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Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Superfoods - Some Cheaper Alternatives

Lee Holmes writes:
"You’ll find no shortage of celebrities endorsing various superfoods all over the world wide web and their social media accounts; which is all well and good until you get a closer look at the price of these super-expensive life enhancers! 

You don’t need to burn a hole in your wallet to achieve a healthy and balanced diet. Keep reading for some delicious, healthy, and very affordable alternatives to so called superfoods! I like to call them Supercharged Foods. 

Many of you may be wondering, what makes a food a ‘superfood’? Well, to be honest, there’s no concrete definition; however, the name ‘superfood’ is actually a marketing term, not a scientific one. A superfood is described as being any food that contains high levels of antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals. Antioxidants are well known for their ability to strengthen the immune system, thereby warding off diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. 

The health benefits of these ‘superfoods’ are the result of studies done on specific essential nutrients that are known to prevent disease and improve immunity, and the foods that they can be found in, in large amounts. If studies show that a specific food contains high concentrations of antioxidants, trace minerals and vitamins, such as Vitamin C, K and B, it can then be referred to as a superfood. 

Each time a new study is released shedding light on the health benefits of a specific food, the media runs with this information, publishing their own news stories about these newly researched superfoods. 

In 2014 kale farmers struggled to keep up with the new demand for kale after several studies reported that kale contained high levels of antioxidants and other essential nutrients, leaving many supermarkets out of stock. 

The media has a lot of influence over consumers, and with consumers becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of eating healthy, wholesome foods, it’s no surprise that supermarkets take advantage of this by drastically increasing the price of these foods! 

However, some studies can be misleading, and the results reported can be misinterpreted by the media and consumers. Just because studies have reported that a specific food, such as blueberries, contain large amounts of antioxidants, it doesn’t mean that you have to start eating blueberries every day to maintain vibrant health. 

Superfoods Aren’t The Only Foods That Contain Essential Nutrients ... and by eating a balanced diet that is full of variety, you can guarantee that you’re eating enough essential nutrients without even picking up a superfood. 

It’s safe to say that the superfoods market is booming, and supermarkets and pharmaceutical companies are taking full advantage of it. But the hype of superfoods tends to shine a negative light on many other beneficial wholefoods. Apples and oranges are neglected for berries, rice and pasta are replaced with teff and ancient grains... But why should superfoods be thought of as healthier than other unprocessed foods or Supercharged Foods? Is it because they cost more in the supermarket? Or maybe it’s because the local news reported a story about kale, but not English spinach. 

The take home message here is fill your shopping basket/cart with good, unprocessed healthy foods and try to buy what’s in season…. Those are usually the fruits and vegetables on special, by the way. 

Here’s A Snapshot Of Well-Known Superfoods And Their Nutrients:
Kale: contains large amounts of Vitamin A, K and C.
Avocado: contains monounsaturated fats, fibre and Vitamin C.
Acai Berries: contain fibre, antioxidants, essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
Goji Berries: contain fibre, antioxidants, valuable trace minerals and vitamins, phytosterols.
Blueberries: contain antioxidants, manganese, polyphenols and Vitamin C and K.
Chia Seeds: contain omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Quinoa: contains large amounts of protein, iron, zinc and Vitamin B.
Coconut Water: contains natural sugars and electrolytes.

If you’re on a budget and want to experiment with more affordable alternatives, look for these key Supercharged Foods and enjoy their associated health benefits: 
Broccoli: contains high amounts of Vitamin C, calcium and fibre.
Spinach: contains folate, fibre, Vitamin C and iron.
Sweet Potato: contain niacin, Vitamin A and C.
Kiwi Fruit: contains fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, potassium, magnesium and phytochemicals
Buckwheat: contains fibre, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, iron, Vitamin E, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus.
Sardines, Salmon and Mackerel: contain high levels of protein and omega 3 unsaturated fats.
Nuts: contain zinc, iron and unsaturated fat.
Water: needed to help carry nutrients and oxygen to cells, both of which, if are in low supply, can lead to fatigue and nausea."

Words and picture above from article here

We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy.

Please note, not all may be suitable for you.

If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Monday, 17 September 2018

Chicken Provençal - a favourite recipe !

Chicken Provençal - a favourite

There are quite a few 'Provençal Chicken' (or Chicken Provençal)
recipe ideas around and you may indeed have your own particular favourite. Recipes to me are to be shared, enjoyed, sometimes amended to suit your particular likes and needs.

