Red Meat & Cholesterol
This episode introduces good health and nutrition to the meals we eat, and sets the theme for the entire first series with one of the most common dietary dilemmas in America, the issue of red meat and cholesterol. The savory and taste-temping recipes, including bitter/sweet steak salad and roast lamb with chimichurri and ratatouille, puts into proportion how much is too much red meat and whether dietary cholesterol is actually the health threat we were convinced it was decades ago. In this episode, David travels to his seaside getaway in Scotland for a beachside lamb barbecue - Hebridean-style - before heading back to his studio kitchen near Palm Springs to roast the lamb home-style. The episode wraps up with the "Second Helpings" segment, featuring resident dietician Elizabeth Kelsey discussing healthy portions for red meat meals, the truth about dietary cholesterol and the greater concern we should have concerning overall saturated fat in our foods. Next is an upbeat "Earn What You Eat" golf segment to leave viewers with the important message that physical activity is just as important to a healthy lifestyle as fresh, nutritious and flavorful food.
The Salt Show: Sodium Vs. Hypertension
The episode begins with a hot location intro... literally! The July temperature was 117 as host David Jackson stands atop 60 million tons of reflectively white sodium chloride at Bristol Dry Lake in the Mojave Desert. Emphasizing the importance of reducing salt in our cooking and eliminating 'hidden' sodium from our diets overall, "The Salt Show" consists of two exemplary, in-kitchen recipes, no salt chicken chili verde and low sodium orange sesame chicken. David also visits Uig Lodge & Smokehouse in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland to learn all about the pros and cons of salt-cured smoked salmon. Dr. Philip Shaver, founder of Desert Cardiology at Eisenhower Medical Center is interviewed on why a low sodium diet helps combat hypertension and improves heart health, while resident dietician Elizabeth Kelse illustrates where, how and why - from a food perspective - we should shed sodium from our meals. Finally, David swaps his chef's knife for hiking boots during the "Earn What You Eat" segment in order to trek the arid Kelso Sand Dunes in the Mojave Desert and illustrate the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle as we age.
Omega 3's: Are They A Fish Story?
Healthy Omega-3 fatty acids are found in a variety of fresh foods, but according to resident dietician and "Second Helpings" co-host, Elizabeth Kelsey, seafood, particularly finned fish like salmon and mackerel, is the most efficient source for our bodies. Episode three begins beside Uig Bain the Outer Hebrides, and leads the viewers through three great seafood recipes high in Omega-3's. They include mussels marinara, smoked mackerel pate, and foil roasted salmon with lemon and dill. Out-of-kitchen adventures also season this seaside episode, with host David Jackson collecting the mussels, catching the mackerel and educating viewers about wild vs. farmed salmon prior to preparing the trio of Omega 3-rich delicacies. David takes a dive in Uig Bay for an undersea "Earn What You Eat" segment, re-emphasizing the importance of both healthy food and appealing exercise as the years go by.
Sweet Things: Is Sugar Public Enemy #1?
This episode shows viewers exactly how to satisfy a sweet tooth with creative deserts containing a healthy package of nutritionally sweet benefits, as opposed to refined white sugar which contains nothing but empty calories. "Sweet Things" opens in the arid date gardens of southern California's Coachella Valley, where David introduces three delectable desert desserts - a Mediterranean sweet/savory dessert tray, boozy oranges with a hint of chocolate and date and bourbon Chantilly cream over fresh fruit. David whips up all these yummy temptations from his kitchen studio near Palm Springs. David takes an out-of-kitchen adventure to Oasis Date Gardens. There he experiences the annual harvest of this ancient, semi-dry fruit. It's agriculture like you've never seen, and possibly never tasted before. Also, dietician Elizabeth Kelsey educates viewers to the surprising nutritional benefits of dates, and other fruits, while cautioning about using too much refined sugar in her "Second Helpings" segment. Then David goes for a jog to wrap up the show with another "Earn What You Eat" message about the importance of positive activity and fitness, no matter your age.
Dietary Fiber: Bulking Up On Taste
David Jackson reflects on the passage of time, watching himself on a mid-century television set as much younger David promotes the importance of fiber. This is from his first cooking show 35 years ago. The message is similar. Only the messenger has changed, which in point of fact makes a high fiber message all the more vital. The tasty menu includes David's delicious almost chicken soup, so loaded with hearty, healthy and fresh vegetables and beans that there's almost no room left for lean, skinless chunks of chicken breast. Then there's his adaption of a Middle Eastern classic, tabbouleh with artichoke. By adding this fibrous and flavorful vegetable, the equation is improved: fiber + fiber = delicious! Hungry viewers are also in store for an informative segment on "The Sources of Dietary Fiber," followed by Elizabeth's "Second Helpings" segment, which further informs viewers as to why more fiber in food is vital as we age. Wrapping up the episode, David goes back to his hideaway in the Outer Hebrides to work up a good sweat cutting peat for his "Earn What You Eat Segment." Hebridean peat, which is fuel rather than fodder, is 4,000 years of accumulated grass and heather compressed into Scottish firewood.
