Alcohol: How much is too much?

How much alcohol is too much for low carb, healthy fat, keto lifestyle?

 

“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.

Continue reading “Alcohol: How much is too much?”

Is low-carb an expensive and elitist lifestyle?

Gold bar on a plate with knife and fork

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.

Low-carb is expensive = Myth

Reference: Jonno Proudfoot, app.realmealrevolution.com

Cook something – Greek Pork Chops

Quantities given are for 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 x 250g pork loin chops (skin on)
  • ¹⁄₂ handful fresh oregano (stemmed)
  • ¹⁄₂ handful fresh mint (stemmed)
  • ¹⁄₂ sprig fresh rosemary (stemmed)
  • ¹⁄₂ clove garlic
  • ¹⁄₄ cup olive oil
  • 20 ml lemon juice (zest and juice of 1 lemon)
  • ¹⁄₄ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Method

  1. Turn your oven to the highest temperature, and put it on the grill setting.
  2. Lie the chops down on a cutting board and use your knife (and your body weight) to cut through the fat and rind at 2cm intervals.
  3. Blitz everything else in a small jug with a stick blender and pour over the chops in a small dish, then leave them to marinate for an hour or so.
  4. Get a large ovenproof frying pan up to a medium high heat.
  5. Scrape the chops of any marinade and stack them together to make a reconstructed loin.
  6. Now, hold the ‘loin’ together with your tongs and place it fat side down in the pan to crisp the fat up. This should take about 5 minutes.
  7. Then, spread out the chops and fry them on each side for 4 minutes, turning them only once.
  8. To finish them off, pour the leftover marinade over them and pop them under the grill for another 3 or 4 minutes.

Reference:

https://app.realmealrevolution.com

Cook something – Brandy and Peppercorn Sauce

Cook’s comments:

This recipe is best when it’s made in the same pan you grilled a steak in. The brandy picks up all the burnt bits of meat and seasoning, which adds awesome depth. If you back yourself to do it, use the same pan while your meat rests.

Quantities given are for 250 ml sauce.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp madagascan green peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¹⁄₂ medium red onion (super-finely chopped)
  • 1¹⁄₂ tsp dijon mustard
  • 80 ml brandy
  • 250 ml cream
  • 1 handful fresh chives (finely chopped, optional)
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper

Method

  1. First, crush half the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar, or chop them finely with a knife.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium-sized pan over a medium heat and add the peppercorns (whole and chopped) and the red onion, and sauté them gently until the onions begin to caramelise.
  3. Add the mustard and stir it around until it begins to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Now throw in the brandy and light it with a lighter to burn off the alcohol. If that scares you, just boil it until it has reduced by two-thirds. It’ll give you the same end result – but, of course, flambéing looks cooler.
  5. Add the cream, reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce has thickened.
  6. As your last move before serving, season it with salt and pepper and stir through the fresh chives.

Reference:

https://app.realmealrevolution.com

Cook something – Keto Almond & poppy seed bread

Keto low carb almond and poppy seed bread.

I’ve baked many different low carb breads but this one is the quickest and easiest to make. 

Almond and poppy seed bread

It has 5.3 grams carbohydrate per slice.

It keeps well in the fridge. Or separate the slices with baking paper and freeze them in a plastic bag or container.

These breads all taste much better toasted than they do raw.

Ingredients

4 extra large eggs
3 tbsp water
1 cup golden flax seeds (grind them yourself in a coffee grinder)
¹⁄₂ cup ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp xylitol
¹⁄₂ tsp xanthan gum
2 tbsp poppy seeds
¹⁄₄ cup sunflower seeds
¹⁄₄ cup flaked almonds

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
  2. You must buy whole golden flax seeds and grind them yourself otherwise the recipe will not work.
  3. Grease a small loaf tin and also line it with baking paper as this bread sticks to the pan.
  4. Whisk together the eggs and the water in a bowl until well combined.
  5. Place the rest of the ingredients in another bowl and stir to combine.
  6. Fold the eggs into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  7. Pour the mixture into the greased loaf tin and bake in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool and serve.
  9. This loaf will last for a few days in the fridge.

Cook’s Tip

Toasted cheese and tomatoes are epic! Poppy seeds usually go pretty well with a squeeze of lemon, so I reckon go toasted with lashings of butter and avo!

