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

Manchester, England

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. 

Manchester, England has a long history. It was once a Roman fort [‘chester’ in an English place name means ‘fort’] called Mancunium, located at the largest loop of the River Irwell. After the Romans, the area was run by Angles, who called the area Murcia. By the 1600s, it was a thriving town of half-timbered buildings called ‘magpies’ because of their black wood and the white plaster. Flemish weavers had been in the city since the 14th century and the town was already a hub for textiles. Then came the Industrial Revolution. Manchester grew by leaps and bounds: coal was brought to the city by the barge-load; older buildings and houses were knocked down to be replaced by factories for textile manufacture and town-houses for the mill owners. With mechanization and coal power, canal traffic and rail lines, all raw materials came to Manchester and left as finished cotton goods. Much of the cotton came from the American South, which is why England was a ‘neutral party’ during the American Civil War. In parts of the world today, household linens are still referred to as “Manchester.” The golden age was in the mid-1800s when  “Manchester was without challenge the first and greatest industrial city in the world.” [P. Hall, 1998]. Evidence of the bursting of the bubble is the fact that Friedrich Engles wrote his 1844 book about the condition of the working classes in Manchester. Engles invited Karl Marx to visit and view the socioeconomic scene. Poverty, social inequality, and slum life were wretched, breeding the labor movement, the suffragette movement, and food riots. Engles called it “Hell on Earth.” Today, Manchester has seen a lot of urban renewal and many initiatives for stimulating the economy. It is often called “the UK’s Second City.”

Coddled Eggs and a dinner of pork and apples are as English as the cotton mills of Manchester.

Coddled Egg: 143 calories 6 g fat 2 g fiber 9.5 g protein 12.4 g carb 71 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the plated foods only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF- if using GF bread  A really retro breakfast. So nice.

Bring a small pan of water to a simmer. Use enough water to cover the egg coddler by 1”. Spritz some cooking spray into an egg coddler. Break the egg into the coddler, and add cheese with salt/herbs to taste. Screw on the lid of the coddler and lower it into the water. Put the lid on the pot. Simmer 4.5 minutes then turn off the heat and leave the eggs in the water for about 3 minutes more. Toast the bread and plate with fruit. Pour your beverages of choice. You will feel coddled and cossetted when you treat yourself to this breakfast.

Pork with Apples: 273 calories 8 g fat 4 g fiber 23 g protein 19 g carbs 84 mg Calcium  PB GF  Long a favorite combination in lands where local meats and local fruits are blended in delicious ways. The flavor of pork with apples is a winner.

3 oz pork tenderloin, raw or cooked 2 oz round slices of apple, unpeeled ½ oz cubed apples, unpeeled 4 oz chicken stock 4 Tbsp Bechamel sauce, no cheese thyme/sage salt + pepper to taste 1 oz broccoli florets 1 oz cauliflower florets 1 oz carrots

Poach the apple slices in the stock until they are just tender. TIP: if cooking for 2, this may require poaching in 2 batches. Remove slices and reserve. Slice the pork into rounds about 1/4” thick.  If pork is raw, braise it briefly in the hot stock, and remove from stock. Put 1 Tbsp stock in the oven-proof pan in which you will bake the dinner. Combine cubed apples, Bechamel, seasonings, and remaining stock in the sauce pan, stirring until apples are soft and sauce is medium-thick. Adjust seasonings. Arrange alternating slices of pork and apple in the baking dish. Nap with the sauce and bake at 350 until warmed through, about 20 minutes. Steam the vegetables and enjoy a hearty meal.

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

1 slice whole-grain bread1 two-oz egg 
2%-fat small curd cottage cheese or Quarkunsweetened applesauce
3%-fat hampan muffin
pear + chives
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

herring marinated in wine + onionroast beef = 1 cup ground + potato
beets, canned or fresh + lettuceone 2-oz egg + low-fat beef gravy
apple + cider vinegar + dill picklecauliflower
white beans + hard-boiled eggpeas or side salad
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Fool Me Once…

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. 

