Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Top 50 (or so) Super Foods.... for a Super you!!

Most of us love New Year's Resolutions, don't we?  They 'new' us.  There is nothing like setting a goal and achieving it.  But 'losing weight' or XXX amount of pounds is a rough one for me.  I find I end up 'failing'... or better yet 'flailing'.  The "I've been really good so I deserve....".  I don't know about you, but I say that way too often.

Good diets take planning... but can be easy to prepare.

My thoughts... we are always on a diet.  Always.  Even from birth.  Our diet is either a poor one or a good one.  But the more I study food, the more I'm confident that we've taken steps back in the last century.  So this entry is 'step 1' towards the discussion to hit 'reset' on your diet.

Good diets are guides.  They aren't fads and no one diet works for everyone in your family.  For example, to a middle age male running ultras, dairy isn't necessarily an asset.  But to my wonderful growing children, you bet they need reasonable amounts of dairy.  The same is probably true with you.  What foods form your good diet?  How can your family work together to achieve a good diet for your all?

The same is true for your very own diet.  Your diet should change as your training necessitates.  I'm more apt to focus on fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains as my longer distances come into play, but when my training focuses more on core or leg workouts, I prefer to replace those proteins with chicken and lean meats.

Since I'm usually at the Pentagon, I have little control on the shopping or even preparation of my own meals. So our family has worked together, and my bride (the amazing Jo Sholtis) always asks what meals would best support my good diet for that week.  So.... we formed the guidelines for what she could make that "wouldn't kill me" (both in cancer agents and in actually negatively impacting training).

Bob’s please don’t kill me 101


Red meat and pork is shunned except for special occasions. Fried foods are shunned. Shun list also includes bread. Gluten.. not good.

Also – read the back of the box. More than 5 ingredients? Proceed with caution…

General rules for scheduling dinner:

1 red meat per week.

1 ‘bad carb’ night per week.

Superfood involved everynight but one per week.

Healthy can be delicious.  So good!!

Set up a breakfast tray with Greek yogurt, dried fruits, and fresh ground flax seed
Hemp seeds - blend them with soy, almond milk), bananas, cinnamon and a spoonful of peanut or almond butter.
Steel Cut Oats

Incredible... and easy to prepare!

Dinner is comprised of (1) superfood per night, 1 Seafood (fish twice a week.. shrimp/scallops /clams are good too), chicken two times a week, and all veggie or pasta 2 or 3 nights a week.  Other nights include a ‘good pasta’ and veggie. 
SUPERFOODS! (at LEAST one per dinner.  Two is better).

Blueberries & Strawberries & cranberries
Beats (including roasted)
Salmon and Mackerel (try for twice a week).
Coffee (Doesn't count as our 1 per day!)
Brussels sprouts
Acai juice
Sweet potatoes
Pumpkin (canned is fine)
Pure Cacao

Good foods for each meal… use as many as you can.