Reference:

Photo credit: My own

LCHF foods that I love to eat – coconut kefir and papaya

Part of the Banting 2.0 diet are fermented drinks and digestive enzyme rich fruits.

Consuming fermented foods and drinks has been widely reported (for centuries) to be of benefit and is advocated by doctors and health specialists globally.

– Real Meal Revolution Banting 2.0

We recommend one portion of either a broth or a fermented food every day; the latter can be either a half cup of a fermented drink or a tablespoon of fermented vegetables. it will be a bit weird to start. But once you’ve done it for a day or two, it will grow on you and your should start craving it.

Coconut Milk Kefir

This takes only 12 hours to ferment, Unless you prefer a more sour taste. Then you simply leave it to ferment for longer until the taste appeals to you.

So, how do you make kefir at home?

  • Get kefir grains from your local health food store.
  • Using only plastic or wooden utensils, place the grains into a glass or plastic container.
  • Pour over a 400 ml tin of coconut milk. Stir to combine the kefir grains and the coconut milk.
  • Leave at room temperature for 12 hours.
  • Remove the kefir grains and place in a plastic container, covered with some of the new kefir. Place in the fridge where it will become dormant until you make your next batch.
  • Store your new batch of kefir in the fridge where it will become thicker the longer you leave it there.

Papaya – high in digestive enzymes

Other foods that contain digestive enzymes are:

  • Avocado oil
  • Macadamia oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Pineapple

Conclusion

Make a point of having fermented foods or drinks and foods rich in digestive enzymes several times a week.

Reference:

Real Meal Revolution Banting 2.0

Up close and personal with Jonno Proudfoot, Real Meal Revolution CEO

Sunday Times (Cape Town), featured a one-on-one with Author, Chef, Adventurer and CEO of Real Meal Revolution, Jonno Proudfoot.

Read on to find out:

  • What are the most popular recipes at Real Meal Revolution?

  • What does Jonno eat when he cheats?

  • Why was Real Meal Revolution so successful?

https://realmealrevolution.com/real-thinking/sunday-times-jonno-proudfoot/

Top 10 Tips for LCHF weight loss if you’re over 40

Top ten tips to lose weight with LCHF if you're over 40, or just on a plateau.

Going through menopause?

Many women find in the years leading up to and after their final menstrual period that along with other symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats and sleep problems, their abdomens thicken and their weight increases. Some 40 million women in the US, 13 million in the UK, and many more millions around the world are estimated to be going through menopause, which usually occurs between age 49 and 52.

We have come up with nine other actions, along with intermittent fasting, that may help stop menopausal weight issues and to give a boost to weight loss if you are experiencing a plateau while low-carb keto eating.

Don’t eat too much protein

Women need less protein and can much more easily over-consume protein compared to men. If you and your husband are eating the same size steak, you are consuming too much. Too much protein interferes with ketosis and fat burning,

General advice from our group of experts is to eat between 0.5 to 1.5 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. A 70 kg (154 lbs) woman would therefore eat no more than 105 g of protein per day, and perhaps significantly less.

Don’t eat too much fat

Once fat adapted, cut back on extra fat: One of the great joys of low-carb keto eating is adding back fat into our bodies after denying them fat for so long. But a keto diet is not carte blanche to gorge yourself on fat, the experts note. If you want to lose weight, you have to burn your own fat stores for energy, not consume all the energy you need by eating fat. So stop the bulletproof coffee and fat bombs for now. You will know you are fat adapted because you can go a long time without eating.

Intermittent fasting

Once you are fat-adapted, hunger pangs diminish and it is easy to go for longer periods without eating. Many people naturally stop eating breakfast — they just aren’t hungry when they wake up. The number one rule of low-carb eating is eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.

So if you are not hungry, try fasting for 16 hours, and then eating just lunch and dinner in an 8-hour window, called a 16:8 fast. Or try eating dinner one night, than fasting until dinner the next night, doing a 24-hours fast.

Watch out for the carb creep

If you have been doing low-carb keto eating for a while, carbs can sneak back into your diet, particularly in the form of sauces, condiments, fruits and nut snacks. If weight loss has stalled, closely examine what you are eating and cut back to under 20 g of carbs again. Nut snacks like cashews, almonds, and pistachios are easy to overeat and can contain enough carbs to contribute to a weight-loss stall. A cup of pistachios, for example, has 34 g of carbs. Avoid carb cycling or cheat meals, too, for now.

