There are no guidelines defining Superfoods.

Although, officially, there is no scientific definition for superfood, there is a category of food often referred to as Superfoods. These foods are typically high in nutrients and low in calories and are good sources of essential nutrients, anti-oxidants and important vitamins and minerals.

Regular exercise and eating healthy foods can have numerous health benefits:

  • help to decrease stress
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • help with bodily joint mobility
  • thrive and function with more energy.

Some of the foods in the “superfood” category to include in your diet are:

Green Beans are low in sodium, very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. They are also a good source of protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and copper, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and manganese, along with dietary fiber.

  • High Fiber prevents weight gain, thus promoting weight loss.
  • An increase in fiber by 8 grams for every 1000 calories consumed will help toward a weight loss of 4.5 lb.
  • Also try raspberries, chickpeas, strawberries.

Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which the body does not produce by itself. These fatty acids are said to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, increase the ratio of good to bad cholesterol.  Salmon is also a good source of selenium and B vitamins.

Be mindful of the differences between farm-raised Salmon and wild caught Salmon:

  • Farm-Raised Salmon may contain pesticides. It’s primarily farmed in open net pens that are vulnerable to infection from disease and parasites, as a result, they are sometimes treated with very high levels of antibiotics and pesticides.
  • Wild fish, on the other hand, may have a lower concentration of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl which is an environmentally toxic organic pollutant), but could be higher in mercury.
  • Also try Tuna.

Watermelon provides lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants with few calories. It is a good source of vitamin C and lycopene, and is said help protect against some types of cancer, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

  • Eating foods full of water keeps you satisfied with less calories. Watermelon is a guilt-free, easy dessert.
  • Watermelon consumption will aid toward bodily hydration and maintenance of collagen (which gives structure to skin and hair).
  • Also try cucumbers (95% water), salad greens (90%), strawberries (91%), cantaloupe (90% water) and honeydew (90% water).

Blueberries contain polyphenols (for a healthy heart), phytonutrients (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics), vitamin C and fiber.  These all help to fight chronic diseases. They also work to protect the brain from inflammation and help to improve memory by promoting communication between brain cells.

  • Consuming about a cup of berries can increase levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and lower blood pressure.
  • Also try red raspberries and strawberries.

Tomatoes are considered to be both, a fruit and a vegetable. They come in many varieties and contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, thiamine, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, lycopene and copper along with fiber and protein.

Research suggests that the combination of these nutrients in tomatoes may help prevent cardiovascular/heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and prostate cancer.

Tomatoes may be eaten raw or as an ingredient in foods:

  • Add sliced tomatoes to sandwiches.
  • Chop tomatoes in salad.
  • Use marinara or tomato sauces on pasta instead of creamy sauces.
  • Drink tomato juice or vegetable juice made from tomatoes.
  • Top scrambled eggs with chopped tomatoes or add them to a taco.
  • Eat tomatoes as a mid-afternoon snack.
  • Make a tomato sandwich.
  • Add canned or stewed tomatoes to soups and stews.
  • Serve stewed tomatoes over a baked potato.
  • Make salsa with lots of fresh tomato.
  • Put salsa on meats, fish, and eggs.
  • Also try Strawberries and Broccoli.

Dietary fiber is important in weight loss and weight management because consuming foods high in fiber keeps you feeling full for longer, thus reducing caloric intake.

Fitness, Nutrition

Keep up your New Year’s Resolution

What was your New Year’s resolution?

  • Change a behavior.
  • Accomplish a personal goal.
  • Improve life.

Want to exercise, but don’t have time.  And/or want to eat clean, but don’t have recipes.

FIT CUI PROGRAM IS HERE TO HELP:  Improve balance, muscle tone, mental outlook.

Smile – Breathe – Feel Great

Workout while cooking dinner:  step-by-step recipes with fitness instruction at each step of the recipe.


Meal preparation packed with exercise & healthy cuisine.


(Also available at

Nutrition, Whole Health

The Well-Stocked Kitchen

Forage in the pantry

Chow, nosh, eats, edible fare – be prepared in the case of:

  • unexpected guests
  • cannot go grocery shopping due to inclement weather
  • not in the mood to go ‘out-to-dinner’.

With a well-stocked kitchen and essential ingredients in the pantry, it is possible to quickly prepare delicious, nutritious cuisine in a moment’s notice.

Listed below are some ‘must have’ items that can be combined in various ways to create a satisfying and nutritious meal without having to make a trip to the store.

