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!

Slow Days: Pastitsio

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.

My friend Nick, a pure Greek-American from the Greek neighborhoods of Manchester, NH, called pastitsio ‘Greek macaroni and cheese.’ If your mac&cheese is in a rut, try this variation — it is really good. And don’t even think of telling Nick’s mom that pastitsio originated in Italy!

Ground lamb meat, onion, tomatoes, cinnamon, Greek oregano, butter [not the entire stick], elbow macaroni — here is the basis of Pastitsio. The oregano and cinnamon tell you how Greek it is. Nick always wondered how the early Greeks got tomatoes, but he was willing to give that a pass….

Pastitsio Sauce + Casserole
1 cup chopped onion
½ pound ground lamb
Saute onion and meat in a heavy saucepan while stirring sometimes until the meat is brown and the onions are golden.
1 cup crushed or whole tomatoes
1½ tsp salt freshly ground pepper
1 tsp Greek oregano
1½ tsp cinnamon
Stir in these ingredients and simmer 5 mins.
½ cup Gruyere cheese, gratedStir in the cheese and taste for seasonings.
3 oz elbow macaroniCook the elbows. Stir them into the tomato sauce and turn the mixture into an oil-sprayed 1-Qt casserole.
Salsa BesamelTop with salsa besamel and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

The meat sauce is combined with cooked pasta and then you prepare a besamel…..

The salsa besamel goes on top. Milk thickened with a butter-flour mixture, grated cheese and egg all combine in a sauce that is poured on top of the pasta and sauce prior to baking.

Salsa Besamel
2 Tbsp butter Melt butter in a saucepan. Take off heat.
1 Tbsp flour
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 cup milk
Stir in flour, salt, and pepper, then add the milk gradually and stirring all the time. Put on low heat and stir for 5 minutes.
1 egg yolk
¼ c grated Parmesan cheese
Beat together in a small bowl, then slowly add the warm white sauce and stir constantly.
Baked to a golden turn.

Serve with Winter Vegetables, as seen here, or with a Greek Salad, Pastitsio makes for a hearty mid-Winter meal. Delicious.

Comparing Plans: MIND

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.

Paleo and Keto diets are all the rage, but it seems to me that the MIND Diet should be better-known. It was developed in 2015 at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago from two widely-regarded diets: the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet. The name is a real smash-up: Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. As that implies, the diet has genuine benefits for those who wish to forestall neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Furthermore, although it is not an eating plan aimed at weight-loss/body health, it could help to lower cholesterol and weight. Since Dr Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet for Slow Days, it is remarkably easy to merge this with a Fasting Diet. Dear Husband and I tried it out, designing a month-long plan of eating, and were glad to see how easy it was to follow. According to a study of 900+ seniors, those who followed the plan religiously reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s Disease by 53%. Those were less punctilious, still reduced their risk by 35%. Those are great numbers. I’m up for that. The chart below shows how nicely the MIND and FAST play together.

Is this food allowed on this diet…MINDOn Fast Days
Fatty Animal protein: beef, lamb, porkNo Yes
Lean Animal protein: chicken, turkey8 oz/weekYes, preferred
Eggs Yes Yes 
Beer, wine, cocktails5 oz red wine dailyOnly on Slow Days
Grains: brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole cereal Yes Yes, in moderation
Nuts + seeds3 oz/week Yes, in moderation
Beans, legumes: peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas4 oz/week Yes 
Seafood protein8 oz/week or moreYes 
Tropical fruitslimitedYes 
BerriesYes, often Yes 
Leafy green vegetables: spinach, chard, kale, lettuce1 oz/day or moreYes 
Cheese No Some 
Vegetable oils: olive, canolaYes Yes, in moderation
Animal fat: butterNo Yes, on Slow Days
Root vegetables: beets, sweet potatoes, carrotsYes Yes 
Other vegetables: onions, tomatoes, peppersYes Yes 
Higher fatNo No 
Colorful vegetablesYes Yes 
Higher fiberYes Yes
Daily Carb intakeunmeteredKeep it low
Complex carbohydrates: whole grains 3oz/day Yes
Simple carbs: cookies, pastries, cakeNoNot on Fast Day
16:8 intermittant fasting recommendedYesYes 
Number of days per week to follow the regimin 7 of 72 of 7
Do calories matter?No Yes, 600 on Fast Days
source: https://health.usnews.com/best-diet/mind-diet

Our meals today draw from ingredients that hew to the guidelines of the MIND Diet: whole-grain bread and a brightly-colored vegetable for breakfast, followed by beans with leafy greens for dinner. The soup also makes for a fine lunch, which is another time to eat your healthy ingredients.

