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The Blue Zones Uncovered with Dan Sipple & Marcus Pearce (EP#216)

Mason, and long time SuperFeast friends, Dan Sipple and Marcus Pearce join forces today to for an insightful conversation around diet, lifestyle and longevity in the world's Blue Zones and how the quality of life experienced by the individuals living in these areas is cultivated through joy, community, resilience and pace.

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Mason, and long time SuperFeast friends, Dan Sipple and Marcus Pearce join forces today for an insightful conversation around diet, lifestyle and longevity in the world's Blue Zones, and how the quality of life experienced by the individuals living in these areas is cultivated through joy, community, resilience and pace.

The tread that weaves itself so gracefully throughout this conversation is one of unbridled self expression, of the value in allowing ourselves the freedom to include and relish in the aspects of our lived experience that we most enjoy, those that feel like a balm not only to our bodies and hearts, but our souls as well.

We're given insight on these musings as Marcus shares his experiences spending time with the people of Ikaria, an island located on the coast of Greece in the Eastern Aegean Sea. Here the people live slow and in community, moments are savoured and enjoyed, alcohol is commonly consumed but rarely in excess, the same goes with meat. Things get done in the time it takes to do them and deadlines are not really a thing.

The pace and the variants considered essential for life are vastly different to those that we are indoctrinated to esteem through the Westernised systems that the majority of us are engaged in, with motivation for "success" often derived from pursuits laced in capitalism.

Listening to Marcus, Dan, and Mason discuss research on the factors that contribute to wellbeing and longevity in the Blue Zones worldwide, we can identify that it is not the frantic striving for shinier, more, better, higher, younger, that enables a human to flourish, it is in fact the very essence of the dutiful notion of chop wood, carry water, and not duty as in oppression, more so an agreement with what is, carried forward allowing space to enjoy the simple yet enriching facets of life that can only be accessed in the present with presence.

We're introduced to the fact that when measuring the two separately, social connection has a more potent positive influence on health than diet, and those that have the most abundant sense of health are embracing both in equal measure.

In the field of wellness individual's are so often told (and sold) that health is something that can only be accessed on the other side of "clean" living, and that longevity is derived from the perfect morning routine, nutrient intake, exercise and supplement regime. However in reality often the people that live the longest (and happiest) lives are those that are living in joyful communion with the things that they enjoy, vices included.

We've all seen or heard the stories of the 100+ year person who attributes their longevity to their daily cigarette, coffee or can of coca cola.

Centenarians are not exclusively green juice drinking yogini's or those who engage in a multifaceted wellness routine, Many are those that live simply, at natures pace, in community with purpose and without too much stress. Those who are culturally rich.

How your life looks is not nearly as important as how your life feels, for you, regardless of the thoughts/opinions of an external audience.

It is not always accessible for those living in the psyche of the Western grid to live like the inhabitants of the Blue Zones, however what is accessible is the knowledge of a different way, and the inspiration to include more of what and who you love in your days, and that is often more powerful than any perfected way of living.

 

Image of a person sitting on top of a mountain/hill looking up in reverence to the sky.

"When you visit these cultures, I would say they're so relaxed. This is what I find when you're looking at longevity, it's not diet, it's are you enjoying your life? Are you moving regularly and are you hanging around people that you love hanging around? They are the people that seem to be enjoying the best long lives."

- Marcus Pearce.

 

Mason, Dan & Marcus discuss:

  • The Blue Zones diet controversy.
  • Adapting Blue Zone lifestyles to a modern setting. 
  • Traditional lifestyle and its influence on health. 
  • Social life over diet for longevity.
  • Authenticity and success, what it is and how you measure it.
  • The power of adopting an individualised approach to health. 


Who is Dan Sipple?

Dan Sipple also known as The Functional Naturopath is based on the south coast of NSW and has a special interest in gut health, immune dysfunction, pro-metabolic health, mineral rebalancing & hormones. 

Dan has been in the health and wellness arena for over a decade and blends traditional herbal medicine systems and knowledge with cutting-edge functional and integrative testing to best facilitate a patient's journey to peak wellness.
 

Who is Marcus Pearce?

No matter your family history or your genes, our guest today believes that it’s not all downhill from here and that your best years are in front of you, not behind you. Marcus Pearce is a longevity and life design strategist and host of 100 Not Out, Australia’s longest-running podcast on ageing well and longevity.

Marcus is the author of the best-selling book Your Exceptional Life and each year travels to the small Greek Island of Ikaria – known as the island where people forget to die. Marcus has spent the past decade interviewing and researching more than 200 of the world’s centenarians, graceful agers, health professionals and icons of humanity.

Resource guide

Guest Links
Dan Website
Dan Facebook
Dan Instagram
Marcus Website
Marcus Longevity Podcast
Marcus Facebook
Marcus Instagram
Marcus Youtube
Marcus Linkedin
Marcus X

Mentioned In This Episode
Dan Buettner
Graham Hancock
Weston Price
The China Study Book
Dan Sipple's Netflix Blue Zone Documentary Instagram Post

Related Podcasts
Moving Towards Destiny with Harmony with Marcus Pearce (EP#181)

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Check Out The Transcript Below:

 

Mason:

Hello everybody. I'm here with Marcus and Dan.

Marcus:

Hello Mason. Hello Dan. Hello everybody.

Dan:

We're just talking about Mason's fresh as a baby bum face ...

Mason:

Yeah, this is good podcasting for mostly audio medium, so you guys can just imagine the baby bum face Mase.

Marcus:

And we've also been hanging shit on Mason for being muted, but now it's time to hang shit on Dan, because Dan, I don't think you've set the right microphone because you sound like you're sitting in that... Is that a sauna or is that a back office behind your shoulder?

Dan:

It's a sauna behind me.

Mason:

It's a sauna.

Marcus:

Yeah. It sounds like you're in the sauna, but you've actually got a rigidity mic right there.

Dan:

Hang on. Here we go. Here we go. Ready? Here we go. You're about to get-

Marcus:

Much better.

Mason:

Ah, crispy.

Dan:

Do you want to take that back now Marcus, please?

Mason:

Look, we're off. We're back and we're all crispy now and we're chatting about yeah, it's been a lot of hoo-ha after the blue zones. Dan, what's his name? Buettner?

Marcus:

Dan Buettner.

Mason:

Dan Buettner-

Marcus:

We did try to have a chat five minutes after it was released, but our three schedules didn't align, so it's not as clickbaity as it probably was back then, but still equally relevant we all think.

Dan:

We got here.

Mason:

Well, as you were just saying Dan, it's an evergreen conversation. The fact that the first book I ever read when I got back from South America and had the moment, I was like, "I've got to dive into my health." And I got back, the first book I ordered was, gosh, the Robbins one, Healthy till a hundred.

Marcus:

Healthy 100. Yep.

Mason:

And I mean that had the Vilcabambans and that had the Hunza and those-

Marcus:

Abkhasia.

Mason:

Yeah, exactly. Those guys are the Balkans as well, right?

Marcus:

Yes.

Mason:

And that was written in 1989, and so I think that was the year it was written. So yeah. And then-

Marcus:

I've got it right here.

