Americans in general live to the pitifully low age of 78, though none of the men in my lineage lived even that long. At this point in my tender young life I've lived longer than my father, grandfathers, and great grandfathers. The causes of death are mostly related to smoking, alcoholism, and gunshot wounds, and poker was involved in at least one case. The women of my ancestry lived a very long time, at least the ones who didn't smoke or play poker. I know they all drank, even if it was the secret nipping kind appropriate to country women raised in a fire and brimstone church. Gramma Ada kept an everlasting supply of moonshine and peppermint candy in the "frigidaire" for cough medicine and Grandmother Scarborough constantly baked bourbon balls for special occasions, which seemed to include such obscure holidays as Tuesday. According to current research these women were on to something.
The people who live on a Greek island of Ikaria live a long time. One third of them apparently have non pharmaceutically aided sex lives in their 90's. This has gotten my attention. I have vowed to adjust my lifestyle.
Ikarians drink herb teas, drizzle olive oil on everything and eat a lot of whole grains, fruits, and locally grown vegetables. They also stay up late, party a lot with an extended social network of friends, and take naps. So far, I'm totally in.
Cows are out. They mainly eat goat meat, some small amount of fish, and they drink goat's milk. This could be a problem. I have never milked a goat and don't think I want to. I will have to make up for that by going heavier on the sourdough bread which Ikarians smear with Greek honey. We're having trouble keeping bees going locally but we're working on it.
One other thing the Ikarians are big on is religious ritual. I'm not much on the religions I have looked into so far. I have difficulty with some of the concepts like holy communion, in which we are supposed to ritually eat the body and drink the blood of Jesus. I have that one filed under "Maybe....maybe not." The philosophical foundations of Christianity are wonderful, though... Love, forgiveness, renewal, caring for each other, and best of all, the imperative "Come...Let us reason together." What great stuff! Even if humans actually seem mostly incapable of reasoning together, it's a worthy goal. Why can't religious rituals be built on critical thinking games where we teach and practice reasoning together? Then after that we could stay up late partying and take naps the next day. I think it is time to found a new religion.
The major tenets of this new religion will involve staying up late, partying, and taking naps. On holidays we'll eat sourdough bread smeared with honey and ritually milk a goat. There will be six or seven official religious holidays each week on which we will bake bourbon balls and study cough prevention.
Works for me!