Butter – it’s brilliant! 21 October 2015.


Above is a link to an article that was published in today’s Irish Independent extolling the virtues of butter. It’s so interesting to read all the articles published in many different papers and magazines suggesting that the current obesity epidemic can be directly linked to the advice on cutting saturated fats from our diets – have a look below:


and then marry that to a study from the New England journal of Medicine in 2000:


Tim Noakes of Realmealrevolution.com argues that as the population increased their carbohydrate intake to compensate for the newly reduced fat intake, rates of obesity soared. They have continued to rise ever since.

An article in the UK Independent also explained that butter was in fact one of the new “good fats” – and Irish butter in particular is prized by many because it comes from exclusively grass fed cows – nobility in butter society!

One of the biggest findings in recent years is that the supposed link between heart disease and saturated fat does not exist. An excess of anything is bad for you, but remember banting is never about excesses – it is about eating good nutritious healthy unprocessed foods, and feeling healthy as a result.

Let’s have a quick look at some of the benefits of lovely creamy butter:

  • Butter contains glycospingolipids – basically stuff that’s good for your gastrointestinal tract – it keeps it healthy!
  • Butter can guard against degenerative arthritis
  • Butter is great for your brain – which apparently is made up of a lot of fat – it kind of looks like that doesn’t it – and butter contains oleic acid – lots of it – to help maintain the myelin coating on those neurons.
  • Grassfed butter such as ours is full of something else – called CLAs or conjugated linoleic acids, as well as aforementioned oleic acid, and myristic acid – all of which have proven cancer fighting properties.
  • Butter is a great source of Vitamins A, E and K2 – which is important in the prevention of osteoporosis.

What’s not to love there? Even Time magazine jumped on the story as far back as June 2014 – butter was on the front page! Not as glamorous as the cover of Vogue but you never know!

time magazine

Now my brother is worried that I am eating vast quantities of butter every day – a mention of 800gms at one point! Not true. As with everything else in life it should be taken in moderation. As a banter I take in about 1400 calories a day. I might take 150 of those calories in the form of butter – that’s all – about an ounce an day – it is so luscious and rich – this evening I dropped half an ounce in on top of my scramble before eating – how divine!

Other oils that are very good for us are the fish oils – I find salmon delicious – and extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil has other oils added but if the label says extra virgin the producers are obliged by law to add nothing else to the product.

Coconut oil is also really good for you, or palm oil – one which I had thought was not good. They are the best ones to cook with as olive oil changes colour as soon as it hits 180 degrees so it is better to use cold.

Banting recommends you avoid all seed oils because of the chemicals used in the extraction of said oils. However, if like me you have to live as well as try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, don’t sweat about the occasional meal out that has sunflower oil in the salad dressing – it won’t kill us – at least not quickly!

Go on – get out that butter – you know you want to!


What’s the story anyway? October 7 2015.

dinner 7.10.15

Dinner tonight in our house.

Having watched Donal’s film I sat at the computer and googled Real Meal Revolution to see what he was talking about. What I found was a free week of classes on what is called the beginner banting course. Just as well it was in holiday time as I spent the best part of three days devouring the free week information. I signed up for the five week course almost immediately. It cost me the princely sum of $49 – about €43 to get access to the whole site. Here’s the link if you want to have a look. Be warned – there’s a lot of information.


Anyway if you don’t want to sign up for the free week or even read any of what is in there I will give you the gist of it. Basically you need to be eating about 70% of your calories from fat, 25% of your calories from protein and then 5% from carbs. That sounds complicated but isn’t. It sounds impossible but isn’t. It sounds sickening – isn’t that either! It is so satisfying that after day 1 I never looked back.

So how do you do that without having to spend hours studying the videos and notes and recipes?

You give up two things – carbs and sugar. You don’t eat potato, rice, pasta, bread or porridge – or any other carb loaded food. You also give up processsed sugar of every type both natural and artificial. The only sugar that should pass your lips should come from some berries on occasion and a sweetener or two in your cofee to start with in the mornings. Oh and the weekend wine – I’m never giving that up – in fact now it has become all the more enjoyable because I imagine it as such a luxury.

