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.

Comparing Plans: Keto

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 jkimdol and Apoorva Dietician and Oliver William and yourweightlossguide who are now Following.

Ordinarily, the food you eat turns to glucose. Then your cells convert glucose into the energy your body needs to operate. If there is more glucose than the body can burn, it turns to fat. Hence, to paraphrase Mr Micawber, a calorie surplus and an energy deficit = gaining weight. During Ketogenesis, your body is tricked into burning fat for energy. The longer your body is in a Ketogenic state, the more fat your body burns. This is the principle of the Ketogenic Diet. Many of you are following that. To be a strict adherent, you eat only certain foods: no beans or whole grains or carrots and little fruit. The diet was originally developed to minimize seizures in children who are epileptic, and that worked. Then weight-conscious people said, “Hey! I want to burn the fat in my body faster, and Keto eating sounds like the way to do it.” The Keto Diet dovetails nicely with most tenants of the Fast Diet, as many of my Followers must know by now, since several of you are proponents of Keto. This chart will help you to see any differences and all of the similarities:

Is this food allowed on this diet…Keto On Fast Days
Fatty Animal protein: beef, lamb, porkSome Yes
Lean Animal protein: chicken, turkeySomeYes, preferred
Eggs Yes Yes 
Beer, wine, cocktailsNoOn Slow Days
Grains + starches: rice, wheat products, pasta, cereal No Yes, in moderation
Nuts + seedsYes Yes, in moderation
Beans, legumes: peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeasNo Yes 
Seafood proteinSome Yes 
Apples, melons, pears, all other fruitsNo Yes 
Berries: blueberries, strawberriesYes Yes 
Leafy green vegetables: spinach, chard, kale, lettuceYes Yes 
Cheese SomeSome 
Vegetable oils: olive, canolaYes, lots Yes, in moderation
Animal fat: butterYes, lots Yes, in moderation
Root vegetables: potatoes, beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnipsNo Yes 
Other vegetables: onions, tomatoes, peppersYes Yes 
Higher fatYes No 
Protein — 81 g per day for person weighing 150#/68kglimited Yes. lots 
Higher fiberNo Yes
Daily Carb intake20 gKeep it low
Complex carbohydrates: whole grainsNoYes
Simple carbs: cookies, pastries, cakeNoNot on Fast Day
16:8 intermittant fasting recommendedYesYes 
Number of days per week to follow the regimen 7 of 72 of 7
Do calories matter?No Yes, only 600 on Fast Days
sources: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/should-you-try-the-keto-diet and https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ketogenic-diet-101#foods-to-eat

What shall we eat today that is in line with the Standard Keto Diet? Avocado-Egg Toast and a Beef Stirfry — without the rice or noodles. These meals are not pure Keto, since that would involve much more fat. However, these meals are prepared with Keto-approved ingredients as well as meeting the Fast Day calorie limits. If you are considering weight loss, think about which diet plan is for you.

Avocado-Egg Toast:  176 calories 10 g fat 4.5 g fiber 10 g protein 15.6 g carbs [~10 g Complex] 5 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the toast, egg, avocado, and the fruit, not for the optional beveragePG GF– if using GF bread  Avocado Toast has been all the rage in celebrity diets, so we decided to try it. Very nice with the egg on top and a wholesome bread underneath.

1 two-oz egg 0.8 oz avocado 1 slice 70-calorie bread [Fasters would have this be whole-grain, hearty bread]   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  

Lightly toast the bread while you fry or poach the egg. Spread the avocado over the bread and top with the egg. Pour the beverage and you are all set for a Keto day.

Beef Stir-fry: 245 calories 8 g fat 3 g fiber 17 g protein 21 g carbs 74 mg Calcium  PB GF From Eating Well comes this simple stir-fry that is good tasting and good for you.  TIP: for one serving, cook in a saute pan since a wok would be too large for the contents.

