Banting and Nutrition…


Hello again Banters all


Today is beautiful here in the mountains and work on preparing the horse arena is ongoing while I sit and write recipes and menus for an upcoming Banting talk. I love doing this. The recipe book is coming together really well and there are some awesome food experiments coming up. Needless to say, I am passionate about good tasty healthy nutritious food! And it has helped me lose 18kg so far!!!


Today’s breakfast photo is Liver and Eggs:


It is a simple meal but oh so tasty. The liver is cut into strips and then rolled in almond flour and fried. I served this with egg and home-cooked creamed organic spinach from the garden, and a slice of avocado. Really delicious combination.


That’s all for now…be back soon


Have a stunning day – keep on with the Revolution!


Following The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Sally-Ann Creed, Jonno Proudfoot and David Grier



Banting – Girls Gourmet Brunch…


Oh what a time it was!


The girls gathered. A really close friend I hadn’t seen for about 8 years, my sister divine, a neighbour sistah (and horse) and moi.


Let me tell you about the horses first. They have ‘Play Dates’. My Mmino curly horse, the one in my Facebook photo, was housed next door for two months while I finished building fences and he lived with the herd, just the way horses like it. Then he came home to me and to life with Shanti an old retired gelding. Fortunately  he gets to see his buddy Magick who comes to ‘play date’ once a week or so. While the horses romp and graze, this is the time to gather on the stoep, overlooking the forest and talk plants, horses, dogs, cats, chickens, gardening, permaculture, moon planting, organics, creativity, art, meditation, chakras, healing, horse therapy and a zillion other things to do with the planet we love and how we live our lives on it. And then we eat:)


So brunch was the time to get creative with banting-legal ingredients. The final result was this…


Girls' Gourmet Brunch



Green Scrambled Eggs with Fillet Medallions and Green Peppercorn Cream Sauce


Serves 4

Green Scramble Ingredients


coconut oil/ghee

4 big beetroot leaves (the green leaves were straight from the garden)

8 big Swiss Chard leaves with pink stems (very colourful)

4 garlic cloves

4 spring onions (green onions/scallions)


1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste (I used three good shakes)

1 heaped teaspoon turmeric

12 eggs (3 each – we were getting hungry and it was our first meal of the day:)

1/4 cup cream

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese


Finely chop the garlic, spring onions and the stems of the chard and saute in the oil until the onions and stems are tender. Add the finely chopped green leaves and stir for about 3 minutes or until they are bright green and just cooked. Set aside.


Green Peppercorn Cream Sauce

Half a small bottle of green peppercorns (It’s what I had)

Cream – probably about 2 cups

Two blobs of butter – about 3 tablespoons

1/2 tsp arrowroot (optional)


Heat the cream, butter and peppercorns in a small saucepan until boiling and then turn down to a simmer and let the cream reduce and thicken while you put the griddle pan on for the steak medallions.

If it does not thicken in time (and time was of the essence) add a little paste of arrowroot and water little by little until it is a good consistency. (Dip a wooden spoon into the sauce and run your finger across the back of it. If the line stays and the sauce doesn’t drip, the sauce is ready.)


Fillet Medallions (I had about 400 to 450g)

Cut fillet steaks into medallions about 1 cm thick.

Put the medallions into a bowl with some olive oil and make sure they are nicely covered with the oil.

Do not oil the pan. Heat it to smoking.

Grill to your liking. (It doesn’t take long for medallions to cook.) Cook them in batches and set aside. Too many at once and the meat will steam and you don’t want that. When they are nicely browned, set aside, ready to heat up in the pan at the last minute when the scrambled eggs are almost done.


Egg mix

In a bowl mix the eggs and all the other ingredients except the cheese.

Return the pan with the leaves to the stove and heat.

Add the eggs, cream and spice mixture and stir continuously until the eggs start to thicken.

(Here is where you return the griddle to the flame and heat up the fillet medallions.)

Add the mozzarella cheese to the pan and stir into the eggs. Continue stirring until the eggs are creamy and the cheese is melted into the mix. Do not overcook the eggs.


