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Sunday, 15 July 2018

Nut Loaf, Paleo Bread, Low Carb and Gluten Free !

If you are a seed and nut lover, then this loaf could be for you! It's crunchy, hearty and tasty! Plus it's low carb, dairy-free and gluten-free. Could be a perfect choice for sandwiches, but it is also delicious as a side or stand-alone snack.
Some may say - whatever you do - don't forget the butter! LOL!

makes 20 servings/slices
3g carbs per slice
7 oz. (200g) almonds or hazelnuts
7 oz. (200g) pumpkin seeds
3 oz. (75g) flaxseed
3 oz. (75g) sesame seeds
4 oz. (110g) sunflower seeds
2 oz. (50g) pecans or walnuts
1 tbsp. fennel seeds, crushed
2 tsp salt
6 eggs
1⁄3 cup (75ml) olive oil or coconut oil, melted

½ tsp white wine vinegar (optional)

This recipe makes an oversized loaf. It keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week. It also freezes well; for best results, cut into thin slices before freezing.

Spread a generous amount of butter on each slice—it will be almost as satiating as a full meal!

Can be found here

Read more about it here

We bring a variety of recipes ideas to 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

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Josh Groban - Granted

It's music night and tonight a beautiful song from Josh Groban's new album, enjoy

Superfoods That Are Worthy of the Title : Here Are Sixteen

Ansley Hill RD,LD writes:
"Nutritionally speaking, there is no such thing as a superfood. The term was coined for marketing purposes to influence food trends and sell products. The food industry bestows the superfood label on nutrient-rich foods with a supposed capacity to positively affect health. Though many foods could be described as super, it’s important to understand that there is no single food that holds the key to good health or disease prevention. But since the term “superfood” doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, it may be worth taking a closer look at some healthy options. 

Here are 16 foods that may be worthy of the esteemed superfood title: 

1. Dark Leafy Greens
Dark green leafy vegetables are full of fibre and nutrients which may be instrumental in preventing certain chronic diseases.

2. Berries
Berries are full of nutrients and antioxidants which may prevent certain diseases and improve digestion.

3. Green Tea
Green tea is antioxidant-rich with many health benefits including possible cancer prevention.

4. Eggs
Eggs are rich in high-quality protein and unique antioxidants. Research indicates that eating eggs regularly will not increase your risk of heart disease or diabetes.

5. Legumes
Legumes are rich in many vitamins, protein and fibre. They may prevent some chronic diseases and support weight loss.

6. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are full of fibre and heart-healthy fats. They may reduce your risk of heart disease and support weight loss.

7. Kefir (And Yogurt)
Kefir is a fermented dairy beverage with multiple health benefits related to its probiotic content. Though generally made from cow’s milk, kefir is also available in non-dairy forms.

8. Garlic
Garlic is a nutrient-rich food used for its medicinal benefits for centuries. It may be useful for supporting immune function and reducing your risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

9. Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of the principle fat sources in the Mediterranean diet. It may be beneficial in reducing heart disease, diabetes and other inflammatory conditions.

10. Ginger
Ginger is used for its flavour and potential medicinal effects. It may be useful in treating nausea, pain and preventing certain chronic diseases.

11. Turmeric (Curcumin)
The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, is associated with several medicinal effects. Curcumin is not easily absorbed and should be paired with substances that enhance its absorption, such as black pepper.

12. Salmon
Salmon is a good source of many nutrients, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Limit your consumption of salmon to avoid potential negative effects from contaminants common in fish and seafood.

13. Avocado
Avocados are nutrient-rich, high-fibre fruits that may play a role in reducing inflammation and chronic diseases.

14. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are a highly nutritious food loaded with carotenoids, which have strong antioxidant properties. They may also be beneficial for blood sugar control.

15. Mushrooms
Mushrooms are full of nutrients and may reduce your risk of certain diseases. Additionally, mushrooms are a sustainable food choice.
16. Seaweed
Seaweed is a group of highly nutritious sea vegetables that may play a role in protecting against certain chronic diseases.

The Bottom Line
Achieving optimal health through food and nutrition is about more than focusing on one or two of the latest food trends. Instead, good health is best supported by eating a variety of nutritious foods every day. Including some, or all, of the foods on this list as part of a balanced diet can benefit your overall health and may prevent certain chronic diseases."
Ansley's full article with all information / research links is here

I wonder if you may have a particular favourite from this list? Mine would be eggs!

