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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Lovely weather for ducks !

Where has the sunshine gone? In many areas of the UK people have been experiencing a lot of rain and indeed in the County of Lincolnshire, Eastern England it has caused chaos with hospitals flooding, roads closing and schools calling it a day! My thoughts are with all those who have been affected ...

In Southern England, although raining Eddie and I thought we'd 'brave the weather' and enjoy a walk around a local town ... after all we could easily pop into a tea or coffee shop for a warm break couldn't we! So with walking shoes and waterproofs on off we went. In fact we enjoyed a nice walk and some friendly hello's with people we met en route. What struck me was the number of people who said 'it's lovely weather for ducks' which made me think where did this saying originate ... and I wonder if ducks do like rain? 

these two didn't seem to mind it - image from here

and I'm really not sure where this friendly looking duck came from - image from here

Apparently the expression, lovely weather for ducks, (or one similar), has been in use from the first half of the 19th century. Given its humorous usage it may just be derived from a common reference to the common sight of ducks at ease in the rain... but there could be another explanation, if you should know of one do please share your thoughts in the comments.

I wonder, what's the weather been doing where you live? 
Would you be like us enjoying a warming cuppa or would it be a cooling lemonade?

All the best Jan 

Monday, 17 June 2019

Looking for Brain-Boosting Foods ... plus a brain-boosting smoothie


If you’re feeling like your brain is foggy, slow and you’re finding it hard to remember things and generally keep on top of your day-to-day life, you might need to add more of these brain-boosting foods to your diet.

1. Water 
Your body is 70% water, your brain is 70% water and you want to be able to hydrate that. Your brain is only about 2% of your body mass but it requires 20% of the nutrients so keep that water up!

2. Avocados 
Containing good, healthy fats, avocados increase a number of different feel-good chemicals in the brain. Avocados are also a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids that assist with brain function, mood regulation, and emotions.

3. Blueberries 
These 'brain berries' are full of anthocyanins. Blueberries provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects which help combat brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases and also supports improved communication between brain cells.

4. Broccoli 
Your mum was right! Broccoli is good for your health and for your brain because it is high in antioxidants as well as Vitamin K so it helps protect the brain against damage and helps with better memory function. 


5. Coconut Oil 
The fatty acids in coconut oil are good for your brain and have even been linked to supporting people with Alzheimer’s Disease.

6. Eggs 
There are a number of reasons why eggs are great for the brain, with essential fatty acids, Vitamins B6 and B12, folate and choline, which help to regulate mood, memory and cognitive function.

7. Green Leafy Vegetables 
Containing large amounts of folate, green leafy vegetables and spinach, in particular, can help reduce symptoms of depression and are very neuroprotective.

8. Wild Salmon 
The Omega-3 fatty acids in wild salmon (and sardines) are good for the brain. If you’re not getting enough of this essential fatty acid you may notice a cognitive decline, emotional imbalances and mood issues.

9. Turmeric 
Turmeric, extremely good for the brain with great anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric helps to improve memory, ease depression and help new brain cells grow. 

10. Walnuts 
Nuts, and in particular Walnuts improve cognition and memory and slow mental decline. Even if you notice, we look at a walnut, it looks like what? It looks like the human brain. Walnuts also contain Omega-3 fatty acids so there’s double the reason to enjoy these nuts for brain health. 

11. Dark Chocolate 
Saving the best for last, eat dark chocolate for your brain (and your taste buds!). Dark chocolate boosts concentration, mood and actually improves blood flow to the brain. The darker the chocolate, the better! 

Words and picture above taken from article, with all related research links, here

How about trying this smoothie for a boost of morning energy and brain-boosting power! 
Brain Boosting Smoothie:
Ingredients:
1/2 of an avocado
1/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 handful of green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale)
A small handful of walnuts (soaked overnight)
1 tbsp. raw cacao
1-2 cups of nut milk of choice or coconut water
Method:
Blend until smooth and creamy!

Recipe for smoothie:
taken from an article here
For help with weight/measurement conversion:
please see 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

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Oven-Baked Mexican Quinoa Casserole : Vegan : Gluten Free

As regular readers know, this blog brings 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 

In recent months we have seen that more and more we have regular readers, and followers, who choose to eat vegetarian or vegan. With that in mind I am passing on this recipe suggestion from Vegangela blog, it's Oven-Baked Mexican Quinoa Casserole - a vegan recipe.

Simply fry up the onion and garlic, then toss everything in a casserole dish and let it cook in the oven for 1 hour. So easy, and it's vegan / gluten-free / nut-free and has moderate carbs ...

