So its off to the shop to buy the right “banting” foods

O dear, no beetroot – how cruel can a diet be?? I really don’t mind the no potato, no rice, no  bread rule, but no beetroot??


I have to admit the Tim Noakes book looks like a Bible – and no doubt, in some cases are revered on the same level as a Bible. Some of my clients have reported huge weight losses on this diet, and I am green with envy. But as per most diets over the years, it is so difficult to actually fine-tune the brain to accept that I MAY NOT eat this, or that, and that the restriction in itself makes for me to not even start. HOWEVER, this diet is really not a restrictive diet as to how much you may eat – no weighing, no portions (other than fruit per day), and thus it should be easy. But this pea-brain of mine, that knows all too well that I am Slightly Overweight (O K, my view at times – sometimes it is seriously overweight!), just cannot kick itself into gear to start, and I have found every excuse under the sun not to start – best excuse being that the sweet temptations in the house needs to be eaten up first, and then I can start. The “Bible diet book” actually tells you to literally TOSS the offending food items, but hey, how will I ever be able to toss a Yorkie Bar?? And then there is the tiny problem of loving drinking yoghurt, but in South Africa (not sure about the rest of the world), you simply do not find them without sugar added.

I made a huge fish pie for lunch, and even my daughter Belinda, who is an excellent cook, will be proud of my effort. The last of the Weskus fish my husband smuggled to the farm in our deep fridge when he moved some stuff up to the farm again, were dutifully taken out this morning, but when I saw the air temperature in the house is not going to thaw them in time for lunch, I hung them in the plastic packets on the tree outside, which worked charmingly. Then of course, I realized that I would need to scale them. Well, as I am dressed rather smartly today, there was no way in hell I was going to scale some fish and risk me being covered in either scales or water splashes that would result in me smelling like a fish-monger. So, trusted Google helped again, and volia! – I got to Martha Steward’s blog on grilling fish with scales and all, with the promise of simply being able to peel the scaly skin off afterwards. Let me tell you, it worked like a bomb – I was literally able to spoon out the stunning white fish from the hard outer layers, flake it, make sure there were no bones at all in it, and proceed with my pie. The bones and surrounding meats were cooked up for more broth – yes, the “Bible” tells us to cook leftovers for broth!!.

I love the fact that I can use so much butter, so I fried a huge onion and lotsa mushrooms in a dollop of butter, added spice, and mixed it into the flaked fish. This was topped off with an egg and milk mix, just like we use for the traditional South African Bobotie dish, and the piece-de-resistance:  sprinkled cheddar cheese that I grilled to perfection after cooking the pie till firm. So, my first real banting dish made from scratch, and it was delicious.

Now, to get into the eggs, bacon and the fat, o yes, the fat – me, who have never eaten chicken skins, nor the fat on any meat, not even a well barbequed braai chop, must now get used to eating the whole caboodle – fat and all. Ah well, who would have thought that fat erases fat? Or so we are now led to believe, and as they say, the proof is in the pudding – in this case, the number of testimonials about this wonder diet.

So tomorrow, it is off to the shop I go to buy the “right” nuts, the “right” oils, fresh cabbage and then some more, and then to start this new cult in full force! Send me your stories too please, I want to know if you have had any success.

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Paleo / Banting / Tim Noakes / Atkins – the list goes on…….

O my word – you cannot open the newspaper without at least a full page devoted to Banting, or go out with friends for a breakfast without everyone asking if you are “banting”, and as true as Bob, even get a “banting” meal at a restaurant in South Africa these days.  Everyone is on the band-wagon!

Some fellow bloggers have written about “banting on a shoe-string budget”, others have bragged about their weight loss, with photos et al, and the local gossip magazine, “Huisgenoot”, as well as Sunday newspaper “Rapport”, have all had pages and pages devoted to the pros and cons of the high fat, no (or low) carb diet Prof Tim Noakes is advocating.  And those who have lost weight, have miraculously also had all their illnesses like diabetes, brought under better control.

