Canada Day

Let’s celebrate another holiday with Fast Lifestyle food. Canada Day is the independence day of our neighbors to the North so we will think of maple leaves, maple syrup, and the wide open plains of Alberta. We will also think of calorie restriction and healthy living to stay on track with our FAST Lifestyle.

National Holiday French Toast                                                                                          PB  Canada Day BfastHINT: This recipe makes 4 [four] slices of French Toast. Prepare all 4, but put the other 2 in a bag in the freezer for a really fast breakfast later.                                           4 slices 70-cal whole grain bread    [you will eat two today]                                                                                   one 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                    2 Tbsp fat-free milk [use Almond milk for a plant-based meal]                                                        2 oz strawberries, fresh or unsweetened frozen                                                                                     1 and 1/2 tsp maple syrup                                                                                                                               one 60-cal sausage [I like Al Fresco brand sage breakfast links or use a meatless sausage]                      nearly black coffee or tea or lemon in hot water                                                                           green or fruit smoothie or natural apple cider

THE NIGHT BEFORE: Whisk the egg and milk together. Cut the pieces of bread into shapes like maple leaves or use a cookie cutter. [This step is important for the calorie count to come out right, so don’t skip it even if it seems to much like ‘crafty food.’] Put the bread into a pan with a rim which is just big enough for the 4 bread pieces. Pour the egg/milk mixture over the bread, making sure it is all wetted. Let stand OVERNIGHT. Also combine the strawberries and syrup. The next morning, cook the batter-soaked bread in a hot non-stick pan with a spritz of non-stick spray. Cook until browned on both sides. Cook the sausage, too. Mash the berries a bit and smear them onto the plated toast. Enjoy with the sausage, hot beverage of choice, and green smoothie. Whistle a few bars of “Oh, Canada” while you eat.

Bison Burger [beans/ beets] 293 calories                                                                                      GF                                                                                     There used to be a bison reserve in our favorite Canada place, PEI.  The beasts were a gift from Alberta.  The mushrooms we pick from our lawn and the beets, a gift from PEI friends, were pickled while on vacation.  Fitting foods for Canada Day.

one 4-oz bison patty [not beef. Venison is a good substitute if you have it]                          1 oz sliced mushrooms                                                                                                              1.5 tsp of curried catsup                                                                                                           ½ cup green beans                                                                                                                   2 oz pickled beets

Sprinkle a small, hot skillet with Kosher salt.  Cook one 4 oz bison burger  on one side for about 3 minutes. Flip it and cook until done as well as you’d like.  Put on a plate to stay warm. Sides: Add some water to the pan and stir/ cook the mushrooms until soft.  Meanwhile cook the green beans until soft.  To serve, put the ketchup on the burger, top with mushrooms. Arrange those colorful sides on the plate and get ready for some good eating.  I enjoy sparkling water with Fast dinners. [On Slow days, I enjoy wine.]

bison burger, curried catsup, mushrooms, green beans, beets
bison burger, curried catsup, mushrooms, green beans, beets

Why We Do This.

Remember that this isn’t just about losing weight — that’s the part that shows.  Following this faithfully will lower your cholesterol. And if studies are to be believed, calorie restriction will help you to live longer and grow new brain cells. [See ‘About this Blog’ for links to the original TV show about Fast Dieting.]  Those are good reasons, as far as I’m concerned, to follow this lifestyle and stick to it. What is there to eat on Monday?

Coddled Egg Breakfast: 280 calories  These eggs can be prepared in an ‘egg coddler’  or in a custard cup. If using an official coddler, fill a pan with enough water to cover the coddler by an inch. If using a custard cup, put enough water in the pan to come half-way up the cup. Spray the cup with nCoddled Eggson-stick spray and break one 2-oz egg into the container. Add 1½ tsp grated Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, herbs, and screw on the lid. Lower the coddler into barely-boiling water and simmer 4 minutes. Turn off heat and leave the eggs in the water 1-2 minutes longer, depending on how you like your eggs. Meanwhile toast ½ slice of 70-cal bread. Mix ¼ c. blueberries with 1 Tbsp yogurt and serve on the side. Coffee or tea. Fruit smoothie [Blog Post #1] or 6 oz apple cider.

