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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Sausage and bacon bake with sautéed spinach

You really don't need to serve a 'mash' with sausages, why not try them with some sautéed spinach!

Serves Four
8 good-quality pork sausages
8 rashers streaky bacon
2 red onions cut into eighths
15 sage leaves
2 Tbsp. duck fat
1 cup Verjuice or white wine (optional)
2 Tbsp. butter
150g baby spinach
salt and black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
2. Wrap a piece of bacon around each sausage. Place in a roasting tin with the onions and sage leaves; spoon over the duck fat, especially over the onions.
3. Roast for 30–40 minutes on the middle rack, turning once, until the sausages are browned and cooked through.
4. Deglaze the pan with the Verjuice or wine and reduce until thickened.
5. Heat the butter in a pan; add the spinach and sauté until just wilted; season well.

To serve: Serve sausages drizzled with gravy, and with sautéed spinach on the side.

From a recipe seen here

If you need help with measurement / conversion see here

All the best Jan

Monday, 20 November 2017

'Reuben Sandwich' : The Low Carb/Keto Way

The Reuben sandwich is an American hot sandwich composed of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing, grilled between slices of rye bread. There are several possible origins of this sandwich, one being that Reuben Kulakofsky, a Jewish Lithuanian-born grocer residing in Omaha, Nebraska, was the inventor, but there are also possible others and you can read more about them here

This low carb one-skillet/pan wonder is inspired by the classic Reuben sandwich. So get ready for an easy, cheesy, tangy adventure, complete with well-spiced corned beef - all of the flavour and very few of the carbs!

Serves Two
3g carb per serving
2 tablespoons butter
2⁄3 lb / 300 g corned beef
9 oz. / 250 g sauerkraut, drained
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup / 125 ml mayonnaise
4 oz. / 110 g Swiss cheese
1 dill pickle

If you prefer:
You can substitute pastrami, deli roast beef, sliced turkey or cooked brisket.
Muenster and mozzarella are mild substitutes for Swiss cheese.
Please see cooking instructions at Diet Doctor site here 

Sauerkraut is used in this recipe, it is a good form of dietary fibre and contains Vitamins C and K, potassium, calcium and phosphorus. Sauerkraut is essentially fermented cabbage. Fermentation is a method of preserving food that dates back more than 2,000 years. During the fermentation process, beneficial probiotics, or ‘live bacteria’, are produced, and these probiotics are what give sauerkraut most of its health benefits.

You can read much more about sauerkraut including its health benefits here

... and as it's the start of the week I wish all readers a

All the best Jan

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Some Tips On How To Stay Healthy While Travelling

Laurentine ten Bosch writes:
"Traveling can take a toll on the body physically, mentally and emotionally. While travel often involves excitement and anticipation, the experience can also trigger anxiety, stress and fear. Traveling disrupts our natural circadian rhythm while low oxygen levels, humidity and sudden changes of pressure all have varying levels of negative side effects. Luckily there are several ways you can minimize and combat the effects of flying and travel.

With a little forward planning and awareness, your journey can be comfortable and have you arriving at your destination ready to enjoy your time away. These simple tips will ensure you the smoothest journey possible.

1 Stay Hydrated:
At high altitudes, the air inside of a plane contains 66 percent less water than at sea level, making the plane environment drier than a desert! This easily amounts to a dry mouth, eyes and nose, headaches, dizziness, susceptibility to infection and dehydration. To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water before you fly and throughout the entire journey. Bring your own electrolytes or a good quality green power to add to your water for extra hydration and nutrients. Having a good moisturizer, hydrating face mist and something to naturally moisten your lips with will also make your journey a little more pleasant.

2 Pack Your Own Meals:
Boosting your immune system and ensuring you are having nutrient-dense food will help ward off infection and illness that is common when travelling. Medical doctor Robin Berzin suggests passengers avoid the sodium-rich, preservative-laden food typically served on airplanes and to pack your food and snacks instead. Travel-friendly food may include fresh fruit and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, quinoa salad, homemade sushi, flaxseed crackers with almond butter or avocado, chia seed pudding or homemade energy bars. You can also pack a lemon and squeeze it into some water for an easy vitamin C boost on board.

3 Protect Your Ears:
The pressure inside the cabin fluctuates throughout the journey and most significantly during take-off and landing. The Eustachian tubes inside the ear open and close, trying to balance and match this changing pressure and as a result, your ears may feel blocked or you experience ‘popping’ sensations. If you find this uncomfortable, try to swallow, yawn, or slowly suck on an ice cube. If you have severe discomfort you can also purchase air pressure-regulating ear plugs which slow the rate of air pressure on the ear drum. The noise pollution from a passenger can also trigger stress in the body. Try wearing earplugs or noise-reducing headphones, especially during long flights.

