Leonardo: 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 laborsettadelladonne who is now Following.

Leonardo da Vinci was a man of many talents. His paintings are legendary, but we can also call him an architect. It is rare for a painter to practice architecture — brushes and tints do not seem compatible with bricks and mortar. In the Renaissance, people were more free to experiment, and Leonardo proclaimed that architecture was art. What buildings did he design and build, you ask? Well, he designed a lot of them — in his sketchbooks. He was fascinated with symmetry, which appealed to his mathematical brain, and with domes and spiral staircases. [He liked spiral stairways for their aesthetic appeal, for the engineering challenge, and because of the lack of corners. In the cities he knew, men would use any available corner as a urinal.] One of his most ambitious imaginings is his ‘ideal city,’ which he drew towards the end of the 1400s. It was his reaction to the crowded warrens of medieval cities where houses were dark and airless and street filth bred disease. He saw a double-decker city: the top half, for the wealthy, had public spaces and pedestrian-only streets. The lower layer, supported by colonnades and equipped with lots of light from above, was for the working class [OK. Do we now label him class-ist? Yeah, guess so.] There was housing for people and work animals; even wider streets; and flowing canals to facilitate the delivery of goods to workshops and for sanitation. Da Vinci was not the inventor of ‘urban planning,’ but he took it to new heights. In the 500 years since he designed it, his city has informed efforts at improving the design of cities. While living in France as the art and engineering guru for King Francois I, Da Vinci was in the process of designing the ‘ideal’ palace complex for the king in Romorantin when the artist died on May 2, 1519.

The ideal city was light and airy with contrasting shadows to lead the eye into the distance. Our foods today are light in tone, with some color accents. Like the redesigned city, today’s foods will promote good health. Da Vinci did not eat meat, so we won’t either.

Bleu Cheese Bake: 136 calories 7 g fat 1.4 g fiber 9.5 g protein 8.5 g carbs [8 g Complex] 77.5 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beveragesPB GF  You’ll go ga-ga over these flavors!

1 two-oz egg ¼ oz bleu cheese, crumbly rather than creamy 1 Tbsp fat-free cottage cheese, drained 2 oz applesauce, unsweetened, with 2-3 raspberries mixed into it  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 

Mash the cheeses together with a fork and whisk in the egg. Bake in a lightly-spritzed ramekin at 350 degrees until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. Dish up the applesauce and add the raspberries. Pour the smoothie, pour your hot beverage, and have a delightful day.

White Fish Baked with cheese: 145 calories 6 g fat 0 g fiber 33 g protein 0.2 g carb 129 mg Calcium NB: These food values are for the fish and cheese only.  PB GF  Another winner from the Fast Diet book. There are those who say that one never serves fish with cheese….and this recipe proves them to be wrong.

6 oz firm white fish fillets such as haddock or cod ½ oz cheddar cheese, grated   Your choice of vegetables to add up to 125 calories: ½ cup pickled beets [74 calories] 3 oz green beans [26 calories] ½ cup peas [62 calories] ½ cup carrot coins [12 calories] 3 oz broccoli florets [30 calories] 2 oz parsnip, sliced as coins [42 calories] 1 cups salad greens + ½ tsp lemon juice + 1 tsp olive oil [48 calories] 3 oz tomatoes [15 calories]

Heat the oven to 400 F. Put the fish in an oven-proof dish which has been lightly smeared with olive oil. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables of your choice. How easy it is to be healthy!

St Sebastian

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.

When I was a child, my grandmother’s neighbor had a very Victorian living room. On a pedestal in the corner was a statue of a writhing man, tied to a pillar and studded with arrows. My sister and I couldn’t take our eyes off of it, which worried our mother. It was, of course, Saint Sebastian. His plight was a popular topic for artists. Born in Narbonne, France, his legend says that he joined the Roman Army so he could help Christians who were being persecuted for their faith. When he was discovered doing that, he was shot full of arrows — but he survived, nursed back to health by Saint Irene. When he continued to defy the Romans, he was at last killed for real and not with arrows. The earliest mention of him as a martyr is in 350 CE, only 62 years after his death. Sebastian in art proliferated in the 14th century for several reasons. a] depicting him was an approved way for artists to sculpt or paint the nude male body; b] his recovery from near-death was considered encouraging for Plague victims; c] art-buying patrons became interested in Greek and Roman art which was full of nudes; d] since people didn’t see much nudity, they flocked to see St Sebastian — so much so that in 1592, the Pope cracked down on nudity in art, including poor Sebastian. [One painting of him was said to cause women to sin and men to get certain ideas which the Church frowned upon.] Maybe Sebastian is due for a make-over and revival.

Since the saint was born in southern France, home of Roquefort cheese, our breakfast features bleu cheese. Since Sebastian died pierced with arrows, we will be perverse and eat kabobs for dinner. His Feast Day is January 20.

Bleu Cheese ScrOmelette: 166 calories 10.5 g fat 0.6 g fiber  13 g protein 7 g carbs [5 g Complex] 106 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  GF PB  Bleu cheese is delightful in eggs – do try it this week.

