No phones, no laptop, no TV. When you are eating, JUST eat. It’s amazing what happens to your appetite and your experience when you are only eating and not doing all of the things we often do while eating: driving, working, reading, scrolling on our phones, talking, catching up on email.
Just five Blue Zones friendly meals per week will help to recalibrate your tastebuds and your cooking habits. You could batch cook on Sunday for work meals, or just try something new a few times per week. More beans, less meat, more flavor and you’ll be amazed. You can use this list of recommended easy recipes, or make any other plant-slant meals made from whole foods that you wish.
[RELATED: Cooking FAQs for Blue Zones Kitchen]
The Okinawans recite a phrase before every meal: hara hachi bu. This reminds them to eat to 80 percent full rather than stuffing themselves to the point of bursting. Their smaller portion sizes remind us to be mindful when eating and pay attention to our bodies.
Research shows that people who weigh themselves every day for two years weigh as much as 17 pounds less after two years than people who never weighed themselves. Daily weight checks take only seconds, and the results can provide powerful reinforcement.
There’s a strong link between oral health and mental health and happiness.
Centenarians from the blue zones took naps regularly. A study in 2011 from BPS Research Digest that shows how sleep affects our happiness. The research found that people who take an afternoon nap are desensitized to negative emotions yet more responsive to positive ones.
Going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time each morning helps your body stay in a rhythm.
Studies show that there are scientifically significant increases in people’s health and happiness when they spend time in nature and engage in active nature behaviors, such as feeding the birds and planting flowers.
Temperatures below 54°F or above 75°F can actually wake you up at night. The ideal temperature for sleep is around 65°F. If it feels a little colder than you’d like, grab a coupled extra blankets.
Ikarians have traditionally been Greek Orthodox Christians, which meant their religious calendar called for fasting almost half of the year. Caloric restriction—a type of fasting that cuts about 30% of calories out of the normal diet—is the only proven way to slow the aging process in mammals.