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  • Valerie Just

The Blue Zones

I read about the Blue Zones probably 5-6 years ago - Dan Buettner had done years of research on these pockets of global regions where it is common for the people living in these regions to live to be over 100 years of age - a centenarian. It piqued my interest, and I did a little more research on it, but didn't take action. My life was already busy enough - could barely keep up - and I didn't have the time and energy to make any changes.

I was reading an article in the Des Moines Register recently, and noticed a reference on one of the pages on The Blue Zones Kitchen, by Dan Buettner. Mr. Buettner just released a cookbook featuring age-old recipes from each of the 5 Blue Zones. I purchased it, and skimmed the book. The recipes look awesome - I'm going to find 5 recipes that I feel are doable in my current lifestyle, and add them to my upcoming healthy lifestyle journey.

I wanted to share this information for anyone in my same position - needing to make a change to avoid future health complications, and just needing to feel better in general.

I will update the blog as I try the recipes, and share the good, the bad, the ugly! I'm anticipating all good, but anyone that knows me understands my drive for transparency!

The information that is shared about the lifestyle of the centenarians may cause you to pause, and realize that you cannot adopt all aspects of these healthy manners of living. Many of us are sustaining our families by working in corporate America; it is impossible to embrace all manners of this style of living. My perspective is to take all we can learn from these regions, and apply the elements that work in your current situation.

Naturally, I can't leave a post without bringing in a beekeeping facet. Here is some information on honey from Ikaria, Greece! I had read about the honey in my early research, and searched for it on the Internet to no avail!

Happy reading, and I wish you the best in your healthy lifestyle journey. And remember it is a journey - if you try to do too much in a short period of time, you may end up frustrated. Take it slow - after all, you've had decades of perhaps not-so-healthy habits; anything you do now can only improve your future!


The Blue Zone Project has taken communities across the United States, and applied the Blue Zone concepts. I loved to learn that Spencer, Iowa was one of the first communities.


Here is a little history on the Blue Zones:

Dan Buettner, Blue Zones founder, is a National Geographic Fellow and multiple New York Times bestselling author. He has discovered five places in the world ­– dubbed blue zones – where people live the longest, and are healthiest: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece, and Loma Linda, California.

The concept of blue zones grew out of the demographic work done by Gianni Pes and Michel Poulain outlined in the Journal of Experimental Gerontology, identifying Sardinia as the region of the world with the highest concentration of male centenarians. Pes and Poulain drew concentric blue circles on the map highlighting these villages of extreme longevity and began to refer to this area inside the circle as the blue zone. Building on that demographic work, Dan pinpointed other longevity hotspots around the world and dubbed them blue zones.



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