Bruschetta Toast: 210 calories 12 g fat 4 g fiber 9.5 g protein 20 g carbs [12 g Complex] 56 mg Calcium  PB  This one was a serendipidous invention and it turned out to be yummy.

1 slice whole-grain seedy bread [Dave’s Killer Bread is great] one 2-oz egg 3 Tbsp Bruschetta sauce  – strain it if too liquidy 1 oz pear  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Toast the bread lightly and pan-fry or poach the egg. Spread 2 Tbsp of the bruschetta on the toast and top with the egg. Dollop the remaining bruschetta on the egg. Plate the fruit. Eat with knife and fork or with your hands. A taste sensation.

Bruschetta Sauce: makes 2 cups 1 cup= 285 calories 28.5 g fat 3 g fiber 2 g protein 10 g carbs 2 mg Ca
½ pound plum tomatoes
3-4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic + 1 scallion
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes + ½ tsp salt
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp fresh tarragon, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp fresh maarjoram, chopped
Core and quarter the tomatoes. Peel and crush the garlic.
Slice the scallion. Put all of these ingredients into a food processor and pulse off and on to make a chunky sauce.
½ pound plum tomatoesCore and quarter the tomatoes. Add to the above and pulse a few more times.
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
Pour the tomato-herb mixture into a bowl and stir in the vinegars.
This is the sauce that I mentioned in SlowDays: Bruschetta https://wordpress.com/post/fastingme.com/14162

Three-Bean Soup:  241 calories 3 g fat 29 g fiber 16 g protein 39 g carbs [32 g Complex] 134 mg Calcium  PB GF   A cold evening and a bowl of bean soup – so satisfying and delicious. HINT: This recipe produces 11 cups of soup. One serving = one cup A fine way to use up some of those beans that you hoarded when the Pandemic began.

1 cup dry navy beans** + 1 cup dry kidney beans** + 1 cup dry soldier beans** 2 Tbsp salt + water to cover beans 4 oz ham bone or ham hock, with some meat 1 cup onion, chopped 28 oz crushed tomatoes 1 tsp chili powder + 1 tsp dried basil 3 Tbsp lemon juice + salt + pepper to taste per serving: 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves cut as chiffonade **Any combination of beans will do. Add other types of beans or pulses, such as lentils, to create a 5-10 bean soup.

Rinse the beans in a collander under running water. Put them into a large bowl or cook pot and cover with 3-4” of water. The beans will double or triple in size as they absorb the water. Add salt and let the beans sit overnight. Next day, drain the water and discard. Put the beans in a large cook pot along with 1½ quarts water and the meaty bone. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cover. Let cook slowly for 2 hours. Add the onion, tomatoes, and flavorings. Fish out the ham bone and cut the meat from it. Dice the meat, add back to the pot, and simmer slowly for one hour. Serve with ½ cup fresh baby spinach leaves stirred into the hot soup in each serving bowl at the last minute.

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

1 two-oz egg + lots of fresh herbs1 two-oz egg, hard-boiled 
Crushed tomatoes + low-fat cottage cheese1 slice whole-grain dark bread @ 70 calories
anchovy + cooked chicken meatchicken dinner sausage
pear2 prunes + onion
Optional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

quail/pheasant + rabbit liver + peascabbage + onion + rutabaga/turnip
Dijon mustard + fresh cranberries + eggcarrot + parsnip + dry green lentils
rich broth + turkey + onion + wild boarpork loin + frozen spinach + fresh spinach
mace + carrot + Arnold Sandwich Thin [100 calories]mace + dry mustard + caraway seed
Sparkling waterSparkling water

