Saint Anne

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.

Saint Anne is the legendary mother of Mary, the mother of Jesus. I say ‘legendary’ because there is no biblical reference to Mary’s family, thus legends fill in the gaps. Anne was first named as Mary’s mother in the Gospel of James, penned in 150 CE, which was condemned by St Jerome and three popes for its ‘absurdities’. The oldest church in her honor was dedicated in 550 CE in Constantinople. According to the Christian legend, Anne/Hannah was the wife of Joachim, while in the Quran, she is the wife of Imran. When Mary was a child, Anne dedicated her to a life of service in the Temple — who would think that the Temple was set up for day-care?? Tradition says that Mary became a weaver of prayer shawls and vestments. In the 15th century, it was proposed that Anne’s conception of Mary was by Divine Intervention, just as the conception of Jesus was immaculate. Let us remember that everything we “know” about Saint Anne is conjecture: by clerics and by artists. Anne is a very popular topic for artists, leading to lovely mother-and-child works which portray Mary being taught to read by her mother.

For the Feast Day of Saint Anne, July 26, we will eat foods that have been enjoyed in the levant for centuries. True, there were no tomatoes or bell peppers in the Eastern Mediterranean 2000+ years ago, but we can make up for lost time and enjoy them today.

Shakshuka: 158 calories 8 g fat 5 g fiber 12 g protein 17 g carbs [17 g Complex] 144 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF This breakfast from the Eastern Mediterranean is a real treat. If you prepare part of it the night before, then morning meal prep is very easy.  HINT: This recipe serves 2 [two] people. Easily doubled or tripled. This prepares and bakes in one pan!

2 two-oz eggs 1/3 cup sliced onion 1/3 cup sliced red pepper 1 clove garlic, sliced 10 oz whole tomatoes ¾ oz feta cheese, cubed or crumbled 2 large pinches each of ground cumin + paprika + cayenne   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]

Saute onion and pepper, using non-stick spray, until very soft – about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more until it is tender. Add spices and cook one minute. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Simmer 10 minutes until mixture is thicker and some of the tomato liquid has cooked off. Add feta cheese.  [TIP: you could do this the night before and stop here] Set the oven to 375 degrees F.  If serving two, the mixture could be divided into two separate dishes for baking/serving or kept in one larger dish. Using the back of a spoon, press an indentation in the vegetables, one for each egg. Carefully break one egg per person into the indentations. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake 7-10 minutes. If you want the yolk to cook, put a lid on the pan for the last 2 minutes. Garnish with cilantro or flat-leaf parsley.

Felafel Pockets: 273 calories 5.5 g fat 8 g fiber 14 g protein 48 g carbs 90 mg Calcium  PB  This preparation uses two pita pockets from one pita bread. Each serving is 1½ pockets. [HINT: Save the other part for tomorrow’s lunch] 

1 whole wheat pita bread, about 140 calories  6 falefel patties total, 3 per pita pocket  ½ cup vegetable salsa**

Prepare the salsa and let stand while you warm the felafel. Cut the pita bread into 2 equal pockets. If frozen, warm the felafel. Put some of the salsa into each pocket, then add 3 felafel patties. Spoon the remaining salsa on top. Cut one of the filled pockets in half and eat that tomorrow.

**Vegetable salsa: makes 1 cup ½ cup diced fresh tomatoes ½ cup diced red or yellow bell peppers 2 Tbsp red onion, chopped toss vegetables with 1 Tbsp lemon juice

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