Low Calorie Diets Do Not Prolong Life


   So says a new twenty-three year long study in Rhesus monkeys and as reported at the New York times and many news outlets across the world.

This study contradicts almost everything we have been led to believe.

Male monkeys who were put on a restrictive diet when they were older made some improvements in lab tests for such things as cholesterol and blood sugar. But that was not true of female monkeys or the young monkeys.

Even though the old male monkeys had better scores on lab tests it did not affect their longevity one way or the other.

The lead author of the study, Rafael de Cabo was not only surprised at the study results, he was disappointed. Such are the mind sets of the people who preach the Religion of Naught and Denial.

Cabo expected to get the same results of an earlier Universityof  Wisconsin study. According to the New York Times that earlier 2009 study was iffy at best too. Reality is sometimes such a disappointment!!!

Its authors had disregarded about half of the deaths among the monkeys they studied, saying they were not related to aging. If they had included all of the deaths, there was no extension of life span in the  Wisconsin study, either.

“This shows the importance of replication in science,” Steven Austad, interim director of the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies at the University of Texas Health Science Center inSan Antonio. Dr. Austad, who was not involved with either study, said that the University of Wisconsin study “was not nearly as conclusive as it was made out to be” and that the new study casts further doubt on the belief that caloric restriction extends life.

 Just another reason I take most food studies with a grain of salt.  (Oh my word, now the salt police will be after me too.)

Now, of course, I am not advocating people stuff themselves with as much food as they can. That is not healthy either.

From day one here I have always advocated a common sense approach to eating. That is: an eat in moderation what you pretty much want and like diet, a varied and colorful diet, and add a few more veggies and fruits diet.

For most of us that simple system will probably work just fine. Then we can go about the business of really enjoying and taking pleasure in our food instead of fretting over each and every morsel we eat.

And this brings me to today’s super delicious……..

Featured Recipe         Chicken with Red Currant Sauce

This is a delicious quick and easy recipe. I have shared several recipes just like this one. They all only require sautéing a couple of chicken breast and then adding some goodies to it. See: Creamy Mushroom Chicken, Dijon Chicken with Red Grapes, and Raspberry Chicken.

It is a great technique and serves up some really easy, delicious, yet elegant good enough for company meals. Today’s recipe is no exception.

This is what you will need for 3 or 4  people:

3 skinless boneless chicken breasts

1 stick of butter

A little olive oil

1 small shallot

½ cup white wine or vermouth

1 -12 ounce jar red currant recipe

8 ounces sour cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional Garnish: Fresh red currants

NOTE: I could not find fresh red currants today. So I used Champagne grapes instead. They are not essential for this dish. They are a pretty garnish. That is all. They simply provide a nice contrast so that I get a pretty picture as well  as a delicious meal.  

Here is what you do:

Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken to taste.

Chop the shallot.

Over medium high heat melt the butter in a large skillet with a bit of olive oil (About 1 tablespoon should do it.) to prevent the butter from burning.

Add the shallots and sauté until translucent, about 1-2 minutes.

NOTE: As you can tell from the picture, I cut the stick of butter into smaller pieces so it would melt quicker. I am so impatient.

Add the chicken to the skillet. Brown the chicken on both sides.

Lower the heat and add the wine, cover and cook about 5-6 minutes, depending on thickness of your chicken, turning once during the cooking.

Add the jelly and let it melt stirring all the while until the sauce is smooth. If you cannot get all of the lumps out try using a whisk.

Baste the chicken frequently with the jelly mixture and continuing cooking until the chicken is done about 3-5 minutes more.

Add the sour cream. Let the sour cream melt. Do not begin stirring right away or it may curdle.* Let it melt for a few minutes and then when it is mostly melted gently blend well until you have a smooth sauce.

*Please don’t ask me how I know this. Thank you.

Cook until the sauce begins to thicken a bit and is creamy and smooth. This will take a few minutes.

When the sauce has thickened a bit place the chicken on a plate and spoon some of the sauce over. Garnish with fresh red currants or champagne grapes if desired.

If the sauce does not thicken you can add about one-fourth a teaspoon of corn starch to the sauce.

Serve with a salad and some rice pilaf.

Bon appétit!!!


3 chicken breasts       $5.91

1 stick of butter          $0.63

A little olive oil            $0.12

1 small shallot            $0.41

½ cup vermouth         $0.88

1 12 oz jar currant      $4.09

8 ounces sour cream   $1.38

Salt and pepper

Total cost = $13.42
Cost per person = $4.47
Cost per person for 4 people = $3.36

Quote of the Day

As we grow in wisdom, we pardon more freely.

Madame de Stael


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