Give me beef or give me death

What is it about turning 65 that makes folks think you're not interested in food anymore? The waitress at your favorite diner hands you the senior menu with smaller portions... friends start inviting you to brunch, as if breakfast and lunch are no longer two separate meals... and your doctor starts complaining about your weight like you're a jockey preparing for a big race!

Stop the insanity! Socrates said the unexamined life isn't worth living, but I can assure you that life without good food isn't worth living either.

And if you've been starving yourself, eating like a bird trying to add a couple of years onto your life, I have the best prescription you've received in a while.

Fire up the grill and throw on some T-bones! Because a new UCLA study says it's time to stop obsessing about your weight and start focusing on giving your muscles the nutrients they need.

Researchers followed 3,600 seniors for six years and found that those who maintained the highest levels of muscle mass were less likely to end up croaking like a love-sick toad. In fact, your muscle mass index was FAR more important than your body mass index in determining whether you lived or died.

That makes sense, because your muscles keep you active and give you the stability you need to prevent dangerous falls. And what your muscles need more than anything as you age is a healthy, daily dose of protein from your favorite meats.

So, starting today, deep six the dry toast and write off those rice cakes forever. Tomorrow when you walk into that diner, order the three-egg omelet with a side of bacon -- and tell the waitress that from now on, you'll be ordering off the big kid's menu.