Mason:

Do you really? Yeah, ... Because it's an evergreen conversation.

Dan:

This is your jam, Marcus, I hear.

Marcus:

Oh, this is my jam. I love this book as well. 2006, but that's about the same time as The Blue Zones came out, but-

Mason:

That's right, '87 was his "Diet for a New America" book. That's the one that got him on. Yeah.

Marcus:

Yeah, correct. And he's the heir to the throne of the Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream Corporation, fun fact for everyone listening. But yes, go on Mase.

Mason:

Well, I was just saying, as you were saying, this is an evergreen conversation, and I think it was fun to watch it come out on Netflix and it was such a classic Netflix vibe to it.

Dan:

Fix. No, no, it was Netfix.

Mason:

Yeah, Netfix, they'll fix everything. But it was kind of like that Graham Hancock Netflix documentary that came out and I was like, "Oh, I love his work so much." But it had to be that little extra clickbaity just because it was on Netflix and it had to make more wide sweeping things. And it needed to be marginalising and just make really bold claims without providing anything juicy in terms of evidence, which for Graham, sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not. Likewise for Buettner and with the Blue Zones, I've realised the extent of how much money there was to be made on Blue Zone diets and just how much self-importance about discovering what the perfect diet is when people get into Blue Zones.


That's enmeshed with the actual, just that objective data analysis of what it takes not only in the Blue Zones, but what it takes outside of those places, not just honed in on diet. You can't even focus on diet. There's no focus on the rippling rhythmic capacity for diet to have within a particular arena. It's just like, "The diet's over here. This is what we deduced it down to." Highly vegetarian and vegan based, as we all know, and we'll dive into that. And then it's like, "Oh, and then there's social connection over here." Everyone's looking for this recipe and likewise looking for this ingredient. Like, it's a vegetarian diet with high grains and not much meat. Or with the Hunza, it was like, "Oh, that's because they had apricots as their core diet, and it was apricot seeds, B17, that meant they had low cancer.

Marcus:

Then China it was sweet potatoes, yeah.

Mason:

Sweet potatoes in Okinawa, which is like, "Oh, that was sweet potatoes, wasn't it?"

Marcus:

That's thing. That's the thing.

Mason:

And then it was like, "Oh no, we had lots of sweet potato because there was famine after the war and it had nothing to do with them." Even though that's the same reason when people go, "Usain Bolt, what did you eat every day growing up?" And it was like, "Sweet potato." Everyone's like, "Right, sweet potato was the reason not your incredible genetics." Not that I don't love sweet potato. So yeah, we're going to dive in and cover all these.

Marcus:

Yeah, Dan, I think we have to give credit to Dan for starting this because he got onto Instagram and went nuts. And then Mason sent me Dan's video going, "Dude, do you want to have a three-way?" And I was like, "Mason, what are you saying?" He said, "A conversation." And I said, "Of course I want to have a three-way with Mason and Dan talking about some of the, let's say the ..." But before we do, because Mason, I get so self-conscious about this, can we just give credit to the John Robbins and the Dan Buettners of the world? Because without them we wouldn't be having this conversation. So I think we've got to be really mindful that we're not coming on to bash individuals, like you said, with Hancock or with Buettner or with anyone that's got a message to share.


I've got the China study on my bookshelf behind there, and I couldn't disagree with that book any more. But this is the art of conversation. This is the art of hanging around people that you don't necessarily agree with. And I think what COVID taught us and what even the recent referendum taught us is, we are a diverse population of human beings. And if we ever get fixed on one answer is the answer, and we start judging people on what they think the answer is, then we lose all respect and we're instantly judging. So I just want to put that out there first, that we're not coming here to judge, we're more coming here to observe. We're coming here to share our views, which every listener might disagree with what we're about to say, but I think it's really important that we put this context of no judgement , pure our own views and insights based on what we've observed, and then thrash it out from there.

Mason:

It's nice having you here. The wellness, well very wellness, politically diplomatic, and yeah, normally we just go and shit all over people like that.

Marcus:

Hey, I can be is triggering and grenade dropping as the next one, agitating and everything else. But I just want to give credit where credit's due. So Dan-

Mason:

Yeah well Dan did mention the video, it's a good call, it's a good place to start. Go back to the source of the conversation because it definitely did spur it, you're right.

Marcus:

Yeah, I definitely drank the Kool-Aid. I love the series, except for a couple of things that really got my goat up, but Dan went straight in for the jugular, so I reckon in chronological order, Dan, why don't you kick us off?

Dan:

Well, as I said to Mason, when we talked about what we should talk about and whether we should even do this, I was like, "Ooh, Mase, I don't know if there's enough content on there to rip on for 40, 50 minutes." And that's because I was coming from a place saying, I kind of spat my whole piece into that one minute video. It was just like boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. It was all there. But yeah, I'm happy that we've got a little three-way conversation going because we can sort of riff through different topics.


I'm sure we'll get into gut health and diet and environmental, this and that and fitness and movement and all those things, which I said in that clip, I agree with Dan on 80 to 90% of it, and I've even sent it to patients and said, you know what? You're probably someone who'd actually benefit from watching this. But what I disagree with, and I said that in the clip too, is that of taste that's left in people's mouths after they're finished watching it. And I couldn't help get that taste in my mouth either, because it's clever, right? It's put together really well. You're like, "Ooh, maybe I'm eating a bit too much meat." And then it's like, "Hang on, hang on, hang on. No, no, no, bring it back. Bring it back."


And the reality of the whole thing is that, like you said, Marcus, you're not going to find vegans and plant-based culture in these blue zones. It's non existent. And I've done little bits of travel throughout Europe years and years ago on surrounding islands of Ikaria, where it's very similar and on the taverna menu, everywhere you go, there's heavily focused on animal proteins and some salads. So it's almost like the polar opposite of what gets advertised in the documentary.


So that's the basis point that I came from with putting that video out is just getting it out there and saying, watch the documentary, take on board 80 to 90% of what they're saying from a lifestyle and culture perspective. But when it comes to the diet, there's definitely some string pulling going on there.

Marcus:

And this is what a lot of people forget about when they look at documentaries. Just two cases in point, Ikaria is a small island, 255 square kilometres. Population, 8,000, let's say a hundred villages of 80 people per village. They all know each other, particularly in Nas, where the National Geographic research is done and where we've been taking small groups since 2016. When you go there, everyone in Nas knows each other. They are literally all related, second cousins, third cousins and everything. But the whole thing about Ikaria is the whole island is very similar. So you get a really good idea of the diet by just going to two or three villages because it's the same everywhere. And when you go there and speak to a local, they will tell you they do not know one person on the island who is vegan. They do not know one person on the island who is canivore. We brought this up recently, this year in June. They had never even heard of the carnivore diet. They were aghast that there was such a thing.


They don't know a local with food allergies. They don't know a local with a gut health issue, they don't even reference... They don't even have a phrase called "gut health." What's your gut health like? That's just not even a thing. They are an innate island in that they don't think about how do I live my best life and how many hours a week should I be working in? What do I eat and am I spending enough time with my friends? They just have goat broth, they have roast goat or boiled goat. They have all kinds of salads. They have calamari, they have local fish, they love drinking alcohol, they love their red wine. They're not teetotalers, but they're also natural in their movement and they're natural in the way that they bring people together at a table. It's not scientific. It's very lifestyle based. It's very innate.


