DEAL of the WEEK! Check out all of this week's great deals on Flowers and Gifts at! Order Now (offer available only while supplies last)



NORDSTROM - New fall handbags have landed





Ebates Coupons and Cash Back





Boston Proper, Inc.



Neiman Marcus Last Call (Neiman Marcus)



Dean and Deluca

DERMA doctor, Inc.


Amazon college













300x250 banner








Elizabeth Arden


Perfume Sale |








Boston Proper, Inc.




Gardener's Supply Company






Vera Bradley Designs, Inc.


Boston Proper, Inc.






Neiman Marcus Last Call (Neiman Marcus)












Health Benefits Of Grapefruits

The health benefits of grapefruits are wide-ranging and nearly unmatched by any other fruit. A glass of chilled grapefruit juice, especially in winter, helps seriously boost your levels of vitamin C, which gives grapefruits a high place amongst various citrus fruits. It’s packed with the benefits derived from various nutrients and vitamins, including potassium and lycopene. Along with these, it also contains calcium, sugar and phosphorous. In terms of its culinary value, it is considered a wonderful appetizer, and is regularly included for breakfast as a refreshing and energizing start to the day.

Grapefruits are high in fiber and low in calories, and they contain bioflavonoids and other plant chemicals that protect against serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, and the formation of tumors. Grapefruits increase the body’s metabolic rate, lower insulin levels and give you a feeling of fullness and normality. It assists the human body in fighting various conditions like fatigue, fever, malaria, diabetes, constipation, indigestion, urinary problems, excess acidity and many more.

There are plenty of major health benefits of grapefruits, which are also known to be powerful drug/poison eliminators. It works as a natural antiseptic for external wounds, and it functions as a liver tonic. It contains a high water content, which helps in changing the complexion of the skin and increasing the body’s metabolic rate. The pulp and fiber of grapefruits supply healthy bulk to our food intake, which aids bowel movements and reduces chances of colon cancer. It also helps to quench thirst and thus, reduces the burning sensation that arises during fever. The Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that the intake of grapefruit reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Health Benefits Of Grapefruits:

Appetite Loss: Grapefruit works as an excellent appetite suppressant as compared to many other substances and foods. It is said that smell of the grapefruit reduces the feeling of hunger, which is the reason why people often include grapefruit in their weight loss programs. The high amounts of fiber contained in this fruit can also satisfy hunger and help people avoid the temptation to overeat, since it is a bulky food, and stimulates cholecystokinin to be released, a hormone that regulates digestive juices and acts as a hunger suppressant.

Influenza: Grapefruit is a valuable remedy for influenza, since it helps to minimize acidity in the system. The bitter properties arising from an essence called ‘naringin’ in grapefruits tones up the system and the digestive process. Naringin is also considered a flavonoid, which are powerful antioxidant sources in the human diet. They also have antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory qualities, making them one of the most important lines of defense in the immune system, protecting against influenza as well as many other serious conditions.

Malaria: The juice, or the fruit itself, contains valuable and natural ‘quinine’ which is advantageous for the treatment of malaria. Quinine is an alkaloid with a long history of treating malaria, as well as lupus, arthritis, and nocturnal leg cramps. It is not an easy component to find in many foods, so grapefruits are a beneficial and rare example. The quinine can be easily extracted from the fruits by boiling a quarter of grapefruit and straining the pulp.

Fever: The pulp or the juice of grapefruit helps patients recover quickly from fevers, and it reduces the burning sensation that occurs when the body reaches a high temperature. It is also known as a way to boost the immune system against colds and other common illnesses. Grapefruit juice, when combined with water, can quench thirst very quickly and can keep you hydrated longer. Most of these benefits come from the high content of vitamin C in grapefruits, which acts as a general immune system defense system and can help the body fight to break fevers.

Fatigue: Grapefruits are also beneficial in the treatment of fatigue, so it can help you to dispel your general tiredness caused from routine or boring work. Drinking equal amounts of grapefruit juice and lemon juice can be a refreshing and delicious way to quickly boost your energy levels. Nootkatone is a very rare and important compound found within grapefruits, and is probably its most valuable component in terms of extracting as an aromatic substance. Nootkatone improves energy metabolism in the body through AMPK activation. This results in higher endurance and energy, increased weight loss, and a reduction in the the chances of developing diabetes.

Indigestion: Grapefruit is useful for solving the problem of indigestion. It is very light as compared to other foods and thus, acts immediately on indigestion by easing the heat and irritation caused in the stomach. It improves the flow of digestive juices, which eases the movement of the bowels and keeps your excretory system regulated. This is due to the presence of fiber and vegetative pulp in grapefruits, that adds bulk to the bowels and regulates your excretory schedule, and grapefruit extract is also often used in modern medicine for these same reasons.

Insomnia: A simple glass of grapefruit juice, if drunk before going to bed, can promote healthy sleep and alleviate the irritating symptoms and repercussions of insomnia. This is due to the presence of tryptophan in grapefruits, the chemical we often associate with becoming sleepy after big meals. The levels of tryptophan in grapefruit juice lets us nod off peacefully to sleep.

Diabetes: Diabetic patients can safely eat grapefruit, because consuming grapefruit can reduce the level of starch in the body. If a patient is diabetic, intake of grapefruit can help them to regulate the flow of sugar in their body, effectively handling the disease. recent studies have shown this beneficial relationship between diabetes and grapefruits to be due to the flavonoid content of grapefruits, along with a number of other healthy benefits from those compounds.

Acidity: Fresh grapefruit juice creates an alkaline reaction after digestion. The citric acid of the fruit is contained in the human body and thus, increases the effect of the alkalinity reaction after digestion. The juice extracted from the grapefruit is beneficial in preventing acid formation and many other diseases that arise due to the presence of excess acidity in the body.

Constipation: A glass full of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice in the morning is a great remedy to control constipation. The juice stimulates the colon and other parts of the body relating to the digestive system. This is due to the stimulating effect of fiber on the secretion and stimulation of gastric juices that ease the constriction of the digestive tract and induce a bowel movement.

