New Year’s Eve

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Will you be entertaining for New Year’s Eve? Or will you be the guest at someone else’s party? Will you be over-indulging on December 31?  Or are you wondering how to celebrate 2019 without spoiling your progress as a Faster?   Lots of questions — here is some help with the answers.                                                                                                                                                     1] If it is your party, make sure that all the foods you serve are healthy.  That way you can have a serving and not feel guilty. How about a big pot of Red Beans and Rice [posted November 6, 2016] or

Jambalaya: 275 calories  5 g fat  4 g fiber  14.8 g protein  39 g carbs  81 mg Calcium  PB GF  What else would you eat for New Year’s? Or any other time you want delicious Cajun comfort food: jambalaya, of course. For a party, triple or quadruple the recipe. Just make sure that you limit yourself to one serving = one cup.

Jambalaya w: broc

2/3 cup onion, chopped                                                                                                                                           2 cloves garlic, chopped                                                                                                                                           2 tsp cajun seasoning                                                                                                                                               ½ cup green pepper, chopped                                                                                                                           1/3 cup celery, chopped                                                                                                                                           2 oz andouille sausage [or sweet Italian], sliced                                                                                                 3 oz chicken breast, cubed                                                                                                                                    2 oz [½ cup] ham, cubed                                                                                                                                        12 oz crushed tomatoes                                                                                                                                         1/3 tsp crushed red pepper +  1/3 tsp black pepper  + 2/3 tsp salt                                                                      ½ tsp Tabasco sauce   +  1.5 tsp Worcestershire sauce                                                                                 ¾ tsp file powder                                                                                                                                                       ¾ cup brown rice                                                                                                                                                    1.5 cups chicken broth                                                                                                                                                   Per serving:  2 oz broccoli

Cook the onion in a little water and a dash of olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and cajun seasoning and cook until fragrant. Stir in the green pepper and celery and then add the meats. Pour in the tomatoes, seasonings and sauces, the rice, and broth. Cover and simmer for 25-40 minutes, stirring every once in a while to prevent sticking. The mixture will not be soupy, as the rice will have absorbed the liquids. Cook uncovered if too much liquid remains. Prepare the broccoli and plate.

Each of the above-mentioned meals are less than 300 calories/serving.                                                          2] Alcohol has lots of calories, but some are lower than others. Go to the party with a small bottle of sparkling wine, such as Spanish Cava or Italian Prosecco, and a large bottle of sparkling water.  Start off with a glass of the water, then a glass of the wine.  Then some more water. Finish the last bit of wine at midnight, then drink some more water. You will feel much better the next morning and you will avoid dehydration. Also the water will help to fill you up.                                                                                                                       3] Put off having breakfast as long as you can and then eat a meal high in protein but low in carbs, like eggs.                                                                                                                                     4] If you are not hosting, find something on the buffet that is low in calories, carbs, and fat.  Shrimp would be a great choice, as are fruit and raw vegetables.  Fill up on them and there won’t be room for lousier options.                                                                                               5] Make some sensible resolutions for 2019.  Not “I wanna lose weight” because that is too general.  Not “I wanna loose 50 pounds by February” because that is too unrealistic.  Try: “I will eat 600-800 calories of high-quality food on two days each week for 2 months.”  This goal is specific and achievable.  It limits you to 2 months and then you can see if you want to continue. No pressure. You could do that.                                                     Happy New Year.

There! I Said It Again

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Monday, eat the meals that will be posted on Sunday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

On November 8, 1963, a new song was hitting the airwaves. Teenagers swooned over Bobby Vinton‘s crooning, while their parents recognized the tune as a cover of a popular song from 1945. Redd Evans and David Mann wrote it, then Vaughn Monroe recorded it.  Jimmy Dorsey and Nat King Cole covered it in the 40s, cementing its popularity.  But for my generation, as yet unknowing of the Beatles, nothing was like a slow dance to the yearning lyric:

                                                                                                                                                                “I’ve said it, what more can I say,
Believe me, there’s no other way,
I love you, I will to the end,
There! I’ve said it again.”              Sigh.

