Foodie Fabulousness: Banting Granola

We’re trying to eat healthily in this house… well the adult contingent is, at least. You know, start the new year right and all. 

I’m trying to eat clean and follow a low carb, sugar free diet, as close to the letter as possible! I absolutely have to get serious about eating well because my weight has been moving steadily,  completely in the wrong direction for the last eight or so months. 

Nick doesn’t necessarily eat LCHF, but he tries to stay away from eating too much bread and eats well to fuel all the running he does. At the moment he’s training for the Two Oceans Ultra and those long runs make him HUNGRY!

One of the keys for my success will be having easy food that I can grab for work – particularly since I eat at least two of my three meals a day at the office. Having a pantry full of low carb options leaves me with choices and not feeling bored and frustrated.

So with that in mind, I bring you my take on The Real Meal Revolution’s 

Banting Granola


Nuts and seeds -I used a 500g Banting mix of nuts and seeds available at Dischem for about R115.00 – it contains walnutspecansalmondsmacadamia nuts, pumpkinsunflower seeds and coconut shavings. You can really make this mix up to your own taste. 

I like to bulk my mixture up with extra coconut shavings and seeds. The coconut crisps up really nicely when you you toast the mixture. 

Cinnamon – I love cinnamon – truly one of my favourite scents and flavours. I add cinnamon very liberally. You could add other spices too, like ginger or allspice. 

Butter and coconut oil – A good couple of dollops. 

Sweetener : honey, xylitol or whatever your drug of choice is.

Pinch of salt – not sure if this is entirely necessary but I find most things taste better with a tiny pinch of salt. 

I like to crush the bigger nuts a bit, just so that they’re not big, whole nuts. Give them a blitz in your food processor or pestle and mortar if you have some anger issues to deal with. 

Toss the whole lot – nuts, seeds and coconut – into a big, deep baking dish. 

Sprinkle the cinnamon liberally. 

Sprinkle the salt – not liberally, really just a pinch! 

Add your sweetener – sprinkle in the xylitol or drizzle over the honey. I used the tiniest drizzle of honey because I’m trying to go sugar free and eat clean so no artificial sweeteners. At the same time, I do think the granola is nicer with a little bit of sweetness. 

Dollop a couple of spoons of coconut oil and/or butter on top of your mixture. 

Place under a hot grill. This is where you need to be careful! This mixture burns super quickly so I place under the grill for 30 – 40 seconds and then mix it all up. Rinse*, repeat until the whole mixture is toasty brown and fragrant. Don’t walk away while you’re toasting your granola! Just don’t! I speak from experience. 

Leave to cool and store in an airtight container. 

I eat my granola with double cream yoghurt, and perhaps some blueberries or strawberries. It’s delicious and easily sustains me until lunchtime. My only advice here is to not eat it every single day – mix it up with other low carb brekkies like eggs etc. And watch your portion sizes. I use about 30 – 40g of granola and about 100g of yoghurt.

Nick’s Not-Low-Carb version is amazeballs:

Oats, yoghurt, bit of milk and a dash of cream, chopped fruit, all mixed up, with a liberal sprinkling of granola on top. Refrigerate overnight so that the oats soften in the yoghurt, milk and cream. Ready to go, first thing in the morning. 

Please share your go-to work day lunches and brekkies! I can always do with extra ideas! 

Love, 
Hil

* Please don’t literally rinse – this is just a phrase ūüôā

Bringing 2017 “into Focus”

Tomorrow I go back to work – my official start to 2017! We’ve had a lovely few weeks as a break, and now it’s time to face the real world again. That means it’s also time to consider what I want out of the year ahead! 

Sharon over at www.theblessedbarreness.com posted her word for the year and it got me thinking about mine. What immediately sprang to mind was the word “FOCUS”.
It’s time to focus on achieving my goals!


I’ve got to focus on my studies! I’d love to graduate with my degree at the end of 2018 and this means I need to do some some serious work in the next two years!  
I must, must, must focus on my fitness and my health. I’m officially sugar free (as of yesterday) and tomorrow I will lace up my running shoes and test my wonky tendons on the road again. I want and need to run again for a thousand reasons! 

