To all the carbs I loved before…

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

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One backstreet boy lost, one more to go… 🙂 18 months…. longer than I have ever kept to any way of eating.

When it reaches seven years I can say it lasted longer than any of my marriages… #justsaying I’m living in hope however #SirNoidForTheWin !

I review restaurants, travel destinations, movies, theater productions, products and books. By it’s very social nature, I attend a fair amount of events with flare and extravagance! Beautifully decorated settings, decadent food, exquisite drinks and exclusive venues.

It is exciting, fun and one can easily get distracted by all that glitter, that is not gold. It can be a total passion killer to my low carb, high fat (LCHF or banting) way of eating. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

(Strawberry Daiquiri being my down fall! Champagne don’t hurt... )

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I have guidelines which I try to stick to, without being a pain to my hosts. I’m not dead. Life is for the living! If I was more disciplined, I probably could have dropped that back street boy by now, but I prefer to think that the longer it takes, to better chance I have of those boys never finding me again!

Unless I am at a cocktail party where servers walk around with trays, most restaurants are very willing to adapt their serving to what my needs are, or I go with the flow. I’m not always a Diva… #surprise!

In my own time, I enjoy visiting Fresh Earth (Wins hands down on banting friendly ice cream!!) and Grain and Wood  (THE best banting brownies EVER!!!).  Two restaurants that are banting friendly as well as offering gluten free and vegetarian dishes.

Generally home is a “fun free” zone (in the kitchen) with little to lead one astray.  I’ve been more relaxed this past December with grown up kids visiting like a bus terminal.

At my advanced age of 42 you do want to encourage your children to visit, even using bribery.

* Sugar and carbs definitely increases Fibromyalgia flair ups.

* I refuse to make anyone toast as the smell itself makes me high. I. Can’t. Deal.

* I have not bought one potato or a packet of rice in the past 18 months. I do buy sugar for visitors and there is bread in the freezer, should my assistant feel she must have a slice. I know I would personally not settle for a slice of freezer bread. If I was going to eat bread, it would have to be awesome!

* I buy full fat everything. Yoghurt, milk, cheese etc.

* The most difficult item for me to give up on a daily basis is a Caffè Latte.

* Because I’m rather large, it took a long time for anyone to notice that I am smaller. Don’t let that put you off. You didn’t get fat overnight, you are not going to be Cindy Crawford by noon.

* I have less Fibromyalgia and Ankolysing Spondylitis pain banting . Losing weight is a wonderful side effect.

* This way of eating has had zero effect on my Bi-polar and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Yes, I have been asked this question.

* I don’t see anything I eat as cheating, but more as personal sabotage. If I eat a restaurant portion carbs, I can guarantee, I will be in pain with stomach cramps later. So, do you want to eat this, or be in pain?

Sometimes I still eat the cake and suffer the pain.

* I have decided not to weigh myself this year. I’m already battling with this!!

* After three months of banting, my sugar was normal, my cholesterol and blood pressure too. I use to take meds for all of those conditions. 18 months later, it is all still normal. That’s probably where my normality ends.

* I’ve remained anemic (pre and post banting) and even after iron drips, my body does not seem to hold onto iron. Doctors have not been able to figure out WHY.

* I eat plenty spinach, cauliflower, eggs, chicken, pork, cheese, cream, bacon and mushrooms. Strawberries with whipped cream when in season, is fabulous! From time to time I will bake some egg muffins or banting bread, but not very often.

* I detest bullet proof coffee.

* I’m often asked if I take any special supplements. I take Moringa as the packaging promises I will receive all the nutrients I’m suppose to have. I’ve read it is suppose to part the Dead Sea or something, it is that powerful, but I can’t say I’m walking on water, but one never knows. I also take Magnesium tablets, more to help with Fibromyalgia side effects than anything else. Brain fog is a bastard.

* I’m a huge fan of The Real Meal Revolution, I love Raising Superheroes (!!) and the Lose It magazine… and no, I have no affiliation besides admiration for Prof Tim Noakes and Jonno Proudfoot. Oh I also have the 2016 planner. Very brand loyal I am.

* I use Xylitol as a sugar substitute. I don’t use much, so it lasts a long time.

* At present I have no exercise program and am quite happy when I’m able to walk downstairs without assistance. December was a difficult month health wise and on many other levels.

* I have no set meal plan. My own self could never deal with that. It reminds me of my first marriage and I need zero reminders of that nonsense.

