101 Optimal Life Foods


In this revolutionary guide, leading nutritionist David Grotto shares everyday foods that will help to remedy health issues large and small.

From headaches to joint pain, acne to anxiety, chronically cold feet to depression, 101 Optimal Life Foods takes on thirty of the most common health issues–and shows you how to introduce healing fare to your diet through delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes. Inside you’ll discover that

• Chocolate, tea, and ...

See more details below
BN.com price
(Save 11%)$16.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (49) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $8.82   
  • Used (43) from $1.99   
101 Optimal Life Foods

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price


In this revolutionary guide, leading nutritionist David Grotto shares everyday foods that will help to remedy health issues large and small.

From headaches to joint pain, acne to anxiety, chronically cold feet to depression, 101 Optimal Life Foods takes on thirty of the most common health issues–and shows you how to introduce healing fare to your diet through delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes. Inside you’ll discover that

• Chocolate, tea, and dried plums reduce the signs of aging skin.
• Combining walnuts and cherries can lead to the best sleep of your life.
• Artichoke leaves bring relief from common stomach ailments.
• Oysters can alleviate the effects of crippling migraines.
• Wasabi helps treat bad breath.

More than twenty-five years of clinical experience have shown Grotto just how powerful food can be in the lives of his patients. Now his individualized meal plans make it easy for you to incorporate healing foods into your own diet, using such tempting recipes as Cherry Zinger Smoothie, Tropical Fruit and Shrimp Gazpacho, and Mediterranean Grilled Bluefish. By combining the most flavorful, nutritious foods in the world with the latest breakthrough research, Grotto will help you become the healthiest you’ve ever been in your life!

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"For the millions of Americans tired of hearing about 'what not to eat,' this book is a refreshing and enlightening guide to improving your health by adding delicious foods to your diet. Dave's simple explanations for why these foods are potential 'life savers' makes the book enjoyable to read, and the recipes bring the science to life on your plate."—Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Nutrition Director, Prevention Magazine

"This book gives you "food for thought" about ways to use food to aide digestion, decrease inflammation and even improve your mood. Dave Grotto's simple nutritional solutions for common health conditions can easily become a part of your overall wellness routine." —Robert Kushner, M.D., Clinical Director of the Northwestern Comprehensive Center on Obesity and author of The Personality Type Diet


Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553386264
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/29/2009
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 1,474,902
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

David Grotto, RD, LDN, is the national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, and president and founder of Nutrition Housecall, LLC, a nutrition consulting firm that offers personalized at-home and group dietary guidance. Formerly the director of nutrition education at the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Care in Evanston, Illinois, he continues his private practice. Grotto lives in Elmhurst, Illinois.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Thirty Challenges to an Optimal Life

Part 1

The Skin You’re In

Aging and Damaged Skin

That Youthful Appearance

Did you know . . . the effects of aging on the skin can be visibly apparent as early as the twenties?

Optimal Food/Nutrient Highlights

Vitamin A–, E– and C– rich foods, chocolate, apples, beans, tea, olive oil, vegetables, dried plums.

What Is Aging and Damaged Skin?

The skin is the body’s first line of defense against environmental damage and foreign invaders such as harmful bacteria. Yet for all the protection the skin’s three layers provide, if the skin isn’t well cared for, the wear and tear of a well-lived life can leave one looking ravaged—not ravaging. Collagen and elastin form in the skin’s middle layer, called the dermis. These two proteins give the skin firmness and the ability to stretch and bounce back into shape. The signs of aging become noticeable as collagen and elastin diminish and change over time.

Though skin cells constantly regenerate, the combination of genetics, environmental stressors, lifestyle, and the quality of our nutrition ultimately affects the rate at which our skin ages. The aging process begins around our mid-twenties, as collagen production slows and the elastin begins to lose its “spring.” The rate of skin aging varies from individual to individual. As you and your skin age, you may begin to notice fine wrinkles; thin and transparent skin; loss of fat underneath the skin, which gives a “hollowed cheek and eye socket” appearance; sagging skin; or dry, itchy skin.

What Causes Premature Aging of the Skin?

Enemy #1: Sun exposure. Most premature aging of the skin is attributed to extrinsic or external factors over which we may have some influence. Repeated ultraviolet (UV) exposure breaks down collagen, impairs the synthesis of new collagen, and breaks down elastin. Not only do these processes cause the skin to become loose, wrinkled, and leathery, but UV exposure is associated with skin conditions like age spots, spider veins, and skin cancer.

