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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Citrus Custard Dessert : Low Carb / Keto

This low carb citrus custard dessert, or posset recipe, is a conversion of the classic British custard recipe called posset. A posset (also historically spelled poshote, poshotte) was originally a popular British hot drink made of milk curdled with wine or ale, often spiced, which was often used as a remedy. In the 16th century the drink evolved into a cream, sugar and citrus-based confection, which is still consumed today as a cold set dessert similar to syllabub

This low carb version uses a sugar substitute and per serving has just 2.6g carbs.

2 ½ cups of heavy (double) whipping cream
1/2 cup of sugar substitute (e.g. Swerve)
4 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of lime juice
½ teaspoon of orange extract
Dash of sea salt
1 teaspoon of grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon of grated lime rind

1/2 cup of fresh blueberries 
Boil the heavy (double) cream and sugar substitute for 6 minutes. Stirring to make sure the mixture does not boil over.
Take the cream mixture off the stove and add the citrus juice, orange extract, and sea salt and mix well.
Pour the low carb (keto) posset into four 1/2 cup ramekins.
Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight to allow mixture to fully congeal.

Top with lemon and lime rind and fresh blueberries.
Need help with weight/measurement conversion
please see details here
Original recipe
and much more information can be found here

You will find a variety of articles and 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

Ain't this the truth!

The same goes for the UK.


Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Beef and Guinness Casserole : Perfect for Cooler Months

Did you know that Guinness has been around since 1759, that's quite a long time isn't it. Now, Guinness may not be to everyone's liking but when added to a beef casserole - it really can make a tasty addition - and casseroles are great for cooler months. 

Regular readers will know there is a large variety of recipe ideas within this blog, but 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. 

However, if you feel you'd like to give this recipe idea a try, here is what you will need for four servings:

2 tbsp. oil
400g casserole steak, cut into cubes
2 onions, sliced
1 tbsp. plain flour
2.5cm (1in) piece of root ginger, grated
150ml (¼pt) Guinness
1 Beef Stock pot dissolved in 150ml boiling water
400g can tomatoes or passata
bouquet garni
1 red pepper, sliced
1 orange, rind and juice (optional)* 

1. Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the meat until it has browned. Remove from the pan and put into a casserole dish.
2. Heat the remaining oil and sauté the onion over a low heat until golden. Mix in the flour and ginger, cook for 1-2 minutes, then gradually stir in the ale, stock and tomatoes and cook until thickened. Add the bouquet garni, pepper and orange rind and pour into the casserole.
3. Cook in a preheated oven Gas mark 3/160°C/Fan140°C for 1½ hours.
4. Remove the bouquet garni, stir in the orange juice (optional)* then serve. 

* some may find the orange juice a little overpowering and may just prefer to add the rind … it's a personal taste choice 

Nutritional Details Per Serving:
Fat 10g Carbohydrate 13.9g Protein 25.8g Fibre 3.5g 

Freezing and defrosting instructions: 
This recipe is freeze-able. Defrost at room temperature for about 1 ½ hours. Cook covered under a gentle heat for about 2 hours or in the oven 150C/300F/Gas mark 2 for 2 hours. 

From an original idea here

A bouquet garni is a bundle of herbs that is added to casseroles, stocks, sauces and soups. It traditionally comprises parsley (or parsley stalks, which have lots of flavour), a few sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf. These herbs may be bundled into a strip of leek or a piece of celery stalk, or tied in a muslin bag or with string, to keep them together during cooking and allow easy removal before serving.

All the best Jan

Never argue with your Doctor.

One day an elderly gentleman of 88 years went to his doctor for a physical.
After examining the elderly gentleman, the doctor, in typical doctor-fashion, instructed him that he should quit smoking, cut back on his drinking, and that he should get some exercise.
The elderly gentleman responded that he was fit as could be. In fact, he remarked, “I have an 18-year old wife that is about to give birth to my child. What do you think of that?”
The doctor paused for a moment and replied, “Let me tell you about a friend of mine. He is an elderly gentleman not much younger than you. He is an avid hunter. In fact, he never misses a season.
One time when he had gone to his hunting cabin in a senior moment when he left the cabin, instead of grabbing his rifle, he grabbed his umbrella. Upon coming to a stream, he saw a beaver sitting atop a damn it had built. He pointed his umbrella at the beaver and shouted BANG, and the beaver fell dead. What do you think of that?”
The elderly gentleman said, “I’d say someone else shot that beaver.”
The doctor replied, “My point exactly…”
Never argue with your Doctor.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Low Carb Chocolate Muffin ... in a mug ... Microwave or Oven-Bake

How about grabbing your favourite mug and whipping up these super quick and easy low carb (keto) chocolate muffins. They are a gluten and dairy-free treat, and when microwaved can be ready in five minutes. No microwave? No problem because you can bake them in the oven as well, use a muffin pan instead of a mug!

