Pheidippides, Marathon messenger

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 Highwaypay who is now Following.

Everyone knows the story of the Battle of Marathon, which happened in September of the year 490 BCE, and of the messenger who raced the 25 miles to Athens with news of the outcome. Famously, he arrived, panting, at the Acropolis, announced the victory, and fell over dead. And people know that his name was Pheidippides. Or was it? Pheidippides was one of Athens’ professional couriers, a hemerodrome, or ‘day-long runner.’ In ancient Greece, the best way to communicate between city states was to send a runner with a message. Φειδιππίδης [his name in Greek] was one such man. When the Persians landed on the shores of Greece at field planted with ‘marathon’ — what we call fennel — the Athenian solons sent the 40-year-old Pheidippides to Sparta to ask for help. He ran the 150 miles in under 35 hours and delivered the message. The Spartans agreed to help, but would not start out for six days, as their practice was to fight by full moon. Since Athens needed to know that, Pheidippides had a meal and a nap and set out for Athens again. Thus he ran an ‘ultra-marathon’ — 300 miles/246 km — in four days. Sometimes he was running in his sleep and famously he had an exhaustion-induced vision of the deity Pan. All of this was recorded by the historian Herodotus who famously wrote about the Persian War. After the Greeks defeated the Persians, someone had to tell the home crowd, so a runner was sent, with the well-known result. But was it Pheidippides? Plutarch, writing much later, said that it was Thersippus. The 1879 Robert Browning poem names Pheidippides as the messenger, but omits the prior trip to Sparta, which was much more impressive. Organizers of the Modern Olympics in 1896, loving the romance of the fallen courier, included a 26.2 mile/42 km race called the Marathon. Maybe they thought the racers would die. The rest is history, as marathons are run all over the world, along with ultra-marathons and triathlons.

Our breakfast echoes the flavors of the Mediterranean, and provides protein for healthy muscles. Since modern marathoners like to ‘carbo-load’ the day before a race, our dinner involves a healthy pasta. In truth, hemerodromes ate figs, olives, cured meats, and a honey-sesame paste to keep them going.

Mediterranean Bake: 138 calories 2 g fat 1.4 g fiber 10.4 g protein 8.4 g carbs [7.5 g Complex] 55 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  Oh! Those sunny flavors!

one 2-oz egg 1 Tbsp chevre cheese 4 Tbsp Mediterranean Vegetables without chickpeas  salt + pepper large pinch of Herbes de Provence 2 oz melon   Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 caloriesOptional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water

Set the toaster oven at at 350 degrees F. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray and spoon in the Med. Veg. Pop the ramekin in the warming toaster oven for 30 seconds to warm the vegetables. Whisk the egg with the cheese and seasonings. Pour in the egg mixture over the vegetables and bake in the toaster oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs. Brew your optional warm beverage, shake and pour the optional smoothie, plate the melon. A fine way to start the rest of your life.

Tortellini with Black Kale:  182 calories 7.6 g fat 3 g fiber 8 g protein 23 g carbs [7.4 g Complex] 164 mg Calcium   PB  Quick, unusual, and good tasting. Dear Husband approved and he ususally says he doesn’t like kale. The recipe comes from theKitchn.com  TIP: This recipe serves 2 [two]

Here is a serving variation: combine the cooked kale with the cooked pasta and the tomatoes, stir, and top with grated Parmesan. The whole-grain bread adds calories and fiber.

56 g dried cheese & spinach tortellini = 210 calories [Barilla brand is good] 3 oz black kale 2 clove garlic 1 tsp olive oil red pepper flakes black pepper ½ tsp kosher salt 2 tsp lemon juice 4 oz tomato 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese optional: 1 oz whole-grain bread

Preparation for the Kale for two people:

3 oz kale, preferrably Black aka Tuscan or dinosaur KaleUse your hands to pull the kale leaves from their stems. Coarsely chop the leaves. Rinse them, but do not dry.
1 tsp olive oil 2 cloves garlic
pinch red pepper flakes
Heat oil in large, wide, high-sided sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute (do not let the garlic brown).
¼ tsp kosher salt pinch ground pepper Add kale a few handfuls at a time, stirring as it starts to wilt, until all of the kale is added. Stir in the salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is just tender, about 5 minutes.
2 tsp Lemon juiceTake off heat, stir in the lemon juice, and plate.

