Rule of Benedict

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Benedict of Nursia was born in 480 CE. Shocked by the worldly life in Rome, he became a hermit. After becoming a monk, he decided that monastic life had to be reformed. [The monks at his first monastery tried to poison him.] He thought that in 400 years, the Church had slipped a bit in its practices. More than a bit. After founding 12 religious houses, he wrote The Rule of Benedict in 516 CE. That sounds like laying down the law in an unpleasant and self-centered way, but it described a monastic life that could accommodate many different approaches. Thus it became the most prevalent way to live a monastic life all over Europe in the Medieval Era. The Rule described a monk’s day as dedicating 8 hours to prayer [during each of the canonical hours], 8 hours to work, and 8 hours to sleep. “Prayer and Work” were the order of the day. The work was hard: cutting trees, clearing fields, kitchen work, care of the sick, planting and harvesting. Benedict wanted the men to work hard so that they would be too tired to have unreligious or impure thoughts. Meals were part of supporting each man’s ascetic goals. There were two meals each day: late morning and evening. During Lent and on other fast days, there might be only one meal. At each meal, two different foods were served so that if you didn’t like one, you could eat the other. Each man was provided with 1 kilo/2.5 pounds of bread each day and 1/4 liter of wine. There was never any meat served from four-legged animals. Benedict thought that mammals’ meat caused ‘indigestion’ — a code word for carnal thoughts. Benedict believed that humans should suffer in life as Christ suffered, so life in the monastery was austere. Yet men flocked to the monasteries and women became Benedictine nuns. As centuries went by, the monasteries became rich, the work was not so hard, the food was more plentiful, and life was less austere. Therefore new rules arose: the Cistercians at Cluny, France reformed the Rule of Benedict in 910 CE, to get back to the core principles. In 1517, shocked by the worldly life in Rome, Martin Luther proposed reforms to the Church, and ended up tearing it apart in the Protestant Reformation. In 2019, there were 20,000 men and women living under the Rule of Benedict in 400 monasteries around the world, praying and working.

Not sure anyone today wants to eat like a 6th century monk, I have chosen elements from Benedict’s Rule: fish, vegetables, and only a tiny bit of meat — not enough to inflame the body and cause ‘indigestion.’

Maltese ScrOmelette: 152 calories 8 g fat 1.6 g fiber 12.5 g protein 7.6 g carbs 91 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  With the fish, the vegetables, and the fruit, these flavors have “Malta” written all over them.

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  ¼ oz cooked tuna 2 Tbsp frozen spinach 2 Tbsp Mediterranean Vegetables, chopped  ½ clementine  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]

Thaw and chop the spinach, and drain it through a sieve. Break the tuna into small bits. Combine all vegetables with the tuna. Heat the ingredients briefly in an oil-misted non-stick pan, then pour in the whisked eggs. Cook to your preference. Serve with the fruit and optional beverages of choice. Sunny flavors!

Goat Cheese with Figs: 287 calories 20.6 g fat 2 g fiber 18.5 g protein 25 g carbs 57.5 mg Calcium  PB Joanne Harris, in her French Market cookbook, offers this as a salad. But we saw it as a light dinner and we were very pleased with it. Easy to prepare – as long as you can find fresh figs. One might try plumping dried Turkish figs in warm water in lieu of fresh figs.

3 fresh figs, each ~½ ounce ½ oz Bayonne or Serrano ham 1 oz chevre cheese, a creamy type 4 mint leaves salt & pepper ½ plain croissant

Trim the stems from the figs. Sit the fig on its base and cut down into the fig, from top to almost-the-bottom. Make another cut at right angles to the first, so that the fig now is a bud with four petals. Slice the ham into ¼” slices and chop the mint leaves. Cream together the cheese, ham, and mint, along with some flavorful salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into 3 equal portions. Open the petals of the figs and spoon the cheese mixture into the center. Warm the croissant and plate it with the figs.

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

1 extra large egg = 2.5 oz + scallion2 chocolate crepes + icing sugar
any color bell pepper2%-fat cottage cheese
white or sweet potato + chivesnon-fat vanilla yogurt + strawberries
plain, low-fat yogurt +Cheddar cheese30-calorie uncured bacon
Optional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

chili non carne buckwheat galettes
tostada [fried tortilla]fresh tomato
Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheeseLeek&Bacon Filling
guacamole Mexican Vegetable Pickle basil or thyme
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Slow Days: Greek Pizza

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 discussions on the Fast Diet 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.

