#2015HereIAm … Keep meals very simple #LCHF #Banting

I thought I would quickly post what I’ve just had for lunch. Simple, simple, simple.

It’s a hot and quite windy day here in Cape Town and I am ‘back at work’.

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2 slices Life Bake Toast, each topped with 8g butter and a very thin shaved round of SPAR Chargrilled Ham on each.

The two stacks then piled up with lettuce, a slice of tomato, 2 slices of cucumber, slivers of orange sweet pepper and a very generous slathering of home-made mayo on each little stack.

Yummy and less than 5 minutes to put together.

And this is how my FatSecret food diary looks like for today so far. Pretty good.I’m sorry the pic does not seem to be too clear. 44% of calories consumed; 68/27/5 ratio FPC.

If I make sure that I record in my electronic food diary, I can see where I am heading each day. That appeals to the number cruncher that lives inside me!

FatSecret food diary 20150113

When did it become OK? Just when?

So, I ask again, when did it become OK? Just exactly when?

Just what am I on about now?

Yesterday, we spent several hours at CT International airport. On the Saturday before Christmas it’s not a good place to be. The place was heaving with people who were heaving themselves along….. as in lumbering along with their obese bodies no doubt protesting quite strongly.

Of course, there were many folk of healthy weight among the masses but, it seemed to me, that every second person I saw was obese to morbidly obese. Lumbering along with that peculiar rocking gate of protesting bones and muscles slack with lack of exercise….. Or traipsing along with muffin tops offending my eyes. (Maybe I’m just prudish and old fashioned with that one!)

I will refrain from including myself in any pics at this time, but my family companions looked pretty good!

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Sitting in the Spur, watching the planes come and go (I love doing that), I also observed people come and go from the various tables in the restaurant. One family in particular came directly into my line of vision and I covertly observed them for quite a while. Grandparents, morbidly obese, trying to squeeze into the benches at their big table. The granny, I wondered about her. What did she look like when she married the old man? Slim? trim? Or already plump on her wedding day?  The oupa; I imagined him just eating whatever was put on the table in front of him at home. The children, ‘30/40-somethings’, severely overweight. The son; maybe it was rugby muscle now overtaken by fat. The DIL; very plump indeed. Maybe she was trying to control her weight? Who knows? Lastly, the grandchildren. Not yet in High School. Seriously podgy and pasty looking from lack of sun & exercise. Perhaps that was the saddest part of the picture in front of me. The grandchildren.

Why do I keep thinking about the grandmother? Should she have informed herself and controlled the diet & habits of herself and her spouse? Which, in turn, could have inculcated better eating habits in her son? Maybe she is in fact informed but just could not get control? You know, somehow, I don’t think so. I think she just gave up on the calories, the ‘low fat everything’ that was supposed to help her slim down, the never-ending diets, the never-ending failures.

The food choices that family of six South Africans made yesterday were ill-advised to say the very least. And I, for one, will never give up on myself and my quest for permanent, sustainable healthy weight. I will never give up on my Odyssey.

Baby steps nutrition.1

 

One of the things ‘they’ say is that Green Tea packs a power punch nutritionally. My daughter-in-law (Taiwanese born) has always stated that the green tea we get here in RSA is not the ‘real thing’.

She and I agree, though, that LIPTON CLEAR GREEN – MINT  is rather ‘lekker’! I confess to adding a sachet of Huletts Equisweet sucralose. (the green one). I also let the bag draw in the tea cup for quite a while and drink lukewarm-ish.

According to Diane Kress RD CDE, 2 cups of green tea per day is non-negotiable Smile 

Weight loss – are you battling too?

Man alive, what a struggle I am having this winter with achieving a steady weight loss result every week. Although I do weigh in at Weigh-Less most Thursday mornings, my actual loss chart runs from Sunday am to Sunday am and that chart shows my struggles far too graphically!!

I had a ‘mini-breakthrough’ on the 2nd and since then have been fluctuating a bit down-a bit up-a bit down- you get the idea….

