The inspiration for Kosterina dates back to 2012, when I read an article in the New York Times called The Island Where People Forget to Die. I read about a Greek man living in Long Island, NY (where I grew up) who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given 9 months to live. Instead of pursuing treatment, he decided to go back to his native home on the island of Ikaria, Greece to live out his remaining days. He ended up living 35+ more years.
Dan Buettner is the man who discovered that Ikaria is one of five Blue Zones – areas of the world that have a higher-than-average population of centenarians (people who live to be over 100). The article piqued my interest in how the people of the Blue Zones live. It also got me thinking about my summer and winter vacations spent in southern Greece and what I loved about the Mediterranean lifestyle. I admired the way these people enjoyed tasty food, sipped good wine, and lingered over long meals outdoors. Meals consist of plenty of vegetables, healthy meats, fresh fish, and an abundance of olive oil. Movement is inherent in their daily lives without the need to spend hours in a gym. Most importantly, their relationships are of upmost importance to them.
Dan’s work is a major source of inspiration for the Kosterina team and me. Our mission is to help build a Blue Zone in every US household. I could not be more thrilled and grateful to share our Inquisitive Olive interview with Dan Buettner, where he shares his wellness expertise garnered from time spent with Blue Zone centenarians.