The Dialogue

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 healthremedy247 and Weight loss meal plans who are now Following.

http://www.vaticanobservatory.va/content/specolavaticana/en/research/history-of-astronomy/the-galileo-affair.html

Galileo was in a quandary. He wanted to write about the new discoveries in the solar system, those of his pen-pal Johannes Kepler and ideas of his own. The work of Kepler, who showed the truth of the Copernican System, had been banned by the Church in 1616. Now Galileo wanted to help the average person to understand why the new ideas were correct. But Pope Urbain VIII and the Inquisition had hampered him: he was on probation for his previous writings and was forbidden to write in support of Kepler’s ideas. So Galileo composed a new book in 1632. It was written in Italian, not latin, so everyone could read it. It was penned in the form of a novel rather than as a scientific tome. He called it The Dialogue of Two Chief World Systems. The plot revolves around three travelers who meet by chance on the road. Over four days of walking, they talk about the new ideas in astronomy. Salviati, an ‘intellectual’ [who stands in for Galileo], is a proponent of the new philosophy and he debates with Simplicio [the ‘simpleton’] who adheres to the Ptolemaic system, while Sagredo, a truth-seeker, listens and asks questions. By the end of the book, the ideas of the Church have been shot full of holes and the reader will probably conclude that Salviati is correct. Pope Urbain VIII was furious. It seemed that Galileo had cast him as the Simpleton! Galileo was put on trial in 1633, and convicted of heresy. He was forced to recant all the ‘false’ ideas that he had published previously, his books were burned, and he spent the rest of his life under house arrest until his death. Three-hundred fifty years later, in 1992, Pope John Paul II officially pardoned Galileo and apologized for the Church’s objections to his ideas.

In honor of the three interlocutors of the dialogue, our breakfast and our dinner each contain three principle flavorings. Peruse this summary of The Dialogue, to understand the points that Galileo makes in the book.

O-M-G Bake:  141 calories 7.4 g fat 1 g fiber 8.7 g protein 9 g carbs 110 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  Think: Oh My Goodness! Or: Olive-Mushroom-Gouda. What Flavor!

1 two-oz egg 1 olive, chopped ½ oz raw mushroom, chopped ¼ oz Gouda cheese, grated 2 oz applesauce   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]

First set the toaster oven to 350 degreese F. Dear Husband is the one who prepares the breakfasts. He says to start the coffee next and then to prepare the smoothie. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray. Put the olive and mushroom in the ramekin. Whisk the egg with the cheese and pour into the ramekin. Bake in the toaster oven at 350 F. for 12-15 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs. Dish up the applesauce and pour the beverages. Delicious.

Tuna-Bean-Garlic Salad:  261 cal 7 g fat 5.5 g fiber 33 g protein 33.4 g carb 152.5 mg Calcium   PB GF  This is from the Fast Diet book. Great meal. HINT: this recipe serves 2 [two]

1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed one 5-oz can light tuna in water, drained and flaked 2 cloves garlic, chopped 4 oz tomato, left whole if bite-sized or sliced salt + pepper + thyme + parsley 3 oz spinach or mixed greens 1 tsp lemon juice + 1 tsp white wine vinegar + 1 tsp olive oil 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated

Gently stir the beans, tuna, and garlic together. In a wide, shallow bowl whisk the lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. Stir ½ tsp of the dressing into the bean mixture. Toss the greens and herbs with the remaining dressing, then stir the bean mixture into the greens. Top with the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Galileo

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 The Good Life Now and Chanaka and pipanddip who are now Following.