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

Friday, 13 July 2018

Halloumi Fries : Low Carb & Gluten Free

Aldi is limiting shoppers to just two boxes each of halloumi fries after a surge in popularity. The budget supermarket chain has announced the product has become so popular with customers that it has to limit the amount it sells to each person!

Well, goodness me, I know halloumi is very popular but who would have thought? Of course I'm not too sure how low carb the Aldi ones are, but I know these are!

Makes eight fries
8.9 oz. Halloumi
3 Tablespoons Almond Flour*
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
1 tablespoon Paprika
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
3-4 tablespoons Olive oil

In a bowl mix the almond flour with the spices.
Remove the Halloumi cheese from the packet and DON’T dry it. You need it slightly moist.
Cut the Halloumi cheese in half lengthwise (down the middle, some cheeses will have a natural crease).
Cut each slice into four strips (or more if you want the fries thinner).
Dip each Halloumi strip into the spiced flour and ensure that it is covered well. The moisture of the cheese should ensure that the flour sticks to it.
Heat the oil on a medium heat in a frying pan.
Fry the Halloumi strips on all sides, turning over when slightly crispy.
Eat and enjoy!

Nutritional Details Per Fry:
14g Fat, 8g Protein, 1.9g Total Carbs, (0.6g Fibre, 1.3g Net Carbs)

You could oven bake these, but many prefer them pan fried for extra crunch. If you want your halloumi fries baked, it's better that you line a baking tray with parchment paper and put the tray in the oven for about 5 minutes before use to heat it up. Lightly spray the halloumi fries with oil before baking to help give them a crispy texture and turn over half way through cooking. With another spray of oil.
* you could also use coconut flour - it works okay, but the almond flour ones gives a crispier coating.

Please see original recipe, picture and more here

Halloumi is a firm, slightly springy white cheese from Cyprus, traditionally made with sheeps’ milk, although these days mass-produced varieties often use cows’ milk.

In texture, halloumi is similar to a firm mozzarella, making it a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking. Unlike mozzarella, however, it has a strong salty flavour, particularly when preserved in brine.

In good supermarkets and speciality stores.

Choose the best:
Cut into slices - the halloumi should 'squeak' as it is cut into.

Buyer's guide:
The best halloumi is made from sheeps’ milk, and will come from Cyprus, although these days you can even find varieties made in Britain.

Halloumi will keep in the fridge for many months if left in its original packaging, complete with brine or whey. Once opened, submerge in salt water and refrigerate.

In the Middle East, halloumi is usually fried or grilled to take advantage of its high melting point. Although halloumi can be eaten straight from the packet, some chefs recommend soaking it in buttermilk for a day or two before preparing, to give it a richer, less salty flavour.

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

Thursday, 12 July 2018


1 The total f**kwit

These dullards wade into a thread containing great news, from people who have reversed terrible health problems, by way of a low carb higher natural fat lifestyle. They proceed to tell us we are dead men walking. While forgetting to tell us, they are on the run from a secure mental health facility. Very often body builders, out of their heads caused by steroid and insulin abuse, and very often flogging supplements to their misguided followers.

2 The Mercenaries

Mercenaries are very often Scientists and Academics, who have received eye watering amounts of money from junk food companies and or big pharma. Arguably these people are the leading cause of the obesity and type two diabetes epidemics. Following closely behind, we have the Dietetic Associations, also on the junk food payola treadmill, with many of their most high profile dietitians morbidly obese, go figure that point. But whatever you do, don't mention fat shaming.

3 The Trolls

Very often nameless, faceless, anonymous, misfits. Life has treated these people badly, they blame everything for their misfortune on others, it's never their fault. Their favourite target is happy people who have regained their health by eating real food. Nothing sticks more in a trolls throat, than an enlightened person who took a leap of faith, went against the diet of slow death, and regained their health.

4 The Goons

These people are very often educated way beyond their level of intelligence. Typically PhD's, we know that because it appears in their signatures, as if that makes us gasp in admiration, and we will accept their every word. Their fall back position is to link to science papers, the more technical and convoluted the better. It seems never to dawn on them, most people do not ever read the papers, including most hard pressed medical professionals. But hey, quoting the Krebs cycle can make a man look very clever. I suspect most think the Krebs cycle is some sort of mountain bike.

