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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Follow the money!

Always follow the money! He who pays the piper calls the tune. Most so called 'health' organisations are either controlled, sponsored or funded by junk food and big pharma. No such thing as a free lunch in this world, and none of these outfits, will be recommending a whole fresh food, lower carb, higher natural fats healthy diet anytime soon. 

British Dietetic Association

Danone, Abbott Nutrition, Nestle, Cereal Partners, BelVita Breakfast Biscuits and Coca Cola. 

Diabetes UK The diabetes charity

Abbott Bayer Boehringer Ingelheim Bristol Myers Squibb Bupa Bunzl Everyclick First Capital Connect Flora pro.activ Kodak Lilly Lloyds Pharmacy Menarini Merck Serono Morphy Richards Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited Novartis Novo Nordisk Nursing Times PAL Technologies Ltd Pfizer Rowlands Pharmacies Sanofi-aventis SplendaTakeda Tesco Diets

HEART UK -The Nation’s Cholesterol Charity

Abbott Healthcare Alpro UK AstraZeneca BHR Pharma Cambridge Weight Plan Cereal Partners UK (Sh Wheat) Food & Drink Federation Fresenius Medical Care (UK) Limited Genzyme Therapeutics Hovis Kellogg’s (Optivita) Kowa Pharmaceutical Europe Co Limited L.IN.C Medical Systems Limited Merck Sharpe & Dhome PlanMyFood Pfizer Premier Foods Progenika Biopharma s.a. Roche Products Limited Unilever (Flora) Welch’s (Purple Grape Juice)

The British Nutrition Foundation

However, the organisation's 39 members, which contribute to its funding, include – beside the Government, the EU – Cadbury, Kellogg's, Northern Foods, McDonald's, PizzaExpress, the main supermarket chains except Tesco, and producer bodies such as the Potato Council. The chairman of its board of trustees, Paul Hebblethwaite, was or is, also chairman of the Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery Trade Association.

The European Food Information Council

Current EUFIC members are: AB Sugar, Ajinomoto Sweeteners Europe, Bunge, Cargill, Cereal Partners, Coca-Cola, Danone, DSM Nutritional Products Europe Ltd., Ferrero, Kraft Foods, Mars, McDonald's, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Pfizer Animal Health, Südzucker, and Unilever.

The British Heart Foundation

Unilever Flora margarine.


Chicken Skin Is Good For You !

Don't know about you, but we love chicken skin in our house ...

This article was written in April 2015 by Michelle Pfennighaus who is 'certified as a health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and the American Association of Drugless Practitioners', and 'tries to get delicious, real food on the table every night.'

I thought it a good one to share.

She wrote ... " At a recent presentation, I made my audience gasp when I suggested they stop peeling the skin off chicken. And for heavens sake, stop paying top dollar for boneless, skinless breasts.

After all …chicken is a whole food. Until you start taking things away.

Ever really think about that?

When we talk about whole foods, we mean food that is minimally processed. A product of nature – in its natural form. Eating a whole food means eating all the edible parts. For instance, the fat found naturally in milk. The stem on kale. The skin on apples and potatoes and…yes, chicken.

But we’ve been told that chicken skin is terrible for us. Unlike beef, which is marbled with fat, the fat on chicken lies just below the skin. We strip it away and breed our chickens to be less and less fatty.

This quest for a low fat diet…ummm…it hasn’t exactly worked. Just look around.


So let me suggest that we stop manipulating food and allow our complex bodies, with systems scientists can barely wrap their heads around, eat food as nature provides it. We are not smarter than nature.

If this theory of whole food eating is still sinking in, here are 6 straightforward reasons why eating chicken skin is actually good for you.

I definitely recommend eating the highest quality animal products you can get your hands on. That means being picky about your source. If you don’t live near a trusted farm, you can order free-range poultry here

1. Let’s talk about the kind of fat you’ll find in chicken skin. It’s mainly monounsaturated, in the form of oleic acid. Oleic acid, also found in olive oil, is known for beneficial effects on cholesterol.

2. Of course there are also saturated fats in chicken skin. This is no accident. Nature provides what the body needs. The body does not need soda. The body does not need cotton candy. Or Gatorade. The body does, in fact, need some saturated fat. So eat it.

3. If you’re in the calorie-counting camp, there’s roughly a 50 calorie difference between chicken with or without skin. Seems a small price to pay for a huge increase in flavor and satisfaction.

4. Did I mention flavor and satisfaction? When your food satisfies your taste buds and body’s cravings, you don’t need to eat as much or as often. Sugar cravings subside and you can go back to loving food instead of fearing it. That’s huge, people.

5. Fat doesn’t make you fat. If it did, the lowfat/nonfat craze would have given us a country of slender people. Instead, we have an obesity epidemic. It just doesn’t add up. Here’s a thought. Eat the skin that occurs naturally on chicken. Don’t eat I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, Power Bars, Eggo Waffles or other foodstuffs made in lab. See what happens.

6. Forget marinades, seasonings and complicated recipes! Naturally occurring fats make chicken delicious, as-is. Cooking is easy.

Go forth and actually enjoy your food."

