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Blue Zones

Hey there 🙂

We all need a good new recipe to try from time to time so I have created a new segment to the blog/podcast called recipe recap. Each week I will try a new recipe and share the experiences, recommendations, and pro tips I gathered.

Recipe Recap

Ribollita (tuscan white bean soup)

I was looking for a vegetarian option here and stumbled upon this delicious looking dish. It looks great and its a one pot dish??? I am in. 

The dish is full of veggies, a little white wine, and fresh parsley. There is really no down side here. I was hesitant about the kale but you sauté it for so long that it becomes way easier to consume and doesn’t have any harsh bitter taste to it. 

Overall I found the prep time to take 30 minutes as opposed to the 15 minutes it claims on the website. This could be due to my poor organization skills in the kitchen.

Amanda and I were both fans of the soup. We will definitely be having this again!

Exercise of the Week

This week I am bringing you the single leg Romanian deadlift. I write this out as the SL RDL for short. It is absolutely one of my favorite exercises to do both personally and professionally. The SL RDL will tell me a lot about a client. It will show me what their balance looks like, their flexibility on each side, as well as their strength on each side. 

Single leg exercises help highlight imbalances between the two sides of the body and let us work on getting them to be more equal. 

The primary areas worked on a single leg RDL are the hamstrings, glutes, low back, and core. These are all large muscle groups in the body which means you burn more calories doing this than a machine hamstring curl. Simply put, the single leg RDL is more bang for your buck.

Start position

End position

What in the Health?

This week comes to us from Science Daily. The article outlines some research done by Edith Cowan University in Australia. They found that eccentrically training one side of the body can lead to strength gains on the other side, or at least reduce muscle wasting on the non-working side.

The sample size here is small, 30 people. But this has been seen before with the cross-extensor reflex. Essentially what happens here is if you recoil quickly on the right side, let’s say because you hit something sharp, your left side will fire its muscle extensors. 

What you need to take away here is that when you train one side of your body you also train the other side from a neurological standpoint. Pretty cool. 

Deep Dive

Blue zones!!!! 

These are areas in the world where people live significantly longer than the rest of us. They have more centenarians (people living to 100 years old) per 10,000 people than anywhere else. 

There are 5 known blue zones.

  • Ikaria, Greece
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Sardinia, Italy
  • Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
  • Loma Linda, California

Wherever you are while you read this or listen to the podcast will never become a blue zone. They are largely isolated and rural cultures. Although you may never live in a blue zone, you can adopt some of the blue zone lifestyle habits that allow them to live such long lives.

Here are 5 big takeaways.

  1. Consume a largely plant based diet- Eating more veggies, beans, and nuts.
  2. Follow the 80% rule- Stop eating when you have reached 80% fullness.
  3. Consume alcohol in moderation- Never drinking to excess. 
  4. Live an active life- Moving more throughout the day with purpose. 
  5. Sleep- Get enough sleep and take naps if you need more. 

There are many other things that these cultures do but these are some easy ones to begin implementing into your own life.