Serves Two
2 tbsp. almond flour or hazelnut flour
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tbsp. erythritol (sweetener - optional)
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1 egg
1½ tbsp. melted coconut oil or butter
½ oz. sugar-free dark chocolate

½ tsp coconut oil or butter for greasing the mugs
Recipe instructions and tips:
Can be found here

If you are just starting a low carb diet/lifestyle you may feel confused with which low carb flours to use. You may never have used any of them before and how to use them properly can be daunting. Low carb flours do not behave like wheat flour, and how to use them in your old regular high carb recipes is a common question. Of course you may also be interested, or want to know more about them. If that is the case then Libby at 'Ditch The Carbs' site has a very good guide, and you can read it here 

Happy Baking … 

Dear reader, you will find a variety of articles and 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

Mobile phone derangement syndrome

Is this how human life ends on earth? Eddie

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Thai Pumpkin Soup : LCHF : Dairy Free

Deep orange. Wonderfully spicy, exotic and fragrant. Rich and satisfying. A low carb high fat Thai pumpkin soup for cold, rainy days. And it’s dairy-free, too!

Makes 6½ cups
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger root
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (The heat of different brands of Thai red curry paste vary in heat, so if unsure add less curry past to start off with. You can always add more later.)
2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
2 cups water
500 g pumpkin cubes, cut smaller (perhaps buy the packets of cubed pumpkin, but to speed up the cooking process, cut each cube into three or four smaller pieces. Choose the brightest orange pumpkin you can get.)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
400 g can coconut cream
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt to taste
milled black pepper to taste
toasted pumpkin seeds to garnish
chopped chives to garnish
cayenne pepper to garnish

1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot and sauté the onion and ginger. Add the garlic and red curry paste; stir-fry for 30 seconds.
2. Add the chicken stock (or vegetable stock), water, pumpkin and tomato paste. Stir well. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer partially covered for 25 minutes. Stir occasionally.
3. Add the coconut cream, fish sauce and lemon juice. Simmer partially covered for a further 5 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat. Liquidise until smooth (you can use a stick blender). Add salt if need be (taste first – the fish sauce is very salty) and black pepper to taste. Reheat if necessary.
5. Spoon into bowls. Sprinkle with rows of pumpkin seeds, chopped chives and a little cayenne pepper.

You can keep this soup covered in the fridge for several days. 
Recipe idea by Dalene Crafford, see it on Sugar Free Revolution site here

If you should need help with measurement equivalents see here

This warming soup is just right for the cooler months, hope you may enjoy some soon …

Thinking about pumpkins, I couldn't resist once again sharing this old photograph of one of our grandsons! I know at the time I wrote … "Wow, well done that's a lovely pumpkin!" …
"Pumpkins can fit into LCHF menu plans quite well ... in fact it can be enjoyed by all." 

"Here’s a riddle: What can weigh 100 pounds, is full of vitamin A, has 9.3 grams of useable carbs, and a twinkle in its eye? Did you guess pumpkin? I hope so. Fresh pumpkin is available for only a couple of months in the autumn, which is a shame. It’s wonderful! Please read more in this post/article here 

Dear readers, you will find a variety of recipe ideas and articles 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, 13 October 2018

Barbra Streisand - Don't Lie to Me

76 years old and still going strong, Barbra Streisand has just released this new song which she has written the lyrics and directed the video too, no mistaking who it's aimed at. Enjoy Graham

Mark Knopfler - The Long Road

In this world of fake news, and the lowest common denominator of human degradation, rises to the top and becomes an overnight celebrity, it's worth remembering there is great beauty in this world. This video proves it. Eddie

Eagles - Hotel California

Another week fly's by and it's music night again over here. Anyone ever noticed, the older you get, the faster the weeks go by. Maybe we are lucky, and we live interesting busy lives. Nothing worse than time dragging and being bored rigid eh. Anyway, I found yet another performance of this Eagles masterpiece, enjoy and have a great weekend. Eddie 

Ratatouille with Baked Eggs : Low Carb 'French Inspired' Dish

Ratatouille is a French Provençal stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice, and sometimes referred to as ratatouille niçoise.