For the Dinner: Bring a quart of salted water to the boil. As the kale is almost cooked, add tortellini [56 g (2/3 cup) to serve TWO] to the water. Cook 10 minutes, then drain and return to the pan. Add 2 oz diced tomatoes per person and 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese. Stir gently until tomatoes are warmed through. Place the pasta in the center of the plate and arrange the kale around it. Pour any remaining sauce over the pasta.

Dr Bircher

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 Tamara Hoerner who is now Following.

The 1800s saw many changes in the world and the way people viewed commonly-held beliefs. There were revivals in religion, leading to the start of many new sects. There were new discoveries in medicine regarding germ theory and vaccines. And there were new ways of eating. On one hand, processed foods were developed, while on the other hand, people flocked to sanatoriums and health spas to change their diets. One such spa was the Vital Force Sanitarium, run by Maximilian Oscar Bircher. [The name acquired a hyphen when he married Elizabeth Benner.] Bircher was a trained medical doctor who became increasingly interested in nutrition as a tool for making people well. A bout of jaundice convinced him that eating raw apples promoted health. From there, he developed the idea that fruits, nuts, and vegetables derived and stored significant ‘vital force’ from the sun — a force that was weakened when foods were cooked. Bircher gave up meat, claiming that, being dead, it introduced decay into the body. Bircher’s sanitarium was wildly successful. Patients were evaluated by the staff, then followed an individualized program of diet [raw food at every meal, preceded by a mixture of soaked oats and grated apples invented by his sisters]; exercise [working in the spa’s vegetable gardens]; hydrotherapy [cold baths and showers]; and brisk walks in the sunshine. The spartan routine of early-to-bed-early-to-rise, the rigor of the therapies, and the absence of alcohol, coffee, sweets, and processed food lead Thomas Mann to call it a ‘health jail.’ But it proved the theory that the harder people have to work to achieve a goal, the more they embrace it. Medical professionals scoffed at Bircher’s views of nutrition, but his idea that it was healthy to eat lots of fruits and vegetables was verified in the 1930s with the discovery of the importance of vitamins and minerals. The spa outlived Bircher’s death in 1939, but closed decades later. Today in Braunwald, one finds the Centre for Scientific Natural Medicine where ‘the tonic and balancing result of the water, the sun, the light, cold and warmth, as well as physical exercise, revive therapeutic properties in the patient; they help sustain the enlivening effect of the diet.’ They purport to treat an array of illnesses but I don’t know if they serve muesli.

For breakfast, Dr Bircher’s famous muesli, of course. Although Bircher called it d’Spys, people began to call it ‘muesli’ meaning ‘little mush’. Sounds better in German. For dinner, a meal heavy on the vegetables. Dr Bircher would have preferred that the vegetables would be raw, but a light steaming won’t hurt.

re Muesli: the following recipe is almost identical to Bircher’s own — I reduced the apple amount and added the blueberries. Modern-day muesli was first packaged in the 1950s. Today it is conceived as a mixture of overnight-oats, honey, lots of seeds, yoghurt, dried fruit, and nuts, packing tons of sugar and fat and calories. Dr Bircher would not approve.

Muesli: 211 calories 7.4 g fat 5.5 g fiber 7.5 g protein 33.5 g carbs 117.6 mg Calcium  PB GF – if oats are truly GF  This is a smaller, leaner portion of the original recipe of the Bircher-Benner muesli. It is truly a delicious and satisfying way to start the day.

