Here’s another random group of books I read in May that all had something of value to offer. I really enjoyed Blue Zones and would recommend that above the others! (I wouldn’t be reading this much if I didn’t have my Kindle, you can read my review of it here.)
It looks at 5 communities on earth that have the highest concentration of centenarians (100 year old people). This author isn’t pushing some new-age diet bullshit, he’s a National Geographic Fellow and studying the longest lived people on earth. I heard him on Rich Roll’s podcast and he’s done a TED talk here.
Reading this book has pushed me even further into eating a plant-based diet. The book recommends 95% of your diet should originate from plants. In these ‘Blue Zones’ they only ate meat 5 times per month and their portion was small, only 2 oz’s per serving!
Meat eaters lived shorter lives and were more likely to be overweight. Conversely, vegans did not live the longest! Pescatarians lived the longest in a study of 39,000 people over 14 years where they ate sustainable fish that were low on the food chain like sardines, so less likely to be contaminated with things like mercury.
I have been eating Blue Apron meals for the past several months and just switched over to their vegetarian meals to experiment and so far I really enjoy it. For me, the tastes and varieties in the plant world is much more exciting, healthy, and sustainable to cook and my new favorite one is celeriac! It looks like a potato but tastes like celery.
Even though I listened to this book, it came with a pdf of 77 recipes from the Blue Zones. Below is one of those recipes with other quotes. If you’d like to try Blue Apron I have a buy one/get one offer they give to current customers to share, I can send you one if you email me. After reading this book you too might just be saying “Hara Hachi Bu” before every meal.
The average American sits 9.7 hours a day. For every hour we sit we lose about 22 minutes of life expectancy.
Beans are the cornerstone of every Blue Zones diet in the world. They eat as much as 4x the amount of beans that we do on average. Beans represent the consummate superfood. They are packed with more nutrients per gram than any other food on earth.
Research has shown that when people get less than 7 hours of sleep per night their chances of catching a cold triples, they report as much as 30% lower rates of well being, their risk of obesity soars, and they have less control over their hunger urges.
The researchers found that regular napping, at least 5 days weekly, decreased a person’s heart disease risk by 37%.
[su_spoiler title=”Lentil Soup Recipe” style=”fancy” icon=”plus-circle”]
Yield: 6 servings
Lentils are popular in all cultures where a lot of beans are eaten because they are so simple to prepare. They need no soaking and they cook up in no time. They’re inexpensive and available year-round. Although they come in green, brown, red, or black varieties, skip the red lentils for this easy soup; they’ll just dissolve into mush. Instead, use either green (sometimes called French lentils or lentils du Puy), brown, or black lentils; the green or black ones will hold their shape and texture better to make a brothier, lighter meal; the brown ones will break down a bit and give the soup a richer, thicker consistency. It’s your call for your preference.
.5 pound (1.25 cups) green, black, or brown lentils
7 cups (1 quart plus 3 cups) vegetable broth
2 large red globe, beefsteak, or heirloom tomatoes, chopped (about 1••• cups)
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (about 2⁄3 cup)
2 medium red potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 2⁄3 cup)
2 bay leaves
.5 teaspoon salt
Finely chopped scallions, for garnish
Extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish
1. Spread the lentils on a large baking sheet and pick them over for any bits of stone.
2. Stir the lentils, broth, tomatoes, onion, carrots, potatoes, bay leaves, and salt in a large saucepan or soup pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, set a lid askew over the pan or pot, and cook until the lentils are soft, for 45 minutes.
3. Discard the bay leaves. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish each with scallions and up to 1 teaspoon olive oil.
Tip: For extra flavor, cook the chopped onion and carrot in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 5 to 7 minutes in the saucepan or soup pot set over medium heat before adding the remainder of the ingredients indicated in step 1.
Tip: Change the recipe a little by adding up to 1 cup packed baby spinach, baby kale, baby arugula, stemmed watercress, or a mixture of any to the soup after it has simmered for 35 minutes. Continue cooking with the lid askew for 10 minutes, until the lentils are tender and the greens have wilted.
Tip: For an easier prep, use frozen chopped onion (no need to thaw).[/su_spoiler]
I got this book for 25¢ at a book sale so I’d say I got my money’s worth. It’s not a bad book, it’s an entertaining thriller, but it’s just a massive change of pace from what I normally read. If you like something that’s a mystery/thriller and don’t mind it inducing some slight paranoia about your own relationships, then this would be a good book.
I haven’t seen the movie yet, have you? I heard it was good. Now I just want to watch it to see how they adapted the book to the screen. It’s also hard to pull quotes from a book like this since I don’t want to give away spoilers.
At forty, a man wears the face he’s earned.
Love makes you want to be a better man-right, right. But maybe love, real love, also gives you permission to just be the man you are.
I’d always heard Machiavelli referenced through popular culture, typically as something malicious and diabolical, so I wanted to read something for myself. The Prince seems like a good introduction to what he was about. He was basically just giving practical advice to people who were rulers on how to gain and maintain power. There’s a lot of historical references throughout the book he uses as examples that are a bit lost on me to be honest, but there were a couple interesting quotes, see them below. And the guy on the cover of the book’s new album is supposed to drop soon.
Therefore, my son, if you wish to please me, and to bring success and honour to yourself, do right and study, because others will help you if you help yourself.
And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new.
Men will not look at things as they really are, but as they wish them to be – and are ruined. In politics, there are no perfectly safe courses; prudence consists in choosing the least dangerous ones. Then – to pass to a higher plane – Machiavelli reiterates that, although crimes may win an empire, they do not win glory. Necessary wars are just wars, and the arms of a nation are hallowed when it has no other resource but to fight.
He who has relied least on fortune is established the strongest.