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.   3/8 oz bleu cheese 1 Tbsp fat-free cottage cheese 3 oz applesauce, unsweetened   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 3 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [44 calories]

Mash the cheeses together with a fork or the back of a spoon. Whisk the eggs and put into a hot pan spritzed with cooking spray. Once the bottom of the eggs are set, dab on the cheese, fold and plate. Portion the applesauce, brew beverage, blend the smoothie or take it from the ‘fridge and shake it before serving. Mmm-yummy!

Lamb Kabobs: 227 calories 6 g fat 5 g fiber 22 g protein 31.4 g Carbs 41 mg Calcium   PB GF  This is so easy and so perfect for summer. It can be prepared in the cold of winter, if you need some summer thoughts and memories

3 oz lamb leg in cubes 1 Tbsp tomato juice OR water granulated garlic + crumbled rosemary 1.5 oz red bell pepper, in 1½” chunks 1.5 oz zucchini, sliced ¾” thick, then cut in quarters 1 oz red onion, cut in chunks ¾ cup Corn-Tomato Salsa***  

***Corn-Tomato Salsa  1.5 cups 1 cup corn kernels 1 cup diced tomato 2 Tbsp minced red bell pepper 2 Tbsp diced red onion 2 Tbsp cider vinegar 1/8 tsp dry mustard 1/8 tsp turmeric ¼ tsp sugar 2 dashes ground cumin 

Combine the tomato juice, garlic, and rosemary with the lamb. Stir to coat and set aside to marinate for 30-60 minutes. Prepare the vegetables and Corn Salsa while the meat sits. Impale the vegetables and lamb chunks on skewers, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan [indoors] or an outdoor grill and cook the kabobs on all sides. The meat will brown and the vegetables will begin to char a bit. Plate with the salsa for a very colorful meal.

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

1 two-oz egg + cooked spinach1 two-oz eggs 
cottage cheese + scallion + nutmegkorma curry sauce
Manchego or Cheddar cheese broccoli
garlic powder + strawberriesstrawberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Tomatoes + zucchini + Parmesan 6 oz whole wheat pizza dough, homemade or purchased
snow peas or sugar snap peascepe mushrooms, fresh or reconstituted + Parmesan
olive oil + white mushroomscooked spinach + crushed tomatoes
whole wheat small pasta shellsprosciutto + parsley + side salad with beets & cukes
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Perihelion  

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 okhueleigbematilda who is now Following.

The Earth orbits the Sun. This scientific theory, first proved by Copernicus in 1543, has been a fact since it was confirmed by Galileo in 1610. Since the time of Aristotle, it was thought that the shape of any orbit was a perfect circle because circles-are-a-perfect-shape-and-nature-is-perfect. This mantra was practically holy writ for almost 2000 years. Then in 1609, Kepler demonstrated that all the planets orbit the sun in orbits that are elliptical in shape. Society likes things to be set in stone, but Science keeps an open mind and changes its mind when new facts come along. And so we know that the Earth orbits the Sun in an oval orbit. On January 3rd, the Earth is at Perihelion — from the latin for ” the closest point in its orbit to the Sun.” This always came as a surprise to my Earth Science students, who thought that Summer was when the Earth was closer to the Sun and therefore hotter. Nope. At an average of 93 million miles from our star, the small distance change due to our elliptical orbit makes no difference in the Earth’s temperature. We seem to be taking care of that ourselves. And we each need to work harder at not making the Earth any warmer.

Our meals come from warmer climates just for the fun of it, not because a position at Perihelion causes the Earth to be warmer.

Goan Shrimp Bake: 126 calories 5.5 g fat 1 g fiber 12.6 g protein 6.6 g carbs 50 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  A breakfast with the flavors of Goa. Dear Husband is a big fan.

One 2-oz egg ¼ cup water 1½ tsp tomato paste ¼ tsp chili powder ¼ tsp turmeric powder 0.9 oz shrimp, cut in roughly ¼” slices 1 Tbsp scallion, chopped ¼ c cilantro, chopped 1 oz mango or 2 oz strawberries   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]

Thaw and peel the shrimp, and cut into roughly ¼” slices. Put the water, tomato paste and spices into a small pan. Simmer until the liquid is hot and thicker. Turn heat way down and add the shrimp. Cook until it is opaque, then take off the heat and add the cilantro and scallion. HINT: I did this the night before.  Scrape the shrimp mixture into a baking dish. Whisk the egg and pour into the baking dish. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until the eggs are set and there is no liquid when you cut into it. Plate with the fruit and wow! Such a delicious breakfast.

Taiwanese-Style Seafood Pancakes: each serving: 298 calories 11 g fat 1.6 g fiber 20 g protein 21.5 g carbs 141 mg Calcium  PB This recipe is taken from Wok On by Ching He Huang  HINT: This is enough for two [2] dinner pancakes. Invite a fellow Faster or cut recipe in half.  Note to purists: the original recipe does not call for wheat flour, let alone whole wheat flour. But I am into nutrition and insist that there be some fiber and complex carbs in my food, hence the heretical addition.