5 The nice but dims

Mostly people on a ludicrous diet, who try to flog it to a low carber, very often Vegans. These well meaning souls, remind me of the Jehovah's witnesses who bang me out of bed early on a Saturday morning, informing me they can save me. I ask them why me, have you run out of human beings?


Well, you didn't think my Jan would post a rant like that, surely!

Low Carb Chocolate Cookie / Biscuits : Spoilt For Choice!

Low Carb Chocolate Cookie / Biscuits, we're spoilt for choice, I wonder which one would you choose?

 number one

 number two

number three

For the recipe idea please go across to Libby's 'Ditch the Carbs' site here

Once you've baked the cookie/biscuits allow to cool and then add frosting/icing and decorate anyway you like. Now, I like the dark chocolate (90%) swirls on number two
... but which cookie/biscuit would you choose?

Dark chocolate (cocoa) ..."is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. It's made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.

Studies show that dark chocolate (not the sugary type) can improve health and lower the risk of heart disease.

Dark Chocolate is Very Nutritious:
If you buy quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, then it is actually quite nutritious.
It contains a decent amount of soluble fibre and is loaded with minerals.

A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains:
11 grams of fibre.
67% of the RDA for Iron.
58% of the RDA for Magnesium.
89% of the RDA for Copper.
98% of the RDA for Manganese.
It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium."

Above words and much more about dark chocolate here

Now, although I usually drink tea, I find a nice cup of coffee goes well with one of these cookie/biscuits ... can I make you one …

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Making a difference

Saw this on a US blog today and thought this is what we try to do. Saving diabetics one at a time. Eddie

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Sea Bass Marinated in Lime and Cumin, with a Mango Salsa

Do you like fish? Both Eddie and I enjoy eating fish, and it features quite regularly in our menu plans. So how about this idea for a quick, midweek meal for two, these cumin-spiced sea bass fillets are fresh and vibrant. The mango, avocado and coriander salsa adds a tropical vibe, with a hot kick from the horseradish sauce. Of course, you can easily replace the sea bass with any fish you have in the fridge, (or might prefer), and of course adjust amounts to suit how many you are cooking for!

Serves Two
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 lime, zested and juiced
190g boneless sea bass fillets
1 mango, cut into small cubes
1 small avocado, cubed
2 spring onions (scallions), trimmed and finely chopped
2-3 tsp horseradish sauce, to taste
10g fresh coriander, chopped
220g pack tender-stem broccoli, stems cut from florets and halved lengthwise

1. Put the cumin seeds, lime zest and juice into a shallow dish, then add the sea bass, turning to coat. Set aside to marinate for 5 mins.
2. Meanwhile, make the salsa by mixing the mango and avocado in a bowl with the spring onions and horseradish sauce. Stir in the coriander, season to taste, then set aside.
3. Blanch the broccoli florets and halved stems for 3 mins in a pan of salted boiling water, or steam. Drain and set aside.
4. Put the sea bass and the marinade in a frying pan, add 75ml water and bring to a simmer. Cover and steam for 5 mins, or until cooked.

5. Serve the steamed sea bass with the broccoli and a generous helping of the salsa.

Nutritional Details Per Serving:
Carbohydrate 13.1g Protein 25.2g Fat 21g

From an original idea here

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

Monday, 9 July 2018

Chicken : Favourite Recipes To Share : Here Are Three

Chicken Thighs Pan Roasted with a Chive Cream Sauce

I just don't think you can beat chicken, and in particular chicken thighs.
This is such a tasty recipe idea - could be a mid-week hit - see what you think. 

Serves Four
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Yellow (white) Onion
1/4 Cup Dry White Wine (use whatever white wine you enjoy drinking for this, a chardonnay is nice)
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 Cup Chicken Stock
1/2 Cup Heavy (double) Cream
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Chives
(Kosher) Salt + Black Pepper
and more here

Mustard and Sage Chicken with Celeriac Mash

Swapping potatoes for celeriac lowers the carbohydrates in this lovely mid-week dinner suggestion ... ready in under half an hour and tastes great!

Serves Three

1 celeriac, peeled and cut into chunks
3 chicken breasts, skinless
1 tbsp. English mustard powder
2 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
8 sage leaves, chopped
100g low-fat crème fraîche, plus 2 tbsp. for the mash
1 chicken stock cube
2 tbsp. wholegrain mustard

To Serve:
275g cooked green veg, such as thin-stemmed broccoli, peas or Savoy cabbage,
and more, here 

Chicken Casserole - with a selection of vegetables

There are many good recipes for Chicken Casserole, but can you have too many? No, I don't think so ... If you'd like to add another version of a chicken casserole to your recipe collection, this one is very tasty. Read on and see what you think!

