Smallpox

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Jeyran Main who is now Following.

Smallpox raged across the globe for millennia — mummies from the time of the Pharaohs show pock marks on their skin. Around the world it went, killing, blinding, and scarring people, seemingly incurable. In 1670, in the harem at Istanbul, wives and consorts were being successfully inoculated with live smallpox virus placed in a small cut to the skin. Lady Mary Montague, wife of the British ambassador to Constantinople [as the English called it], was thrilled to hear of the Turkish method — she had survived a disfiguring bout of smallpox but her brother died. Lady Mary insisted that her children be inoculated, and she took the surgeon and the method back to England. By 1722, people were being vaccinated in England and New England. Edward Jenner of England is the one who did the most to promote vaccination. He trained with a country doctor and knew that milkmaids, who often caught cowpox from cows, never caught smallpox. Using the cowpox virus, Jenner did scientific studies about the effectiveness of vaccination [he coined the word, based on the latin word for cow, ‘vaca‘] and promoted the idea widely. Although his 1797 article was rejected and detractors said that the vaccine would turn one into a cow, by 1802, his work was recognized by the British government and President Thomas Jefferson of the US was recommending it, too. At last, on October 26, 1977, the UN declared that smallpox was finally eradicated in the world. The scourge was ended, which shows the benefits of a good, scientifically valid vaccine. When I was a child, everyone was vaccinated against smallpox at age 3. I remember it well, although I never developed the characteristic scar.

Since the Jenner vaccination came from milkmaids with cow-pox, we will start our day with two cheeses in our baked eggs. Small Pox traveled along trade routes to many countries. It probably reached Europe via India [funny: no one called it the India-Pox…]. A wonderful India-inspired meal that emerged in England is Kedgeree, which will be our dinner.

Cheesy-Bake: 144 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 12 g protein 7 g carbs [5.7 g Complex] 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 1 oz grapes Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Spritz a ramekin with olive oil or non-stick spray. Set the toaster oven at 350 F. 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.

Kedgeree:  250 calories 6 g fat 2 g fiber 22 g protein 25.7 g carbs [5.7 g Complex] 101 mg Calcium  PB GF  This Anglo-Indian fusion dish is flavorful and quickly prepared.  HINT: The recipe serves two [2] people.

Here is a serving for one person.
3 oz smoked haddock [aka: finnen haddie]  ½ cup milk 
1 bay leaf  ¼ cup chopped onion 
Put these ingredients in a small pan with a lid. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the milk and save it. Remove the fish, skin it, and pull apart into large shreds.
2/3 cup cooked rice [White rice is OK but brown rice has more nutrition] 
1/5 tsp curry powder 
½ tsp turmeric
Add the cooked rice and spices along with the shredded fish to the milk and put on low heat, covered, until everything is warm.
5 oz asparagus cut into 1½” piecesCook separately until just tender. Add to the rice/fish.
2 hard-boiled eggsPeel + cut each into 8 pieces. Strew atop the plated meal. Add salt.

Last Gasp

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. 

It is the end of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere — the last warm breaths of the season still can be felt as the early afternoon sun shines on your back. The days are noticeably shorter, the leaves fall from the trees, and sometimes the heat comes on at night…yet the Last Rose of Summer is blooming. True, the Autumnal Equinox has passed and we are closer to November than to September. This is Summer’s Last Gasp, before the chilly, grey days ahead. As Ned Stark would say, “Winter is coming.” Before Summer ends, let’s mark the season with some foods that are appropriate.

Autumnal Equinox ScrOmelette:  147 calories 8 g fat 1.6 g fiber 10.6 g protein 12 g carbs [9 g Complex] 52 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  The mushrooms are for Autumn, the tomatoes are for Summer. This meal is for when the seasons overlap.

1½ two-oz eggs  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.  ½ oz mushrooms, chopped 1½ oz tomatoes, cubed/diced and drained 1 Tbsp scallion, chopped 1 yellow or other small plum OR 2 oz peach OR 3 oz strawberry  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Drain the tomato cubes in a sieve, overnight if possible. Put the vegetables in an oil-sprayed non-stick pan to warm them and to cook them a bit. Whisk the eggs and pour over the vegetables in the pan. Scramble or cook as an omelette. Prepare the beverages and plate the fruit with the eggs. Savor your meal as you contemplate the change of the seasons.

