Peasants

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.

OLD JOKE: The agitated servant, singed and battered, runs pell-mell into the presence of the Lord of the Manor. “Sire,” he pants, “the peasants are revolting!” His master, looking bored and missing his meaning, lifts a perfumed handkerchief to his nose and sighs, “Of course they are.” People [read: the privileged classes] have been making disparaging comments about the ‘lower classes’ for so many centuries that we have a mental picture: loutish, stupid, unwashed. But what is a peasant, really? The word is from the latin, meaning ‘from a canton,’ thus: someone from the provinces far from the sophistication of the city. Called ‘serfs’ in Russia and medieval Europe; ‘contadino’ in Italy; ‘paysan’ in France; ‘subsistence farmers’ in the US, they have gotten a bad rap. Until the rise of Big Agra, peasants grew all the food that fed the world — in many places, they still do. Their lives were difficult but sometimes their close-to-the-land lifestyle had appeal: Marie Antoinette would retire to her ‘petit hameau’ on the grounds of Versaille to live a simpler life. Breugal painted peasants at work and play while the Limbourg Brothers often showed the turn of the seasons via the work of peasants.

The adage “Eat breakfast like a king and dine like a peasant” is often given as a formula for a healthy diet. This implies eating fewer calories at night. In addition, ‘peasant’ foods were home-grown and/or foraged, low in animal protein, unprocessed and unadulterated. And in small portions. To eat like a peasant also means eating at a lower trophic level. Our breakfast of fruit and grains and our dinner of grains and beans fit the requirements of wholesome, inexpensive, simple food.

Fruited Porridge:  183 calories 1.4 g fat 9 g fiber 7 g protein 38 g carbs [38 g Complex] 36 mg Calcium  PB Here is a delicious way to get your superfoods in one meal. Berries and whole-grain cereal are unbeateble together and easy to prepare as well.

¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Cereal ¾ cup water ¼ cup diced strawberries ¼ cup blueberries ¼ cup raspberries   Optional: a few tablespoonsful of milk   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [85 calories]  or lemon in hot water

If the fruit is frozen, as mine was: place in a sieve over a small bowl the night before to thaw. Save the juice to add to a smoothie. Cook the cereal in the water for 8 minutes, stiring twice. Take off heat and add the fruit. Stir gently and serve with a little milk, if you wish.

Red Beans & Rice:  295 calories 1 g fat 13 g protein 57.5 g carb   PB GF  This is the old classic recipe for the ‘perfect protein’. Once we were afraid that we wouldn’t like it, since it sounds bland, but we do like it. Yeah, you’re right, the carbs are way out of control, but these complex carbs are really good for you. HINT: This is enough for 4 servings! Either have a gathering or cut the recipe or freeze for later.

1¾ cups brown rice, cooked ½ cup celery, chopped ½ cup sweet yellow or other color pepper, diced 1 cup onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced ¾ cup crushed tomato oregano + black pepper 1¾ cups red beans, drained and rinsed ½ cup green beans or peas

Cook the rice. Saute the celery, pepper, and onions for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 5 minutes more. Add the tomato sauce and seasonings. Stir in the red beans and heat through. When the rice is done, add 1 and 3/4 cups to the mixture.  HINT: if there is extra rice, it freezes well. Serve with the cooked green vegetable. 

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

1 two-oz egg + soy sauce1.5 two-oz eggs 
ginger + bean sproutsapple or unsweetened applesauce
crab meat + scallionscooked spinach
garlic powder +pear chèvre
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

4-oz bison burger + mushroomstilapia fish + sweet potato
curried catsupegg + white whole wheat flour
choices from a variety of vegetablescanola oil + garlic powder
asparagus + paprika + lime juice
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Flora, Goddess of Flowers

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 Health Specialist who is now Following.

The Romans were pantheistic. There was a diety for everything in the natural world and the political, since deceased emperors were made into gods. One of my favorites is Flora, the goddess of flowers and flowering plants. She was originally a goddess of the Sabine People, who introduced her to Roman culture. In the Greek legend, the nymph Chloris attracted the love of Zehpyrus, the Springtime wind. He married her and granted her dominion over all blooming things: plants, nubile teenagers, and pregnant women. In 238 BCE, a festival called Floralia was instituted in her honor. Today, towns and cities throughout southern France there are floral festivals in early May and it is traditional to give a nosegay of Lily of the Valley/Muguet du Bois to someone to express your love or wish good luck. I like the idea of celebrating the blooms of Spring, so early in May I honor Flora with food and flowers.

