Nutrition 101: A Beginner’s Guide to the Anti-Aging Okinawa Diet

This week, I’ve been discussing longevity and places around the world with the most centenarians (100 year olds). Okinawa, Japan is one of those places, as discovered by bluezones.com. Just how much healthier were the people of Okinawa than those of use here in the good old USA?

source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17986602

As you can see in the chart above, made with data from 1995, the people of Okinawa were much healthier than individuals here in the USA or even their counterparts in mainland Japan. If you’ll notice I did say “were” healthier. Sadly, as our western culture has infiltrated this beautiful island, the younger generations have forgotten the ancient and healthy food culture of the Okinawan people. But just what is that culture and it’s benefits beyond that of longevity?

What is the Okinawa Diet?

The Okinawan Diet is an ancient way of eating for the people of Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa is located in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.

The life expectancy in Japan is 84 versus the USA life expectancy of 78.8. With that said, Okinawa has more than 5 times as many centenarians as the rest of Japan. So, what is the secret? What is so different about the Okinawan way of life? How do Okinawans differ from the rest of Japan or the world for that matter? It all boils down to the Okinawan diet and lifestyle.

The Okinawa Diet: Living to 100

Nutritionfacts.org

What do Okinawans eat?

The Okinawa Diet is a whole food, plant based diet, rich in leafy greens, as well as yellow and orange vegetables. While they do eat rice, their main source of starch is purple sweet potatoes. They eat only small amounts of meat, mainly pork, and dairy. Legumes and soy are also emphasized in this anti-aging diet. The Okinawa diet contains relatively little processed food.

Health Benefits of the Okinawa Diet

  • Large amounts of anti-oxidants
  • naturally calorie restricted
  • low fat and low sugar
  • improved immunity
  • ant-aging
  • improved brain health – not only are Okinawan people among the longest living, they also have some of the lowest rates of dementia in the world!
  • lowers risk of heart disease
  • lowers risk of cancer
  • improved bone health

How you can eat the Okinawa Way

  • Practice Hara Hachi Bu – this translates to “eat until you are eight parts out of ten full.” This is a practice from Confucius that reminds us to stop eating when we are 80% full
  • Eat mindfully – In the west, we scarf down our food as if we haven’t eaten in weeks. It’s not uncommon to gobble up our food on the run or while driving. This is opposite of the Okinawa philosophy. Take your time and think about what and how you are eating. Think about your “satiety ” or fullness level.
  • 1200 calories per day – I highly doubt the ancient Okinawa people actually counted calories. However, when you base your diet on plants, you will naturally eat fewer calories. The main concept here is our 2000 calorie diet here in the west is far too much. There is more and more research showing the longevity and anti-aging benefits of a calorie restricted diet. For more information on calorie restriction, see my article on the CRON DIET.
  • Eat the rainbow – Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, of all colors. The colors of plants is what gives them specific nutrients not found in other foods. The more varied your diet, the more colorful your diet, the healthier it is.
  • Start eating sweet potatoes – they don’t have to be purple. Okinawan people eat all colors of sweet potatoes. These tasty gems are filled with fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B5, vitamin E and potassium.
  • Limited amounts of HIGH QUALITY protein – stay away from CAFO and mass produced forms of protein. Since you will be limiting the amount of protein, you’ll want to go for quality over quantity. Aim for wild caught seafood, grass fed beef, pastured chickens/eggs, and organic pork.
  • Limit grains and dairy – While the Okinawa diet does include dairy and limited amounts of rice, these foods are greatly limited. In fact, if not for the legumes, the Okinawa diet could be considered largely paleo in nature.

Closing thoughts

You don’t have to jump in with both feet, as we often try to do when changing our diet. Start gradually by implementing mindful eating. Add a few vegan meals to your week. Slowly begin to cut back on processed foods. You don’t have to go from eating the Standard American Diet 100% of the time to eating the Okinawa diet 100% of the time. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Use the 85/15 rule. Gradually work up to eating the Okinawa diet 85% of the, and allow yourself some fun foods 15% of the time.

Until next time, Namaste my friends.

Tamara

Sources

  1. https://draxe.com/nutrition/okinawa-diet/
  2. https://nutrineat.com/health-benefits-of-okinawa-diet
  3. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/okinawa-diet.html
  4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/sweet-potatoes#vitamins-and-minerals

Is Coconut Oil Damaging my Health?

