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 SimplyMySwank who is now Following.

Poor Martha! All she wanted was a hand in the kitchen… That new Rabbi was passing through town, so she invited him over for dinner. The fact that he was traveling with about 40 other people wouldn’t be much of a problem — her sister Mary would help her while their brother Lazarus entertained the guests. Martha heads to the kitchen to cook. But where is Mary? She’s in the living room listening to the Rabbi talk — that’s not helping! Martha takes the Rabbi aside to get him to make Mary retreat to the kitchen. Instead, he gives Martha a gentle rebuke: “Martha, you are worried about many things. But only one thing matters and Mary has chosen it. Do not take that from her.” This is how Luke tells the story in Chapter 10 of his Gospel. Martha became the patron saint of cooks for obvious reasons. I remember seeing a statue of a female saint high on the wall of the kitchen in the 15th century charity hospital at Beaune, France. It was Saint Martha, of course, ready to give her spiritual help to all the workers in the kitchen who were cooking for others.

Today’s meals are easily prepared for guests and they are similar to foods that Martha and Mary might have served. OK, they didn’t have tomatoes or quinoa, but these meals have Eastern Mediterranean origins.

Shakshuka: 158 calories 8 g fat 5 g fiber 12 g protein 17 g carbs [17 g Complex] 144 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake only, not the optional beverages. PB GF This breakfast from the Eastern Mediterranean is a real treat. If you prepare part of it the night before, then morning meal prep is very easy. HINT: This recipe serves 2 [two] people. Easily doubled or tripled. This prepares and bakes in one pan.

2 two-oz eggs 1/3 cup sliced onion 1/3 cup sliced red pepper 1 clove garlic, sliced 10 oz whole tomatoes ¾ oz feta cheese, cubed or crumbled 2 large pinches each of ground cumin + paprika + cayenne

Slowly saute onion and pepper, using non-stick spray, until very soft – about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more until it is tender. Add spices and cook one minute. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Simmer 10 minutes until mixture is thickerand someof the tomato liquid has cooked off. Add feta cheese. [TIP: you could do this the night before and stop here] Set the oven to 375 degrees F.  If serving two, the mixture could be divided into two separate dishes for baking/serving or kept in one larger dish. Using the back of a spoon, press an indentation in the vegetables. Carefully break one egg per person into each depression. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake 7-10 minutes. If you want the yolk to cook, put a lid on the pan for the last 2 minutes. Garnish with cilantro or flat-leaf parsley.

Fish with Mediterranean Vegetables: 278 calories 6 g fat 6 g fiber 28 g protein 25 g carbs [24 g Complex] 290 mg Calcium PB GF Mediterranean Food, anyone? Here it is, full of protein of seafood and Calcium!

1 cup Mediterranean Vegetables without chickpeas Sidekicks II, 4 Oct. ’17 3 oz fish/mussels/shrimp, raw or cooked 1 oz mushrooms, sliced 1 oz mozzerella, grated 1/3 cup cooked quinoa

Start cooking the quinoa. Prepare or thaw the Mediterranean Vegetables. Stir in the mushrooms and sea food and heat until warmed through. Place the quinoa on the side of the plate and spoon the warm mixture on top. Top with the grated cheese and pause before serving to let the cheese melt a little.

New Year’s Eve

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Will you be entertaining for New Year’s Eve? Or will you be the guest at someone else’s party? Will you be over-indulging on December 31?  Or are you wondering how to celebrate 2019 without spoiling your progress as a Faster?   Lots of questions — here is some help with the answers.                                                                                                                                                     1] If it is your party, make sure that all the foods you serve are healthy.  That way you can have a serving and not feel guilty. How about a big pot of Red Beans and Rice [posted November 6, 2016] or

Jambalaya: 275 calories  5 g fat  4 g fiber  14.8 g protein  39 g carbs  81 mg Calcium  PB GF  What else would you eat for New Year’s? Or any other time you want delicious Cajun comfort food: jambalaya, of course. For a party, triple or quadruple the recipe. Just make sure that you limit yourself to one serving = one cup.