And I think same with Sardinia. The difference with Sardinia, and I've only been there once this year, but the biggest thing with Sardinia, which they don't really, I think project through the series, is that Sardinia is a hundred times bigger than Ikaria. So if we've got two Mediterranean diets and two very different islands. One small island. Sardinia is 25,000 square kilometres. Population, 1.6 million people. And the only part of that island that is a Blue Zone is 13 little villages in the middle of nowhere near some mountains called the Insane Mountains because they are literally insane, where people are walking up and down hills all day long. Where the lifestyle is very traditional, there's nothing modern about it.


And I think that's probably where people get led astray, don't you think? Is they watch something for a couple of hours on Netflix and they think, "Oh, it's as easy as that." And it's anything but. This lifestyle that these people live is not an easy life. It's a hard life. People in Ikaria call Ikaria a Third World country. There's no wifi. They don't really drive a lot. They'd be like, "Why drive when you can walk?" There's no big supermarkets. Yes, there's little petrol stations, there's no Four Seasons, no five star hotels, no mod cons. The roads have improved over COVID, I observed, but plenty of dodgy roads, the plumbing's a little bit NQR. Access to the beach is rickety rackety. It is so different to how many of us would consider modern life, but that's what makes it so special. And I think people need to remember that, living in Australia sitting on our beautiful couch that after a hard day's work, whatever, it's such a different way of life and that's hard to project that in a Netflix series, put it that way.

Dan:

And if I can just jump in there, do you think, Marcus, that's the basis of at least part of the longevity is how arduous and all the hormesis that gets switched on as a result of having to take the longer road and to push their body and to harvest their own food.

Marcus:

And to your point, Dan, I think what I was... before I started ranting. What I was thinking was in Sardinia, they're like, I can't believe the Blue Zones talk about vegan if they realise how hard it was living the traditional life in Sardinia. When you kill a sheep, you don't just have one cut of the sheep. You actually are nose-to-tail, as much out of poverty and survival instincts more than some gourmet way of life, which is very Australian where it's like a status symbol now to be nose-to-tail.


A lot of the longevity hacks, which we'd call it these days, is actually been born out of struggle. It's not been born out of luxury and I think we've made it a luxury, but I think we've got to be really mindful that it's more out of survival. You go to Ikaria and we go up to an Uncle Yanni and Joanna and you go to their front door and there's a goat bag literally sitting by the front door. And it's literally the four legs and there you put them over your back and you've got a backpack on with the goat fur and you put all of the crops, everything that you're collecting off the trees into this goat bag and you think that's nose-to-tail, but who in Australia actually lives like that? And not many people really want to, not that there's anything wrong with doing it or not doing it, but we've got to be mindful of that's the context of their life. They didn't go to Kmart to buy a backpack. They killed a goat, they ate the meat, they did everything else with it. They made broth from the bones and once they had the hide, they made a bag. That's how they survived.

Mason:

Can I bring up another piece here? Obviously what's coming to mind is thank goodness for this research and those people that started it, and started looking for correlations for longevity because it drives a lot of our lives. The life extension conversation, I'm sure it's got a lot more nuance than a decade ago when we all began. You can see we're talking quite a bit about veganism and vegetarianism. I think probably mostly for you and me Marcus, and you as well Dan, can relate because that was our particular path of falling really hook, line and sinker into that dietary world and really buying into it. Therefore, that comes with a certain sting that we share. But I think it just comes down to when you look at the source of it, like Buettner and Robbins, when they start out, they're plant warriors, which I really related to when I was getting into this and hence why I was like, I didn't fall to the China study, I think that the Blue Zones, I was like, "Yes, this is so-"

Marcus:

We love the China...

Mason:

But this is so validating. Now, I also just want to point out in this, yes we've brought up the carnivore, but I think as well, I think where we're coming from here is not saying, "See there are animal products, therefore that's the only way to have longevity." Because I was thinking about it, I was thinking about the carnivore and I was especially thinking about the Weston Price approach and how Weston Price has been such an incredible balancer to such an extreme cherry-picking vegan approach. "It's just grains. And look at the China study, look at these Blue Zones. They hardly eat any meat, if any." And that's all that's really said. Then you see Weston Price come up. And if you look at the Weston Price catalogue, from what I can understand, sometimes as you have put there is going to be a time when a butchering occurs.


It can't be all the time. So everyone's not on meat all the time. But every now and again a butchering does occur and that's when we see lots of organs, offal, eyeballs, nose-to-tail. But there's also the status symbol that's come about through over correcting, not realising that maybe meat most of the time was just a bit of a side. If that is kind of a... I don't know, that's a basic rule that I've enjoyed most of the time, a meat as a side of a lot of my meals and then every now and then it's the main, but not all the time. But you can see there's been an overcorrection there. It's just like always raw milk, always heaps of cod liver oil, always heaps of butter. So we've got that happening as well. So we're not sitting in truth necessarily. We're sitting in some several sects gathering data from Weston Price's staff from the Blue Zones, from China study and looking for the validation and gathering data.


Meanwhile, in Blue Zones, they go, "Right, I'm going to pivot over to the Seventh-day Adventist in California and show that they are strictly vegetarian from faith, and I can prove that. And they're not poor, they're pretty wealthy, they're pretty well off and they've got longevity. So that needs to be factored in as well." So I just wanted to throw that aspect in the ring here and move us along into that direction.

Marcus:

Oh, I love this. Dan, you want to go in there?

Dan:

I was just going to add to that Mase. I was doing a little bit of... I'm not going to use the word research. I was trawling the internet, the blogosphere, and it was interesting to hear someone talk about the fact that... I can't remember who it was, it might've even been Paul Saladino. God bless his cotton socks. But he was saying-

Mason:

Oh, he does his research.

Dan:

Oh yeah.

Mason:

He's a doctor.

Dan:

Talking about that fact with, "Oh, but what about the Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda?" And you're saying, "Yes, but also in another part of California you've got a particular location and area that's very Mormon dominant who do eat a lot of steak." But the commonality there that you could link between the two, even though their dietary principles are polar opposite, was that they both discouraged the use of alcohol and cigarettes. And then there's a big movement thing and a big community thing.

Marcus:

Well, this is where I feel like anyone that starts fighting diets v. diets is barking up the wrong tree. Because I would come in and say, "Well, longevity's actually got nothing to do with the diet because how many times have we seen someone that smokes a pack a day, just goes about their life, eats terrible food and hits 95, even a hundred?" And then the 80-year-old... And Robbins talks about this in Healthy 100, which I love, someone who's in their sixties who's been eating a clean vegan diet for 20 years, doing yoga every day. These days we'd say, and I do my breath work and my ice baths and I have my green juice and everything, and then they die of some pancreatic cancer that happens three months before and all of a sudden... And again in the example, Robbin's uses in healthy at 100, and then the partner who's been along for the ride for all of this time, they then start splurging on McDonald's and KFC and alcohol and white sugar and all the things they've been suppressing over the years because they've been so tightly held.