1 serving
2 Tbsp rolled oats
4 Tbsp whole milk
In a cereal bowl, mix oats and milk, cover, and refrigerate overnight to soften the oats.
5 oz apple, with skin on
2 tsp lemon juice
Grate apple, mix with lemon juice. HINT: do this the night before. Next, morning, add to the oat mixture, stir to combine.
5 raw hazelnuts, or almonds, chopped
2 Tbsp blueberries
Sprinkle with nuts and berries, and serve.
Herbal tea, no sweetener, no milk Serve with herbal tea of your choice.

Antipasto with Tuna: 282 calories 10.6 g fat 9 g fiber 20 g protein 24 g carbs 250 mg Calcium  PB GF  This one is a keeper: simple, off the shelf, pretty on the plate, good to eat. The photo shows enough for 2 people. Invite a guest who is Fasting, too.

2 oz roasted red pepper, without oil [roast your own, slice and freeze them] 2 oz mozzerella, cut into ‘sticks’ 3 oz tuna, packed in water, drained and broken into large chunks 5 oz tomato slices 3 oz whole green beans, steamed, 1½ oz marinated mushrooms 1/3 c. garbanzo beans, drained if canned 4 black olives, pitted and sliced 3 slices pepperoni, chopped 1 tsp flavored oil flavoured salt chopped fresh herbs

Prepare the ingredients and keep separate. On a platter, arrange the ingredients in rows as shown in the photo. Suit your own artistic nature as to what goes where. Be liberal with the fresh herbs.

Slow Days: New England 4th of July  

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the Fast Diet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

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

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

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

The Seven Sleepers

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.

Around 250 CE, the Roman Emperor Decius visited Ephesus [now in Turkiye] to crack down on Christianity. He interviewed seven young men about their beliefs and, finding them to be recalcitrant, he gave them a couple of days to recant. Rather than face the Emperor again, the men retreated to a cave to hide from him. Once there, they fell into a deep and lasting sleep. Either the vengeful Emperor walled up the entrance or a rock-fall blocked it, the seven men were walled up inside. 200 years [or was it 10?] later, the men woke up, thinking that they had slept only through the night. They left the cave and were amazed to find that the world had changed and that Christianity was widely accepted. The local bishop heard their story and believed it. It came just in time to settle a theological dispute as to whether or not one could rise from the dead. The men later died of natural causes and were buried in their cave. Some legends says that their remains were later taken to Marseille, France. No one knows exactly, but their story lived on and became widespread. Versions of it are told by Western and Eastern Christians and also by the Muslims. Several caves are said to be the site of the miracle sleep: in Turkiye and in Jordan.

The legend of the Seven Sleepers begins in the Eastern Mediterranean and ends in the Western area of that sea. Our breakfast is from the Levant, our dinner from the southern coast of France. Don’t be a ‘seven-sleeper’ and miss breakfast — in some European countries that is the name given to someone who oversleeps. June 27 is the Feast of the Seven Sleepers.

Felafel Bake: 142 calories 6.4 g fat 2.5 g fiber 8.5 g protein 41.4 g carbs 44.4 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beveragesPB GF Here we use felafel patties which we prepared and froze earlier. Great time-saver!  Good felafel is amazing in eggs!

1 two-oz egg 1½ uncooked felafel patties, thawed 1 Tbsp tomato puree or crushed tomatoes  ¼ c blueberries or 1 oz pear Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 caloriesOptional:blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water

Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray and set the toaster oven to 350 F. Whisk together the felafel and the tomato until well blended. Whisk the egg into the felafel and turn into the ramekin. Bake about 15 minutes while you portion the berries and prepare the beverages. What a simple, delicious breakfast.

