Comparing Diets: 30 per Week

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. 

Diets should be designed to help you become healthier, usually by losing weight. And that is a good thing, but often when people diet by cutting out food groups, they become less healthy because there is not enough variety in their food. When that happens, nutrients are lost, along with fiber. But inside your intestines, where your food is digested and absorbed into the body, something else happens: the loss of microbiota. Studies have shown that the less the diversity of your microbiota, the less healthy you are in the long run. The ’30 per Week’ challenge has you aiming to eat at least 30 different plants each week — vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, leaves — to boost microbiota populations. Think that is difficult? If you eat a slice of whole wheat bread for breakfast, that is from only one plant. If you switch to 10-grain bread, then you are one-third toward the goal! Folks who are following a Mediterranean Diet or a Plant-Based Diet or a MIND Diet will see that this way of eating will be easy to fold into their meal plans.

This plan dovetails nicely with the Fast Diet, since lots of meals can be constructed that meet the <300 calorie goal, but also have a variety of plant matter. It is true that I could eat a breakfast of a cheese omelette which contains no plants at all, but that might be one meal of 14 in a week. Dear Husband and I have found it to be an interesting and highly achievable challenge to eat 30 per Week. Try it!

Is this food allowed on this diet…30 per WeekOn Fast Days
Fatty Animal protein: beef, lamb, porkIn moderationYes
Lean Animal protein: chicken, turkeyYesYes, preferred
Eggs Yes Yes 
Beer, wine, cocktailsWine, maybeOn Slow Days
Grains, starches: whole grain versionsyesin moderation
Nuts + seedsYes in moderation
Beans, legumes: peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeasYes Yes 
Seafood protein, especially with Omega-3 fatsYesYes 
Apples, melons, pears, all other fruitsYesYes 
Berries of all kindsYes Yes 
Leafy green vegetables: spinach, chard, kale, lettuceYesYes 
Dairy: Cheese, milk, yogurt In moderationSome 
Vegetable oils: olive, canolaYes in moderation
Animal fat: butterIn moderationin moderation
Root vegetables: beets, sweet potatoes, carrotsYesYes 
Other vegetables: onions, tomatoes, peppersYesYes 
Higher fiberYes Yes
Daily Carb intakeVariety of grainsKeep it low
Whole grains Yes Yes
Simple carbs: cookies, pastries, cake, bread, processed foodsNot recommendedNot on Fast Day
Number of days per week to follow the regimin 7 of 72 of 7
Do calories matter?No Only 600 on Fast Days

The breakfast today contains 5 different plants, while the dinner provides 6 more. See how easy that was?

Flamenco ScrOmelette: 152 calories 7 g fat 2 g fiber 10 g protein 11 g carbs [10 g Complex] 51 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  The same flavors of a tapas meal now found in your breakfast scramble. Very good.

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 1½ Tbsp tomato puree ¾ oz bell peppers, chopped 1½ Tbsp onions, chopped 2 pinches cayenne pepper + large pinch chopped parsley + salt to taste 1 oz pear  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]

If starting the night before: Put the peppers and onions in a micro-wave safe container and nuke them for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato puree and the seasonings. Leave on counter overnight.

If starting at breakfast-time: Spritz a saute pan with non-stick spray and heat it. Put the vegetables into the hot saute pan to cook, then add the eggs and seasonings. Scramble together [or cook like an omelette] until the way you like it. Plate with the melon, pour your beverages of choice. Great flavors.

Santa Barbara Salad: 280 calories 13 g fat 6 g fiber 16 g protein 21 g carbs 106 mg Calcium  PB GF  From a Washington Post food column, this salad sings of California.  HINT: This amount serves 2 [two]. Invite a friend or save for lunch later in the week.

½ head Boston or buttercrunch lettuce 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes ½ medium apple, cored and diced ½ cup diced chicken breast ¼ cup chickpeas 1 oz soft goat cheese 1½ tsp pine nuts 1 Medjool date ½ two-oz egg, hardboiled  per serving: 1½ tsp cinnamon dressing

First prepare the dressing and refrigerate. Next, toast the pinenuts until they just begin to brown. Take off heat and set aside. Shred the lettuce and put in a bowl along with all the other ingredients. Toss with 1½ tsp dressing per serving. Play a Beach Boys song and wear your sunglasses.

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

1 two-oz egg + whole tomatoes1.5 two-oz eggs 
feta cheese + paprika + garlicroasted green chilis
orange/red bell pepper + onionapple
cumin + cayenne
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

6 felafel patties https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/fastingme.com/11013chicken breast meat, raw or cooked
fresh tomato + one 140-calorie pita breadbechamel sauce w/ cheese
orange/yellow bell pepper5 buckwheat galettes
red onion + lemon juiceasparagus
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Rome Burned

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 edwardlorilla2051tower who is now Following.