Ingredients 
Serves Four
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked quinoa
796 ml (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with liquid
½ cup water
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional)
1 tbsp. tomato paste or ketchup
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp chilli powder (more if you like things spicy)
Salt & freshly ground pepper
540 ml (19 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
311 g (11 oz.) can corn kernels, with liquid
3 cups baby spinach

Toppings of choice: vegan sour cream, avocado, cilantro, vegan cheese, etc. 


Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.  180C.  Gas Mark 4
2. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a medium frying pan (or stove-top-safe 2.8 litre/3 quart casserole dish). Add onion and garlic, and sauté until translucent, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; and transfer to oven-safe casserole dish if not already using one.
3. Add quinoa, diced tomatoes (with juice), water, nutritional yeast, tomato paste (or ketchup), and spices. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
4. COVER and place in oven and set timer for 30 minutes.
5. Carefully remove casserole from oven and stir in drained beans and corn (with liquid). If the mixture looks dry, add a half cup of water.
6. Return to oven WITH LID and set timer for another 30 minutes.
7. Carefully remove casserole from oven and stir in spinach. It will wilt from the heat.
8. Top with sour cream, diced avocado and/or cilantro and serve.

9. IF FREEZING: Make full recipe but leave-out the spinach and toppings. Let cool and freeze in airtight container(s). To serve: defrost fully, lightly reheat (in microwave or on stovetop), stir in spinach and add toppings of choice.



For help with weight/measurement conversion see here 
From an original idea, with step by step guide here 

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.

All the best Jan

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Matt Monro - On Days Like These : Saturday Night Music

The music choice for this week features 'English Crooner' Matt Monro, he was known as 'the man with the golden voice'.  I can't believe that it was back in 1969 that this song featured in the film 'The Italian Job'. The film was released in June 1969, so if my 'Maths' are correct that is fifty years ago!!! The film starred actors Michael Caine and Noël Coward (and a host of others), and I have always liked this song track ... I hope you enjoy the song and the video as we take a ride in a Lamborghini Miura! Enjoy your weekend. All the best Jan

Some Foods In Season During June



What's in season in June

June, in the UK, marks the true start of summer, bringing with it plenty of fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables to enjoy. Bright crisp radishes and salad leaves add punchy flavour to salads and sides, while broccoli is a reliable addition to any easy summer dinner. The abundance of fresh summer fruit means desserts require minimal effort – big bowls of strawberries and double (heavy) cream are all you need for a delicious way to finish a meal.

Strawberries
These iconic berries are at their best from now until September. Store them unwashed in the fridge but bring to room temperature before eating to maximise their sweet flavour. I enjoy eating some with double (heavy) cream.
You may wish to try:
Strawberries with sugar free and low carb Vanilla Ice Cream - see details here
Strawberry Cheesecake - see details here
Low Carb Strawberry Sponge Cake (made in the microwave) - see details here
Triple Berry Summer Salad - see details here

Redcurrants
Delicate, jewel-like redcurrants grow in small bunches and have a sweet, tart flavour that mellows when cooked. They are popular served with lamb and also feature in Swedish cuisine.
You may wish to try:
Low Carb Redcurrant Muffins - see details here
Lamb chops with redcurrant Jus - see details here

Radishes
Their crisp texture, vibrant colour and peppery flavour makes radishes a popular addition to salads. Choose radishes that feel firm and smooth. Once opened, store wrapped in kitchen paper in the fridge. To refresh radishes that have become soft, soak in a bowl of cold water for a couple of hours.
You may wish to try:
Salmon, Cucumber and Radish Salad - see details here
Crunchy green beans with radishes - see details here

Salad leaves
Fresh salad leaves are a quick, easy and delicious way to be healthy throughout summer. From peppery watercress and rocket to buttery lettuces and bitter radicchio, salads can be endlessly versatile depending on your favourite leaves. Look for fresh, bright leaves and avoid any that are wilted or have brown edges. Add extra flavour with bold vinaigrettes or whizz into soups and smoothies. Salad leaves are not only enjoyed raw ...
You may wish to try:
Braised lettuce with crème fraîche and bacon - see details here 
Avocado and lettuce soup - see details here

Cornish potatoes
The Cornish potato* season runs from late June to August, and begins as Jersey Royals finish. Cornwall's unique warmer climate means farmers can plant and harvest potatoes much earlier than the rest of the UK mainland. Most of the nutrients are found in the thin skin, so leave them on when baking.
You may wish to try:
Baked Cornish potatoes with melted Brie and pickles – see details here 

Please remember if you are living a Keto or LCHF lifestyle it is best to avoid starchy foods like bread, pasta, rice, *potatoes, chips, crisps, porridge, muesli, foods containing processed flour and so on.