This take on the classic French stew uses some great low-carb vegetables! I do like the mix of aubergine (eggplant), courgettes (zucchini), tomatoes and bell pepper. Extra yummy, and nutritious, with the added eggs on top! It can make a reasonably priced meal, which the whole family could also eat and enjoy ...

Serves Four, but adjust ingredients as necessary depending on number of persons.
11g carbs per serving 
1 aubergine/eggplant
1 courgette/zucchini
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow onion
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp dried coriander (cilantro) leaves
2 tsp paprika powder
salt and pepper
1 can strained tomatoes, 400 g
8 eggs
1 green chili pepper
4 tbsp. olive oil

125 ml olives
Make an extra large batch of vegetable stew that you can freeze.

The stew also works great as a side dish for grilled meat.
Recipe instructions
can be found here

A variety of recipe ideas are 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, 12 October 2018

The Dangers of Modern Wheat

James Colquhoun at Food Matters site writes:
"Why is everyone going gluten-free and ditching wheat based products? It seems that every second person is allergic, intolerant or unwilling to consume wheat-based products today. It’s not just a trendy fad, there are very solid reasons behind this shift. Many are asking, what’s changed in our bodies to make us allergic to something we’ve eaten for centuries… however we’re finding the answers have nothing to do with our bodies, it’s the wheat that’s changed!

We dug deep into the grain to discover the origins of wheat, how it has evolved and why our modern wheat is working against us. 

The History of Wheat
Wheat is and has been for many years, a dominant crop in countries around the world used primarily for food and livestock feed. Its cultivation has been traced back to some 10,000 years ago, originating in South East Turkey as part of the ‘Neolithic Revolution’ and ever since then humanity has been looking for ways to get more and more of this golden grain. 

In the 1870s the modern steel roller mill revolutionized grain milling, making it must faster and easier to produce fine white flour compared to old stone grinding methods. This made wheat flour cheaper to produce and it even stored better … the bugs were leaving it alone, and that should have been our first sign! 

Fast forward to more recent times, in the 1950s & 60s the world’s wheat crop was altered and coined “the green revolution” as the new breed of wheat was higher yielding and more efficient! 

Norman Borlaug won a Nobel prize for saving lives through his work in developing the high yielding varieties of cereal grains, expansion of irrigation infrastructure and modernization of management techniques including distribution of hybridized seeds, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides to farmers. In short - lots more wheat could be produced much faster and easier, with less interference from pests and most people thought this was fantastic and trusted the end product was just as good as ever. 

Borlaug was credited with saving 1 billion lives and ending hunger, but we are now seeing major health problems across the globe as a result of the new wheat. 

The green revolution appeared to be a win for production, efficiency and pesticide companies but continues to come up short for health and nutrition. 

Dr. William Davis, the author of Wheat Belly, describes, “the high-yield plant is a distant relative of the wheat our mothers used to bake muffins, genetically and biochemically light-years removed from wheat of just 40 years ago”. 

More Changes
Post-1985, with a cheap and versatile ‘food’ product in our hands, wheat made its way into most processed foods, from bread through to sauces and almost everything in between. Around the same time, a rise in calorie intake, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, respiratory issues, and food allergies was seen. 

The food was different and although people’s food behaviours hardly changed, their waistlines and ailments certainly increased with the added ‘new wheat’ and extra calories unknowingly in their diets. 

A respiratory allergy became prevalent among bakers and became more commonly referred to as baker’s asthma. Recent reports indicate that ‘baker’s asthma’ is the second most widespread occupational allergy in the UK and has been reported to affect over 8% of apprentice bakers after only two years of exposure. 

Similarly, dietary intolerance to wheat is fast becoming more widespread than baker’s asthma, notably coeliac disease (CD) which is estimated to affect 1% of the population of Western Europe. 

Going Against the Grain
Over the past ten years, studies have highlighted a direct correlation between the development of CD that results from an autoimmune response which is triggered by the binding of gluten peptides to T Cells of the immune system. 

Other allergic responses to wheat proteins have also been linked with atopic dermatitis, urticaria, and anaphylaxis – all of which can have negative consequences if left untreated.

