American Artist · Author · Book Blog · Book Review · Classics · Fiction · History · Humor · Inspiration · John Steinbeck · Motivation · Philosophy · Realism · Storytelling · Storyworthy

John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath”: A Truly American Book

I don’t know and in truth I don’t much care whether it’s the “work of genius” ! What sticks with me is that here is a book, non-political, non-…

John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath”: A Truly American Book
Book Blog · Book Review · Children Book · Dream · Fiction · Funny · Humor · Illustration · Playwright · Poems for Children · Storytelling · Storyworthy

Lewis Carroll and his ‘Alice’ Books: Curiouser and Curiouser!

I must confess that I did not become interested in Lewis Carroll until recently. As a child, my greatest reading delights were the fantasies of …

Lewis Carroll and his ‘Alice’ Books: Curiouser and Curiouser!
Book Blog · Book Review · Inspiration · Malcolm Gladwell · Motivation · Pick of the Day · Productivity

Why the World loves an Underdog? David and Goliath~Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell – Book Review

Explore the power of the underdog in Malcolm Gladwell’s dazzling examination of success, motivation, and the role of adversity in shaping our lives.

‘A global phenomenon… there is, it seems, no subject over which he cannot scatter some magic dust’ 

David slaying Goliath by Peter Paul Rubens: image courtesy Pixels

What’s it About?

David and Goliath (2013) shares myriad stories of underdogs who won out against all odds. The book is about ordinary people who confront giants. By “giants”, the author means powerful opponents of all kinds~from armies and mighty warriors to disability, misfortune and oppression. Throwing out our traditional ideas of what it takes to be a success, it offers unconventional views on subjects such as downside of privilege, the benefits of learning disabilities, and how authorities should treat their citizens.



“Am I a dog that you should come to me with sticks?”

Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath: image courtesy Rick Steves’ Travel Blog

We all know the story of David, a shepherd-turned-musician that gained immense popularity after accepting a challenge from the giant Goliath, who asked champions of the Israelite army to fight him one-on-one. According to the tale, David killed the towering Goliath using only a staff, a sling, and five stones from a brook. After the crushing defeat, David later became king of Israel and Judah himself, and took over Jerusalem, reigning between 1010-970 BC.

So the story goes, but Gladwell thinks we all have it wrong, and opens his new book with a retelling of that story. We assume that the story is about the weak defeating the strong and the mighty. But the giant has his own set of vulnerabilities ! He is huge and grotesque, which makes him slow and clumsy. He was carrying over hundred pounds of armour. David, on the other hand is a slinger, who could be deadly from distances as great as 200 yards and was lethally accurate. As Gladwell says, Goliath had as much chance against David as a man with a sword would have had against someone armed with a .45 automatic handgun.

Who’s It For?

  • Anyone looking for motivation or inspiration in their lives
  • Behind the scene stories of well known events in history
  • Anyone interested in psychology, or crime and punishment


But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7

We think of underdog victories as improbable events: that’s why the story of David and Goliath has resonated so strongly all these years. However, according to the author, underdogs win all the time. Why, then, are we so shocked every time a David beats a Goliath? Why do we automatically assume that someone who is smaller or poorer or less skilled is necessarily at a disadvantage?

Image courtesy Wikipedia

One of the winning underdog, for example, was T. E. Lawrence (or, as he is better known, Lawrence of Arabia), who led the Arab revolt against the Turkish army occupying Arabia near the end of the First World War. The British were helping the Arabs in their uprising, and their goal was to destroy the long railroad the Turks had built running from Damascus deep into the Hejaz Desert.It was a daunting task. The Turks had a formidable modern army. Lawrence, by contrast, commanded an unruly band. But they were tough and they were mobile. Lawrence’s masterstroke was an assault unexpected by the Arabs. So the advantage that Turks had was a large army and weapons~which was a big advantage, but made them immobile. Meanwhile the Arabs had the endurance, intelligence, knowledge of the country, and courage.