'Wholegrain products' are just less bad. Moderate amounts of root vegetables (carrots, parsnips) may be ok (unless you’re eating extremely low carb/keto). Please read our 'Introduction to low-carb for beginners' post for more information, it can be found here

I wonder what would be your favourite from the above?
Mine is strawberries ...

Dear reader, you will find a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas within this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy ... but 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

Friday, 14 June 2019

Some Reasons to Switch to Grass-Fed Butter !


Makayla Meixner RD writes:
"Seven Reasons to Switch to Grass-Fed Butter:
Butter is a popular dairy product typically made from cow’s milk. Essentially, it’s the fat from milk in solid form. It’s made by churning milk until the butterfat is separated from the buttermilk. Interestingly, what dairy cows eat can affect the nutritional value of the milk they produce, as well as the butter made from it.

Although most cows in the United States primarily eat corn- and grain-based feeds, grass-fed meat and dairy products are becoming increasingly popular.

Here are 7 potential health benefits of grass-fed butter.


More nutritious than regular butter 
Regular and grass-fed butters are high in fat and calories. They’re also rich in vitamin A, an important fat-soluble vitamin. However, studies show that grass-fed butter may be more nutritious. In particular, it contains a higher proportion of healthy unsaturated fatty acids. For example, grass-fed butter is higher in omega-3 fatty acids. These are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties and have been linked to many health benefits. In addition to boasting a healthier fat profile, grass-fed butter is believed to be much richer in vitamin K2, which plays an important role in bone and heart health.
Summary Compared to regular butter, grass-fed butter has been found to be higher in vitamin K2 and healthy fats, such as omega-3s and CLA. 

A good source of vitamin A 
Vitamin A is fat-soluble and considered an essential vitamin. This means your body cannot make it, so it must be included in your diet. Like regular butter, grass-fed butter is rich in vitamin A, which is necessary for vision, reproduction, and optimal immune function. It also plays an important role in growth and development and is involved in forming and maintaining healthy teeth, bones, and skin.
Summary Grass-fed butter is a good source of vitamin A, a nutrient that’s essential for immune function, vision, and more.

Rich in beta carotene 
Butter is high in beta carotene — a beneficial compound that your body converts into vitamin A as needed to meet your daily requirements. Studies suggest that grass-fed butter may be even higher in beta carotene than regular butter. 
Summary Grass-fed butter contains higher amounts of beta carotene than regular butter. Beta carotene is a potent antioxidant that has been linked to a reduced risk of several chronic diseases.

Contains vitamin K2 
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that exists in two main forms — vitamin K1 and K2; Vitamin K1, also known as phylloquinone, is the predominant source of vitamin K in most diets. It’s mainly found in plant foods, such as green leafy vegetables; Vitamin K2 is a lesser-known but important nutrient. Also known as menaquinone, it’s mainly found in fermented foods and animal products, including grass-fed butter.
Although vitamin K2 is less common in the diet, it’s very important for your overall health. It plays a key role in your bone and heart health by regulating your calcium levels. Vitamin K2 helps support bone health by signalling your bones to absorb more calcium. Several studies have found that people who consume more vitamin K2 tend to experience fewer bone fractures. Vitamin K2 also helps remove excess calcium from your bloodstream, which may help prevent harmful calcium deposits and plaque from building up in your blood vessels. In a large population study involving 4,807 people, high intake of vitamin K2 (32 mcg per day) was associated with a 50% reduction in risk of death from heart disease.
Summary High-fat dairy products like grass-fed butter contain vitamin K2, which is a form of vitamin K that promotes bone and heart health. 

High in unsaturated fatty acids 
Unsaturated fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These types of fats have long been considered healthy, as studies have consistently linked them to heart health benefits. Strong scientific evidence shows that replacing some of the saturated fat in your diet with unsaturated fat may help reduce your risk of heart disease. One easy way to do this is by replacing your regular butter with grass-fed butter. Some studies have compared the products of grass - and conventionally fed dairy cows. They’ve found that grass-fed butter is higher in unsaturated fats than regular butter. However, grass-fed butter still contains a significant amount of saturated fat.
Recent research suggests that saturated fat intake may not be linked to heart disease, as health experts once thought. However, it’s best to eat a variety of fats, not just saturated fats, from nutritious sources like nuts, seeds, and fatty fish.
Summary Compared to regular butter, grass-fed butter is higher in unsaturated fatty acids, which have been linked to heart health benefits.