Causes of this? Ah, that part is easy. Not enough water; lax portion control especially with the winter ‘comfort’ foods; erratic mealtimes; eating at my office desk (toast with peanut butter in left hand and right hand still wielding the mouse!!); ‘illegal foods’; occasional piggy binges; not nearly enough physical activity; not enough ‘time out’ for extreme self care; the list goes on and on…

The whole odyssey is about the ‘extreme self care’ that Cheryl Richardson writes about so well. Although I am posting about weight loss today – which is the crucial self care bottom-line for most of us on the journey to best wellness- the other aspects must receive attention too. Serious attention.

OK, so the causes of poor weight loss, no weight loss and, yes, weight gain are no mystery to any of us.

One reason we must consider is this: What eating plan are we actually following? Low fat? Low carb? Atkins? Weigh-Less/Weight Watchers? Crash diet? 4-day ‘Heart Diets’? ‘3 days on/3 days’ off? Growth hormone injections? Considering bariatric surgery?

We HAVE to have a plan. A map. A route. A guide. A GPS. Call it what you will. That much I have learnt from over 4 decades of (often bitter) experience. I have spoken about this before but it does bear repeating!

In a nutshell then:

Where are you now? (Get your health status checked out. Know ALL your ‘numbers’.)

Where are you headed? (Goal weight. Healthy ‘numbers’.Physical fitness.)

How will you get there? (Lifestyle Plan. Write it all down. Get your support team together – appropriate health professionals; your family and/or friends; a mentor you know well and trust? Stop dreaming it. Just action it. Now!)

While facing often overwhelming odds as I do, one thing I know for sure (Oh God, I sound like Oprah) is that I have come this far and there is no turning back! And if the journey to my destination  takes longer than I would like, so. be. it. I am still learning all along the road.

(This post – in fact all my posts – with apologies to my English master Mr Graves who thought he had taught me perfect English grammar! )

Laziest cook on earth . 5 Divine soup to warm you up in this miserable weather.

If you live in Cape Town as I do you will be shivering in the current cold spell which is, I am sure, now here to stay for the winter. Cold, wet, windy with dark early mornings making the commute to work really miserable; with the same scenario when you travel home in the evening.

Makes me truly grateful that I can earn living from the comfort of my own home.

We love soup in the winter and we have a few favourites that we never get tired of. This is a recipe I discovered last winter and it is taken from the great book:-

South African Cookbook for Diabetes and Insulin Resistance.1 Second edition 2009. Tafelberg Publishers. Hilda Lategan  RD ( SA)

I started buying ‘ diabetic’ cookbooks years before I ever became diabetic/pre-diabetic. The recipes are always great and very healthy.

This soup is really delicious. The first time I made it, we sat down and finished the whole lot at one sitting!

Try it! I mean a portion – not the whole damn lot! 🙂

SAVOURY POTATO & SWEETCORN SOUP. Yield 1.25 litres (5 servings). Serving size 250ml.

500g (4-6) medium potatoes * 2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped (50g) * 1 small onion, peeled & chopped (50g) * 1 beef stock cube, crumbled * 500ml boiling water * 420g can cream style sweetcorn * 375ml low-fat milk * 100g lean ham, cubed * 25ml chopped parsley * salt to taste.

  • Place the potatoes, celery, onion, beef stock cube and boiling water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender and cooked. Mash the potatoes. Stir the sweetcorn and milk into the mashed potatoes. Bring the mixture to the boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
  • Stir the ham and the parsley into the soup and season with salt, if desired. Serve warm.

Comments: The carbohydrate content of this soup is high and for this reason the soup usually replaces the portion of bread for that meal. Instead, depending on your dietary prescription, rather add more protein to the meal e.g. a slice of ham or a little grated cheese. The soup tastes best when freshly prepared but it can be cooled successfully for 48 hours and reheated. Freezing is not recommended.

