Blue Zones

This program was run by the “Cedarvale on the road” team, Adrian and Michealle Dorman. Cedarvale is an health retreat nestles on 150 acres in the beautiful Kangaroo valley in New South wales. Both Adrian and Michealle come with decades of experience and we were very blessed to be able to host them here at Hinker church.

Dan Buettner’s National Geographic Blue Zone study, looked at the links between lifestyle and longevity by studying the longest lived populations on earth.

The now famous Danish twin studies indicated less than 25% of longevity is based on your genetic makeup, the remainder is all dependent on your lifestyle.

It is worth noting that this extension of life is not only a time extension but it also has a corresponding increase in quality of life as well.

The Problem

This may be the first generation in which we start seeing a reduction in lifespan, even with all of the medical and scientific progress that has been made there are two factors that are dramatically reducing our lifespan.
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Negative changes in dietary habits

The Solution

In order to find the solution to the problem, Dan Buettner looked for causal factors for longevity amongst the longest living communities in the world.


  • Isolated location
  • lean, plant based diet
  • Family First
  • Celebrated their elders
  • Excercise and hard work
  • Beverages high in bioflavanoids like Pomegranate  and grape juice
  • Spent time laughing with friends.

Nicoya, Costa Rica

  • Plan de Vida (plan of life, i.e. Goals to pursue)
  • Drink Hard water
  • Focus on family
  • Light evenning meals
  • Strong social networks
  • Hard work
  • Sunlight
  • Ate lots of Wholegrains


  • Ikigai (Purpose in life)
  • Primarily plant based diet
  • Kept Gardens
  • Ate lots of soy foods
  • Maintained a strong “Moai” (Community)
  • Good levels of sunshine
  • Staying active
  • Most kept a medicine garden of mecidinal herbs and spices
  • Good attitude

Loma Linda, California

  • They have a sanctuary in time
  • Like minded friends
  • Eat a good amount of nuts
  • They give back
  • Eat plant based foods
  • Have an early, light dinner
  • Drink Plenty of Water
The majority of the residents of Loma Linda belong to the Seventh-day Adventist Church and follow their teachings on a healthy lifestyle.
There have been 3 major studies done on Adventists, with very interesting findings, particularly in the area of heart disease.
  • Total Vegetarians (i.e. Vegan) Have less than 20% the likelihood of heart attack
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians 40%
  • 4 serves of meat/week brings that statistic up to 60%

Other benefits include

  • Vegetarians are 250% less likely to be obese
    • Obesity is linked to a 57% increase in the likelihood of breast cancer
  • Vegetarians are 20-30% less likely to suffer a stroke
  • Vegetarians halve the risk of dementia

9 Common Characteristics between these Blue Zones

  1. Move Naturally – 20-30 minutes of activity 4-5 days/week
  2. Hara Hachi Bu “Eat until you are 80% full”
    • Fibre rich diet
    • Serve up your food, don’t eat smorgasbord style
    • Plate food to look bigger
    • Use smaller plates
    • Make snacking a hassle
    • Buy smaller pakages
    • Eat slowly and savour your food
    • Sit down to eat (don’t eat on the run)
    • Eat early in the evening
  3. Plant slant- Plant based whole food diet
  4. Eat red things (like berries)
  5. Live a life of purpose
    • Have a reason to get out of bed in the morning
    • Constantly learn new things
  6. Slow the pace of life down
  7. Belong – Have a sense of community
  8. Put loved ones first
    • Have family traditions/rituals
    • Live in smaller houses/live in each others presence
  9. Choose a tribe that will support your good habits