Bernando’s Daily Menu & Regime by Popular Demand
Dear Friends – Because so many people have asked repeatedly exactly what my grandfather Bernando LaPallo did everyday to maintain his health – physically, mentally and spiritually, I am posting this for you. The same information is in his books and can be extrapolated. Here it is in simplified form. People couldn’t believe he
“ate the same thing everyday” but what they don’t realize is they eat the same thing everyday such as donuts, bagels, large quantities of carbonated sugary drinks and “fast” foods. As creatures of habit, many are making different choices that may not be the wisest in terms of their health. It IS a matter of choice. Better habits must be established to start feeling better and once you do you won’t want to change them for anyone or anything else. I originally posted this and on www.Facebook.com/BernandoLaPallo and there were FAQS For example, someone wanted to know how ripe should the banana be used in the Dr, Schulze Superfood drink he would make daily? Should it be black or just yellow? The answer is avoid eating green bananas. Bananas are more easily digested ripe but just how ripe you want it is up to you. Some like a few dark spots and some like their bananas close to black. The darker they are, the sweeter they are. Someone else wanted to know if Bernando ate fish, rice, beans, greens, and soup all in one sitting.The answer is no. He followed this rule of thumb: Eat until you are satisfied and enjoy what you eat but don’t overeat. Drink after your meal not before. His number one motto was “keep your colon clean”. Keeping your colon clean means that not only consuming fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber to keep things moving in the digestive tract but by the same token, not burdening it with too much food – even healthy foods. Moderation is the key in all things.
Early to Rise Early to Rise: Bernando would rise between 4AM & 5AM every morning. He did this whether he was going to work or not. Bernando would take a hot shower and anoint his body with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Instead of using hair gels that dry the hair Bernando used extra virgin olive oil instead. At 114 he still had two thirds of his hair.
Bernando exercised every morning Rain or Shine. He loved walking and covered 1.5 – 2 miles daily whether he was outdoors OR indoors if he deemed the weather inclement. He had an array of exercise and strengthening gadgets: He had a treadmill, a trampoline, weights for his arms that weighed about 5 – 10 pounds each. Bernando also used resistance bands, and a leg exerciser which resembled a bicycle but without the handle bars. It had a low seat and a pedal for each leg. For Bernando, outdoor exercise could mean walking barefoot on the beach with his feet in the water and on the sand to augment circulation.. I remember him telling me that he would drive out to The Rockaways early in the morning to walk with his bare feet in the sand and water when he was well into his 70’s. When he was a younger man at sea he’d walk on the deck of the ship to exercise and fill his lungs with fresh air. He felt that breathing in the fresh salt air all those years kept his lungs healthy. You might also find Bernando walking barefoot on the green grass to absorb the energy from the earths surface as his father had advised him to do when he was a boy. He always found a way to exercise and connect with Nature.
Bernando broke his fast with his own version of a smoothie exclusively using Dr Schulze’s Organic & Wildcrafted Superfood. His smoothie contained a healthy tablespoon of garlic paste and Dr Schulze’s Echinacea Plus. Bernando loved to say he’s never been sick a day in his life, that he’d never had a cold. You can find his smoothie recipe on p 50 of Beyond 100 How to Live Well into your Second Century
Oatmeal was a daily ritual with Bernando and he preferred steel cut oats. He would add bananas topping it off with fresh organic blueberries and cinnamon. He would only sweeten with honey, never sugar. If he had a little cream on hand he would top it off even though as rule he did not consume dairy. Pro Tip: The trick to using steel cut oats is soaking them overnight so they cook more quickly the next morning.
Green tea sweetened with honey Bernando loved green tea. He would start drinking it in the morning and go on drinking several cups during the course of the day. He liked his honey raw and organic.