Chicken Ratatouille Galette :  267 calories 7.6 g fat 5 g fiber 24 g protein 38 g carbs 321 mg Calcium  PB  Galettes/Crepes are wonderful to have on hand for use with a variety of fillings. If you had the galettes/crepes and the filling previously-made, then the meal goes together in no time.

buckwheat crepes [galettes]  1.5 oz chicken breast ½ cup Mediterranean Vegetables  1 Tbsp goat cheese 1 oz mozzerella cheese herbes de Provence OR tarragon 

If making crepes/galettes from scratch now: prepare the batter and let stand 30+ minutes. If using frozen crepes, put them in a plastic bag on the counter and let them thaw. Turn on the oven to 250 F. Cut or shred the chicken into small pieces. Put into pan with the Med.Veg. and heat to warm the vegetables, to reduce the liquids, and to cook the chicken. Take off heat. Prepare the crepes/galettes: either cook them now from batter or finish the thawing process by putting them in a warm oven. Add cheeses to mixture in the pan, and stir to combine. Toss in lots of herbes de Province or fresh herbs and taste for seasoning. Arrange the crepes/galettes on a cookie sheet and divide the filling among them. Fold over, pressing down gently. Heat in the warm oven.

Slow Days: Spiced Cauliflower Pasta  

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/ which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

As Summer turns to Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, our taste buds seem to want the warmth of spices in our food. “Pumpkin Spice,” anyone? [Which is not derived from an actual pumpkin. It refers to the spices used in pumpkin pie. But I digress.] This pasta dish is excellent. The curious addition of spices tells us that its origin was in Medieval Times. Nobles returning from the Crusades [this is the one good thing to result from the lamentable Crusades] brought with them ‘exotic’ spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves. European cuisine embraced them, often producing daring parings of spices with meat [as in Tourtiere] and vegetables. Of course the tomatoes in this recipe did not show up in Europe until the early 1500s, and they are a good addition. Sicily was a port of call for Crusaders and Lynne Rossetto Kasper is the source of this Sicilian recipe found in her The Italian Country Table.

The mise en place for 2 servings.
Serves 4 — original recipeServes 2 — how I do it
Large head cauliflower florets370 g cauliflower floretsBlanch in boiling water 1 minute. Keep water on the heat.
EVOO
1 cup onion, chopped
salt & pepper
EVOO
½ c onion, chopped
salt & pepper
Film bottom of a non-stick saute pan with oil and heat to medium-high. Stir-fry cauliflower 2 minutes, then add onion and seasoning and stirfry until golden.
Large pinch red pepper flakes
ditto for ground cloves
ditto ground cinnamon
¼ c basil + Italian parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 oil-packed anchovies
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Pinch red pepper flakes
ditto ground cloves
ditto ground cinnamon
2 Tb basil + Italian parsley
1 cloves garlic, minced
2 oil-packed anchovies
1½ Tbsp red wine vinegar
Chop the basil and parsley before packing in the measuring cup. Rinse the anchovies. Add these to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
4 oz zitti/penne per person2 oz zitti/penne per personCook pasta in salted water until al dente.
2/3 cup pasta water
14 oz canned whole tomatoes
1/3 cup pasta water
7 fl oz canned whole tomatoes
Drain and chop tomatoes. Add pasta water to saute pan and scrape up the brown bits. Add tomatoes, and boil until cauliflower is tender-crisp, ~3 minutes.
Reduce heat and add cooked pasta. Stir to blend. Season to taste
¼ pound ricotta salata OR Parmesan
1/3 c pine nuts
2 oz ricotta salata OR Parmesan
3 Tbsp pine nuts
Shave cheese into curls and add to serve hot, topped with pine nuts.
Plated with a nice piece of sourdough bread. You are correct: the pasta is neither zitti nor penne. You don’t have to stay inside the lines all the time.