The famous Roman Cato the Elder, 234–149 BC, in his agriculture book tried to promote traditional practices of farming and eating. He describes the tradition of baking Libum to leave in the household shrine to the gods. It is made with honey, which Flora is said to have given to the world. There’s our breakfast. Dinner is a modern salad with all sorts of Springtime ingredients: eggs, asparagus, young greens, and flowers. Food for the gods.

Cato’s Breakfast:  235 calories 4 g fat 2 g fiber 13 g protein 47 g carbs 89 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB  Cato, the Roman orator and senator, included Libum in his book de Agricultura. The other elements of the meal were popular foods in ancient Rome.

225 g/1 cup light ricotta cheese
113 g/1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 oz = ½ egg
2 Tbsp honey
Combine these ingredients to a Play-Doh consistency.
0.2 oz pine nuts, about 45 pinonsForm dough into 11 balls, each made with 2 Tbsp dough [33-g]. Top each ball with 4-5 pine nuts.
11 bay leaves TIP: you can do all this the night before and bake in the morning.Lightly spritz a baking pan with non-stick spray and lay the bay leaves on it. Place one dough ball on each leaf.
Warm honeyBake at 350 F for 20 minutes. While still warm, brush with honey.

2 Libum [33-grams of dough each] 2 oz pear 1 deglet noor date 1 oz chicken breast meat  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  

Bake the Libum and plate with the other ingredients. Although Cato probably would have served wine with breakfast, that would not be a good option.

Springtime Shrimp Salad: 192 calories 7 g fat 3.6 g fiber 17 g protein 17 g carbs 114 mg Calcium   PB GF  In Spring, the clementines are decreasing in the markets and the asparagus is increasing. A salad with shrimp is delightfully delicious.

2 cups mesclun OR baby greens 2.5 oz small shrimp 8-9 sections clementine 1¾ oz asparagus edible flowers for garnish ¾ oz mango ½ hard-boiled egg 2 tsp Spicy Aioli Dressing 

Prepare all the ingredients, cutting or cooking as necessary. Combine the Dressing and measure 2 tsp into a large bowl. Toss the salad greens with the dressing and a pinch of salt. Turn onto the serving plate and arrange the other ingredients atop the greens. Enjoy the colors and flavors of Spring.

Slow Days: Vegetable Quiche

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum  which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

Mention ‘quiche’ and many thoughts are conjured: Quiche Lorraine; quiche on every restaurant menu for lunch; “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche;” thick slabs of it; thin tarts of it; hors d’oeuvres; the best of quiche and the worst of quiche. My mother and her friend took a local French Cooking course in the 1960s, and came home to bake Quiche Lorraine. I thought it was rather boring. In the 1980s, Dear Husband and I frequented Peter Christian’s Tavern where we were served a wonderful, cheese-filled quiche. That recipe became one of our family-filling meals for a meatless night.

Although quiche is a French word, the dish comes from the former independent Duchy of Lorraine, a land that became a shuttlecock in a global badminton game between France and Germany, until it became French for good after WW2. The quiche of that country was originally bread dough in a pie plate, covered with a custard of milk/cream, egg, and a bit of bacon. After some evolution, pie crust lined the plate and cheese along with vegetables were added. Quiche was first popular in England after WW2, then in the USA in the 1950s, reaching its peak in the 1970s. Now it is making a comeback, and I invite you to put it on your menu: for the family, for friends — should you ever dine with friends again.

Our Vegetable Quiche is a combo of recipes from Peter Christian’s Recipes and the Town Farm Restaurant Cookbook [Bar Harbor, Maine]. We served it recently and fell in love with it all over again.

A pie crust, some onion, broccoli, and zucchini… Dill Havarti, Cheddar, Swiss Gruyere… eggs, milk. Very elemental ingredients.

That’s a 9-inch quiche/tart/flan pan.

Prepare a pie crust and fit it into a pie plate or tart pan. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp chopped onion over the pie crust. Measure 4 cups of chopped vegetables and steam them until they are just tender. Drain the vegetables and permit them to ‘out-gas’ for a bit while you grate the cheese. Use 2 cups Gruyere, 1 cup Cheddar, and 1 cup dill Havarti. Distribute the vegetables over the onions, then top with cheese. Set the oven at 400 F. Whisk 3 eggs with one cup of milk, salt, pepper, and herbs in abundance. Carefully pour the egg-milk over the contents of the quiche pan — it will be very full. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350F and bake for 20-30 minutes longer.

