With Tell’s Kitchen, I want to share my favorite recipes from all over the world and my newly discovered dietary lifestyle.
My name is Tino Herger and I live in Wilderswil, Switzerland in the beautiful Bernese Oberland. I have not spent my whole life here, but now I feel like I have arrived at my destination. The nature, the mountains and lakes, and the excellent infrastructure despite the rural surroundings, make me happy every day.
Cooking has always been my passion. Especially the Thai and American cuisines are my special areas, but nevertheless, the Swiss cuisine is not to be missed.
Since mid-March 2017, I had to change my diet drastically and I now adhere to a low carb lifestyle. Earlier this year, I was told by my doctor to change my diet. Highly elevated blood glucose levels, high blood pressure and massive obesity were the main reasons for her doing so. I knew that if I didn’t want to be dependent on medication for the rest of my life, I could not go on with my ususal way of eating.
My life was marked by countless dietary attempts that were successful in the short term, but they were doomed to failure in every single case, because I could not (or sometimes didn’t really want to) keep up the willpower and discipline to stick to the guidelines. I lost quite some weight with every attempt, only to gain it back later, and then some… Together with my dietician, we decided to use the methods and insights of Dr. Mark Hyman (http://drhyman.com/) to fight against my insulin resistance and to optimize my overall health – a complete success to this day. After only 3 weeks we could see a tendency towards normalization of my blood glucose level and 9 weeks after the start of the program I already lost 10 kgs (around 22 lbs., updated progress chart available here). But not only has my health improved, but also my emotional condition has become better than ever before. A change that also affects people around me and I get lots of positive feedback from my friends and colleagues.
The principle is to consume carbohydrates and proteins in low to moderate amounts and to favor healthy fats (e.g. butter or coconut oil). This “low carb / high fat” (LCHF) nutritional formula forces the body to no longer solely get its energy from carbohydrates (sugars), but to use fat instead and attack the fat reserves. I was skeptical at the beginning. “Can I refrain from eating bread, potatoes (my beloved french fries and mashed potatoes) and sweets?” It was important to set a deadline for the start of my new life. Mental preparation and clearing out the cupboards (away with “bad” products and ingredients) were an essential factor in this preparation. Nevertheless, the first three days were difficult – again and again I had cravings for crispy bread. But honestly, discipline for three days can’t be so difficult after all. I suffered through it and since then I’ve never felt the urge to have sweets or carbohydrate rich foods. The high fat content of the meals results in a particularly fast feeling of satiety and I completely refrain from any sweet sensation, to avoid those carb cravings. Of course, this also marked the end of using prepared foods and industrially refined spice mixes. Cooking with mainly natural ingredients is what I had to go for from now on. Each product is being examined for ingredients prior to purchase. It is unbelievable how many products contain sugar. To this day, I am often shocked by reading the ingredients lists.
Seasoning with salt and pepper and using many herbs (and often chili) and the search for alternatives to my previous favorite dishes opened up a whole new world and every week I have new ideas to cook something delicious. A home made chicken broth instead of simply using a cube or trying or replace mashed potatoes with a cauliflower mash were experiments initially. But everything tastes so much better than the prepared “carbage” from before and walking through the aisles of a grocery store has become a completely new experience.
I always enjoyed cooking for guests. My dishes have always been very popular with our guests, and especially our Christmas dinner, inspired by the traditional US Thanksgiving dinners, has become a tradition for the past years. This year, our guests can now look forward to discovering new and interesting dishes and the side dishes to our Christmas turkey will also be prepared according to the LCHF principle. My search for suitable alternatives has already started, even though it’s still more than half a year until Christmas.