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 A.C. Cockerill who is now Following.

A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.

The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.

What is a ‘philosopher’? It is someone who seeks wisdom. And where is this prize found? Michel de Montaigne decided, on his 38th birthday [February 28] in 1571, to trade in most of his way of life to seek wisdom in his own thoughts. He moved out of the family chateau to a tower across the courtyard. Alone with a bed, a writing desk, and his 1000-volume library he began to ‘try’ to figure out life’s great mysteries. [He went back to the chateau for meals. He also attended local social events.] The word ‘try’ is important because he called his writings ‘essais’ based on the French verb ‘essayer,’ meaning ‘to try.’ Who was Montaigne? He was the son of a family made very wealthy trading in salted herring. His mother was the daughter of prosperous merchants in Bordeaux. The family obtained noble rank due to his father’s military service, helped by the fact that 2 generations back they had converted from Judaism to Christianity. His father valued education and designed an unusual learning plan for his son. From shortly after his birth until his 3rd birthday, young Michel lived exclusively with a local peasant family — to learn empathy for simple folk. From age 3 to age 6, there was a tutor who spoke only latin to him — as did his parents and all the servants — making latin his native tongue. At age 6, off to a humanist boarding school, then studying law in his teenage years. Mayor and city councilor of Bordeaux; suffering from kidney stones; friend of kings: Montaigne stored up experiences which he later put in writing. His three books containing his 107 essays were published in two books in 1580, and the third, posthumously, in 1595. Free-wheeling in structure and organization, the writings range from cannabalism, to having thumbs, to the education of children, to tomorrow is a new day, Montaigne found a new way of expressing himself and inspired writers and thinkers for centuries.

As a nod to the Montaigne Family fortune, we will enjoy herrings at breakfast. The dinner salad evokes his childhood with a shepherding family. Will these meals make you philosophical? Who knows.

Herring Plate: 195 calories 8 g fat 4.4 g fiber 8 g protein 13.5 g carbs [11 g Ccomplex] 33 mg Calcium  PB  If you like herring, this is the breakfast for you. It makes a nice change from morning eggs and it is prepared in no-time-flat. NB: Do NOT eat herring if you are taking MOAI antidepressent medicine, as herring is high in tyramine.

3 Finn Crisp crackers  1.25 oz herring marinated in wine [not sour cream] 2 Tbsp whipped cream cheese 4 Bing cherries OR ½ cup strawberries, sliced  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]   Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories

Do I need to describe this preparation? Spread the cream cheese on the crackers and pile on the herring. Delicious and so satisfying.

Shepherds’ Salad: 286 cal 15 g fat 5 g fiber 13 g protein 23.6 g carbs 311 mg Calcium  PB GF  This delightful meal is from Lynne Rossetto Kaspar’s The Italian Country Table. I have included a version of the original cooked salad dressing, but you may use a simple herbed vinaigrette if you prefer.

½ oz salami 1/3 c white beans 2½ cups [3 oz] lettuce, from the garden, the store, or wild sorrel, dandelion, or lambs quarters 1 oz mozzerella 1 radish, thinly sliced 2” celery, thinly sliced on diagonal ½ oz chicken breast 2 tsp of boiled dressing** OR 2 tsp vinaigrette dressing++

Prep your toppings: slice the salami rounds into matchsticks; shred the lettuce; cut the cheese into strips about ¼” square; slice the radish and celery. Measure 2 tsp dressing into a serving/salad bowl and add the lettuce. Toss to coat with the dressing. Arrange the meat, beans, cheese, and radishes in decorative groupings. Hearty and delicious, even if you didn’t have to forage for it yourself.

**SHEPHERDS’ SALAD DRESSING:  makes 1/3 cup enough for 7 servings  1 serving = 2 tsp = 32 calories 

3 Tbsp olive oil 
4” rosemary
6 sage leaves
Put in a pan and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
4 smashed cloves garlic 
pinch of hot pepper flakes
Peel the garlic cloves and crush them with the side of a large knife. Add to the pan and stir for a few seconds.
½ cup red wine vinegar Add vinegar and boil the liquids down to 1/3 cup.
Strain and cool before serving. Put the remainder in a jar and store. 

++Vinaigrette Dressing makes 6 Tbsp, enough for 9 servings  1 serving = 1½ tsp = 52 calories 1 Tbsp cider vinegar + ¼ tsp salt : stir together and let sit 5 minutes 4 Tbsp olive oil + 1 ½ tsp cold water + ½ tsp tarragon or thyme : whisk together Add the vinegar and whisk again.

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