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” This 360-year-old saying is about being fooled or tricked in a business transaction, rather than a harmless prank. One who tries to cheat another for money deserves shame indeed. But if the one who is tricked does not learn to be more wary from the encounter, then shame on him/her/they for being such a fool. There’s a lot of that going around these days: telemarketers on the phone, products offered on late-night television, pop-up ads on the internet, misinformation abounds and people get duped. Check your facts, people! Tomorrow will be April Fool’s Day, when the emphasis is on fooling people, but in a kindly, jesting way.

I’m not fooling you to say that the breakfast recipe is unusual in flavor and pretty to behold. I had fun creating it and indeed fooled Dear Husband. To prepare breakfast, he took the filled ramekins out of the ‘fridge and popped them in the oven, thinking they were both eggs to be baked. Ha! Because tomorrow is Maundy Thursday, the dinner takes on a more somber note: a meatless, hearty ‘peasant’ soup [that’s not a slam of ‘peasants’ since their food is often flavorful and healthy].

Trompe l’Oeil: 135 calories 6 g fat 2 g fiber 10.5 g protein 9.6 g carbs 128 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF   Here is a meal to fool the eye and tickle the palate with its combination of the cold soup and the hot egg. The soup, which is good as a lunch in larger portions, comes from cuisine actuelle.fr

½ cup Cucumber Soup*** + 0.9 oz ball of cantaloup melon one 2-oz egg + 1 tsp grated Parmesan + 1 Tbsp whole milk

Spritz an oven-safe ramekin with non-stick spray and break the egg into it. Sprinkle the Parmesan around the yolk. Spoon the milk around the yolk. Add salt and pepper. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, scrape the soup into a similar ramekin. Nestle the melon ball in the soup. Plate them side by side and smile.

***Cucumber Soup  makes 3 cups, easy to cut in half

two 8” cucumbers [total mass = 21 oz Slice off both tips of the cucumber and remove half of the green peel. Cut in half and scoop out the seeds. Dice the cucumber.
A bunch of mintRemove leaves from stems and chop the leaves coarsely.
Piment d’esplette [or paprika or Aleppo pepper] to taste
salt & pepper to taste
Put the cucumber, mint, and seasonings in a food processor. Run the machine until the cucumber is very finely chopped.
200 grams/ 7 oz Fromage Blanc or plain Greek yogurtAdd cheese/yogurt and run the processor long enough to combine. Adjust seasonings.
1 Tbsp-sized cantaloup balls Place in a ramekin, garnished with one melon ball per serving

Czech Garlic Soup Česneková polévka: 194 calories 5 g fat 4 g fiber 9 g protein 27 g carbs [18 g Complex] 84 mg Calcium PB GF – if using GF rye bread What could be better on a chilly night than a cozy bowl of soup? This is a classic from czechcookbook, but feel free to make it your own. The calorie count is so low that you could add other vegetables or low-fat meat.  HINT: This recipe makes 8 cups of soup. One serving = 1 cup

1 Tbsp unsalted butter OR bacon fat    
7 cloves garlic
Chop garlic and saute in butter/fat in a stock pot.
7 cups water OR Chicken OR Beef Broth
1½ tsp salt
3 cups cubed potatoes 
3 cups cubed parsnips
Peel potatoes and parsnips and cut in cubes. Add to broth and salt in the stock pot. Simmer for 20 minutes, until vegetables are just under-done. Remove ½ cup soup stock and cool.
1 egg
1 tsp marjoram
Whisk the egg, then whisk it into the reserved ½ cup of soup stock. Return to the stockpot, stirring, and add marjoram. Taste for seasoning. Let sit 8-24 hours.
Per person: ¼ oz rye/whole wheat bread, cubed
Per person: ¼ oz Swiss cheese
Per person: side salad
Portion the soup for dinner and freeze the rest. Toast the cubes of bread. Grate the cheese over them while hot. Use to garnish the reheated soup at serving time.

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

1 two-oz hard-boiled egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
ricotta cheese + Sirachacooked chicken meat
70-calorie whole-grain breadRogan Josh sauce
tomato + strawberriesstrawberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

onion + fresh ginger + parsley + turmericpork tenderloin + fresh ginger + garlic
Indian curry powder + garam masala + plum tomatoesred+ green bell peppers + carrot
mushrooms + plain yogurt + lemon juicepeanut butter + dark soy sauce
2-4 hard-boiled eggs + brown rice Sriracha + crushed red pepper + honey
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Boticelli

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 freeketodiet and fraidycatfinance and morningfatmelter14 who are now Following.

