#banting wagon @RichSimmondsZA

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

When contemplating starting anything new, it is imperative that you are informed. Please make sure you research, ask and feel content with your decision before you embark on something that will change your life, especially when it comes to changing the way you eat which impacts your health.


Banting as LCHF is called in South Africa, is NOT a quick fix. It is something you need to commit to for life.  You can’t go back to carbs. Naturally you will gain weight and your health will deteriorate.

☆ So you want to get on the banting wagon? Start with what is in your kitchen.

  • Get rid of all the ‘white’ food… bread, pasta, flour, potatoes, bottled and packet sauces, diet cooldrinks, tinned items and anything that says low fat or lite. Chuck out the sunflower oil, cornstarch, bread spreads, breakfast cereals, sweets,  cakes and sugar.
  • Replace it with real food. Eggs, meat, chicken, fish, tuna, salmon, bacon, nuts (peanuts are a legume and not a nut so avoid), full fat cheeses, full cream milk, plain Greek full cream yoghurt, spinach, cauliflower, mushrooms,  garlic, tomato, avo, peppers, onion, honey (occasionally) lettuce and butter.
  • Use olive oil, coconut oil, pink unprocessed salt, lemon and mint for water and cream for coffee. Use full cream milk in moderation as lactose is sugar and cream has less carbs than milk.
  • I was surprised how easily I gave up bread and potatoes. I do bake a banting friendly bread once every six weeks or so with nut flour, seeds, eggs and cottage cheese. (Recipe is on my Facebook page) We now have sweet potato on occasion which is lower in carbs with sour cream.

Check out the recommended food lists as per The Real Meal Revolution:  http://realmealrevolution.com/real-food-lists  Green is a go, orange with caution and red is ideally a no go.

I also have many tips, ideas and recipes on my banting Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/wenchybanting Would appreciate a like to my page.

  • In my 7 months of banting I have noticed that people tend to overdo the protein. Remember low carb,  high fat, NOT high protein. Meat portion can be judged by the size and thickness of your palm. Focus on keeping the carbs low (this can be difficult as carbs lurk everywhere including vegetables), avoid sugar (also challenging as even fruit contains sugar) and add butter and cream to everything!
  • I admit I find the drinks as recommended by Prof Tim Noakes very limiting. Water, coffee and tea.  The recommended sweeteners are Xylithol and Stevia. I prefer Xylithol. I drink cream in coffee but milk in tea. At most, I have 3 cups of coffee/tea a day. The rest is cold water water with ice and lemon and/or mint. Diet cooldrinks are not recommended because of how your body processes artificial sweeteners. Fruit juice is high in fructose (sugar) and should be avoided.
  • This is not a 3 meals a day with 2 snacks kind of eating. Eat when you are hungry and till you are full but be aware of portion size. It is not a buffet.
  • You can occasionally have 90% cocoa chocolate. I don’t love dark chocolate so I mainly reach for it come PMS days. In despiration you can also have Caring Candies which I have purchased at Dischem before. It is suitable for diabetics.
  • Some people do not tolerate Caring Candies well however and it may cause an upset stomach…. but then, some who have constipation,  especially in the first few weeks do eat Caring Candies for that very reason.
  • I find the best way is to not keep anything that is tempting in the house. If I don’t keep things that are trigger foods for me in the house,  I know chances are slim that I will especially go to buy them.  So I may eat something at an event but it doesn’t come home.
  • It is easy to become obsessed with the scale and it can totally ruin a great day. Many people have a substantial loss in the first few weeks which can be written off to water. It is much better to measure yourself regularly and weigh once a month at most.

Does that mean you will never have a slice of cake again? No. Eating the cake is your choice. It will spike your insulin and probably make your stomach upset but, it is your choice. I do from time to time eat something I should have skipped. Yes, it stalls weight loss but more so,  I feel physically unwell and off course your body will no longer be in ketosis. So you kinda start from scratch … again.

Now Google Ketosis.  🙂

I wish you enough,

Don’t chuck your brain out with the bread. @ProfTimNoakes @loseitmag #banting #lchf

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

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I’ve been following a LCHF (low carb high fat) way of eating for six months now with great results and benefits. In South Africa,  this is referred to as banting.

