Experts Rank Mediterranean Diet as the Best

Functional Aging

Find Out More
Your Personal Best Training Studio
Doddridge Plaza
3765 S. Alameda, Ste 102
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(361) 857-5087
  1. Experts Rank Mediterranean Diet as the Best

    For the sixth year, the Mediterranean diet has been ranked as the best for health and well-being, according to U.S. News & World Report.

    Concerns about healthy aging came into play this time, the magazine said – including bone and joint health and increasing quality of life.

    The phrase “Mediterranean diet” has been around for a while now, and it’s based on the eating habits of the countries around the Mediterranean Sea, including Greece and Italy. It features simple, plant-based cooking, a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and extra-virgin olive oil.

    It encourages the consumption of fish packed with omega-3 fatty acids while calling for less chicken and dairy than the usual Western diet Americans favor. Red meat is used very little.

    Various studies have said it helps lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, dementia, depression, and breast cancer. It has been linked to better bones, heart health, and longevity.

    And, since it’s more of a style than a “don’t eat this” diet, the Mediterranean approach is straightforward for many to follow.

    Which diet landed at the bottom? The “raw foods” diet was cited as lacking nutritional completeness and being difficult to follow.

    The report ranks 24 eating plans in various categories, such as the best “family-friendly” diet. Be sure to scroll through the list to learn more about healthy eating options.

  2. Healthy Recipe, Scallops with Spicy Beans

    You don’t need a culinary diploma to achieve beautifully seared, restaurant-quality sea scallops on your own stovetop. A good, heavy skillet (not nonstick), a watchful eye, and a few simple tricks are really all you need to pull off this impressive-seeming feat. And these days, the individually flash-frozen scallops available in your supermarket freezer case can taste as tender and sweet as the ones fresh off the boat.

    Scallops are a low-fat, nutrient-loaded source of protein that plays well with numerous flavor combos. This fast one-skillet meal, adapted from Alison Roman’s “Nothing Fancy,” is a keeper — full of tang, spice, and vitamin C. Canned white beans, tossed in the sizzling skillet for a few minutes before serving, supply a starchy component that melds deliciously with the other ingredients. You can easily reduce the number of scallops if you’re only cooking for two — but go ahead and use the whole can of beans. Any leftovers can be mixed with the other ingredients for a salad the next day. Serves 4. RECIPE HERE. – Susan Puckett


    • 4 tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and thinly sliced
    • 2 tangerines or small oranges, peeled, thinly sliced, and seeds removed
    • 1 small jalapeño chile, thinly sliced (seeds removed for less heat)
    • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
    • 2 medium limes, 1 juiced (about 2 tablespoons), and 1 cut in wedges for serving
    • 6 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 ½ pounds sea scallops, thawed according to package directions if frozen, tough side muscles removed
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 (15-ounce) can of cannellini or navy beans, drained and rinsed
    • 2 teaspoons Aleppo-style pepper or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or less, to taste)
    • Tender cilantro leaves and stems for garnish
    • Corn tortillas or rice for serving, optional


    1. In a large bowl, combine the tomatillos, tangerines, and chile. Shallot, lime juice, and 4 tablespoons of olive oil; season with ¼ teaspoon salt (or to taste) and several grindings of black pepper and set aside.
    2. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and season them lightly with salt and pepper on both sides.
    3. In a large cast-iron or other heavy skillets (not nonstick), heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the scallops in batches to avoid crowding the skillet, and press them lightly with a fish spatula for good contact with the skillet. Sear on both sides until deeply browned, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
    4. Transfer the scallops to a large plate or serving platter. Without wiping out the skillet, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, followed by the beans and the pepper flakes, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lime wedges.
    5. Cook, shaking the skillet occasionally until the beans have absorbed the seasoned juices in the pan, about 3 or 4 minutes.
    6. Transfer the tomatillos and citrus to a large serving platter, top with the beans and scallops, and garnish with cilantro. Drizzle with a little more oil before serving. Serve with tortillas or rice if desired.

    Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at

  3. Stay Fit to Enjoy Your Grandkids All Year Round

    Why be fit after 50? For millions of people worldwide, their No. 1 reason is their grandchildren.

    Being an active grandparent requires physical ability – strength, endurance, and flexibility – that you can build in a gym or fitness studio.

    When the grandchild is an infant, you want to get down on the floor and back up again. As the kids grow and get heavier, you’ll pick them up and carry them around. By the time they can run, they want Grandma and Grandpa to play outside.