Slow Days: Summertime Pasta

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day?  Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

Jacques Pepin is a darned good chef. Perhaps it is the fact that he was formerly the Executive Chef of the Howard Johnson’s chain that caused him to promote simple-to-prepare food that is achievable for the ‘average’ cook. One such recipe, from his book Fast Food My Way, is called Summertime Pasta. [When he talks about Fast Food, he means the kind that is quick to prepare, not the type we eat on a FAST Day***. ] If ever there was a time when one wants to keep prep time to a minimum, Summer is it. It amazes me how easy this meal is on the cook and how fine it is to eat it. We dine on it ourselves and serve it to company. It is that good.

The mise en place for two servings of Summertime Pasta
Sv 4Sv 2 
3 c. tomatoes in ½“ dice
1 ½ c. zucchini in ½“ dice
1 c. white mushrooms, ½” dice
1 tsp salt + black pepper
1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil  
6 oz diced tomatoes
¾ c diced zucchini
½ c diced mushrooms
½ tsp salt + black pepper
3 Tbsp EVOO
Mix everything in a microwavable glass bowl.
6 oz pasta shells, whole wheat
2 qts water
salt
3 oz shells, whole wheat
1 qt water
salt
20 minutes before serving, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the pasta and cook about 7 minutes until al dente. Drain.
Microwave the vegetables for 2 minutes or longer until they are lukewarm.
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese ½ c ParmesanCombine the drained pasta with the warm vegetables, then stir in the cheese.
1½ c. Fresh basil leaves, shredded ¾ c. Fresh basil leavesPlate, and top with basil.
Every meal looks delicious with edible flowers as a garnish.

If you wish, you can add chunks of chicken or grilled shrimp to the dish to add more protein. Delicious.

Snow peas are also a nice addition.

***Truth be told, I do have a version of this recipe that is fine for a Fast Day. One of these days, I will share it with you.

Comparing Plans: 30 per Week

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. 

Diets should be designed to help you become healthier, usually by losing weight. And that is a good thing, but often when people diet by cutting out food groups, they become less healthy because there is not enough variety in their food. When that happens, nutrients are lost, along with fiber. But inside your intestines, where your food is digested and absorbed into the body, something else happens: the loss of microbiota. Studies have shown that the less the diversity of your microbiota, the less healthy you are in the long run. The ’30 per Week’ challenge has you aiming to eat at least 30 different plants each week — vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, leaves — to boost microbiota populations. Think that is difficult? If you eat a slice of whole wheat bread for breakfast, that is from only one plant. If you switch to 10-grain bread, then you are one-third toward the goal! Folks who are following a Mediterranean Diet or a Plant-Based Diet or a MIND Diet will see that this way of eating will be easy to fold into their meal plans.

This plan dovetails nicely with the Fast Diet, since lots of meals can be constructed that meet the <300 calorie goal, but also have a variety of plant matter. It is true that I could eat a breakfast of a cheese omelette which contains no plants at all, but that might be one meal of 14 in a week. Dear Husband and I have found it to be an interesting and highly achievable challenge to eat 30 per Week. Try it!

Is this food allowed on this diet…30 per WeekOn Fast Days
Fatty Animal protein: beef, lamb, porkIn moderationYes
Lean Animal protein: chicken, turkeyYesYes, preferred
Eggs Yes Yes 
Beer, wine, cocktailsWine, maybeOn Slow Days
Grains, starches: whole grain versionsyesin moderation
Nuts + seedsYes in moderation
Beans, legumes: peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeasYes Yes 
Seafood protein, especially with Omega-3 fatsYesYes 
Apples, melons, pears, all other fruitsYesYes 
Berries of all kindsYes Yes 
Leafy green vegetables: spinach, chard, kale, lettuceYesYes 
Dairy: Cheese, milk, yogurt In moderationSome 
Vegetable oils: olive, canolaYes in moderation
Animal fat: butterIn moderationin moderation
Root vegetables: beets, sweet potatoes, carrotsYesYes 
Other vegetables: onions, tomatoes, peppersYesYes 
Higher fiberYes Yes
Daily Carb intakeVariety of grainsKeep it low
Whole grains Yes Yes
Simple carbs: cookies, pastries, cake, bread, processed foodsNot recommendedNot 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

The breakfast today contains 5 different plants, while the dinner provides 6 more. See how easy that was?