Flatulence: 10 to 20 drops of grapefruit juice, taken before all three meals of the day, can work as an appropriate pro-biotic and digestive enzyme, and will relieve excess flatulence and stomach discomfort. Further research needs to be done on the exact mechanism behind this phenomenon, but again, people believe it relates to flavonoid content in citrus fruits like grapefruits.

Urinary Disorders: Grapefruit juice is quite rich in potassium and vitamin C, so it is one of the best treatments for dangerously reduced urination that is often caused by liver, kidney or heart problems. Furthermore, its high potassium content works as a vasodilator, meaning that blood vessels and arteries relax, reducing blood pressure and lessening the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Also, increased levels of potassium have been associated with higher cognitive function because of increased blood and oxygen flow to the brain!

Consumption of Grapefruit is Better than Many Other Medicines

Grapefruits are natural sources of medicine that help the body fight off various diseases. This fruit is readily available in any season. It is completely natural and much better than consuming artificial pharmaceuticals to relieve some of your most basic health conditions. It enables the human body to regulate your cholesterol, which means that it minimizes the risk of various cardiovascular diseases caused by cholesterol issues. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that consumption of grapefruit can reduce LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), as well as hazardous triglycerides.

A Few Words of Warning: Despite all of these health benefits, and the fact that sometimes grapefruits can be superior to other medicines in their efficacy, you must be very careful taking medicine and consuming grapefruit juice at the same time. Certain chemicals in grapefruits, like naringin, and other less common compounds can negatively interact with various drugs and cause damage to your organ systems. Be sure to consult your doctor in terms of drug interactions with grapefruit juice in your diet before beginning any new treatments! You want to improve your health, but sometimes doing it in too many different ways can hurt you!





Thanks for the link Christy!






Bonus question: What kind of salt should we use?

A related question is whether some kinds of salt are healthier than others. Sea salt, table salt, kosher salt, flavored salt, fleur de sel, Hiwa Kai, Black Hawaiian Sea Salt, Kala Namak, “organic salt,” and Pink Himalayan Sea Salt are all basically the same chemical, sodium chloride. Only the trace amounts of other substances vary. Table salt is fortified with iodine and is a highly effective way to prevent iodine deficiency and goiter. Gourmet cooks swear by the taste differences of different salt varieties.

(Don’t eat Epsom salt. You’d regret it: it’s has a significant laxative effect when taken internally.)

Pink Himalayan sea salt was introduced to me by an e-mail correspondent who questioned the claim that it contained “84 trace minerals that promote health and well being.” I questioned it too, so I did a little research.

Mike Adams, the infamous Health Ranger, explains that Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt contains the full complement of minerals and trace elements “just like Mother Earth intended.” It is an unrefined, unprocessed raw salt mined by hand from salt caves that formed 250 million years ago as ocean salt settled into geologic pockets. It is stone-ground, which apparently doesn’t count as “processing.” Table salt is bad stuff, you see, since it was processed to remove all the good stuff and then they had to replace the iodine because people who ate it started to get goiters. Oh, and incidentally he sells the good stuff on his website and even offers a discount.

I found a website that reports the results of a spectral analysis of Himalayan salt. I think this is where the claim comes from. Even if this analysis is accurate, it is meaningless for health and if anything is worrisome. The amount of minerals in it is too minuscule to make any difference, and we already get plenty of the same trace minerals from other foods. They claim that two double-blind studies were done, but no such studies are listed in PubMed. There is no evidence published in peer-reviewed journals that replacing white salt with pink salt makes a shred of difference or leads to any improvement in health.

If you read down the list of minerals, you will notice that it includes a number of radioactive substances like radium, uranium, and polonium. It also includes substances that act as poisons, like thallium. I wouldn’t be worried, since the amounts are so small; but if anyone believes the trace amounts of “good” minerals in Himalayan sea salt are good for you, why not believe the trace amounts of poisons and radioactive elements are bad for you?

The claim that pink Himalayan salt contains 84 trace minerals may be true, but the claim that it “promotes health and wellness” is false until proven otherwise by legitimate clinical studies. While waiting for evidence, I’d just as soon my salt didn’t contain uranium.

























My Favorite!

 I love the Lungo blends…

and the Frother is user friendly

and make a great Latte or Cappuccino!



order ↓ here



Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 3.04.17 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 7.49.32 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 7.48.57 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 7.49.51 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 7.50.10 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 7.50.26 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 7.50.40 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 7.50.51 PM


Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 11.21.43 PM



IMG_0833 (1)


           mal processing and an emphasis on vegetables, fruits,

whole grains, beans, nuts and seed.  

Everything after that is less important.  –A.S.


necessarily more nutritious than humbler berries.

 As Schuldt puts it, 

“Your mom’s never had acas, so it’s exciting now.

 But I think blueberries will win out in the end.”

       —Mandy Oaklander




study found that zero calorie artificial sweeteners might alter gut bacteriea in a way that

predisposes mice to glucose intolerance…a precusrsor of diabetes.

 Sugar swapping isn’t alway a sweet deal.  __M.O,

IMG_0842famine. This crisis-like mode shuttles calories into storage in fat cells.  The result is abody that doesn’t have enough fuel, minute to minute.  Guess what happens next?  Hunger.

 And more eating.  “cutting calories doesn’t address…




Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 4.56.52 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 11.53.06 AM

Want to live to be 100?

It’s tempting to think that with enough omega-3s, kale and blueberries, you could eat your way there.

But one of the key takeaways from a new book on how to eat and live like “the world’s healthiest people” is that longevity is not just about food.

The people who live in the Blue Zones — five regions in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the U.S. researchers have identified as having the highest concentrations of centenarians in the world — move their bodies a lot. They have social circles that reinforce healthy behaviors. They take time to de-stress. They’re part of communities, often religious ones. And they’re committed to their families.

A new study linking animal protein-rich diets to increased mortality in middle age adds fuel to the controversy over how much protein — and from what sources — is ideal for health. One thing that seems pretty clear: It doesn’t hurt to go heavy on the greens.

But what they put in their mouths, how much and when is worth a close look, too. And that’s why Dan Buettner, a National Geographic explorer and author who struck out on a quest in 2000 to find the lifestyle secrets to longevity, has written a follow up to his original book on the subject. The new book, called The Blue Zones Solution, is aimed at Americans, and is mostly about eating.

