Jun 10, 2024 - Health

Blue Zones founder eats minestrone for breakfast

Photo illustration of Dan Buettner with abstract shapes and clock designs.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Courtesy of Dan Buettner

Dan Buettner, the founder of the longevity-focused company Blue Zones, wants more people to live to 100.

Why it matters: Americans are spending a lot in their search for wellness, and Buettner's "secrets for living longer" don't require big bucks. In fact, one of his biggest health food hacks is eating beans.

  • The 63-year-old found that people in Blue Zones β€” areas of the world with the highest concentrations of centenarians β€” eat mostly plant-based meals, exercise as part of daily life, and are spiritual, social and have a strong sense of purpose.

Catch up quick: Buettner's got an Emmy-winning Netflix series, books and ready-to-heat meals, and has started Blue Zones projects in dozens of U.S. communities. He's also a National Geographic journalist and former Guinness World Record distance cycling holder.

Yes, but: Not everyone agrees that Blue Zones are the key to longevity β€” some scientists claim the concept is founded on spotty data.

Buettner, who lives in Miami, spoke with Axios about how he starts and ends his day:

πŸ•– What time do you wake up? 7am.

β˜• What's the first thing you do in the morning? Walk down to the beach to get a cup of coffee. I put a little bit of oat milk in there.

πŸ’¬ Who is the first person you talk to? My girlfriend.

πŸ₯£ What's the first thing you eat? And what time? Homemade minestrone at 11am. (Here's the recipe.)

😴 Something you do every day: I take a nap almost every day. I do something I love in the way of physical activity every day.

🍽️ What's the last thing you eat or drink before bed? Dinner at 6pm. Stir-fry tofu is kind of an ideal for me, but I go out to eat a lot.

πŸ“Ί Nighttime ritual: Watch Netflix.

πŸ›οΈ Bedtime: 11pm or midnight.

πŸ€” Something you wish you did differently: I like feeling useful and living out my purpose, but I also like to savor my life and do the things I enjoy.

  • I would like to spend a higher percentage of my day doing things I enjoy as opposed to things that I should be doing.
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