Eat to live to 100

Ashley Leahey
June 15, 2017

Through NBC’s Today Show, we got to visit three of the five Blue Zones around the world: Nicoya, Costa Rica, Ikaria, Greece, and Loma Linda, California. Blue Zones are regions of the world with the highest concentrations of centenarians — people who live to be 100 years or older. We got an in-depth look at diet, lifestyle and other commonalities that these regions share through a series called “Eating to 100 TODAY” hosted by NBC News Special Anchor, Maria Shriver. Their quest was to compile recipes from these communities to live a longer, healthier, happier life.

Here are four yummy, healthy recipes that they shared:

Ikarian Stew
Ikarians use a small amount of olive oil to sauté the vegetables, then finish the dish with a generous drizzle. This practice is brilliant: your heat breaks down the oil, so saving most for a final drizzle ensures its rich flavor and maximum health benefits!


Costa Rican Black Beans and Rice (Gallo Pinto) and Homemade Nixtamal Corn Tortillas
This national dish, called Gallo Pinto in Costa Rica, is eaten on a daily basis — even at breakfast! Their tortillas don’t come from the supermarket, they’re handmade at home — something we should definitely try.


Kale, Spinach, and Coconut Soup
During their time with centenarians in Loma Linda, California, Maria and Dan enjoyed a delicious-looking, bright green soup. Leafy greens hold so many antioxidants. Something this stunningly green has to be great for you. Additional benefits: this soup is jam-packed with calcium and iron, too.


Needless to say, Maria and Dan seemed to have a great time globe-trotting and feasting on centenarian cuisine. Watch Maria's report and see the entire “Eating to 100 TODAY” series on the TODAY Show website.

Mahalo to NBC’s Today Show for sharing Blue Zones recipes with the country!

Get Involved! Find more recipes, events, and Blue Zones Project updates in your community as and like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@BZPHawaii), and Instagram (@bzphawaii).

Ashley Takitani Leahey is the  Statewide Engagement Lead for Blue Zones Project – Hawaii and is responsible for strategic marketing and PR as well as providing support for the efforts of the community teams. Ashley received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and a minor in Studio Arts from Loyola Marymount University. Upon returning to Hawaii, she completed her Executive MBA degree at the University of Hawaii at Manoa while working as the Marketing Innovation and Project Development Manager at Sae Design. Ashley is now making great use of her experience and education to raise awareness for the importance of well-being in her home state. After being introduced to Blue Zones Project and its impacts, she energetically championed the effort in her hometown of Wailuku to bring the initiative to Central Maui. An active community member on numerous non-profit boards and co-owner of local boutique, Maui Thing, Ashley loves to spend her free time outdoors. Whether its tending to her dahlias in the garden or hanging at the beach, she loves her Vitamin D! She’s also obsessed with yoga (for a great at-home yoga sesh, check out, arts and crafts, HGTV’s Fixer Upper and her chocolate lab!

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