Banting | LCHF go-getters

Habib Noorbhai is a biokineticist and Banting go-getter.

“As a biokineticist, I was trained to believe that the training would be the answer to my health issues, but I didn’t feel great. I started Banting and after six months I had lost 7kg, I didn’t have heartburn or feel hungry all the time, my stress levels had gone down and my skin felt more refreshed. Most importantly I look the way I did during my undergrad days!”

– Habib Noorbhai, 27


Before I started Banting I had less energy, 2014 was a stressful year, I felt bloated and body fat percentage and weight management was a real issue. As a Biokineticist, we were all trained to believe that training/physical activity would assist…

Then I heard about it from my supervisor, Prof Timothy Noakes when he started working on it a few years ago.

I started the lifestyle plan in December and was convinced even more about it after seeing the shocking evidence of sugar and carbs at the Old Mutual Health Summit 2015 at CTICC.

After nearly 6 months I have no heart burn, I am not feeling hungry, my stress levels have reduced, my skin feels more refreshed; and most importantly I have lost body fat percentage and look the way I did during my undergrad!

My final comment on Banting is that it definitely works for those who have chronic and lifestyle diseases/family history and it is the best preventative ‘medicine’ for those suffering from Obesity and Diabetes.


Tribute to a mother who cooked

Habib Noorbhai is a biokineticist and Banting go-getter.

This week I bade “Farewell, and have a good journey”, for the very last time, to my precious mother, Pamela.

She was a parent who unconditionally loved her children and grandchildren, her siblings and her many friends, with whom she shared a wide range of interests: gardening, dancing, reading, needlework, learning to speak Spanish, swimming, playing board games such as Scrabble, embossing copper-foil fine craft work, crosswords and playing tennis.

It became necessary for Mom to support herself financially from the age of forty onwards and this she did with great flare, investing in property which ensured a healthy cashflow for her until the end of her life, and which further provided a heritage for her heirs.

A world traveller of note, all done on the salary of a civil servant, was Pam, leaving behind delightful scrapbooks of mementos and photographs, each item carefully hand-labelled, faithfully recording each trip.

Best of all though, Mom cooked.

Daily family meals prepared from scratch with mostly locally-sourced, recognisable ingredients. The exception would be when she daringly cooked Chinese dishes and had to use canned, imported water chestnuts and bean sprouts. These dinners were served in traditional bowls and eaten with chopsticks.

Slow cooking was the theme – there was no other way in South Africa during the 1950’s and 1960’s – and resulted in shepherds’ pie; steak and kidney pie encased in flaky pastry; Sunday roasts with Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, and boiled, buttered green beans or fish fried in extra-light beer batter.

Undaunted, she produced home-baked bread and Cornish pasties out of her basically equipped kitchen. Toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches were created by placing the sandwiches, buttered on the outside, between sheets of kitchen paper and then ironed, until the bread achieved the right degree of brownness.

Coming home from school on Friday afternoons was unforgettable because this was the weekly baking day.

The tins on the kitchen shelf were full. There was Scottish shortbread; iced chocolate-coconut biscuits; loaves of banana or date bread; coconut, oat and butter crunchies; a double layer chocolate cake or a tart with an almond filling.  

Her hand-written recipe book contained entries with titles like Mrs. Harbouth’s Sponge Cake, Grandma’s Christmas Cake and Sheila Mulligan’s Fudge. Recipes were passed around between friends and family.

All of this had an enduring influence on Mom’s offspring.

I took to baking in a big way to the neglect of mastering any other kind of food preparation. This resulted in my husband being offered for dinner, slices of cherry cake……. or a toasted sandwich ! (I have improved my skills over time.)

Here is what her progeny have achieved:

  • A son who is an avid Jamie Oliver aficionado and loves to get creative and tweak and create his own versions of the recipes.
  • A daughter who is a master baker and who currently provides home-cooked meals to about 15 toddlers in her private school
  • A granddaughter who provides daily cooked-from-scratch vegan and non-vegan dinners for her family, since having retired a few years back from owning and cooking in her restaurante in Alpujarra, Spain
  • A grandson, former private chef to the Canadian ambassador in Oslo, Norway and who is currently catering for unique events which includes recently cooking dinner for the Norwegian prime minister, Erna Solberg and her entire cabinet
  • Another grandson whose preferred way to relax is to try out new Vietnamese dishes to share with his wife and children
  • A grandson who often cooks his family pancakes with compote; curries and pasta bakes, even homemade bread
  • A granddaughter whose current life in France has resulted in her learning to make beef bourguignon; cheese soufflé; octopus pie; baked camembert and more
  • Finally, an eleven year old great-grandson who eagerly delves into Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredients cookbook, Quick and Easy Food, making treats like orange and dark chocolate shortbread

This Mother’s gift of nourishing and loving with food has become a legacy that has been passed down through the generations.

