Eat healthy and delicious this festive season! Rooi Rose food editor and author, Vickie de Beer, is coming to KAMERS/Makers Irene. Join Vickie’s food demo as she shares tasty, new and exciting ideas for easy entertaining.
After years in the industry, how does a food editor (who loved carbs!) end up being the author of My Low Carb Kitchen and The Low Carb Solution for Diabetics? Vickie’s story starts very close to home and she has graciously shared it with us from the intro to My Low Carb Kitchen:
For nearly 20 years my day job has centred on food. I have created, cooked and styled recipes for every occasion you can imagine, from baby showers to braais, weddings to midweek suppers. And yes, I love to eat! Enjoying the delicious dishes at the end of a shoot has been one of the perks of my job.
So there is no way my family and I could give up eating refined carbohydrates.
Or so you would think. I’m talking about cutting out some of the world’s – and our – favourite foods: think French toast, croissants, cakes and sourdough bread.
Who could give them up? Who would want to?
We eat carbs at most meals – and snack on them in between. Think cereals or toast for breakfast; sandwiches and muffins for lunch; pasta, pizza, rice and readymade meals for dinner. In between, we snack on cookies, cakes, chips, chocolate, cool drinks …
Most of us know we should be eating more real food. Remember real food? Meat, fish, vegetables, fruit. Food that actually looks like food. The food your grandparents ate, that ouma spent hours making in the kitchen. Today, we’re all too busy to prepare real food – or so we think. For special occasions and at weekends, we make the effort, but during the week when most of us are short of time, meals need to be made in minutes. Usually, this means filling plates and bellies with mountains of carbs.
Despite the hurdles, my family and I have cut out carbs. We now embrace a life based on low carb Real Food. It took us a year to get there and it wasn’t easy changing ingrained habits, but we have done it and we are reaping rewards that I would never have expected.
This book is about our journey, about how we became a family who eats Low Carb Real Food. If you want to cut carbs and processed foods from your diet – and I believe you should for a whole variety of reasons that you will read about later – this book will show you how. It will inspire, inform and help you initiate the changes that will bring benefits for the rest of your life.
People look at me with shock and horror when the truth about cutting carbs sinks in. Let’s face it, it’s hard to imagine life without mashed potatoes and fries. I am tentatively asked what is and isn’t a carb. Is potato a carb? Rice? What about couscous? I promise you, living without these starchy, often nutritionally empty foods is easier than you think.
In truth, these stodgy staples are often bland and tasteless. It’s the addition of fat, salt, sugar and flavourings that makes them taste the way they do. Believe me, our family eats delicious food every day and never feels cheated or that we are missing out. And let me tell you the truth, if a magazine food editor can cut carbs, so can you!
‘I promise you, living without these starchy, often nutritionally empty foods is easier than you think.’
How it all began
Let me start at our beginning. In 2008 my son Lucca was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He was eight years old. One minute Lucca was a seemingly healthy boy and within half an hour of a visit to our GP for a suspected throat infection he was hospitalised and diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, a potentially life-threatening condition.
Immediately we had to learn how to deal with the diagnosis and make essential lifestyle changes. For a start, we were advised by doctors and dieticians to put Lucca on a low-GI, wholegrain diet. We did exactly that. Who wouldn’t? It’s what the experts told us to do.
We managed Lucca’s diabetes diligently, testing his blood sugar levels and injecting insulin according to a system called carb counting. Also, we managed a good basic blood sugar reading called the HbA1c, another blood test that is used for type 1 and 2 diabetics. Yet our lives were filled with anxiety. It felt like the diabetes was controlling everything we did.
Although Lucca’s average blood sugar level was good, he struggled with unexplained highs and lows that made him feel awful. These highs were detrimental to his long-term health and could cause serious complications, like cardiovascular disease and liver damage, in later life.
Despite constant care and attention, I felt that we were failing Lucca. I had this nagging feeling that there was more we should be doing. Then I met Professor Tim Noakes, read his book The Real Meal Revolution and studied a book called Dr Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars. Dr Richard Bernstein, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 12, is an American physician who has been advocating a low carb diet for diabetics for decades. He is now 81.
Everything I read made sense and all the members of our family – there are five of us – decided to change our way of eating to low carb Real Food. This meant that we stopped eating all starches and sugars; all processed and refined wheat and grain products, and all processed and pre-made foods.
After eating this way for a month we started to see amazing differences in Lucca’s blood sugars. His average blood sugar level was lower and more stable. He slept better and was more focused. The rest of the family experienced welcome changes too. Our energy levels were up and we slept better. Heartburn and digestive problems diminished.
Slowly the health of the whole family improved. After two months, we all started to look leaner and Lucca’s body was fully adapted to this way of eating. As well as Lucca’s blood sugars stabilising, he underwent a personality change. Lucca was never a depressed or negative boy, but now he was giddy with excitement. He played pranks on everyone in the house and was constantly babbling and laughing. Could this be the same child? Could it be that this new diet was changing Lucca’s life? Yes, it was!
Recently, someone asked me whether we would eat ‘normal’ again if a cure for diabetes were found? I realised that this is our ‘normal’ now. We are all experiencing the benefits and will never return to the old way of eating. Our motivation may have been Lucca’s diabetes, but every member of the family has discovered the benefits of eating low carb Real Food. You can too!
How has low carb eating benefited our family? We have experienced:
- Stable blood sugar levels
- Better sleep
- Better energy levels
- Improvement of mood – a more positive outlook on life
- Sustained weight loss – we have all become leaner
- Reduced inflammation in joints and limbs
- Better digestion
- No more heartburn
- Fewer headaches and migraines
- Clearer, healthier skin
- Improved concentration and sharpness
Stay tuned for recipes from Vickie’s book, My Low carb Kitchen, on the blog soon.
Don’t miss Vickie de Beer at KAMERS/Makers Irene this December:
KAMERS/Makers Irene, Pretoria:
Fri, 8 Dec | 10:00 – 13:00
Tickets: R200pp – Bookings at email@example.com
Includes entrance to KAMERS/Makers, a limited edition KAMERS/Makers bag with a new magazine and a glass of bubbly. Vickie’s books will be for sale.
WIN a Ticket to Vickie’s Workshop!
One lucky reader will win a ticket to Vickie’s workshop at KAMERS/Makers Irene, including entrance to the show and a copy of her My Low Carb Kitchen, My Low Carb Kombuis or The Low Carb Solution for Diabetics book. Enter on Facebook by commenting on the post below.
Photos: Craig Frasier & Quivertree.