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

Functional Aging

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Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(361) 857-5087
  1. 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.


  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 10 Lessons for Healthy Living


    Healthy Living Today: Top 10 Lessons

    A few months into the coronavirus crisis, we have learned and been reminded of so much important information about fitness after 50.

    If it helps to find a silver lining, let’s share just 10 things that have come up since all this started – and draw inspiration from them to carry on with a healthy lifestyle.

    1. We’ve gotta keep moving, even if our options have changed.

    Carlos, a friend in New York City, has been a personal trainer for decades. As he told us, “Keep your body and mind as healthy as possible so you can deal with the stress of the world we’re living in today. “We have to keep on living. We have to keep moving.”

    1. A simple way to do that: Stop sitting so much.

    Get up and walk around the house during commercials. Put on some music and dance. Work in your garden. It all counts.

    1. Remember 150. World and US standards say most adults need 150 minutes of moderately vigorous aerobic activity a week, plus at least two sessions of resistance training.
    2. Everyone can, in fact, adapt easily with technology.

    How many times have we been told that “older” people are afraid of technology? We have seen how false that is, as so many of you quickly started working out via Zoom or other online video services.

    “I am open to new things – I am NOT an old fogey,” Helen, 74, told us after she overcome her dislike for electronic devices so she could continue her workout habits.

    1. Walking is great for everybody – and every mind and spirit, too. Have you noticed how the bike trails and sidewalks are busier than ever with people out getting a walk? It’s good for their energy levels, endurance, mood and creativity, too. As Thoreau said, “The moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”
    2. We are craving the connections that exercise provides. Being a part of a community is important to maintaining good exercise and nutrition habits. We’ve all been spending more time at home, of course, but gyms and studios still help us maintain our social bonds through online workouts and other activities.

    As Jean, 64, put it: “I love to see my friends on there and say hi. I wouldn’t want to give it up.”

    1. We’re reading more – whether it’s “bucket list” classics, nonfiction about pandemics and social issues, or fun “beach reads” to escape. Reading improves our memory, brain function, and decision-making abilities. It reduces stress and helps us fall asleep.
    2. We’re practicing yoga, Pilates and tai chi. Did you know that 10 million Americans over 50 practice yoga regularly? And that was before more gyms and studios started offering it online!
    3. We’re focusing on broader wellness. We’ve been forcefully reminded that our wellbeing involves more than physical exercise. It also encompasses emotional, cognitive, social and spiritual health, among other aspects.
    1. Fitness isn’t merely possible – it’s necessary for better living.

    “Exercise is vital for functional longevity, no matter how you do it,” says Dan Ritchie, PhD, president and cofounder of the Functional Aging Institute. “You can’t afford to take two months off.”

    Which takes us back to the top: We’ve gotta keep moving!

    We’re here for you now and in the future, with a variety of activities and approaches to helping you reach your fitness and healthy-living goals. Give us a call today.

  5. Know How to Prevent Stroke

    Stroke is common and serious. But we can learn how to prevent strokes by lowering our risk through exercise and other lifestyle habits. And spotting the symptoms early can greatly lower the odds of permanent damage, according to the American Heart Association.

    Doctors recommend exercise and healthy eating to improve overall heart health. They also suggest maintaining a healthy weight, drinking only in moderation, and not smoking.

    Stroke is an interruption of blood flow to the brain. It can be fatal. Some 800,000 strokes occur annually in the US alone.

    And the AHA has a handy way to educate us about spotting a stroke early enough to get help that could save a life or greatly mitigate permanent damage.

    1. Face. One side of the face is drooping.
    2. Arms. Arm or leg weakness.
    3. Speech. Speech difficulty.
    4. Time. Time to call for an ambulance immediately.

    With February cited as American Heart Month, the AHA also points out:

    • Stroke risk increases with age.
    • African-Americans are twice as likely for a first-time stroke as white people.
    • High blood pressure contributes to 75 percent of first strokes.
    • Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.
    • More exercise brings more benefits.
    • Keep exercising and eating right even if you’re on medicine for high blood pressure and cholesterol.

    It’s all just more encouragement to live a healthy life and to encourage loved ones to exercise, eat right, and practice other positive daily choices. Visit the heart association or talk to your doctor to learn more.

  6. What Motivates You?

    Being above the age of 50 and wanting to live a healthier and more active lifestyle is something that a lot of people not only need to do but also want to do.  But this is not the only thing that motivates people and every person has their own unique goals and aspirations.

    Being Functional Aging Specialists means that we help men and women, over 50, reach their goals and do it with ease at mind.  Helen Peters is one of our awesome clients who came to us with a specific goal in mind.

    “I got started because this summer I’m going to be attending my 40th high school reunion.  I met Lisa at Rotary and I made a commitment that she was the way to make this happen.”