So now, my fellow bloggers and readers, I am to confess, even I went and bought this book.  And who knows, maybe a slimmer, more healthy Suletta is going to emerge from the folds of too much sweet, doughy, yummy treats around the waistline.  Those who know me, will also know that a packet of fudge has no chance of even touching sides once I’ve opened it –
I LOVE sugar!!  So to lay off the cakes, sweets and treats, is going to take every bit of willpower I can muster up.  If there are readers who can encourage me, or who want to share their experience on this, or any other diet, please, please send those comments.  And we will watch this space………


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Bucket lists

Dear Suletta

I am aware that you have a bucket list of things you still want to see and do in your lifetime, and I thought it is a very good time to remind you about these, as you are getting older by the minute, the second, of each hour, each day, each week, month and year!!

You have achieved much in the last two and a half years, stuff that many people dream of – you have settled down in a marriage that is seemingly made in heaven, with a man that surely has invisible angel wings and halo! And you have, after many years of wondering whether it actually is a fallacy, discovered that love truly exist, and once found, can represent that clay pot you’ve so often visualized, pure – with no cracks, holding the golden elixir of pure, unadulterated love, bliss, happiness of being with THE ONE!! And although I agree that this in itself is the one ultimate bucket list wish you had (I know, I know – not all the time, as I know all too well that you sometimes thought you can fly solo very successfully), there are practical goals that you must revisit – life could be short, or it could be extremely long and some deposits in the memory bank can only come to good use one day should this be the case for you.

So, my dear, darling Suletta, remember your wishes before this life love came along, and strive to now still see and experience these, though you need to alter the picture in your head to encompass the love of your life too. Can you imagine the pure joy of doing all these dreamy things with him? Dancing together in this circle of life and love whilst extracting the joy from each of the bucket list wishes?

So, here my love, is a reminder:

1. Go and trek up to Machu Picchu, but only once you’ve had that knee replacement done.
2. Go wander around in Russia – go photograph the gold on the buildings in St Petersburg, and covet the fact that your love has this same desire to visit Russia too! Perhaps you both hail from there in yonder years??
3. Take him to Mauritius, or Seychelles, or Maldives, and go bathe in the warm water whilst the sun caresses your bodies – older, wiser, more crinkly and saggy bits, but with souls that hold the care-free frolicking of long-forgotten youths, and lips that are still eager to taste the salty water and each other.
4. Go to Paris, and this time try to get to the highest level of the Eifel Tower, cause now you don’t have an excuse – your stronger half is there to support your shaking legs and to guide your eyes to the vista of the city, without looking down and wanting to give in to the pull of acrophobia!
5. Go tour Namibia – allow him to show you where he fought in the unspeakable war when he was a man-child, and had no say about the injustice of a life put on hold for some sad ideas! Go sand boarding at Swakopmund, and allow him to be the tour-guide for the rest of that stark, beautiful country.
6. Take him to Victoria Falls – let him hear the Thunder that Roars and experience the closeness of our Lord in every drop of water falling on him in the rain forest.
7. Go back to Kenya, and the Masaai Mara, so you both can imagine you are Adam and Even again in the original Garden of Eden.
8. Go ride Indian Elephants – you’ve done the African ones, so go seek out the lush forests of India, and peel your eyes for the elusive tiger, and marvel at the colors and scents of India and its wonderful people.
9. Go swim with dolphins in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean in the north of Natal. Pick up the colorful starfish and marvel at their God-made detail, before lowering them in the waters again. BUT, remember, the sea urchins sting!!
10. Go sit on Table Mountain, again and again and again and just look…

I hope I’ve jolted the desire to tick these off again – one by one, Suletta. May God grant you a long and healthy life, in order to do these things, but remember, start with the ones that are less strenuous, as your body, unlike your soul, may not last as long as you would wish for.

In the mean time, remember to love, laugh and appreciate what is placed on your path, and start by smelling the flowers – not just the West Coast abundance in spring, but every small one you see popping up among the rocks of life,  and beware the thorns in that path you walk!

Look after yourself.

Your conscience.

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A winter’s day on the beach

It has been a hectic start to winter in Cape Town, with even more rain this morning, and temperatures quite low.  I had been in Cape Town doing business for more than a week, and returned home to Langebaan last night, to two very excited dogs who were in desperate need of a good romp on the beach.  So, even though this morning broke dark and gloomy, I donned some warm clothes, beanie et al, and made my way to the beach with them.  And as always, my little camera was a trusted companion too – and just as well, cause I shot some amazing photos of very nosy seagulls, and the rough, dark waters of the lagoon.