In 64 CE, the great capital of the Roman Empire caught on fire. This was a serious problem in the closely-packed city with people cooking over fire at home and giving burnt offerings to the gods in temples. The fire seems to have started in the shops on the grounds of the Circus Maximus — the site of chariot race in the movie Ben Hur. Quickly it spread through the crowded city of one million, burning for six days. Once it was out, it started again. Three days later, 10 of the 14 districts of the city were destroyed. Did the Emperor Nero play his fiddle as he watched Rome burn? No, because violins had not yet been invented yet. Besides, he was out of town, vacationing. Nero laid the blame on that new Jewish sect and cheerfully set out to eradicate the Christians. Nero’s detractors said that Nero was happy about the fire — had even started it as a form of urban renewal — so that he could build a huge new palace complex. Indeed, the fire spurred moves toward city planning. Streets by law became wider and less-flammable building materials were mandated. Fire patrols walked the neighborhoods, looking for fires to control. The Pantheon/Church of Saint Mary and the Martyrs was rebuilt of stone and cement as a result. The unsupported dome of the Pantheon influenced architecture for centuries. Should you ever visit the city, think of the horror of ancient Rome on fire.

The Roman Empire surrounded the Mediterranean Sea, called ‘Mare Nostrum’ or ‘our sea’ by the Romans. Our meals come from the island of Sicily and the waters of the Mediterranean. What would Nero have eaten? Let’s not go there.

Sicilian Bake:  138 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 10 g protein 8.4 g carbs 88 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  Lynn Rosetto Kasper tells of shepherds in Sicily spending the summer in the high meadows with their flocks. They make a salad, based on simple ingredients. That recipe informed the flavors of this breakfast.


1 two-ounce egg half of a 3” diameter thin slice of salami ½ clove garlic, minced 2 Tbsp sheep sorrel or arugula, coarsely chopped ½ Tbsp Parmesan-Reggiano cheese or pecorino cheese, grated 1 Tbsp ricotta cheese 5 cherries  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]

Chop the salami and put it in a small, dry, non-stick skillet with the garlic. Cook, stirring, until salami is getting a little crispy. Take pan off heat and stir in the greens. Spritz an oven-safe dish with non-stick spray. Put the warmed ingredients into the prepared dish. Whisk the egg with the cheeses, plus salt and pepper to taste. Pour into the prepared dish, and bake at 350F. For 12-15 minutes. Plate with the cherries. 

Mackerel Puttanesca: 298 calories 17 g fat 3 g fiber 22.6 g protein 7.6 g carbs 66.4 mg Calcium  PB GF Such an easy summer meal, especially if your sauce is left-over homemade or from the supermarket shelf. Delicious and satisfying. [Don’t be concerned about the fat: since the mackerel is high in Omega 3, the fat is ‘good fat’]

4 oz mackerel or other rich, oily fish ¼ cup puttanesca sauce, homemade or from a jar 2 oz green beans

If using fresh fish, broil the fish for 4-5 minutes per side to cook it.   If using mackerel which has been frozen after cooking, thaw to room temperature. NB: Mackerel does not keep well in the fridge uncooked. If you have to buy mackerel prior to the day you will serve it, filet the fish and broil it as soon as you get back to the kitchen. Then you can hold it for a day or two, or freeze it for longer. Mackerel does not freeze well uncooked. Cook the green beans. Gently heat the sauce and mackerel together in a covered pan until warm. Plate. Done in minutes!

Veronica

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 stuffyourface58 and Amanja who are now Following.

Should you hear the word ‘veronica,’ what would come to mind? If you were a gardener, the perennial plant called “Speedwell” would be in your mind’s eye. It grows from Zone 3-9 and is either a low ground-cover or spiky back-of-garden plant of handsome color. If you were a bull-fighting aficionado, you would see a matador lead a bull in a semi-circle with only his cape moving, but not his feet. Hemingway describes this in The Sun Also Rises. If you were a latin scholar, you would recognize that the word means “true image.” If you were a Roman Catholic, you would know Saint Veronica from the Stations of the Cross: she offers her veil to wipe Jesus’ face while on his way to crucifixion and finds that the veil now bears the likeness of Christ. Lastly, if you dug deeper into that story, you would become quite confused. Veronica is not mentioned in any of the four Gospels. There is a legend of a woman named Bernice who had a cloth with a face on it. The cloth had miraculous curative powers and has been kept at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome since the 700s. In 1913, the Catholic Encyclopedia said that the image on the cloth was called the ‘true image of Jesus,’ which in latin is ‘vera icon.’ They go on to say that people confused the “cloth of the true image” to mean “cloth of the woman named Veronica.” Thus ‘Veronica’ is not a proper name, it is a transliteration. Apologies to my old friend Ronnie R.