Summer Vegetable Tortillas:  310 calories 9 g fat 8 g fiber 28.6 g protein 49 g carbs 210 mg Calcium  PB  Eating Well magazine is the source of these fine tortillas which are chock full of the flavors of the Summer garden.  HINT: Serves two [2]

1 cup eggplant in ½” dice 1 cup onion in ½ “ dice
½ cup corn
salt + pepper
Mix it all in a medium bowl, then put on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. (reserve the bowl) Spray the vegetables with cooking spray. Roast at 450 F for 10 minutes
1 cup zucchini in ½“ dice 1.5 cloves garlic salt + pepperCombine in the bowl. Add to the baking sheet and spray again. Roast until vegetables are soft and starting to brown, about 15 minutes.
½ c cooked chicken breast, shredded ½ c enchilada saucePut chicken and the vegetables in a saute pan. Stir in enchilada sauce and heat until warm. 
4 corn tortillas, warmed ½ c Monterey jack, shredded + chopped cilantro, lime wedgesPut ¼ of the filling on each tortilla. [save a bit for adding to eggs at breakfast] Top with cheese, serve with cilantro/lime.

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

1 two-oz egg1 two-oz egg 
ricotta cheese70-calorie whole-grain bread
Cheddar or Gruyere cheeseCanadian bacon/back bacon
raspberry or apple or grapesbanana
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

smoked haddock + onionpork tenderloin + sweet red pepper
hard-boiled eggs + bay leafAsian sweet chili sauce + cucumber
asparagus + curry powdercarrot + baguette slices + ground garlic
turmeric + cooked rice +milk pickle brine + sesame oil + ginger
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Statue of David

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Malcolm Rae who is now Following.

David was one of the major characters of the Old Testament. He was the youngest son of Jesse; a shepherd lad. While he was still a youth, the invading Philistines looked as if they were going to defeat the Israelites. Their champion, the giant Goliath, challenged Israel’s champion to single combat. David volunteered to fight the giant. He was offered armor, but it was too big. Armed with only his slingshot, David faced his enemy and killed him with a single stone, then cut off his head. During the Renaissance, sculptors vied with each other to depict David. In 1440, Donatello showed his statue of David. It was the first bronze statue of the Renaissance. It depicts a boy who’s voice is still changing standing with his foot on Goliath’s head. David looks thoughtful and, in a reference to Classical Greek art, he is nude. Thirty-five years later, Verrocchio produced a bronze on the same subject. This David is even younger and to avoid the criticism of prudes, he wears a tunic and a breastplate [that looks a bit like lingerie]. He has killed the enemy and stands with a hand on his hip and a cocky look as if to say, “I told you I could do it.” Here David represents the City of Florence, ready to defeat larger enemies. When most people think of a statue of David, they think of Michelangelo’s monumental work. In it, a larger-than-life nude man [not a young shepherd boy] casts a cool gaze at his distant opponent. The work, finished in 1504, is pure High Renaissance, designed to show that humans can achieve anything they put their minds to, through reason. In my opinion, the best of all of them is David by Gian Bernini. By 1623, the Renaissance gave way to the Baroque period of art, where motion and emotion replaced that measured calm of Michelangelo’s time. Here an older teenaged David gets ready to let-‘er-rip and you know Goliath is done for. Each statue tells the same story in its own way. Each is the triumph of their own time. Which one do you prefer?

Since David was a shepherd in Israel, our breakfast contains lamb and many flavors of the region. The dinner involves a stone, since that is how David killed Goliath.

Levantine Lamb Bake:  219 calories 14 g fat 1 g fiber 26 g protein 8 g carbs 108.6 mg Calcium   PB GF  Let’s take all the popular flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean and bake them with eggs. Great idea!! [If this sounds familiar, it is based on Lamb Gozleme, which was featured previously. If you had left-over filling (about 2 Tbsp) from that, you could use it.]

1 two-oz egg ¼ oz tomatoes, small dice 1/8 oz feta cheese, small dice 1 Kalamata olive, small dice 1/8 oz cooked lamb meat, small dice 1/8 oz spinach, chopped oregano + salt + pepper 2 oz peach or nectarine   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Prepare all the vegetables, meat, and cheese, and combine them well in a small bowl with the seasonings. Spray an oven-safe dish with non-stick spray and turn the bowl contents into the dish. Whisk the egg and pour over the other ingredients. Bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes. Plate with the fruit and pour the hot beverage. If I knew how, I’d say ‘delicious!’ in Greek, Turkish, Syrian, Palastinian, Hebrew, and Egyptian.