Every Saturday we enjoy pizza for dinner. Not store-bought, not delivered, but home-made. Mostly, we will prepare the red-sauce-mozzarella type, and we vary the toppings week to week. But once in a while, I suggest a “Greek” pizza. This variety was developed by a Greek immigrant who ran a pizzeria in New London, Connecticut in the 1950s. Since then, Greek Pizza has been popular in New England and eastern New York. Very regional. [I’m not going to get in the middle of which culture really invented pizza — I’d rather just eat it.] My version is based on reading many recipes, taking out the best bits, and putting them together in this recipe.

You will need two whole wheat pizza crusts, each 8″ in diameter. This takes [about 6 ounces of dough for each crust] Pat the crusts out on an oiled baking sheet. Preheat oven to 490F.

Salad Dressing makes 7 Tbsp dressing 1/4 cup virgin olive oil 1.5 Tbsp red wine vinegar 1.5 Tbsp lemon juice large pinch oregano Shake together in a small jar with a lid. Brush each crust with 1 Tbsp of dressing. Save the rest for the salad.

Pizza Topping enough for 2 pizza shells thaw or cook 5 oz spinach. Squeeze it in your hands to expel extra liquid. 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella 1/2 tsp garlic powder pinch ground nutmeg pinch crushed red pepper. Toss lightly to combine, and divide between the pizzas.

Garnish for each pie: 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled 3 black olives, pitted and cut in half or quartered 2-3 cherry tomatoes, halved

Bake at 490F for 4 minutes on an oiled baking sheet on the upper of two oven racks. After the first part of baking, remove the pizzas from the baking sheet and move them to the bottom rack with no pan under them. This bakes the bottom of the pizza nicely. Bake 3-4 minutes longer, until the cheeses melt. Serve with a salad of greens which are tossed with the same salad dressing above. Try this pizza some time — I think you will enjoy it.

Saint Giles

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

 Αἰγίδιος was born in Greece, part of the Eastern Roman Empire, around 650 CE. His life may or may not have occurred, but his story is a good one. He joined the church as a young man and, according to the legend, he sought the life of a simple hermit. This was not possible for him in Greece, so he moved to Marseille, a former Greek port in Provence [France], then a part of the Frankish Empire. There his name turned into Giles/Gilles. Going farther from civilization, he lived in seclusion near what is now St-Gilles near the Rhone Estuary. He ate locally foraged foods and the milk of his friend, a doe [often referred to as a hind]. When the hind was pursued by the local headman [called Wamba in the legend] and his hunters, she ran to the safety of Giles’ hermitage. An arrow shot at the deer, struck Giles in the knee [and/or hand]. The headman met Giles and was so impressed by his patience and humility that he gave Giles land on which to build a monastery. The arrow wound left Giles with a limp, making him a Patron of the differently-abled. A chapel was built in the 7th century, but was not named for St. Giles until the 900s. It can be seen today with its 12th century exterior, although the interior was remodelled often. The saint is said to be buried in the crypt, although other churches claim that honor too. Giles became a popular saint after his death around 710 CE. He is considered to be one of the Holy Helpers, and his story is an excellent example of living gently with nature.

For his supposed Greek origin, a breakfast with cheese — in honor of the milk of the hind. For dinner, a meal without meat, befitting a Christian vegetarian like Giles. You can eat like a saint on his Feast Day, September 1st.

Greek ScrOmelette: 152 calories 9 g fat 0.6 g fiber 12.6 g protein 4 g carbs [3 g Complex] 88.5 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  Feta cheese is such a lovely ingredient — we should use it more often.

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, pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid, and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.  0.37 = 3/8 oz feta cheese, reduced fat 1 Tbsp tomato puree [not tomato paste] large pinch of cinnamon + of oregano 1 Tbsp pomegranate seeds –OR– 1¼ oz applesauce sprinkled with cinnamon -OR- 1¼ oz apple  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Cream the tomato puree with the feta cheese and seasonings, then whisk in the eggs. OR Whisk the eggs and pour into the pan. As soon as the bottom of the eggs sets, spread the cheesse-tomato-seasonings on top of the egg. Scramble or cook as an omelette. Prepare the beverages and spoon out the pomegranate/apple for a real taste of Greece.

Galettes w/ Mediterranean Vegetables: 266 calories 7.6 g fat 6.5 g fiber 16 g protein 35 g carbs 282 mg Calcium  PB  This simple meal comes together in no time flat. [It does help if your have previously prepared galettes and Mediteranean Vegetables on hand, so keep some handy in the freezer.]

2 buckwheat galettes 1 cup Mediterranean Vegetables with chickpeas 1 oz mozzarella

Gently warm the galettes on a griddle. Warm the Vegetables in a sauce pan, then stir in the mozzarella, and heat briefly. Divide between the galettes and dinner is served.

