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Cooking To Turn Back Biological Clock

Eating healthy isn't easy.

But eating certain foods can actually add years to your life and still taste good, says Dr. Michael Roizen, co-author of "Cooking the RealAge Way."

Dr. Roizen, author of New York Times bestseller "RealAge: Are You As Young As You Can Be?" created the "RealAge" concept — that your age is based not on calendar years, but on the way you live your life.

"Cooking the RealAge Way" provides over 80 recipes to "turn back the biological clock."

On The Early Show Tuesday, Dr. Roizen showed co-anchor Harry Smith a typical RealAge breakfast, lunch and dinner, and explained why each is the way to go, health-wise.

RECIPES, and EXPLANATIONS

Breakfast: Fabulous French Toast with Spiced Fruit and Powdered Sugar
Prep Time: 8 min
Cook time: 12 min

2 cups unfiltered apple juice or apple cider
1 cinnamon stick or 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup mixed dried fruit bits, such as Sunsweet brand
2 egg whites, beaten until frothy
1/2 cup nonfat vanilla soy milk
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Butter-flavored cooking oil spray
8 slices whole wheat or multigrain bread, such as Natural Ovens brand
2 teaspoons confectioner's sugar

Combine juice and cinnamon stick or cinnamon in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; boil gently 3 minutes to reduce slightly. Add fruit bits; simmer uncovered 8 minutes or until fruit is tender and sauce thickens. Discard cinnamon stick.

Meanwhile, combine egg whites, soy milk, and nutmeg in a pie plate or shallow dish. Heat a large nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Coat skillet with cooking oil spray. Dip each slice of bread into milk mixture, turning to coat both sides lightly. Cook on hot griddle 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Transfer to four serving plates; top with fruit mixture. Place confectioners' sugar in strainer; shake over French toast to dust lightly with sugar.

Substitutions:
Diced dried apples or apricots may be substituted for fruit bits. One-half cup liquid egg substitute may replace egg whites.

Tips:
Reducing the apple cider is an easy way to add extra flavor to this topping. During the simmering time, the water evaporates, leaving a more concentrated flavor behind. Do not soak the bread in the milk mixture too long or the French toast will become soggy. A quick turn of the bread in the milk mixture will suffice.

What's different here?

The first thing is using egg whites. When we remove the yolks, we remove the unhealthy fat.

Any tips on buying whole wheat bread?

You have to be careful. On the packaging, you want to see 100 percent whole wheat or whole grain. If you see wheat flour, it's not as good. If the package says "a good source of," it means there's as little as 13 percent whole wheat. If the packaging says "excellent source of," it's as little as 20 percent. You don't want to see enriched flour, either: What that is, is refined. Also, you don't want sugar in your whole wheat bread. Three-quarters of breads I've sampled have sugar as one of their first five ingredients. You want less than two grams of sugar per serving.

Any other particularly good ingredients in the breakfast?

Apple Juice, which has flavanoids. Also, cinnamon. Cinnamon is an appetite suppressant. What it does is it gets your glucose to go into cells more quickly and with more ease, so it goes into your brain to tell you you're full more quickly.

Lunch: Two-Bean Chili with Avocado and Salsa
Prep: 5 min
Cook time: 30 min

2 tsps canola or olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
2 tsps dried oregano leaves, preferably Mexican
1/2 cup salsa, preferably guajillo chile salsa, such as Frontero Foods brand
1 can (15 to 16 oz) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can black or kidney beans
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes or diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1 ripe medium avocado, peeled seeded and diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add oil then onion and oregano. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salsa, beans and tomatoes. Cover; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer 25 minutes. Ladle into bowls, top with avocado and cilantro.

Substitutions:
Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley can be used instead of cilantro for those who prefer the bright clean mineral flavors of parsley to the perfume and pungency of cilantro. This seasonal recipe uses Fuerte avocados, which seem to peak in fall and winter. If you use Haas avocados, the recipe becomes a spring and summer treat, as Haas peak in the spring and summer.

Tips:
Leftover chili may be covered and refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months. The chili may be drained or cooked uncovered to thicken and used as a burrito filling.

Isn't chili fatty?