2 Tbsp of hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp of oyster sauce
2 Tbsp red sriracha
Combine the ingredients for a sweet-hot sauce. = 6 Tbsp1½ Tbsp = 20 calories 0.3 g fat 0.2 g fiber 0.3 g protein 4.5 g carbs 5.5 mg Calcium 
1/3c/ 20g potato flour or flakes  ¼c/ 30g white whole wheat flour 2 Tbsp/ 14g cornstarch  180ml/ 6oz/180g cold water Mix the dry ingredients with the water and stir to combine. Let sit to wet the ingredients, then stir again, adding more water if batter is too stiff. Batter should have the consistancy of milk so it will flow well in the pan. Divide the batter into 2 equal portions
2 spring onions
½ tsp crushed red pepper
Cut scallions into a fine dice.Add cut scallions and crushed pepper to the portions of batter above. Stir.
75g/ 2oz mixed seafood: mussels/shrimp/fish/squid  Cut the seafood into pieces less than ½” in size. Divide the combination into 2 equal portions
2 eggs
50g/ 2oz pak choi 
Beat eggs to break them up. Slice pak choi thinly across the leaves. Divide eggs and greens equally between 2 bowls.
½ tsp light sesame oil cooking oil spray
one portion of seafood mixture one portion of batter one portion egg-greens mixture
Heat a flat-bottomed wok or heavy saute pan over medium heat. Add oil, swirl it around to distribute, then spray with cooking oil. Add mixed seafood and fry for a few seconds.  Add the flour batter, and tip pan to distribute. Immediately add the egg-greens. Cook 60 secs until starting to brown, flip and cook on the other side until starting to brown. Put on a plate and cover with a tea towel.
½ tsp light sesame oil
cooking oil spray
one portion of seafood mixture
one portion of batter
one portion egg-greens mixture
Make the second ‘pancake’ in the same way, using the remaining ingredients. 



drizzle with 1½ Tbsp hot sauce per serving

Feast of Saint Lucy

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 VanityHealthClub who is now Following.

The Feast of St Lucy is celebrated in Sicily, Lucy’s country of birth and martyrdom, but it is a really big deal in Sweden where the story takes a different turn. I first encountered this tale while reading the encyclopedia in 6th grade. During the Middle Ages, the region of Varmland, Sweden was experiencing a terrible famine. Crops had been poor the previous summer and it was now winter. Grain stores had run out and there was no bread. A young girl went out into the cold, starry pre-dawn darkness. Across the snowy fields she walked to the shore of Lake Vännern. She saw a light in the distance, and it grew brighter. A boat was coming toward her — its sole occupant, a woman standing in a white dress with a red sash, her head surrounded by stars in the sky. When the boat landed, the woman showed the girl that the boat was filled with bread that she had brought for the people. The girl took some bread for her parents and ran back to the village to tell people what she saw. When the villagers arrived at the boat, the woman was gone, but the bread was enough to keep them alive. They all agreed that it must have been a miracle wrought by Saint Lucy. Since then, on December 13 [which prior to calendar reform was the shortest day of the year] the eldest girl of a Swedish family wakes up early to take her parents sweet bread and coffee for breakfast. She might wear a white gown and have a crown of candles in her hair. Towns and churches will choose an official Saint Lucy for municipal celebrations. From Mallorca to Minnesota to Malmo, Lucy will appear to bring light and cheer to a dark season.

The Scandinavians are possibly the inventors of smoked salmon, so it is fitting to enjoy it with our breakfast. Saint Lucy is also a famous saint in Italy, thus our dinner will be from there.

Powder Mill Scramble: 141 calories 8.5 g fat 1 g fiber 11 g protein 6 g carb [5.6 g Complex] 50 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF  This recipe is from Jerry Willis’ “Powder Mill Pond Restaurant” where it was a favorite. Alas, that restaurant is not more, but you can enjoy this at home.

1½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week  ½ oz smoked salmon ½ oz/ 2 Tbsp sliced scallion greens one clementine OR 2 oz melon  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 caloriesOptional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Whisk the eggs [salt and pepper may not be needed depending on the seasoning of your salmon]. Pour into a pan which has been sprayed briefly with cooking spray. Before the eggs set, add the salmon and scallions. Scramble to taste. Prepare your optional beverage. Plate with fruit of choice.

Pasta with Puttanesca Sauce: 265 calories 5.5 g fat 8 g fiber 10.4 g protein 42 g carbs [~30 g Complex] 196 mg Calcium   PB  This rich sauce with the wholesome goodness of whole wheat pasta makes for a delicious meal. And it is so simple. Don’t cut corners: you need the whole-grain pasta for the protein and fiber of the meal.

1½ oz whole wheat pasta ½ cup puttanesca sauce 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese 2 oz green beans

Cook the pasta less time than the package directs, so it will be al dente [having a little white in the center when you bite into it]. Drain the pasta and add the sauce to the pan. The pasta will absorb the sauce while they both warm together. Plate with the beans and top with the cheese.

Comparing Plans: Plant-Based Diet

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.

What is a Plant-Based Diet? Some say it is the healthiest way to eat. Close to the ground, low on the trophic scale, this way of eating does not mean that you become a vegan or vegetarian. One way to picture it is that any meal, as well as an average of meals for a week, features more plant products than animal products. When I look at a recipe to decide if I can code it “PB” [meaning plant-based], I consider the mass [‘weight’ to you non-science types] of the animal ingredients compared to the plant ingredients. If all the plants out-mass the meat/eggs/fish, then I’ll call it plant-based. You might wonder if you should include some of the new meat-substitutes for this diet. I’d say no: some of them are very high in fat. One way to get more plants into your diet is to challenge yourself to 30-Per-Week. To see how well this way of eating parallels the Fast Diet, view the chart. There are many PB meals in the Archives.

