Marie de Medici

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. Welcome to Health + Nutrition and Benyapoesy who are now following.

When Marie di Medici was born on April 26, 1575, she was destined for greatness. Her childhood saw the deaths of her mother, two siblings, and her father. She waited to marry, holding out for the best possible match — but who was defining ‘best’? She was betrothed at last to Henri, King of France, the 4th of that name. They were married in 1600, in Florence, her hometown, with an elaborate reception that was missing only one thing: the Groom. As monarch, he was not expected to go to Italy for less than a State Visit, and besides, this was his 2nd marriage. The couple finally met when a few days after Marie disembarked at Marseille, on her way to Paris. The King said she had a graceful way of walking, but what was really attractive was her wealth — she was the sole heir to the de Medici fortune. Marie had always enjoyed power and prestige, but what worked for her in Tuscany was not successful in France. She never learned to speak much French, her friends and advisors were all Italian. She was rather annoyed that the King had several mistresses [one of whom called Marie ‘the fat banker’] and very annoyed that she was named ‘consort’ rather than ‘queen.’ Somehow, the couple managed to produce several children. At last, in 1610, she was named Queen. The very next day, King Henri IV was stabbed to death by an assassin. Hmmmm…. Since their son and heir, Louis, was a child, Marie was named the Regent. She liked that — spending money, waging wars, honoring her favorites, and cultivating a young priest named Richelieu. She was so imperious that her 15-year-old son had had enough and took the throne as Louis XIII, ending her regency in 1617. But Marie was not through and continued to run the country. Louis had her removed to the countryside. In 1619 and 1620, she tried to stage a rebellion, but Richelieu sided with the king and Marie was exiled. She traipsed from capital to capital around Europe, visiting her children and plotting her return. But she died in Cologne [now in Germany] in 1642.

Marie liked to eat. Plump when she arrived in France, her girth increased throughout her life. You know the term ‘Rubenesque‘ to describe a very plump, curvy woman? Peter-Paul Rubens painted 24 scenes from the life of Marie di Medici, reveling in her plumpness. Under her influence, Italian foods were introduced into French Cuisine, along with cloth napkins, table cloths, and flower arrangements on the table. Our meals are classic tastes of Italian and French ingredients.

Ratatouille-Egg Galette: 151 calories 5.5 g fat 2 g fiber 9 g protein 14 g carbs 53 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF – if using GF crepes  Here the eggplants of Italy marry with the galettes of France. A perfect blend of cuisines.

1 crepe or galette one 2-oz egg ¼ cup Mediterranean Vegetables   ½ oz fresh mushrooms  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]

Drain the vegetables of excess liquids, saving the liquids to cook the mushrooms. Combine the vegetables and mushrooms and heat them. Warm the crepe/galette and plate it. Poach or fry the egg. Spoon the vegetables over the crepe/galette and top it all with the egg. Pick it up with your hands or eat with a fork.

Mollusk Gratin: 283 calories 14.6 g fat 2 g fiber 31.6 g protein 17.5 g carbs 216 mg Calcium  PB GF -if using GF flour  When we steam mussels for a feast, there are often some left over. Removed from their shells, the meat can easily be frozen in the cooled cooking broth. A wonderful item for a quick future meal.

3 oz cooked mussels, removed from shells + 2 shucked oysters 4 Tbsp mussel broth [from cooking the mussels] 2 tsp flour [I use King Arthur white whole wheat] ½ oz Gruyere cheese, grated ½ tsp curry powder 3 oz green beans

Warm the mussel broth and whisk in the flour. Heat over low until thickened. Add curry powder and cheese. Whisk until cheese is melted and sauce is well combined. Add the mussels + oysters. Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and scrape the mussels and sauce into the ramekin. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10 minutes while you cook the beans.

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