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Visiting Graskop Gorge

My followers know by now that I live in Mozambique, just 100km away from the border with South Africa.

South Africa is an amazing and diverse country with spectacular landscapes, from pristine wetlands, to mountains and beautiful beaches, not to mention that they have a plant kingdom of their own – the Cape Floral Kingdom, housing a great number of endemic species.

Luckily for me, Mpumalanga region is very close to me, and one of the most spectacular regions in South Africa. I travel often there, either for shopping (much cheaper and diverse than Mozambique), or simply to relax and get away from a very stressful life.

One of the most amazing places to see is the panorama route, home of the world’s 3rd largest canyon, the Blyde River Canyon, as well as various breathtaking sites, waterfalls, natural reserves, caves and historical towns.

This time I traveled with my son, on a 3 day trip to Mpumalanga, that included a visit to some places I had seen before (but always worth a visit) and a new place that I did read about online – the Graskop Gorge.

Graskop is a small town located on the edge of the Drakensberg mountains and in the Panorama route. It is also very well known for its pancakes and chocolatiers.

It is centrally located in the panorama route and within a short drive (1 hour the maximum) from many scenic places such as the ones above mentioned, the three Rondawels, God’s Window, Pilgrim’s rest (a historic mining town) and the world famous Kruger National Park.

The town of Graskop is perched on a spur of the Mauchsberg at an altitude of 1,493 meters and dates way back to 1837, when Andries Potgieter passed through with the Great Trek of the Voortrekkers in search of greener pastures in the north.  In his memoirs he mentions leaving the woman folk in the area known as Graskop (“grassy peak“) while he went down the escarpment in search of an ox wagon route to Delagoa Bay (now Maputo in Mozambique).

In the 1850’s the Graskop area was a farm owned by Abel Erasmus, an adventurous character in hunting, prospecting and imposing law and order in the area.  He was known among the local tribes as Dabula Duzi (“He who shoots at close range.“)

Graskop is also famous for Jock of the Bushveld which dates back to between 1885 and 1887.  Paradise Camp is where Sir Percy Fitzpatrick established his camp.  Two chapters in his book, namely “Paradise Camp and the Leopard” and “The Baboons” are set in this area.  For more info see our special “Jock of the Bushveld” page.


Sketch by Heinrich Egersdorfer (1853-1915)

A railway link from Nelspruit through the farm Sabie and onto the farm Graskop was begun in early 1910 – mainly to transport supplies to the booming gold-mining town of Pilgrim’s Rest.  The railway line was completed and ready for the opening ceremony on 18th June 1914.  Graskop was declared a town later the same year.

source: http://www.graskop.co.za/history/index.html

Recently a spectacular lift was built in Graskop Gorge, taking the visitors 51 meters down the face of the gorge into the beautiful forest that stands below. Crossing the forest there is a network of wooden walkways & suspension bridges with interactive exhibits. The forest is filled with a spectacular variety of plants, animals, insects and birds.

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The lift cabin
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How impressive is this?

The gate entrance fee is 20ZAR (approximately 1.6 USD) and the ticket to the lift costs 175ZAR (approximately 15USD). The areas also includes a coffee shop (expensive), a craft market, an art gallery, and the Big Swing. For the most adventurous the Big Swing is a not to be missed attraction as it includes a 68m bungee jumping site on one of the world’s highest cable gorge swings, and a 135m slide that stands at 130m above ground.

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The big Swing
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The waterfall

The lift only takes a minute traveling at a speed of 1m/s, to get you to the wooden walkways.

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Wooden walkways
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600m of wooden walkways and suspension bridges
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The waterfall

That day was extremely hot and humid, but as soon as we stepped out of the lift, there is a soothing and refreshing breeze of air and the temperature was much more friendly. The sounds of birds and insects, the sound of the nearby water fall, the beautiful plants, all of that transports us to a different reality. The reality of a beautiful, pristine world, where you feel free and at peace.

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Cascading waters
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Abundant flora
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Beautiful trees and plants

To serve its educational purpose, along the gorge route educational boards are scattered, explaining the forest and the species in contains.

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graskopSource: http://graskopgorgeliftcompany.co.za/

We spent approximately 1 hour, taking the time to read everything and absorb all that beauty and peace surrounding us. After visiting it, the entrance fee, that we found somehow expensive, was totally worth it. If you one day travel to Mapumalanga, make sure you will not miss this place.