Is this food allowed on this diet…Plant-based On Fast Days
Fatty Animal protein: beef, lamb, porkNoYes
Lean Animal protein: chicken, turkey~2 sv/weekYes, preferred
Eggs Up to 3/ week Yes 
Beer, wine, cocktailsWine, maybeOn Slow Days
Grains, starches: rice, wheat products, pasta, cereal grains Yesin moderation
Nuts + seedsYes in moderation
Beans, legumes: peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeasYesYes 
Seafood protein, especially with Omega-3 fats~2 sv/weekYes 
Apples, melons, pears, all other fruitsYesYes 
BerriesYes Yes 
Leafy green vegetables: spinach, chard, kale, lettuceYesYes 
Dairy: Cheese, milk, yogurt A few times/weekSome 
Vegetable oils: olive, canolaIn moderationin moderation
Animal fat: butterNo in moderation
Root vegetables: beets, sweet potatoes, carrotsYesYes 
Other vegetables: onions, tomatoes, peppersYesYes 
Fat Not muchNo 
Protein plant-basedYes. lots 
Higher fiberYes Yes
Daily Carb intakeNot a factorKeep it low
Whole grains Yes Yes
Simple carbs: cookies, pastries, cake, bread, processed foodsNONot 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

Our plant-based breakfast has only 1.5 eggs [that’s 2.7 oz — well within the limit] and as much vegetables and fruit as egg. The dinner has a ‘garnish’ of meat and many-times-more vegetables and rice. Both recipes are a good introduction to a diet of less meat and more vegetables.

Basquaise Sauce ScrOmelette: 153 calories 8.4 g fat 1.5 g fiber 10 g protein 8 g carbs [7 g Complex] 50 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF  Basquaise Sauce takes eggs to a new level and it is so easy to use if you already have a batch in the refrigerator or freezer.

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.   2 rounded Tablespoons Basquaise Sauce  1 oz pear OR 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]

Heat a non-stick saute pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper to taste and 1 Tbsp of the Basquaise Sauce. Pour into the pan. As the eggs just begin to set, spread remaining Basquaise Sauce over the egg. Leave the omelette flat or fold and continue cooking to your liking. Plate with the fruit and serve the beverage of your choice. Have a spicy day.

Tandoori Chicken and Vegetables: 265 calories 5 g fat 9 g fiber 20 g protein 32.6 g carbs 99.5 mg Calcium PB GF  TIP: You can buy jars of tandoori sauce in most supermarkets. Be sure it does not contain corn syrup or sweeteners. Aim for 70-80 calories/quarter cup

2 oz chicken, cooked or raw ½ cup eggplant, cubed 2 oz broccoli florets 2 oz bell peppers, cut in chunks 2 oz zucchini, sliced or cubed  2 oz carrots, sliced ¼” thick or use ‘baby carrots’ cut in quarters ¼ cup brown rice, cooked ¼ c tandoori sauce, store-bought 2 Tbsp plain, non-fat yogurt

Cook the vegetables together in a little water until they are tender. Add the chicken and the sauce. Warm it all. If the chicken is raw, be sure to cook it through. Either stir the yogurt into the sauce or serve it atop the meal. Plate the brown rice [warm it if cold] and serve the chicken and vegetables on top. Perfect for eating on a hot night or a cold one.

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

1.5 two-oz eggs70-calorie whole-grain bread 
bell pepper + black olivessmoked salmon + whipped cream cheese
goat cheese/chèvre cucumber or Swedish Cucumber Salad
strawberriesstrawberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

Mediterranean Vegetables https://wordpress.com/post/fastingme.com/10035 cold roast beef + pickled beets
garbanzo beans/chickpeascornichons or dill pickles
shrimpDijon mustard
Camargue red ricesourdough rye bread
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Anne de Bretagne

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.

Brittany/Bretagne has long been a land apart. In the Neolithic, people constructed menhirs and the remarkable field of Standing Stones at Carnac. Once, it was called Armorica — a name that shows up in the North-Central coast being called “Cotes d’Armor.” Despite the 56 BCE Roman invasion, the native people still clung to their local language. Next came Celtic people from England, displaced by the incoming Angles and Saxons from Germany. This solidified the affinity between the Bretons and their neighbors across the English Channel in Cornwall — some place-names and the languages are similar. The Frankish Empire rolled over the land, creating the early nation of France, but as the centuries turned, Bretons had their own government, language, coinage, and were exempted from the onerous Salt Tax because they harvested that precious commodity near Guerande. Perhaps this is why the Bretons prefer their butter to be salted. Brittany was a [mostly] independent Duchy from the 900s, governed by an hereditary nobility. Until 1514. The only heir to Duke Francois II was his daughter Anne de Bretagne. She had been engaged many times, but now the duchy was in the hands of a 14-year-old girl, making her a pawn in the game of thrones. The prior King of France had declared during negotiations with her father that the French king should have a say in whom Anne married. So King Charles VIII married her himself in 1491, when she was 15 and he was 20. They were happy together, but had no surviving children at the time of his death in 1498. Anne, age 22, returned to Brittany as Duchess, but of course she had to marry again. The next king of France was her cousin-in-law, Louis XII, which made Anne Queen of France for the second time. Their’s was also a happy union, producing two daughters. Anne was an accomplished administrator, patroness of the arts, and an avid reader. She scribed and read official documents to her unlettered husbands. Had she lived past the complication of her last childbirth in 1514, who knows what mark she would have made in history. Upon her death, her daughter Claude married the future king, Francois I, forever joining Brittany to the nation of France.

