Listen, I have to tell you that I think dieting is a crock of shit. The very word DIET sends me into paroxysms of loathing. I think of how much money I have spent on dieting aids, books by the score, internet purchases and much more. I don’t want to continue like that for one more day and I will not.
My interest in nutrition and weight loss started when I went vegetarian for seven years in England in the 70s. Being part of the hippie culture I learned about whole foods: sprouts, rice, and vegetables usually grown organically in the back yard of the commune or picked up at the local market. Good times. Tasty food. Lots of carbohydrates.
Another side of my eating was the stress of wondering when and from whence the next gig would come, and if I was going to be “thin enough” for stage. Being emotional to start with, eating has always been my go-to activity when stress appeared. But not only then. Stressed, sad, happy, delighted, confused, successful – you name the emotion – they all result in eating.
Of course, events along the way helped to pile on the pounds. Motorbike accident, stopped cigarettes, hysterectomy, and a back operation: they all contributed. The sad thing is that I started dieting at a weight I could only dream of achieving now. Being over 60 and having spent years battling weight gain I do not expect to become a lissom wand, ever!
And if truth be told, food is one of my greatest passions.
I have spent the last month or more rebelling against Banting and all other diets. However, I have now managed to slow the runaway train and am a tad more thoughtful about food choices once more. It has resulted in rummaging deep within me to find some answers. My own answers and my own choices.
So what are they?
The upshot of it all is that I have decided to eat from all the Banting lists. From all food sources, all categories, nothing to be left out. Even sugar. Gasp!
And how do I intend to lose weight? Do I want to lose weight? How healthy am I? All these questions have been roaring around my addled brain, seeking the true answers that reside in my inner being. Profound, I know…
Eating less will do for starters. One helping and not two. How do intend to achieve that? By eating slowly, putting my fork or spoon down between mouthfuls, basically – eating mindfully. Big words, but achievable.
What will I be eating? Mostly everything that is natural and not processed by man. I did say mostly. There is nothing on my AVOID list because such a list does not exist for me anymore. The Amarula Crème Brûlée I had after lunch yesterday was a true delight and I refuse to go out and deny myself something so delicious, sugar and all. Sure, I will make my own at home with xylitol, but really? To go out and have a ‘normal’ meal is a huge pleasure.
Through all the years of dieting, (Low carb, keto, Banting, GAPS, Protein Power, Carbohydrate Addicts Diet, Schwarzbein) – they have all contributed to a store of good knowledge about foods and nutrition in general. I know what to eat and I am sure we all know basically what to eat. I don’t touch MSG as a rule, but there are Doritos and Lays days in my life. Mostly they were eaten with great guilt in the past, but no longer. Once in a while is fine by me.
I eat bread. Gasp again! These days I have access to stone ground non-GMO organic flour and have great fun trying out different recipes. In the past I would probably have eaten the whole loaf in a fit of secrecy and shame, but no more of that. Delicious with grass fed butter (it always sounds strange – butter doesn’t eat grass! Yes, I know, I know…) and local organic cheeses, very yum.
Every one of us has things we mean to do but never get round to. Things we know are beneficial but somehow manage to elude us in our daily routines. So I am making a list of those I am endeavouring to execute, out of which I plan to make a habit.
Habit Challenge List
Borax in filtered water daily for arthritis in my broken bones. (Google it…)
Krill oil capsules occasionally to replace the fish I very seldom eat due to mercury scares.
Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in the mornings with coconut oil and salt. (This habit is already in place.)
Eat within an eight to ten hour window. This is intermittent fasting which I practice at least four days a week and sometimes more.
Sprout organic seeds and enjoy the abundance of nutrition, and one day make a sprouted seed bread, just for fun.
Soak oats and nuts overnight as an occasional breakfast. (Soaking breaks down the enzyme inhibitors, making the food more easily digestible. And – I like it!)
Eat vegetables, preferably raw but also cooked any other way. Raw blended green juices are the one thing with which I struggle, but now that I am eating off all the lists, I shall use apples and bananas to make them more palatable, together with seeds and nuts for protein.
