I sincerely admire home bakers who create beautiful Christmas confections. My prosaic LCHF Christmas baking suited me just fine.
I’ve experimented with several low-carb bread recipes and Fiona’s Banting bread still comes out tops for me because it is delicious, really not difficult to make, has a great shelf life just keeping it in the fridge, and according to my calculations has 4.7 grams of carbohydrate per slice.
Often a few slices of this bread with some butter, cheddar cheese and slices of cucumber, constitutes a meal for me.
My grandchildren, and everyone else for that matter, enjoyed the chewy honey and coconut cookies that are dead easy and quick to make.
Here’s the recipe:
Chewy Honey And Coconut Cookies
3 tablespoons honey
90 grams butter
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
In a mixer, cream together honey and butter until light and fluffy.
Add the egg, milk and vanilla and mix until combined.
Mix in the remaining ingredients to form a soft dough.
Chill the dough in the fridge for an hour.
Line a cookie sheet with silicone baking paper and roll the dough into 15 balls. Place them on the baking sheet and press them down with a fork, making sure they have enough room to spread.
Bake for 12 – 15 minutes in an oven preheated to 170 degrees C.
Go easy with these cookies as they each have 8 grams of carbohydrate. Only have them if you are in the Banting 2.0 Preservation phase.
“With Christmas soon upon us and the swing of festive parties and celebrations underway, champagne corks will be a-popping and cocktail shakers to the ready. I, like many, really do love a glass or two, especially at times of celebration, but I’m so often asked for guidance about how much is too much?”
Amelia Freer,Registered Nutritional Therapist FdSc, Dip ION
Amelia further goes on to say that there has been a long-held belief amongst the medical community that a little bit of alcohol does us good. this comes from studies that seem to show that all causes of death (but particularly heart disease) are higher in people who completely abstained from alcohol, than was in people that drank moderately (a couple or so units a day). (Corraeo et al., 2004)
She does however, point out that alcohol consumption has been linked to a huge number of problems. It is after all, a psycho-active substance that can sadly lead to significant problems with addiction and dependency. It has also been linked to over 200 disease and injury conditions.
Make a point of sourcing organic chickens rather than free-range for this Banting staple. Although free-range birds are not penned, they are still fed hormones.
1 head garlic
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried oregano
4 tbsp melted butter
1 medium white onion (quartered)
1 whole chicken
2 large lemons (quartered)
1 handful fresh thyme
2 medium red onion (quartered)
Preheat your oven to 200°C.
Cut the garlic in half vertically through the middle.
Peel the cloves off one half of the garlic and place them in a pestle and mortar with the dried herbs and the melted butter.
Mash together with some seasoning to make a paste.
Rub the chicken all over with the paste and season well with salt and pepper.
Place the quarters of one onion and a lemon in the cavity of the chicken with some of the fresh thyme.
Place the remaining ingredients into a roasting tray and place the chicken on top.
With a piece of string, tie the legs together to keep the aromatics in the cavity (the most basic form of trussing).
Roast for 70 to 85 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken. Check to see if the chicken is cooked by sticking a skewer into the thickest part of the leg – the juices should run clear. If not, return it to the oven for another 10 minutes and check again.
If you roast it properly, not only do you get some good fat in the tray for later use, and obviously heaps of protein, but more importantly, once you’ve finished carving you can bang that carcass straight into water to make a broth.
One of the greatest beliefs around is that “Low-Carb is Expensive”
– Jonno Proudfoot
There is a common misconception that academics and scientists are the only people whose opinions count in a any argument. When I dipped my toe into the academic community I was appalled by how much arguing happens over scientific papers instead of looking at what is right in front of them. There are many debates about nutrition that can be won on pure personal experience, and often, as little as plain old common sense.
One of the greatest beliefs around low-carb is that ‘Low-Carb is EXPENSIVE’
Suzanne Garrett, one of our own Facebook followers, testified to this by her own admission when she commented on our post with the following:
‘Agree with these comments, heard them all. But it is expensive to buy pastured/wild caught/organic/minimally processed. No getting around that fact – it’s a matter of degrees of expensive and how to economize by buying seasonally and in bulk. Still very expensive’
I have to agree with Suzanne. Pasture-reared, wild-caught and minimally processed food is generally more expensive.
