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.
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
Layer on top in that order and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes – you’ll know when it’s ready!
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.
Our B&B in Ladysmith last weekend was very aptly named the Boer and Brit and here is the Boer and the Brit standing in the courtyard of said B&B looking very pleased with themselves. As you can tell, no war broke out over the 52km trot from Bergville to Ladysmith!
No, we did not crack the nod for the big C, but we were very happy with finishing alive, a strong gallop to the finish and a fast recovery. I think a lot of my fast recovery is down to my Banting way of life. I did the entire 52 km on half a Phat Cookie and two Phat Bombs and some water. I find that a little salt taken with the water stops me craving the black poison! Oh yes, I did succumb to a couple of pieces of orange which produced a bit of turbo-boost, almost stopping the Boer in her tracks!
We borrowed two mantras from my daughters – “Embrace the Pain” and “Get Uncomfortable”. We clearly did not embrace quite enough pain so we are going back for more – the 52km Chatsworth Marathon coming up in two weeks time. Apparently they take us off the road if we do not make the 42.2km mark in 5 hours 30 minutes so we need to be getting freakin’ uncomfortable from the get-go.
My favourite running mantra is “Balls to the Wall” – it always sounds so super-tough! According to english.stackexchange.com it was “probably coined by pilots whose throttle levers had round, ball-like tops and for whom putting the “balls to the wall” (the firewall of the aircraft) meant making the aircraft fly as quickly as possible.” Mmmm, it’s going to be balls to the wall through Chatsworth then!
I’m brewing my own Kombucha – Google it – it is an excellent source of probiotics and very good for your gut health. But the actual jars of brew look extremely freaky – like a foetus in a bottle in some mad scientist’s laboratory. It makes a cool pic!
My very own homemade sauerkraut and milk kefir for optimum gut health! And then of course the bone broth for joint health and overall general awesomeness! My attack on Comrades this year is 3-pronged – optimal eating (the Banting way), optimal sleeping and optimal training – the first two are easy – I love eating and sleeping – it’s that training that is damn hard work! We managed another solid two hour run on home ground this morning – so far, so good! Got to get that time on the feet. Maritzburg Marathon is only 76 days away…..
Heba – food of the Revolution! This has become a staple in my house, bread in a mug with heaps of butter being the perfect low carb high fat breakfast. And at the end of this week I’m taking the Revolution to Taiwan. Hopefully the sniffer dogs at the Taipei airport are not au fait with this stuff and leave me alone!
I also have a variation on the bread in a mug which gives me a choc chip muffin.
A favourite post-race treat for me used to be a nice cup of coffee and a muffin that involved some sort of chocolate. We thought we had to replenish the carbs, never mind that the sugar will slowly kill us.
Here is my Banting-friendly post-hard run treat. Get your hands on some Heba Pap. On the back of the pack is a recipe for Heba Bread in A Mug. Leave out the salt and add half a teaspoon of xylitol and a tablespoon of Caring Candies carb-free chocolate. In 90 seconds you have a choc chip muffin that’s actually good for you! Eat it hot with as much butter as you can load – delicious!
This is the link for Caring Candies – you can buy their offcuts of chocolate which comes in a packet of chip-sized bits – perfect for the Heba Choc Chip Muffin.