Category Archives: Banting

Something Fishy

 

Oily fish like pilchards, tuna and salmon are the best anti-inflammatory foods on the planet. As runners with no time for sore joints and aches and pains, we need to work them into our diet at least three times a week.

I also love to find easy budget-friendly recipes that fit in with the Banting lifestyle. It’s not true that to Bant you need a huge income and access to grass fed beef and organic cream. While those things are certainly nice to have, they are by no means necessary. Anyone, with a bit of imagination and determination can regain their health by avoiding sugar, grains and processed seed oils because that, in a nutshell, is exactly what Banting is.

While paging through Sally-Ann Creed’s beautiful book “The Low-Carb Creed” I found this fish pie recipe that is super-simple, super-quick, super-nutritious and cheap to make. Ha! I do love to kill two birds with one stone!

You will need to preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a pie dish.

Your ingredients –

1 x 400 gram can of pilchards in brine, drained & mashed with a fork

1 onion chopped and fried in 30 ml coconut oil

250 ml grated cheddar cheese (optional but delicious)

3 eggs beaten with a fork

30 ml coconut flour

250 ml full cream milk

5 ml salt

ground black pepper

5 ml oregano

Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a bowl. Stir in the milk and seasoning. Pour into the greased pie dish and bake for 30 minutes. The pie will firm up out of the oven so leave it for 10 minutes before slicing.

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Banting Belly

As they say in the classics, the only good belly is a pork belly. Well,  maybe not in the classics, but it is the truth. And that pork belly should be roasted with crispy crackling and accompanied by broccoli and a creamy cheese sauce. That was my breakfast after my 14.6 kilometres on the country roads this morning.

Pace is getting better at more or less the same heart rate – *happy dance*

There are no laws against non-breakfast foods for breakfast. And that is what makes Banting such an easy lifestyle. Cook a little more than you need in the evening and breakfast/brunch the next day is sorted. Busy evening? Just have eggs and bacon, or a cheese omelette. Mix and match – as long as you stick to the basics – meat( preferably with fat on), veggies, eggs, butter and a little cream and cheese to zhuzh up the veg. These foods are nutrient dense so you don’t need a huge heap – a small plateful will keep you full for hours.

Banting is not taking out a second mortgage so that you can buy almond flour to make cakes and cookies or bread rolls. We don’t need those foods and, if you are trying to lose weight, then replacing them with “Banting” versions will stall your efforts. Banting is really just eating real food when you are hungry and not eating if you are not hungry.

Running-wise I reckon it is the only way to eat. Recovery from hard workouts is much quicker and, once you are a fat-burning beast, you can go for hours and hours in a fasted state – no nausea-inducing sugary gels and drinks required. I speak as one that competes in the tortoise category – if you prefer to be a bit more high-performance, then take a look at the Phat Bombs on this link. Phat Bombs are half the price of a gel and the effect lasts twice as long on the road – a bargain.

 

The Magic of Walking

I have an obsessive/addictive personality which, to avoid addiction to cigars and good whiskey, I channel into my running. This is why when staring down the prospect of 6 weeks plus of no running I was terrified of slipping into a nice little affair with my couch, junk food and bad attitude on the side.  It’s all or nothing either way.

I was saved by my fitness tracker with which I am now having a torrid but healthy affair. All the major health bodies throughout the world set 10 000 steps per day as a standard for good health. I decided, using my fitness tracker, to count my steps and, from five days post-op I was up to the pre-requisite 10 000. Last week I clocked just under 120 000 steps – I just love challenging myself!

I need to share what I have learnt.

Firstly, walking is what we were evolved to do – anyone who is lucky enough to have the use of both legs can do it. If you track steps as opposed to speed or distance, it does not matter how slow you are or where you walk – it includes all your movement, walking around the mall, at the office, putting out the washing, as long as you are moving. You progress at entirely your own pace.

Secondly, if you already exercise, lets say for 45 minutes to an hour a day, running or at the gym, and then you are sedentary for the rest of the day, you are probably under your 10 000 steps. When you are tracking steps, you actually need to move more and I have found that this alone makes me feel great. I sleep better, I’m sharper throughout the day mentally, and my energy level is going to bust out the top of my head! I’ve also shed over a kg without changing anything else in my life so walking 10 000 steps or more per day is definitely a good fat-burning activity.

Fitness trackers start out at R600 (it has everything you need) and there is something to suit everyone (those Fitbits with their gorgeous bracelet-look make me drool) – check them out at Sportsmans Warehouse.

I implore you, if you have two good legs offer up a prayer of thanks and get walking! Count those steps!

Keto Favourite

I have found my perfect post-run breakfast. So good it makes me run quicker just to get at it! I found a recipe on http://www.dietdoctor.com for Keto Porridge and with a few tweaks I made it my own – perfect on a winter’s morning when you come in with ice on your beanie!

Break an egg into a small bowl, add 6 tablespoons cream and whisk together. To this add one tablespoon chia seeds and one tablespoon sesame seeds. Sunflower seeds also work if you don’t have sesame and I’m guessing a few pumpkin seeds won’t go amiss.

