It has been a long while since I last wrote. Many things have happened in the silent time, a knee replacement and tooth extraction being the most recent disruptions in my normally peaceful farm life.
The need to share information and thoughts is probably the strongest desire that has prompted my return to writing. So, what do I want to share? Well, let me see…
I’m a research junkie and the World Wide Web is my library and sometimes my university. I particularly love watching tutorials on painting and can while away many an hour in an “art class”. On the very rare occasion that I watch television, it will either be RT for news and documentaries, and the ubiquitous food channels. And Graham Norton. I love a good laugh.
My sphere of interest includes organic vegetable and companion gardening, herbs, healthy cooking, raw food (particularly in smoothies) and a slow carb, real food lifestyle which encompasses a fair amount of low carb vegetarian food. No, I am not a vegetarian and neither am I on diet. I’m an omnivore who chooses to eat free range and grass-pastured meat, and grass-pastured beef is not always easy to find. For that reason I choose to eat more vegetarian meals than meat meals. Free range chicken is happily available as are free range eggs, and I do love salmon and dorado (mahi-mahi) and I try to eat fish twice a week. Good old hake is still on the menu and I love stir-frying it with some quinoa, onions, garlic, broccoli and some wilted kale or chard. These days I am somewhat choosy about the fish I eat because of the mercury content and the dangers of radiation as a result of the nuclear fallout riding on the sea currents from Fukushima.
Which brings me to another deep love of mine. Mother Earth. We have been so disrespectful of Gaia and it saddens me big time. On my mountain farm I sit in Mother Nature’s lap and she enfolds me just as a mother holds her child. Her vibration pulses all around and through me. I cannot ignore her. I can only love and respect her and treat her right. Teach your children well people. Teach them to respect the Mother and all her abundance. Teach them the language of kindness. Show them love, and show them how to love our awesome planet.
OK, so those are my thoughts on food and nature today. As I write more I will share recipes, gardening tips, art and more.
Who knows what tomorrow’s musings might bring…
I don’t mean to sound disloyal to Banting – I eat that way for two thirds of the day anyway – and then I have a reward meal (Carbohydrate Addicts style) that needs to be eaten within one hour so that the insulin response is less vicious than if I were to eat for two hours. At least that is how I understand it. It truly does help me not to overeat if I have drinks, a main meal and perhaps a dessert within one hour. Up to now I have not had time for a dessert. It just takes planning.
No snacking in between meals is also a good rule for me to follow because I can overeat quite absentmindedly, especially on pistachio nuts! That is a nudge to remind me to eat mindfully. In fact, learning how to do everything mindfully is a goal to which I aspire. It is amazing how disconnected one can be if we don’t watch it! I find meditation helps me to focus on living mindfully. The trick is to not forget to meditate. A big lesson for me is to work on doing things consistently and to follow through on projects I set myself.
Something that bothers me a little is the acidity level of the kinds of low carb food I am eating on this diet. I need to eat more green vegetables and perhaps add more alkaline vegetables and fruit to the reward meal instead of dessert! But I will work to add that one little Crème Brûlée in a month! Strangely enough, I found myself eating plain wasabi rice crackers in my reward meal today. It was what I wanted at that moment and that was it. Satisfied me enough not to want to go back for more. Normally I would eat the whole box in a day. Today it was just 6 little crackers. The entire day’s carbs added up to 32 grams, reward meal and all. I am watching to see if cravings come back; so far so good. Drinking water is a great help.
This is all about finding out what works best for me. No one diet fits all and I do like the way one can plan for personal tastes in the Carbohydrate Addicts Diet. I shall continue with this for a month and then check the stats.
I think it true to say that we need to increase our vegetable intake on this Banting Way. This is where our good carbs should be coming from. Perhaps we could challenge ourselves to have something green with every meal? Can you imagine all those lovely nutrients? Our bodies will be singing and we will be doing a happy dance.
Why not have vegetables for breakfast? If we think of meals as 1, 2 and maybe 3, we need not think breakfast lunch and dinner, yes? So, my meal number 1 was Stir-fried Zucchini Noodles with Bacon and Parmesan, which I got off dietplan101. It was delicious (who doesn’t like bacon and cheese?) and the dish was only 5.6g. The zucchini were prepared with a vegetable peeler that makes thin noodles. (I inherited it from mum, she was a gadget queen:) I would have liked bigger zucchini so I think I need to plant some and let them get big like my grandpa used to grow them.