The Power of Protein
The series is not just an average 'How To' cooking program. Instead, it's more a 'Why To' series emphasizing the importance of a nutritious and health-sustaining diet as we age. This episode advances this philosophy, while balancing good nutrition with abundant flavor, thanks to three disparate but delectable recipes. First, host David Jackson creates a trio of "devilish" eggs in the kitchen. Instead of traditionally deviled yolks, David stuffs the high protein egg whites with enticing and surprising low fat fillings like zesty guacamole and curried squash. Ounce for ounce, lobster has as much protein as beefsteak, but a fraction of the saturated fat. So, David travels to his seaside hideaway in Scotland to catch and cook a luscious 'lobbie' right on the beach. Then it's back to his desert kitchen for Spanish arroz and frijoles pintos picantes. In other words, good old rice and beans, which together provide a super low fat protein, source, but masses of flavor thanks to garlic, chili and a decadent culinary twist. The episode finishes with the dietary pros and cons of protein in the "Second Helpings" segment. Then another visit to Scotland has David showing that hauling a heavy lobster creel from the depths, with a slippery line, is a very taxing way to "Earn What You Eat!"
Eating The Rainbow
Chef/host David Jackson creates an impressive poulet jardin, which translates to chicken in the garden. It's eight tasty and well-presented recipes in one, most of them plant-based and colorful, and artfully arranged on a huge silver platter. David begins the show on location, shopping for a rainbow of vegetables at the Joshua Tree Certified Farmer's Market near his desert home. Then it's into the kitchen to prepare herb-roasted whole chicken, grilled zucchini and asparagus (green), roast cauliflower (winter white), sauteed red cabbage (blue/purple), roast butternut squash (orange/yellow), crumb crusted tomatoes (red) and glazed carrots (orange). Then he joins resident dietician Elizabeth Kelsey for a colorful "Second Helpings" segment to discuss why naturally occurring blue/purple foods help prevent heart disease, why green/yellow veggies combat macular degeneration, why the Lycopene in red foods, like ripe tomatoes, is such a powerful anti-oxidant and why orange fruits and vegetables help moderate blood sugar and improve immune function. And once the apron is off, David wraps up the episode with another outdoor "Earn What You Eat" message. This time it's some careful, age-appropriate rock climbing at Joshua Tree National Park, reminding viewers that we're never too old to explore and have fun while we keep fit and nimble... ish.
Dietary Fat: The Good, The Bad & The Necessary
Series host David Jackson prepares two exemplary recipes in the studio kitchen. First, a low fat open-face burger and then grilled ahi tuna steak with herbaceous olive oil sauce, both illustrating how easy it is to cut saturated fats, emphasize healthier mono-unsaturated fats and not lose a speck of flavor in the process. David visits Thom Curry, owner of Temecula Olive Oil Company. Thom is on the board of the California Olive Oil Council and a member of the C.O.O.C. Certification Tasting Panel. He explains the health benefits, flavor profiles, culinary attributes and even marketing stratagems of olive oil, while showing David how top quality olives are picked and pressed into green/gold elixir. David and Elizabeth also get together for another "Second Helpings" segment of nutritionally vital Q&A about dietary fats, after which he closes the episode on his bike with another "Earn What You Eat" fitness message.
Unloading Carbs: Reducing Dietary Starch
Potatoes, pasta and rice are just a few examples of our daily intake of carbohydrates, and each is on the menu in this episode. But as we age, we should unload some of these excess starches and sugars in favor of better choices and more modest portions. That's why David and Elizabeth have chosen three excellent recipes to illustrate how unloading carbs doesn't mean eliminating them altogether. From the studio kitchen in Palm Springs, David prepares classic parsley potatoes with the skin-on, for added nutrition, and sauteed in healthful and flavorful olive oil. Then it's off to Scotland for an out-of-kitchen adventure to collect fresh cockles on Uig Sands before adding them to an extraordinary whole wheat fusilli vongole. The cockles boost the lean protein intake while the whole grain pasta equals complex carbs, which are better for us. And finally it's back to the studio kitchen for vegetable and brown rice pilaf, with added onion, carrot, zucchini, dates and walnuts, further reducing empty carbohydrates and enhancing flavor. Most importantly, registered dietician Elizabeth Kelsey educates viewers about the importance of unrefined carbohydrates in what we eat during her "Second Helpings" segment. Healthy, whole-food carbs are excellent brain food and important for gut health. She also emphasizes portion. Healthy meals should consist of a single carbohydrate, not two or three, and the portion should not exceed a quarter of our plate. Finally, David recaps the show with another inspiring "Earn What You Eat" segment, this time from a rowboat on Loch Morsgail, rather than a rowing machine in a sweaty gym.