Pantry Basics

Basic Herbs & Spices & Seasonings

  • Basil
  • Cinnamon, ground
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Parsley, dried
  • Pepper
  • Red Pepper, crushed
  • Rosemary
  • Salt
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

Beyond Basic Herbs & Spices & Seasonings (for some added pizzazz)

  • Allspice
  • Bay Leaves
  • Cloves
  • Coriander, ground
  • Cumin, ground
  • Curry Powder
  • Cream of tartar
  • Dill
  • Five-spice powder
  • Ginger, ground
  • Sage
  • Sesame seeds
  • Nutmeg

Basic Dry Goods

  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Beans, dried: black, cannellini / navy, kidney, garbanzo, lentil
  • Bread, baguette & sandwich bread
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Cereal, non-sweetened breakfast
  • Cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • Cornmeal
  • Cornstarch
  • Flour, all purpose
  • Grains: barley, millet, bulgur, quinoa, couscous
  • Pasta: standard, whole grain, rice noodles, egg noodles
  • Nuts / Seeds: almonds, peanuts, sunflower, mixed seeds, mixed nuts
  • Rice: long-grain white, brown
  • Rolled Oats
  • Tortillas, whole wheat / corn
  • Yeast, dried

Basic Canned Goods

  • Broth, low sodium chicken & beef.
  • Beans: cannellini, navy, chickpeas, black beans
  • Evaporated milk
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Tuna, Salmon
  • Artichokes
  • Ham
  • Vegetables: Corn, Green beans


  • Honey
  • Sugar, white & brown
  • Syrup, maple


  • Club soda
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Water
  • V-8


  • Crackers, assorted
  • Popcorn, kernels (for popping)
  • Dried fruit: raisins, apricots, cherries


  • Butter, unsalted
  • Cheese: sharp cheddar, feta, parmesan, mozzarella
  • Eggs, large
  • Milk:  dairy, coconut, almond
  • Yogurt, plain  Greek


  • Avocados
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli / Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Leafy greens & Spinach
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Garlic
  • Onions, red & yellow
  • Parsley / Cilantro
  • Potatoes: sweet / yams, white / new
  • Scallions
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini


  • Ground meat: beef, turkey / chicken
  • Chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
  • Vegetables: peas, chopped spinach, okra
  • Fish & Shellfish
  • Bacon, lean or Canadian Bacon
  • Frozen fruit: strawberries, blueberries, etc.
  • Gingerroot (cut in pieces, stored in plastic baggie)
  • Ice cream, vanilla
  • Pork, ground or boneless
  • Sausage, Italian or Turkey

Jars / Bottled Items

  • Clam juice
  • Condiments: ketchup, mayonnaise,  mustard
  • Jelly, jam / preserves
  • Non-stick spray
  • Oils:  olive (extra virgin), canola, sesame
  • Olives: green, black, calamata
  • Parmesan, grated
  • Peanut butter or other nut butter variety
  • Salsa
  • Soy / Teriyaki sauce
  • Tabasco hot sauce
  • Vanilla extract
  • Vinegar: distilled white, balsamic, rice wine
  • Wines: Marsala, Madeira, and Sherry
  • Worcestershire sauce

More Jars / Bottled Items

  • Applesauce
  • Capers
  • Hoisin Sauce
  • Pesto
  • Pumpkin Purée
  • Salad dressing

Look for our next cookbook.  It will feature a collection of recipes that use only the above list of pantry basics.



Let’s Go Nuts

Eat nuts (small handful)  for a healthy and wholesome snack.  Nuts contain healthy fats and essential nutrients along with fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins such as vitamin E and magnesium.  But they are also high in calories, especially when they are encased in the various sugar and salt toppings that are available.

Nut Characteristics

Lowest Calorie:  Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios

Higher Calorie:  Macadamia Nuts, Pecans

Heart Healthy:  Walnuts

Brain Healthy:  Peanuts, Walnuts

Disease Prevention:  Almonds

Weight Loss Snack:  Brazil Nuts, Walnuts, Almonds, Pistachio

Nutritional Highlights

Nut                  Calories    Fat (g)  Protein (g)    Carbs (g)        Fiber (g)                 Attribute
Almonds           161                14                6                        6                      3.5               L-arginine, calcium
Cashews            155                13                5                        9                      1.0               Unsaturated  fat
Pistachios          156               13                6                        8                      3.0              Substantial
Walnuts             182               18                4                        4                      2.0              Omega-3 fatty acid
Peanuts              176               17                4                        5                      3.0               Legume, not a nut
Brazil Nuts        182               18                4                         3                     2.0               Selenium
Macadamia       200               21                2                        4                     2.5                Monounsaturated
Pecans                193               20                3                        4                     2.5                Antioxidant
Hazel Nuts         176               9                  6                        6                     3.5                Anti-inflammatory

Consuming nuts may help reduce chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, some cancers, diabetes, arthritis and obesity (they help you feel full, suppressing appetite).  Eat nuts that have nothing added like salt, sugar, etc. – eat them raw or dry roasted.

