Wednesday, 19 August 2009


...AT ALL! Har-har, you thought I was going to say by bread alone, didn't you?

For some time I had been getting bored with my food. I was like, why bother? Sure, we have to eat and nourish ourselves, but so much of the everyday fare was driving me nuts with its sameness.

Then I spoke to a member of the extended family, who shall remain unnamed, who had recently given up eating carbohydrates. Aside from a quite significant weight loss, the food she described sounded far more interesting than the norm.

So I decided to give it a go. That's right, folks - no bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, and all that stuff.

"But wait a minute," I hear you cry,"How can you ever get full without those things? You must be starving!"

Not so. Not at all. My question to you: Why do we eat bread and potatoes and rice and pasta? I propose that it's mostly just to get full.

Fact: You can get very nicely full without them.

Lunch has become the main meal of my day, consisting of a base of green salad and diverse other items, such as bacon, eggs, mushrooms, avocado, capsicum, fish, and cheeses. Not all at once of course. Just enough to provide variety and of course to get full on. And usually at least three kinds of sauce, such as balsamico on tomatoes and soft cheeses, tomato or basil pesto on hard cheeses, mayo on the greens, and the mustard that comes in the sardine can. I'll put some photos in so you can see what I mean.

There! Now you can't say those are small meals. I have never experienced hunger after finishing off a plate like that.

Eggs are magic. I eat two of them most days for lunch, unless I'm having sardines. And they are incredibly satisfying. No need for bread.

In fact, I have not once noticed a lack of carbohydrates. No sleepiness or weakness, no hunger, no craving for a spud. And don't forget who you're dealing with here: the one-time pasta queen who used to demolish at least four servings of fettucine at one sitting in the all-you-can-eat Spaghetteria chapel bar in Regensburg.

Kiwifruit are also magic. I eat two of them most days for breakfast - the yellow ones mind you, but that's a matter of taste. I eat them with yoghurt and a sprinkling of muesli to give it some crunch. Now strictly speaking, muesli is carbs. But I couldn't give it up entirely, as its lack made breakfast into a very insipid affair.

I also haven't entirely given up porridge oats. The reason for this is simple: eating like this without carbs, when you run out of food, you REALLY run out of food. No bread and jam for a hurried meal. No instant noodles or potato flakes to fill you up. So my emergency ration is now a hot cup of instant soup with a few spoonfuls of oats left to soak for a minute. I don't do that often but it's good to have something on hand for those days when the fridge is looking sadly raided. And no, I still don't go hungry.

Dinner is interesting. Because I eat such large lunches, it doesn't have to be a major thing. Minute steaks are great, as are mushrooms and eggplants and any veggie that takes my fancy. Other times I make a batch of kumara and leek soup. Now the kumara is indeed a potato - a sweet one - but its carb levels are a lot lower than the ordinary humble spud. Fine, I say, fine indeed. I love kumara! And even a small bowl of this soup is very satisfying. You can also add bacon of course. Put it away in little freezer tubs and voilĂ  - my version of a TV dinner.

If you're into sports or you have a relevant medical condition, it is not recommended to quit carbs. Just thought I'd mention that. However, I am still well able to take my brisk half-hour walk each day with no ill effects.

I must admit that I'm fond of a piece of carrot cake now and then. Now that is true luxury. And I have supplies of chocolate on hand for when dour moods must be fought off. But I propose to you that my little piece of cake still has less carbs than all your sandwich bread.

As for the chocolate...well, there's got to be something to live for, right?
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