A couple of years ago I read Dan Beuttner’s book The Blue Zones.
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:
- Move daily, with moderate physical activity
- Participate in family life
- Have a sense of community
- Faith-based practice
- Eat a plant-based diet
- Stop eating when 80% full
- Drink alcohol in moderation daily
- Go to work or other activities that provide a sense of purpose
- 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.
Patient-focused treatment, and an individualized approach to oncology means Dr. Norleena Gullett is not just treating cancer, she's treating the whole person.