This is a great article on coconut oil and the myths behind many arguments against its use. In LOVE coconuts and coconut oil! Have a look!

Is Coconut Oil Damaging my Health?

https://healthylivingsage.com/is-coconut-oil-damaging-my-health/
— Read on healthylivingsage.com/is-coconut-oil-damaging-my-health/

I tried it: Keto Vanilla Pound Cake by Hey Keto Mama

My first “I tried it” posted on The I just found a typo. Note the second “baking soda” should actually be “baking powder”.

Purple Almond Wellness Kitchen. Head over to my new recipe site to follow!

The Purple Almond Wellness Kitchen

Baking has long been a love of mine. I remember as a teenager, baking cookies, which is when my love affair with food began. I didn’t want my continuous efforts to lose weight inhibit my love of baking. So I’m always on the look out for good recipes to use, while I try to lose weight.

I found this recipe, a Keto Vanilla Pound Cake by Hey Keto Mama, as I searched for a quick and easy dessert for dinner last night. The above photo is actually my second attempt. My first attempt was hindered by a rookie mistake. I accidentally put 2 teaspoons of baking soda in the first cake, instead of 2 teaspoons of baking soda. I didn’t realize it until after the “cake” came out of the oven. As you might imagine, the results were quite disastrous. The cake quite literally fell apart as I unmolded…

View original post 240 more words

Clean & Healthy Keto Tips ~ 10 Keto Friendly Summer Recipes

Summer is upon us! This is my favorite time of year for garden fresh, healthy food. There is no better time to make keto friendly meals, whether a salad, soup, dessert or even drinks.

Today, I’ve gathered together 10 recipes, 2 from each of the following categories:

  • salads
  • soups
  • meat
  • desserts
  • drinks

These 10 recipes are just a drop in the bucket for delish, keto friendly summer food. I could made the list 2 or 3 times larger, but didn’t want to overwhelm. The internet is jam packed with wonderful and healthy keto recipes. Over the summer, I’ll be sharing some of these recipes, to use up the plethora of wonderful fresh produce available this time of year.

Without further ado, here are the recipes! The titles are links to the original websites. Click on the title for the complete recipe.

Amish Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

Amish Broccoli Cauliflower Salad is an easy low carb side dish.

Caprese Zucchini Noodle Salad

caprese zucchini4 (1 of 1)

Tomato and Strawberry Gazpacho

Tomato Gazpacho recipe - #recipe by #eatwell101

Zucchini Basil Soup

Zucchini Basil Soup 1

Grilled Ribeye with

Melting Parsley Butter

How To Grill Perfect RibEye Steak - #recipe by #eatwell101

Yogurt Marinated Chicken Skewers

Yogurt Marinated Chicken

Strawberry Cheesecake Salad

strawberry-cheese-cake-salad-v1

Keto Friendly Berry Cobbler

Keto Berry Cobbler - The perfect summer dessert, with a Keto twist. Super easy to make and absolutely delicious! - #recipe by #eatwell101

Sparkling Raspberry

Limeade Mocktail

Low carb sparkling raspberry limeade mocktail

Sugar-free Copycat

Chick-fil-a Frozen Lemonade

frozen lemonade1 (1 of 1)

Clean & Healthy Keto Tips ~ 10 Keto Recipes in 30 Minutes or less

We are all busy…with work…the kids…social engagements…school (for some of us). For me, as I work on my thesis, I’m also fixing up my home and preparing for my youngest son to graduate in from high school in June. Over the past month, it has become easy to “fall off the wagon” and order take out/deliver, as stress gets the better of me and I don’t feel like cooking.

That’s why, this week, I’ve decided to look for some easy keto recipes, that will be quicker to prepare than ordering take out/delivery! I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you try any of them.

SPINACH-MOZZARELLA STUFFED BURGERS

Spinach-Mozzarella Stuffed Burgers

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK!


BANGIN’ COCONUT-LIME SKIRT STEAK

Easy keto recipes

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK.


KETO THAI FISH

WITH CURRY AND COCONUT

Quick keto fish curry recipe

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK.


PORK LETTUCE CUPS

WITH CUCUMBER SALSA

Easy wraps for lunch

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK


EASY KETO CASHEW CHICKEN

fast keto lunch ideas

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK!


5 INGREDIENT AVOCADO LIME SALMON

healthy and quick lunch

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK!


CREAMY TUSCAN GARLIC CHICKEN

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK!


