Albrecht Durer

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 MJ who is now Following.

Albrecht Durer was one of the foremost artists of the Northern Renaissance school of art. The Germans were late to the game in terms of the Renaissance, but they gave it a spin all their own. Durer painted in great detail, using a light that seems to show everything, yet with shadows to produce contrast. Durer was an artist, not just a craftsman. He had the humanist’s idea that each person is important and that he had something to contribute. As a painter, he was sought after by kings. As a print-maker, his art was distributed to the masses. Some of his work is well-known, such as Praying Hands and the Four Horsemen, but so widely recognized that we have forgotten the artist’s name. One work of his that made an impression on me in art class was a sketch of a middle-aged female nude — probably of his wife Agnes. She struck me as plump and lumpy, and I promised myself I would never have that body, not even in middle age. This is one reason that I am a Faster. Thanks, Durer.

A frequent theme in Durer’s art was the depiction of Adam and Eve, usually with an apple. So we will enjoy apples in our egg for breakfast. One of the most charming of Durer’s works is The Young Hare. We will stretch taxonomy a little and feature rabbit for dinner.

Apple-Bacon Bake: 131 calories 6.2 g fat 1.6 g fiber 9 g protein 8 g carbs [7.3 g Complex] 72.8 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.  PB GF  Apples and bacon go so well together it is a wonder they aren’t paired more often.

1 two-oz egg ¾ oz apple, peeled, cored, sliced thinly 1/8 oz bacon, diced ½ Tbsp ricotta cheese, drained if too liquid 1 tsp Parmesan cheese ¼ tsp prepared mustard sage 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]

Spritz a ramekin with cooking spray. Set the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. In a saute pan, cook the bacon until done. Drain away the fat and blot in paper towel. In the same pan, saute the apple until softened. Put apple and bacon in the ramekin. Whisk the egg, ricotta, Parmesan, mustard, and sage together and pour into the ramekin. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Prepare the beverages and the pear. How pleasant.

Rabbit Pie: 275 calories 6.6 g fat 4.6 g fiber 25.6 g protein 27.5 g carbs [15 g Complex] 77 mg Calcium   PB  Rabbit is a common meat in recipes the world over. It is high in protein and low in fat. And yes, it does taste like chicken. You could substitute.

2 oz mushrooms, chopped 4 fluid oz chicken stock 2 tsp potato starch 0.55 oz [1 slice] ham from the deli, chopped 3 oz rabbit meat cut in bite-sized pieces ¼ cup onions, chopped big pinch dried thyme + big pinch savory + salt + pepper ½ Arnold Multi-Grain Sandwich Thin OR a 4” circle cut from whole-grain bread 1.5 oz carrots

If the rabbit is uncooked: Cut it into bite-sized pieces and quickly cook in a saute pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Add a few tablespoons of water to the pan, too. Remove the meat. Pour off and reserve any remaining cooking liquid. Chop the mushrooms and cook in non-stick spray, but do not evaporate all of the liquid they give off. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Add the onions and the stock to the pan along with the mushroom juices and ¼ cup water plus water from the rabbit. Simmer to cook the onions. Whisk in the potato starch and the seasonings. Continue to whisk over heat until the potato starch is dissolved. Cook at a simmer until the liquid measures ¼ cup and is thickened. Add the rabbit meat, ham, and the mushrooms. Simmer for a few minutes and taste for seasonings. Pour and scrape into an oven-proof dish. Top with the Sandwich Thin. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Cook the carrots separately. Plate the meal by first putting the Sandwich Thin on the plate, then covering it with the rabbit-mushroom mixture. Pour any extra liquid so that it is soaked up by the bread. Plate the carrots to complete the meal.

Slow Days: Breadcrumb Pasta

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

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while your 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.

For years we searched for the right foods to eat during Lent. We wanted foods that were connected to the meaning of the season; foods that were good to eat yet not so fancy that we seemed to be ‘living it up’; foods that had a nod to the traditional austerity typical of the 6-week period of religious contemplation. One of the thorny decisions concerned Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which is a solemn day after the giddiness of Carnival before it. At last we decided: a breadcrumb pasta from the Puglia Region of Italy. The idea of dressing your noodles with a sauce of breadcrumbs struck just the right note of culinary penance. No meat, no butter: this is the perfect choice to begin Lent.

The ingredients are very simple: 3 oz pasta, 1/3 cup crumbs from day-old bread [we use whole grain for flavor and fiber], 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp sliced garlic, oregano, salt, 6 olives, 1 oz spinach leaves, grated pecorino cheese.

These ingredients are enough for two servings.

