Saint Nicholas

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 nicolaspamer who are now Following.

When children ask “How can Santa visit all the children in the world on December 24 to deliver presents?” the simple answer is that he doesn’t — many children receive their presents on December 6, the Feast of Saint Nicholas. In the Netherlands, Germany, Russia, Hungary, Aruba, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Curaçao, northern and eastern France, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia, Ukraine, Saint Nicholas visits towns, cities, schools, and houses on or before December 5th. Nicholas is dressed in the robes of a bishop and is often accompanied by some sort of imp [Pieter, the Krampus, Pere Fouettard] who threatens children if they have been naughty. The saint interviews children to see if they are minding their parents and doing their lessons. Gifts are discovered the next morning. Why does Nicholas bring gifts? He is the patron saint of children because his legend describes how he resurrected three murdered boys and made it possible for three teenage girls to marry when he tossed sacks of money down their chimney. Greece and Russia have Nicholas as their Patron Saint and churches around the world are named after him. When our sons were young, all of us would leave one of our boots on the lower end of the stairway to see what the Good Saint would leave in them. New hats and mittens for the coming winter were always appropriate, along with some chocolates. Dear Husband and I still leave out our boots, eager to see what Nicholas will bring us. Hope springs eternal.

Our meals for Saint Nicholas Day are from two countries that really make time for the saint: the Netherlands for breakfast, and Hungary for dinner. If December 6 is a Fast Day, you could postpone the Fast until the next day or eat these meals and still maintain the weight loss. Save the chocolates for a Slow Day.

Dutch Breakfast:  154 calories 7.4 g fat 2 g fiber 12 g protein 11 g carbs [8 g Complex] 106 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the plated foods only, not the optional beverages.  GF – if using GF bread  This meal is inspired by a breakfast I enjoyed in Amsterdam in 1969. It was memorable because it is so good. Dear Husband’s opinion? “This is one of my favorite Fast breakfasts.”

one 2-oz egg, hard-boiled or coddled  HINT: the hardboiled egg can be made days before  one “Holland Rusk”  [30 cal] OR ½ an Arnold Multi-grain Sandwich Thin [50 cal] OR ½ slice 70-cal multi-grain bread [35 cal] ¼ oz Jarlsberg cheese ½ oz ham, 3% fat from the deli 2 oz melon or apple or pear OR a mixed fruit cup   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]   Optional: 3 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [44 calories]

Warm the ham in a skillet, toast the bread, brew your beverage, slice the fruit, cube the cheese. Prepare optional beverages. Are you ready to savor?

Gulyas:  283 calories 9.5 g fat 3 g fiber 40 g protein 8 g carbs [7.6 g Complex] 42.6 mg Calcium  GF  This version of the Hungarian stew is from Craig Claiborne’s NYT International Cookbook HINT: The recipe makes 8 one-cup servings, so make it once and freeze in serving sizes.

2 pounds beef chuck [shoulder], cut in 1” cubes 1 Tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika 1 tsp olive oil 2 onions, chopped 2 Tbsp tomato paste 1 tsp salt + 1 tsp pepper 1.5 cups beef stock  per serving: 1 oz green beans   optional: ¼ oz egg noodles which add 27 calories 1 g fiber 2 g simple carbs

Heat the oven to 300 F. Toss the beef chunks with the paprika, salt, and pepper. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven [large, heavy, covered pot] and brown the beef in batches. Move the beef around in the pan to prevent it from sticking. Add non-stick spray or a little water if necessary. Remove the beef to a plate. Add some water to the pan and saute the onions until they are transluscent. Return the beef to the pan and pour in 1.5 cups beef stock. Stir thoroughly, scraping brown bits off the bottom. Cover the pot and cook in the oven for 2-3 hours. Every hour, check the pot and stir, adding more water as needed. Taste for salt at the end. Divide into 8 portions, reserving the remainder for future meals. TIP: Freezes very well. Plate with the green beans and optional noodles. A real Winter treat.

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