Such a beautiful place this West Coast with its charming beaches and friendly people.   Even the dogs always meet up with doggie friends on the beach.  And then, when I got home, I noticed that some flowers are already out – the flower season from August is sure to be a winner again this year, as the rain is plentiful and on time.   Enjoy the pictures with me!!

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South Africa – a diverse country of endless beauty, even in ice-cold winter!!

It is winter in South Africa, and being such a large country, we have a huge variety of climates ranging from Mediterranean climate, to sub-tropical and everything in between.  Cape Town, at the very bottom, suffers from the most severe winter rains, but my o my, is the land beautiful, fresh and green after some good rain!  The same rain causes the West Coast to explode in a fairyland of veld flowers come spring too.  As you go more inland towards the Northern Cape and North West Province, the nights become freezing cold, only for you to peel of the layers of clothing as the days warm up after noon.  Here, the summer rains drench the dried-out, parched land, so winter landscapes are harsh and pale.  The Kwazulu-Natal region hosts our highest mountains, the Drakensberg, and these are a winter-wonderland of snow, even on low-lying areas such as the Midlands.  But, driving down to the coast and into Durban, you’ll be caught if you have not packed summer clothes, as the difference in temperature between Pietermaritzburg and Durban could be as much as 10 – 15% warmer in Durban on any given day!!  I was such a sucker for a few years before I learnt my lesson, with us flying from a blistering cold Cape Town winter, to sunny, warm weather in Durban to go and watch the Durban July horse-race every year.  Year after year I had to go and purchase some cooler clothes once we got to Durban, or swelter in my warm clothes that I foolishly packed yet again.

Winter started early this year, and I would love to share some of our strikingly beautiful winter landscapes with you:

ImageImageImageImageImageImage ImageImage


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Sunset Villas, Velddrif, West Coast, South Africa

I had the pleasure recently to have a business appointment with the owners of this self-catering resort on the beautiful West Coast region of South Africa.  They also run an adventure resort, where you can get real down and dirty on quad bikes, boat trips, clay pigeon shooting, 4 x 4 trips, game drives and many more activities.  Perfect for families, or corporate team building events.  A shuttle service is available between Cape Town, the airport and Laaiplek, Velddrif.  If you have never been to the West Coast, come and be mesmerized by its unique beauty and ambiance.  Freshly caught fish and chips, within a hop, skip and jump from your apartment, a view to die for, clean and neat, fully serviced apartment, and a stunning restaurant and pub on the premises, will make for an unforgettable stay whilst you explore the charms of the region.

Without further ado, let me show you why you should book yourself into this establishment and restore your weary city soul again:




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Posticino Express, Greenmarket Square, Cape Town

Posticino Express

I had the pleasure of spotting this little gem recently when having to wait for a client appointment in town.  It blew my socks off!!  And I dedicate it to my beloved, Kobus!  Till we are 105 and beyond.  Through thick and thin, good times and bad.  Love you.

“Think retro-casual lounge and Italian pizzas, Panini’s, and September pasta specials (Two dishes for R80).  Not only does Posticino Express, a sister of renowned Sea Point Restaurant, Postincino, have its Italian fingers firmly in Greenmarket’s ‘cafe culture’ pie, but this popular lunch spot also serves summer time diners with Friday Jazz nights, from November to April.”




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The Farmhouse Hotel, Langebaan

One of my favourite spots here.  The serenity and calm, complimented by a good glass of South African Wine, and a cheese platter that includes all the favorites. like Brie, Camembert, Gouda, Blue Rock and preserved fig, and a magnificent sunset to boot, completes a perfect picture.299

Add to that some free Wi-Fi, and one can spend hours on the front stoep, just watching the world go by.  Some lazy yachts on the water, more energetic paddling from canoeist, and runners / walkers in the dirt road in front of the Hotel, proves that Langebaan is the place to let all your holiday dreams come true.

The Farmhouse Hotel has real olde world charm, and attention to detail makes you want to go back and take another look, in case you’ve missed something the last time you’ve been. Speciality food themed evenings, lots of watersport activities etc, makes this a hotel of choice for holidaymakers – local folk, or overseas visitors.  Hope to see you soon!!




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The most iconic sight in South Africa – Table Mountain

Taken with my trusted Sony Ericsson Xperia – always in my palm, so I do not miss a shot!