2 oz beef [mine was leftover from dinner]   ¼ cup chicken stock ¾ tsp fresh ginger, minced or grated ¾ tsp cornstarch 1 clove garlic ¼ tsp ground coriander small pinch red pepper flakes ½-1 tsp sesame oil ¼ medium onion [1.5 oz], sliced ½ cup broccoli florets ¼ cup red pepper in bite-sized strips 1 tsp sesame seeds optional: 1/4 cup cooked brown rice, adds 54 calories

Slice beef on the diagonal into bite-sized pieces. Stir together the stock, ginger, cornstarch, garlic, coriander, and red pepper flakes. Heat the oil until shimmering then stir-fry the vegetables for 3 minutes. Add the meat and if it is raw, stirfry for another minute. Stir the sauce well and add to the pan. If meat is cooked, add it now. Cook until bubbly and thick and meat is heated. Plate the stir-fry, with or without the optional rice, then sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

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

1 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs 
bannockSwiss or Rainbow chard + Paprika
applesauce, unsweetenedgarlic powder + Parmesan cheese
‘Canadian bacon’ or back baconstrawberries
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

chicken leg quarters + leeks4-oz bison burger + catsup
onion + carrotscoleslaw or other vegetable
prunes + thyme + bay leaf90-calorie slider bun
quick-cooking barleymushrooms
Sparkling waterSparkling water

The Darkest Evening

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 Living Paleo and jeffryjune8 and Julian Sirian who are now Following.

“Whose woods these are, I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farm house near, Between the woods and frozen lake, The darkest evening of the year.”

So begins Robert Frost‘s Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening. Many young school children have memorized it. Many older ones have studied its unusual rhyme scheme: AABA BBCB CCDC DDDD Some go on to ponder the meaning, for surely it must mean something. To me, it is no more and no less than an appreciation of winter in Northern New England: the woods; the quiet; the solitude; the snow; the chance to stop and look and think and enjoy the view. “The darkest evening of the year” is, of course, the Winter Solstice. At my latitude, the night will be 15 hours long on December 21.

To celebrate the Winter Solstice, we will prepare a breakfast that gives a nod to Autumn and to Winter. The fact that after the Solstice the days grow longer seems cause for a celebratory feast! In Eastern Canada, residents will buy a small barrel of oysters in December, to tide them through the season. In the Eastern US, many Winter meals — from chowders, to stuffings, to cocktail parties [not this year!], to casseroles — feature oysters because they can be kept fresh in the cold weather. So let’s eat oysters!

Winter Solstice Bake: 141 calories 7.6 g fat 1.3 g fiber 9 g protein 12 g carbs 51 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 the seasons, a meal to mark the occaision. The olives represent Autumn and the cured meat evokes Winter. A great combination any time.

One 2-oz egg ¼ oz proscuitto 2 Kalamata olives pinch of winter savory or rosemary  1 clementine  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 meat and the olives.  Spritz a ramekin with non-stick spray. Whisk the eggs. Stir in the meat and olives, and pour into the ramekin. Resist the urge to add much salt — the meat and the olives are salty to begin with. Bake at 350F. for 12-15 minutes. Plate with the fruit and pour the beverage of choice.

Oyster Feast:  267 calories 15 g fat 2 g fiber 12.6 g protein 21 g carbs [4 g Complex] 144 mg Calcium   PB GF  In my opinion, a plate of raw oysters and a salad makes a wonderful dinner for a dieter. Please note that all 12 oysters are for one person: a real feast!

The oysters were delivered to us from Island Creek, Massachusetts, and represent three different varieties.

12 medium raw oysters 2 oz spinach leaves ½ oz walnut meats 2 oz pickled beets, cubed ½ tsp olive oil + ½ tsp Balsamic vinegar

Whisk the oil and vinegar in a wide bowl. Break the spinach leaves into the bowl and toss gently to cover with the dressing. Put the walnuts and beets in the bowl over the salad. Shuck the oysters and enjoy your special meal.

