I said I would share the green list of foods with you – last time I told you all the bad foods so this evening – as it’s Friday and that’s worth celebrating in itself, here is the list of good foods of which you can eat an abundance. Like I said before, it is quite difficult to overdo it at first because the foods are often so rich and creamy that the taste alone fills you up. Prof Noakes on the website says at first to just follow the eating plan and don’t worry about quantity. It tends to take care of itself.
So – on the green list are:
Fats – animal especially, and either coconut or extra virgin olive oil. Plenty of butter – real Irish butter, from grass fed cows – the Realmealrevolution.com are big into grass fed – Ireland is a perfect banting zone – apart from our historic attachment to the potato obviously.
Meat and eggs – It’s okay at the start to eat a lot of meat if you like – just to fill your plate if you feel the distinct lack of carb there – but this is not the Atkins Diet – have enough but not too much – and most meals should include at least some protein. Best ones I find are fish, smoked or plain, and eggs – glorious eggs. For the first two weeks I ate scrambled eggs every morning – made in the frying pan for expediency – half an ounce – or an ounce if I felt like it – of butter, two eggs thrown in when the butter was almost melted. Left them for a minute then smashed them with a wooden spatula and liberally salted and peppered them. To die for.
You can of course have steak – sirloin is good as its fat content is higher than fillet. Take lots of bacon, streaky or back, but try to avoid the smoked ones with sugar in – it’s very hard to find dry cured but they are the best. A good butcher will tell you if they are dry cured or not. Pork and chicken are good too – eat the skin of the chicken, or the wings or legs! We have used the barbecue almost every evening since we started – rain or shine – to cook our meat – divine! If you can get gluten free sausages buy them in bulk and freeze them. Did you know practically all sausages contain wheat derivatives? Not these babies however – a great find in M&S the other day – and gorgeous with fried eggs or streaky rashers.
Vegetables – the plan will tell you to bulk up with veg – really there is little need to bulk up on anything but feel free to eat all veg that grows on the surface of the ground – apart from butternut squash. That sounds difficult. It isn’t. Basically we eat lots of broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, courgette, mushrooms (in butter) and peppers – although because they are sweet they are a bit higher in carbs. Also on the list are things like aubergine, tomatoes, asparagus. I have a fabulous vegetarian recipe for an aubergine and courgette gateau with mozarella and tomato sauce – I’ll share it again – but I realised it is a perfect banting dish. Onions are there too but again when you cook them for a while they caramelise – a sign that there’s sugar there so we don’t really eat them so much. My husband’s favourite soup is tomato – now he has it whenever he likes – easy as pie – passata and cream mixed together and heated up with one spoon of Xylitol and a little garlic and salt and pepper to taste.
Dairy – if you’re female – be aware – for some reason known only to the Maker Himself women don’t do so well when we eat lots of dairy. Men seem to do just fine. I don’t mean eat none – eat lots of butter, and full fat cream – divine in coffee – what’s not to love on this plan I ask you! I find Philadelphia Cream Cheese is also good and doesn’t mess with the plan. I have discovered that if I eat crackers and cheese every lunchtime however my body likes to hold on to the weight more hungrily than when I eat avocado say, or fish. I still eat cheese and I often have yoghurt – full fat Greek is the only one – and that seems to be okay. I buy my Greek yoghurt in Lidl – it’s very good.
Nuts and Seeds – I love macadamias. I only really realised this following this plan – and I found out yesterday that they are more readily available than I thought. Thanks Sinead for the share – I know where I’m going in the morning.
Other good nuts are pecans, hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts. I made granola the first week then thought – too much trouble – now I bash a few hazelnuts, pecans and walnuts in the mortar and pestle – throw in a little nutmeg and cinnamon and that is just as lovely. I get mine in Lidl mostly although Supervalu has great value in hazelnuts – when they are in stock. Pine nuts are great too – lovely in a salad. Another banting friendly recipe springs to mind – and one I’ll share again – the broccoli and feta salad in Avoca, with toasted hazelnuts. Yum!
Don’t fall for the peanuts, cashews or pistachios – lovely as they are, they are not as good for you as the others, as their carb count is very high compared to almost zero with the ones above.
I have linseed – or flaxseed, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds in good supply in the house. The girls love to add the poppy seeds to their yoghurt now – and a teaspoon meets your iron needs for the day – who knew such a tiny baby packed such a healthy punch!
You may wonder where the fruit is – it isn’t. Well at least there’s not too much of it. Basically I am following this plan because I have a taste for sugar so it is only natural that I am avoiding sugary foods as much as possible. And fruit falls into that category, except for berries – blackberries, raspberries, blueberries… I have some kind friends who gave me some fresh berries in September which I froze – otherwise I just use the frozen mix – but I boil them first as a precaution then store them in the fridge for a couple of days.
That’s it. There’s quite a lot of food there – and all of it delicious.
Next time, I’ll tell you about sugar and a dessert you might even choose over a more sugary alternative!