Galileo Galilei was born on February 15, 1564. He was a true Renaissance Man: poet, musician, popular professor, astronomer, inventor. His biggest claim to fame had to do with what he saw in the Solar System through his telescope. [Galileo did not invent the telescope, no matter how often he said it. He did improve and enlarge the instrument, making it more suitable for astronomical use.] Beginning in 1610, Galileo began publishing books about his observations: the moon had mountains and craters [described as looking like small-pox scars]; the sun had dark spots on its face [likened to pimples in his notes]; Venus waxed and waned in brightness as it went through phases, like our moon; Mars did not; Jupiter had a Great Red Spot [now recognized as a cyclonic storm]; Jupiter had four moons circling around it [making Earth seem puny with only one]. From his notes and calculations, he gave proof to an idea previously proposed by Copernicus and Kepler: the sun was in the center of the Solar System — not the Earth. Why was this a religious and cultural bombshell? Because everyone in Europe had been told since the time of Aristotle and Ptolemy that the Earth was the center of the universe. Later theologians said that this showed that Earth was singled out and blessed by the Almighty. Despite the fact that many Churchmen [including a future Pope] attended Galileo’s ‘telescope parties’ where everyone took turns looking at the planets through the device, the Church did not like these seemingly heretical ideas. Galileo was put on warning by the Inquisition and forced to recant his ideas. He was a man of strong faith and he would rather pretend to abjure his new discoveries than be banned from the Church forever.

We will start our day with flavors of Florence, Galileo’s beloved home town, and end the day with flavors of the Mediterranean: tuna with grilled vegetables.

Ham Florentine Bake: 133 calories 6.5 g fat 1 g fiber 8 g protein 6 g carbs 61.5 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  This bake is so flavorful that you will be amazed by the tiny calorie count. Same ‘ham Florentine’ used to fill crepes for dinner. Same kind of deliciousness.

1 two-oz egg 2 Tbsp ham Florentine filling** 2 oz applesauce Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories] or natural apple cider  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Set the toaster oven at 350 F. Spritz an oven-proof dish with non-stick spray. Whisk the egg and stir in the ham Florentine filling. Pour into prepared dish and bake for 12-15 minutes. Portion the applesauce and pour your choice of beverages. This is a breakfast to prepare often.

**Ham Florentine Fillingmakes 1.5 cups   ½ cup no-cheese Bechamel Sauce 1 cup ham in ¼ ” dice 1 cup [5 oz] cooked spinach, from fresh or frozen ½ cup chopped celery ¼ cup chopped onion pinches of celery salt + dill + granulated garlic + basil Be sure to squeeze the spinach until most of the liquid is out of it. [save the liquid] Spritz a saute pan with non-stick spray and add some of the spinach liquid. Cook the celery and onion until the onions are transluscent, adding more spinach liquid as needed. Add remaining ingredients and cook on low heat until warmed through.

Tuna with Grilled Vegetables: 244 calories 7 g fat 4 g fiber 29 g protein 14.6 g carbs [10.6 g Complex] 32.5 mg Calcium   PB GF  The recipe comes from the Fast Diet Book and it is wonderful. Very Mediterranean, too.

5 oz tuna steak 4 oz red bell peppers 5 oz zucchini 2 oz cherry tomatoes 1 tsp olive oil lemon juice

Cut the peppers into long strips. Same with the zucchini. Toss all the vegetables with the olive oil. Cook the tuna and vegetables on a grill pan or grill, 3 minutes on each side. Splash with lemon juice before plating. Delicious and quick.

Under the Influence: Italy

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 Dominus O. Markham and bloghealth1 and Youth and Healthy and Scot Henry who are now Following.

Italian cooks are under the influence. No, they are neither drunk nor drugged, so let’s follow a culinary trail…. Central and Southern Italian cuisine involves tomatoes — everyone knows that. And in the North, there’s cornmeal polenta. And that’s been since forever, right? Well, no. Tomatoes and corn are not native to Italy or even to Europe. Spanish colonizers brought those foods from meso-America back to Europe in the early 1500s. The Spanish were not that impressed. From there, tomatoes and corn spread to Italy, where, by the 1600s, they were embraced like long lost relatives and quickly made part of the food culture. Tomato sauces and salads and pizzas abound all over the country, and corn shows up in the iconic polenta of the North — I even ate kernels of corn on a pizza in Rome. Italy owes much of its culinary traditions to the influence of far-away Indigenous Americans. Fancy that!

Our breakfast features tomatoes as part of a famously delicious Italian sauce, while dinner involves cornmeal polenta. You too can be under the influence.