This chili has nothing but outstanding foods in it: onion, avocado, beans, tomatoes. Every one of those is good for you. We took out the meat, but kept flavor in by having great salsa and chilis, and the two cans of different types of beans. Two types of beans accentuates the flavor of both, so you don't need some of those fatty flavors.

Other health benefits can be found in the beans, which have a lot of fiber, potassium, magnesium.

There are only 15 key ingredients that are said to make a different in health. Six of the 15 ingredients are in this chili, plus there's no saturated or transfat.

Magnesium and potassium decrease the aging of arteries, and the healthy fat from salsa and tomatoes decreases the aging of arteries and helps the immune system.

Spiciness doesn't really have any health benefits but, because the chili's hot and because it has spiciness, it leaves you hot, so it makes you feel good on a cool fall day.

We don't use cheese or sour cream on the chili since they have unhealthy fats but, if you really want to do cheese, you want to put shavings on, not chunks; that way, you use a much smaller amount and still keep the intense flavor.

Dinner: Coriander-Crusted Sea Bass and Asparagus over Sweet Potato Puree
Prep time: 12 min
Cook time: 18 min

2 large sweet potatoes (about 1.25 lbs)
1 bunch (about 14 oz) asparagus spears
2.5 tsps olive oil
4 (4-oz) sea bass fillets cut to 1 to 1.25 inches thick
2 tsps ground coriander
1.25 tsps salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsps coriander seeds
1/4 cup low-salt chicken broth or reserved sweet potato cooking water
1/4 cup chopped toasted pistachios

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a simmer. Cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Cook in simmering water, uncovered, about 15 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, arrange asparagus in a shallow baking dish. Add 1/2 tsp oil, turning asparagus to coat with oil. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp-tender, depending on thickness of asparagus.

Rinse and pat fish dry with paper towel. Rub 1 tsp of the oil over meaty side of fish; sprinkle ground coriander, 1/2 tsp salt, and cayenne pepper over fish. Press coriander seeds into fish. Heat a large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add fish, seasoned side down. Cook 3 minutes or until fish is browned and seared. Turn fish over; transfer skillet to oven. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until fish is opaque and slightly firm to touch.

Drain sweet potatoes; return to saucepan. Add remaining 1 tsp oil, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and chicken broth. Mash with a potato masher. Transfer to four serving plates. Top with fish and asparagus. Garnish with nuts.

Substitutions:
Striped bass may replace the sea bass, and boniato (commonly referred to as Cuban sweet potato) may replace the sweet potato. The boniato, which has white flesh, should be peeled. It needs a few more minutes of simmering to become tender, and more chicken broth, than the yellow- or orange-fleshed sweet potato does, but is deliciously filling.

Tips:
Coriander is the seed that gives rise to cilantro, but you might never guess that relationship as their flavors are so different.

For fish, you want to eat about 13 ounces a week, which is roughly a portion the size of a fist, three times a week.

Your stomach is roughly the size of your fist, so you want to eat portions that are about that size. Also, stop eating when you start to feel full, not when you're already stuffed.

In general, you want to avoid "white food" such as pasta, potatoes, and cream sauces. There are three exceptions: cauliflower, fish and egg whites. Everything else, you should avoid.

Fish has healthy fat and healthy protein, though many people don't realize it. It decreases cancer risk and aging arteries, which means you have less chance for heart attack, stroke and impotence.

This dish also has a lot of selenium (pistachios), which are good for reducing, we think, cancer in general, but specifically prostate cancer and breast cancer.

Coriander just gives the dish flavor.

Why sweet potatoes over regular potatoes? Sweet potatoes have a lot more nutrients for the calories. God made them correctly: The brightest color things are more intense in nutrients. Nutrients give them their color. Regular potatoes have magnesium and potassium; sweet potatoes have those plus other things called flavanoids.


RealAge, Inc. says it "provides personalized information and solutions to help people live healthier, longer lives through an integration of media and services."

Since 1999, 13 million people have taken the patented RealAge Test, which RealAge says "is widely accepted as the gold standard for measuring individual health status."

The RealAge Test and over 40 personalized health assessments are available for free at RealAge.com.

To take the RealAge test, go to RealAge.com.

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