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Going back to the lift
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The spectacular view from the top
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Insulin Resistance – Infographic

Have heard of insulin resistance but not sure what it is and what to do? Information about health, weight loss, nutrition, LCHF can be overwhelming and contradictory right?

The infographic below from www.diagnosisdiet.com is an excellent source of information, easily explained. Make sure you share this post on your social media and friends to spread the word, and help more people improve their health with easy and simple steps.

 

10 Tips to Improve Your Metabolism and Reduce Insulin Resistance Infographic

 

Solo Traveling – overcoming the fear of flying

I have been wanting to write about this for quite some time but for various reasons I always end up posting something else. You might have seen my posts about my travel. With the exception of my last travel to Italy, in which I had the company of a friend for some days, all my traveling is solo. I am starting a series of three posts about flying solo, and in this first one I am opening up my heart to you, hoping to help someone that has gone, or is going through the same as I was.

Why do I travel solo?

Well if I did not travel solo I would not travel, period. I am single, my son is an adult with his own life and plans, and all my friends are married with families and do not have the time or willingness to travel unless if it is with their families.

Since when do I travel solo?

Since 1998. But then it was mostly to South Africa, which is close to where I live, or to my homeland, Portugal. I consider my solo traveling to have started for real in 2009.

Why not before?

Before 1985, I was literally nuts. My best flights would be the difficult ones, the ones with storms, turbulence, difficult landings. I would be fascinated, my eyes shinning, glued to the small windows of the plane trying to see everything. The landing was my favourite part, specially in difficult weather. It was always a rush of adrenalin, an excitement, something I looked for in anticipation each flight.

But then….in 1985 everything changed. I won a FAO award for best student and our group was prized with a visit to Malawi and Zambia. To get there, we had to fly to Zimbabwe – Harare. Boom, two very bad experiences during those flights and my nightmare began. Flying started to be a sacrifice, something to run from like the plague, it scared the shit out of me. From 1985 to 2000 I limited my travel, and only did set foot on a plane if there was no other option, and only when I could not avoid traveling. Traveling by car? No problem, I could travel 2000km’s with no problems whatsoever.

As you can imagine that was extremely limiting, because I would only be basically able to travel to surrounding countries.

What did you feel when flying?

When getting into a plane I would cry and shake in fear, every time the sound of the plane engine changed, every time a bit of turbulence started, every time I thought the crew was acting strange, every time my mind saw something that in fact didn’t exist, but that triggered my deepest fears, every time I decided the plane was going to fall, and that every time was every minute, every hour, every flight.

It was literally a phobia. It was excruciating, limiting, painful, I would cry days before the flight, my holidays would be a nightmare because I could not stop thinking about the return flight, that the plane was going to crash, that I would die. My flights were limited to Portugal, very occasionally. Days before the flight I would not sleep. I would be terrified, wanting to cancel the flight and stay home safe.

So, what changed?

Well, in all my life, I never did let anything control me. My fears, my dogmas, my addictions (I used to smoke and also be addicted to sweets), my mood, anything. I have to be in control of myself and everything that happens to me. And my fear of flying was in fact controlling me, limiting me, being in charge of myself. And that is something that I could not let happen. It did last for a long time, until I decided it was enough and I would never again be limited by it. It was time to be in command of me and my emotions again.

What did you do?

One day I looked at myself in the mirror (literally) and asked: Dalila, where are you? Where is that brave, adventurous woman you used to be? The woman that survived a civil war in spite of traveling on roads that were attacked everyday? The woman that faced discrimination for being a woman, blonde, in a work environment where men ruled (I was a vet on a state dairy farm run by an ex-soldier, that looked at me on my first day of work and asked: what is a white, blonde, woman be able to do here?)? Where was that brave woman that survived the difficult times after independence when there was no food? That had to walk sometimes 10km to faculty because there was no public transport? That spend nights and nights on food cues, and in the morning with only 1 or 2 hours of sleep would go straight to faculty? ENOUGH Dalila.

I decided I would travel again, I would fly again. So, I talked with a friend that was a doctor, and started to use a strategy. I would take a mild relaxing pill before embarking, and (as my flights are usually around 11 hours) I would take a sleeping pill soon after dinner. This way I would sleep most of the time and be able to bear the flight. It worked. Slowly I started enjoying flying again, slowly I started seeing how free I was, slowly everything changed. And my solo traveling started.

