LCHF Back to Basic November!

For those of you who have been following my blog from the start – know that I was not sold on this diet from the beginning. However, due to the excellent results that my brother who is diabetic had from being on this diet, I became intrigued, and decided that I needed to check it out on my own.

After completing my self imposed one month challenge – I was loving the results and I decided to extend the challenge for two months. After that two month period, I was convinced, I am now an LCHF convert! I absolutely love this way of eating and living! My body felt stronger, my skin had improved remarkably, my nails were harder and I generally had a feeling of well being.

However, as the months passed, I have felt my self be increasingly liberal with my diet. Although I am 100% committed to the idea of LCHF I was allowing small amounts of carbs and sugars back into my diet, and increasingly making exceptions. I know for a fact this is because we have recently moved to Brazil and we are being more social than usual in an effort to make friends. Coupled with the fact that I am lucky to be very healthy person, I am not overweight, thus have no real ‘need’ to be on this diet more than the fact that I think it is the right thing to do!

But it is time to real in the reigns!

Starting tomorrow, on the 1st of November – I am going back to LCHF old-school style! What does that mean? Well just being super restrictive with the amount of carbs, sugar and starch that I am putting into my body. I actually think it is worth doing this every couple of months, to keep yourself on track and to remind yourself of the benefits.

And incase you guys need reminding or would like to join me here are the general rules of LCHF and what I intend to eat in the next 30 days (note: if it is not on this list, it is not LCHF!):

Golden Rule No. 1: Eat when your hungry and until you are sated. Do not count calories or weigh your food and absolutely avoid all low fat products!

Golden Rule No. 2: Eat meat, fish, poultry, eggs, all above ground vegetables and of course natural fats.

Golden Rule No. 3: Eat food that has a maximum 5g of carbs per 100g of food.

Golden Rule No. 4: Cut out all processed and unnatural food, and cut out any food product that is low fat (this deserves a double emphasis!).

If I follow these rules closely – I think I will be doing pretty well in November! So what am I allowed to eat?

  • Meat: All types: beef, pork, chicken and game – fat and all! There will be no removing the chicken skins or cutting away the fat – these are the best bits 🙂
  • Fish and Shellfish: All types: especially fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel or herring. However, unfortunately in Brasilia it is hard to come by fresh fish and seafood, so I will not be eating this as much as I should.
  • Eggs: All types: chicken, duck and quail. Prepared how you like it boiled, fried, omelets or scrambled – your choice!
  • Natural Fat, High-Fat Sauces: Using olive oil, coconut oil, butter and cream when cooking. Not only does it make your food taste amazingly it will also make you feel more sated.
  • Vegetables that Grow Above Ground: The list is quite extensive but here are a few to think about: all types of cabbage (ex. cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts), asparagus, courgettes (zucchini), aubergines (eggplants), olives, spinach, lettuce, mushrooms, cucumber, avocado, onions, peppers, tomatoes…the list goes on!
  • Dairy products: Always select full-fat options like real butter, cream (40% fat), sour cream, Greek/Turkish yogurt and high-fat cheeses. Be careful with regular milk and skim milk as they contain a lot of milk sugar.
  • Nuts: Good snack option.

Now, my problem is the alcohol and chocolate! What exactly is moderation?…I HATE that term. What I consider moderation may not be moderation to someone else. So during November this is my goal:

  • Alcohol: Once a week in unlimited quantities  – I have to be realistic! 😉 However this is limited to wine and straight spirits (absolutely NO sugary mixers including juice!). It is a good thing that I really like whiskey on the rocks!
  • Chocolate:  The jury is still out on this one. My favourite indulgence during the day is having a couple pieces of dark chocolate after dinner. However, I am going to try and cut this down dramatically!

Last night at dinner, after I had announced my November plan a girlfriend said that she would never be able to do this, carbs were such an important part of her meals and what exactly was I going to eat. In case you are thinking the same – here are a few photos of very LCHF meals….lets see if you need any further convincing 🙂

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Smoked Salmon and cream cheese on seed bread! (breakfast or snack!)

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Mice meat stuffed aubergine with melted cheese!