Michelle's article and recipe suggestion is here

Find Your Balance Health Blog here

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

David Diamond - An Update on Demonization and Deception in Research on Saturated Fat...

Published on Jun 17, 2017
This lecture is part of the IHMC Evening Lecture series. the past 60 years there has been a concerted effort to demonize saturated fats, found in animal products and tropical oils, and cholesterol, in our food and blood. Despite the well-established health benefits of diets rich in cholesterol and saturated fat, flawed, deceptive and biased research has created the myth that a low fat, plant-based diet is ideal for good health.


Seafood Omelette - with a creamy mix of garlic, fennel and chili

Omelettes are so quick, easy and tasty and come with so many variations ...

How about this 'for a fresh take on a fabulous, and ready-in-fifteen-minutes meal.' It's a 'seafood omelette, dressed in a creamy sauce, with garlic, fennel, and chili.' A very nice mix indeed ...

Serves Two
2g carb per serving

2 tablespoons olive oil
5 oz. / 140 g cooked shrimp or seafood mix
1 red chili pepper
2 garlic cloves (optional)
½ teaspoon fennel seeds or ground cumin (if preferred)
½ cup / 120 ml
1 tablespoon fresh chives
6 eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
salt and pepper to taste

If you may be feeling indulgent you could always swap the shrimp for canned lump crab meat ...

Instructions can be found at Diet Doctor site here

Chives ... The smallest and most delicate member of the onion family, chives are a popular herb used in European cookery. They have long, thin green blades that are hollow inside. They have a mild, grassy flavour similar to baby spring onions or young leeks. There is also an Asian variety of chive called Chinese chives, garlic chives or kuchai.

Buyer's guide:
Chives are in season in spring and summer. Fresh chives are widely available from supermarkets and garden centres.

Keep fresh chives refrigerated for up to three days.

Snip chives with scissors instead of chopping them, and do not subject them to much cooking as they are delicate. Instead, use chives in garnishes, salads, egg mayonnaise sandwiches, vegetable stocks, soups, creamy sauces, potato dishes and omelettes, adding the herb to the dish just before serving. Purple-blue chive flowers are also eaten and used as a garnish.

I hope you may enjoy this recipe suggestion ...

We bring a variety of recipe 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

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Why Coconut Oil Won’t Kill You, But Listening to the American Heart Association Might!

This is a great post from a Woman who knows what she is talking about. Diana Rodgers, RD, LDN, NTP. Licensed Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Check out what Diana says about coconut oil here.


Anthony Warner aka The Angry Chef deranged?

Right at this moment, I am wondering does Anthony Warner believe all publicity is good publicity, or is he just completely deranged? Hear me out before you decide. For some time now, The World Health Organisation has been recommending a drastic reduction in sugar consumption, for improved health. Even our very slow to get involved Government, want to place a tax on sugar, set to begin from April 2018. Only those living in a cave in Outer Mongolia have not realised sugar is a health hazard. But get this from the angry one. 

"Sugar has an enormous amount of energy and is one of the most important building blocks for life. But they say, “It has no nutritional value.” That makes absolutely no sense." From this article in the Guardian Newspaper here.

He got one thing right, sugar has no nutritional value whatsoever, zero, none, zilch, end of. It does provide calories but nothing else. No nutrients to build strong bones and muscles, nothing to repair the body, nothing to build a strong immune system. In short many, including trusted and respected healthcare professionals, view sugar these days, as dangerous a health hazard, as smoking cigarettes. Possibly worse if you think about it, because young children don't smoke, but so many are consuming toxic amounts of sugar. Not exactly the best start for a child I think you will agree.

BTW It will come as no surprise, the angry one is, or has been, on the following junk food payola treadmills. Oxo, Mr Kipling, Loyd Grossman and Ambrosia. One last question, why is this shill so angry? he must be coining it in working for these outfits. Maybe he will be less angry, if his new book sells well. I am tempted to buy it for the laugh factor, but I have seen enough dietary lunacy thank you very much. Having got this far, it's my opinion the angry one is deranged, never underestimate, the damage a high sugar junk food diet can bring about. Trust me, I know these things.  


Anthony just loves the high sugar high carb Mr.Kipling Cakes.

Melon and Parma Ham

A gorgeous pairing of two delicate flavours - sweet and juicy melon with smoky slices of Parma ham. This makes a great starter dish for a dinner party, but could also be enjoyed as a light lunch, and is such a refreshing combination of tastes.

Serves Four
1 honeydew melon
2 x 88g (2oz) packs of Parma ham, torn
50g (2oz) wild rocket*
pinch ground black pepper
4 tsp oil

1. Cut the melon into thick slices and remove the skin and any pips. Then chop into large chunks.
2. Divide the melon be
tween 4 plates then add the Parma ham.
3. Scatter with a little rocket, season with black pepper and drizzle with the oil.

Per Serving:
Carbohydrate 13.2g Protein 13.5g Fibre 1.9g Fat 11g
Recipe Tesco real food from here

The greenery is provided by using wild rocket* which is sometimes known as Arugula. Now we all know that salad greens are healthy, and that most are very low in calories. However, did you know that not all give you a good dose of nutrients... well Arugula/ Rocket is one leafy green vegetable that stands out as a rich source of many vitamins and minerals.