Now you bring it all together. Plate your green eggs and fillet medallions and serve the sauce on the side. Add ground sea salt and black pepper as desired. Oh yes! It was a taste sensation!


With this we had filter coffee with cream. (Not a piece of toast in sight and no-one missed it even for a nano-second. A couple of us did lick our plates though. Hey! This is down on the farm!)


Grooving with the Revolution…





Banting Progress…


The weekend has come and gone and I have successfully ‘banted’ my way through it with one small slip at a restaurant for lunch. Not a big deal, there was balsamic vinegar in the sauce for the steak so I scraped some off and felt none the worse for wear. The roast veggies were what I was craving and the cheesecake did not lure me. In fact, the sight of lemon cheesecake in the cake fridge made me keen to make a Banting-legal one so I have put it on the list for the week. My sister is coming to stay for 5 days, and we plan to make it a really healthy visit. What a pleasure. She is a great cook and we may well come up with a food trial or two. Cheesecake will be one of them. Watch this space!


It has taken a long time coming and now it has been shown quite convincingly that low carb high fat is a healthy, healing way of eating. There have been many reports of diabetics no longer needing medication, of PCOS being healed, of autism, epilepsy and obesity being successfully treated. More and more science around low carb high fat eating is getting through to the public and we are in a position to choose what works for us as far as health is concerned. But first we need to get rid of faulty thinking around the matter of fats. Understand that it is healthy and needed. The good stuff is not manufactured by man. It is a natural food, and in that lies the answer. Natural.


Why swop butter for margarine which is reputed to be one molecule away from plastic? Why eat boxed cereals which have been laced with no nutrition sugar and mysterious E numbers when there’s fresh berries and cream, and eggs and bacon with mushrooms and courgette fritters to delight in. (I think that will be brunch today!)


Shop around the edge of the supermarket where all the fresh foods are and leave the packaged inflammatory foods on the shelves. Read the ingredients of those packaged goods and if there is anything you cannot pronounce, MSG, E numbers or preservatives, it would be wise to steer clear of it. Wherever possible choose organic vegetables, raw milk products and grass fed free range meats. Good real food.  The marketing around unhealthy foods is backed by huge money. Big corporations make billions from inferior foods which keep people unhealthy and in need of doctors and medication, and that is the territory of Big Pharma and more big money. Conspiracy theory? I don’t think so.


My personal experience with this lifestyle and in particular with fat, is that it tames my appetite. I am learning to reach for cream, coconut oil, cream cheese, avocado, macadamia nuts, mayonnaise, butter and high fat meat broths when I need to still the food voice in my head and it works. My energy levels are high and my motivation is strong. I shall keep on eating good fats, including healthy saturated fats. The treat is that I don’t have to resist a beautifully grilled lamb chop with a strip of crisp fat nor a perfectly roasted chicken, skin and all, because they hold such culinary pleasure as well as necessary nutrients and fuel for my now diminishing body. Yes, I am three kilos lighter this week. That makes it four in two weeks. I know a lot of it may be water weight right now, but it feels really good!


Roll on the Revolution!…



Banting and Fat…



Got back to the farm yesterday and not two hours later I was preparing a Banting supper for a couple of friends. It turns out that my friend thought Banting was all about eating loads of fat, but when she saw what was on offer, she realised there was much more to it. She loved the food. Basically, we had left overs.


With some leftover mince mixture I made baby hamburger patties, with that a green leafy salad with yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes and a few mange tout, cold roast chicken breast chopped up and served with avocado and Greek yogurt dressing, and we had the reheated chicken liver dish from this morning. (Hubby kindly sent some home with me) Coffee with cream to finish.


It is very interesting to hear the perceptions people have of Banting. My friend did say she would have to get her head around the idea of eating fat. I would imagine that is likely for most people who have been duped by the propaganda around saturated fat, that of it being bad for your heart etc. Please read The Real Meal Revolution and watch some of Prof Tim Noakes’s YouTube lectures on Banting. The science is all there. We need fat. It is healthy for us. And no margarine please. Apparently it is only one molecule away from plastic! It is just plain unnatural. I render fat from the meats I use and love to cook with it.