Halcyon Days

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 Eat Think Wellness and Solute21 and Weight Loss Review who are now Following.

In the Eastern Mediterranean, in the middle of December, the weather is usually fair and calm, good for voyaging by boat. When the ancient Greeks wanted to explain a natural phenomenon, they would create a legend about it. As we are told, the minor gods Alcyone and Ceyx drew the wrath of Zeus and he killed them. The other gods and goddesses took pity and turned them into kingfisher birds [Family Halcyonidae, Genus Alcedo]. These kingfishers were said to build a floating nest in which to hatch their chicks. Needing calm seas to achieve success, the birds would cast a spell on the weather to ensure it: those were the Halcyon Days. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Halcyon Days begin on December 14 this year. The original meaning seems to have morphed to connote happy times, when all is well — a modern interpretation indeed of ‘calm and sunny’ weather. As the Covid vaccines are approved and delivered into waiting arms, perhaps our 2021 will have a long stretch of Halcyon Days.

It is a Greek legend, so Greek food is on the menu: morning and evening.

Creamy Greek Omelette:  165 calories 9 g fat 2 g fiber 12.6 g protein 14 g carb [11.7 g Complex] 89 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF The feta lends a tang to the eggs, while the cottage cheese gives a wonderful melting texture. A real treat.

1 ½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.  3/8 oz feta cheese 1½ Tbsp cottage cheese Greek oregano + salt + pepper 1½ oz of apple  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]

Mince the feta and combine with cottage cheese and oregano. Spritz a non-stick skillet with oil or non-stick spray and heat the pan over medium-low heat. Beat the eggs well with 1 spoonful of the cheese mixture using a rotary mixer. Pour the eggs into the pan and let cook undisturbed until the edges set. Lift the edges gently to allow the uncooked egg to flow underneath. Before the top surface sets, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put dollops of the cheese mixture on half the omelette and make an attempt to spread it out. Fold the omelette in half and continue to heat in the pan. Filling will heat and may ooze out a bit. Brew and pour your beverages. Plate the apple and the omelette. Oh yum.

Greek-style Hake:  263 calories 11 g fat 7.7 g fiber 25.5 g protein 24 g carbs [23 g Complex] 173 mg Calcium  PB GF  The cookbook Ikaria by Diane Kochilas is related to the National Geographic study of locations world-wide where there is the greatest longevity. Thinking that nutrition has something to do with it is one direction that could take you.

4 oz hake ½ tsp olive oil 1/3 cup onions, halved then sliced ½ clove garlic, sliced pinch sugar 1½ cup canned whole tomatoes 1 Tbsp [½ oz] dry red wine 1½ Tbsp good Feta cheese, crumbled 2½ oz asparagus OR one Side Salad 

Saute the onion slices and garlic in the oil, adding some water if the pan becomes too dry. Remove garlic and discard. Add tomatoes, sugar, and wine. Cook the vegetables down to reduce the liquid. Lay the fish on top of the vegetables, cover loosely, turn down the heat and cook until the fish flakes [about 10 minutes]. Meanwhile, prepare the asparagus or Side Salad. Top the fish with the crumbled Feta before serving.

The Ice Storm

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 Go Heathy Eating and Evelyn D. Greene and ujaechpfmbmqy2k who are now Following. 