The author points out, that for some reason, we all have a preconceived notion which defines what advantage is. The error we often make is to double-down on strength when we think that we need something more effective than what we’ve got. Yet past a certain point, extra-strength becomes self-defeating because it is too crude and inflexible. 

People who seem weak can turn out to be surprisingly strong. Don’t be a Goliath. Dare to be a David. Gladwell illustrates these lessons with a characteristically dizzying array of stories, the subjects of which range from high school girls’ basketball to child murder and the Holocaust.


Underdogs can overturn the odds and succeed by employing unconventional tactics . The simple moral is choose your weapons carefully. Through these stories, he explore two ideas. The first is that much of what we consider valuable in our world arises out of these kinds of lopsided conflicts, because the act of facing overwhelming odds produces greatness and beauty. And second, that we consistently get these kinds of conflicts wrong. We misread them. We misinterpret them. Giants are not what we think they are. The same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of great weakness. 

About the Author

Malcolm Gladwell is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, including Talking to StrangersDavid and GoliathOutliersBlink, and The Tipping Point. He is also the co-founder of Pushkin Industries, an audio content company that produces the podcasts Revisionist History, which reconsiders things both overlooked and misunderstood, and Broken Record, where he, Rick Rubin, and Bruce Headlam interview musicians across a wide range of genres. Gladwell has been included in the TIME 100 Most Influential People list and touted as one of Foreign Policy‘s Top Global Thinkers.

Bill Gates · Book Blog · Book Review · nonfiction

5 Books recommended by Bill Gates during lockdown year, 2020

Every year, Bill Gates comes out with his personal reading recommendations. He focuses on a certain number of books each time, providing a brief overview of why each one has stood out for him.Most of the books that he recommends are deeply informative and not all are easy read. Starting in 2014, he even began recording short videos to go with his book recommendations.


Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

For the year just gone by, which had no semblance to reality, somehow still feels more like a bad dream than reality~ here are five books which Bill Gates recommends, as most of us have some time in hand to read. It is an impressive list, consisting largely of nonfiction. Science and technology, medicine, business, economics, education, international development, sociology, history, biography, memoir—name it, and chances are there is at least one book in the genre.

Well the list is not perfect, especially if you are someone not into the genre of nonfiction, there are notably fewer choices in this list for you. However, take a look, chances are that there may be some book that may grab your attention. As for me, the book ” The Spy and the Traitors” by Ben Macintyre was a total a nail-biter of a read!

  1. The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre
Image Courtesy

Considering that this book belongs to a nonfiction genre, it has all the elements of a thrilling Cold War-era tale of Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian whose secret work helped hasten the collapse of the Soviet Union.Bill Gates points out that though it may be hard for most of us to remember the Cold War era~ the Soviet Union was once viewed as a better system in a certain moral sense than the West. What makes the book so interesting is the complexity of the plot which is just as good as a spy novel and yet it is a true story.

2. Breath from Salt: A Deadly Genetic Disease, a New Era in Science, and the Patients and Families Who Changed Medicine Forever by Bijal P. Trivedi


Cystic fibrosis was once a mysterious disease that killed infants and children. Now it could be the key to healing millions with genetic diseases of every type—from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to diabetes and sickle cell anemia. The books is all about: What is this disease to tracking these kids and how to keep them alive ? It’s a book about hope for children suffering from this genetic disease. If the kids are started on the drug at a young age, chances are that they will live a normal life.

3. Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein


The book explores the idea that should you just do one thing very well or a broad set of things. Plenty of experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. But the author tries to make a case that over specialisation in general, can actually make you less effective. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see.

4. The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson


This a a brilliant and fast paced, a history book can get, according to Gates. On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally–and willing to fight to the end.

5. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color blindness by Michelle Alexander


The author writes, how low~income people and particularly black people get into a cycle where males are often locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life. Although Jim Crow laws have been wiped off the books, an astounding percentage of the African American community remains trapped in a subordinate status–much like their grandparents before them.The judicial system and its harshness to a great extent is responsible for creating this terrible situation.

Chances are that there might be at least one read that will grab your attention. So go ahead and choose your pick. Happy Reading !