Dear Mom, may the meals be scrumptious, may the chefs be handsome.

Now’s the time to leave the cleaning up to someone else.


Photo credit: Myself

Editing credit: Rachel Van Blerk

What I’m reading

“When it comes to startups, I’ve been there and done that several times over. Now I’m doing what techies call a “core dump”, or recording what’s in my memory. My knowledge comes from my scars – in other words, you will benefit from my hindsight.”

– Guy Kawasaki

So, who is this guy?

An entrepreneur who has started three companies and advised organisations as small as two people and as large as Google. He has worked for Apple twice, and is currently the chief evangelist of a startup called Canva.

Guy’s guide, The Art of the Start 2.0, is pitched as the time-tested, battle-hardened guide for anyone starting anything.

I’m working my way through the divisions; Conception, Activation, Proliferation, and Obligation and implementing as I go along.

For example, The Art of socializing, turns what for me was a confusing, minefield of what to post where and how often, into a system, by using a social media content calendar where I can collate content and schedule what need to be done each day.

You can see the effect of Guy’s influence on my frequency of posts; using bullet lists more often; diverse subjects for my posts and not just writing about health and weight loss (just like this post); and sharing my ideas across multiple social platforms.

Photo credit: Myself

Banting | LCHF go-getters

Rebekah Allerton, Banting success story

“If you begin from a state of dysfunction, almost anything will bring you back into balance”

– James Fitzgerald, OPEX Fitness


Rebekah Allerton, Sales Manager at Real Meal Revolution, relates how as a young person she was highly susceptible to massive weight gain and ill health because of eating large amounts of carbohydrates and processed foods.

Read her story here. 

Introduction to the Banting 2.0 food lists

Real Meal Revolution Banting 2.0 food lists

“Diet is Batman and exercise is Robin. Diet does 90% of the work and deserves all the attention; so, logically it would be reasonable to focus on diet.”

– Jason Fung, The Obesity Code

The original Real Meal Revolution introduced the concept of The Lists, an easy way to get to grips with the foods to be embraced (Green), wary of (Orange) and avoid (Red) when Banting.

In the intervening years we’ve continuously revised and fine-tuned the lists by following the latest science, taking on board extensive member feedback and considering the negative and positive health effects of foods that go beyond mere carbohydrate count. So there may be Green-listed foods with higher carbohydrate (and even sugar) content than those on the Orange and Red lists, but be assured that there is sound dietary and nutritional reasoning for this.

We’ve seen what works at various phases of the diet and added several shades of usability to it – so now we have a Green, Orange A and Orange B, Light-Red, Red and even Grey list.

Foods on the Light-Red list are high in carbs but contain no gluten or sugar and are not considered unhealthy in all other respects. For most Banters who reach Preservation and wish to up their carb intake, the foods on the Light-Red list can be eaten without health concerns, though they must be monitored to see whether they affect weight.

Foods on the Grey list are those we have mixed feelings about. They may not be high in carbs or sugar, but they may not be real and they may not be healthy, so we have left them without endorsement for the time being.


Real Meal Revolution Banting 2.0 by Jonno Proudfoot and the Real Meal Revolution Team, (Burnet Media, 2016)

Picture credit – Real Meal Revolution



Banting | LCHF go-getters

“People made assumptions about me as a fat man”

– Brian Berkman

In this video, Cape Town businessman Brian Berkman tells a poignant, cautionary tale of how he once weighed 153kg, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and left with self-loathing, believing the only option left open to him was bariatric surgery.

Bariatric surgery, in my humble opinion, is barbaric. Sure, it’s a miracle of modern medicine, and it saves lives. But it is extreme, invasive treatment for morbid obesity that can involve rerouting the digestive system past most of the stomach, or removing some of the stomach altogether.

And it doesn’t always work.

Berkman didn’t have the surgery. Instead, in 2011, he heard UCT emeritus professor Tim Noakes talking on the radio about the dangers of carbs for diabetes, and Banting – low-carb, high-fat eating – to treat it. The rest, as they say, is happier history. Berkman changed his diet drastically, cut the carbs, ate fat, and by 2013, was a shadow of his former fat self after losing half his body weight (73kg). He has maintained the weight loss till today, and has no symptoms of diabetes.

Best of all, he feels fantastic, energetic and alive. He says simply: “Banting (and Tim Noakes, as Berkman  told me in earlier interviews) saved my life.”

This video is one of many “real testimonials” on The Real Meal Revolution website, run by  Jonno Proudfoot, the phenomenal Cape Town Banting chef who “fell into food by mistake”.

