The Seven Sleepers

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.

Around 250 CE, the Roman Emperor Decius visited Ephesus [now in Turkiye] to crack down on Christianity. He interviewed seven young men about their beliefs and, finding them to be recalcitrant, he gave them a couple of days to recant. Rather than face the Emperor again, the men retreated to a cave to hide from him. Once there, they fell into a deep and lasting sleep. Either the vengeful Emperor walled up the entrance or a rock-fall blocked it, the seven men were walled up inside. 200 years [or was it 10?] later, the men woke up, thinking that they had slept only through the night. They left the cave and were amazed to find that the world had changed and that Christianity was widely accepted. The local bishop heard their story and believed it. It came just in time to settle a theological dispute as to whether or not one could rise from the dead. The men later died of natural causes and were buried in their cave. Some legends says that their remains were later taken to Marseille, France. No one knows exactly, but their story lived on and became widespread. Versions of it are told by Western and Eastern Christians and also by the Muslims. Several caves are said to be the site of the miracle sleep: in Turkiye and in Jordan.

The legend of the Seven Sleepers begins in the Eastern Mediterranean and ends in the Western area of that sea. Our breakfast is from the Levant, our dinner from the southern coast of France. Don’t be a ‘seven-sleeper’ and miss breakfast — in some European countries that is the name given to someone who oversleeps. June 27 is the Feast of the Seven Sleepers.

Felafel Bake: 142 calories 6.4 g fat 2.5 g fiber 8.5 g protein 41.4 g carbs 44.4 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beveragesPB GF Here we use felafel patties which we prepared and froze earlier. Great time-saver!  Good felafel is amazing in eggs!

1 two-oz egg 1½ uncooked felafel patties, thawed 1 Tbsp tomato puree or crushed tomatoes  ¼ c blueberries or 1 oz pear Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 caloriesOptional:blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water

Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and set the toaster oven to 350 F. Whisk together the felafel and the tomato until well blended. Whisk the egg into the felafel and turn into the ramekin. Bake about 15 minutes while you portion the berries and prepare the beverages. What a simple, delicious breakfast.

Chicken Ratatouille Galette :  267 calories 7.6 g fat 5 g fiber 24 g protein 38 g carbs 321 mg Calcium  PB  Galettes/Crepes are wonderful to have on hand for use with a variety of fillings. If you had the galettes/crepes and the filling previously-made, then the meal goes together in no time.

buckwheat crepes [galettes]  1.5 oz chicken breast ½ cup Mediterranean Vegetables  1 Tbsp goat cheese 1 oz mozzerella cheese herbes de Provence OR tarragon 

If making crepes/galettes from scratch now: prepare the batter and let stand 30+ minutes. If using frozen crepes, put them in a plastic bag on the counter and let them thaw. Turn on the oven to 250 F. Cut or shred the chicken into small pieces. Put into pan with the Med.Veg. and heat to warm the vegetables, to reduce the liquids, and to cook the chicken. Take off heat. Prepare the crepes/galettes: either cook them now from batter or finish the thawing process by putting them in a warm oven. Add cheeses to mixture in the pan, and stir to combine. Toss in lots of herbes de Province or fresh herbs and taste for seasoning. Arrange the crepes/galettes on a cookie sheet and divide the filling among them. Fold over, pressing down gently. Heat in the warm oven.

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