Cinnamon tea made from true cinnamon sticks UNSWEETENED! Bernando believed this helped control blood sugar. He would make a large batch of it, cool it, transfer the tea into bottles and then drink it as he wanted to. Try substituting it for coffee. Bernando’s method for making it can be found on p. 35 of Beyond 100 – HOw to Live Well Into Your Second Century.
Boiling and Filtering Water:
As per his fathers instructions, Bernando boiled all his water before consumption. Even if he bought bottled water he’d boil it. Even when he had a Kangen water filter when he lived in Arizona he’d still boil it! (Boiling water kills bacteria and pathogens). He would then would let it cool,bottle it and put it in the refrigerator. This is something that his wife Georgette found ridiculous but he didn’t care. Why? Because Bernando was a daddys’ boy. If his father had instructed him to do something a certian way that’s what he did. The times he said “Daddy said” can’t be counted. Bernando LaPallo Sr. was a medical doctor and a “root doctor “ or herbologist as we would say today.
Morning Feeding of his Mind & Spirit
As per his father’s instructions he read the Bible to shore up his faith and peace of mind.He lived by The Golden Rule. Bernando devoured books on health and did crossword puzzles to keep his mind sharp. He also had quite a library on black history. In fact on his last trip to New York City in 2013 he went to the Schomburg Library to find a book about a black Broadway performer – I believe she sang opera – that was a big star when he was 14 years old. When he was traveling the world for a living as a merchant marine he would visit different churches. His father pointed out to him that it didn’t really matter what denomination the church was as God was present in all of them. He preferred his son do that then follow the unwise practice of following the other sailors into bars when they got to port. Bernando remarked to me that throwing up and having a headache the next day didn’t seem like fun to him! So in spite of the fact that his colleagues called him a “sissy” or even “Rev” (short for Reverend) he displayed a detachment about what other people thought about his life path. As he used to say “They’re all dead.” Bernando also devoured books on health because he felt it was his duty to learn as much as he could. He was still doing that up until he died.
2PM Snack/Lunch Time:
If dining out with a friend Bernando would have grilled Salmon and a light salad. That was his go to dining out choice whether he was enjoying a luncheon or dinner invitation. Bernando didn’t eat processed food because he never ate them as a child. If he wanted a snack he’d consume a handful of nuts or seeds such as Brazil nuts, peanuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, almonds or he’d have a piece of fresh fruit. He was very fond of bananas eating 2 a day in addition to the banana he’d have in his smoothie. He’d enjoy his fresh fruit salad or a slice of ripe honeydew melon or cantaloupe. Whatever fruit he was eating it had to be ripe! It goes without saying that he loved blueberries.
Drink Green tea sweetened with honey
Raw unprocessed peanut butter on whole wheat toast
For lunch he might have his homemade Barley Soup or another vegetable soup like tomato or brocolli. He talks about this in his first book Age Less Live More in the chapter A Day in the Life.
He might skip a solid lunch and drink a fresh vegetable juice that he would make from green vegetables instead.
Bernando mentions that sometimes he might even have oatmeal for lunch.
Have you tried his Famous Fresh Fruit Salad * Recipe? You will find both recipe demos on Bernando’s youtube channel on this site.
5 – 6:30PM Dinner Time: He did not favor eating late!
Vegetables – Bernando always ate green vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, kale, collard greens and so forth sauteed with onions and garlic using extra virgin olive oil exclusively. Other options he might choose in this category would be to lightly steam them. He also enjoyed a fresh green salad made with escarole. There is a video demo of him preparing an escarole salad at age 109 in the youtube channel found on this site. Another favorite recipe that can be made in advance and stored in a glass container in the refrigerator was his very tasty “Health Salad” that he picked up from a man in Haifa during his travels . It’s basically a cabbage salad using red and green cabbage, red bell peppers, carrots, celery, and onion lightly pickled using apple cider vinegar and honey. He would top this salad with fresh tomato and avocado slices dressed just before serving with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Please note there is a recipe for this in the print version of his book Beyond 100 – How to Live Well Into Your Second Century.
