Leonardo, artist

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. 

Leonardo da Vinci was a polymath of the first order. He had enough endeavors for many people — too many to squeeze into one lifetime. First and foremost, he was a visual artist. Leonardo was born on April 15 1452, and at age 14, he was an apprentice in the studio of Andrea del Verrocchio, the premier place to train in 15th century Florence. In that time, there were three painting media available to an artist: oil on wood or canvas; tempera, an egg-based paint, on wood; or fresco, when water-based colors are painted onto wet plaster. As a painter, Leonardo was always experimenting: his restless intellect wanted to leap to his next project or new innovation. Many of his oil paintings, including the Mona Lisa, were never finished since he went on to a new assignment in mid-stream. He tried out new artistic techniques, perfecting the sfumato where shadow and light have no sharp borders, but rather the vague transition seen in a cloud of smoke. Leonardo seems to have preferred oil paint. When commissioned to paint frescos, such as the Last Supper in Milan, he decided to apply oil paint to the plaster instead of the water colors. The oil paint did not want to stick to the wall and it began to flake off within a few months. One of the great, well-known masterpieces of the world was a technical failure. Restored many times, we can never fully appreciate what it really looked like. The most famous work of all is La Gioconda, aka: the Mona Lisa. It is famous for its technique and for that ‘Smile.’ Much ink has been spilt trying to describe the smile and why she wears it. It is worth noting that she is not the only subject with that look — I think it should be called the “da Vinci Smile.” Look for it in paintings of John the Baptist, Leda, and the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne. Of course, Dan Brown had to create a thriller involving da Vinci’s work, especially the Virgin of the Rocks , the Last Supper, and the drawing of the Vitruvian Man. If all he did was to paint and draw, Da Vinci would be justly famous. But he was so much more.

After training in Florence, Leonardo worked for many years in Milan, then in Rome, and finally in France. For Leonardo’s life in Rome, our breakfast takes its flavors from the well-known puttanesca sauce. The dinner is perfectly French, in recognition of the fact that Da Vinci was working for the French king when he died.

Puttanesca ScrOmelette: 146 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 10 g protein 7.5 g carbs 52 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF “Puttanesca” might not actually mean ‘street-walker’… Leonardo didn’t have much time for them, but he might have met these flavors while he worked in Rome. This breakfast is based on the flavors of the iconic Roman pasta dish. When you make a dinner with that sauce, save some out to season these breakfast eggs.

1½ two-ounce eggs HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week   1.5 Tbsp puttanesca sauce + ½ clementine OR 1 oz blueberries  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]

Whisk the sauce into the eggs and scramble or cook as an omelette. Enjoy with the hot beverage, smoothie, and blueberries.

Mackerel with Gooseberry Glaze:  276 calories 16 g fat 1 g fat 22 g protein 7 g carbs 27 mg Calcium  PB GF  This popular dish from Normandy usually features fresh gooseberries. Here in the USA, those are less common so we make a glaze of gooseberry jelly. The zucchini picks up the color of green gooseberries.

3 oz mackerel, frozen or fresh fillets + 2 tsp gooseberry jelly or jam + 4 oz zucchini ribbons

Thaw the fish if frozen. Heat the oven to 350 F. Put fish on a baking tray and brush with melted jelly on both sides. Using a potato peeler, carve long, thin slices from the length of the zucchini until you have 3 oz. Toss the ribbons with salt and pepper. Place the ribbons on the baking tray in a heap [if they are in a thin layer, they will over-cook]. Bake for the tray with the fish and zucchini for 5 minutes. Rearrange the zucchini so that the bottom layer is now on top. Bake 5 minutes more, or until the fish is cooked. Plate the fish with the zucchini ribbons. Sheet-pan dinners are so trendy now.

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

1.5 two-oz eggs + canned white beans1.5 two-oz eggs 
green onions2 chicken breakfast sausages @ 33 calories each
shrimp + tomatoapplesauce, unsweetened + marjoram
nectarine or peach cottage cheese, reduced fat
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

crab meat + scallion + Dijon mustardMartin’s whole wheat potato slider rolls or similar
egg white + whole-grain fresh bread crumbschicken breast slices
4 flounder or sole filets + butter + shallotsCorky’s BBQ Sauce
white wine + side salad or green beanscarrot sticks + cherry tomatoes
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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