Whenever I left my leafy greens on my plate as a child, my dad fell back on his signature words of wisdom: “Spinach will help you live forever!” (I remain skeptical of the immortality he promised.) As an adult, the only person I’m tapping for tips on human longevity is the 105-year-old lady who lives in one of the world’s Blue Zones—healthy hot spots across the globe where long life spans are the norm.
At a recent event in New York City, Blue Zones founder Dan Buettner shared the breakfast recipe of a woman living 80 miles east of Los Angeles whose centennial celebration is very much in the rear view mirror. In general, Blue Zones lie outside of United States—places like Nicoya, Costa Rica; Sardinia, Italy; and Okinawa, Japan. However, right here in California, this centenarian credits an outstanding breakfast for her longevity.
“She’s very prescriptive about her breakfast,” said Buettner, the crowd the edge of their seat. After a dramatic pause, he explained that her signature morning meal includes slow cook oatmeal, with walnuts, dates, and soy milk, followed by what she calls a “prune juice shooter.”
The dish sounds delicious—and it’s nutritionally impressive, too. Oatmeal and dates are high in fiber to keep your bowel movements on track. Walnuts come loaded with omega 3s that support brain health and oh-so much more. And as for that prune juice—wowza!—let’s just say it’s aiding everything from your digestion to your bones to your heart. The protein in the oatmeal combined with all the fiber should keep you satisfied until lunch.
According to Buettner, Blue Zone people live their lives by “ikigai,” a Japanese concept to describe “the reason for which you get up in the morning.” In this case, a great big bowl of oats is reason number one. What’s the inspiration for opening your eyes each day?
If you like oatmeal, then you’ll love oat milk. Here’s everything you need to know: