Me: Banting. Know what it is?
You: Isn’t it the form of sewing where you quilt two pieces of fabric together with fluffy stuff in the middle?
Me: I don’t even know what you’re talking about.
You: Oh. I thought we were playing Balderdash.
Me: (opens mouth but nothing comes out)
Banting is way of eating where you eat lots of fat, while avoiding bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and sugar. That means you can have the breakfasts you dream of on normal diets. Imagine a pan with sizzling butter. The golden aroma fills the kitchen. You reverently place two rashers of streaky bacon into the pan, along with a tomato and some chopped mushrooms. Finally you add two eggs. In a separate pot you steam a bunch of spinach in cream. You sit down with your knife and fork and can’t believe how food this good is actually part of a diet designed to make you lose weight.
The next morning, you go through the same process and it’s still great. On the third morning you find you’re not looking forward to it as much. By the fourth morning, all you want is a fruit smoothie.
You know, I’ve spent most of my life being careful with food. I’ve tried not to overindulge. I hardly ever have pudding when I go out to eat. Actually, I hardly ever go out to eat, so maybe that’s not a dependable yardstick. I bake all the time and eat hardly any of it. I don’t deep fry – I’ve always been light on any form of fat in my cooking. Have you any idea how hard it is to deliberately eat butter, cream, cheese, seeds, nuts…
Yesterday I had a meeting at which pizza was being served for dinner. I took my own. No, not my own pizza! My own dinner. I had salmon, avo and a salad with almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds thrown in. It was actually delicious and quite a few people were envious when they had eaten one slice too much of pizza or an extra piece of garlic bread and were feeling bloated. I felt great. I can do that kind of thing as a one-off, but how can I sustain it? I’m so used to grabbing a packet of mince and making meatballs with rice or spaghetti bolognese. For this evening’s meal I have selected a packet of chicken tenderloins. Already I am agonising over how I’m going to cook them to make sure there is enough fat in the meal.
My concern is that this will all become too hard and that you’ll find me quivering in the corner, nibbling on a pork chop.