Bernando was a fish lover – Fatty Fish such as Salmon, Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil or a fish filet. He never tired of eating fish. He was also fond of lobster and would eat that upon occasion.
– Black beans (sans pork) with Brown Rice This dish is a classic from his country of origin Brazil. When he ate rice it was strictly brown not white rice.Black beans (sans pork) Bernando loved black beans and called them “poor mans meat” The truth is black beans and all beans are very good for you for many reasons which he covers in his books. He made his without using pork and it was very tasty!
Brown Rice or Quinoa
Bernando did not eat white rice full stop, He ate brown rice. He also enjoyed eating quinoa which is a neither a cereal or a grain but rather a member of the Goosefoot family which includes sugar beets . Rich in protein and minerals he talks about it in Age Less Live More.
Desserts: Bernando’s personal favorite desserts were key lime pie, pecan pie and an occasional scoop of ice cream green tea being the favorite or vanilla. His pecan pie had to be made with honey or he wasn’t interested. He enjoyed baked apples with cinnamon in his youth. This seems to have been a common dessert in his day and I’m pretty sure it’s the only sweet his father would have allowed him growing up. After al, l apples and cinnamon are inherently healthy full of fiber and blood sugar regulating properties. He wasn’t the type of person who had dessert at home after every meal. For him it was occasional. Moderation was his creed.
Alcohol: Bernando did not drink alcohol with the exception of a sip of wine if a host wanted to offer him a glass. But people pretty much knew he wasn’t a drinker. Iced green tea or water was his drink. But a “glass of wine” for him would mean an inch of liquid. He did not drink coffee. He found it unpleasant. However, he was himself a consummate host – at least in his younger years up to his 80’s. My grandparents had a small liquor cabinet in their Queens apartment so if a guest wanted a drink it was available. But they’d have to ask.
Unless he was out making a speech Bernando was in bed at this time. He would drink another cup of green tea and eat a ripe banana to induce sleepiness before bed. “I eat a banana and I’m out in twenty minutes”. I enjoyed performing this nighttime ritual with him during his trip to New York in June 2013.
“ Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy and wise “.
As a chef and a massage therapist Bernando worked long hours standing on his feet for hours at a time for decades. He worked as a chef into his late nineties. His father emphasized how important his feet were and that they needed to be cared for and I can see by his example how true this is and how there is no need to suffer needlessly IF you take the time to care for them. Bernando instituted a regime of caring for his feet every night. I noticed that unlike so many others, Grampa did not suffer from foot pain, corns or calluses. How did he achieve that well into his hundreds? He gave himself a nightly foot soak. Bernando was a trained podiatrist and reflexologist having studied at The Pacific College of Medicine in the 1950’s and later at NYU in the 1970’s. That’s how seriously he took his fathers words!
Nightly Foot Spa: As per his fathers instructions to take care of his feet, Bernando soaked his feet daily using castille or ivory soap adding a tablespoon or so of extra virgin olive oil in warm to hot water. You will find this combination will lift dirt right off! This kept his feet soft. He used a pumice stone to gently remove dead skin and rough patches. You can soak your feet in Epsom Salts too! The benefit of using Epsom Salts is that is it highly relaxing. The magnesium is great for removing tension and stress. After you wash and rinse your feet, dry them thoroughly even between the toes. Your next step is to gently massage them with olive oil including any callouses you may have. Spend extra time massaging the callous and eventually it will just come off because you are bringing circulation back to a long neglected area. TIP: If you are worried about staining your sheets wear cotton socks to bed to absorb any excess olive oil. In general, the olive oil should absorb completely into your skin within 15 minutes.
*Disclaimer; This is what Bernando did for over a century because it worked for him. He would tell people if they found a routine that worked to stick to it. If you have food allergies please be mindful of that. “The chemicals in everyone’s body if different.”
Written and compiled by Erika Chamberlin
All Rights Reserved
Updated March 14, 2023 New York City