Stone Soup: 125 calories 1.4 g fat 4 g fiber 7.5 g protein 21 g carbs [21 g Complex] 55.6 mg Calcium   PB GF — if using GF bread or eliminating it.  A recipe based on the old French folktale about ‘making soup out of stones.’ And it tastes good, too. HINT: Makes 8 one-cup servings.

See the stone in the center, just under the bread?

½ pound stones, in large pieces – well scrubbed    2 quarts water 4 oz beef, diced 4 oz carrots, sliced 4 oz cabbage, sliced 4 oz parsnips, cubed 4 oz green beans, cut to 1” 4 oz red potato, diced 4 oz spinach, chopped 4 oz white beans lots of herbs + salt + pepper   Optional: slice of artisinal rye bread  adds 100 calories

Put the stones in the water and bring to a simmer. Add the other ingredients and simmer until vegetables are tender. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve with the bread if you wish.

Indigenous Peoples

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Colorful Sisters who are now Following.

‘Indigenous’ is from the latin word ‘indigenus,’ meaning ‘native.’ In North America, there are 562 recognized groups of Indigenous Peoples. Many more are in Central and South America, not to mention other areas around the world. The colonizers were amazed by native foods, taking them back to introduce to Europe. Corn [Zea mays], beans [Phaseolus vulgaris], and tomatoes [Solanum lycopersicum] subsequently entered into the cuisine of Spain, and then other countries. Corn, beans, and squashes were the foundations of indigenous agriculture and food culture — and where would we be today without them? Whether you call the original people ‘indigenous’ or ‘First Nations,’ tomorrow is a day to celebrate their culture and foods.

The basic salad of three ‘American’ ingredients is a fine dish by itself. It can be added to other ingredients for a breakfast or a dinner. Very versatile! [I use the word ‘American’ to mean North, Central, and South America which took their name from Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian-Spanish merchant-explorer who visited the ‘New World’ much more extensively in the 1490s than did Columbus.]

Tomato-Corn-Black Bean Salad:  1 Serving = ¾ cup = 115 calories 3.8 g fat 5.3 g fiber 4.7 g protein 17 g carbs 30 mg Calcium  PB GF  For a real late Summer treat, you can’t beat fresh corn and tomatoes!  100Daysofrealfood provided the recipe and then I altered it a little. HINT: This makes 3 cups of salad. One generous serving = ¾ cup. As good as it is colorful.

1½ ears of corn  
1 c canned black beans, drained and rinsed
Blanch the corn for 1 minute in boiling water. Cool + cut the kernels off the cob and put in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the rinsed beans to the bowl. 
4 oz tomato: cherry toms cut in half OR whole tomato cut in ½” dice
¼ cup red onion, diced
Gently mix beans + corn with tomatoes + onion. Heat vegetables in the microwave for 45-60 seconds to make slightly warm.
¼ cup basil leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
In a small bowl combine the basil, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour over the warmed vegetables and stir to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Summer Vegetable Bake 129 calories 6 g fat 2.4 g fiber 8 g protein 11 g carbs 33 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg and hash only, not the optional hot beveragePB GF  Corn, beans, and tomatoes are native American foods and they all ripen in late Summer. They find themselves to be right at home in this breakfast.

1 two-oz egg ¼ cup corn-black bean-tomato salad [see above recipe] pinch of chili pepper 2 oz melon   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Whisk the egg with the chili pepper. Heat the toaster oven to 350 F. Spritz an oven-proof dish with cooking oil or spray and put the corn salad into it. Pour the egg on top and bake for 12-15 minutes. Plate with the melon for a taste of Meso-America.

Tomato-Corn-Black Bean Salad Dinner: 274 calories 9 g fat 16.5 g protein 34.7 g carbs [34 g Complex] 63.4 mg Calcium  PB GF  For a real late Summer treat, you can’t beat fresh corn and tomatoes! The recipe is from 100Daysofrealfood and then I altered it a little. HINT: This makes 4 cups of salad. One generous serving = ¾ cup. As good as it is colorful.