Puttenesca Bake: 127 calories 6 g fat 0.6 g fiber 7.7 g protein 10 g carbs [10 g Complex] 77.7 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beveragesPB GF  Once you have Puttenesca Sauce in the freezer, preparing this breakfast is very easy.

one 2-oz egg 1½ Tbsp Puttenesca sauce, drained of excess liquid   ½ Tbsp Parmesan, grated ¼ cup peaches, fresh or canned in light juice   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Set the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. Spritz an oven-proof ramekin or small casserole [if serving 2 or more] with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs with the sauce and cheese. Pour into the baking dish and heat for 12-15 minutes. Portion the peaches and prepare the beverages. Que bella!

Seafood with Polenta & Vegetables: 291 calories 8.5 g fat 3.7 g fiber 30 g protein 28 g carbs [24 g Complex] 180 mg Calcium  PB GF  Mediterranean Food, anyone? Here it is, a splendid way to eat healthily.

oops! This photo shows 3 logs of polenta when it should have only 2.

½ cup Mediterranean Vegetables without chickpeas   2 ‘logs’ of home-made polenta, from a batch with 6 ‘logs’ 4 oz fish such as cod or tilapia, raw or cooked ¾ oz mushrooms, sliced 3 Tbsp Parmesan, grated Prepare or thaw the polenta. Prepare or thaw the Mediterranean Vegetables. Stir in the mushrooms and sea food and simmer, covered, until the fish is cooked through. Place the polenta on the side of the plate and spoon the warm mixture on top. Top with the grated cheese and enjoy your taste of Italy.

Henri Matisse

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 Your 2.0 Life, gerald kasanda, supersizegenius, and drjura who are now Following.

Henri Matisse was supposed to be a lawyer. After training and receiving certification, he began to dabble in painting while recovering from appendicitis. It was a revelation. Since then, Matisse’s art has been a revelation to many people. Matisse had a unique color sense and a new way of presenting what we see every day. He would apply flat, unmodulated, unshaded colors on a flat canvas and voila! — depth and form would emerge, tricking the eye into seeing 3-dimensionally. How was he categorized as an artist? At first, he was influenced by Edouard Manet, an early Impressionist. Then he fell in with Picasso, who developed into a Cubist. Through that interaction, Matisse’s work with color marked him as a Fauvist. But Matisse is all of them and none of them. His work is unique. None more so than the Chapel of the Rosary in Vence, France — now called the ‘Matisse Chapel.’ There light and color and artless line drawings combine into a chapel of light, charm, and emotion: a culmination of a life’s exploration of art.

Matisse was born in Northern France on December 31, 1869. His northern origins are reflected in our breakfast. The dinner of vegetables and rice, typical of Southern France where Matisse settled, would be perfect for the period of time when he was unrecognized and impecunious.

Breton Breakfast: 195 calories 14 g fat 6 g fiber 10.5 g. protein 25 g carbs [17 g Complex] 104 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the galette/crepe, egg filling, and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.  PB  Here is one way to use the galette/crepe batter which you saw in SLOW DAYS: Crepes and you stored in the freezer. You need one galette per serving. Make some extras for a lunch or dinner later this week. Put some cooked galettes in a zipper bag in the freezer for another time.

1 galette  1 two-oz egg 1 oz [3 Tbsp] diced tomatoes 1 Tbsp [1 oz] diced artichoke, canned or frozen 1/4-1/3 tsp curry powder [seafarers brought a lot of spices to Brittany’s ports] 1½ oz apple   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Put the vegetables and curry in a small sauce pan with any juice still in the tomatoes and cook uncovered until the veg are soft and the liquid has almost evaporated. HINT: do this the night before to save time at breakfast. If your crepe was cooked previously, warm it a little to take off the chill. Cook the egg by frying it in a lightly-oiled non-stick pan. Spoon the vegetables on the crepe, put the egg on top. Hold briefly, if needed, in a warm oven while you pour the smoothie and warm beverage, and while you slice the fruit.

Mediterranean Vegetables with Brown Rice:  281 calories 7 g fat 10.4 g fiber 16.4 g protein 40 g carbs 332 mg Calcium  PB GF  Here are those wonderful mediterranean vegetables again, served with brown rice for more fiber amd complex carbs.

