Dark Chocolate: So good you should eat it!!

I was never a chocolate fan. Alright, alright, calm yourselves! I realise that this is not a statement that many normal women make, but it’s true. I always found it too sweet and just generally awful. I never really ventured into the Dark side of things, because this was just too bitter. The result? I just never ate chocolate.

Dark Chocolate

Since I started Banting, things have changed slightly. After a period of time your taste buds seem to reset and start behaving differently. I tried the dark chocolate again and HOLY CRAP it is AWESOME! My best is the Lindt 90%, ama-nom-nom!!

This new found guilty pleasure got me wondering. Am I eating too much of it? I have a block or two per day. So I did what I do best – they don’t call me the Google-Queen for nothing (ok, I’m the only one who calls me that, but still). I found a GREAT blog about the wonders of dark chocolate, and here it is for anyone and everyone to enjoy!


Have fun, and then go buy some Dark Chocolate! Feel free to send some my way too, thanks 🙂

Just Another Banting Blog

Seems like Banting is taking over the internet! Everywhere I look there’s a manifesto or recipe punting the LCHF way. I must say, I love it! So much information out there about a topic that I really believe in.

I wrote my first post about this topic in March this year, My Banting / LCHF Journey Begins. That was quite a while ago so I thought I would provide yet another Banting Blog into the Banting-Sphere, with a little more detail around my final stats.
My LCHF journey began in January 2014, and I’ve been going at it ever since. I was the heaviest I’ve ever been at that stage, a whopping (for me) 71kg. Still carrying the baby-weight after having my son. My goal was to get to my ‘happy weight’, 62kg, and at a push my ‘thin weight’ of 60kg.

Well I am happy to report that on a steady diet of healthy (not to mention YUMMY) fats, lots of veg and very little carb, my weight has been stable for the last 4 months at between 57 and 58kg!! (So if you’re counting, that’s a total loss of 13/14kg!!)

I didn’t know it was possible for me to ever get there, a 50-something number on the scale wasn’t even on my radar. So I got down to 60 (STOKED) and then my body just kept losing weight! I was worried for a little that I wouldn’t be able to stop losing, but I did stabilise. And I feel fabulous! For the first time in my life I’m not obsessed with what the scale says. I know how I feel – great – and for the first time in forever (cue Frozen-theme song) I don’t need a number on a digital-display to make me feel ok about myself.


I’ve finally become one of those people who eats what they want, when they want, and doesn’t worry about gaining weight. And all because I WANT to eat HEALTHY food.

There is a problem though, that this Banting has brought about. I need a new wardrobe because all of my clothes are too big – a problem that I am quite happy to have!! Talk about an expensive lifestyle!! 😉


PS. One of the best things about this lifestyle is the Memes 🙂

Microsoft Exam MB2-703 – CRM 2013 Customisation

I passed my MB2-703 exam last week, and this was one of the blogs I found to be very helpful in my preparation!

Business Analysis Buddy



A few months ago Microsoft updated their set of four exams for Dynamics CRM to bring them in line with the CRM 2013 release.  Having done the original four exams in their CRM 2011 “flavour”, I took and passed MB2-703: Customising and Configuring CRM 2013.

This post then covers how I prepared, what sorts of questions came up and what material I used.

The Exam

The exam is the usual 48 questions of multiple-choice format with a passing level of 70%.  It concentrates on everything that can be customized and configured with CRM 2013 using the “out of the box” tools.  The full curriculum list is at the following link, and this should be your golden standard for what to study and your check list of knowledge just before going in to sit the exam.



The main resources I would recommend are: –

1)      If you can…

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Non-Noodle Noodles for Noodle Fans!!

We have a little spot down the road that makes amazing Chinese food! Before LCHF I would always have a nice Red Thai Curry with egg fried rice or udon noodles. YUM!! Of course since I started Banting, this isn’t really an option. We’ll get the curry because that (theoretically) is ok. I like to pretend they use nice expensive coconut oil, but really, what are the chances? I turn a blind eye and hope for the best. I just can’t give up on that curry.