Having an online presence it would make sense that I belong to many Facebook groups on the topic as well as have a personal Facebook page where I post recipes or articles.

I have however witness how people appear to have lost the ability to think for themselves. On various forums, a post went round about ‘flat tummy water’. Believe me after six months you have drunk every conceivable way to drink water. The ‘flat tummy water’ is merely water you have flavoured with a few banting friendly items like lemon, cucumber etc. It is not going to make your tummy flat after losing 20kg or 50kg! You will, I believe, be exceptionally well hydrated however.

To me,  you have three options.

1. Exercise I am sure cardio and weights will be greatly beneficial but after numerous pregnancies and cream cakes I don’t think your skin is just going to retract and look like a FHM model in soft lighting.

2. Accept yourself as you are and forgive yourself for abusing the body you were given.  I’m still working on that!

3. Save for some plastic surgery and remove the skin. I always say ‘cut my stomach right off’.  Now,  I can admit that in the future I would love me some cosmetic surgery to take my breasts places they have never been and to remove the excess skin from my stomach…. (We have a hate/hate relationship) but doubt I would ever have enough money to do so.

It is one thing to need information about a subject you are not familiar with… I also understand the desperation but it is quite another to not THINK, use common sense,  research and make an informed decision.

Please.  Think. Repeat. Research. Repeat. Do this until you feel you can make an informed decision using knowledge and common sense.

Another thing… the first question people ask: “How much have you lost and how long did it take?”

You didn’t gain 50kg overnight and you not going to get rid of it (and have a flat stomach) by tomorrow morning.

I started on 30 June 2014 and I had lost 30kg… and gained 3kg in December 2014. Since I have lost 2kg. I’m good with that. Believe me I paid for the nonsense I ate in stomach ache and heartburn more than the scale can torture me.

Besides kg’s lost,  I have gained normal readings for blood pressure, thyroid, sugar,  cholesterol and less stomach ache…. for the first time in many years.

  • No,  I am far from perfect and while I do my best to cut out carbs and sugar,  I fall down plenty.  I will have birthday cake and carry on after.  I am not dead, nor angel Gabriel.
  • I’ve lost many more cm’s than kg’s. I fit into clothing I had before my eldest son was born 21 years ago.  I don’t know why and I don’t really care.  🙂 I am still however an overweight Wench with another 30kg to go.
  • No,  I don’t exercise.  I should,  and yes I am lazy. Yes,  it would be much better if I did.
  • I do not have a goal weight.  I will know when I get there.
  • Yes my husband is proud of me. He has also joined in and stopped drinking 2l of Coke a day and I am HUGELY proud of him.

Don’t be a sheep and definitely draw the line at goats!

Rant over.

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@capephototour review #DiscoverYourJourney @Safari365 @JohannMSmith

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

With thanks to @Safari365, @SirNoid and I was invited to do a photo tour in Cape Town in December 2014. I have done photo workshops before, but never a photo tour.


We met our tour guide from @capephototour and other photography enthusiasts at the Cape Milner Hotel which struck me as boutique and quite beautiful. Jaco was the perfect guide. Young, informed, full of life and witty. He guided everyone to stay on schedule with regards to time without anyone feeling rushed. We all enjoyed his company tremendously.

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The Chase The Sun Peninsula Tour is a full day package from about 10h00 until approximately 19h00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Taking into account that the sun goes down quite late in the Cape it was perfect.

While I revived my love for photography with my trusty Canon, @SirNoid made use of the Samsung NX300 camera on offer. The awesome part is that while you get to play with a new camera, you take your pictures home on a memory stick at the end of the day. I thought that was kinda cool.

What I enjoyed most about the tour was the information shared by our guide, Jaco. His hint and tips at every stop as to camera settings along with events or interesting stories from the area made the experience personable. It was wonderful that neither my husband or I were driving, so we could both focus totally on our surroundings and the beauty of the Cape. A simplistic lunch of fish and chips was very appropriate and absolutely delicious in taste and I loved listening to the locals chatting around us. Very funny characters!