P.S. Do drop in a line if any of the above mentioned book you have already read or planning to read in future.

Book Blog · Book Review · Charles Duhigg · Non Fiction · Self~Help

Be Smarter, Leaner, Faster: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

I don’t know about you, but this habit of snacking has to stop and thanks to this book, I have the perfect solution to my dilemma or gluttony !

Define Habit

They are the choices that all of us deliberately make at some point, and then stop thinking about but continue doing, often every day. At one point we consciously decide how much to eat, how often to have a drink or when to go for a jog. Then we stopped making a choice, and the behaviour became automatic. It’s a natural consequence of our neurology. And by understanding how it happens, you can rebuild those patterns in whichever way you choose.

More than 40% of the actions people perform each day weren’t actual decision, but habits.

Duke University research, 2006

Practical Example : Step 1

As I have already mentioned I above, this insatiable habit of snacking. Come late afternoon and I am on the prowl~the refrigerator, the pantry~ nothing is beyond my reach. Think I’ll just have one cookie or a couple of potato chips?

Not if there’s a bag of either in the kitchen. ” Self~discipline is overrated and undependable.” Tim Ferris

Not only it is unhealthy, I soon realised that the pounds were adding on. Charles says that the first thing we do is that we start by diagnosing and changing this behavior. By figuring out the habit loop.And the first step is to identify the routine ~ as in my case the routine is the most obvious aspect: it’s the behaviour you want to change . I get up from my desk in the afternoon, walk up to my pantry or fridge and eat handful of nuts or chips ~ which is never limited to one handful !

Image Courtesy Milestone Fitness

So now we do some brainstorming

  • Whats the cue?
  • Is it hunger?
  • or boredom?
  • a sugar low or fatigue?

And What’s the reward

  • The snack itself?
  • The change of scenery?
  • Temporary distraction?
  • Craving for sweet\sugar?

Step 2

Rewards are powerful beacuse they satisfy craving. But we are often not conscious of the craving that drives the behaviour. To find out which craving are driving a particular habit, it’s useful to experiment with different rewards. This require some patience as it may take a few days or a week. I started experimenting ~ everytime I feel the urge to walk up to the pantry, I change my course and go to my precocious eleven years old, who does’t approve of my sudden appearance, or the days when she banned me totally, I went for an early walk outside. I also tried substituting junk food or as Tim Ferris would call the “domino food” with healthy alternative like carrot or an apple. You get the idea. The point is to test different hypothesis to determine which craving is driving the routine. Keep experimenting and jot down three things that come to your mind. They can be emotions, random thoughts, reflection on how you feel. Then set an alarm on your watch for 15 minutes. When it goes off, ask yourself~ do you still feel the urge to snack? Once you figure the routine and the reward, what remains is identifying the cue.

STEP 3: Isolate the cue

Charles says that the reason why its so hard to identify the cue that triggers our habits because there are too many information bombarding us as our behaviour unfolds. What I realised that the cue in my case was an urge to get a snack at a certain time of the day. It wasn’t the hunger but a temporary distraction that I was craving~ the kind that comes from gossiping with friends.


Once you figure the habit loop~you’ve identified the reward driving your behaviour, the cue triggering it, and the routine itself~you can begin to shift the behaviour. Now all I do is call a friend and chat for ten minutes. It didn’t work immediately but as I worked towards it ~abided by my plan ~ I forced myself at times to call a friend ~mostly my mum, I found that I ended my day feeling better.


When I see a CUE, I will do ROUTINE in order to get a REWARD.

To re~engineer that formula, we need to begin making choices again. And the easiest way to do this is to have a plan. Psychologists call it ” implementation intention”

All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits.

William James

Most of the choice we make each day may feel like the product of well considered decision making, but they’re not. They’re habits.