1½ ears of corn 
1 c canned black beans, drained and rinsed
Blanch the corn for 1 minute in boiling water. Cool + cut the kernels off the cob and put in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the rinsed beans to the bowl. 
4 oz tomato: cherry tomatoes cut in half OR whole tomato cut in 1” dice
¼ cup red onion, diced
Gently mix beans + corn with tomatoes + onion. Heat vegetables in the microwave for 45-60 seconds to make slightly warm.
1 oz cooked beef, from steak or roast OR 1 oz roast pork Slice the meat very thinly and warm it briefly if it is cold.
¼ cup basil leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
In a small bowl combine the basil, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour over the warmed vegetables and stir to combine. If you are not serving 5 people, cool and store the leftovers in the refrigerator. 
Plate ¾ cup of corn salad per serving and arrange the meat on top

How to Stay

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Starting any new behavior is easy — staying on it is more difficult. Having gone through this myself, I have some tips for you. 1] If you haven’t done so, watch Michael Mosley’s TV presentation Eat, Fast, Live Longer. That’s what motivated us to get on board. 2] We talked about planning and purchasing ahead, so continue to do that. Make it easy for yourself to follow the diet. 3] Make the meal special. On my Home Page is a photo of a demitasse cup. It is the only one I have and I think it is very pretty. I use it on Fast Days only, filling it from a small pitcher of mocha cafe au lait. Make your Fast Meals an occasion — use the good dishes; put the sparkling water in a nice glass with a twist of lemon. 4] Slow down your meals. The little demitasse cup means that I have to stop my breakfast once in a while to refill the cup. Wait until you have swallowed your food before you cut your next mouth-full. 5] Set goals by the clock. From breakfast to noon, put no calories in your mouth. Then set the timer for two hours, and don’t eat during that time. When it rings, set it for another two hours. Its a mind-game, but it works. 6] Distract yourself. Plan projects for Fast Days which will keep you focused on the task for 2-3 hours, so you will think less about food. 7] Think about tomorrow, when you will weigh less and you can eat more freely. Rather than think “I can’t eat that today,” you can think, “I can eat that tomorrow.”

Today’s menus are typical for us on a Thursday: a savory scramble and a hearty soup. The nice thing about soup is that you get to store future meals in the freezer.

Capicola ScrOmelette:  147 calories 8 g fat 1.0 g fiber 13.8 g protein 7.5 g carbs [6.6 g Complex] 72 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  GF Capicola is a dried ham which is very flavorful yet low in fat and calories. It goes very well with eggs.  

1½ two-oz eggs  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.   1/3 oz uncured capicola ham, sliced thinly and chopped large pinch oregano 1.7 oz apple   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]

Chop the capicola and slice the apple. Beat the eggs with the oregano. Heat a non-stick pan and spritz it with non-stick cooking spray. Put the capicola in the pan to heat very briefly, then pour in the eggs. Scramble or cook as you would an omelette. Serve with the beverages of your choice.

Czech Garlic Soup Česneková polévka: 194 calories 4.7 g fat 4 g fiber 9 g protein 27 g carbs [18.4 g Complex] 84 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF rye bread What could be better on a cool night than a cozy bowl of soup? This is a classic from czechcookbook, but feel free to make it your own. The calorie count is so low that you could add other vegetables or low-fat meat.  HINT: This recipe makes 8 cups of soup. One serving = 1 cup

1 Tbsp unsalted butter OR bacon fat   
7 cloves garlic
Chop garlic and saute in butter/fat in a stock pot.
7 cups water OR Chicken Broth OR Beef Broth
1½ tsp salt
3 cups cubed potatoes 
3 cups cubed parsnips
Peel potatoes and parsnips and cut in cubes. Add to broth and salt in the stock pot. Simmer for 20 minutes, until vegetables are just under-done. Remove ½ cup soup stock and cool.
1 egg
1 tsp marjoram
Whisk the egg, then whisk it into the reserved ½ cup of soup stock. Return to the stockpot, stirring, and add marjoram. Taste for seasoning. Let sit 8-24 hours.
Per person: ¼ oz rye or whole wheat bread, cubed
Per person: ¼ oz Swiss cheese
Per person: side salad
Toast the cubes of bread. Grate the cheese over them while hot. Use to garnish the reheated soup when serving.

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

1 two-oz egg + corn kernels + basil3 two-oz egg whites 
tomatoes + black beans + olive oil2 egg yolks + sugar
crushed red pepper + melon blueberries + raspberries
red onion + red wine vinegarother berries + Armagnac
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

corn kernels + beef steakchicken breast + polenta + green beans
tomato + canned black beansonion + red bell pepper + garlic
red onion + red wine vinegar green bell pepper + tomatoes + thyme
basil + olive oilred wine + piment d’esplette + olive oil
Sparkling waterSparkling water

How To Start

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.  Welcome to Adeoye Emmanuel who is now Following.