Sandro Boticelli [born March 1, 1445 as Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, but called ‘boticelli’ or ‘little barrel’] was yet another of the great artists of Florence, under the patronage of the Medici Family. He painted in the Renaissance style from 1470 to 1500. True to his time, he depicted religious themes, figures from Greek mythology, and society people in the style of Classical figures. His paintings are full of light and motion and beautiful people. He had many patrons and his skills were in great demand, but Sandro fell under the spell of the ascetic clergyman Savonorola, and he began to consider his mythological scenes to be irreverent. Some say he burned them, some say he refused to take new commissions. For whatever reason, Sandro’s style changed; he was not hired so often, and he was eclipsed by his contemporaries until his death in 1510. His posthumous legacy was obscured as well, until the late 1800s when there was a resurgence of interest in Florentine Renaissance art, permitting Boticelli again to take his place among the greats.

One of Boticelli’s most famous works is Primavera, an enormous painting showing the Goddess Venus with a retinue of Springtime characters. Off to the right, the cold winds of winter attempt to disrupt the revels but to no avail. This painting is on display in the Uffizi Gallery’s Boticelli Room along with The Birth of Venus, the other most-famous of Sandro’s works. It shows the nude Venus being wafted across the water on a giant scallop shell, new-born of the sea’s foam. Our breakfast is all about Spring [even though it will be a few weeks until the Equinox], and our dinner features sea scallops, of course.

Vernal Equinox Bake:  249 calories 8.4 g fat 2 g fiber 14 g protein 17 g carbs [5.5 g Complex] 212 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  For the change of seasons, a breakfast with cured meat [to represent Winter] and artichokes [to stand in for Spring]. Simple and flavorful.

1 two-oz egg 1/4 oz uncured capicola, diced 3/4 oz artichoke hearts, marinated and purchased in a jar 1 Tbsp reduced-fat cottage cheese 1/4 cup blueberries or strawberries + 2 Tbsp 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 artichokes and chop them. Spritz an oven-proof dish with non-stick spray and sprinkle the capicola and artichokes on the bottom. Whisk the egg with salt and pepper, pour it into the dish, and bake at 350F. 12-15 minutes. Combine the fruit with the yogurt in a ramekin and plate with the egg bake. Serve with optional beverages and gaze upon Primavera by Sandro Boticelli.

Scallops with Peas: 260 calories 9 g fat 5 g fiber 26 g protein 11 g carbs 153 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF flour in the Bechamel  Salty scallops and sweet green peas are a wonderful combination. Very simple to prepare. Low enough in calories to add a Side Salad if you wish.  Perch a picture of Birth of Venus on the table so you can see it as you dine.

¼ pound dry sea scallops 1½ Tbsp chives, chopped ¼ c Bechamel sauce, no cheese ½ cup frozen green ‘English’ peas 1 tsp lemon zest 1½ Tbsp Romano cheese, grated  Optional: side salad

Put the frozen peas in a bowl or cup to thaw. Pat the scallops dry and cut them in half along the equator. Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray and heat the pan over medium-high. Pan-sear the scallops, 1-2 minutes per side, adding some salt and pepper. Turn the heat to low. Add the Bechamel, zest and chives to the pan, along with a little water or white wine to increase the liquid. Add the peas and most of the grated cheese. Heat thoroughly but gently and spoon into scallop shells or ceramic baking shells. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and briefly broil or bake to melt the cheese on top. Serve with Side Salad, adding 36 calories.