Every Breton will tell you that the ‘crepe’ began in Brittany — a fact hotly disputed in Normandy. In Brittany itself, there is discord about the name: in the North and West of the region, they are called ‘galettes,’ while everywhere else they are ‘crepes.’ I use galette to designate the savory ones made of buckwheat, whereas I call the sweet dessert ones ‘crepes.’ Both our breakfast and our dinner today involve galettes. Not at all difficult to prepare at home.

Egg-Mushroom Galette/Crepe: 153 calories 6 g fat 2 g fiber 9 g protein 17 g carbs [11.3 g Complex] 39 mg Calcium NB: The food values given above are for the egg crepe and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB  This is yummy and very filling. The eggs are creamy, the mushrooms are earthy, and the crepe is nutty. 

1 galette/savory crepe   one 2-oz egg  1 oz mushrooms, chopped  1 Tbsp chives, chopped 1 tsp thyme generous dash of granulated garlic 1 oz raspberry OR strawberry  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Warm the crepe. Spritz the non-stick saute pan with oil or spray and gently cook the mushrooms. Put the chives, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper in with the egg and beat it up. Scramble lightly with the mushrooms, keeping the eggs moist. Turn eggs out on the crepe and fold the galette over the egg. Plate the fruit. Sip your beverages and have a very fine day.

Leek & Bacon Galettes: 260 calories 5.5 g fat 4.6 g fiber 10 g protein 37 g carbs 114 mg Calcium   PB  Joanne Harris writes in her French Market cookbook about buying these at a market stall in France. Now you can make them at home.  NB: It is easier/quicker if you prepare the galettes/crepes in advance.

This is really yummy!

2 buckwheat galettes/crepes   ½ cup Leek & Bacon Filling ** 2 oz fresh tomato, diced and seasoned with basil or thyme + salt

**Leek & Bacon Filling:  Makes 1½ cups  Excellent in galettes and mixed with eggs. 2 oz American streaky bacon, uncured 3 cups leeks, cleaned and sliced cross-ways 1 clove garlic, chopped ¼ c Gruyere 2 tsp mayonnaise Saute the bacon until it is almost crisp. Remove from the pan, blot, and slice cross-ways. Saute the leek and garlic in the pan with the bacon fat until the leeks are limp. Take off heat and immediately stir in the cheese and mayonnaise. Ready to use

Gently warm the galettes and place them on a baking sheet. Warm the Leek&Bacon filling and divide it between the crepes, spreading it on one half of each. Fold the crepes in half, then in half again, placing them on the baking sheet so that the filled part is upper-most [this prevents unfolding in the oven]. Cut and season the tomato. Warm the galettes/crepes thoroughly in the oven. Delicious!

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
pear OR appleBasquaise Sauce
Yorkshire Pudding batterblueberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

5 oz cod filletchicken breast meat + zucchini + eggplant
fresh beetsbroccoli + bell peppers + carrots
carrotplain yogurt + brown rice
garbanzo beans tandoori sauce, purchased: 1/2 cup = 140 calories
Sparkling waterSparkling water

The Canaries

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 Breaking habits support who is now Following.

The Canary Islands lie off the NW shoulder of Africa, 71 miles out to sea. They were first settled in pre-history by unknown people, perhaps fisherman blown off course. The Romans, venturing beyond the Pillars of Hercules, arrived in the 1st century CE and found ruins built by previous settlers. They also found lots of ‘dogs of great size.’ Pliny said that the islands were thus named “Island of Dogs,” or “Canariae Insulae.” Berbers from Morocco called on the islands in 999 CE, but departed. When the Spaniards came in the 1400s, they found a native population living a stone-age life. Eventually the eight islands became the last port of call for Spanish ships headed across the Atlantic or down the coast of Africa. Columbus stopped there on September 6 before sailing West to ‘the Indies.’ Spanish sailors took as pets the little yellow birds that lived on the islands, calling them “canaries.” Back in Europe, the Canary Birds were bred for color and singing ability, and they became the status pet of the rich and famous. In the 1800s, the birds were a fad pet for the masses. Around 1913, John Scott Haldane proposed that small mammals or birds could detect deadly Carbon Monoxide gasses in the air of coal mines. The small animals would sicken or die when the air quality was degraded by undetectable toxic gasses, hence the ‘canary in the coal mine’ as an early-warning system. Today the islands are an autonomous region of Spain. Although the indigenous Guanche language is extinct, Silbo Gomero, a whistled communication method of the Island La Gomera, is being taught in some schools.

The Romans would have recognized the ingredients of our breakfast, and the dinner reflects the tastes of Morocco.