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We need your help – let your heart guide you –

My husband and I, being animal lovers par excellence, have a dream of building kennels for neglected animals on the West Coast of South Africa, near Langebaan, where stray animals can be kept, doctored if need be etc.  We currently have 5 dogs, adopted from various areas in South Africa, 4 cats and an injured giant eagle owl living with us for more than a year already (she lost a claw and a half a wing in an apparent electrical shock, so cannot fend for herself).

My husband, a farmer, have always had a passion for animals and this would be a dream come true for us to erect clean, sustainable kennels near Langebaan, where future funds can be raised by advertising to the hoardes of holiday-makers on this beautiful part of South Africa, to bring their beloved pets along on holiday, but leave them with us.  This will allow the owners to come and collect their pooches once a day for a walk on the beach or a drive, but provide them with board and lodging overnight where animals are not allowed in guest accommodation.  Such funds can then be applied to house strays, or injured animals, where the help of the local vet will be enlisted.

I found Jackie, my African dog, hanging around the cottage we rented whilst on holiday 7 years ago, and after 5 days of her not leaving my side, I asked the cleaner girl about her background, only to learn that she was abandoned at the site by her previous owners.  I immediately booked a plane ticket for her to Cape Town on the same aircraft due to take me home, and she has been my loyal companion ever since.  See my blog – – post “Jackie – an African dog’s travel (B)log”.

Greta, Socks and Fifi were at the SPCA kennels in Kimberley, North West Province, for most of their lives and I shall never forget their exuberance when I let them out the van after we got to the farm, on discovering a huge lawn to run around on!  See blog – post “Adopt a dog month October – go on, adopt a dog at the SPCA or your local shelter”.

Buster, my beautiful black boy, was so maltreated when he was found in the field and looking so poorly, the manager wanted to shoot him but had the heart to first phone my husband to tell him about it.  I will never forget the day when he was offloaded at my house – mud caked onto his coat, some of it sticking into the gaping holes where a barbed wire must have been tied around his neck.  We nursed him, nurtured him, loved him and he bacame the most intelligent, beautiful black boy a dog lover could dream of.  For their afternoon walk, I did one lap of the course with all of them first, and then dropped the older dogs, including my beloved Bonjo who was 12 years old already, before taking Buster around for a faster second lap to get him to excercise properly – he would run beside me with ears flat, his gait like that of a young filly – all legs!

Lady was lying in the dark shoulder of the road when my husband drove to the other farms early one morning, after what must have been the coldest night of winter last year.  He did not realise it was a dog at first, driving on, but then saw her lift her head in his rear view mirror, which promted him to turn around and go back.  She had just enough strength to still lift a paw in greeting, barely being able to see out of frosted-over eyes.  He took her into the hold of the vehicle with him, and turned on the heater for the next 200kms to warm her enough for her to peer at him from under his elbow where she had tucked her nose, water still streaming from her eyes for days after.  We had her spayed, and then the fateful Sunday when these two beautiful creatures, Lady (photo attached) and Buster were shot in cold blood by a neigbouring farmer after getting through his fence.  This episode was one of the most inexplicable, most painful experiences in our lives, and we miss them every day.  See blog – post “My beloved dogs killed in cold blood”.

And then of course Alleycat – when we first knew we were going to Zanzibar, we found Alley a good home, but clearly not to his liking, as he walked home across a river, much to his tearful father’s delight, and we promptly booked a ticket for him to go to Zanzibar as well, as were our beloved dogs.

And Koekoes, my owl, whom we love with all our hearts – so helpless, defenceless, but so precious to us!  She has a rockery, built with dad’s loving hands, where she lives during the day, and at night she hops off and roams in the passage.  She is not allowed out without supervision, as I have witnessed black crows diving down on her mockingly, surely knowing she is disabled.  She talks to me in her loving sounds every time she just gets a glimpse of me, and clucks and puffs at the dogs when they come too near.  See blog, post “The Menagerie is growing”.

So, as you can see, we have personally had a really rough year with heartache with our animals, and we want to make a difference, if only on a small scale, by acquiring land and building a care centre for abandoned, injured or lost animals.

Please help us to make our dream come true!  If this truly happens, I will keep a blog with updates going for all to see going forward.

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