Michaelangelo

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 was the World of Art into which Michaelangelo was born on March 6, 1475? It was the height of the Italian Renaissance of the Quattrocento. Boticelli, Fra Lippi, and Masaccio were painting in Florence which was the center of the Art World. Ghiberti and Donatello were leading influences in sculpture, and Bruneleschi had wowed the world with the building of the dome of the Florence Cathedral. All of them were fascinated with the mathematics, optics, and physics of linear perspective: Science was influencing Art with the optimism of ‘We can do anything because we know math’ attitude. 25 years later, Michaelangelo was already recognized as a genius, having created his Pieta — a masterpiece of pathos and sculptural plasticity [making marble look like soft skin or draped fabric]. Enter the Cinquecento. Now art was more interested in the human form and in showing emotion. The Dying Slave, 1513 is the perfection of those concepts. From 1500 until his death on February 18, 1564, some of the most amazing pieces of art were created: sculptures, like the statue of David; frescos, such as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; architecture, Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome for example. Michaelangelo influenced artists for centuries after his death, which should come as no surprise. Genius in others is inspirational — we may never reach those heights, but we learn a lot through the effort.

The meals presented today are from the geographic milieu of Michaelangelo: the Western Italian Mediterranean. Olive oil, tuna, vegetables, olives, cured meats, cheeses — the artist and his contemporaries cooked with these ingredients every meal. Michaelangelo cared little about his appearance, nor about food, but that won’t stop us from eating well.

‘Pan Bagne’ ScrOmelette: 149 calories 10 g fat 1 g fiber 11.4 g protein 6 g carbs 63 mg Calcium NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF  Pan Bagne  is a wonderful layered sandwich which we enjoy in the summer. Each of the 7 layers is a distinct yet complimentary flavor. This recipe combines several of the components, without all the oil, tuna, and bread. The result is delicious at breakfast.

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 black olive, pitted and chopped ½ Tbsp creamy chevre cheese 1 Tbsp crushed tomatoes ½ Tbsp spinach, cooked and chopped ¼ tsp dried basil 2 oz strawberries or 1 oz apple  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Stir and cream the olive, cheese, tomatoes, spinach, and basil until nicely blended. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper to taste. Continue whisking as you add the vegetable/cheese mixture and blend as thoroughly as possible. Scramble to taste. Brew your beverage and shake the smoothie. Slice the apple and settle in for a flavorful meal.

Ham Florentine Crepes: 299 calories 11g fat 5.6 g fiber 15.6 g protein 33 g carbs 307 mg Calcium  PB  “Peter Christian’s Tavern” was a very popular New Hampshire restaurant and their cookbook was a local best seller. The restaurant has closed but Peter Christian’s Recipes is a goldmine and it served as the source of this meal. Very easy if the crepes and Bechamel sauce are pre-made.

2 crepes/galettes ¾ cup Ham Florentine filling 2 oz carrots-broccoli-cauliflower

Set the oven to 350 F. If the galettes/crepes are frozen, thaw and wrap in a tea towel. Put them in the oven as it warms. When the crepes are soft and pliable, lay them on a baking sheet, covered with the tea towel. Warm the Ham Florentine filling and spoon over half of each crepe. [I saved out a bit of the filling.] Fold the crepes over the filling and pat in place. Put the crepes in the oven until warmed through. Top with reserved filling before serving with the Winter Vegetables.

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

1 two-oz eggtwo egg yolks  + 4 egg whites
black olivemilk + baking powder
mushrooms + Gouda cheesewhite whole wheat flour + white flour
applesaucesugar + cream of tartar + canned plums
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

canned garbanzo beans [chickpeas]broccoli/cauliflower + onion
5-0z cam tuna in water + garliccarrot + kale/chard + sesame/canola oil
tomato + thyme + parsley + vinaigretteany meat + brown rice + garlic
babygreens/spinach + Parmesan cheesepackaged Japanese curry sauce
Sparkling waterSparkling water

La Vie Boheme

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 Cardio Health Guy and martiphypro and thecraftylife1984 and Proleefiq who are now Following.