Since ‘veronica’ means many things in many places, our menu today is a bit of this and a bit of that. But all is good and wholesome. Perhaps you will do a kindness for someone today.

Smoked Salmon Bake: 279 calories 8 g fat 2 g fiber 15 g protein 34.4 g carbs 225 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  Gosh this is good. You must try it!

1 two-ounce egg ¼ oz smoked salmon, crumbled into pieces 2 Tbsp scallions, green & white parts, diced or sliced 2-3 tsp chopped parsley 1 Tbsp chevre [goat cheese] ¼ cup blueberries  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 scallions and parsley into a heat-proof ramekin. Microwave for 30 seconds. Add the salmon.  HINT: I did this the night before. Beat the goat cheese and egg together until the cheese breaks up into tiny lumps. Pour into ramekin and stir all together to mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs. Prepare your optional beverage and dish the fruit.

Vegetable Quiche:  268 calories 14 g fat 3 g fiber 24 g protein 12.5 g carbs [8.5 g Complex] 293 mg Calcium  PB GF  I made this recipe with the idea of a crustless quiche [some might call it a fritatta or a tortilla] that didn’t break the bank on calories. Although the recipe should serve two, my portion was too large to finish. Use your judgement.

4 two-oz eggs 2/3 cup zucchini, grated [2 oz] ¼ cup red onion, chopped 1 cup broccoli, diced 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper [1.75 oz] 4 Tbsp cottage cheese, reduced fat 2 Tbsp plain yogurt 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese lots of chopped fresh herbs 3 oz tomato, diced [½ cup] 1 oz mozzarella cheese, grated salt + pepper ½ cup lettuce, shredded + ½ tsp balsamic vinegar

Prepare the vegetables [except the tomatoes] and steam them over simmering water for 3-4 minutes. Drain over an empty bowl to capture any remaining liquid. Put the vegetables into an oven-proof dish [I used a 9×7” oval] which has been spritzed with non-stick spray, and spread around evenly. Salt and pepper at will. Stir the cottage cheese, yogurt, Parmesan, and herbs until well-combined. Whisk the eggs well, then whisk in the cheese mixture. Pour over the vegetables. Chop the tomatoes and distribute them on top, then sprinkle with the grated mozzerella. Bake at 400 F. for 30 minutes – should be puffed and a little golden on top and set in the middle. Let the quiche sit while you shred the lettuce and toss it with the vinegar.

St Kilian

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. 

,While working on Dear Husband’s very German genealogy, I was surprised to find several men named “Kilian.” How did an Irish name get into the family? Saint Kilian/Cillian/Killian was born c. 640 in County Cavan, Ireland. At that time, Ireland followed an independent, home-grown Christianity of hermits and monasteries. Kilian was part of 11 monks who traveled to Rome. They were instructed to convert the pagans of Wurzburg in the Frankonian region [now in Bavarian Germany]. What a journey and such a culture-shock for our pious Kilian! He converted the Duke Gozbert, and thus his followers. But by teaching Leviticus Chapter 18, verse 16 about not marrying your brother’s widow, Kilian ran afoul of Lady Gailana who was Gozbert’s widowed sister-in-law. This Bible verse is the one that Henry VIII later cited in an effort to divorce his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Lady Gailana solved her problem by having Kilian and two of his followers beheaded. John the Baptist’s preaching on the same verse got him beheaded by King Herod. The verse in Leviticus is about maintaining family unity by preventing jealousy. However, in Deuteronomy Chapter 25, verse 5, a husband is told that he must marry his brother’s widow if she has no children. At any rate, Kilian died and his relics are in the Cathedral of Wurzburg. He is the patron saint of all of Franconia. And that is how an Irish name arrived in Bavaria!

Menu for the July 8th Feast of Saint Kilian: For his origins, a breakfast of corned-beef and cabbage — even though this is an Americanization of Irish boiled beef. For dinner, an unexpectedly German dinner salad: Pikanter Geflugelsalat mit Melone.

Corned Beef & Cabbage ScrOmelette: 154 calories 7.6 g fat 1 g fiber 14 g protein 6.5 g carbs [5.4 g Complex] 65 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF  When St kilean’s day falls on a Fast Day, you are all set!

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.  ½ oz uncooked corned beef 1/3 cup cabbage, very thinly sliced ½ Tbsp cottage cheese pinch caraway seed + pinch thyme 1 oz 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]

Mince the beef and put in into a pan with ¼ cup water. Simmer until beef is cooked, then remove it to a small bowl. Put the cabbage in the water in the pan and simmer that until the cabbage is cooked – add more water as needed. Put the cabbage in the bowl with the cottage cheese and seasonings. Add some pepper, but you probably will NOT need to add salt, due to the corned beef. Mix the ingredients together. Heat a non-stick pan with some cooking spray and whisk the eggs. Put the beef/cabbage in the pan and distribute it over the surface. Quickly pour the eggs in and tip the pan to cover all the cabbage. Cook on one side, then flip and cook it some more. Fold and plate with the apple. ‘Tis a fine breakfast you’ll be having.

