The Rus

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: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

In the early 700s CE, young men in Scandinavia had limited opportunities for economic advancement. If they wished to marry, to own property, to have future prosperity, then they needed money. What to do? Many decided to go into “international commerce.” The hottest commodities were silver, furs, and slaves. These could be obtained by honest trade, but the greatest return for investment was through raiding [plundering], and the lands to the East were attractive. A young man could go ‘a-viking’ for two years and return home with a fortune. Thus a group of what could be called ‘Eastern Vikings’ sailed to the Eastern Baltic Sea and swarmed up the rivers. Local people called them the ‘Rus’ and the Rus became the rulers of the river banks from the Baltic to the Black Sea. The city of Kyiv, now in Ukraine, was their capital. Was Ukraine therefore a part of Russia? No. From 862 – 1242 CE, the Scandinavians who were called the Rus, were the rulers of the land now called Ukraine, which was then referred to as The Land of the Rus. It included modern Belarus and parts of Eastern Russia. Thus, Russia used to be part of Ukraine — not the other way around. The world order was again disrupted by the advance of the Mongols in 1242, ending the era of the Kievan Rus. An excellent book about the Vikings [Western and Eastern] is Children of Ash and Elm: A History of the Vikings by Neil S. Price.

Our breakfast and dinner feature grains of the Ukrainian ‘breadbasket.’ The porridge is favored by shepherding families and the dinner features mushrooms from the forest and eggs from the farm. Put a bouquet of sunflowers on the table. Slava Ukraini.

Banush: 203 calories 3 g fat 2.5 g fiber 7 g protein 35 g carbs 91.5 mg Calcium  PB GF This porrige is popular in Ukraine, Romainia, and Georgia: anywhere sheep are raised and feta cheese is made from their milk. Tradition says that only the shepherds [menfolk] are permitted to prepare it… Some of the ingredients in the original recipe are unavailable to most of us, so I substituted plain yogurt to get the sour flavor which is charactaristic. The pear could be swapped for apple, and if you wish, the fruit could be diced and added to the porrige as a garnish.

¼ c polenta/ yellow cornmeal/ yellow grits ½ c water ¼ c plain yogurt garnish: ¼ oz feta cheese, diced ½ slice bacon, cooked and crumbled 1 oz pear or apple   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories

Heat the water to near boiling and stir in the polenta. Cook slowly while stirring. After the water has been absorbed by the polenta [about 15 minutes?], add the yogurt and continue to stir until the mixture is stiffer. Polenta should be cooked but the consistancy should not be too stiff. Pour into a bowl and top with the cheese and bacon. Serve with the pear.

Ukranian Omelette Dinner: 276 calories 8.6 g fat 6.5 g fiber 23.4 g protein 28.4 g carbs 121 mg Calcium  PB  This dinner is based on a popular breakfast of Ukraine. With the addition of a vegetable and cooked wheat berries [Ukraine produces 4% of the world’s wheat], this makes for a fine and filling dinner.

1½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for another use. 1/4 cup cottage cheese, reduced fat 2 Tbsp sliced mushrooms, chopped 2 Tbsp chives/scallions, minced 4 oz asparagus 1 oz wheat berries

8 hours before: Rinse the wheat berries and soak in water to cover.  40 minutes before: Cook the wheat berries in boiling salted water until tender but not mushy. 15 minutes before: Put the asparagus on to cook. Warm the mushrooms in a small saute pan, add the cottage cheese then stir in the chives/scallions. Heat briefly, cover and take off heat. Spritz a non-stick pan with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs and pour into the pan. Tip the pan and lift the edge of the cooking eggs to permit uncooked egg to run underneath. When the bottom of the eggs is cooked and the top is mostly set, spoon the cheese-mushroon-chive mixture across the lower third of the eggs. Starting closest to you, roll the eggs around the cheese filling and continue until you run out of egg. Plate with the wheat berries and asparagus.

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

tomato + olive oil70-calorie yellow cornmeal tortilla
garlic + sugaravocado
dried ham, ex: Serranochili non carne
1 slice whole-grain bread, 70-caloriespear or apple
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

quick barley + mussels + shrimp + green beanscooked chicken breast + kiwi fruit
garlic + onion + tomatoes + carrotred wine vinegar + strawberries
bacon + bell pepper + seafood stockdry mustard + fresh spinach
preserved lemon + paprika + saffronslivered almonds + poppy seed
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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