How does one begin the Fasting Lifestyle? It isn’t difficult. You won’t have to count calories or calculate nutrients — if you use my recipes, I have done it for you. 1st: designate the day or days that you plan as Fast Days. Write it on the calendar. Have your phone or tablet remind you, just as you would any appointment. We like Monday and Thursday. 2nd: Look in this blog’s archives for breakfast menus and choose four for Mondays and four for Thursdays. Write them on the calendar. Now you know what to eat for 8 breakfasts in the month. We like a baked egg dish on Monday, and an omelette/scramble on Thursday. But there are eggless breakfasts too. 3rd: Do the same for dinners for Mondays and Thursdays, and write them on the calendar. We like seafood/meatless dinners on Monday and meals with meat on Thursday. There are vegetarian meals on this blog too. 4th: Go shopping for the ingredients, at least for the first week. While shopping, resist the temptation to put snack foods or highly processed foods into the basket — even on the Slow Days, you should cut down on those empty calories. 5th: If, like me, you are not a morning person, prep part of the breakfast the night before. If you rush home just before dinner time, choose a Fast meal that could be thawed out when you get home. Soup is often a good choice for Fasting. These behavior changes will help to prevent you from getting processed breakfasts on the run or take-out for dinner. You will save money too. 6th: Can you delay breakfast — even by an hour? Can you move up dinner/supper? If you usually breakfast at 7 am and dine at 8 pm, that’s a long stretch for a beginning Faster. See what you can do about that.

Try these meals tomorrow. They are fairly easy to prepare and they have a lot of flavor. Good flavor, good fiber, and eye appeal will help you to appreciate a meal more. Drink lots of water or tea, and get into Fasting.

Creole Bake: 137 calories 6.5 g fat 2 g fiber 8.4 g protein 11.6 g carbs [10 g Complex] 67 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB GF  Creole flavors add zip to the morning eggs.

1 two-oz egg 1 Tbsp tomato dice or puree 1.5 tsp onion, minced 1 Tbsp bell pepper, minced 1 Tbsp bacon, chopped and measured raw 1.5 tsp Cheddar cheese, finely grated Pinch file powder 1.5 tsp creole seasoning    2 oz pear or apple   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Put the tomato, onion, bell pepper, and bacon in a small pan and cook until the bacon is mostly cooked. Drain the bacon fat from the vegetables. HINT: You could do this the night before. Spritz an oven-safe pan with non-stick spray and set the oven to 350 F. Whisk the egg and then stir in the cheese, vegetables, and seasonings. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 12-15 minutes. Prepare your beverages of choice and slice the fruit.

Tuna Salad Sandwich, country-style:  Per Serving: 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 a problem for me – I’d rather spend my calories on something else. So I came up with a different way to moisten my tuna salad, improving the protein and Calcium along the way. Try it. HINT: These amounts make enough for three [3] sandwiches. Dinner for three or dinner + two lunches.

One 5-oz can of white tuna in water [4.5 oz drained/ 115 g/ ¾ cup] 1 hard-boiled egg 4 Tbsp 2% milk-fat cottage cheese 2 Tbsp minced celery 2 Tbsp minced onion salt and pepper 3 hot dog buns   per serving:  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 among the hot dog buns and plate with the vegetables.

Why to Start

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Tomorrow is the 1st of the month which is a good day to start a good habit. Have your heard the news from health departments around the world? Recently, they have reported that being overweight is a contributing factor to deaths from COVID-19. Being obese doesn’t cause COVID, but it makes one more likely to be very ill or die from the disease. This is NOT fat-shaming. This is telling an unhappy truth. The National Institute of Health says so, as does the New England Journal of Medicine. The Lancet in the UK and the chief epidemiologist in France concur. If ever you needed a reason to lose weight, fear of COVID-19 could be it. You don’t need some bread-and-water crash died — you need a new style of eating. The Fast Diet is a lifestyle in which you change your diet two days a week. Surely you can do that, especially when your health is at risk. Yes, you can.

Try out these two simple meals: meat and bread for breakfast; bacon and eggs for dinner. Start the Fasting Lifestyle tomorrow. Need another reason? If all the days seem the same to you now, then you’ll find that the Fast Days punctuate the week and give you two days that are different from the others.

