A couple of years ago I read Dan Beuttner’s book The Blue ZonesThe Blue Zones book

Mr. Beuttner is a National Geographic Explorer and he traveled the globe in search of places where people live the longest, with low rates of chronic disease. He identified 5 places which he called “Blue Zones”:
Sardinia (Italy), Okinawa (Japan), the Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica), Icaria (Greece), and the Seventh-day Adventists of Loma Linda, California. Five communities from four continents. While each population had a different lifestyle and diet, there were commonalities found between them.

Here are the 9 lessons learned from The Blue Zones:

  1. Move daily, with moderate physical activityThe Blue Zones diagram
  2. Participate in family life
  3. Have a sense of community
  4. Faith-based practice
  5. Eat a plant-based diet
  6. Stop eating when 80% full
  7. Drink alcohol in moderation daily
  8. Go to work or other activities that provide a sense of purpose
  9. Practice mindfulness, as well as stress reduction

As an oncologist, I believe these 9 lessons can help patients heal from their cancer treatment and empower themselves to prevent the cancer from recurring.  Patients who calmly face their chemo and radiation treatments with a sense of purpose, surrounded by family and friends, see the diagnosis and treatment as an opportunity for growth. These are the people we learn from, who can show us a path to healing and recovery.