I enjoy preparing and eating food. I lost my sweet tooth a long time ago, although I do enjoy the odd dessert from time to time. My preference is for uncomplicated meals which, in old fashioned language, would have been known as “balanced”. Although not vegetarian, I prefer not to eat meat every day, eating quite a few vegetarian meals – often with eggs and cheese.
Over the last few weeks I have heard and read much about converts to the Banting diet, and similarly also heard what the detractors are saying about it. Also, over the past few months, I have made certain choices about my own eating habits: in mid-January, I decided to try to do without bread and potatoes. During the week.
I know from previous efforts at diets that they are deadly: for personal harmony and for the weekly menu, particularly if it’s not just me that’s to be considered. So, I decided that those were the only two things that I would change – and only for me. I continued having my evening tipple and cooking dinner in exactly the same way as I always had. Lunches, for me, are salads which include either lots of cheese or cold chicken and, sometimes quiche or soup (there is always a protein, and with most tasty protein, there is fat). As time has progressed, I have found myself avoiding other starches, particularly rice and commercial pasta. I make my own pasta, and as I’ve mentioned before, that has had an impact on the quantity we eat per serving, so I’m still eating that. Also, when we entertain, I still make and keep our guests company with dessert, and the menu choices are not influenced by my particular proclivities.
Since I’ve been thinking consciously about these choices, and as more and more people are Banting, I have realised that for some, their conversion to a particular eating regime has become an all or nothing affair. Similarly, I am astounded, respect but fail to understand, people who go on diets that make them feel as though they are living in hell. Each to their own.
So, my “almost-no-carb-journey” has been a relatively easy one because I’ve not cut it completely. I have taken on board, with great relief, that full cream milk and butter are ok. (Tom has never approved of low fat anything…) I have long rejected margarine because of the way it was made, and what it consists of (and it tastes horrid). A few years ago, on examining the contents of yoghurt, come to the conclusion that Greek yoghurt was better for one than the low fat options that are full of sugar and starch stabilisers!
And then, there’s more: Having stuck to my choices, I no longer get hungry and consequently am not eating as much. I am happy to stop eating when I am satisfied. I thought that I would find it difficult to stick to this when I was travelling; it hasn’t been. It’s easy to “lose the chips” and order a burger without the bun.
And what has all of this meant in terms of my own well-being? I have certainly lost weight – my friends and my clothes are telling me so. I don’t have a scale, so I couldn’t tell you how much. I feel better in myself and have more energy. And best of all, because I do still get to enjoy a slice of toast and Bovril or pizza, and my glass(es) of wine, I really don’t miss the bread and potato.
So, I do eat to live, and I live to (cook and) eat!