You will need a mise-en-place, this cools so quickly! Once you have prepared your mise-en-place, start cooking the pasta. Cook the pasta for about 4 minutes, then turn off the heat with the pasta still in the water. Stack the spinach leaves and cut them cross-wise [chiffonade]. Pit the olives and cut each into four pieces. Heat a cast iron skillet at medium heat and pour in the oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and briefly cook it until pale yet fragrant. Add the crumbs and stir into the oil. Add the oregano and take off the heat. Stir. Turn down the heat, then put the pan back on it. Cook, stirring until the crumbs are crispy. Take off heat again and stir in the olives. By now the pasta is ready. Using a slotted spoon, remove it from the water and put it in the pan with the crumbs. The trick is to incorporate a little of the noodle-water into the dish. Stir to mix. Add two pinches of salt and the sliced spinach. Toss it all together, then add the grated cheese. Plate. This took such a short amount of time that I barely called out a pre-dinner alert, than it was time to plate up.

Such an unusual combination of flavors and textures!

This is not a meal for a low-carb menu. But then, this is a Slow Day, so we don’t need to count calories. We eat this one time each year and we enjoy it.

Slow Day: Grilled Vegetable Pasta

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

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while your 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.

Sometimes, there is a crowd to feed and that’s when we turn to one of our stand-by meals: Grilled Vegetable Pasta with Sausage. The vegetables include: zucchini/summer squash, yellow or orange sweet peppers, red onion, and or other colorful fresh items of the same texture. Choose any pasta you wish — 2 ounces by weight per person. Bratwurst or Italian sausage will do just fine. Make 1-1/2 cups of your favorite white sauce and add 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

The colors of the vegetables are echoed in the colorful pasta.

The sausages are grilled, then sliced. The vegetables are sliced or cut into chunks, as you prefer. In a grill basket, toss and shake the vegetables over hot coals, then empty into a large bowl. While one person is doing the grilling, the other preparing the cheese sauce. SLOWLY, over low heat. [Sometimes (often), my sauce ‘breaks’ and becomes clotted. The solution is to whisk flour into the milk to bind the sauce back together.] Cook the pasta and combine everything in the bowl with the vegetables. Easy to prepare and always a hit.

Often, seconds helpings are the norm.

Slow Days: Holiday Eating

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 your 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.

I know what you are thinking: what does this woman eat over the holidays and what does that do to her weight? Here’s the ‘skinny’ [or not-so-skinny] on our eating during Christmas and the results of that. Now I’ll do the Bridget Jones thing: In early December, my weight was at my Target Weight.

Our Christmas Season begins on December 6 with St Nicholas Day. Dinner that day is always Gulyas, followed by some early cookies. See St Nick for recipe and food values.
Next, we celebrate Saint Lucy’s Day, which involves trimming the Tree while dining. I wrote about that as a Slow Day post on December 13 of 2019.

That morning, weight was below Target by one pound. All the while, throughout December, we observe two Fast Days each week.

On December 22, we always eat my Sister’s Christmas Pasta which I wrote about in a Slow Day blog. With a salad and good bread, it is a treat we look forward to. If you want to know about that wine, visit Dear Husband’s wine pairing blog: peterspicksblog
On December 23, we observe Little Christmas Eve, beginning at breakfast with a tree-shaped bread fashioned from Lussekatter dough. For dinner, our take on Smorrebrod: canapé-sized open-faced sandwiches with varied and colorful toppings on dense rye bread.
We begin Christmas Eve morning with my mother’s recipe for Cinnamon Buns. And end it with the Seafood Chowder seen below, prepared by Dear Husband and Wonderful Sons.

What is the result of all this good eating? Did my weight go up? Yes it did. But then it came down again. Exactly one month later, I am 0.3 [3/10] of a pound over my Target Weight. Not too bad, I’d say. Do I eat like this every Slow Day? NO. This is Festival Food. But the fact that I could eat like that and still keep my weight down says something about the benefits of the 5:2 Diet. Join me in Fasting in 2020. Eat well on Slow Days, Fast on the Fast Days — lose weight and keep it off.

Slow Days: Tree-Decorating Dinner

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 your 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.

Here we are in early December with Christmas fast approaching — how can one fit everything in? Years ago we worked out a multi-tasking method for the day we trim the Christmas Tree, and it works so well that we still do it that way. We always decorate the tree on December 13. [Dear Husband grew up in a German family where the tree went up Christmas Eve and came down seven days later. He loves having the tree up longer. Me too.] Dinner consists of finger food which can be prepared ahead: salmon piroshki

, with cheeses, vegetables, and a dipping sauce [plain, fat-free yogurt + dill weed]. For dessert, the full array of our families’ cookies. And to add to the celebration, a glass of sparkling wine. The meal is for ‘grazing’ — nibble, hang an ornament, nibble, sip.