Image Courtesy Pinterest
Book Blog · Book Review · Cook Book · Food · Health · Illustrations · Pick of the Day · Samin Nosrat · Wendy Macnaughton

Want to cook like a Pro? ‘Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’ by Samin Nosrat

Book Review

Image Courtesy Pinterest

I am not a professional cook by a long shot, but if there is one book I would recommend which is just more than a collection of recipes, and more about the art of cooking, this would be it! The run-of-the-mill kind expects you to follow rather than to ask questions. Those books insist on fidelity and faith but do nothing to earn and explain. For me this book was like attending a good cooking school, where you learn the principles. Armed with reason we don’t have to cling to recipes like a lifeboat, when you know the fundamentals of cooking~ you can improvise.

Image Courtesy Pinterest

What’s it about?

Samin Nosrat a writer, teacher and chef hailing from California, says that this book is a culmination of her years of cooking and five years of writing. It’s a distillation of her cooking philosophy. The idea that you can master just four basic elements in the kitchen~ Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat ~ you can use that to guide you in cooking anything and making any food delicious.

Learn about salt which is a mineral that enhances flavour of everything that we cook. Fat which gives taste and help us get all sort of delicious texture in our cooking. Acid which ultimately balances flavours and heat which is the major control to get the texture we want in all our food. She promises that if you master the four elements, you can make anything taste great.

The book is designed to help you punch up the flavour of even basic dishes (salad!) and guide you towards trusting your gut instead of dutifully following directions — ultimately making your cooking more instinctive, flavourful and yes, fun.

Who is it for?

Image Courtesy Pinterest
  • Cooks and Cooking apprentices
  • Cooking enthusiasts
  • Epicureans devoted to good living

The Principles

There are only Four basic factors which will determine how good your food will taste :

Image courtesy Pinterest

Salt which enhances flavour. Samin says that if you get the salt right and you know how much to use, anything you cook will taste better. After reading the section on salt, I took Nosrat’s advice to boil my potatoes in salted water before roasting. Game changer! I will never again roast my potatoes without first taking them through this step. The potatoes were seasoned outside and in — guaranteed to make your meat-and-potato meals mysteriously more delicious than everyone else’s.

Just like salt, fat is one of the most important and versatile elements of cooking. Her travel to Italy made her realise that Italian cooking is the relationship with fat which is so essential to why their food taste so good!!

Image Courtesy Pinterest


Image courtesy Pinterest

There are about 100 recipes in the book with countless variations. What makes the book so attractive is the infographics and illustrations by Wendy Macnaughton and they are very helpful in making the book simple and drive the complicated points that connects all the dots, teaching you how, all cooking from around the world is really more similar than it is different. If you only read the chapter on “salt,” you’d up your kitchen game by 50 percent. But Nosrat also has an amazing gift for storytelling~ give it a try and you will never look back !

Image Courtesy Pinterest

Bon Appétit

Book Review · Classics · Inspiration · Non Fiction · Self~Help

What sets you apart~Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Published in 2008, outliers is one of my top favourite books of all time. I often go back and pick up old books which has shaped my thinking and revisit for a fresh perspective . Books that inspire and help light a fire in your heart are worth a second or a third read.

What’s it about ?

This is book is about individuals who achieve a level of success that is out of ordinary. From rock stars, to remarkable lawyers, to what make a pilot better than the rest of his flock, or why asians are so good at math. So what makes them so extraordinary that they lie outside the realm of normal experience?

We often think that these outliers assess some innate, mysterious ability that makes them rise to the top of the field, however, most of these so called ” outliers” are not some mystical being, people just don’t rise from nothing. Some merit may be cause of their parentage or they may look like this “self~made man” which our society attaches so much credit. But in fact they are invariably the beneficiaries of some hidden advantage and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allowed them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in a way others cannot.

Who is it for ?