It is misty and wet here on the farm. Of course the garden is loving it! The greens in my breakfast dish were picked from that garden minutes before cooking them. The breakfast was Green Eggs with Pink-stemmed Swiss Chard (grown from heirloom seeds) with Garlic, and it was cooked in coconut oil.


Snack lunch today was some mature cheddar cheese and half an avocado and coffee with cream. Good fats! At this point the carb count is about twenty, and since I am restricting my carbs to 25g a day for the first two weeks, I have five carbs left for supper or a snack.  Half a cup of zucchini is around 4 carbs, so that is what I will have tonight with the stir-fried hake that I am going to make. Easy peasy and not much fuss. My old laptop is playing up but I am hoping to have some pics of it tomorrow. Look out for the Spicy Stir-Fried Hake with Buttered Courgettes recipe and pic.


Enjoy this Banting ride…



Banting Foods – Making Wise Choices…


When the Atkins Diet was all the rage, first in the late seventies and then again in the nineties, it was criticised for its lack of vegetables. Those same critics most likely did not read the Atkins Diet Revolution too well, because they would have seen the three cups of vegetables recommended daily. Two salad and one cooked vegetable. And that was only in the first two weeks of induction. After induction you could add more vegetables until you reached your CCL (Critical Carbohydrate Level) where you would no longer be losing weight. Unfortunately there were a whole bunch of low carb products (fake foods) being touted as well, and a low carb candy bar seemed much more exciting than a stick of celery. No vegetables meant more constipation as people were not getting enough fibre. The diet was blamed.


There are also those who complain they cannot eat fruit on a low carb diet. If you read the orange list in The Real Meal Revolution by Prof Tim Noakes et al, you will see a comprehensive list of fruit from which we can choose to eat, as long as we include it in our carbs for the day. The decision is ours to make. A little pineapple or apple in the chicken salad does make a difference every now and then. And strawberries and cream are a true treat. However, I am beginning to see the value of noting the carbs on a daily basis. Munching meats is cool because there are no carbs to count, nor in fat. Milk, cream, cheeses, nuts and seeds (which means crackers and breads) all need to be counted, along with the more dense vegetables. Unless it is high fat such as butter and lemon, sauces need to be limited and some archived for the moment.


The simple rule would be to choose our carbs wisely.



I think it was in a Paleo article where it was suggested that we should eat only those things that you could pick, dig out or kill with a pointed stick while naked on the plains, or was it the savannah? Now I don’t know about naked with a pointed stick, but I do get their meaning. It all boils down to real, natural food. Stuff that you could mostly eat raw actually. Raw meat? Come on, you know steak tartare don’t you? Well, you get my drift. You can’t eat rice raw, or wheat,  or legumes unless sprouted. Sugar would be sucked from a cane and if the bees didn’t get you, honey would be a rare delight. Real food is what we need to keep healthy. Our bodies are made for it. They thrive on natural organic foods.


Sweets don’t grow on trees.



Not long ago in a meditation course with Osho, the one thing that stuck with me was the word “mindful”. Eating mindfully has become another reminder from my nagging but caring inner voice. We cannot eat mindfully in front of a television. In fact, I think we eat most mindfully when we are alone. Osho declared it would take much longer to eat our meals if we did so in a mindful manner. Slowly, chewing well, savouring and focusing on every mouthful. When the inner voice gets through to me and I practise that mindfulness, it works. It is then that a stick of celery delights.



Slow and steady with the Revolution…


The Food Plan…

MOD (My Own Diet)

Nothing is forbidden.

Concentrate on eating Alkaline 80% Acid 20%


Main foods:  80%

Fruit one or two a day (melons to be eaten alone)

Vegetables – at least three – especially green and raw where possible

Green Smoothies

Fermented vegetables (probiotics – kimchi, raw sauerkraut)


Nuts and Nut Butters – especially almonds

Lentils and beans according to the alkaline/acid chart

Legumes/pulses according to the alkaline/acid chart

Grains: bread, pasta, flour, cereals, rice etc. according to the alkaline/acid chart