We went to bed on December 11, 2008, with forecasters predicting rain and freezing rain overnight. We woke at 4 am, listening to ice tik-tikking against the windows and slithering off the White Pine trees to tinkle to the ground. At 4:30 am, a pine limb jolted us out of bed as it crashed through a skylight in the kitchen. Hours later, after sawing apart the limb and tacking a large trash bag over the gaping window [and mopping the water and sweeping the broken glass], the reality of our situation revealed itself: the inches of ice on the trees had brought many to the ground, bringing down power lines all over Northern New England. Within those few hours, we had been yanked out of the 21st century and propelled back to the 18th century: no electric lights, no indoor plumbing [the well pump runs on electricity], no central heating, no refrigerator or freezers. For us, this lasted for 10 days. We coped pretty well. Heat came from 2 wood stoves; we hauled water from the stream to flush toilets; melted snow for water for washing dishes; covered the freezers with blankets and moved refrigerator food to boxes on the back porch. Life went on. It was an adventure for us, a life-threatening problem for others. When we started our Pandemic State of Emergency in March, 2020, it made me think of the Ice Storm days — we were on our own, not going anywhere, not seeing anybody. Gosh we were glad when the power came on again! Now, in the winter, when the meteorologist predicts freezing rain overnight, people still get a little nervous….and check the flashlight batteries.

Our meals for the Ice Storm Anniversary could easily be cooked on the wood stove, using ingredients that might be on hand in a thawing refrigerator. In case you are wondering: yes, one puts the food in a pot or saute pan — not directly on the metal of the stove.

Creole ScrOmelette: 154 calories 8.5 g fat 0.9 g fiber 16.7 g protein 7.5 g carbs [6.5 g Complex] 72.5 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  James Beard’s comprehensive volume American Cooking was the source of this recipe. It is amazing!

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.  1 Tbsp diced tomatoes or 1 Tbsp tomato puree 1 Tbsp minced onion 2 Tbsp green bell pepper, diced 1 Tbsp diced bacon ½ Tbsp mozzerella cheese, grated pinch file powder + pinch chile powder   ½ 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]

HINT: dice all the vegetables and bacon the night before to save time in a.m. Spritz a saute pan with non-stick spray and add the chopped veg and bacon. Add the seasonings. Saute until beginning to brown. Whisk the eggs and pour them over the cooked ingredients. Sprinkle the cheese on top and scramble the eggs until done as you like them. Plate with portioned pear and your beverages of choice. Off to a tasty start.

Ham & Cheese Street Crepes: 272 calories 9 g fat 2.4 g fiber 21 g protein 25 g carbs 212 mg Calcium  NB: The photo shows a meal for 2 [TWO]. The recipe below is for one serving. This is the familiar street-vendor lunch in Paris, except that the food values will not break the bank on a Fast Day. Very quick and easy to prepare, especially if you had made the crêpe batter before and have it thawed out. HINT: can be prepared in advance and rewarmed later. Good for traveling or planning ahead.

1 serving = 2 crepes

2 crêpes  1 wedge “Laughing Cow” [Vache Qui Rit] cheese at room temperature 2 oz sliced deli ham ½ oz deli sliced Swiss cheese 2 oz tomatoes 

Cook the crepes on both sides. Remove to a work surface. Spread the Laughing Cow cheese on one half of each crêpe. Lay the ham on the cheese side of each crêpe and top with the Swiss cheese slices. Fold in half. Heat a heavy skillet, adding maybe a spritz or 2 of non-stick spray. Lay the folded crêpes on the hot skillet to heat one side, then flip to heat the other side. You want the cheese to get melty. Fold each crêpe once more into tidy triangles, and push down on them with the turner to flatten them. Plate them with the tomatoes and voilà!

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

1.5 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs  + tomato
feta cheesebacon + onion + green pepper
cottage cheese + oreganomushrooms
apple or applesaucepaprika + pear
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

hake + olive oil bison or venison meat
garlic + sugar + onion chicken breast meat + asparagus
red wine + whole tomatoeswhite whole wheat flour
feta cheese + side saladegg + fresh bread crumbs
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Supernova!

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 holisticlifehacker and fastabsburner, who are now Following.