The salmon piroski are filled with cooked salmon mixed with enough Dijon mustard to make a moist pate. One tablespoon of the mixture is placed inside rounds of pie crust which are folded over and crimped, turn-over/empanada style. [Yes, I know this is very non-traditional, but that’s how Craig Claiborne made them.] Made a day ahead, they are kept cool until being baked at 400 F for 15 minutes. Each year we enjoy this very special little feast — and still get the tree decorated!

Slow Days: “French Lunch”

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 your 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.

This is one of my favorite meals. Restaurants will call it a bread & cheese board or a charcuterie platter and we call it a ‘French Lunch.’ I don’t care what you call it — it is easy to prepare and it is good to eat. “Charcuterie” is the French word for the meats you don’t get from a butcher [boucher] — such as pates and sausages. Cheeses come from a ‘fromagier’ or sometimes from a ‘charcuterier.’ Then there is good bread — very important! We add fresh fruit, chutney, and/or mustard to the board. Pair that with a nice wine, settle down, and enjoy a very nice repast without having to cook/prepare anything.

Here we have two artisanal breads, some salad, a variety of cheeses, two jars of chutney, and four spreads: chorizo paste, chicken liver pate, salmon pate, and mushroom pate. [The pates store very well in the freezer if you don’t eat them all now.]
Here’s another version of the idea, with three cheeses, olives, a duck liver mousse, a country pate, and an artichoke spread — all served with a salad and lovely bread. Washed down with cidre from apples.

Slow Days: Lamb Gozleme

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 your 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.

While browsing the Web, I saw a reference to a Turkish dish made with lamb, spices and feta cheese. The concoction was called Gozleme [approximately pronounced as: guzz-leh’-mah] and I wanted to try it. The blog ‘wife ofaturkishlife‘ had just the thing.

1-1/4 c flour
½ tsp salt
¼ c water
¼ c plain yogurt
Mix flour + salt in large bowl. Combine yogurt/water and stir in until well-combined. Add a bit more water if too dry. On a floured surface, knead for ~3 mins, until smooth and elastic. Cover and let sit.
½ tsp Olive Oil
1 cup onion
1 clove garlic
4 oz ground lamb
Saute onion over medium heat 3-4 minutes until onion is soft. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.Add lamb and cook while breaking up into chunks for ~5 minutes.
½ tsp coriander, ground
1 tsp tomato paste/puree
¼ tsp pepper + ¼ tsp salt ½ tsp paprika 1 tsp cumin, ground 3 oz spinach, fresh or frozen
Add tomato puree and spices. Add spinach. Cook and stir for a few minutes. Set aside to cool for a bit. Divide equally into 4 bowls.
¼ cup fresh mint 1 scallion ¼ cup parsley ¼ cup feta ½ medium-sized tomatoDivide these ingredients among 4 bowls so that each bowl has equal amounts. Divide the dough into 4 parts. Roll dough into 10-9” squares and spread ¼ cup of lamb mixture over each. Top with fresh ingredients. Fold over dough to form a triangle or rectangle. Moisten and crimp edges to seal.
Lemon wedges
olives
Spray a large skillet/griddle with cooking spray. Cook Gozleme 3-4 minutes/side until golden brown and crisp. Cut each in half diagonally and serve with lemon wedges and olives.

This is half of the recipe on line and it made enough for Dear Husband and me to eat it twice. [He eats 1-1/2 pieces and I eat one half, which is filling.] This is a recipe that calls for a mis en place, just to keep you organized.

Here is a full serving — one Gozleme cut in half.
The calories in this portion actually qualify it as a Fast Day meal! It suffices for me any day.

This is delicious and really quite simple to prepare. You don’t need to be experienced with bread-making, since the dough is not yeast-based. I will definitely make this again!

Dear Readers: What do you think of this ‘table-style’ format for ingredients and directions? To me, it is very clear and easy to follow, but I’d like to know your opinions.

“How to Succeed”

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.

On October 14, 1961, the musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” had its debut. The show was a cynical look at the business world, where whom you know and naked ambition could carry you far. Some of its popular tunes included “I Believe In You” and “The Company Way“. The original role of the striving J. Pierrepont Finch was created by Robert Morse, then played in 2011 by Daniel Radcliffe. With music by Frank Loesser and a book by Abe Burrows, it was a sure-fire hit. The show was based on a satirical ‘how-to’ book written in the 1952 by Shepherd Mead who really did work his way up from the mail room to the vice-presidency of his company.