Out of the oven and on to the table.

The quiche should sit for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Served with a good green salad and airy home-made rolls — can’t be beat. Serves 6 easily.

St. Hugues de Cluny

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.

In the 4th century CE, a small community of monks came together in southern Burgundy, [now in France]. Their little wooden church served them well and the monastery grew. In the early 900s, land was given to the monks and they established the Abbey of Cluny, under the Rule of St Benedict. But bigger was better, and another church was begun within the same century. Enter Hugues de Semur, born into a noble family from northern Burgundy in 1024, he was often called “Hugues the Holy.” [Somehow Hugues and I are related: he is not an ancestor, but I am descended from the same family.] At age 14 he became a monk, by age 25 he was Abbot of Cluny. Under his leadership, Cluny became the spiritual center of the Christian Church in Western Europe. Hugues was a skilled diplomat, known for his wisdom and persuasiveness. As a church leader, he was admired and emulated: 2000 monasteries were founded all over Europe all following the Cluniac style. At last, he became a builder. The third church at Cluny was begun under Hugues, and when it was finished in 1130, it was the largest church in Europe. It was built in the Romanesque style and to stand in the ruins today is to be astonished that a church that size could have been built then. Hugues was the advisor of popes and emperors, but he walked the talk of being a monk who did the daily work of the Order. His church was unfinished when he died in 1109. Eventually Cluny fell into disrepair: spiritually and physically. The Cistercians became the dominant group and Cluny Abbey was disbanded. Hugues was such a rare and special leader that he was made a saint only 11 years after his death and his reputation, if not his physical church, have lived on.

Monks of that time were not fed much — that was to suppress their libidos. They ate plainly. For the Feast of St Hugues on April 29, a meal that would have been a feast for his monks: gizzards and eggs for breakfast. For dinner at an abbey, soup was often on the menu, served with rye bread crackers.

Gizzard ScrOmelette:  139 calories 10.4 g fat 1.4 g fiber 12 g protein 5 g carbs [4 g Complex] 51 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. GF Yes, really: gizzards. High in protein, low in fat. You could try this with the gizzard that is in the giblet package at Thanksgiving time or ask at the meat counter.

Three 2-oz eggs of which you will use 1 ½ 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.  ½ oz gizzards, cleaned and simmered in seasoned stock for 1½ hours [HINT: cook up a bunch of gizzards at the same time for future use]  1 clove garlic, minced sage + salt + pepper 1 oz applesauce  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]

Spritz a non-stick pan with olive oil or non-stick spray. Slice the gizzards and cook them with the garlic and sage until warm. Whisk the eggs with salt & pepper to taste and scramble in the pan with the gizzards. Plate the applesauce and pour the beverages. Real farm food.

Watercress Soup: 157 calories 5.4 g fat 3 g fiber 8.4 g protein 22 g carbs [19 g Complex] 63.5 mg Calcium  PB GF Jacques Pepin’s Good Life Cooking  is the source of this recipe and the stream that flows to the beach is the source of our watercress. So low in calories, you might want to add some Finn Crisp crackers for filling fiber or the Caprese Salad for more protein or a hard-boiled egg. HINT: This recipe makes 5 cups of soup which serves 4-5 people.  

Served with chevre cheese and Caprese salad

2 tsp canola oil 4 oz [weight, not volume] watercress leaves and tender stems 1 cup celery, coarsely chopped 2 cups onion, coarsely diced 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed 2½ cups good stock – vegetable/chicken/beef ¾ tsp salt 10 oz [weight, not volume] potatoes, peeled, cut in 2” chunks 2 oz [weight, not volume] sweet potato, peeled and cut in chunks  Optional: 1 Tbsp chevre cheese – 40 calories 3 g fat 0 g fiber 2.5 g protein 0.5 g carbs 10 mg Calcium   OptionalCaprese Salad – 46 calories 2 g fat 0.6 g fiber 4 g protein 2.6 g carbs 115.6 mg Calcium  PB GF  ½ oz mozzerella cheese, thinly sliced 2 oz tomato, thinly sliced and sprinkled with salt fresh basil leaves There should be equal numbers of cheese slices as tomato. Arrange the cheese, tomato, and basil as overlapping tiles on the plate.   Optional: hard-boiled egg  70 calories  5 g fat 0 g fiber 6 g protein 0.4 g carbs 28 mg Calcium  PB GF   Cut the egg lengthwise in quarters and nestle into the plated soup.  Optional: 2 Finn Crisp crackers – 40 calories 0 g fat 3 g fiber 1 g protein 10 g carbs [10 g Complex] 0 mg Calcium PB GF

