A career physician touts the prescription for a long, healthy life span.
Utah-based cardiologist Day was a distinguished but overworked physician who believed that his daily jogging would keep him healthy, but his diet lacked proper nutrition. Increased episodes of chronic pain, lethargy, and sleeplessness proved to be warning signals to make changes. Recalling his history working with Chinese immigrants in Manhattan during his teens, Day sought out a solution by visiting the rural “Longevity Village” of Bapan in southwest China, where community, social support, mindful consumption, and centered peace of mind create long-standing wellness. After becoming fluent in Mandarin, the author and his wife began traveling there in 2012 to visit one of the village’s elder statesmen, 114-year-old Boxin, and ask him about “the secret to a long and healthy life.” Day chronicles their time spent in the bucolic settlement commingling with Boxin and the wise elders of Bapan, absorbing knowledge on the customs the physician hoped would translate to his Western medical practice. Despite a rather discrediting detail in Bapan’s centenarians (they possess no birth certificates to substantiate their advanced ages), Day shares the lessons of its citizens in seven chapters describing practical advice for incrementally creating radical personal transformations in health and well-being. Unsurprisingly, eating well tops the list, and the author promotes organic, fresh food over processed; he also includes a simple boiled-seeds–and-greens recipe for Boxin’s cherished “longevity soup.” Other key aspects of the plan are mindfulness in mood, breathing patterns, and disconnection as well as physical motion and aligning oneself with the positive aspects of community. Finding a rhythmic sleep balance and developing a purpose in life round out what Day has discovered to be the ultimate guide “toward happier, healthier futures.” In outlining these health models, the author proves there’s great value in conscientious, streamlined living and that it’s achievable by everyday people by employing improved lifestyle choices.
Practical, applicable health guidance validated by a remarkable collective of revered Chinese elders.