For the casserole:
Serves Four
4 chicken breasts, or 600g/1lb 5oz cooked leftover roast chicken
2 onions, 1 roughly chopped, 1 thinly sliced
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
6 whole peppercorns
1 fresh bay leaf
water, to cover
55g/2oz butter
30g/1oz plain flour salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets and blanched
1 x 225g/8oz tin water chestnuts, drained
1 free-range egg yolk, lightly beaten
2-3 tbsp. double (heavy) cream

squeeze lemon juice
To serve: 
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
boiled baby carrots
and more here

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

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Are You Addicted to Your Phone?

Laurentine ten Bosch writes:
"Keeping connected is paramount in today’s digital society, but is our inconsumable obsession with our smartphones taking a toll on our inner health? Over the past 10 years we have seen a paradigm shift in the way we use technology, specifically with the rise of the smartphones that spawned from the release of Apple’s iconic iPhone. Marketed as technology to make our lives easier, more organized and convenient, it’s almost ironic that people are now feeling more time poor and stressed than ever before. 

In this article we will take a look at the side effects of smartphones, what it takes to digitally detox, and tips and tricks to distance yourself from distracting notifications. 

What’s The Relationship You Have With Your Phone?
Understanding the relationship with your phone is key to kicking the addiction with your so-called smartphone. Looking at how we use it, why we use it, when we use it and what we’re using it for is a great way to start evaluating how much time we spend looking at the black mirror. By evaluating the who, what, when, where and why, you can begin to understand what emotions you are hoping to experience or avoid. 
MIT professor Sherry Turkle discusses the many negative effects of our over-reliance on technology, arguing that it's changing not just what we do but who we are and adversely creating more lonely, isolated people. This discovery is not alone with social psychologist Adam Alter juxtaposing substance addiction with behavioural addictions. He noted that in the past we have mostly associated addiction to chemical substances, whereas now we have a phenomenon of people spending nearly three hours a day tethered to their cell phones - this is what we now know to be a behavioural addiction. 
Behavioural addictions are fast becoming social norms with a 2011 study suggesting that 41% of us have at least one. This increasingly high number is vastly due to the rise of social media platforms and the inevitable integration between the digital world and the ‘real world’.

How Is My Smartphone Affecting My Health?
As we’ve discovered, smartphones have the capacity to develop addictive behaviours similar to that of gambling, which can interfere with our everyday lives. Notable scientific studies demonstrate how classic addiction symptomology is intrinsically linked between smartphone overuse, which includes loss of control (e.g. distortion of time spent on the phone), preoccupation with the smartphone and withdrawal symptoms. Perhaps this suggests why we coined the appropriate term ‘Crackberry’? 
These addictive tendencies can wreak havoc on our productivity, brain function, wellbeing, work-life balance and even our personal lives with quantifiable evidence suggesting social anxiety and loneliness is intrinsically linked to smartphone use. While the primary function of a smartphone is to communicate more effectively with one another, it’s also important to remember to disconnect in order to really communicate with people.
Our ‘technostress’ (originally conceptualized as the negative influence of technology and social media) is directly associated with the round-the-clock accessibility afforded by mobile phones, creating a feeling of never being free and guilt at the inability to respond to notifications, calls and text messages. These feelings are now developing into mental health issues, with overuse symptoms severely increasing our risk of social isolation.

The Benefits of a Digital Detox:
More peace and less anxiety
Clearer thinking and less distraction
More focus and less multitasking
More creative and less reactive
More empowered and less guilt
Better sleep
More personable with stronger relationships
More conscious eating and drinking 

How Do I Kick My Smartphone Addiction Without Dropping Off The Face of The Planet?
We know smartphones are incredibly useful and we don’t think you should, or expect you to, give them up completely. However, there are some things you can do to maintain a more healthy relationship with technology. We’ve researched some key tips and tricks to keep your technostress at bay, ensuring you’re using your smartphone the smart way.

1. Get An Alarm Clock
It’s a trap to think you’ll just set your alarm on your phone and go to sleep. What really happens is you see a new notification and all of a sudden you’ve spent an hour mindlessly scrolling through an infinite Instagram feed of holiday pictures and click-bait videos. A great way to kick your social media craving is by taking away the temptation of checking your phone before bed - so pop it on charge in a different room and instead get a real alarm clock on your bedside table (not an app!). Not only will you get a better sleep, you’ll get more of it! 