Aging & The Loss of Taste
There are no spectacles or hearing aids for our taste buds, but there are two important things we can do to maintain the enjoyment of our meals. One is to pack more flavors into our food without grabbing the saltshaker. The other is maintaining excellent oral health. Host David Jackson has chosen two spectacular recipes that exemplify the first. Fortified Marsala wine is a highly distinctive flavor and he uses it in his pork tenderloin Marsala, rife with garlic, shallots and mushrooms, accompanied by whole wheat spaghetti with spinach, to prepare a memorable meal. Then there are mango chicken brochettes. The sweet perfume of this fresh tropical fruit, along with chili and ginger, really perks up taste buds and the big chunks of skinless chicken breast, onions and bell pepper that sizzle on their skewers. The other aid in combating loss of taste is healthy teeth and gums. That's why David visits with Palm Desert maxillofacial prosthodontist Dr. Christian Luzar, who explains the anatomy of our mouths, plus how and why saliva, and a healthy chew, have a lot to do with our continued flavor recognition. Also, dietician Elizabeth Kelsey backs up Christian's good information with more of her own during her "Second Helpings" segment. As to David's ending "Earn What You Eat" spot, what could be a more old school active lifestyle choice than bowling? It's low impact, good for leg strength, grip strength, hand/eye coordination and flexibility.
The Weighty Issue of Calorie Counting
Chef/host David Jackson and resident dietician Elizabeth Kelsey show viewers that healthy calories from whole foods are nothing to stress over and not worth tabulating. But empty calories, from highly refined, over-processed foods, are what we need to scrutinize. David's trio of good calorie - not just low calorie - recipes reflect this fresh and tasty approach with Italian insalata di cavolo, plus stick-to-your-ribs southern-style beans and greens, both whipped up in the studio kitchen. Then it's off to Scotland for another outdoor culinary adventure. David prepares a lip-smacking Pollock ceviche at low tide, on the seabed of the very bay where he caught the Pollock hours before. Then in another enlightening "Second Helpings" segment, Elizabeth sets us straight about what comprises a sensible diet, how many and what kind of calories we should be eating, and why so many sensational weight loss schemes are just that... schemes. And in his "Earn What You Eat" segment to close the show, David burns off calories in the pool to illustrate that swimming is one of the finest exercises we can indulge in as we age.
The Spices of Life
Herbs and spices offer a bounty of concentrated anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that are greater than almost any other category of foodstuffs. But best of all, spices offer a superior variety of intense flavor alternatives that shame salt and sugar by comparison. Host David Jackson opens the show in the kitchen amidst a bazaar of exotic spices. Donning his apron, it's straight into a pair of outright delicious Indian-influenced recipes, fresh and easy lamb curry and vegetarian saag aloo. Plus, his own rendition of a family recipe from Scandinavia-spiced fruit compote - that would be right at home in the Madras. The "Second Helpings" segment offers nutrition advice from resident dietician Elizabeth Kelsey. For instance, did you know that cinnamon helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar, allspice regulates blood pressure, the capsaicin in red chili peppers reduces appetite and has anti-cancer properties, and turmeric is a veritable cure-all? To close the show, David rambles the headlands and beaches near his cottage in the Outer Hebrides to remind viewers that a long walk after a good meal is one of the least strenuous yet most enjoyable ways to "Earn What You Eat," no matter where you stroll.
Eating Away at Inflammation
Every recipe in each of the series' episode helps fight inflammation. The saturated fats, sodium and sugar shows teach food behavior to combat heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. However, the episodes about healthier fats, fiber, spices, protein and the vegetable rainbow teach that health-positive meals are also taste positive. But they all help prevent inflammation, no matter what their additional attributes may be. From the kitchen, David has a few culinary surprises up his sleeve, including a seafood mixed grill that offers a taste-tempting, heart healthy alternative to an old English chophouse favorite. After all, which do you prefer, sizzling salmon, scallops and prawns dressed with lemon, olive oil and anti-inflammatory Omega-3's, or fatty steak, sausage, kidneys and bacon with a side of clogged arteries and swollen joints? David also visits Dr. Kari Hortos, Sr. Assoc. Dean at MSUCOM, to learn more about inflammation from a medical perspective and share this good information with viewers. Then he joins Elizabeth Kelsey, R.D. for another "Second Helpings" segment to examine the subject of inflammation from the perspective of nutrition. In another energizing "Earn What You Eat" segment, highly active, relatively low impact competitive sports, like tennis, are excellent for maintaining aerobic fitness and foot-hand-eye coordination well into our 50's, 60's, 70's and beyond.