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Is Being Over Weight the New Skinny?

 

Well, here we go again.

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Looks like the advice doctors and nutritionist have been force feeding us for decades may be wrong.

New research indicates that folks who are slightly over weight lower their risk of early death.

According to the New York Times:

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………… The report on nearly three million people found that those whose B.M.I. ranked them as overweight had less risk of dying than people of normal weight. And while obese people had a greater mortality risk over all, those at the lowest obesity level (B.M.I. of 30 to 34.9) were not more likely to die than normal-weight people.

The report, although not the first to suggest this relationship between B.M.I. and mortality, is by far the largest and most carefully done, analyzing nearly 100 studies, experts said. [Emphasis Mine.]

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You can read the entire article here: Study

Analysis of nearly 100 international studies of 3 million adults by the National Center for Health Statistics also raises new questions of BMI, or Body Mass Index.

You can read more about BMI and how 30 million people became over weight in the good ‘ole US of A over night with out gaining one pound.

According to USA Today:

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Findings, published in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association, show that relative to normal-weight people those who were:

Extremely obese had a 29% increased risk of early death.

Obese had an 18% increased risk of early death.

Overweight had a 6% lower risk of early death.

[Again, emphasis is mine.]

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By the way, being too skinny is also very bad for your health.

By sharing this information with you I am by no means suggesting that being extremely obese is okay or good. The severely over weight do tend to have many health problems associated from being over weight. And the research shows they tend to die earlier.

I share it with you because I believe too many of us obsess, feel rotten, and berate ourselves over our weight.

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There is a big difference between being extremely obese and just being over weight.

However, being a little over weight, especially as we age, may have benefits that researchers have yet to study let alone understand.

So I say, enjoy your life and your food. I believe joy, moderation, and being grateful for our abundance of food will keep us younger, happier, and healthier than any diet.

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Featured Recipe    Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

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Keeping with my fast, fast, fast, quick and easy recipes of late today I offer you yet another one. I mean, it is spring and we need to garden, or walk, or play tennis or golf. It has nothing at all to do with my being lazy. All of you believe that, don’t you?

Best of all this is a very low cost and a terrifically delicious dish!

I do not know where this recipe originated. I first saw it on Facebook. The Facebook post said it was from Best Healthy Recipes. However, when I went to that website and did a search for a recipe with that name I received the following message, “Nothing was found.” I checked through all their chicken recipes and there was no recipe by that name either.

I then did a general internet search and while I found several sites with this recipe, most had the exact same picture of the finished product that was on the Facebook post. Therefore, I could not determine who owned or first posted this recipe.

I looked for a few more minutes and the earliest post I saw was from Food.com and was posted in 2009. However, the picture was not the same as posted on Facebook.

It is one of those recipes that everyone makes and magically uses the same baking dish and has the dish look exactly the same when finished.

This is what you will need for 3-4 people

3 or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoons dark brown sugar

3 teaspoons olive oil

Spray oil to grease the baking dish

Salt and pepper to taste

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Here is what you do:

Preheat oven to 500°F and lightly spray a baking dish with the spray oil.

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Salt and pepper the chicken.

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Mince or press the garlic. Measure out the brown sugar.

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NOTE: This recipe uses a lot of garlic and you can taste it. It has a very strong taste of garlic. If you do not care for that much garlic cut it back to suit you.

Sauté the garlic in the olive oil until tender and you can smell that sweet garlic aroma.

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Remove the garlic from the heat and stir in the brown sugar.

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Place chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish and spoon some of sugar mixture over each piece of chicken.

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Bake uncovered for 15-30 minutes – depending in how big or thick the chickens are. I use a thermometer to check temp.

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At the 15 minute mark I checked the temp. Only 150 degrees so I put it back in oven for 5 minutes to bring to 155 degrees.

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Then I set the oven to broil for 1-2 minutes to crisp the sugar and finish the cooking.

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Let the chicken set for 3-4 minutes to let the juices redistribute.

Serve with a salad and a side of your favorite vegetable.

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Bon appétit!!!

Cost

The best thing about the cost of the chicken I bought was I had a $2 of coupon when went to store. Then at store the package of chciken had a $1 off coupon on it. I was not sure if the store would allow me to use both coupons. But they did. So I got a super duper couper [$3 off coupon] today.

Some days you just win.

Even if I had paid full price for the chicken the total cost would only have been $7.62. Not bad these days.

