Jack London

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.

Jack London studying at Heinold’s Saloon.

John Griffith Cheney was born on January 12, 1876, and in the next 40 years, he did a lot of living and a lot of writing. His mother was an astrologer, his father was a no-show, and young Jack grew up in the grittier parts of San Francisco and Oakland. A step-father provided the last name ‘London’ but not much else, so Jack went to work early in life: farm hand, news boy, pin-setter, and a factory worker at age 14. On the docks of Oakland, he fell in with the hard-drinking sailors and fisherfolk around Heinold’s Saloon, where Jack sometimes did his homework. There, London got a taste for adventure and for liquor. In the Oakland Free Library, London got a taste for words and stories — R.L. Stevenson being a favorite. Buying a boat, he found more lucrative employment as an ‘oyster pirate,’ illegally harvesting bivalves at night to sell to restaurants. At age 15, he shipped aboard a sealing vessel which took him across the Pacific. Upon his return, he regaled his mother with his tales and she urged him to enter a short story writing contest. His $25 first prize set him on his career path. One semester at Berkeley was all he could afford, even after a loan from friend/patron Johnny Heinold, so he set off for the Yukon Gold Rush in 1897, seeking his fortune. What he found was illness and malnutrition and enough experiences to fill a bookshelf. His short story To Build A Fire lit up his career and Call of the Wild, published in 1903, made him a household name. Early on, London had seen the darker side of capitalism, so he became a committed socialist, often speaking eloquently on the subject. He continued to write 1000 words a day, through two marriages, and many travels. For the Hearst newspapers, he went to Japan to cover the Russo-Japanese War. London and other correspondents were annoyed by being prevented from going near the front lines, so London slipped away and made his way by fishing boat to Korea where the fighting was. During his stay, he was arrested three times for non-compliance with Japanese-imposed rules and spent some time in prison. President Theodore Roosevelt, a fan of London’s adventure stories, intervened to have him released. London loved to travel but he also had a special place for himself in Sonoma County: Beauty Ranch, which began as 130 acres in 1905, and blossomed to 1400 acres, where he pursued scientific agriculture. In his late 30s, his years of drinking and living rough caught up with him, but he refused to slow down his life or his drinking. He is buried at Beauty Ranch, now the Jack London State Historical Site. In Oakland’s Jack London Square, next to the Saloon, is a replica of the cabin where London lived in the Yukon, incongruously surrounded by palm trees.

Since Jack London is known for his gold-rush tales, our breakfast comes from the California gold rush and includes oysters. The dinner is pure Japanese cuisine — do you suppose that they served this to London during one of his several stays in a Japanese prison? BTW: Since London was an avowed socialist, the writings referenced above are linked to Project Gutenberg, a free library.

Hangtown Fry: 155 calories 9 g fat 0.6 g fiber 12.6 g protein 6 g carbs 62.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. GF  Turns out, this meal has nothing to do with being hanged and everything to do with striking it rich.

3 two-oz eggs of which you will use 1½ eggs per person HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week  2 shucked oysters, chopped ½ slice ‘American’ bacon, uncured if possible 1½ oz strawberries -OR- 3 cherries   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Dice the bacon and cook it in a hot pan until almost crisp. Add the oysters and cook a second or two longer. Whisk the eggs with salt, and pepper. Pour over the bacon/oysters in the pan and scramble or cook as an omelette. Plate with the fruit and serve with the beverages of choice.

Oyakodon (Chicken & Egg Bowl): 214 calories  5 g fat  6.5 g fiber 20 g protein 17 g carbs 38 mg Calcium   PB GF  Younger Son commended this recipe to us. That is fitting, since oyakodon means ‘parent and child’ because it contains both chicken and egg. The recipe is by Nakimo Chen from Just One Cookbookand we found it to be easy and delicious. HINT: This recipe is designed to serve two.  If serving with ¼ c cooked sushi rice, add 75 cal 0.1 g fat 0.6 g fiber 1.5 g protein 16.5 g carbs 38 mg Calcium. Brown rice would be an even better choice.

2/3 cup dashi
1½ Tbsp mirin  1½ Tbsp sake [or dry sherry]
1½ Tbsp soy sauce
1½ tsp sugar
Combine in a bowl or a measuring cup for liquids. 
Add sugar and mix all together until sugar is dissolved. Total volume = 7 fl oz
Divide the seasoning liquid into 2 equal portions and set aside. 
½ onion
optional: mitsuba [Japanese parsley]
Thinly slice the onion and divide into 2 equal portionsChop mitsuba and divide into 2 equal portions
2 large eggsBeat one egg in a small bowl. Beat the other egg in a diffferent bowl
6 oz raw boneless skinless chicken or turkey thighs Slice the meat diagonally + cut into 1.5″/4 cm pieces. Divide chicken into two equal portions
Use 2 small frying pans at the same time OR one pan used sequentially.
I used two 6” cast iron pans.
In each of two small frying pans, add ½ the onion in a single layer. Add ½ the chicken on top of the onion. Pour in the seasoning mixture. The sauce will come up to the top of the onion and chicken.
Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat to medium- low. Skim off any foam.  Cover + cook until poultry is no longer pink. About 5 mins
Slowly and evenly drizzle beaten egg over chicken and onion. Cook covered on med-low heat until egg is done to your liking. In Japan, Oyakdon is served with almost set but runny egg.
Garnish: small bunch Mitsuba or green onion/chives
½ c steamed rice [for 2 servings]
Add the mitsuba/green onion right before removing from heat. Pour the chicken and egg on top of steamed rice along with the sauce.

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

1 two-oz egg + 1 egg white1 two-oz egg 
rhubarb + sugar + milk2%-fat cottage cheese
white whole wheat flour [or plain] crushed red pepper
baking powder + ‘Canadian’ bacon/back baconpeach + Finn Crisp crackers
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

four 2-3″ mushroom caps3%-fat ham + 4 two-oz eggs
fresh tomatoes + SnapPea Crispsskimmed milk + green beans
Clam stuffing: clams, 70-calorie whole-grain bread, red bell pepperwhite whole wheat flour
tomato, turkey meatballs, plain yogurt, Parmesan, thymeallspice + thyme
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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