1 April 2009

Radio, books and newspapers

Some of you might remember that I did an interview with Radio National recently. That program will be broadcast tomorrow, Thursday, at 8.30 am Australian eastern time. The program is call Future Tense, here is their website, a description of the program is here.
And here is part of the Radio National email sent earlier this week:
"You can let your international readers know that they can either download the program (as a podcast) or listen to the streaming audio. All the audio options will be available on the site about 30 minutes after the program goes to air.

There will also be a transcript that will be available later in the day on Thursday.

This link might be of interest for some of your Australian readers. It lists all the different radio frequencies for Radio National across the country."

If you miss it, there will be a podcast for download about 30 minutes after the broadcast. They also interview journalist from slate.com I hope you enjoy it.

I have to do some catch up chores this morning - I'll make the bed, tidy up, bake bread, check the garden, skin some luffas and then settle in for some more book writing. I'm in the final stages of the book proposal, which will be sold to a publisher at the end of April. I'm enjoying the process, even if the transition from my voluntary work on Mondays and Tuesdays back to home, then writing is a bit of a jolt. I think it keeps my brain working well so I'm happy for that.

Speaking of working brains, I have been reading about Blue Zones lately. You might all know a lot more than I do because when I started googling, I found it had been the subject of an Oprah show a while back. So bear with me if I'm just repeating what you already know.

I find the concept of Blue Zones fascinating. Basically, they're fairly isolated areas around the world where people commonly live very long lives, often over 100 years. The Blue Zones already identified are Okinawa, Japan, Loma Linda, California, USA, Sardinia, Italy and there may also be one in Costa Rica. The diagram demonstrates the common factors in the communities in Japan, USA and Italy. (Click on the diagram to enlarge it.)

The following passage and list, in quotes, is from Wiki:

"The people inhabiting Blue Zones share common lifestyle characteristics that contribute to their longevity. Among the lifestyle characteristics shared among the Okinawa, Sardinia, and Loma Linda Blue Zones are the following:[2]

  • Family - Family is put ahead of other concerns.
  • No Smoking - Centenarians do not typically smoke.
  • Plant-Based Diet - The majority of food consumed is derived from plants.
  • Constant Moderate Physical Activity - Moderate physical activity is an inseparable part of life.
  • Social Engagement - People of all ages are socially active and integrated into their communities.
  • Legumes - Legumes are commonly consumed."

I find it really interesting, and affirming, that the five principles above link in very nicely with the way many of us live. We have an emphasis on family, I have never written about smoking before but Hanno and I don't smoke, we eat a plant-based diet, including a lot of beans, and I love these last two - social engagement with people of all ages socially active and integrated into their communities and constant moderate physical activity.

From what I've read, the constant moderate physical activity is often associated with gardening and the work needed to run a home well. These people look after themselves, and then reap the benefits of that moderate activity and social engagement. I hope to live to a ripe old age and it looks like I might have a chance if I keep living this simple life.

And finally, I found this charming newspaper article I want to share with you. I think it shows the benefits, for both young and old, when fellowship and generosity are explored. In our youth obsessed culture it's nice to find such a wonderful and enriching account of friendship.

Hello and welcome to all the new readers. Thank you for the comments left yesterday, and for all the links to labels. I'll try to get back to them, and some emails, later today.



  1. I found the graph interesting.. I notice that there is a high intake of soy.. I drink soy but lately there was so much stuff in the media about it and how bad it is for you, that I began to worry. But it seems that these people are quite healthy.
    also tumeric is a fantastic spice! It is highly recommended in the ayurvedic wisdom.. I fry it (along with other spices) in ghee and pour it over my steamed vegies.
    Very good for digestion

    my broad beans are up!
    I can't wait to receive my loofah seeds.. is there any special way that i need to plant them? soil etc? yes, gardening is the perfect moderate (and sometimes not so moderate) exercise and it's free!

  2. How interesting I haven't heard of the blue zones.

    I will definitely dl that radio program.

    We had a leak under our sink also but we were very fortunate and DH caught it way before it became a mess. He did have to replace inside the cabinet floor, but it was a Godsend as I had been wanting to hoe all that stuff out and organize anyway.


  3. Rhonda,

    That newspaper article is Wonderful!! I have to print that out to share to others.

    I have never heard of the blue circles very interesting:)

    You have had some wonderful posts lately!! Great Job!!

    Can't wait to read your book:)



  4. I think the high soy intake is a bit misleading. The Okinawins don't consume high amounts of soy but rather good quality soy in the form of tempeh and tofu, they don't drink soy 'milk' at all.
    Absolutely loved the newspaper article, really brightened my day.

  5. my hubby was asked to speak at our local Art Is Festival on the weekend in Horsham. This years theme was "art is tasty" They held a grey matters forum and the quest speaker was Stephanie Alexander. Peter spoke about our organic vegie patch and how our 3 little boys,2,4,6 are involved with the growing, harvest & cooking and the important lessons they are learning. On Monday morning he was also on the local ABC radio talking on the subject. I will definately be listening to your session.

  6. I'm very interested in the dynamics of WHY Loma Linda, California, of all places is on that list....very interesting! I'll have to look into that one...
    Congratulations on your radio interview!

    I always enjoy your blog...

  7. I'll have to look into the blue zone thing this is the first I hear of it.Living in New England I guess I have to hope I'm more like Mrs Goodyear.My mother past away this pass year at the age of 92.She cooked meals for the elderly until one day she just said "I've had enough I think I'm ready to go now" I should be so lucky.

  8. Dianne, it is mainly due to the Adventists who live there.

  9. Have the site bookmarked for a listen tomorrow afternoon - best of luck on the show Rhonda!

  10. How interesting Rhonda. Thanks so much for the information. The article is wonderful. My husband comes from "long livers". (as I call them) Their minds are so alert but lose their vision. They listen to books on tapes: novels and the Bible. Maybe this graph might help me.

    WV USA

  11. They did a long article in National Geographic a few years ago about this. It was very interesting. I wish I could remember the month and year, but I am sure you could look it up on their website.

    DC USA

  12. Great interview Rhonda!
    I am a radio national fan and it was great to hear an interview on the topic of simple living.

  13. Loma Linda, California has a high Seventh Day Adventist population. Their group is strong on a vegetarian diet. A friend of mine visited the Weimar Clinic out there to learn how to eat more healthily after a heart attack. The SDA's are very strong on family life and Sabbath resting. One day of the week is set aside to do no work, only worship and spend time with family.

  14. It was so funny to see members of my religion/"cultural" group (Seventh-day Adventist) listed in a "Blue Zone" when that first came out in National Geo. a couple of years ago. Our lifestyle is something we don't usually think about, except when we have to explain it to someone (it's actually not as "weird" as it used to be, now that more people eat whole grains, are vegetarian, etc. -- we used to be SO STRANGE!).

    As I've gotten older, I've realized what a gift it was to be raised from infancy with a strong knowledge of good nutrition, the importance of exercise, etc. In fact, I've rather taken good health for granted some times -- most people I've known well (or have been related to) have lived into their late 80s or early 90s, been very active and independent even when elderly, etc.

    But I think the mental/spiritual aspect is just as important as the physical. Having a community of like-minded people with whom you meet regularly and being able to trust your life and concerns to a higher power are real life-extenders, I think! (Sorry, this comment sort of ran away with me, length-wise!) Kristin

  15. I've just read the transcript- well done Rhonda! I hope it leads more people to your blog and your book.


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