I want to focus on doing more of the things that make me happy – writing, creating. Taking moments to lie on the grass, enjoy a cup of tea, read a book. 

Focus on being present for my family! 

Focus on finding joy and magic in each day and making the year I in which I turn 40 a fabulous one! 

I could go on and on about the things I need to focus on, but then you might lose focus and stop reading, so I’m going to sign off and focus on finding something to wear to work tomorrow! 

xxx

The Anti-Diet Project

It’s Sunday, the 1st of May. I’ve spent the last few days contemplating how I would restart my diet¬†food plan for life today. Debating whether it was viable to start today, considering it’s a Sunday and a long weekend and all. It would have been so much better if this first day of a new month fell on a working Monday…everyone knows it’s better to start a diet¬†way of eating on a Monday. But August (when the 1st of the month does actually fall on a Monday and that’s three months away, by which time I may have put on another ten kilograms by eating¬†last suppers before the diet healthy way of life begins.¬†images

I wish I could say I was just trying to be funny in that first paragraph, but that really is how my head works. I plan to start my diet eating well almost each week and sometimes I succeed for a few hours or days and sometimes I succeed for a few weeks and even months. Sometimes the will is strong and sometimes it is non-existent. Sometimes I try to make the changes holistic and I journal, support group etc etc. Sometimes I toy with the idea of a quick fix, a crash diet kick start. Even though I have learned my lesson and gotten the XL t-shirt from those supposed miracle cures, I still catch myself looking twice at an advert, or pricking up my ears when I hear a conversation about how great Mary looks after trying *insert wonder obesity cure here*.

Okay, so back to my pondering about the best way and day to start my diet way of life. It may sound a bit hippy trippy (my friends know know that I am a bit of a wannabe hippy anyway) but I’m a bit of a believer in the universe sending me messages. This week, as I searched through my Kindle app (which I haven’t touched in a while) for something new to read, I came across a book that I had bought and never read called “Intuitive Eating”. I found an unread novel too, but this book caught my attention and I kept thinking about it… that maybe I should actually try reading it. This morning, I read the prologue and a bit of the first chapter. And then I decided to do some internet research… and came across the anti-diet project¬†¬†and got to reading some of the many blog posts and I suddenly feel inspired, and a little, no actually a lot,¬†terrified.

The basic idea is re-teaching yourself the very basic, and what should be obvious, skill of eating instinctively. Eating what your body craves, when it craves it, and as much, or as little as it craves. It sounds pretty straight forward, but when you have spent over half your life dieting, it really isn’t. It’s a complete paradigm shift – away from the legal/illegal foods, the cheats, the points, the good carbs and bad carbs, the good fats and bad fats.It’s not about losing weight. That is probably the most terrifying aspect of all. I want to be thin. There! I said it. Yes, I want to be healthy and wise, but I also really want to be THIN. And this is not about being thin. It’s about being at peace with yourself, your body and your mind. And that… that is just so appealing!

I have no idea whether this new idea will bed down, take shape, grow and no promises about whether I will ever even post about this again, because it is a mere seed of a plan at this stage, but I am going to hit “Publish” on this post, and go to bed and read a bit more of the book. And for tomorrow, there will be no diet, no legal or illegal food. Somehow, I feel a little more peaceful knowing that.

If you have any thoughts on this, I would absolutely love to hear them.

 

 

Hello 2016!

New-Year_Resolutions_list
Enter a caption

My¬†first work¬†week¬†of 2016 is done. Another festive season done and it’s time to pack away the tree and it’s tinsel. Smokey the cat will miss the baubles to play with!

So I guess it’s time to think about what I want from 2016, right? As¬†I said here, I am not big on serious resolutions, but I do think the beginning of a new year is a great time to sit down and think about what I want out of the coming months.

Mostly, these are things I strive for every day of every year. But I guess it’s good to remind myself of the goals every now and then.