2 cups eggplant, peeled & cubed OR 1½ cup bell peppers, cubed 2 cups tomato, cubed 2 cups zucchini, cubed 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1½ tsp oregano ½ cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained   per serving: 1 oz mozzerella, shredded + ¼ cup brown rice or whole-grain couscous, cooked 

Prepare all the veg, and put them in a saucepan. Simmer, covered, until cooked through. If watery, remove lid and continue to simmer. Add oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and the chickpeas, and keep warm. Prepare the brown rice or couscous and place it on one side of the plate. Spoon 2 cups of the vegetables next to the couscous. Top with cheese and tuck into it!

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

1 two-oz egg +milk1.5 two-oz eggs 
whole-grain bread + tomatosalt cod + Cheddar cheese
cooked chicken or fishmashed potato or instant potato flakes
cheese + strawberriesstrawberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

codfish brandade4 oz ground lamb patty. 90% lean
2-inch diameter tomatoessugar + white wine vinegar
Finn-Crisp crackerscucumbers
fresh spinachdill weed
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Statue of David

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 Malcolm Rae who is now Following.

David was one of the major characters of the Old Testament. He was the youngest son of Jesse; a shepherd lad. While he was still a youth, the invading Philistines looked as if they were going to defeat the Israelites. Their champion, the giant Goliath, challenged Israel’s champion to single combat. David volunteered to fight the giant. He was offered armor, but it was too big. Armed with only his slingshot, David faced his enemy and killed him with a single stone, then cut off his head. During the Renaissance, sculptors vied with each other to depict David. In 1440, Donatello showed his statue of David. It was the first bronze statue of the Renaissance. It depicts a boy who’s voice is still changing standing with his foot on Goliath’s head. David looks thoughtful and, in a reference to Classical Greek art, he is nude. Thirty-five years later, Verrocchio produced a bronze on the same subject. This David is even younger and to avoid the criticism of prudes, he wears a tunic and a breastplate [that looks a bit like lingerie]. He has killed the enemy and stands with a hand on his hip and a cocky look as if to say, “I told you I could do it.” Here David represents the City of Florence, ready to defeat larger enemies. When most people think of a statue of David, they think of Michelangelo’s monumental work. In it, a larger-than-life nude man [not a young shepherd boy] casts a cool gaze at his distant opponent. The work, finished in 1504, is pure High Renaissance, designed to show that humans can achieve anything they put their minds to, through reason. In my opinion, the best of all of them is David by Gian Bernini. By 1623, the Renaissance gave way to the Baroque period of art, where motion and emotion replaced that measured calm of Michelangelo’s time. Here an older teenaged David gets ready to let-‘er-rip and you know Goliath is done for. Each statue tells the same story in its own way. Each is the triumph of their own time. Which one do you prefer?

Since David was a shepherd in Israel, our breakfast contains lamb and many flavors of the region. The dinner involves a stone, since that is how David killed Goliath.

Levantine Lamb Bake:  219 calories 14 g fat 1 g fiber 26 g protein 8 g carbs 108.6 mg Calcium   PB GF  Let’s take all the popular flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean and bake them with eggs. Great idea!! [If this sounds familiar, it is based on Lamb Gozleme, which was featured previously. If you had left-over filling (about 2 Tbsp) from that, you could use it.]

1 two-oz egg ¼ oz tomatoes, small dice 1/8 oz feta cheese, small dice 1 Kalamata olive, small dice 1/8 oz cooked lamb meat, small dice 1/8 oz spinach, chopped oregano + salt + pepper 2 oz peach or nectarine   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Prepare all the vegetables, meat, and cheese, and combine them well in a small bowl with the seasonings. Spray an oven-safe dish with non-stick spray and turn the bowl contents into the dish. Whisk the egg and pour over the other ingredients. Bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes. Plate with the fruit and pour the hot beverage. If I knew how, I’d say ‘delicious!’ in Greek, Turkish, Syrian, Palastinian, Hebrew, and Egyptian.