Honeydew-Chicken Salad:  264 calories 9 g fat 3 g fiber 23 g protein 23 g carbs 102 mg Calcium  PB GF The now-gone Manhattan restaurant Luchow’s created this recipe for their Sommer Fest menu of cooler fare. True, I swapped out some original ingredients for those with a lighter impact on the waistline. That said, this is a fine meal for a hot day. It makes you feel cooler just to look at it.  HINT: This recipe serves two [2] people.

5½ oz/1 cup chicken breast meat, cut in ½” cubes 2 oz dill pickle, chopped 2 Tbsp slivered almonds 2 oz red seedless grapes, each cut in two 8 ripe olives, halved 1 tsp capers 3 Tbsp plain yogurt + 1 Tbsp whipped cream cheese 2 cups crisp lettuce, roughly cut 1¼ cup honeyew melon, cut in ½” cubes

TIP: For the chicken, I cut 5.5 oz breast meat into cubes and poached them, the night before, in a little water until cooked. Place the chicken, pickle, nuts, grapes, olives, and capers in a bowl and stir to combine. Whisk the yogurt and cream cheese together and pour over the ingredients in the bowl. Gently add and mix in the lettuce. Arrange two small Romaine lettuce leaves on the plate and mound the salad atop them. Surround the salad with the honeydew. Lovely.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
smoked salmon + scallions1.5 cups dandelion leaves or crowns
chèvre cheesegarlic
parsley + blueberriessmoked uncured bacon
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

two eggs + tomato + zucchiniMediterranean Vegetables
red bell pepper + red onion +lettucechicken breast meat
mozzarella + cottage cheese + plain yogurtpolenta
Parmesan cheese + herbs + balsamic vinegar
Sparkling waterSparkling water

St. Ireneus

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 Treadmills Hub and tthenwhat who are now Following.

Saint Irenaeus was an important man in the early Christian church. He was born in the Greek city of Smyrna, today’s Izmir, Asia Minor [modern-day Turkey] in the 2nd Century CE. At a young age, he heard St Polycarp preach. That is significant because Polycarp had heard the original Apostles preach, thus Irenaeus was the last church leader to be only two degrees of separation from Jesus himself. Irenaeus was sent to Lyons, France as a missionary — there are many links between communities on the Rhone River and the Eastern Mediterranean. This was during the Roman Empire when France was inhabited by Celts. There he learned the local language, set up new churches, and became bishop. He was a fierce defender against schismatic teaching, especially Gnosticism. He studied it well enough to be able to refute it point by point This influenced the wording of the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed by stating emphatically that God was the author of creation and that Jesus was human and divine. Irenaeus influenced as well the modern Christian Bible which includes both the Jewish texts and the Gospels. His name means ‘peace-maker’ and though he had no patience for heretics, he brought accord among Christians in many theological disputes.

Since Irenaeus began his life in Greece, our breakfast eggs are flavored with a traditional moussaka sauce. For his later life in France — gosh those guys moved around a lot!! — a meal of contemporary French ingredients and flavors.

Moussaka ScrOmelette:  153 calories 10.5 g fat 1 g fiber 12.6 g protein 3.4 g carbs 68 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  A good sauce makes a fine moussaka casserole. So why not carry that flavor over to breakfast by folding it into eggs? Great idea!

1½ 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.    1/2 fluid ounce/1 Tbsp moussaka sauce   1/8 oz feta cheese, crumbled 1 oz strawberries  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]

Warm the moussaka sauce. Whisk the eggs and pour into a heated skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cook, tipping the pan and lifting the cooked eggs until the bottom is set but the top is still moist. Top with the sauce and cheese, fold and plate. Serve with the berries.

Beet & Bleu Cheese Salad:  288 calories 11 g fat 5 g fiber 14 g protein 19.5 g carb 212 mg Calcium   PB GF  This recipe takes me back to a delightful restaurant 2 blocks north of Notre Dame in Paris. Dinner at Au Bougnat was a treat and eating this meal evokes fond memories.

2½ oz beets, cooked, skinned, sliced or cubed, cooled 1¼ oz bleu cheese, cubed or crumbled 1½ oz tomato, sliced or cubed 3 walnut halves [or use slivered almonds if you don’t eat walnuts] 1 oz white beans, rinsed and drained if using canned 2½ c. salad greens ¾ tsp olive oil + ¾ tsp balsamic vinegar garnishes: pansy, chive, or nastursum flowers; sliced scallions

Assemble and prep all vegetable ingredients. Whisk oil and vinegar in a wide bowl. Put greens in the bowl and toss. Place in serving bowl and arrange the other ingredients on top. Add a few garnishes. Voila! A beautiful meal.