Sun exposure is the biggest concern, yet there are other, unavoidable natural factors that can speed up wrinkling of the skin:

Repetitive facial expressions. What was once thought to help sagging facial muscles may actually lead to fine lines and wrinkles. As the skin ages, it loses its elasticity, and the “smile lines” that once disappeared when the smile went away can now show up as fine lines and wrinkles on the face. This is no excuse not to smile, because experts agree that nothing looks worse than a sad, boo-hoo face!

Sleeping position. Wrinkles can develop from sleeping on your side with your face on the pillow. Change your sleeping position if you can.

Gravity literally drags skin down over a lifetime.

Lifestyle. The choices that we make in our daily lives contribute to prematurely aging skin. The top three culprits are smoking, poor sleep habits, and poor or improper diet.

•Smoking. Like overexposure to the sun, smoking can cause the skin to age rapidly. Several studies compared people who smoke ten or more cigarettes daily for at least ten years with nonsmokers. The results showed that the ten-a-day smokers’ skin tended to be more deeply wrinkled and leathery.

•Poor sleep habits. Insufficient or poor-quality sleep is most noticeable on the face with dark circles and baggy eyes. In most cases, this appearance can be lessened by improving your sleep habits.

•Poor or improper diet. The skin requires adequate nutrition and hydration to keep it healthy in appearance and function. Optimal Life Foods

Vitamins A, E, and C help the skin heal and repair itself and also help protect it from the ravages of ultraviolet light. Vitamin C is also essential for collagen production, which keeps skin firm. Vitamin A–rich foods include eggs, milk, carrots, apricots, nectarines, sweet potatoes, and spinach.

Vitamin E–rich foods include almonds, sunflower seeds, avocados, olives, wheat germ, canola oil, and peanuts.

Vitamin C–rich foods include many common fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, kiwis, and cantaloupe; other semitropical and tropical fruits such as pomegranates, papaya, mangoes, guavas, and passion fruit; berries (strawberries, blackberries, elderberries); and vegetables like green and red peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, potatoes, romaine lettuce, onions, cauliflower, kale, artichokes, fennel, cabbage, and chard. Researchers in the United Kingdom looked at vitamin C intake in 4,025 women and found that those who ate more vitamin C–rich foods had less wrinkling and dryness.

Chocolate may give skin a healthier appearance. Cocoa butter applied to the skin can help diminish stretch marks. According to one intriguing study, women who drank high-flavanol cocoa beverages had decreased roughness and scaling of the skin.

Apples, beans, tea, olive oil, vegetables, and dried plums. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition described promising findings for people who live in high-sun-exposure areas. Elderly men and women (of various ethnicities) had less skin wrinkling with a higher intake of vegetables, olive oil, legumes, apples, tea, and dried plums.

Optimal Life Supplements

A multivitamin with adequate levels of vitamins A, C, and E is worth adding to your daily diet, especially if you don’t get enough of these nutrients from the food you eat and spend a lot of time in the sun. And using a topical vitamin C cream may help protect skin cells from free radical damage associated with the effects of aging.

Feeding the Fire!

Saturated fat in butter and in other fatty animal products and trans fats found in margarines have been associated with increased wrinkling in the elderly.

Beautiful Skin Menu Plan

Day 1

Breakfast (425)

1 cup flaxseed cereal flakes (190)

1 cup skim milk (90)

1 kiwi (60)

1\2 cup orange juice (60)

1 cup green tea

1 teaspoon honey (25)

Lunch (430)

1 serving Roasted Vegetable and Sweet Swiss Panini (250) (page 333)

6 whole grain crackers (130)

1 cup strawberries (50)

11\2 cups water with lemon

Midday Snack (220)

1 serving Chilean Fruit Guacamole (100) (page 259)

12 fat-free corn chips (120)

11\2 cups sparkling water with lime

Dinner (700)

4 ounces rotisserie chicken (220)

1 cup steamed Brussels sprouts (60)

1 serving Polenta Pizza (180) (page 329)

2 cups spinach salad with assorted veggies and citrus dressing (120)

5 ounces red wine (optional) (120)

Evening Snack (240)

1 cup carrot sticks (50)