Stone Soup: 125 calories 1.4 g fat 4 g fiber 7.5 g protein 21 g carbs [21 g Complex] 55.6 mg Calcium   PB GF — if using GF bread or eliminating it.  A recipe based on the old French folktale about ‘making soup out of stones.’ And it tastes good, too. HINT: Makes 8 one-cup servings.

See the stone in the center, just under the bread?

½ pound stones, in large pieces – well scrubbed    2 quarts water 4 oz beef, diced 4 oz carrots, sliced 4 oz cabbage, sliced 4 oz parsnips, cubed 4 oz green beans, cut to 1” 4 oz red potato, diced 4 oz spinach, chopped 4 oz white beans lots of herbs + salt + pepper   Optional: slice of artisinal rye bread  adds 100 calories

Put the stones in the water and bring to a simmer. Add the other ingredients and simmer until vegetables are tender. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve with the bread if you wish.

Saint Matthew

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.

Levi, son of Alphaeus, was born in Galilee and was raised as an observant Jew. Why he became a tax collector for the oppressive Roman Empire is anyone’s guess. As a consequence, he was shunned and reviled as a collaborator. In a stunning move, Jesus called him to be one of his disciples, a scene brilliantly and dramatically illustrated by Caravaggio’s ‘The Calling of St Matthew.’ When the ‘culture police’ complained, Jesus pointed out that his job was to reclaim the sinners, since the righteous didn’t need saving. Levi then came to be known as Matthew. Biblical scholars debate whether Levi is the Matthew mentioned in the Bible; whether the Gospel of Matthew was written by Levi or by one of his followers; whether it was written in Aramaic/Hebrew or in Greek; whether or not Matthew died as a martyr. At any rate, Matthew is considered the Apostle to the Jews: visiting Jewish groups in the region around Judea to convince them that Jesus was the Messiah. His Feast Day is October 21.

Foods to eat for Matthew’s Feast Day are Kosher, of course. Early Christian Jews observed the culinary cultural norms and holidays. Except for the tomatoes and Bell peppers, the ingredients would have been available in Judea and Syria in Matthew’s time.

Spinach-Mushroom-Feta Bake: 178 calories 10.7 g fat 1 g fiber 13 g protein 8 g carbs [3.8 g Complex] 214.7 mg Calcium  PB GF — if using GF flour Miri Rotkovitz presented this recipe via thespruceeats.com. It is her ‘dairy meal for Hannukka’. Her version is a dinner pie, complete with an olive oil crust. My version packs a punch of flavor at breakfast. HINT: This recipe makes two servings. The other half of it would be a terrific lunch on another day.

½ tsp olive oil + non-stick spray 2 cloves garlic, chopped = 2 teaspoons 3 oz mushrooms, chopped or diced 3 oz chopped, frozen spinach 2 two-oz eggs 2 Tbsp milk 1-½ teaspoons flour 1-½ oz feta cheese, crumbled   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Thaw the spinach in a sieve to remove extra water. Gently cook the olive oil in the oils until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the water they exude evaporates. Put the feta in a bowl, top with the spinach, then the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms/garlic cool before you stir the vegetables and cheese together. Combine the flour and milk in a small dish and heat in the microwave. Stir together to make a roux. Whisk the roux with the eggs. Put the vegetable-cheese mixture in an oven-proof dish which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Pour the egg mixture on top and bake at 350 F for 20-23 minutes. All the flavors meld together to create a savory way to start your day.

Felafel with Vegetable Salsa:  205 calories 5 g fat 7.7 g fiber 9 g protein 26.5 g carbs 139 mg Calcium   PB GF V   The felafel recipe is from Molly Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook. Perfect for a hot summer day or any day that you need a quick and easy meal.

6 falefel patties ½ cup diced fresh tomatoes ½ cup diced orange or yellow bell peppers 2 Tbsp red onion, chopped 1 Tbsp lemon juice  

Combine the chopped vegetables with the lemon juice. If frozen, warm the felafel. Let the vegetables ‘marry’ while the felafel warms. Plate the felafel and the salad.  Its that easy?!? Yes, it is.