These allergic responses have most notably been linked to gluten proteins and what has prompted the phenomenon of ‘Gluten Free Foods’. Although gluten intolerance can vary, many of us experience sensitivities to modern wheat and gluten that can cause inflammation and raise glucose blood levels – which can have an adverse effect on our gut. 

Dr. William Davis explains, “Products made from modern wheat contain forms of gliadin proteins, glutenins, wheat germ agglutinin, and other proteins never before encountered by humans.”

When our bodies have an intolerance to gluten or wheat, it can cause the gut cells to release zonulin, a protein that can break the tight junctions of cells apart, causing a ‘leaky gut’. A leaky gut can wreak havoc on your body and especially your bladder –where toxins, microbes and undigested food particles escape from your intestines and travel through your bloodstream

How Do I Know if I Have an Intolerance to Gluten or Wheat?
Simple. Just cut it out of your diet for three to four weeks and make note of any changes that you feel in your body, and after which reintroduce it. If you notice changes or feel significantly worse after reintroducing gluten, it might be time to head to the doctors and ask for the following tests:

IgA anti-gliadin antibodies (these are found in about 80% of people with celiac disease)
IgG anti-gliadin antibodies
IgA anti-endomysial antibodies
Tissue Transglutaminase antibodies
Total IgA antibodies
Genetic testing (HLA DQ2 and HLA DQ8)

An intestinal biopsy 

Cutting out the wheat from your diet doesn’t mean you’ll miss out - there are so many recipes full of healthy and delicious ingredients that negate the need for wheat and will have you saying ‘what wheat’." 

All words and picture above taken from original article here 

Looking for a low carb, gluten free and grain free bread see here 

All the best Jan

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Roasted Pumpkin with Nuts and Manchego Cheese ...a warm and comforting low carb dish

This warm, comforting dish makes a versatile low-carb meal. Pumpkins collapse into 'roasted amazingness' together with hazelnuts and melted manchego cheese. It's quick and easy, perfect as a light vegetarian meal in itself, or as a side dish for meat, poultry or fish...

Serves Four
2 lbs (900g) pumpkins
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup (225ml) fresh parsley
4 oz. (110g) hazelnuts
2 tsp dried rosemary or dried thyme
½ lb (225g) manchego cheese 

salt and pepper 

10 oz. (275g) leafy greens
4 tbsp. olive oil
sea salt and ground black pepper 

Manchego is one of Spain's best known cheeses, and is made from ewe's milk. 
It has a slightly sour nutty-buttery taste and it's perfect for gratinating. Gratinating is to cook with a covering of buttered crumbs, or grated cheese, until a crust or crisp surface forms. However, if you don't have manchego, feel free to use any other cheese you have access to. How about some cheddar, blue cheese or feta? 

Do keep in mind that nuts are heat-sensitive, so they should not get burnt while gratinating. 

Recipe Instructions
can be found here

More about Manchego:
"Manchego (pronounced man-chey-go) is a popular, rich, creamy sheep's milk cheese that comes from the La Mancha region of Spain. The Manchego sheep graze on the shrubs of the vast plateaus of the Dehesa and produce a thick milk that gives the cheese its unique character. 

It is a semi-firm cheese that is a rich golden colour and a distinct nutty flavour ranging from mild to sharp depending on how long it has been aged. 

The distinctive zigzag pattern on the wax rind of the cheese proves that the cheese is Manchego and guarantees the exclusive use of milk only from Manchega sheep and that the cheese has been aged for a minimum of two months.

Manchego is available in three different stages:
Fresh (fresco), 2-4 months old (curado), or matured for one year (viejo)."

See the above picture, words and more at article here

A variety of articles and recipe ideas are 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

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Quick and Easy Low Carb Pizza For One

Pizza is well liked the world over, and for those of us who live the LCHF lifestyle we often eat a lower carb version, like this Cauliflower Crust Pizza here 

However, I recently came across Suzanne's quick and easy version and thought it one to share. Have a look at the recipe and perhaps give it a try!

1⁄3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1⁄4 cup blanched almond flour
1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of salt
1 large egg yolk

1 1⁄2 tablespoons no-sugar-added pizza sauce
1⁄4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
5 slices pepperoni (Or toppings of your choice)
1⁄4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Note: Feel free to create your own pizza toppings or season the crust with different spices! Fresh basil also complements this recipe really nicely.