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

1.5 two-oz eggs + pear1.5 two-oz eggs 
scallion + mushrooms reduced-fat ricotta
plain, low-fat yogurtapplesauce or apple
paprika + marjoramfreshest herbs possible
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

cooked brown rice + 1 two-oz egg 1 pound zucchini + paprika + dill weed
avocado + soy sauce + rice vinegar cooked chicken + Parmesan cheese
cucumber or zucchini + smoked salmonolive oil + onion + garlic
grilled beef or chicken1/2 cup cooked brown rice
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Giotto, architect

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Ayah who is now Following.

Giotto di Bondone was either the last artist of the Medieval/Gothic era or the first artist of the Renaissance. While he is mostly known as a master painter of frescos, one of his most visible creations is an architectural marvel in Firenze/Florence: the campanile of Santa Maria del Fiore. There are many churches and chapels in Firenze, but the cathedral is Santa Maria, so it was designed to dwarf all the others. When it was time to build a bell tower, the City called on one of its best artists: Giotto. The foundation for the tower was laid on July 18, 1334, long after the church was begun in 1296. Giotto designed a structure 15 meters square and 84 meters high. The plan is as if five blocks were set on top of each other: the bottom ones shorter than the ones on top, culminating in the highest and tallest ‘block’, the one with the tall windows. Each block has a different theme: ‘Universal Order and the Story of Redemption’ are shown in bas relief carvings on the bottom block. This is the only one that was completed by the time Giotto died in 1337. The work was completed by subsequent artists, who generally stuck to Giotto’s plan. The 2nd story is decorated with statues of Biblical prophets and patriarchs. The remaining stories have windows with Gothic arches, completed between 1348 an 1359 by Francesco Talenti. Giotto understood perspective better than most of his contemporaries. Each story is slightly wider than the layer below it. That way, the tower does not appear to taper as it rises. This gives it a solidity which is countered by the airy windows. Talenti deviated from Giotto’s plan by replacing a terminal spire with a balconied platform, frequented by sight-seers after climbing 400+ steps. The building is clad with white, red, and green marble, chosen by Giotto to match the near-by Baptistry of Saint John, built between 1059 and 1128. I used to think that the colored marble was too ‘busy’ for my taste, but I have come to enjoy the Gothic love of color and decoration. The campanile is a visual feast and a tribute to the artistry of Ser Giotto.

Tuscans, like Giotto, enjoyed mushrooms, so our mushroom-egg combination would please them. The pate with which it is made is worth the effort of finding/buying the mushrooms. Parma, the source of Parmesan cheese, also has a worthy Baptistry, begun in 1196. Perhaps Giotto visited there, since he worked all over Northern Italy in his lifetime. If you are planning a trip to Firenze, and you have 3 or more days to spend there, I highly recommend the Firenze Card, which gets you to the head of the line for several locations and gives you free entry to most everything for one pre-paid fee.

Mushroom Pate Bake: 151 calories 10.4 g fat 1 g fiber 8.7 g protein 6.7 g carbs [5.4 g Complex] 71 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB GF Mushrooms and walnuts make an amazing spread. With eggs and a tad of bleu cheese, they yield a spectacular breakfast.

1 two-oz egg ½ oz mushroom pate** ¼ oz bleu cheese ¼ c blueberries  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water

**Wild Mushroom Pate: 1 oz = 70 calories 7 g fat 0.5 g fiber 1 g protein 1.5 g carbs 7.8 mg Calcium From Inn at Saint Peter’s, this recipe is splendid as a spread on bread and as an ingredient.

Makes ~1½ cupsPreheat oven to 350 F /175 C 

1 cup walnuts Spread walnuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Toast 10 mins, until fragrant and lightly browned.
1/2 cup minced shallots
1/2 cup unsalted butter
In a saute pan, cook shallots in butter over medium heat until translucent.
¼# chantrelle mushrooms
¼# meadow mushrooms
¼# agaricus or other mushroom
1 Tbsp roasted garlic puree OR 2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
1 Tbsp fresh thyme 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
Chop mushrooms and herbs.Add these and cook, stirring often, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Toasted walnuts 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil Run nuts and oil in a blender/food processor until mixture forms a thick paste. 
Add cooked mushroom mixture, and process to desired texture.
Pack into well-oiled ramekins or bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate a few hours or overnight or freeze.

Whisk the eggs with the pate and bleu cheese. Pour into an oven-proof dish which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes. Plate with the berries and savor the mushrooms.

Fish Parmigiana: 279 calories 8 g fat 5 g fiber 31.5 g protein 17.4 g carbs 337 mg Calcium  PB Crunchy and flavorful: a real treat from the Canadian Cheese Board. Doubles or triples easily.