A ‘supernova‘ is usually the explosion of a large star, which, having run out of Hydrogen, explodes violently. Such stars are rare and they send out so much light that they can be seen many 1000s of light-years away. The first such event to be recorded by humans was seen on Dec 7, 185 by Chinese astronomers, who reported a ‘guest star.’ The Chinese did not attempt to interpret what they saw, they merely made note. In 1572, Tycho Brahe was the first European to observe a supernova, and he called it a ‘new star’ [stella nova]. Having found a new star in the presumably unchanging heavens won Tycho lasting fame. Whether guest or new, a supernova is an old star which is newly visible from far away. Often this last gasp of a star’s life lasts for months before fading out, and may be visible during the day as well.

Foo Yung ScrOmelette: 150 calories 7.6 g fat 1.5 g fiber 13 g protein 8 g carbs [6.8 g Complex] 68 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  Here we take the Cantonese classic and prepare it for breakfast. Filling and nutritious.

1 ½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.  2 Tbsp crab meat ¾ tsp soy sauce ¼ c mung bean sprouts ¼ oz mushrooms green parts of one scallion, sliced ¼ tsp ground ginger + splash of hot sauce 1 oz pear slices or applesauce   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]

The night before, combine the crab, soy, sprouts, mushrooms, scallion, ginger and hot sauce in a small bowl. Next morning, spritz a non-stick saute pan with oil or non-stick spray and briefly cook the crab mixture to heat it thoroughly. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and pour into the pan, scrambling to incorporate the crab mixture. Cook to your favorite degree of doneness. [Alternately, cook like pancakes: put half of the crab mixture in the pan, then pour half of the egg on top. When done on the bottom, turn to cook the top. Repeat with other half of ingredents.] Dish up the fruit, brew your hot beverage, and prep the smoothie. And your fortune cookie says: “You will lose weight.”

Shrimp Egg Rolls:  238 calories 3.5 g fat 2.5 g fiber 15.6 g protein 29 g carbs 46 mg Calcium  PB I learned to make egg rolls when I worked for Jerry Willis at his ffirst restaurant. These have always been a favorite. But they are NOT deep-fat fried, which keeps their calories and fat down to permissable levels.  HINT: This recipe makes 4 rolls and one serving = 2 rolls. Put 2 in the freezer for another day or eat for lunch later in the week.

3 oz shrimp, fresh or frozen, shells removed 1 Tbsp oyster sauce 1 Tbsp soy sauce one 1/4″ slice of ginger, minced ½ garlic, sliced 2 oz carrot, sliced 1 oz onion, sliced 3 oz cabbage, sliced 4 six-inch egg roll wrappers 1 tsp canola oil 3 oz tomato slices duck sauce + hot sauce [wasabi or Sriracha]

If shrimp are frozen, thaw them in advance. Then slice in half across the body and mix with the oyster and soy sauces, the garlic and onion. Prepare the vegetables and put them all into a hot wok or wide saute pan with ¼ cup water and a squirt of Sriracha. [If the pan gets too dry, add a bit of the marinade combined with a few spoonsful of water.] Stir-fry the ingredients for 4 minutes or until the vegetables are just a little shy of done. Add the shrimp and marinade and stirfry about one minute longer – shrimp should be thoroughly cooked. Put everything from the wok into the food processor and run until coarsely chopped. [If a lot of liquid remains, cook it down some more until it is thick and add back to the ingredients.] Lay one of the wrappers on a flat surface and moisten the edge farthest from you with water. Measure out 1/3 cup of the filling and roll up the wrapper. There are usually diagrams on the back of the package to show you how. Put the oil in a clean, flat-bottomed pan and heat it. Put the egg rolls in the pan and roll them around to coat with the oil on all surfaces. Heat until the rolls are beginning to get brown and blister-y on one side, then turn to cook on the other side. You could continue in this way or you could put the pan in a 375 degree oven until they are crispy. Plate with the tomato slices and the dipping sauce.

Gilbert Stuart

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 Health Solution and Evaking who are now Following.