Two things that are for me essential to help is to BE COMFY and especially on long flights, SLEEP. Long flights can be a nightmare to the ones that are afraid to fly. Long hours with nothing to do, hearing every single noise, feeling every bit of turbulence, stressing over and over again. Being able to sleep for most of the flight was key in my struggle to overcome my fear of flying. To help being comfy and to sleep, this is what I usually do:

  • Check-in online, go early to the airport, dispatch my luggage, and relax before the flight. Lately I also add fast track to my flight, so I can avoid being on long cues and have enough time to sit, and relax
  • I always travel on the window seat so I do not need to spend the night standing up and sitting again, to let my neighbor go to the toilet (and oh boy, how many times some people go, ouch). Even when the window seats are “fully booked” if you let the crew know you are afraid of flying, and they see its real, they always try to get you a window seat if you want it
  • I wear compression socks, they help a lot with feet swelling and comfort
  • I use a good traveling pillow,
  • I wear a sleeping mask
  • I put on wax earplugs
  • I wear comfortable clothes and a good pair of socks that keep my feet warm (over the compression ones)
  • I limit my liquid intake so I will not wake up many times to go to the toilet (but still keep hydrated)
  • I take melatonin, 1 hour before sleeping
  • I meditate for 5 to 10 minutes before sleeping or do just some deep breath exercises, and remind myself that turbulence is just like a bumpy road, the car shakes and jumps but nothing  bad happens
  • I never drink alcohol during my flights

I now travel once or twice a year to distant countries, and several times, by car, to South Africa and Swaziland.

I hope this somehow helped one of you, and please leave a comment if you have questions, or just a testimony of what you do to overcome your fear.

Alla proxima, buona serata (yeah, I am learning Italian)

My Italy in 10 days – the last day – Rome

So it was. The last day. I woke up feeling already nostalgic. From Florence, to Venice and finally Rome, Italy proved to be everything I had heard and researched about, but so so much more. So intense in beauty, art, history, vibe. So much diversity, so much more to see. As my flight was at night and the B&B I was staying in kindly allowed me to keep my luggage until my flight time, I decided to take a look at Roman Forum and Colosseum again and then walk back and explore Trastevere more. Perfect decision. The Roman Forum was a very emotional place to be, and Trastereve a gem, in spite of being touristy.

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Another angle of the Colosseum
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Closer
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The Roman Forum
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Along the Tiber heading back to the B&B

Trastevere is the 13th district – in Italian Rione, of Rome, located on the west bank of Tevere River. Trastevere means “beyond the Tiber”. I stayed there during my time in Rome but had only visited the surroundings during the night. But it is during the day that you appreciate the beauty of it, relatively free of people.

In Trastevere you can find Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, one of the oldest churches in Rome, dating back fro  the 13th century .

Trastevere is a very bohemian place, with people from all over the world, as well as Romans, that go there to enjoy the lively ambiance and nightlife.

I walked along Via , Piazza di San Calisto, Via Lungaretta, Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere, as well as small side roads and alleys, full of character and charm.

 

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Charming side streets and alleys
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Wonderful vibe in spite of being touristy
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So Trastevere, the hanging plants in streets
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Beautiful details every step
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Piazza di S. Maria in Trastevere with Palazzo di San Callisto, and Fontana di S. Maria in Trastevere
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Everything together gives a great vibe to Trastevere
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The colors, the corners, the details, all so lovable
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Wandering around Trastevere
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One of the many public fountains with fresh water
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Charming places

And it was now time to get a shower, change clothes and head to the airport. Truly feeling blessed for such an amazing time, and determined to be back as soon as I could (well, I will be there again in September 2018).

Thank you Italy for such an amazing time. Ciao bella Italia, Ritorneró sicuramente.

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and so it ended, arriving in Lisbon

 

 

Coaching – what and how

A coach is an individual able to help others find their answers to their problems. There are several types of coaching from business to nutrition.

A good coach is able to work with a coachee aiming to achieve goals, by using tools and techniques appropriate for each case. It is not a one size fits all process, it is in fact tailored to each individual, problem, objectives. The coach works to help the coachees find the answers to their problems, to understand what they need, to help them understand what could hold them back, and how to overcome it and achieve success.

The work relationship between a coach and a coachee is a supportive and motivating one, based on mutual respect and common objectives.

The coach provides support and guidance based on a previous assessments of the coachee’s needs and objectives, setting goals and helping the coachees to make changes aiming to improve health and their wellbeing. The coach is not a self-centred person that talks and lectures, it is mostly a listener and a helper.