3 or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts               $3.49

4 garlic cloves, minced                                        $0.36

4 tablespoons dark brown sugar                          $0.20

3 teaspoons olive oil                                           $0.35

Spray oil to grease the baking dish                       $0.22

Salt and pepper

Total cost = $4.62
Cost per person = $1.54

Quote of the Day

No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat. Without a brain, you might look good, but all you could do is run for public office.

George Bernard Shaw

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Can a Candy Bar Save Your Marriage?

 

Yes!

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Or so says a new study conducted by Ohio State University researchers using voodoo dolls to prove their point.

Sounds too good to be true. Right? Sounds like an April Fool’s prank.

Au contraire!

Recent research funded by the National Science Foundation and as reported by  1370 WSPD Radio Station, Toledo, Ohio:

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In a 21-day study, researchers found that levels of blood glucose in 107 married couples, measured each night, predicted how angry they would be with their spouse that evening.

At the end of the 21 days, people who had generally lower levels of glucose were willing to blast their spouses with unpleasant noises at a higher volume and for a longer time than those who had higher glucose levels.

“It illustrates the point that hungry people are often very cranky and irritable and angry,” said Brad Bushman, lead author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University.

It even has a slang term: “hangry.”

Blood glucose levels can be brought up most quickly by eating carbohydrates or sugary foods.

“We found that being hangry can affect our behavior in a bad way, even in our most intimate relationships,” he said.

All participants were given a voodoo doll that they were told represented their spouse, along with 51 A 1 heart chcocpins. At the end of each day, for 21 consecutive days, the participants inserted 0 to 51 pins in the doll, depending on how angry they were with their spouse. They did this alone, without their spouses being present, and recorded the number of pins they stuck in the doll.

Each person also used a blood glucose meter to measure glucose levels before breakfast and every evening before bed for the 21 days.

The result: The lower the participants’ evening blood glucose levels, the more pins they stuck in the doll representing their spouse. This association was present even after the researchers took into account the couples’ relationship satisfaction.

“When they had lower blood glucose, they felt angrier and took it out on the dolls representing their spouse,” Bushman said. “Even those who reported they had good relationships with their spouses were more likely to express anger if their blood glucose levels were lower.”

……Snip …….

Bushman also said that glucose is fuel for the brain. The self-control needed to deal with anger and aggressive impulses takes energy, and that energy is provided in part by glucose.

“Even though the brain is only 2 percent of our body weight, it consumes about 20 percent of our calories. It is a very demanding organ when it comes to energy,” he said.

“It’s simple advice but it works: Before you have a difficult conversation with your spouse, make sure you’re not hungry.”

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Above used under U.S. Copyright law:  “….. for nonprofit educational purposes” only.

1 A chewy chocSo the next time you are upset,  feel cranky or quarrelsome don’t get mad…………bite into a chewy, gooey, sweet candy bar.

It may not be what the doctor or the food police call for. But it is what the psychologist calls for.

And it might just save your marriage too.

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Featured Recipe        Orange Marmalade Pork Chops

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Talk about your quick and easy recipe. This is simplicity and deliciousness at its very best.  There is virtually no prep for this recipe. No chopping, no dicing, no sauce to make. Nothing.

Because of this, there is precious little clean-up either. This is perfect for tonight when I want to watch the Columbus Blue Jacket hockey game on TV.

It is so easy I often made this recipe during my Starving Student days when I taught elementary school all day and went to school at night.

With meat as expensive as it is today, there is nothing starving about this dish any more. Nevertheless, it is a still a good deal on most budgets. It is certainly less expensive than restaurant pork chops and 99.9% more delicious!

You will need fairly thick chops, at least 1 inch thick for this dish. You can use boneless like I did today or you can use bone-in chops as well.

You can also make this recipe with any marmalade or fruit preserve that you like.

The really neat thing about this recipe is how you can dress it up for company or dress it down depending on what side dishes you use.

Make a really nice rice pilaf and a salad for company or use a bean salad and a vegetable like carrots like I did for week nights. To make the chops look really elegant place a couple or three slices of a fresh orange on top.

This is what you will need for 3 people:

3 thick pork loin chops

½ cup orange marmalade

Cooking spray

Salt and pepper to taste

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Here is what you do:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Salt and pepper the chops to taste.

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Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place the pork chops on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

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While the chops bake measure out the marmalade and place in a microwaveable bowl. Then microwave the orange marmalade until it melts.

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NOTE: I start at 1 minute on high.

