Initially when mulling over this final Power 9, I thought isn’t Family First and the Right Tribe the same?

Then I quickly thought of my dad and his love of double stuffed Oreos, processed meats, and the desire to share these items with his grandchildren. To be more exact My Children. One of the first things my parents asked when they moved ½ mile away was to ask my kids “what special things do you want to eat at Grammy and Grampy’s?” Thankfully from years of previous stink –eyes from their dietitian daughter they did ask me first which items would be completely off limits. I have become more relaxed in my years of parenting, the 3rd in your 40’s will do that. But for the record, for me it’s Soda.

Crack in a can. Once you start, it’s hard to back down. I still occasionally give into my Classic Coke itch.

But I digress.

The Right Tribe that supports your efforts to eat healthy, be physically active and support your mental health is not only great but imperative to living a long, healthy life. Thankfully the Blue Zones Researchers realize this and honor it with its own Power.

Here’s what they say:

The world’s longest lived people chose–or were born into–social circles that supported healthy behaviors, Okinawans created ”moais”–groups of five friends that committed to each other for life. Research from the Framingham Studies shows that smoking, obesity, happiness, and even loneliness are contagious. So the social networks of long-lived people have favorably shaped their health behaviors.

I remember attending our friend Al’s birthday party for the first time. Al is a close friend of my husbands, now mine, who ever since he turned 80 has been throwing himself a birthday party every 5 years at the local yacht club. I was honored to be a guest at his 85th soiree where a majority of his guests were OLDER than him. Al by the way will be turning 94 in October and still keeps his boat at the club dock.

The other thing the Right Tribe is good for is keeping you motivated to pick the right choices. I remember this study that came out of Cornell University a few years ago:

“Researchers found that when the actress wore the prosthesis (“fat suit”), and appeared overweight, the other participants (not overweight or obese) served and ate 31.6 percent more pasta regardless of whether she served herself mostly pasta or mostly salad.”

Now, was this the best research study? No BUT I’ve seen countless of patients and clients that tell me of their sometime well meaning sabotaging spouses that offer tantalizing bowls of ice cream after the kids go to bed or in my husband’s case, the “let’s go out to eat and forgo dishes” that just happens to occur on veggie stir-fry night.

And it’s not just eating.

I can’t imagine signing up for a Bible Study or a Community Volunteer event where I didn’t know a soul. And don’t get me started on exercise. I’m in a personal conundrum currently because Jillian Michaels on DVD is no longer motivating enough to get me off the couch.

I need a friend!

Or at least a workout buddy that won’t give into my excuses and gently nudge me with the promise of a less droopy 40 something year old butt.

Remember in Week 5 when we Plant Slanted, I wrote about 2 close people in my circle announcing they were Vegan. The one is a fellow dietitian who I adore the other an in-law that first bawked at my attempt to get him to eat more veggies when I met him. Needless to say, I’m super excited that the one in particular has come to “my dark side” of healthy eating. Well, possibly surpassed it. Still it’s always feels great when someone acknowledges and practices nourishing their body with food. It makes me smile. And I love a new Tribe member.

Do you have the Right Tribe? Want to join mine?

As always check out and like my FB page here and leave a comment below.

Many Hugs! Kim