5 Days Of Learning How To Live Longer | Try Living With Lucie | Refinery29

5 Days Of Learning How To Live Longer | Try Living With Lucie | Refinery29

I’m Lucie Fink and this week is Five Days of Living Longer. Hey everyone and welcome back to Refinery29’s YouTube channel. Give this video a thumbs up if you want to see more episodes of Try Living With Lucie. And if you haven’t done so yet click right here in the corner and join our family. Subscribe, subscribe, subscribe. All right so there aren’t many updates here with me, except for the obvious fact which is that my hair’s blonder. I really wanted to be blonde for my upcoming wedding, so let me know what you think. I’m growing it out because I want it to be really long. But I know that all of you are here today because you want to learn how to live the longest life possible. So let’s stop messing around and just get into the episode. Just about a year ago I came across a book titled The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. So this week’s episode is gonna be a full deep dive on the blue zones. Let’s do it. Normally I spend the intro section on these episodes introducing the topic and giving you background and then when Monday comes I’m already diving into the challenge. This week I feel like there’s a lot of upfront information that you need to know before we get into the challenge. So I’m going to start on Monday by just explaining the topic. Some scientists not too long ago were studying longevity and they were trying to figure out where the healthiest people lived. And they found these clusters of areas in the world that had the highest population of centenarians, or people who lived to 100 years of age. And they circled these various regions on the map using a blue pen. Pretty soon because of that blue pen they started referring to these regions as the Blue Zones and thus the phrase was coined. And there are five regions in the world today that are the most well-known blue zones. Number one it Icaria, Greece. It’s an island just eight miles off the coast of Turkey that has one of the lowest rates of middle age mortality and dementia. Number two the Ogliastra region of Sardinia. These are the mountainous highlands of an Italian island and this region has the highest concentration of centenarian men in the world. Next Okinawa, Japan. A large island towards the bottom of all the Japanese islands. That’s home to the world’s longest lived women. The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. Which has the lowest rate of middle age mortality and the second highest concentration of male centenarians. And finally Loma Linda, California a California community and the only blue zone in the United States. Many of Loma Linda residents live ten more healthy years than the average American. So one thing that’s important to note about these blue zones is it’s not just about people who are living the longest lives, but it’s also about people who are living the healthiest lives. By this point, you’re probably wondering “Okay so what is the secret?” Well as it turns out these people are not following any special diets. They don’t have any secret workout regimens that we don’t know about. And no their genes are no different from my genes or your genes. And I’m talking genes not jeans. So scientists have basically pulled together years and years of research and come up with a list of lessons that we can learn from all the different people that live in these regions. So now that we got all the basics out of the way this episode is going to teach you how to turn your home, your life, and your lifestyle into that of a blue zone. Let’s go. When I first started studying the blue zones the first question that I personally had is what do these people eat. Tuesday is going to be all about the rituals surrounding food. And then on Wednesday, I’ll get into the nitty-gritty of what food they’re eating. One thing that’s pretty standard across all of the Blue Zones is that growing, preparing, serving, and eating your food are all sacred practices. And there are so many different things about the way we eat or at least the way I sometimes eat. In modern-day New York City that they just wouldn’t do in the Blue Zones. Things like eating on the go. Picking up food from a fast food restaurant. Eating while working and so much more. So if you want to apply some of these philosophies to your life and start eating as if you lived in a Blue Zone. Here are the tips you can follow. Number one breakfast should be your biggest meal of the day. Lunch is usually a mid-sized meal and then for dinner it’s the smallest. Nicoyans in Costa Rica sometimes eat two big breakfasts and then a light dinner. And the Okinawans often skip dinner altogether. In all of the Blue Zones, food is a very special thing and cooking is celebratory. And if you’re not convinced yet that you should be cooking at home. Here are three reasons why it’s great for your health. Firstly you know what’s going into your food. Number two you know that you can use the highest quality ingredients. And thirdly even though it can be very minimal, chopping your food and preparing things, and moving around the kitchen helps you get in some physical activity. Number three makes your meals social. People living in the blue zones do not often eat meals by themselves. So they don’t grab food on the go and then eat while they’re chatting on the phone to a client. They don’t hold food in one hand and then put the other hand on the steering wheel and drive. No, no, no. Meals are eaten with family and friends. Sitting down, not doing anything else but eating and then they eat very slowly and they talk and they enjoy the food and enjoy the flavors and enjoy the ambiance. And that social aspect of mealtimes is very important. Number four follows the 80 percent rule. With the abundance of food options around us. And the giant-sized plates that are being served to us in America, it’s no wonder that many people are just taking in far too much food than their bodies actually need. So the 80 percent rule asks you to stop eating when you feel 80 percent full. The thought process behind that one is that apparently it takes about 20 