I should have said give up three things! You give up the guilt. Stop punishing yourself every time you put food in your mouth. Stop agonising over calories. Stop dreading nights out because you are afraid you’ll binge and lose control and then give up on yourself all over again.

Now it all sounds a bit drastic and like just anonther fad diet – but it’s not. It is based in sound medical fact. In recent years there has been a glut of articles suddenly suggesting that in fact natural fats are better for you than low fat alternatives – people are moving back to butter and full fat yoghurts – why? Because the alternatives are so full of additives and chemicals that they cannot be better for you than a less processed alternative. The name itself – Banting actually refers to a real person – one William Banting who was a rather corpulant British undertaker to the Royal Family in the 1800s in London. He went to a physician who took him off all sugar, saccharine  – who knew it existed in the 1870s – bread and potatoes. He ate four meals a day and thrived. He was so excited by the results of his new eating plan that he published a pamphlet at his own expense expounding the virtues of the regime – hmm – sounds familiar – I’m not the first zealot then!

The first week was tough – not because I was hungry but because I didn’t really know what to eat. On the website they give you a few helpful recipes to start – cauliflower mash was the first – sounds gross – was quite lovely the first few days and we haven’t had it since – basically a head of cauliflower steamed and then pureed to a mash like consistency with about 3 ozs of butter in it. Yum! It was a good one to start with because it looked like mash and tasted a lot like it too – the psychology of that was important. The other recipe was for a pureed combination of spinach and broccoli – with cream and butter – I added to taste – again lovely, but we did wonder would we ever eat real food again.

I lost 8.5 pounds that first week. I’ve been down the depleted glycogen stores road before so I knew that a lot of that was stored water, but in five years I hadn’t managed to lose that much weight in a week of trying. The psychological boost was enormous. Coupled with the decision my husband made after only two days, that he was going to join me, made it easy to try for just one more week.

The most amazing part was that I was never hungry. Not once. I ate as much as I wanted whenever I wanted. I lost all taste for sugar after that first day. I felt full and if I didn’t I ate some more.

Here’s a sample day from that first week…….

Breakfast : 2 eggs scrambled in half an ounce of butter

Dinner: 8 ozs roast chicken, half an avocado, 1.5 ozs of cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, drizzle of garlic infused extra virgin olive oil

Tea: Seed crackers (recipe below), Philadelphia Cream Cheese and a creamy coffee – with 2 fl ozs of cream in.

No hunger. You’d be surprised how easy it is to lose the potato when you substitute with higher fat items. The other thing which is great is that none of it is processed – it’s not raw – I’m not an extremist for God’s sake – but it is all very natural and very healthy.

I bought nuts and ate those. There’s a fabulous Irish site called Nutsinbulk.ie where they sell macadamias which are the best nut of all to eat. I also drank plenty of water. They recommend you drink only two cups of coffee or four cups of tea a day – I tried to give up tea last year – after four days my family begged me to go back on it – this time – no problem. I take either one or two cups of coffee a day, no more.

So. There’s an awful lot of information there. It was a hard first week as I say but as the weeks went by I realised that we don’t have to eat baby mush every night and load our veg with butter – really, David I don’t – to follow this lifestyle. We just eat healthy natural food.

In the next post I’ll share the list of green foods – those you can eat when you are hungry – obviously if you eat 4000 calories a day you won’t lose weight – but you know what – you won’t be able to eat 4000 calories when you are eating such nutrient dense food.

Seed Crackers

100gms linseed

100gms pumpkin seeds

100 gms sunflower seeds

60 gms sesame seeds

3 tblsp psyllium husk – available in Health food shops!

400 mls water.

Mix all the seeds and the psyllium husk in together and then pour on the water. Add lots of Himalayan Pink Salt and some pepper if you like. Leave to – congeal is the only word to describe it really and then spread it out very thinkly onto two silicon mats or greaseproof paper – it will never come off the bare oventray. Bake at 150 celcius fan oven for about an hour – keep an eye  – picture below shows how they should look. They are perfect with cheese and absolutely gorgeous with lots of good Irish butter!


Himalayan Salt – available in good butchers of all places