2. Set Up Some Smartphone Hacks
Organize and categorize your applications into pertinent and non-pertinent folders. By doing this you will reduce the temptation to open social media applications for the sake of opening them. Another great way to reduce your screen time is by setting your phone to ‘grayscale’ - bolstering your battery life and your need to check the ‘gram'. 

3. Set Up Some Phone-Free Zones
Make certain rooms in the house phone free. The bedroom, living room and dining room are great places to start. Setting boundaries like this for yourself and your family can go a long way to improve connection and relationship satisfaction.

4. Know When to Turn Off
For many of us, work doesn’t end when the clock strikes five – and we mostly have our smartphones to blame for that. But by allowing yourself some screen-free time at the end of the day you can really evaluate whether you need to ‘drop everything’ to answer an after-hours work request or email. You can also turn off notifications for certain apps or snooze group conversations for a certain amount of time to give yourself some peace and quiet. 

5. Make Time to Actually ‘See’ Your Friends and Family
We’re social creatures by nature, so putting in effort to make some ‘face-to-face time’ for your friends and family will go a long way not only for your inner wellbeing but also for your friends! By the way, your mum and dad will thank you for this! And your kids also deserve to see the ‘real you’ rather than you glued to your phone. It’s really hard to tell your kids not to spend too much time on screens and devices if all they see is you scrolling your social feeds. 

6. Set Some Social Etiquette Phone Rules
When you’re with people, be with those people. It seems simple enough, but so often many of us get distracted by notifications and may unintentionally be rudely ignoring the ‘real’ people in front of us. Set and stick to some rules like ‘no phones at dinner’, ‘no social media when socializing’ (or maybe one quick selfie and then put the phone away!) and make conscious decisions on whether an email, text or phone call has to be addressed immediately or if it can wait. You can feel more empowered by your decision to control your phone use, and the people around you should feel more valued when you prioritize them." 

All words and pictures above are from an original article, with full links, here 

Do you think it's a good idea to have a digital detox? Are the younger generation more addicted to phones than the older generation? At what age should young people have a mobile phone? 
Do please share your thoughts … 

Readers - you will find a variety of articles (and recipe ideas), are within this blog. It is important to 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.
As always thanks for reading.

All the best Jan

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Deva Mahal - Snakes

Saturday night is music night, yet another new singer this song is taken from her debut album, enjoy

Nina Simone Feeling Good

Saturday night again and music night on this blog. In the UK we have a very famous music programme called Desert Island Discs, this is a programme (started in 1942) where the great and the good pick their favourite pieces of music, and explain why it means so much to them. An old nobody like me, will never appear on the show, but if I did, I would pick this piece of music as one of my choices. Did a better singer ever draw breath? Eddie 

Sorry folks, the track has been disabled, my bad for not checking. Let's try this track.

Courgette/Zucchini Noodles with Tomatoes, and Mushrooms and a Parmesan Creamy Sauce

and some tomatoes

and button mushrooms

add a lovely creamy sauce containing Parmesan Cheese

and you end up with a delicious plateful of
Courgette/Zucchini noodles with tomatoes, mushrooms and Parmesan sauce

Serves Two 
3 courgette/zucchini
4 tomatoes
8 oz. (225g) button mushrooms
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup (225ml) heavy (double) whipping cream
½ cup (125ml) grated parmesan cheese, plus a handful of shaved pieces for serving
2 tbsp. olive oil 
salt and pepper, to taste
are here

All the best Jan

Friday, 6 July 2018

Summer Fruits Low Carb Sponge Cake ... it's delicious !

This is actually one of Eddie's low carb cake recipes! He first made it some years ago now, and it has remained a favourite with us and other family members. I haven't shared the recipe idea for a while, and knowing that in recent months we have new readers, I thought it would be nice to share it again. With summer upon us, a low carb sponge cake could be just what you need!

The fruits you use can always be adjusted to what is in season, and what may be available in a shop near you! If you need a guide to lower carb fruits have a look here 

200g ground almonds
2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
3 medium eggs
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons double (heavy) cream

Low-carb fruits 

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. 
Melt the butter I used a Pyrex jug, add the eggs and cream, then add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. 
Add some low-carb fruits, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries to the mix and spoon into a baking container. I used a silicone bread mould. 
Microwave in a 700watt for 6 minutes. 
Take out of the mould, if still damp place upside down on four layers of kitchen paper and microwave for a further one minute. 
Allow to cool then spread on a layer of extra thick cream, then add fruits to the top. 
A little tip, allow to cool on four or five layers of kitchen paper to remove any excess moisture. 
Serve in a bowl with some double cream. 
Serves eight.