minutes for that feeling of fullness in your stomach to travel up to your brain. So if you stop eating when you feel 80 percent full. Hopefully by the time that feeling of fullness catches up to your brain you’ll be fully satiated. I’ve never tried the 80 percent rule. I usually go until I’m a full one hundred and ten. But comment below if you’ve tried it and let me know how it’s made you feel. Number five don’t take your food too seriously. Most people in the blue zones do not count calories. They don’t take vitamins. They don’t weigh their protein grams, record their macros, or even read labels on food. Of course many of these people have the luxury of not having to do this because they’re not surrounded by processed food in their grocery stores. But many people in the Blue Zones live in areas where they don’t even go to grocery stores. They just grow their own food in their gardens. They’re eating locally sourced food that’s pesticide free and organically raised. And they just don’t have too many processed food options. Instead they followed time honored recipes and they just celebrate and enjoy life through food. Naturally, each of the blue zones eats a little bit differently. And that’s because much of the food choices in these regions are based on the terrain, or on the plants, and animals that live nearby. But after analyzing a ton of dietary studies the Blue Zone researchers were able to distill this information down to share with us what on average these people are actually eating. So number one there’s a plant slant. A huge majority of the food that these people eat comes from plants. Number two their meat is clean. So even though there is this heavy emphasis on plants these people do eat meat or animal products if it’s available in their environment. So any meat that’s eaten in the Blue Zones comes from free-roaming animals. They’re raised with no hormones, no antibiotics. They’re chewing on grass that has no pesticides on it. Fully clean meat. Incaria and Sardinia use sheep or goat’s milk to make fermented yogurts that have no added sugars in them. And the Okinawans actually eat a lot of pork. Number three they eat high-quality eggs. Any eggs in the blue zones come from cage free chickens that eat a wide variety of natural foods. They have no hormones or antibiotics. And these chickens produce eggs that are higher in omega 3 fatty acids. Oh and one more thing it also takes these chickens two times as long to breed eggs as it does for the chickens making factory produce eggs. Number four their fish isn’t farmed. In most cases, people in the Blue Zones choose fish that are abundant and are not threatened by overfishing. Fish like sardines, anchovies, and cod. These are middle of the food chain species that aren’t exposed to high levels of mercury or other chemicals like PCV. Number five they eat a ton of cooked beans. Humans have been eating beans for over eight thousand years and they’re a great source of protein and complex carbs. Number six cut down on sugar. Try to get all of your sweet intake through fruits and don’t add any processed sugar to meals. Also try avoiding the processed foods that have an excess of sugar things like sauces dressings or ketchup. Number seven eat a lot of nuts. People in the Blue Zones eat almonds, peanuts, brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts, and so much more. And if they’re ever in need of a snack it’s pretty much always nuts. And number eight their main bread is either sour dough or 100 percent whole wheat bread. They don’t touch any refined flowers. Instead their bread is filled with nutrients and minerals and they mostly make it from scratch. So here’s a quick rundown of the 10 most popular Blue Zone foods. Beans, greens, sweet potatoes, nuts, olive oil, oats, barley, fruits, green or herbal tea and tumeric. As for their beverages, the findings are firstly. Drink a ton of water to stay hydrated. Secondly drink coffee. Turns out good quality coffee is sipped in pretty much all the Blue Zones. Next is tea, and people in all of the Blue Zones drink tea. Different herbs are known to have different anti-inflammatory properties. And lastly number four drinking red wine in moderation. Some people in the Blue Zones have between one and three glasses of red wine per day. And it’s always with a meal and with family and friends. It’s unclear if it’s because of the plant-based antioxidants in red wine or the fact that drinking wine helps to reduce your stress levels which is good for you too. So you don’t have to start drinking red wine if you don’t like it or if you don’t currently drink. But if you do like it and you are of age you can continue enjoying a glass of red wine in moderation. This is the moment in the video where I’d like to mention that I’m not just teaching you about this subject as the days go by but throughout this five day challenge I was actually challenging myself to live like I lived in a blue zone. So on Monday through Wednesday of this week I made sure that every single meal I eat was a Blue Zone recipe. You’ll have to get the Blue Zones book for the full recipes or I’m positive you can find a ton of them online. But here’s a quick glimpse into what I ate. On Monday I had steel cut oatmeal for breakfast. I put tons of blueberries on top. Sprinkled cinnamon all over it and then drizzled honey on top. For another breakfast this week I branched out and I made homemade miso soup. This is something that I had for breakfast a bunch when I visited Japan. And I loved having it for breakfast. So I made it myself using miso paste, tofu, and scallions. One day for lunch I made a coconut curry tofu dish and a homemade minestrone for dinner on Monday which fed me for two nights. I also made sure that most of my meals were enjoyed with other people. Michael and I invited our friends over for dinner last night and we cooked dinner for them and then we had a really fun game night together. For a nice evening game of Catan. And I even made a homemade loaf of bread. So now that we’ve explored the food it’s time to look at some of the other lifestyle commonalities in these Blue Zones. Starting with movement. Movement is key in these regions. But one thing