We started banting (also known as low-carb, high fat; or LCHF) 2.5 years ago. We were kind of motivated by my health (hello cancer, my old friend – banting’s great for creating an alkaline environment that kicks cancer’s butt), but I was mainly motivated by hearing from the 13 zillionth person how much weight they’d lost on it.
But, I’ve never been someone to follow recipes, bake special bread, harvest grains from the depths of Inca ruins… I’m a working mom. I need quick, simple solutions to meals. But, I also love food. So, you know, yumminess too. I searched for meal plans for banters that didn’t include complicated recipes, but found very little. So, I made my own.
Bacon, eggs, mushrooms and onions, fried in garlic butter
Omelette with bacon, mushrooms and cheese
Aubergines / courgettes and onions, fried in butter and simmered in coconut cream / normal cream with lots of turmeric and cayenne pepper. You could add some kind of meat here (bacon, mince, chicken slices), although we didn’t
Lamb’s liver and boiled eggs (don’t judge me, this is delicious)
I’m a big snacker, I love to eat a little bit every two hours. But, on banting, I just don’t have the cravings or hunger pangs. So, my lunch is sometimes very simple or small.
Double cream plain yoghurt (optional: top with berries and seeds)
Meat and veg / salad – take your pick, just leave out or limit any veg that grows below the ground (carrots, beetroot, potatoes), as well as butternut
Salad with tuna and loads of olive oil, topped with toasted sunflower seeds
To accommodate my daughter’s preferences, I try to keep this as tasty and varied as possible. I make a lasagne (using slices of aubergine instead of pasta, and topped with plenty of melted cheese), or we do meat on the braai (barbecue) and loads of veg. I recently tried out Tim Noakes’ butter cream lamb. Oh my giddy aunt, it was amazing. Rich, creamy and amazing. There really are no limits – just don’t have the rice, potatoes, chips, or bread with your usual meal.
This is my average week’s shopping list (or items that I just can’t do without):
Plain double cream yoghurt
Full cream milk
Eggs (lots and lots of eggs)
Aubergines (egg plant)
Courgettes (baby marrow)
Blue cheese or gorgonzola (delicious when sprinkled sparingly on a lamb chop or over buttered courgettes)
Green beans (amazing when fried with butter, lemon and garlic)
Meat – a variety. We love lamb and pork, and we eat a lot of mince too (so versatile). But, chicken and fish are great, as well as other red meats in moderation.
Xylitol (this is a good idea if you really have a sweet tooth. It is not necessary, though, and I really hardly use mine)
Have a something like these chocolates on hand so that you don’t give into other temptations when you really crave a treat. I know you think I’m trying to punt a chocolate-wannabe that tastes like sweetened takkies. But, just try them. They are seriously as good as a Top Deck.
Remember to add good fats to your meals to ensure that you don’t crave the bad stuff or feel hungry too soon. Top your scrambled eggs with a little butter and an avo, enjoy coconut or normal cream in one or two cups of coffee, douse salads and meats in good quality olive oil, add a spoon of coconut oil to your soup, and so on.
Since we started banting, there have been a number of health benefits. I don’t get as bloated and sore after a meal, we don’t have the 11am slump, we never feel uncomfortably full after a meal, and we both lost some weight. I’m shocking with exercise, so I could definitely do better in that department to see the results of the banting even more. Especially since I live in such a beautiful part of South Africa.
I do also think there’s so much to be said for balance. In the beginning, I was psycho about not having any carbs or sugar. The result was just an even more psycho sadness that washed over me when my friends got to enjoy dessert after a meal. Actually, not even the dessert – I wouldn’t even have the mint! Now, if I’m really craving a piece of cheesecake or Doritos, I have them. And, because it’s not prohibited, I want it less. Go figure.