Be prepared for a change of weather so bring along a light jacket or dress in layers. Best to wait to the bigger tourist attractions to use the bathrooms and the public facilities are not very pleasant. We received bottled water when the trip started and @SirNoid and I bought ice cream at Boulders Beach, sold by a local from their garage. It added to the tourist in your own country feeling. Also, note that it is a bit of a walk up to the lighthouse at Cape Point. I had never been before and may have chosen better shoes had I known. You can make use of the funicular for a 3 minute ride to the top should you wish. 286 metres above sea level took me lots longer to walk! Still I am glad @SirNoid encouraged me to. It was beautiful up there. The ocean carries on forever. Entrance to all destinations are included in your tour price, along with lunch.

Our stops included:

Muizenberg Beach

I’ve been wanting a mascot, much like @SpicedWeasel has (yes, a shamelessly stole their idea – thank you guys!), and @SirNoid and I found a purple and yellow giraffe at the airport on our way to Cape Town. Jaco named him #Twiga… so here you go, introducing #Twiga – doing the photo tour, posing on Muizenberg Beach.



Kalk Bay (where we had a delicious fish and chips lunch) & Fish Hoek

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Simons Town /  Boulder’s Beach with the fabulous jackass penguins

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The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve & Cape Point

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Chapman’s Peak Drive

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The tour is relevant for both local photography lovers, as well as tourists. While locals may see these scenic views often, it does not come with the group dynamic, interesting stories and tips of somebody in the know. For tourists it would be fantastic to see the attractions and take awesome pictures along the way.

Do something you have never done before!

I wish you enough,

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Beautiful morning! @FATC_SA #fatcflash @capephototour @CapeCanopyTour

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

2015 has been classified as interesting so far indeed.

It is a beautiful day! Raining (which I love). Not hot.  Winner!

Gorgeous husband @SirNoid has slipped a disc in his back resulting in a four hour visit to ER for a consultation,  x rays etc on Sunday. Doctor wanted to admit him but agreed all they could do for him was give stronger meds. Since Africa is not for sussies,  darling came home after being on a lovely Pethadine drip,  then anti inflammatory meds and I think there was a third something. He is currently not mobile and is not to be a hero as it may result in surgery. (I really hope not)

I attended a really interactive and inspirational media briefing for The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative yesterday.  It is truly amazing how powerful the arts can be.  #fatcflash is an initiative to reconnect communities,  speak about real issues within our cities but also ourselves.  The dance performances highlighted for me how we all link together and a chain reaction forms. Corporates collaborating with art,  branching to media.  Stunning symbolism.

In other domestic news I attempted to make almond butter biscuits.  Giant #fail! Will have to try again.

I have awesome pictures of the Cape Town Photo Tour we did and I want to tell you more about the Cape Canopy Tour… Hope I still get there today! It is long overdue and both so thrilling…!

I wish you enough
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Anxiety – @SADAG

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Some say (flashback: The Stig) one does not admit to these subjects in public. What if your clients suddenly believe you are incompetent? What if people think less of you? If that is so,  it is their ignorance and not my inability to be real.

Anyone who regularly reads my blog knows that I deal with excessive anxiety on a daily basis. It never goes away.  It dulls at times,  but it never truly leaves.

I’ve been on and off meds since I was 14 when diagnosed. Nothing you can tell me about the condition,  it’s treatment or the influence it has on your daily life.

I am really battling at the moment.  I wake up with my skin crawling and I go to bed feeling like my breathing is constricted. 

Nothing has to happen for this feeling to be heightened. It is not based on events.  It is almost my default emotion.  It isn’t fun.  It doesn’t make me unique or special or dysfunctional.  It simply is. 

Everything I have achieved in my life was with this feeling present.  Every failure in my life happened with this emotion present. 

I don’t really know a different base line. Medication takes the edge off (for which we are truly thankful), talking helps,  accepting yourself as you are,  all helps.

In myself, I am really happy.  My husband loves me,  my kids are good,  I am well provided for,  I am steadily decreasing the size of my ass…. I enjoy what I do. 2014 was an awesome year.  2015 shows amazing promise.

Perhaps today,  as people start going back to work and life resumes as normal with schools returning etc,  I want to encourage others not to always believe what you think,  to ask for help if you need it and to be true to yourself.

Your self worth is not determined by others opinion of you.

I wish you enough,

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