Eggs go well with vegetables. Try any of the following next time you make a scramble, an omelette or a fritatta : Broccoli, spinach, zucchini, peppers, leek, celery, herbs, or asparagus.
I used a fair bit of ghee (clarified butter which you can buy at some Checkers stores, or you can make it yourself) when I cooked this morning, as I am beginning to feel the value of fats in my diet because it is taming my appetite. I realise that portion control has for long been my nemesis. Second helpings are not the norm these days. Nice is still nice, believe me, but I seem to be getting satisfied more quickly.
Unfortunately I cannot download my photographs because my old laptop is misbehaving. Things will return to normal on the weekend and I will catch up with the photos.
Have a beautiful Banting day!…
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…
Fat in real foods fights fat.
Yeah! Why? It fills you up and acts like an appetite suppressant. Do I know this? Yes. Since I have developed no fear of enjoying fat, I have been eating less in general and that is huge for me, because I have a huge appetite! Water is a good thing to fill me up as well, and of course my filter coffee with cream. One a day…well, sometimes two.
Here is today’s menu and a recipe…
I love scrambled eggs done in butter, and more often than not I will add chopped greens, garlic, spring onions, peppers, mushrooms – any one or more of these. If I feel that cheese is the order of the day, I will add that too. This meal is eaten out of a bowl, sometimes with a spoon. (Maybe this is my cereal replacement?) Of course, if you eat bacon, chop some up and fry it in bacon fat (that fat that you kept from the last batch:) and add to your scramble mix. That is a seriously good meal and keeps me full for a long time. Today was a simple scramble – 3 eggs cooked with spring onions and a grating of mature cheddar cheese, followed by coffee and cream.
4 Sunflower Seed Crackers with butter
What a simple lunch I had. Plain ol’ herring no sauce out a tin. One piece. And I munched on 2 sticks of celery with 2 Tbs sugar free peanut butter. I am full.
Chicken legs and thighs sautéed in butter and some olive oil for about half an hour. Steamed green beans tossed in garlic, rosemary and butter. (Potato wedges for hubby, also with garlic, butter and rosemary). And my experiment of the day, zucchini fritters.
Strawberries with Xylitol and cream. (Hubby has his strawberries with sugar and ice cream.)
Recipe – Zucchini Fritters
3 medium zucchini squash grated – do not peel
1/2 cup coconut flour (I blitzed up dessicated coconut in my coffee/spice grinder)
A couple of shakes of cayenne pepper
A tsp of dried origanum/oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Grate zucchini and place in a colander, sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt. Leave for about 20 minutes. The salt leaches out water from the vegetable and you want this so that the mixture is not too soggy. You can pat it dry as is, or you can wash off the salt under a tap and then pat the zucchini dry. (If you have overdone the salt as we did, the second option applies:)
While you wait for the zucchini, beat up the eggs and other ingredients. When you have patted the zucchini dry, add to the mixture.
Heat up oil/fat in a pan and drop the mixture by spoonfuls into the hot fat. Flatten the fritters slightly with the back of the spoon and cook them until they are a good-looking brown.
Makes about 6 medium fritters. (I know I know. There are only four there. They were delicious! Modjadji and I each had one and declared them supremely fit for consumption!)
Yum! Try them out for yourself and post any of your favourite fritters for us all to enjoy. Use your choice of spices and herbs.
This Banter’s journey is getting most interesting!…
Probably the most difficult things for me to make sure I eat are good old green (and other colour) vegetables. When presented with them, I am all too keen to eat their green goodness but somehow the preparation of them for my consumption leaves something to be desired. I love wilted spinach with lemon juice and ground black pepper, and broccoli soup is delicious, while grated courgette pancakes are always welcome. Salads filled with organic foods from the garden are a treat, but the problem is that it all takes a little time and a bread sandwich is so very easy! Even rice cakes with avocado are easier than green pancakes! OK, avo is green but not always available.
So. Green smoothies and juices are in. At least I will know that I am getting in my essential five fruit and vegetables.
The buck are eating my organically grown kale, chard and spinach while the monkeys are destroying my young onions and tomatoes, so drastic measures are necessary! I have one lone pak choy plant that has braved all assaults, including some vicious black frost that annihilated my young aubergine plants and the prolific green pepper plants that have been giving me some beauties for a few months now. My baby seedlings survived under cover and are my pride and joy and the hope of my future green juices. I am now going to be growing a variety of greens in big pots on the stoep which will give them enough shelter to grow into gorgeous green super foods.
Growing your own food is like printing your own money, so bug off you bokkies and you meddling monkeys! Take your hands off my bank!