Roman Breakfast: 149 calories 3 g fat 3 g fiber 9 g protein 28 g carbs [21 g Complex Carbs] 35 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragePB  Though my Roman Breakfast is not the morning meal, this is a very good plate of breakfast food. It is based on ingredients available to Romans in the 1st century BCE. The meal is satisfying and flavorful. Try it.

1 Pan Muffin** OR 0.75 oz whole wheat bread 1 oz pear 1 oz cooked chicken 1 oz radish 1 oz cucumber [optional: ½ medjool date = ¼ oz]   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Dice all the fruits and vegetables. Add a good finishing salt and gently stir to combine.  HINT: I did this the night before and refrigerated the mixture. Prepare the pan muffin or take from freezer with time to thaw/heat. In the time it takes to brew the coffee, you can plate the muffin and the fruit-veg mixture. Romans did not drink smoothies or coffee, but we will. Hope you’ll enjoy your throw-back breakfast.

**PAN MUFFIN each: 71 calories 2.5 g fat 1 g fiber 2 g protein 11 g carbs 8.5 mg Calcium 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain hot cereal mix  1 and 1/4 cup buttermilk [combine cereal + milk and let sit while preparing other ingredients. 1/3 cup butter 1/3 cup sugar 1 cup unbleached flour 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda Cream the butter and sugar; mix in the egg. Add the dry ingredients and the cereal/milk mixture. Stir until just combined. Use 2 Tbsp batter for each griddlecake/pan muffin.  [use 4 Tbsp batter to bake in a muffin tin for Slow Days]

Moroccan Tuna: 278 calories 1.4 g fat 7 g fiber 34 g protein 20.4 g carbs  129 mg Calcium  PB GF  Moroccan spice blend can really add zest to a simple meal. 

4 oz tuna steak [frozen tuna steaks at the supermarket are good]  Moroccan spice blend  or ground cumin or mint 1/3 cup white beans, rinsed and drained   1 slice preserved lemon OR 1 slice fresh lemon per person: 1/3 cup peas with mint OR ½ cup broccoli florets sprinkled with cumin OR 1/3 cup green beans sprinkled with cilantro AND  ½ of a clementine

Rub tuna generously on both sides with Moroccan spices. Chop the lemon and stir into the beans. Bake the tuna on a cast iron skillet for 4-5 minutes per side in a 400F oven. When the vegetable is cooked, drain and stir in the seasoning. Section the clementine and plate it all as pleases your eye.

Tomatoes

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.

80,000 years ago, there was a wild plant in Ecuador, Solanum pimpinellifolium, which produced red fruits the size of a cherry. Seeds spread by animals/people traveled south and north, to Peru and Mesoamerica. By 7,000 years BP [Before Present as geologists say], there was a larger tomato being cultivated in Mexico, where they entered the local cuisine. Post Conquest, the Spanish took tomatoes and other local food plants back to Spain. Not so fast! European botanists recognized them to be members of the Nightshade Family, which they equated with poison. Not only were people leery of tomatoes, there was even the legend that tomatoes were the ‘Forbidden Fruit’ of the Garden of Eden, and you sure don’t want to eat that! By the mid 1500s, tomatoes were being grown as a curiosity in Italy and in 1694, the tomato had arrived as a recipe in a cookbook. In September of 1820, a local promoter of good agriculture, Col. Robert Gibbon Johnson, let it be known that he would eat tomatoes, Solanum lycopersicum, from his garden in Salem County, New Jersey, USA. A throng of locals showed up to watch him sicken and keel over in agony. He didn’t die, of course, and people accepted the tomato as a new addition to their cooking. Is there a cuisine between Latitude 45N and 45S that does not use tomatoes? I think not. Although some people associate nightshades with arthritis, the tomato is GOOD for you — high in Vitamin C, Potassium, and the antioxidant lycopene. The United States is the largest producer of tomatoes in the world and ‘Better Boy’ is one of the most popular in home gardens, while other gardeners opt for heirloom varieties.

It was not difficult to choose today’s meals. These tomato dishes are so good to eat that I do hope you will try them. Whenever tomatoes are ripe in your area, eat some fresh.

Tomato-Curry ScrOmelette: 148 calories 8 g fat 3 g fiber 11 g protein 9.5 g carbs [8 g Complex] 78 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF  This delicious recipe was loosely inspired by Fifty Breakfasts, a book by Col. A. R. Kenney-Herbert, detailing “dishes men like” and containing many flavors redolent of his years serving the Queen in India.

1½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week. ½ Tbsp curry powder 2 oz fresh tomatoes, diced and drained 1½ oz strawberries dollop of plain, fat-free yogurt  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]

Drain the tomatoes so that they are not too juicy. Combine with the curry powder and whisk with the eggs. Spritz a fry pan with olive oil or non-stick spray and pour in the egg mixture. Cook to your liking. Top with a dollop of yogurt for the full effect. Prepare the beverages and plate the fruit. A rousing good start to your day.

Tomato Soup w/ Sandwich 289 calories 5 g fat 5.6 g fiber 16 g protein 30 g carbs 210 mg Calcium  PB GF  Comfort food can also be low in calories. The soup recipe is from Fresh Ways with Soups and Stews, published by Time-Life Books. HINT: the soup is enough for 3 servings, so it is worth the time to make enough to freeze for later, rather than making a single serving.

