Blue Zones

March 2, 2022 3:00 pm / Category: Laguna Niguel

If living a happier and healthier life in 2022 was one of your New Year’s resolutions, this article is for you! Dr. Danielle Fleming has gathered life-hacks shared by the people from the healthiest areas of the world.

By: Dr. Danielle Fleming

History of Blue Zones – Blue Zones

Have you heard people talk about Blue Zone populations? Wondering what and where they are, and what makes them so special?! I have answers!

Blue Zones is a trademarked term – dubbed by Dan Buettner – identifying world regions with the longest-living, healthiest populations. These are the populations with the most centenarians. People here tend to live happier, more fulfilled lives, too. Yay! 

There are five Blue Zones around the world: Okinawa, Japan; Loma Linda, California, USA; Sardinia, Italy; Icaria, Greece; and Nicoya, Costa Rica. Dan and his team found that people in these areas share several common lifestyle factors that contribute to their longevity and health. 

These 9 common factors are:

  1. Moving naturally and often 
  2. Knowing their purpose in life
  3. “Down shifting” i.e. de-stressing activities 
  4. 80% rule (stop eating at 80% full and don’t eat late at night)
  5. Plant-based diets with minimal meat
  6. Light-moderate wine drinking frequently (but not heavy binging)
  7. Belonging to any kind of faith-based community
  8. Prioritizing family ties
  9. Being surrounded by the right people that promote healthy lifestyles

I’m sure many of us want to live long, thriving lives in every aspect (thriving vs surviving). Drawing inspiration from the Blue Zone populations could help us do that, so knowing and implementing these factors is a first step! 

Think about which ones you need more of in your life, and actions to take based on that.

Like for me, I am working on surrounding myself (and BEING ONE) with people that promote the lifestyle and goals I am looking for (#9) so I can #levelup and continue to grow.

Additionally, The Blue Zones organization has lead to further research and movements related to promoting health and longevity. For example, my friends gifted me The Blue Zones Kitchen cookbook (I need to utilize it more!), which contains all kinds of healthy recipes based off of the research around what people in the Blue Zones typically eat. My friends made me the Minestrone Soup from Sardinia (enjoyed with red wine) and…BAM!

Let’s point out some of these recipes – you may find some new faves or get the book yourself for more!


  • Minestrone 3 Ways – Minestrone with Fennel and Wild Garlic
    Beans, chickpeas, fava beans, lentils, potatoes, onion, celery, garlic, fennel, pasta, chard, squash, tomatoes
  • Cabbage and Sun-Dried Tomato Saute
    Sun-dried tomatoes, cabbage, green onions, sweet onion, EVOO
  • Spaghetti with Walnut Pesto
    Walnuts, spaghetti, garlic, parsley, EVOO, salt
  • Sardinian-Style Pizza
    Garlic, EVOO, tomatoes, basil, veggie broth, pane carasau bread (or pitas), optional pecorino cheese


  • Sweet and Spicy Carrot Medley
    Carrots, onion, sesame oil, dashi or veggie broth, chili paste or red pepper flakes, mirin
  • Sweet Potato and Onion Hash
    White sweet potatoes, onion, carrots, oil, dashi broth, scallions, soy sauce
  • Iced Banapple Tumeric Smoothie
    Banana, apple, turmeric, soy milk, ice
  • Savory Rice Porridge
    White rice, miso, dark green leafy greens, dashi broth


  • Veggie Hash with Corn and Onions
    Chayote squash, corn, red or yellow peppers, onion, cilantro, celery, garlic, cilantro coyote, achiote paste
  • Fried Green Plantains
    Plantains, veggie oil
  • Bean Soup Three Ways – Black Bean and Potato Soup
    Chayote squash, carrot, potatoes, culantro coyote, onion, garlic, veggie stock, black beans
  • Horchata:
    Rice, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar


  • Winter Potato Salad
    Potatoes, dill, EVOO, red wine vinegar, arugula, spinach, onion, romaine, radish
  • Hummus With Parsley
    Chickpeas, garlic, EVOO, red wine vinegar, parsley
  • Honey Cookies
    Orange juice, honey, lemon, vanilla, cognac/rum, EVOO, flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg
  • Tomato Pasta Soup
    Veggie broth, tomato, tomato sauce, EVOO, orzo/pasta

Loma Linda:

  • Longevity Smoothie Bowl
    Almond milk, banana, blue/blackberries, kale, spinach, almond butter, flax, turmeric, cinnamon – toppings!
  • Quick Cornbread
    Flax, cornmeal, flour, soy milk, applesauce, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, corn
  • Veggie No-Meat Balls
    Chickpeas, garlic, bread crumbs, oregano, basil, spices
  • Coconut Chia Pudding
    Coconut cream, coconut milk, agave, lemon zest, chia seeds

Which ones sound good to you?! I know healthy cookies, pizza, and horchata sound YUMMY to me! Share with your buddies and get cooking!

Disclaimer — All the information that you find on our blogs and social media pages is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as your personal professional diagnosis, or treatment. Come and see us for your excellent, personalized care!


History of Blue Zones – Blue Zones

The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100 – Dan Buettner 

Dr. Danielle Fleming, PT, DPT, CSCS, Pn1 

Dr. Danielle, our “Wellness PT” is a certified nutrition and wellness coach, and promotes a holistic approach to health. Let’s talk! We are here to help. Give us a call for a complimentary consultation. We would love to meet you.

Did you know there’s no prescription needed from a doctor to see us – but we will communicate your progress and treatment to your doctor if you’d like us too! 

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