Dan:

A hundred percent.

Marcus:

So tightly held. And again, when you visit these cultures, I would say they're so relaxed. This is what I find when you're looking at longevity, it's not diet, it's are you enjoying your life? Are you moving regularly and are you hanging around people that you love hanging around? They are the people that seem to be enjoying the best long lives, putting the quality into their quantity of life. The dieter's, Atkins died at 72. Montignac, who was South Beach Diet died at 66. Pritikin killed himself at 69 after developing cancer, which by his own admission, not talking out of school here, he didn't like the image of having cancer at 69 when he had the healthiest diet programme on the planet. If diet was the number one thing for longevity, the diet experts should be living the longest and they're not.

Mason:

Yeah. Well, Ray Peat we died recently. At what age did we talk about-

Dan:

I think it was 86.

Mason:

Ah, was it 86? Yeah, I mean that's a good-

Dan:

Could be wrong.

Mason:

It was a good whack. But even then you'd be saying... yes, he was 86. You're right, not that isn't incredible beautiful. But again, another diet, 86, it's not a centenarian, which is okay, it's not about that.

Marcus:

Well, there is a watch now on a few diet experts or longevity experts to see how long they live because for some it's metformin will make you live to 100. For others, it's resveratrol. For others, it's a combination of 50 pills and potions. You guys may have seen, and listeners may know of the tech billionaire, Bryan Johnson, who's literally... He's pretty much donated his body to science as he continues to do all kinds of things to his body to have every organ be the biological age of an 18-year-old. And it's as I said, no judgement , it's a purpose in life that doesn't gel with me, but there's a watch on people now to see where this goes.

Dan:

Marcus, can you go back to... Sorry, Mase, can I just... Marcus go back to Ikaria for me for a second and I'm having a thought come through. There's a particular lady that pops up, Greek American, but she's moved to Ikaria, I don't know her name, but she comes up a lot when you're watching a documentary about longevity.

Marcus:

Thea Parikos.

Dan:

Probably, yeah. And she talks a lot about the fact that she's running this particular little cafe, taverna. And she features this example in this particular documentary, two guys, two locals, come to repaint the joint and that's what they're hired for, but they rocked up five or six hours later than what they said. They did a couple of hours work, they sat down, they had lunch over three hours with a couple of pints of wine and this and that. And the point was, was that they weren't fussed about time pressure and deadlines and stuff like that. I'd love to hear you talk to that.

Marcus:

Okay, so I don't want to give the movie version, but Thea is a dear friend of mine. She's been our host at ... since 2016, and Thea was the glue of the National Geographic research in Ikaria. So Thea grew up in Michigan to Ikarian parents, went to Ikaria all the time to visit family, fell in love with Illia, a local Ikarian, decided to raise their children in Ikaria versus America. And she's been over there for 30 years, but sounds like she got off the plane yesterday.


So she's a perfect bridge because as Aussies, she can speak English very easily and she knows everyone on the island because she's a local. But she's right and I've watched a Bluey episode with the kids recently called Tradies, where the mum... is her name Chilli? Anyway, she's like, "The tradies said it'd be three days, it better not be four days." Which is very Australian.


It's like, "I know your day rate, it's three days, not four days", whatever. In Ikaria it's completely different. It's like, "Take as long as you need. I trust that you're not going to do me over." If you only do a couple of hours work, but you have lunch with your mates and you have a couple of glasses of wine over lunch, which is so how it rolls over there. There's a few one-liners in Ikaria like, "Just do it... tomorrow." They literally have that Nike T-shirt, "Just do it ...tomorrow. It drives some people nuts. I've got people that go, "I couldn't come to Ikaria. It'll drive me nuts because your coffee takes 15 minutes." They want to sit and chat with you. Everything is slow. You cannot expect things to happen quickly. But in many ways then you attempt to get into that way and you go, "My heart rate is so much slower than when it is back in Australia. My mind is so much more still and I haven't meditated every day. I've actually just sunk into the island." And there is a one-liner in Ikaria, "It either sucks you in or it spits you out." And it definitely spits out people that will not adjust to that level of pace and even that level of community. So yeah, no, she's on the money there, Dan, for sure.

Dan:

Would you go as far as to say that that's probably 70% to 80% of it, just that nervous system impact of western living?

Marcus:

I feel like every time I go to Ikaria I'm like, "Well, what am I going to learn this time?" I feel like I come back every year with 10 ideas that I want to adjust. Even Ilias, Thea's husband, is like, "I siesta every day in the summer, when there's a lot of daylight." He said, "I don't siesta in the winter." But he's mad for siesta. He's like... I won't do the accent, but I'm tempted. He's like, "Marcus, do you even know what siesta means?" And I was like, "Rest?" And he is like, "It means six, six hours." So, six hours after you work, that's when you rest. And he'll rest for 30 minutes. And I'm like, "Wow. Yeah, okay." I reckon at about three o'clock every day I am way less enthusiastic than I am at nine o'clock in the morning.


But in health and wellness, we start talking about your hormone levels and how much sugar have you had, and did you have a muffin at morning tea and are you craving sugar at afternoon tea? Maybe, again having had this chat with Ilias, maybe you're just tired and you need to rest. But if you work in corporate, unless you work at Google, can you really hop into a little pod and rest half an hour to have your siesta? Who's going to pay for that, you or the company? These are the cultural deficiencies that I think we have where... is it 70% and 80% of it? I don't know, but we don't allow for... even if it's 10% of it, we don't have the cultural norms to make it easy.


Alcohol being another one. In Ikaria, they would never drink on an empty stomach, whereas we say, "Eating is cheating." In Ikaria, they would never drink to get drunk. They love getting tipsy, they're so good at it. But if you're drunk Ikaria, they're like, "All right, there's something going on in Marcus's life. Tomorrow, once he's sobered up, I'm going to knock on his door and ask him if he's okay." We have an annual day called "Are you okay day" whereas they just have it built into their culture.


Anyway, sorry Mase. Yes.

Mason:

No, there's a few points and then this is great, and there's a few points I'm building up and I just want to address that one because obviously we've covered a lot how... Yes, you threw out 80% to 70%. Dan and I know, and most likely that is it but within that 70% to 80%, there's a whole lot of nuance of what that opens you up to be your physiological capacity to achieve rather than focusing on that 20% of like, "Okay, is it the diet? Is it the fact that they have siestas? Is it the fact that they have this and trying to layer that on top of a Western world?"


We seem to have been talking about a lot of cultures that are captured within a farming agrarian kind of place, where they haven't been permeated by the industrial world. There's not a lot of choice. They have to do this. You see the Okinawans have the young people moving away and so on and so forth. So yes, we live in a world where given the choice, people are still going to opt to go and do that. There's a small part of the population that's going to go, "I'm going to get land and I'm going to live on the farm." But even that in the modern world, I've got friends that live on land and they're like, "Holy crap, this is so much more work than I thought it was going to be. I thought there'd be a community", so on and so forth. So just wanted to get all those points out of my head because then I'm want to hand over to you guys and just bounce around on that. But you mentioned something there, which I was thinking about earlier, is how these particular setups that they have, the... Can't remember the word the Okinawans have, their six friends that they have from when they're children up into where they're old.