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, 5 July 2018

Coconut Oil Kills


Gazpacho Soup - A wonderful taste of Andalucia - Perfect for Summer

Gazpacho is a soup made of raw vegetables and served cold, usually with a tomato base, originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalucia, which some spell with a c, while others use an s !

This soup can be "great for a hot day when making a lunch that takes just a few minutes is exactly what you want. In our version of this Andalusian peasant dish we leave out the soaked bread and instead use a creamy avocado to give it substance. Eating some of your food raw every day is important as the vitamins are retained as well as the all-important enzymes.

Serves 4
8 large, ripe tomatoes
½ medium red, orange or yellow pepper (green peppers are unripe)
½ large cucumber, peeled
1 medium avocado (or a handful of soaked nuts such as almonds, cashews, or brazil nuts)
1 small red or white onion or a bunch of spring onions
3 large cloves of garlic
1 handful of fresh herbs (we like parsley or a mix of parsley and basil / coriander)
1 tsp of good quality balsamic vinegar or sherry vinegar*
The juice of ½ a lemon or lime
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

Optional toppings:
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Diced olives
Diced cucumber/red pepper/tomatoes
Toasted pumpkin seeds
Parmesan crisps - how to make these see here

 For GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome) use apple cider vinegar instead of balsamic or sherry
 For Paleo, add an extra ½ lemon or lime instead of vinegar
 If you would prefer, you can substitute the avocado for a handful of soaked almonds, cashews or brazil nuts"

This recipe suggestion, and words above, are from Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley. They are home cooks and food lovers with a passion for wellness and delicious, nutrient-dense food. Their cooking is all about creating natural, satisfying and easy to digest meals that make you feel vibrant, strong and healthy; recipes that are full of flavour and goodness and free from gluten, grains and refined sugar. They believe in the nourishing power of real food and that eating well can be easy, affordable and enjoyable for everyone.
Original recipe here
More about the Hemsley's here

Facts about Andalusia ... a rocky, sun-baked region on Spain’s southern coast, embodies much of what the world thinks of as Spanish: flamenco, tapas, matadors and bullfights. Yet it was under Moorish rule from the 8th-15th centuries, a legacy that shows in its architecture, including such landmarks as the Alcázar castle in Seville, the capital city, as well as Córdoba’s Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral and Granada’s Alhambra palace.

Seville - Place d'Espagne - image from here

Well, you may not be able to visit Andalucía, but I hope you may get to taste this Gazpacho soon. Happy Eating - which if my Spanish is correct, translates to

Comiendo feliz!

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

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Look After Your Feet : Diabetic Foot

I saw this article on Diabetes Diet Blog, and thought it worth sharing …

'Summarised from BMJ Clinical Update Diabetic Foot

by Mishra et al Mumbai and London 18 Nov 17'

"Foot disease troubles 6% of people who have diabetes and includes infection, ulceration or destruction of tissues of the foot. It can affect both social life and work. Up to 1.5% of diabetic people will end up with an amputation. Good foot care, screening and early treatment of ulceration is hoped to prevent a foot problem developing into a need for amputation. This article gives an update on the prevention and initial management of the diabetic foot that can be expected from primary care.

A combination of poor blood sugar control, foot neglect, lack of appropriate footwear, insufficient patient education and failure to find and treat pre-ulcerative lesions cause increasing foot damage and worsens the outlook. Nerve and blood vessel damage make damage more likely to go unnoticed and more difficult to heal.

A careful examination of the feet by the patient or carer every day is a good idea. A careful examination by health professionals also detects problems early. Fungal infections, cracks and skin fissures, deformed nails, macerated web spaces, callouses, and deformities such as hammer toes, claw toes, and pes cavus increase the risk of ulceration. Cold feet can suggest poor blood supply and warm feet can be an indicator of infection.

Monofilaments are often used to detect neuropathy at annual assessments. Pain after walking a certain distance and pain at rest suggest peripheral arterial disease.

Assessments every three to six months is needed for medium risk feet and every one or two months for high risk feet.

