Thursday, December 23, 2021

The Book Tour Stops Here; A Review of "The Blue Zones Challenge" by Dan Buettner

Aloha and Happy Christmas Eve-Eve. I am glad to be today's stop on the TLC Book Tour for The Blue Zones Challenge; A 4-Week Plan for a Longer, Better Life by Dan Buettner. 

National Geographic (December 7, 2021)
Hardcover (240 pages)

Publisher's Blurb:

In this companion to the number one New York Times bestseller The Blue Zones Kitchen, Dan Buettner offers a four-week guide and year-long sustainability program to jump-start your journey to better health, happiness, less stress, and a longer life.

Get started on the path to a longer, healthier, happier life with this quick start to building your own Blue Zones lifestyle. Dan Buettner, founder of the Blue Zones and author of the New York Times number one best-selling Blue Zones Kitchen, offers the challenge of a lifetime: Build a foundation for better nutrition, more exercise, and a stronger social life that will extend your lifetime by years.

In this easy-to-implement guide, you’ll start with the rules of the Blue Zones Challenge, including tips and tricks from the five Blue Zones–locations around the world where people consistently live to 100–advice for setting up a successful kitchen and pantry, and resources for expanding you support network. Then, follow week-by-week prompts to:

  • Change your diet 
  • Increase your activity
  • Update your living spaces
  • Build your social life.

After four weeks–and with the help of easy-to-use worksheets and recipes–you’ll see results in your weight, your well-being, and your general health. From there, follow the Blue Zones challenge through the rest of the year with an 11-month sustainability calendar that will continue to encourage you and build upon the foundation you’ve already started.


My Review:

Full confession, I have only skimmed through this short book and not implemented any of the steps or or tried any of the recipes because it arrived late in mid-December and there was no possible chance I was going to start a challenge in the midst of holiday food fests. That being said, I respect Dan Buettner and the Blue Zones program and philosophy and do plan on trying out the challenge to kick off a healthier and happier 2022. 

If you don't know about the Blue Zones, they are five areas around the world where people generally live much longer, healthier lives--many up to 100 years. The five blue zones are: Sardinia (Italy), Okinawa (Japan), Nicoya (Costa Rica), Ikaria (Greece), and Loma Linda (California). Each zone has a list of Top Longevity Foods, regular activities to move the body, living spaces set up for health, and a sense of community. These are the things that Buettner and The Blue Zones Challenge recommend you incorporate into your life for four weeks to take the challenge. There are a Power9® list of habits to practice such as eating with a "plant slant"--leaning to vegetables, beans, tofu and other non-meat proteins with lean meats and proteins being an occasional indulgence versus the bulk of the diet, or knowing your Purpose--why do you get up in the morning?  There are Four Always (foods to eat daily: whole grains, nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables) and Four to Avoid (foods to stop eating entirely or drastically limit: sugar-sweetened beverages, salty snacks, packaged sweets and processed meats). There are about 17 recipes included for some basic dishes to try: Miso Soup, Dan's Longevity Dal Palak, Breakfast Cookies...) and Daily Scorecards to track daily practices and weekly recaps to note Three Big Wins, Lessons Learned, Gratitude, and Notes. For 240 pages, there is a lot of information packed in and QR codes that lead to more resources (like a Live Happier 5-minute test). Finally there is a section on sustainability of habits after the 30 days.

Health and wellness books are only as useful as you chose to make them, so this book may not be for everyone, but I think it has good and sensible advice and recommendations for making sustainable changes in to live a happier and longer life. I'll try some of them soon and update this post with what I learn. 


Author Notes: Dan Buettner is the founder of Blue Zones, an organization that helps Americans live longer, healthier lives. His groundbreaking work on longevity led to his 2005 National Geographic cover story “Secrets of Living Longer” and two national bestsellers, The Blue Zones and Thrive. He lives in Minneapolis, MN. Visit him on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter, and at his website



Here are the recipes I have made from The Blue Zones Kitchen back in March 2020 to give you an idea of the kind of recipes included in The Blue Zones Challenge.

 The Coconut Chia Pudding from The Blue Zones Kitchen: 

Tomato Pasta Soup from The Blue Zones Kitchen

Chickpea Soup with Lemon and Rosemary from The Blue Zones Kitchen 

 All three of these recipes are healthy and delicious and all were easy to make. 

Note: A review copy of "The Blue Zones Challenge" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.  

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.

Happy Holidays!


1 comment:

  1. Deb,
    I read The Blue Zones a year ago and it really made an impact. Great book and great review. Thanks. Stopping by to wish you a Happy New Year.


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