SuperFoods!

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 bellyflatxtreme and edwardlorilla who are now Following.

Doesn’t it seem as if every week or two there are articles touting a “new super food“? Each one is ‘the BEST’ and only food to eat for good health, and then the next time, another one comes along with the same claim. Well, we know that some foods are better than others: whole grains, fish with Omega-3 fatty acids, colorful vegetables, berries with antioxidants, dark leafy greens. We also know — or you should know — that certain foods should be avoided: highly processed foods, simple carbs, fried foods, trans-fats, feed-lot-fed meat. Since the foods to avoid are so easy to find and eat, that means that the better food must be unavailable and difficult to prepare, right? Nope. Unless you live in a ‘food desert,’ and unfortunately many people do, these choices are most likely available in your supermarket. Eating them can lead to better health outcomes, on a Fast Day and on a Slow Day.

Our breakfast utilizes two of the most trendy foods of our time: quinoa and kale. Dear Husband doesn’t care for them separately, but he ate them with gusto in this bake. Also in the bake is that diet stand-by, cottage cheese. The herbs and spices each carry health-promoting properties. And then we add the blueberries. Whew! That’s a lot of good stuff in one meal. The dinner contains two of the well-known standards of healthy eating: wild salmon and broccoli. Can’t get better than that!

SuperFood Bake132 calories 5.6 g fat 2 g fiber 10 g protein 11 g carbs [7 g Complex] 53 mg Calcium  PB GF   Hearty, easy, good-tasting, with many of your favorite superfoods baked into a fine breakfast. Whole grains and dark leafy greens! at breakfast!

one 2-oz egg 2 Tbsp cooked quinoa ½ oz cooked kale 1 Tbsp cottage cheese, reduced fat 2 pinches of cayenne, sage, garlic powder, turmeric ¼ c wild blueberries, fresh or frozen 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]

Plan to cook some quinoa for a dinner a day or two ahead to have some left-over for this breakfast. Tip: The night before cook the kale, squeeze it out, and chop in well. In a small bowl, combine the quinoa, kale, cheese, and seasonings. Add salt to taste. Heat the toaster oven to 350 F. Spritz an oven-proof dish with cooking oil or spray. Whisk the egg, then stir in the mixed ingredients. Pour into the prepared dish and bake 12-15 minutes. Plate with the blueberries and serve with your choice of optional beverages. Power-packed!

Salmon & Broccoli:  241 calories 9 g fat 3 g fiber 27 g protein 8 g carbs 83 mg Calcium PB GF This is a meal that is so simple to prepare and so delicious that it seems impossible that it can be so good for you. Indulge yourself often.

4 oz wild Pacific salmon filet 4 oz broccoli florets 2 Tbsp mango salsa [Newman’s own]

Spray either a cast iron skillet or a stove-top grill pan with non-stick spray and heat it over medium-high. [You could also broil or bake the fish. If you bake it, go for 9-10 minutes at 400F] Salt and pepper the fish on both sides. Cook about 4-5 minutes on each side, then take off the heat. Cook/steam the broccoli until it is tender, then plate topped with purchased mango salsa.

Rhubarb Festival!

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. 

The Pandemic of 2020 meant that a lot of events were cancelled, including our town’s annual Rhubarb Festival on the first Saturday in June. We all stayed home last year and most of us got through it safely. This year the Festival is on! Musical groups, rhubarb pie contests, rhubarb flower arrangements, bake sale, farm animal petting zoo, food vendors, craft vendors, a ‘hollering contest,’ rhubarb wine and beer to sample — it is lots of fun for our tiny town of <1500 residents. Rhubarb is the ‘first fruit of the season,’ giving us good things to eat before the strawberries ever think of ripening. The plant, not a fruit but a vegetable, is native to central Asia and the roots were considered to be valuable for medicinal use 5000 years ago. It first arrived in North America when Benjamin Franklin sent a box of roots, for medicine, to his friend John Bartram. Finally, in the 1800s, people in the US got around to eating the stalks. Pie and jam are the first things that comes to mind, but for Slow Days, I make muffins and coffee-cakes from rhubarb as well. From May to September, fresh rhubarb is on the menu in our house. If you can grow it, you should.

Because rhubarb is so low in calories, it can be an ingredient on a Fast Day, as long as there isn’t too much sugar with it. Here it appears in a splendid breakfast and in a relish which is served on fish, chicken, or meat. Very delicious. NB: If you are new to rhubarb, eat only the stalks. The leaves should never be eaten as they contain oxalic acid/oxalate.