Why should we pay attention to what the people in the relatively isolated Blue Zone communities eat? Because, as Buettner writes, their more traditional diets harken back to an era before we Americans were inundated with greasy fast food and sugar. And to qualify as a Blue Zone, these communities also have to be largely free of afflictions like heart disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes. So clearly they’re doing something right.
You can get the backstory in this excerpt of the original book, which was published in 2008. But in a nutshell, Buettner in 2004 rounded up a bunch of anthropologists, demographers, epidemiologists and other researchers to travel around the world to study communities with surprisingly high percentages of centenarians. He and the scientists interviewed hundreds of people who’d made it to age 100 about how they lived, then did a lot of number crunching to figure out what they had in common.

In the new book, which was released April 7, Buettner distills the researchers’ findings on what all the Blue Zones share when it comes to their diet. Here’s a taste:

  • Stop eating when your stomach is 80 percent full to avoid weight gain.
    Eat the smallest meal of the day in the late afternoon or evening.
    Eat mostly plants, especially beans. And eat meat rarely, in small portions of 3 to 4 ounces. Blue Zoners eat portions this size just five times a month, on average.
    Drink alcohol moderately and regularly, i.e. 1-2 glasses a day.
    The book also features “top longevity foods” from each Blue Zone, some of which we found pretty intriguing.

Ikaria, Greece

You may remember this Blue Zone from Buettner’s wonderful 2012 New York Times Magazine article entitled “The Island Where People Forget To Die.”

As we’ve reported, health researchers have long praised the Mediterranean diet for promoting brain and physical health and keeping chronic diseases at bay. So what makes the diet of the people on Ikaria, a small island in the Aegean Sea, so special?

“Their tradition of preparing the right foods, in the right way, I believe, has a lot to do with the island’s longevity,” writes Buettner.

And “what set it apart from other places in the region was its emphasis on potatoes, goat’s milk, honey, legumes (especially garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas, and lentils), wild greens, some fruit and relatively small amounts of fish.”

Ikaria has a few more “top longevity foods:” feta cheese, lemons and herbs like sage and marjoram that Ikarians use in their daily tea. What’s missing that we usually associate with Greece? Lamb. The Ikarians do eat some goat meat, but not often.

Okinawa, Japan

Buettner calls the islands of Okinawa a kind of “Japanese Hawaii” for their laid-back vibe, beaches and fabulous weather. Okinawa also happens to have one of the highest centenarian ratios in the world: About 6.5 in 10,000 people live to 100 (compare that with 1.73 in 10,000 in the U.S.)

Centenarians on Okinawa have lived through a lot of upheaval, so their dietary stories are more complicated than some of the other Blue Zones. As Buettner writes, many healthful Okinawan “food traditions foundered mid-century” as Western influence brought about changes in food habits. After 1949, Okinawans began eating fewer healthful staples like seaweed, turmeric and sweet potato and more rice, milk and meat.

Still, Okinawans have nurtured the practice of eating something from the land and the sea every day. Among their “top longevity foods” are bitter melons, tofu, garlic, brown rice, green tea and shitake mushrooms.

Sardinia, Italy

On this beautiful island in the middle of the Mediterrean, the ratio of centenarian men to women is one to one. That’s quite unusual, because in the rest of the world, it’s five women to every one man who live that long.

The sharp pecorino cheese made from the milk of grass-fed sheep in Sardinia, has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.i
The sharp pecorino cheese made from the milk of grass-fed sheep in Sardinia, has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Gianluca Colla/Courtesy of Blue Zones
Buettner writes that the Sardinians explain their exceptional longevity with their assets such as “clean air,” “locally produced wine,” or because they “make love every Sunday.” But when Buettner brought along a researcher to dig deeper, they found that pastoralism, or shepherding livestock from the mountains to the plains, was most highly correlated with reaching 100.

So what are those ancient Sardinian shepherds eating? You guessed it: goat’s milk and sheep’s cheese — some 15 pounds of cheese per year, on average. Also, a moderate amount of carbs to go with it, like flat bread, sourdough bread and barley. And to balance those two food groups out, Sardinian centenarians also eat plenty of fennel, fava beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, almonds, milk thistle tea and wine from Grenache grapes.

Loma Linda, Calif.

There’s a Blue Zone community in the U.S.? We were as shocked to learn this as you may be. Its members are Seventh-day Adventists who shun smoking, drinking and dancing and avoid TV, movies and other media distractions.

Tofu links sold in Loma Linda, Calif. The Blue Zones research shows that adherents of the Adventist diet, which is mostly plant-based, have lowest rates of heart disease and diabetes in the U.S. and very low rates of obesity.i
Tofu links sold in Loma Linda, Calif. The Blue Zones research shows that adherents of the Adventist diet, which is mostly plant-based, have lowest rates of heart disease and diabetes in the U.S. and very low rates of obesity.
David Mclain/Courtesy of Blue Zones
They also follow a “biblical” diet focused on grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables, and drink only water. (Some of them eat small amounts of meat and fish.) Sugar is taboo, too. As one Loma Linda centenarian tells Buettner: “I’m very much against sugar except natural sources like fruit, dates or figs. I never eat refined sugar or drink sodas.”

Gary Fraser, a cardiologist and epidemiologist at Loma Linda University and an Adventist himself, has found in studies that Adventists who follow the religion’s teachings lived about 10 years longer than people who didn’t. Another key insight? Pesco-vegetarians in the community, who ate a plant-based diet with up to one serving of fish a day, lived longer than vegan Adventists.

Their top foods include avocados, salmon, nuts, beans, oatmeal, whole wheat bread and soy milk.

Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

We’d love to be invited for dinner by a centenarian here, where they #putaneggonit all the time. One delicious-sounding meal Buettner was served by a 99-year-old woman (who’s now 107) consisted of rice and beans, garnished with cheese and cilantro, on corn tortillas, with an egg on top.

As Buettner writes, “The big secret of the Nicoyan diet was the ‘three sisters’ of Meso-American agriculture: beans, corn and squash.” Those three staples, plus papayas, yams, bananas and peach palms (a small Central American oval fruit high in vitamins A and C), are what fuel the region’s elders over the century.