that I find really interesting is these people don’t lift weights. They don’t do high intensity interval training. They don’t run marathons and they don’t have gym memberships. They actually likely don’t even have gyms in many of these areas. They’re healthy because they’re just getting in natural movement throughout the course of the day by being physically active and by not leading sedentary lives. They garden, they do their own house, and yard work. They walk almost everywhere. They carry heavy things around. They’re generally just on their feet moving around doing physical work. And I did hear somewhere that the steeper the hill the people lived on. On average the longer lives they lived. Not sure if that’s just because it adds some more resistance to your daily movement or if it’s because you’re less likely to drive in a mountainous region. So these people are more likely to just walk everywhere. Or maybe it’s both. But whatever the reason on Thursday I lived my life as if I lived in one of these places. So I did not let myself sit at a desk all day. Instead I had a full day of physical activities starting with a walk to the plant district because I needed to refresh some of the plants in my apartment. Then once I got home I reported those plants as if I was tending to a garden. Then I watered all of my plants. I had a meeting in downtown Manhattan followed by a shoot uptown and I just planned a lot of extra time to let myself get there by foot. So I walked everywhere. No public transportation. When I got home I had to do a little bit of housework. I had to rehang some photos that were not straight and I wanted to wash my windows. Normally I would have waited for Michael to do some of this housework with me. But instead, I just took out our tool kit and got to work. All right so aside from getting in some natural movement some other lifestyle habits that these people have are they have routines and systems in place to help bring their stress levels down. Thus reducing the inflammation in their bodies. Now just because they live in these regions doesn’t mean these people have no stress. I mean these are still regular people we’re talking about so they still do have normal everyday stresses. In Incaria they take naps pretty much every afternoon. The Adventists in Loma Linda pray. The Sardinians have a happy hour every day. So taking a quick nap doing, something spiritual, and having a happy hour are three things that I incorporated into my life on Thursday. And the last thing that’s a common thread through all the Blue Zones is that these people have a strong sense of purpose. In Okinawa, It’s called ikigai. I have an entire book about it. In Costa Rica it’s called plan de vida. It’s overall just why you get out of bed in the morning and a lot of these Blue Zone books cite studies saying that you can add seven healthy years onto your life just by knowing your purpose. So if you know it already come at your life purpose below. Happy Friday. Okay so we’ve covered a lot here. We’ve got food, beverages, physical activity, stress relief, purpose and a lot more. But one of the cornerstones of the Blue Zone lifestyle has yet to be mentioned and that is community. Having people that you trust that can trust you and overall just having the support network in life is imperative. In Okinawa, they create Moais or small groups of four to five friends that commit to each other for life. There are a lot of people in my life that I love and trust but I’ve got to say my ten bridesmaids plus my twin sister who is my maid of honor. That is my Moai and these are going to be the women that are my support system for the rest of my life. And when I say your community I don’t only mean social circles. 98 percent of the centenarians interviewed for these books belonged to a faith-based community. And it didn’t even matter what faith or religion they were but it just showed that attending faith based services four times a month can add four to 14 years to your life expectancy. And lastly family comes first. These centenarians often commit to a life partner and they also often keep aging parents or grandparents nearby or even in their homes. So Friday for me was about community and family. I enjoyed a nice walk with Michael before he had to go off to class for the day and I made big weekend plans to get all of my best friends together for a homemade meal at my apartment. If you don’t have a faith or religion I believe that building a community at a yoga studio or a meditation center, can have the same effect as attending faith-based services. I think it’s all about just being around some of the same people over and over again. Getting to know them really well and practicing the same thing together. So my twin sister Allie and I did a Friday evening yoga class together at our favorite yoga studio where we pretty much know all of the instructors and we’ve I also gotten to know a lot of the other students that go regularly. About to do yoga together, our classic class. If you’re interested in longevity research there is so much more research inside these books and there’s also so many inspiring stories of people who live in these regions. So I would highly recommend that you get the Blue Zones book either online or I’m sure they have it at many of your local bookstores. I’m personally intrigued by the fact that even if you don’t live in these regions because let’s face it we can’t all live in these regions. You can essentially engineer a Blue Zone for yourself just by making some big changes to your community. And some places around the world are already doing this by making biking more accessible, creating community gardens, making interest based clubs and so much more. And if all else fails we can just move to Greece and live happily ever after. Thank you so much for coming back to Refinery29’s channel comment below and let me know what other 5 day challenges you want to see from me and I’ll see you then on Try Living with Lucie. Bye. Hey YouTube, thanks for watching Five Days of Living Longer. Click here for another five day challenge. Here to subscribe to Refinery29 on YouTube and right here for my personal YouTube channel. See ya.