soba:shrimp quickfryShrimp Stir-fry with Soba Noodles: 275 calories Cook 1 oz of dry soba [or udon] noodles in a quart of water about 4 minutes. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, shell 3 oz raw shrimp and cut in half across the body.  Peel 2 oz carrot and slice into coins. Slice 1½ oz green cabbage and 1 oz onion. Measure 1.5 tsp soy sauce. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a cast iron pan or wok. Add the carrot, cabbage, and onion and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and any liquid and cook one minute more. Toss the cooked noodles into the pan and mix to warm them. Add 1 oz chopped green onion [or a Tbsp steamed chopped broccoli], salt, pepper, and soy sauce. Toss to mix ingredients.  If you think this sounds complicated and long, I did it in 25 minutes and that included peeling carrots and cleaning shrimp. Satisfying and good to eat.  If you don’t like shrimp, substitute just under 2 oz sliced chicken breast.

Let’s Keep it Simple

People tell me, “This is easy for you — you are retired! When do I have time to prepare meals like this?” OK, this one’s for you this Thursday. In a previous breakfast, we put 1.5 eggs in a jar and made the smoothie and put ½ of it in the fridge too. Ahead of the game already!   Thursday menu:       290 calories for breakfast            282 calories for dinner.

Cheese Omelette: Remember how last week we divided 3 small eggs into two equal parts and put one part in a jar in the ‘fridge? Get that jar and whisk the eggs with seasoning to taste.  HINT: Fresh or dried herbs add no calories, but they add lots of flavor.  Pour eggs into the heated pan with a spritz of cooking spray and cook untCheese Omelette w: toastil the bottom is set but the top is still moist.  Sprinkle on ¼ oz grated cheese — we like Gruyère or Cheddar. Fold and plate. Meanwhile toast ½ piece of the 70-calorie bread, pour the smoothie out of the jar where you stored it since last time, and sit down to enjoy this with your nearly [or totally black] tea or coffee.  If you don’t want the toast, serve with 2 oz apple slices.  If you don’t make the smoothie, then make this omelette with 2 entire eggs. It will come out to the same calorie count.

Beans and Franks: It doesn’t get more simple than this! Find hot dogs which are no more than 100 calories and are low in fat. Hebrew National reduced fat are perfect. Pan-fry 1 ½ franks in a dry pan over Beans & Frankslow heat. Remove hot dogs and add 1/3 cup baked beans from a can. Is this not fast and easy? Heat the beans in the pan where the franks cooked to get all their flavor. Meanwhile slice 1 c. zucchini or summer squash and heat in a little water until soft. In the photo you see bits of red pepper in there too. Add a dab of relish [10 more calories] and 5 celery or carrot sticks [not enough calories to mention] and there you are.  If that took longer than 15 minutes, I’d be amazed.

It can be done and YOU can do it.

Still With ME?

If you read ‘About this Blog’ on my first posting, you might have followed the links to Dr. Mosley and his Fast Diet. If you have, then you will see why I’m so excited about this lifestyle change. This has been very successful for us and it should work for you, too. Monday would be a good day to start Fasting…. try it on Monday and see how you like it.

Monday menu:       286 calories for breakfast         293 calories for dinner. 

Flamenco EggsBaked Eggs Flamenco:  Spray a small ramekin with non-stick spray. Put 1 Tbsp. chopped tomato or 1 Tbsp tomato puree into the cup along with 1.5 tsp parsley, 1.5 Tbsp onion, and 1.5 Tbsp bell pepper.  Stir in salt and a large pinch cayenne pepper. Microwave for 2 mins. Add one egg and bake at 350°F for 15-18 minutes, depending on how well you like your egg cooked. Toast either 1/2 slice of whole-grain 70 calorie bread [ex: Nature’s Own at Shaw’s or Demster’s Thins at Sobey’s] or bread that has 70 cals for 2 slices, which is shown. On the side are 2 oz  melon or 2 oz apple or 1 oz grapes.  I enjoy this with the smoothie described in the 1st blog and with almost-black coffee.  If you don’t want the smoothie, add the other half of the bread and double up on the fruit.      HINT: you could use that extra portion of fruit later in the day if the hungries hit.

