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BLUE ZONES: Well-being advice from your neighbors

November 11, 2018

JANELLE WIEBELHAUS-FINGER

Each of us is in a different place on our well-being journey, but we can all learn from one another. Dodge County residents have been embracing Blue Zones principles over the last two years and have learned from one another. Here is some well-being advice from friends and neighbors:

Keri Hessel, a mother of two and author of “The Naturally Minded Mother Blog,” provided this well-being advice: “Real food does not have ingredients; it is ingredients.” The Power 9 principle “plant slant” encourages eating more fruits and vegetables — whole ingredients. Participating in plant slant potlucks or being part of a Blue Zones Project potluck or restaurant moai can open your eyes to how tasty food can be. Meanwhile, community cooking demonstrations and cooking classes can show you how easy it is to prepare food.

“Inch by inch is a cinch, yard by yard is much more hard,” is a John Bytheway quote, shared by Elizabeth Demro. Other than the grammatical liberties this sentiment uses, it is very true. What is also challenging is to decide to improve your well-being only to have the environment around you make it more difficult. Blue Zones Project Approved organizations are making healthy choices easier by taking small steps, inch by inch, that add up to greater well-being. Look for the Blue Zones Project approved seals and supporting organization certificates to know which people and places will support well-being and make it more of a cinch.

Val Petrick, an employee at Beaver Dam Community Hospitals, says, “When the spirit is happy, the soul is full of smiles.” Joe Rechek, another local resident, says, “If you’re going to do a job, do it right.” Having a sense of purpose can add up to seven good years to your life and can make each day better. Purpose workshops are free events led by trained facilitators that can provide you with a time out to help you identify what drives you so that your soul can smile and you can take pride in the work that you put your time and effort into.

“Changing habits will only last by changing mindset,” said Jen Espenscheid, a local chiropractor. Together, Dodge County is making healthy choices easier. Changing the mindset and showing that well-being is about a better way of living. When we come together to help each other and our community thrive, we will all live longer, better.

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