The 100 Years Club Installment #24: The Perfect Balanced Meal (The Centenarian Diet Plan)Reading Time: 5 minutes
Most of us love it. And now, as more of us live longer, some of us think a lot more about how it can impact our health and longevity. After all, many of us are determined to get into that “100 Years Club.”
What we eat can bring us joy and connect us with others. Every year, when I attend the Fancy Food Show (twice this year!) I am reminded about how much the people who create and serve the food impact the experience. Many of us have memories of childhood and associations between what we ate and what we were doing, who we were with, and how we felt.
But enough blathering about the many joys of consumption. Let’s get down to the stuff I ingested (and loved) at the show.
If I were to craft an entire meal from some of what I sampled…
I’d start with some sort of interesting cocktail or mocktail.
- Sayso is a new woman-founded brand and the first-ever cocktail tea bag. No fuss, no mess. And the flavors are pretty amazing. (I personally like the spicy skinny marg.) Sayso was the “People’s Choice” in the new products pitch too! (Non-alcoholic beverages were all the rage this year at the show BTW.)
Also on the must-sip drink list are:
- Waterdrop Microdrinks add just the right amount of flavor to the clear stuff.I often fail to hydrate, but I’d definitely carry these around for in-between meal water consumption. Cute packaging too!
- Maury’s Hive Tea was just what the doctor ordered (sorta). I’m not a tea fan, but I’m getting over a cough, and (like chicken soup) tea with honey is what my mother would have recommended. Here’s the coolest part! The brand comes pre-flavored with honey in the tea bag. No fuss, no mess, and SUPER soothing and tasty!
But what about food that must be chewed? Because, after all, I still have teeth!
Plant-based alternatives to meat and fish faves are everywhere. But my top picks from the show are:
- Hellenic Farms fig salami. It can sit on my charcuterie board any day all day long!
- Jasberry (which won first place in the pitch slam) is a superfood ingredient. I am not a big rice fan, but this stuff totally changed my thinking!
- Another awesome side dish (and staple in my home cabinet) is Miracle Noodle.
- More protein? YES! Chi is plant-based ground pork, which will definitely mix well with either of the two sides I’ve just listed.
- Sauces and dressings can be difficult to find if you don’t eat sugar. But G. Hughes has quite the array, and he was even kind enough to pose for a pic with me!
- Drum roll, please! Among my faves this year were Rosti Stuft Spuds. In fact, I’m not sure what category to put them in because I could literally eat them at every meal. They are like healthier tater tots. And the couple behind the brand is genuine, engaging, and passionate about their business. (They won last year’s pitch slam. Clearly, I have a soft spot — and a crunchy spot — for food founders.)
Speaking of spuds, I can be a couch potato.
I love a great snack. Having just the right end-of-day treat to accompany that trash reality TV show is a calming ending to every day. But how do you sloth and Netflix without packing on the pounds?
- Vegan Rob’s launched a chip called “Whale Sperm” because it contains collagen. The founder is the guy behind Pirate’s Booty, so it figures that he’d give his product a winky name.
- Yuca Balls do not have anything to do with male anatomy. They are gluten-free and made from cassava.
- Flows Tasty Treats are a mix of toasted corn and peanuts. I loved the founder as much as the product itself!
- Nutsola is kinda fruity and kind of crunchy. The perfect sweet/snacky blend. And sweetened with dates, so even if you don’t have a date, you can enjoy your evening. (Of course, I had to figure in how to link to my dating site!)
- And now that the temps in AZ are well over 100 degrees, an occasional frozen treat is in order. Protelicious makes an amazing flavorful protein-packed dessert.
- Speaking of sweet somethings, the products from Lakanto (monk fruit) include chocolate-covered peanuts. Sweeteners are very controversial these days, so I limit my consumption.
But when in doubt…
- Runamok makes maple- and honey-based products, including a sparkly syrup that I just wanted to pour over everything!
- Honey Blossom is 100% real honey that comes in various flavors.
And now for the odds and ends category…
When you’re gonna splurge, be sure to pick something truly yummy and not too unhealthy!
- Although I’m mostly dairy-free, I’m a total sucker for this cheese. And I love the name — The Big Moo! You can even make grilled cheese without bread.
- Pigs in blankets are ubiquitous. Why wait for a bar mitzvah? Pig out on Brooklyn Piggies. (Women founded it, and a little gluten won’t shorten my life dramatically.)
- Fact: We all need more fruits and vegetables in our diets.
- Another Fact: Eating food out of a pouch is convenient and fun (which is why kids love to do it).
- Yet Another Fact: Food made with love is the best food.
- And Now the Final Fact: Random connections on social media can sometimes lead to great things. I met the founders of Kekoa Foods via a Facebook friend when I posted that I was at the show. He suggested I stop by the Keoka booth. I met the founders and sampled their amazing organic baby food (which is for big babies like me too). I saw them pitch in the Fast Pitch, and although they didn’t ultimately win, they built amazing awareness and at least one new fan. Got kids? Have dental problems? Or just like pouches? Check them out.
And that human story seems like just the right way to end this post. As I’ve said before, food made with love and geared toward longevity is the best food.
Great ingredients, kind and fun people, and hospitality always leave a good taste in your mouth at any age.
I’m not sure exactly what I’ll eat over the next 33+ years, but I’ll attend The Fancy Food Show as long as I can walk or scooter the aisles!
My Fancy Food “album”
(The video is of me listening to a lollipop pre-programmed to play music. Yeah…bizarre but oddly sweet, and it combines my passions for food and tunes.)
Ways to get smarter about smart food and longevity:
|Who are the food “influencers” today?
|Things to eat sparingly (or not at all)
|Will I see you in 2024 in Vegas?