We bring a variety of recipe ideas to this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

Now, how about the aroma of some great ingredients wafting ... whilst this tasty dish is bubbling in the pan! Then you can enjoy the taste of France at your table!

Serves Four
1 tbsp. oil
100 g lean smoked bacon medallions, roughly chopped
1 red onion, cut into wedges
1 courgette (zucchini), halved and cut into chunks
1 aubergine (eggplant), cut into small pieces
4 tomatoes, cut into large wedges
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
500 g carton passata
half a chicken stock cube, crumbled
460 g chicken thigh fillets
14g of fresh flat leaf parsley, washed and roughly chopped
2 tsp mixed herbs

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, 180°C fan, gas 6. In a large oven proof pan, heat the oil and cook the bacon for 5 minutes until crispy. Remove and reserve for later.
2. Add the onion, courgette, and aubergine (eggplant) to the pan and fry for 5 minutes. Then add the tomatoes, garlic, chilli, passata, 50ml water and chicken stock cube. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for another 5 minutes.
3. Add the chicken thigh fillets, half of the parsley, reserved bacon and mixed herbs. Stir to coat the chicken in sauce and cook for 30 minutes in the oven. Remove from the oven and serve straight away garnished with the remaining parsley and seasoned with freshly ground black pepper.

Make it veggie: Leave out the bacon and chicken, and replace the chicken stock cube with a vegetable stock cube. Cook the vegetables and serve with a nut roast.

Original recipe can be seen here

All the best Jan

Sunday, 16 September 2018

‘No evidence’ high cholesterol causes heart disease, say doctors

Millions of people taking statins ‘despite unproven benefits and serious side effects’

There is no evidence that high levels of total cholesterol or of “bad” cholesterol cause heart disease, according to a new paper by 17 international physicians based on a review of patient data of almost 1.3 million people.

The authors also say their review shows the use of statins – cholesterol lowering drugs – is “of doubtful benefit” when used as primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

The authors include Galway-based Prof Sherif Sultan, professor of the International Society for Vascular Surgery; Scottish-based Dr Malcolm Kendrick, author of The Great Cholesterol Con; and Dr David M Diamond, a US-based neuroscientist and cardiovascular disease researcher.

Prof Sultan said millions of people all over the world, including many with no history of heart disease, are taking statins “despite unproven benefits and serious side effects”.

He was also concerned that inhibitors to further lower LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), referred to as “bad” cholesterol, are being promoted. The cost of that medication is about €20,000 annually, he said.

“We suggest that clinicians should abandon the use of statins and PCSK-9 inhibitors, and instead identify and target the actual causes of cardiovascular disease.”

The paper disputes recommendations in a number of reviews of statin use and claims those are “based on misleading statistics, exclusion of unsuccessful trials and ignoring numerous contradictory observations”.

Bad cholesterol?
The paper is published online this week in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology journal.

Prof Sultan said it involved a comprehensive review of patient-level data of 1,291,317 individuals across existing trials with a view to answering a number of questions including whether LDL-C causes cardiovascular disease.

The paper says high “bad” cholesterol levels appear to be unrelated to the risk of disease, both in individuals with familial hypercholesterolemia (a genetic disorder characterised by high LDL-C levels) and in the general population, he said.

The authors say their review of the data from existing trials showed the benefit from the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs is “questionable”.

They found no association between high total cholesterol and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and noted four studies had confirmed lack of an association between LDL-C and atherosclerosis.

They found patients with acute myocardial infarction had lower than normal “bad” cholesterol and that healthy individuals with low “bad” cholesterol have a “significantly increased” risk of infectious diseases and cancer.

The “strongest finding” was that elderly people with high LDL-C live the longest, Prof Sultan said.

Disappearing claims
On the issue of whether cholesterol-lowering treatment lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, the paper said claims of benefit from statin trials have “virtually disappeared” since new regulations introduced in 2005 by health authorities in Europe and the US specified that all trial data had to be made public.

The authors examined whether the risk of disease fell following the use of statins and concluded statin use in 12 European countries between 2000 and 2012 was not associated with reduced mortality.

The hypothesis that high total cholesterol or LDL-C causes atherosclerosis and disease “has been shown to be false”, they said.

They conclude that high “bad” cholesterol is beneficial in terms of overall lifespan.

They also conclude statin treatment has many serious side effects and claim that these have been “minimised” by certain trials.


Flower Beauties, and as busy as a bee !