2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour  1 egg white + a little water 3 Tbsp fresh bread crumbs 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated 3 oz firm white fish filets, such as tilapia ¼ cup crushed tomatoes 1 tsp capers lemon zest + basil leaves 1 oz mozzerella cheese, grated or sliced 3 oz green beans

Set the oven at 400 F. Combine flour, salt, and pepper on a plate. Whisk egg white with a little water in a soup plate. Mix bread crumbs and Parmesan on a plate. Roll the fish in the flour, then roll it in the egg white, then roll it in the crumbs/cheese. Lay the fish on a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover your baking dish. Spray the fish with non-sick spray and bake 5-7 minutes. Turn the fish over and bake 5-7 minutes. Combine tomatoes, capers, zest, and basil. Spoon on top of the fish, then top with mozzerella. If you have any remaining crumbs/Parmesan, sprinkle that on the mozzerella. Return the fish to the oven and bake about 5 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden. Plate with the green beans for a delicious night en Italia.

Slow Days: New England 4th of July  

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 Fast Diet 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.

Hot dogs. Hamburgers. Potato Salad. Macaroni Salad. Rich desserts that are Red, White, & Blue. These are typical 4th of July fare all across the country, so it must be all-American, right? No, actually. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and potato salad came to us from German immigrants in the 1800s. Macaroni salad is a combination of Italian and German culinary traditions. Where do you go for an ‘authentic American’ meal for Independence Day? New England, of course. Salmon was very common in New England during the 1600s and 1700s, before the Industrial Revolution dammed the rivers. If you wanted inexpensive protein, salmon was the thing. In early Summer, salmon would return to the rivers, swimming far up-stream to spawn. At the same time, the first peas were available in the gardens. By coincidence, the first new potatoes could be found in the fields. [Potatoes originated in South America, were taken to Spain by Columbus, then to Ireland by Walter Raleigh, then to New Hampshire by Scottish settlers.] Thus, by early July, a fine dinner was available to all and sundry: cooked salmon served with peas and new potatoes.

Coat the salmon fillets with olive oil on a plate, then strew with salt and pepper. Put the shelled peas into cold water, ready to cook. In a bowl, put small new potatoes — preferably with flesh of different colors — salt, pepper, and olive oil to coat. Stir well to cover the potatoes all over with oil. Put the potatoes on a glass pie plate into a 400F. oven and set the timer for 25 minutes. By now the grill is hot. Cook the salmon, undisturbed, for 5 minutes on each side. Turn on the heat under the peas and simmer them uncovered. The peas will be done first, so keep and eye on them. Drain and salt them, cover the pan and let them wait.

And there you have it: a fine meal for early Summer. For a delightful wine paring go to peterspicks.com.

Action of Faial

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

In 1594, Spain ruled the Netherlands and England didn’t like it. This was tied up in the Wars of Religion which resulted from the Protestant Reformation. France was trying not to get involved and Portugal was allied with Spain. Spain was angry with England because England had re-established Protestantism and executed Mary Queen of Scots, a Catholic. England was angry with Spain because Spain was suppressing the Protestants in the Netherlands. Furthermore, each nation wanted to be the dominant world power, on the land and the sea. Years of saber-rattling, clandestine aid to partisans, piracy and privateering came to a head in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, at the Azores. Three English ships met up with one of the largest ships of the Portuguese fleet, the 2000 tonne, 32-gun ‘carrack‘ called Cinco Chagas. Bad weather, low food supplies, and disease had weakened the ability of the of the Portuguese crew to fight, but they out-gunned and out-numbered the English ships. In the waters off the Island of Faial, the four ships met. First, cannon volleys. Then three attempts to board the Cinco Chagas — all repulsed. At last, the English succeeded at boarding the ship, to be faced with fierce hand-to-hand combat. Somehow, the rigging of the carrack caught fire, soon out of control as British snipers prevented fire-fighting. Many Portuguese took to life boats, to be killed like sitting ducks by the English. When the fire reached the powder stores, she blew up, killing 100s of Portuguese and many English. The English salvaged everything they could, amounting to $15-20 billion of silver and gems, and returned home. 600 Portuguese were killed, 60 English were killed or wounded. In the scheme of things, was it worth it? Today, the Azores rise from the sea in isolated splendor: beautiful, peaceful, and fertile.

Azores flavors abound in our menu: from the cheese and hot sauce at breakfast, to the fish and limpets at dinner. Azorean cuisine has evolved over the years, as trade agreements were signed and battles were won and lost. The bounty of the sea and land combined on your plate.

Azorean Queso Egg:  158 calories 8.5 g fat 1 g fiber 10 g protein 10.4 g carbs [9 g Complex] 71 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages. PB GF  Two of the favorite flavors of the Azores combine for this egg dish, and the passionfruit completes the triad.