Berkman‘s blisteringly honest story makes inspirational listening on losing weight quickly, safely, without feeling deprived and hungry. He proves that in all the hype, hope and science around diet and weight loss, it’s easy to forget that food is not just about nutrition or even only about health. It is embedded in the human psyche, a basic human need that’s as much about giving and receiving love as it is about survival.


Biz, Marika Sboros



What no one tells you about preparing to lose weight

The Observation phase of Real Meal Revolution Banting 2.0

“If you can measure it, you can improve it. “

– Sami Inkinen, entrepreneur, Iron Man champion and adventurer

In LCHF Banting 2.0 we introduced the phased approach to losing weight.

Observation is the first phase of Banting 2.0 and lasts for one week. It’s about taking an inventory of your health. It’s about getting real and honest with yourself. It’s about deciding if you can live with what you see in the bathroom mirror for another day. It’s about drawing a line in the sand. Continue reading “What no one tells you about preparing to lose weight”

Banting | LCHF go-getters

“The only way to feel comfortable about your body and successfully keep off lost weight is first to become aware that being overweight and chronically unhealthy is a symptom of lifestyle imbalance. It is time to balance the system.”

– Leiane Brebner, head of content, Real Meal Revolution

On these posts I celebrate success stories from achievers who have turned their life and health around.

First up is Minnaar Fullard from Pretoria South Africa:

Before weight: 103 kg

After weight: 85 kg

“Before I started Banting, I had been a runner and inclined to fitness all my life. I have a compulsory fitness component to my life in that I am a Special Forces Operator that need to stay at a minimum level of fitness. I was an active participant in road running and ran several marathons, including twice the Two Oceans and twice the Comrades. I have always had a ‘sweet tooth’ and fond of pastas so the idea of carbo-loading was naturally appealing to me. Despite my best efforts at staying and keeping fit, I had to experience my thighs “love handles” growing away from my body especially after reaching the forties. I also started picking up quite a stomach. I started experiencing discomfort while sleeping, my legs seems to have lost their feeling and I often woke up with pins and needles. The sensation after eating a lot of bread or potato or in general a high carb meal really started becoming problematic. Discomfort and heartburn as well as deadly tiredness became regular symptoms of mine. I started picking up weight despite my best efforts to train hard and run or exercise it off. The worst part is that I often found myself over indulging when I consume a lot of sugar and carbohydrate rich foods. The craving for more and the lack of a feeling of being satisfied often got me in trouble with my wife. Compulsive eating habits were part of my daily regime often taking a second or a third helping during the evening meal.  Continue reading “Banting | LCHF go-getters”

Preparing for weight loss

Gut health is vital

All diseases begin in the gut.”

– Hippocrates, c. 400 BC


Hippocrates may not have been entirely right, but current medical thinking is increasingly emphasising the importance of the intestines and the links between digestion, mood and health. According to the Real Meal Revolution, many, if not all Banters who are overweight and insulin resistant appear to have poor gut health.

In my own case, I know this to be true as I had digestive problems for decades. When I began to feed my gut biome and eliminate harmful substances, my depression and anxiety disappeared and were replaced with stable, upbeat moods.

Here’s what we know for sure about this enormous organ:

  • It is considered to be “the second brain”
  • The small intestine is responsible for around 95% of the digestion and absorption of the food we eat.
  • The total surface area exposed to both the nutritious and harmful things we consume has been calculated to be anywhere from the size of  a badminton court to the size of a tennis court!
  • Key to the effective and healthy functioning of the small intestine is the symbiotic relationship it enjoys with our gut flora. These trillions of microorganisms line the intestinal wall, forming a vital living interface between the partially digested food on the inside and the intestinal wall on the outside.
  • Gut flora manufacture vitamins B and K, and act as an organ of the body by releasing hormones into the bloodstream. (As we have seen, hormones interact with the brain and signal the body to change its behaviour in response to a change in its environment. Irritable bowel syndrome, IBS and other bowel problems such as constipation and bloating are now thought to directly affect our mood, contributing to emotional shifts and even anxiety and depression.)
  • Our gut flora also plays an important hand in managing the body’s metabolism, and it forms part of the body’s immune system by making antigens from potentially harmful bacteria that the immune system can use to ward off disease.

Regardless of what diet you may sign up for, it is critical that it should take into account the healthy development and maintenance of your gut flora.

Abrupt changes, such as a wildly fluctuating diet, the excessive use of antibiotics or the infestation of harmful bacteria, can seriously compromise this vital organ. Rebuilding and supporting the gut flora should be regarded as a foundational step to metabolic health and is therefore focused on in detail in LCHF Banting 2.0.

For more on gut health read…….

Gluten Freedom by Alessio Fasano (Wiley, 2013) or find his videos on YouTube.


Real Meal Revolution Banting 2.0 by Jonno Proudfoot and the Real Meal Revolution Team, (Burnet Media, 2016)