Contains conjugated linoleic acid 
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a type of fat that is mainly found in meat and dairy products derived from ruminant animals like cows, sheep, and goats. Grass-fed dairy products, particularly grass-fed butter, are believed to be especially high in CLA. Studies suggest that CLA may have several potential health benefits.
Summary Grass-fed butter may contain up to 500% more CLA per serving than regular butter. However, it’s unclear how the small amount of CLA in butter affects your health. More research in humans is needed.


Easy to add to your diet 
Ultimately, grass-fed butter may be a relatively nutritious replacement for regular butter. Fortunately, the taste and texture of the two are almost identical, and regular butter can easily be swapped for grass-fed butter in any recipe. For example, grass-fed butter can be used in baking, spread on toast, or used for non-stick cooking. Keep in mind that grass-fed butter is still a concentrated source of fat and calories. Also, be sure to include plenty of other healthy fats in your diet. Eat foods like nuts, seeds, and fatty fish to ensure you’re getting a wide variety of healthy fats.
Summary When used in moderation, grass-fed butter is a relatively healthy and easy replacement for regular butter.

The bottom line 
Grass-fed butter is a good source of vitamin A and the antioxidant beta carotene. It also has a higher proportion of healthy, unsaturated fats and CLA than regular butter. What’s more, it provides vitamin K2, a form of vitamin K that plays an important role in your bone and heart health. Overall, grass-fed butter is a relatively healthy alternative to regular butter when consumed in moderation."

The above words taken from an article by Makayla Meixner RD, you can see her full article with all information / research links here

Related Post:
Butter Has An Epic Backstory ... read it here 

A variety of articles and recipe ideas are within this blog, 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 June 2019

DIABETES NEWS: Type 2 Diabetes - Pharmacists in the U.K. are being trained to help patients learn about low-carbohydrate diets.





On Diet Doctor site Adele Hite PhD RD writes:
"If you have type 2 diabetes, now it’s not just doctors and dietitians who can help you regain your health. Pharmacists in the U.K. are being trained to help patients learn about low-carbohydrate diets. These diets can help people with type 2 diabetes improve their blood sugar levels, reduce the amount of medicine they have to take, and even help them eliminate medications completely. 


An article published by the U.K.’s Royal Pharmaceutical Society in the Pharmaceutical Journal features physicians and pharmacists who have led the way in expanding the options given to people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. These healthcare providers don’t just guide patients in how to use a low-carbohydrate diet to improve their health. With this approach, they also help the National Health Service save money on medications that are no longer needed. 

When a person with type 2 diabetes begins a low-carbohydrate diet, healthcare providers need to closely monitor and adjust medications. This can be a labour-intensive task. In order to provide individuals with the necessary support, pharmacists are being enlisted to help people make these important lifestyle improvements safely.

In the U.S., this typically means that pharmacists support the decision made between a doctor and patient to begin a low-carbohydrate diet. They work as part of the clinical care team to ensure patient safety as medications are reduced or eliminated by doctors. However, in some places, such as the U.K and Canada, pharmacists can take additional training that allows them to prescribe and deprescribe medications themselves. A recent review notes that patients with chronic diseases have the same or better outcomes when their medications are prescribed by trained pharmacists or nurses compared to doctors.

Pharmacists are often the healthcare practitioners who are in closest contact with patients. They are intimately familiar with the entire prescription history of a patient and are taught to understand how foods and medications interact. Although many pharmacists are not specifically trained in how to de-prescribe medications for people with type 2 diabetes who begin a low-carbohydrate diet, this is changing.

A community pharmacist in Northern Ireland, Eoghan O’Brian, taught individuals who got their diabetes medications from his pharmacy how to lower their blood sugars using a low-carbohydrate diet. O’Brian was able to help some of these individuals reduce their blood sugar levels and, in two cases, was able to help individuals eliminate or avoid medications completely.

Now efforts are underway elsewhere in the U.K. to train pharmacists to offer a low-carb lifestyle intervention to people with type 2 diabetes. Until this program gets funded, however, some pharmacists are providing private services to people with type 2 diabetes to help them reduce carbohydrates in their diet and reduce the amount of medications they use.

Although not all experts agree, past concerns about the safety of low-carbohydrate diets have largely been settled. The fact that patients are typically not asked to restrict saturated fat on a low-carb diet has been a concern, but a recent article in the BMJ by Forouhi et al. (2019) indicates that this guidance has been based on evidence that is considered controversial and potentially inadequate.

One of the benefits of a low-carb diet, as Pharmaceutical Journal article notes, is that people don’t have to go hungry. As the Diet Doctor site demonstrates, there are many delicious low-carbohydrate foods to choose from, and patients are typically encouraged to eat enough to feel satisfied until the next meal. 