Bottom Line:  For a healthy snack, choose an ounce of unsalted, raw nuts. They provide many nutrients and antioxidants without extra calories from sugar/toppings.





Avocado: Awesome & Alimentative

Avocados, originating from Mexico and Central America, were first used as food at about 10,000 BC.  Also called alligator pear, they are very nutritious and provide for many health benefits when consumed.  A single Avocado contains:

  • 9 grams carbohydrate
  • 15 grams of healthy fats (low in saturated fat)
  • Vitamin K
  • Folate
  • Potassium (100 g – more than in a banana)
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin E
  • Fiber (27% of the recommended daily amount)
  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin (to help protect the eyes)
  • Included, too, is Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, Thiamine, Riboflavin and Niacin.

Eating avocados will also:

  • Lower LDL and triglycerides
  • Increase HDL
  • Help with the absorption of nutrients and antioxidants.

Eat them for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Try one or all of these tasty Avocado dishes:

Breakfast – Breakfast Egg & Avocado Tostada 150 Calories per Tostada


4 corn tostadas
4 eggs
¼ tsp. cumin
¼  tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. fine sea salt
¼ tsp. oregano
pinch chili powder
pinch paprika
2 Tbsp. milk
1 to 2 Tbsp. Canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup diced bell pepper mix
½ cup chopped red onion
1 ripe Avocado, peeled and pitted
4 Tbsp. shredded pepper jack cheese
4 slices ripe tomato
Plain Greek Yogurt – garnish, Salsa – optional


  1. Place the tostados on a baking sheet.  Set aside.
  2. Cut avocado into twelve slices.
  3. Squeeze lemon or lime juice over it and gently toss. Set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, Canola oil over medium heat.
  5. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
  6. Add pepper and onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  7. When vegetables are soft, add the eggs.
  8. Stir to scramble, about 3 minutes, until done. Remove from heat.
  9. Turn oven broiler on to heat while assembling the tostadas.
  10. Place one tomato slice on tostada.
  11. Add ¼ of the egg mixture to each tomato slice.
  12. Top with three slices of avocado.
  13. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. of cheese on each tostadas.
  14. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, until the cheese melts.  Serve immediately.
  15. Garnish with Salsa and Greek Yogurt, as desired.


LunchTuna Avocado Salad – 4 Servings, Calories per serving: 160


  • 1 large or 2 medium Avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 10 oz albacore tuna, in water
  • Lemon Pepper, to taste


  1. Using a fork, mash up the tuna really well until the consistency is even.
  2. Mix in the avocado until smooth.
  3. Add salt & pepper, to taste.
  4. May serve on toast or in a salad.


Dinner Macaroni and Cheese and Avocado ~ 6 Servings

Calories per serving: 450


10 ounces dry elbow macaroni or other pasta, whole wheat
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium avocados, peeled and pitted
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

½ Cup chopped chives
Lemon pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup skim milk
2 cups (reduced fat) shredded Pepper Jack cheese or Monterey Jack or White Cheddar Cheese or combination of all 3, depending on desired taste
Fresh avocado slices


  1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Add pasta to boiling water
  3. Cook ~10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, make the avocado sauce:
  • Put the garlic, avocados, lime juice, cilantro and Lemon Pepper into a food processor / blender.
  • Process until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  1. Make the cheese sauce:
  • Place butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  • When butter is melted, whisk in flour to create a paste.
  • Whisk in milk until smooth.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon until the sauce starts to thicken.
  • Add in cheese and stir until cheese is melted, creating a creamy sauce.
  1. Place macaroni in a large bowl.
  2. Pour the avocado sauce over the macaroni and stir until well coated.
  3. Add the cheese sauce and stir until macaroni is coated and creamy.
  4. Season with Lemon Pepper, to taste.
  5. Garnish with the avocado slices.
  6. Serve warm.

Sausage / Mushroom / Spinach Lasagna

Turkey LasagnaA serving of this delicious dish has 1/3 the fat and ½ the calories of a regular version of Lasagna.  For convenience, steps 1 to 5 may be made a day ahead.