It was a book, a play, an opera, and a Broadway play. What was? you ask…. “Scenes from the Bohemian Life,” that’s what. In 1846, Henri Murger began publishing a series of character sketches based on his life as a youthful writer. He and his friends had lived the life of the now stereotypical starving-artist-in-a-garret-in-Paris. He defined ‘Bohemians‘ as young people who live in poverty, both to flaunt society and for the adventure of it, while they pursue their art. In fact, the writer Rodolphe/Rodolfo/Roger is based on Murger. Living the Bohemian life was viewed as a phase to go through before settling down to the stable life of the bourgeoisie. Murger then joined forces with a playwright to produce a script for the stage. “La Vie de Boheme” turned out to be wildly successful enabling Murger to leave the Bohemian life to marry and settle down. He continued to write about his past life until his death in 1861, publishing “Scenes de la Vie de Jeunesse.” On February 1, 1896, Giacomo Puccini’s opera “La Boheme” premiered in Turin, conducted by Arturo Toscanini. The opera was very well received. Such an opera! The four Bohemians go from the low of no food and no firewood, to the high of a boisterous meal at a restaurant, to the low of the death of the beloved Mimi. [if that scene doesn’t make you cry, you have a heart of stone] The opera is my favorite of all time and it was a huge pleasure to have worked as a grip on a performance by the Metropolitan Studio Company. In fact, “La Boheme” is one of the most popular operas in the world. In 1996, the musical “Rent” debuted on Broadway. “Rent” parallels the plot of “La Boheme“, but is set in New York City during the AIDS epidemic. This is a story that has real legs. That’s why it is a classic.

Eggs and cheese are popular, inexpensive foods and they go into our simple breakfast. Students and artists on Paris’ Left Bank have always made a feast of the street food sandwich Croque Monsieur, which I remember fondly from my days in Paris. For a little extra money, it would turn into a Croque Madame which is our dinner.

Camembert Bake: 146 calories 10 g fat 0.6 g fiber 9 g protein 6 g carbs [5 g Complex] 90 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  The best-known cheese of Normandy stars in this egg dish. Easy to prepare and so delicious. I hope you will try it.

One 2-oz egg ½ oz Camembert 1 tsp Dijon mustard a few grating of nutmeg 1.5 oz apple sauce, unsweetened OR 2 oz strawberries OR 1.5 oz apple slices   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]

Cut the cheese [rind and all] into small chunks and leave to soften at room temperature. Stir in the mustard and nutmeg. Whisk the egg, then stir in the cheese mixture. Pour into an oven-proof dish that has been spritzed with non-stick spray and bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes. When the beverages are ready, plate with the fruit.

Croque Madame:  286 calories 16.7 g fat 4.4 g fiber 17.5 g protein 23 g carbs 324 mg Calcium From Paris comes the ‘wife’ of one of France’s great sandwiches. The Croque Monsieur has been a mainstay of hungry college students on the Left Bank for generations. Add an egg and it becomes the more feminine [for some reason] and more filling “Madame.” Our version is open-faced.

1 slice whole-grain bread ½ oz sliced turkey or ham [3% fat] from the deli ½ oz Gruyere cheese, grated 2 Tbsp Bechamel sauce, no cheese  one 2-oz egg side salad

Spread 1 Tbsp of the sauce on the bread. Lay the ham/turkey on next and spread with béchamel. Top with the cheese. Fry the egg until it is just set. Take the egg from the pan and transfer to the top of the sandwich. Place the sandwich in the pan and cover with a lid. Cook the sandwich on medium to low heat as the cheese melts, the bread toasts, and the egg continues to cook. Prepare the side salad and plate it. Remove the sandwich from the pan and serve with the salad. Hum “Musetta’s Waltz” while you dine.

Burns Day

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 Dan Henry and HealthAndNutritionAdvice and nutritionalconsultants and healthylifemechanism and Jim Stanson and Cool Products Trending who are now Following.

Burns Day, January 25, is one of those celebratory days which demands that certain foods be eaten. What foods? In general, anything Scottish. In particular, haggis [Burns wrote a poem in praise of haggis]. And why is that? Because it is the birthday of Robert Burns, born 1759. From his humble early life, he became a literary star and assisted in a revival of the Scots language and culture. Snooty Englishmen who had looked down upon the Scots, read his poetry and sought after tartan designs to wear and for home decoration. Of course Queen Victoria’s love of the Scottish Highlands since 1848, helped too. But it was Burns, in 10 short years of writing about what he knew best, living large, and loving widely, who spoke to our hearts and so is remembered.

On Burns Day, it will be oat bannock at breakfast, a family favorite. For Burns Night dinner, Cock-a-Leekie Soup, which Burns would have remembered fondly from his childhood.