250ml = 2 starch + 1 low-fat protein; Glycemic index: low (51); Glycemic load: 18

Per portion: Energy 921kJ;  CHO 34.8g; Protein 9.8g; Fat 2.9g; MUFA 1.0g; PUFA 0.3g; Chol. 15.5mg; Fibre 3.2g

Weight loss: we must know where we are headed

“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road do I take?” she asked. “Where do you want to go?” was his response. “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.””

— Lewis Carroll, author

Reducing my weight and maintaining at goal weight is the single most important element of my journey to optimum wellness. With my weight at a normal level, the other ills I have will come right. Well, if not ‘come right’, they will certainly be the best results I can achieve given my specific circumstances.

Damn it all to hell! I have said it before and I will say it again. It’s all self inflicted. By upping the ante as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I am placing a much higher value on self care.

By doing this, I will be better able to cope with a stressful, busy life and better plan for the more rounded lifestyle I yearn for.

The first thing I am doing, as of this morning, is re-looking at portion control. W & I have been eating far too much and this is one of the main reasons why our weight is not shifting as rapidly as it was. With W-L and the very comprehensive food list booklet they provide, I am able to instantly see what size my portions should be. So, I have no excuses. Period.

The other day, I saw a list of portion sizes compiled by Dr Ingrid van Heerden (DietDoc on Health 24.com). I am sure I made a copy of it. I’ll dig it out and post it later in the day.

Chow for now. Have a good one.

Laziest cook on earth. 4

In our days of being Rotarians, W & I enjoyed an active social life with much interaction with  fellow Rotarians and we did a lot of community service work which is what Rotary International is all about.

At the time, it was a males only organisation and one became a member by invitation only. The wives were called Rotary Anns and we dutifully played our part in the organisation which I see is still very active in community work today.

During our year as Rotary President and Rotary Ann President, we entertained a lot. We had a large double storey home, a full time domestic worker, my folks lived with us in the ‘granny flat’ and they were a wonderful support system with our teenage boys. W & I forged ahead with our respective banking careers and did our share of community work while having fun with good friends. It was a good life and we had marvellous support systems in place.

Things are somewhat different today.  We still live the good life, though in a very different way. We chose to re-locate to Cape Town and we chose to take our ‘retirement jobs’ (a bookkeeping practice) along with us.

There is little time left for entertaining and it is not easy to cater for numbers in our flat, spacious as these old apartments are. Later this year, we are re-locating (again!) to a spacious home in a leafy suburb which belongs to our middle son M. But I am getting horribly sidetracked here – that is a story for a later time.

This is the meal I threw together last night for 6 members of the family:

BUTTER CHICKEN : served with brown basmati rice, cauliflower with cheese sauce and a good tossed salad.

MIXED BERRIES DESSERT : Dessert was slightly defrosted mixed berries with a choice of diet ice cream and/or lite custard. Of course, we all chose ‘and’ and not ‘or’! Mix it all up in a purple mess in your pudding dish – divine, almost fat free and low GI.

Pretty good I would say and the scale showed no overnight weight gain at my ‘Sunday Morning Showdown’ this morning. I should have had broccoli with the cauliflower as lettuce does not count as a dark green veg. (Tabitha Hume!) Red, yellow as well as green pepper strips and home grown mung bean sprouts in the salad made up for it in a small way.

Butter Chicken!!! I hear you say. Yes, so simple really. Browned chicken thighs (bone in, skin off) in a little extra virgin olive oil, dumped them in a large casserole dish with lid and poured Denny Butter Chicken Curry Sauce over them. 20 mins with casserole lid on, 20mins with casserole lid off and left them to sit there until the Sharks had won their game against I don’t know who!

The latest Weigh Less magazine is out and included is a Coat and Cook in Sauces Guide. Get it and check it out!. It will inspire you to serve something new for your family while keeping those kilos in check! You can have a quarter of the packet of wet sauce – only 424kJ and 5.0g fat.

