My First Souffle & Exercise in Pill Form

Lets talk Healthy Cooking
This morning I got out of bed on a mission, a mission to make my first soufflé.

I’ve been tapping into my inner confidence by trying new things, way out of my comfort Zone. This one also didn’t disappoint.

Herbed Ricotta Soufflé
Serves 4

The French classic is lightened up with fresh ricotta providing the creaminess in place of the traditional béchamel sauce. Room-temperature egg whites will achieve the most volume; beat them by hand with a balloon whisk or use a mixer with whisk attachment

Unsalted butter for coating dish
All purpose flour, for coating dish
1-1/2 cups part-skin ricotta
4 large eggs, separated, room temperature
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Preheat oven to 375 F with rack in lower third

Butter a 1-quart casserole dish and dust with flour, shaking out excess.
I used 2 smaller casserole dishes and they worked just fine

Whisk together ricotta, egg yolks, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the herbs in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper

In separate bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Working in two batches, gently fold whites with a large flexible spatula into ricotta mixture until just combined

Pour mixture into prepared dish and bake until puffed, golden brown, and firm to the touch, 30 to 32 minutes.
Serve immediately.

Per serving: 220 calories, 14g fat, 7g saturated fat, 245mg cholesterol, 6g carbohydrates, 17g protein, 0g fiber

I believe all my creations are tasty, but this Ricotta Soufflé took me to another level.

I traveled around the French Countryside last summer, and I’ve tasted my fair share of soufflés. Somehow my soufflé came out light, creamy, airy, and flavorful. Please, Please, Please, try this easy / fool-proof soufflé recipe. The hardest part was beating the egg whites into soft peaks. 
 
I AM PROUD OF MYSELF
I love saying that, because I’m not always proud of me. It’s important to pat myself on the back and say… Hey Mary! Great Job! It means more coming from myself then others.
After my Souffle, I was inspired to go out into the garden. 

I also made this bouquet, and picked fruit from my lime, lime, and orange trees.

If you can’t tell, I’m having an amazing morning.
Lets Talk NY Times 
Exercise in a Pill? The Search Continues
Phys Ed July 17, 2013, 12:01 am
Two newly published studies investigate the enticing possibility that we might one day be able to gain the benefits of exercise by downing a pill, rather than by actually sweating. But while some of the research holds out promise for an effective workout pill, there remains the question of whether such a move is wise.

The more encouraging of the new studies, which appears this week in Nature Medicine, expands on a major study published last year in Nature. In that study, a team at the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Fla., reported that a compound they had created and injected into obese mice increased activation of a protein called REV-ERB, which is known to partially control animals’ circadian rhythms and internal biological clocks. The injected animals lost weight, even on a high-fat diet, and improved their cholesterol profiles.

Unexpectedly, the treated mice also began using more oxygen throughout the day and expending about 5 percent more energy than untreated mice, even though they were not moving about more than the other animals. In fact, in most cases, they were more physically lazy and inactive than they had been before the injections. The drug, it seemed, was providing them with a workout, minus the effort.

Intrigued, the Scripps scientists, in conjunction with researchers from the Pasteur Institute in France and other institutions, set out to see what their compound might be doing inside muscles to provide this ersatz exercise. They knew that their drug increased the potency of the REV-ERB protein, but no one yet knew what REV-ERB actually does in muscles. So they began by developing a strain of mice that could not express very much of the protein in their muscle cells.

Those animals proved to be anti-athletes. One of the hallmarks of regular aerobic exercise is that in muscles, it increases the number and vigor of the mitochondria, the cellular structures that help to generate energy while consuming oxygen. But these animals’ muscles contained woefully few mitochondria.

As a result, the animals had diminished endurance, with a maximal oxygen capacity about 60 percent lower than normal. They reached exhaustion on treadmill testing long before their unaffected labmates.

But when, in a separate part of the experiment, scientists added their compound to isolated muscle cells from the deficient mice, the cells began pumping out far more REV-ERB. Those cells, subsequently, began creating large numbers of new mitochondria and strengthening the existing ones.

Finally, the scientists injected their compound into sedentary mice, stimulating their production of REV-ERB beyond what would be considered typical. When they set the sedentary mice loose on little treadmills, they ran “significantly longer both in time and distance” than untreated animals, the authors wrote, even though they had not been training beforehand.

The drug “certainly seems to act as an exercise mimic,” said a co-author, Thomas Burris, now the chairman of the department of pharmacological and physiological science at St. Louis University School of Medicine. It is not inconceivable, he adds, that at some point in the future, such a drug might allow people, especially those who are disabled or can’t otherwise exercise, to enjoy the health benefits of endurance without the exertion.

But that time is still distant, with many questions unanswered. It’s still unknown, for example, whether increasing levels of REV-ERB in healthy people is possible, and whether athletes could use the compound to dope. Dr. Burris said he’d been told by other scientists who have published data about potential exercise pills “to expect some weird phone calls” from athletes and their support crew.

And a larger concern is whether any single pill can hope to replicate the bogglingly complex physiological effects of physical exercise and whether, in trying to create one, we risk unanticipated consequences.

That issue provided the subtext of the other new study, published this month in PLoS Biology. In it, scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis tried to replicate earlier work showing that large doses of resveratrol, the chemical found abundantly in grape skins and red wine, increase the creation of new mitochondria in isolated muscle cells, mimicking aerobic exercise. After those earlier studies, resveratrol, too, had been hailed as a means of counterfeiting exercise pharmacologically.

But the new study punches holes in that hope. When the scientists fed both rats and mice medically tolerable levels of resveratrol in their kibble, the animals did not produce more mitochondria in muscle cells. Only at extremely high doses did resveratrol lead to more mitochondria.
Unfortunately, at these exaggerated doses, the substance has a “toxic effect,” said Dr. John O. Holloszy, a co-author of the study and a professor of medicine at Washington University. It “poisons two of the steps” involved in developing healthy mitochondrial function, Dr. Holloszy said.

Still, the dream of effortless fitness remains alluring. “I know there are probably plenty of people who would prefer” to pop a pill rather than jog a few miles, Dr. Burris said.

But, he adds, the fundamental aim of his and similar research is to aid those who can’t exercise, not those who decline to, and even the beneficiaries inevitably will be shortchanged. “Exercise has so many health benefits” and “no drug can” recreate all of them, he concludes. Meaning that a good stroll or swim will probably never be fully reducible to tablet form.
If there was a pill that had the same effects as exercising, I wouldn’t take it; but I would want my over-weight loved ones to partake. 

What do you think?

Have a great day. 
Blessings My Friends, 
Mary 

References: New York Times, July 17, 2013, Gretchen Reynolds, Meatless: Clarkson Potter publishing 2013  

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