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the cress, celery, onion, and garlic, and saute for 2 minutes. Put the stock, salt and potatoes into the pan and bring to a boil. [NB: my stock was very dark, which changed the color of the soup to a darker shade of green] Turn down the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool slightly then puree in blender/food processor or with immersion wand. If not thoroughly pureed, run through a sieve. Heat the soup before serving. In the bowl, put the chevre in the center, let it soften a bit, then swirl it into the soup. Serve the salad on the side. 

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

2 Libum, recipe provided*  Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Cereal + blueberries
egg + honey + deglet noor dateStrawberries + raspberries
pine nuts + pear + chicken breastoptional milk
*white whole wheat flour, ricotta cheese
bay leavesoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

baby greens/mesclun + clementine +asparagusbrown rice + canned red beans
small shrimp + mango + hard-boiled eggbell pepper, yellow or orange + celery
mayonnaise/plain yogurt + Srirachaonion + garlic
garlic powder + lemon juiceoregano + green beans or peas
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Marie de Medici

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 Health + Nutrition and Benyapoesy who are now following.

When Marie di Medici was born on April 26, 1575, she was destined for greatness. Her childhood saw the deaths of her mother, two siblings, and her father. She waited to marry, holding out for the best possible match — but who was defining ‘best’? She was betrothed at last to Henri, King of France, the 4th of that name. They were married in 1600, in Florence, her hometown, with an elaborate reception that was missing only one thing: the Groom. As monarch, he was not expected to go to Italy for less than a State Visit, and besides, this was his 2nd marriage. The couple finally met when a few days after Marie disembarked at Marseille, on her way to Paris. The King said she had a graceful way of walking, but what was really attractive was her wealth — she was the sole heir to the de Medici fortune. Marie had always enjoyed power and prestige, but what worked for her in Tuscany was not successful in France. She never learned to speak much French, her friends and advisors were all Italian. She was rather annoyed that the King had several mistresses [one of whom called Marie ‘the fat banker’] and very annoyed that she was named ‘consort’ rather than ‘queen.’ Somehow, the couple managed to produce several children. At last, in 1610, she was named Queen. The very next day, King Henri IV was stabbed to death by an assassin. Hmmmm…. Since their son and heir, Louis, was a child, Marie was named the Regent. She liked that — spending money, waging wars, honoring her favorites, and cultivating a young priest named Richelieu. She was so imperious that her 15-year-old son had had enough and took the throne as Louis XIII, ending her regency in 1617. But Marie was not through and continued to run the country. Louis had her removed to the countryside. In 1619 and 1620, she tried to stage a rebellion, but Richelieu sided with the king and Marie was exiled. She traipsed from capital to capital around Europe, visiting her children and plotting her return. But she died in Cologne [now in Germany] in 1642.

Marie liked to eat. Plump when she arrived in France, her girth increased throughout her life. You know the term ‘Rubenesque‘ to describe a very plump, curvy woman? Peter-Paul Rubens painted 24 scenes from the life of Marie di Medici, reveling in her plumpness. Under her influence, Italian foods were introduced into French Cuisine, along with cloth napkins, table cloths, and flower arrangements on the table. Our meals are classic tastes of Italian and French ingredients.

Ratatouille-Egg Galette: 151 calories 5.5 g fat 2 g fiber 9 g protein 14 g carbs 53 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF – if using GF crepes  Here the eggplants of Italy marry with the galettes of France. A perfect blend of cuisines.

1 crepe or galette one 2-oz egg ¼ cup Mediterranean Vegetables   ½ oz fresh mushrooms  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 vegetables of excess liquids, saving the liquids to cook the mushrooms. Combine the vegetables and mushrooms and heat them. Warm the crepe/galette and plate it. Poach or fry the egg. Spoon the vegetables over the crepe/galette and top it all with the egg. Pick it up with your hands or eat with a fork.