    Get them away from screens and engage in creative play that neither of you will think about as “exercise.”

    Gain confidence with strong legs, back, core, glutes, and more. We’re here to help, so come tell us about your special little ones, and we’ll get you in shape for fun, healthy activities like…

    • Visiting a playground to swing, climb and help them explore.
    • Hiking in a neighborhood or out of town on a trail. Look for certain wildlife or birds. Play “I Spy with My Little Eye” or scavenger hunt games.
    • Bicycling – As they keep growing, think of the special times you’ll have riding together.
    • Snowshoeing, skiing, snowmobiling – Don’t let winter keep you inside. Bundle up, stay safe, and have fun.
    • Skating – Roller-skating at a rink or on your sidewalk, plus ice skating in the winter.
    • Working out – If you’ve walked them to, say, gymnastics practice, sneak in your own workout if possible.

    Stay fit all year long with us. You can start now by trying our 21-Day Strength and Longevity Program, and you will be able to pick them up and carry them for years to come.

  4. Healthy Recipe, Roast Chicken Thighs with Spiced Cauliflower, Cranberries, and Herbs

    Roast chicken seems to cry for potatoes, rice, or some other starchy side. But cauliflower can stand in as a hearty nutrient-packed companion for a fraction of the calories and carbs. In this recipe adapted from Ruby Tandoh’s “Cook as You Are” (Knopf, $35), the florets roast in a pan with skin-on thighs rubbed with bold spices, which are then tossed in a simple tangy dressing and showered with herbs and dried cranberries. Serves 4. RECIPE HERE. –Susan Puckett


    ·         1 ½ tablespoon olive oil

    ·         1 teaspoon smoked paprika

    ·         1 teaspoon ground coriander

    ·         1 teaspoon chili powder

    ·         1 teaspoon dried oregano

    ·         Kosher salt

    ·         4 large or 8 small bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 ½ pounds)

    ·         Florets from 1 medium head of cauliflower

    ·         3 tablespoons pine nuts

    Dressing and garnish:

    ·         1 garlic clove, crushed or finely grated

    ·         1 ½ tablespoon olive oil

    ·         1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

    ·         2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup

    ·         Kosher salt and black pepper

    ·         ½ cup chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, mint, or a combination

    ·         Several handfuls of arugula or spring mix leaves, optional

    ·         Yogurt and flatbreads for serving, optional


    1.      Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, paprika, coriander, chili powder, oregano, and a half teaspoon of salt to make a paste.

    2.      Place the chicken thighs in a roasting pan, at least 9-by-13 inches or larger. Rub the thighs all over and under the skin with the spice paste.

    3.      Roast the chicken for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, add the cauliflower and pine nuts, and toss well so that everything is evenly coated with the drippings and seasoning.

    4.      Return the pan to the oven for 20-25 minutes longer until the cauliflower is tender and mottled brown, and the chicken is crispy and cooked through (the juices should run clear when pierced with a knife.)

    5.      Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, olive oil, honey, or maple syrup, and a ¼ teaspoon of each salt and black pepper to taste until emulsified.

    6.       When the chicken is done, remove the pan from the oven, drizzle with the dressing, and toss to coat. Scatter with the chopped herbs and cranberries and serve, if desired, atop a handful of arugula or spring mix lettuce, with some of the juices spooned over. Yogurt and flatbread could be served on the side.

    Susan Puckett is an Atlanta-based food writer and cookbook author.


  5. Goals Keep Us on Track for Fitness Success

    Fitness goals drive Jerry Mathis.

     They compel him to accomplish athletic feats that most people wouldn’t attempt – let alone most people who are 76 years old.

    “If I just went to the gym to exercise without also having a goal in mind, I’m not sure how much progress I would make – in my physical abilities or mental,” says Jerry, a retired music teacher. “Part of what works for me is to have a goal. I enjoy it.”

    Jerry recently completed two-thirds of his 2022 fitness goal. He ran a 5K obstacle course race and a 10K obstacle course race (on the same weekend), part of his planned “trifecta.” He aims to complete it with a half marathon-length race of more than 13 miles and 30 obstacles.

    And he only ran his first obstacle course race last year, right before his 75th birthday.

    “They’re addictive, believe it or not,” he says. “If you do one, you want to do another.”


    Goals Are a Proven Way to Succeed

    What kind of goals do you have for your fitness and health? They don’t have to involve running races or climbing obstacles like Jerry’s.