Yogurt Creme Brulee: 208 caloreis 2 g fat 2.5 g fiber 19 g protein 28 g carbs 115.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB GF Let’s have dessert for breakfast! A Bobby Flay dessert was the inspiration for this breakfast recipe.  This is delicious! HINT: This makes enough for 2 [two] servings.

You will need a small blowtorch to caramelize the sugar. If you use the broiler, you will melt the yogurt.
8 oz plain Greek** yogurt, fat-free -OR- ‘yogurt cheese’ [see below]
½ tsp vanilla
Stir yogurt and vanilla together in a medium bowl until combined. Cover and refrigerate 30+ mins to allow the flavors to meld.
1 cup chopped rhubarb
2 Tbsp water + 1 tsp sugar
Put fruit in a small saucepan and add water. Simmer until just softened, ~5 mins. Add sugar and stir. Let cool slightly.
two 8-oz ramekins
¼ c rolled oats, toasted
Divide fruit between ramekins. Toast oats in a dry skillet and sprinkle on the fruit. Fill the ramekins with yogurt. Cover and freeze 5 mins.
2 tsp turbinado sugar per ramekinSprinkle sugar over each ramekin. Caramelize by slowly sweeping the blowtorch flame back and forth. Let sugar harden, ~2 mins.
**Or put 2 cups plain, fat-free yogurt in a sieve lined with paper toweling. Let sit for 30 minutes as the whey drips out. The concentrated yogurt is call ‘yogurt cheese’ and is the same as ‘Greek Yogurt.’

In addition: 1 oz 3%-fat ham slice   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories

While the ramekins are in the freezer, cut the ham slice into ribbons and quickly cook in a dry skillet. Plate the ramekin with a wreath of ham around it. A fine mix of opposite flavors, temperatures, and textures.

Halibut with Fruit Relish: 182 calories 5.5 g fat 1.5 g fiber 25 g protein 6.4 g carbs 82 mg Calcium  PB GF Whether you bake or broil or grill the fish, a fruit relish makes for a splendid topping.

4 oz halibut filet 5 oz asparagus -OR- side salad   2 Tbsp rhubarb-onion relish**

Rhubarb-Onion Relish:  makes 1 cup  From Marion Cunningham’s Supper Book.    2 Tbsp [1 fluid ounce] = 26 calories  0 g fat 0.1 g fiber 0.1 g protein 1.5 g carbs 8 mg Calcium

1/3 cup chopped rhubarb
1/3 cup chopped onions
2 ¾ Tbsp vinegar
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup light brown sugar, not packed
pinch each of ground cloves, allspice, cinnamon
Mix everything together in a heavy pot and bring to a boil.
Simmer 45 minutes until quite thick.
You could make a bigger batch and preserve by canning in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

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

1 two-oz egg + blueberries1 two-oz egg 
kale + cayenne + sage70-calorie whole grain bread
quinoa + garlic powder + turmericParmesan cheese
reduced-fat cottage cheeseblueberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

4 oz wild-caught Pacific salmonpork tenderloin + apples
4 oz broccolichicken stock + broccoli
bechamel sauce
carrot + thyme + sage
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Industrial Revolution

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.

These days, when people discuss climate change or atmospheric pollution, the Industrial Revolution is often mentioned. Before that time, factories were a cottage industry. Literally. A woman might make hats or butter to sell from home. A man might be a weaver, right in the front room of his cottage. In the 1760s, textile making was speeded up by the invention of spinning and weaving machines in Northern England. Larger manufacturing spaces were built and people were lured from subsistence farming by higher wages. Once, machines were powered by water; now steam engines, perfected by James Watt of Scotland, powered factories by burning coal. Some people decried smoke-stacks belching black coal smoke into the once-pristine country air, but locals said, “It smelled like money.” Now instead of being made one-by-one, items were mass-produced. Improvements in steel-making lead to railroads and their speeding trains. Factories became larger as manufacturing became mechanized. Cities grew in population as the countryside emptied. Fortunes were made, and work life ran by the clock instead of the sun. Modern life as we know it began with the Industrial Revolution, and our use of fossil fuels has grown over the years because of it. Early on, the new factories were seen as a blessing to areas with marginal farmland. Young men and women could work for a few years in a factory, then return to the farm with modest wealth. Were there benefits from mechanization? Yes. Did it create problems that are still with us? Decidedly. Now we must deal with the unintended consequences of industrial expansion and the use of fossil fuels. We must balance production of goods with quality of life for humans and other life on our planet. We can do it.

Our meals go back to pre-Industrial days, when most people lived on and from the land, even if they lived in a small town. Oatmeal and shepherd’s pie would have been very familiar foods to an agricultural family in Northern England.