1. Place an oven rack in the top position. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Make the crust: In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the mozzarella cheese, almond flour, garlic powder, and salt and stir until well blended. Microwave for 25 seconds.
3. Knead the dough with your hands for a few seconds. Add the egg yolk while the dough is still warm. Knead until combined and roll into a ball. Form a disk as if you were making a hamburger patty. Place the dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and use your hands to press into a circle 5 to 6 inches in diameter and about 1⁄4 inch thick (or use a rolling pin). If the dough cools too much to form properly, place it back in the microwave for 10 seconds.
4. Use a fork to poke holes in several places throughout the crust before baking. Bake on the top rack for 8 to 10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
5. Remove the crust from the oven and flip it over. Top the flatter side with the pizza sauce and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Next, add the pepperoni slices, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
6. Sprinkle the pizza with Italian seasoning before serving.

Per serving:
CALORIES: 479 | FAT: 39 g | PROTEIN: 25 g | TOTAL CARBS: 11 g | NET CARBS: 7.8 g

Words, picture (and more) from an original idea here

For help with weight/measurement conversion see here

Did you know Mozzarella is a soft and mild-tasting fresh cheese that originated in Italy. However, at the current time, Mozzarella production happens all around the world.

Buffalo milk is used to make authentic, traditional Italian Mozzarella, but many producers in different countries now use regular cow’s milk.

The cheese itself comes in the form of round-shaped, white curds that are easy to slice.

Additionally, Mozzarella comes in pre-shredded (grated) form, which many people prefer for convenience (and the lower price).

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 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

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Mushrooms with Pâté and Cheese - a low carb starter or light lunch

We never get tired of mushrooms! For breakfast - eggs, bacon and a handful of small mushrooms all fried in butter. As a starter or light lunch, a large Portobello mushroom, filled with pate and covered in grated cheese. Cook in an oven at 200c (400f / Gas Mark 6) for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cover with grated cheddar cheese and cook for a further 5 minutes. Easy, low-carb and tastes great ...

Portobello mushrooms are large with a meaty texture and a wonderful aroma, they can be up to 10cm in diameter. They are available all year, and can be used in several ways. Sauté whole flat mushrooms in a little butter and garlic or remove the stalk and stuff and bake, as detailed above.
They are best stored by placing them in a paper bag in the salad drawer of the fridge to keep for a few days.

When preparing them, wipe with a kitchen towel or rinse briefly and dry before use. Do not peel. Leave the mushrooms whole or slice as necessary.
All types of edible mushrooms contain varying degrees of protein and fibre. They also contain B vitamins as well as a powerful antioxidant called selenium which helps to support the immune system and prevent damage to cells and tissues.

Bon Appetit !

All the best Jan

Monday, 8 October 2018

Chocolate Low Carb Cupcakes : Perfect for Halloween ... or any day !

This nice recipe is by Ewelina, who is a Type 1 diabetic and enjoys baking. She says it's a quick and easy low carb recipe, that could be perfect for a Halloween get-together. These are moist, dense and truly delicious low carb chocolate cupcakes, that will amaze everyone. Why not share them with a few friends, they are sure to enjoy them ...

Ingredients (for 6 large cupcakes):
9g carbs per cake
60 g ground almond
40 g soy flour
2 tbsp. cocoa
100 g Xylitol
1 egg
120 ml full fat milk
40 g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp vanilla extract

For topping:
125 g mascarpone cheese
150 ml whipping cream
1 ½ tbsp. xylitol

1. Preheat oven to 170 C and prepare 6 muffin cases (if you use smaller, cupcake cases you will need around 10 – 12)
2. Place the flour, cocoa powder, xylitol, baking powder, salt and butter and using electric mixer beat on a slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
3. Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract in a jug and slowly pour into the flour mixture. Beat to combine it for couple of minutes.
4. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Set aside to cool down.
5. For the topping whip the cream with xylitol. Add mascarpone cheese and combine together. Using piping bag decorate the cupcakes. You can use some pomegranate for decoration 

From original idea here

Enjoy !

All the best Jan

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Aspirin: Panacea or Piffle?

