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5 Ways to Make Your Community a Healthier Place to Call Home

One of my favorite books is The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. Author Dan Buettner looks at areas in the world, dubbed Blue Zones, with large populations of people who live past 100.

He’s taken their life lessons to create The Power 9. These nine habits create a “blueprint” to living a longer and healthier life. The interesting thing is none of the people he studied consciously followed these Power 9 or set a goal to live to be 100. They just did. Their lifestyles and communities were set up to make long life possible.

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Would you say the same of yours?

My community is working on it. We are working on taking the Power 9 principles and making Springfield, MO a healthier place to live. There are a lot of exciting ideas floating around, especially after Buettner’s visit to our fair city this month. In his presentations, he gave us examples of work in other towns (and almost the entire state of Iowa) using the Power 9 to create an environment that supports overall healthy and longevity.

Do you want to make your community a healthier place to live? Here are great ways to get started from his talk:
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A Public Edible Fruit Forest Will Soon Be a Reality in Seattle

Imagine a park where you don’t have to say to your kids, “don’t put that in your mouth!”. In fact, imagine one where you encourage them to do the opposite. Well, it’s happening! Seattle will soon be home to the nation’s first-ever edible park.

A seven-acre plot of land in Seattle’s Beacon Hill area will soon be the Beacon Food Forest. The area will be planted with several types of edible plants. Walnut and chestnut trees, berry bushes, fruit trees, even exotics like pineapple and lingonberries will grow in this new park. The best part? It’s open for public picking and plucking. All are invited and encouraged to eat up the nation’s’ first food forest.


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Food Blogger Spotlight: Diane from The Canning Diva

The Canning Diva has a slogan, “Food is Art. Canning is my way of Preserving Art.” And boy, does she ever! Diane Devereaux the Canning Diva, may use a mason jar, but her idea of canning goes way beyond your grandmama’s jams and jellies.

Diane is a Michigan native who developed a love for gardening and canning in her early teens. The Canning Diva website is stylish and vibrant, providing all the information on food preservation you could ever want, plus, recipes, ideas for meal stretching and, if you live in the Michigan area, you can see Diane in person where she frequently hosts classes and provides live demonstrations. We asked her to tell us about her blog and she eagerly obliged.

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Food Blogger Spotlight: Laura Wright of The First Mess

In a sea of healthy food bloggers, Laura Wright of The First Mess has carved a niche all her own as not only a gifted writer and photographer, but an unstoppable force in the kitchen. Her recipes can be described as healthy, rustic and always adventurous.

Every time she announces a new post I rush to begin poring over every word, taking in the breathtaking photos and then finally skipping down to the recipe to savor every ingredient she lists. If you stop by Laura’s blog, I have a feeling you’ll do the same. She simply never disappoints.

I’ve been following Laura’s blog for about a year now and have always wondered where she draws her inspiration from. This week I finally got my chance to ask. We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Laura about how “The First Mess” came to be and how she approaches food, health and life. Here’s what she had to say.


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Girl Scout Troop Raises Money for Edible Garden Instead of Selling Cookies

Last month, we vocalized our distaste for Girl Scout Cookies in a highly read article, Why You Should Never Buy Girl Scout Cookies. It’s not that we don’t like the troops, many of us worked hard for those same badges. What we don’t like is the message these cookies send, the ingredients they’re stuffed with, and missed opportunity to do something so much more with these young minds.

When we were tipped off to what Girl Scout Troop 2753 is doing in California, we were thrilled. Why isn’t every troop doing this, we wondered.

One of the troop’s members, Alicia, dons her Daisy uniform and says, “My Girl Scout troop is not selling cookies but we are raising money for our fruit and vegetable garden at our school.”
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