For the past few years, Shawnee has made strides to embrace elements of Blue Zones, an initiative that seeks to move the whole community toward optimal health and well-being. There are several key principles the local Blue Zones Project team focuses on to achieve that.

One of the Power 9 Principles included in the Blue Zones Project model is Plant Slant, with an emphasis on consuming more fruits and vegetables each day.

To adopt a more Plant Slant way of eating, food education and exploration and learning to prepare healthy foods are great steps toward success. To serve the need of those wanting to make this change, Blue Zones Project offers demonstrations providing the opportunity for the community to try new foods, explore grocery stores in a new way and learn how to prepare Plant Slant-inspired dishes.

Blue Zones Project-approved grocery stores, Homeland Grocery Stores and FireLake Discount Foods, are pointing customers toward improved well-being.

Some opportunities to learn more about how to eat more fruits and vegetables each day are available through these free events:

• Oct. 17 — Harrison Homeland Tasting, for National Pasta Day

• Oct. 19 — Cooking demonstration at 6 p.m. at Shawnee Public Library

• Oct. 24 — Harrison Homeland Grocery tour

• Nov. 6 — Kickapoo Homeland Tasting, for National Nachos Day

• Nov. 13 — Kickapoo Homeland Grocery tour

• Nov. 14 Harrison Homeland Tasting, for National Spicy Guacamole Day

• Nov. 14 — Cooking Demonstration at 6 p.m. at Shawnee Public Library

• Nov. 21 — Harrison Homeland Grocery tour