Perfect. However, if it comes out too melted just add another teaspoon or two of marmalade until you get consistency you want. Isn’t that color gorgeous?

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Remove the chops from oven and set the oven on broil.

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Spoon some of the melted marmalade over the tops of the chops and lightly spread over the chops.

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Return to the oven and broil about 6-inches from heat source for 3-5 minutes. Do not over cook as you will get dry, tough, and tasteless pork.

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Remove from oven and let sit a few minutes to allow juices to redistribute.

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Serve with the sides of your choice.

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Bon appétit!!!
Cost

3 thick pork loin chops         $7.33

½ cup orange marmalade    $1.48

Cooking spray                     $0.19

Salt and pepper to taste       ——

Total cost = $9.00
Cost per person = $3.00

Quotes of the Day

The longer a person’s twitter @username is, the harder it is to argue with them … on twitter.

and

There is nothing wrong with being wrong.

Mokokoma Mokhonoana

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The Historic Inns of Ohio #2

 

The Levee House

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Last Saturday, April 5th I drove the 142 miles to Marietta, traveling south through the gentle rolling foothills hills, the remains of the once might Appalachian Mountains, in south eastern Ohio.

I took the scenic State Route 60 which meanders along the banks of the Muskingum River rather than take the antiseptic, utilitarian, and faster Interstate 77 route.

In a ‘normal’ spring (what ever that is) the trees would have young tender leaves and would be bursting with the colorful flowers of redbud and apple trees. Due to the cold winter and spring the trees were still bare. The weather people told me it would be sunny. But alas, it was cloudy gray all the way south.

However, as if on cue, when I drove into the city limits of Marietta the sun came out.

At The Levee House the first thing to greet me were dancing cheerful daffodils.

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And it just kept getting better and better as the day wore on.

First A Little History

The Northwest Ordinance, passed by the United States Congress, set up rules for expansion of the fledging new nation west of the original 13 states:

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 ………the act of Congress in 1787 providing for the government of the Northwest Territory and setting forth the steps by which its subdivisions might become states.

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It did not take long for the pioneers to set up home in the new territory.

By 1788 Marietta was the first such permanent settlement recognized by the new government. Sitting at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers in what is now south east Ohio it was soon a busy business hub based on river transportation and trade.

 Source: Wikipedia

Today the entire downtown area of Marietta, Ohio is on the list of  National Historic Places.

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The Levee House stands at 127 Ohio Street as the only remaining original riverfront structure in Marietta. The river, once the source of trade and transportation, formerly was lined with dry goods stores, hotels, restaurants, and taverns. The Levee House has been all of the above.”

Source: Levee House restaurant web site; link above. There is a picture of the original building, a dry goods store,  on that web site.

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The building sits right on the Ohio River. It is not more than 15 steps to the river.

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The current owners are Chef David Hearing and his wife Kimberly.

With that backdrop I met up with Twitter friend, Renee,  [ @reneestorey ]who lives in Portsmouth, Ohio further west on the Ohio River.

Lunch and Friends

I arrived first and was warmly greeted by Kim, one of the owners and Super Waitress Shannon,  who made me feel right at home with a big smile and a cup of hot tea. I was seated at a table with a view of the Ohio River.

Everyone was super friendly and had ready smiles and the service was top rate. And just in case you are thinking that maybe they were nice to us because I have a blog, The Levee has a 76%  Recommend score on Trip Advisor.  So it is not just me and Renee.

Soon Renee arrived and we looked over the Menu.

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Renee ordered the Swiss Onion Chicken Sandwich and I ordered the Steak Salad.

Me on the left. Renee on the right.

As we waited for our food Renee and I talked and talked like we had known each other for years. She is a delight! She is just as nice in person as she is on Twitter.  She works for the Ohio State University Extension Program and helps low income families in the Portsmouth area learn how to make and eat delicious, healthy, and inexpensive meals. We had a lot in common as I taught school in low income areas in Dayton, Ohio.

When our food arrived we were in heaven. Everything was fantastic!

Renee had the Swiss Onion Sandwich.

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She said it was very tasty. She loved the mix of the chicken with onions and the melted Swiss cheese.

I had the Steak Salad.

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It was excellent. In fact, excellent is way too lame for how great this salad is. The steak was tender and flavorful. The greens were fresh and crisp. The Swiss cheese was not over whelming but just added another subtle layer of taste. There were these little potato sticks that added just a wee bit of crunch.

