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At 88, The Healthy Routine That Works For Me

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In my previous blogs, I've talked about what I eat to remain healthy and energetic at 88 years of age. In this blog I will provide some examples.

My day begins a little before 6 a.m. I never set an alarm clock. First stop is my home gym for an hour of cardio, then some strength training, working about eight to 10 machines, increasing the resistance until exhaustion is reached. My routine includes between 20 and 30 push-ups. I drink coffee in the morning and a few cups throughout the day. Among coffee's health benefits are lower risk of Parkinson's,Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and dementia.

Maybe some people will not agree but I like to eat sardines in the morning for breakfast. I think some people will have a hard time eating sardines in olive oil or pickled sardines for breakfast. I guess that is why I am still single.

Here's a sample breakfast from my diet:

BREAKFAST

Steel cut oatmeal with:
pineapple, bananas, raspberries, black raspberries, blueberries and sliced almonds

Egg white omelet with
tomatoes, broccoli, red bell peppers, spinach, mushrooms and onions

Sardines (2)

Pineapple juice

Morning reading includes the many faxes that arrive overnight from my office and all around the world, as well as four newspapers, which is exercise for the brain that runs the entire body. Then it's time to be dressed and out the door.

People always ask me what I like to eat and my three favorite fish to get my Omega-3s are John Dory, Dover sole and salmon. For lunch and/or dinner, I will eat a small piece of salmon with a green salad and vegetable soup. I also like to eat pickled herring. Did you know that six ounces of pickled herring provides 270 percent of vitamin B12? I was surprised to learn it also contains 7 grams of saturated fat - 35 percent of the daily value.

I try to eat as near perfect as possible but once in a while I eat for my taste buds. For example, I occasionally like to treat myself to a small cup of chocolate frozen yogurt -- plus toppings. I also enjoy a little bar of dark chocolate (70 percent cacao), which has heart healthy compounds, even though it has quite a bit of saturated fat. I try to limit myself to one or two. People ask, "How do you eat so much?" The answer is that I expend a lot of energy.

Here's a sample lunch and dinner from my diet:

LUNCH

Vegetable soup
Baby spinach salad with:
sliced apple, pecans

DINNER

Broccoli soup
Grilled halibut
Roasted tomatoes with olives and capers
Barley risotto
Roasted pear halves in port

To those people who want to lose weight and maybe have tried different diets without success -- I would say the following: When you eat a diet that is primarily fruit and vegetables, the high water and fiber content really fills you up. Plus, by eating good quantities of fruit and vegetables every day, you're essentially getting all your nutrient needs met, and that helps you feel satisfied.

I built and created the North Carolina Research Campus to do research on obesity, among other nutrition related studies. According to Professor Mary Ann Lila, who holds the David H. Murdock Chair for Nutrition at North Carolina State University, "People tend to eat the same volume of food every day." If you eat mostly fruit, vegetables, nuts, fish, whole grains and beans -- you will never be hungry, and you will be protecting your body through great nutrition. If you eat high calorie snacks, junk food and fast food, that same volume of food will add up to thousands more calories than you need, and will leave you hungry at the end of the day.

MURDOCK'S SHOPPING LIST:

Bananas, Apples, Pineapple, Cherries
Blueberries, Peaches, Strawberries, Kale
Papaya, Spinach, Pomegranate, Broccoli
Guava, Sweet Potatoes, Kiwi, Red Bell Pepper
Prunes, Cauliflower, Oranges, Arugula
Blackberries, Asparagus, Raspberries
Butternut Squash, Figs, Carrots, Cantaloupe
Tomatoes, Mango, Brussels Sprouts, Grapefruit
Cabbage, Watermelon, Artichokes, Cranberries, Pumpkin

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