Pheidippides, Marathon messenger

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. Welcome to Highwaypay who is now Following.

Everyone knows the story of the Battle of Marathon, which happened in September of the year 490 BCE, and of the messenger who raced the 25 miles to Athens with news of the outcome. Famously, he arrived, panting, at the Acropolis, announced the victory, and fell over dead. And people know that his name was Pheidippides. Or was it? Pheidippides was one of Athens’ professional couriers, a hemerodrome, or ‘day-long runner.’ In ancient Greece, the best way to communicate between city states was to send a runner with a message. Φειδιππίδης [his name in Greek] was one such man. When the Persians landed on the shores of Greece at field planted with ‘marathon’ — what we call fennel — the Athenian solons sent the 40-year-old Pheidippides to Sparta to ask for help. He ran the 150 miles in under 35 hours and delivered the message. The Spartans agreed to help, but would not start out for six days, as their practice was to fight by full moon. Since Athens needed to know that, Pheidippides had a meal and a nap and set out for Athens again. Thus he ran an ‘ultra-marathon’ — 300 miles/246 km — in four days. Sometimes he was running in his sleep and famously he had an exhaustion-induced vision of the deity Pan. All of this was recorded by the historian Herodotus who famously wrote about the Persian War. After the Greeks defeated the Persians, someone had to tell the home crowd, so a runner was sent, with the well-known result. But was it Pheidippides? Plutarch, writing much later, said that it was Thersippus. The 1879 Robert Browning poem names Pheidippides as the messenger, but omits the prior trip to Sparta, which was much more impressive. Organizers of the Modern Olympics in 1896, loving the romance of the fallen courier, included a 26.2 mile/42 km race called the Marathon. Maybe they thought the racers would die. The rest is history, as marathons are run all over the world, along with ultra-marathons and triathlons.

Our breakfast echoes the flavors of the Mediterranean, and provides protein for healthy muscles. Since modern marathoners like to ‘carbo-load’ the day before a race, our dinner involves a healthy pasta. In truth, hemerodromes ate figs, olives, cured meats, and a honey-sesame paste to keep them going.

Mediterranean Bake: 138 calories 2 g fat 1.4 g fiber 10.4 g protein 8.4 g carbs [7.5 g Complex] 55 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  Oh! Those sunny flavors!

one 2-oz egg 1 Tbsp chevre cheese 4 Tbsp Mediterranean Vegetables without chickpeas  salt + pepper large pinch of Herbes de Provence 2 oz melon   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

Set the toaster oven at at 350 degrees F. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray and spoon in the Med. Veg. Pop the ramekin in the warming toaster oven for 30 seconds to warm the vegetables. Whisk the egg with the cheese and seasonings. Pour in the egg mixture over the vegetables and bake in the toaster oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs. Brew your optional warm beverage, shake and pour the optional smoothie, plate the melon. A fine way to start the rest of your life.

Tortellini with Black Kale:  182 calories 7.6 g fat 3 g fiber 8 g protein 23 g carbs [7.4 g Complex] 164 mg Calcium   PB  Quick, unusual, and good tasting. Dear Husband approved and he ususally says he doesn’t like kale. The recipe comes from  TIP: This recipe serves 2 [two]

Here is a serving variation: combine the cooked kale with the cooked pasta and the tomatoes, stir, and top with grated Parmesan. The whole-grain bread adds calories and fiber.

56 g dried cheese & spinach tortellini = 210 calories [Barilla brand is good] 3 oz black kale 2 clove garlic 1 tsp olive oil red pepper flakes black pepper ½ tsp kosher salt 2 tsp lemon juice 4 oz tomato 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese optional: 1 oz whole-grain bread

Preparation for the Kale for two people:

3 oz kale, preferrably Black aka Tuscan or dinosaur KaleUse your hands to pull the kale leaves from their stems. Coarsely chop the leaves. Rinse them, but do not dry.
1 tsp olive oil 2 cloves garlic
pinch red pepper flakes
Heat oil in large, wide, high-sided sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute (do not let the garlic brown).
¼ tsp kosher salt pinch ground pepper Add kale a few handfuls at a time, stirring as it starts to wilt, until all of the kale is added. Stir in the salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is just tender, about 5 minutes.
2 tsp Lemon juiceTake off heat, stir in the lemon juice, and plate.

For the Dinner: Bring a quart of salted water to the boil. As the kale is almost cooked, add tortellini [56 g (2/3 cup) to serve TWO] to the water. Cook 10 minutes, then drain and return to the pan. Add 2 oz diced tomatoes per person and 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese. Stir gently until tomatoes are warmed through. Place the pasta in the center of the plate and arrange the kale around it. Pour any remaining sauce over the pasta.

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