Once my “Real Meal Revolution” arrived I found the answer, and last night I tried it. It was awesome. Baby Marrow Noodles!!

It was super simple too!

  • Slice baby marrows (I used a Chinese grater my awesome sister in law brought from Germany)
  • Add a little salt (about 2 tsp I believe, although I think a little less would be fine) and mix, then leave in a colander for a while to get rid of extra moisture
  • Fry using oil of your choice (I used coconut, but I’m sure olive oil or butter would work too)
  • Cook until just done
  • Serve and Enjoy!!

Nom nom nom!!
BM NoodlesBM Noodles 3


My Banting/LCHF Journey Begins

I have always been a relatively slim, active girl (wow, that makes me sound young!). My weight tends to fluctuate by 2 or 3 kgs, but nothing serious. My blood pressure is generally slightly high, but so is my dad’s. I blame genetics. Or I did.

My first attempt at No-Carb Bread!
My first attempt at No-Carb Bread!

Being a woman, of course my weight and figure is always something that plays a role in my self-image. I like being considered to be thin. It’s good for my ego. I have mad respect for those people who can be happy with themselves no matter what they weigh, but I am unfortunately not one of them. In my quest to maintain my self-happiness, there have been a number of times in my life where I’ve decided that it’s time to lose a few kilos. This is generally followed by a diet. I have a formula that usually works, and it goes something like this:

  • Lower intake of evil fat-making carbs
  • Lose a kg or two
  • Cravings and cake nightmares set in
  • Be strong, keep away from the red velvet cupcakes
  • Okay, just one red velvet cupcake
  • Or two
  • Ah ballz, I’ve screwed it up anyway, I might as well have a pizza
  • Cue self-loathing and guilt
  • Promise to start being good again. After one more cupcake. Okay fine, I’ll start again on Monday!

This cycle continued most of my post-Matric life, until I fell pregnant with my son. The process of falling pregnant resulted in an extra 4kg, the pregnancy itself in another 18! I kept telling myself I was eating well and I would worry about the extra weight after I gave birth. Of course, after you have a baby there is no time to worry about what you eat between feeds, nappy changes and putting baby to sleep. Not to mention trying to sleep yourself! So what happens? That vision of the beautifully thin and healthy mom sipping on green tea and nibbling on carrots turns into grabbing whatever topping there is to slap on some toast and swigging soda out of the 2l bottle while you wrangle the baby with the other arm. Eventually life goes back to normal (kind of, as normal as life ever is with a baby in it) and you have a bit more time to worry about your appearance. And so my usual cycle of carb-deprived-craving began, again.

I started exercising more and eating less while feeling STARVING absolutely ALL of the time. And the weight started to slowly drop. It was then that a great friend of ours, and our son’s Godfather, came for a visit. Looking spectacular! “What have you been doing?” I asked, desperate for the magic trick that he clearly had stashed up his sleeve. I mean he is an active guy and had always looked pretty good, but THIS was another level! The explanation, as it turned out, was LCHF (Low Carb, High Fat). So I figured, “Why not?” I’d already just about eliminated the carbs (although I had about another day and a bit left until the deprivation would drive me to eat) so what was cutting out a bit of sugar and eating a bit of bacon? Mmmmm, BACON!!

This all happened two months and 6.5kg ago, and I haven’t looked back. It is the first time in my life that I have managed to stick to an eating plan for longer than a month (most of the time I get to about 2 weeks), and I’ve noticed a few key differences with the LCHF way of doing things compared to my usual miserable diets:

  • I have plenty of energy
  • I can eat as much as I want, no restrictions. BONUS!
  • For the first time ever, I feel my body telling me that it’s full, and at that point I can’t eat any more, no matter how yummy the food looks, tastes or smells
  • Overall, I am eating less in quantity and staying full for longer. #WINNING

I’d be lying if I said that I NEVER had a moment where I thought about having a nice can of coke, or eating a sliver of that cake in the office for someone or others birthday. But it is easier, SO much easier, for me to say no to those things now. I’m looking good, and more importantly I’m feeling GREAT!