1. Eggs Each egg has 6 grams of protein but just 72 calories. No wonder researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, found that eating eggs for breakfast (as part of a low-cal diet) helps you slim down.
2. Tomato sauce It’s loaded with lycopene, which makes your skin look younger and keeps your heart healthy. In fact, a Harvard study found that women with the most lycopene in their blood reduced their risk of a heart attack by 34%.
3. Dried plums(prunes) They’re packed with polyphenols, plant chemicals that have been shown to boost bone density by stimulating your bone-building cells.
4. Walnuts Just 14 walnut halves provide more than twice your daily dose of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that’s been shown to improve memory and coordination.
5. Brussels sprouts They have more glucosinolates (compounds that combat cancer and detoxify our bodies) than any other vegetable. For a side dish that will make you wonder why you’ve been avoiding them, slice each one into quarters, then sauté in olive oil with chopped sweet Vidalia onions.
6. Acai juice A glass or two of this anthocyanin-rich berry juice can dramatically boost the amount of antioxidants in your blood, say Texas A&M University researchers.
7. Apples They contain quercetin, an antioxidant that may reduce your risk of lung cancer.
8. Steel-cut oats Because they’re less processed than traditional oats, they’re digested more slowly—keeping you full all morning long.
9. Salmon You’ll get all the heart-smart omega-3s you need in a day from just 3 oz.
10. Avocados Their healthy fat keeps you satisfied and helps you absorb other nutrients. For a new u twist, brush a halved avocado (pit removed) with olive oil and grill 1 minute. Serve with red onion, sliced grapefruit and balsamic vinegar.
11. Spinach A half-cup provides more than five times your daily dose of vitamin K, which helps blood clot and builds strong bones.
12. Canned pumpkin It’s filled with natural cancer fighters alpha- and beta-carotene.
13. Cauliflower White foods can be good for you! This one is packed with cancer-fighting glucosinolates.
14. Scallops A 3-oz serving has 14 grams of protein but just 75 calories.
15. Brown rice It’s a top source of magnesium, a mineral your body uses for more than 300 chemical reactions (such as building bones and converting food to energy).
16. Oysters These keep your immune system strong. A 3-oz serving (about 6 oysters) dishes up a quarter of your daily iron, plus nearly twice the zinc and all the selenium you need in a day.
17. Strawberries They’re loaded with ellagitannins, phytochemicals that may halt the growth of cervical and colon cancers.
18. Lentils A great source of meat-free protein, a half-cup of cooked lentils also gives you nearly half your daily folate, a B vitamin that protects a woman’s unborn baby from neural tube defects.
19. Bran flakes Their whole grains keep your heart in tip-top shape by reducing inflammation and melting away belly fat.
20. Kiwi Italian researchers found that it reduces asthma-related wheezing, thanks to its high vitamin C content (one kiwi has 110% of your daily requirement).
21. Black beans They’re loaded with protein, fiber, and flavonoids—antioxidants that help your arteries stay relaxed and pliable.
22. Sunflower seeds A quarter-cup delivers half your day’s vitamin E, which keeps your heart healthy and fights infection.
23. Sardines 3 oz provide more than 100% of your daily vitamin D. Sardines are also a top source of omega-3 fats. Try adding mashed canned sardines to marinara sauce and serving over whole-wheat pasta.
24. Asparagus A half-cup supplies 50% of your daily bone-building vitamin K and a third of your day’s folate, it’s a natural diuretic so it banishes bloating, too.
25. Bananas They’re loaded with several kinds of good-for-you fiber, including resistant starch (which helps you slim down).
26. Broccoli sprouts They have 10 times more of the cancer-preventing compound glucoraphanin than regular broccoli.
27. Fat-free milk With a third of the calcium and half the vitamin D you need in a day, plus 8 grams u of muscle-building protein, it’s the ultimate energy drink.
28. Baked potatoes Each one packs a megadose of blood-pressure–lowering potassium—even more than a banana.
29. Sweet potatoes Half of a large baked sweet potato delivers more than 450% of your daily dose of vitamin A, which protects your vision and your immune system.
30. Flaxseed Not only is flaxseed loaded with plant omega-3s, it also has more lignans (compounds that may prevent endometrial and ovarian cancer) than any other food. Store ground flaxseed in your refrigerator and sprinkle on yogurt, cold cereal or oatmeal.
31. Greek yogurt It has twice the protein of regular yogurt.
32. Dried tart cherries Researchers at Michigan State University found their potent anthocyanins help control blood sugar, reduce insulin and lower cholesterol.
33. Wheat germ A quarter-cup gives you more than 40% of your daily vitamin E and immune-boosting selenium.
34. Whole-wheat english muffins You get 4 ½ grams of fiber for only 134 calories.
35. Tea Both green and black tea prevent hardening of the arteries, according to researchers at the University of Scranton.
36. Peanut butter (watch portion control) This smart spread has arginine, an amino acid that helps keep blood vessels healthy.
37. Blackberries The king of the berry family boasts more antioxidants than strawberries, cranberries or blueberries.
38. Mustard greens These “greens” (actually a cruciferous veggie) are a top source of vitamin K. For a tasty pesto, chop them in a food processor with garlic, walnuts, Parmesan and olive oil.
39. Soy milk A good source of vegetable protein, calcium-enriched soy milk has as much calcium and vitamin D as cow’s milk.
40. Brazil nuts They have more selenium than any other food. One nut delivers your entire day’s worth!
41. Canola oil A Tbsp of this heart-healthy oil has all the alpha-linolenic acid you need in a day, plus two different forms of vitamin E.
42. Blueberries They improve memory by protecting your brain from inflammation and boosting communication between brain cells.
43. Barley A top source of beta-glucan, a fiber that lowers cholesterol and helps control blood sugar.
44. Shiitake mushrooms One serving (about ¼ lb) provides as much vitamin D as you’d get from a glass of milk
45. Tomatos The good news is that no matter how you like your tomatoes, pureed, raw, or in a sauce, you’re eating vital nutrients like vitamin C, iron, vitamin E.

Good Carbs
Steel cut oats
Hurled barley
Brown rice
GRAINS – quinoa, couscous
Whole wheat pastas (not really a good carb, but once or twice a week is OK).
Other good foods:
Spaghetti squash
Almond butter
Green apples
Fruits (in general)
Lima beans, green beans, cauliflower, carrots – Steam veggies when possible (3 T. of water and Microwave OK).
Fajitas (easy to wrap in a superfood… or even 2. Might even fool kids into thinking it isn't good for them!).

Of course... with all of that delicious food, you'd be remiss not to add a glass of Red wine!


  1. Rob, great article! I'm a big fan of spaghetti squash. I love pasta but I feel the squash with tomato sauce taste just as b good and it keeps me full. Also another thing I've been eating a lot of lately is kale. Very filing but low on calories.

    1. I couldn't agree more, particularly if that meal spans time in the office. I'm not a fan of kale, but if you've got a recipe that you'd recommend, let me know. Thanks for the input and good luck next week :)