By Nicky Perks
Over the December holidays I was able to finish reading the newly released book The Low Carb Creed by Sally-Ann Creed, Merle Westcott and Janita Bold. What a fantastic read. The content is comprehensive and easy to understand. Everything you need to know about eating the low-carb, healthy fat way is contained within the fresh-looking white and green foil cover.
Listed at the beginning of the book is “The Creed”, a 20 point guide to doing things correctly. Yes, there is definitely a right and wrong way to following a low carb diet, and these points very effectively summarise the critical success factors.
Chapter 1 lays the foundations. It begins with explanations around hormones and their impact on your weight. Without getting too sciencey it describes how insulin, glucagon, ghrelin, leptin and cortisol all work and why a low carb diet is able to balance these hormones so that you can lose excess weight.
“As long as insulin is around, fat will not be released from the fat cells. You have to find out how many grams of carbs your body can take per day so that your insulin levels are low enough to allow fat to be set free. This is the secret of low carb dieting.” – The Low Carb Creed
If you have any concerns about your cholesterol, the book explains what tests you should have done and what results might indicate a risk for heart disease. You can’t just rely on a total cholesterol score. Since your doctor won’t always order these tests as a matter of routine, this book will empower you to know what to ask for and how to interpret your results.
When one implements a diet higher in fats, the question often is, “What fats can I eat?” The answer to this question is critically important. You don’t want to be eating large quantities of the wrong fats. Chapter 2 goes into detail on this topic. It also provides a thorough explanation as to why seed oils should be avoided and why saturated fat is healthy for you.
Many people still live by the motto, “everything in moderation”. Well, when in comes to gluten and grains, you will quickly learn why even moderation can lead to all sorts of trouble for one’s health. Fatigue, joint pain, depression, anxiety and skin rashes are but a few of the symptoms for a gluten intolerance.
Dairy is a hot topic. The fact remains that some people (mainly men) do well including dairy, and others (mainly women) don’t. It can definitely hinder weight loss, especially when consumed in large amounts. The book highlights the more Paleo version of LCHF for those needing to cut out dairy.
All around the world, countries are experiencing rising rates of obesity and diabetes. This is largely due to the myths and misconceptions that have plagued the nutrition space for the past few decades. The Low Carb Creed sets the record straight. We don’t need to believe the lies any more. To mention just a few of the truths: Butter is healthier than margarine, cholesterol will not clog your arteries, eating fat doesn’t make you fat, vegetables oils like canola and sunflower oil are not good for you and we don’t need wholegrains in our diet – at all.
If you have been diligent in your eating plan, yet still can’t budge the weight, you will find the content of Chapter 3 enlightening. It looks at the connection between sleep, stress and their effect on hormones and ultimately weight loss. The book also provides tips for improving the quality of your sleep.
“At least seven fat-regulating hormones are implicated when it comes to getting good quality sleep. Imbalances in these hormones may lead to weight gain, obesity and of course, other diseases” – The Low Carb Creed
What I thought was clever, is that the book provides simple guidelines for portion control. Often people know what to eat and what not to eat but have no idea how MUCH to eat. It doesn’t have to be complicated. No need for tracking apps and food scales. As long as you have a hand, a fist, a thumb and a palm, you will be able to measure your portions correctly. Guidelines for shopping are useful as well as tips for staying within your budget.
Weight loss stalls can be frustrating and demotivating, especially when you don’t know how to get things moving again. Chapter 4 of the The Low Carb Creed gives excellent advice of what to try. It lists things you have probably never thought of before.
If you want to take your diet from ‘good’ to ‘super duper awesome’, the list of superfoods in Chapter 5 will help you achieve that goal. Instead of spending money on loads of different supplements, you can find out which ones are the important ones that will help you get healthy and lose weight in the section on supplements. Dosages are provided. No conversation about health is complete without discussing gut health and the benefits of probiotics and prebiotics. Fortunately this has been included as well.
We aren’t all the same, so the problems we might experience on LCHF can be different. For example, cramps, constipation, insomnia, bad breath, hair loss etc. The troubleshooting guide will put your mind at rest and provides advice for effectively combatting these issues. If you are the type of person that likes the structure of a meal plan, then you will appreciate the 1- week plan included. They even have another week of budget-friendly meals that won’t break the bank.
Ok, so let’s talk about the new food lists. They have been updated and improved since the release of The Real Meal Revolution’s “red book”. We now have the Green, Gold, Orange, Red and Banned lists. The new colour coding will help you not to overeat without realising it. The book’s advice? Eat from South Africa’s rugby colours – Green and Gold and you won’t go wrong.
If “Kitchen Goddess” is not a label you could claim for yourself, don’t fear. Chapter 6 provides some basic cooking techniques to help get you started. The fact is, if you want to get healthy you must learn how to cook. There is no getting around it.
On that note, at least 1/3 of the 253 page book contains beautifully photographed recipes which are easy to make. No complicated fussy food. There are recipes for breakfast, mains, soups and sides, sauces and dressings, snacks and dessert. Recipes are well laid out with bulleted lists of ingredients and the method given step by step. The dessert section will make your mouth water.
Hosting a dinner party? Janita’s creamy ice-cream or Merle’s chocolate cheesecake will impress the socks off your guests for sure.
I think Sally-Ann, Merle and Janita have done a great job in providing a book containing both amazing recipes and very comprehensive information on the low carb, healthy fat lifestyle .
If you don’t already have a copy, I encourage you to go and buy one.
I am extremely proud that two of our Banting Buddies coaches made such a valuable contribution to this excellent project. Well done ladies. All the recipes look incredible!!
The book is available for purchase at most book stores in South Africa, as well as on Takealot (which has the best price of R 250).
Review written by Nicky Perks