Resources for slow living
What good is a website about something so esoteric as “slow” without some helpful resources for slow living? Here are books and websites that I recommend to help you learn more about the slow movement.
In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed, by Carl Honoré. In this engaging and entertaining exploration, award-winning journalist and rehabilitated speedaholic Carl Honoré details our perennial love affair with efficiency and speed in a perfect blend of anecdotal reportage, history, and intellectual inquiry. In Praise of Slowness is the first comprehensive look at the worldwide Slow movements making their way into the mainstream — in offices, factories, neighborhoods, kitchens, hospitals, concert halls, bedrooms, gyms, and schools. Defining a movement that is here to stay, this spirited manifesto will make you completely rethink your relationship with time.
The Blue Zones, Second Edition, by Dan Buettner. In this second edition Buettner completely updates and expands his bestselling classic on longevity, drawing on his research from extraordinarily long-lived communities—Blue Zones—around the globe to highlight the lifestyle, diet, outlook, and stress-coping practices that will add years to your life and life to your years. A long, healthy life is no accident. It begins with good genes, but it also depends on good habits. If you adopt the right lifestyle, experts say, chances are you may live up to a decade longer. Buettner has led teams of researchers across the globe to uncover the secrets of Blue Zones. He found that the recipe for longevity is deeply intertwined with community, lifestyle, and spirituality. People live longer and healthier by embracing a few simple but powerful habits, and by creating the right community around themselves. In The Blue Zones, Second Edition, Buettner has blended his lifestyle formula with the latest longevity research to inspire lasting, behavioral change and add years to your life.
A Real Life: Restoring What Matters: Family, Good Friends, and a True Community, by Ferenc Máté. In this heartfelt, laugh-out-loud sequel to Máté’s cult classic, A Reasonable Life, he cautions us that as slaves to electronic devices and obsessed with material goods, we are becoming physically inert, intellectually blinkered, and devoid of deep emotion. Our blind lust for gadgets and possessions has displaced true and lasting joys such as our health, creativity, self-reflection, and fulfillment. How has our unquestioned pursuit of the American dream left us? Financially insecure, estranged from our families, helpless without our wireless toys, overweight, pervasively depressed and increasingly isolated. But don’t despair, a renaissance is underway. In this new call for genuine, vibrant living, Máté challenges us to re-evaluate the meaning of “success,” “security,” technological “progress,” and how we work, eat, play, and love. With surprising statistics, eye-opening observations, and engaging anecdotes he rekindles in us a love of simple daily life: the forgotten pride and joy of independence, neighborliness, working with our hands, the revitalizing effect of closeness to nature, the irreplaceable value of lifelong friendships, and the enduring rewards of face-to-face conversation.
The Mediterranean Prescription, by Dr. Angelo Acquista. This valuable book describes an eating style celebrated around the world and proven to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. The first half of the book is descriptive, explaining the guiding principles and lifestyle choices that make the Mediterranean diet a way of eating for the rest of your life, rather than a short-term plan to lose a few pounds. There are dozens of delicious recipes, as well as tips on how to stock your kitchen and what to do when you eat out. There’s even vital information on how being overweight affects each part of your body, including the skin, brain, heart, liver, joints, back, and breasts. Dr. Acquista outlines a pleasurable way of eating that will bring all the blessings and bounty of the Mediterranean to your table, to your life, and to your health!
The Pleasures of Slow Food: Celebrating Authentic Traditions, Flavors, and Recipes, by Corby Kummer. In a world increasingly dominated by fast food, The Pleasures of Slow Food celebrates heritage recipes, artisan traditions, and the rapid evolution of a movement to make good food a part of everyday life. Slow Food is defined by how it’s made: if it’s allowed to ripen before it’s harvested, prepared by hand and enjoyed among friends it’s Slow Food. It’s a philosophy, a way to farm, a way to cook … a way to live. The Pleasures of Slow Food showcases over 60 recipes from the world’s most innovative chefs for dishes that feature local handmade ingredients and traditional cooking methods. Kummer also profiles Slow Food’s luminaries, such as Italian cheese maker Roberto Rubino and Canadian Karl Kaiser, who makes sweet ice-wine.
Simple Living: One Couple’s Search for a Better Life, by Frank Levering and Wanda Urbanska. Originally published in 1992, long before “simple living” became a hot marketing trend, this groundbreaking work eloquently makes the case for a simpler, less stressful life. Told by Frank Levering and Wanda Urbanska, a literary couple who met as students at Harvard and moved from the fast lane in Los Angeles to take over a family orchard in southwestern Virginia, Simple Living is the story of their decision to put more meaning into their lives while eliminating unnecessary debt and superfluous consumption, as well as lessening their environmental footprint.