I’ll post a couple of pics of LCHF recipes that I’ve made as I continue on my journey J And now, some carb-free bread with butter, ham and cheese!! Nom nom nom!!!

LCHF Sarmie

When Does Your Baby Stop Being Your Baby?

Ethan Water Grid

We have a little family ritual when it comes to putting Ethan to bed. Every night he has his bath, usually with Daddy, then it’s off to his room where we get him dressed and read a bedtime story (‘Chocolate Mouse for Greedy Goose’ being a firm favourite, alongside ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’!). After that it’s time for sleep. Daddy gives his baby a kiss and then leaves the two of us alone in the dark, sitting in our swinging chair listening to beautiful scores from movies past on Classic FM.

These moments alone with my baby boy are so precious to me. We’ve had them together pretty much since he was born and I so look forward to every evening when I get to just sit quietly with my little angel in my arms. It was one night a few weeks ago when I realised something wonderful, terrible and, to me, terrifying. My baby, isn’t a baby anymore.

When did that happen?! He went from a helpless little armful of Elizabeth Anne’s smelling innocence, to a vigorous, solid, curious, exceptional little boy. I didn’t see it happen, but when I noticed it, it hit me like a 45kg Dobermann at full pace. I mean, I knew it was going to happen, this “growing up” thing. Obviously I knew it would happen, even longed for it sometimes on those never-ending nights of illness or teething or [insert reason that Ethan keeps waking up every hour here]. But now, I want all of those nights back!!

Ethan is so independent now that, at all of 10.5 months old, most nights he refuses to fall asleep while I’m still holding him. He wants his bottle and then to be put into his cot to fall asleep on his own. This is an achievement that I am incredibly proud of. Some nights, however, he still gives me one of those elusive “magic moments”. On these more-precious-than-diamonds nights, he drinks his milk in my arms, then just lies with me and those sleepy little eyes look directly into mine. I like to think that when he looks at me like that, he knows. In my imagination that look we share allows him to feel how much I adore him, and he understands that he is so incredibly, indescribably loved, and that I would shift heaven and earth to keep him safe and make him happy. It just feels like we connect on some ultimate, mother-son level.

I wish I could take the feeling of that moment and put it in a bottle, so that when he is really and truly grown, I could relive those “magic moments”, even if it was just for a second. These moments have changed me forever. In the absolute best possible way. I feel as though my soul has been branded “Mom”, and I wear that as a badge of pride and my biggest and best achievement yet.

How very blessed I am!

Do I Want a Baby?

Do you know that I was never, ever broody? At least not until we decided to have a baby, and I’m not entirely sure how we came to that decision anyway. We had always said we would wait until I was 30, and then decide from there. I think the real attraction for me was the idea of seeing Francois as a dad, and my parents as grandparents. Me as a mom never factored into it.

Before I had my precious Ethan, I was terrified of kids. Holding someone else’s baby was just not something I would ever do unless forced, it just felt awkward and scary. Seeing little kids running around and being noisy annoyed me more than anything else, and the thought of having to spend all of my time catering to the needs of a helpless little baby just plain freaked me out. And yet, we decided to get pregnant. This requires a whole post to itself, really, but let’s just say that it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t always fun!

Even once I was officially pregnant, I would see babies everywhere and get a little nervous. Was I really doing this? Why was I doing this? What if that broody/maternal feeling just didn’t kick in? Shouldn’t it have kicked in already?! This was life-changing stuff happening inside of me, and I was apprehensive about it. Surely that wasn’t right? Shouldn’t I feel over the moon and at peace and all motherly about this little human growing in my belly? Well, I didn’t feel like that. Don’t get me wrong, I was amazed and grateful and happy, but what I’m saying is that there was this little gnawing feeling of self-doubt that I just couldn’t shake. Talking to my husband about it was difficult because I was ashamed of how I was feeling, but I did, in a kind of round-about way, and was surprised and relieved to find out that he had similar misgivings. He gave me the confidence to believe that whatever happened, and however our lives changed, we would still have and love each other, and we would make things work!