Low-carb, by definition says nothing about pasture-reared or wild-caught. Sure, all nutrition experts (hopefully even those who are not pro-low-carb), would advocate pasture reared meat and organic produce for optimal health. But in the history of Real Meal Revolution there has only ever been one mention of the quality of ingredients and that was in the first book The Real Meal Revolution. It said something along the lines of “you should aim to eat pasture reared and organic as much as possible.”
We still believe that that is where you should aim. But it is totally unsustainable for almost everyone on earth. Posh meat is expensive. Organic veggies are expensive. Most of these foods are also very hard to get hold of.
Low-Carb doesn’t mean low-carb, super elite, organic, grass-fed or that the ingredients need to have been flown in on the wings of a condor. Quality aside, there are also some tag-along health hacks that have been added to the low-carb ‘must-haves’ that don’t quite line up. Himalayan crystal salt as opposed to normal salt is one that kills me. If we’re trying to save the environment by shortening the distance from pasture-to-plate, using Himalayan crystal salt is like asking Mother Earth to smoke a Texan Plain every time you salt your avocado.
Low-carb also doesn’t mean eating only Real Meal Revolution recipes either. That would be delicious, but that too is unsustainable for every meal of the day, every day of the week. Unless, you’ve got a private chef, in which case I recommend giving it a try.
While the recipes in Real Meal Revolution’s cook books show case a few high-end dinner options, they should not be mistaken for prescriptive dietary advice. The recipes were developed to illustrate how deliciously one could eat on a low-carb diet. If you skip the duck with berry coulis and coconut pancakes it will not negatively effect your journey to awesome weight.
Low-carb means low-carb and nothing else. That means eating very few carbs. End of story. And you can do that without any recipes, without any expensive ingredients and without lots of money.
What is nowhere near as expensive as a private chef or elite produce is simply lowering carbs and sticking to the green list. And that is what low-carb is about. If you can just eat of the green list, you are doing low-carb (hint – low-carb also doesn’t mean ‘high-fat’ but we will save that one for later)
So, Suzanne, we understand and share your concerns in a big way. But you don’t need all that fancy stuff to lower your carbs.
Anyone who regularly sleeps less than six hours has a higher risk of depression, psychosis, stroke and obesity. Sleeplessness undermines your whole body.
In an interview with Susan Goldberg, of the National Geographic Magazine, Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post and author of The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night At A Time, has this to say:
You’re known as hard charging. Did you have a moment when you said, I’ve got to change what I’m doing?
Yes , in 2007 when I collapsed from sleep deprivation, exhaustion and burnout. Being a divorced mother of two teenage daughters, I had bought into the delusion that this was the price of success and of managing all aspects of my life.
It was after I collapsed that I started studying this epidemic of burnout. There had been a lot written about the importance of nutrition and exercise, but sleep was still underrated and dismissed. And so I wrote the book.
Will getting enough sleep ever be prioritized in our culture?
It’s importance is becoming more recognized. Of course there are holdouts, people who still brag about how little sleep they get, but they’re increasingly like dinosaurs.
One of the metaphors I like to use is that sleep is like the laundry. You’re not going to take the laundry out 10 minutes early to save time. You have to complete all the cycles in the washing machine. Our sleep cycles have to be completed too: otherwise we wake up and we feel like wet and dirty laundry.
“When I get eight hours, I know the difference. I know I’m more effective: I’m a better version of myself.”
– Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post, CEO of Thrive Global, and author of The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night At A Time
Formally sleep-deprived, Arianna Huffington, was interviewed by the NationalGeographic magazine in the following Q & A article with Susan Goldberg.
Thanks for sharing your expertise on sleep, the topic of our cover story. Thomas Edison called sleep “an absurdity” and “a bad habit”. Is that idea ingrained in our culture?
I think it is deeply ingrained, but we’re at a moment of transformation. What stops people from prioritizing sleep is the fear that somehow they’re going to miss out. We have so many phrases that confirm that – “You snooze, you lose,” “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” But now there are role models, people who prioritize sleep and are super effective.