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Low Carb Breakfast Wrap to start off Diabetes Month

If you have been diagnosed with Diabetes or you are pre-diabetic and you need to make radical changes in your current diet – this low carb breakfast wrap is a filling, veggie-loaded option that promises to hit the spot without spiking your glucose levels.

Low Carb Breakfast Wrap (Serves 1)

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs, free-range
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh rocket leaves/watercress
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 medium carrot, julienned
  • 1/4 red pepper,  julienned
  • 1/4 small zucchini, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons spring onion, chopped

Method:

  1. In a small bowl, combine eggs, almond milk and spices. Beat until well combined.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a small to medium non-stick pan over medium heat for a 5 to 10 seconds.
  3. Evenly pour in the egg mixture. Cook covered over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until you can easily flip the omelette using a spatula. Flip halfway and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes on the other side.
  4. When ready, remove from heat and let cool completely, about 10 minutes.
  5.  Arrange rocket/watercress leaves on the cooled omelette. Sprinkle the feta cheese on top, then arrange the carrots, red pepper, and zucchini along the middle and sides.
  6.  Roll the omelette,  and then cut in half. Season with salt and pepper.

Filling variations:

  • Smoked salmon/trout
  • Curried butter beans
  • Hummus and avocado

 

The Banting Round Up- My opinion

My opinion My opinion
For me personally, I have really enjoyed my version. I love the meals I eat and the nuts I snack on. My energy is fine, weight stable, wallet balanced and cholesterol down. Because my cholesterol is low I can fall off the wagon once in a while and endulge in a bit of starch, unlike if I was doing full banting. So this makes it easier socially.

For the general public-YES to cutting out sugar, refined starch, processed and convenience foods. Wonderful work Tim! I also agree that gluten and wheat could cause issues to some people. So another bonus.

UNSURE on how easy it is to adhere to considering social circumstances and temptation.
WORRIED about the high amount of protein associated with higher fat options. What are the effects on the organs? Cancer effects if not free range or organic? Also, cutting down on fibre and certain micronutrients like B vitamins and calcium in fruits, vegetables, dairy and grains, not great at all. VERY WORRRIED that people are “doing certain parts of the diet” and cheating with carbs. Double whamming it on this front is going to cause havoc to heart health.

Overall
If done correctly this diet can work however you should definitely speak to a dietitian to guide you.
I would suggest my version (or something along those lines) to my clients which reflects similar principles to a low carb Mediterranean diet. I think this may be a better option especially in the long term.

Happy eating 🙂

 

The Banting Round Up 2

General health
Great- no problems. I have been a bit tired lately but that is probably from overworking and under sleeping. My great news is that I have been less bloated and my cholesterol dropped amazingly! Yay! But this is definitely based on the unsaturated fats. Most people doing real banting have the opposite effect and see a sharp increase. As I mentioned before, cholesterol isn’t the main heart disease culprit. However it is an associated risk factor if your blood sugar is slightly raised. So this is really important to remember if you do Bant- you cannot cheat otherwise you will be sitting with a double whammy of high cholesterol and blood sugar- BAM, heart attack here you come.

Expense
I didn’t notice such an increase compared to most people doing real Banting, as I didn’t buy loads of red meat and saturated fats like butter and cream. My groceries we similar to before- huge amounts of veg, yoghurt, tuna, salmon, sardines, eggs, Avos, nuts and seeds. So where I saved on starch I spent on extra fats.

Socially
I really battled. Generally you can always opt for a salad when eating out, but it’s awkward to always be the “fussy” one. And it’s damn tempting when everyone else is eating pasta and pizza. It’s do-able especially with many of the restaurants becoming banting-friendly, but it’s is a dampener.

More coming tomorrow….the final opinion!

 

The Banting Round Up 1

As you all know I have been giving the Royal Banting a whirl, as a sneaky Banting (aka Tim Noakes diet) taster. Two months in and this is what I have to say…..

My aim- to give my clients a subjective opinion on this type of diet.
My version- the Royal Banting- low carb (100g max), medium protein and high unsaturated fat. This works along similar principles to the Tim Noakes Diet however I just couldn’t face the saturated fats….yes yes I know, eating the saturated fats and increasing cholesterol is not the sole indicator of heart disease but I err on the side of caution and decided to give this a go on unsaturated fats.