Makes:  10 Servings    Prep Time:  30 Minutes    Total Time:  2 Hours


  • 8 oz whole-wheat Lasagna noodles
  • 1.5 lean, spicy Italian Turkey sausage or soy based sausage
  • 4 cups Mushrooms, sliced (10 oz)
  • ¼ cup Water
  • lb Spinach (frozen), thaw out (6 Cups fresh spinach
  • can Tomatoes, 28 oz –   crushed tomatoes, preferably chunky
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb Ricotta cheese, part-skim (2 cups)
  • 1 egg
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, part-skim-shredded & divided (~2 cups)


  1. Bring large pot of water to boil.
  2. Coat skillet with cooking spray.
  3. Mix 1 lb Ricotta & 1 egg in bowl; preheat oven to 350
  4. Mix ¼ Cup basil, ¼ t salt, pepper, ¼ Cup water, and 28 oz. crushed tomato together in a bowl.
  5. Add 8 oz. noodles to boiling water.
  6. After 2 minutes drain noodles.
  7. Return noodles to pot.
  8. Cover with cool water.  Set Aside
  9. Add 4 Cups mushrooms; to skillet; cook 8-10 minutes.
  10. Stir 1 lb. frozen spinach (6 Cups fresh spinach) into skillet.
  11. Remove Skillet from heat.
  12. Assemble Lasagna:  Spread ½ cup tomato mix in baking dish; Arrange a portion of noodles on top of tomato mixture; Spread ricotta over noodles; Top w/ ½ sausage & 1/3 mozzarella; Continue layering, finish with tomato mixture; Cover dish with foil; bake until bubbling.  Serve.


Per Serving:  328 Calories

13.5 g fat; 78.7 mg cholestrol; 29 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 27 g protein; 6 g fiber; 684 mg sodium; 708 mg potassium


Protein – How Much To Consume Per Day?

Without eating enough protein, we cannot survive.

Proteins are the main building blocks of the body.  As a general rule, 10 – 35% of our daily calories should come from protein. The body cannot store protein for future use, so we must maintain a steady/daily intake.

All of our body parts:  cells, tissues, muscles and organs need protein in order to function properly.  The Institute of Medicine suggests that adults should consume 10 to 35 percent of their total calorie intake from protein.  Protein is necessary for:

  • Growth and development (in children)
  • Muscle growth
  • Regeneration and repair of body part components
  • Healthy skin, organs and glands
  • Maintenance of fluid balance
  • Developing antibodies to guard against infection
  • Creating a proper balance of blood acidity and alkalinity.

When we consume protein, it is digested and ‘broken down’ into its component amino acids.  These amino acids are then used by the body to replace and repair cells, tissues, muscle and organs. Consuming too little protein can lead to loss of muscle mass, stunted growth, fatigue and changes in skin and hair.

Protein also makes us feel more full/satiated after a meal. Compared to fat and carbs, protein offers more “bang for your buck” when it comes to filling you up and feeling satisfied after eating.  People who don’t eat enough protein may actually eat more food and still have an appetite afterwards.

How much protein do we need to ingest every day?  Not everyone needs the same amount.  Protein requirements depend on:

Age & Gender

  • Babies need about 10 grams per day.
  • School-age kids need 19-34 grams per day.
  • Teenage boys need up to 52 grams a day.
  • Teenage girls need 46 grams per day.
  • Adult men need about 56 grams a day (about 56 grams per day, 0.7 – 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body; active men will require more).
  • Adult women need about 46 grams a day (71 grams, if pregnant or breastfeeding).  However, actual protein requirements may be higher depending on a woman’s needs and activity level
  • Seniors, the elderly and those recovering from injuries need to increase their protein intake. (Increased protein consumption can help to improve strength, muscle mass, immune capability, bone health, blood pressure and wound-healing.

Body size – larger body size require extra protein intake to maintain good health.

Activity level – coincides with how much energy you burn in a day.  (Athletes require more protein than non-athletes, and the amount of protein needed is based on size and activity level.)

Choose healthy proteins:  lean meat, poultry, low-fat dairy, fish, soybeans, quinoa; beans, peas, nuts and seeds (eat a variety of these); tofu; eggs; grains, some vegetables, and some fruits (provide small amounts of protein).  Those following a vegetarian diet, getting enough protein can be a little difficult. Consume protein sources like beans, eggs, quinoa and tofu, in healthy vegetarian recipes.