The night before I had Ethan, my darling husband took me to the hospital and we checked in. My C-section was early the next morning so I stayed the night before. I was so grateful for the sleeping pill that my gynae had suggested I take, because once Francois had helped me fill in all the forms and made sure I was ok, I was left alone in my ward and I was scared. Not about the birth, but about losing our lives. There was no turning back, this little dude that had been kicking me in the ribs for the last few months was coming out tomorrow and there was not a damn thing I could do about it. Was I ever going to be able to lie on the couch with Francois and just watch a movie again? Would we ever be able to go out for dinner? Were my night-time cuddles gone forever? It felt that way, and for a few seconds I thought that maybe, just maybe we had made a mistake when we decided to get pregnant. Maybe I should never have gone for that laparoscopy that enabled my body to grow another life. And then I pushed those thoughts away, stomped them down into a tiny protesting corner of my mind and left them there to die. This was happening, tomorrow we were meeting our son and whatever came of that, Francois and I had one another and we would make it work.

Now, 6 months down the line, I can’t believe I ever felt like that. I can’t believe I was scared for our lives to change. Our little Ethan, is an absolute blessing. The second I held him I realised a kind of love that I didn’t know existed until that point.  Seeing him in Francois’ arms was so lovely that it actually made my heart ache. Catching sight of my mom bouncing up and down outside the recovery room, so excited to meet her first grandson, brought an unsurpassed wave of joy over me and seeing my dad hold him for the first time just about blew my mind. Having a child brings a whole new dimension to the emotions that I thought I knew so well. It’s as though all my life I had been feeling just a shadow of what emotions really are. They are so bright and vibrant now that they outshine the sun and can completely overwhelm you.

No, I was never broody. Even while I was pregnant. I was never broody, until I had my son.

So what am I saying? If you are thinking about having a baby, even just a little, know that you might doubt yourself. You might think that you don’t want your life to change too much, that having a child will be too much of an inconvenience. I spent so many years saying that I was too selfish with my time to ever have kids. I think that even those people who know from a young age that they want 7 children will be nervous and feel just a little guilty for those feelings once they are pregnant. What I’m saying is that’s ok. It’s ok to be unsure.

What I’m also saying is that should you take the dive, because that’s what it is, and get pregnant, and have a miracle of a child, you might just surprise yourself and fall deeper in love that you knew was possible.


**special thanks to my fantastic husband and amazing parents for their support and love throughout this amazing journey!

Should I have a baby?

This is a little something that a friend of mine posted on Facebook shortly after having her second baby. It’s something that I think any woman who has even thought about being a mom will be moved by, but for those lucky ladies who have become mothers, you will FEEL the words. I cried, as did my mom, when i read it.  

Us mothers are truly blessed.



“We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of “starting a family.” “We’re taking a survey,” she says half-joking. “Do you think I should have a baby?”

“It will change your life,” I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.

“I know,” she says, “no more sleep…ing in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations.”

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.

I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, “What if that had been MY child?” That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her.

That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of “Mom!” will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moments hesitation.

I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her
baby’s sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy’s desire to go to the men’s room rather than the women’s at McDonald’s will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming
children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.

Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself.

That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give herself up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor.

My daughter’s relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks.

I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child.

I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike.

I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time.

I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.

My daughter’s quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. “You’ll never regret it,” I finally say. Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter’s hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings.
Please share this with a Mom that you know or all of your girlfriends who may someday be Moms. May you always have in your arms the one who is in your heart.”
Author unknown