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Double burger with bacon, sauteed onions and melted cheese – serve with a salad.

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Pork chops with cream mustard sauce and roasted cauliflower (avoid the carrots if being skirt)

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Stuffed peppers with meat sauce with melted cheese

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Roast Salmon with pesto & cheese topping

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Courgette noodles with pesto dressing

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Roasted Chicken with Oregano and Lemon

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Steak with a red wine and mushroom sauce!

I challenge any one to tell me these dishes are boring and they could not possibly eat an LCHF diet! 🙂

What are your thoughts? Do you want to join me and challenge yourself in November? 🙂

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LCHF Diet vs Paleo Diet vs Ketogenic Diet!

When I first started reading about LCHF there was so much information out there, that I found myself rather confused. Is LCHF the same as Paleo? What about Paleo and Ketogenic? What on earth is Ketogenic, it sounds scary?

After months of reading up on LCHF, it seems slightly clearer to me – but sometimes I still have trouble defining the lines! However, if you are new to the world of LCHF or if you are just trying to find a diet that suite you, hopefully this post can shed some light on what can be a rather confusing topic, and point you in the right direction!

First let’s start with the easiest one.

LCHF diet vs Ketogenic Diet

As I understand it – they are two different names for exactly the same thing!!  Whether you are on a LCHF diet or a Ketogenic diet, you are eating a LOW CARBOHYDRATE, HIGH FAT diet.

I’m not sure why 2 different names have developed to talk about the same thing, but my personal opinion is the a Ketogenic diet sounds more professional and scientific compared to the acronym LCHF! Yet, at the same time I like how straight forward and approachable the name LCHF is. It does exactly what it says on the tin! There is no confusion – it is a Low Carb High Fat diet!

LCHF Diet vs Paleo Diet

There is far more confusion on this topic, primarily because there is so much overlap. So let’s start with what they both have in common:

Both LCHF and Paleo believe the following:

  • Our modern diet that is heavy in refined foods, trans fats and sugars are the root causes of the degenerative diseases that we see are rampant in today’s society. Diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
  • They both focus on the consumption of natural unprocessed food. The type of food that our ancestors ate and the type of food our body knows how to process.
  • Both diets are lifestyle choices. They are not ‘fad’ diets or ‘lose weight quick’ diets – but rather a way of life.
  • Both diets exclude grain in all form – rice, pasta, bread, wheat, flour, quinoa etc etc.
  • Both diets exclude legumes
  • Both diets are rich in animal protein

However it is when you come down to the nitty gritty of what you can and cannot eat where you will see the main difference between LCHF and Paleo:

  • Carbohydrates and starches
    • LCHF – Obviously the name says it all. You aim to consumer very low amounts of carbohydrates. 50g a day is the absolute maximum carbs allowed (and that is being very liberal). This means all fruit are off limits and certain vegetables (especially root  vegetables) are limited.
    • Paleo – Like it’s name implies, it focuses on food that our ancestors ate before the introduction of agriculture. However there is no restriction on carbs as long as they are not starchy carbs such as potatoes, or food that a hunter/gatherer could not get a hold of.
  • Diary
    • LCHF – not only includes dairy products in their diet but embraces it! Especially products such as cream, yoghurt and cheese – just make sure they are full fat products, and stay away from anything low fat!
    • Paleo –  does not allow dairy.
  • Saturated Fat
    • LCHF – very important to the diet. As consumption of carbs are so low, saturated fat is the primary source of energy.
    • Paleo – although saturated fat is not restricted, it does not seem to be as an important ingredient in the diet as LCHF.

As I have mentioned before on my blog – I am not an LCHF expert! I am definitely not a Paleo expert and more importantly I am not a nutritional expert. The information I am providing you today, is information to help you make your own decision and help distinguish between two similar types of thinking!

Hopefully I have shed some light onto what can be a rather daunting and intimidating topic! But I am a firm believer in doing your own research and seeing what diet suites you best. Try them both if you need to. I do not believe that one is better than the other, but its important to know the difference 🙂

Spicy Tomato Soup with Chevre

Everytime C is not around for dinner I make things that I like which he is not too fond of, that includes tomatoes, aubergines, beetroot and in my former days…rice!