But best of all was the Raspberry Dressing. I like Raspberry Dressing, but I am not usually in love with it. Most of the time it tastes fake. Not this time. Not this time!!

The dressing had a fresh and intense real raspberry taste. I suggested Renee try it and she agreed. We both agreed that this dressing was made with real raspberries. Even the seeds were real.  I wish they sold it by the bottle.

During our meal we saw several barges with tug boats, going up and down the river still delivering goods to various points on the Ohio River.

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We were not done yet.

Next came the desserts.

Renee had cheesecake with strawberries and I ordered chocolate fudge cake with caramel and nuts.

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Renee and I decided to share. We cut our desserts in half so that we could taste both.

Oh my!! I am not a big lover of cheesecake. But this was fantastic. Only twice in my life have I liked cheesecake…….this one – so light and airy – and at another  restaurant way back in the 1970’s up near Mansfield. I am sure the restaurant does not exist any more. It’s name long ago ceased to exist in my brain.

The chocolate cake was also fantastic. Both desserts were the perfect finishing touches to a beautiful, fun, and delicious day; although Renee and I stayed and talked for at least another hour.

So if you ever find yourself in our nation’s 17th state and you have some time to travel to southeast Ohio be sure to visit historic Marietta and the Levee House restaurant. You will have both a beautiful drive, meet good, friendly, and nice folk, and have a great meal too!

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Featured Recipe        Swiss Onion Chicken Sandwich

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Originally when I planned this trip I was going to share a recipe from the previous owners of the restaurant from a cookbook I found at a antique shop.

However, I changed my mind when Renee said how wonderful her open faced sandwich was.

I do not have the Levee House recipe. The recipe below is based on what Renee and I saw and how Renee described the taste to me.

The description on the Menu for the sandwich said the chicken was marinated. Renee said the chicken had a definite onion flavor so I used and onion soup based marinade with some wine. I am sure Chef David did not use boxed soup like I did.

One of the things Renee liked about this open faced sandwich was how the cheese melted into the onion soup.

Mine did not do that. I don’t know how to do that.

However, since this is my very first try at this recipe I don’t think it was too bad.

HELP! I NEED IDEAS ~ If any of you have any ideas on how I can get the cheese to melt be sure to let me know in the comments section below or on Twitter or Facebook.  I thank you in advance.

Nevertheless, this first attempt was every bit as tasty, delicious and bold as Renee said it was. It certainly tripped the lights fantastic across my taste buds. If you like onion soup this is the open faced sandwich for you.

For this first try of this sandwich, I only made one.

This is what you will need for 1 Sandwich:

1 chicken cutlet

2 packets of dry onion soup

¼ cup white wine

1 small sweet onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1-2 slices Swiss cheese

1 thick slice of bread

Salt and pepper to taste

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Here is what you do:

Lightly salt and pepper to the chicken to taste.

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Mix 1 packet of the onion soup with the wine.

Add the chicken to the soup/wine mixture and turn to coat both sides. Let marinate 1 hour turning several times.

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NOTE: I threw away the soup the chicken was marinated in. I never keep marinade that had raw chicken in it unless it is cooked in the recipe.

In the meantime slice the onion and sauté slowly over low heat in a mixture of the olive oil and butter.

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When the onions begin to carmalize push them to the side of the skillet and cook the chicken for about 2-3 minutes each side. Do not over cook.

NOTE:  Caramelize simply means to heat or cook the sugar in foods in order to turn it brown and give it a special and sweeter taste.

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Make the soup with the second packet according to package directions. Make sure it is very hot.

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Very lightly toast the bread.

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Place the toast on a plate.

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Add the chicken.

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Place the onions on the chicken.

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Top with a slice or two of the cheese.

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Pour a couple of ladles of the very hot soup over the top. You want the cheese to melt. Mine did not melt very much but did not affect taste.

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Serve with some slaw.

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Bon appétit!!!
Cost

1 chicken cutlet                     $0.93

2 packets onion soup             $2.49

¼ cup white wine                 $1.04

1 small sweet onion               $1.30

1 tablespoon olive oil             $0.23

1 tablespoon butter               $0.08

1-2 slices Swiss cheese         $0.42

1 thick slice of bread             $0.25

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost for 1 = $6.74

Quote of the Day

Great restaurants are, of course, nothing but mouth-brothels. There is no point in going to them if one intends to keep one’s belt buckled.

Frederic Raphael

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