Make kimchi and other fermented foods and eat regularly. The thing is to find organic cabbage. A red cabbage is growing in a pot and I am sowing more seed after the next new moon. Carrots abound in my garden and I have loads of kale, so no excuse.
Make yogurt more often.
Deep breathing daily. (I often do three mindful breaths throughout the day and also at night before I sleep.)
One last but most important thing of all – Love my body, fat or thin!
There you have it. My own lifestyle, tailored just for me. I will let you know how it goes…
This has been an interesting week.
Now I do not subscribe totally to anyone’s particular idea of Banting. I use however much I need, wherever it resonates with me and suits my needs, wants and desires. Yep, all those things. Needless to say, my desire is to be healthy above all. Slim is good. Health is my main priority – physically, mentally and emotionally.
Physically means getting good nutrients into this bod, organic where possible and more than that, out of my garden! Being fit and active is important – so that I can get around the streets of Edinburgh and Pittenweem when I visit my sis – and to be able to walk in my little forest with the dogs and to dance with my horses. As I get lighter, all this becomes easier to do. Being healthy and fit enough to live a full active life is my sincere want, need and desire.
Mentally? Hmmmm… Keeping my brain busy is not too difficult. It wants to explore all the time! Discovering and using knowledge is ongoing, continually. Discovering what works best for me as far as food and health is concerned takes up a fair bit of my time as well. Nutrition has long been my interest. Ideas come, get used, get discarded at times and then the chosen principles get added to my lifestyle. All in all I am a healthy fat girl. Now I am on my way to being a healthy slim girl!
Emotional well-being is important so I ask myself what can I do to keep my sometimes rampant emotions happy? What do I like to do? Meditation and Qi Gong for starters. And then, I love to cook. Tastes turn me on. I love to develop recipes out of whatever I have at the time, and sometimes I plan. I certainly think simple is best, but there are times when a bit of luxury and food decadence suits the moment! We are not robots and we like variety. Well I certainly do. To eat the same things every day is not how I like to live. It would be like painting the same picture every day, and now and then get let out for good behaviour to paint something new. Ugh! I am a rainbow being, as are we all. I just like to let all the colours shine! Not just pink!!!
See! That’s the emotional side
The last week has been one of those emotional ones and food, of course, has come into play. Rebellion and resistance is part of my nature and sometimes it roars to the forefront of my emotional day. I know I am not alone. There are many of us emotional peeps out there and many of us rely on food to comfort us or to assist in the rebellion of the moment. I am not saying it is right, it just is like this at times. Just is.
We move on.
So what do I do on a regular basis? What I like to do. Drink my lemon water, coconut oil and salt in the morning – I happen to love it – and then I wait until I am hungry. My natural bent, my desire, is to do intermittent fasting, which means I eat anywhere between 10 am and noon, and I eat supper anywhere between 6 and 8 pm. And supper is always small. That feels good to me, and I am the one who knows what works for me. The principles behind intermittent fasting ring very true and my body likes it. I have written about it in previous posts, so do go and have a read. LCHF/Banting/Low Carb is how I choose my food. Sometimes I deviate, but not too often. I like banting. It’s good food.
Recently I relinquished all my outside responsibilities and resigned from committees etc. This is because I have an art exhibition coming up in July, so I have gone into my painting cave for the next four months. However, I am also writing my little Banting Recipe Book to release at our Silver Mist Holistic and Health Fair on 11 and 12 July 2015 here in Haenertsburg. Go to the facebook page to check out what’s coming.
Recent Banting Food Photos
Shirataki Noodles with Basil & Moringa Pesto
Shirataki Noodles with Bacon & Cream Sauce
Banting Snack: Celery with Whipped Cream & Blue Cheese
Until the next post – keep smiling and do the healthy thing…
Rockin’ on – Following the Real Meal Revolution
15.2 kg gone in 124 days, (that is just under 18 weeks). I am happy with half a kilo a week so this is great.
After researching low carb diets for a few years, and starting and failing on all, I bumped into Banting. By that time I had come across Ayurveda (best time to eat at 12 noon), Intermittent Fasting (stop eating at 8 pm and eat at 12 noon the next day – 16 hr fast) and Carb Cycling/Reward Meals/Spike Day (for re-stoking the metabolic fires).