  • Anyone who wants to deepen his idea of what drives success and what are the things successful people do differently
  • Teachers, coaches and others in training professions
  • Consulting professionals and others interested in policy reforms

Key Ideas

  1. The idea of a “self~made” man is very enticing and our culture celebrates this myth, but there is more than meets the eye. The author sites an example of a tall oak tree. The tree is the tallest in the forest not because it grew from the most robust and hardiest of acorn, it is taller also because as a sapling, it got the right amount of sunshine, a soil rich and deep and no rabbit gnawing its roots before it got time to grow.
  2. Once you reach a certain threshold, increased ability no longer help you succeed.
  3. To achieve world class mastery of anything requires around 10,000 hours of single~minded and purposeful practice. What differentiates a world class soloist from the merely “good” violinist is the number of hours they practice from the time they picked up the violin. The author sites many such examples to prove his point~from chess grandmasters to Mozart to the Beatles, all have this in common.
  4. How you are brought up can radically impact how successful you become. So Bill Gates is introduced as a young computer programmer from Seattle whose brilliance and ambition outshine the brilliance and ambition of the thousands of other young programmers. But then Gladwell takes us back to Seattle, and we discover that Gates’s high school happened to have a computer club when almost no other high schools did. He then lucked into the opportunity to use the computers at the University of Washington, for hours on end. By the time he turned 20, he had spent well more than 10,000 hours as a programmer.
  5. Where you come from ~geographically and culturally ~can have a large impact on our success
  6. If we recognise the reason behind the uneven playing fields, we can create more opportunities for people to succeed.

Final Summary

“It is not the brightest who succeed,” Gladwell writes. “Nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is, rather, a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities — and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.” 

Photo by Brett Jordan on

About the author

Malcolm Gladwell is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, including Talking to StrangersDavid and GoliathOutliersBlink, and The Tipping Point. He is also the co-founder of Pushkin Industries, an audio content company that produces the podcasts Revisionist History, which reconsiders things both overlooked and misunderstood, and Broken Record, where he, Rick Rubin, and Bruce Headlam interview musicians across a wide range of genres. Gladwell has been included in the TIME 100 Most Influential People list and touted as one of Foreign Policy‘s Top Global Thinkers.

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Book Review · Brain · Kevin Simler · Non Fiction · Robin Hanson · species

The Elephant in the Brain~Hidden Motives in Everyday Life by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson

Book Review

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Every man alone is sincere. At the entrance of a second person, hypocrisy begins~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

What’s it about?

We human beings are a species that’s not only capable of acting on hidden motives~ we’re designed to do it. The book highlights the fact that humans have hidden motives, which we hide even from our selves. We have many reasons for our behaviour, but we habitually accentuate and exaggerate our pretty, prosocial motives and down play the ugly and selfishness.

The authors illustrates with the following examples as to how we effectively rationalise our behaviour, by telling half truth, by cherry picking our most acceptable, prosocial reasons while concealing our ulterior motives. For instance ~

  1. Parents often enforce kid’s early bedtime “for their own good”, when a self serving motive seems just as likely~ that parents simply want an hour or two of peace and quiet without the kids. Though most parents genuinely believe that early bedtimes are good for their children, but the belief is self serving.
  2. Minor issues are often exaggerated to avoid unwanted social encounters “I’m not feeling well today” as an excuse not to go to work may only have half a grain of truth, and meanwhile other reasons (“I simply don’t want to”) are conveniently omitted.

There are many such wide-ranging, covering many fields and current events, and offering many concrete relatable examples which challenges how you think about yourself and how you see the world by shining a light on things people would rather stay hidden.

The Key Ideas

  • Human behaviour is often driven by multiple motives. This shouldn’t be too surprising, as humans are complex creatures. But more importantly what they are suggesting is that some of these motives are unconscious.
  • Human beings are primates, and primates are political animals. Our brains, therefore, are designed not just to hunt and gather, but also to help us get ahead socially, often via deception and self-deception. But while we may be self-interested schemers, we benefit by pretending otherwise. While most of the time we are trying to maximise social status~ we are quite skilful and strategic in pursuing our self~interest without explicitly acknowledging it, even to ourself
  • Our brains are designed to act in our self~interest while at the same time trying not to act selfish in front of others. And in order to throw them off the trail, our brain often keeps “us” our conscious mind, in the dark
  • Self~deception is therefore strategic, a ploy our brain uses to look good while behaving badly.
  • We are competitive social animal fighting for power, status, and sex. The fact that we are sometimes willing to lie and cheat and go ahead, the fact that we hide some of our motives~ and that we do in order to mislead others.