Jambalaya w: broc

2/3 cup onion, chopped                                                                                                                                           2 cloves garlic, chopped                                                                                                                                           2 tsp cajun seasoning                                                                                                                                               ½ cup green pepper, chopped                                                                                                                           1/3 cup celery, chopped                                                                                                                                           2 oz andouille sausage [or sweet Italian], sliced                                                                                                 3 oz chicken breast, cubed                                                                                                                                    2 oz [½ cup] ham, cubed                                                                                                                                        12 oz crushed tomatoes                                                                                                                                         1/3 tsp crushed red pepper +  1/3 tsp black pepper  + 2/3 tsp salt                                                                      ½ tsp Tabasco sauce   +  1.5 tsp Worcestershire sauce                                                                                 ¾ tsp file powder                                                                                                                                                       ¾ cup brown rice                                                                                                                                                    1.5 cups chicken broth                                                                                                                                                   Per serving:  2 oz broccoli

Cook the onion in a little water and a dash of olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and cajun seasoning and cook until fragrant. Stir in the green pepper and celery and then add the meats. Pour in the tomatoes, seasonings and sauces, the rice, and broth. Cover and simmer for 25-40 minutes, stirring every once in a while to prevent sticking. The mixture will not be soupy, as the rice will have absorbed the liquids. Cook uncovered if too much liquid remains. Prepare the broccoli and plate.

Each of the above-mentioned meals are less than 300 calories/serving.                                                          2] Alcohol has lots of calories, but some are lower than others. Go to the party with a small bottle of sparkling wine, such as Spanish Cava or Italian Prosecco, and a large bottle of sparkling water.  Start off with a glass of the water, then a glass of the wine.  Then some more water. Finish the last bit of wine at midnight, then drink some more water. You will feel much better the next morning and you will avoid dehydration. Also the water will help to fill you up.                                                                                                                       3] Put off having breakfast as long as you can and then eat a meal high in protein but low in carbs, like eggs.                                                                                                                                     4] If you are not hosting, find something on the buffet that is low in calories, carbs, and fat.  Shrimp would be a great choice, as are fruit and raw vegetables.  Fill up on them and there won’t be room for lousier options.                                                                                               5] Make some sensible resolutions for 2019.  Not “I wanna lose weight” because that is too general.  Not “I wanna loose 50 pounds by February” because that is too unrealistic.  Try: “I will eat 600-800 calories of high-quality food on two days each week for 2 months.”  This goal is specific and achievable.  It limits you to 2 months and then you can see if you want to continue. No pressure. You could do that.                                                     Happy New Year.

Summer Entertaining

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.                                                  Welcome to M.M. who is now a follower.
Sometimes, you just have to have friends over for a summer afternoon on the terrace!  A trip to the store, and you bring home the chips, the prepared dip, the hamburgers — and you blow a hole in your diet that will take weeks to fix!  But if your party food is low in calorie and high in protein AND delicious, you can partake without fear.
Prepare any or all of these:
Zucchini Quiche [a favorite of my Mother’s for party food]: see Aug. 28, 2016              Easy to make ahead.Zucchini Quiche w: salad
Quesadillas [you can even heat them on the grill] : see August 3, 2016                                   Can be filled and shaped early in the day, wrapped in foil and refrigerated for later.chicken quesadillas w: zucc+yam
Falafel with Cucumber Raita: see March 1, 2017                                                                Make the falafel patties days ahead and freeze.Felafel w: Cuke Raita
Meze Meal [lots of bowls of meze foods mean lots of choices] :  see April 17, 2017                Instead of preparing the single-serving portions, triple or quadruple the amounts.Meze Meal w: chicken copy
Pizza [make several, cut each into 6 pieces] : see May 24, 2017


Green Salad with homemade vinaigrette dressing: 1 tsp olive oil + 1 tsp vinegar/2 cups lettuce.  Add tomatoes, cooked beets, blueberries, cooked green beans, nuts
Beverages: a] make your own wine spritzers with sparkling water, white wine, and ice cubes with fresh raspberries frozen inside.    b] have lots of sparkling water on hand for after you have had your own spritzer.
What can your guests bring?  Fresh fruit, some white wine, cut vegetables.  If you trust yourself to resist, guests can bring chips or a nice artisan bread.