Granted, it’s not easy to emulate the Blue Zoners if you live in the U.S. where you’re likely to be tempted with bacon and cupcakes every day. And maybe you don’t want to become a vegan.

But Buettner has plenty to say about simple ways Americans could live like these isolated tribes of exceptional health in The Blue Zone Solution. That’s what he’s focused on now with the Blue Zone Project: helping communities adapt the cross-cutting tenets of a healthful lifestyle. So far, the project has gotten several towns — and U.S. states — to sign on.

For recipes from the Blue Zones with the ingredients above, check out the web site. And for more photos from the Blue Zones, head to National Geographic.

Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 12.01.35 PM

We all know obesity is a dangerous problem in this country, and have heard the dire warnings that some kids today may not even outlive their own parents. Pretty scary stuff. But perhaps solutions can be found in the world’s “Blue Zones.”
If you haven’t heard of this concept, it was born back in 2009 with a book by American writer and researcher Dan Buettner called The Blue Zones. He travelled the world with a team of researchers, interviewing people age 100 or older to find out their longevity secrets, and identified the geographic pockets they call home. Buettner followed the book up a year later with Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way, and his message in both books is clear: A diet that’s rich in mostly plant-based foods and limits meat consumption appears to be one of the keys to longevity.

The odds of Blue Zone residents reaching 100 are up to 10 times greater than the average North American, and their rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer (Canada’s top killers) are significantly lower. While these regions vary in many ways, their residents have similar diets and lifestyle. Buettner noticed their core diet consisted of natural, unprocessed foods. And adopting that diet is not complicated. Says Anna Leiper, a clinical dietitian at the Capital District Health in Halifax, eating like those who live in the Blue Zones allows for a variety of foods. “This flexibility is essential: Any diet we adopt needs to be something we can stick with.” Here’s how to get started.

Eat your vegies
They’re low in calories, high in vitamins and fibre, and full of antioxidants. Blue Zone diets include at least two vegetables in every meal.

Love beans and tofu
They were in every Blue Zone diet. On the Nicoya Peninsula, they eat beans with tortillas daily. Okinawans get protein from miso soup or tofu. Beans and tofu provide protein but no cholesterol, and are high in fibre.

Drink in moderation
A daily drink has been shown to lower rates of heart disease and reduce cholesterol along with the effects of chronic inflammation. Red wine is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, which may help ward off arteriosclerosis. The secret is moderation: More than a glass or two a day negates the benefits.

Eat nuts
People in Loma Linda who ate nuts at least five times a week had half the risk of heart disease and lived about two years longer than those who didn’t. This may be because nuts are rich in monounsaturated fat and soluble fibre, both of which lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. They’re also a good source of vitamin E, a key to heart health. Since nuts are high in calories, though, limit yourself to a handful daily.

Limit meat
None of the Blue Zone centenarians were big carnivores. In Loma Linda, most were vegetarians. In Okinawa, Sardinia and Costa Rica, meat was reserved for special occasions.

Hara hachi bu
Okinawans say this before every meal. It means “eat until you are 80 percent full.” It takes the brain about 20 minutes to communicate to the stomach that it is satisfied, so “hara hachi bu” teaches us to eat until we are no longer hungry, rather than until we are full. Slowing down during mealtimes and being mindful of each bite really

American writer Dan Buettner found that Blue Zoners have these lifestyle habits in common:
1. Low-intensity exercise is a daily activity.
2. Life has a purpose that is pursued every day.
3. They take time to slow down, rest, relax and recuperate.
4. They participate in a spiritual community.
5. Family is a top priority.
6. They spend time every day with like-minded people they care about.
7. They don’t smoke.

More blue zone foods
• Olive oil
• Green tea
• Coffee
• Dark chocolate
• Fish


My Dinner With Longevity

Expert Dan Buettner

(No Kale Required)

Dan Buettner and I were off to a good start. He approved of coffee.

“It’s one of the biggest sources of antioxidants in the American diet,” he said with chipper confidence, folding up his black Brompton bike.

As we walked through Greenwich Village, looking for a decent shot of joe to fuel an afternoon of shopping and cooking and talking about the enigma of longevity, he pointed out that the men and women of Icaria, a Greek island in the middle of the Aegean Sea, regularly slurp down two or three muddy cups a day.

This came as delightful news to me. Icaria has a key role in Mr. Buettner’s latest book, “The Blue Zones Solution,” which takes a deep dive into five places around the world where people have a beguiling habit of forgetting to die. In Icaria they stand a decent chance of living to see 100. Without coffee, I don’t see much point in making it to 50.

The purpose of our rendezvous was to see whether the insights of a longevity specialist like Mr. Buettner could be applied to the life of a food-obsessed writer in New York, a man whose occupational hazards happen to include chicken wings, cheeseburgers, martinis and marathon tasting menus.

Covering the world of gastronomy and mixology during the era of David Chang (career-defining dish: those Momofuku pork-belly buns) and April Bloomfield (career-defining dish: the lamb burger at the Breslin Bar and Dining Room) does not exactly feel like an enterprise that’s adding extra years to my life — or to my liver.

And the recent deaths (even if accidental) of men in my exact demographic — the food writer Joshua Ozersky, the tech entrepreneur Dave Goldberg — had put me in a mortality-anxious frame of mind.

With my own half-century mark eerily visible on the horizon, could Mr. Buettner, who has spent the last 10 years unlocking the mysteries of longevity, offer me a midcourse correction?

To that end, he had decided to cook me something of a longevity feast. Visiting from his home in Minnesota and camped out at the townhouse of his friends Andrew Solomon and John Habich in the Village, this trim, tanned, 55-year-old guru of the golden years was geared up to show me that living a long time was not about subsisting on a thin gruel of, well, gruel.

After that blast of coffee, which I dutifully diluted with soy milk (as instructed) at O Cafe on Avenue of the Americas, Mr. Buettner and I set forth on our quest at the aptly named LifeThyme market, where signs in the window trumpeted the wonders of wheatgrass. He reassured me, again, by letting me know that penitent hedge clippings had no place in our Blue Zones repast.