Czech Breakfast: 233 calories 5 g fat 3.8 g fiber 11.7 g protein 37 g carbs [18 g complex] 65.6 mg Calcium  NB: The food values are for the meal and fruit only and do not include the optional coffee. I’m told that the majority of citizens of the Czech Republic eat this for breakfast daily. Join them.

1 to 1.6 g sourdough rye bread 1 oz sliced ham, 3% fat ½ oz Hermelin cheese, or substitute Camembert 2 yellow plums, or other color of your choice   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]  NO Smoothie today unless you forgo the coffee.

Whether you pile everything on the bread and eat it that way, or sample each item separatly, this is a hearty way to start the day. For those of you who start your day with lunch, this is for you.

Asparagus Omelette:  270 calories 14.7 g fat 3.3 g fiber 18 g protein 10 g carbs 178 mg Calcium  PB GF  Susan Herrmann Loomis comes up with another super dinner omelette. HINT: This recipe serves two [2], but you could cut it if you wish, or double it to serve four [4]. 

4 two-oz eggs  ½ oz [3 Tbsp] Parmesan-Reggiano cheese Whisk the eggs, just to blend in the yolks. Grate the cheese and stir it in.
4 oz asparagus, tough stalk-ends snapped offCook until tender, about 7 minutes. Cut off the bud ends and slice the stalks thinly.
2 slices uncured bacon [30 cal per slice] cut into ½” pieces   Cook in a non-stick pan until ‘lightly golden’, 2-3 minutes.Drain off all but ½ Tbsp fat.
1 scallion [1 oz], thinly sliced
bud ends of asparagus
Saute in fat until transluscent and add the asparagus. Cook until hot. Add eggs without disturbing the other ingredients. Cook until the top is done to your liking. Fold and plate, garnished with bud tips.
1 cup Baby greens, sliced beets, 1/2 oz tomatoesToss with 1 tsp good vinaigrette.

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

1 two-oz egg + bacon1.5 two-oz eggs 
tomato + onion + Cheddaruncured capicola ham
green sweet pepper oregano
creole seasoning + apple/pearapple
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

water-canned tuna + celerybeef or chicken stock + egg
2% fat cottage cheese + oniongarlic + Swiss cheese
hot dog bun + corn on the cobpotatoes + parsnips + butter
4-bean saladrye bread +marjoram
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Who Dunit? Who Ate It? Chapter 4

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to NutritionIdeas2020 who is now Following.

Dear Husband and I love to read ‘whodunits.’ Crime literature in English harks back to Edgar Allen Poe’s Murders on Rue Morgue in 1841. As the genre took off, a sub-genre developed: culinary crime. These books are read as much for the procedural as for the vicarious thrills of the meals that are described along the way. There are many authors who tantalize our tastebuds while they challenge our little grey cells and today, I will feature foods from two widely different sources.

Hercule Poirot is one of Agatha Christie‘s most enduring detectives, although she came to dislike the character eventually. He is a former policeman from Belgium who is obsessed with order and cleanliness. Not for him searching for footprints and collecting cigar ash — too dirty. Add to that, Poirot professes to have a tender stomach. Thus he prefers food that is neat, regularly-shaped, European, and mild but never bland. An omelette made with apples and cream would appeal to him.

Omelette Normande:  174 calories 11 g fat 1 g fiber 10 g protein 9 g carbs [8.2 g Complex] 46 mg Calcium NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  Cooking in Normandy naturally involves apple and cream, even at breakfast. This is the breakfast version of a Norman dessert omelette.

1 ½ eggs 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.  1½ oz apple, peeled and sliced thinly 1½ tsp heavy/whipping cream ½ tsp butter ¼ tsp sugar + ¼ tsp cinnamon 1 oz peach    Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]  NO smoothie today

Peel and slice the apples and cook them slowly in a saute pan with the butter, sugar, cinnamon, 2 Tbsp water, and a healthy spray of non-stick spray. Add more water if the pan gets dry – you don’t want the apples to stick or scorch. Cook until the apples are almost soft and there is no more liquid in the pan. HINT: You can do this the night before. Whisk the eggs with the cream and a little salt while the apples heat/stay warm in the saute pan. Pour in the eggs and let them cook undisturbed until done. Fold and plate with the peach or other fruit of 11 calories. Picture apple trees in bloom.

Perhaps the greatest contemporary foodie-detective is Bruno Courreges, created by Martin Walker in the Bruno, Chief of Police series. As you read, you can’t wait for the next succulent recipe to be presented — step by step, so you could almost cook from the page of the novel. In addition to the food, the plots and characters make the books worth reading. Bruno lives in southern Perigord, a region known for its local ingredients and he makes the most of them. This is a person you want to share a meal with, as long as he is cooking. Author Walker’s wife, Julia Watson, is in charge of the recipes and she does a great job.

