitchen. Designate the chopping job to your sous-chef and spend quality time together in the kitchen. It comes with three graters of varying sizes and one mandolin for fine slicing. Each one fits into the groove in the opening above the container

A Garlic Press That Does Double Duty

Garlic is good for you and processing it just got easier with this 2-in-1 peeler and press. It can also chop chili, ginger, shallots, nuts, and other ingredients.

Share a Pot of Easy-to-Make Bean Soup

One of the main reasons we don’t eat right is because we’re busy, and some days we just don’t have time to cook from scratch. To stay on track with your healthy eating on hectic days, it can be helpful to have packaged bean soup on hand. Beans are a diet staple in the original blue zones, yet we don’t eat enough of them here in the U.S. even though they’re affordable and easily accessible in any grocery store. Keeping bags of prepackaged dry bean soup like this hearty 11 bean mix can help you to get plenty of heart-healthy beans even when you don’t have time to put together the ingredients for homemade soup yourself. This soup is affordable, all-natural, and makes enough to feed a family or a couple of friends.

Try New Recipes Together

It can be fun to try new recipes from other parts of the world to share with friends and family. Preparing these new recipes together with your significant other or friends can make it even more memorable. Try any of these free Easy, Awesome Meals or if you’re fully committed to the Blue Zones lifestyle, there is a paid subscription available to The Blue Zones Meal Planner. It is the perfect guide to recipes inspired by the original blue zones. With smart grocery lists, personalized menus, easy recipe options to scale up or down depending on the size of your group, and instructional cooking videos to help along the way, the Blue Zones Meal Planner takes the stress out of planning and lets you get back to more time with loved ones.  

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