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

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. 

Banting | LCHF go-getters – Rebecca Allerton

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. 

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.

Reference:

Biz News.com, Marika Sboros

 

 

Banting | LCHF go-getters – Brian Berkman

Rebekah Allerton, Banting success story

“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.

Barbaric 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.

Banting

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”.

Conclusion

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.

Reference:

Biz News.com, 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”

Preparing for weight loss

Gut health is vital

All diseases begin in the gut.”

– Hippocrates, c. 400 BC

GUT PROBLEMS

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.

References:

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

My story

Freedom from life-long depression, mood swings and gastric disorders.

The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. – Aseem Malhotra, cardiologist and anti-sugar advocate

Dr. Malhotra’s statement describes my recovery from depression and mood swings that were the bane of my life since I was a young child, when domestic violence and intense insecurity were part of my siblings and my family situation.

After the sudden death of my husband when I was forty-nine years old, the depression and panic attacks were finally diagnosed correctly and for years I was treated with psychiatric medication.

Gastric problems such as chronic constipation with cramping have also been part of my life for most of it. As a result I have looked to treatments such as colonic hydrotherapy for relief.

My love of sweet foods and grains caused me to have frequent episodes of hypoglycemia and bloating.

Help came to me when I noticed that my usually stable weight had begun increasing along with an unwelcome fat roll around my belly. At the time I was exercising at least four times per week to no avail. What I did not understand at the time was that I am insulin resistant, which was complicated by my consumption of  foods that were high in carbohydrates which led to excessive amounts of insulin being secreted. This all led to fat storage. Hence the appearance of the belly roll.

Seeking answers and change, I discovered that Professor Tim Noakes was advocating a low-carbohydrate healthy-fat regime to reverse lifestyle diseases including obesity, described in The Real Meal Revolution Banting written with Johnno Proudfoot. My investigation began. I listened to Professor Noakes speaking on podcasts and YouTube. The insights I gained from Dr. Robert Lustig in The Bitter Truth About Sugar were revelatory. Two outstanding investigative journalists, Gary Taubes in Why We Get Fat and Good Calories Bad Calories, and Nina Teicholz with her Big Fat Surprise, just say it so well. I continue to learn and live what I am studying.

As I implemented the Banting diet my health gradually turned around.

I have lost ten kilograms in weight and the tummy fat is gone. So have food cravings for bread and sugary foods. I sleep well.

Best of all, something that I never anticipated has happened. I have calm, stable moods every single day. I will never go back to eating sugar, grains, processed foods and processed vegetable oil.