4 Keep Moving:
Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that forms in the legs as a result of poor circulation, low air pressure, dehydration, and little movement. Avoid clot formation by keeping hydrated and mobile as much as possible. Wander up and down the aisles when safe and appropriate, try some gentle yoga poses such as seated twists, and flex your feet and legs often to keep the blood flowing. Compression socks can assist to avoid swelling which is another cause of clotting, these can be found in most airports or chemists. In between flights give the travellator a miss and walk to and from your gates, or even roll out a yoga mat and move through some sun salutations while you wait.

5 Breathe and Meditate:
Breathing exercises can be done anywhere and anytime. Try taking 4-5 deep breaths, holding the breath at the top of the inhale and then exhaling slowly. Mediation can also help to limit the stress and anxiety that often accompanies travel. Studies have proven that mediation during take-off and landing can be effective in alleviating those nervous jitters. Listening to gentle music or a guided meditation is a great way to relax the brain and help you to feel calm and centred throughout the journey.

6 Limit Alcohol and Caffeine:
Both alcohol and caffeine are dehydrating and disrupt your natural sleep patterns, therefore while you may be heading off on vacation and looking to celebrate, or catching a red eye flight and seeking that caffeine hit, these are the worst substances to turn to when it comes to air travel. Do your body a favour and stay hydrated with water or mineral water during your flight. Opt for herbal tea over caffeine when traveling- chamomile tea can assist you with relaxation and sleep, while peppermint tea can assist with digestion, which can also be triggered by travel.

7 Supplements:
The physical and emotional stress of travel can lead to a quick depletion of essential nutrients. Travel also exposes you to a rather unavoidable cacophony of germs and bacteria. While antibacterial sprays are used on-board between flights, these can be just as irritating to the body. Try traveling with Vitamins A, D, and C, plus Zinc to help keep your immune system strong. Invest in a good quality probiotic that you can take while traveling to support your immune system, ward off nasty travel bugs and support digestion.

8 Catch Some Zzzz’s:
Travel affects the body’s circadian rhythms and confuses our internal body clock. While sleeping on a plane may be challenging, it can also be one of the most beneficial ways to pass the time. Invest in an eye mask, wear layered clothing so you are neither too hot nor cold, and use ear plugs to block out external noise. When heading across time zones, avoid jetlag by switching your clock and devices to the new time zone as soon as you arrive and maintaining a normal sleep pattern as best as you can.

9 Grounding:
Once you arrive at your destination, try going for a long gentle walk and ground yourself by walking barefoot in nature or jumping in the ocean. Unwind with a herbal tea and Epsom salt bath. Continue to drink plenty of water and eat a nutritious meal. Expose yourself to sun and allow your body to adjust to your new environment."

Hope you may find these tips helpful - you may have some of your own, please share them in the comments.

This blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas, and 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.

All the best Jan

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Katie Melua - Fields Of Gold (Charity single)

Fields of Gold’ is 2017’s BBC Children In Need charity single. Download here:


Passenger | Hotel California (The Eagles cover)

For me the Eagles Hotel California is one of the best songs of my aged generation. So often a great song when covered is butchered, not with this version, I hope you agree. If ever a song illustrated the corrupt quagmire of modern times, this is it. Eddie

Jacques Loussier - Toccata And Fugue in D Minor

Saturday night again and music night. As some know I try to bring something different to the mainstream noise pumped out by the media. I have been into this trio for a long time. I hope you enjoy. Eddie

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks With Herb Sauce

Did you know that "Cauliflower traces its ancestry to the wild cabbage, a plant thought to have originated in ancient Asia Minor, which resembled kale or collards more than the vegetable that we now know it to be.

The cauliflower went through many transformations and reappeared in the Mediterranean region, where it has been an important vegetable in Turkey and Italy since at least 600 B.C.

It gained popularity in France in the mid-16th century and was subsequently cultivated in Northern Europe and the British Isles. The United States, France, Italy, India, and China are countries that produce significant amounts of cauliflower.

Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of choline, dietary fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin. Additionally, it is a good source of vitamin B1, B2, and B3, the minerals potassium and magnesium, and protein."

More great cauliflower information can be found at the Worlds Healthiest Foods site here.
WHF is a not for profit site of good food information.

The cauliflower is one of the most versatile foods in the 'low carbers 'recipe book. From cauliflower cheese to finely grated as a rice substitute or mash with butter and use as a topping for shepherds and fish pies etc. With minimal carb content and over three times the vitamin C as potatoes, a truly great food.

Here is a slightly different way to serve cauliflower ... it's Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with a herb sauce ... have a look at the recipe suggestion and see.

Serves 2/3
1 cup packed parsley
1 cup packed cilantro
½ cup olive oil
1 lime juiced
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 large head cauliflower
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

1. To make the herb sauce, combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until well combined.
2. Fire up the grill to medium heat. Slice cauliflower in half down the middle from top to bottom. Take one of the halves and make another ½- to 1-inch cut horizontally to form a large, flat cauliflower "steak." Continue this step until you have used up all of the cauliflower.
3. Spray both sides of the cauliflower steaks with olive oil and squeeze any remaining lime juice over the top. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and chopped cilantro.
4. Place on the grill for about 10 minutes, or until tender, then flip to cook another 5 minutes. Remove from the grill and drizzle the herb sauce on top.