    Some people want to exercise to improve at golf, tennis, or other sports.

    Others want to lose a certain amount of weight – or lift a certain amount of weight.

    Maybe you want to lower your blood pressure or risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

    The motivations are endless, and it doesn’t matter your choice.

    But we know that setting goals helps by:

    • Providing motivation and accountability
    • Developing plans to make the gains you want to achieve
    • Managing your time and other commitments
    • Setting expectations – and seeing your progress along the way

    Some people apply a tool from business, making SMART goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.

    A ‘Trifecta’ by the End of the Year

    Jerry works out at the gym with a trainer on his core, balance, strength, and cardio. His trainer stresses the importance of setting intentions and reaching them. A few years ago, it was to jump a certain height and the next to deadlift a certain weight.

    “He has put me on these goals, and so far, we’ve reached them,” Jerry says.

    This year aimed to complete the three races of varying distances. Jerry ran the shorter two in October and is now preparing for the half-marathon. It will be just a couple of months before Jerry’s 77th birthday, and he still has no plans to quit exercising and be sedentary instead.

    “I can’t do that,” he says. “That’s not my lifestyle. I don’t want to grow old sitting on the couch eating potato chips. I’ve got to be out doing something.

    “This is crazy, but I hope I can go into my 80s doing this thing. I’ll give it a good try.”

    > Are you working toward your fitness goals? Let us help. Our coaches have been helping men and women over fifty move better, feel better, and age actively. Try our 21-day strength and longevity program and reach your fitness goals.

  6. Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup


    Inspired by creamy turkey and wild rice soup recipes, this vegetarian mushroom soup recipe is a whole lot lighter and gets a rich flavor boost from caramelized leeks. Serve with a green salad with sherry vinaigrette and crusty bread to sop up any bits left in the bowl –  from AARP.

    A Healthy Recipe

    Prep/Cook Time: 1:50 Hours, Servings: 6


    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 6 cups sliced leeks (4-6 medium leeks)
    • 1/2 cup dry sherry
    • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
    • 1 1/2 cups sliced celery
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 6 cups mushroom broth
    • 2 cups of water
    • 1 cup wild rice
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 6 tablespoons sour cream
    • 6 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted


    1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and cook, occasionally stirring, until starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking, often stirring, until the leeks are golden brown and very tender, 5 to 10 minutes more.
    2. Add sherry and cook, often stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms and celery and cook, frequently stirring, until the mushroom liquid evaporates, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add broth, water, and rice; cover and bring to a simmer.
    3. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, occasionally stirring, until the rice is tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Season with pepper and salt and serve each portion topped with 1 tablespoon each sour cream and almonds.

    Nutritional Information

    Per Serving: 309 calories; 13 g fat (3 g sat, 8 g mono); 6 mg cholesterol; 39 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 6 g total sugars; 9 g protein; 5 g fiber; 566 mg sodium; 749 mg potassium

    Eating well & exercise, a healthy combination!

    If you are looking for help in creating your own healthy habits, check out our 21-Day Longevity and Strength Program? We will help you extend the length and quality of your life by restoring your strength, improving your balance, and reducing your joint pain.

    Join our 21-day longevity and strength program today! <<<

  7. A Diet about Healthy Eating


    Sharing the Good News about Healthy Eating

    Bruce Mylrea went through life enjoying meat, French fries and more components of what he now calls “the worst diet on the planet.”

    He says that contributed to his diagnosis of late-stage prostate cancer when was 52.

    That led him to radically change his diet to one he says prevents and even reverses chronic, long-term illnesses and leads to sustained weight loss – a whole food, plant-based diet.

    “The food promoted the cancer,” says Bruce now, nine years later. “It is also my most powerful tool for battling it.”

    Bruce and his wife, Mindy, promote this way of eating with their nonprofit “educational movement” at website. They recently spoke at the virtual Functional Aging Summit, put on by the Functional Aging Institute.

    The group’s cofounder, Cody Sipe, adopted the eating plan a couple of years ago and now swears by it, as well.

    Whole-food, plant-based eating relies heavily on beans, peas, lentils and seeds; whole grains; high-fat healthy foods like avocados, nuts and olives; and vegetables and fruit.

    A little animal-based food is allowed – but no processed food is.

    Bruce and Mindy say to watch out for “SOS” – added sugar, oils and salt.