As neuropathy is difficult to reverse once established, prevention is key. Optimal glycaemic control is extremely important. Smoking cessation, maintaining a normal weight and continued exercise help the circulatory system. Patients also know how to check their feet and who to get help from if they find problems. New shoes should be worn in gradually to prevent blisters.

Health care professionals need to send urgent cases to a specialised diabetic foot centre if at all possible. Such cases would include foot ulceration with fever or any signs of sepsis, ulceration with limb ischaemia, gangrene, or suspected deep seated soft tissue or bone infection.

Ulcers are best washed in clean water or saline with a moist gauze dressing. Anti-microbial agents can be cytotoxic and can affect wound healing. Weight bearing on the area needs to be avoided. Tissue will be taken for bacterial culture and antibiotics prescribed due to local policies.

Referral within a day or two is needed for rest pain, an uncomplicated ulcer or an acute Charcot foot. (suspected fracture due to neuropathy).

Patients with rest pain and intermittent claudication need vascular referral.

Here are the top tips for patients:
Inspect your feet daily including between the toes and if you can’t do it yourself get someone else to do so

wash your feet in warm but not hot water daily and dry carefully especially between the toes

use oil or cream on dry feet but not between the toes

cut nails straight across and if necessary go to a podiatrist for this

Don’t do home treatments for corns and callouses

Check your shoes for objects or rough areas inside them and wear socks with them

avoid walking barefoot

get your feet examined regularly by a health care professional

notify the appropriate health care professional if you develop a blister, cut, scratch or sore on your feet"

Diabetes Diet Blog is written by Emma Baird, who is a type 1 diabetic (diagnosed over 32 years ago…), she is a writer with a keen interest in health, and Dr Katharine Morrison, a senior practising GP and a senior partner in a medical practice in Ayrshire. Her son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 10 years ago, and since then she has worked extensively with diabetics (both type 1 and type 2) to help them to achieve good blood sugar control – a vital component in good health and longevity.

It is especially important for diabetics to look after their feet ... but for those of us who are not diabetic - feet are important, they are well worth looking after …

All the best Jan

Italian Beef, Porcini and Red Wine Stew

This Sainsbury's recipe suggestion serves eight people, so you may need to adjust the amounts, or perhaps freeze half of the casserole and use/eat another night. It works out at 24g carb per serving ...

40g (pack) porcini pieces (e.g. L’Aquila)
3 tbsp. dripping or oil, plus extra if needed
206g (pack) cubetti di pancetta
2kg sliced beef braising steak, cut into 5cm pieces
50g unsalted butter
2 large onions, halved and sliced
1 tbsp. soft light brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, crushed
75g plain flour
1 litre fresh beef stock
100ml Italian red wine
100ml ruby port
6 fresh bay leaves
6 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

200g (pack) cooked peeled chestnuts

1. Put the porcini pieces in a bowl and cover with 250ml just-boiled water. Rest a small saucer on top to keep them submerged and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
2. Strain the mushrooms through a fine sieve, catching the liquid in a spare bowl, pressing as much of the liquid through as possible. Set aside the mushrooms and strain the soaking liquid through a kitchen paper-lined sieve to catch any grit; discard this and set aside the strained liquid.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of dripping or oil in a large, non-stick flameproof casserole. Add the pancetta and fry for 5 minutes until lightly golden. Remove to a plate using a slotted spoon and set aside.
4. Brown a few pieces of the steak at a time in the casserole, adding a little more dripping or oil when necessary. Set aside with the pancetta while you brown the remainder. When you have finished, wipe the casserole clean to avoid burnt bits.
5. Add another 1 tablespoon of oil or dripping to the casserole with 25g of the butter. When it has melted, add the onions, sugar and a pinch of salt and fry, stirring now and then, for 10 minutes, until they are soft and richly browned. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150°C, fan 130°C, gas 2.
6. Add the garlic to the onions and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the squeezed-out porcini and fry for 2-3 minutes more. Add the reserved porcini soaking liquid and simmer until it has almost disappeared. Stir in 50g of the plain flour, then gradually stir in the stock, red wine and port, and bring to the boil, stirring. Return the browned beef and pancetta to the casserole with the bay leaves, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and some seasoning. Bring back to the boil, cover with a sheet of foil or baking paper and a tight-fitting lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours.
7. Uncover, stir in the chestnuts, re-cover and cook for a further 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until the meat is meltingly tender. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

8. In a small bowl, mash together the remaining 25g of flour with the remaining 25g of butter, softened, using a fork to make a paste. Bring the stew to a simmer on top of the stove, then stir in the paste, bring back to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until thickened. Leave to cool.