Cut out alcohol

Cut out the alcohol for now: Many people love the fact that on a low-carb or keto diet you can have a glass of dry white or red wine from time to time. If you are experiencing a weight-loss plateau, or gaining weight, cut out all alcohol for now until weight loss starts again. Even a few drinks a week can cause a stall

Avoid sweeteners

If you have been including artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose in your low-carb or keto diet, our experts recommend you wean yourself off them.

Do weight training

The more muscle you add, the better your insulin sensitivity, so any sort of resistant strain you can add to your muscle is great for weight loss. The weight lifting doesn’t have to be a excessive — 90 seconds, twice a week can do it. It has to be a heavy enough weight that after about to 10 to 15 lifts (reps) you cannot do another rep. That is called lifting to muscle failure.

While you can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet, adding in weight lifting will build muscle and increase your metabolism.

Get enough sleep

A good night sleep reduces stress and cortisol, the stress hormone that when raised hangs onto abdominal fat.

Tips for better sleep include:

  • Sleep in a cool, dark room.
  • Wear ear plugs and eye shades.
  • Limit screen time and blue light before bed (or try the glasses that block blue light.
  • Go to bed and get up at the same time each day.
  • Stop drinking coffee by noon and limit caffeine consumption in all forms.
  • Avoid alcohol before bed.
  • Get exposure to natural daylight each day.

Reduce stress

When we see people struggle and hit a plateau, or completely fall off the wagon, the number one cause is a life crisis of some sort. We all have life crises, men and women — all our lives are managed chaos.

We recommend people plan coping mechanisms to deal with stress such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness techniques, relaxing walks or other pleasant diversions and hobbies. For a week eat slowly and mindfully, where you really pay attention to taste, textures, and hunger cues.

Be realistic

Some women are aiming for an arbitrary number on a scale… a number that has no real bearing or relationship to their actual health and wellness. It’s far better to enjoy whole food LCHF that results in great energy, focus, good GI tract and healthy muscles, skin and hair.

Age with grace and vitality.

Reference:

Anne mullens published on Diet Doctor

Photo credit: Artem Bali, Unsplash

 

 

Do you ever have stress or gut issues?

“Lifestyle changes can positively affect our gut microbiome and influence how we deal with stress.”

Introduction to podcast with Professor John Cryan

Dr Chatterjee talks to Professor John Cryan, world-leading researcher on the gut-brain axis and Professor of Anatomy & Neuroscience about how the connection between our gut and our brains affects all aspects of our health, including stress, depression, anxiety and IBS.

Listen here

Episode Highlights:

  • As a neuroscientist, how did John become to research stress, which led to its link to the Gut Microbiome?
  • Hear about the progress John and his team have made so far with their research.
  • What chronic illnesses to John & Rangan now know can affect and be affected by stress?
  • John & Rangan talk about stress and why our body reacts in this way and the follow-on effects of chronic stress.
  • Listen to the research John has done recently on how specific bacterium in the gut, can be more resistant to stress.
  • Link to John’s book The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection
  • John talks about how our microbiome is different throughout our lives from first born to old age, from person to person and compared to our ancestors.
  • John describes the Gut-brain Axis and how we have recently been able to see how the gut can directly influence activities in the brain.
  • How has John’s research shown how the state of the microbiome can cause specific stress responses such as depression & anxiety?
  • Hear John’s tips to improving gut health include: a Mediterranean diet, fermented foods, pre-biotics in the diet, avoiding processed food and anti-biotics, how Caesarean sections and having pets can have an effect and why good sleep practises and exercise are important.
  • John talks about research into processed foods, sugar and artificial sweeteners.
  • John reveals how certain medications, prescribed by doctors, can be more or less effective depending on the individual’s microbiome.

Reference:

https://drchatterjee.com/blog/category/podcast/

 

 

 

Dr Chatterjee talks to Professor John Cryan, world-leading researcher on the gut-brain axis and Professor of Anatomy & Neuroscience about how the connection between our gut and our brains affects all aspects of our health, including stress, depression, anxiety and IBS.