Back in June, Eddie and I took you for a walk in the garden, but in case you missed it you can see it here

Like so many, we experienced a hot and quite dry summer and wondered how the garden and it's flowers would cope. Now in these cooler Autumn days, we enjoyed a quiet afternoon stroll and were so pleased that these flowers have bloomed so well.

… and isn't it nice to see the bee, being busy !

please click on pictures to enlarge 

Did you know the saying or phrase, Busy as a Bee, "likely originates from something that bees are known for - being hard workers.

Bees are indeed busy little insects. Doing what, you ask? Pollinating plants, for one! In order to reproduce, many plants actually depend on bees for pollination. How so? For a flower to reproduce, the stamen (the male organ of a flower) has to produce pollen, and then that pollen needs to get to the stigma of the pistil (the female organ of a flower). How does the pollen get there? Bees! When a bee lands on a flower, the pollen sticks to the hairs of its body. Then, when they land on another flower of the same type, the pollen makes contact with the stigma of the flower, and thus pollination occurs. So while bees are buzzing around from plant to plant, they're doing quite a bit of work—they are busy bees indeed.

There's also the part where bees collect nectar (a sugary liquid that flowers produce) and they use that to make honey, and then there is the whole building a hive thing... alright, you get it, they have a lot of work to do. ​

So how old is this saying? Well, it goes back to at least the 14th century. A man named Geoffrey Chaucer is the author of a book called The Canterbury Tales, which is believed to have been written between the years 1387 and 1400. In a part of the book titled "The Merchant's Epilogue," there is a line that reads:

'In wommen been! for ay as bisy as bees.' "

We hope you enjoy your Autumn Days
(or Spring if you are in the Southern Hemisphere)

All the best
Jan and Eddie

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Lana Del Rey - 13 Beaches

It's music night, for this week another song from one of my favourites Lana Del Ray, enjoy Graham

Pepper and Broccoli Medley : Colourful and Tasty

Could you ask for more fabulous colour in a dish than this? Well, surely you'd be hard pressed to! This really is a wonderful combination of peppers and broccoli and a dish like this can be ready in a flash! Well about twelve minutes!

Serves Four
2 tsp groundnut oil
100g frozen chopped onions
1 tbsp. frozen chopped ginger
200g tender-stem broccoli, stems halved
2 red peppers and 2 yellow peppers, de-seeded and cut into thin wedges
1 tbsp. light soy sauce
25g toasted flaked almonds

1. Heat a large wok or non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, then add the oil and swirl around the pan. Add the onions and ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the heat up to high, add the broccoli and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
2. Add the peppers and cook for 6 minutes, stirring as you go. Add the soy sauce and scatter over the flaked almonds. Spoon into a warmed serving bowl and serve straight away.

Original idea is here

Could go well with …
Easy Bake White Fish With Leeks and Cheese
see recipe idea here

… or how about
Chicken Supreme
see recipe idea here

Please note:
A variety of recipes/meal suggestions are found within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Friday, 14 September 2018

Foods That Are High in Vitamin D

Taylor Jones RD writes:
"Vitamin D is the only nutrient your body produces when exposed to sunlight. However, up to 50% of the world's population may not get enough sun, and 40% of US residents are deficient in vitamin D. This is partly because people spend more time indoors, wear sunblock outside and eat a Western diet low in good sources of this vitamin. The Reference Daily Intake (RDI) is 600 IU of vitamin D per day from foods. If you don't get enough sunlight, your intake should likely be closer to 1,000 IU per day.

Here are 9 healthy foods that are high in vitamin D.

1. Salmon
Salmon is a popular fatty fish and a great source of vitamin D.

Summary: Wild salmon contains about 988 IU of vitamin D per serving, while farmed salmon contains 250 IU, on average. That’s 165% and 42% of the RDI, respectively.

2. Herrings and Sardines
Herring is a fish eaten around the world. It can be served raw, canned, smoked or pickled. This small fish is also one of the best sources of vitamin D.
Sardines are a good source of vitamin D as well — one serving contains 272 IU, or 45% of the RDI. 
Summary: Herring contains 1,628 IU of vitamin D per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving. Pickled herring, sardines and other fatty fish, such as halibut and mackerel, are also good sources.

3. Cod Liver Oil 
Cod liver oil is a popular supplement. If you don't like fish, taking cod liver oil can be key to obtaining certain nutrients unavailable in other sources.
Summary: Cod liver oil contains 450 IU of vitamin D per teaspoon (4.9 ml), or 75% of the RDI. It is also high in other nutrients, such as vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids.