Oatmeal Pudding:  258 calories 4 g fat 5 g fiber 14 g protein 36 g carb [34 g Complex] 55.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the pudding only, and do not include the optional beverage.  GF PB  A riff on a recipe found in Marion Cunningham’s Breakfast Book, this can easily be prepared the night before. HINT: MAKES ENOUGH FOR TWO [2] SERVINGS.  Make them both, since two are as easy as one, and freeze the other.

½ cup rolled oats, cooked in 1 cup water 2 tsp maple syrup ½ cup fat-free cottage cheese pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon 4 Tbsp. blueberries [fresh or frozen]   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea  

Cook the oatmeal in the water. Take off the heat, stir in the maple syrup and nutmeg. While it is still a little warm, stir in the cottage cheese. Let sit to cool.  HINT: I did this part the night before while cleaning up after dinner.  If cooking for one, pour half of the pudding into a freezer container and top with 2 Tbsp blueberries. Freeze it. HINT: make the entire batch, eat half of it today and freeze the rest for a really simple-to-prepare breakfast for another day. With the remainder, stir in 2 Tbsp blueberries and pour the pudding into a ramekin. Nuke it for a minute to heat through – longer than that and it will bubble over. Serve with the hot beverage of your choice for a hearty, healthy meal.

Shepherd’s Pie:  276 calories 12 g fat 2 g fiber 21.6 g protein 21.6 g carbs 53 mg Calcium  PB GF  The addition of mashed cauliflower is a great trick to lessen the carb count of mashed potatoes. Some people like to top this pie with mashed cauliflower only, but I enjoy the combo for a more authentic taste.  HINT: serves 2. Freeze leftovers for another dinner or invite a guest.

1 cup roast lamb, ground or minced 1 two-oz egg, separated ½ cup mashed potatoes ½ cup mashed cauliflower ½ cup lamb gravy, as fat free as you can make it 1 cup lettuce ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp lemon juice OR cider vinegar 1 oz tomatoes

Add the egg yolk and gravy to the roast lamb, along with salt and pepper to taste. Whip the eggwhite until stiff and fold into the mashed vegetables with salt and pepper to taste. Put the lamb mixture into an oil-spritzed oven-proof dish [2-3 cup capacity] and spread it out evenly. Smooth the mashed vegetables on top and ruffle it with a fork or spoon. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until the top begins to brown a bit and the inside is hot. Whisk the oil and lemon juice in a wide bowl, add the lettuce and tomatoes, and toss gently.

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

1 two-oz egg1 cup plain fat-free Greek-style yogurt 
scrapple + scallionrolled oats + vanilla extract
raspberriesrhubarb + turbinado sugar
fat-free French-vanilla yogurtslice of 3%-fat ham
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

3# chicken + onion + celery4 oz halibut per person + side salad
carrot + Worcestershire saucerhubarb + onion
white whole wheat flour + peascider vinegar + brown sugar
dumplingsground cloves + allspice + cinnamon
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Victoria

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 Nouveau Trip and gblake who are now Following.

When King George IV of England died in 1830, he left no living heirs. Second brother Frederick would have been king, but he had died. Third brother, William ruled until 1837, and his death without issue started the process all over again. Fourth brother Edward was up next, but he had been dead for 17 years. Thus it was that a teenager named Victoria, daughter of Edward, was awakened one morning and told that she was now Queen of England. Yikes. A bevy of advisors hovered around her as she learned the ropes and took control of her kingdom. After her marriage in 1840, her Prince-Consort Albert became the person she relied upon most and his death was devastating to her. During Victoria’s long reign, life in England changed in several ways: white became the color of choice for wedding dresses [because Victoria wore white]; railroads criss-crossed the land; free schools were set up for all children; laws were passed forbidding certain work for children; India became part of the Empire; all things Scottish became fashionable [when Victoria and Albert wore tartans and vacationed in Balmoral]; Victoria popularized the use of ether during two childbirths; electric street lights in London replaced gas; and she gave her name to an entire era, with its associations with over-decorating, imperialism, prudery, and a bit of stodginess. Until the present Queen, no one had ruled for a longer on the English throne.

During the Victorian Era, many changes occurred in the English diet. Breakfast as we know it was developed, leading to the ‘proper English’ menu, still ubiquitous today. Food stuffs and flavors came in from the far-flung Empire, especially curries from India, as in Kedgeree.

Improper English w/ egg:  127 calories 3 g fat 3 g fiber 10 g protein 16.6 g carbs 42.5 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the plated foods only, not the optional beverages. PB GF  The ‘proper English breakfast’ is a meal of generous proportions: several meats, eggs, mushrooms, toast, tomatoes, baked beans, plus whatever else the host cares to add. This is not a meal for a Fast Day. But wait! By taking the healthiest elements and scaling down the amounts, we can achieve all the flavor along with more balanced nutrition.

