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.
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!
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!
Cabbage is a staple in so many homes and a Banting star on the green list. I have a way to cook it that makes it positively gourmet. My daughter may accuse me of stealing this recipe but pay her no attention. I have embellished it to make it mine.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Find a dish about 2 inches deep with enough space for cabbage for as many people as you are cooking for. Chop the cabbage and place in the dish. Sprinkle some herbs and spices over it (Ina Paarmans Garlic and Herb is good) and pour enough cream into the dish to make a thin layer at the bottom. Bake for 50 minutes uncovered.
You can eat this as a side dish just as it is but here is where my embellishments come in. Take any left over meat or chicken and chop it small. Grate a cup of Cheddar cheese. Stir these in about 10 minutes before the dish is ready to come out of the oven. Voila! A whole meal in one dish.
Other things that could be added – giant cloves of garlic, bits of bacon, chilli, chopped chives- the list is endless. I am in love with the humble cabbage!
Train mean, eat clean – I love that saying. It makes me feel like Rambo, all rippling muscle and Eye of the Tiger aggression, on his way to victory! The only problem is the “train mean” part – it doesn’t matter how many times I play Eye of the Tiger on my Ipod, I just cannot channel Rambo on the road – sorry coach!
But the “eat clean” part, that’s another story. It all started with Prof Tim Noakes and his team on Real Meal Revolution. I have dropped sugar, gluten and seed oils from my diet, get my carbs mostly from veggies,have upped the good fats and have never felt better. I am now an absolute glutton for all new research on the subject of what real food can do for lifestyle diseases. Hippocrates wasn’t far off when he said all those years ago “Let food be thy medicine….” Functional medicine is growing rapidly overseas and hopefully South Africa will catch up soon.
Step number one in the “eat clean” campaign is to have your own veggie garden. I am so proud of mine – who would have thought? Twenty years ago if I had been told I’d be growing my own veggies I would have rolled on the floor laughing. But it’s nice to know I’m getting the benefit of all those little microbes in the soil that we need and that my greens aren’t contaminated with chemicals.
Good health starts in the gut. In simple terms we need to eat the stuff that feeds the good bacteria and avoid the stuff that feeds the bad bacteria. And it’s that old devil sugar that feeds our bad bacteria.
One of the best ways to feed the good guys is to eat fermented foods. One of the easiest ways to do this (Banting friendly of course) is to make fermented pickles – so it’s back to the veggie garden. I now have a jar of fermenting cabbage on the top of my fridge. I’m a little scared of it. Will it explode if I have the proportions wrong? There’s quite a learning curve involved here. And it would not be cool to be injured by a flying jar of fermenting cabbage. My coach wouldn’t accept that as an excuse to avoid speed work anyway…
The good guys also need fibre which is provided by loads of leafy greens. Think spinach, kale and Swiss chard. I love wandering out into the garden early and picking spinach and a handful of spearmint. This goes into my Nutribullet (insert link) along with half a teaspoon of crushed ginger and the juice of a lemon. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Last, but not least, veggie gardens also need to provide food for the soul…..
Karma bit me fair and square on the arse for referring to my Old Goat as Frankenstein! In the early hours of Monday morning I went from hero to zero in the space of a few hours. My throat was so sore I couldn’t swallow and the rest of my body was following its example. I thought I’d take a Grandpa powder and then run anyway. Do I ever learn? The next 48 hours is a bit of a blur I felt so ill. I even instructed the OG what to do should I shuffle off my mortal coil!
The antibiotics I was given are working their magic though and I definitely haven’t written off the marathon on the 7th November. The doctor has told me to watch my resting heart rate – when that is back to normal I may run again.
Frankenst..oops I mean the OG is back on the road for his first run this morning since his dramatic fall so I reckon we’ll both be good to go for the marathon.
I’ve been doing the Real Meal Revolution’s beginner Banting course (I’m in my fourth week) and I have learnt a huge amount. This week we are learning about the effects of Banting on endurance training and the news is good. In a nutshell, once we become fat-adapted, anything is possible. My main aim with this course is not really weight loss (though I have dropped two kgs and five centimetres on my waist) but to live the healthiest life possible for at least another 30 years and to be the best runner I can be. I may even get myself a Comrades medal or two!