Who showed us the face of the American Revolution? Gilbert Stuart, portraitist of the Founding Fathers.  Born on December 3, 1755, in Saunderstown, Rhode Island, Stuart showed promise at an early age. His first commission was done when he was 12 years old. He was tutored by a Scottish painter, who took Gilbert to Scotland at the start of the American Revolution. Although his mentor died within a year, the artist began to cultivate the famous and powerful, painting many portraits in the UK, thanks to the help of artist Benjamin West. Upon his return to the USA after the war, Stuart had a studio in the new city of Washington, DC. EVERYBODY sat for him and he was very prolific. He had to be: as brilliant as he was with a paint brush, he was equally unskilled with a check book. His famous portrait of George Washington was in great demand. Stuart kept it until he died, endlessly making copies to sell to try to stay out of debt. Until his death at age 72, he had painted 1000 portraits: 6 presidents, bishops, First Ladies, Supreme Court Justices, children and wives of rich men. His portraits looked natural and made his subjects seem alive. People enjoyed sitting for him, since he was a lively conversationalist. Want to visit his grave? No such luck. So in debt was he when he died, that his family buried him in an unmarked grave, always intending to come back and give him a headstone. But 10 years later, they couldn’t find him, and he is lost in the Central Burying Ground of Boston Common.

Even in the late 1700s, people from the Azores, fishermen and whalers, were moving to Rhode Island. Our breakfast has the flavors of their Old Country that they brought here. All-American ‘succotash’ is from Rhode Island, just like Gilbert Stuart. The word is from the language of the Narragansett Indians who settled the land long before the colonizers arrived.

Azorean Omelette: 197 calories 10.4 g fat 0.9 g fiber 12.6 g protein 5.4 g carbs [4.2 g Complex] 126 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the Omelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages. PB GF When we were on vacation in the Azores, these local ingredients made for a wonderful breakfast. When at home, just as fine.

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.  0.3 oz Azorean cheese OR Gouda 1 oz Pimenta da Queijo    1 oz kiwi fruit   optional: blackish Portuguese or Brazilian coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea [from the Gorreana Tea Plantation] or lemon in hot water

Grate/shred the cheese. Whisk the eggs with the pepper sauce and turn into a lightly-oiled nonstick pan. Sprinkle the eggs with the cheese and cook as you would an omelette. Plate with the fruit and serve one of those delicious beverages. Excellent.

‘Original’ Succotash: 270 calories 2.6 g fat 9 g fiber 18 g protein 50 g carbs [all Complex] 71 mg Calcium  PB GF  The Mystic Seaport Cookbook  contains many quaint and curious old recipes. What follows is my combination of two of them. It is ‘original’ because it gets us back to what succotash once was [a main dish, not a side] and because it is my own version.  HINT: This recipe makes 3 cups of succotash, which could be 3 servings. 

½ cup lima beans [Green Giant frozen Fordhook] ½ cup green/snap beans ½ cup corn kernels ¼ cup canned navy beans 2 oz corned beef [New England style is grey because it contains no nitrates] 1 slice cornmeal mush aka: polenta   sage + pepper + salt to taste [mind that the corned beef might be salty] 

Cook the vegetables until they are tender. Drain the cooking water and reserve ½ cup. Mash the navy beans and whisk into ¼ cup vegetable water. Put all vegetables and the meat into a pan along with the mashed beans. Add sage and pepper to taste and more vegetable broth if you wish. If it needs more salt, add it, too. In a non-stick pan, saute the corn mush on each side until it is warm. Plate the mush with one cup of succotash. It is very filling.

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

1.5 two-oz eggs + crab meat1.5 two-oz eggs + pear
soy sauce + bean sproutstomato + bacon + onion
mushrooms + scallion + applegreen bell pepper + mozzarella
ginger + hot saucefile powder + chili powder
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

eggroll wrappers + soy sauce2 crepes + tomatoes
shrimp + oyster sauce + gingersliced deli ham
garlic + carrot + onion sliced deli Swiss cheese
cabbage + tomato + canola oilVache Qui Rit cheese
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.