I have done intermittent fasting for some while now while trying to find my way in the already tried and failed low carb world. Then I found Banting which just slotted in as if my journey had been waiting for just that moment.
Energy abounds! The morning starts with my Coconut, Lemon and Salt and Hot Water (I should call it CLASH Water). I am hardly ever hungry and my first meal of the day at noon is sometimes hard to finish. Like breakfast this morning!
Lamb’s Liver sauteed in Burnt Sage Butter and Scrambled Egg
Stir-fried Spinach with Garlic and Red Onion served with Avocado
Eating to satiety is something I learnt from the Big Banting Breakfast Debate (BBBD) group on Facebook. Eat to satiety off the Green List in The Real Meal Revolution (you can get the lists by visiting their website www.realmealrevolution.co.za). The rest of the day is a breeze.
I must explain that Charles Lubbe who runs the BBBD recommends eating within 30 minutes of waking and while I understand the principle which I have also found on some body building sites (I have been strange places), my experience of intermittent fasting has brought me to this place on my journey. Charles always says “there are no nannies here” so I walk my path confidently in the way it works for me and this sure works!
The glorious lack of hunger indicates that my body is a truly hot fat burning furnace. I can just see all those fat cells letting go of their contents! I get through the day very easily after that first meal. Any snack late afternoon is small, perhaps half an avocado, a small handful of nuts or biltong, or some seeds.
Supper is invariably small, often just some protein and fat if I don’t feel like vegetables. Left over chicken or perhaps a bowl of bone broth. (That is one of my favourite small meals.) I do try to eat a salad some nights.
I set myself a challenge after losing 15 kilos, and that is to exercise before every meal, and I am not allowed to eat unless I have cycled for at least 10 minutes. This has resulted in me getting more and more into movement and now I have added walking in my forest with the dogs, and this is on a slope so when I head for home, it’s upward all the way. It works up a sweat and my heart is working hard by the time I get back to the house. When I talked on the phone yesterday, I found myself bouncing gently on the rebounder for a good few minutes and I know the enormous benefits of doing just that. Amazing.
For years I have been writing a recipe book, and it is only now that I have joined the Real Meal Revolution that everything is falling into place. My first meal of the day is the most important to me so that requires thought and nutritional creativity. Just up my alley! In the writing of this book I am committed to creating something different for 52 weeks of this year. That’s 52 recipes…
Join my Banting Journey and watch this space for the first recipes.
(The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Sally-Ann Creed, Jonno Proudfoot and David Grier)
Dogs and horses wake me up early and these days I have been eating breakfast a little earlier than my norm (which is anywhere between 10 and noon). The day started with lemon juice, salt and coconut oil in hot water, sipped on the stoep gazing at all the green around me and flowers burgeoning everywhere. Even the bees were up early and already collecting their gatherings for the hive. The dew was cool beneath my bare feet, such a refreshing feeling.
About three hours later I thought about eating. This was around 8 am. So this is what I concocted…
Turmeric-Spiced Egg Scramble with Coconut Kissed Thai-flavoured Chicken
This was a different take on breakfast. Well, it is the most important meal of the day and who said we had to have bacon with our eggs every day? There was left over cooked chicken in the fridge and I had run out of bacon, so creativity was necessary. The Thai green curry paste was an awesome addition with the coconut cream. I stir-fried two spring onions with the chicken and then added the paste and coconut cream. Truly good tasting!
Dressed with Olive Oil and Verjuice
This was a late lunch dish with a friend. The look on his face was so rewarding And there was not a starch in sight! Shows you that even non-Banters like Banting food! Two more non-Banters are coming for dinner tomorrow night, so I am already planning and scheming…
Keeping up with the Revolution…
(The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Sally-Ann Creed, Jonno Proudfoot and David Grier)
I know it is difficult sometimes to think of things to eat for the Big Breakfast, so here are a few ideas you might like to try.
Bacon OR Chicken Livers OR Ox/Lamb/Calves Liver OR Pork Rashers OR Lamb Fingers OR Pickings from Bone Broth OR Steak with extra Butter. (Of course you can have any offal if you like it, brains would be good.)
