Our Paleo / Banting lifestyle started in August 2013. I do prefer the term Banting because we still consume dairy and “Paleo with dairy” can be such a long-winded description. The Paleo diet has many versions and levels of strictness and if you Google it you will be sure to find numerous sites with loads of information. In essence we follow a low carbohydrate, no grains, high fat, medium protein diet (Jeez, what a mouthful and I’m trying to keep it simple). But it is more than just a diet. It has become a lifestyle.
The triggers for our quite drastic and sudden change of diet were my mom having been recently diagnosed with colon cancer, myself struggling with gluten intolerance, bloating, lack of energy and bad skin (long after my teenage years) and my husband’s continuous struggle to lose weight. Our influencers and guides on this journey are Robb Wolf with his book “The Paleo Solution” and Prof Tim Noakes as co-author of the book “The Real Meal Revolution”. To that we add common sense and as little as possible of the nutrition knowledge I gathered in my years studying for my ND Food and Nutrition at the Cape Technikon (now known as Cape Peninsula University of Technology) and as much as I can remember about the science and preparation of food.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bad-mouthing the institution or the lecturers but what I’ve been taught is wrong. The food pyramid laden with grains and carbohydrates, low fat dairy and lean meat in small portions is wrong. (As this is not a piece for a science magazine I’m not adhering to the rules – you can go read about it for yourself in the books mentioned above. Robb Wolf has done a stunning job of scientifically and anthropologically proving and explaining why this is so.)
So what do we eat? It might be easier to start with what we don’t eat. I’ve rid my kitchen of sugar, artificial sweeteners, any form of wheat, maize, soya, potato and rice (thus no bread, cereals or pasta), dried beans and pulses. In its place we have loads of vegetables (more of those that grow above ground and less of the root vegetables that grow below ground), grass-fed meat (as far as possible) with fat on, chicken and fish (wild caught is best but you eat what you can afford), eggs, nuts and a bit of fruit. We make our own mayonnaise with only 5 ingredients (have you looked at the ingredients list on a bottle of mayonnaise lately?). We use honey and dates as sweeteners and drink plenty of water as well as a glass of red or white wine, the occasional cider and even less frequently a beer (hey, a girl and a boy have to have some fun!) And oh, don’t forget the morning cup of Rooibos tea and coffee in the afternoon.
The purpose of this blog is not to convince you to change your ways. It is a means for me to track our progress along this journey and to hopefully help someone else along the way. I know this big a change can be rather daunting. Believe me, I supported my husband when he suggested this lifestyle change but I wanted it to be easy. I did not want to think about what we would eat or how to prepare it or where to buy it. And there – once again, thanks goes to Robb Wolf for solving this problem with his 30 day meal plan, recipes included.
As mentioned earlier, Banting has become a lifestyle not just a diet. We prefer our food in as natural a state as possible. Having recently moved back into our house in Malmesbury (after a two year stint in Australia) we’re looking forward to growing our own vegetables. We like to mince the meat instead of buying it already minced and we’re keen to try our hand at making sausages. We buy raw almonds and prepare our own roasted almonds, almond meal and almond butter. Someday soon I’d like to make coconut oil and flour from fresh coconuts.
You’ll be sure to read about all these exploits right here!