"Aspirin is once again in the headlines, prompted by New England Journal of Medicine reports suggesting that people aged 70 years and older obtain no benefit and perhaps experience harm in the form of increased bleeding and increased death from cancer on low-dose aspirin. This adds to the decades-long debate on whether aspirin is beneficial as a preventive measure against cardiovascular events such as heart attack in which a blood clot forms on top of inflamed atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries. Unlike many other studies that are observational and therefore virtually useless, these studies are prospective and randomized against placebo, studies that bear greater weight with conclusions that are more certain to establish cause-effect relationships.

There is no question that people who have stents implanted in their coronary arteries, have bypass grafts, or have suffered a heart attack experience reduced risk of recurrent coronary events with aspirin, so-called “secondary prevention.” The tougher question comes in whether aspirin provides any benefits in primary prevention, i.e., lower-risk people without stents, bypass grafts, or prior heart attack.

The three reports originated with the ASPREE trial of 19,000 Australians and Americans age 70 years or older, randomized to aspirin 100 mg per day vs. placebo: no difference in cardiovascular death or cardiovascular events (fatal heart attack, non-fatal heart attack, stroke) over nearly 5 years, with about a 1.5% increase in bleeding (e.g., intracranial bleeding, gastrointestinal haemorrhage).

Previous clinical trials (prospective, randomized to aspirin vs. placebo) in broader populations examining whether low-dose aspirin (typically 81-100 mg, a baby aspirin) likewise mostly suggest no benefit, much in line with these recent reports in people 70 years or older. The recent ARRIVE trial of 12,000 participants, for instance, randomized to aspirin 100 mg vs. placebo, showed no benefit and a modest increase in bleeding from aspirin.

People who are hypercoagulable, i.e., have more platelet activation, higher levels of the blood clotting protein fibrinogen, have greater inflammation and insulin resistance, do indeed appear to gain a teensy-weensy benefit by taking low-dose aspirin, as shown in the recent ASCEND Study of 15,000 people with type 2 diabetes (i.e., people we know are inflamed, insulin resistant, nearly all overweight or obese, have greater platelet activation and fibrinogen levels) randomized to aspirin 100 mg per day or placebo: about a 1% reduction in cardiovascular events over 7 1/2 years (i.e., 0.13% reduction per year) and 1% increase in bleeding—hardly headline-worthy.

Let’s step back for a moment and take a look at the broader landscape. National dietary guidelines advocate limiting total and saturated fat, increased consumption of whole grains, and sugar in moderation, a lifestyle that has been associated with a dramatic surge in weight gain/overweight/obesity, epidemic levels of type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes, autoimmune inflammation, hypercoagulability, and other “diseases of lifestyle.” In other words, dietary guidelines have created a population-wide hypercoagulable state with the most hypercoagulable obtaining about 1/10th of one percent per year reduction in cardiovascular events on aspirin and about the same risk of haemorrhage into the brain or gastrointestinal tract.

These most recent reports involving treatment randomization, large numbers of participants, with extended follow-up periods also counter a handful of previous observations suggesting a very small reduction in colorectal cancer on low-dose aspirin. ASPREE suggested about a 1% increase in cancer deaths (though no difference in cancer incidence).

Is aspirin a miracle drug for preventing cardiovascular events? Hardly. A 1/10th of one percent per year reduction in cardiovascular events in higher-risk hypercoagulable people at the cost of serious haemorrhage, sometimes fatal, is, in my mind, no benefit at all. And, putting all the evidence on cancer incidence together, it looks like aspirin likewise has little to no benefit in reducing colon cancer risk.

So much time and effort has been devoted to exploring a drug that yields so little in the way of preventive effects in the broad population. My advice: Eat healthy" ...

Words and picture above, plus all relevant links can be found at link below

Please note that, Dr. Davis the writer of the article above says 'nothing here should be construed as medical advice, but only topics for further discussion with your doctor'

All the best Jan

Saturday, 6 October 2018

CLOVES - Don't Forget About Me

I like this song nice vocals too, enjoy and have a good weekend folks

Charles Aznavour, 'The Old Fashioned Way'

Another great favourite of Jan and mine died this week Charles Aznavour. A truly great singer, song writer and entertainer, may he rest in peace. I am sure some of you old timers can remember when a person could become an international star, without having to appear very near naked, and hurl expletives and politics at the audience. We often chill out in the late afternoon with a glass or two of wine and some Aznavour music, when we get really carried away, we dance to this track. Eddie

Montserrat Caballé - O mio babbino caro

Saturday night is music night on our blog. It was announced today one of the finest singers ever to draw breath, Montserrat Caballé has died, may she rest in peace. Someone said in a comment on one of my posts "we are circling the drain" can't blame them for thinking that. With what we have seen in the political arena both here, and in the US this week. Maybe worth reminding ourselves with what the human race can achieve at it's best. Eddie

Meet Stanley !