Today I’m going to say some things that I’ve said before: this Fast Diet works. How do you get started? How do you convince yourself to get on it and stay on it? [see Groundhog Day, posted 2 Feb 2018]  Like the singer of the song, you have to be in love: in love with the idea of being slimmer and healthier, and in love with your self enough to want to make the effort.                                                                                                                                     When you read my recipes, you’ll notice the food values for each. Yes, I’ve worked them out for each ingredient to get those totals. So barring errors in math, they are accurate and here’s why they matter to me.                                                                                         >>calories: rather important if you want to stay within our Fast day limit of 600 per day. If you don’t want to count calories, then I have done it for you.                                                        >>fat: this is total fat.  If one is supposed to limit fat to 25% of calories, then the limit on a Fast Day should be 15 g.  It has been shown that eating fat doesn’t make you fat, but a lot trans fat and saturated  fat in the diet increases the possibility of diabetes. Fasting reduces that possibility. Reduced fat also means reduced calories.                                                                                                    >>fiber: fiber in the diet helps digestion and bowel regularity.  It feeds your gut flora and can help to reduce the risk of colon cancer.  21 grams per day are recommended.                          >>protein: we need to eat lots of protein on a Fast Day to maintain muscle mass. When your body has reduced calories, it begins to go into whatever energy is stored. Fat reserves go first. Hooray! Then the muscles are targeted.  As we age [any age past 35 years], we lose muscle anyway. Lots of protein on a Fast Day [as well as on a Slow Day] can help to maintain that muscle. Exercise helps, to build muscle. ‘Average sedentary male needs 56 grams of protein/day.‘                                                                                                                              >>carbs: carbs come from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dried beans [Complex carbs], bread, sugars, pasta, white rice and potatoes [Simple carbs].  Simple carbs quickly convert to sugar in the process of digestion.  One reason that Fasting reduces the risk of diabetes is the reduction of Simple carbs in the diet. A ‘low carb’ meal should have less than 35 g of carbs.  If you reduce the Simple carbs on a Slow Day, you will probably lose weight faster.  We aren’t eliminating carbs, but we are being more sensible about which ones we eat every day.                                                                                                                                                                      >>Calcium: this matters for our bones and heart, nerves, and muscles.  1000-1200 mg of Calcium are recommended. Eating your Calcium [ex: cheese] is better than supplements.

Eat well, Fast well, live well.

Ingredients for next week:

Breakfast, single portion

prosciutto  1.5 two-oz eggs
melon kippered herring
red onion pickle dry mustard
cherries
Whatever you need for your smoothie Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage Whatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion:

tuna steak  +  olive oil 3# chicken
red bell pepper onion  +  celery  + carrot
zucchini     +   lemon juice Worcestershire sauce  + peas
cherry tomatoes dumplings [..Not by Bread… 7 Feb-2018]
Sparkling water Sparkling water

Quiche-Quiche

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Quiche used to be thought of as effete: “Real Men don’t eat quiche” was the quote of the day, due to its association with ladies at lunch.  Why not eat quiche? Lots of protein for muscles, Calcium for strong bones: it is designed to help keep Real Men healthy.             Did you read this?  10 Ways to Quickly Lose a Pound (or Two)  Good advice for eating any day of the week, Fast Days and Slow Days.      http://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/10-ways-to-quickly-lose-a-pound-or-two.html/?ref=YF

Breakfast Quiche:   304 calories    0.9 g fat   9.1 g fiber     14.2 g protein     37.3 g carbs      362.4 mg Calcium      GF PB              Since the late 1960s, quiche has been the staple of the brunch table. Updated for our use as Fasters, it packs a lot of Calcium as well as tasting very good. NOTE: this makes enough for 2 meals. Invite a guest or triple the recipe and have a party.quiche w: melon-Bbs

