Bicycling (South Africa)

The Real Recovery Food Revolution

Carb-free eating has never been this good.

- By Mike Finch

One of the co-authors of the best-selling The Real Meal Revolution has a new book out. And it’s not just for banters… it’s also ideal for active cyclists wanting to recover fast – the healthy way.

Twas one of the biggest-selling books ever produced in South Africa, with over 350 000 copies sold. It popularise­d a new term – ‘banting’ – and thousands flocked to the temple of Low Carb, High Fat (LCHF).

It was a win-win concept: the book was underpinne­d by legendary sports scientist Professor Tim Noakes, and married the skills of nutritioni­st Sally-Ann Creed and chef and sportsman Jonno Proudfoot. Plus, who doesn’t want to eat a fatty lamb chop and a plate of bacon for breakfast?

But since the release of the book in 2013, there has also been controvers­y. Noakes’ outspoken thoughts on the high-fat diet have attracted the ire of the dietetics community, and health profession­als have called him reckless and irresponsi­ble.

The book itself was often criticised for being overly elitist, complicate­d, and not sustainabl­e in the long run.

Enter Proudfoot’s 300-recipe Low Carb Cooking – designed to continue fulfilling the needs of ‘banters’, but offering a more accessible, less complicate­d and more user-friendly take on lowcarb cooking, without the ‘high-fat’ push.

“This is definitely a standalone tool for anyone who wants to follow a low-carb diet but also make delicious food,” says Proudfoot, who is himself a keen runner and CrossFit enthusiast, and once swam 459km from Mozambique to Madagascar over 24 days for charity.

For cyclists, eating for recovery is essential – while not taking in the wrong foods, which would negate all the hard work you’ve put in on the bike.

“Nutrient density is key,” says Proudfoot. “You want to fill up on foods that are high in nutrients before you fill up on stuff that will stimulate fat accumulati­on and release insulin.

“So the key here is fast digestion, if possible, and low-to-no carbs – otherwise, you basically undo all the good you just did.”

Proudfoot’s new book uses 40 different cuisine styles from Asian to Middle Eastern to French, and mixes together common ingredient­s on his ‘green’ list to ensure tasty meals that are low in carbs but still great for families and dinner parties.

“The bonus to this book is that if you can cook all the recipes, you can claim some cooking mastery,” Proudfoot says. He’s adamant that his new project is not a diet book, but a cooking aid, and ideal for everyday cooking at home. “It’s all about quality ingredient­s and good cooking techniques.” And while he admits that there’s less science, compared to the first book, it still caters for banters who restrict their carb intake.

“My philosophy has always been about loving and enjoying food, and not obsessing over diet,” he says. “The best way to lose weight is to forget about losing weight, and focus on eating real foods.”

For Proudfoot, the message in the new book is simple: goodqualit­y foods are already lower in carbs; and mastering the cooking techniques means you don’t have to sacrifice taste for healthy eating.

The book also offers plenty of cheaper food alternativ­es, and cooking techniques that anyone can master.

“Take broccoli, for instance… you can have it simply buttered; but you can also add technique and complexity, depending on how busy you want to get.”

Though active, Proudfoot is not an obsessive banter himself, and believes that some good carbs are necessary if you’re an active sportsman and runner.

“If I’ve had a big workout day, then I include a baked potato in the evening meal. It’s about eating real food,” he says. “The goal is learning how to manage your food; and the more you learn about the food you’re eating, the more you can manage your weight.”

“Low-to-no carbs – otherwise, you basically undo all the good you just did.”

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Buy the book R279 More info realmealre­

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