Living and Breathing the Blue Zones Lifestyle.

May 10, 2024

Living and Breathing the Blue Zones Lifestyle.

May 29, 2023

Chip's note: Last year, I co-led a successful Blue Zones workshop with BZ founder Dan Buettner. Dan was so pleased with the experience that he suggested that his organization create a three-year partnership with MEA. Céline will be the lead faculty member along with our MEA-trained facilitators. We’re proud of this partnership since Blue Zones is arguably the best-known longevity company in the world.

My name is Celine and I am the Blue Zones®  Retreats Expert.

I grew up in France, unknowingly immersed in a Blue Zones environment. My grandma passed away a few months ago at age 85, leaving my 85 year-old grandpa with his passion of restoring floor clocks. My other grandma is 94 and already lived one year longer than her mother. She is crushing a few pages of crosswords every day and is surrounded with pictures of her eight great-grandchildren.

All their lives, my grandparents grew and cooked their own food (including some rabbits and chickens), moved naturally through their work and chores, practiced faith, and woke up every day with the purpose of providing a good life to their families, even after their children left the nest. I learned how to cook and take care of the Earth with my grandmas, proudly picking veggies, herbs, and fruits in the garden, which my daughter is now doing. I loved hearing stories about how my grandparents met, sometimes with diverging views on who made the first move, and watching the love and care they had for each other. 

When I moved to London, I realized that my lifestyle was slightly different than a lot of people and I had to recreate a healthy environment. I decorated my flat with herbs and veggie plants, providing me with fresh parsley, rosemary, verbena, tomatoes, and strawberries. I walked every street and park of the city, killing three pushchairs which didn’t resist my walking savviness. I expanded my spiritual practice through yoga and created beautiful connections. My purpose was easy to find—making my daughter smile while making London our home. 

Big city life, working in the hospitality industry, and travelling the world, triggered my intuitive healthy lifestyle to transition into a passion, leading me to study everything around nutrition, movement, sleep, circadian rhythms, energies, mindfulness, spiritual awakening, emotional balance, mental health, and so on. This is when I came across Blue Zones and Dan Buettner’s work, highlighting and putting into a framework the lifestyle I’ve been practicing all these years. It also made me realize how lots of people have lost touch with the roots of being human and what we need to do to take care of ourselves without involving pills. 

I experienced the Blue Zones lifestyle on visits to Greece, Japan, California, and while living in Italy and Costa Rica, I found that the longevity wisdom of the Power 9® principles—the nine commonalities found in the five original blue zones regions—have beautiful interpretations in many places in the world. 

In Morocco, hammams are a place to socialize with loved ones, downshift, and take care of your body. They enjoy chickpeas in hummus, tajine, or couscous. In Scandinavia, they sweat together in saunas, enjoy lots of outdoor activities, and practice hygge, cosily downshifting. In Nepal, faith is omnipresent with colors, offerings, chants, and incense at every corner. People walk everywhere and the national dish, dāl bhāt, is a lentil-based recipe. In Hawaii, the Aloha ʻāina is guiding your day and connects you to all living things, particularly the land, sea, and community. 

The Blue Zones Power 9® principles are straightforward and support each other:

  • Move naturally throughout the day;
  • Have a sense of purpose, a reason to wake up every day;
  • Downshift daily by taking some time to relax and lower your stress levels;
  • Eat until you are 80 percent full, mindfully connecting to your food and stomach;
  • Eat a plant-slant diet, full of veggies, beans, and fruits;
  • Drink a glass of wine with your peers at the end of the day, a great way to unwind and prepare for a good night’s sleep;
  • Belong to a faith-oriented community, deepening your spirituality and connection to the universe;
  • Prioritize your loved ones, making sure you spend quality time with them;
  • Surround yourself with the right tribe, or people who support and cheer for you. 


In practice, they can be more challenging to implement in our busy schedules and environments which tend to encourage unhealthy habits, especially as we age and become more resistant to change. 

During the Blue Zones® Retreat at MEA, you will have the opportunity to spend a week immersed in the Blue Zones life, gaining insights on longevity principles through our modules, as well as hands-on learning to implement them in your day-to-day, supported by MEA guidance on life transitions. You will connect with like-minded people and be nurtured by our teams, creating a safe container for you to blossom into a new era of your life.

I am looking forward to seeing you in Baja California Sur on June 17-22, and Santa Fe on October 28-November 2

-Céline

Along with her deep involvement and study of the Blue Zones, Céline is a certified health and lifestyle coach, yoga teacher and breathwork practitioner and has worked in a range of strategic roles and projects across the globe, including for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and as a Founder of Wellness Consultancy WE(i) Think and health coaching brand Retrouv’I. She is the co-founder of sustainability and innovation-oriented Hospitality Think Tank.

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