Victor Hugo

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 Ovat Friday who is now Following.

On May 22, 1885, Victor Hugo died and the Paris bourgeoisie went into mourning. Two million people formed a funeral procession to escort his body from the Arc de Triomphe to the Pantheon where he is interred. Why the acclamation? Hugo was the premier man of letters of the French Romantic period: protesting the monarchy in his plays, and moving readers to social action with his novels. He was born in 1802, in Besançon, Franche-Comté, and raised in Paris. His parents encapsulated the polar opposites of French society of the time: an anti-monarchy atheist and a pro-monarchy Catholic. His career began in poetry, which brought fame and early recognition. Novels followed, along with marriage to a childhood sweetheart. Then there were plays, produced to popular praise and condemnation from government censors. The Hugos had five children, none of whom lived into adulthood. During Hugo’s early life, he was a conservative and faithful Catholic, but his views changed in the late 1840s, as he became increasingly aware of the misery of life among the lower classes. In 1831, the novel Notre-Dame de Paris [Hunchback of Notre Dame] was published, with its anti-clerical plot and the memorable bell-ringer, Quasimodo. The book’s popularity called attention to the crumbling condition of the Cathedral of Notre Dame and lead to its much-needed restoration. Hugo made a name for himself as a politician, serving in the Assemblies and speaking against the death penalty. When the elected President of France declared himself to be Emperor Louis Napoleon III, Hugo denounced him as a traitor. It was then that Hugo moved his family to Belgium, fearing retribution. For 19 years, he lived in the Channel Islands, in self-imposed exile. During that time, he wrote the poem “Proscrit” with the touching refrain, “The month of May, without France, is not the month of May.” While there, he also finished Les Miserables, his crowning achievement of social activism. Upon his return to Paris, Hugo was elected to the Senate, but the fire had gone out of him. As a writer, he influenced authors as wide-spread as Dickens, Dostoevsky, and Camus. And of course his stories live on in movies and stage shows, still rousing people to the cause of social justice.

Bescacon has many cheeses, so we will have cheese with our eggs at breakfast. Jean ValJean, a major character in Les Miserables, was hounded for years for having stolen a loaf of bread. We will have bread at dinner for a sandwich.

Cheesy-Bake: 144 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 12 g protein 7 g carbs 183 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  This is the baked version of a cheese omelette that thinks that it is a cheese souffle! Delicious. 

One 2-oz egg ½ oz cheddar cheese, grated 1 Tbsp reduced fat ricotta cheese ½ c raspberries [If frozen, portion it into its dish the night before, so it will thaw by morning] OR 1½ oz apple, sliced  OR 1 oz grapes  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]   Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Spritz a ramekin/oven-safe dish with olive oil or non-stick spray. Heat the toaster oven at 350F. Stir the two cheeses together with a fork until blended and whisk with the egg. Without waiting, pour into the ramekin and bake for 12-15 minutes, until puffed and beginning to brown. Prepare the fruit and your beverages of choice, and enjoy a cheesey start to your day.

Tuna Salad Sandwich, nouveau: 281 calories 9 g fat 4 g fiber 20 g protein 31 g carbs 91 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using a GF bun  Mayonnaise is an annoyance to me – I’d rather spend my calories on something else. So I came up with a different way to make tuna salad, improving the protein and Calcium along the way. Try it. HINT: These amounts make enough for three [3] sandwiches. Invite friends, or reserve the remaining tuna salad for a later lunch.

One 5-oz can white tuna in water [4.5 oz drained/ 115 g/ ¾ cup] 1 hard-boiled egg 4 Tbsp 2%-fat cottage cheese 2 Tbsp chopped celery 2 Tbsp chopped onion salt and pepper   per serving: 1 hot dog bun   ¼ cup 4-bean salad + ½ ear corn on the cob

Drain the tuna and turn it into a bowl. Break up the tuna with a fork. Chop the egg and add it to the tuna along with the cottage cheese, celery, onion, salt and pepper. Stir to incorporate. Boil the corn for 8 minutes. Divide the tuna salad into three equal portions. Put tuna salad into as many hot dog buns as needed for the meal and plate with the vegetables. Refrigerate any left over tuna salad to enjoy it another day soon.

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