This is our youngest grand-daughter with Stanley … he is a Hermann’s Tortoise. They are native to southern parts of Europe, and Hermann’s enjoy temperatures between 73*F to 99*F (23*C -37*C). Stanley has a special heat lamp in his 'table-house'. Hermann's are one of the most readily available tortoises in the pet trade market and is partly due to this breeds intelligence as they have been known to recognize their owners. This breed grows to about 10 inches (25cm).

Stanley was a special gift from 'Father Christmas' and he is being very well cared for … 

This may seem a strange thing to say, but he is quite a character! He loves exploring his table-house terrain and when he's awake seems to enjoy being part of the conversation because he moves himself so that he's near to where the families voices are coming from, it really is quite sweet.

The oldest known Hermann’s tortoise in the UK was over 110 years! This is a rare case, but a happy and healthy Hermann’s tortoise should be expected to live for over 50 years so they are certainly a long term commitment. Stanley, (like other Hermann's), is a vegetarian and enjoys a diet which has a lot of different dark leafy greens... he tucks into them. 

All the best Jan

Friday, 5 October 2018

More on the Kavanaugh Blasey-Ford debacle

Once again thanks for the comments folks. You may be sick of hearing about the whole sorry saga, the last thing I want to do is send our readers to sleep, but, someone sent me a link to this article today, if true, it opens a far bigger can of worms. Clearly Ford has been used by some people in high places, will heads roll, will anyone end up in prison? probably not. 

BTW Has anyone noticed the eye-watering amounts of money being raised on their GoFundMe campaigns, who said crime does not pay! Link here.


Link to Christine Blasey-Ford Friend In Delaware Was Career FBI Agent and Likely Together During Accusation Letter Construct here.

Lemon Garlic Pork Steaks with Mushrooms : Low Carb and Gluten Free

This simple to make recipe suggestion is very tasty, low in carbs and gluten free … and if like me you don't have a butler (LOL) it only dirties one pan. Don't you just love recipes like this!

Serves Four
4 large, bone-in pork steaks (about 2 lbs)
2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 1/2 tsp sea salt, more to taste
3 tbsp. butter (or ghee)
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chicken stock
6 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 lemon, thinly sliced

Please see recipe instructions here

Fat 28g Protein 50g Total Carbs 6g Fibre 1g (Net Carbs 5g)

If you need help with weight/measurement conversion see here

We love mushrooms in our house, I wonder have you tried cremini mushrooms? They can usually be found in your local store / supermarket near to the more familiar little white button mushrooms. Read on for some more cremini, and other types, mushroom facts:

Did you know that most of the table mushrooms we eat are all of the same variety? Its name is Agaricus bisporus, according to Wikipedia, and it includes Portobello, cremini, and white button mushrooms. 

• The difference between these popular varieties of mushrooms is just age. The white button mushrooms, those very familiar kitchen staples, are simply the youngest variety. They have been cultivated, too, for that white colour and soft texture. In the wild these mushrooms are usually browner. 

• The Portobello is the most mature mushroom here; it's really just an overgrown white mushroom! They are left to grow for longer, until they have spread out into that delicious meaty cap. 

• The cremini mushroom, then, is just in between these two varieties. It's a moderately mature version of the white button mushroom, which is why it has a similar flavour. It's younger than the Portobello, but still related, which is why these are sometimes sold as "baby bella" or "baby portobello" mushrooms. 

But what about Chestnut Mushrooms? I hear you ask... these are the same mushroom as White Button Mushrooms, but it is a strain that grows just a bit browner instead of white, giving it a tan-coloured top. They are very much like Cremini Mushrooms and about the same size.

They have better flavour and texture than the plain white mushrooms.

Chestnut Mushrooms are also allowed to grow into larger sizes to be sold as “Portobellos.” Sometimes Portobellos are also called “Flat Chestnut Mushrooms” for this reason. 