100 thoughts on “5 Days Of Learning How To Live Longer | Try Living With Lucie | Refinery29

  • Thanks for this video, it's made me more curious! It's probably been asked, but I didn't see it in my scan of the comments: What book is it you got on ikigai? I'd like to take a look at it, as well!

  • This is such a coincidence I was just talking to someone yesterday about the bluezones and longevity here in Okinawa

  • What a fun video! I am part of the Blue Zone community in Loma Linda (I’m a Seventh-day Adventist), and while praying daily is an important part of our spiritual practice, we also take Sabbath (don’t work) from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday and enjoy the day in spiritual community and in nature! For me and many in this community of students and health care professionals, this has proven to be an important aspect of staying spiritually and physically healthy. Thanks, Lucie! Love your videos.

  • I loved this video! Lucy, which book did you read? There’s a first and second edition. I’d love to order it for my mom!

  • My purpose is to praise God and spread the gospel (I ain’t trying to start an argument this is just my beliefs)

  • That’s what my parents used to eat when they were my age, they lived at the village and ate whatever their parents made, they just didn’t have sweet potatoes. They also worked only at the farm the whole day and played non-stop, my County is famous for its wine and for the homemade bread

  • Eating breakfast while watching this. “Cool cool so I’m already doing step one.” Avoid any sugars “okay that shouldn’t be too hard..there shouldn’t be too much sugar in this ketchup i have on my eggs” avoid things like sauces and ketchup “DANG IT”

  • I'm 64 years old, a geriatric nurse, specialty in dementia. Yep, found my calling! And I would NEVER have expected this in my 20s…

  • Do u really have a twin Lucie ? Sorry Im just confused cuz u two dont really look a like but i know u are sisters

  • This was great! I did a bunch of studying on the Blue Zones about 3.5 years ago and thought it was fascinating! What Lucie said was very familiar to what I read (plus a few more details I didn't know before). I wished this episode showed a little more of the experiences Monday through Wednesday, but overall this video was very informative, and I like that. 🙂

  • Ofcourse their genes are different than yours and mine. We all have unique genes. Pluss you are from America and I’m from Scandinavia, and that means we also have different genes bc we live in different parts of the world

  • Awwww the picture with your bridesmaids 😍💕💕💕 I’m like super excited for your wedding! Thanks for this Lucie 😘

  • O.K. Lucie, my mother-in-law is going to be 104 yrs old on her next birthday and I can tell you she did not do anything special to reach this age. No healthy diet, no exercise and drove everywhere, rarely went to the doctor ( has never seen a GYN since my husband was born, he's 64) and rarely cooked. My mother who died at 91 yrs. old, was German and cooked every meal and loved to bake. We ate our biggest meal at lunch and dinner was a lighter meal, as was breakfast. My parents did not drive so we walked everywhere and my mom was hit by a car twice with multiple fractures but healed completely, which I think was due to strong bones from walking.
    I think we can try the best we can to be healthy, but sometimes it's just dumb luck! 🙂

  • Education. I actually found that out through chatting, with a guy I had just met at the hostel, in a fast food joint while he ate. It's the thing that motivates and drives me.