Here at Diet Doctor, we are pleased to see pharmacists becoming more involved in helping people with type 2 diabetes learn about low-carbohydrate diets. Having the support of community pharmacists will increase the safety of those who wish to reduce their medications by using a low-carbohydrate diet. Although they may be giving out fewer medications, these pharmacists may be getting back the satisfaction of seeing their patients regain their health and improve their quality of life." 

See this article and more here

You may also be interested in reading this post ' Introduction to low-carb for beginners' find it here

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Peaches ... and a Low Carb Peachy Pork Steak Recipe




Peaches
Do you like peaches?
They are "sweet, juicy and fragrant, peaches are one of the most beautiful fruit around. Around the size of a tennis ball, they are covered with a velvety down, and most commonly have a red-blushed yellow skin and golden yellow flesh, apart from white peaches, which have a pink-blushed cream skin and pinky white flesh. It's possible to find flattish, disc-shaped varieties of peach, but the most common type is spherical, with a little peak (known as a 'beak') at one end. Just like nectarines, they come in either clingstone or freestone varieties - the name indicates how easily the stone is freed from the flesh. 

Availability:
Peaches can be available year round, but depending where you live the season for fresh fruits can be from May through to September. 

Choose the best:
A ripe peach will have a fragrant aroma, and will be yellow around the stem. It should feel firm but will yield slightly when it's gently squeezed. Avoid any peaches that feel hard, or that have bruising or mould. Slightly under ripe peaches will soften if stored at room temperature, but won't get much sweeter.

Prepare it:
Following the line of the dimple, cut around the fruit with a sharp knife, then twist each half apart. Slice or chop as required. If there is too much fuzzy bloom on the skin for your taste, you can rub it off under cold water. Tough skin can be peeled off with your fingers, or drop the peach into boiling water for around 15 or more seconds then plunge immediately into cold water. The skin should then come away easily.
If you are not going to eat cut peaches straight away, brush the cut sides with lemon juice or acidulated water to prevent them going brown. 

Store it: 
Slightly under ripe peaches can be ripened at room temperature for a day or two. They should then be kept in the fridge in a perforated bag, where they'll keep for a couple of days. 

Cook it:
Eat raw, as they are, or slice and add to fruit salads, pavlovas or trifles. Use to make tarts, or serve with vanilla ice cream or cream. Poach (10 minutes for whole; 4-5 for halves). Halve and roast (15-20 minutes). 

Alternatives:
Try nectarine."


Out shopping earlier this week, my local store had some peaches. They are lovely to eat on their own, or how about this winning combination … pork and peaches!

Ingredients:
Serves 4
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 thin-cut boneless pork loin steaks
black pepper to season
2 peaches washed, de-stoned and cut into wedges
1 red onion peeled and cut into wedges
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
14g fresh basil, washed and torn

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Heat the oil in a large-lidded flameproof casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Season the pork on both sides with black pepper, then add to the casserole dish and cook for 3 minutes on each side until browned. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
2. Add the peaches to the casserole dish along with the onion, vinegar and 1 tablespoon of cold water. Season with freshly ground black pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
3. Return the pork to the casserole dish. Put the lid on and transfer to the oven. Roast for 8 minutes until the pork is cooked through with no pink remaining and the peaches are just tender.

4. Sprinkle the basil over the casserole and serve with vegetables of your choice, how about mashed swede/rutabaga, see here

Nutrition Per Serving:
Fat 23.4g Protein 7.9g Carbs 8.3g
From an original idea here

A variety of articles and recipe ideas are within this blog, 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, 11 June 2019

Tea-rrific Tuesday : How about a cup of tea, or coffee, and a slice of low carb fruit cake !

Yes, it's Tuesday, but do you often feel Tuesday's can be a funny day? It's the day after Monday and the day before mid-week, whereas, Thursday's can feel completely different, because for many it's almost the end of the working week! 

But, no matter what day it is, and whatever I have planned I always have time for a nice cuppa. My first choice would be tea, but yours might be coffee!


of course if you were to call around,
I would offer you a slice of low carb fruit cake
please see recipe details here


and yes, if your choice were tea, I would make sure I'd made it the perfect way


although I do make a good cup of coffee too!
Thanks for having a cuppa with me,
I hope you enjoy the rest of your day

All the best Jan

Monday, 10 June 2019

Health and Nutrition Benefits of Red Leaf Lettuce

Here in the UK we are in late Spring/early summer season ... so time to enjoy salads, which Eddie and I love. Salads are so versatile and gone are the days when you had to only use green lettuce! How about putting a little bit of red lettuce on your plate!