4. Canned Tuna

Many people enjoy canned tuna because of its flavour and easy storage methods. It’s also usually cheaper than buying fresh fish.
Summary: Canned tuna contains 236 IU of vitamin D per serving. Choose light tuna and eat 6 ounces (170 grams) or less per week to prevent methylmercury build up.

5. Oysters

Oysters are a type of clam that lives in saltwater. They’re delicious, low in calories and full of nutrients.

Summary: Oysters are full of nutrients and provide 53% of the RDI for vitamin D. They also contain more vitamin B12, copper and zinc than a multivitamin.

6. Shrimp
Shrimp is a popular type of shellfish.
Summary: Shrimp provide 152 IU of vitamin D per serving and are also very low in fat. They do contain cholesterol, but this is not a cause for concern.

7. Egg Yolks
People who don't eat fish should know that seafood is not the only source of vitamin D. Whole eggs are another good source, as well as a wonderfully nutritious food. While most of the protein in an egg is found in the white, the fat, vitamins and minerals are found mostly in the yolk.
Summary: Eggs from commercially raised hens contain only about 30 IU of vitamin D per yolk. However, eggs from hens raised outside or fed vitamin D-enriched feed contain much higher levels.

8. Mushrooms 

Excluding fortified foods, mushrooms are the only plant source of vitamin D. Like humans, mushrooms can synthesize this vitamin when exposed to UV light. However, mushrooms produce vitamin D2, whereas animals produce vitamin D3. Though vitamin D2 helps raise blood levels of vitamin D, it may not be as effective as Vitamin D3. Nonetheless, wild mushrooms are excellent sources of vitamin D2. Commercially grown mushrooms are often grown in the dark and contain very little D2. However, certain brands are treated with UV light. These mushrooms can provide anywhere from 130–450 IU of vitamin D2 per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).

Summary: Mushrooms can synthesize vitamin D2 when exposed to UV light. Only wild mushrooms or mushrooms treated with UV light are good sources of vitamin D.

9. Fortified Foods

Natural sources of vitamin D are limited, especially if you're vegetarian or don't like fish. Fortunately, some food products that don't naturally contain vitamin D are fortified with this nutrient.
Summary: Foods such as cow's milk, soy milk, orange juice, cereals and oatmeal are sometimes fortified with vitamin D. These contain 55–130 IU per serving.

The Bottom Line
Spending time out in the sun is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. However, sufficient sun exposure is difficult for many people to achieve. Getting enough from your diet alone may be difficult, but not impossible. The foods listed in this article are some of the top sources of vitamin D available. Eating plenty of these vitamin-D-rich foods is a great way to make sure you get enough of this important nutrient."

The above is only a snippet of Taylor's article.
You can read it in full, with all related research links here

We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy.

Please note, not all may be suitable for you.

If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Ham and Cheese Quiche with Sun-dried Tomatoes : Gluten Free and Low Carb

Parma ham and sun-dried tomatoes go hand in hand in this beautiful rich and savoury low carb (and gluten free) quiche.

Serves Six
Net Carbs per serving 10g
Pie crust
2⁄3 cup (150ml) sunflower seeds
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
2⁄3 cup (150ml) coconut flour
4 eggs
1⁄3 cup (75ml) light olive oil or melted butter
1 tbsp. ground psyllium husk powder
1 tsp salt
3 oz. (75g) shallots or yellow onions
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
6 eggs
1 cup (225ml) heavy (double) whipping cream
7 oz. (200g) shredded (grated) cheese
4 oz. (110g) Parma ham
1 oz. (30g) tomatoes, sun-dried
7 oz. (200g) lettuce
4 tbsp. olive oil
½ tbsp. red wine vinegar

salt and pepper, to taste
You can either use a large and deep pie dish, but you can also bake it in single serving molds. You just need to adjust the baking time and keep an eye on it. In this case, you should cover with aluminium foil when you are pre-baking so the crust does not get burnt.
If you want to cut down on dairy, you can substitute the cream with mayonnaise.
Recipe instructions
Can be found here

If you may be wondering 'what is psyllium husk?' have a look here

I hope you may try this recipe suggestion soon … you will find a variety of recipe ideas within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues please take these into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

It's Wednesday and Mid-Week Mix Time !

I thought ... goodness it's Wednesday already!
So welcome to my mid-week mix

some wonderful Autumn flowers

some lovely fresh vegetables

our youngest grandson with his football trophy
special moment to cherish ...

Pork Casserole Rustic Style
it's a favourite recipe, and perfect for Autumn Days after football !
see recipe here

Enjoy your day

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Allergies, Blood Sugars, Cancer, Diabetes, Dementia, Eczema and more ...