Marcus:

The Moai.

Mason:

Yeah, that's right. Likewise, the kin, your wife or husband, there's a particular respect to that relationship in these places from what I can see. And so there's an emphasis on high quality relationships that brings up... So what I'm saying is these settings, whether it's the friends in the community, there's a capacity for reflection and not being able to get away from stuff that you're hiding from personally within your subconscious. And so you either you have an entire community or your family committed to you staying within a place of either harmonious health, mentally. "Hey, you're drinking what's going on? Let's have a chat about it," Which is very intimidating in the west. Because you just want to be left alone in our shit and our coping mechanisms. And perhaps we have to be able to be left in our coping mechanisms when we're in such a state of perpetual expansion within the Western civilization, not that I'm saying it's healthy.


I want to just talk to that. In capturing that, putting yourself in a setting where you're either mentally and emotionally kept in harmony by your community or as you are psychologically going through your layers of development. Likewise, you have reflection externally from people that love you, giving you that feedback that allows you to stay on track and not fall off the rails. Surely that must be a ginormous part of this?

Marcus:

Who wants to dig into this one?

Dan:

You take it Marcus.

Marcus:

Well, I think so as you talk Mason, I'm thinking of... And again, I feel like the social people that understand how cultures work are much better at wording this than I am, but you've got a community type lifestyle or an individual type lifestyle and we live in a very individual type lifestyle, where it's like, "What do I want from my life?" And we get very big on my life purpose and the diet that I eat and it's me, me, me. Whereas you go to these... And you mentioned how there's similarities between say Okinawa and Nicoya in Costa Rica and Ikaria and Sardinia. It's all about the village. It's the village that raises the child. It's the village that depends on each other. I talk about it in the context of emotional safety, that people get their emotional safety from others. How do we do that in Australia? This is the challenge I feel like, and again, Mason and I are neighbours. I would say a lot of people are yearning for that feeling of community, not that you can easily create it in Australia, because as Mason just said, if you want to go live on the land, it's not like everyone else is living on the land. And it's definitely not as easy as it sounds so.

Mason:

Well, as you said, we're neighbours, our kids go to the same Steiner school and there's certain principles you could say that majority of our class's parents have, but you definitely couldn't assume that all of your principles are aligned and there'd be very much certain things you wouldn't bring up within that setting.

Marcus:

And when was the last time you and I had quality time together, Mase, that's the thing. We live not far from each other, but the way that we live in Australia means that I don't bump into Mason all that often. Maybe a crossover at the school run, but often one of us is in the car and just waving out the window. Even today, I could have driven to SuperFeast. I almost did, but then it's like, "Oh, Zoom makes the dynamics a whole lot easier when it's a three of us."


And in places like Ikaria, they actually don't even really have that option. So it's always in the flesh. So I feel like it's actually about making lifestyle adjustments. To your point, Mason, there's definitely not one thing. I feel like there could be even a hundred things, but the hundred for Mason is different for the hundred for Dan, different for the hundred for me and different for the hundred for everyone listening. That's where I feel like it's the best of both worlds.

Mason:

Dan, on that, we are realists here and I think somewhat like the noble savage idea that comes out of a lot of Weston Price areas. And I don't want to use the savage word here, but the noble villager, say, is the idea that comes out here and we put on a pedestal, this village life. And so it creates this... you must see it, Dan, in clinic a lot. People are like, "I'm never going to be able to achieve this." And it's like when people came out of the Avatar movie, the first one, definitely not the second one, and everyone had the Pandora depression because they were like, "Aah."


But so we are in a current way of doing things. We live in a pretty incredible world, also a very complicated and challenging world. So when you sit on all this data that's there, so Dan, especially for what you're seeing with clinicians and we're seeing okay, inviting some of these principles into our lives while also really accepting and embracing the type of world that we are living in. And being realistic about what's actually going to work versus what's going to be maybe patchwork and then maybe discovering this new type of way of being in harmony within this globalised world. How do you begin to approach that in your own life and in your client's lives?

Dan:

Yeah, I always... I shouldn't say I always. More recently I've placed a lot more focus on... I guess I'm in a bit of an advisory position if someone's booking in to see me and pay me for my time and whatnot. So the advice, in addition to obviously diet, environment, lifestyle and the more Western biomarker conversation, which I'm sure we'll get to too. A big part of what I'm focusing on these days is more based on focusing and embracing the things that bring you joy rather than reaching for certain health parameters, which I definitely was guilty of for a long time. And I think it's natural when you first start this health journey to really dive into that stuff and focus heavily... we've all been there.


We could talk ad-nauseum about that, but yeah, after 10, 15, 18, 19 years or whatever it is, on that journey, it really is just as simple as trying to embrace and focus your energy and time and attention more on that, rather than going, "What's the next health hack and how could I evolve my diet and what else could I do? What piece of technology can I purchase to get that upgrade?" And it's not to say that there aren't benefits to those things, but yet in a very simple way, the emphasis I think should be on those foundational things. And for me personally, that's music. And for someone else, it might be public speaking and for the next person it might be rugby or whatever it is. Do you agree, Marcus and Mase?

Marcus:

Oh, for me it's table tennis. I was in Sardinia, on the last day and there's a table tennis table there, and Damien and I were playing and then all of a sudden a Sardinian tourist came up and he wanted to play table tennis. And literally, I came home and I'm like, "I'm not having enough fun." I'm going to just say older people that are living a great life know how to have fun. I would say they're beautifully selfish with a hyphen between the F and the I, and they know how to do it.


So I came home, bought myself a table tennis table for my birthday, and I'm like, "Life's too short." You're so on the money here Dan, and let's be honest, most people are not having enough fun in life. And they might have the best diet and they might have money in the bank, but they're bored out of their brains. And I'm like, "Is that really success?" I don't think it is.

Dan:

Yeah. Yeah. And a big thing that I always think about is isolation and just how that just is a slow kill or probably a quick kill.

Marcus:

Slow. Definitely slow.

Dan:

Yeah. Yeah. I think that doesn't get enough attention. And again, I've experienced certain periods in my life where I'm around lots of social activity and lots of engagement versus times when I've wanted to be really insular, thinking that that's going to be more beneficial, but it hasn't been looking back. And coming back to the Blue Zone conversation again, that was one common theme amongst all the Blue Zones if I'm not mistaken, that big emphasis on community.

Marcus:

Well, again Mase, I'm not sure your views on this, but I think it's Captain Obvious that we need other people in our life to survive as a species, and it just makes sense that the higher the quality of the people that we're around, the better. But let's be honest, not everyone in the world is a raging extrovert. I am a raging extrovert, but I cannot stand being around the wrong people. And if there's people that are introverts, it's not as if you don't spend time with people, it's just the way you spend time with people is different. So, Dan, I'm going to guess if you're in practise with people mostly in a one-on-one setting most of the time and you love it, then you are more on the introverted side than extrovert.

Dan:

A hundred percent.