Green Gazpacho with Shrimp:  279 calories 19 g fat 2 g fiber 13 g protein 11 g carbs 56 mg Calcium   PB GF   “Bruno,” according to the cookbook, “likes everything about Spanish Gazpacho except the color and texture.” So here is his own version. HINT: The recipe makes 3 cups of soup, to serve three [3] people.

1-½ green peppers [9 oz] cut in ½” dice  3 fl oz dry white or rose winePut 1/3 of the chopped green peppers into a blender with the white wine. Pulse a bit, then add 1/3 more and pulse again. Add remaining peppers and pulse.
½ large cucumber [5 oz] cut in ½” diceAdd the chopped cucumber and pulse a few times.
75 ml / 4 Tbsp good olive oil 50 ml/ 4 tsp vinegar tarrragon sprig 2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup onion, chopped
salt + pepper to taste
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until the soup is still a little chunky.
Pour into another container and chill for 30 minutes or more.
Per serving: 2 oz small shrimp
Piment d’esplette
Sprinkle shrimp with piment d’esplette and cook. Pour soup into serving bowl and top with cooked shrimp.

Saint Robert Flower of Knaresboro

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

A fun thing about delving into one’s genealogy is the discovery of some unusual characters in the family tree. One such find was St Robert of Knaresboro. A saint!! An eccentric hermit!! What fun. He was born in Yorkshire around 1160, the son of the Mayor of York. From an early age, Robert Flower knew he wanted a religious life, so he became a novice of the Cistercian Abby at Newminister while yet a child. He then decided that the life of a hermit was what he wanted. Robert was forced to move from place to place — he should be the Patron of Displaced Persons. Along the way, he gained a reputation as a holy person who gave good advice. He settled in Knaresboro, near York, in a cave that was chiseled from solid rock. People came to see him and to drink from his holy well — from King John to common pilgrims. Robert was never actually canonized as a saint, but the Trinitarian friars deemed him venerable and there are churches and stained glass windows dedicated to this kindly man who helped the poor and worked to free the prisoners. St Robert’s Cave is open to visitors.

September 24 is the day Saint Robert Flower died in 1208. You will ask why the breakfast planned for him relates to Tolkien‘s Hobbits. The first line of The Hobbit reads, “In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit.” Saint Robert lived in a hole in the ground. In addition, September 24 is the birthday of the Hobbits Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. Furthermore, St Robert’s father’s first name was “Took,” used as a surname for a prominent Hobbit family. Continuing that theme, the dinner is a simple soup prepared from the leftovers of a famous meal from the Azores: Cozido, cooked in a pot in a hole in the ground. Saint Robert Flower would have enjoyed its simplicity.

Hobbiton Breakfast:  217 calories 6 g fat 3.4 g fiber 5.7 g protein 29.4 g carbs [11 g Complex] 60 mg Calcium   NB: These values are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB  A simple-to-prepare and delicious combination of textures and flavors. For Halflings and Big People alike.

1 full-size or 2 half-size [from 3 Tbsp Scone ‘Mix’.] Seedy Scones*** 3 oz apple ½ oz Camembert cheese   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] NO Smoothie today

***Seedy SconesThis makes 2 cups of ‘Mix’. 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup white whole wheat flour 3 Tbsp sugar 1 tsp baking soda 1.5 tsp cream of tartar 2 Tbsp unsalted butter buttermilk or sourmilk, as needed mixed seeds + a pinch of salt Combine the dry ingredients [except seeds] in a bowl. Cut in the butter until well incorporated. 

Prepare the Scone Mix. Take out 3 Tbsp [1.6 oz] of the mix and stir in just enoughbuttermilk or sour milk [1-1/2 Tbsp? 2 Tbsp?] to cause the dough to come together in a rough ball. TIP: store the remaining mix in the refrigerator in a glass jar with a lid. Ready to use when you wish. Knead briefly on a lightly floured surface. Pat out into one scone, or divide into 2 scones. Brush the surface with milk and scatter the seeds on top. Place in a buttered dish to bake  HINT: I did this the night before and left it on the counter to bake in the morning. Slice the apple and cheese. Bake the scone[s] at 400 F. for 7-10 minutes. Plate to please the eye. Serve with the beverage of your choice.