“People think, ‘If I eat more of this, then it’s O.K. to eat more burgers or candy,’ ” he said. Instead, as he ambled through the market dropping herbs and vegetables into his basket, he insisted that our life-extending banquet would hinge on normal affordable items that almost anyone can pick up at the grocery store. He grabbed fennel and broccoli, celery and carrots, tofu and coconut milk, a bag of frozen berries and a can of chickpeas and a jar of local honey.
The five communities spotlighted in “The Blue Zones Solution” (published by National Geographic) depend on simple methods of cooking that have evolved over centuries, and Mr. Buettner has developed a matter-of-fact disregard for gastro-trends of all stripes. At LifeThyme, he passed by refrigerated shelves full of vogue-ish juices in hues of green, orange and purple. He shook his head and said, “Bad!”

“The glycemic index on that is as bad as Coke,” he went on, snatching a bottle of carrot juice to scan the label. “For eight ounces, there’s 14 grams of sugar. People get suckered into thinking, ‘Oh, I’m drinking this juice.’ Skip the juicing. Eat the fruit. Or eat the vegetable.” (How about a protein shake? “No,” he said.)

So far, I was feeling pretty good about my chances of making it to 100. I love coffee, I’m not much of a juicer and I’ve never had a protein shake in my life. Bingo. I figured that pretty soon Mr. Buettner would throw me a dietary curveball (I noticed with vague concern that he was not putting any meat or cheese into his basket), but by this point I was already thinking about how fun it would be to meet my great-grandchildren.

I felt even better when he and I started talking about strenuous exercise, which for me falls somewhere between “root canal” and “Justin Bieber concert” on the personal aversion scale.

I like to go for long walks, and … well, that’s about it.

“That’s when I knew you’d be O.K.,” Mr. Buettner told me.

It turns out that walking is a popular mode of transport in the Blue Zones, too — particularly on the sun-splattered slopes of Sardinia, Italy, where many of those who make it to 100 are shepherds who devote the bulk of each day to wandering the hills and treating themselves to sips of red wine.

“A glass of wine is better than a glass of water with a Mediterranean meal,” Mr. Buettner told me.

Red wine and long walks? If that’s all it takes, people, you’re looking at Methuselah.

O.K., yes, Mr. Buettner moves his muscles a lot more than I do. He likes to go everywhere on that fold-up bike, which he hauls along with him on trips, and sometimes he does yoga and goes in-line skating. But he generally believes that the high-impact exercise mania as practiced in the major cities of the United States winds up doing as much harm as good.

“You can’t be pounding your joints with marathons and pumping iron,” he said. “You’ll never see me doing CrossFit.”

For that evening’s meal, Mr. Buettner planned to cook dishes that would make reference to the quintet of places that he focuses on in “The Blue Zones Solution”: along with Icaria and Sardinia, they are Okinawa, Japan; the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, Calif., where Seventh-day Adventists have a tendency to outlive their fellow Americans, thanks to a mostly vegetarian diet that is heavy on nuts, beans, oatmeal, 100 percent whole-grain bread and avocados.

We walked from the market to the townhouse. And it was here, as Mr. Buettner laid out his cooking ingredients on a table in Mr. Solomon’s and Mr. Habich’s commodious, state-of-the-art kitchen, that I noticed the first real disconnect between the lives of the Blue Zones sages and the life of a food writer who has enjoyed many a lunch hour scarfing down charcuterie, tapas and pork-belly-topped ramen at the Gotham West Market food court.
Where was the butter? Hadn’t some nice scientists determined that butter’s not so lethal for us, after all? (“My view is that butter, lard and other animal fats are a bit like radiation: a dollop a couple of times a week probably isn’t going to hurt you, but we don’t know the safe level,” Mr. Buettner later wrote in an email. “At any rate, I can send along a paper that largely refutes the whole ‘Butter is Back’ craze.” No, thanks, I’m good.)

Where was the meat? Where was the cheese? (No cheese? And here I thought we’d be friends for another 50 years, Mr. Buettner.)

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 4.52.18 PM

Mr. Buettner’s broccoli soup with cashew cream. Credit Malin Fezehai for The New York Times
“If you’re eating this meal, you’re getting all the protein you need,” he promised me, although it wasn’t my protein intake I was worried about.

Although it is by no means a stealth vegan manifesto, “The Blue Zones Solution” frequently mentions that men and women in these longevity-friendly regions tend to eat meat and fish only sparingly, and they almost never tangle with cow’s milk. Mr. Buettner had leapt to the conclusion that I had probably had enough meat and cheese for the week already. He was correct.

“We’re making up for all your sins tonight,” he told me. “What you learn tonight is going to set you on a new path.”

The centerpiece of Mr. Buettner’s dinner was a dish he had named “Icarian stew,” which involved a big pot of black-eyed peas, fennel, onions, garlic, carrots, canned tomatoes and other plant-based delights simmered for hours and then topped with a few glugs of extra-virgin olive oil.

“I eat this all the time,” he said. “This is how I seduced Kathy Freston, by the way. You ask her. Ask her if Icarian stew has any role in her love for me.” (Mr. Buettner is dating Ms. Freston, the author and advocate of veganism who used to be married to Tom Freston, the former MTV executive.)

Raised in Minnesota, Mr. Buettner (pronounced BYOOT-ner) grew up eating “hotdish and Hamburger Helper — the usual Midwest crap,” he said.

But in 2005 he wrote an article about the secrets of longevity for National Geographic, and the lightning-striking success of it bestowed upon him both a career mission (starting with his first book, “The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest,” in 2008) and a new mode of looking at food.

He’s now a fierce believer in Japanese yams, wild greens and milk thistle. (Throughout “The Blue Zones Solution,” he stresses that people in these parts of the world don’t just happen to live a long time, they do so with lower rates of the diabetes, heart disease and dementia that seem to afflict much of the junk-food-gobbling globe.)

Not long ago he dropped by the Mayo Clinic to meet a doctor for an executive physical. “I wanted to see if it really paid off,” Mr. Buettner said. “And apparently it has. I had the clearest arteries he’d ever seen in a 54-year-old man.”