"Red leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is a leafy vegetable in the daisy family. It resembles romaine lettuce except in its tips, which have a red or purple tinge. Aside from adding a burst of colour to your favourite salad or sandwich, this vegetable offers numerous benefits.


Here are nine health and nutrition benefits of red leaf lettuce. 

High in nutrients but low in calories 
Its nutrition profile is similar to other popular leafy vegetables, such as green leaf, romaine, and iceberg lettuce, although there are a few notable differences.
For example, when compared to romaine, red leaf lettuce provides more vitamin K, slightly more iron, and slightly fewer calories — while romaine offers more fibre and vitamins A and C. 
Summary Red leaf lettuce is loaded with vitamins and minerals while low in calories. Its nutrient profile is comparable to other lettuces.

Very hydrating
Maintaining adequate hydration is important for your overall health. Red leaf lettuce is 96% water, making it incredibly thirst-quenching.
Summary Red leaf lettuce has an especially high water content, which can keep you hydrated and feeling full.

Loaded with powerful antioxidants
Red leaf lettuce boasts a number of antioxidants, which protect your body from damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals. Having too many free radicals in your body may increase your likelihood of certain diseases. Additionally, red leaf lettuce is a good source of vitamin C, another powerful antioxidant. Foods high in this vitamin may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
Summary Red leaf lettuce is a great source of antioxidants, in particular, anthocyanins, beta carotene, and vitamin C.

May keep your heart healthy
Generally speaking, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce your risk of heart disease. While no study has directly tested the effects of red leaf lettuce on heart health, this veggie does have several heart-promoting properties.
Summary Red leaf lettuce contains decent amounts of magnesium and potassium, which may boost your heart health.

Excellent source of vitamin A
Vitamin A is the generic name for a group of fat-soluble compounds involved in maintaining immune health, cell growth, and eye health and vision. This vitamin is also central to the normal development and function of many vital organs, including your heart, kidneys, and lungs. Red leaf lettuce is full of vitamin A, adding just one or two servings of red leaf lettuce to your diet a few times per week can help you meet your needs for this vitamin.

Summary Red leaf lettuce is high in vitamin A, a nutrient that’s essential for maintaining vision and immunity.

Packed with vitamin K
Red leaf lettuce is an excellent source of vitamin K. Vitamin K is crucial for blood clotting. Without it, you would increase your risk of uncontrolled bleeding. In addition, this vitamin is important for bone growth and development. Adequate intake may protect against osteoporosis and fractures. Although individuals taking certain blood-thinning medications may need to regulate their vitamin K intake, most people can boost their intake without any worry.

Summary Red leaf lettuce is an excellent source of vitamin K, a nutrient involved in blood clotting and bone health.

May help lower blood pressure
Many people around the world have high blood pressure, which causes your heart to work harder and may increase your risk of heart disease or stroke. Recent studies indicate that a diet rich in potassium may help lower blood pressure. Potassium, which is found in adequate amounts in red leaf lettuce, appears to lower blood pressure by lessening the effects of sodium and helping dilate your blood vessels. Increasing your red leaf lettuce intake in conjunction with other potassium-rich foods, such as avocados and beans, may help keep your blood pressure within a healthy range.

Summary Potassium may help reduce high blood pressure levels. Eating potassium-rich foods like red leaf lettuce may stabilize your blood pressure. 

May promote weight loss 
Many traits of red leaf lettuce make it a weight-loss-friendly food. For instance, this vegetable is extremely low in calories but fairly high in fibre, which can keep you feeling full.
Summary Red leaf lettuce has a high water content and low calorie count, making it a great addition to a weight loss diet.

Easy to add to your diet
In addition to its health benefits, red leaf lettuce is quite tasty. It can be enjoyed in salads or added to sandwiches or wraps for extra flavour, crunch, and colour. However you decide to add it to your meal, this lettuce makes for an easy way to boost your nutrient intake.
Summary Red leaf lettuce is a delicious leafy vegetable that can easily be added to your diet. Enjoy red leaf lettuce in salads or on sandwiches for extra flavour and nutrition.

The bottom line 
Red leaf lettuce is a highly nutritious food. It’s especially rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and K. Additionally, it may help lower blood pressure, aid weight loss, and boost heart health. Red leaf lettuce can easily be added to your favourite salads or sandwiches for extra flavour and nutrients."

The above words and picture taken from an article by Kaitlyn Berkheiser RD LDN, you can see her full article with all information / research links here


looking for red leaf lettuce recipes
here are three suggestions

Red Leaf Lettuce Salad with Poppy-seed Dressing - more details here
Red Leaf Lettuce Salad with Tahini Dressing - more details here 
Red-and-Green Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette - more details 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

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Vegetable Frittata : LCHF and delicious !