Bannock & Bacon:  143 calories 3.5 g fat 1 g fiber 12 g protein 14.6 g carbs [10 g Complex] 15 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the main meal only, and do not include the optional beverage.  PB  For years we have enjoyed this on Slow Days, only to find that it fits for Fasting, too.

3 two-inch bannock 2 slices Hormel Canadian Bacon OR Jones brand Canadian bacon [similar to back bacon of 60-70 calories] ½ cup applesauce, unsweetened Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 caloriesOptional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Prepare the bannock according to the recipe and bake. Warm and lightly brown the Canadian bacon. Plate the applesauce and pour the beverages. We like to dip the bannock in the applesauce. Simple and delicious.

Cock-a-leekie soup:  202 calories 4 g fat 3 g fiber 13 g protein 22 g carbs 44 mg Calcium  PB GF   This Scottish farmstead soup goes back to the middle-ages, as you can tell by the Old World, Northern Europe ingredients. The ‘cock’ refers to a rooster, which can be eaten only if stewed for soup. This delicious recipe is from Graeme Taylor.  HINT: Makes 11 one-cup servings.

Preheat the oven to 200˚c/ 400 F
2 leg quarters + 1 back = 1 #
9 oz water
Roast chicken pieces ~ 30 minutes in a heavy-bottomed pot. Pour water over chicken until it is covered. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1 hour, in oven or on stovetop to produce stock.
1 onion, chopped = 1cup
2 leeks, sliced = 1.5 oz
2 carrots, chopped = 3 oz
12 prunes, chopped 
2 sprigs of thyme + 1 bay leaf ½ tsp salt + grindings of pepper
Add in the vegetables, prunes, herbs, salt, and a good grinding of pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender, around 20 minutes. Remove the chicken pieces, take the meat from the bones and stir meat back into soup. Remove and discard the thyme and bay leaf. Strain the soup through a collander into a bowl, saving the soup solids and the stock. 
Cool and skim the fat from the top of the stock. I ended up with 3½ cups stock. Reunite solids with the stock. Check for seasoning and let sit in the pot for 8 hours+. Portion and freeze what you don’t serve today.
Per serving, 2 Tbsp quick barley Stir barley into the pot. Simmer, covered, for 8 minutes. Serve.

Smallpox

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 Jeyran Main who is now Following.

Smallpox raged across the globe for millennia — mummies from the time of the Pharaohs show pock marks on their skin. Around the world it went, killing, blinding, and scarring people, seemingly incurable. In 1670, in the harem at Istanbul, wives and consorts were being successfully inoculated with live smallpox virus placed in a small cut to the skin. Lady Mary Montague, wife of the British ambassador to Constantinople [as the English called it], was thrilled to hear of the Turkish method — she had survived a disfiguring bout of smallpox but her brother died. Lady Mary insisted that her children be inoculated, and she took the surgeon and the method back to England. By 1722, people were being vaccinated in England and New England. Edward Jenner of England is the one who did the most to promote vaccination. He trained with a country doctor and knew that milkmaids, who often caught cowpox from cows, never caught smallpox. Using the cowpox virus, Jenner did scientific studies about the effectiveness of vaccination [he coined the word, based on the latin word for cow, ‘vaca‘] and promoted the idea widely. Although his 1797 article was rejected and detractors said that the vaccine would turn one into a cow, by 1802, his work was recognized by the British government and President Thomas Jefferson of the US was recommending it, too. At last, on October 26, 1977, the UN declared that smallpox was finally eradicated in the world. The scourge was ended, which shows the benefits of a good, scientifically valid vaccine. When I was a child, everyone was vaccinated against smallpox at age 3. I remember it well, although I never developed the characteristic scar.

Since the Jenner vaccination came from milkmaids with cow-pox, we will start our day with two cheeses in our baked eggs. Small Pox traveled along trade routes to many countries. It probably reached Europe via India [funny: no one called it the India-Pox…]. A wonderful India-inspired meal that emerged in England is Kedgeree, which will be our dinner.

Cheesy-Bake: 144 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 12 g protein 7 g carbs [5.7 g Complex] 183 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  This is the baked version of a cheese omelette that thinks that it is a cheese souffle! Delicious.