    Instead of meat, they have found culinary delights with mushrooms, tempeh and soy. For instance, they’ll favor a black bean/quinoa burger over a traditional cheeseburger.

    “There’s no human requirement for dairy,” Bruce says. “You’re better off without it.”

    It might not be for everyone. But if you’re interested in learning more, the couple’s website is full of valuable insight and information. And, as it says, “What if a cancer diagnosis isn’t an ending? What if it opens the door to a new chapter that feels even better than the ones before it?”

    It did for Bruce.

  8. 5 Tips to Lower Sugar Intake


    5 Tips to Stop Singing the Sugar Blues

    Are you trying to eat better these days?

    One of the best things you can do is reduce the amount of sugar you consume.

    We eat too much added sugar in our diets– often without even realizing it, and often from processed foods. Sugar adds to a range of health issues common later in life, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer and stroke.

    If all that weren’t enough, researcher Robert Lustig says, “Sugar turns on the aging programs in your body. The more sugar you eat, the faster you age.”

    Here are five tips to put a dent in your sugar intake.

    1. Start with breakfast, when we often consume sugary beverages and packaged foods. Stick with whole foods instead.
    2. Read food labels. Be skeptical of terms like “high-fructose corn sugar,” “agave” and even “honey,” since they are added sugars, too.
    3. Most whole fruit is generally OK, because the sugar comes with fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. It won’t jolt your blood sugar in dangerous ways. Fruit juices are another story.
    4. Reconsider dessert. Go for Greek yogurt with fruit, or dark chocolate (the higher the cocoa level, the less sugar).
    5. Don’t keep it in the house. Buy natural sweeteners like Stevia, and avoid high-sugar, highly processed junk food that’s packed with added sugar. If it’s not in the cupboard, you can avoid the temptations a lot easier. Instead, keep nuts, jerky and hard-boiled eggs handy for when snacky cravings hit.

    And remember, it’s not meant to be torture. Have a treat once a week, but be smart about even that, since sugar can cause us to want more and more of it.

    Sources: The New York Times, Healthline

  9. Squash, Lentil & Coconut Soup


    Curried Squash, Lentil & Coconut Soup

    Flavor up butternut squash with Indian spices for this warming and healthy vegetarian soup. From and recommended as an immune-boosting recipe.


    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
    • 200g carrot, diced
    • 1 tbsp curry powder containing turmeric
    • 100g red lentil
    • 700ml low-sodium vegetable stock
    • 1 can reduced-fat coconut milk
    • coriander and naan bread, to serve


    1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the squash and carrots, sizzle for 1 min, then stir in the curry powder and cook for 1 min more. Tip in the lentils, the vegetable stock and coconut milk and give everything a good stir. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 15-18 mins until everything is tender.
    2. Using a hand blender or in a food processor, blitz until as smooth as you like. Season and serve scattered with roughly chopped coriander and some naan bread alongside.

    Nutritional Info

    178 calories, 7g fat, 5g saturated fat, 22g carbs, 9g sugars, 4g fiber, 6g protein, 0.4g salt

  10. Protect Your Immune System


    Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Immune System

    A strong immunity system is essential to staying healthy.

    A healthy diet can help maintain it. Basic steps include exercising regularly; limiting our alcohol; avoiding too much sun; losing extra weight; and not smoking.

    The disease-fighting benefits come from maintaining healthy habits over a period of time. A glass of OJ this morning isn’t going to jumpstart your immune system into the stratosphere by the afternoon.

    An immune-healthy diet includes a rich range of food choices. In fact, that variety is part of what makes it so effective – including fruits and vegetables of every color. So, load up your grocery cart with all the colors of the rainbow (or at least the produce section).

    The Cleveland Clinic advocates for the power of three vitamins – C, B and E. That means, citrus, strawberries, spinach and broccoli; plus, chicken, salmon, tuna and green vegetables; and nuts, seeds and spinach.

    WebMD adds button mushrooms, oysters, watermelon, low-fat yogurt, tea (white, green or black, regular or decaf), garlic, miso, ginger and – seriously – chicken soup.

    And AARP encourages us to eat lean beef, legumes and pumpkin, as well.

    Remember to drink plenty of water every day and always get enough rest.

    Then you’ll be giving your immune system everything you can to protect you from invaders new and old.

Your Personal Best Location
Your Personal Best Training Studio
Doddridge Plaza
3765 S. Alameda, Ste 102
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(361) 857-5087