Marcus:

And I love speaking. If I'm travelling, talking to hundreds of people at a time, I'm the happiest man. You could shoot me on the stage and say he died doing what he loved, but if I was doing what you were doing every day, Dan, I'd be bored out of my brains.

Dan:

Yes.

Marcus:

I'd be like, "I need groups of people." And this is where I feel like... and I think social media has got in the way of it. We don't know who we are anymore. We think we're meant to be... People are so confused when they're on Instagram or Facebook going, "Am I meant to be like that? Am I meant to be like Mason, Dan or Marcus?" And you're meant to be like you. Do you like spending time with groups of people? Do you like one-on-one time? A lot of people are going to like both. It's not as if Dan doesn't like going to concerts, it's just that he actually enjoys having more one-on-one time. And I think you go to these longevity cultures, they're not all extroverts. Some are sitting at a table taking it easy. Others are on the dance floor till six in the morning.


We've got to be mindful of... Again, without sounding too deep and meaningful, "Know thyself." Or as Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." So are we examining our life enough instead of examining everyone else's life? And that's where, sadly, a lot of people are living. They're just so judgmental and I'm like, "Oh, we've got to be more curious about how we're living our lives."

Mason:

I think we've circled around and into a place of self-examination. That's why I'm so heavy on decolonization of the brain, decentralisation, especially within wellness and spirituality. If you can just go and dip your toe into certain traditions, understand the principles that are across all lineages and respect those, yes, of course. But if you can step outside and get into your own authentic inquiry, especially middle-aged points of life and be like, "Well, hang on here. What's really important to me as I go up to 80, 90, a hundred years old?" There's going to be no point being a hundred years old if you're a boring as batshit carnivore and who's got there and literally hasn't had, from the Daoist perspective, the real refined and explored expression of their Shen spirit and that which is purposeful to them, going into their blood and then moving out through their entire body.


And you see it, you see people that have wisdom and you see people that don't have wisdom. And it does come down to a certain level of, first of all, not being egoic in this pursuit, but second of all, being dedicated to your own self-expression of your authentic self. But that expression doesn't mean blasting in and going, "Look at me everybody, I'm so authentic!" And just telling everyone in the village, it's like you've got this bubbling authenticity that you're consistently working on, and it comes from lots of chop wood, carry water conversations with friends and family and yourself, and while you're gardening and while you're walking up the hill without your podcasts jamming, going, blasting away in your ears. Then once that becomes a central pillar of your lifestyle, I really don't think it matters whether you are in a village in Sardinia or in a major city.


Once you can accept that's going to take quite a while to cultivate and never end, then as you do look at that 80, 90 year old self, you do have that prioritisation of, "Actually it doesn't matter, unless I'm able to not project my fear all over my kids or all over my community. Once I get that north star of..." Then the diet comes into it, then the conversations around that microbial diversity, and you look at these Blue Zone diets and you're like, "You know what? They do have a lot of roughage and some is raw and a lot of it's cooked and there are oils and there's legumes in there and there's lots of fruits at the right time of year. And yep, there's a seasonal..." The principles fall out of the arse of a Blue Zone onto your plate, and you can see, "Oh yeah, no meat's used at really celebratory periods." Some people enjoy it more, maybe that's their constitution. Other people just as a little side, some of them none, based on maybe their faith or what's a really important principle to them for a certain time.


But it comes at you with that prioritisation. I think that's the thing that happens here is, everyone goes diet first and then, "Oh, yeah, and then have a good friend network." It's like, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've go to a raw vegan potluck every month." And it's like, "No, they're not the friends we're talking about here. Don't just go and cherry-pick your friends that are going to back up all these beliefs that you have about what you're doing to institutionalise yourself further on your wellness journey." So yeah, I think it's cool that we've all landed there.

Marcus:

Mase, I love this. This is so good. I reckon you buried the lead in there and the lead being lots of chop wood, carry water, and then as you went on to say, which equals lots of time. And that's where a lot of people forget that when we're talking about longevity, we're talking about time. And some people put it as a hundred years of time, but what you're saying is it takes a lot of time to get to know who you are, what you're about, how you want to live your life, who you want to hang around, what type of person you want to be. And at the moment it's all about take this pill, have this potion, do this, do that, and that doesn't take a lot of time.


I think what you're saying Mase, which I love, is don't bark up the tree of some silver bullet or magic potion that's going to do it for you, invest the rest of your life to forming a great relationship with yourself and then watch longevity happen and enjoy it. Enjoy it. It sounds so cliche, enjoy the adventure, enjoy the journey, but far out. As you say it, Mason, I'm like, "Amen to that." We could end this now and go, "Yeah, mission accomplished." Because you've hit the nail on the head beautifully.

Mason:

Dan, this is where it becomes interesting, because one of my favourite conversations is longevity practises. It's literally the whole basis of Taoist practise and when you go right back into the shamanic yogic traditions, but it always comes with the context of putting life into the years and not years on the life first.

Dan:

Yeah, health span versus life span.

Marcus:

I think we're all like this. That's why the three of us are connecting because we have our longevity practises, but it's all for the purpose of putting the quality into the quantity of life.

Mason:

So thinking about this, and I'm especially thinking where are we at with clinic? Because to be honest, I can't wait to get back to taking lots of Japanese... Knotweed because it's the highest resveratrol containing herb and really being motivated around that. And I'm getting back into my grounded pads at the moment. I'm thinking a lot about microbial diversity at the moment, and likewise, I'm thinking about those moments when I'm like, "No." Although sometimes I go through periods, especially during summer, of no meat, I love it going into an Argentinian-style barbecue and just eating meat all weekend sometimes. It's all... the culture starts to form. But in terms of layering on this longevity, whether it's movement, whether it's diet, let's actually start going to where the Blue Zone sings. And I'm especially interested around how it correlates to clinic, as you alluded to in the video. I agree with most of the stuff, it's just the way that it's framed. So what is this stuff that we're all still coming... Well, let's see if we all agree with it?

Dan:

Yeah, it's an interesting point, hey? Because, I do completely agree with everything everyone has shared so far, I also think about the fact that, again, we don't want to run to the other extreme either and send the message out. So it doesn't really matter about what you're eating and there's no benefits to taking-

Marcus:

No that's just irresponsible, flat out. Correct.

Dan:

Totally, totally. So again, nuance in the middle. I think we Westerners over here, we can't mimic the environment that an Ikarian is going to have, but we can borrow, we can try and adapt more of certain principles. But what we could do is try and strive for something in the middle where these longevity cultures, they're doing a lot of practises and they're exposed to a lot of things just by default, they're not trying to do these things. So I just find that interesting because here in the West we want the information and we want to then adapt our practises with that information to improve our health span and whatnot. I think a lot of the things that add longevity to a lot of these regions of the world is the fact that it's just by default, it's natural. That's why it's ridiculous, some of the themes that you bring up to them. I'm sure you talk about gut health and they're just like, "What are you talking about?"

Marcus:

Breath work and gratitude journals. They're like, "What are you talking about?"