Free Range Eggs OR…Well, eggs is eggs – OK, you could try ostrich or quail eggs for a change?
Avo OR Spinach, Kale, Chard (Silver beet), Beetroot leaves, Mustard Spinach, Pak Choy. Leafy things. Organic if possible. Try growing your own.
Moringa Powder to mix with your avo or greens. Or drink the capsules.
Coconut oil OR Butter, Ghee, Lard (Pork Fat) or Tallow (Beef or Lamb Fat) OR Schmaltz (Chicken Fat) OR Bacon Fat
There are many different ways to use these ingredients. Take livers for instance.
Chicken livers can simply be browned in butter or cooked with cream or sour cream if you are feeling luxurious. Ox/lamb or calves liver can be cut into strips and rolled in crushed almonds or almond powder, (or not!), and fried in coconut oil, butter or ghee. You could mix the cooked liver with scrambled eggs for a change. Chop bacon and do the same thing. Hey, you could even have left over fillet steak chopped up in the scrambled eggs!
As for the leafy things, try steaming, stir-frying, wilting, creaming, whatever, and eat them with poached eggs, fried eggs, mixed into scrambled eggs with bits of bacon, a spinach and feta filling for the omelette…get my drift?
Eggs I have mentioned. Fried, poached, scrambled, omelette, pizza type omelette with cheese under the grill, bacon and eggs baked in muffin tins, quiche type muffins filled with all the good stuff for breakfast on the run. If you’re not in a hurry and you have time to bake in the morning, pour melted butter over them for that extra rich flavour. Remember you can always add herbs to the quiche muffins. Oregano is particularly good.
I hope this helps spark some creativity in the kitchen. After all, if you think about it, breakfast is our main meal, so it should be the one that deserves the creative touch.
It makes me happy to cook and to develop recipes for everyone to enjoy, especially for the awesome Facebook group of which I am a part. Visit there and see what a great bunch of people they are, led by the indomitable Charles Lubbe and his very helpful team from The Big Breakfast Banting Debate.
Go Big Breakfast!
Omelette Roulade filled with Swiss Chard and Mushrooms
Breakfast Egg and Bacon Pizza in a Pan
Bacon, Eggs, Tomato, Cheese and Avo
Green Eggs with Buttered Fillet Medallions & Heirloom Purple Tomatoes
Green Eggs, Bacon and Courgette Fritters
We’re Cooking with the Revolution!…
(The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Sally-Ann Creed, Jonno Proudfoot and David Grier)
The day started with a bowl of pickings from the beef and venison bone broth.
After that my next meal was an Omelette filled with Bacon and Mushrooms and about 6 cups of black rooibos tea! It was at a restaurant but I did not inquire as to what oil they were using, but it was a filling meal. The bread remained in its cloth covered basket and I resisted the temptation of coffee. It is getting easier now. I must admit that I was sorely tempted to have coffee with cream but my commitment held strong.
I was not that hungry as night arrived, so this is what I made:
Crispy Skins from Chicken Thighs and Heirloom Baby Tomatoes
I do love them skins! The rest of the chicken is packed away in the fridge waiting for tomorrow. A chicken salad sounds good, yes?
Late night (I stayed up way too late as usual) called for a snack and so I had venison salami slices. Just enough and not too much. Now my eyes are rapidly closing and I must away into the arms of Morpheus.
A Beautiful Banting Day …
Sister’s day was a little different to mine!
Banting day 3 from Scotland
I fear that I am on rebellion 101!! I don’t like green tea, I miss my Ceylon tea with low fat milk.
I don’t like my bacon done in the microwave and I cannot use my kitchen.
I am so indoctrinated into eating low fat high fibre that I find fat off-putting.
I, believe or not, am laughing through all of this because I have a sense of humour and I realise that I have probably chosen the worst week in my life to start Banting….a member of the household is very ill, I have no kitchen as the AGA is in but the cupboards and shelves and plumbed goods are only going in today and they will be finished tomorrow (I hope).
My microwave is in the laundry/scullery which has been called the galley kitchen, but I am too fat to slide past my lovely svelte partner in the galley!!