2 tablespoons hummus (60)

1 serving Apple-Soy Chai Latte (130) (page 254)

Day 2

Breakfast (350)

1 serving Soufflé Omelet with Balsamic Strawberries (160) (page 345)

4 to 5 dried plums (100)

1 cup skim milk (90)

Lunch (440)

1 serving Blackberry Smoothie (320) (page 257)

1 serving Avocado-Fennel Citrus Salad (120) (page 285)

Midday Snack (290)

1 serving Rosemary Nuts (290) (page 269)

1 cup green tea

Dinner (688)

1 serving Cocoa-Encrusted Salmon with Blueberries (270) (page 330)

2 servings Roasted Autumn Vegetables in Sherry Sauce (228) (page 360)

1 whole grain roll (100)

1 cup skim milk (90)

Evening Snack (240)

1 serving Beanie-Greenie Brownies (110) (page 309)

1 serving Apple-Soy Chai Latte (130) (pag 254)

Day 3

Breakfast (453)

1 serving Triple-Grain Georgia Pecan Pancakes (188) (page 346)

1\2 cup hash browns (120)

1\2 cup diced mango (55)

1 cup skim milk (90)

Lunch (440)

1 serving Tropical Fruit and Shrimp Gazpacho (80) (page 279)

1 serving Raw Kale Salad with Lemon-Honey Vinaigrette (260) (page 296)

1 whole grain roll (100)

11\2 cups water with lemon

Midday Snack (130)

1 serving Strawberry-Papaya Smoothie (130) (page 255) Dinner (546)

1 serving Chicken Thighs with Red Wine, Dried Plums, and Garlic (310) (page 323)

1 serving Sicilian Broccoli Salad (200) (page 290)

1 serving Watermelon Soda (36) (page 253)

Evening Snack (480)

1 serving Summer Fruits Pie (390) (page 315)

1 cup skim milk (90)

Dr. Gary Jay Barsky’s Tips for Healthy Skin!

Gary Jay Barsky, MD, is a Harvard-trained physician and board-certified dermatologist who practices in the Chicago metropolitan area. He is also certified through the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery and the American Board of Laser Surgery. Visit www.drbarsky.com.

Great nutrition is one essential part of the healthy-skin equation. Try to incorporate as many of these great suggestions into your daily activities as you can:

1.Don’t smoke!

2.Avoid overexposure to the sun and avoid tanning beds. Use artificial tanning creams instead.

3.Stop facial exercises.

4.Wear protective clothing including wide-brimmed hats and long sleeves if you are outdoors for long periods during the day.

5.Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers UVA and UVB protection with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Use a sunscreen with zinc and titanium.

6.Regular exercise promotes good blood flow and greater delivery of oxygen to the skin.

7.Use topical vitamin C creams to help reduce free radicals and fine lines and improve the skin’s appearance.

8.Many people are zinc deficient, but don’t know it. Topical ointments with zinc oxide help protect the skin.

9.Soy milk has natural estrogens in the right amounts and promotes healing. Estrogen helps keep the face firm.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Foreword Montel Williams xiii

Introduction: Are You Living Optimally? xix

Section 1 Thirty challenges to an Optimal life 1

Part 1 The skin you're in 3

Aging and Damaged Skin 3

Eczema 11

Psoriasis 17

Acne 22

Part 2 Go with the flow 33

Cold Feet (and Hands) 33

Leg Cramps 40

Part 3 House of Pain 47

Migraine Headaches 47

Muscle Pain 56

Nerve Pain 63

Part 4 It's all about performance 71

Mental Performance 71

Cognitive Decline 71

Depression 79

Stress and Anxiety 89

Insomnia 98

Physical Performance 104

Fatigue 104

Sexual/Reproductive Performance 116

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) 116

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) 123

Infertility 131

Female Libido 140

Menopause 146

Part 5 Check Your Plumbing 153

Constipation/Diverticular Disease 153

Diarrhea 64

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) 172

Halitosis (Bad Breath) 179

Gas 186

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) 195

Urinary Tract Infections (UTls) 201

Part 6 A Good Flundation 209

Osteoporosis and Osteopenia 209

Arthritis 221

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) 233

Part 7 Eyes Oh the Future 241

Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Cataracts 241

Section 2 Optmal Living Recipes 251

Selected Resources and Bibliography 373

Index 403

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)