For 4 [four] muffin-sized quiches – two for breakfast, two for lunch tomorrow.                                1 two-oz egg                                                                                                                                                               1 Tbsp + 1 tsp nonfat ricotta or cottage cheese, both drained                                                                          2/3 oz mozzerella cheese, grated                                                                                                                         2/3 oz Jarlsberg cheese, grated                                                                                                                                1 oz broccoli florets, steamed, chopped HINT: do this the night before or use leftovers from a dinner                                                                                                                                                       1/3 oz onion, chopped                                                                                                                              marjoram, salt, pepper                                                                                                                                          2 0z melon + 2 Tbsp blueberries

Steam the onion and chopped broccoli until cooked. Distribute among 4 prepared muffin tins. [I used silicone muffin pans. You could use cupcake papers as well. Both choices avoid added fat and calories.] Add the grated cheeses. Mash any lumps in the cottage cheese/ricotta and whisk in the egg. Spoon over each muffin cup, putting an equal amount in each. Sprinkle with salt and marjoram. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, until quiche filling is set. Prepare the fruit, the hot beverage, and the smoothie.

Mushroom Tart:    268 calories       10 g fat      3.2 g fiber      22.6 g protein      16.4 g carbs       241 mg Calcium   PB GF – if you eliminate the Arnold Sandwich Thin or substitute 25 calories of GF bread   The Gunflint Lodge Cookbook supplied this recipe. Then, of course, I altered it to suit our requirements. But mostly, it is their’s.mushroom-tart

1 small clove garlic                                                                                                                                                          ¼ cup leeks, white and/or green parts, sliced                                                                                                  6 oz mushrooms, cut into chunks or slices                                                                                                           2 Tbsp white wine                                                                                                                                                     two 2-oz eggs                                                                                                                                                                          3 Tbsp fatfree milk                                                                                                                                                ¼ cup Gruyère cheese, grated                                                                                                                                          1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese, well drained                                                                                                   1 and ¼ oz carrots                                                                                                                                                         ¼ Arnold Sandwich Thin

Saute/steam the leeks, garlic, and mushrooms in a little water until soft. Add the wine and cook uncovered until the liquid is nearly gone. Season with salt and pepper. Put the vegetables into a lightly-oil-spritzed baking dish, and cover with the cheese. Whisk eggs, milk, and cottage cheese together and pour over everything in the baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees until the filling is set [knife stuck into center comes out clean]. Remove from oven and cool 15-20 minutes before eating. Prepare your carrots and slice the Sandwich Thin, toasting it if you wish. A tasty meal.

Ground Hog Day

In the movie of that title, the main character relives the day over and over until he gets it right.  So I’m going to repeat some advice which I’ve printed before, in the hope that it will get you over the hump on a Fast Day so that you can maintain the Fasting Lifestyle.   Stick to those resolutions made in January.          [No ground hogs were harmed in the making of this Blog]

1. Watch the video of Dr Mosley’s program  Eat-Fast-Live which we saw originally on PBS.   http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x18a1b6_michael-mosley-eat-fast-live-longer_lifestyle     This is what inspired us to start this Lifestyle and it might help you too.

2. Plan ahead. We write on the calendar what Fast meals we want to eat in a week. Nothing ruins a diet like coming home and having no idea what to eat for dinner. That’s when the default foods come out [carry-out.  pizza]. You can avoid that by planning.

3. Prep ahead. You see in many recipe the HINTS about preparing food ahead. This is a real time-saver in the morning. Want your spouse to help you to stay on the diet when you get home late? Write out the recipe, leave it on the counter, include info about where to find ingredients, and maybe the meal will be in progress when you come through the door.

4. Shop ahead. Now that you know what you want to eat, have the ingredients on hand. When Fast Day comes, you want to be ready.