* I do drink plenty of water because that is what I have always done. My Mammie Yvonne says I am a camel. I do not do it as a dietary requirement. Many banting sites will tell you to only drink water when you are thirsty. I’d say still drink the six to eight glasses at least.

* Yes, the drinks on a banting lifestyle is boring. I agree.

More FAQ about Banting:  http://realmealrevolution.com/faq

Whatever you do, learn, read and keep your mind thinking. You can work out for yourself that eating a bowl of grapes, a fruit with a high fructose level, is probably not low in sugar. Trust yourself and when you don’t, ask a friend. Not a fat one. 

I tried to cover the questions I am asked most often, if I didn’t answer yours, leave me a comment on my blog and I’ll answer it for you with pleasure, privately if you prefer. x

I do share recipes, tips etc of my Facebook page:  Nocturnal Wenchy  I encourage you to LIKE my page. That would make me happy.

I wish you enough,

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#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.

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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,
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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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Posted to WordPress from the Galaxy of Samsung from the second cloud on your left.

2014 – Year End Quiz – @RichSimmondsZA pls RT

Dear friends and other interesting creatures –

As my December tan is busy peeling off, so the days of the new year is racing forward ….

I put this quiz together in 2008… so if you complete it, link back to me please? I would love to read about your year. 🙂

My answers for the past few years to the quiz can be found here:

2013 – Year End Quiz Answers

2012 – Year End Quiz Answers

2011 – Year End Quiz Answers

2010 – Year End Quiz Answers

2009 – Year End Quiz Answers

2008 – Year End Quiz Answers

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The 2014 edition:

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

  • New Year started with me in the bath at my Mom’s house. Never done that before.
  • I stayed with my husband’s 2nd x wife for a number of days. Jenny treated me very well and I appreciated her kindness during a difficult time.
  • I visited a divorce attorney, and did not proceed with the divorce. The serial bride found someone who won’t give up on her.
  • My niece and god-child, Tayla-Jade and I ran through sprayers. A memory we both cherish. It was a real year of growth for our relationship Yay!
  • Assisted with editing a book with Rich Simmonds. Thanks for many things.
  • Quite by accident I won an evening stay at Budmarsh Private Lodge (the most amazing chef, Chris) and new friendship were formed. It is now my favourite weekend getaway.
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  • My eldest biological son Kev and I visited Kievitskroon the week he turned 21. It was a really special stay with one on one time with my grown up boy. Watching him eat caviar for the first time. I played chess with those giant pieces with my son Kev. In the end I declared that I am staging a take over. Can’t believe I grew such a fabulous man.
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  • I attended gay pride in Pretoria for the first time and literally walked my talk with my daughter @VictoriaT99 at my side. When I say I am pro gay rights, religious freedom and the right to choose what happens to your body. I mean it.
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  • I rung the big brass bell at The Market Theatre!
  • Loving Theatre as I do, I have always wanted to attend the Naledi Awards and in 2014 I was invited. Thrilled! I cried for much of it LOL.
  • I ate in former, @MasterChef_SA winner, @deenamcsa restaurant Aarya at Montecasino and had Chef Bennie rate my pizza.
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  • Flew on my own to Cape Town, hired a car and worked/played for ten days while staying at Reading House. I had an awesome time visiting movies, restaurants and tourist attractions alone. It was a great time for reflection for me and getting paid for what I love is a massive blessing.
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  • I visited Khayelitsha for the first time, with thanks to City Sightseeing.
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  • Visited Mjejane in the Kruger Park with my parents. It was amazing to take my parents somewhere fabulous!
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  • Went down the tube slide at Valley of the Waves at Sun City. I am not a fan of such things but I think @SirNoid was proud of me. Yes, Douglas has hit the teenage phase of not wanting his picture taken. It seems all boys do that.
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  • I have done a photo workshop before, but never a photo tour. Thank you to Cape Photo Tours, @SirNoid and I enjoyed it tremendously. Learned lots and it ignited my love for photography once more! It did involve walking all the way up to the light house at Cape Point which I have never done before either… as well as visit Chapmans Peak which I had never visited before either!!
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  • Arriving with a fear of heights, @SirNoid and I did the Cape Canopy Tour – 13 platforms and slides up to 320m long way up in the air! Something I never would have entertained 30+kg ago! Would love to do it again.
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  • I test drove the @FordSouthAfrica #FiestaST for a week. Such fun and a truly fantastic car.
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I met incredible people in 2014, from a fast variety of platforms. From people living in squatter camps and destitute to celebrities including beauty queens, drag queens, sports starts, TV stars, fashion icons, music and theater performers. I’m blessed beyond anything I could have imagined.

