After Vickie De Beer's son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, her solution was to completely switch her family’s meals to low-carb. It worked and, now an advocate for low-carb living, Vickie is out with her third book on the subject, Low-Carb Express.
Read an extract from the book, plus try out two of her delicious and nutritious recipes from the book on your own family.
The really simple answer: We were never meant to eat such a large amount of refined carbohydrate!
The nutritional triangle (or food pyramid) as we know it was originally adopted by the US Department of Agriculture in the 1990s. Carbohydrates (such as grains) and starches (such as rice, potatoes, bread and pasta) were placed at the bottom of the triangle, meaning they should be consumed more than any other food. Fats were placed right at the top as the food that should be consumed in the smallest quantities.
Fat (and, to a lesser degree, protein) was ostracised as the cause of heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Low-fat products flooded the market, and in order to give them substance and flavour, they were filled with even more starches and sugars. We were deprived of all the good fats that we need for energy, brain function and mental clarity, as well as all the good cholesterol (HDL) that protects us against heart and cardiovascular diseases.
“Low-fat products flooded the market, and in order to give them substance and flavour, they were filled with even more starches and sugars.”
To make matters worse, processed foods and drinks containing hidden starches, thickeners, sodium and sugars became a staple in many time-pressed households.
Together with the increased production of genetically modified grains, the over processing of food and other environmental factors, the high-sugar, high carbohydrate diet promoted by the nutritional triangle has led to worldwide obesity, a type-2 diabetes pandemic, and an increase in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
WHAT LOW-CARB EATING MEANS
- normalising blood sugars and supporting weight loss
- potentially reversing type-2 diabetes and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia
- reducing sugar cravings and inflammation in the body
- mental clarity and improved memory
- more energy and endurance
- fewer digestive problems and less heartburn
- a stronger immune system
- significantly reducing the amount of starches, sugars, grains and legumes you consume
- including good, healthy fats such as essential fatty acids like omega 3 found in avocados and salmon
- including saturated (animal) fats such as bacon and lard, as well as adding good-quality organic and grass-fed protein and eggs back into your diet
- including full-fat, creamy dairy
- replacing all starches and grains with green fibrous vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, green beans and asparagus, as well as other low-carb vegetables such as cauliflower and pumpkin
- cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients, and flavouring food with whole spices and fresh herbs
- knowing what goes into your food
Know what’s for dinner tonight? Why not try one of Vickie’s delicious low-carb recipes?
You can use any combination of vegetables. I sometimes buy a packet of pre-cut stir-fry veggies to save time. A few carrots here and there will not push the carb count up too significantly, so it is a great solution for a quick dinner.
1 red onion
1 small cabbage
2 small leeks
1 large zucchini
30 ml olive oil
500 g pork neck steaks, thinly sliced
salt to taste
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 red chillies, finely chopped
8 cm fresh ginger root, finely chopped
30 ml sesame seeds, plus extra for serving
60 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
30 ml soy sauce
5 ml erythritol
a small handful of fresh coriander
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1. Shred the vegetables with the shredding attachment of a food processor or slice thinly using a mandoline. Set aside until needed.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan or wok over medium heat.
3. Lightly season the pork with salt and fry for 3–4 minutes until golden. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon.
4. Add the garlic, chillies and ginger to the same pan and cook for 1 minute.
5. Add the chopped vegetables and sesame seeds and stirfry for 5–7 minutes.
6. Combine the orange juice, soy sauce and erythritol in a small bowl.
7. Return the pork to the pan and add the orange sauce. Toss well and fry until just heated through.
8. Serve the stir-fry topped with the fresh coriander, scallions and extra sesame seeds.
• Buy stir-fry pork strips to save time.
• You can substitute beef or chicken for the pork.
GRILLED FISH WITH LEMON AND CAPER BUTTER
Flavoured butters are one of the quickest ways to add flavour to dishes. You can even make them in advance and keep them in the fridge in little rolls.
100 g butter
2 garlic cloves
a small handful of fresh parsley
a small handful of fresh dill
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
30 ml capers, plus extra for serving
4 x 150 g white fish fillets such as kingklip or hake
a pinch of salt
100 g fine green beans
100 g asparagus
1. Place a medium frying pan over medium heat and a medium saucepan of salted warm water over high heat.
2. Combine the butter, garlic, herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice and capers in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.
3. Place half the caper butter in the frying pan and add the fish fillets. Season with the salt and fry the fillets for 2 minutes on each side.
4. As soon as the water in the saucepan is boiling, add the beans and asparagus and simmer for 1 minute. Drain and add to the pan with the fish along with the remaining caper butter. Toss gently and serve.
• Thai-flavoured butter: combine 100 g butter with 1 green chilli, 1 garlic clove, 6 cm ginger root, the soft inside of 1 lemongrass stalk and a small handful of fresh coriander. Process until smooth.
• Mexican-flavoured butter: combine 100 g butter with 1 jalapeño chilli, 1 garlic clove, 10 ml smoked
paprika, 5 ml cumin seeds and a small handful of fresh coriander. Process until smooth.
by Vickie de Beer
BEFORE YOU GO…
You might also enjoy Jamie's back with new achievable, exciting and tasty recipes.