Chicken Noodle Soup:  Usually we have a seafood meal on Mondays because we like fish and it is so good for you. But its been cold and this soup hits the spot.              HINT: This recipe makes enough for 2 servings. Invite a friend or freeze the rest for a meal in a hurry.   Heat 3 cups low-fat chicken stock and add 1.5Chicken Noodle Soup oz  [that’s 3″ at 1″ diameter] diced carrot. Cook until the carrot is almost soft. Add 2 oz chicken or turkey white meat, 1 oz broken spaghetti noodles, 1/4 cup canned white beans, 1.5 oz [1/3 c.] green beans and 1/2 oz [1.5″ x 3″] cubed Canadian bacon [back bacon for friends in Canada]. Simmer until the noodles are cooked, adding water if the soup looks too thick.  10.1 g Fat;  19.9 g Protein; 28.3 g Carbs

Start your Fast Diet on Monday and join me for a menu for Thursday, too.

Its about time, isn’t it?

January 10th…  you’ve made some resolutions and probably broken a few already. But isn’t it time you worked on that dreaded weight loss issue? Yeah, you’ve thought about it… you’ve tried it once or twice… and then you gave up. Time to start again, but this time I’ll help you use the Fast Diet http://thefastdiet.co.uk which isn’t so much of a diet as it is a lifestyle change. And it worked for me and my husband, so it ought to work for you, too.  I’ll make it easy by giving you menus to use, with photos and recipes, too. And handy tips. And encouragement to get through it.

Let’s start with how this works. On Monday and Thursday, you will eat a total of 600 calories. That’s called calorie restriction. You may think that will kill you, but it won’t. The rest of the week, you eat a normal menu.  The amazing thing about this way of life is that you are not depriving yourself of your favorite foods day after day. If on a FAST Day you have a hankering for something that’s not on the menu, you can always have it tomorrow! And the weight will come off. ‘Well, yeah,’ says you ‘I will have starved to death by then — I’ll never stick to that!”    Hold on, take one day at a time!      Start this Monday:

Breakfast menu: Shirred Egg, toast, fruit, smoothie, coffee or tea.        total calories = 297   Recipe for Shirred Egg:  Spray a small [8 oz] ramekin with non-stick cooking spray. Break a 2 oz egg into the ramekin, then salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle  1 Tbsp of half&half over the egg, and sprinkle it with 1.5 tsp grated Parmesan cheese. Pop it in the oven [toaster oven is better than the big one] at 350°F for 10 minutes. Take it out of oven and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. HINT: prep this the night before and put it in the ‘fridge overnight.

Recipe for Breakfast Smoothie:     THIS IS ENOUGH FOR 2 SMOOTHIES                                         Put 6″ of banana [3.5 oz], 1/2 cup plain yogurt, and 2 oz. [1/2 cup] sliced strawberries or raspberries or blueberries in a blender with 7-8 ice cubes. Blend until smooth. Drink half today.  HINT: freeze thShirred Egge rest for Thursday.        Don’t want the smoothie? Then double up on the fruit and have  a full slice of bread.

Sides: Toast half a slice of whole grain bread that has 70 calories per slice. Sorry, no butter.  Put some fruit on the plate: 2 oz strawberries, or 1 oz grapes or half of a small apple [as shown]. Serve with coffee or tea, but limit the sugar to 1 tsp or less.  There’s a little skimmed milk in my coffee.

HINT: How to survive until dinner? Drink water; drink your favorite tea; distract yourself.  If you are used to a snack at a particular time of day, go for a walk or get involved in a project that will keep you busy until the urge to nibble passes.  You could eat a little raw fruit, but that might make you hungrier! You have some calories available to eat some apple slices or grapes if you need to.

Dinner Menu:  Baked fish with cheese and vegetables.              Total calories =  268                Recipe for Baked White Fish: Spray a baking dish with PAM or some other food-safe spray. Put 6 oz of white fish, such as haddock or cod in the dish. Season to taste, aFish baked with Cheesedding a little lemon juice if you want, and herbs of your choice. Bake at 400° F. for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 oz grated cheddar cheese and put back in the oven for 5 minutes more.                                                             Sides: Cook 3 oz broccoli  with 1 oz sliced carrot or parsnip [as shown] and prep 1 cup of salad greens tossed with 1/2 tsp olive oil and a splash of lemon juice.     Instead of the broccoli, use 1/3 cup green peas; or 3 oz melon; or 2 oz summer squash; or 2.5 oz green beans.

I sure hope you’ll try this.  Otherwise,  what will you eat on Monday?