Consider the difference between iceberg lettuce and arugula/rocket:
Arugula contains about eight times the calcium,
fives times the vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K,
four times the iron as the same amount of iceberg lettuce.
The choice is easy... start with arugula/rocket for a healthier salad!

... and as it's Tuesday ...

All the best Jan

Monday, 19 June 2017

BDA Dietitians Come on down The Price Is Right!

This article was spotted by Graham. Evidently the British Dietetic Association believes marketing for some products is both "wrong and immoral".

"Under-30s trying to get fit are being misled by adverts for protein supplements, says a leading group of UK dieticians.

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) believes marketing for some products is both "wrong and immoral".

It means thousands of people are using protein powders as a "substitute not a supplement".

From this article here.

This is not a post to promote supplements, it's my personal view they are unnecessary, when using the correct diet. I once tried using evening primrose oil, in the quest for better control of my blood glucose numbers. EPO did nothing for my BG control, but I was accused of turning into a Lady Boy by Graham, who needs enemies eh? Seriously, this is a post about morality.

How the BDA have the chutzpah to use a word like immoral beggars belief. It is my opinion the BDA are a highly immoral outfit. I have never seen a more delusional and out of touch organisation in all my long years. The fact is, some of their most senior dietitians are the worst offenders, when it comes to selling at best highly dubious, and at worst, useless products no one needs. I find myself asking the question, when does a product become "wrong or immoral"?

It appears to me, as far as the BDA and some of its dietitians are concerned, a product becomes moral when the money received is high enough. The BDA have no problems accepting money and sponsorship from these companies. Danone, Abbott Nutrition, Nestle, Cereal Partners, BelVita Breakfast Biscuits and Coca Cola. It appears to be a case of dietitians 'come on down' The Price Is Right! Indeed, senior RD Sian Porter BDA spokesperson, has no qualms or problems promoting potatoes, margarine and high sugar junk, as can be seen here.  Another BDA member Dr.Carrie Ruxton waxes lyrical about a product here.   Check out the UK Governments number one so called 'Obesity Tzar' Professor Susan Jebb and her links to "Sugar: spinning a web of influence" from the British Medical Journal  here. OK, you have got the message. Dietitians and dietetic associations will promote and endorse products, if the price is right. 

For a number of years, the BDA has used "Trust A Dietitian" as a corporate logo. That phrase is rolled out at every opportunity 24/7. It is easy for the awake to see why, for so many reasons, countless people do not trust a dietitian. Until the BDA and it's dietitians, stop taking money from multinational food companies and junk food shill outfits, they will have to implore, plead and beg to be trusted. 

The sad fact is, the BDA and it's members, had their chance in the fight against the epidemics of obesity and the often linked type two diabetes, and they blew it big time. They become more irrelevant as each days passes, and they know it. They are paying a heavy price for taking the 30 pieces of silver. 


Strawberry Cheesecake ... can you resist !

I have always enjoyed cheesecake and even when living the LCHF lifestyle it is still possible to enjoy the occasional cheesecake treat. Here is a lovely no bake strawberry cheesecake recipe you may enjoy. I first came across it back in 2014 when I saw it on Dr Davis Wheat Belly Blog and Melissa at Satisfying Eats Blog - yes the recipe has certainly been passed around - it is a great recipe to share.

Here is the simple and tasty recipe, it only takes a few simple ingredients, and a few minutes, before you can enjoy this cheesecake:

No-bake strawberry cheesecake:
Serves 4
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup heavy (double) whipping cream
¼ cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Sweetener equivalent to 1/4 cup sugar
6 strawberries, chopped
½ cup chopped pecans

In medium bowl, blend cream cheese at low-speed until smooth. Add cream, yogurt, vanilla and sweetener and blend until thick and smooth. Add strawberries and blend until the strawberries have released some of their juice and coloured the batter pink. Taste for sweetness and adjust if needed.
Divide chopped nuts into each of 4 6-ounce ramekins. Using an ice cream scoop, divide cheesecake batter among ramekins (around 1/3 of a cup). Serve immediately or refrigerate for 1 hour for thicker texture.

So if you are a cheesecake fan or just fancy giving this recipe a try … please do

If you should need help with measurement equivalents look 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, 18 June 2017

In Hot Weather Stay Hydrated - These 10 Foods May Help

Wherever you live some days can just be too hot, and on these sort of days it is important to stay hydrated. Parts of the UK this week have been extremely warm ... and with more hot weather promised, it is important to keep hydrated. Sometimes the easiest way is to use water from your kitchen tap, but bottled water can also be a great help. Of course on a hot summer’s day, why not boost your hydration with these juicy foods, all of which are around 80-90% water by weight. 

1. Cucumber:
At 95% water content, this crunchy summer vegetable has the highest water content of any solid food! It’s great in salads, or sliced up with some dip, why not just eat it by itself ... it's something our grandchildren love to do. Cucumber also contains a little fiber and vitamin C!

2. Green Peppers:
These hydrating vegetables contain 93.9% water, just slightly more than the red and yellow versions. They are also rich in antioxidants, and make a great snack with dip, sliced up in salads or can be eaten alone - it's up to you.