Why to Start

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.

Tomorrow is the 1st of the month which is a good day to start a good habit. Have your heard the news from health departments around the world? Recently, they have reported that being overweight is a contributing factor to deaths from COVID-19. Being obese doesn’t cause COVID, but it makes one more likely to be very ill or die from the disease. This is NOT fat-shaming. This is telling an unhappy truth. The National Institute of Health says so, as does the New England Journal of Medicine. The Lancet in the UK and the chief epidemiologist in France concur. If ever you needed a reason to lose weight, fear of COVID-19 could be it. You don’t need some bread-and-water crash died — you need a new style of eating. The Fast Diet is a lifestyle in which you change your diet two days a week. Surely you can do that, especially when your health is at risk. Yes, you can.

Try out these two simple meals: meat and bread for breakfast; bacon and eggs for dinner. Start the Fasting Lifestyle tomorrow. Need another reason? If all the days seem the same to you now, then you’ll find that the Fast Days punctuate the week and give you two days that are different from the others.

Czech Breakfast: 233 calories 5 g fat 3.8 g fiber 11.7 g protein 37 g carbs [18 g complex] 65.6 mg Calcium  NB: The food values are for the meal and fruit only and do not include the optional coffee. I’m told that the majority of citizens of the Czech Republic eat this for breakfast daily. Join them.

1 to 1.6 g sourdough rye bread 1 oz sliced ham, 3% fat ½ oz Hermelin cheese, or substitute Camembert 2 yellow plums, or other color of your choice   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories]  NO Smoothie today unless you forgo the coffee.

Whether you pile everything on the bread and eat it that way, or sample each item separatly, this is a hearty way to start the day. For those of you who start your day with lunch, this is for you.

Asparagus Omelette:  270 calories 14.7 g fat 3.3 g fiber 18 g protein 10 g carbs 178 mg Calcium  PB GF  Susan Herrmann Loomis comes up with another super dinner omelette. HINT: This recipe serves two [2], but you could cut it if you wish, or double it to serve four [4]. 

4 two-oz eggs  ½ oz [3 Tbsp] Parmesan-Reggiano cheese Whisk the eggs, just to blend in the yolks. Grate the cheese and stir it in.
4 oz asparagus, tough stalk-ends snapped offCook until tender, about 7 minutes. Cut off the bud ends and slice the stalks thinly.
2 slices uncured bacon [30 cal per slice] cut into ½” pieces   Cook in a non-stick pan until ‘lightly golden’, 2-3 minutes.Drain off all but ½ Tbsp fat.
1 scallion [1 oz], thinly sliced
bud ends of asparagus
Saute in fat until transluscent and add the asparagus. Cook until hot. Add eggs without disturbing the other ingredients. Cook until the top is done to your liking. Fold and plate, garnished with bud tips.
1 cup Baby greens, sliced beets, 1/2 oz tomatoesToss with 1 tsp good vinaigrette.

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

1 two-oz egg + bacon1.5 two-oz eggs 
tomato + onion + Cheddaruncured capicola ham
green sweet pepper oregano
creole seasoning + apple/pearapple
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

water-canned tuna + celerybeef or chicken stock + egg
2% fat cottage cheese + oniongarlic + Swiss cheese
hot dog bun + corn on the cobpotatoes + parsnips + butter
4-bean saladrye bread +marjoram
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Saint Robert Flower of Knaresboro

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.

A fun thing about delving into one’s genealogy is the discovery of some unusual characters in the family tree. One such find was St Robert of Knaresboro. A saint!! An eccentric hermit!! What fun. He was born in Yorkshire around 1160, the son of the Mayor of York. From an early age, Robert Flower knew he wanted a religious life, so he became a novice of the Cistercian Abby at Newminister while yet a child. He then decided that the life of a hermit was what he wanted. Robert was forced to move from place to place — he should be the Patron of Displaced Persons. Along the way, he gained a reputation as a holy person who gave good advice. He settled in Knaresboro, near York, in a cave that was chiseled from solid rock. People came to see him and to drink from his holy well — from King John to common pilgrims. Robert was never actually canonized as a saint, but the Trinitarian friars deemed him venerable and there are churches and stained glass windows dedicated to this kindly man who helped the poor and worked to free the prisoners. St Robert’s Cave is open to visitors.

