Beyond, the Blue Zone

…your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you…

I Corinthians 6:19(NKJV)

The latest big trend in the market is the introduction of the Beyond Meat Burgers. These items have become quite popular at major fast food outlets across the continent. These items have become a viable alternative for vegetarians, vegans, and flexitarians, the latter category I consider myself a part of. And while Beyond Meat is a great alternative for those who don’t wish to consume meat, or wish to reduce their meat intake, it is far from a healthy product. As with any processed food, it is full of additives and preservatives to give it longer shelf life, and therefore taking some of the benefits of eating plant based proteins away. But there are other reason for considering eating these items.

As I have made it well know, based on the Bible (Leviticus 11), I no longer eat unclean foods (It’s All About The Pork) and specifically do not eat pork products. This is a huge issue as pork based products are a major part of breakfast meals, and especially being a truck driver, its difficult to find a healthy pork-free breakfast. But slowly that is changing. Besides the Beyond Meat burgers its now possible to find Beyond Sausages and Beyond Sausage burgers that are great for breakfast, and coming soon is a Beyond Bacon substitute. And while these items are certainly not for everyone, no one is being forced to eat them, so lets just let the revolution happen for those that will support this type of protein in their diets.

As a Seventh Day Adventist I know all about healthy eating, although I’ll admit I do not eat anywhere near as healthy as I should. Regardless of one’s religious beliefs, to live a long life we all should eat a little more healthy. And there is data to back this up.

In a 2005 study that first appeared in National Geographic Magazine, Dan Buttner introduced us to Blue Zones, a term that he trademarked. He identified five regions in the world where people lived (on average) much longer than other places. The places were: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rico; and Icaria, Greece. The fifth region was much smaller and was among the Seventh Day Adventist population of Loma Linda, California! There must be something that all of these places have in common that causes them to live longer.

The first thing they realized in the study was that these regions produced a larger than normal amount of centenarians (people aged 100 years or more), and that they had a lower than average number of people with common diseases that normally kill people and that dementia was almost completely absent in these areas. This was really unusual, and therefore research into the lifestyles of people living in these areas was undertaken and the results were eye-opening.

In all of these areas family connections were maintained and strong and more important than anything else in life. Smoking of tobacco or other harmful products was much lower than in other areas. The food intake was either fully or semi vegetarian with very little animal protein consumed. Exercise or physical activity was a constant part of the lifestyle. A true sense of community was part of the lifestyle with all members actively engaged in social activities. And legume products were a major part of the diet. In addition to the above, the Seventh Day Adventists also live an alcohol free lifestyle.

So its seems that if we treat our bodies as a temple and only bring good things into it, both in what we eat, but also in the activities that we undertake, then we should live a long and healthy life. With that in mind, the Beyond Meat items become a lot more attractive. I am not putting an advertisement out for them, I still love my beef, chicken and fish, but a meatless diet along with proper lifestyle choices seems to be a ticket to a long life, and wouldn’t you like to live longer?

God Bless.


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