    In just six weeks, Helen lost 7.6% body fat and lost a total of 15.2lb of fat!  Not only was she losing body fat but also managed to put on 6lb of muscle.

    “I just feel that I’m treating my body better.  I love the eating plan and eating healthy, just on the outside of the grocery store.  They say shop on the outside of the grocery store, and that’s what we did.

    I’ve always tried to exercise and be healthy, but again, I think it was changing in that for the first time I saw results.” – Helen Peters

    Watch this video and hear from Helen how YPB has been a life changing experience for her.

    Have Commitment?

    One of the main reasons that Helen did so well was her commitment to our program and the fact she was at a point in her life where she was ready for a change.

    At YPB, we help men/women, over 50, move better, feel better and age actively. We have the knowledge and experience to help you achieve your best possible health and quality of life. If you are ready to make a change, like Helen, give us a call today!



  7. Want Your Family to Eat Healthy?

    Our loved ones are eating too much junk. And who can blame them? Junk food tastes great.

    The good news is that healthy food also tastes great. Here are simple ways to help your family eat healthier:

    1) Choose Whole Foods

    Processed foods are the biggest problem with our modern diet. Packaged and refined food products are filled with empty calories that quickly lead to weight gain. Unfortunately, processed foods make up a large portion of the diet of many children and adults.

    Offer your family whole foods, rather than packaged ones. Whole foods are foods that are in their natural state. An apple. A piece of sprouted grain bread spread with natural peanut butter. A piece of hormone-free chicken. A bowl of beans. You get the idea.

    2) Add Color

    Adding bright and colorful fruits and veggies to meals will help get diets on the fast track to health. Fresh fruits and veggies are filled with fiber, vitamins and minerals that are essential to good health.

    Make it fun! Serve veggies with salad dressing as a dip. Cut fresh fruit in the colors of the rainbow and place them on a skewer. Serve a color-themed meal – all green, all red or all orange. Use your imagination and you’ll come up with an endless number of ways to make fruits and veggies fun to eat.

    3) Make Smart Substitutions

    Most people love pizza and pasta.  Most kids love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Those truths are not going to change any time soon. Rather than fight your family on their favorites, try making smart substitutions to make their favorites more nutritious.

    • Pizza: Up the nutritional content of your pizza by opting for wheat crust over white, adding veggies to the toppings and sticking with lean meat toppings. You could even make “Pizza Eggs” by adding marinara sauce, cheese and pepperoni to an omelet and avoid the crust altogether.
    • Pasta: Make spaghetti with veggie noodles – see the recipe below!
    • PB&J: A PB&J, made with white bread using sugar-filled peanut butter and corn syrup-filled jelly is fairly void of any real nutritional value. Instead make a PB&J with sprouted grain bread, pure peanut butter (with only peanuts and sea salt), and fruit-only jelly. This will provide real wholesome fuel for your child’s day.

    4) Ban Sugary Drinks

    One of the best things that you can do for your family’s good health is to instill in them a love for water rather than sugary drinks. Soda pop, juices, smoothies, and blended coffee drinks are filled with empty calories that cause weight gain.

    The easiest way to do this is to stock your house with lots of pure, filtered water. Don’t have fruit drinks or soda pop readily available so that they grow accustom to drinking only water.

    While I presented these tips as improvements to be made to your family’s diets, these tips will also do wonders for your diet, too. Practice these tips for 30 days and I guarantee you’ll look and feel better.

    We all want the best for our loved ones. Now how about doing something good for yourself as well? You are the most significant role model on how to live, for better or worse.

    Treat yourself right by calling or emailing today to get started on an exercise program that will change your life for the best.

    Call or email now to reserve your spot.

  8. A Personal Sharing on Insanity

    SanityAs I reflect on a passage in one of my daily readers today, I pause to consider the ways I can still tend to practice insanity. A favorite quote of mine regarding insanity is,

    “Doing the exact same thing over and over again expecting different results”

    I call this my default position; often forgetting … if nothing changes, nothing changes.

    I work as hard as anyone I know toward balance in my life. I still think I can engage in certain attitudes and actions and somehow stay sane.

    Even as I work to restore a balance of body, mind, and spirit, I can find myself engaging in any one or more of the following: petty resentments, jealousy, isolation, unrealistic expectations of others, arrogance, fear … and even thoughts of revenge.

    I ask myself is this insanity? No, not really …

    … it’s more the thought that hanging on to any one of these attitudes will somehow improve my life. This has not worked in the past and it won’t work today. My insanity is my distorted thinking!


