It is still Lent

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. 

Lent began four weeks ago. Years ago, I was lunching with colleagues and the young Biology teacher told us excitedly about her new diet plan: for the first six weeks, you eat no eggs or meat or dairy and then you phase them back in slowly. “That’s not a new diet,” I jested. “That’s called ‘Lent.'” Her ‘new diet’ pretty well sums it up: Lent, in the Christian church, has traditionally been a time of dietary privation; of fasting; all toward the end of soul-searching and penitence before Easter. Nowadays, these ideas are not stressed in Protestant Christian churches so much, but doing charitable acts, opening your heart and mind to kindness, and ‘welcoming the stranger‘ are ways to come closer to God. Lent will last another 3-1/2 weeks. How you spend it is up to you — but it seems to me that you could at least take two days each week for ‘Fasting’ and see how it makes you feel about yourself.

In keeping with the tradition of egg-less breakfasts and meatless dinners, I propose these menus for your Lenten attention.

Rounds, with Pan Muffin:  122 calories 4 g fat 1 g fiber 6.6 g protein 15 g carbs [5 g Complex] 10 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB  All the foods in this meal are round, hence the name. Easy to prepare with Canadian bacon [back bacon to readers in Canada or the UK] and a pre-made pan muffin.

1 slice Canadian Bacon [‘back bacon’ to Canadians] one pan muffin  2 oz apple, sliced along the equator so the slices are round OR 2 oz applesauce, in a round dish  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

HINT: For easiest breakfast preparation, mix and cook the pan muffin recipe the night before. Freeze remaining batter or bake as muffins tomorrow. Slice the apple and plate it. Cook the Canadian Bacon. Warm the previously-cooked pan muffin. Done!

Maltese Spinach-Tuna Pie:  185 calories 9.6 g fat 5 g fiber 19 g protein 24 g carbs [16 g Complex] 49 mg Calcium  PB  This dish is a classic in Malta and you will enjoy it at home too. Lots of ingredients, but it is really easy to prepare. HINT: This recipe serves two. So low in calories, you may choose your own side vegetables or fruit.

100 g/ 3.5 oz [weight] frozen spinach 100 g/ 3.5 oz [weight] tuna 100 g/ 3.5 oz [weight] Mediterranean Vegetables   ¼ c peas ½ cup onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 Tbsp capers 2 anchovies, rinsed 2 Tbsp tomato puree 1 tsp olive oil 1/6 sheet frozen, purchased puff pastry

Put the puff paste sheet on the counter to warm for 30 minutes. Thaw the spinach and squeeze out the moisture. Heat the oil in a pan, then saute the onions and garlic. When they are just cooked, add everything else except the puff pastry. Stir and cook until everything is warmed through. Transfer to a lightly-oiled oven-proof dish. Cut 1/6 of the pastry sheet. Rewrap and refreeze the rest. Place the puff paste on top of the tuna/vegetable mixture. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is browning and flakey.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ………………………. single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz eggCamembert cheese + watercress or micro greens
bleu cheese + leek plain yogurt
mushroomsedible flowers, optional
strawberrieshoney + Golden Berries or other fresh berries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday: ………………………………. single portion for Thursday:

wild-caught salmonuncured bacon + mushrooms + garlic + egg
miso + mirinscallion + baking powder + mustard + green beans
sake or dry sherry or soy sauceWorcestershire sauce + white whole wheat flour
asparagusParmesan cheese + flour + skimmed milk
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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