Lassi – Yogurt and water with turmeric after a meal

Whey Protein Smoothies




Omega 3 oils/EV Olive oil/Coconut oil/Nut & Seed oils

Apple Cider Vinegar /Balsamic/Verjuice/Lemon Juice

All herbs and spices

70% to 85% dark chocolate

Water and herb teas/ginger tea


Butter/Animal fats

Dairy – Cheeses, Milk



Alcohol (Beer/Cider/Wine/Other)


Red meat

High Starch Vegetables (potatoes/pumpkin)


Ice cream




Aquaerobics/Swimming/Chair Exercises/Yoga/Weights

Monday’s Food Plan

7:30 – Ginger Tea

8:00 – Mango & Papaya Smoothie with ground flaxseed. Grind them fresh as they go rancid quickly.

9:00 – Exercise – Water Babes in the pool for one hour

10:30 – 50g Oats & 5 Almonds soaked overnight. This helps to digest them better.

12 noon – Butternut and cannellini bean soup with 1 slice wholegrain bread, no butter, and a salad

15:00 – Green smoothie made from rocket, lettuce, apple and ginger

19:00 – 80g Cold roast chicken (no skin) with lots of salad veggies with feta cheese and balsamic vinaigrette dressing

                One Chocolate Brownie and some red wine

With this plan in place it is good night!


Balmy night in Africa…

…and the frogs are making such a noise that we have to speak loudly to be heard! The weather has been in the early 40s today and I have slept for most of that. Air con and fan and I was away after a full night of partying and music and food. Actually, I think it was more than that. It was all the previous weeks of heartache knowing that huge changes are about to happen and some of the old ways have to give way to a new life. From a 4 bedroom to a 2 bedroom with no garage and no pool (yet) and from our beautiful lapa/living room to no lapa at all. The kids will miss that just as much as we will. All the wonderful hours we spent on that stoep talking deep into the night. the times when Lana threw a rubber ball at a frog and found her target:)

We will miss those times, but we will be making new memories.

I am looking forward to 2012 with all its possibilities. By December we should at least have the basement part of our new house…my part:) I am the one who wants an earth lodge and Fredl, my husband wants the 360 degree view from the top. We live on the top of a mountain range, so there is much beauty around. I want the basement/earth lodge part for safety and energy efficiency…so we will have both.

We are giving up something of our old ways to realise new dreams. I am 62 in December and feel as if this is a totally new phase coming up. It is exciting and filled with hope and dreams…just like when I was 20, or 30…or 40…

Much to ponder…

Preparations for 2012…

This is a collection of my blog entries that I am moving to this website blog. There will be new ones to come!


Farming and growing organic vegetables

There is a whole lot of info out there and it takes time to digest it all. Construction companies in South Africa are not very au fait with earth shelters and the main underground building is in the mining industry and basements of big buildings. It will take a while to find someone who can do this but I am sure we will get there.
I will write more on the earth house when I have some exciting news about it, but in the meantime I am going to be working on my farm to plant trees and vegetables and get the paddocks ready for the orchard and the animals. A duck pond will be one of my first projects after the tool shed. Ducks, geese for security, chickens in a chook dome for free range eggs and chickens, two Dexter cows for raw milk and free range, grass fed beef. Three or four sheep for sheep’s milk and free range lamb and a horse to ride. Now will 4 hectares be enough for that? I will research and find out. Anyone out there who can advise me, feel free!
Have a gentle evening.
Earth House in the Hill

I love this
Earth House by Peter Vetsch
About this 2012 thing … there is so much scaremongering going on out there and a whole bunch of confusion. So many people out there are making mega bucks off fear, and fear is something to which I care not to subscribe. I think it wise to be prepared for possibilities, but not to let it take over my every thought.
End of that. Be here now…
In our home right now there is a mountain of clutter to clear. This is all because we have inherited so much stuff through the years and since I closed the restaurant on Feb 18 I have all that to sort and clear as well. There will be one huge yard sale when I have sorted out what we really need at the construction camp and the House in the Hill. Clutter overtakes the mind as well as the physical space around you, so de-cluttering is exciting. Just imagine – a free mind!
Building in the earth is all new technology to me but my talented husband is a civil engineer (and artist) and will employ the help and advice of the right people. I love learning new things, dreaming and planning…and then doing it!
We shall build our earth home because we really like the look of it and like the concept of future savings on energy. Since I am a permie (read permaculture student) I shall continue working with the land and living each day as well as I know how. That is so exciting! The joy at the prospect of building a home on our little farmling is much nicer than worrying about what might or might not happen.
We have just under 4 hectares on which we have a 10 x 10m vegetable shade shed under drip irrigation, 2x 3x3m wood Wendy cabins, 2 long-drop toilets and plans for a camp kitchen and a gas shower. It is a lovely site under the a pine tree and some 6 chestnut trees. This will be our construction camp.
Our journey to an earth House in the Hill has begun…
Fun out of the Sun…

