How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Who was Julius Caesar’s most feared opponent? Vercingetorix, a leader of the Gauls, who lived from 82-46 BCE, that’s who. In 52 BCE, Caesar left Gaul for the winter, thinking that he had sufficiently subdued it in the three years since he had crossed the Rubicon. [ ] It was then that the leader of the Averni Tribe [who gave their name to the Auvergne Region], decided to act. [The Averni were Celts living in Gaul, thus they were Gallic Celts.] Vercingetorix had served in the Roman army, proving himself to be an able cavalry officer, while learning tactics and strategy. The Gallic captain waged a skillful campaign of guerrilla war: cutting supply lines, destroying bridges, making lightning attacks then fading away, stealing weapons, and placing informants in the enemy camp. As his forces earned victories left and right, other Celtic tribes joined until most of them were united under Vercingetorix’ leadership. Thus he is known as the earliest leader of a ‘united’ ‘France.’ Caesar returned to Gaul with his army and took to the field. Finally, he had Vercingetorix and a portion of his men surrounded at the town of Alésia in Burgundy. The Romans laid siege and built war engines to take the walls. The Celts resisted but had only one month’s food supply. A rescuing army could not break the siege and retreated. The Romans built a wall outside the wall of the town. Starving women and children came out of Alésia, asking to be taken into slavery rather than starve. The Romans left them there, and they starved. Eventually, the city was taken after Vercingetorix, in full armor, rode into the Roman’s camp and surrendered. His noble bearing and bravery was said to have moved some of the Italian conquerers. Caesar hauled the Celt back to Rome and imprisioned him. The last time he was seen in public was in 46 BCE, when he was exhibited during a victory parade. Soon after that, Vercingetorix was executed, probably by strangulation. A few years later, Julius Caesar would also be murdered.

The Gallic Celts lived close to the land, farming, foraging, and hunting. Our meals today involve vegetables and mushrooms and eggs, all ingredients in the Gauls’ larder.

Roasted Vegetable Bake: 157 calories 7 g fat 2 g fiber 8 g protein 7 g carbs 74.5 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages. PB GF  If you are like me, you sometimes end up with a drawer full of fresh vegetables and no hope of eating them all before they spoil. Enter the roasted vegetable. So many uses for them, and here they are at breakfast-time.

1 two-oz egg 2 Tbsp diced roasted vegetables, sprinkled and tossed with Worcestershire sauce 1/8 oz Gruyere cheese, grated 1½ Tbsp marinara sauce  2 oz strawberries  or peaches 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]

Combine the vegetables, cheese, and marinara. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray and add the vegetable mixture. Whisk the egg and pour into the ramekin. Bake in the toaster oven at 350 F. for 12-15 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs. Brew your warm beverage; shake and pour the smoothie, portion that delicious fruit, and enjoy a healthy, yummy start to your day.

Mushroom Tart: 268 calories 10 g fat 3 g fiber 22.6 g protein 16.4 g carbs 241 mg Calcium  PB GF – if you substitute 25 calories of GF bread   The Gunflint Lodge Cookbook supplied this recipe. Then, of course, I altered it to suit our requirements. Mushrooms are so traditional for Autumn, whether foraged or purchased.

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 ¼ cup fat-free milk ¼ cup Gruyere cheese, grated ½ cup lowfat cottage cheese, drained 1¼ 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 the carrots and slice the Sandwich Thin, toasting it if you wish. A tasty Autumn meal.