Reining it in

Self constraint has never been one of my skills. Hence my current weight. I’ve always been a ‘You Only Live Once’ self-indulgent only child. This is compounded from growing up in the free spirited ’70s. You may only live once but you might not live that long of course if you don’t look after yourself.

I am trying so hard to adhere to the Banting eating plan. I’ve lost 6kgs but I’m plateauing here as I have weighed the same for a few days now. We have been eating really well.

I even made a Banting cottage pie. Instead of the potato I steamed a huge bag of cauliflower and popped it in the food processor to purée, dropping in 2 egg yolks and 3 giant knobs of butter. 

To cook the meat I used my trusty La Crueset pot and cooked the beef mince with 4 rashers of chopped up back bacon in butter until browned. I removed the beef to fry an onion, an entire yellow pepper, 4 sticks of celery and lots of garlic in the pan. Once browned I removed it to liquidize it for fussy Lily. I added this mixture and the meat to the pan and added diced tomatoes, tomato paste, mushrooms and stock. You are supposed to make your own stock for proper Banting but that’s too much. I checked the labels on Woolies Organic as well as the Knorr stock pots and both contain added sugar! Whyyyy???? I had tons of both in the cupboard before Banting which really shouldn’t be used.

The lowly stock cube appeared to be the least deadly so I added a cup of stock. All this magic simmered away until thickened. Then I added the meat mixture to the base of my pan, topped it with my caulimash and a layer of grated cheese.

It was soooo good. I also promised in my last blog to give you a report on my Banting lasagna.

  It might not look that pretty but it was lush. I substituted zucchini for the pasta. It was really yummy. And again, no carbs.

 We had chicken which I baked. I fried mushrooms in garlic butter, then when both were cooked I threw in cream and some cheese and then covered the chicken and stirred it round to absorb the contents of that lovely browned pan. We just had a pile of broccoli drizzled in lemon. 

Another night we had thick fillet steaks rubbed in garlic and fried in coconut oil. I fried some mushrooms in garlic butter and at the end added a bit of cream and some grated cheddar to thicken. I made a huge salad with walnuts and goats cheese, avo, cucumber and rosa tomatoes.

Friday night was Lily’s 25th birthday party braai at our house. 


Norm and I were relaxing after work in our room when we heard a huge crash and smashing of glass. We ran downstairs to find Lily’s friend Peggy sitting in the bar area surrounded by broken bottles and a lounge that smelt like a pub. She managed to break several six packs. Kids. 

They seemed to have a good night and the boys did a great job cooking the meat, the food was delicious.

I made potato salad for the guests but didn’t even lick a spoon. I didn’t have a drink. I didn’t eat a crisp or cracker. When the oopsies (bacon wrapped round a skewer) were cooked I wolfed a few of those then when the meat was done I had green salad and chicken kebabs and a chicken chipotle sausage. The sausages do have carbs and the oopsies have sugary marinade but I can only be so virtuous.  Normally I would be double hand scarfing the chips and dips and sucking down the cocktails.

I made myself scarce when the desserts came out, instead I had a slice of cheese.

The wind was howling. Trees were whipping back and forth. It was hard staying upright. Cape Town has insane winds.

Saturday I had such a shock. Ross was a friend from the UK whom I met when we were both working on a project just south of London. As we were all away from home there were a lot of social evenings and I remember many drunken evenings out with Ross. I haven’t seen him in about 10 years, since before I left the UK. 

From what I managed to piece together from Facebook Ross had been having intense headaches and went to the hospital for a scan, but the tests were inconclusive. Then a few days later he seemed to have a second scan and was diagnosed with cancer. Next thing I see is his family posting he is only accepting family and now a few days on and Ross has passed away. He was such a genuine person, he was loyal and kind. He had a ribald sense of humour. I can’t believe how quickly he went, but I’m also glad that he didn’t suffer for months. 

RIP Ross, so many great men passing already in 2016.

The wind continued to howl. I made Lily a big birthday fry up, eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms and tomatoes. She wanted things for her and Josh’s flat in George so I got her pots, pans and  good set of knives as presents. That night she and Josh went out. 

Norm and I were invited to a friend’s 50th birthday celebration. It was unbearably hot, I had to put my makeup on in front of my fan.

It was held at Cape Point Vineyards in Noordhoek. We booked Home Heroes and drove over the stunning Chapman’s Peak drive. They quoted us R250 each way.

We arrived at the venue as planned for 6.30ish in time to watch the sun go down.

It was so much fun to see my friends, these were my playgroup friends 25 years ago when I SA. All of our children are similar ages.

The food was all finger foods, brought round throughout the evening by a rotating round of young servers with big platters. There was a delicious pate with sprigs of coriander, beef carpaccio with Parmesan, fat prawns with a dipping sauce for canapés and then once we all moved inside they served roast lamb and roast beef with sides in little bowls. It was all really delicious and I had to leave Banting at the entrance and eat what I was given. The Sauvignon Blanc is divine there. We danced and danced and had so much fun. 

We booked a taxi home with Home Heroes for 11.30 and were not pleased when he arrived at 11 as we were on the dance floor. Nevertheless we dutifully got in the car. It wasn’t a branded Home Heroes car but Norm said they confirmed the details. We get home and he tries to charge us R600 for one way!! We paid R208 for the taxi there and gave him 80 bucks for the toll road both ways plus a tip. It was before midnight when some companies increase their rates but this dude was trying to pull a fast one, most likely thinking we are tourists as we are both foreign. I was very annoyed and started kicking off but Norm was calm and just said no, paid him 300 and walked off. 

We came home and wobbled off to bed, today was again so hot and the wind has finally stopped howling. I spent all day bobbing about on a lilo in the pool. For dinner we cooked on the braai and ate outside as its so hot. Today was about 38 C or almost 100F. And remember no air conditioner in most private homes.

It’s been a very busy weekend and I feel very blessed to have the people in my life who spent it with me. 

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