Doesn't that broccoli look nice peeping through in this LCHF Vegetable Frittata. The original recipe idea is from Julia McPhee and is a great addition to any low carb recipe collection. It's one that the family can enjoy, or why not keep it to the 'two of you' like Eddie and I so often do! If there are any leftovers - just keep them for tomorrow's lunch! 

Ingredients: 
Serves Four (but can easily be amended to suit)
1 cup Broccoli floweret's and stalk
1 cup Cauliflower floweret's and stalk
1 Zucchini (courgette) sliced into 2 cm slices
½ cup Mushrooms sliced (not too thinly)
1 small onion sliced into large pieces (quartered)
1 tbsp. Butter
1 cup Cream
4 Eggs
1 tbsp. Mustard, wholegrain (optional)
Salt and pepper
¼ cup Cheese, grated (cheddar works well)

Instructions: 
1. Steam (or boil) broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini (courgette) until just cooked but still very firm.
2. Drain and cool slightly.
3. Heat butter in a small pan and add mushrooms and onion until both have softened slightly.
4. Place all cooked vegetables in a baking dish (20-30 cm).
5. Beat eggs, cream and mustard, add salt and pepper and pour over the vegetables.
6. Top with grated cheese.
7. Bake at 180º C (350º F / Gas Mark 4) for around 30 minutes or until the dish is firm and browned on top.

Nutritional Details Per Serving:
Fat 31.7g Protein 10.4g Carbs 2.2g

Need help with weight / measurement conversion:
Look here

Did you know that Broccoli is brimming with good nutrients! It contains almost five times as much vitamin C, eight times as much Calcium, and almost two and a half times as much Fibre as potato, more to read here


Regular readers will know … there is a variety of recipe ideas and articles within this blog, but 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

Michael Gove the UK's next Prime Minister?

As the race to be the next Prime Minister hots up, front runner Michael Gove has been forced to reveal his cocaine using in this article here "Drug hypocrite Gove: Would-be PM hosted cocaine-fulled party at London flat just hours after writing article condemning the Class A drug - as his former aide is blamed for forcing him to confess"

"The revelation comes as Mr.Gove pledged to scrap VAT and bring in a lower sale tax to stimulate business following Brexit in a Sunday Telegraph piece" As posted here. In 2020 the VAT raised according to these figures here will be over £800 billion. That equates to around 37% of gross domestic product. I am old enough to remember when £800 billion was considered to be serious money. 


Methinks Gove AKA 'the back stabber' has been snorting too much cocaine again if he thinks scrapping VAT will improve the UK's finances. That being said, I suspect his new wonder scheme will relieve the serfs of more money than VAT brings in.

Still, as the Ad Men tell us, all publicity is good publicity. 



A warning to all keep away from illegal drugs, don't end up like this bloke!  

Personally, my money is on Prime Minister hopeful Esther McVey. She may have no more going for her, than the rest of the lying, drug snorting troughers, but at least she is easy on the eye.


OK, I know, some will say I'm a privileged white male, a misogynist, and a knuckle dragging Nazi, it's a mad world, and getting crazier by the day, and boy, do I fit right in. And to think our friends in the US think they have it bad with their politicians. 

Eddie



Saturday, 8 June 2019

Going Home-Wild Theme- from "Local Hero" motion picture- Mark Knopfler

Saturday night again and music night over here. I appreciate I am biased, but there is no more beautiful place in the world than the UK. Sure, other places have much higher mountains, far bigger forests, and huge areas of beauty such as the Yellowstone National Park, to name but one. Before you right me off as out to lunch, check out this video featuring some of the stunning landscapes of Scotland.

Peace and good health to all. Eddie

Where Shall I Put The New Washing Machine !

Back in January 2017 I needed a new washing machine, it was duly delivered and I have been happily using it ever since. With the children grown and 'flown the nest' we had downsized and as is common in the UK there was space built into the kitchen for a washing machine, so there it went. I have been very pleased with it and it's still working well ... as it should, ... it's only just over two years old!

Apparently where to place a washing machine has been a 'hot debate' recently! It's even been mentioned by a popular TV show presenter on the Location, Location, Location show. Yes, presenter Kirsty Allsopp has weighed in on a Twitter debate over where we should keep our washing machines in the home: 

Should it be, the bathroom as they do in many parts of Europe, the utility room if you have one, or the kitchen as we do here in the UK. I have read that most apartments and houses in the US have a separate laundry room for the washer and dryer. Not sure what you may do in Canada or Australia, or the country where you live ... do please share that with us in the comments (if you'd like to).
When asked by her followers, Kirsty explained: "It is disgusting, my life's work is in part dedicated to getting washing machines out of the kitchen."