No this is not the A-Z of illnesses, and I may well be passing on information that you know and have already thought about. On the inter-net and in ‘Blogging Land’ there is so much information available - what we read, what we choose to 'take on board' is of course an individuals choice.

You may have read I am not diabetic, and I have no underlying health problems. My husband Eddie is a Type 2 diabetic. We both follow the Low Carb High Fat lifestyle and since discovering this lifestyle wouldn’t go back to our old eating habits.

Back in 2014 I discovered a lovely lady called Ilona - her story and blog struck a chord, I liked it and I shared it with you then ... and I'm sharing it with you again today. All the words below are Ilona’s and the link to her blog can be found at the bottom of this post.

Thanks for taking the time to read.

All the best Jan

"There are essential amino acids and essential fatty acids, but there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate."
- Dr. Bernstein (Diabetes Solution)

"In reality, those who repudiate a theory that they had once proposed, or a theory that they had accepted enthusiastically and with which they had identified themselves are very rare. The great majority of them shut their ears so as not to hear the crying facts, and shut their eyes so as not to see the glaring facts, in order to remain faithful to their theories in spite of all and everything." - Maurice Arthur (Philosophy of Scientific Investigation, 1921)

Ilona’s Story:

My allergic symptoms appeared in the early 1990s. Over the years, after numerous medical tests in different countries, doctors were still unable to name my condition. The symptoms were similar to sinus infection and hay fever. The only solution was to take antihistamines and nose sprays to ease these debilitating symptoms. The side effects were: drowsiness, dizziness... A few years ago, I started to take the medicines more and more frequently, almost every day. I guess my body got used to them and their effect was not the same anymore. 

I started to be interested in nutrition when my kids developed eczema in 2001. I knew eczema was an immune disorder, and if we give the right nutrients to our body to function well, the immune system will rebalanced itself and the symptoms will disappear. After a few month on a low-fat, low-sugar (vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, whole grains) my kids got better. The symptoms almost completely disappeared within 2 month (without steroids). So I switched to this diet as well.

I was quite happy with the results as I really felt better. I never considered becoming a vegetarian as I knew about the importance of animal food in our diet. I also knew about the harmful effects of sugar. I could not stay long on a high vegetable/fruit diet as I was losing weight (muscle mass). So I went on and off, which allowed me symptom free periods without losing massive weight. When I was off the diet, I was always sick.

A few years ago I started to question conventional wisdom about nutrition, I was doing something wrong. I wanted to know more. I wanted to know how native populations avoided chronic diseases. If it's true that if I eat the right food (designed for my "species"), then I am not supposed to develop allergic symptoms, nor lose or gain weight.

In 2008, I tumbled upon the work of Dr Weston Price: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. It gave me an insight on the health of populations transitioning from their native diet to our modern, "civilized" food. This study has been made in the 1930s and it cannot be repeated today. Everywhere around the world, we all rely on modern food... and try to fix it's consequences.

I also started to read more about biochemistry. I wanted to understand the metabolic effects of our food on our cells. I came to understand that hormones are the main regulators of energy in our body, and insulin is the only hormone responsible for storing fat in our tissues. This led me to understand more about our obesity epidemic and chronic diseases (cancer, diabetes, heart disease...) linked to this condition, and its connection to high insulin levels. My biggest inspiration was Gary Taubes (Good Calories Bad Calories). His logic and critical thinking taught me a lot about the science of nutrition... or the lack of it. 

What I've learned could explain many of my symptoms, my kids disease and many other chronic diseases in my family. I have to admit that I was wrong on the huge importance of saturated fat in our diet. Almost everything I knew about diet was wrong.

I learned that:

- From an evolutionary point of view we are designed to eat dietary fat (bone marrow, organ meat, meat, fish, butter...)
- Native populations considered fat as an important nutrient.
- Saturated fat consumption is not linked to heart disease and does not have an effect on cholesterol in our blood, but sugar does.
- A high carbohydrate and sugar diet is dangerous.
- Obesity cannot be solved by eating less and exercising more.
- Cancer growth is slowed down or reversed on a low-carbohydrate diet.
- On a high fat diet we are not hungry

... and many more.

So I gave the "caveman" diet a try. I guinea-pigged myself to see if it really worked. I cut out all starches and sugars (I reduced the amount of fruits in my diet as well) and replaced them with fat (meat, fish, eggs, organ meat, butter...). In a week my allergic symptoms disappeared completely, and today I am totally off medication.. All this after more than 20 years of suffering from this disease.