Actually, having looked at the dictionary definition for “resolution”, particularly the synonyms, maybe I am big on resolutions, after all:

resolution
r…õz…ôňąluňź É(…ô)n/
noun
noun: resolution; plural noun: resolutions
1. a firm decision to do or not to do something.
“she kept her resolution not to see Anne any more”

So without further ado:

My house:

  • Spend some time and (a little) money each month¬†on prettifying my house – especially the outside areas. Even if it’s just a small purchase each month, I want the outside of my home to be an extension of the d√©cor inside that we have been working on for the last few years.
  • Spend a little time each week doing small organising jobs to maintain some control on the clutter.

My work:

  • To be positive and upbeat wherever possible.
  • To look for opportunities to excel.

My family:

  • To be present and in touch.
  • To communicate well.

Me:

  • I am hoping to begin something that I have wanted to do for all my adult life. I want a degree and although I have started studies before, I have never seen them through. I labeled myself as a bit of a quitter. My experiences in the last two years of running have proved to me that maybe I am not so much of a quitter after all. Which means maybe it is time to start again and achieve the that one goal that has eluded me all these years. More on this to follow.
  • Run… just keep running, get my pace to under 8:00 min per km, finish Two Oceans (dare I hope for under 3 hours?)
  • Carry on with my LCHF/Banting lifestyle and hopefully say good bye to a few more kilograms.
  • Find time to be a little creative everyday. I’ve started a #drawsomethingevery day challenge – I am hoping that I manage to keep it up and produce something little each day. More on that later!
  • Read more
  • BE GRATEFUL and AWARE.

Over to you Рwhat are your thoughts for the year ahead?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Such a simple equation – not!

One of the reasons I joined RWFL last year was to lose weight and I certainly have lost weight. I am about 17 kilograms¬†lighter¬†than I was this time, last year. It would be awesome to say that I RunWalked the weight off, but it wouldn’t be the whole truth. I have heard it said that weight loss is 10% exercise and¬†the balance is determined by diet. I can certainly attest to that. I didn’t start losing weight, despite regular walking sessions until I got serious about my food intake.

This is the point where I could launch into an essay on my chosen food plan (LCHF) but I am going in a different direction here.

I wish it was as straightforward as eat right and move and the weight will fall off. I guess if you are boiling the ingredients for a successful weight loss recipe down to their absolute essence, then it is that simple. The reality is quite different.

If¬†running were¬†as easy¬†as just putting one foot in front of the other, it would be awesome… but lacing ¬†up my running shoes and going out on the road is¬†a huge head-game for me. Finding the motivation to keep going is a learned behaviour and I have a feeling it can easily be unlearned. I am too scared to stop moving now in case the unlearning happens ūüôā

I think the same principle is even more relevant in respect of diet.

There are so many reasons I have¬†used to eat and only one of them is Maslow’s basic need to¬†nourish my body. I eat because I am happy, sad, bored, stressed, celebratory and¬†commiseratory (yes – I just made up a word!) and every emotion in between.

To make my emotional relationship with food even more complicated, I also have an addict’s¬†relationship with sugar. Yes, that’s right¬†– I truly believe I am a¬†sugar addict. A lick of icing, a square of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk¬†or even a single Jelly Tot¬†is a slippery slope into Binge¬†Valley for me.

I am trying to unlearn these behaviours and teach myself new attitudes toward eating and it is hard, relentless work. I am having to learn to feel emotions instead of eat them and I have to learn to avoid food triggers like they’re poison. ¬†Some days I succeed in my efforts and other days I fail miserably. Some days I actually look for reasons to trip myself up… so complicated is my head! But everyday is a new day to keep trying.

keep-trying-a-poem-by-pookyThis was a tough post for me to put out to the blogosphere. It is about an issue that is deeply personal for me and I am a little nervous about putting such personal stuff out for public consumption. But it’s been in my head for a few days and if it’s still in my head, maybe it need to come¬†out on my keyboard.¬†I imagine it may resonate with some readers and seem like complete nonsense to others… either way, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Hil xxx

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