Lessons from “The Blue Zones.” I think there’s some good information here, especially for those who wish to impart a black and white view into diet and exercise.
I was intrigued. I looked around and found the relevant website, and also ordered the book from Amazon.
The book tries to pull out some lessons about living a long healthy life by looking at the factors which some really lon lived communities around the world have in common:
Here at BlueZones.com, we've organized these behaviors into four main categories:It is worth digging around the site, there are some fascinating ideas in there.
Move Naturally – Make your home, community and workplace present you with natural ways to move. Focus on activities you love, like gardening, walking and playing with your family.
Right Outlook – Know and be able to articulate your sense of purpose, and ensure your day is punctuated with periods of calm.
Eat Wisely – Instead of groping from fad diet to fad diets, use time-honored strategies for eating 20% less at meals. Avoid meat and processed food and drink a couple of glasses of wine daily.
Belong to the Right Tribe – Surround yourself with the right people, make the effort to connect or reconnect with your religion and put loved ones first.
It is an interesting book. What it brought home to me is the importance of thinking multifactorally.
We often tend to think in terms of a single factor - diet, exercise, stress, sunshine vitamin D or whatever. It is however simplistic to think about a single factor. We don't live like that - we are not in carefully controlled experiments with one variable at a time changing - there are lots of things at play. We need to think more broadly. It is not X or Y....usually it is X & Y & Z & A & B etc.....
The idea of there being lots of factors to bring into the mix came up in my interview with Keith and was raised in a recent comment by jleeger on this blog:
I'm always curious as to the value-judgments (and reasons behind them) that we place on things.
"Paleo" or "EV" is no different.
Were humans "freer" in a "paleo" tribe? Is one technology "better" than another? Does "paleo" as a practice extend the lifespan beyond basic, "simple-living?"
I'm still unconvinced that all or any of these "methods" we find today - from Xfit to Z-Phase to Paleo/EV to HIIT - are in any way "single" answers unto themselves.
They reveal the results a person can expect on their own basis, but also, necessarily limit development in other areas.
For instance, none of those hobbies asks its participants to become a better singer, or to learn to sew/knit, or carve wood.
Similarly, none of them teaches people how to be better at business, or how to make a living.
Taken for what they are, they all have value. But in the end, all of these "methods" are just different lenses through which to view a larger reality.
Restricting yourself to any one of them is madness.