Nevertheless, his findings over the last decade do put him at odds with a controversial range of culinary belief systems.
During our afternoon and evening together, he joked that the paleo diet is fine if all you want is the life expectancy of a cave man. The raw food movement? Mr. Buettner brushed it aside and pointed out that in all of the Blue Zones, people cook their meals, sometimes for hours.

Fear of a wheat planet? “Bogus,” he said. After a couple of hours in the kitchen, Mr. Buettner defied the carb-avoiders and gluten-dodgers of America by dashing over to Union Square on foot to score several loaves of long-fermented, freshly baked sourdough at Breads Bakery.

“A true sourdough bread will actually lower the glycemic load of a meal,” he said. “But it has to be a real sourdough bread.” (Whew. We were back to the good news.)

After a bunch of his friends had gathered in the kitchen (Mr. Buettner referred to them as his New York “moai,” which is an Okinawan term for a circle of people who purposefully meet up and look out for one another), he opened a bottle of hard-to-find Sardinian wine and asked them to take their seats. Among them were Mr. Solomon, the author of books like “Far From the Tree” and “The Noonday Demon,” and Samantha Boardman, a psychiatrist and the wife of the real-estate tycoon Aby J. Rosen.

There came a broccoli soup thickened with cashew cream; a simple Japanese paste made from mixing sweet potato and coconut milk; a honey-touched tofu parfait crowned with a berry compote, which Mr. Buettner called “a little naughty” because it was sweeter than what you would normally find in a sugar-averse Blue Zone. (Naughty? I guess Mr. Buettner has never had the gochujang Buffalo wings at Seoul Chicken.)

Mr. Solomon, although enthusiastic about the longevity feast, appeared to be reading my mind. “No cheese in Sardinia?” he asked, a trace of longing in his voice.

The meal itself was delicious and nourishing, even if there were moments when my restaurant-conditioned palate was crying out for salt. In a sense, though, the meal was almost beside the point, blurring as it went on into waves of wine and conviviality.

Along the way, Mr. Buettner stage-whispered into Mr. Solomon’s ear, asking whether our host might be willing to dip into the wine cellar for a special bottle or two. Icaria is known for the longevity of its residents; it’s also known for Dionysian all-night parties. I can’t say for sure whether I felt longevity coursing through my veins, but there was a fair amount of alcohol.

“The secret sauce is the right mix of friends,” Mr. Buettner said.

And as each course arrived (the Icarian stew claiming its rich, flavor-deep place as an obvious showstopper), Mr. Buettner called attention to a last point about the Blue Zones: that in longevity idylls like Icaria, it’s not just about what you eat, but how you eat, and how much you and your friends enjoy a meal together.

“Dan, do any of the Blue Zones people eat kale salad?” Mr. Solomon asked.

“No,” Mr. Buettner replied. “They eat food that they enjoy.”




Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 12.12.00 PM




Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 10.20.19 PM

Flu Vaccination

Why should people get vaccinated

against the flu?

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Over a period of 31 seasons between 1976 and 2007, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. During a regular flu season, about 90 percent of deaths occur in people 65 years and older. “Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May.

During this time, flu viruses are circulating at higher levels in the U.S. population. An annual seasonal flu vaccine (either the flu shot or the nasal spray flu vaccine) is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.

How do flu vaccines work?

Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.

The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Traditional flu vaccines (called trivalent vaccines) are made to protect against three flu viruses; an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus. In addition, there are flu vaccines made to protect against four flu viruses (called “quadrivalent” vaccines). These vaccines protect against the same viruses as the trivalent vaccine and an additional B virus.

What kinds of flu vaccines are available?

There are several flu vaccine options for the 2014-2015 flu season.

Traditional flu vaccines made to protect against three different flu viruses (called “trivalent” vaccines) are available. In addition, flu vaccines made to protect against four different flu viruses (called “quadrivalent” vaccines) also are available.

Trivalent flu vaccine protects against two influenza A viruses (an H1N1 and an H3N2) and an influenza B virus. The following trivalent flu vaccines are available:

Standard-dose trivalent shots (IIV3) that are manufactured using virus grown in eggs. Different flu shots are approved for people of different ages, but there are flu shots that are approved for use in people as young as 6 months of age and up.
An intradermal trivalent shot, which is injected into the skin instead of the muscle and uses a much smaller needle than the regular flu shot. It is approved for people 18 through 64 years of age.
A high-dose trivalent shot, approved for people 65 and older.
A trivalent shot containing virus grown in cell culture, which is approved for people 18 and older.
A recombinant trivalent shot that is egg-free, approved for people 18 through 49 years of age.
The quadrivalent flu vaccine protects against two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. The following quadrivalent flu vaccines are available:

A quadrivalent flu shot.
A quadrivalent nasal spray vaccine, approved for people 2 through 49 years of age (recommended preferentially for healthy* children 2 years through 8 years old when immediately available and there are no contraindications or precautions).
(*“Healthy” in this instance refers to children 2 years through 8 years old who do not have an underlying medical condition that predisposes them to influenza complications.)

Are any of the available flu vaccines recommended over others?

CDC has not expressed a preference for which flu vaccine people should get this season except for one: Starting in 2014-2015, CDC recommends use of the nasal spray vaccine for healthy* children 2 years through 8 years of age when it is immediately available and if the child has no contraindications or precautions to that vaccine. If the nasal spray vaccine is not immediately available and the flu shot is, vaccination should not be delayed and a flu shot should be given. For more information about the new CDC recommendation, see Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine in Children 2 Years through 8 Years Old or the 2014-2015 MMWR Influenza Vaccine Recommendations.

While there will be more than one vaccine option for many people to choose from, including high-dose vaccine, intradermal vaccine and the regular flu shot, the only preferential recommendation is for the nasal spray vaccine in healthy* children 2 years through 8 years of age. The most important thing is for all people 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine every year. If you have questions about which vaccine is best for you, talk to your doctor or other health care professional.

(*“Healthy” in this instance refers to children 2 years through 8 years old who do not have an underlying medical condition that predisposes them to influenza complications.)

Who should get vaccinated this season?

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. This recommendation has been in place since February 24, 2010 when CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for “universal” flu vaccination in the United States to expand protection against the flu to more people.

Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza. See People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications for a full list of age and health factors that confer increased risk.

More information is available at Who Should Get Vaccinated Against Influenza.

Who Should Not Be Vaccinated?

Different flu vaccines are approved for use in different groups of people. Factors that can determine a person’s suitability for vaccination, or vaccination with a particular vaccine, include a person’s age, health (current and past) and any relevant allergies, including an egg allergy.

Flu Shot:

People who cannot get a flu shot
People who should talk to their doctor before getting the flu shot
Nasal Spray Vaccine:

People who cannot get a nasal spray vaccine
People who should talk to their doctor before getting the nasal spray vaccine
When should I get vaccinated?

Flu vaccination should begin soon after vaccine becomes available, ideally by October. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even in January or later. While seasonal influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, during most seasons influenza activity peaks in January or later. Since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza virus infection, it is best that people get vaccinated so they are protected before influenza begins spreading in their community.

Flu vaccine is produced by private manufacturers, so availability depends on when production is completed. Shipments began in late July and August and will continue throughout September and October until all vaccine is distributed.


Where can I get a flu vaccine?

Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers, as well as by many employers, and even in some schools.

Even if you don’t have a regular doctor or nurse, you can get a flu vaccine somewhere else, like a health department, pharmacy, urgent care clinic, and often your school, college health center, or work.

The following Vaccine Locator is a useful tool for finding vaccine in your area.

Why do I need a flu vaccine every year?

A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons. First, the body’s immune response from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, the formulation of the flu vaccine is reviewed each year and sometimes updated to keep up with changing flu viruses. For the best protection, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually.

Does flu vaccine work right away?

No. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. That’s why it’s better to get vaccinated early in the fall, before the flu season really gets under way.

Can I get seasonal flu even though I got a flu vaccine this year?

Yes. There is still a possibility you could get the flu even if you got vaccinated. The ability of flu vaccine to protect a person depends on various factors, including the age and health status of the person being vaccinated, and also the similarity or “match” between the viruses used to make the vaccine and those circulating in the community. If the viruses in the vaccine and the influenza viruses circulating in the community are closely matched, vaccine effectiveness is higher. If they are not closely matched, vaccine effectiveness can be reduced. However, it’s important to remember that even when the viruses are not closely matched, the vaccine can still protect many people and prevent flu-related complications. Such protection is possible because antibodies made in response to the vaccine can provide some protection (called cross-protection) against different but related influenza viruses. For more information about vaccine effectiveness, visit How Well Does the Seasonal Flu Vaccine Work?


Vaccine Effectiveness
Influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) can vary from year to year and among different age and risk groups. For more information about vaccine effectiveness, visit How Well Does the Seasonal Flu Vaccine Work? For information specific to this season, visit About the Current Flu Season.

Vaccine Benefits
What are the benefits of flu vaccination?

While how well the flu vaccine works can vary, there are a lot of reasons to get a flu vaccine each year.

Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick from flu. Protecting yourself from flu also protects the people around you who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness.
Flu vaccination can help protect people who are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from flu, like older adults, people with chronic health conditions and young children (especially infants younger than 6 months old who are too young to get vaccinated).
Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick.
Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of more serious flu outcomes, like hospitalizations and deaths.
A recent study* showed that flu vaccine reduced children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission by 74% during flu seasons from 2010-2012.
One study showed that flu vaccination was associated with a 71% reduction in flu-related hospitalizations among adults of all ages and a 77% reduction among adults 50 years of age and older during the 2011-2012 flu season.
Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions. Vaccination was associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease, especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year. Flu vaccination also has been shown to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes (79%) and chronic lung disease (52%).
Vaccination helps protect women during pregnancy and their babies for up to 6 months after they are born. One study showed that giving flu vaccine to pregnant women was 92% effective in preventing hospitalization of infants for flu.
Other studies have shown that vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-related hospitalizations in older adults. A study that looked at flu vaccine effectiveness over the course of three flu seasons estimated that flu vaccination lowered the risk of hospitalizations by 61% in people 50 years of age and older.
References for the studies listed above can be found at Publications on Influenza Vaccine Benefits.

Vaccine Match
Will this season’s vaccine be a good match for circulating viruses?

It’s not possible to predict with certainty which flu viruses will predominate during a given season. Over the course of a flu season, CDC studies samples of flu viruses circulating during that season to evaluate how close a match there is between viruses used to make the vaccine and circulating viruses. Data are published in the weekly FluView. In addition, CDC conducts studies each year to determine how well the vaccine protects against illness during that season. The results of these studies are typically published following the conclusion of the flu season and take into consideration all of the data collected during the season. Interim preliminary estimates of the vaccine’s benefits that season using data available at that time also may be provided. For more information, see Vaccine Effectiveness – How Well Does the Flu Vaccine Work?

Flu viruses are constantly changing (called “antigenic drift”) – they can change from one season to the next or they can even change within the course of one flu season. Experts must pick which viruses to include in the vaccine many months in advance in order for vaccine to be produced and delivered on time. (For more information about the vaccine virus selection process visit Selecting the Viruses in the Influenza (Flu) Vaccine.) Because of these factors, there is always the possibility of a less than optimal match between circulating viruses and the viruses in the vaccine.

Can the vaccine provide protection even if the vaccine is not a “good” match?

Yes, antibodies made in response to vaccination with one flu virus can sometimes provide protection against different but related viruses. A less than optimal match may result in reduced vaccine effectiveness against the virus that is different from what is in the vaccine, but it can still provide some protection against influenza illness.

In addition, even when there is a less than optimal match or lower effectiveness against one virus, it’s important to remember that the flu vaccine is designed to protect against three or four flu viruses, depending on the vaccine.

For these reasons, even during seasons when there is a less than optimal match, CDC continues to recommend flu vaccination. This is particularly important for people at high risk for serious flu complications, and their close contacts.

Top of Page

Vaccine Side Effects (What to Expect)
Can the flu vaccine give me the flu?