I know that my opinion is based on my own version, but hopefully this will give you an idea about certain aspects. The fact that my diet is low carb and high fat, still gets me into ketogenisis which is the effect I was after in order to give my opinion…..

Dietitians opinion

Energy
Initially I dipped in the afternoons and felt quite lethargic and moody. However after the first 7-10 days I was over the carb-flu symptoms. Now my energy levels are great. I wouldn’t say any better than when I was eating a high carb diet though. Training-wise, I’ve been eating nuts during my training or races and have been surprisingly fine. One triathlon involved 8 degree water and an ice-cream headache from hell so on the cycle I inhaled a quarter of a GU, but this was more in desperation to get caffeine into my body to get over the headache.

Appetite
This was my main point of interest when I started the diet because after the half ironman I was so sick and tired of always being starving and having to eat constantly….gaining weight in the interim, despite exercising for 2-4 hours a day.
So a quick physiology background- When you are in ketosis, the ketones signal to your brain saying that you are satisfied, so your appetite is reduced. In actual fact you are in the same state you would be in if you were starved. Hmmmm, okay so the jury is out on this point regarding long term safety…
But awesome news- my appetite definitely deminished. So yes ketosis worked in that sense but what are the chronic effects?

Weight
Initially I was quite strict and followed a well controlled Royal Banting diet. However as time progressed I started reaching for more and more nuts…eeeeek. So in the beginning I dropped 2 % body fat and gained 2 kg of muscle (oh yeah, but wait..). As I write this I am back to normal pre-diet. DAMN THOSE NUTS!

I will be posting more on my experiment tomorrow, so keep posted 🙂

 

Banting Diaries Updated

The past month has been exceptionally exciting from a personal and professional point of view.
I have been my own subject in this trial. It all stated with Tim Noakes when he shook the nutrition world…”saturated fat and cholesterol are not the enemy and weight loss and health can be achieved by eating animal fats”.. The hype caught on like wildfire and every man and his grandmother were “Banting”. So in order to give my best professional opinion I took on the challenge like a stubborn Jack Russel.

Research on Banting and keeping up with Tim’s claims became my obsession. Eggs, the green list vegetables and tuna dominated my grocery list. Every conversation centered around my new diet and Tim’s work. Packets of almonds encroached their way into my handbag, desk drawers and lunch boxes. Training runs and races became fueled on Avos, eggs and nuts.

My Banting did deviate however from Tim’s- you see from a conservative point of view I was nervous to increase my cholesterol. Yes I know that cholesterol is not the only risk factor for heart disease and high blood glucose is the main culprit. But I am still unsure of the long term effects of a diet high in red meat and saturated fats. Also over the last year or so I have been leaning towards a pescatarian diet (only having fish and eggs) and could not be happier. And so the “Royal Banting” diet was developed….remember it…it’ll be famous soon 😉

20140514-075235.jpgRoyal Banting is based on vegetables, unsaturated fats, lean proteins (mainly eggs and fish) and a small amount of dairy. I restrict and try to totally avoid fruits (sadly), starch and sugar (obviously).

I am actually very proud of this diet…here are the benefits…
I have reduced my hunger from insatiable to comfortable. I am no longer clawing at the fridge after excerise or a long day. This is because I have reduced carbs to about 70g per day. And this, my good people, is what ketosis is all about. Read my earlier post for info on this.I have reduced my body fat by 2% and increased my muscle by 2kg.

I am waaaay less bloated and no longer worry about the pregnant questions- because I’m NOT! The greatest news- my cholesterol has reduced….for the first time in my life I had a cholesterol test that was not flagged. Woohooooo! My bad LDL cholesterol dropped by 0.7, my triglycerides halved and my good HDL cholesterol increased by 0.22 to a very healthy 2.4…guys I’m doing my happy dance as I type, this is so exciting to me.

 

  •  My HBA1c (long term blood glucose control) is perfect at 5.2.
  • A few cons are that I battle when social circumstances arise…
  • Eating out can be hard, but I have started exchanging starch options for extra veg or salad.
  • I avoid alcohol or have a dry white wine or red wine (not rose) or stick to clear spirits with soda water.
  • Sweets or confectionery are tough but I am experimenting with Banting-baking
  • Snacks can be tough….however I am working on something very exciting that will solve all of this…keep posted
  • Overall I am one happy “Royal Banter”.