TACO STUFFED AVOCADOS

Close up of halved avocado stuffed with taco meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato and sour cream.

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK!


BEEF AND BROCCOLI BOWLS

WITH SUNSHINE SAUCE

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK!


SALMON GREMOLATA

WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES

Easy Baked Salmon Gremolata recipe with Roasted Vegetables! This recipe is Paleo, Whole30, low carb, low calorie and very healthy!

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK!

Saw this delightful recipe and couldn’t resist. It looks divine and I can’t wait to try it!

Ok, so maybe squash isn’t exactly a spring veggie… but it’s still super healthy and pretty darn yummy! Plus, it’s one of my very favourite vegetables, so I figured that I ought to share this brand new recipe that I came across that makes that ingredient the star. It’s called Spaghetti Squash Cheesy Bread, and […]

FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR THE

SPAGHETTI SQUASH CHEESY BREAD RECIPE

 Celebrate spring with vegetables! — nutritionnut84

How Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diets Boost Brain Health

How Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diets Boost Brain Health

Like most people my age (nearing 50 years young!), I grew up during a time when dietary fat was the bad guy. So, prior to starting school at Hawthorn University (HU), I was completely brainwashed with the idea that fats were bad, carbs were good and that was that.

Now, however, after 2 1/2 years of study at HU, and experiencing the Ketogenic Diet (KD) for myself, I admit I was so wrong. Now, I’m not saying that carbs are bad and fat is good. I’m just saying now I understand that everyone is different. You need to find what works for you. For some, carbs are the way to go. For others fat is the way. For still others protein is key. So, you see? None of it is “bad” or “good”. There’s just what’s good for the individual. (That said – anything refined/processed, whether carb/fat/protein is BAD!)

I’ve been on the KD for 9 weeks now and haven’t felt this good for at least 15 years. I still have a ways to go, but, let me tell you something. I feel better now, than AFTER I lost 50 pounds when I was in my 30’s. I now know I lost weight in the completely wrong way the first time. I’ve learned from my mistakes and am now on the road to recovery.

I’m so convinced with the KD/high fat diet, that I’ll be incorporating it  into my research thesis, which I’ll begin in about a month.

Below is a hint to my topic, you’ll find an article about how the KD boosts brain health. Let me just tell you, the KD isn’t a fad. In fact, it’s been around for nearly 100 years, as a treatment for epilepsy. But I digress. Read on below for more information!

Low-carb and ketogenic diets have many health benefits. This article explains how these diets can improve brain function and brain health.

FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR THE MAIN ARTICLE:

How Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diets Boost Brain Health

Clean & Healthy Keto Tips ~ Keto Desserts: Keto Chocolate Cake with Caramel Drizzle

As my children get older, and move away, there’s a fear that we’ll lose touch. So, two to three times a month, we all get together for a big family Sunday dinner. It’s tempting to pig out on these days, but I make an effort to stick to my keto diet. While there are a plethora of keto dinner ideas, it’s more difficult to find good tasting keto desserts. SO…this week, I’m posting keto dessert videos. ENJOY!


For today’s morning video we have:

Keto Chocolate Cake

with Caramel Drizzle

 

 

 

Clean & Healthy Keto Tips ~ Keto Desserts: Low Carb Mock Apple Pie

As my children get older, and move away, there’s a fear that we’ll lose touch. So, two to three times a month, we all get together for a big family Sunday dinner. It’s tempting to pig out on these days, but I make an effort to stick to my keto diet. While there are a plethora of keto dinner ideas, it’s more difficult to find good tasting keto desserts. SO…this week, I’m posting keto dessert videos. ENJOY!


For today’s morning video we have:

Low Carb Mock Apple Pie

The filling for this pie is made with Chayote Squash. For more information on this unique veggie, follow this link: CHAYOTE SQUASH

 

 

 

Clean & Healthy Keto Tips ~ Keto Desserts: Low Carb Mason Jar Chocolate Ice Cream

As my children get older, and move away, there’s a fear that we’ll lose touch. So, two to three times a month, we all get together for a big family Sunday dinner. It’s tempting to pig out on these days, but I make an effort to stick to my keto diet. While there are a plethora of keto dinner ideas, it’s more difficult to find good tasting keto desserts. SO…this week, I’m posting keto dessert videos. ENJOY!


For today’s morning video we have:

Low Carb Mason Jar Chocolate Ice Cream