One 2-oz egg ½ oz cheddar cheese, grated 1 Tbsp reduced fat ricotta cheese 1 oz grapes 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]

Spritz a ramekin with olive oil or non-stick spray. Set the toaster oven at 350 F. Stir the two cheeses together with a fork until blended and whisk with the egg. Without waiting, pour into the ramekin and bake for 12-15 minutes, until puffed and beginning to brown. Prepare the fruit and your beverages of choice, and enjoy a cheesey start to your day.

Kedgeree:  250 calories 6 g fat 2 g fiber 22 g protein 25.7 g carbs [5.7 g Complex] 101 mg Calcium  PB GF  This Anglo-Indian fusion dish is flavorful and quickly prepared.  HINT: The recipe serves two [2] people.

Here is a serving for one person.
3 oz smoked haddock [aka: finnen haddie]  ½ cup milk 
1 bay leaf  ¼ cup chopped onion 
Put these ingredients in a small pan with a lid. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the milk and save it. Remove the fish, skin it, and pull apart into large shreds.
2/3 cup cooked rice [White rice is OK but brown rice has more nutrition] 
1/5 tsp curry powder 
½ tsp turmeric
Add the cooked rice and spices along with the shredded fish to the milk and put on low heat, covered, until everything is warm.
5 oz asparagus cut into 1½” piecesCook separately until just tender. Add to the rice/fish.
2 hard-boiled eggsPeel + cut each into 8 pieces. Strew atop the plated meal. Add salt.

Buffon

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.

September 7 is the birthdate of one of my favorite scientists: George-Louis Leclerc, the Comte de Buffon. He was born into a family of civil servants in Montbard, Burgundy, France. His wealthy godfather endowed him richly, with baby George’s mother as trustee. Although his father wanted him to study law, George-Louis was drawn to math and science. He left law school to pursue his interest and to travel [and get away from home until the acrimony died down?]. During his absence, his beloved mother died. Returning home, he sued his father [useful, those law classes!] to regain his inheritance; bought land [including the town of Buffon]; and went to Paris to make his mark. Marriage, fatherhood, the death of his dear wife — personal milestones. Probability theory, scientific studies, royal patronage — professional milestones. Eventually, he was raised to nobility, named the Comte [Count] de Buffon. He was an excellent writer [“The Style is the man himself”] which helped popularize his wide-ranging ideas. After experiments with various metals, Buffon concluded that the earth was 75,000 years old and was not formed 6000 years prior in the course of seven days, as was the current thinking. “Why should we hold God to man’s calendar?” he asked, proposing that a day to God could be 10,000 years to Man. Buffon believed that all races of people were the same [good for him!] but that they look differently because of climate and poor diet [that part was sketchy]. Buffon also thought that climate change affected the development of life forms. His writing was censured by the Church, but his research went on. Buffon’s ideas informed the work of future scientists such as Cuvier, Lyell, and Darwin. Buffon died in 1789, which is a good thing, as he would surely have been guillotined during the French Revolution, as was his son.

As a lover of the terroir of his region, Buffon would have delighted in the earthy taste of cepes/ceps, so this breakfast would have pleased him. The dinner is a classic of Burgundian cuisine, especially because it showcases the local ham.

Cepe Bake: 139 calories 6.7 g fat 1.3 g fiber 10 g protein 6 g carbs 61 mg Calcium   PB GF Am I bragging when I say that Bolete mushrooms [aka porcini] come up wild in our front yard? Sort of… but it is the truth – thanks to a stand of oaks which partner with the mushrooms. After researching which flavors go best with Cepes, here is an amazing breakfast.

1 egg 1 oz cepes/porcini [fresh or dried and rehydrated in hot water] 1-½ tsp Parmesan cheese 1 oz tomatoes 0.13 oz proscuitto 1-½ 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]

Slice the mushrooms into small pieces [your call]. Dice the tomatoes. Coarsley chop the proscuitto. Spray a non-stick or small cast-iron pan with non-stick spray and cook the three above items until they are softened and have lost their liquid. Put the cooked ingredients into a lightly-oiled oven-safe dish and distribute over the bottom. Whisk the eggs with the cheese, and pour into the prepared dish. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until set. Plate with the peaches for a real mid-Summer delight.

