Fast Day, New Hampshire

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

When I first moved to New Hampshire, I was interested to note on a calendar that the day following Easter was marked as “Fast Day.” “How clever!” I thought. “After all that Easter candy and treats, to have a special day of no eating. Brilliant.” But this is not the case. The tradition of Fast Day harks back to colonial times. It seems that in 1681, the President of the [governing] Council was gravely ill, so a day of prayer and fasting was declared for his recovery. Didn’t work. He died. But for centuries afterward, the day was observed anyway, on the 4th Monday of April, and only in the past 50 years has fallen into disuse. I think the grand old idea should be revived! I declare tomorrow, the day after Easter, to be a Fast Day. Wherever you are, eat only 600 calories. Think hard about how to change your relationship with food. Start small, and see what can be accomplished by little steps.

As for foods for Fast Day, the mushroom and sausage are hearty New England flavors; and the mussels in the dinner will remind the world that New Hampshire has 18 miles of seacoast — in case you forgot.

Mushroom-Sausage Bake: 138 calories 7.6 g fat 0.7 g fiber 10.3 g protein 6.3 g carbs [5.9 g Complex] 40 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF Here’s a fine combination of rich flavors. Breakfast deserves flavors like this.

1 Applegate sausage [or other chicken sausage at 33 calories] 1 two-oz egg ¼ oz mushrooms 3/4 tsp Parmesan cheese, grated 1/4 tsp dry mustard 1 oz unsweetened applesauce + 3-4 raspberries Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Cook the mushrooms [if raw] by poaching in a little hot water for a minute, then chop. Slice the sausages thinly. Combine the mushrooms and sausage slices, and sprinkle with the cheese and mustard. Stir to distribute the flavors. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray and set the toaster oven at 350F degrees. Put the mushroom-sausage mixture into the ramekin. Whisk the egg and pour into the ramekin. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Spoon out the applesauce and garnish with the berries. Pour the optional beverages. Happy breakfast.

Moules Gratinees:  268 calories 14 g fat 3 g fiber 19 g protein 35 g carbs [11 g Complex] 168.7 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using GF crackers This is a spin-off of a dish we enjoyed in Brittany: they used scallops but mussels work wonderfully. There are those who opine that you never combine cheese with seafood but they are WRONG.  HINT: This recipe serves two [2].

10 oz [22] mussels ½ cup Bechamel Sauce with cheese   1 oz grated Cheddar cheese 1 Tbsp white parts of scallion + 1 Tbsp green parts of scallion   per serving: 2 oz broccoli + 2 Triscuit crackers or GF crackers of your choice

Cook the mussels in a little bit of water until the shells open. Remove from shells. In a sauce pan, put the Bechamel, the cheese, scallions. Cook gently until warmed through and the cheese is melted. Add the mussels and pour into oven-proof dishes such as ramekins or porcelain ‘shells’ or genuine shells, such as surf clam or scallop. Bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes, until bubbly and starting to brown. Plate with the broccoli and crackers for a really good and easy meal.

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