Cozido Soup: Cozido  is a specialty of the Azores island of Sao Miguel. Some of the dormant volcanoes still have warm magma and send out steam through vents and fissures. Local people lower cauldrons of meats and vegetables into steaming wells, then serve the cooked meal at restaurants or at home.. The serving for two at O Miroma in Furnas consists of vast quantities of beef, pork knuckles, blood sausage, carrots, potatoes, collards, cabbage, and turnips. Like a New England Boiled Dinner, but cooked in a volcanic vent! We took the remainders from our meal home. 

The next day, I put the bones, sausage, and juices in a pot with water and Piment da Queijo. While that simmered, I cut up the vegetables and meat into bite-sized pieces [discarding the blood sausage to which I have an aversion]. Combined, it provided a hearty, nourishing, and low-calorie soup for a Fast Day.

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

1.5 two-oz eggCamembert or Hermelin cheese
apple + heavy cream3%-fat ham
sugar + cinnamonsourdough rye bread
butter + peachplums, preferably yellow
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

green peppers + cucumber + garliceggs + streaky American bacon
white wine vinegar + tarragon Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
olive oil + shrimp + onionasparagus + scallion
piment d’esplette + dry white wineside salad with beet + tomato
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Saint Matthew

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. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Levi, son of Alphaeus, was born in Galilee and was raised as an observant Jew. Why he became a tax collector for the oppressive Roman Empire is anyone’s guess. As a consequence, he was shunned and reviled as a collaborator. In a stunning move, Jesus called him to be one of his disciples, a scene brilliantly and dramatically illustrated by Caravaggio’s ‘The Calling of St Matthew.’ When the ‘culture police’ complained, Jesus pointed out that his job was to reclaim the sinners, since the righteous didn’t need saving. Levi then came to be known as Matthew. Biblical scholars debate whether Levi is the Matthew mentioned in the Bible; whether the Gospel of Matthew was written by Levi or by one of his followers; whether it was written in Aramaic/Hebrew or in Greek; whether or not Matthew died as a martyr. At any rate, Matthew is considered the Apostle to the Jews: visiting Jewish groups in the region around Judea to convince them that Jesus was the Messiah. His Feast Day is October 21.

Foods to eat for Matthew’s Feast Day are Kosher, of course. Early Christian Jews observed the culinary cultural norms and holidays. Except for the tomatoes and Bell peppers, the ingredients would have been available in Judea and Syria in Matthew’s time.

Spinach-Mushroom-Feta Bake: 178 calories 10.7 g fat 1 g fiber 13 g protein 8 g carbs [3.8 g Complex] 214.7 mg Calcium  PB GF — if using GF flour Miri Rotkovitz presented this recipe via thespruceeats.com. It is her ‘dairy meal for Hannukka’. Her version is a dinner pie, complete with an olive oil crust. My version packs a punch of flavor at breakfast. HINT: This recipe makes two servings. The other half of it would be a terrific lunch on another day.

½ tsp olive oil + non-stick spray 2 cloves garlic, chopped = 2 teaspoons 3 oz mushrooms, chopped or diced 3 oz chopped, frozen spinach 2 two-oz eggs 2 Tbsp milk 1-½ teaspoons flour 1-½ oz feta cheese, crumbled   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Thaw the spinach in a sieve to remove extra water. Gently cook the olive oil in the oils until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the water they exude evaporates. Put the feta in a bowl, top with the spinach, then the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms/garlic cool before you stir the vegetables and cheese together. Combine the flour and milk in a small dish and heat in the microwave. Stir together to make a roux. Whisk the roux with the eggs. Put the vegetable-cheese mixture in an oven-proof dish which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Pour the egg mixture on top and bake at 350 F for 20-23 minutes. All the flavors meld together to create a savory way to start your day.

Felafel with Vegetable Salsa:  205 calories 5 g fat 7.7 g fiber 9 g protein 26.5 g carbs 139 mg Calcium   PB GF V   The felafel recipe is from Molly Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook. Perfect for a hot summer day or any day that you need a quick and easy meal.

6 falefel patties ½ cup diced fresh tomatoes ½ cup diced orange or yellow bell peppers 2 Tbsp red onion, chopped 1 Tbsp lemon juice  

Combine the chopped vegetables with the lemon juice. If frozen, warm the felafel. Let the vegetables ‘marry’ while the felafel warms. Plate the felafel and the salad.  Its that easy?!? Yes, it is.