1 two-oz egg 1.5 tsp Queso Fresco  1 tsp Chorizo Pate  1½ tsp Pimenta do Quejio sauce  2 oz pineapple -OR- ¼ cup blueberries -OR- 1.5 oz banana  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Cream the cheese, chorizo pate, and Pimenta sauce until smooth. Whisk in the egg, then bake in an oven-proof dish or cook in a saute pan. Slice the fruit and sip some Brazilian coffee for a delicious meal. Pass the Pimenta Sauce!

Grouper Grilled with Limpets: 271 calories 5.6 g. fat 3.3 g fiber 40 g protein 18 g carbs 26.4 mg Calcium  PB GF  Grouper is a popular sportfish in the Atlantic Ocean, from the warm Caribbean to the cooler waters of the Azores. Paired with garlic-grilled limpets and a vegetable medley, this is a meal you might find in many Azorean restaurants.

4 oz grouper or cod filet 4 limpets 1 tsp butter 1 large clove garlic 1 oz sweet potato slices 1.5 oz broccoli florets 1.5 oz carrots salt & pepper

Cut the garlic clove in half. Rub the fish on both sides with garlic, to flavor it. Press the garlic and divide into four equal portions. Cut the butter into 4 equal pieces. Put one portion of butter and one portion of garlic in each limpet. Spritz the fish on both sides with cooking spray or brush lightly with olive oil. Put the vegetables on to cook in simmering water. On a grill, put the grouper and cook on one side for 4 minutes. Turn the fish and arrange the limpets on the grill, putting the shells right on the grid. Cook fish and limpets 4-5 minutes longer, until the garlic butter is sizzling and the fish is done. Plate with salted, cooked veggies for a colorful plate. 

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
tomato puree or crushed tomatoesapplesauce or pear
1.5 falafel patty [make in advance] 1.5 Tbsp haggis [make in advance]
blueberries or melon
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

buckwheat crepes/galettes sourdough rye bread + fresh spinach
Mediterranean Vegetables  + mozzarellawhipped cream cheese + smoked salmon
chèvre cheese + chicken breasttomato + hard-boiled egg
Herbes de Provence or fresh herbsstrawberries
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Slow Days: Carbonara Pasta

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 Fast Diet 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.

There is an idea that this dish was created in Rome during the 1940s with ingredients from American GIs, since ‘bacon n eggs’ are so American. Not so, says Lynne Rossetto Kasper. Rather, it is traditional food of country men who go into the woods for days on end to burn charcoal in the hills outside of Rome. Since that activity involves flat-out work during days of living rough, there was a need for a meal that was quick to prepare from portable ingredients: dried ham, pasta, Romano cheese. Thus this is the pasta of il carbonaio, the charcoal maker. I’ve tried recipes with more ingredients that claimed to be authentic, but this is the dish that I will prepare again and again.

Grated cheese, egg, pasta, pancetta, flat green beans. These ingredients serve two [2] people.
Sv 8Sv 2
2 Tsp EVOO
6 thin slices pancetta
½ tsp EVOO 1½ slices pancettaCut meat into ¼“ strips. Heat oil and pancetta over medium, and cook until meat is crisp but not burnt. Take off heat, cover, set aside.
4 two-oz eggs
2 tsp grated Romano salt + pepper
1 two-oz egg
1 tsp grated Romano cheese salt + pepper
Grate the cheese to produce 4 oz [for 8 servings] or 1 oz [for 2 people]. Remove a bit for now and save the rest. Beat cheese into eggs, and add seasonings.
Boiling salted water
1# spaghetti
Boiling salted water 4oz wh-wh spaghettiCook pasta until tender but undercooked. Drain into a bowl and measure ¼ cup of pasta water.
¼ c pasta water cooked pancetta3 Tbsp pasta water cooked pancettaAdd pasta water to the pancetta in its pan and reheat, scraping up the brown glaze from the bottom.
Cooked pastaCooked pastaAdd cooked pasta to pan and stir to combine.
Beaten eggs
ground black pepper
Beaten eggs ground black pepperStir eggs into the pan until eggs are cooked and clinging to the pasta. Season with lots of pepper.
Scant 4 oz. RomanoScant 1 oz RomanoSprinkle with cheese and stir to combine. Plate, serve.
Delicious when served with flat green beans of the variety called Roma or Romano. Some crusty whole-grain bread completes the meal.

Saint Mark

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Zocido who is now Following.