The nutrition world presently can be overwhelming and confusing due to the easy availability of information, the contradictory information being conveyed by the different communication and social media. The coach will be able to guide the client (within the nutritional line the coach follows and works with) to determine what types of changes may be necessary, leading that unique person to finally see the results expected.

The first appointment starts with a good and open conversation about the coachee, what he/she wants, WHY he/she does want it, what are the goals and WHY, what might be preventing the her/him from achieving them, what are the stressors involved. There will be a client information form to be filled in, that will give the coach a complete history of the client, any health and/or metabolic conditions, health status, blood panel results, eating habits, exercise habits, constraints and conditioning factors, any nutrition or medical advise the client has from other professionals, etc.

Based on that, the duration and frequency of coaching sessions will be established, and the type of support needed will be set and agreed. The type of support can range from a very basic and one time session, to a continuum of sessions until the client is ready to proceed on his own certain that objectives will be met.

Among many, the following can be included in the coaching package:

  1. Setting up micro goals according to main goals
  2. Unblocking what is affecting the client in achieving objectives
  3. Helping to better understand LCHF, how it works and what it entails
  4. Helping to develop healthy approaches to food and nutrition
  5. Helping to develop a food list and meal ideas
  6. Helping to understand what nutritional needs are, what macro and micronutrients are, what is their importance, etc
  7. Helping to understand options for when eating out and making better choices
  8. Guidance on grocery shopping and reading labels
  9. Helping them understand nutrition guidelines
  10. Assess progress and adjust the program as needed
  11. Help them learn healthy cooking techniques and how to combine ingredients into meals, simple, quick to make and great in taste
  12. Help with meal prepping, planning and tracking
  13. Help the client develop a food journal to be used to identify what foods/meals affected them and why, and how their eating is adequate for their needs

Chili Con Carne

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

I always loved Mexican cuisine. The flavors, smells and textures are amazing and the vibrant colors fascinating. This chili is easy breezy and does not stay behind in taste

Ingredients

  • 200g ground meat
  • 50g cubed bell peppers
  • 40g chopped onion
  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground sweet paprika
  • 1tsp ground turmeric
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 100ml home made vegetable stock or water
  • 2tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 mince garlic clove
  • Sour cream, coriander and cheddar cheese to taste

Directions

In a pan heat the oil, add the spices and fry for 1 minute. Add the garlic and onion and fry until the onion is soft.
Add the meat and fry until browned, approximately 10min, add the stock, cover the pan and reduce it to half (10 minutes). Add the peppers and chopped coriander and let it cook for 5 min  more.

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: fácil
  • Print

Sempre amei comida Mexicana. Alguma coisa a ver com os cheiros, sabores e cores que despertam a imaginação. Este chili con carne é super rápido e fácil de fazer e não fica atrás em sabor de forma alguma. Uma delícia

 

Ingredientes

  • 200g de carne moída
  • 50g de pimentão em cubos
  • 40g de cebola picada
  • 1 colher de sopa de óleo de coco
  • 1 cchá de cominho
  • 1 cchá de Paprika doce
  • 1 cchá de açafrão moído
  • 1 cchá de coentro em grão moído
  • Sal e pimenta preta a gosto
  • 1/2 colher de chá de pimenta em flocos
  • 100 ml de caldo de legumes ou água
  • 2 colheres de sopa de coentro picado
  • Nata azeda, queijo cheddar ralado e coentro a gosto

Preparo


Em uma panela aqueça o óleo, adicione as especiarias e frite por 1 minuto. Adicione o alho e a cebola e frite até a cebola ficar transparente.
Adicione a carne e frite até dourar, mais ou menos 10min, adicione o caldo, cubra a panela e reduza para metade (10min). Adicione o pimentão e coentro picado e deixe cozinhar por mais 5 min. Sirva com queijo cheddar, nata azeda e coentro

My Egg Fast Experiment

I never did an egg fast or a fat fast during the years I am on keto. Not even during months of stalls or very slow weight loss. I decided to trust the process and see how it would go. I did manage to lose the weight I intended to.

1. So, why an egg fast now you may ask?

I wanted to understand the body and mind reactions to it, specially attending to the fact that I work with people, I advise people, I coach people. How can I advise someone, if I did not try it myself? I would be just parroting what I see and know about the egg fast, with no real hands on experience. And that is something I do not like. I need to understand things deeply before advising. I am not the kind of coach/advisor that just copies what is said by others, and I strongly believe in studying and reading, in being updated. Never trust a dietician or a coach that just copies and paste what others say, always ask questions, always challenge, always read about it to be able to have an informed discussion with your coach/dietician.