Cook Soup: 1 tsp olive oil 2½ cups onions, chopped 1 cup carrot, thinly sliced 1 tsp fresh thyme or ¼ tsp dried thyme 3 cloves garlic, chopped black pepper 28-oz can whole tomatoes, coarsly chopped with juices 1¼ cup unsalted chicken or vegetable stock ¼ tsp salt

Heat the oil and 2 Tbsp water in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Cook the onion, carrot, thyme, garlic, and pepper for 7-10 minutes or until onions are translucent, adding more water if needed. Add the tomatoes their juice, stock, and salt. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. [more directions later]

Prep Sandwich: 1 slice 70-calorie bread [such as Nature’s Own] ½-oz slice Swiss cheese from the deli ½ oz ham, 97% fat free

Cut the bread in half. Cut the cheese in pieces the size of the bread halves. Construct a sandwich of bread, ham, cheese, bread. Save out one bread-sized piece of cheese. Wrap the sandwich in foil and put in the toaster oven at 350F until cheese is beginning to melt on the inside. Unwrap the sandwich and put the cheese on top. Toast the sandwich so that the top cheese becomes melted and might start to brown.

Finish Soup: 1 tsp ricotta or small-curd cottage cheese 1 tsp plain non-fat yogurt Puree the cooked soup in food processor or blender. TIP: Pour 2 cups [2/3 of the amount] into freezer containers to cool before storing. Put the remaining soup in the serving bowl. Stir the cheese and yogurt together and dollop it in the middle of the hot soup. Use the tip of a knife to pull the mixture out from the middle in several radiating arms. A few grapes add a dash of color.

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

1 two-oz egg1 two-oz egg + mushrooms 
chives + thyme
1 buckwheat galette [savory crepe]
strawberry OR apple
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

4 oz tuna steak + Moroccan spice blend2 buckwheat galettes/savory crepes
white beans, canned leeks + bacon + garlic
preserved lemon OR fresh lemonGruyere cheese + mayonnaise
peas OR broccoli OR green beanscarrot + broccoli + cauliflower OR tomatoes
Sparkling waterSparkling water

The Bench on the Back Porch

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

In South-Central Pennsylvania, where my family originated, there is a traditional piece of furniture: a bench on the back porch. The fancier front porch faced the road or street in town. It might have comfortable rocking chairs on which to sit in the evening, watching the world go by and conversing. The more simple back porch was tucked into the ell of the house, facing the garden. Furniture there was more utilitarian and in my experience it included a wooden bench about 6′ long. The bench was painted and had been built by an earlier ancestor who had perhaps built the house. I like to imagine an ancestress, perhaps my great-grandmother Annie Ely Bertholet [1850-1919] or her mother-in-law Hannah Mattis Berthelot [1818-1853], coming out of her hot, dark kitchen in Oley on a summer day, to sit on the bench, with her back to the brick or stone wall of the house. Was she taking a coffee break? No, she would be pitting cherries in July and peaches in August, peeling apples in September. She would be shelling peas or stringing beans or shucking corn in season. Working, yes, but in a pleasant location where she could feel the breeze and enjoy the hummingbirds in the Trumpet Vine. My mother inherited the bench, using it to store cushions for the terrace furniture. And now the bench is mine. It lives inside and serves as a plant stand in the Sun Room during the winter. It is in retirement after many, many decades of service on the back porch.

The summertime ingredients for today’s meals can be shucked, pitted, peeled, and cut while sitting on the Bench.

Corn Scramble: 130 calories 7.6 g fat 1 g fiber 10 g protein 6 g carbs 44 mg Calcium   PB GF  If you enjoyed corn on the cob for dinner previously, and cut off some of the kernels, then that’s what goes into the eggs. What a fine late summer meal!

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.  2 Tbsp/ ½ oz cooked corn kernels 1 Tbsp chives    1 oz peach   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 corn and snipped chives into a non-stick pan spritzed with cooking spray for long enough to heat them. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper then pour over the corn and scramble to your liking. Plate with the peach. If possible, enjoy your breakfast on the porch.

Minestrone Soup:  1 cup = 145.5 calories 3 g fat 5 g fiber 8 g protein 27 g carbs 86.4 mg Calcium  ½ cup = 73 calories 1.5 g fat 2.6 g fiber 4 g protein 14 g carbs 43 mg Calcium PB  GF [if you use GF pasta] This recipe can be doubled easily, and it is a fine dinner soup for a hot Summer day. Prepare it in the cool of the morning so it can be served in the evening.   

1 tsp olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
2/3 cup carrot, chopped 
½ cup celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped 
3 slices pepperoni, chopped 
Prepare these ingredients as described, and put into a sauce pan together.
Cook over medium heat until onions begin to wilt. 
½ cup sweet potato, cubed
½ cup zucchini, diced 
½ cup mushrooms, chopped
2 cups crushed tomatoes 
¾ cup small white beans, canned
lots of sage and rosemary, chopped
1 cup water 
2 cups chicken broth/stock
Prepare the vegetables as described. Drain and rinse the canned beans. Add these to the pan, along with the water and broth. Cook at a simmer for about 20 minutes



NB: low sodium broth is preferred
1 oz pasta, whole wheat is preferred to boost fiber [orzo/ dinetelli/broken spaghetti]Add the pasta and cook until it is soft, 5-6 minutes.
2 tsp Parmesan cheese, grated 
salt and pepper to taste
Add remaining seasonings and adjust to taste. TIP: Soup is always improved by letting it sit for several hours before reheating and serving hot.