Flamenco ScrOmelette: 152 calories 7 g fat 2 g fiber 10 g protein 11 g carbs [10 g Complex] 51 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  The same flavors of a tapas meal now found in your breakfast scramble. Very good.

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 1½ Tbsp tomato puree ¾ oz bell peppers, chopped 1½ Tbsp onions, chopped 2 pinches cayenne pepper + large pinch chopped parsley + salt to taste 1 oz pear  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]

If starting the night before: Put the peppers and onions in a micro-wave safe container and nuke them for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato puree and the seasonings. Leave on counter overnight.

If starting at breakfast-time: Spritz a saute pan with non-stick spray and heat it. Put the vegetables into the hot saute pan to cook, then add the eggs and seasonings. Scramble together [or cook like an omelette] until the way you like it. Plate with the melon, pour your beverages of choice. Great flavors.

Santa Barbara Salad: 280 calories 13 g fat 6 g fiber 16 g protein 21 g carbs 106 mg Calcium  PB GF  From a Washington Post food column, this salad sings of California.  HINT: This amount serves 2 [two]. Invite a friend or save for lunch later in the week.

½ head Boston or buttercrunch lettuce 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes ½ medium apple, cored and diced ½ cup diced chicken breast ¼ cup chickpeas 1 oz soft goat cheese 1½ tsp pine nuts 1 Medjool date ½ two-oz egg, hardboiled  per serving: 1½ tsp cinnamon dressing

First prepare the dressing and refrigerate. Next, toast the pinenuts until they just begin to brown. Take off heat and set aside. Shred the lettuce and put in a bowl along with all the other ingredients. Toss with 1½ tsp dressing per serving. Play a Beach Boys song and wear your sunglasses.

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

1 two-oz egg + whole tomatoes1.5 two-oz eggs 
feta cheese + paprika + garlicroasted green chilis
orange/red bell pepper + onionapple
cumin + cayenne
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

6 felafel patties https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/fastingme.com/11013chicken breast meat, raw or cooked
fresh tomato + one 140-calorie pita breadbechamel sauce w/ cheese
orange/yellow bell pepper5 buckwheat galettes
red onion + lemon juiceasparagus
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Rome Burned

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 edwardlorilla2051tower who is now Following.

In 64 CE, the great capital of the Roman Empire caught on fire. This was a serious problem in the closely-packed city with people cooking over fire at home and giving burnt offerings to the gods in temples. The fire seems to have started in the shops on the grounds of the Circus Maximus — the site of chariot race in the movie Ben Hur. Quickly it spread through the crowded city of one million, burning for six days. Once it was out, it started again. Three days later, 10 of the 14 districts of the city were destroyed. Did the Emperor Nero play his fiddle as he watched Rome burn? No, because violins had not yet been invented yet. Besides, he was out of town, vacationing. Nero laid the blame on that new Jewish sect and cheerfully set out to eradicate the Christians. Nero’s detractors said that Nero was happy about the fire — had even started it as a form of urban renewal — so that he could build a huge new palace complex. Indeed, the fire spurred moves toward city planning. Streets by law became wider and less-flammable building materials were mandated. Fire patrols walked the neighborhoods, looking for fires to control. The Pantheon/Church of Saint Mary and the Martyrs was rebuilt of stone and cement as a result. The unsupported dome of the Pantheon influenced architecture for centuries. Should you ever visit the city, think of the horror of ancient Rome on fire.

The Roman Empire surrounded the Mediterranean Sea, called ‘Mare Nostrum’ or ‘our sea’ by the Romans. Our meals come from the island of Sicily and the waters of the Mediterranean. What would Nero have eaten? Let’s not go there.