Mark [or is it John Mark??] was a very young man when he met and began to follow Jesus. He was not in the inner circle of Apostles, but he was one of the group of people who followed the Rabbi [teacher] from place to place to hear him speak and to see what miracles might be performed. Perhaps he is the young man described as running away when Jesus was captured, Mark 14:51-52. Mark was one of the ’70 disciples’ who were sent out to preach after Pentecost. While he traveled with Peter, he heard Peter’s account of being one of the Apostles from the start. Mark eventually wrote these down in what became the Gospel According to Mark, the 2nd book of the New Testament. Throughout the book, hints are given as to who Jesus really is — but most of the Apostles don’t get it, except for Peter, sometimes. Mark leaves us hanging until the end of the book, where he details the death and resurrection of Jesus. Now the common reader can understand the full story, and that was Mark’s goal. Mark went to Alexandria, Egypt, where he became the bishop. The Coptic Christians trace their origin to him. Centuries after his death, merchants from Venice went to ‘liberate’ his remains. Fearful that the Muslim rulers of the region would not permit the export of the saint’s skeleton, the merchants hid the bones in baskets and covered them with a top layer of pork.

They knew that the Muslims would not touch the ‘unclean’ meat — and it worked! The relics went to Venice and Saint Mark’s Cathedral is their resting place. A mosaic on the front of the church depicts the daring ruse.

The Mediterranean region was ruled by Romans, so breakfast will have ingredients from modern Italy. For dinner, typical foods and flavors of the area and of the time.

Pizza Bake:  130 calories 6.5 g fat 1.5 g fiber 9.4 g protein 8.4 g carbs 93.7 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB GF  Forget the cold slice, congealed on a greasy box…. pizza for breakfast just got healthier and more delicious. 

One 2-oz egg salt + pepper to taste 2 Tbsp crushed tomatoes 1 thin slice pepperoni, minced ¼ oz mozzarella cheese, grated ½ oz bell pepper, chopped large pinch Italian herbs 1.5 oz pear OR ¼ cup blueberries Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories] Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [70 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Set the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. Prepare your beverages. Poach the bell pepper in a little water in the microwave for 30 seconds. Put the cheese, pepperoni, and bell pepper in a lightly-spritzed ramekin. Whisk the egg with the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and herbs, then pour into the ramekin. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Pour the beverages, portion the fruit, and enjoy a healthy taste of pizza for breakfast.

Meze Meal: 297 calories 6 g fat 6 g fiber 21.5 g protein 22 g carb 174 mg Calcium  PB GF ‘Meze’ is the Greek equivalent of Spanish Tapas. Small servings chosen from multiple small plates make it easy to eat on a hot Mediterranean night. Well, we don’t live on a vast inland sea, but we’ll take good low calorie, low fat, delicious food where ever we can find it. There are lots of good recipes in the book Meze by Rosemary Barron.

¼ cup white beans ½ Tbsp capers ½ oz marinated mushrooms 2½ oz tomato, cubed generous pinch Greek oregano 2 oz cooked shrimp OR 1-1/4 oz cooked chicken 1 oz mozzerella cheese -OR- 1 oz feta 1½ oz lemon-marinated carrots   marinade: 1 tsp olive oil + 1 tsp lemon juice + pinch of granulated garlic + pinch oregano

Combine the white beans with the capers in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine the tomatoes and the oregano with salt. Slice the carrots into small logs or coins and cook until tender. Drain and combine with the marinade in a small jar with a lid. Shake well, remove the lid and let the carrots cool in the marinade. Attend to the protein — seafood or chicken — and arrange on serving plate. Drain the marinade from the jar and pour it over the shrimp/chicken, and mix some with the white beans. Slice or cube the cheese. Plate the ingredients to please the eye. Look at photos of the Aegean Sea….

Luther Burbank

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.

To say that Luther Burbank was a plant-breeder would be an understatement. In his career, he developed 800 different plant varieties!! He was born on a farm in Massachusetts on March 7, 1849. As a child, he enjoyed working with his mother in the garden. He bought a small farm where he began to cross-breed plants. This means taking the pollen from one plant and using it to fertilize another plant. If one can control and limit this fertilization, then one can control the characteristics of the resultant plants. Several generations of cross-breeding can lead to plants that are quite different from the originals. Early on, a new plants was the Burbank Potato. One of its virtues was that it was resistant to the Blight which had caused the Irish Potato Famine. He sold the rights to it and moved to land in Santa Rosa, California. There he began breeding in earnest. Vegetables, flowers, grains, grasses, fruits, cactus — all were subjects for investigation. He was not a scientific man, being a bit loosey-goosey about record-keeping. Burbank was about the what-ifs and the results. And he got results: His most famous flower is the Shasta Daisy. His most famous fruit is the plumcot. And his most successful vegetable of all is the Russet Burbank Potato which is the chosen variety for McDonald’s french fries. Don’t blame Luther Burbank if they cause you to gain weight — that one is on you!

