On a weekend getaway with a big group of friends recently, I was struck by how many of them followed some form of diet. Between the lemon infusion for breakfast, intermittent fasting, no-sugar, no-fat and no-carbohydrate diets and astronomical consumption of vitamins, minerals and supplements, not to mention those who were taking a break from alcohol, I was shocked—and it made me question my own health.

Should I also succumb to these trends? Drink more of this, eat less of that and swallow one pill or another to lead a more healthy life? Ironically, it was while surrounded by this cacophony of diets (which are at the other end of an intuitive-eating spectrum) that I read my colleague Katherine Lalancette’s piece on longevity (p. 64). She spoke with Dan Buettner, an American journalist who has studied the lifestyles of people in the five areas of the world with the highest concentrations of centenarians. He found that most of them live without fad diets.

They don’t count their calories, and they don’t say no to a daily pastry or glass of wine. Yes, they eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, but it’s the context in which they eat that changes everything: intuitively, for a long time, with pleasure and with loved ones.

What’s more, the diet of those who live in these famous areas is in harmony with their environment—it’s made up of local, seasonal ingredients and little meat—which greatly reduces their carbon footprint. They also live active lives in communities where sharing and co-operation flourish, which promotes the efficient use of resources and waste reduction.

Is the key to longevity to strive for a sustainable lifestyle while enjoying the good things in moderation? Eating a plant-based diet, reducing our consumption of processed foods, embracing active modes of transportation and striving to cultivate a close-knit and caring community seems like a good place to start. And we don’t even need to add pearl powder to our morning smoothie or give up our Friday-night glass of Chablis.
sophie banford

Photography: Andréanne Gauthier; Stylist, Laura Malisan; Makeup artist, Virginie Vandelac.
S. Banford is wearing a blouse by Theory (at Holt Renfew), jeans and jewellery her own.

Marie H Rainville

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau is wearing a dress by Sid Neigum (at The Room at Hudson’s Bay), a gold cuff by RVZJY and the stylist’s own earrings. Photographer Marie H Rainville Creative director Samantha Puth Stylist Nariman Janghorban Hairstylist Emy Filteau Makeup artist Geneviève Lenneville Set designer Lisa Yang Editorial producer Claudia Guy Photographer’s assistants Axel Palomares and William Cole Stylist’s assistants Edoh Agbetossou and Raph Simard Set designer’s assistant Diane Kim-Lim Fashion production assistants Laura Malisan and Estelle Gervais