My friends and friend's friends became curious about this diet and I am very happy to share my story and what I've learned during these years. When they start eating this way, they tell me about the improvements in their body. The most I hear about is weight loss, better skin, better digestion, absence of hunger, much less allergic reactions...

I hope this blog will help other people learn more about the impact of our food on our health. “

Sorry about the picture quality - Ilona’s Blog is here

Monday, 10 September 2018

Garlic and Rosemary Cauliflower Bread : Lower Carb

Luke Hines writes:
"In my opinion, there’s nothing better than having a loaf of this bread ready to go, either served up on its own or topped with yummy eggs or generous lashings of smashed avocado.

500g (about 1 small head) cauliflower, leaves removed and broken into 4 cm florets
¾ cup coconut oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely diced
½ tsp finely chopped rosemary, plus extra sprigs to garnish
6 eggs, at room temperature, plus 1 extra if needed
¾ cup coconut flour
1 heaped tsp gluten-free baking powder
2 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp. sesame seeds 

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (392°F) and line a 22 cm loaf tin with baking paper.
2. Add the cauliflower florets to a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until the florets are soft, then drain and set aside to dry.
3. Melt a tablespoon of the coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add the garlic, onion, and rosemary and cook, stirring regularly, for 3–4 minutes, or until the onion is caramelised and translucent.
4. Transfer the garlic, onion, and rosemary mixture to a large bowl and whisk in the eggs, then add the coconut flour, baking powder, and salt and mix well to combine, adding an extra egg if the mixture looks a little dry.
5. Using a spoon, gently stir through the cauliflower, being careful not to break up the florets as you go (these give the bread it's wonderful texture).
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, sprinkle over the sesame seeds and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the loaf is set. To test, press down gently on the top of the loaf – if it holds its shape, it’s ready.
7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly in the tin before turning out, slicing, and serving.

8. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer. If not eating straight away, toast under the grill for best results.

Coconut flour can sometimes be a tricky ingredient to work with as it is very absorbent and different brands can vary in density. Whichever you choose, I suggest you use your intuition when cooking with it and add extra eggs or coconut oil to help moisten your ingredients if need be."
Words and picture taken from original article here

If you need help/guidance with measurement/weight conversion please see here 

Please note - a variety of recipe ideas/articles are found within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter. 

All the best Jan

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Slow-Braised Pork shoulder with Cider and Parsnips : One Pot Dish

Many may agree that Pork shoulder is the ideal cut for this warming one-pot! It's packed with delicious autumnal flavours and perfect served with a helping of mashed swede/rutabaga.

Serves 4/5
2 tbsp. olive oil
1kg/2lb 4oz pork shoulder, diced
2 onions, sliced
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
3 parsnips, cut into chunks
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp. plain flour
330ml bottle cider
850ml chicken stock

handful parsley, chopped
To serve
Mashed swede/rutabaga - see here
1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Heat the oil in a large lidded flameproof casserole and brown the meat in batches, then set aside. Fry the onions, celery and parsnips with the bay leaves for 10 mins until golden brown. Sprinkle in the flour and give a good stir, then add the pork and any juices back to the dish. 
2. Add the cider and stock so that the meat and vegetables are covered. Season and bring to a simmer, then cover and put in the oven for 2 hrs.
Serve sprinkled with parsley, also mashed swede/rutabaga
Nutritional Details
Per serving - Fat 29g Carbs 19g Protein 46g
From an original idea here

as well as enjoying this recipe, why not enjoy an Autumn walk, image from here

Please note - a variety of recipe ideas are found within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Ruelle - Carry You ft. Fleurie

It's music night, tonight two American vocalists I confess I've never heard of but nice song and video, enjoy Graham

Apple Crumble : Perfect Autumn Dessert : The Lower Carb Way

Autumn is definitely the right season for delicious apple crumble, and I can remember my dear Mum making a wonderful variety of crumbles using fruits appropriate to the season. She made it 'the traditional' way with flour, sugar etc. which if you have a look around the many recipes available on the 'net' you will see the carbohydrate content could be anything from 65g to 90g per serving! 

Now, if you are diabetic this would have your blood sugars rising, (best avoided!) and if like me you choose to eat the LCHF way and restrict your carb intake to no more than 50g carb per day a 'traditional' crumble is best avoided! 

However, fear not, Apple Crumble - which really is a symbol of great family meals and togetherness - has a lower carb version! Yes fellow low carb blogger Julia McPhee has a 'low carb' version of this family favourite and she says ' No McPhee family gathering is complete (without her version) of Apple Crumble'.  