2. Ok, so what is an egg fast?

An egg fast is a strategy aiming to break a stall or to kick start ketosis. It is short term, usually 5 days plus easing out, usually two days (I planned 4 days). It consists mainly in eggs, butter/coconut oil and cheese.

3. Are there rules?

Yes, apparently there are, and check them below, where I also indicated the ones I did not comply with:

Rule Complied with
Bullet Proof Coffee within 30 minutes of waking (coffee with 1 Tbsp MCT oil, 1 Tbsp Kerrygold unsalted butter) Not entirely, only in the last day and the easing out days. I did not have MCT so I used coconut oil
Eat 3-5 meals of at least 2 eggs each, starting no later than 10am Yes
Have 1 Tbsp of butter, coconut oil, olive oil or sugar free mayo per egg consumed Yes
6 ounces of full fat cheese (cream cheese, cheddar, brie, etc.) allowed per day (eaten with eggs or separately as a snack) yes
No eggs three hours before bed (1 string cheese allowed after 7pm if starving, counts as part of the 6oz daily limit) Yes
Diet soda will be allowed up to 3 cans daily with a goal of 1 or less. Heck no. I do not drink sodas
Don’t go more than 4 hours between meals or snacks between 10am and 7pm. yes
Drink 100 oz of water per day (minimum) yes
Supplement with magnesium and potassium (lite salt) daily. Yes, as I already do
Small amounts of fresh herbs, hot sauce, no carb sweeteners, and spices will be allowed – as long as they are less than 1g net carbs per serving, not to exceed 5g net carbs per day. yes

 4.      What to expect?

  •  A fast loss of weight?

It is common to people to be confused about weight loss and assume that initial weight loss, that can be impressive not only on an egg fast but on a low carb diet in general and LCHF in particular, to be fat loss. No, it is not. It is water weight, water that was retained in your body due mainly to the carbohydrate water retention effect. Losing fat takes much more time.

So, what the egg fast does is to empty your glycogen stores and make you lose water. The egg fast is very low in carbs, and thus the binding/retention effect of carbs no longer exists. OHHHHHH but I was already on a keto/LCHF diet and I still lost. Yes, because the carb allowance still entails a certain degree of water retention, that is, in women, aggravated due to hormonal fluctuations (menstrual cycle). You may also be retaining water due to inflammation in your body, exercise or even medication.

  • Decreased Physical performance in exercise?

If you are coming from a high carbs diet, this is to be expected. That is the reason why I do not advise to attempt any fat or egg fast as a start of a LCHF diet. Ketosis is achieved if you stay under 30g of net carbs (there are exceptions according to medical conditions and biological individuality) and starting such a drastic change in your eating habits with an egg fast will stress you out, demotivate you, it will be boring and often leads to people quitting, thinking keto or LCHF is a restrictive and boring diet.

But why does it occur? For the same reason it is not advised to exercise intensely during the induction stage of keto/LCHF. If you come from a high carb diet, your body is used to have glucose as the main energy source. As you drastically reduce your carb intake, you will deplete your glycogen and your body will need to turn to fat for energy. That is a slower process that using glucose, and needs a lot of adaptation at enzyme level. Your energy levels will be lower and your performance will be affected. It is temporary though, and your performance will be even higher after you adapt (you will not adapt during the eggfast, it is too soon for that)

  • Loss of energy?

This was generally approached above.  Why again? Because when you transition from a high carb diet to a low carb one, your body must change its fuel source, from glucose to ketones. That is why during the induction stage of lchf or keto, and also during the eggfast, if you are transitioning from a high carb diet, you may much more tired, lightheaded and exhausted.

  • Loss of muscle – Lean Body Mass?

NOPE. No matter what people tell you, you will NOT lose muscle, IF you comply with the protein intake the rules give you. Keto is a muscle sparing way of eating, the eggfast is a restrictive version of keto, and also muscle sparing. Why? Because it is moderate in protein not low. Protein is very important to preserve lean mass, especially during a weight loss process eating on a caloric deficit. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, with an excellent bioavailability as well as protein quality.

  • Fat Loss?