Mollusk Gratin: 283 calories 14.6 g fat 2 g fiber 31.6 g protein 17.5 g carbs 216 mg Calcium  PB GF -if using GF flour  When we steam mussels for a feast, there are often some left over. Removed from their shells, the meat can easily be frozen in the cooled cooking broth. A wonderful item for a quick future meal.

3 oz cooked mussels, removed from shells + 2 shucked oysters 4 Tbsp mussel broth [from cooking the mussels] 2 tsp flour [I use King Arthur white whole wheat] ½ oz Gruyere cheese, grated ½ tsp curry powder 3 oz green beans

Warm the mussel broth and whisk in the flour. Heat over low until thickened. Add curry powder and cheese. Whisk until cheese is melted and sauce is well combined. Add the mussels + oysters. Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and scrape the mussels and sauce into the ramekin. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10 minutes while you cook the beans.

The real “OK Boomer”

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.

At noon on April 22, 1889, the Oklahoma Land Rush began with the firing of a gun. That was the signal for the thousands of people — on horse-back, in wagons, whole families, or single people — to charge across the prairie in what is now Oklahoma to find a plot of land and claim it. The land was part of the enormous Louisianna Purchase of 1803, but had remained “undeveloped” and was considered “unassigned” and “unpopulated.” [No one asked the Plains Indians about that. Neighboring lands were already the home of Indigenous Peoples who had been deported there from Eastern States]. Ever since the end of the Civil War in 1864, people had clambered to be able to settle the Oklahoma land. Their noisy lobbying earned them the name ‘boomers.’ The Unassigned Lands had been divided into 160 acre parcels. Towns and rail lines had been sited and partially developed. The people who did that work, who were already inside the territory, along with cheaters who sneaked in early, were called ‘sooners.’ When the signal went off, the 50,000 people who had waited on the Kansas border streamed in. Among them were 23 young women from Illinois, mentioned in the article above. By the end of the day, 11,000 homesteads had been claimed. Towns sprang up overnight, since some boomers wanted house lots and shop locations. Land Rush or Land Grab? African-Americans were put at the back of the line for the Rush. Law suits went on for years as sooners were sued and removed from their property. In August of 2020, the US Supreme Court settled a suit that determined where the “Indians” had jurisdiction in certain locations, an outshoot of the Oklahoma Land Rush. The nickname of Oklahoma is The Sooner State — no longer a slur, the word now embodies the spirit of the state. The abbreviation is ‘OK’ and the state was settled by boomers, so I guess they all were OK Boomers, weren’t they?  

A breakfast of sausage and eggs might have been just the thing to eat on that exciting day, so we will enjoy it too. I’m sure that none of the participants of the land rush would ever have imagined that someday there would be great modern cities on the prairie — cities famous for bar-be-que! But that’s how it is, and dinner focuses on that flavor in an up-dated meal.

Sausage Bake: 302 calories 10 g fat 1.4 g fiber 21.5 g protein 27 g carbs 289 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB GF Quick and yummy, can’t beat that.

1 two-oz egg 2 cooked chicken breakfast sausage @ 33 calories/link [I used Applegate sausages] 1 Tbsp cottage cheese + pinch marjoram + salt + pepper 1 oz unsweetened applesauce  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]

With the back of a spoon, mash the cottage cheese through a sieve to break up the lumps and make it smooth. Whisk the cheese with the egg and seasonings. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray. Dice the sausage and put it into the ramekin. Pour the egg mixture on top and bake in the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. for 12-15 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs. Brew your optional beverage, shake and pour the optional smoothie, dish that lovely applesauce. Nice start to your day.

Chicken BBQ Sliders: 281 calories 4 g fat 5 g fiber 27 g protein 35 g carbs [25 g Complex] 166 mg Calcium Such a simple meal to prepare. Such a fun meal to eat.  HINT: This recipe makes 2 [two] servings. Invite a friend or save the rest for lunch another day.