Sicilian Bake:  138 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 10 g protein 8.4 g carbs 88 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  Lynn Rosetto Kasper tells of shepherds in Sicily spending the summer in the high meadows with their flocks. They make a salad, based on simple ingredients. That recipe informed the flavors of this breakfast.


1 two-ounce egg half of a 3” diameter thin slice of salami ½ clove garlic, minced 2 Tbsp sheep sorrel or arugula, coarsely chopped ½ Tbsp Parmesan-Reggiano cheese or pecorino cheese, grated 1 Tbsp ricotta cheese 5 cherries  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]

Chop the salami and put it in a small, dry, non-stick skillet with the garlic. Cook, stirring, until salami is getting a little crispy. Take pan off heat and stir in the greens. Spritz an oven-safe dish with non-stick spray. Put the warmed ingredients into the prepared dish. Whisk the egg with the cheeses, plus salt and pepper to taste. Pour into the prepared dish, and bake at 350F. For 12-15 minutes. Plate with the cherries. 

Mackerel Puttanesca: 298 calories 17 g fat 3 g fiber 22.6 g protein 7.6 g carbs 66.4 mg Calcium  PB GF Such an easy summer meal, especially if your sauce is left-over homemade or from the supermarket shelf. Delicious and satisfying. [Don’t be concerned about the fat: since the mackerel is high in Omega 3, the fat is ‘good fat’]

4 oz mackerel or other rich, oily fish ¼ cup puttanesca sauce, homemade or from a jar 2 oz green beans

If using fresh fish, broil the fish for 4-5 minutes per side to cook it.   If using mackerel which has been frozen after cooking, thaw to room temperature. NB: Mackerel does not keep well in the fridge uncooked. If you have to buy mackerel prior to the day you will serve it, filet the fish and broil it as soon as you get back to the kitchen. Then you can hold it for a day or two, or freeze it for longer. Mackerel does not freeze well uncooked. Cook the green beans. Gently heat the sauce and mackerel together in a covered pan until warm. Plate. Done in minutes!

Leonardo, artist

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. 

Leonardo da Vinci was a polymath of the first order. He had enough endeavors for many people — too many to squeeze into one lifetime. First and foremost, he was a visual artist. Leonardo was born on April 15 1452, and at age 14, he was an apprentice in the studio of Andrea del Verrocchio, the premier place to train in 15th century Florence. In that time, there were three painting media available to an artist: oil on wood or canvas; tempera, an egg-based paint, on wood; or fresco, when water-based colors are painted onto wet plaster. As a painter, Leonardo was always experimenting: his restless intellect wanted to leap to his next project or new innovation. Many of his oil paintings, including the Mona Lisa, were never finished since he went on to a new assignment in mid-stream. He tried out new artistic techniques, perfecting the sfumato where shadow and light have no sharp borders, but rather the vague transition seen in a cloud of smoke. Leonardo seems to have preferred oil paint. When commissioned to paint frescos, such as the Last Supper in Milan, he decided to apply oil paint to the plaster instead of the water colors. The oil paint did not want to stick to the wall and it began to flake off within a few months. One of the great, well-known masterpieces of the world was a technical failure. Restored many times, we can never fully appreciate what it really looked like. The most famous work of all is La Gioconda, aka: the Mona Lisa. It is famous for its technique and for that ‘Smile.’ Much ink has been spilt trying to describe the smile and why she wears it. It is worth noting that she is not the only subject with that look — I think it should be called the “da Vinci Smile.” Look for it in paintings of John the Baptist, Leda, and the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne. Of course, Dan Brown had to create a thriller involving da Vinci’s work, especially the Virgin of the Rocks , the Last Supper, and the drawing of the Vitruvian Man. If all he did was to paint and draw, Da Vinci would be justly famous. But he was so much more.

After training in Florence, Leonardo worked for many years in Milan, then in Rome, and finally in France. For Leonardo’s life in Rome, our breakfast takes its flavors from the well-known puttanesca sauce. The dinner is perfectly French, in recognition of the fact that Da Vinci was working for the French king when he died.

