The Well-Being Journal

Did Dan Buettner Convince a NYT Foodie to Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle?

Madison Agee

Yes to coffee, red wine and bread? Kale and protein shakes not required? Long walks instead of high-impact exercise? Lingering with friends over a long meal? A pair of New York Times articles reveals that the secrets to a long, happy life may be a lot more enjoyable than many of us believe.

Recently, National Geographic Fellow and Healthways partner Dan Buettner spent a day with New York Times food writer Jeff Gordinier, in which the two prepared a “longevity feast” that reflected a sampling of the discoveries Buettner made during a global expedition to uncover the areas of the world in which people live the longest – known as “Blue Zones”. Buettner and Gordinier shopped, cooked and enjoyed a meal based on Blue Zones principles.

The experience, detailed in this article, convinced Gordinier that a healthy lifestyle that promotes longevity doesn’t have to be ascetic and miserable – in fact, a Blue Zones-centered life can be pleasurable and full of tasty meals and great companionship. Some of the tips that Buettner shared with Gordinier are collected here in a companion article.

Buettner is working with Healthways on the Blue Zones Project®, a powerful community well-being improvement initia­tive designed to make healthy choices easier through changes to environment, policy and social networks. You can learn more about the Blue Zones Project here.

Topics: Dan Buettner Longevity Eating Healthy Blue Zones Project

Iowa's Healthiest State Initiative: Blue Zones Project

Jennifer Rudloff

Reposted from The Exchange: Iowa Public Radio with Ben Kieffer

In October, Iowa began a process to become the healthiest state within five years. As part of that effort, ten Iowa communities will be selected to participate in the Blue Zones Project. Blue Zones are places in the world where people live longer, happier, and healthier. Join host Ben Kieffer as he talks with the author of “The Blue Zones,” Dan Buettner, and with representatives from three Iowa communities that want to be a part of the effort.

The Exchange is Iowa Public Radio's talk program that focuses on the news, issues and events in our state. This national award-winning program goes beyond the headlines of breaking stories, frames community problems, and fosters conversation.

Topics: Iowa Public Radio Dan Buettner Community Ben Kieffer Healthiest State The Exchange Iowa Blue Zones Project

Insiders: Blue Zones Project™

Jennifer Rudloff

According to the 2010 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®, Iowa currently ranks as the 19th healthiest state in the nation. Although that puts Iowa in the top half, there is room for improvement. Today, Iowa scores well on emotional health, physical health and access to basics such as safe surroundings, financial resources, strong community and health care services. Progress needs to be made on healthy behaviors such as exercise and eating habits, as well as improving overall work environments.

Enter The Blue Zones Project: a public/private collaboration between Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Healthways to help make Iowa #1 in the nation for well-being as measured by the Gallup-Healthways Well Being Index. In these video's John Forsyth, Chairman and CEO of Wellmark, and Dan Buettner, Author of Blue Zones, talk about this landmark initiative.

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Topics: Well-Being In the News Dan Buettner Health Community Well-Being Index Healthiest State Wellness Healthways Iowa Government Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Zones Project

Keys to Longevity: Environment & Community

Jennifer Rudloff

Internationally recognized explorer and New York Times best selling author Dan Buettner has traveled the world in search of the worlds best practices in health, longevity, and happiness. In this video series, Dan Buettner shares bits of wisdom that provide the keys to living happier and healthier longer.

Dan is putting his findings to work. Since January 2009, Buettner has led a successful project in Albert Lea, Minnesota which has helped to implement environmental and social changes that improve quality of life and life expectancy. In March 2010, Healthways entered into a strategic partnership with Buettner's Blue Zones to ignite and lead a broad scale, city-by-city movement to create healthier, happier, and more productive citizens. We immediately got to work, and in December we launched the Healthways | Blue Zones Vitality City initiative in The South Bay Beach Cities of Los Angeles. And today, Iowa Governor Terry Branstand announced the Blue Zones Project as a significant part of Iowa's Healthiest State Initiative.

How does your community contribute to your well-being?

Topics: Healthy Living Well-Being Dan Buettner Health Community Vitality City Longevity Wellness Healthways Happiness Blue Zones Project