  • Super interesting video! It’s all connected, if you eat healthier you feel better, if you feel better you are active, if you are active you socialise, if you socialise (with positive people) you feel happier. Im learning to grow my own food, that’s so exciting!

  • I’m interested in where you get you informations from? When you reference research could you put links to some of the studies you looked at? Obviously not everything but at least the main ones?

    Along the lines of information, maybe 5 days researching? Learning to research/critically analyse information/spot fake news etc.

  • The key is these communities is that none of these food, community or physical activities are optional. Their communities are set up for success because they don’t live in suburbs where they drive everywhere and have insanely addictive terrible food choices everywhere and where they have to work a million hours a week just to survive. They live in these places where they are naturally going to choose the healthier option.

  • I would love to see 5 days of different languages! Also I was wondering how stress and sleep affects people in the blue zones.

  • I just realized why my great grandma is so old but still alive and it’s bc she is from a blue zone (where she grew up)

  • The thumbnail left a lot to be desired, but I clicked because 85% of the time I like the content Lucy creates. This was SUPER helpful & informative! I was surprised how much sociological-science based information that was given and conclusions Lucy made of that research! Good job!

  • It’s true I live in Greece and I have visited Icaria,and you can see a lot of elders there all the time!

  • It is genes though. If we all had the same genes we'd all be related. My maternal family members always live to mid nineties but my paternal side to around their early 80s. Genes is a HUGE part of it

  • long story short american life is a recipe for death lol. were overworked, overstressed, dont have access or time to access healthy resources, and are divided from family and friends. we sit on our asses all day in front of a screen for work which causes depression and obesity. yay!


    Seriously, these videos have entertaned me and inspired me!!! 🙂 thank you lucie!!!

  • I don’t believe that building a community at a yoga studio or meditation center has the same effect as attending a faith-based service.

  • Why would I even want to live that long? You’ll just be more out of touch with the world with how fast everything advances. Maybe I’m just cynical

  • OMG Lucie!!! I'm from Italy and I love your series and I saw you were playing Cattan!! I always play it with my friends here!! Love u ❤

  • speaking for sardines, NOT TRUEthat all of our meat is free roaming and free from pesticides, some is but you have no guarantee. if you want to leave long stop stressing out and mind your own business, take it from an italian. ciao

  • Loved this video, but it does seem like most of these tips are inaccessible to lower income populations, especially in capitalist countries that encourage constantly working.

  • Am i the only one who thought the bread stock footage video was so bad? It depicts like the whitest of bread, like no chance that is the clean healthy whole grain bread you’re talking about 🙈 but maybe it’s just my German bread privilege speaking 😅

  • My calling seems to be a shoulder to lean on or therapist for people to open up to and also someone who connects people to each other or to things they need.

  • I'd like to see 5 days of living on the poverty line, eg. not spending much more than a dollar a day on food. There are some great charities that highlight this issue.

  • I dont have a purpose, I'm not religious (also dont want to be) I dont have a proper kitchen to cook nor the money, nor do I have great social skills. Hence: It is a miracle I am still alive 🙁

  • Hi Lucie, this is my idea for 5 days:
    Different eating cultures: maybe China, France, Germany, Mexico, England…

    Love Kathi

  • Next try, 'Five days of sports' where you try different sports everyday, or for example try living like a proffessional tennis player. 🙂

  • This isn’t relevant to the video but on your 5 days of adulting you asked of ideas to help you as an adult or something the lines of that and I thought to mention that you should try slightly rearranging a room with the decoration in it,for example-every time I clean or straighten my room,I might redo my mantal,put a new fan pull,etc…I’m just suggesting this though,love your videos💗

  • omg you should do 5 days of rice water since you want your hair longer for your wedding!!! it is supposed to grow your hair 2-6 inches in one week!!

  • Really enjoyed this video–very interesting information on the blue zones and learned a few things I can do too! Love the new hair, and Settlers is so fun! My purpose is to help others, especially through providing speech therapy services. Thanks for this video!

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