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  • Writer's pictureDr. Francis Battisti & Dr. Helen Battisti

The Zone - Volume 56

This week’s discussion is about the 8th lesson learned from the Blue Zones. “Loved Ones First.” Having close and strong family connections (with spouses, parents, grandparents, and grandchildren) is common with Blue Zones centenarians.”

According to the Blue Zone research, the cultural expectation is that family members live nearby or in multi-generation home units. It has been found that mortality and disease rates are lower not only for elders but also children. Further, these individuals commit to a lifelong partner which can add up to 3 years of life expectancy. A great deal of time and love are also spent with the children.

While each of our cultural experiences may be different, from those areas of the Blue Zones, we are still able to maintain multiple generational connections that meet our lifestyle. One’s culture includes, but is not limited to, traditions, use of language, clothing, foods, religious/spiritual beliefs, symbols, norms, values, gender identities, race and ethnicity.

By being aware of our individual cultural expression, we can incorporate the lessons learned from the Blue Zones into our own life experiences. For example, living in multi-generational homes may not be possible however, multi-generational language is possible to experience. The increased use of technology, for purposes of communication, has been greatly enhanced secondary to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Grandparents can enjoy dinner with the rest of their family, each evening if they choose, even though they may be many miles apart. Important family discussions addressing life events such as aging, birth, marriage and care can take place within a meaningful environment, via the internet. The discussion about how members of the family desire to be cared for as they age or if they become disabled at a young age is an important discussion to be had and processed. These types of discussions occur when the expectation and resulting behaviors communicate that this is what is expected among family members, an example of the cultural expression of the family.

Knowing our family history is a key to an enhanced understanding of who we are. Hearing the stories, narratives and wisdom of our family members who came before us brings us to know more fully who we are mentally, physically, and spiritually. With this knowledge we can live a more fulfilling and healthy life.


Key Takeaways

  • Miles do not equal separation.

  • Story telling is vital to our health and well-being.

  • All stages of life are to be embraced.

Best Practices

  • Having dinner together is a critical activity for health.

  • Start having meaningful conversations now.

  • Start having the conversations wherever the opportunity arises.

Things to Limit

  • Waiting for an emergency to begin the meaningful conversations.

  • Keeping the roar of everyday life at a high pitch.

  • Thinking that there are always tomorrows.


Quote of the Week

“Grandparents, like heroes, are as necessary to a child's growth as vitamins.”

~ Joyce Allston


If one’s family of origin is not known or available, creating one’s own family of connections can be the writing of the next chapter of our life. The question then is what the stories and cultural lessons are learned that we will pass forward.

Be well,

The paraDocs

Check our Welcome Greeting on YouTube

The paraDocs are Dr. Francis L. Battisti, PhD, Psychotherapist, Distinguished Psychology Professor and former Executive V.P and Chief Academic Officer and Dr. Helen E. Battisti PhD, RDN, CDN, Chief Nutrition Officer, at SpNOD, Health Promotion Specialist, Research and Clinical Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and former Assistant Professor.

We have developed "The ZONE", because that is exactly where you want to be during this pandemic. A place of focused attention to doing exactly what needs to be done to get you to where you need to be. The purpose of The Zone is to provide a nationally distributed weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change.

If you would like to get copies of The ZONE that you may have missed or if you know someone that would like to start receiving The ZONE, please signup today... It's free and you can unsubscribe anytime.

Permission is given to share with others.

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