 Well, if that Solar Katrina decides to make us a visit, we might have to stay out of the sun for a while. We are not sure if or even how long the storm would last and how much radiation it brings with it, but let’s imagine we have got the warning from NASA and we are hunkering down in our bunkers. You have supplied your bunker with what you think you might need, and you are set for at least 6 months. Do you have any good ideas as to what you will do to keep busy? Keep the kids busy? OK, my kids are grown ups and they will take care of themselves, but what about yourself? How are you going to stop yourself from going crazy with serious cabin fever? You are in it 24/7 with your spouse – and perhaps others.
I say you need a sound-proof scream walk-in closet with room to swing a baseball bat so that you can hit the old mattress in there. That’s the first thing. Then you get out your large wall tapestry that you are going to make with petit point, or a 6000 piece jigsaw puzzle, or your French course you have had for 10 years and get busy. (Thanks Annie for those great ideas:)Try and imagine how you would cope with 6 months underground. Walk through your day in your mind and make notes of everything that you could get busy with. An indoor veggie garden, learning to do ballroom with your partner, getting to grips with chess (make sure you have instruction books of things you want to do and learn).

Any other ideas out there? Share them with pleasure.

Decided to keep this all together…copied from previous blog
What will You do for Fun in the Bunker
That is today’s subject. Let’s imagine we are under siege and safely underground with all our provisions, even our games, cards, pictionary and of course scrabble and a really big old dictionary. But now we are three months down the line and not just a little bored, and the radiation metre says not yet, so no horse riding today. Now what?
Take up a hobby that takes up little space. Jewelry, painting, sculpture (you brought along the plaster of paris, shoe box and tape, didn’t you? Oh – and of course – water…hmmmm. Maybe the sculpture will have to wait. But wait! Make up some papier mache pulp in advance and keep it in sealed plastic ice-cream cartons. I could even make up some plaster of paris blocks before hand. Which is when I wonder? Before hand?…beforehand? How long is before?
Will it won’t it, will we won’t we? Whichever way the poles shift, or the sun brightly burns, preparedness is key to survival in any emergency. Girl scout me be.
Lists are all well and good, but doing is the thing. I am going to take a leaf out of Flylady’s book (if you haven’t discovered the joy of please go and visit this site). She is the doyenne of de-clutter and organisation. 15 minutes a day to de-clutter, set the timer. And now a new 15 minutes – to collect survival equipment and foods and store it all very well.
And don’t forget the jewelry making kit, or your favourite games.
Any ideas for fun underground are most welcome. I will add them to the final lists.
2012 and Water…
Water. I keep thinking of water. Imagine you suddenly hear on the news from NASA you have 12 hours to get to your safe place. Stormy solar flare is on its way. Is there enough water in the shelter? Food, emergency equipment, crank handle radio, gas, matches and quite a bit more? How will we conserve the water and still have enough to keep us hydrated. Strange thought, water.
I suppose the reason I am starting this blog with water is because we need it even more than food – and the water tanks need to go under the house in the ground – before we start building the rest of this magic home in the hill.
Waterless soap. That anti-bacterial stuff. Not always a good idea to do the anti-bacterial thing though – we like good bacteria – but it could save a little on water. Imagine trying not to wash your hands too often? A damp cloth will have to do…a jammer lappie. A sorry cloth. Sorry there isn’t any running water.
This is quite spooky really. Will we ever be ready? Is your shelter close to your home? Mine is in the mountains – or it will be! First there are the plans to be finished. There are many different ways to design an underground home, and ours is going to be built into the side of a hill on our farmette (read “small farm”). It is two hours drive from our home in the bushveld, and who knows where we will be on that fiery day!