No, a flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines that are administered with a needle are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu vaccine viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ and are therefore not infectious, or b) with no flu vaccine viruses at all (which is the case for recombinant influenza vaccine). The nasal spray flu vaccine does contain live viruses. However, the viruses are attenuated (weakened), and therefore cannot cause flu illness. The weakened viruses are cold-adapted, which means they are designed to only cause infection at the cooler temperatures found within the nose. The viruses cannot infect the lungs or other areas where warmer temperatures exist.

While a flu vaccine cannot give you flu illness, there are different side effects that may be associated with getting a flu shot or a nasal spray flu vaccine. These side effects are mild and short-lasting, especially when compared to symptoms of bad case of flu.

The flu shot: The viruses in the flu shot are killed (inactivated), so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that may occur are:

Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
Fever (low grade)
The nasal spray: The viruses in the nasal spray vaccine are weakened and do not cause severe symptoms often associated with influenza illness. In children, side effects from the nasal spray may include:

Runny nose
Muscle aches
In adults, side effects from the nasal spray vaccine may include:

Runny nose
Sore throat
If these problems occur, they begin soon after vaccination and are mild and short-lived. Almost all people who receive influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it. However, on rare occasions, flu vaccination can cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. People who think that they have been injured by the flu shot can file a claim for compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

More information about the safety of flu vaccines is available at Influenza Vaccine Safety.

 Importance of Physical Fitness 

Here are just a few benefits of physical activity:


Children and adolescents – Physical activity can improve muscular fitness and bone and heart health.
Adults – Physical activity can lower risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Older adults – Physical activity can lower the risk of falls and improve cognitive functioning (like learning and judgment skills).
Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for everyone to get more physical activity.

Make a difference: Spread the word about fun ways to get moving!

How can National Physical Fitness and Sports Month make a difference?

We can use this month to raise awareness about the benefits of physical activity.

Here are just a few ideas:

Encourage families to make small changes, like taking a walk after dinner or going for a bike ride.
Motivate teachers and administrators to make physical activity a part of every student’s day.
Identify youth leaders in the community who can talk to their peers about the importance of being active.

Physical activity provides long-term health benefits for everyone! By being active, you will burn calories that you store from eating throughout the day and—it can be as easy as walking the dog or as rigorous as running a marathon. Providing opportunities for children to be active early on puts them on a path to better physical and mental health. It’s never too late to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle.

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 11.59.52 AM

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 12.00.02 PM


Physical activity, along with proper nutrition, is beneficial to people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.

And it is important that everyone gets active: over the last 20 years, there’s been a significant increase in obesity in the United States.

About one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents (aged 2-19 years) are obese.1

The health implications of obesity in America are startling:

If things remain as they are today, one-third of all children born in the year 2000 or later may suffer from diabetes

at some point in their lives, while many others are likely to face chronic health problems such as heart disease,

high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, and asthma.

Studies indicate that overweight youth may never achieve a healthy weight, and up to 70% of obese teens may become obese adults.

Even more worrisome, the cumulative effect could be that children born in the year 2000 or later may not outlive their parents.

The impact of obesity doesn’t end there. Obesity has personal financial and national economic implications as well.

Those who are obese have medical costs that are $1,429 more than those of normal weight on average (roughly 42% higher).

And annual direct costs of childhood obesity are $14.3 billion.

By incorporating physical activity into your daily life—30 minutes for adults and 60 minutes for children—

as well as healthy eating, you will experience positive health benefits and be on the path for a better future.


Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 11.57.55 AM

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 11.58.06 AM


Regular physical activity can produce long-term health benefits.

It can help:

Prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke (the three leading health-related causes of death)
Control weight
Make your muscles stronger
Reduce fat
Promote strong bone, muscle, and joint development
Condition heart and lungs
Build overall strength and endurance
Improve sleep
Decrease potential of becoming depressed
Increase your energy and self-esteem
Relieve stress
Increase your chances of living longer
When you are not physically active, you are more at risk for:

High blood pressure
High blood cholesterol
Type 2 diabetes
Heart disease

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 11.59.10 AM

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends 30 minutes of physical activity a day for adults,

60 minutes for children, at least five days a week. Sound daunting? It’s much easier than you think, regardless of your current activity level.

There are plenty of ways to get moving and some may even surprise you! It’s time to be active, get healthy, and have some fun!

Being active doesn’t require joining a gym. Look for ways to increase your heart rate during your daily routine.

Walk or cycle instead of taking the car or bus, or you can choose the stairs over the escalator or elevator.

Try these ways to be active and start working towards your fitness goals to jumpstart or maintain a healthy lifestyle.

There are many health benefits to being active for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, but you should consult your physician before starting a new activity program.

If you haven’t been active in a while, start slowly and build up. Do what you can; some physical activity is better than none.

Keep track of all your activities by signing up to earn your PALA+. Exit Disclaimer

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 11.58.45 AM


Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 11.59.00 AM


Aerobic activities can range from 60-85% of your maximum heart rate.

Aerobic activities make you breathe harder and your heart beat faster. Aerobic activities can be moderate

or vigorous in their intensity levels, and range from 60-85% of your maximum heart rate.

A general guide to use: For moderate activities you can talk, but you can’t sing.

With vigorous activities, you can only say a few words without stopping to catch your breath.

Muscle-strengthening activities make your muscles stronger.

Bone-strengthening activities make your bones stronger and are especially

important for children and adolescents, as well as older adults.

Balance and stretching activities enhance physical stability and flexibility, which reduce the risk of injuries.

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 11.58.34 AM


Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 11.58.24 AM

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 11.58.15 AM


People of all ages and body types can benefit from regular physical activity.

Here are just a few benefits of physical activity:

Children and adolescents – Physical activity can improve muscular fitness and bone and heart health.
Adults – Physical activity can lower risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Older adults – Physical activity can lower the risk of falls and improve cognitive functioning (like learning and judgment skills).
Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for everyone to get more physical activity.

Make a difference: Spread the word about fun ways to get moving!

How can National Physical Fitness and Sports Month make a difference?

We can use this month to raise awareness about the benefits of physical activity.

Here are just a few ideas:

Encourage families to make small changes, like taking a walk after dinner or going for a bike ride.
Motivate teachers and administrators to make physical activity a part of every student’s day.
Identify youth leaders in the community who can talk to their peers about the importance of being active.

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 12.00.15 PM