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.

CottageCore is all the rage. If you have been living in your closet-cum-office for too long, ‘cottage core’ is a yearning for a simpler life, lived in the country, with plenty of time to bake bread, gather eggs, and pick flowers in the garden. It got its name in 2018 and came into full flower during the Pandemic. But is it really a new trend? There have been many forays into the simpler life: in the 1970s, we called it the “Back-to-the-Land” movement; in the 1920s, it showed itself in the StoryBook style of architecture; the “Arts & Crafts Movement” began in England and moved to the USA in the late 1800s as a reaction to the Industrial Revolution and mass-production; in the 1700s, Marie Antoinette plus friends escaped from court life to live like peasants in her rustic village; you see the pattern. When I first heard about this in 2019, I thought, “That’s not a fashion or a trend — that’s how I have always lived!” There are flowers in vases, home-canned fruits for breakfast, vegetables from the garden, bread is baked, time is made to go for a walk. But then, we’ve lived in the country since the 1970s — maybe it is easier here? CottageCore is a lifestyle and it is a choice. Living from the land and knowing where your food comes from is a fine thing. Some people find it very difficult to do, some find it to be very sustainable. Find your own Core.

I have chosen two meals that have ‘cottage’ right there in their names! They are simple, good tasting, made with authentic ingredients, and have that back to the land esthetic. Eating wholesome food that did not come from a package should not be limited to CottageCore devotees. After the meal, go read Jane Austin and experience another CottageCore influencer.

Cottage Breakfast with egg:  157 calories  7.5 g fat 1 g fiber 8 g protein 15 g carbs 38 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB  I wanted a breakfast that evoked a cottage in the English country-side, so here it is. The pan muffins are very good.

1 pan muffin 1 oz applesauce, unsweetened one 2-oz egg: fried or hard-boiled or soft-boiled  or scrambled 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]

HINT: I prepared 8 pan muffins from the 10-grain mufffin batter, cooked them, and froze them. I made the remaining batter into muffins to eat on Slow Days. Take one pan muffin from the freezer the night before and let it thaw. Cook the egg to your taste and warm the pan muffin. Dish the applesauce, brew the hot beverage, pour the smoothie. What a sweet and easy meal.

Cottage Pie:  219 calories 7 g fat 2 g fiber 22 g protein 15 g carbs 35 mg Calcium  PB GF Cottage Pie is the beef version of Shepherd’s Pie. The addition of mashed cauliflower is a great trick to lessen the calorie and carb count of mashed potatoes. Some people like this with mashed cauliflower only, but I enjoy the combo for a more authentic taste. HINT: serves 2. Freeze leftovers for another dinner or invite a guest.

1 cup roast beef, ground or minced 1 yolk from a two-oz egg ½ cup mashed potatoes ½ cup mashed cauliflower 1 white from a 2-oz egg ½ cup beef gravy, as fat free as you can make it   per serving: 2 oz peas OR 1 cup lettuce + 1 oz tomatoes + ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp lemon juice

Add the egg yolk and gravy to the beef, along with salt and pepper to taste. Whip the egg white until stiff and fold into the mashed vegetables with salt and pepper to taste. Put the beef mixture into an oil-spritzed oven-proof dish [2-3 cup capacity] and spread it out evenly. Smooth the mashed vegetables on top and ruffle it with a fork or spoon. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until the top begins to brown a bit and the inside is hot. Whisk the oil and lemon juice in a wide bowl, add the lettuce and tomatoes, and toss gently.

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

1.5 two-oz eggs1 two-oz egg 
dandelion greenspan muffin
garlic + cooked brown riceCanadian bacon/ back bacon
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

butter + onion + potato 4-oz salmon, wild caught
chicken stock + Finn CrispParmesan cheese
whole milk + wild greenscherry tomatoes
part-skim ricotta + chorizo sausagegreen beans or sugar snap peas
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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