    I have learned in my spiritual program for recovery that there is a solution to my insanity. If I don’t believe I’m worthy, there are things I can turn to that will bring me out of isolation and distorted thinking. I can …

    • Go to a recovery meeting, one of numerous church activities available, attend a networking meeting, cycle with friends, or anything healthy that’s gets me out myself.
    • Call a trusted other, be vulnerable and honest by sharing what I know doesn’t work for me. A trusted other who listens without pity or advice, someone who can relate and just give me the space to jabber out loud.
    • Do the next right thing, eat something healthy if I’m hungry, journal if I’m angry, call someone if I’m lonely, and rest, really rest, if I’m tired.

    No Regrets and Choices

    When I do the things that are right for me to do, I have no regrets. I’ve lived this day the best I can and I feel better about myself. I feel the power of a God who is there for me and I trust once again, able to choose sanity, faith, and healing paths for my life.

    I can stop waiting for sanity to pop out of nowhere or think it will just descend on me from above. Also, I can participate in creating sanity by choosing healthier attitudes and behaviors. One moment, one action, one new behavior at a time.

    As I learn to rely on this Higher Power, realizing my part is in the choices I make; my life is gradually restored to sanity.

    Even the simple things we choose each day can have an accumulative compound effect on our long-term health, what to eat, how to exercise, when to get started.

    I would like to help and be with you in your healthy lifestyle solutions. This keeps me sane as well.

    Let’s talk soon, Lisa.

  9. Why You’re Gaining Weight (and how to stop it)

    Capture-3.JPGTired of gaining weight? Of course you are – none of us enjoy it when the number on our scale begins to climb. So why are you gaining that extra weight now?

    That is a valid and frustrating question. And the answer is often found in recent changes in your life.

    According to Edward Abramson, Ph.D. the author of Emotional Eating, “Any change in your life circumstances can produce changes in eating and exercise, which leads to weight gain.”

    Let’s dive into the major changes in your life that have caused that annoying weight gain…

    Life’s Fat Traps: We all gain weight for different reasons. You often hear about one-size-fits-all weight loss solutions that take little or no consideration of how the extra weight piled up in the first place. To experience true weight loss it is important to understand why you gained it in the first place.

    Think back to the time in your life when your weight was just right. Were you in your teens? Your twenties? Or maybe your thirties? Picture yourself as you were at your ideal weight. Now when did things change? Was it a gradual addition of pounds that accumulated over a span of multiple years? Or did you gain it all at once?

    Check out the following weight gain triggers and determine which one is responsible for your plight.

    College: The college years are some of the easiest for gaining weight. In fact, a recent study by Cornell University found that on average, college freshman gain about 0.5 pounds a week – almost 11 times more than the average weight gain among 17-and 18-year olds and almost 20 times more than the average weight gain among American adults.

    Marriage: There’s nothing like holy matrimony to encourage a barrage of calories to overtake your diet. Late night comfort snacks are always more enjoyable when you have someone to share them with—and who better than the person who pledged to stick by your side through sickness and health?

    Pregnancy: Talk about a great time to gain weight! And we’re not just talking about women here—most men admit that they gained ‘sympathy’ pounds right along with their wife. Hormonal changes along with strong encouragement from everyone you know to indulge in anything their heart desires leave most pregnant women with a feeling of entitlement when it comes to food.

    Career: Though you may not realize it, your career choice plays a major hand in your weight. Those who go from an active lifestyle to spending 8 hours a day behind a desk and another 2 hours commuting almost universally gain weight. Conversely, people who spend their 8 hours in constant motion find weight loss a natural byproduct of the job.

    New Habits: Close your eyes and go back to the fat trap that triggered your weight gain. What changed in your lifestyle? To help sort things out, I’ve broken things down into two specific behavioral categories.

    Eating Habits: Did your eating pattern change at this time in your life? If your weight gain occurred in college then maybe you went from eating 3 square meals to an all-you-can-eat buffet style cafeteria. Or if marriage was your weight gain trigger, then maybe you went from eating small meals to fattening comfort food. Pregnancy brings on the perfect environment for a change in eating habits. You go from eating normally, to eating ‘for two’, to munching on your baby’s snacks right along with him! Your job can also dictate your eating schedule. Long hours and early meetings may cause you to grab a donut or chips from the vending machine.

    Activity Level: The second category that leads to weight gain is your activity level. Simply put, what kind of exercise were you doing before your life changing event and how does it compare to your current exercise regime? Chances are good that you were doing more exercise before your weight gain began—which means that you are doing less exercise today! Go ahead, think back to the exercises or physical activities that you used to do and compare them to your schedule today.

    Your Transformation: You’ve figured out which fat trap in your life led to weight gain, and then narrowed down the exact behaviors that changed as a result, so this naturally leads us to a solution.

    It’s time to make a change.

    Call or email today to get started on a fitness program that will make you immune to all of life’s fat traps.

    Once you start working with me, those numbers on your scale will quickly change direction. Let’s do this!

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