The knives and forks are in the passage, the butter and meat etc is in the fridge in the kitchen on the other side of the house….so actually it is very much a case of laugh while you can. If I can survive this I can survive Banting! And all this without a glass of wine…the only whining I am doing is at the top of the page!!
The up side is I already feel lighter and smaller, and of course I am peeing like a well hydrated horse!!
Breakfast this morning was bacon cooked in the microwave (don’t you hate the idea of all those little nuclear molecules dancing around creating some kind of fission to cook your food???)
Egg with organic coconut oil. Organic! What’s the point if you are going to nuke it anyway…please see lightness and laughter, no criticism in this!
Spinach added, served with loads of cracked black pepper.
2 eggs, 3 rashers of bacon and a handful of spinach.
The breakfast was very tasty, and I am sure that I will only have a late lunch or supper now.
I got a note later to say that my sis had lamb and broccoli soup tonight. I think that’s pretty cool, and I am proud of her for hanging in there in the middle of what must be pretty nightmarish!
Tuna salad was my supper and it was more than adequate. I dressed it with some olive oil and verjuice and sprinkled a little Tabasco over it. Yumness.
Marching on with The Revolution!…
(The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Sally-Ann Creed, Jonno Proudfoot and David Grier)
How am I feeling today? Strange, slow, thoughtful. It is day 2 (day 1 was not FFF legal) of the Fat Furnace Fortnight and I am probably going through some kind of detox, Herxheimer reaction, that sort of thing. Although I have been Banting for quite some time now – this is nearly the end of my 4th month – I did go through a time of putting on a couple of kilos over the holiday season but it came back down fairly quickly which makes me realise it was more than likely water weight.
It is coffee and dairy that I think helped the weight stall. This is the 2nd day without coffee and I am choosing to drink rooibos tea since it has no caffeine. Green tea may well be good for me but I don’t want to indulge in any caffeine during this fortnight. I want to see how my body reacts, so I am being uber good! I am having a teaspoon of coconut oil in my tea and it tastes just fine! It is certainly a good way to take in the requisite two teaspoons a day … and it is cheap lip-gloss!
A good breakfast with good fats really helps keep the munchies away!
Until the next post, keep on Banting!…
It is amazing what accountability does to one’s whole demeanour. My sister needed some encouragement to go the Banting way and I was so happy, I jumped at the chance to mentor and accompany her. I say mentor only in that I have been doing it for 4 months and have lost 14 kilos and am so in the groove now, it feels solid, and it is a treat to help anyone to achieve something at which we are both working. This is not unlike going to gym with a buddy. You can talk the same language about muscle building and toning, groan and moan when you are taking strain, appeal for help when you need a lift, and generally be there for each other. Here we talk nutrition, weight correction and general health.
Sis and I have both had weight issues most of our grown-up lives. We both suffer from the apple shape, insulin resistance marker tum and are both very keen cooks. This has led to many calories over the necessary and the proof is in the size of our clothes. Too big! In the past we have talked about doing a project together which involved writing, and what better project than this. With this we can reach and teach others as well, those who are walking the same journey to Oh-So-Sassy!
I have been on go-slow for a fortnight now. Not stalled, but the weight loss is crawling along. I decided to start at the beginning again in order to make sure my system is truly changed and is a roaring fat-burning furnace! So I am joining my sister with that goal in mind for both of us. She will now have the delight of all that water weight loss in these next two weeks. Hopefully I will drive those ketones on and out and stoke my furnace once again.
The first two weeks are what I call Austerity Fortnight. A bit like Atkins induction when I did that some years ago, except no dairy, no nuts and lots of fat. Nothing but eggs, fish, poultry, red meats, venison…anything under the protein column on the Green List in The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes et al, and vegetables from that same list. That’s it. And of course fats. Coconut oil, butter, ghee, lard (pork fat) and tallow (beef and mutton fat). Drinks include water water and water, herb teas, preferably green tea or rooibos/redbush with a slice of lemon and/or mint, and ginger tea which I make with slices of fresh ginger steeped in boiling water which I keep in a flask and drink as needed. Another drink I keep on my desk from which I frequently sip, is filtered water with apple cider vinegar. The benefits of ACV are too numerous to mention here, so I will save that for another post. Just believe me when I say it is good for you!
