This book report was written by Allison Siegel, Marketing Associate at Health Warrior. To win a copy of The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner (and some bars to eat while reading it), enter our giveaway on Instagram and Facebook before 8/28/17.

I started my internship at Health Warrior not knowing that our CEO, Shane, was one of the most voracious readers on the planet. He not only can read at what seems like the speed of light – he wants to retain all of that information and put it to use no matter what it takes.

One of the first assignments I had as the Health Warrior intern was to read The Blue Zones Soution by Dan Buettner and write down every single food mentioned and what Buettner says about each. (Yes, it does in fact seem like a daunting task.) I took it on though and the notes I took have stuck with me throughout the last two years.

The Blue Zones Solution explores the idea that “practice makes perfect” and Buettner heads out to interview centenarians, people who live to be at least 100 years old, and learn what it is that allowed for them to do so. He found five regions that qualified as Blue Zones with a high concentration of centenarians that were not riddled with heart disease, obesity, cancer, and diabetes: Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; the Ogliastra Region, Sardinia, Italy; Loma Linda, California; and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica.

Predominantly, each of these regions not only focused on what they were eating, but how they ate it. They relied on practices and simple traditions that were a part of the community’s diet for decades. Because of this, eating healthy did not have to be a large and time-consuming focus for these people. The planning and preparing of healthy meals was something that had been ingrained into the culture and allowed for these people to spend more time finding other healthy habits that de-stressed them, made them social, and gave them purpose in life. It was as if sticking to the tried and true diet of generations before them made more space to live a healthy life. They did not suffer from severe food allergies, they were able to drink alcohol regularly in moderation, and had time to move their bodies and stay social.

My favorite part about this book was the wide variety of foods that were eaten across the cultures. It wasn’t ranking one type of “diet” over the other, but rather staying that eating from what the land and sea provided around you would give you enough options to last you a century – at least.