I was given a rice cooker recently (my slow cooker/Crockpot actually does the job just as well) and the berries I had bought in bulk out at Hillcrest Berry Orchards at the height of the berry season. I use them as a treat and am only sorry I did not buy many more kilograms of these wonderful fruits at that time. I will really stock up next year.

www.hillcrestberries.co.za

High Tea at the Nelly (Mount Nelson Hotel) is on my Bucket List but the High Tea served at Hillcrest Berry Orchards is really good. Situated in the magnificent Banhoek Valley outside Stellenbosch, this working farm is well worth the trip. Check it out. They also do B & B.

Hopefully, you are starting to see from my scribblings on this blog that we CAN eat delicious food while keeping to a healthy eating plan. With careful portion control we can still ‘have our cake and eat it’!

This is the life people!…

A quick post from our holiday home at Pinnacle Point Golf & Beach Resort, Mossel Bay.

How lucky we are to have a freebie stay in this playground of the rich and famous. One person who has played golf here is Ronan Keeting; amongst many other celebrities. It is dead quiet here at this time; only the permanent residents – often Europeans who spend half of their year here and the other half back home in Europe. Ah, the lives of the wealthy!

What a place! Truly beautiful amidst carefully preserved wild fynbos and a stone’s throw from where we used to live at Dana Bay – the next delightful little bay just around the point. (Pinnacle Point – geddit?!!) We are slumming it in a 4-bed, 4-bath split level home overlooking the 16th hole. Cruising around the estate on our own golfcart is a huge fun activity; everybody from the gardeners, other residents and security staff gives a friendly wave and smile as we pass each other on the bricked roads and golfcart lanes. The rim flow pool on the big patio is icy cold and I doubt that we will spend much time in it.

What a privilege to share these happy times with our children and experience the easy camaraderie that exists in our family. A pity our eldest and his family cannot be with us as well; the last time the whole gang was together was in Mauritius in December 2007. Too long ago!

Keeping a level head regards eating choices when away on holiday is surely one of the most difficult things we have to contend with when on a weight loss, wellness journey. I think the best we can do is to try hard to curb over eating and UP the exercise!

I will post some pics later today that show the really serious exercise we embarked upon yesterday! Luckily the broadband in the quite remote estate is 3G/HSDPA – not surprising I suppose in this rich man’s playground!

So, how did it go?

As we reluctantly ease back into work mode after a lazy Easter weekend, W & I are pleased to note that we both lost a little weight over the weekend. We did indulge in a few, small easter eggs and sundry other foods such as a lovely bacon/egg breakfast and a couple of takeaways and visits to food outlets in CW (Canal Walk Shopping Centre, Century City)

We realise that it’s not about ‘dieting’. It’s about consciously making choices (indulging our love of chocolate which we seldom do) and then simply re-focussing on what we know is the right eating regime for us.

In past years, I – for one – would have polished off lots  of marshmallow eggs and any/all hollow eggs that came my way! The huge Easter egg market set up in CW was a sight to behold and I did buy a box of Lindor 60% balls. I dished them out very quickly! I could have polished off the lot by myself without much trouble but in truth I had no real desire to do that.

My glucose levels did not go haywire and we will soon see if there were any real spikes this week. I was due to go for my bi-annual fasting HbA1c test this morning but am fighting a cold that I picked up yesterday. Got up at 2am and swallowed a mega dose of Vit C so have had to postpone the test until tomorrow morning.

I will also make sure we both have our bottles of ice water on our desks – something that we tend to forget. So vitally important!

I have not posted about what I drink – I will try to do that this evening. At boarding school in the village made world famous by Alan Paton, Ixopo, a huge treat was to be ‘let out of’ hostel on a Saturday morning. We girls would all troop down to the village and settle in the ‘tea room’ and check out the boys while consuming large helpings of slap chips, hamburgers and Coca Cola!

Old habits die hard and if I was unwise I would still happily consume greasy burgers, fries and coke all these years later. Such is the influence of childhood habits!

Would love to hear how your Easter weekend went?