September 24 is the day Saint Robert Flower died in 1208. You will ask why the breakfast planned for him relates to Tolkien‘s Hobbits. The first line of The Hobbit reads, “In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit.” Saint Robert lived in a hole in the ground. In addition, September 24 is the birthday of the Hobbits Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. Furthermore, St Robert’s father’s first name was “Took,” used as a surname for a prominent Hobbit family. Continuing that theme, the dinner is a simple soup prepared from the leftovers of a famous meal from the Azores: Cozido, cooked in a pot in a hole in the ground. Saint Robert Flower would have enjoyed its simplicity.

Hobbiton Breakfast:  217 calories 6 g fat 3.4 g fiber 5.7 g protein 29.4 g carbs [11 g Complex] 60 mg Calcium   NB: These values are for the plated foods only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB  A simple-to-prepare and delicious combination of textures and flavors. For Halflings and Big People alike.

1 full-size or 2 half-size [from 3 Tbsp Scone ‘Mix’.] Seedy Scones*** 3 oz apple ½ oz Camembert cheese   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] NO Smoothie today

***Seedy SconesThis makes 2 cups of ‘Mix’. 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup white whole wheat flour 3 Tbsp sugar 1 tsp baking soda 1.5 tsp cream of tartar 2 Tbsp unsalted butter buttermilk or sourmilk, as needed mixed seeds + a pinch of salt Combine the dry ingredients [except seeds] in a bowl. Cut in the butter until well incorporated. 

Prepare the Scone Mix. Take out 3 Tbsp [1.6 oz] of the mix and stir in just enoughbuttermilk or sour milk [1-1/2 Tbsp? 2 Tbsp?] to cause the dough to come together in a rough ball. TIP: store the remaining mix in the refrigerator in a glass jar with a lid. Ready to use when you wish. Knead briefly on a lightly floured surface. Pat out into one scone, or divide into 2 scones. Brush the surface with milk and scatter the seeds on top. Place in a buttered dish to bake  HINT: I did this the night before and left it on the counter to bake in the morning. Slice the apple and cheese. Bake the scone[s] at 400 F. for 7-10 minutes. Plate to please the eye. Serve with the beverage of your choice.

Cozido Soup: Cozido  is a specialty of the Azores island of Sao Miguel. Some of the dormant volcanoes still have warm magma and send out steam through vents and fissures. Local people lower cauldrons of meats and vegetables into steaming wells, then serve the cooked meal at restaurants or at home.. The serving for two at O Miroma in Furnas consists of vast quantities of beef, pork knuckles, blood sausage, carrots, potatoes, collards, cabbage, and turnips. Like a New England Boiled Dinner, but cooked in a volcanic vent! We took the remainders from our meal home. 

The next day, I put the bones, sausage, and juices in a pot with water and Piment da Queijo. While that simmered, I cut up the vegetables and meat into bite-sized pieces [discarding the blood sausage to which I have an aversion]. Combined, it provided a hearty, nourishing, and low-calorie soup for a Fast Day.

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

1.5 two-oz eggCamembert or Hermelin cheese
apple + heavy cream3%-fat ham
sugar + cinnamonsourdough rye bread
butter + peachplums, preferably yellow
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

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

green peppers + cucumber + garliceggs + streaky American bacon
white wine vinegar + tarragon Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
olive oil + shrimp + onionasparagus + scallion
piment d’esplette + dry white wineside salad with beet + tomato
Sparkling waterSparkling water