Recipe from an original idea by Rachael DeVaux here
For help with measurement/weight conversion please see here

You will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas within this blog. 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, 17 November 2017

Antarctica ... something completely different !

From time to time we post something completely different!
I happened upon these wonderful photographs of life in Antarctica, definitely for sharing I thought ... hence this blog post.

A gentoo penguin feeds its baby at Station Bernardo O'Higgins in Antarctica on January 22, 2015.
photo by Natacha Pisarenko

A whale exhales air through its blowhole on March 19, 2016.
Ari Friedlaender, from Oregon State University, studies the foraging behaviour of whales
in the Antarctic Ocean as part of the National Science Foundation's
Long Term Ecological Research programme.
photo by Ari Friedlaender

These photographs and 34 more can be seen here

More than 170 million years ago, Antarctica was part of the supercontinent Gondwana. Over time, Gondwana gradually broke apart and Antarctica, as we know it today, was formed around 25 million years ago. Antarctica was not always cold, dry, and covered in ice sheets. At a number of points in its long history, it was farther north, experienced a tropical or temperate climate, was covered in forests, and inhabited by various ancient life forms.

Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean.

Antarctica is the coldest of Earth's continents. The coldest natural air temperature ever recorded on Earth was −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F) at the Soviet (now Russian) Vostok Staion in Antarctica on 21 July 1983.

You can read more about Antarctica here

All the best Jan

Empanadas : Low Carb and Vegan

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 Martine at Low Carb Vegan Blog.

She says these empanadas "have crispy edges, crumbly buttery dough and a nice hearty filling" ... "Once you get the hang of rolling out and shaping the dough, these are surprisingly easy to make, and they are super filling too!"

An empanada is a Spanish, or Latin American, pastry turnover filled with a variety of savoury ingredients and baked or fried. The recipe below is a lower carb vegan version.

Serves: 8 empanadas

1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cold margarine, cubed
2 tablespoons psyllium husk
1 pinch of salt
3-4 tablespoons water
1/2 cup tvp, tofu or seitan
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons tomato sauce

In a bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, margarine, psyllium husk and salt. Use your hands to create a crumbly dough (you can also do this in a food processor). Add the water and knead a little more. The dough may seem a bit too wet, but it will firm up as the flour absorbs the water. Divide the dough into 8 small balls and put them into the fridge to rest for about 5-10 minutes.

For the filling, put the tvp in a small pot and add water until it is almost covered. Add the soy sauce and spices. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes until the water has been absorbed. Stir in the tomato sauce and allow to cool a little.

Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F. Gas Mark 4. Take the dough from the fridge and roll it out into 2 mm (a little less than 1/8 inch) round disks, using a cut open zip-lock bag to keep it from sticking. If you have a tortilla press, this is a good moment to use it.

When you have a piece of dough rolled out, put about a tablespoon of filling in the centre. Fold over the plastic to close and shape the empanada. This may be a bit finicky at first, but don't panic, you'll get the hang of it. If the dough tears, just smooth out the cracks by gently rubbing the plastic with your fingers. Carefully peel off the plastic from the shaped empanada and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake the empanadas for about 12 minutes. Allow to cool a little and enjoy! They taste good warm and cold. Serve with a nice fresh salad, of your choice, on the side.

One serving (1/4 recipe or 2 empanadas) contains about 300 kcal, 21 g fat (5 g saturated), 7 g net carbohydrate, 13 g fibre, 11 g protein.

If you should need help with measurement/weight conversion see here
Find Martine's blog and recipe suggestion here

Just another reminder that, this blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas, and 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.

All the best Jan

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Māori doctor says less carbs, more fats to combat diabetes

November is NZ Diabetes Action month and Dr Lily Fraser is on a mission to help change Māori attitudes towards nutrition as a means to combat this debilitating disease.

The Ministry of Health considers diabetes to be the "largest and fastest growing health issue we face in New Zealand".

Dr Fraser is a GP and clinical director at Turuki Health Care, a Māori provider in South Auckland's Mangere.

She is the first person from a Kura Kaupapa Māori education background to graduate from Medical School. 

When it comes to diabetes, Dr Lily Fraser says there's a need to significantly reduce carbohydrate intake.

"Those are the foods that turn into sugar so if you consume those foods they enter your blood and turn into sugar."

In addition, she encourages a diet high in fats and believes Māori knew of its benefits.

"Kererū was one of the fine delicacies of Māori, same with Muttonbird."

Dr Fraser says a high fat diet is creating positive results for her patients.

"They've finished using medicine and insulin, they've dropped weight, they're healthy, happy, exercising and working with their families."


Pork and Apple Meatballs : serve with a lower carb mash

Ready in just over forty minutes, this recipe suggestion makes a good mid-week or Saturday night dish! Yes, you could serve it with mashed potatoes but why not have a lower carb mash like swede (rutabaga) or cauliflower!