3. Tomato:
Tomatoes make a delicious, hydrating snack, especially cherry tomatoes! Eat a handful as a snack or add them to your meal! They’ll provide a tasty pop of hydration plus lycopene and other vitamins and minerals.

4. Watermelon:
Not only is watermelon a great source of water at 92%, it’s also a good source of vitamin C and other antioxidants. Serve icy cold for a satisfying Summertime snack!

5. Strawberries:
91% water, strawberries are a great contributor to your water intake for the day! Delivering the most vitamin C of all berries, folate, fiber and antioxidants, they’re a great little snack to enjoy! Eat them as is, or with some yogurt, or double cream ... even in a salad, a great summer fruit. 

6. Papaya:
This gorgeous fruit tastes incredible with fresh lime juice! Plus it delivers a source of fiber and hydration with 88% water! It’s also rich in vitamin C and contains the digestive enzyme known as papain along with fibre which helps improve your digestive health.

7. Grapefruit:
A juicy, tangy citrus with a powerful hydrating punch! Not only does it contain 90.5% water, some say it can help shrink your waistline, help lower your cholesterol, help stabilise your blood sugar and potentially help reduce your cravings! Eat it straight, or pop some wedges into a salad. 

8. Butternut Squash:
The humble, sweet and nutty squash is actually 88% water. Yet it provides over 400% of your daily requirements for vitamin A, as well as being a source of vitamin C, potassium and manganese! Roast some and serve in a salad, stuff small ones with lean grassfed mince and vegetables, or turn it into a tasty dip with some bell peppers, cucumber and carrots to serve!

9. Cantaloupe:
One six ounce serving (about ¼ of a melon) provides 100% of your recommended intake for vitamins A and C! Comprised of 90.2% water, it’s a nourishing snack that can contribute significantly to your water intake! Why not serve sliced in salads, or as part of a mixed melon salad with fresh mint!

10. Radishes:
It’s not the first thing you may think of when talking about hydration, but these pretty vegetables are 95.3% water! Not only are they hydrating, but they are full of antioxidants including catechin (found in green tea!), adding a nutritious burst of spiciness and colour to your plate!

Most words above taken from an article by Laurentine Ten Bosch

Not all foods mentioned may be suitable for all, so please bear in mind any food allergies, health conditions and with grapefruit, for example, care should be taken if on certain drugs.

On a personal note I am including cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, radishes and strawberries in my menu plan, melon is nice too ... how about you?

All the best Jan

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Club des Belugas feat. Maya Fadeeva - Save a little love for me

Heard this for the first time on the radio today 

Henrik Chaim Goldschmidt plays "Gabriel's Oboe"

Saturday night and music night again so soon. This week in the UK, a residential tower block caught fire, with the loss of many lives. The why's and the reasons are yet to be fully explained. Condolences to those who have lost so much. This melancholy but beautiful music seems appropriate. Eddie 

Avocado, Bacon and Chicken Bunless Burger

A low carb bunless burger - it's simple as A B C - so says Libby at Ditch The Carbs Site

You just need eight ingredients, which are:
spring onion, garlic, ground/minced chicken, egg, red onion, bacon, avocado and lettuce leaves

Simply serve with salad, coleslaw and some home-made mayonnaise ... delicious
Please see full instructions here

All the best Jan

Friday, 16 June 2017

Why exercise isn't the key to weight loss — and what you should do instead

Count your steps. Hit the gym. Bike to work. If you've tried to lose weight, you know it's important to get moving. But with all our emphasis on working out to "burn off" what we eat, experts say we've missed the real problem: What we eat.

"There's a persistent myth that you can exercise your calories away," Andy Bellatti, a registered dietitian and the cofounder of Dietitians for Professional Integrity, told Business Insider.

In reality, while getting active is important for your mood and overall well-being, it generally does not result in rapid weight loss.

On the other hand, successfully changing what you eat might.

Dietary changes are especially important at the beginning of any new weight loss plan, Bellatti said, since people who are trying to lose weight by dedicating hours each day to exercise may get discouraged when the pounds don't magically melt off. Instead, it's better to focus on making gradual changes to your diet, such as eating more vegetables and cutting back on refined carbohydrates.

A large recent review of studies involving more than 3,000 obese adults who'd lost weight on a low-calorie diet compared how well they were able to keep it off after they either stuck to a new eating plan or began exercising regularly. While permanently tweaking their diets appeared to help maintain weight loss, "no significant improvements were seen for ... exercise," they wrote.

One reason diet may play such a strong role in weight loss is that exercise burns off far fewer calories than most people think, said Philip Stanforth, a professor of exercise science at the University of Texas and the executive director of the Fitness Institute of Texas.

This holds especially true when compared to the high caloric content of many processed and fast foods like burgers, fries, and milkshakes. Many classic fast food meals can add up to thousands of calories, sometimes exceeding the amount most adults need in a day.

"Thinking practically, keep in mind you'd have to walk 35 miles [roughly 2.6 times the length of Manhattan] to burn 3,500 calories," Stanforth said. "That's a lot of walking."

That's not to say exercise is unimportant.

Another large review of studies that included more than 1,000 adults suggested that in the long-term (a year or more), providing people with a weight loss plan that combines a healthy eating regimen and regular exercise helped people lose more weight than either diet or exercise alone.

A wealth of recent research also suggests that when it comes to the brain, aerobic exercise may be the wonder drug we've long been looking for. Not only have sweaty workouts been linked with boosting your mood; they've also been found to protect against age-related decline and may even improve memory.

"While exercise might not be the key to weight loss, it is important for health overall, especially for mental health," Bellatti said.


Fish Skewers with a Herby Marinade : Low Carb Barbeque Recipe

Listening to the UK weather forecast many parts of the country are going to have high temperatures over the weekend. Perhaps it's time for getting the barbeque sizzling? If you are looking for an easy barbeque recipe then this one is hard to beat. Fragrant fish skewers, marinated in lemon juice, garlic and green herbs, these succulent cod, salmon and king prawn kebabs taste incredible served straight off the grill...

Here is what you need for four servings:
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 lemons, 1 juiced and zested, 1 cut into wedges, to serve
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
handful dill, finely chopped
handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
400g (14oz) boneless, skinless cod loin, cut into 16 chunks
400g (14oz) boneless and skinless salmon, cut into 16 chunks
16 raw king prawns
16 bay leaves

Here is the method:
1. Soak 4 wooden skewers in water, so they won’t burn on the barbecue. Preheat the barbecue.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, dill
and parsley. Stir in the cod, salmon and prawns, season and put in the fridge to marinate for 1 hour.
3. Thread 2 pieces of cod, 2 pieces of salmon, 2 prawns and 2 bay leaves onto each skewer. Cook on the barbecue for 8-10 minutes, turning regularly, or until the fish and prawns are cooked through.
4. Scatter over the lemon zest and serve with the lemon wedges.

Each serving:
Carbohydrate 1.2g Protein 43g Fibre 0.3g Fat 17.5g
Taken from Tesco real food recipe here

Did you know that growing your own mini herb garden maybe simpler than you think. If you have access to a bright window, herbs can be grown all year long, right on your kitchen counter. Even if you don’t have the space or time to tend to a garden, growing your own herbs can be an easy and affordable way to spice and brighten up your daily meals.
Read more here

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

All the best Jan

Thursday, 15 June 2017

I am a very rich man!

Let’s get one thing straight from the start, I’m not talking about money here. Jan and myself are so poor, Church mice send us welfare parcels. I’m talking about real wealth, I’m talking about things money can’t buy. I’m talking about loyalty, I’m talking about a fantastic family. A family I know would never see me and Jan without a roof over our heads, good food and security. What price can you put on that?

That being said, we appreciate so many in this world have none of these things. We live in a world where the very rich get richer, the poor get poorer. When we look at so much abject poverty, I fathom to understand how some of the mega wealthy sleep at night. How much money does one man need before enough is enough? How insecure can they be? Yes, some very wealthy people give much of their great wealth away to good causes, people such as Bill Gates, the world's richest man.

If the human race is going to survive long term, huge changes have to be made. Remember on a 24 hour clock scale, in the history of our planet, the human race has only been around for a few minutes. Us humans are the only animals I know of, who are destroying our own environment, and the only animals clever enough to invent foods, and then stupid enough to eat them. The bottom line, we have to get our priorities in order. We have to understand what real wealth is. So many know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Trust me, real wealth is physical and mental health.


Chocolate Cakes Can Be So Yummy !

Some recent fun with our youngest grand-daughter, who is such a sweetheart, but how she got so messy eating a delicious chocolate cake we didn't like to ask - but it was a hot day - so I think the chocolate was quite soft! LOL!

This time of year there are school fairs and fund-raisers galore and she bought hers from a PTA cake stall raising money for her school, so it was for a good cause.

"Grandma have you got some wet-wipes please" LOL!

If you may be looking for a Chocolate Heaven Cake this could just fit the bill!

As low carb friend Libby says, "this is now my go to cake. It has to be the best low carb chocolate cake out there. It’s so easy to make and so rich, with the texture being more like a rich chocolate truffle.

Because my ‘best low carb chocolate cake’ is wheat free, gluten free, grain free, no added sugar and nut free, I make it every time for my children's birthday parties. And because it is so rich, the adults eat it too (with a good coffee). I love this Chocolate Heaven Cake, and I must say it is the first thing I want to make if I have chocolate in the house.

It can be made as a cake then sliced, served with berries and whipped cream. Or bake in a square dish then cut into tasting squares and top each piece off with a fresh berry. This is a easy idea to take as finger food to share with friends

Serves 15
300g dark 75% chocolate
175g butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 eggs
6 tbs double (heavy) cream
4 tsp granulated stevia (optional)

Melt the chocolate and butter together over a low heat in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before adding the vanilla extract.
In another bowl beat the eggs, cream and stevia together for 3-4 minutes (use a stick blender or hand whisk). It will go frothy and remain runny.
Slowly add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture in the saucepan, stirring all the time. As you add more egg mixture, the chocolate and butter will thicken to the consistency of custard.
Pour into a prepared tin. Grease a loose bottom cake tin with butter then line the loose bottom with baking paper and push through the outer ring so the baking paper adds a seal and stops the cake mixture from leaking.
Bake at 180C for approx 40 minutes."
Thanks again to Libby at 'Ditch The Carbs' blog for another gorgeous recipe.
Do hop across, using the green link, to see more.

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Eating a low carb breakfast may make you a more tolerant person

A low-carb diet might do more than affect your health – it could make you a more tolerant person. People who ate fewer carbohydrates for breakfast made more forgiving decisions in a money-sharing game they played a few hours later.

“Extreme [low-carb] diets might be influencing people’s behaviour,” says Soyoung Park of the University of Lübeck in Germany. This could be because less starchy meals tend to have more protein, which boosts levels of dopamine in the brain, involved in decision making.

Standard advice is that we should base our meals around starchy carbohydrates, such as bread, potatoes and pasta. Low-carbers tend to have a higher protein intake because they replace these foods with protein-rich meat, dairy and nuts.

Dietary protein affects the levels of an amino acid that is a precursor to dopamine in our blood. Since increasing the amino acid increases dopamine, and dopamine affects decision-making, Park wondered if a low-carb diet might change people’s behaviour. To find out, her team asked people to participate in the “ultimatum game”, in which you are split into pairs and your partner is given some money and they decide how much to share with you. If you accept the offer, both of you get the cash, but if you reject it, no one gets anything.

Urge to punish

Although in theory people should always accept – because even a small sum is better than nothing – in practice, people often reject low offers. We seem to have an urge to punish those who split the money unfairly, even if we suffer a small loss, says Park. It may reflect urges to deter antisocial behaviour. “It’s trying to punish cheaters and is supposed to foster a good society,” she says.

First, Park’s team asked 87 people what they had had for breakfast that morning and then got them to play the game. Those who had eaten a low-carb meal were more likely to accept unfair offers – 76 per cent did so compared with 47 per cent of the high-carb group.

Then they asked 24 people to come in for breakfast before playing several rounds of the game on two different days. The volunteers ate either a high-carb meal including bread, jam and fruit juice or a low-carb one including ham, cheese and milk, then switched meals on the second day. The team found people were more forgiving after a low-carb meal, accepting about 40 per cent of unfair offers compared with 31 per cent after the high-carb breakfast.

Since low-carb meals can affect our bodies in many ways, such as causing less of a blood sugar spike, the team took blood samples from the volunteers to work out what caused the effect. When they measured levels of the precursor to dopamine, a compound called tyrosine, they found that the low-carb meal raised people’s tyrosine more, and that high tyrosine correlated with forgiving behaviour. There was no such link seen with a range of other blood measurements, including glucose.

Reward signaller

Dopamine might have this effect because it is involved in signalling that we have experienced a reward. Perhaps people with higher baseline dopamine levels from their breakfast found a lower sum of money offered by their partner more satisfying and were therefore more likely to find their low offer acceptable, speculates Park.

On the other hand, people could accept lower offers for other reasons. They may feel less aggressive, says Park – or even more rational, since accepting low offers is economically the right thing to do. But irrespective of why, people’s breakfast did seem to be changing their behaviour.

Bahador Bahrami of University College London says that diet does seem to affect people’s decision making in this particular setting – but we don’t yet know how much it changes other kinds of behaviour. “This is a very specific probe of human cost-benefit analysis. We need the same to be shown in a number of other social decisions,” he says.

A previous study found that judges were less likely to approve prisoners for parole just before their meal breaks. It was thought this was because the judges felt hungry – but perhaps it was because they had low dopamine levels, says Park.


Sweet and sour swede (rutabaga) with bacon

The sweet flavours of swede (rutabaga) and honey offset the smoky, crispy bacon, garlic and thyme. The addition of red wine vinegar provides a sour twist and really gives this recipe a unique mix of flavours.

Doesn't it look a lovely colour in the pan - it may be served as a side dish or on its own for a reasonably priced and healthy dinner - as always dear reader, the choice is yours.

Serves Four
3 smoked bacon rashers
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 swede (rutabaga), peeled and cut into 3cm (1 1/4in) pieces
1 tbsp. roughly chopped fresh thyme
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. honey

1. Cook the bacon in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat, until crisp and golden. Drain the bacon on kitchen paper, reserving 1 tsp of bacon fat, then roughly chop.
2. Return the pan to a medium heat, add the reserved bacon fat and the olive oil, along with the swede (rutabaga), thyme and garlic; season well. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the swede is softened and golden.
3. Add the vinegar, honey and reserved bacon. Cook for a further 5-10 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Serve immediately.

Each serving:
Carbohydrate 12.5g Protein 2.9g Fibre 0.3g Fat 4.7g
From an original Tesco real food recipe here

What is thyme?
A modest-looking shrub with long thin sprigs of sprouting leaves. The sprigs and leaves can be used fresh, ground or dried. Just a teaspoon adds a pungent earthy flavour – but it’s not too overpowering, so it’s great for layering with other seasoning. Thyme is an aromatic herb, which means it’s used as much for its fragrant scent as its taste.

Where is thyme from?
Part of the mint family, thyme grows in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean. The ancient Greeks loved it for its fragrant aroma and used it as incense.

How do I use thyme?
If it’s fresh thyme, you can use just the leaves, whole sprigs or chop it up. Dried thyme can be used during cooking so the flavour has time to infuse – think pasta sauces, soups and even baking – or sprinkled on top of dishes to give an instant flavour boost. Generally, 1 tsp dried thyme is equal to 1 tbsp. (3 tsp) snipped fresh thyme.

What can I make with thyme?
It’s great for meat marinades and cracking in veggie tray-bakes. Feeling more adventurous? Use it to liven up grilled fish, homemade pizza, creamy risottos or even cocktails. Plus, it pairs amazingly with lemon and goes great with other Mediterranean herbs like oregano, parsley and rosemary.

How long does thyme keep for?
Fresh thyme lasts for up to a couple of weeks in the fridge, while the dried stuff lasts for two to three years when stored in a cool, dark cupboard. Make sure you keep the lid tightly closed when you’re not using it.

Details about thyme also featured

All the best Jan

Monday, 12 June 2017

Turmeric and its Powerful Benefits

"Nature provides many herbs, plants and foods that heal us. Turmeric is one of the most versatile healing spices in the world with over 600 experimentally confirmed health benefits. This brightly coloured spice from India has been a staple in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cuisine. Chinese medicine has used turmeric for ages. Though turmeric is just now gaining mainstream popularity, it has existed throughout history.

When we break down the turmeric plant, we find it is made up of curcuminoids. Curcumin could be argued as the most important component of turmeric. Curcumin is most commonly known for giving curry its yellow colour. Turmeric can be used in a variety of recipes from soups and curries to a marinade for meats or simply sprinkle it on veggies. With a mild flavour, this spice makes for an easy addition to any diet.

The antioxidant properties of turmeric reduce the damage free radicals have in the body and alleviate inflammation, says the University of Maryland’s Medical Centre. Studies at the University of Arizona have suggested that adding turmeric to the diets of lab rats significantly reduced the symptoms of those suffering with rheumatoid arthritis. This is great news for people suffering with joint pain, as it works rapidly.

It is so effective that it matches some anti-inflammatory drugs on the market. In that way, curcumin delivers a one-two punch against free radicals. It blocks them directly, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant mechanisms.

Chronic, low-level inflammation is known to play a role in almost every chronic disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various other degenerative conditions.

Recently, doctors at UCLA found that curcumin could block the enzyme that promotes the growth of head and neck cancer, inhibiting and preventing the spread of malignant cells. Curcumin works to stimulate the growth hormone of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Alzheimer's patients have decreased levels of BDNF. Increasing curcumin in the diet may be effective in delaying and possibly reversing many brain-related diseases. It could also improve memory and brain function.

Over time, curcumin improves the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels and the major driver of heart disease. The endothelium regulates blood pressure, blood clotting and other factors in the optimal functioning of the body.
Randomized controlled trials conducted by Department of Pharmacology at the Government Medical College in India have found that when it comes to treating depression, turmeric produces anti-depressant effects in the brain, raising the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain that are known to cause depression.

This spice is so beneficial to our bodies that it behoves us to incorporate it into our daily routine either through supplementation or by adding it to our meals."

Above words and image from article

Here is a nice low carb curry recipe, using turmeric, why not try it 
Prawn, coconut and aubergine/eggplant curry

Serves Four
(9.2g carbs per serving)
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely grated
A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 red or green chilli, deseeded (if you like) and finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp turmeric
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 aubergine (eggplant), grated or cut into fine julienne
100g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
300ml vegetable stock
250ml coconut milk
200g raw tiger prawns, peeled
A large handful of baby spinach

You can find the cooking instructions using this link

We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Garlic and chilli prawns with cauliflower rice

A tasty meal with a healthy twist - swap out basmati rice for a light alternative made by blitzing cauliflower florets. Combine with king prawns cooked in garlic, chilli and ginger, and spring onions, pepper, courgette and peas for a vegetable packed main meal.

Serves Two
300g (10oz) cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2.5cm (1in) piece fresh ginger, finely grated
150g (5oz) raw king prawns
5 spring onions, (scallions) sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
1 courgette, (zucchini) cut into ribbons
50g (2oz) frozen garden peas, defrosted

For the dressing
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh coriander leaves, plus extra to garnish
1 tsp clear honey
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp. soy sauce

1. Whizz the cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles rice. Heat half the oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat and cook half each of the garlic, chilli and ginger for 1 minute. Stir in the prawns and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove and keep warm.
2. Heat the remaining oil over a medium heat and cook the spring onions (scallions), pepper and courgette (zucchini) ribbons for 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower rice and remaining garlic, chilli and ginger and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 1 minute.
3. Combine the dressing ingredients, then serve drizzled over the cauliflower rice and prawns. Garnish with coriander.

Each serving:
Carbohydrate 16.2g Protein 22.9g Fibre 8.1g Fat 9.8g

From an original Tesco real food recipe idea here 

Did you know that Cauliflower is loaded with vitamin C, this cruciferous cousin to broccoli was once revered by a French king.

First prized by the court of King Louis XIV, cauliflower provides a royal health boost to everyone's diet. This versatile veggie is not only low in calories, it's also full of vitamins and minerals. One cup of raw cauliflower is high in the antioxidant vitamin C -- required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body, and necessary for the formation of the important protein collagen, used to make skin, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels.

Cauliflower also offers a healthy dose of potassium, fiber, and folic acid and contains a sulfur compound called isothiocyanate that protects health and prevents disease. Not all cauliflower is white. You can find green and orange varieties of this cruciferous (named for the cross-shaped flowers) cousin of broccoli and Brussels sprouts. The difference is in the amount (or absence) of chlorophyll present during the vegetable's growth.

More Veggie Might:
All vegetables in the cruciferous family -- kale, cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts -- are packed with vitamin C and potassium.

Hope you may enjoy this recipe suggestion soon ...

All the best Jan

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Ariana Grande My Everything w Parrs Wood High School Choir One Love Manchester

Organised by Ariana Grande the One Love Manchester concert was staged to raise funds for the families of those killed or injured in the Manchester Arena bombing more here

Passenger When We Were Young

It seems like yesterday, I was saying it's Saturday night again, and music night on this blog. This might strike a chord with some of our readers, getting old and grateful to have got to a good age, and still active and compos mentis . Eddie

Friday, 9 June 2017

Creative Ways to Eat More Vegetables

image from here

"Including vegetables in your diet is extremely important. Veggies are incredibly rich in nutrients and antioxidants, which boost your health and help fight off disease. Additionally, they are beneficial for weight control due to their low calorie content. Health authorities around the world recommend that adults consume several servings of vegetables each day, but this can be difficult for some people. Some find it inconvenient to eat vegetables, while others are simply unsure how to prepare them in an appetizing way.

This article will cover 17 unique ways you can incorporate vegetables into your diet, so that you never get sick of eating them.

1. Make Veggie-Based Soups

2. Try Zucchini (Courgette) Lasagne

see recipe here

3. Experiment With Veggie Noodles

4. Add Veggies to Sauces

5. Make a Cauliflower Pizza Crust

6. Blend With Smoothies

7. Add Veggies to Casseroles

8. Cook a Veggie Omelette

9. Prepare Savoury Oatmeal

10. Try a Lettuce Wrap or Veggie Bun

11. Grill Veggie Kebabs

12. Enjoy a Veggie Burger

13. Add Veggies to Tuna Salad

14. Make Stuffed Bell Peppers

see recipe here

15. Add Veggies to Guacamole

16. Blend Veggies With Meatloaf

17. Make Cauliflower Rice

recipe here

The Bottom Line

There are many unique ways you can include more vegetables in your diet.
Make "rice" and "buns" with vegetables, or incorporate them into common dishes, such as casseroles and soups.
By making veggies a regular part of your eating habits, you’ll significantly increase your intake of fiber, nutrients and antioxidants.
Eating enough vegetables is also associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, and may be beneficial for weight control.

At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong eating more veggies."

The words above are a 'snippet' from Authority Nutrition Site and you can see the full article with relevant links 

I wonder how many of these idea do you already use? Will you try out any of the ideas?

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

All the best Jan

French Low Carb Quiche

Recipes for Quiche are many and varied, and I'm sure we each have our own favourite. These days you can make low carb versions as a crustless quiche or like the recipe suggestion below with a crust - but this crust is a little different - it's a low carb pie crust, which uses almond flour.

A slice of Quiche is delicious and can be eaten by itself or with a side salad, perhaps a little greenery of mixed salad leaves and some tomatoes.   

Serves Six
5g carbs per serving
Pie crust
1¼ cups / 300 ml
almond flour
4 tablespoons / 60 ml sesame seeds
1 tablespoon ground psyllium husk powder

½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 oz. / 60 g butter
1 oz. / 30 g butter
2⁄3 lb / 300 g smoked pork belly or bacon or pancetta
1 yellow onion
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup / 240 ml heavy (double) whipping cream
½ lb / 225 g shredded (grated) cheese
5 eggs

For cooking instructions see Diet Doctor site here


Although quiche is now a classic dish of French cuisine, quiche actually originated in Germany, in the medieval kingdom of Lothringen, under German rule, and which the French later renamed Lorraine. The word ‘quiche’ is from the German ‘Kuchen’, meaning cake.

The original ‘quiche Lorraine’ was an open pie with a filling consisting of an egg and cream custard with smoked bacon. It was only later that cheese was added to the quiche Lorraine. Add onions and you have quiche Alsacienne. The bottom crust was originally made from bread dough, but that has long since evolved into a short-crust or puff pastry crust.

Quiche became popular in England sometime after the Second World War, and in the U.S. during the 1950's. Because of its primarily vegetarian ingredients, it was considered a somehow ‘unmanly’ dish, - “real men don’t eat quiche.” Today, one can find many varieties of quiche, from the original quiche Lorraine, to ones with broccoli, mushrooms, ham and/or seafood (primarily shellfish). Quiche can be served as an entrée, for lunch, breakfast or an evening snack.

The words above about Quiche Origins taken from here

If you'd prefer a crustless quiche this asparagus one is nice, see it here

as it's Friday here are some flowers - enjoy your day

All the best Jan