Updated: Jan 6
Evolution rather than resolution to better yourself, your family and your community
We're looking at our New Year's Resolutions a little differently this year and defining "resolution" as a way to solve a problem, or provide a solution that moves us forward rather than a promise often broken and we're beginning with a challenge from our friends at Blue Zones. Rooted in their groundbreaking research of the healthiest, happiest, longest-lived people on earth, the Blue Zones® Life Challenge is four weeks to change your life for the better in nearly every way.
Based on demographic research of geographic regions that are home to some of the world’s oldest people and popularized by National Geographic Fellow and author Dan Buettner, Blue Zones describe areas of the world in which people live exceptionally long lives. Buettner isolated 5 areas of the world (Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece, and Loma Linda, California) with extremely high rates of people who live over 90 and 100. He found that the people in these areas shared some of the same characteristics . Although their lifestyles differ slightly, they mostly eat a plant-based diet rich in legumes, whole grains, vegetables and nuts, exercise regularly, drink moderate amounts of alcohol, get enough sleep and have good spiritual, family and social networks.
Our New Year's "resolution" is to focus on 5 lifestyle changes that can have a significant impact on improving ourselves , our family and our community. Blue Zone Challenge changes have resulted in double digit drops in obesity, smoking, and BMI (body mass index), millions of dollars of savings in healthcare costs, measurable drops in employee absenteeism as well as improving family and social networks and psychological well-being. All admirable goals for 2020.
5 Lifestyle Improvements for the New Year -
Eating - cook and eat wisely with more emphasis on filling your plate with whole, plant-derived foods
Moving - encourage your body to move more naturally; walk outside at least 15 minutes everyday
Connecting - build social responsibility with conscious efforts that protect and improve public health
Caring - incorporate self-care, stress-relieving practices into your day and week
Giving - give yourself credit for what you do as well as compliment others on their achievements
CosituttiMarketPlace supports the Blue Zones® Life Challenge by offering quality Italian legumes (lentils and beans) as part of Blue Zone plant-slant meals. Our Organic Umbrian lentils retain their rich, nutty taste and rustic simplicity that doesn't necessarily need a lot extras to make them flavorful. They are meaty and never get mushy preferring to drink up the perfumes of herbs, spices, or cooking aromatics rather than soaking in them to create an immensely comforting, satisfying dish. Our Organic Umbrian cannellini beans have tender texture, delicate earthy flavor and aroma. Both reflect the historical cultivation of legumes and cereal grains grown for centuries on generational farms in the fertile soil of Umbria.
Umbrian Lentil Gnocchi
With only 5 ingredients, this lentil gnocchi is an easy weeknight meal you can prep ahead of time and boil when you’re ready to eat. Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein with double the protein of a serving of quinoa.
1 cup lentil purée*made with Casa Cornelli Organic Umbrian Lentils
4 ounces (about ½ cup) soft Italian caprino (goat) cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup flour plus more as needed
To make the lentil puree, combine 1/2 cup of dried lentils with 1 cup of water with a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 25-35 minutes, or until lentils are very soft. Add one cup of lentils to a food processor or high-powered blender and add the goat cheese, rosemary and salt. Blend until smooth.Pour lentil mixture into a bowl and fold in ¾ cup of flour with a spatula, being careful not to overmix. Add additional flour if needed, a tablespoon at a time, until dough is tacky, but manageable. Roll handfuls of dough between your palms to create long, thin tubes. Cut into approximately 1-inch pieces.Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Boil the gnocchi, a few handfuls at a time, until the gnocchi float to the surface. Drain.To finish: sauté the gnocchi in a little olive oil over medium heat. (adapted from the Pancake Princess)