Please send me your comments or questions…I want to hear it all, good and bad! Alexroyaldiet@gmail.com

 

The Banting Dietitian

If you are a first time visitor here I will need to fill you in on what my other faithful readers already know-
I am a dietitian. I am as passionate about sport and exercise as I am about a healthy lifestyle, medicine and nutrition. I dabble in endurance sport, having done many half marathons, long cycle races and half ironman 70.3. I am always busy and very very active. I also have high familial cholesterol and I am pescatarian (eating fish and eggs).
The reason I am outlining all of this is because it forms a vital foundation to why and how I am going to embark on the Banting diet.

alex

The Banting Dietitan = ME

So why did I embark- I am trying out this diet in order to provide my clients with an honest opinion on how easy or hard it is to follow. I want to know all the benefits and disadvantages first hand. I also have my personal goals….read on…
The science is there- why would anyone deny this. There are studies available. But in terms of weight loss it all boils down to energy consumption and adherence. Let me explain…

The background- First tried by Banting in the 1860’s and resurrected by Tim Noakes currently, the basic science behind it is as follows: in order to reduce overall energy intake the body needs to transition into a ketotic state. This happens when the brain utilizes fat as a fuel source instead of glucose as you are cutting carb sufficiently. So normally the brain uses glucose. If you don’t consume this source it uses ketones. A result of this is an “anorexic” effect- where the appetite is satisfied, avoiding hunger pangs and cravings. Thereby reducing energy intake in a natural physiological way. Resulting in weight loss.

BANTING

BANTING

Scientific studies that are being brought to the table now also highlight that saturated fat and cholesterol are not the culprits of heart disease. Sugar, as we have always known, is the evil factor. You see sugar reacts with protein in the blood forming a crystal like substance that disrupts the intima lining of the blood vessels. This “roughened” and inflammed vessel catches cholesterol plaques which cause a clot and heart disease.

So my aim- as mentioned I do a bit of endurance sport. When I was training two to four hours a day I was thrilled with the idea of a potentially trim, lean, hot bod…however much to my disappointment this was not the end result. I was constantly starving and always ready to devour a PB sandwich and what ever else I could find in the kitchen…and all I wanted was carb, carb , CAAAAARB! My body fat did drop, thank goodness but not as predicted….

I have always respected prof Noakes and the “new” controversial science that he has uncovered from years ago and I have always kept up to date with his teachings. So the idea of a reduced appetite was an intriguing factor, one that I am aiming to achieve in my own personal trial.

So far- I am only day 5 in. I am happy eating my full cream yoghurt and nuts for breakfast, tuna salad for lunch, fish and vegetables for dinner and eggs as an alternative for some of the meals. I do get a bit nibbly sometimes and have nuts or salad with avo as a snack. Energy slumps are a bit of a problem, but it is manageable as I transition away from my “carb dependence”. I know Tim would say I need more energy dense (fatty) meats to avoid this, but I am pescatarian for ethical reasons, so I will do it this way until I cannot go on and then reassess.

It is an exciting time being a dietitian…..keep posted….

It’s all a Revolution

I haven’t written an inspirational post in quite a while. Life has been going…and going fast.
Work has been incredible. Clinical work has even growing in leaps and bounds. So much interesting data and studies on the rise. Private work has been equally amazing and revolutionary. I use this term firstly to describe how my clients lives change in front of my eyes. They often walk through my doors unhappy with their bodies, disoppointed that they have lost control and feel helpless. I am blessed that I have a profession that allows me to give them the tools to change this, to REVOLUTIONIZE this. They leave literally glowing. Shining with new found confidence. They thank me for the inspiration but I cannot be more grateful for the inspiration they have given me. Sometimes I feel like I’m cheating when I say I’m going to “work”…I’m just out helping my friends achieve body goals and self respect. I sound so cheesy but I don’t care. It’s true.

Secondly, I use the term revolutionary to describe the scientific shift that we find ourselves in. Prof Tim Noakes has helped shock our nation into understanding the danger of sugar and refined carbs. He has also urged those unhappy with their current diet to embark on the Banting diet. This is a fantastic way to achieve certain goals but it is not for everyone and should be done only if 100% committed. And I would suggest it be done under the supervision of a dietitian that appreciates TIm’s teachings.