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.

The Spaniards brought the potato from the New World to Europe in 1500s. There, it was embraced as a good food source. In neighboring France and other nations, potatoes were food for swine. Antoine Auguste Parmentier trained as a pharmacist. In that role, he was serving in the French army when he was captured by the Prussians. As a prisoner of war, he was fed potatoes and grew to respect them as a wholesome, nutritious food. Distressed by the plight of famine-ravaged poor people, Parmentier set his mind to the growing of potatoes; ways to prepare potatoes; and a means to convince the French populace to eat them. The Hotel des Invalides was the military hospital in Paris where Parmentier worked after his release. He planted potatoes on the hospital grounds and posted soldiers around the plot night and day. Local people were curious about these strange plants, so he told them that the roots were special food for King Louis XVI. Just as the potatoes ripened, the guards around the plot disappeared. Naturally, the potatoes were ‘appropriated’ by the neighbors: they ate them, they loved them, and the King congratulated the pharmacist for having “found a bread for the poor.” Parmentier was untouched by the French Revolution and distinguished himself further through his work on vaccination and public hygiene before his death in 1813. Many dishes in French cookbooks have the word ‘Parmentier’ in the title if they contain potatoes, in honor of him.

‘French’ fries [which are actually Belgian] are on the menu of a well-known fast food restaurant chain, which serves a meal similar to our breakfast. No fries today, and none tomorrow if you know what’s good for you. The dinner shows the versatility of Parmentier’s favorite tuber, as found in a very French soup.

Egg-McArnold: 230 calories 6.5 g fat 5.6 g fiber 13.5 g protein 27 g carbs [15 g Complex] 91 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg sandwich only, not the optional coffee. This, of course, is the Fasting version of a fast-food favorite. Works well for eating on-the-run. 

1 two-oz egg 1 Arnold-brand multi-grain Sandwich Thin [or similar @100 calories] ½ oz Canadian Bacon or similar @20 calories/slice  2 oz grapes  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Open up the ‘sandwich thin’ and lightly toast it. Fry or poach the egg to your liking and cook the Canadian Bacon in the same pan. Assemble, using salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy it with your coffee in a to-go cup but don’t eat in the car – sit down and slowly savor this Fast food.

Asparagus Soup:  278 calories  1.5 g fat  5.5 g fiber 22 g protein 27 g carb 277 mg Calcium GF PB  This fabulous soup is from Salute to Healthy Cooking and we have been loving it for years.  Despite its rich taste, it is very low in calories and fat. I ramped up the protein to make it suitable for a main course.  HINT: the recipe makes enough for 6 one-cup servings. Freezes very well for easy meals later. I serve it here with Finn Crisp crackers covered with melted cheese. If you want to eliminate them, go ahead.

One and a half pounds asparagus ½ cup onion, roughly chopped 1 cup potato in 1“ dice 5 cups chicken stock 4 oz raw chicken breast cut into 4 pieces ¼ cup white beans, rinsed and drained salt & pepper to taste  per serving:  optional 1 Tbsp Boursin Light cheese   optional 2 pieces of Finn Crisp crackers  optional  1 oz Swiss cheese [½ deli slice] 

Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus and cut spears roughly in half. Pour the chicken stock into a sauce pan. Add the onion and asparagus. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables so that it will steam/poach while the asparagus is cooking. Add the white beans. Bring the liquid to a simmer and put on a lid. Remove the chicken when it is cooked and put it in the blender, but do not process it. When the vegetables are cooked, remove them and put in the blender, but do not process. Put the potato in the pot and cook until soft. Pour the stock and the potatoes into the blender with everything else. Blend until smooth. Return to the pan and season to taste. Cool and divide into six portions: one for your meal today and five for the freezer.

To serve, warm the soup gently. Adjust seasonings. Cut the slice of cheese into 2 strips, 4” x 2”, and put a portion on each cracker. Warm in the oven until cheese melts. Plop a dollop of Boursin in the center of the soup in the bowl, and stir with a fork to melt the cheese and marble the soup. Delicious taste any time of year.

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

Next week, I will discuss potato1.5 two-oz eggs  + sauerkraut
side dishescorned beef + paprika
Find a new favorite breakfastmatzo cracker + Worcestershire
in the archives.mayo + catsup + hot sauce
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

potatoes + onionsHam from a roast
carrots + rutabagas/turnips asparagus + Swiss cheese
scallionsBechamel sauce
dry mustard powderpopovers: 4 eggs + milk + flour + butter
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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