The internet has been divided over where washing machines should be placed in the home after a woman on Twitter named Melis sparked a debate saying: "In Germany it's the most normal thing that washing machines are placed in bathrooms and not in the kitchen where it definitely doesn't belong."

The now-viral Tweet has had over 14,000 retweets, with many other homeowners from around the world joining in to share the location of their washing machine. One man from Romania explained, "same in Romania, why would it be in the kitchen? What are you going to do? Wash the food?"

In many parts of Europe, washing machines are kept in the bathroom (or the utility room, if homes have one). In the UK, the majority of properties have their washing machine built into the kitchen, partly because we don't commonly have electrical sockets in bathrooms.

"It's a very normal thing in a lot of countries. The UK almost entirely has washing stuff in the kitchen or a separate utility room just off the kitchen," explained another.

Others explained it was dangerous to keep a washing machine in a bathroom due to electricity, while another said Brits had no choice due to smaller homes. "Come to my tiny flat and tell me where else to put it then. Some of us don't have any alternative," was one reply to Kirsty.

Have you any views on the matter?

Which room is your washing machine in?




above images from google
my washing machine is similar to the one on the left
Happy Washing!


All the best Jan 

Friday, 7 June 2019

Chocolate Birthday Cake : Keto and Low Carb Friendly

A good keto/low carb diet (lifestyle) is about healthy whole foods, but now and then life calls for something special. Birthday cake is one. While not everyone who goes keto/low carb chooses to bake traditional treats, some do. And for those who do, it’s nice to have a lower carb version to enjoy. Take this cake, the recipe uses 'Swerve' in place of sugar. If you tolerate sugar alcohols well, Swerve can be used for keto/low carb friendly baking …


Happy Birthday to you! If you are looking for a low carb birthday cake, how about this chocolate flavoured one? However, if you'd prefer a vanilla one, or perhaps a watermelon one, or even a Chocolate one with peanut buttercream, then please use the link near the end of this post*
   
Cake:
Serves Eight
3 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
40 g chopped 90% Chocolate
¼ cup Almond Butter
2.5 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp. Coconut Milk
3 Eggs, separated
1 cup Almond Flour
½ cup Cacao Powder
7 Tbsp. Swerve
1 tsp. Baking Powder
½ tsp. Baking Soda

Pinch of Salt 
Buttercream:
¾ cup Unsalted Butter, softened but not melted
¾ cup Powdered Swerve
½ tsp. Vanilla
2.5 Tbsp. Cacao Powder
1-2 Tbsp. Shredded Coconut (optional) 
Per slice:
Net Carbs: 6 g Fat: 33 g Protein: 7 g 

Need help with weight/measurement conversion: 
This guide may be helpful, see here 
Step-by-Step Instructions:
Can be seen here

Almond flour is by far the most nutritious flour of all nut flours. When prepared from almonds with skin, it is coarse in nature. However, most people prefer to use flour made with blanched almonds which can be ground to a fine texture perfect for baking. This makes it very popular for those following a low carb and gluten free diet. 

A one ounce serving of almond flour contains about 170 calories, 6 grams of protein, and 15 grams of fat. The majority of the fat heart healthy monounsaturated fats. Only a gram or less comes from saturated fats. The extra benefit of almond flour is it is cholesterol free. This serving of almond flour also contains around 3 grams of fibre. 

Almond flour is an excellent source of vitamin E. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells and boosts immune system functions. In just one quarter cup you can get upwards of 40 percent of your daily value. Almond flour is also a good source of B vitamins riboflavin and niacin. 

If you have mineral deficiencies, almond flour may be able to combat that. Almond flour is full of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, and zinc. In a one quarter cup serving you can get about 7 percent of your recommended calcium intake. Although 7% may not seem like a large number, you’d be surprised as to how much calcium is really in almond flour. Cup for cup, almond flour almost supersedes milk for calcium content! Almond flour is also a great source of iron, containing approximately 14% of the recommended daily allowance. 

Almonds have also been proven to aid in heart health. This study concluded that substituting low carb almonds for high carb foods is a simple strategy for preventing heart disease. 

If you are looking for a grain–free and gluten-free baking product look no further than almond flour. It is nutrient dense and is great for baking breads, muffins, and cookies. The fibre and protein contents will help curb appetite which will also aid in weight management. Plus, almond flour is delicious and will help make your baked foods taste that much better. Give it a shot. In such small quantities almond flour nutrition certainly packs a punch!
The above from article here




*Please see more Happy Birthday / Celebration Cake low carb recipes here

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 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