Puttanesca ScrOmelette: 146 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 10 g protein 7.5 g carbs 52 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF “Puttanesca” might not actually mean ‘street-walker’… Leonardo didn’t have much time for them, but he might have met these flavors while he worked in Rome. This breakfast is based on the flavors of the iconic Roman pasta dish. When you make a dinner with that sauce, save some out to season these breakfast eggs.

1½ two-ounce 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   1.5 Tbsp puttanesca sauce + ½ clementine OR 1 oz blueberries  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]

Whisk the sauce into the eggs and scramble or cook as an omelette. Enjoy with the hot beverage, smoothie, and blueberries.

Mackerel with Gooseberry Glaze:  276 calories 16 g fat 1 g fat 22 g protein 7 g carbs 27 mg Calcium  PB GF  This popular dish from Normandy usually features fresh gooseberries. Here in the USA, those are less common so we make a glaze of gooseberry jelly. The zucchini picks up the color of green gooseberries.

3 oz mackerel, frozen or fresh fillets + 2 tsp gooseberry jelly or jam + 4 oz zucchini ribbons

Thaw the fish if frozen. Heat the oven to 350 F. Put fish on a baking tray and brush with melted jelly on both sides. Using a potato peeler, carve long, thin slices from the length of the zucchini until you have 3 oz. Toss the ribbons with salt and pepper. Place the ribbons on the baking tray in a heap [if they are in a thin layer, they will over-cook]. Bake for the tray with the fish and zucchini for 5 minutes. Rearrange the zucchini so that the bottom layer is now on top. Bake 5 minutes more, or until the fish is cooked. Plate the fish with the zucchini ribbons. Sheet-pan dinners are so trendy now.

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

1.5 two-oz eggs + canned white beans1.5 two-oz eggs 
green onions2 chicken breakfast sausages @ 33 calories each
shrimp + tomatoapplesauce, unsweetened + marjoram
nectarine or peach cottage cheese, reduced fat
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

crab meat + scallion + Dijon mustardMartin’s whole wheat potato slider rolls or similar
egg white + whole-grain fresh bread crumbschicken breast slices
4 flounder or sole filets + butter + shallotsCorky’s BBQ Sauce
white wine + side salad or green beanscarrot sticks + cherry tomatoes
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Slow Days: Penne with Tuna and Tomatoes

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

On Wednesday, which is a Slow Day in our house, we invariably dine on a pasta meal. There are so many fine ways to top a plate of pasta that it can be a while until a particular meal is repeated. What follows is a recipe from Diary of a Tuscan Chef by Cesar Casella & Eileen Daspin. The chef calls it “Garganelli con Tonno Fresco,” but we call it Penne with Tuna & Tomatoes. This is so special and so easy to prepare that we schedule it when we want a lot of impact even when there is little time.

My job is to prepare the mise en place and to cook the pasta.

Here we see fresh tuna cut into 1/2 inch cubes, along with garlic chopped with fresh oregano, and 2 cups of halved cherry tomatoes. Cook the pasta of choice in salted water. Meanwhile, saute the garlic and oregano in olive oil until the garlic begins to color. Add the tuna and a pinch of crushed red pepper, and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until the fish is done to your liking. Remove the tuna from the pan to a plate or bowl. Drain the pasta, saving some cooking water. Deglaze the saute pan with about 1/3 cup white wine, and let it cook down while you scrape brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the pasta water and the tomatoes to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Toss in the pasta, some chopped parsley, the cooked tuna, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. That took less than 15 minutes.

Dear Husband cooks the meal and chooses the wine.

Plate with crusty bread and a crisp salad of many different greens. Easy and delicious — especially when Dear Husband does all the cooking.

Tomorrow marks the 8th anniversary of our Fasting Lifestyle. Our weight is still down where we want it to be, our health is good. And we continue to eat pasta on Wednesdays — what a life!