Dan:

Exactly. So we know there's benefits behind these things, but they're that enmeshed and buried naturally into these cultures that it's ridiculous to isolate. But what I'm trying to say is that we know that by borrowing some of these practises in a Western sense, sure, they might be able to add some benefits. So this is where we get into what we can do to upgrade our gut microbiome soil, because the reality is in some of these cultures, they are going to be exposed to less pesticides and agriculture and antibiotics and the things that we here in the west do grow up with, that do affect our cellular health at the end of the day.


I would go as far as to say that a lot of centenarians are quite likely going to have... Yeah sure, there might be a genetic component to this too, but they are going to very likely have had less in the way of inflammatory and oxidative hits throughout their lifespan, because we know these things age the cell. So this is where compounds that improve longevity like resveratrol and that type of thing become of interest I'm sure.


So yeah, I'm not taking this discussion in a particular direction. I'm just highlighting there are still aspects of health that I think we need to be cognizant of protecting. So obviously gut microbiome health, which is largely diet dependent.


There's a piece to be said, I think too, about the immune system of centenarians and thymic involution is something I always talk about on podcasts and in different posts. And that's the whole idea of the thymus, which is the organ that produces our immune cells and our T-cells, shrinking over the course of our lifetime. And I think that starts from the age of 10 or 15, but certain studies have shown that thymic involution, so the shrinking of this organ, happens at a very slower rate in people that are able to reach their eighties and nineties and maintain relatively good health. So there's that immune piece to it.


And then there's the mitochondrial piece as well, the mitochondria of the cell. And again, when you picture that person in Loma Linda or Okinawa or wherever it is, still living an agricultural practise where they're marching up and down mountains, chopping wood, carrying water every day. Yes, there's lots of hormesis, there's lots of hormetic stresses there. The diet, I dare say, is full of a lot of those hormetic stresses too, which help the mitochondria of the cell become more robust.


So these are all the kind of western, I suppose sciencey, aspects of it. But again, it's not that they're doing these things on purpose or even probably cognizant of these things, it's buried and enmeshed in their daily practises. So I think we as Westerners have to be aware of them but not overdo them. And if anything, try and upgrade the environmental practises more so rather than focusing purely on what's in a bottle, in a pill bottle.

Mason:

Marcus, can I ask there, when you've been around to the Blue Zones or other reports, is there still the phenomena of... Maybe not everyone in the village, but someone going like, "Oh seriously, Marcus, it's all pomegranate seeds. Pomegranate seeds are the best thing." Or it's like, "It's pomegranate..." You know what I mean?

Marcus:

Yeah no, great question. And I find it interesting whenever we're interviewing graceful ages, centenarians, whether they're in Ikaria, Sardinia or elsewhere, you genuinely always want to ask anyway, "What's your secret?" "Well, what do you think it is?" Because no one that hits a hundred had a life plan to hit a hundred, if you know what I mean? It wasn't on their goals list in many... most of them would say it just happened. And every one of them will pretty much give you a different answer. Some will say that it was because they were a teetotaler. Others will say it was the scotch they had every night. Some will say that it's the garden that they had and the gardening.


What I think is really important when we consider this, is that if we just talk about... If I say this in the context of what Dan was saying around nutrition, there's a really good study that comes out of Harvard that was done in California, 7,000 people, and it measured their social lives and their diets. And what it found, to go straight to the chase, was that people that had a great social life and an average diet lived longer than people that had a poor social life and a great diet.


So we've got to be mindful when we go, "What are the answers?" A lot of the different studies, when you were talking Dan, I was saying, "Yeah, it's like a puzzle. It's that you've got to join everything together." So if we just in the context of this answer, join social and nutrition, great social, average diet, will live longer than great diet, average social life. But who lives longest? It's great diet, great social life. So to Dan's point, when you value the microbe, when you value your actual consciousness around your nutritional intake, when every time I listen to Mason talk about Shen, I just want to listen.


Because when you have this value and reverence for the role that... Nutrition even sounds like not the right word, but just for want of a better term, nutrition. When you value that in your lifestyle and knowing that it brings people together and it makes you the best version of you, then you actually want more of it. The people that live great long lives that don't have a great diet, yes, they ticked off getting out of bed each day and loving their life and they're moving regularly and they were socially integrated and they're really awesome things, but there's a part of us that still goes, "Well, I wonder what life would've been like for them if they did have more healthful practises. Would they have enjoyed better family times?" Because in Australia and America and the West, how many people are having dinner in front of the TV, not talking to their kids or their partners?


And these are the subtle disconnections that we have in our lives that you go, "Well, what if I reconnected back to that?" So I think in the context of what you guys speak about, particularly in relation to gut health and everything, Mason, you do at SuperFeast, I'm like, "We need to honour this more than ever. Not just for disease prevention and helping with our own personal wellness, but actually we want to live the best life we possibly can, so why would we deny and shut it off?" That's probably the biggest thing that a lot of people try to-

Mason:

Well, because there's a lot of agendas that feed off a homogenised mind, and if you have a homogenised mind, you don't have the expression of purpose and Shen, because that's too decentralised. And I honestly think the world isn't ready for it yet, but what I think-

Marcus:

... it's a deep and meaningful... I know we're coming to the end. But are human beings... we talk about the black sheep or whatever. I'm like, "Are human beings the..." There's a part of us that almost likes homogeneity, it's like we like a shortcut. So there's a conversation around, we all grew up without a remote control for the TV. We used a broom or something, and then we've got a remote control, and now we can almost change channels without a remote control. It'll be the same with the lights. At some point people will be too lazy to get off the couch to flick a light switch. They'll just want to do it on their phone and everyone's going to... Is homogeneity built into... I don't want to say the human-

Mason:

Well, as long as the homogeny aligns with something that's authentic and something which does bring joy, is where I'm going to sit there. And that's what happens when if phases of life... because there was times when I was a raw vegan, but that that was the absolute right place that I needed to be.


What I wasn't set up for of what happened when my identity got so strung up into right and wrong, and I was just trying to gather evidence to make sure that I was going to avoid being beaten by someone in an argument or going to prove my diet wrong because this was the diet I had dedicated to. And I think it's the same, whether it comes to career paths or philosophies you have when your twenties that dribble into your thirties and you're like, "No, I'm going to bloody..." As long as we understand that homogenous... You can't keep on making up everything and be individual in every single thing. Sometimes it's nice to live in a community. You can be on autopilot and not think about those kinds of things where you don't have to think about your food choices every single day, so on and so forth. You can just let it fall out of you, which I think is the benefit of being in a village as long as your spirit does align with that village's principles and that rhythm.


So I think a good barometer for that, you were saying Dan, maybe around when you're in denial about expressing something that is going to bring you joy. And when you were talking about that person who was like, "I think it was the gardening, I think it was the scotch at the end of the day." Quite often those are the things. It's like, "Wow, that scotch..." In an extremist health mindset, I'd be like, "Gosh, that's bullshit. It would've been everything else." But there would've been something about that scotch and some people, scotch and a cigar or some people, it's something about going into that garden in the morning, where there's other people in the Ikaria who are doing gardening in the morning, but it's not it for them. For them, it's the sitting down and having... It's their thing with their mates at four o'clock,

Marcus:

Wine at 11 o'clock in the morning with their mates instead of a cup of tea for elevenses, they're having a glass of wine with their mates.