Serves Four
1.5 tbsp. olive oil
0.5 onion, peeled and finely chopped
500 g ground/minced pork
2 tbsp. Bramley apple sauce
1 tbsp. fresh sage, washed and chopped
50 g breadcrumbs
400 g savoy cabbage washed and chopped
70 ml soured cream
1 tbsp. corn-flour mixed with cold water
150 ml beef stock

Serving suggestions:
Swede (Rutabaga), mashed 
Cauliflower, mashed 
2 tbsp. cranberry sauce

1. Prepare the mash of your choice e.g. swede or cauliflower
2. In a large frying pan, heat half a tablespoon of olive oil and cook the onion for 5 minutes until soft. Transfer the onion to a large bowl, add the mince, apple sauce, sage and breadcrumbs. Season with freshly ground black pepper and mix together until well combined.
3. Shape the mince into 12 balls. Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan and fry the meatballs for 10 minutes, turning, until cooked through with no pink remaining. Remove from the pan, set aside and keep warm.
4. Stir-fry the cabbage for 2 minutes in the frying pan.
5. Make the sauce: heat the soured cream in a small pan and stir through the corn-flour mixture. Slowly add the beef stock and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened.
6. Serve the mash of your choice with the meatballs, cabbage and cranberry sauce, then pour over the sauce.
From an original idea here

The savoy cabbage is a classic vegetable - its attractive deep green colouring and crinkly leaves have ensured its popularity has never waned. What makes it even better is that when cooked it doesn’t emit the usual odour associated with overcooked cabbage. Savoy cabbages are at their peak from October through to February. They should have deep green, crisp outer leaves, becoming lighter towards the core. The leaves should be tightly packed together, and the overall cabbage should feel heavy for their size. Read more about this cabbage

This blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas, and 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.

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Best Low Carb Blogs On The Planet!

Over at Feedspot our humble blog has been rated at number ten of seventy-five best low carb blogs on the planet, as can be seen here. What we have done to deserve that accolade is beyond me, but we are pleased to have made a small difference in the fight against dietary stupidity and junk food corruption. The site named me, but please note, Graham was a co founder from day one, and Jan has been the mainstay of the blog for a number of years.  

Life can be so ironic at times, Graham and myself only started this blog, because we had been banned from the self acclaimed UK's largest diabetes forum. Back in those days diabetic low carbers were regarded as trouble makers and pushers of a fad diet, many other low carbers were also banned. The supreme irony is the fact the forum owners are now promoting low carb to diabetics (for a fee) now they realise low carb is going mainstream, and there is money to be made. 

That being said, we have no problem with anyone earning an honest living, which brings me on to the number one blog on the planet. In my opinion the Diet Doctor Blog of Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt and his team is by far and above the best blog in the world, so far ahead, it could well be on another planet. People can pay a small monthly fee for full access, however, a huge amount of valuable information is available to all for free. His site is here

So, thanks to Feedspot for the thumbs up, and thank you to the people that read and comment on our blog. Jan and myself will be joining Graham in full retirement at the end of the year, and we hope to carry on and improve the blog content. That said, we appreciate we are only messengers, please spread the whole fresh food message wherever you go, thank you. 

Regards Eddie

New blood pressure range means half of Americans have hypertension!

"Tighter blood pressure guidelines from U.S. heart organizations mean millions more people need to make lifestyle changes, or start taking medication, in order to avoid cardiovascular problems.

Americans with blood pressure of 130/80 or higher should be treated, down from the previous trigger of 140/90, according to new guidelines announced on Monday by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

At the new cutoff, around 46 percent, or more than 103 million, of American adults are considered to have high blood pressure, compared with an estimated 72 million under the previous guidelines in place since 2003.

Potentially deadly high blood pressure can be brought under control with a wide array of medications, many sold as relatively inexpensive generics. The drug classes include angiotensin receptor blockers, such as Novartis AG’s Diovan, calcium channel blockers, like Pfizer Incs’s Norvasc, ACE inhibitors, including Pfizer’s Altace, and diuretics, such as Merck & Co Inc’s Hyzaar."

More on this latest article here.

It seems to me, the holy grail of big pharma, is to have everyone on pharma drugs from the cradle to the grave. Not selling enough drugs? pay the boffins to move the goal posts. I wonder if the President of the American Heart Association, who had a heart attack on Monday, used BP control drugs. If he was, I bet the drug pushers will keep very quiet on that subject.


Mushroom Leek Bisque

Bisque is a type of rich, thick, creamy soup that has been pureed so that it has an even texture. As the name suggests, the soup has its origins in France, although the dish is prepared all over the world with a wide variety of ingredients. This (vegetarian) mushroom leek soup is blended until creamy, then enriched with half & half. Perhaps you may give it a try ...