So last night, I made a spicy tomato soup with pumpkin chips….the chips did not work that well as I burnt more than half of them – but the potential is there, I just need to fine tune that recipe.

The tomato soup hit the spot however – and by adding that dollop of chevre really makes the soup standout (plus adds all that good fat that we need)!

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If you have your own way of making tomato soup – try adding chevre in next time, or you can use my Spicy Tomato Soup recipe here.

Enjoy 🙂

Easy One-Pot LCHF Meal!

I made this the other night for dinner, Lemon & Oregano Roast Chicken  – it was super simple and best of all, it looked after itself!

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Now I realise that there is beer in this recipe so let me clear up two things:

1. I only had beer in the house because a friend brought a pack over during the weekend, and this is what was left over. Please don’t judge me! 😉

2. Swap out the beer with the same amount of white wine or to be even more LCHF friendly with the same amount of chicken-stock and you are good to go 🙂

I served this with a roasted parmesan cheese cauliflower and it was a really lovely meal.

You can find the recipe over at The Travelling Chopsticks

I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did 🙂

Dr. Oz Agrees that Saturated Fat is Good For Us!

Hey guys!

I’m so excited to post these next video for you all – did you know that such a well known figure such as Dr. Oz has come on the LCHF bandwagon and has publicly agreed that that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease but rather sugar is the culprit!

This show was aired in August of 2012, way before I got interested in LCHF so this may be old news for you guys, but I was pretty excited when I came across them today. Do you realise what a big step forward this is in terms of changing the wider audiences attitude towards saturated fat? He also does a superb job of explaining cholesterol and how it works in your body!

In case you are interested here are the links:

Dr. Oz on the Cholesterol Controversy, Part 1

Dr. Oz on the Cholesterol Controversy, Part 2

Dr. Oz on Cholesterol Controversy – Finale

I also found the full length video on youtube, but the quality is not very good – but just incase you want to watch everything quickly I have also included that below!

I don’t know about you guys, but I got very excited when I saw this, it is people like Dr. Oz, who has such an immense following throughout the world that can make a difference and really hit home the idea that sugar is bad for us!

Inspiration and Zucchini Spaghetti with Pesto

Have you guys seen this buzzfeed yet?

http://www.buzzfeed.com/christinebyrne/satisfying-low-carb-dinners

23 Super Satisfying Low Carb Dinner – it really gave me such good inspiration for upcoming meals! And as luck would have it, I nearly had all the ingredients at home for No. 9 Pesto Zucchini Spaghetti today, so I made it for lunch!

I don’t know why I haven’t made this before! I have often seen recipes substituting spaghetti with zucchini and it never really grabbed my attention, but as I had everything at home today it seemed that it was a sign 🙂

Unfortunately I don’t have a mandoline, so I made the ‘noodles’ the old fashioned way – julienned them with a knife! It took a while, but I got there in the end.

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It was delicious! It really felt as though I was eating pasta (just slightly watery)! I will definitely be making zucchini spaghetti again, and straight after I post this entry I will be ordering a mandoline on Amazon (it was just too much work by hand!).

What do you guys normally substitute pasta with?

A quick LCHF meal!

Hey guys – this is what I made for dinner last night:

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Roasted Salmon with Pesto and Parmesan Topping!

This is an updated recipe from an old Delia Smith classic. For those of you do not know Delia Smith, she is arguably my favourite chef! Her recipes are always spot on, easy and tasteful and you really should visit her website and get inspired, see if you can update any of her recipes to be LCHF friendly 🙂

http://www.deliaonline.com/

Instead of using breadcrumbs I finally chopped up some wallnuts – and the result was fantastic! Such a simple swap to make this LCHF friendly, and it has really inspired me to try this technique with other recipes! Hmm I wonder if it would work with wienerschnitzel?

And do you know what the best thing about this recipe is? You will have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes? Whats not to love?

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For the recipe – head on over to The Travelling Chopsticks! I hope you enjoy it 🙂