3 whole wheat slider buns @ 90 calories each [we prefer Martin’s brand 5 oz cooked chicken breast, sliced and shredded  2 Tbsp Corky’s BBQ Sauce  per serving: 1/2 cup coleslaw OR 2 oz cherry tomatoes + ¾ oz carrot sticks

Warm the chicken and the sauce together over low heat. Open the slider buns and toast them lightly on an ungreased heavy skillet. Spoon the filling into the slider buns and cut each one in half. One serving = 3 halves. Plate with the vegetables for an absurdly easy dinner.

ngredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ………………………. single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
mushroomsgizzard from chicken or turkey
galette/crepegarlic + sage
Mediterranean Vegetablesunsweetened applesauce
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

mussels, removed from shellscanola oil + watercress + celery
mussel broth + 2 oystersonion + garlic + good stock
Gruyere cheesepotato + sweet potato
curry powder + flour + green beanschèvre cheese optional: mozzarella + tomato
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Boston Marathon

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 ketogenicexplained and Baha Health Club who are now Following.

The late 1800s brought a renewed interest in all things ‘Classical‘ — from architecture to art, from mythology to legend. Anyone [of course, that means white males, mostly wealthy] with a university degree in an English-speaking country had read of the triumph of the Athenians over a superior force, and how a messenger then ran 25 miles from the Plain of Marathon to Athens to deliver the news. When the Modern Olympics were begun in 1896, one of the premier events — not part of the original Ancient Olympic games — was a ‘marathon’ run of 25 miles. Boston worthies conceived the idea of a similar event to coincide with the Massachusetts holiday called Patriot’s Day. This juxtaposition was because both the ancient Athenians and the colonial Americans were fighting for freedom against foreign forces. A 24.5 mile course was established to end in downtown Boston, the race finish capping off days of games sponsored by the Boston Athletic Association. Fifteen men ran that first race. The idea was so popular, that the race has been run annually since then — except for 2020, for obvious reasons since the race had grown to include tens of thousands of racers and viewers. The course was lengthened to 26+ miles in 1924, to fit IAFF guidelines. In 1966, Bobbi Gibb ran as the first female participant, despite being told that she was not permitted as women were “not physiologically capable of running 26 miles.” The Marathon is usually held on the 3rd Monday in April, on or about the date of Paul Revere’s Ride on the eve of the American Revolution. The dreadful bombing at the finish line of the 2013 Marathon increased peoples’ resolve to continue the race into the future. Wars have not stopped the race, only the 2020/21 Pandemic has done that. This year, the race is scheduled for October.

Before a marathon, runners often ‘carbo-load,’ stoking up on bread and pasta meals. As non-participants, we will start our day with lots of protein. After the race, a fine dinner of local seafoods: fish and crabmeat.

B-O-S-T ScrOmelette: 161 calories 7.6 g fat 1.5 g fiber 11 g protein 9 g carbs [8 g Complex] 220 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF The beans are for Boston’s nickname: beantown. The green onions are for the ‘Green Monster’ wall at Fenway Park. The shrimp are for the strong maritime tradition of the port. The tomatoes are for New Englanders’ fervent wish to raise just a few ripe tomatoes before the end of summer.

1 ½ 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 Tbsp white beans, preferable small ‘navy’ beans 2 Tbsp green part of scallions sliced ¼ oz shrimp, preferably tiny Northern shrimp OR larger shrimp chopped 1 oz tomato, diced and drained in a sieve overnight 1½ oz nectarine slices  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 beans, onion, shrimp, and tomato in a warm non-stick pan spritzed with non-stick spray or olive oil. Cook until warmed. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and pour over the other ingredients in the pan. Scramble or cook as an omelette. Pour the beverages of your choice, plate the fruit, and plate the eggs. 

CrabStuffed Flounder:  249 calories 6 g fat 3.4 g fiber 35 g protein 9 g carbs 67 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using GF bread  This is one of our favorite meals. HINT: Serves 2 [two] but recipe could easily be cut in half.

½ cup crab meat  
2/3 ounce [1½ Tbsp] egg white 
3 Tbsp scallion, chopped  
2 tsp Dijon mustard 
1½ Tbsp fresh bread crumbs  made with 70-calorie whole-grain bread
1½ chopped parsley
salt, and pepper 
Combine the crab, egg, scallion, mustard, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, and pepper.
1 tsp butter 
¼ cup white wine
Melt the butter in an oven-proof dish and take off heat. Stir the wine into the butter.
11 oz flounder or sole fillets. This must be as 4 [four] fillets to serve 2.
2 tsp chives OR shallots, chopped 
Lay two fish fillets in the dish and top with the crab stuffing. Lay the other fish fillets on top of the stuffing and lightly press down. Spoon some of the butter/wine on top of the fish. Sprinkle with the chopped shallots.
Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked and opaque. When serving the fish, pour the pan sauce over top.

per person: 3 oz green beans OR 1 cup lettuce dressed with ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp vinegar + salt Prepare the green side dish and plate the fish. A delightful meal.

