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.

A Hasselnuss Hock

January 2 is the date to celebrate Berchtoldstag or Berchtold’s Day in many cantons of Switzerland. Oddly, no one seems to know who Berchtold was! He might have been the Duke Berchtold V, who in 1191, founded the capital city of Bern. Or the day could be named for a Swiss-German Benedictine monk named Berchtold of Engelberg. Perhaps the name comes from the word “berchten” which means ‘to wander about asking for food.’ Whatever. German-speaking descendants of the Alemenni tribe in Germany, Switzerland, and Alsace seize the day for village feasts, costumed parades, and celebration of local tradition. This is not a religious holiday or a saint’s day, but a cultural observance. Protestants tried to stamp out the festival during the Reformation, but it has persisted. Children go around asking for nuts, a rather more healthy ‘trick-or-treat’ tradition. With the nuts, they play all sorts of games and build tiny towers called ‘hocks’ with four nuts as the base and one balanced on top. Try it. Go nuts on 2 January, and celebrate an ancient festival.

Nuts are on the menu for Berchtoldstag — but not the walnuts or hazelnuts that the children expect. Our breakfast will use almonds and the dinner will include peanuts as an ingredient. Ok, ok — peanuts are not true nuts, but they are enjoyed worldwide.

Peachy Waffle Hearts148 calories 3.4 g fat 3.6 g fiber 3.6 g protein 29 g carbs 59.4 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB  GF– if using GF waffles  Where is it written that hearts are reserved for Valentine’s Day? Make this breakfast to show someone that he/she/they are loved. Make it for yourself for affirmation.

3 sections of waffle that are heart-shaped [our waffle-maker has 5 heart-shaped sections] 3 Tbsp Vanilla yogurt, low-fat 2 Tbsp almond meal/flour 3 oz peach, mashed 2 oz pear, cut as 3 slices   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Combine the yogurt with the almond meal and let it sit to thicken a bit. Can be done overnight. Mash the peach through a sieve to make a mush. Warm the waffles to take off any chill and spread with the peach mush. Pipe or spoon the yogurt around the edges of the hearts and plate with the pear. A pretty treat.

Chicken Satay: 262 calories 9 g fat 3 g fiber 24 g protein 17 g carbs 23 mg Calcium  PB GF  It looks so elegant in the restaurant, yet it is easy to prepare at home. Feel free to vary the vegetables if you wish.

3 oz uncooked chicken breast 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp satay sauce [Taste of Thai or Thai Kitchen] 1½ tsp peanut butter pinch granulated garlic Sriracha to taste 1 oz cherry tomatoes 2-3 oz cauliflower, sliced across the entire head 

Cut the chicken into 1” pieces. Put in a bowl and mix well with 1 Tbsp of satay sauce. Let sit 4-12 hours in the refrigerator. In a small bowl, combine 2 tsp of satay sauce with the peanut butter, garlic powder, and Sriracha. Slice the cauliflower into a ‘steak’ [across the head] that weighs 2-3 oz and brush it with the peanut sauce. Skewer the marinated meat on wooden or metal picks. Broil or grill both the meat [takes less time] and cauliflower [takes more time] until done. Plate with the tomatoes.

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