I attended a massive amounts of diverse events, learned a great deal and were spoiled rotten. It is unreal the amount of love I received in 2014 from social media. Massive amounts of gratitude – don’t stop now !!

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

For 2014, I had the following resolution:

To live authentically. To thy own self be true.

For once, I actually feel I did achieve my resolution.


For 2015 I have the following resolutions:

declutter

[dee-kluht-er] 
1. to remove mess, unnecessary items or clutter from (a place).

2. to organize and prioritize (one’s commitments, material possessions, relationships etc.)

Declutter my time, home, thoughts and relationships.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Our nephew, Benjamin was born to Darryl and Sera on 4 May 2014. I absolutely adore the little guy.

When @SirNoid and I play with Benji, I wonder what it would have been like to have had a child of our own… then he cries or needs his nappy changed…and I immediately recover and go back to Twitter or reading a good book.

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4. Did anyone close to you die?

One of my first Internet, turned real life friends of almost two decades, Belinda Norman died. Two decades ago, we did the Bee-Bar and Wenchy show on ###SouthAfricaChat…. *sigh* as well as my childhood friend, Vicky’s mom, Mom Alta died late December 2014.

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Both deaths upset me greatly for very different reasons.

5. Which countries did you visit?

South Africa …. and far off places in my head.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

  • ‘Zen’ – (Mother Mary you know what I mean!)
  • Placing greater value on my abilities and time.

7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory?

Nothing comes to mind.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Changing the way I see food, the way and what I eat – and in the process losing weight.

9. What was your biggest failure?

  • Not thinking before I speak.
  • Forgetting silence is also an answer.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

While chronic illnesses is just that, chronic, I had a good 2014.

I’ve been able to go off a bundle of medication as my results are now all within normal range since I started #banting. All except iron which is at an all time low. Doctors have not been able to find out why my body does not hold onto it.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Silicone baking stuff. I know right? That doesn’t sound like me at all!

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

My husband, @SirNoid – overall resulting in 2014 being one of our happiest years to date.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

I confused friendship with dementia, resulting in a very unpleasant situation. I will not be inviting anyone into our home to stay again.

14. Where did most of your money go?

@SirNoid is the one who earns the money and it goes to living expenses.

I’ve been able to provide a very busy social life with many advantages and great experiences. Often allowing us and our children events and experiences we couldn’t otherwise afford.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

My sister in law, Jenni getting engaged to Johan. She is my favourite Kruger and deserves someone who will love her for the brilliance she is. Johan is also a great catch – basically I came home and told @SirNoid, he is Jenni in man form. He is THE ONE. The kindest soul.

Any man who goes to the pharmacy for a girl he met once at 10pm, drives out of his way, because he is the only person she knows in town and buys meds, including tampons… that’s a keeper! 

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16. What song/album will always remind you of 2014?

Scarborough Fair

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

Happier or sadder? I am very happy.

Thinner or fatter? Thinner.

Richer or poorer? Richer in spirit. Financially, not so much.

18. What do you wish you had done more of in 2014?

  • Said “NO”.
  • Read.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

  • Procrastinate.
  • Over commit myself, creating avoidable anxiety.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

A very lazy day with @SirNoid at home with my two youngest (step) children, Douglas and Jenna-Lee. We had a braai late afternoon and an amazing thunder storm straight after. Awesome!

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

Social media related contacts and clients. I still detest speaking on the phone and prefer to communicate via email, whatsapp or smoke signal. My voice mail clearly says not to leave a message.

22. Did you fall in love in 2014?

A big YES.

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23. How many one night stands in this last year?

All with @SirNoid.

24. What was your favourite TV program?

  • Homeland.
  • The Black List.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I detest actions or behavior, not people.

26. What was the best book you read?

I did not read near enough and didn’t keep my Goodreads up to date…. how sad is it that I can’t give a title?

27. What was the best theatre production you saw?

Alison!! The Sound of Music, Liefling, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Mixed Tape – phenomenal productions this past year.

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28. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Mary Lambert – Secrets being my favourite.

29. What did you want and get?

A happy, solid, hard working, committed, sexy and loving husband….. and an ice cream maker. Ha ha ha!