The Sisters Day 1:
Lamb Fingers with Kale and Egg Scramble spiced with Turmeric, Black Pepper and Cayenne
This was my meal number 1 in the mountains of Limpopo Province and Sis had eggs and bacon and a grilled tomato in Scotland. We will both be making bone broth tonight, mine in my slow cooker and hers on her new AGA! Bone broth is my chosen top-up food or snack mid-afternoon if I get the slightest bit peckish. I decided that bone broth was the easiest way to keep my fat intake up without having to even think! So instead of a cup of coffee or tea, bone broth is it. And water, or have I said that already?
We leave 6 to 8 hours between eating because we eat breakfast to satiety. This I learned from my mentor, Charles Lubbe from The Big Breakfast Banting Debate on Facebook. Eat until you are FULL! And he means really full. By the way, if you ever want a really good Facebook Banting Group you cannot go wrong with Charles’s The Big Breakfast Banting Debate. He has all sorts of good information at his finger tips and the support is awesome.
Tonight’s meal for me will be a handful of spicy beef meatballs, salad dressed with olive oil and lemon, with a gorgeous mix of broccoli, cauliflower and courgette, while Sis will be eating pork with crispy crackling and buttered spinach for her supper in the Northern Hemisphere.
This in from Scotland:
What a fabulous idea. Ever since I moved to Scotland I have felt quite far from my sister, and now we have the same goal! What a pleasure, and the fact that I have been on a different diet and not really lost a thing, and that M has lost 14kg’s means it works. Sure I am in trepidation, my basic lifestyle has been vegetarian most of my life, but I do enjoy meat. I have been eating low fat EVERYTHING and was surprised to see what a challenge it is to find full fat milk/cheese/yoghurt in the shops.
So now for my comments very quickly! I am not properly prepared for the austere 2 weeks, the only thing that is working in my kitchen is the new AGA, the worktops have not been installed and I have bought loads of cheese! I have also not been able to get into the kitchen to put the pork roast into the AGA! There are workmen sanding the bamboo work tops so I cannot do anything. I might land up having cucumber and boiled eggs for supper tonight. I have learned my first lesson in Banting, BE Prepared!
I did walk to the butcher and buy some lamb bones for a broth which I will put in the oven when the workmen have left. The broth is a basic one, a few sticks of celery, a carrot, 6 black peppercorns, an onion and a clove of garlic.
My tea of choice will be green or ginger tea, I am not really keen on herb teas, but will aim to try some new ones soon.
I love it! Here’s to our journey to Slim and Healthy…
Rocking with The Real Meal Revolution!!!
Hello fellow Banters!
Today I am going to sing the praises of the humble bone broth. Cheapest way to fill your tum. This morning I bought some meaty venison bones from the local store. Venison has to be organic, right? I was so excited I bought 5 packets, they were R17 each. Bit by bit I browned two packets of bones in coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pot until they were smelling really good. I then added filtered water to cover, an onion studded with 3 cloves, a stick of celery and a carrot cut up in chunks, two bay leaves and about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. After bringing it to the boil I turned it down and left it to simmer for about 3 hours or more.
For lunch I had the marrow from four bones and a soup cup of bone broth. It was so delicious I went back for another cup! Of course it is up to you as to what herbs or spices you add but it was the simplest combination and it was so flavoursome. I removed no fat and drank it the way it came out the pot.
Afterwards I poured the remaining stock and bones into the slow cooker and added more water to cover and another squirt of ACV (it helps to draw out the minerals from the bones) to cook overnight so that that the flavours really intensify and it becomes a rich, nutritious broth.
I truly believe that bone broth can make the Banting diet more accessible to those who are on a really tight budget and they will be getting great nutrition from it. I for one will be using this as a standard beverage/food on my Banting Journey. It is filling and tasty and that is what counts for me, and it has no carbs as I strain out all the vegetables and drink only the broth. The meat and gelatine on the bones is tasty and good for you, so indulge! I do
In fact I had the meat that fell off the bone this morning for breakfast around 10.30. The slow cooker ROCKS!