Happy Birthday

Tomorrow will be my birthday!  If I say so myself, I’m doing pretty well for my age.  I’m especially pleased with my weight and overall good health. Genetics plays some part but I think that the Fasting Lifestyle deserves some of the credit. Join me in celebrating the start of another healthy year.


Smoked Salmon Bake:   292 calories     8.0 g fat     1.9 g fiber     15.2 g protein 44.6 g carbs 223.2 mg Calcium     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 or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                optional:  5-6 oz fruit smoothie, green smoothie or natural apple cider

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. Brew your beverage; dish the fruit; shake that smoothie.

oysters w: beet-walnut salad

Oyster Feast w/ Bubbly:    224 calories   7.1 g fat   0.6 g fiber   10.2 g protein   12 g carbs 79.4 mg Calcium    PB    Got something BIG to celebrate: how about a plate of  oysters [some raw and some baked]  with a salad AND a glass of bubbly? This serves TWO, since a celebration deserves company.

18 medium Eastern oysters, raw                                                                                                                 6 tsp chevre cheese                                                                                                                                            2-3 saltine crackers as medium-fine crumbs, divided into two portions                                                                                              3 cups lettuce                                                                                                                                                           2 Tbsp fresh herbs, [such as thyme, rosemary, chives], chopped                                                            4 oz Sparkling Wine [such as Champagne] per person

Turn on the broiler. Shuck the oysters, discarding the upper shell, but keeping the oyster in the bottom shell. Carefully put 6 oysters on an oven-proof pan. Sprinkle  those oysters with half of the cracker crumbs. Then put 1 tsp of the chevre on each oyster. Top with the rest of the crumbs. Slide under the broiler until the cheese begins to soften and brown just a bit. In a wide bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice and herbs. Toss lettuce with the dressing and add a pinch of salt. Plate the oysters and the salad, pour your bubbly. Cheeers!

Memorial Day

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Its that time of year: Summer arrives and everyone wants to over-eat at a Holiday picnic. This is so not necessary.  You can maintain the Fasting Lifestyle. even on Memorial Day. Here’s how.

National Holiday French Toast      294 calories    6.7 g fat   3.2 g fiber  13.5 g protein     31 g carbs    260.7 mg Calcium    GF [if using GF bread]   HINT: This recipe makes requires one person to have two [2] ounces or less of bread cut-outs. If you cut out more, but put the others in a bag in the freezer for a really fast breakfast later. The recipe below is enough for TWO PEOPLE.  Invite a friend or prepare the entire batch and freeze half for later.French Toast Stars

2 one half ounce pieces of cut-out shapes** from 70-cal whole grain bread                                       one 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                               2 Tbsp fat-free milk                                                                                                                                                 1 oz strawberries, fresh or unsweetened frozen                                                                                            1.5 tsp maple syrup                                                                                                                                                          one 60-cal sausage    [I like Al Fresco brand sage breakfast links  or patties]                                                        nearly black coffee or tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                           1/3 cup green or fruit smoothie or natural apple cider

THE NIGHT BEFORE: Whisk the egg and milk together. Cut the pieces of bread into appropriate shapes useing a cookie cutter.  ** This time I used 1″ stars, which made lots. [This step is important for the calorie count to come out right, so don’t skip it even if it seems too much like ‘crafty food.’ The bread that is left over can be fed to the birds or saved to make Stuffed Clams [see SPICY May 23, 2018] Put the bread into a pan with a rim which is just big enough for the bread pieces. Pour the egg/milk mixture over the bread, making sure it is all wetted. Let stand OVERNIGHT. Also combine the strawberries and syrup.

THE NEXT MORNING, cook the batter-soaked bread in a hot non-stick pan with a spritz of non-stick spray. Cook until browned on both sides. IF COOKING FOR ONE, NOW PUT HALF OF THE PIECES ASIDE TO COOL. PUT INTO A BAG AND FREEZE THEM FOR A LATER DATE. Cook the sausage, too. Mash the berries a bit and add the maple syrup. Warm the mixture a little and smear onto the plated toast. Enjoy with the sausage, hot beverage of choice, and smoothie.