Yes. Ouch, but didn’t you say it was water weight? Yes I did, BUT it still promotes fat loss, as due to the caloric deficit AND protein that is provided by the allowed foods. The protein will not only help you feel satiated (as the fat will also) but it also makes you burn more calories than carbs and fat, due to a potential thermogenic effect, that, AND BE HAPPY WITH THIS lets you burn more calories during your resting time (this is also true for weight lifting – you burn more calories on your resting period than when you do aerobic exercises).

5. I have no time to make my meal plan, is there a set menu I can use?

I decided to follow the menu from I breathe I’m Hungry website, as I wanted to use a tested menu, that worked with other people. I will be developing my own menus for the eggfast soon and they will be part of a package for coaching an eggfast (my facebook page has a link to book for appointments, as well as here).

Day One

Breakfast: Coffee or Tea – Black or Bulletproof (1 Tbsp MCT oil or coconut oil + 1 Tbsp unsalted butter)(sugar free sweetener if desired), 2 – 3 eggs fried or scrambled with 2 Tbsp butter

Snack: 1 String Cheese

Lunch: 1/2 cup Simple Egg Salad
1 deli slice cheddar cheese, quartered and microwaved until crisp (approx 30 seconds)

Snack: 1 string cheese

Dinner: 1 serving Buffalo Omelette

Day 2

Breakfast: Coffee or Tea – Black or Bulletproof (1 Tbsp MCT oil or coconut oil + 1 Tbsp unsalted butter)(sugar free sweetener if desired), 2 – 3 eggs fried or scrambled with 2 Tbsp butter

Snack: 1 String Cheese

Lunch: 1/2 cup Simple Egg Salad
1 deli slice cheddar cheese, quartered and microwaved until crisp (approx 30 seconds)

Snack: 1 string cheese

Dinner: 2 (or more) Snickerdoodle Crepes

Day 3

Breakfast: Coffee or Tea – Black or Bulletproof (1 Tbsp MCT oil or coconut oil + 1 Tbsp unsalted butter)(sugar free sweetener if desired), 2 – 3 eggs fried or scrambled with 2 Tbsp butter

Snack: 1 String Cheese

Lunch: 1 Cream Cheese Pancake, 1 Tbsp sugar free mayonnaise, 1 deli slice cheddar cheese

Snack: 2 Easy Deviled Eggs (4 halves)

Dinner: 1 serving Buffalo Omelette

Day 4

Breakfast: Coffee or Tea – Black or Bulletproof (1 Tbsp MCT oil or coconut oil + 1 Tbsp unsalted butter)(sugar free sweetener if desired),  2 – 3 eggs fried or scrambled with 2 Tbsp butter

Snack: 1 String Cheese

Lunch

2 Snickerdoodle Crepes

Snack: 2 Easy Deviled Eggs (4 halves)

Dinner: 1 – 2 servings of Salted Caramel Custard

 Day 5

Breakfast: Coffee or Tea – Black or Bulletproof (1 Tbsp MCT or coconut oil + 1 Tbsp unsalted butter), (sugar free sweetener if desired), 2 – 3 eggs fried or scrambled with 2 Tbsp butter

Snack: 2 Easy Deviled Eggs (4 halves)

Lunch: 1 serving Salted Caramel Custard

Snack: 1 string cheese

Dinner: 1 serving Fettuccini Alfredo

Day 6

Breakfast: Coffee or Tea – Black or Bulletproof (1 Tbsp MCT oil or coconut oil + 1 Tbsp unsalted butter)(sugar free sweetener if desired) 2 – 3 eggs fried or scrambled with 2 Tbsp butter – I used a recipe of my own here

Snack: 1/2 avocado w/ lite salt and pepper

Lunch: 1/2 cup Simple Egg Salad
1 deli slice cheddar cheese, quartered and microwaved until crisp (approx 30 seconds)

Snack: 1/2 avocado w/ lite salt and pepper

Dinner: 6 – 8 classic buffalo wings, celery sticks, 2 Tbsp blue cheese dressing – I did change the recipe, I will post it later

Day 7

Breakfast: Coffee or Tea – Black or Bulletproof (1 Tbsp MCT oil or coconut oil + 1 Tbsp unsalted butter)(sugar free sweetener if desired), 2 – 3 eggs fried or scrambled with 2 Tbsp butter

Snack: 1/2 avocado w/ lite salt and pepper

Lunch: 1 serving Fettuccini Alfredo

Snack: 1/2 avocado w/ lite salt and pepper

Dinner: 1 serving No Chop Chili,  2 Tbsp sour cream, 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese – I did change the recipe, I will post it later