Serves 10
9g carbs per serving
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped leeks
1 tsp minced garlic
32 oz. button mushrooms
8 cups (no salt) vegetable broth
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 cup Half & Half

1. In 6-quart pot, heat oil over medium heat.
2. Add onions and leeks. Sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic, cook additional minute.
3. Increase heat to medium-high. Add mushrooms and continue to sauté, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and reduced by one-third, about 12 minutes.
4. Stir in broth and thyme. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.
5. Allow soup to cool 15 minutes. In batches, purée soup in blender. Return to pot and stir in Half & Half. Heat through, but do not allow mixture to boil.
6. Serve in small soup bowls.

Nutrition Information:
Per serving — 92 calories
9g carbohydrates; 2g fibre; 2g saturated fat; 4g protein; 129mg sodium

For help with measurement/weight conversion please see here
Recipe from an original idea here

This blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas, and 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.

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

AHA President Suffers A Heart Attack Monday Morning.

"The president of the American Heart Association, John Warner, had a “mild heart attack” on Monday morning, according to the AHA. Warner received a stent at an undisclosed hospital. The AHA said he is “doing well.” Warner is 52.

The attack occurred while the AHA’s annual scientific sessions meeting was being held in Anaheim, California. Warner, an interventional cardiologist, has been the CEO of UT Southwestern Hospital in Dallas since 2012. Warner has an MD from Vanderbilt University and a MBA from the University of Tennessee. He completed his residency training in internal medicine at UT Southwestern and his cardiology fellowship at Duke University.

Upon hearing the news Sek Kathiresan (Broad Institute) tweeted: “Unbelievable. He just spoke last night about the many males in his family being affected by coronary disease. Our thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery."

I wish this man a full and speedy recovery, it makes you wonder, if this man cannot avoid a heart attack, what chance for the rest of us?

Link to information here.


Coq au vin with celeriac mash : A November Favourite

It's almost the middle of November, and I don't know about you, but I've found that 2017 has simply flown by! Here in the UK, we have been experiencing cooler weather so perhaps time to turn to a tried and trusted chicken dish. I do find that this recipe is quite often a November favourite!

But do you cook it with skin on or skin off? That is the question! Whatever your preference, I think you'll find that the mix and flavour of the chicken with the vegetables and herbs is just delicious. The accompaniment of celeriac mash, always a low carb winner, just adds nicely to this dish - so have a look at the recipe and perhaps give it a whirl ...

Serves 4
Olive oil spray
100g diced pancetta
8 chicken thighs, (skin removed if preferred)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cut into half-moons
2 sticks celery, trimmed and finely chopped
250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp thyme leaves
1 sprig rosemary, leaves roughly chopped
1 tbsp sage leaves, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
300ml red wine
500ml chicken stock
10 shallots, peeled and halved
2 cloves garlic, crushed
800g celeriac, roughly cubed
Parsley, to serve

1. Spritz the olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the pancetta until it releases its natural oils. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the chicken thighs and cook for 4-6 minutes until well browned all over. Remove the thighs and set aside.
2. Add the onion, carrots and celery to the pan, season, and cook for another 3-4 minutes until just tender. Add the mushrooms, turn the heat up and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute, stirring until a paste has formed.
3. Stir through the herbs and pancetta, then pour in the wine. Leave it bubbling for 2-3 minutes until the alcohol has evaporated. Add the stock and peeled shallots, then bring to the boil. Place the chicken thighs back in the pan and cook with the lid on for 10 minutes. Take the lid off and continue cooking for 20-25 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly and the chicken is cooked through, always check chicken is thoroughly cooked.
4. Meanwhile, make the mash. Lightly spritz a saucepan with the oil and cook the garlic for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the celeriac and cook for 1 minute, before pouring over cold water to cover. Bring to the boil and cook for 8-10 minutes until very tender, then mash well with seasoning.
5. To serve, spoon the chicken on to a bed of celeriac mash and sprinkle with parsley.

Taken from an original idea

A variety of recipe ideas is 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

Monday, 13 November 2017

Cheeseburger Casserole : Low Carb

For something a little different how about this deconstructed cheeseburger! It's been re-assembled into a low-carb casserole! It has ground/minced beef, some cheese, onions, pickles, tomatoes and Dijon mustard - with the cauliflower serving as the bun - well sort of! LOL!

Serves Four
12g carbs per serving

1 lb / 450 g cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 yellow (white)  onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb / 450 g ground/minced beef
2 tablespoons tomato paste
14 oz. / 400 g canned whole tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2⁄3 lb / 300 g shredded (grated) cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

2 dill pickles
51⁄3 oz. / 150 g lettuce
4 tablespoons olive oil

Please see cooking instructions at Diet Doctor site here

"Cauliflower is an extremely healthy vegetable that’s a significant source of nutrients. It also contains unique plant compounds that may reduce the risk of several diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Additionally, it’s weight loss friendly and incredibly easy to add to your diet. It’s tasty, easy to prepare and can replace high-carb foods in several recipes."

See more about the health benefits of cauliflower here

This blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas, and 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.

All the best Jan

Sunday, 12 November 2017

How a high-fat diet helped curb a Laval child's daily seizures

Tiana Raposo had up to 500 seizures every day, was unable to eat or respond as part of neurological disease

At the age of two, Tiana Raposo started having up to 500 seizures every single day and nothing seemed to help keep the attacks under control.