Leonardo, artist

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. 

Leonardo da Vinci was a polymath of the first order. He had enough endeavors for many people — too many to squeeze into one lifetime. First and foremost, he was a visual artist. Leonardo was born on April 15 1452, and at age 14, he was an apprentice in the studio of Andrea del Verrocchio, the premier place to train in 15th century Florence. In that time, there were three painting media available to an artist: oil on wood or canvas; tempera, an egg-based paint, on wood; or fresco, when water-based colors are painted onto wet plaster. As a painter, Leonardo was always experimenting: his restless intellect wanted to leap to his next project or new innovation. Many of his oil paintings, including the Mona Lisa, were never finished since he went on to a new assignment in mid-stream. He tried out new artistic techniques, perfecting the sfumato where shadow and light have no sharp borders, but rather the vague transition seen in a cloud of smoke. Leonardo seems to have preferred oil paint. When commissioned to paint frescos, such as the Last Supper in Milan, he decided to apply oil paint to the plaster instead of the water colors. The oil paint did not want to stick to the wall and it began to flake off within a few months. One of the great, well-known masterpieces of the world was a technical failure. Restored many times, we can never fully appreciate what it really looked like. The most famous work of all is La Gioconda, aka: the Mona Lisa. It is famous for its technique and for that ‘Smile.’ Much ink has been spilt trying to describe the smile and why she wears it. It is worth noting that she is not the only subject with that look — I think it should be called the “da Vinci Smile.” Look for it in paintings of John the Baptist, Leda, and the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne. Of course, Dan Brown had to create a thriller involving da Vinci’s work, especially the Virgin of the Rocks , the Last Supper, and the drawing of the Vitruvian Man. If all he did was to paint and draw, Da Vinci would be justly famous. But he was so much more.

After training in Florence, Leonardo worked for many years in Milan, then in Rome, and finally in France. For Leonardo’s life in Rome, our breakfast takes its flavors from the well-known puttanesca sauce. The dinner is perfectly French, in recognition of the fact that Da Vinci was working for the French king when he died.

Puttanesca ScrOmelette: 146 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 10 g protein 7.5 g carbs 52 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF “Puttanesca” might not actually mean ‘street-walker’… Leonardo didn’t have much time for them, but he might have met these flavors while he worked in Rome. This breakfast is based on the flavors of the iconic Roman pasta dish. When you make a dinner with that sauce, save some out to season these breakfast eggs.

1½ two-ounce 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   1.5 Tbsp puttanesca sauce + ½ clementine OR 1 oz blueberries  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]

Whisk the sauce into the eggs and scramble or cook as an omelette. Enjoy with the hot beverage, smoothie, and blueberries.

Mackerel with Gooseberry Glaze:  276 calories 16 g fat 1 g fat 22 g protein 7 g carbs 27 mg Calcium  PB GF  This popular dish from Normandy usually features fresh gooseberries. Here in the USA, those are less common so we make a glaze of gooseberry jelly. The zucchini picks up the color of green gooseberries.

3 oz mackerel, frozen or fresh fillets + 2 tsp gooseberry jelly or jam + 4 oz zucchini ribbons

Thaw the fish if frozen. Heat the oven to 350 F. Put fish on a baking tray and brush with melted jelly on both sides. Using a potato peeler, carve long, thin slices from the length of the zucchini until you have 3 oz. Toss the ribbons with salt and pepper. Place the ribbons on the baking tray in a heap [if they are in a thin layer, they will over-cook]. Bake for the tray with the fish and zucchini for 5 minutes. Rearrange the zucchini so that the bottom layer is now on top. Bake 5 minutes more, or until the fish is cooked. Plate the fish with the zucchini ribbons. Sheet-pan dinners are so trendy now.

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

1.5 two-oz eggs + canned white beans1.5 two-oz eggs 
green onions2 chicken breakfast sausages @ 33 calories each
shrimp + tomatoapplesauce, unsweetened + marjoram
nectarine or peach cottage cheese, reduced fat
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

crab meat + scallion + Dijon mustardMartin’s whole wheat potato slider rolls or similar
egg white + whole-grain fresh bread crumbschicken breast slices
4 flounder or sole filets + butter + shallotsCorky’s BBQ Sauce
white wine + side salad or green beanscarrot sticks + cherry tomatoes
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Ramadan ’21

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 Serumbach and theunsandsorina who are now Following.