HINT: One serving is one cup, but you could go to 1¼ cups each. This recipe made 4 cups for me – multiple meals from one prep!

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

1 two-oz egg + 10%-fat cream1.5 two-oz eggs 
yellow curry powder + cooked brown riceyellow curry powder
smoked haddockfresh tomatoes
asparagus + nutmegstrawberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

sole or perch fillets + scallionsolive oil + onion + garlic +canned whole tomatoes
96% fat-free ham, sliced at delicarrot + thyme + low-salt chicken/vegetable stock
70-calorie whole-grain bread1 slice 70-calorie whole-grain bread + Swiss cheese
Worcestershire sauce + carrots + beets 97% fat-free ham + ricotta + plain non-fat yogurt
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Cuvier

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 betterweightloss29 who is now Following.

In 1800, the field of ‘science’ was fairly new. One had a day job and dabbled in natural science. Ben Franklin and the Comte de Buffon in the 1700s were such men. Georges Cuvier broke the mold. His work as a naturalist earned him a professorship at the Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle, during the French Revolution. He maintained the post during Napoleon’s reign and into the Empire. In that time, he became the most knowledgeable person in the Western world in the field of vertebrate paleontology. Paleontology was a new field too. Since it is the study of fossils, that assumes that fossils are the ‘preserved remains of ancient life’ as my textbooks used to say. This was not everyone’s assumption. Many people of that time thought that ‘fossils’, such as shells, were mere designs in rock to confuse the unwary and unwise. Further, the idea that entire species of animals had lived and become extinct was considered to be anti-religion. Yet Cuvier made a career of studying and identifying fossil bones and promoting the idea of extinction as scientific fact. Continuing the work of Hutton and Smith [correlation], Cuvier studied the layers of rock that rimmed the Paris Basin. He concluded that the area had once been a warm shallow sea, and that the rock strata changed over time — in direct opposition to prevailing thought. So well-known and widely-published was his work [Cuvier would work on 9 projects at the same time] that scientists from all over would send him fossils to identify. It was said that he could name the original animal from seeing one bone or one tooth. The only time he was stumped was by the first dinosaur fossil — no one had ever seen that before! Then next time you visit a natural history museum, think about Cuvier’s contributions to our knowledge of the ancient world.

During his hours of study in the Paris Basin, perhaps Cuvier packed a lunch of cheeses and sausage meat. Those are the core of our breakfast. Even though he was a student of bones, he had used fossil shells to help him to correlate the layers of rock across the Paris Basin. Our dinner can be served in clam shells on his birthday, August 23. Cuvier was a ‘catastrophist‘ and his way of eating was a catastrophe. Very slim as a young adult, he became very fat at maturity. We can admire his scientific intelligence but not his nutritional choices.

Charcuterie Bake: 137 calories 10 g fat 1 g fiber 11.4 g protein 8 g carbs [6.6 g Complex] 37 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesGF  One Sunday, we invited friends over for what we call a “French Lunch” – bread, sausage, cheese, fruit, wine, and good fellowship. Dear Husband thought, “I know what breakfast will be.” And he was correct: left-overs reborn as breakfast.

One 2-oz egg ½ oz chorizo sausage ½ Tbsp chevre cheese, the creamy type ¼ tsp Dijon mustard herbes de Province 1½ 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]

Set the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. Cut the sausage into a small dice, then cream it together with the goat cheese, mustard, and herbes. Spritz an oven-proof ramekin/dish with olive oil or non-stick spray. Whisk the egg with the sausage mixture and pour into the dish. Bake for 12-15 minutes while you pour the beverages and slice the pear. As simple as the meal which preceeded it.

Stuffed Clams:  262 calories 7.5 g fat 5 g fiber 28 g protein 34 g carbs 423 mg Calcium  PB GF– if using GF bread crumbs  If you served stuffed clams to guests, they would not consider themselves to be ill-used. The inspiration for this dish was a meal at the Georgetown Inn, Georgetown, PEI, Canada.

1 oz red bell pepper, slicedIn a small pan, cook the pepper in a small amount of water. Reserve water.
2½ oz [½ medium] tomato
1½ purchased turkey meatballs
Chop the pepper, dice the tomato, dice the meatballs.
4 oz asparagus OR
2½ oz broccoli florets OR
 2½ oz carrots
Choose your vegetable and prep it for cooking. Add water to the pan in which you cooked the red pepper, then put in the prepped vegetable.
½ c [2 oz] clams, diced
½ slice 70-cal bread, diced
1½ Tbsp plain non-fat yogurt  garlic powder, thyme, salt, pepper
Combine these with the chopped pepper/tomato/meatballs, and gently stir to combine.
2 oz carrotsHeap into two [2] large, clean, empty clam shells or oven-proof dishes which have been lightly sprayed with cooking oil. Bake 10 mins at 350F while you cook the vegetables.
½ Tbsp Parmesan cheese
Sprinkle cheese on the stuffed clams in the last minutes of baking.
Plate with the vegetables.