Today, I want to discuss how to succeed at Fasting or ‘the Fasting Lifestyle’ as we like to think of it. Why do we Fast? There are many benefits of intermittent [not everyday] fasting: lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar, and lower weight. Furthermore, there is a reduction of HGH [human growth hormone]. This means that your body has a chance to rest and repair — rather like a good night’s sleep but more significant. The decrease of calories for many hours [600 calories in 36 hours, which includes one Fast Day + sleep hours before and after] gives the body a real break from its usual revved-up pace. Do this twice a week, because two Fasts are better than one.

How do you begin the Fasting Lifestyle? Start by choosing your days. You might do ONE day per week and see how you like it — say, Monday. Look at some of the previous posts and decide what you will eat that day. Write on the calendar that you will Fast that day and what you will eat — that makes it more of a commitment. Go shopping for the items necessary to prepare the breakfast and the dinner. If you keep it similar to what you usually eat, it might be a better transition.

Eggs scrambled with ham and served with applesauce will keep you going for hours.

Then do it. Weigh yourself before breakfast and write it down. Eat breakfast as late as you can and eat the second meal of the day about eight hours later. If you eat within an eight-hour window, you will maximize your weight loss. Weigh yourself the next morning to see how well it worked.

How do you STAY on the plan? I think that a key is to plan your meals ahead. Hide any foods that are of low nutritional value, so they won’t tempt you. Stick to eating protein-rich foods that will keep you full, such as eggs, lean meat, and fish high in Omega-3. Fill your plate with fruits and vegetables so your mind thinks you are eating a lot.

Tuna with Grilled Vegetables is a wonderful dinner.

Keep busy on Fast Days, so boredom doesn’t convince you that you are hungry. Keep your goals in mind. It is really rather easy to say ‘NO’ to empty calories on a Fast Day: one because you have your goals firmly in mind and because you could always eat it tomorrow. This is only two days a week, my Friends. You can do it. I believe in you.

Slow Days: Baked Bluefish

People who are new to the Fasting Lifestyle 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 your 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.

Dear Husband grew up fishing for and eating Bluefish. It is a migratory fish off the East Coast of North America and they run in large, hungry schools. This is not to be confused with “Boston Bluefish” which is Pollock named after its betters. The genuine article is a dense, dark-fleshed fish with a fine taste. I enjoyed it once at Legal Seafoods in Boston, where it was baked with a very nice sauce. Rarely do we see it in markets, but when we do, we snap it up. When I tried to emulate the restaurant sauce, I do believe that I succeeded very well.

The topping mixture consists of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard with salt, pepper, and maybe a little lemon juice. Combine the topping and spread it evenly over 3-4 oz fillets of fish per person. Bake at 400F. for 12-15 minutes. Ordinarily I would cook fish for 10 minutes per inch of thickness of the fish. But Bluefish is denser, so it takes longer to cook.

And here it is plated with 2 sides: wild rice pilaf and cut green beans. Delicious. If you want wine recommendations for blue fish, have a look at https://wordpress.com/post/peterspicksblog.com/610

Slow Days: Strawberry Breakfast Crepes

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 Forumwhich attest to that. Once in a while your 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.

Sunday Breakfast is enshrined in our house as a special meal: a day for something out of the ordinary. Pancakes and waffles were popular in Dear Husband’s family, while yeast-raised cinnamon buns were my family’s favorite. Recently, a large supply of luscious strawberries gave rise to inspiration: crepes in a strawberry-maple syrup. The crepes were already prepared and in the freezer, which made it SO much easier. [You know how I always urge you to make things in bulk and freeze them for later? This is why! And crepes don’t take up a lot of room, even in a small freezer.]

In the foreground, you see 1/3 cup maple syrup with a teaspoon of butter.

Six crepes [not the savory ones made with buckwheat flour, but the sweet ones that were made for the Strawberry Moon blog on 16-June-2019] were taken from the freezer and thawed in their plastic storage bag overnight. They were warmed on a griddle. The maple syrup was warmed with a little butter and the strawberries were put in briefly, so they didn’t cook down to mush. The syrup took on a wonderful color and flavor from the berries! Chicken sausages were cooked and plated. The crepes were put on the plate open, generously laced with syrup and berries, folded in half and doused with fruit and syrup again.

Served with mocha cafe au lait and a berry-yogurt smoothie, it was a fabulous meal for strawberry season.