Hot Dogs & Beans 297 cal  10 g fat    5.2 g fiber   15.8 g protein   23.6 g carb  77 mg Calcium   PB  GF  Usually, we eat hot dogs on Memorial Day, so we won’t stop now.   Baked beans are high in protein, low in fat, so they fit right in with a Fast Diet.Memorial Day franks & beans

1 dog per person {Hebrew National has a good-tasting reduced fat hot dog at 100 cal each.}                                                                                                                                                              1/3 c baked beans [I use canned, low-fat beans if I can find them] HINT: You do not use all the beans in the can, so freeze the remainder for another meal. If you want them for this meal again, freeze in batches of 1/3 c, rather than the remains of the entire can together.      mustard and/or pickle relish                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           one 2-oz egg, hard-boiled + 1/2 tsp low-fat mayo + 1 tsp prepared yellow mustard  + Salsa Verde                                                                                                                                                                                   1/4 cup chopped cabbage + 1/8 cup shredded carrot  + 1.5 tsp cider vinegar + 1/2 tsp low-fat mayonnaise

Cook the dogs in a little frying pan with a bit of water. [Of course you could grill the dogs.]  Heat the baked beans [nuke ’em]. Peel the egg and cut it in half. Remove the yolk and mash it with the mayonnaise, mustard, and Salsa Verde. Stuff the egg halves. Whisk the mayo and vinegar and toss in the coleslaw vegetables.  Fasting on a holiday just got easier. Have non-Fasters over for the picnic? Ask them to bring the side dishes [potato salad, green salad, but not chips & dip] and let your guests eat the side dishes.  Skip the beer and S’mores until tomorrow.

A Visitor

My sister is arriving today for a stay, and tomorrow is a Fast Day. No problem! I will serve the following menu, which I am sure she will enjoy, and if she wants to eat lunch, she may.  You see?  Fasting Lifestyle maintained, visiting sister happy and well-fed.  Bet she won’t event know it was ‘diet food’!

Ham & Cheese Scromelette     309 calories     10.1 g fat            1.9 g fiber             15.8 g. protein 29 g carbs        197 mg Calcium           GF     You can prepare this as an omelette or as scrambled eggs. Either way, its a winner.Ham and  cheese scromlette w: a-sauce

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.                                                                             ¼ oz Jarlsberg cheese                                                                                                                                           ¼ oz ham [I calculated the fat and calories for this recipe based on left-over roast ham. If you use 3% fat ham, you will lower both those values]                                                                              1 and ½ oz applesauce                                                                                                                               blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                   5-6 oz fruit smoothie or green smoothie

Shepherds’ Salad 275 cal      15 g. fat      13.2 g protein       23.6 g carbs      GF                               This delightful meal is from Lynne Rosetto Kaspar’s The Italian Country Table. I have included a version of the original cooked salad dressing, but you may use a simple herbed vinaigrette made with 1 tsp oil and ½ tsp red wine vinegar.shepherd's salad

½ oz salami                                                                                                                                                               ½ c white beans                                                                                                                                                        2.5 cups [3 oz] lettuce                                                                                                                                                1 oz mozzerella                                                                                                                                                          1 radish, thinly sliced                                                                                                                                                    2” celery, thinly sliced on diagonal                                                                                                                     2 tsp of boiled dressing

For the dressing: Put 3 Tbsp olive oil, 4” rosemary, and 6 sage leaves in a pan and simmer for 5-10 minutes.    Add 4 smashed cloves garlic and a pinch of hot pepper flakes.    Stir for a few seconds. Add ½ cup red wine vinegar and boil down the whole recipe to 1/3 cup. Strain and cool. For this dinner, you will need 2 tsp/ serving. Put the remainder in a jar and store to use anytime.

Prep your toppings: slice the salami rounds into matchsticks; shred the lettuce; cut the cheese into strips about 1/4” square; slice the radish and celery. Measure 2 tsp dressing into a serving/salad bowl and add the lettuce. Toss to coat with the dressing. Arrange the meat, beans, cheese, and radishes in decorative groupings. Hearty and delicious and suitable for guests.

