LCHF (low carb, high fat), or Banting, is the bomb (in my humble opinion). I agree that everyone should do what works for them, and this is working for me and a gazillion others. I also find that it’s really easy to do on a day-to-day basis. But, we’re planning our annual month-long camping trip to Yellow Sands in the Eastern Cape, and it’s got me thinking about how hard (or easy) it is to keep up an eating plan when you’re out of your familiar surrounds.
Banting is one of the easiest ones to follow and maintain because it really just involves normal food. Lots of vegetables, with a moderate amount of protein and plenty of good fats (like olive oil, salmon, avo oil and coconut cream) are what it’s all about. So, beach braais will be the usual chops, wors, and salad that South Africans love. Breakfasts remain bacon and eggs with coffee and cream. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. But, what about travelling overseas on holiday or on business? Here are some tips:
Don’t travel hungry
You’ll probably make bad choices if you haven’t eaten before you get on the plane or head down to the city centre. Suddenly, paninis and cheesecake will look like your only options. It’s your hunger-bug talking. He isn’t your friend.
So, have a good breakfast, or snack on double-cream Greek yoghurt, an avo with cheese, or a cup of coffee with butter and coconut oil before you leave.
If you’re exploring a new city or going on tours of the winelands, you’re going to work up an appetite after a while. So, pack a few snacks to take along. These will give you energy and prevent you from feeling any carb-cravings. Things like cheese, hard-boiled eggs, biltong (similar to jerky), leftover meat, seed crackers with nut butter, or date balls are all fantastic options.
A good time to fast
Many Banters are big fans of fasting (not eating for about 16 consecutive hours). So, if you’re planning on going on a morning sightseeing tour, consider missing breakfast altogether and waiting until you sit down for a healthy lunch. Of course, don’t go hiking or exploring the whole of the Inca Trail on an empty stomach. Use discretion here.
One of the best parts of travelling is trying out the local food. I’m a firm believer than Banting is a lifestyle, so it has to be part of enjoying life. When visiting local restaurants, have a few rules and guidelines in place to help you to keep on the Bantwagon:
- Stay away from bread.
- Ask for gluten-free or low-carb alternatives (especially for things like pizza and pasta). If there is no alternative, order a very thin-based pizza and cover it in cheese, mushrooms, bacon, garlic, and so on.
- Substitute chips or baked potatoes with salads or vegetables.
- Stick to red wine or whiskey, if you want something more than sparkling water.
- Opt for grilled fish or calamari, rather than deep-fried.
- Ask for extra butter or olive oil for your meat and vegetables. This makes them extra-delicious and will keep you fuller for longer.
The more committed you are to your decision to eat LCHF (or any other eating plan you’ve decided to follow), the easier it will be to make good choices. And this will only happen when you really believe in the health benefits. So, research, practice and notice the good effects that it’s having on your body well before you go on your trip.