6 (Granny smith) apples, peeled and sliced
50g Butter
1 cup Almond meal
1 tbsp. Natvia
½ cup chopped nuts or Crunchy Grain Free Granola

1. Boil apples until soft in a small amount of water. Place in a baking dish.
2. Place softened butter, almond meal, Natvia, and nuts in bowl and mix together (real crumble requires mixing by hand), until well combined but still crumbly.
3. Spread over cooked apples and bake at 180 for 30 minutes or until crumble is golden brown. 4. Serve warmed with fresh cream or yoghurt.

Note that nutritional information is calculated for 1 serve of crumble and does not include cream or yoghurt.

Serves: 8
Serving size: 1
Fat: 27.3g
Carbohydrates: 14.9g
Protein: 7.1g

Recipe suggestion from Julia McPhee's blog here

If you need help with measurement and conversion please see here

There is a variety of recipe ideas within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Friday, 7 September 2018

Avocado Mojito Smoothie : Rich, Creamy and Delicious

Luke Hines says:
"This rich and creamy avocado smoothie makes good use of those phenomenally delicious detoxifying ingredients, ginger and turmeric. It’s also full of good fats and is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

1 avocado
1 cup coconut milk
1 handful of mint leaves, plus extra to garnish
3 tbsp. filtered water, plus extra if needed
½ tsp ground turmeric or 5 mm of turmeric, finely grated
1 tsp ground ginger or 1 cm piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
¼ tsp stevia
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 cup crushed ice

Place all the ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and whiz everything together until smooth (if it’s a bit thick for your liking, loosen it up with a little extra water). Pour into glasses, garnish with extra mint leaves and serve.


One of the reasons mint is added to this recipe is because it is a great digestion aid, helping us better process and absorb the nutrients we take on board in all the food we eat. It can also soothe the stomach in cases of indigestion, inflammation or discomfort."
Words and picture from an original article here

If you need help with measurement/weight conversion please see here

From their heart-healthy benefits and skin-loving nutrients to their unique versatility in recipes and making snack times extra delicious, don't you just love avocados … read more about them here

A variety of recipe ideas/articles are found within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Let's Get Tooth Brushing ... some tips on looking after our teeth !

Let’s Get Brushing
Oral hygiene might have more to do with your health than you think, with recent studies showing direct correlations between our mouth and heart disease, diabetes, kidney health, and dementia – making the relationship with your toothbrush a lot more important. As a gateway to the rest of the body, our mouth can harbour a home for nasty radicals as well as good and bad bacteria. Through the various foods, drinks, products, and medications we consume, bad bacteria can build up on our teeth making our gums prone to infection. Over time, inflammation and chemicals can eat away at the gum and cause problems not only for our mouth, but in the rest of the body as well. So how do we keep the bad bacteria in-check? By brushing of course! To understand why it is important to brush our teeth – we need to take a trip back in time, circa WWII, in America. Prior to the 1930s, a mere 7% of Americans brushed their teeth – YUCK! It wasn’t until WWII (after the subsequent release of the nylon toothbrush) that the G.I.’s were ordered to brush their teeth twice a day to keep healthy. A trend that the soldiers brought back home after the war, helping construct the foundation of oral hygiene care as we know it today. This practice followed the shift in our diets, as we evolved from hunters to gathers to grain-eaters, the radicals and starches found in the food we eat led to tooth decay. Whereas early humans, who didn’t have toothbrushes and generally had few cavities, have their diet to thank - their meals were heavier on meat and light on the carbs. Perhaps this might be food for thought when evaluating sugar-rich foods that can make their way into your everyday diet.

Brushing Habits to Quit
Here are some of the common mistakes people are brushing over when brushing, flossing, or washing their teeth.
1. Keeping Your Toothbrush For Too Long
We’ve all been guilty of favouring a toothbrush that’s been worn down to the bristle and, as you’ve probably guessed, frayed or broken bristles won’t clean your mouth properly, accumulating a bed of bacteria and food particles. The American Dental Association recommends changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months or after every season – to ensure you get the most out of your brush.
2. Not Brushing for Long Enough
Now that you’ve got yourself a new toothbrush, just make sure you brush your teeth for long enough! As a rule of thumb, anything shorter than two minutes isn’t good enough as it is important to ensure you get into every nook and cranny!
3. Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard
Although it is important to brush regularly and thoroughly - brushing your teeth is actually more of a delicate process. When brushing with too much pressure, you can actually do more harm than good because it can wear away the thin top layer of gum, leaving the tooth more vulnerable to decay.
4. When We Should be Brushing
We should be brushing our teeth at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. However, it is important to note, cleaning your teeth straight after you’ve had a meal might be doing more damage than cleaning. Certain foods with a high level of acidity in them can soften the enamel in your teeth. Brushing your teeth straight after eating or drinking can damage that softened enamel and can wear away the structure of your teeth. By waiting at least half an hour between eating and brushing, your saliva can neutralise the PH levels in your mouth - that will act as a coat of armour and helps your teeth harden and absorb more calcium.