Cinquo de Mayo

This widely-celebrated holiday is greatly misunderstood.  When Napoleon Bonepart was working on being emperor of the world, he installed his sister and her husband on the throne of Mexico.  The pair were inept rulers and the populace rose up to depose them.  Decades later, on May 5, 1862, France invaded Mexico, which had defaulted on debts.  When a tiny force of locals defeated the French army, Voila! Cinquo de Mayo!  This year it occurs on a Fasting Thursday and you have two choices: Fast on a different day, or just binge.  [The latter is not recommended]

Here are several tried and true recipes for Mexican-inspired meals which are consistent with the Fasting Lifestyle.  Pick a breakfast, choose a dinner, skip the lunch/snacks, and maybe you can squeeze in a tiny shot of tequila [about 85 calories], if you are so inclined.  **

Tostada       PB  GF    posted in Mex-Morroc,              January 31, 2016                                                                       Breakfast Burrito  GF     posted in Seasonal Foods              September 27, 2015

Chile non Carne    PB  GF    posted in Go Wild            March 2, 2016                                                     Chicken Quesadillas     GF      posted in Gunn & Grommet          April 13, 2016                            Seafood Tacos   PB  GF    posted in Amour Propre           February 21, 2016                                         Chicken Cesar Salad     GF      posted in Oregano              April 6, 2016


**       This website tells of the calorie-bombs which pose as drinks for celebrating Cinquo de Mayo.  And it offers alternative beverages for any occasion, because eating in a healthy manner is an every-day idea.

Let Me Entertain You….for Breakfast.

What if you were in the position where you had to entertain guests for breakfast on a Fast Day?  Well, you could move the Fasting to the next day. Or you could trot out some of your favorites and still maintain your Fasting Lifestyle. Your guests can eat as much as they like and be none the wiser. When having a breakfast party, I like to have a variety of things on the table so that guests can have variety. But I also plan it so that the items served can be made ahead with minimum last-minute hostess involvement.

So I suggest any of the baked egg recipes                                                                             Flamenco Eggs [July 5]       or Shirred Eggs  [June 14]  

Put out all the components of a Dutch Breakfast [Feb 22] and let people help themselves. Plates of ham slices and cheese chunks and bread are enticing, along with a basket of freshly-boiled eggs.

The little Herb Popovers [Apr 5] would be a nice addition to the table or what about a bowl of Oatmeal Pudding [Apr 26]?

Feeling more ‘brunchy’?  What about mini Crab Cakes [Mar 1, but form them smaller, almost bite-sized]  or Mushroom Egg Toasts [May 27].

Have fun, eat well, continue your Fasting Lifestyle, be famous for good food.

Let Me Entertain You… Dinner Version.

What would you serve if you had to have guests for dinner on a Fast Day???  One choice would be to transfer your fasting until tomorrow. But if you have long-term visitors and you don’t want to skip the Fast, here’s what we have done. [Remember, you can always pull out the stops on the following day, since we Fast only two days a week.]

Since most of our friends know that we are proponents of the Fast Diet, I ask them if they would like to see what a fast diet is all about. Sometimes they say ‘yes’ and then they dine along with us.   We have served Steamed Mussels in wine broth [March 22]Mussels with Vegetable Plate or Shepherd’s Salad [March 15] as dinners for non-Fasting friends.  These pleasing meals are rich and flavorful and can convince people that ‘fasting’ isn’t the same as ‘starving’. Go out with them for a long walk or drive during the middle of the day and come home ready for dinner.

What if your guests do not wish to fast or have health issues which prevent it? Then serve one of your favorites, say Crab Cakes [March 1] or Greek Chicken Salad [March 25] Greek Chicken Saladand for the guests, serve some boiled parleyed potatoes or rolls on the side.  Put out a plate of cookies for dessert and leave the room while they eat them.  I did that once, explaining that I did not have the fortitude to watch the guests eat the cookies!  At lunch time, send your house guests out for lunch at a local favorite, or serve them a soup such as Cream of Asparagus asparagus soup[April 1] or Baked Bean [April 22], which you might have in the freezer. Your guests will be happy and well-fed, while you can stay true to your Fasting Lifestyle.  The best of both worlds.