Hope you may enjoy this recipe suggestion soon …
Many thanks for reading …

Dear readers, 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 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, 4 October 2018

Good luck America

Hi folks thank you again for comments on my recent posts. Now, whether you love President Trump or detest the man, whether you vote Republican or Democrat, I reckon any straight thinking ordinary person in the US, must be appalled at the way the Kavanaugh debacle has played out. Remember, almost all involved are University educated and highly qualified people. Many, if not all, are highly paid, and should be pillars of their community's, Americas best and brightest. All I can say is good luck America, you need all the luck you can get.

Now, you may be thinking I am anti American, but I am not I can assure you. We have an old saying in the UK "When America sneezes the world gets a cold" usually, what's good for America is good for us. Ordinary working Americans had a car long before the average worker in the UK, the same goes for colour TV's etc. call that the good stuff. Unfortunately we also get the bad stuff. 

The collapse of Lehman Brothers very near wrecked the worlds financial system. Nothing seems to have changed, only the numbers, which have dramatically increased since the 2008 recession. The next big 'bust' will make 2008 look like a minor hiccup according to many of the Wall Street pundits. The fact that the big one is coming is a certainty, but when? As I have said, what happens in America, has a habit of happening here.

One of the comments received on my recent post asked "How is Brexit going" pitifully is the best way to describe the situation over the last two years. Don't you Americans think you have a monopoly on lying, cheating, fear mongering, idiotic and greedy politicians. Don't forget, our ruling class has had centuries more experience than your lot as far as duplicity, skulduggery and theft goes. We have produced some of the finest bullshitters in the history of the world.

Here is something that we appear to have imported from the US, lunacy in our most hallowed places of learning. They also have their 'safe spaces' perish the thought these poor souls will ever have to join the real world.

Anyway, stay cool my friends, we have got this far in our lives, I reckon we still have some mileage left in us. Some of us have got to three score years and ten, and some of it has been fun.


Manchester student union 'bans' clapping to avoid triggering anxiety.

Clapping has been "banned" at University of Manchester Students’ Union events in a bid to avoid triggering anxiety and improve accessibility for students attending events.

According to a report in the student newspaper The Mancunion,students are instead encouraged to use the BSL "jazz hands" to express their support.

Link to lunacy here.

Individual Fish Pies : Low Carb, Dairy Free and Tasty !

I wonder … have you tried this lovely recipe idea... it's from Amelia Freer, and it's a low carb winner. 

The fact that you can serve this great tasting food in individual dishes just adds to it somehow and with some chopped fresh parsley on top ... I'm getting hungry just thinking about this dish! 

Just serve it simply with some steamed broccoli, spinach, or perhaps rainbow chard. As another plus as the recipe uses coconut milk and coconut butter, it is also a dairy-free alternative to your usual cream and cheese-laden fish pies. 

I do hope you may give this recipe idea a try soon. You will see the recipe does include a splash of wine, which is optional, but I would use a splash of white wine in mine and serve the remainder (nicely chilled) with the meal ... but the choice is yours dear reader. 

Serves Four
( 8.1g carbohydrate per serving )
400ml coconut milk
1 tbsp. garlic-infused oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 bay leaves
300g cod fillets (approx. 2 small fillets)
300g undyed smoked haddock
A splash of white wine (optional)
1 large celeriac, peeled and chopped into equal-sized chunks
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
1½ tbsp. unflavoured coconut butter
150g raw king prawns
3 spring onions (scallions), green parts only, thinly sliced
A small handful of fresh chives, chopped

1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped, to serve 

1. Put the coconut milk, garlic oil, lemon juice and zest and bay leaves into a large, deep pan. Add the cod and haddock and bring to a gentle simmer. Poach the fish for approximately 10 minutes until the flesh flakes easily.
2. Remove the fillets and set aside. Add the wine (if using) to the poaching liquid, season to taste with salt and pepper, and leave to simmer over a low heat while you make the celeriac mash.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Put the celeriac into a pan of boiling water and boil with the thyme leaves until tender. Drain and mash with the coconut butter, and season with salt and pepper.
4. Flake the fish and divide between four individual ovenproof dishes. Add the prawns, spring onion (scallions) and chives to each pot and pour over a quarter of the poaching liquid – it should have thickened slightly by now. Top with celeriac mash and bake for 40–50 minutes, or until the pies are golden on top.

5. Scatter with chopped fresh parsley and serve with steamed greens such as broccoli, spinach, peas or rainbow chard. 

Original idea from here 

If you should need help with measurement conversions please see 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