The shakshuka recipe is a must-try from the "Banting 7 Day Meal Plans" cookbook. 
Picture: Supplied
The shakshuka recipe is a must-try from the "Banting 7 Day Meal Plans" cookbook. Picture: Supplied

PODCAST: Making a meal of Banting.

By Debashine Thangevelo Time of article published Jan 24, 2020

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What started out as a Facebook group for banters several years ago has manifested in a user-friendly cookbook, "Banting 7 Day Meal Plans", with the co-authors Rita Venter, Natalie Lawson and Kim Blom debunking a few myths and inspiring a lifestyle change.

They popped into our office in Johannesburg for a podcast interview a few weeks ago.

Kim Blom, Rita Venter and Natalie Lawson chat about their cookbook, "Banting 7 Day Meal Plans". Picture: Floyd Matlala


They were in town to promote their book and Venter and Blom proved to be chattier in the group. 

Reflecting on the journey, an exuberant Venter says, “Five years ago, I started banting and then I started a group on Facebook. And then Kim joined the group and I added Natalie. So that’s how we met. Although, I’ve known Natalie for a long time now as I grew up with her husband.”

With close to 2 million followers, they are kept busy as the group's admin. 


Venter adds, “We did a beginner guide for our group so people could download that. Libby Doyle and the team from Quivertree Publications saw it and asked if we could translate that into a book. So that’s how it came about.”

Blom explains that Libby asked them to do a book that feels good, is encouraging and would make it easy for people to follow.

Their first draft needed to be condensed to a more user-friendly offering. And they eventually got the balance right. 

“People who have been banting for four to five years say it’s like a refresher course,” Blom points out. 

The book includes a foreword from Tim Noakes, who gave us The Real Meal Revolution several years ago, testimonials, a 10-step guide, frequently asked questions, shopping lists, meal plans and recipes.

Venter explains, “I think 'The Real Meal Revolution' was very intimidating for a lot of people. What most people want to know is: ‘What is banting, how do I start and won’t it kill me?’ We are debunking myths that you need to have very high levels of carbohydrates to function properly. The other thing that we debunk is that it is a very expensive lifestyle. We have people from all walks of life, including unemployed people, banting as well. We encourage people to grow their own vegetables, buy organic food at the taxi rank and to enjoy traditional food like chicken hearts, walkie talkies and chicken livers.”

In the book, there is a green, orange and red list. I quipped about it being very similar to a robot. 

The authors laughed in agreement.

“That’s what we say to people who are out shopping, as soon as you see a red list item, stop, put it back. If it doesn’t have any of that red list ingredients, look at the carbs, is it green or orange. We give people those guidelines. Be sensible and decide what you are going to nourish your body with,” maintains Blom. 

Venter adds, “The best part about  Banting is that you are never hungry. You eat the best food. You are not that miserable person in the corner at a braai, eating a steamed chicken breast.”

The recipes in the book make Banting an inclusive family affair. 

It is not just about weight loss, there have been noticeable health benefits with this lifestyle change. Of course, you should always consult your doctor, first!

Listen to the podcast here:

Podcast interview for "Banting 7 Day Meal Plans".


“Beyond the Spotlight” is an Independent Media Lifestyle biweekly podcast, where we enjoy a no-holds-barred chat with industry heavyweights,  newcomers and trailblazers in the entertainment and lifestyle space. 

The podcast was produced and edited by Masabata Mkwananzi.

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