What better to eat to celebrate Luther Burbank than plants?! Eat them at breakfast, eat them at dinner — good to eat and good for you.

Ratatouille-Egg Toast 301 cal 6 g fat 4 g fiber 17 g protein 31.4 g carbs 212.4 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 bread  Ratatouille, the French vegetable stew, is great with eggs for breakfast. And you can prepare it year-round.

1 piece 70-cal multi-grain bread [Dave’s Killer Bread is great] ¼ cup Mediterranean Vegetables, drained through a sieve  one 2-oz egg Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories] Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]   

Toast the bread. Warm the vegetables briefly and spoon onto the toast. Fry the egg using a non-stick or cast iron pan and put the egg on top of the vegetables on the toast. Pour the beverages and you have a fine breakfast as well as a head-start on your 5 servings of vegetables for the day.

Zucchini Fritatta: 280 cal 13 g fat 3.5 g fiber 20.5 g protein 14.6 g carb 296 mg Calcium  GF PB  Inspired by a recipe in Fresh Ways with Vegetables, part of a Time-Life series. This is really delicious and can be prepared any time of year.  HINT: serves two, so save half for lunches or dine with a friend. 

2 two-oz eggs + 2 egg whites ¼ cup low-fat ricotta chesse thyme, salt, pepper to taste 3 oz mushrooms, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed ¼ c. onion, chopped ½ pound zucchini, grated 1 tsp lemon juice 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated 1½ oz mozzerella cheese, grated

Whisk eggs, ricotta, salt, pepper, and thyme together. Heat the broiler. Cook the mushrooms, garlic, and onion in an oven-safe pan for 2-3 minutes. Add zucchini and lemon juice and cook about 5 minutes, until vegetables are soft and all the liquid has evaporated. Turn the heat down to medium and stir in the Parmesan. Smooth the surface of the vegetables in the pan and pour in the egg/ricotta mixture. [OR: spritz two 8” cast iron pans with non-stick spray. Divide the zucchini mixture between the 2 pans, spreading it out and smoothing it down. Pour 100 ml of the egg mixture into each pan, tilting it to distribute the egg evenly.] Cook on the stove-top for 1 minute. Sprinkle with mozzerella and put under the broiler for 2-3 minutes. Cut in half, if cooking in one pan. Save that half for tomorrow or serve proudly to your dinner companion.

Cem

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.

On February 3, 1451, Mehmet II, called the Conquerer, was crowned Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. This is the start of a tale in my family, involving palace intrigue, star-crossed lovers, and wars of religion. Mehmet had two sons and each was given a governorship in his empire. Some advisors in the government had the understanding that the younger brother, Cem Sultan, was the favorite and heir to the throne. When Mehmet died, various courtiers schemed for Cem to rule while others worked for his half-brother Bayezid Sultan. Both had armies and backers, but Cem lost and fled to the protection of Christian knights in Greece. With the hope of trading the prince for concessions in Jerusalem or Istanbul, the knights held Cem hostage and shipped him to France for safe-keeping. He was treated well, according to his noble rank, circulated among society, and nicknamed Zizim. Lightning struck when he met the debutante 16-yr old daughter of a local lord. Philippine de Sassanage was a woman of such remarkable beauty that all the young men wooed her, including Cem. According to family lore, their relationship resulted in a pregnancy. Of course her parents would not permit her to marry a Muslim, so Phillippine was married to another man. [Zizim was moved to Italy.] She named her son Arnulf le Turque, later called le Turk or de Turk. Arnulf did well for himself and his family prospered. His son became mayor of Nimes, but his grandson’s family became Huguenots, followers of the Protestant Calvin, and they removed to the Rhineland. Eventually, following the invitation by Queen Anne to move to North America, the family moved to New York Colony, then to Pennsylvania Colony. There de Turks married a de Harcourt [my family] and also married with the Berthelots [my family]. Thus it is that I am descended from a Turkish Prince. What became of Zizim? In Italy he was a big hit, due to his good looks and exotic background. He was immortalized by artists and joined the retinue of Charles VIII of France in an offensive against Naples. He died in 1495 [pneumonia? stomach flu? poisoning?] and was buried in Turkey with full honors.

Our foods are Turkish, as befits our topic. The breakfast is remarkably good, but then so is the dinner! For both, you will need Gozleme Bread, the recipe for which you will find below. It works well to prepare the dough the night before, then wrap it to keep it fresh. For the breakfast, use 1.6 oz of the dough per serving, roll it out and cook it to go with the breakfast. Save the rest of the dough, uncooked and wrapped well to prevent drying out, to use later in the day to prepare the dinner. That will work very well.