6. My results

I was interested in seeing how my mind and body reacted, not in the weight loss part, however I monitored both my weight and measurements, so here it goes:

  • I did not get tired of eggs, not at all. But I am not a person that is worried if a food is “eggy” as I do love eggs.
  • I did not feel a lack of energy, I was not exercising but during physical tasks, no loss of energy
  • I did not feel hungry, not at all, EXCEPT, and this is important, the mornings after I had a meal with sweeteners, like the crepes or the caramel custard. The next day I would wake up starving.
  • I did like the energy I felt, the satiety, the diversity of meals
  • I did not find my mind playing tricks on me, like e.g. wanting a certain food. No cravings whatsoever.
  • I lost app 1kg, and also 1 cm in my waist and 0.5cm on my hips (I am Portuguese, we have large hips and its quite difficult to lose weight there)
  • I felt less water retention
  • I did not have any bloating or any other digestive problems
  • My stool movements actually improved
  • I slept very well, no changes there
  • I felt fat was too high, easy to handle but still higher than usual for me, and felt it on my skin and hair, greasy than usual

Bottom line: Easy, doable, no bad side effects. The real weight loss will be seen in a week

7. How did I Transition back to Keto/LCHF

Other there is an immediate weight gain when returning to normal eating habits (not talking about high carb). Most people feel disappointed, they gain their weight back. What I did, after putting my knowledge to it and also after reading a lot about other people’s results was (is) to ease out of it. What does it mean?

  • For app 5 days, I will be keeping carbs low, only lettuce or other veggies very low carb will be added, on small amounts, fat still higher than my usual and make sure to get my protein.
  • I will not exercise for a week (as I was not exercising) to avoid water retention or any influence on my weight. I intend to see, if I will keep the 1kg off.
  • No sweeteners, baking, breads, until next Monday.
  • No HWC until next Monday
  • BPC still for breakfast
  • Eat when hungry only
  • Keep it simple, a protein and a lettuce salad will be fine. No balsamic vinegar, only EVO and Red Wine Vinegar/ACV to dress the lettuce

8. Conclusions

  •  Sweeteners did affect my hunger – I used xylitol as I did not have monk fruit or erythritol. Xylitol has more calories and a higher GI and could have been the cause
  • I did lose weight, still to know if it was real weight
  • No mind tricks or cravings
  • No loss of energy or lethargy
  • Feeling great
  • Did not affect bowel movement (something people is usually afraid of)
  • No nausea, feeling bored, wanting to quit

    9. Next steps

  •  Assess if the weight loss is real
  • In a couple of weeks, do an egg fast with no sweeteners whatsoever, complying with all the rules
  • Compare the results with this one
  • Produce two meal plans, being one sweetener free and the other with the use of sweeteners, as I am already full of great ideas for meals, more variety and taste, helping people stay on course

So, that all, please feel free to ask questions and share your experience, both at the site and page. Every input is welcome

Chinese Chicken Stir Fry

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Finding a good Chinese food recipe that complies with the requirements I set for myself on keto is not an easy task, so what to do? Develop my own. This stir fry complies with it, but it also meets my perfectionism in terms of taste and texture

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Ingredients

  • Half a pack of Shirataki angel hair noodles (or any format you like)
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp chinese 5 spice powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos (tamari is also an option for the ones who eat soy)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 150 g of chicken breast
  • 50 grams of thinly sliced or julienne bell pepper
  • 100g broccoli cut into small florets
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Drain the shirataki noodles and put them in a bowl with water and 1 tbsp vinegar for 10min. Drain and pat dry
  2. Cut the chicken in cubes and put in a bowl. Add 1 tbsp of coconut aminos, half the garlic, half the ginger, and the 5 spice powder. Marinate  for 10min
  3. Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil, add the rest of the minced garlic and spices and fry for 1 minute until fragrant
  4. Add the vegetables and stir fry for a few minutes add the shirataki and mix well. Cook to taste (I like my broccoli still crunchy and vibrant green.
  5. At the same time as you are stir frying the veggies, heat the remaining coconut oil in another pan and add the meat. Stir fry on high for 5 minutes, add the marinade and stir fry for 5min more (or until cooked).
  6. Add the meat to the shirataki and veggies, and mix well.
  7. Add the sesame oil, the remaining coconut aminos and mix
  8. Serve in a bowl, and sprinkle sesame seeds and chopped spring onion