Burgundian Ham Flan: 291 calories 12 g fat 3 g fiber 27 g protein 25 g carbs 131.5 mg Calcium  PB GF – if using GF flour  In Burgundy, this is called “Rigodon.” Whatever language you speak, you will call it delicious. The recipe comes from Anne Willan’s French Regional CookingHINT: This recipe serves two [2] but go ahead and make the whole thing – it will be great for lunch later in the week. Dear Husband says: Make this again soon!

2 ½ oz ham, 3% fat ½ oz proscuitto ham 1 cup skimmed milk 4 eggs [8 oz] 2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour 2 pinches ground allspice 1 tsp fresh thyme salt & pepper fresh parsley leaves per serving: 1 cup lettuce + ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp vinegar

Cut hams in small dice. Spray an 8” diameter baking dish with non-stick spray. Distribute the ham over the bottom of the dish. Add the allspice to the milk, and bring it slowly to a boil. Whisk the eggs with the flour until it is smooth. Take the milk off the heat. While you whisk, add the egg/flour to the milk, then stir in the thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour over the ham in the baking dish and place some parsley leaves on the surface of the eggs. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes, until the eggs are set and golden brown. Serve cool or at room temperature along with the salad.

You OK?

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 strawberryred who is now Following.

OK” [also spelled “Okay”] is a true Americanism which has spread around the world. There are several explanations of how the term came to be. Mostly, it boils down to meaning ‘all right’ or ‘all correct’ which was either intentionally or unintentionally misspelled as ‘orl kerrect.’ When Martin Van Buren ran for as second term as president in 1840, people called him ‘Old Kinderhook,‘ after the town in New York where he was born. “OK” became part of his campaign sloganing. On March 23, 1839, it appeared in print for the first time, in the Boston Morning Post. The term was introduced to the world during World War I, as American doughboys took the saying to Europe. Then it ‘went viral’.

But back to the title of this message — are YOU OK? My little part of the world has very few cases of the COVID-19 — so far. Our governor has declared a state of emergency. Our local school district is closed, as are the churches and libraries. Dear Husband and I are staying close to home and probably you are too. This is a good chance to practice your home cooking, since you won’t be frequenting restaurants. I am not being flippant. Cooking at home is one of the best ways to get some control over what and how much you eat, and thus control your weight. You might even find out that you enjoy it! Here are two of our favorite easy-to-prepare meals. Best wishes for your health.

Avocado-Lobster Bake: 145 calories 7 g fat 2.2 g fiber 11 g protein 10.3 g carbs [9.4 g Complex] 64 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beveragesPB GF  When I thought that avocado and ricotta would make a nice bake, Dear Husband had one suggestion: add lobster! Well why not?

1 two-oz egg ¼ oz avocado ¾ Tbsp ricotta 3/4 oz lobster meat OR crab 2 oz pear Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Set the toaster oven to 350 F. Spritz a ramekin or other oven-proof dish with cooking spray and put the lobster meat on the bottom. Mash the avocado with the ricotta, then whisk in the egg. Pour over the lobster, season as you wish. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Slice the fruit and prepare the optional beverages. Sumptuous.

Smorrebrot with Salmon:  257 calories 8 g fat 3.1 g fiber 14 g protein 28.6 g carbs [~15 g Complex] 48 mg Calcium   PB  A classic summer sandwich from Sweden: a delicious meal without heating the kitchen.

1 slice [1.5 oz] sourdough rye bread @ 110 calories [the bread should be dense, not fluffy] 1 Tbsp whipped cream cheese 2-4 large leaves of fresh spinach 1.5 oz thinly-sliced tomato, slice and salt about 30 minutes earlier 1 or 1.5 oz smoked salmon [you have some calorie wiggle-room] ½ hard-boiled egg, sliced 1-2 oz strawberry

Spread the bread with the cream cheese and lay the spinach leaves on top. Place the tomato slices atop that. For the next layer, put down the salmon, topped by the egg slices. Plate with the berries and enjoy a wonderful meal, whether or not it is a hot Summer night.