Less is More: Embracing Simplicity for a Healthy Planet, a Caring Economy, and Lasting Happiness, by Cecile Andrews and Wanda Urbanska, Eds. Less is More is a compelling collection of essays by people who have been writing about simplicity for decades. They bring us a new vision of Less: less stuff, less work, less stress, less debt. A life with Less becomes a life of More: more time, more satisfaction, more balance, and more security. When we have too much, we savor nothing. When we choose less, we regain our life and can think and feel deeply. Ultimately, a life of less connects us with one true source of happiness: being part of a caring community.
The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live, by Sarah Susanka. Ten years ago, Susanka started a revolution in home design with a deceptively simple message: quality should always come before quantity. In a special anniversary edition of this landmark home design book, Susanka provides homeowners the guidance and language to get what they want: a house that is better not bigger and one that emphasizes comfort, beauty, and a high level of detail no matter how small it is. Whether for a couple with no children, a family, empty nesters, or one person alone, she offers commonsense, human-scale design principles.
Hamlet’s Blackberry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age, by William Powers. Our computers and mobile devices do wonderful things for us. But they also impose a burden, making it harder for us to focus, do our best work, build strong relationships, and find the depth and fulfillment we crave. How to solve this problem? Powers argues that we just need a new way of thinking, an everyday philosophy for life with screens. He sets out to solve what he calls the conundrum of connectedness. Reaching into the past – using his own life as laboratory and object lesson – he draws on some of history’s most brilliant thinkers, from Plato to Shakespeare to Thoreau, to demonstrate that digital connectedness serves us best when it’s balanced by its opposite, disconnectedness.
Free Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry), by Leonore Skenazy. If a slow life is about restoring balance and improving our relationships, then Skenazy’s book is a primer for parents to loosen the reins a bit. A lot of parents today, she says, see no difference between letting their kids walk to school and letting them walk through a firing range. Any risk is seen as too much risk. But if you try to prevent every possible danger or difficulty in your child’s everyday life, that child never gets a chance to grow up. Parents have to realize that the greatest risk of all just might be trying to raise a child who never encounters choice or independence.
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Slow Food is a global, grassroots organization with supporters in 150 countries around the world who are linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to their community and the environment. Slow Food believes that everyone has a fundamental right to the pleasure of good food and consequently the responsibility to protect the heritage of biodiversity, culture and knowledge that make this pleasure possible.
Slow Food USA is part of the global grassroots Slow Food organization founded in 1989 to counter the rise of fast food, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, and how our food choices affect the rest of the world. Through local community projects, educational events and campaigns, Slow Food USA volunteers are promoting environmentally friendly food production, teaching children how to grow and prepare their food, and working to make real food accessible to all.
The Slow City movement supports slow living in towns and neighborhoods. CittaSlow evolved from Italy’s Slow Food organization to promote traditional quality of life issues, such as the authenticity of products and good food, rich craft traditions, squares, theaters, shops, cafés, restaurants, places of worship, and unspoiled landscapes. To earn an official CittaSlow designation towns must have a population of less than 50,000 and meet specific requirements in these areas: environmental protection and sustainability; local products; hospitality; infrastructure, road safety, bicycle paths; historic buildings; new technology; cultural and historical values and diversity; and a unique town identity. Currently three towns in California have received the CittaSlow designation.
This resource rich site is loaded with information about all things slow. Their mission is to make available information, resources, services and networking opportunities for everyone interested in exploring ecologically sustainable ways of thinking, living and interacting in our world community. They believe that it is by the actions of individuals and families that change happens. Therefore they strongly support the ethos of SIMBY – Start In My Back Yard. Not only does SIMBY create change, in and of itself, it also provides a model for others to create change.
Slow Living radio is dedicated to those who want to reclaim their time, breathe out and get back to real living. Each weekly one-hour show features engaging guests and topics: food, wine, travel, health & fitness, home design, greener living, entertainment, cool events. The show is broadcast through the CRN Digital Talk Affiliate Network, and it’s available on your iPhone, Blackberry, Android, or online at web radio CRNTalk.com.
Slow Magazine covers the arts, style, slow food, wine, slow travel and anything else under the sun, as long as it’s interesting and travelling in the slow lane. This Australian publication is about life in general and making the most of your time off, from small towns to warm spas, from bicycles to Buddhism, and from choosing wine to going green. Digital subscriptions and editions are available through iTunes.
A beautifully designed website that promotes community, balance, and happy, healthy ways of being.
Lenore Skenazy launched her blog to fight the belief that our children are in constant danger from creeps, kidnapping, germs, grades, flashers, frustration, failure, baby snatchers, bugs, bullies, men, sleepovers and/or the perils of a non-organic grape. A Free-Range Kid is a kid who gets treated as a smart, young, capable individual, not an invalid who needs constant attention and help. “Our kids are safer than we think,” Skenazy says, “and more competent, too. They deserve a chance to stretch and grow and do what we did — stay out till the street lights come on.”