The first time the Laval toddler's symptoms manifested was on Aug. 29, 2013. That's when her mother Linda Florio got a phone call from Tiana's daycare.

"She fell off the toilet and hit her head and she was a little bit not responsive," she said. "She ended up vomiting."

Until that day, Tiana behaved like any other child, her mom said.

On top of the seizures, during which her eyes would roll into the back of her head, Tiana would not speak, eat, or respond.

"It was a dark time, and I never thought we would come out of that period," Florio said. "I thought, this is our life now."

A promising diagnosis and unexpected treatment

During her seven months in hospital, Tiana underwent multiple medical treatments but nothing seemed to help.

After a week spent in the intensive care ward at the Montreal Children's Hospital, where Tiana was tested for a number of ailments including concussion and meningitis, her neurologist Dr. Bradley Osterman suggested the toddler could have a rare neurological disorder.

Anti-NDMA receptor encephalitis is an autoimmune disease that affects perception of reality, human interaction, the formation of memory and automatic functions, according to the Anti-NDMA Receptor Encephalitis Foundation.

"Dr. Osterman said 'everything she's doing, her epilepsy, her convulsions, the fact that she stopped talking and eating… I think it's encephalitis," Florio said.

"[Tiana's] immune system produced bad antibodies, which killed the right antibodies," said her father Jason Raposo. 

After trying a number of medical treatments that failed to lessen the severity of the symptoms, Osterman told the family he wanted to try a new method: a very high-fat diet.

Through the ketogenic diet, the results were noticeable almost immediately — four weeks after Tiana changed her food intake, the number of seizures she was having per day diminished drastically.

And although Tiana, who is now six, still has some developmental delays, it's been a year and a half since she's had a convulsion.

"It changed our life. [Tiana] started talking and walking again, her eye contact improved, and she became more responsive," said Florio.

A medical first? 

This is the first time this treatment method has been used to treat epileptic symptoms in a patient as young as Tiana, said Osterman.

"Looking at the literature, I am not aware of another case where [the ketogenic diet] has been tried, especially with this much success," he said. 

For Osterman, improvement was visible right away. 

"Her convulsions reduced quickly. We had more than a year without convulsions, with a return to a fairly normal development last year," Osterman said. 

The neurologist is hopeful that Tiana will one day recover completely from the disease and catch up, despite her developmental delays.

"It's very encouraging to see how much [she] has recovered in the last year," he said. ​

High-fat diet treatment explained

Marie-Josée Trempe, Tiana's nutritionist, said the effect of nutrition on the body is underestimated by many.

"This diet has existed for a long time," Trempe said, adding that it was first used in the 1920s.

"Neurologists usually try medication first, and if it doesn't work, then they try diet."

First and foremost, Tiana's diet contains little to no carbohydrates — though some fruits and vegetables are allowed, and some foods high in protein.

Most of the time, though, Tiana is eating foods high in fat. That means grub like avocados, mayonnaise, and oil.

The ketogenic diet strictly moderates carbohydrate intake, replacing the majority of carb consumption with protein and fat. 

While the breakdown varies, a typical ketogenic diet consists of fats providing 70 to 80 per cent of all calories, with proteins accounting for just about 10 to 20 percent, and carbs only five to 10 per cent.

"We don't know exactly how it works, but [the diet] forces the body to use fat as a source of energy instead of carbohydrates, and it creates ketones, which go to the brain, and seem to give good results," Trempe said.

Patients usually follow the diet for two years, then slowly wean off it, she added.

"It's temporary, that's why the younger they are, the better."


Just when you think you've see it all.

"Drag queens are being brought into taxpayer-funded nursery schools so that children as young as two can learn about transgender issues.

The cross-dressers are reading nursery rhymes and singing specially adapted songs ‘to teach children about LGBT tolerance’.

Nursery bosses say the sessions are needed so that children can ‘see people who defy rigid gender restrictions’ and grow up to combat hate crime.

They want to target two and three-year-olds to influence them early, as they say at this age children have not yet developed any discriminatory ‘isms’.

The ‘performances’ are the brainchild of Thomas Canham, a Bristol University law graduate and part-time cross-dresser who dismisses traditional notions of masculinity as ‘meaningless’."

Call me old fashioned, call me whatever you like, but I reckon this cross gender malarkey has gone a step too far. But then again, what do I know. For more on this lunacy err interesting story here is the link.


Lamb and Swede/Rutabaga Hotpot : So Simple

Lamb and root vegetables make the best layered hotpot and this recipe is so simple to make.