One thing I do plan is that we will have finished our hobbit house in the hill. I also know that while planning, life happens! This is not to be some temporary disaster shelter, but a dwelling we shall enjoy for the rest of our lives, however long or short that may be. To that end, I am looking everywhere for good ideas. I am also extremely glad I am married to a civil engineer who knows his concrete.
Concrete. Now that’s not a very environmentally friendly product, but I am told it’s the best idea in a solar storm – with 3 feet of earth above it – and big strong doors – blast valve? Is that the name? Well, something truly strong enough to protect us, designed for disaster.
As long as the internet is working, I shall be gleaning as much info as I need. Then to find the right products and equipment. Now there’s a long list of hitherto unknowns!
What if there is no electricity for a long time? Well, we will have to get ingenious won’t we? I have been longing to live a permaculture driven life redolent with the fragrance of lavender and rosemary, growing my organic vegetables and milking the sheep (sheep’s milk is more easily digested than both cow and goat, really), collecting my free range eggs and singing in the hills while my solar panels collect energy for me and the wind turbine whirls away in the sometimes high winds of the mountains in Limpopo. I might have to wait a while for some of it, I might not. Perhaps the sullen sun decides to chill a bit instead of spitting radioactive fireballs at us. Anything is possible. However, whatever will come, I aim to be a good girl scout and guide my family and friends to preparedness.
When the horse gets to the water, will it drink?
We are back to the water again. There are very serviceable water tanks out there and I aim to get me some. Water in a tank buried under the dwelling, with a hand pump and some water purification drops. I can just see that ol’ style pump in my kitchen…well, where else? I am certainly not going outside to fetch water if there is a Solar Katrina whipping up a frenzy out there!
Grey water. Another tank under the ground with pipes that lead from wash up to a drip irrigation in an indoor greenhouse with grow lights. I can’t think of any other way to have fresh vegetables while under siege from the sun…and polar shifts, magnetic flips and maybe even flying trees and roofs… and an earth mother gone mad.
The survival lists are growing. I will share them in this blog as I go along. The true challenge is staying in the now while plotting and planning for a possible earth shattering event. My need in the now is to de-clutter big time in order to live a simplistic life with only that which serves us well, whether the cataclysm comes or not.
Any thoughts and ideas on water storage are most welcome…and I shall share any interesting links as we go along.
Today I am thinking of music inside the hill. What a wonderful thing it is to have CDs, but what will we play them on if there is no electricity? Battery operated players is one way, but when the batteries run dry? What then? Off to the internet to google! Magnetic generator, build it yourself…no, no! Get an electrician to do it! Get fit generator! Get an electrician to build this too.

Water Food and Fun

Food we will get to…
I am going to add fitness to the fun, because it had better be fun and useful, otherwise we might just not want to get up in the morning.
Take cycling for instance. I How about hooking up our bicycles up (stationary on stands) to an alternator and every day our fitness fun will give us energy, in more ways than one. Then when the doors open to the outer world again, we will be fit and fabulous and ready for the next adventure.
Other light stuff to use: Stability ball and hand pump, rubber exercise bands, yoga mat and book. That about covers it for me. If you have steps leading somewhere in the shelter, you can use those too.
Of course, if you have a guitar I would definitely make sure it is in the shelter. We will need to check up on music options, flash sticks, hard drives, laptops…will they work? Will we be able to watch DVDs? Yes, I think if they are not plugged in to the wall when the storm starts, they might just make it. Of course we need a battery charging source. I am still exploring all the alternatives to energy in the event of grids and electronics failing. Solar and wind are my favoured options at present but I am looking at everything I can find. I like the bicycle/alternator thing…no traffic, no rain, no dogs to chase you… and losing weight and getting really fit would be glorious collateral gain. Perhaps I should start now?!!!
Any ideas on fitness and energy creation most welcome.


Copyright © 2011. All Rights Reserved.