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Eating to Live

By 7th August 2012 No Comments


Bill Phillips is the founder of the Body-for-Life programme, author of the Body-for Life book as well as Eating-for-Life and CEO of EAS, a nutritional supplement company. I would say that he is the ‘founder’ of these 12 week transformation challenges.

Bill Phillips’ Best Selling Book Body for Life

(click above to go to his website?

I became interested in his transformation challenge philosophy during my varsity days. I liked his holistic approach. His training and eating philosophies were unique, perhaps even revolutionary, and that’s where I learnt about eating to live and not living to eat. It required such a huge mindset change though. Coloured people LOVE to eat! Having come from impoverished bakgrounds it was considered ‘poor’ to eat one meal. So families did everything in their power to ensure that at any speacial occasion or even Sunday lunch—there were at least two meals to choose from. The meal always consisted of rice and potatoes as starch staples and these accompanied curries, stews or roasts. It’s taken over five years for me to adopt an eat-to-live philosophy but it’s only because I got tired of the ‘life is too short, enjoy it by eating whatever you want’ mindset. Why? Because I also grew tired of hearing myself complain about my weight and how I felt, day in & day out. I feel 100% better since I adopted this approach to eating—it just makes sense. Why give your body way more than it needs?! That’s giving it a reason to store!!! And guess what? It stores it as FAT!! It’s not easy but it takes discipline, remember the equation:

Desire + Discipline = Delight

well, if you desire to eat healthier, take the time to develop a disciplined approach to eating and eventually you’ll delight in eating salads, cottage cheese, rye bread or whichever foods you previously loathed or avoided. Your body is a wonderfully complex machine. Feeding it the right fuel allows it to function optimally. Conversely, feeding it junk results in sluggish, lethargic, sub-optimal performance….I almost feel like saying ‘duh’ isn’t that logical? So why do we fail to practice this type of eating? Answering that question is probably a dissertation on its own! I know that in my case, although we ate fairly well as a family, a huge part of our poor eating habits can be attributed to culture and upbringing. Take the family scenario I touched on earlier, it’s Sunday lunch at the Petersen family (the most common coloured surname I can think of right now) and mom invites some of the extended family over. She lays out a feast fit for a king! Mutton curry and chicken curry, two types of rice dishes—white basmati with fried onion sprinkles and butter, the other sweet saffron rice with raisins. The leg of lamb simply cannot be served without roast potatoes and veggies – which have been cooked beyond having any nutritional value but taste absolutely devine because half a packet of sugar and coconut flakes were used to flavour the pumpkin and double thick cream was used in the creamed spinach. Prior to the meal there would have been bowls of crisps, pretzels, peanuts and sweets for snacks. On to the dessert which would have included at least one hot and one cold dessert. These could consist of ice-cream and chocolate sauce, a pudding (think baked, like malva or sago) and custard AND a cake!!

Get the picture? Now I know this is not typical of the coloured community only, I’m just using my own family experiences as an example. I’m sure you can share similar cultural experiences. In fact I’d love to hear them!

It’s so important to delve into your upbringing, your culture and background to asses what has formed your good/poor eating habits. So the adage goes— you don’t know where you’re going until you know where you come from. In other words what is your starting point? How can you change something you dont know is bad? Or keep something you never knew was good. It doesnt matter how far the destination is—if you don’t know where your starting point is, it becomes challenging to plot your route and plan the details of your course.

A good way to asses your eating habits is to keep a food journal, for at least a week a two. That way you can track your strengths, weaknesses and areas of improvement. Why not create an Instagram food journal? This is a great way to share your progress, swap recipes but also keeps you accountable!

Here’s what I ate this past week:


I drink a mug of green tea every morning upon waking up. I add some lemon juice to it. Some mornings I’ll have a cup of coffee. Black with Natreen sweetner (aspartame free) or with a dash of fat free milk.

Multibionta fizzy….need these for that extra kick and to prevent that midday fatigue that comes with our early call times!

Flaxseed porridge: linseeds ground in a coffee grinder, about 1/3 cup. A scoop of Evox Lean Pro, a teaspoon of cinnamon and you just add hot water.

I often organise meetings at Mugg & Bean where I eat my ‘second’ breakfast: scrambled eggs on a slice of rye. Americano with sweetner.


Heinz shredded chicken in an arrabbiata sauce,
basmati rice and salad

Woolies lean mince in an arrabbiata sauce (homemade) on a slice of 100% rye toast with salad

Woolies Low GI soup

Woolies steak (lean rump here) with salad. For dinner I usually cut out carbs
although this depends on the time at which I have dinner,
a later dinner = no carbs.

I had dinner at my in-laws the other night and they know we’ve changed our eating habits. My mom cooked a nice pot of chicken curry, which isn’t too bad as she served it with basmati rice and it was quite early (4pm) so I probably could have eaten it but she got me this instead. Woolies is so reliable when it comes to clean-eating options, as you can see I do the bulk of my grocery shopping there. It’s worth the extra rands for the quality.

Hamburgers and salad. Wholewheat rolls and lean burgers from Woolies. I have one or 1 1/2.

I attend a lot of functions and this is usually the type of spread you’ll find at most launches. I usually carry around my cooler bag with snacks to avoid having to eat at a place where healthy food is not on the menu however I cant always take this beautifullu uncool cooler bag into every function and I have seen that more often healthier options are being included in the buffet…see below

Another function I attended: The Women in Media Awards at Summerplace. This time the meals were plated. The starter would have been okay if you avoided eating the pastry and breadstick. The main was also okay but together the portion is way too much. One of the challenges of eating clean is learning to manage your portion sizes.


Blueberry protein muffins, look out for a recipe in future posts!

These are fantastic snack packs: Woolies BBQ chicken fillets. I buy these to eat after training if I havent packed anything.

Springbok Biltong: you may not like the taste but it’s lean. Biltong is a great snack and its easy to carry around. I bought a whole lot of these small plastic containers which make planning a breeze.

These snack packs from woolies are also fantastic, especially if you can get them on the 3 for 2 special! They’re convenient and a sure way to avoid eating the wrong thing. If you don’t like the taste of ostrich biltong (the leanest option) then go for the beef. Always choose trim or lean biltong.

Another easy/covenient snack option: raw almonds! About a handful is
good, that’s about 20-25 almonds.

Items you’ll always find in my kitchen:

Evox Lean Pro Diet Protein and CLA

I use blueberries in my protein waffles and muffins. I also use them in my
breakast meals.

We cook with coconut oil, I’ll do a post on coconut oil soon.

I use cottage cheese in practically everything! 😉 it’s a great source of
good quality protein. I had to acquire a taste for it and I have to say that I stil havent developed a tatse for the chunky version.

Pics : www.transformation.com and Instagram


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