5. Portion as you shop.  The recipe calls for 4 oz chicken breast, so when you get home, cut the chicken into the correct size. Wrap and label the part you need, save the trimmings for another use such as Chicken Curry [Feb. 11] or Chicken Noodle Soup [Jan 19]. The same goes for vegetables: slice and chop those 2 oz of bell pepper that you will need.  It takes moments to do this as you unload the groceries, so do it to save time later.

6. Listen to Diane Rehm interview Dr. Mosley.  http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows /2013-03-13/dr-michael-mosley-fast-diet  Diane asks the tough questions and ends the conversation by saying that everyone on her staff can’t wait to try the diet!

7. Make the meal setting special. Instead of eating on the run or while standing over the sink, make a Fast meal an occasion. Use the good plates and flatware. Put the sparkling water in a nice glass with a twist of lemon. See the demitasse cup in the photo? It is the only one I have and it makes the breakfast table so pretty that it is saved for Fast days only.special coffee cup

8. Slo-o-o-ow down the meal. The other reason for the little cup at breakfast? By putting the coffee in a pitcher, I frequently have to stop to refill the cup. This bit of fussiness slows down the process. When you put food in your mouth, put down the fork. You don’t have to chew 30 times, but don’t simply cram the food in your mouth — savor it, taste it, and make it last.

9. Set goals by the clock.  After breakfast, vow not to put any calories in your mouth until noon. Then at noon, tell yourself that you can hold out for another 2 hours. Maybe setting a timer will help you: while the timer is ticking, don’t eat. This does not mean that you will eat when the timer rings! No. Set a new goal.

10. Distract yourself. After breakfast, I pour a large [1.5 cups] glass of water which I sip on until 2 pm. Then I have earned a hot cup of tea — something bold-tasting or soothing as mood dictates. A touch of honey in the drink provides a real lift. Mid- to late afternoon is difficult for me. Go for a walk [not to the kitchen or break-room!] or get involved in a long project to take your mind off eating.

11. Hide the temptation.  I stash the bowl of pistachios in the cupboard on Fast Days. Yes, I still know they are there, but out of sight, out of mind.

12. Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow. This has a double meaning. 1]  If you yearn for something on a Fast Day, tell yourself that you can have it tomorrow. It is not a promise that you have to keep. Tomorrow it might not be calling to you.  2] Tomorrow is the day that you will weigh less. Tomorrow is also weeks from now when you will be slimmer and thinking about new clothes. Tomorrow will come.

Food for Thought

Thinking of taking the plunge?  Thinking of moving from ‘I’d really like to lose those extra pounds’ to “I’m really going to try the Fasting Lifestyle”?  Welcome to a whole new you!   Read this blog and eat these menus and it will be easier than you might think.  Before you get started, read this:  Losing Weight: 5 Things You Must Do Before Starting a Diet  by Evie Carrick          http://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/things-to-do-before-starting-a-diet.html/3/

Smoked Sausage ScrOmelette: 299 calories   9.5 g fat   1.7 g fiber    16.6 g protein   33 g carbs 216.4 mg Calcium   GF    Having been gifted with the Dakin sausage, we decided to use some in a breakfast. The sausage adds a nice smokey Autumnal flavor to the eggs. If substututing another sausage, know that the 1/2-oz of Dakin sausage has 30 calories per ounce.smoked-sausage-scromlette

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, crack three 2-oz eggs into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.                                    1/2 oz Dakin Farm cob-smoked chicken sausage, diced                                                                             1.5 tsp oregano and parsley, chopped                                                                                                                1 oz apple                                                                                                                                                          blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water                                                                                     5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasturized apple cider

Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan and spritz it with oil or cooking spray. Add the prepared sausage and stir to heat . Whisk the eggs with the herbs and a grind of pepper and pour into the pan, stirring to incorporate the sausage. Cook to your favorite degree of doneness. Slice the fruit, pour your beverages and off you go.