Mason:

And I think that's worth, rather than going, "Right. Check, check, check, check, check. I've ticked all these off. I'm playing checkers at three and I'm drinking wine at 11:00 AM and I'm having a scotch and I'm going into the garden."

Marcus:

It's all in the calendar. It's all in the calendar.

Mason:

There's these little lightning bolt things and it'll probably change over your life where you're like, "Gosh, that's so significant. I'm just going to keep on going 'cha ching...'" And don't even think about it. What is that thing? Stop being in denial. This is why I quite often think in the West we've got so much excessive dependencies, things that we do that are unhealthy, but if you were just actually in a place of true expression, you probably wouldn't be overdoing it in that thing, you'd probably be doing it within harmony. You also don't have a group of friends that-

Marcus:

But you just mentioned the biggest thing. I know we've got to go soon, but you just mentioned true expression. That is the challenge that humanity is attempting to conquer right now. Most people listening to this right now, because it's microcosm of society, are struggling with true expression. They are struggling to know how to truly express themselves. They're scared to, they're worried what their parents are going to think, what their colleagues are going to think, what their friends are going to think. That's definitely easier said than done for a lot of people.

Mason:

Well, it's also you have no idea to do it, because we've got so much shit packed over the top of that, whatever that is. I still don't know how to do it. Getting better, but...

Marcus:

Yeah, touche. We're all still on the hunt for our best selves.

Mason:

Yeah. Which is an interesting part of this conversation. I think that was, I'm grateful to you guys having this conversation, starting at Blue Zones, knowing that it was going to bring up some interesting areas where everyone is genuinely fishing in at the moment, in terms of how to continue to find those next few steps or integrations to get this thing. Who knows what we're looking for? We're doing something though. And so it's always interesting to share it in a new triage between us.

Marcus:

Absolutely. Have loved it, Mase. Have loved this, Dan. We could talk forever.


Dan was worried about how we're going to do 40 or 50 minutes. Dan, we could do six hours.

Dan:

It's always the way. I say it to Mason every time. "How are we going to talk on that front?" I was like, "Don't worry. You're doing a podcast with Mason Taylor. I've got this covered."


And Marcus, can I ask one quick question before we do wrap it all up? And Mase, I'd love to hear your two cents on this too if you've got anything to throw on top. The centenarians you've come into contact with, I'd love to know, do they have an awareness like we do in the West of what's going on in the rest of the world on a day-to-day basis? So in other words, do they have the "form of news?"

Marcus:

No. The short answer is no. They're more interested in the news of their family, their friends and their community than the news of the world that they cannot control. And I'm constantly telling clients to be less informed about what's happening outside of your world and more informed about what's happening inside of your world. It's a great question because it's one thing that they master. They're happily ignorant of things that they cannot do anything about.

Dan:

Yeah. Love it. That's all I need to hear.

Mason:

And I think if we started opening up that can of worms, we'd be going on-

Dan:

We'd run over.

Mason:

Yeah, for a bit too long. I also just want to acknowledge to everyone listening, just in case you've made it this far and you still haven't really... I did a lot of look into whether there's anything to do with the birth rates not being recorded and a lot of centenarians been missing, so on and so forth. Personally, I was like, "Yep, I think there's a lot of legitimate claim there." And also that could take a few knocks off Blue Zones, but it's not enough actually to say that Blue Zones don't exist. So yeah, I just wanted to throw that one out there.

Marcus:

I know we have to go, but the reason why Vilcabamba and Abkhasia-

Mason:

Yeah, I was so bummed about Vilcabamba. It was great. I loved it there.

Marcus:

Just because they don't have the birth and death certificates, we've got to be mindful. National Geographic are looking for the hard data.

Mason:

Yeah.

Marcus:

So, the hard data is birth and death certificates. So you can't have a Blue Zone these days without birth and death certificates. So, just adds to the conversation.

Dan:

I think we all agree there's more than five or six Blue Zones.

Marcus:

Correct. Even if you go to Sardinia, they're like, "That village is way more Blue Zoney than that village that is officially a Blue Zone." There's a village in Sardinia that has more centenarians than anywhere else in Sardinia per capita. There's five centenarians in a village of like a hundred people, and it's not an official Blue Zone village.

Mason:

Now, Marcus, what do they take to get that many centenarians?

Marcus:

They take metformin every day, three times a day. And they're plant based, they've never had meat in their life, and never touched an iPhone. And yeah, they've done all that.

Dan:

Play chess at 3:00 PM every day.

Mason:

Well, yeah, that would definitely happen with lots of wine at 11:00 AM.


Boys, I love it. Hey, just to go out on a note, what's the one thing you are actually taking that you reckon you'll look back on when you're 90 and a hundred or doing at the moment and be like, "That practise or that thing I was taking, I reckon actually contributed to me staying on the longevity path a little bit." Not fully attributed, just like, that helps.

Marcus:

Well, for me, at the phase of life with young kids and Sarah's mum and dad live two doors up the road. I love going up to Sarah's mum and dad's house at about 4:30 PM in the afternoon, for a quiet beer with Rob whilst the kids play around. And then after we've had a beer, I might play with the kids in the yard there and then we come down and have dinner or we might all stay up and have a three generation dinner together. And I know that when I'm 90 sitting on a rocking chair, I will reflect on how beautiful a ritual that was, not just for me as a parent of young kids, but for Rob and Jill and for our children to have that three generation relationship. So it seems so small, but it feels so big.


So yeah, that's for me right now. What about you, Dan?

Dan:

My tongue-in-cheek answer, reposado tequila. And my serious answer, activated B3.

Marcus:

I love that. What about you Mase?

Mason:

Yeah, for me, my more facetious answer is comedy. And I had the balls to go back to when I denied myself the opportunity to actually pursue it as a career, when I was 18. Because I was just told no, and I didn't have the capacity to do anything about it. So getting into comedy, I reckon that's emancipated a lot of my mind and put me on a good trajectory. And then other than that the-

Marcus:

I was going to say, you've got to mention a SuperFeast product.

Dan:

Yeah. How can you say something non-SuperFeast?

Mason:

It's not behind me-

Marcus:

... product for the rest of your life.

Mason:

Chaga. Chaga, easy.

Mason:

Chaga, super high superoxide dismutase. When I looked at SOD as an antioxidant and what it can achieve in the body, and it's in Chaga, it's in the gynostema, those big bopper adaptogens. There's just something about it. And I'm a livery person, so that SOD function in the Chaga I reckon is doing some good things. And that's the thing, there's an affinity with me and Chaga, and I don't have an affinity with B vitamins right now. I just haven't had that moment. But for other people, it's there. And I think that's something that's worth following when you get that spark and that connection with a supplement, it's whether it's an isolate, whether it's a herb, whether it's a practise.


So thanks boys.

Marcus:

Thanks Mason. Thanks, Dan.

Dan:

Thank you. That was good.

Mason:

Yeah.

Marcus:

So good.

Mason:

Thanks everyone. Hope you enjoy and go give these boys a follow. See you.

 


 

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