How to Properly Care for Your Teeth
Although brushing and flossing is an important part of your oral health regimen, your diet, technique and the type of toothbrush you’re using can also attribute to your bright, white smile.
It should come as no surprise that good nutrition and eating habits play a key role in our oral health. We’ve been told for years that sugary foods and drinks are the kryptonite in tooth decay, as their acidic nature sits on top of the teeth wearing away enamel. While this is true, acid-producing bacteria in your mouth feasting on carbohydrates (from sugary foods or starch from bread) causes decay. Foods that cling to your teeth give the bacteria something to savour, but foods that wash away quickly are less likely to cause decay. Eating three meals a day rather than constant snacking is better for your teeth. With fewer meal times your mouth has a chance to wash away food particles with your saliva rather than having constant reintroduction of food.
The proper brushing technique is to place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and in a sweeping/circular motion, roll the brush away from the gumline to remove plaque and debris. It is important to brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and chewing surfaces of the teeth. But remember, you don’t need to push down hard on your brush. A light pressure is more than enough to get your teeth nice and clean.
Types of Toothbrushes
When it comes to choosing the right toothbrush, most dental professionals agree that soft-bristled brushes are best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth. Small-headed brushes are also preferable, since they can reach all areas of the mouth. Although the verdict is still out over electric vs disposable toothbrushes, a recent study found that a certain type of powered toothbrush called a ‘rotation oscillation’ toothbrush is more effective in fighting plaque than a manual brush.

By supporting your mouth and teeth with good oral hygiene practices and a healthy diet, your mouth has a better chance to support your body’s overall well-being.

Remember, if you notice any unusual changes in your mouth, make sure you book an appointment with your dentist or health professional.

Words and links taken from an article by James Colquhoun here

You may also like to read 'Take care of your teeth and gums' by NHS UK here

Dear reader, within this blog you will find a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, music and recipes! It is presented in a magazine style - we hope something for everyone. Our main focus is about the Low Carb Higher (Healthy) Fat lifestyle, LCHF for short, and you can read/find out more about that here

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Rhubarb Fool - A Delicious Dessert

A fruit fool is a classic English dessert, and the recipe suggestion here is for a Rhubarb Fool - but did you know that the rhubarb plant, with edible, long, fleshy, petioles is classified as a vegetable and not a fruit! Because it is a very versatile vegetable, and used for baking pies, cakes, muffins, breads, cookies, and more, it is often thought of as a fruit - however, rhubarb is a vegetable!

Nutritionally, it is low in calories, and this vegetable is made up of about 95% water, and is quite acidic (pH 3.1). The acid is usually well offset by the addition of sugar or sweetener when it is baked or stewed, or used as an ingredient in any recipe.
An alternative to using granulated sugar when sweetening is to sweeten it by combining it with other, sweeter foods, such as strawberries, apples, peaches, or other fruits. Or try sugar substitutes such as "Splenda" alone, for those living the LCHF lifestyle use your own preferred sweetener when making the Rhubarb Fool Dessert in the recipe shown below, this keeps the carb count as low as possible … 

Serves Four
350g/12oz rhubarb
55g/2oz (sugar) equivalent sweetener of your choice
1 orange, juice only
150ml/¼ pint cream, whipped
1 egg white, beaten until peaked 

1. Place the rhubarb, sweetener, orange juice and enough water to cover the rhubarb in a medium pan. Boil rapidly until rhubarb is soft.
2. In a bowl, fold the egg white into the whipped cream.
3. When the rhubarb is soft, remove it from the liquid with a slotted spoon. Fold the fruit into the egg white and cream mixture. Reserve a little rhubarb for decoration.
4. Spoon the resulting fool into a tall dessert glass. Top with the reserved rhubarb and serve.

From an original recipe idea here 

Please note - a variety of recipe ideas are found within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter. 

All the best Jan