Baja Fish Tacos

The Institute of Medicine suggests that adults should consume 10 to 35 percent of their total calorie intake from protein.  However, while considering protein intake, it is also important to choose an overall healthy diet that provides the protein you needed along with other nutrients.

A healthy lifestyle includes a diet low in fat with sufficient protein and carbohydrates, eaten in proper portions (about half of which are fruits and vegetables), and physical activity/exercise.  Enjoy the recipe below, Baja Fish Tacos, for a delicious, well balance meal.

Baja Fish Tacos

Prep Time: 10 minutes; Cook:10 minutes; Number of servings: 4


  • 14 oz. thawed tilapia filets, about 3.5 oz. per serving
  • 1 medium onion chopped, divided
  • 1 medium tomato chopped, divided
  • 1 ripe avocado, chopped
  • 12 oz. broccoli or cabbage slaw
  • 4 servings whole wheat tortillas (check package for serving size)
  • 2 tsp taco dry taco seasoning
  • zest of 1 lemon, about 1 T
  • juice of 1/2 lemon, about 1 T
  • cilantro, fresh, chopped fine, about 2 tbsp.


  1. Chop onion and tomato.
  2. Shred cabbage (or use pre-shredded; non-dressed broccoli slaw).
  3. Place tortillas in the microwave for ~ 30 seconds on medium to make them more pliable.
  4. Chop or slice entire avocado.
  5. Sprinkle tilapia filets on both sides with taco seasoning.
  6. Place in nonstick pan and cook over med heat until pan-side appears white, about 3-5 min.
  7. Flip, adding half the onions and half the tomatoes.
  8. Using the spatula, chunk up and cook fish, trying to evenly distribute with seasonings and vegetables.
  9. Cook the fish about another 3 minutes.
  10. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
  11. Fill tortillas with fish mixture, chopped vegetables, cabbage, cilantro and lemon zest.

Nutritional Info

Calories Per Serving: Calories: 365

Total Fat: 12.5 g; Cholesterol: 57.0 mg; Sodium: 426.8 mg; Total Carbs: 34.0 g; Dietary Fiber: 8.2 g; Protein: 32.2 g




Maintain good health & muscle tone – stay fit eat vegetables

Eating vegetables provides many health benefits:  Reduces risk of some diseases; Provides nutrients for staying fit and maintenance of muscular health; Vital for (body) growth & function.

Muscles do require protein in order to function.  However it’s also important that the nutrients and antioxidants derived from vegetables are in the diet, too. While some vegetables are currently ‘out-of-season’, winter vegetables are now ‘in season’, providing for many veggie options.  These include (among others):

Avocado   (vitamins A, C & E, potassium, iron and fiber)     

Bok Choy   (vitamin C & A and folate)

Broccoli   (vitamin C, folate, calcium, iron and fiber)

Brussels Sprouts   (vitamin C, A, folate and potassium)

Cauliflower   (vitamin C, folate and fiber)

Celery Root  (vitamin C and calcium and iron)

Parsnips   (vitamin C and folate)

Rutabaga   (vitamin C and A)

Squash – Winter   ( vitamin A, potassium, floate, thiamin and fiber)

Sweet Potatoes   (vitamin A, C, B-6, fiber, copper and potassium).

Veggies also:  are low calories; contain NO cholesterol … watch out for sauces-though…

Enjoy some Winter Roasted Vegetables.




RawVeggiesA  AvocadoA  CarrotsA    SquashA


1 pound carrots, peeled

1 pound parsnips, peeled

1 large sweet potato, peeled

1 small butternut squash, peeled and seeded (about 2 pounds)

3 tablespoons good olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the vegetables into 1 to 1 1/4-inch cubes.  The vegetables will shrink while baking, avoid cutting them too small.

Place all the cut vegetables in a large mixing bowl.

Drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, tossing them well.

Place them in a single layer on 2 baking sheets.

Bake for 25 – 35 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender, turning once with a metal spatula.

Sprinkle with parsley, season to taste, and serve hot.

Nutritional Information:

Calories 120.44                    % Daily Value

Total Fat  3.78g 6%
Total Fat  3.78g 6%
Saturated Fat  0.54g 3%
Trans Fat  0g
Cholesterol  0mg 0%
Sodium  204.68mg  9%
Total Carbohydrate  21.61g 7%
Dietary Fiber  4.75g 19%
Sugars  5.71g
Protein  1.75g  3%
Vitamin A  (IU) 6451.24 129%
Vitamin  C 21.95mg 37%
Calcium  61.16mg 6%
Iron  0.92mg 5%