The Canadian bacon slice is folded, but it is a full-sized slice.

½ cup baked beans ½ hard-boiled egg 2½ oz tomato, sliced thickly + pinch grated Parmesan cheese 1 slice ‘Canadian’ bacon  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]

Warm the beans. Place the tomato and bacon in a broiler-safe dish. Sprinkle the tomato with salt and Parmesan cheese. Broil until warm and cooked. Peel, slice, and plate the egg half along with the other elements. Proper delicious, that is.

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.

3 oz smoked haddock [aka: finnen haddie]
½ cup milk 
1 bay leaf
 ¼ cup chopped onion 
Put the smoked haddock, milk, bay leaf, and onion 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 rice and spices along with the shredded fish to the milk and put on low heat, covered.
5 oz asparagus cut into 1-½” piecesCook separately until just tender. Add to the rice/fish.
2 hardboiled eggsPeel + cut each into 8 pieces. Strew atop the plated meal.

Unified!

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 Virtue Cooking who is now Following.

A “Golden Spike” was driven into a railroad tie on May 10, 1869, at Promentary Point, Colorado to mark the completion of the transcontinental railroad in the USA. The goal of unifying the country’s East and West coasts had been realized — a significant achievement in a land where the South and North were still in an uneasy peace five years after the Civil War. It was a worthy effort but the consequences of the railroad were darker. Indigenous Peoples were removed to reservations; Chinese and Irish immigrants worked in slave-like servitude; Robber Barons made deals that would make or break the fortune of a town that did/didn’t get a rail link; bison were slaughtered for fun by hunters shooting from train cars; and due to railheads in Western locations, beef became ‘what’s for dinner.

In honor of the 20,000 Chinese who worked on the railroad, in dangerous conditions, a breakfast with the flavors of home. For dinner, a meal of bison, an animal which has made a comeback after habitat destruction and over-hunting nearly lead to its extinction. Today bison is farm-raised which makes it sustainable.

Foo Yung Bake:  130 calories 5 g fat 2.4 g fiber 10 g protein 12 g carbs [11 g complex] 57 mg Calcium   NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.  PB  GF Straight out of China, a no-fuss bake.

One 2-oz egg 2 Tbsp crab meat 1 tsp soy sauce ¼ cup sprouts [I used broccoli sprouts — suit yourself] ¼ oz mushrooms pinch ground ginger + pinch granulated garlic 1 Tbsp scallion, sliced cross-wise One clementine OR 2 oz pear   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]

Lightly mix the crab meat with the sprouts, scallion, and mushroom. Lightly oil or spritz an oven-proof dish. Distribute the crab mixture over the bottom of the dish. Whisk the egg with the soy sauce, ginger, and garlic powder, and pour over the sprouts and crab. Add salt and pepper if you wish. Bake at 350 F. for 12 minutes. Plate with the fruit and pour the optional beverages.

Bison Burger ‘Salisbury Steak’:  260 calories PB GF Rather than my telling you what to eat with your burger, I’ll give you options. Use any good veg from your ‘fridge, garden or freezer.

one 4-oz bison burger = 124 calories 2 g fat 0 g fiber 25 g protein 0 g carb ½ oz mushrooms = 8 calories 0 g fat 0.3 g fiber 0.2 g protein 2 g carb 1 tsp curried catsup = 8 calories 0.1 g fat 0 g fiber 0.1 protein 2 g carbs

Side vegetables: your choice to total up to 120 calories

2 oz cooked beets:  24 calories 0.2 g fat 1.6 g fiber 1 g protein 5.4 g carbs 5.4 mg Calcium

2 oz carrots:  23 calories 0.1 g fat 1.6 g fiber 0.6 g protein 5.4 g carbs 18.4 g Calcium

1/3 c. baked beans:  79 calories 0.3 g fat 3.4 g fiber 4 g protein 18 g carbs 29 mg Calcium

2 oz broccoli:  20 calories 0.2 g fat 1.4 g fiber 1.6 g protein 3.8 g carbs 26 mg Calcium

2 oz green beans:  18 calories 0.2 g fat 2 g fiber 1.0 g protein 4 g carbs 21 mg Calcium

2 oz peas:  44 calories 0.2 g fat 3.2 g fiber 8 g protein 8 g carbs 13.6 mg Calcium

Sprinkle a small, hot skillet with Kosher salt. Put the burger on the salt and turn down the heat to medium-low. Cook the bison burger on one side for about 3 minutes. Flip it and cook until done as well as you’d like.  Put on a plate to stay warm.  Topping: Add some water to the pan and stir/ cook the mushrooms until soft. Meanwhile prepare your vegetables. To serve, put the ketchup on the burger, top with mushrooms. Arrange those colorful sides on the plate and get ready for some good American eating.