Serves Four
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 lamb leg steaks, bone in, or loin chops
4 fresh thyme sprigs, plus extra to garnish
2 tsp corn-flour
100ml red wine
2 tbsp. cranberry jelly or sauce
1 (about 650g) swede/rutabaga, halved and very thinly sliced
200ml fresh lamb stock, hot
1 tsp butter

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beginning to turn golden. Season and remove from the heat.
2. Top the onion mixture with the lamb and thyme, and season again. Dissolve the corn-flour in a little of the wine, then stir in the rest of the wine and the cranberry jelly or sauce. Pour over the lamb.
3. Arrange the slices of swede/rutabaga on top, then pour over the stock. Dot with the butter, then cover and transfer to the oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for a further 15 minutes or until the swede/rutabaga has coloured on top. Serve garnished with extra thyme, if you like.

This dish can be made with ready-cut cubes of lamb but choosing a chop or steak with the bone in will give extra flavour.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Fat 18g (6.3g saturated) Protein 33.9g Carbohydrates 16.6g (12.9g sugars)
From an original idea here

The picture above shows what Americans know as "rutabaga". The Scottish call it "neeps" and serve it with haggis. I know it as swede, a fairly recent root vegetable, which is thought to have originated around the 17th century in Bohemia. In 1620 a Swiss botanist described the root vegetable, believed to be a hybrid of the cabbage and the turnip. By 1664 it was growing in England. It's a good source of Vitamin C, fibre, folate and potassium. It's low in calories, and you can find out more about swede here

Should you try this recipe suggestion, I hope you enjoy it.
Thanks for reading ...

All the best Jan

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Ed Sheeran - Perfect

With winter fast approaching a seasonal song for tonight, have a good weekend folks

Autumn Days are so enjoyable ...

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons ...

... from the vibrant colours of Autumn flowers

to the glow of Autumn sunshine ...

... grandchildren enjoying the wonderful outdoors

"Grandma, I wonder how old this tree is?" ...

... coming home to a bowl of Roast Red Pepper & Tomato Soup
it's a delicious warming soup stacked with vitamins & minerals.

Serves Four
3 Deep red peppers, halved & de-seeded.
1 White onion, unpeeled & halved.
4 Cloves of garlic, unpeeled.
2 Sticks of celery, sliced & chopped.
500g Plum tomatoes.
450ml Vegetable stock.
2tbsp Olive oil.
2tbsp Tomato puree.
1tbsp Sundried tomato paste.
1tsp Flaked chilli.
25g Butter.
Salt & coarsely ground black pepper

1. Pre heat oven to 190/gas mark 4. Place the pepper & onion halves (cut side down) along with the plum tomatoes & garlic cloves into a baking tray & drizzle with the olive oil. Bake at the top of your oven for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are roasted & tender.
2. Meanwhile melt down the butter in a large pan over a medium heat and sauté the chopped celery for 4-5 minutes. Not too hot, don't burn the butter.
3. Make up the vegetable stock adding the tomato puree, sun-dried tomato paste & the chilli flakes. Mix well and then add to the sautéed celery. Remove from the heat.
4. When the baked vegetables are ready remove the peel from the onion & garlic cloves roughly chop them & add them to the pan along with the plum tomatoes. Place back on to a low to medium heat & using a hand blender blend until the soup is smooth.
5. Season to taste & gently simmer until the soup is at a comfortable edible temperature. Do not allow the soup to boil.

Recipe idea from here 

Enjoy your weekend ...

All the best Jan

Friday, 10 November 2017

Ginger Cake - The Low Carb Way

This is a low carb ginger cake that is light in texture and flavoured with warm spices. Yes, traditional gingerbread often has molasses in it - which I do not have in the house - it's not something that husband Eddie, a Type 2 Diabetic or I would eat/use. When you are living the LCHF lifestyle it is best not to have anything sugary in the kitchen cupboard - read more about low carb here

Makes 8 - 10 slices

Nutritional information per slice:
208 calories, 18g Fat, 5g Protein, 8g Total Carbs, 4g Fibre, 4g Net Carbs

½ cup (56g) coconut flour
½ cup (113g) butter, softened
½ cup (107g) erythritol (or sugar substitute)
4 tablespoons coconut milk
5 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground all spice
¼ cup of water

To serve:
optional - a little whipped coconut cream with your slice of cake 

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F degrees / Gas Mark 6
2. Grease a 1lb loaf tin and line the bottom with parchment/greaseproof paper.
3. Whisk the eggs and butter together until combined.
4. Add the erythritol and continue to whisk.
5. Add the coconut flour, baking powder and spices. Whisk thoroughly.
6. Gradually add the coconut milk and water until you have a smooth mixture.
7. Pour into the cake tin, spread out evenly and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

No two ovens are the same so the cooking time may vary slightly depending upon your oven, always best to check it before the end of the specified time, and adjust as necessary.

This recipe is from Angela at 'Divalicious Recipes', much more to see and read here

Why not put the kettle on

Get your tea/coffee cup and plate

Sit down and enjoy a slice

This blog brings a variety of recipe ideas, and 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.

All the best Jan

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Ways To Stay Healthy On A Budget - Here Are Seven Suggestions

James Colquhoun writes:
" For many, the idea of wellness seems like an unattainable goal. Life pressures, especially financial, can make people feel like they are confined to a particular way of life - an unhealthy one. It is no wonder people feel this way when elite gym memberships and boot camps are marketed as the only way to reach your fitness goals but threaten to break the bank before you break a sweat.