Cilbir:  137 calories 5 g fat 1 g fiber 11.4 g protein 11.6 g carbs 194 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the meal only, not the optional beverages. This is a very popular breakfast in Turkey and once you taste it, you will see why. Usually I distain a runny egg, but I made an exception for this delicious breakfast. What flavor! [it is pronounced ‘chil-bir’]

1 two-oz eggsPoach 3 minutes in simmering water and remove.
¼ cup plain yogurt
½ Tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dried dill
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/8 tsp salt & pinch black pepper 1/8 tsp paprika
Combine yogurt and seasonings and spread it equally in a shallow bowl or soup plate. TIP: I did this the night before and left it covered on the counter to blend the flavors and so the yogurt wouldn’t be too cold. NB: I also prepared the gozlema bread the night before.
¼ tsp Pul biber OR ¼ tsp Aleppo pepper 1.6 oz gozleme** bread or pide bread Serve the eggs on top of the yogurt and sprinkle the pepper over the egg. Add bread to the bowl.
Optional hot beverageblackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 
Optional cold beverageOptional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

**Gozlema Bread makes six 1.6 oz flat-breads or use larger amounts of dough for filled Gozlemas  1 of 6 sv = 26 calories 0 g fat 1 g fiber 1.4 g protein 5 g carbs 20 mg Calcium

1¼ c white whole wheat flour ½ tsp saltMix in a 1-Qt-sized bowl. 
¼ c water ¼ c plain yogurtCombine yogurt/water and stir into the flour until well-combined. Add a bit more water if too dry.
On a floured surface, knead ~3 mins, until smooth and elastic. Cover and let sit for a few mins on the counter OR overnight in a cool place.
Divide into sizes for your recipe. Roll on a floured surface into flat breads. Cook on an oil-sprayed skillet 3-4 mins per side until turning brown in spots.

Lamb Gozleme: 200 calories 9 g fat 3 g fiber 10.5 g protein 22 g carbs 101 mg Calcium  PB This Turkish dish is just the thing when you want something deliciously different. HINT: Serves 2 [two]. The other portion would be a fine lunch on a Slow Day. The recipe doubles easily. The directions are for two large triangles of gozleme. If you prefer, cut the dough into four portions and procede accordingly.

1¼ c flour + ½ tsp salt ¼ c water ¼ c plain yogurtDOUGH: Mix flour + salt in large bowl. Combine yogurt/water and stir in until well-mixed. Add a bit more water if too dry. On a floured surface, knead ~3 mins, until smooth and elastic. Cover and let sit.
½ tsp Olive Oil 1 cup onion 1 clove garlic
¼ pound/~ ¾ c. ground lamb
Chop the onion and mince the garlic. Mince the lamb. Saute onion in oil over medium heat 3-4 minsuntil onion is soft. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.Add lamb and cook while breaking up into chunks for ~5 minutes.= LAMB MIXTURE, beginning
1 tsp tom puree
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp pepper + ¼ tsp salt ½ tsp paprika 1 tsp ground cumin
3 oz fresh spinach
Chop the spinach.Add tomato puree and spices to the pan.Add spinach. Cook and stir for a few minutes.Set aside to cool for a bit.Divide into 2 [or 4] bowls.= LAMB MIXTURE, completed
¼ c fresh mint leaves 1 scallion, sliced ¼ c fresh parsley
¼ c feta
½ c tomato
Chop the mint and parsley. Slice the scallion into ¼-inch pieces. Cube or crumble the feta. Dice the tomato. Divide these ingredients between 2 [or 4] bowls – not same as above. = FRESH INGREDIENTS
Divide dough in 2 [or 4] parts. Roll dough into 9 or 10” squares [or 5” squares]. Spread ¼ c. [or 1/8 c.] of lamb mixture over each. Top with fresh ingredients. Fold over dough to form a triangle and crimp edges to seal.
olives
Lemon wedges
Spray a large skillet/griddle with non-stick spray. Cook 3-4 mins/side until golden brown and crisp. Cut each large piece in half and serve with olives and lemons for squeezing.

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

1 two-oz eggreduced-fat cottage cheese
reduced fat ricotta cheesefat-free French Vanilla yogurt
peach + blackberries + mushroomsclementine
watercress sauceblack currants or blueberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

9 raw East Coast oysters, if serving one chicken breast meat, cooked + carrots
chèvre cheese + saltine crackersrich chicken broth
lettuce + olive oil + fresh herbscelery + parsnips
flavored vinegarwide egg noodles + parsley
Sparkling wine, 5 oz per personSparkling water