Chicken Curry:  220 calories   1.6 g fat    8 g fiber     18.5 protein    31 g carbs   71 mg Calcium PB GF     Curry is always a favorite and Craig Claiborne made it safe for dieters in his book Gourmet Dietchicken-curry-w-tomatoes

curry sauce [makes 3 cups sauce. you need 3/4 cup for tonight’s dinner]:                                          1 cup onion, chopped           1 clove garlic, minced         1/2 cup celery, chopped                                    1 cup apple, peeled, and diced         1-2 Tablespoons curry powder                                                      3/4 tsp dry mustard        1 bay leaf          3 cups chicken broth      1/2 cup water                                Spritz a sauce pan twice with cooking oil and add 2 Tbsp water.                                                    Sauté the onion, garlic, celery, and apple until soft.                                                                            Sprinkle the curry and mustard on top.                                                                                                         Stir in the bay leaf,  broth, and water.                                                                                                           Let cook down until it measures 3 cups.                                                                                                Measure out 3/4 cup for this recipe, then cool and freeze the remainder.

now complete the curry:           1.5 oz carrot rounds                                                                                    1/2 cup small cauliflower florets                                                                                                                       1.5 oz cooked chicken breast, cut in 1/2” dice or smaller                                                                              3 Tbsp peas                                                                                                                                                              1/4 cup boiled yellow lentils                                                                                                                               ¼ cup diced cucumber    +     1/4 cup diced tomatoes

Steam or boil the carrots and cauliflower. Boil the lentils. Warm the sauce, add the chicken, peas, cooked carrots and cauliflower and heat. Taste for seasonings. Plate with the lentils and top with cucumbers and tomatoes.

Resolutions

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier

Here we are again, New Year and a slew of resolutions.  This year, the most important one is to be more healthy.  But that has several sub-sets: more exercise, losing weight, eating more healthy food.  I can’t help you with the exercise, but here is where I urge you once again not to use this blog as a Food Porn site, but to start eating the food.

Why should we Fast?  Read what Dr. Michael Mosley says: “We all know how you are supposed to lose weight: eat low-fat foods, exercise more… and never, ever skip meals. This has been standard dietary advice for decades and though it may work for some people, levels of obesity continue to soar. So is there an alternative? We think there is. Intermittent fasting. Based on the work of leading scientists from around the world, this is an exciting new alternative to standard dieting.

“Intermittent Fasting does not mean stopping eating entirely. It means reducing the amount you eat, but only for quite short periods of time.

“In The Fast Diet  book I outline my experiences of trying different forms of intermittent fasting, before settling on what I called a 5:2 regime. With 5:2 intermittent fasting you eat normally five days a week and diet two days a week, cutting your calorie intake for those two days to a ¼ of their normal level. This means that on, say, a Monday and a Thursday you will eat 500 calories if you are a woman, 600 if you are a man.

“If you stick to this plan then you should lose around 1 lb (0.46kg) a week if you are a woman, slightly more for a man. Success also depends on not over-eating on your normal days.

“You should not only lose weight but also enjoy a wide range of health benefits. Studies of intermittent fasting show that not only do people see improvements in blood pressure and their cholesterol levels, but also in their insulin sensitivity.

“As one of the medical experts I interviewed put it: ‘There is nothing else you can do to your body that is as powerful as fasting.’    Want more info? go to  http://the fast diet.co.uk

So why not start today?  A traditional dinner for New Year’s  in Germany and the Alsace-Lorraine region of France is sauerkraut with sausages.  The sausages represent abundance.  In the American South, collard greens are eaten on New Year’s for good luck.  Put them together, and you’ll have an abundance of good food and a head-start on the rest of your life.

Sauerkraut and Sausage:  255 calories   5.7 g fat  12.6 g fiber   21.3 g protein   33.5 g carbs   196.4 mg Calcium                  GF  PB

sauerkraut-sausage-w-collards 1.5 cups sauerkraut, canned or bagged or fresh                                                                                              2 tbsp caraway seed                                                                                                                                              2 oz applesauce, unsweetened                                                                                                                            1/2 cup onions, chopped coarsely                                                                                                                          1 Dakin Farm cob-smoked chicken sausage with apple [OR any other flavorful sausage with 110 calories]    leave whole or cut into 1/2″ chunks                                                                                                                                                1.5 cups raw collard greens, chopped or cut cross-ways in 1/4″ slices [chiffonade]                             salt and pepper to taste.