Healthy eating, or the idea of healthy eating, is also daunting especially for those who aren’t as confident in the kitchen or are simply too busy to cook. Convenient pre-made foods, while nutritionally neutral or deficient, can seem preferable to meals made from scratch, especially when they are sold at a seemingly cheap price point. The truth is, making a few simple lifestyle adjustments, without spending any money, can make an astronomical difference to your health and may well be easier to maintain in the long term, being cost effective and self-directed. We’ve put together some tips on creating a healthy lifestyle which is sustainable and budget friendly.

1. Plan Your Meals
Making food decisions at the point when you’re ready to eat can mean you opt for something quick and convenient, and anything cheap is usually not going to be particularly nutritious or satisfying. Meal planning makes life easier in many ways, including having ingredients in the fridge or pantry you can whip together, sometimes quicker than the time it takes to head to the shops and back or to get takeaway food. It also allows you to economize ingredients across multiple dishes which means you spend less and waste less food. The additional benefit is that you can plan meals which will provide enough protein, vitamins and minerals so you’ll be satiated throughout the day and feel more energetic - reducing the need to purchase additional snacks for an energy hit.

2. Shop At Farmers' Markets
Buying fresh foods can seem expensive, but in comparison to packaged or pre-prepared foods, the key nutrients they provide are far more valuable. Produce bought at Farmers' Markets generally lasts longer and is cheaper than fruit and vegetables available at larger grocery chains. One of the key reasons is the produce is seasonal and far fresher, not having to be frozen or travel great distances. Heading to the Farmers' Markets just before they close means you can get a range of fresh foods at slashed prices when sellers are trying to get rid of extra produce.

3. Be Strategic At The Supermarket
As Farmers' Markets may not have absolutely everything you need or are not always convenient to get to, supermarket visits may be necessary. A hot tip is to stay away from the central aisles of the grocery store. As mentioned above, packaged foods can seem cheap but provide minimal nutritional benefits. Also, you can often purchase many nuts and grains from bulk bins which have cheaper price by weight than their packaged counterparts. Shopping for seasonal foods at the supermarket will also be cheaper, being cheaper for farmers to produce and sell on.

4. Stock Your Pantry With Staples
Building a stock of staples will save you money long term as you’ll be able to prepare a variety of meal combinations. Dry foods including rice, quinoa, barley, whole meal pasta and flour are fantastic for developing the base of many recipes. Tinned and preserved foods can also take you a long way and create filling meals, so be sure to stock the pantry with mixed beans, chickpeas, lentils, and tinned tomatoes. Having a range of dried herbs and spices on hand means your meals on a budget won’t be bland!

5. Get Creative With Food Waste
Vegetable scraps and bones can be used to create stocks and broths which will add depth of flavour to future meals and save the cost of store-bought stocks.

Start a garden: Grow whatever you can in the space you have. There are so many vegetables and herbs that can grow in a variety of environments, even on an apartment windowsill! Fresh herbs can be incredibly expensive when bought from a supermarket, especially when only a small amount is required for a particular recipe. Growing your own vegetables and herbs means you’ll always have something fresh on hand to add flavour and substance to your meals and you can pick exactly what you need.

Drink water: A seemingly obvious one, but drinking water is one of the cheapest and most important things we can do for our health. A small investment in a durable water bottle will mean you can avoid dishing out a couple of dollars each time you get thirsty on the go! Not drinking enough water can make us feel like we are hungry. More water throughout the day may also help to curb extra spending on snacks.

6. Exercise For Free
Exercise can be done anywhere at anytime - even while you work if you’re creative enough! Some ideas for cheap and impacting exercise include:
Walking instead of catching public transport or driving. (If you have a longer commute, try getting off a few stops earlier or parking further from your destination.)
Utilize free gyms at your local park. Some parks have simple, permanent exercise stations you can use to build strength and tone muscle.
Go for a long walk or run in your neighbourhood.
Yoga at home: there are numerous free, high quality yoga instruction videos available which allow you to engage in a peaceful form of movement whenever it suits you!
Hikes - check out nature walks and hiking areas near you. Hikes are great for the body and mind!

7. Creative And Mental Balance
To improve your overall well-being, spiritual well-being and mental stimulation are crucial. Taking care of these needs doesn’t have to cost much at all! Seeing friends, checking out free entertainment including music and comedy, reading, engaging in creative pursuits like drawing and playing an instrument are all activities that have an important place in a healthy lifestyle and can even balance and improve prospects of healthy eating and exercise. As more of your physical and emotional needs are met, the better you feel overall and the more motivated you’ll be to maintain balance and sustainable health."

The above words/article from here

Has this article given you 'food for thought' - perhaps you already do some of the things suggested!
You may have some tips you could share ...

This blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas. It is important to note, that not all may be suitable for you. If you should have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. Some of the foods mentioned in the article may not suit you. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan