Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The place to live

Lately I've been so busy that I haven't had much time for reading and have pretty much skim read any articles I've looked at.

So when a friend of mine sent me this new york times article as soon as I clocked it was seven pages long I parked it in my 'to read' folder for when I'd actually have time to read it properly.

Fortunately I didn't then forget about it, and took the time to read it. It is an enjoyable read and transported me into a pleasant daydream about an idyllic life where I only did what was good for me, ate what was healthy and chilled out with my friends, sadly far removed from my frenetic city life.

The article is titled 'The island where people forget to die' but really I think it should be titled 'The place to live'.

The subject is the Greek Island of Ikaria whose residents live unusually long lives. This is attributed to their super healthy diets comprised of lots of organically homegrown vegetables, fruit and legumes (beans and pulses), olive oil, red wine, fish twice a week, meat only a few times a month, natural yoghurt and nothing processed or unnatural, combined with a relaxed lifestyle of lie ins, naps and socialising.

The Mediterranean diet has long been known to extend life, although I think a lot of people interpret this with a much higher meat content than is healthy and is the case on Ikaria, however I don't think the Mediterranean lifestyle is considered enough when studying the benefits. If we all had the same relaxed unhurried approach to life combined with a sense of community and making time for each other we would all I'm sure have much lower stress levels, a much higher sense of well being and live longer and happier lives.

I hope you all take time to read the article in full, but incase you don't let me leave you with this small section that captured the attitude of the islanders, and made me realise how much stress I have create for myself just by rushing and worrying about the time:

'"People stay up late here," Leriadis said. "We wake up late and always take naps. I don't even open my office until 11 a.m. because no one comes before then." He took a sip of his wine. "Have you noticed that no one wears a watch here? No clock is working correctly. When you invite someone to lunch, they might come at 10 a.m. or 6 p.m. We simply don't care about the clock here."'


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