Thaw the sausage if it is frozen.  Combine the sauerkraut, caraway seed, applesauce, and onions in a saucepan large enough to hold the sausage, if left whole.  Cook slowly, uncovered until half of the liquid is gone.  Add the sausage, cover, and continue to cook until everything is hot and the onions are tender.  Meanwhile, add 1/2 cup water to the greens in a skillet along with salt, pepper, and a dash of garlic powder.  Cover and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

 

 

Remember When…

Remember when it was January and you made some resolutions to do something about your health? Even though it is now December, you can still do it:  eat these meals and be healthier.  Start now.  In the Fasting Lifestyle, we welcome the early adapters and those who come around later.  Come on… Fast with us.

Cottage Breakfast:   278 calories      3.8 g fat  4.8 g fiber    10.2 g protein   24 g carbs       181 mg Calcium      PBcottage-bfast

1 griddlecake **                                                                                                                                                          ½ c. raspberries                                                                                                                                                                    1 Applegate sausage                                                                                                                                               5-6 oz fruit smoothie or green smoothie or natural apple cider                                                                  blackish coffee, blackish tea, or lemon in hot water

** 2 Tbsp batter from 10-grain muffins                HINT: I prepared 8 griddlecakes from the 10-grain mufffin batter, cooked them, and froze them. I made the rest into muffins to eat on Slow Days. Take one griddlecake from the freezer the night before and let it thaw. Cook the sausage in the microwave or warm it in a non-stick pan along with the griddlecake. Dish the berries, brew the hot beverage, pour the smoothie. What a sweet and easy meal.

*10-Grain Muffin Batter: 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain hot cereal mix                  1 and 1/4 cup buttermilk  or soured milk                                                             [combine cereal + milk and let sit while preparing other ingredients.              1/3 cup butter                          7 Tbsp sugar                           1 cup unbleached flour 1 tsp salt             1 tsp baking powder            1 tsp baking soda

Cream the butter and sugar; mix in the egg. Add the dry ingredients and the cereal/milk mixture. Stir until just combined. Use 4 Tbsp batter to make each muffin and use 2 Tbsp batter for each griddlecake

Quiche:     291 cal      17.7 g. fat      24.7 g. protein       11.8 g. carb                PB     GF                                I suggest serving this meal on a day when you have eaten one egg or none for breakfast. Eggs are good for us, but you don’t want to over-d0 it with any ingredient.quiche w: tomato

One and a half 2-0z eggs HINT: Here is a way to use the eggs left over from last Thursday’s omelette.                                                                                                                                            2 oz skimmed milk                                                                                                                                                   2 oz swiss cheese, grated                                                                                                                                   1.5 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated                                                                                                                       3/4 oz asparagus cut in 1/2” pieces                                                                                                                           1 oz brocoli, coarsely chopped                                                                                                                              1/2 Tbsp onion, chopped                                                                                                                                       3 oz tomato, sliced                                                                                                                                               herbs, salt, pepper to taste

Steam the vegetables to cook until tender. Set the oven at 400. Lightly oil 3 wells of a standard muffin pan. Put water [1/2”] in the empty wells. Or use a mini-muffin pan and plan to use about 6 of the wells. Grate the cheese and toss lightly to combine. Beat the eggs and milk together and add the seasonings. Feel free to use lots of basil and thyme! Spoon equal portions of the vegetables into the prepared pans. Then top with cheese mixture. Pour the egg mixture over the veg and cheese. Bake until puffed and golden brown and a thin knife stuck in the center comes out clean and dry. Let the quiches cool while you slice the tomatoes. Serve each quiche on a tomato slice or next to them.

Its about time, isn’t it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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