30. What did you want and not get?

Maybe that is a joke amongst freelancers?

31. What were your favourite films of this year?

“Begin Again” Loved that!

32. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 41. Had a pizza party. Had an awesome birthday.

33. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

If I hadn’t underestimated myself so much.

34. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

For once I actually had some fashion ideas, especially after attending SA Fashion Week.

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35. What kept you sane?

Dreaming. Believing.

36. Which celebrity/public figure made an impact on you?

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The fashion due, Alan Foley & Krishen Samuel – @AlanKrishen. Because of their reputation, fashion icons baby, I was quite intimidated meeting them. The moment we were introduced I found two true gentleman. Classy. Full of humour. Intelligent. Genuine. No pretense. Hearts of gold.

37. What political issue stirred you the most?

Zuma…. Asking for the second coming. Seriously dude?

38. Who did you miss?

I always miss the kids, sometimes more and sometimes less! I’m a human mom dammit.

39. Who was the best new persons you met?

Two people truly stood out for me.

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Zavion Kotze. @Survivor_SA contestant, wedding planner and general gem. Read my interview with him and you will understand why I like him so much.

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Albert whom I met at Reading House. While he is old enough to be my son, he showed me great kindness, an awesome sense of funny and a tremendous dedication to his craft. I arrived a stranger, but left a friend.

40. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014 and how it made your life better.

  • People may leave, not because of who you are, but because of who they are.
  • I learned it can be very liberating when you realise you are not responsible for the actions of others.

41. Quote a song lyric that sums up 2014?

Jy met jou drome en gedagtes in jou oë
Jy met jou vrede wat in elkeen hoop en glo
Jy met jou deernis jou geduld en jou verstaan
Jy wat jou seer alleen wil dra

Ek wil vir jou
Somer wees en stilte gee
Ek wil vir jou
Die son gaan haal die wind die see
Ek wil so graag
Myself vir jou gee 

Jy met jou woorde en gebede in jou hart
Jy met jou vreugde so in oorvloed uit jou hand
Jy met jou wysheid jou geloof in elke dag
Jy met die seer agter jou lag

Woorde en Musiek: Christa Steyn

43. Most cherished memory of 2014?

@SirNoid offering me his last Rolo.

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I wish you enough,

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I’m shocked! @real_meals #banting @proftimnoakes

Dear friends and other interesting creatures –

#Banting. Wow – what a total way to mess with my head. As a fat person (none of us are blind) I am very well informed about food – all types. Hell, I’ve eaten enough of it. What I do know is that in my head you always reach for the low fat or non fat in everything. It is like a learned behaviour, and here comes  and turns it on its head.

My blogger friend, @SharonVW has been doing incredibly well and I am incredibly proud of her…. and incredibly jealous so naturally I had to give it a bash. Okay Sharon is also doing a nice amount of exercise where I walk to @KillarneyMall ….  First part was getting hold of the book, “Real Meal Revolution” which was a struggle I have to tell you. I left my card everywhere over a period of about three weeks and the only response I received was from @readerwarehouse in @norwoodmall – seriously.

I started my first #banting week last week Monday. I weighed in this morning, exactly 4kg lighter. Shocked and stunned!

I am still learning, so I cut out all obvious carbs, as well as all sugars. I have always drank lots of water so I have continued but it is harder in winter. I have eaten when I am hungry, and not just because it is a meal time. I have changed all my low fat everything to full cream. I add cream to my coffee, cooking with butter…. eating more eggs than usual, more protein. I have tried nuts which I don’t actually enjoying eating but I am experimenting. I have included LOTS of mushrooms and changed cheese to mature cheddar. Also eaten more tomato. Hardest thing this week was walking away from a bar one milkshake at Wimpy!

One week in I am not experiencing wild cravings. I did have one baby tiny potato with sour cream this week and did eat it very slowly and actually tasted it. I realised how I usually just eat and swallow, I don’t actually taste every bite… okay except when we were at @budmarsh_lodge  a couple weeks ago. I lingered on every bite. So maybe it is a bit like smelling the roses in a food way. LOL The other thing that I have found a bit difficult is only having water, tea or coffee. I usually do drink fruit juice… imagine all those sugars… eish.

Not the most fascinating of blogs I have ever written, forgive me. Between Tour De France, replying to Social Media Diva mails it has been a hectic morning.

I wish you enough,

Wenchy