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July 19, 2015

The Blue Zones Solution by Dan Buettner

Jenny Javier, The Blue Zones Solution, Apr20Dan Buettner, National Geographic Fellow and recognized researcher, is on a mission to help people live longer and better lives. Author of two bestselling books THE BLUE ZONES (2010) and THRIVE (2011), he is back with THE BLUE ZONES SOLUTION, a practical guide on how to eat and live like the world’s healthiest people.  His first book, written in collaboration with National Geographic, was a result of over a decade’s study identifying longevity hot spots around the world.

“Longevity hot spots” are places with a high concentration of centenarians and whose populations had clusters of people growing old without heart diseases, obesity, cancer or diabetes. These real-life Shangri-las include the island of Ikaria in Greece, the Okinawa archipelago in Japan, the region of Ogliastra in Sardinia, Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, and Loma Linda in California (home of Seventh Day Adventists, who evangelize with health). Researchers found nine common denominators among these places (and no, they did not include fitness gyms, boot camps or juice cleanses). The Power Nine, as these common denominators are called, include maintaining an active lifestyle, downshifting, mindful eating, a plant-based diet and a strong family and community support system, among others.

With THE BLUE ZONES SOLUTION, Mr. Buettner adds “health activist” to his long list of accomplishments. Together with a team of dietitians, he has began transforming America’s cities through his ambitious Blue Zones makeover project, proving that one need not move to Greece or Okinawa to  start living a longer and better quality life.

Part one of the new book revisits the five longevity hotspots, highlighting lifestyles and listing top longevity foods from each region. Part two showcases locations where the author (with the support of local government and civilians) is able to replicate components of the Blue Zones lifestyle by making changes and adopting pathways to longevity in the community. I’d like to think that Makati City (or any city in the Philippines for that matter) can learn from the “Blue Zonification” of the three beach cities in Los Angeles (Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach). While the three places are described as pretty and diverse, the resulting jumble has been called “a congested pressure cooker of stress”.

The final chapters contain recipes and menus from each Blue Zone (the slow-cooker oatmeal and easy tomato salsa recipes are next on my list).

The most surprising things about the Blue Zones centenarians?  They don’t count calories, take vitamins, weigh protein grams, read labels, or go to the gym. As for me, I plan to start each meal with Hara hachi bu, a 2,500-year old Confucian mantra to remind myself to stop eating when my stomach feels 80% full. Read THE BLUE ZONES SOLUTION and find a longevity secret to make your own.  

The Blue Zones Solution is on sale April 7, 2015.


Penguin Random House is the world’s first truly global trade book publisher. It was formed on July 1, 2013, upon the completion of an agreement between Bertelsmann and Pearson. Penguin Random House employs more than 10,000 people globally across almost 250 editorially and creatively independent imprints and publishing houses that collectively publish more than 15,000 new titles annually. Its publishing lists include more than 70 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.

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