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 ______ who is now Following.

The Dutch Baroque style of painting was quite different from the Italian Baroque of Caravaggio. In both, light is a key factor — light contrasting with shadows to lead the eye into the painting and to guide the viewer to certain points. But while Caravaggio was all about sensuality and dramatic violence, the Dutch artists were about light: the clear, luminous, low-humidity light of Northern Europe. Johannes Vermeer was a painter in Delft: born, raised, and baptized in that city on 31 October, 1632. He appears to have been self-taught, although perhaps influenced by friends of his father who was an art dealer. Vermeer began to paint and he specialized in ‘interiors’ — people [mostly women] in rooms, doing ordinary things. The rooms are drenched in light from a window on the viewer’s left, making the colors of clothing and carpets glow, and bringing a sense of calm. He used expensive pigments and worked very slowly. Vermeer’s paintings have a clarity and perfection that makes them almost photographic. Indeed, in modern times, there has been much debate about whether he was merely ‘copying’ what he saw through a camera obscura — a viewing device that projects scenes onto a surface. For more about whether and how Vermeer used optical aids to create his art, give some time to the fascinating film Tim’s Vermeer, in which an inventor tries to duplicate The Music Lesson. However he did it, Vermeer produced some beautiful paintings, most of which were purchased by a single patron in Delft. When he died precipitously in 1675, his wife had difficulty paying his debts, and his work was forgotten. In the mid-1800s, he was rediscovered by a French art critic who wrote copiously of Vermeer and his 80+ works. There is no way that Vermeer painted that much in the 20 years that he was active! In the 1920s-30s, “newly discovered Vermeers” were coming out of the woodwork: forgeries all. He is one of the most forged and mis-attributed artists of all time, some forgeries fooling Nazi art hoarders. Now, around 34 works are said to be by Vermeer, and each one is a cherished peek into life in 17th century Delft. Which one is your favorite?

A Flemish breakfast and a simple supper for an artist who was not a financial success during his lifetime.

Holiday-After Breakfast: 139 calories 6 g fat 0.6 g fiber 14 g protein 6.4 g carb 37 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB GF  The boiled egg and meat are typical of a Flemish breakfast that Vermeer would have known. I named it ‘Holiday-after’ as it employs a few left-overs from a feasting table, such as Easter as seen below.

1 two-oz egg, hardboiled 1.5 oz ham OR beef OR turkey  1.5 oz pineapple OR ¼ cup mixed berries 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

Warm the meat or not. Cut the fruit in bite-sized pieces. Plate the meat, egg, and fruit. Brew your beverages of choice. Sit down and relax with your easy anytime breakfast.

Fish Cakes:  212 calories 4 g fat 5 g fiber 9.6 g protein 34 g carbs 52 mg Calcium [food values for dinner using ONE 1/3 cup-size cake and side dishes.]   PB GF  This recipe is from Legal Seafood Cookbook,  from the restaurant chain in Boston, Mass. Fish cakes have been popular where ever there are folk who want a little fish to go a long way.

NB: The Fish Cake recipe can produce 6 cakes, each 1/3 cup in size. Each cake = 92 calories 1.7 g fat 1 g fiber 8 g protein 12 g carbs 22 mg Calcium NB: The Fish Cake recipe can produce 8 cakes, each 1/4 cup in size. Each cake = 69 calories 1.3 g fat 0.6 g fiber 5 g protein 9 g carbs 16 mg Calcium 

1/3 cup green or white onion, chopped 1-2/3 cup mashed potatoes [no milk, no butter] ¼ tsp dry mustard + salt + pepper 1 two-oz egg 2 Tbsp milk 6 oz cooked fish [cod, haddock, salt cod, salmon or a mixture], flaked into small pieces 1 tsp butter ½ cup pickled beets 1 cup baby greens or sliced lettuce leaves cherry tomato ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp vinegar + salt + pepper

Combine the onion, potatoes, egg, seasonings, and milk, stirring. Stir in the fish, gently but thoroughly. Using a 1/3 cup measure as a mold, portion the fish/potato mixture into 6 cakes. Put on a plate or cookie sheet while the pan heats up. Heat a heavy fry pan, such as cast iron, and spray with non-stick spray. Cook the fish cakes on one side, flattening them slightly with a turner. Remove from the pan and add 1 tsp of butter to the pan. Spread the butter around, return the fish cakes, and cook them on the other side until they are browned. Serve while hot. What you don’t eat today, let cool completely, then freeze with waxed or parchment paper between the cakes. 

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