We have this saying in South Africa;”local is lekker”. It simply means that local culture is something to be desired. We use this phrase to encourage locals to support local artists, businesses, foods, feasts, produce, you name it.
After a year on a low-carb diet, I pretty much realized that my family reached the point of no return. We felt better than ever, dropped some kilo’s, gained our coherent thoughts…mostly anyway. We simply wanted to share the joy of REAL GOOD nutritional values and lifestyle with others. But “others” felt so overwhelmed at the thought of foreign eating habits and recipes, that I decided to take back local recipes and “decarbify” them!
So I started experimenting and concocting. My kitchen became a test kitchen and my camera and I became a newly found food – blogger special combo! A Survival guide had to see the light! Mind sets had to change under less overwhelming circumstances. I wanted to pioneer such a process. So I started to envision a guide with practical know how on low – carbing. A recipe book, a shortcut book…a book for dummies, who like me, did not want to study nutrition, but consume healthy, smart food. Us common folk, really only wanting to shed some kilo’s feed our brains and love our hearts.
So I read through the theories, studies, medical journals. I wanted to understand how to eat this proverbial elephant called LCHF (Low carb high fat). I was saddened by what I discovered. The oh so many food lies! The nutritional arena started to look more like a political campaign. Who will be president… sugar or grain! The heart foundation support them both, while people are dying from a pandemic of heart disease like never before in the history of man kind!
My goal became clear. I need to help clarify and simplify. I am going to take all those big words and simply put them into analogies and recipes! Plain and simple. And all of this needs to happen on a budget, cause low-carbing can not only be for the rich and famous. This needs to be viable. Trust me, I have a budget… a tight one!
Why low – carb?
I can supply you with four profound reasons:
1# My husband used to eat a “healthy” breakfast of muesli, yoghurt and fruit. Around ten he would feel ravenous and attack some candy bar somewhere near his office. Around 13:00 he would eat his “healthy” packed lunch of provita’s or a sandwich. Around 4pm he would feel light -headed, even not quite able to properly read his computer. He would come home and attack a packet of chips or 2 bananas, cookies… frankly whatever he could find. Eat two helpings of dinner and fall asleep in front of the TV, only to get up tired the next morning. What we did not realize at the time, was that he was a breath away from full blown type 2 diabetes. He was overweight, and ALWAYS tired. Upon entering a low-carb lifestyle he shed 25 Kilo’s in the past 10 months, he has more energy than ever and live a life that is not ruled by cravings and sugar spikes and dips. He is now the “boertjie” who tells other “boertjies” that they will survive without their meat AND POTATOES regime and the “eat as much as you can buffet” lost all it’s carb filled appeal to him. Food is not his boss anymore!
2# My son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, when he was only 3. A few weeks after we started our low -carb journey, I realized that most tantrums disappeared and more skills and integrated coping skills appeared. There was such a dramatic difference we could hardly believe our eyes! A bigger than ever sense of normal made it’s way back into our house. Upon further research, I discovered that a grain free, low – carb, high fat diet is the best for kids on the autism spectrum or with ADD or ADHD. It eliminates the excess inflammation of gluten in the brain. It literally sooths the brain an heal it’s sensitivities that jumps out in the form of awkward behaviors and emotional melt downs.
3# My daughter is a dreamer. Some would call it ADD! We took carbs, wheat and sugar mostly out of her diet and she is focused, slender, and we’ve cut the pre – teen emotional roller coaster almost in half since!
4# I’m a writer, voice artist, concept developer and performer. I really need to think on my feet and come up with great ideas on demand. I also, lived more of a vegetarian lifestyle, simply cause meat and fat just did not quite do it for me. Because I work for myself and found myself writing till the early morning hours a few times a week, I became more and more forgetful and depressed. I felt old, tired and overwhelmed with life. I constantly had sweet cravings and chocolate became my best friend. Two weeks after carbs left my kitchen, and I ate more bacon and eggs than ever in my entire life… my brain came back to life, I dropped a size or two and felt like life had colour again.
Most of us are allergic to wheat and gluten. Most of us will never know this, because it is sold as “healthy” food and we won’t ever look in that file for the cause. The wheat we eat today, does not remotely have the same genetic make -up as the wheat our great grand parents ate. Wheat causes inflammation in the brain, intestines and cells. Wheat and sugar causes more obesity and heart related disasters than cream, butter and animal fat put together. Yet they get the blame and we get to use more meds!
As a family we have experienced that good fats are our friends and low fats actually kidnapped the food our brains needed and exchanged it with Gorilla terrorism in the form of added sugars.
Fats does not chase your cholesterol to the moon and back! Sugar causes inflammation that damages the arteries and while the cholesterol (good fats) just want to go to your cells and brain to nourish, they get stuck on the damaged, chipped walls and then they get ALL the blame! No fair.
I will in future blogs explain the difference between good and bad fats.
Low – carb can be lekker!
You can eat like a king! If only you can get pass the initial anxiety attacks of “What is left for us to eat?” “How will we be full?” “No rice, pasta or potatoes?” “This is going to break the bank!” “What will I feed my children?” “Will our livers explode?” (I get the latter a lot!)
You are going to learn about swop – out foods and before you know it the mind shifts will integrate as the fat melts away and the thinking cap emerges!
If you want some great reads on the topic, I can recommend;
1. The real meal revolution. By Tim Noakes
2. Grain Brain. By Dr D Perlmutter
If you are not a low -carb is lekker friend on facebook, like the page and you will find a good few South African recipes, like chutney, bobotie Malva pudding etc.
My aim is to help you and your family find normal within this foreign low-carb world. From the birthday cake you bake to the friends you invite over for dinner. I simply want to encourage you on this journey! Let’s figure it out together. Sounds like a plan right?
This was my introduction, from here on we get practical!
These are the 8 swop outs you need to start wrapping your brain around.