You could also simmer this stew on top of the stove if you prefer – just remember to give it a stir every now and then to make sure it is not sticking to the base of the pan.

Original recipe idea here

flowers, always brighten up a room or table

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, 3 July 2018

Summer Berry Trifle : Low Carb : Perfect For 4th July !

Yes, this really is a work of art! 

Anne Aobadia at Diet Doctor site says, "Oh, say can you see this delectable piece of art? Add a colourful and patriotic touch to your festive low-carb holiday table this 4th of July. A fluffy cream cheese mixture layered with juicy berries, dressed up in the colours of the American flag. Turn this recipe into the national anthem this year, guests of all ages will sing your praises." 

Of course it is also perfect for other days … family get-togethers, parties etc. just decorate your trifle slightly differently.
Now isn't low carb eating delicious and so versatile ! 

Serves Eight
8g carbs per serving
10 oz. (275g) cream cheese
3 tbsp. erythritol (optional)
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
1¾ cups (425ml) heavy (double) whipping cream
1 cup (225ml) fresh blueberries

2 cups (475ml) fresh strawberries
Are here

A bouquet to all our American friends as you celebrate 4th July
Also to all our readers, some who have just celebrated Canada Day,
and to those in other countries with festivals and celebrations … enjoy!

All the best Jan

Monday, 2 July 2018

North Bay pharmacist opens low carb clinic to help people with diabetes, weight loss

Erin Pitkethly's Robinsong Health Low Carb Clinic is the first of it's kind in northern Ontario, she says

If your meals usually include a slice of bread or a bowl of pasta, the thought of adopting a low carb diet may not be something you're interested in.

But a North Bay pharmacist says adopting that diet can not only help you lose weight, but could improve your overall health.

Erin Pitkethly, a pharmacist who specializes in the management of medical conditions and weight loss with a low carb approach, recently opened Robinsong Health Low Carb Clinic in North Bay.

She says she once thought following a low carb diet was not healthy. But she changed her mind after researching the topic.

"I was seeing people with diabetes getting worse and worse, people getting their legs amputated, people having to go onto dialysis, and I knew there was a better way," she said.

"The more I read about it, the more I saw a real divide between what I knew was possible for people and their health and what I was seeing in practice."

Pitkethly trained with family physician Dr. Evelyne Bordua-Roy in Quebec and says she's the first pharmacist in Canada with low carb training. At her clinic, patients follow a low carb diet while being monitored by a health professional. Any medication the patient may be on is monitored as well.

As diabetes rates in northern Ontario are 20 per cent higher than the rest of the province, Pitkethly says managing these medical conditions with a low carb approach could be beneficial in the region.

"That's a very high disease burden," she said.

"It's really an expensive disease to treat long term, because of the eventual complications. And unfortunately, the medications we have ... delay the complications ... they don't prevent them."

The patients she's been working with so far have seen success, she says. One patient who is diabetic was able to taper off insulin in three weeks.

Pitkethly adds low-carb nutrition can also be used for a number of health problems, including Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, a hormonal disorder found in women that can cause fertility problems.

"There are some doctors in North Bay who are using low-carb medicine and they've told me that they've had patients that have reversed their PCOS and had babies," she said.

"That's happened in the clinic where I trained as well."

Adjusting to low carb

It's not recommended to go low carb to try and control a medical condition, without working with your doctor or health care professional. However, if you do decide to try low carb, Pitkethly offers these tips.

  • Start by eliminating all sugary drinks, including diet pop, juice and athletic drinks like Gatorade. Also cut down on sugar in tea and coffee and aim to drink more water.
  • Try to cut back on snacks and aim for three meals a day.
  • If you are taking medications, especially those for blood pressure or blood sugars, you will need to work with a health care provider to properly manage these.
If carbs are usually an important part of your diet, Pitkethly says there are low carb substitutes for both bread and pasta.

"But when you stop and think about it, many carbs like bread, wraps and pasta are actually just a container or base for more flavourful food that goes in or on it," she said.

"They just don't add much flavour. So you can have the delicious pasta sauce on something low carb instead, or you can put whatever was going to go in your sandwich on a bed of lettuce and you will still get all the wonderful flavours that would have been in the sandwich."