Ramadan, like Easter and Passover and Paris, is a ‘moveable feast.’ This means that it is not a fixed date on the calendar, but that it moves around from year to year. The annual one-month holy festival of the Muslim Faith follows the lunar calendar [which has 13 months in a year rather than 12], and is held 11 days earlier than the festival the year before. It is a month of family, feasts, charitable acts, prayer, and fasting. The Fasting means neither eating nor drinking from sunrise to sunset, every day for one lunar month. A morning meal before dawn, suhoor, is all you get until the evening meal, iftar, after dusk fades from the sky. The concept of 16:8 Intermittant Fasting is catching on, and this is the same thing, but the dial moves to 12:12 — and some of that is sleeping. The reason for the Festival? It marks the revelation of the Holy Quran to the Prophet Mohammed in the year 610 CE.

Our meals today are typical of the flavors of the West-Asian Islamic region, and can be prepared with halal ingredients.

Arabian Eggs: 153 calories 7.4 g fat 2 g fiber 10 g protein 12.5 g carbs [11 g Complex] 58 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the eggs and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF  Hawayij spice is widely-used in the cuisine of Saudi Arabia. And it clearly shows trade links to countries further East. Coffee [Coffea arabica is a native plant] and dates round out the flavors of the country. The sweet dates are a wonderful counter-point to the spicy 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 to store in the ‘fridge for next week.  1 to 1.5 tsp Hawayij spice  2 deglet noor dates    Optional: blackish Arabian coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Whisk the eggs with the spice mixture and pour into a heated skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Turn down the heat. Leave the eggs undisturbed until puffy and the top is set. Remove from skillet, and serve folded or flat. Pour the beverages, plate the dates, and enjoy the fruit/spice combination.

Lamb With Mediterranean Vegetables: 295 calories 14 g fat 9 g fiber 22 g protein 40.5 g carbs 205.6 mg Calcium  PB GF  Here’s a fine meal, full of complex carbohydrates and good flavor. 

1 oz ground lamb 1 cup Mediterranean Vegetables  ¼ cup cooked brown rice ½ oz Gruyere cheese, grated

Cook the ground lamb, keeping it in biggish chunks rather than tiny flecks. Pour into a sieve to drain any fat and rinse in hot water. Season the meat well with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Heat the Mediterranean Vegetables TIP: so much easier if they were waiting for you in the freezer. Preparing food ahead is such a good idea. Mix the lamb with the vegetables. Plate the rice, then pour the Lamb/Veg on top. Serve topped with grated cheese.

Slow Days: Penne with Tuna and Tomatoes

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

On Wednesday, which is a Slow Day in our house, we invariably dine on a pasta meal. There are so many fine ways to top a plate of pasta that it can be a while until a particular meal is repeated. What follows is a recipe from Diary of a Tuscan Chef by Cesar Casella & Eileen Daspin. The chef calls it “Garganelli con Tonno Fresco,” but we call it Penne with Tuna & Tomatoes. This is so special and so easy to prepare that we schedule it when we want a lot of impact even when there is little time.

My job is to prepare the mise en place and to cook the pasta.

Here we see fresh tuna cut into 1/2 inch cubes, along with garlic chopped with fresh oregano, and 2 cups of halved cherry tomatoes. Cook the pasta of choice in salted water. Meanwhile, saute the garlic and oregano in olive oil until the garlic begins to color. Add the tuna and a pinch of crushed red pepper, and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until the fish is done to your liking. Remove the tuna from the pan to a plate or bowl. Drain the pasta, saving some cooking water. Deglaze the saute pan with about 1/3 cup white wine, and let it cook down while you scrape brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the pasta water and the tomatoes to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Toss in the pasta, some chopped parsley, the cooked tuna, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. That took less than 15 minutes.

Dear Husband cooks the meal and chooses the wine.

Plate with crusty bread and a crisp salad of many different greens. Easy and delicious — especially when Dear Husband does all the cooking.

Tomorrow marks the 8th anniversary of our Fasting Lifestyle. Our weight is still down where we want it to be, our health is good. And we continue to eat pasta on Wednesdays — what a life!