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You can make it with beef, pork, seafood or fish for a bit of variety, as well as with other veggies


  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: fácil
  • Print

Encontrar uma receita de comida chinesa que cumpra os requisitos que estabeleci para a minha dieta não é tarefa fácil. O que fazer então? Desenvolvi a minha própria receita que não só cumpre os meus requisitos na dieta mas também vai ao encontro do meu perfeccionismo quanto ao sabor e textura. Uma delícia

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Ingredientes

  • Metade de um pacote de Shirataki
  • 1 dente de alho picado
  • 2 colheres de sopa de óleo de coco
  • 1 cchá de gengibre picado
  • 1 colher de chá de tempero chinês 5 especiarias
  • 2 colheres de sopa de aminos de coco (tamari também é uma opção para quem come soja)
  • 1 colher de sopa de óleo de gergelim
  • 150 g de peito de frango
  • 50 gramas de pimentão amarelo finamente fatiado ou em juliana
  • 100g de brócolis cortado em pedaços pequenos
  • 1 cebolinho

Preparo

  1. Escorra o macarrão shirataki e coloque em uma tigela com água e 1 colher de sopa de vinagre por 10min. Escorra e seque.
  2. Corte o frango em cubos e coloque em uma tigela. Adicione 1 colher de sopa de aminos de coco, metade do alho, metade do gengibre e o pó de 5 especiarias. Marinar por 10min.
  3. Aqueça 1 colher de sopa de óleo de coco, adicione o resto do alho picado e as especiarias e frite por 1 minuto.
  4. Adicione os legumes e frite por alguns minutos, adicione o shirataki e misture bem. Cozinhe a gosto (eu gosto do meu brócolis ainda crocante e verde vibrante.
  5. Ao mesmo tempo que você está cozinhando os legumes, aqueça o restante do óleo de coco em outra panela e adicione a carne. Frite por 5 minutos, adicione a marinada e frite por mais 5 minutos (ou até ficar cozido).
  6. Adicione a carne ao shirataki e legumes e misture bem.
  7. Adicione o óleo de gergelim, os restantes aminos de coco e misture
  8. Sirva em uma tigela, polvilhe sementes de gergelim e cebolinho picado

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Você pode fazer a receita com bife, porco, peixe ou frutos do mar. Coconut aminos é um substituto mais saudável para o molho shoyu

Keto chocolate, lavender and lemon pancake / Panquequinha LCHF de chocolate

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This pancake is a delight for the senses and the palate. The strong taste of raw cocoa, contrasting with the subtil scent and taste of lavender and the tangy lemon is a perfect combination

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Ingredients

  • 1 tsp almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp raw cocoa
  • 1 tsp erythritol or xylitol
  • 1/4 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 50 ml double cream
  • 3 to 4 drops of lavender extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1tsp lemon rind

Directions

  • Mix the egg, flours, cocoa, sweetener and baking powder till well mixed
  • Put into a small frying pan or pancake pan on medium heat and fry on both sides until done. Let it cool down completely
  • Beat the cream with the lavender, lemon juice and lemon rind until thick
  • Add a dollop to the pancake and top with cacau nibs or nuts and enjoy
    • Servings: 1
    • Difficulty: super fácil
    • Print

    Esta panqueca é perfeita para o café da manhã ou como sobremesa. A combinação perfeita do forte sabor do cacau puro, com o leve toque de lavanda e a acidez do limão fazem desta panqueca algo muito especial.

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    Ingredientes

    • 1 colher de chá de farinha de amêndoa
    • 1/2 colher de chá de farinha de coco
    • 1 colher de chá de cacau
    • 1 cchá de erythritol ou xilitol
    • 1/4 colher de chá de fermento sem glúten
    • 1 ovo
    • 50 ml de nata
    • 3 a 4 gotas de extrato de lavanda
    • 1 cchá de suco de limão
    • 1 cchá de casca de limão

    Preparo

  • Misture com um fouet o ovo, farinhas, cacau, adoçante e fermento até estar bem misturado. Coloque em uma frigideira  pequena e asse em fogo médio nos dois lados até ficar pronto. Deixe esfriar completamente. Bata a nata com a lavanda, suco de limão e casca de limão até ficar espessa. Adicione à panqueca e coloque cacau nibs ou outro topping que goste. Se jogue e seja feliz
  • LCHF – Infográfico

    chart

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