The Elephant is used as a metaphor. The elephant~ whether in a room or in our brain~simply stands there, out in the open, and can easily be seen if only we steel ourself to look in its direction.

Final Summary

The aim of this book, then, is to confront our hidden motives directly – to track down the darker, unexamined corners of our psyches and blast them with floodlights. Then, once everything is clearly visible, we can work to better understand ourselves: Why do we laugh? Why are artists sexy? Why do we brag about travel? Why do we prefer to speak rather than listen? Our unconscious motives drive more than just our private behavior; they also infect our venerated social institutions such as Art, School, Charity, Medicine, Politics, and Religion. In fact, these institutions are in many ways designed to accommodate our hidden motives, to serve covert agendas alongside their “official” ones. 

So my take away from the book is that it is useful to understand the motives of our fellow humans~but that is not all~ we often misunderstand our own motives. We have a gaping blind spot at the very centre of our introspective vision. Above all recognising this teaches us humility. It calls for a more thoughtful interaction with our fellow self~deceivers.

blue zones · Book Review · Dan Buettner · fitness · longevity · National Geographic · nutrition · spices

The Blue Zone Diet~Live to be a Centenarian

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What is a Blue Zone Diet?

It began in 2004, when American explorer Dan Buetttner teamed up with National Geographic to identify places in the world where communities lived considerabley longer and better than the average person. Mr Buettner identifies five of these places termed Blue Zones and with the help of scientists began to research just what characteristics extended the longevity of these communities. He discovered that these long living communities showed several characteristics including a strong sense of family, constant physical activity and lean towards plant base diet.

Places in the world identified as “Blue Zone”

  • Sardinia, Italy
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Nicola, Costa Rica
  • Ikaria, Greece
  • Loma Linda, California

So why should we pay attention to what the people in the relatively isolated Blue Zone communities eat? Because, as Buettner writes, their more traditional diets harken back to an era before we were inundated with greasy fast food and sugar. And to qualify as a Blue Zone, these communities also have to be largely free of afflictions like heart disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes. So clearly they’re doing something right.These people don’t live long because of supplements, pills, or other such modern day cure like anti-aging serums. They do so because they are surroundings nudge them into the right behaviour.

In the new book, Buettner distills the researchers’ findings on what all the Blue Zones share when it comes to their diet. Here’s a taste:

  • Use Fewer Ingredients ~Less variety may help keep people from overeating and keep the immune system strong.
  • Add Cruciferous Vegetables ~ Vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower have been known to help protect the heart, stave off cancer, and lower oxidative stress.
  • Make Beans Tasty~ In the Blue Zones, beans are the main story. They’re cooked into soup and stews, enhanced with spices, and complemented by grains and vegetables.
  • Finish Dishes with Olive Oil ~ Room temperature Olive oil is added to breads, drizzled over vegetables, and added to soups and stews.
  • Supplement with Fresh Herbs and Spices~Rosemary, Oregano, Sage, Mint, Garlic, Turmeric, and Mugwort all possess well documented medicinal value.
  • Fiber is More Important ~ Grains, greens, nuts, and beans not only contain protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals that keep our heart healthy and our mind sharp they also feed eight pounds of bacteria living in our gut.
  • Enjoy your meals with Red Wine ~ We have all heard plenty about polyphenols and antioxidants, which occur more often in red wine that white wine.

Finally, the author says that eating for longevity is not just what you eat, but how you eat. Blue zones teaches us that diner with family, pausing before a meal to express gratitude, fasting occasionally, eating a big breakfast, and trying to eat all of your calories in an eight~hour window helps stay healthier, live longer, and feel better.


Granted, it’s not easy to emulate the Blue Zoners especially if you live in the US or anywhere in the industrial world, where you’re likely to be tempted with bacon and cupcakes every day. And maybe you don’t want to become a vegan.

But Buettner has plenty to say about simple ways we could live like these isolated tribes of exceptional health in The Blue Zone Solution. That’s what he’s focused on now with the Blue Zone Project: helping communities adapt the cross-cutting tenets of a healthful lifestyle. So far, the project has gotten several towns and U.S. states.