The chia seeds need to sit for a while so now is the time to shower. Once you’re done it will be ready to cook.

Put one tablespoon of butter into a small pot, let it melt and then turn down the heat to medium/low. Plop the chia/egg/cream mixture into the pot and stir with a wooden spoon while it cooks. It will be ready in a minute or two.

Place in your breakfast bowl along with one teaspoon of xylitol and a liberal sprinkling of three spices – cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Stir this in and then add a handful (30 grams) of raw nuts.

Enjoy and feel good about yourself – your training is done and your post-training routine is perfect. Your porridge plus nuts contains 17.2 grams of protein for repairing and building muscle and 80.14 grams of fat which is enough to keep you fueled all day if need be. It only contains 8,78 grams of carbs – no crazy sugar spiking there, but enough to top up glycogen stores for your next workout.

The story goes that the Tarahumara tribe could run fast  for days on a water and chia seed concoction – if you haven’t read Born To Run by Christopher McDougall get your hands on it now. It’s both fascinating and inspiring.

 

Never Quit

Winston Churchill was such a wise old goat. He inspired so many and he still inspires me today.

My Comrades history must look pretty shocking to those runners that cruise the distance every year in under 12 hours – four DNF and four DNS. DNS means failure to qualify and DNF means failure to finish in time. I’ve been close – 80km on my two down runs, 60km on my first up run where I panicked and quit. Plain stupidity and inexperience. 75km on my second up run because I knew that it was physically impossible to make the timing mat at the top of Pollys at 79km.

But I ain’t bovvered and I just keep on keeping on, my eye always on that insignificantly sized medal, and my mind full of quotes from that whiskey-drinking, cigar-smoking hero.

What made me think of this is my Banting group. They inspire me as much as I want to inspire them. Some of them have been extremely successful but it has been a long road. Others still need to travel that long road to reclaim their good health. There is always some stumbling along the way and there are obstacles big and small. It reminds me of my running, especially my Comrades journey.

37 years ago I was so asthmatic that I could not walk 100 metres, let alone run. I started with walking and I walked and walked and walked. My chest got so much better so I started a bit of running. In my thirties I thought a 5 kay run was incredibly far. In my forties I eventually worked up to the half marathon. I was 50 when I did my first full marathon. Imagine if I can celebrate my 60th birthday with my first Comrades medal next year!

So my message to my Banting peeps is this – never, never, never give up! You may stumble or you may fall but you WILL get to where you are going.

 

No Flour Keto Pizza

While Fathead Pastry – find it at http://www.ditchthecarbs.com – makes an amazing pizza base and is known as the Holy Grail of low carb pizza, I think I have found a Holier Grail. Enter Keto Pizza with no flour at all! It’s too, too easy but you still need the baking paper.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and cut your baking paper to fit the pan you will use – one rectangular pizza doesn’t look traditional but is so much easier.

For the crust:

Beat 4 eggs and blend in 180 grams of cheese, mozzarella is best but I used white cheddar. Spread the mixture on to the baking paper on the pan. Bake at 15 minutes – the pizza crust should be golden. Take it out to cool for a few minutes while you prepare the toppings.

For the topping:

Increase oven temp to 225 degrees.

4 Tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon dried oregano

120 grams grated cheese

sliced salami/pepperoni

olives

Layer on top in that order and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes – you’ll know when it’s ready!

 

 

Banting Essentials

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Banting Magic

If you are ever abandoned on a desert island and can choose three items to take with you it should be these three – red wine, cream and butter. Anything can be made to taste good with a dash of each. I’m quite sure if I was presented with a dead cane rat on said island, I could turn it into a pretty decent stroganoff if I had my three essentials. That said, here is how to take ox liver to new heights. Liver is so incredibly good for us but not to everyone’s taste. Disguising it somewhat and adding these magic ingredients is the way forward.

You will need:

2 Tablespoons butter (or more!)

1 onion,  chopped

A few cloves of garlic, crushed

Half a pack of diced bacon

1 x 400 – 500 gram pack of beef mince

An equal weight of chopped ox liver, soaked for at least 30 minutes in milk (toss the milk when done, or maybe offer it to the dog). The pieces should be small enough to cook quickly.

Salt and black pepper to taste

100 ml beef stock, preferably homemade, but don’t sweat the small stuff

100ml dry red wine

100 ml cream

 

In an electric frying pan fry the onion in the butter for a few minutes and then add garlic. After a minute or two add the bacon and fry for a further few minutes. Then add the mince and keep “chopping” at it with a wooden spoon to break it up while it fries. Add more butter if needed. Fry for about 10 minutes on a medium heat. Turn the heat up and add the liver. Keep stirring while the liver cooks – liver needs to cook fast. Slightly pink inside when poked with a knife is fine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the wine, stirring to deglaze the bottom of the pan and get all the yummy flavour into the mix. Add the stock and simmer for a short while and then add the cream, stirring for a few minutes. Voila! It’s done!

I have served this on cabbage thinly sliced and fried in butter and then seasoned with white pepper. Delicious.