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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Ya gotta larf!

A police officer pulls over a speeding car. The officer says, "I clocked you at 50 miles per hour, sir." 

The drive says, "Goodness, officer, I had it on cruise control at 30; perhaps your radar gun needs calibrating." 
Not looking up from her knitting the wife says: 'Now don't be silly, dear -- you know that this car doesn't have cruise control" 

As the officer writes out the ticket, the driver looks over at his wife and
growls, "Can't you please keep your mouth shut for once !!?" 

The wife smiles demurely and says, "Well dear you should be thankful your radar detector went off when it did or your speed would have been higher." As the officer makes out the second ticket for the illegal radar detector unit , the man glowers at his wife and says through clenched teeth, "Woman, can't you keep your mouth shut?"

The officer frowns and says, 'And I notice that you're not wearing your
seat belt, sir. That's an automatic £75 fine. ' The driver says, 'Yeah, well, you see, officer, I had it on, but I took it off when you pulled me over so that I could get my license out of my back pocket. '

The wife says, "Now, dear, you know very well that you didn't have your seat belt on. You never wear your seat belt when you're driving."

And as the police officer is writing out the third ticket, the driver turns
to his wife and barks, ‘WILL YOU PLEASE SHUT UP??

The officer looks over at the woman and asks, "Does your husband always talk to you this way, Ma'am? "

"Only when he's been drinking" 
rofl

Eddie

Chicken Cordon Bleu : A Tasty Dish


Chicken Cordon Bleu is a firm favourite in our house, in fact one of our sons cooks a most delicious version of this! The mix of ham and cheese in a chicken breast just works so well. Does this classic French dish ever get old?
No, of course it doesn't, and this version is just 4g carbs per serving. Yum!

Ingredients
Serves Four
4g carbs per serving
4 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon dried thyme
4 oz. / 110 g deli smoked ham
4 oz. / 110 g gruyère cheese
2 oz. / 50 g butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

Serving
7 oz. / 200 g lettuce
1 carrot
½ zucchini (courgette)
½ lemon in pieces (small wedges)
8 tablespoons / 125 ml olive oil
salt and pepper

Why not
Make extra! Chicken Cordon Bleu is delicious cold (or room temperature).
Try it for lunch, sliced on a salad, or wrapped up in lettuce and eaten like a sandwich.

Find
Full recipe instructions here




Gruyère is a famous Alpine cheese, which originated in Switzerland but is also now produced in France, it has a firm, pliable texture and a nutty, slightly sweet flavour, and is popularly used in dishes such as fondues and gratins. It is made in large rounds which, if left uncut, will keep extremely well for over a year. The ivory or pale-yellow interior has fewer (and smaller) holes than Switzerland’s best-known cheese, emmental. Neither should gruyère be confused with other cooked, pressed Alpine cheeses such as comté and beaufort.
Gruyère is at its best from mid-November to mid-April. Swiss gruyère - labelled as Le Gruyère Switzerland is protected and will have the word ‘Switzerland’ stamped in red across the top and bottom of its rind. If you prefer a milder flavour, look for gruyère doux, which will have been matured for around five months, rather than gruyère vieux, which can be aged for up to 18 months.


A variety of articles/recipe ideas are 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

Monday, 21 August 2017

Of burgers, blood and balderdash

It’s one of the most depressing aspects of environmentalism that pressing needs for change inevitably get turned into saleable products.
As the need to reduce our meat consumption rises so too do the number of so-called ‘meat substitutes’, products which aim to get us to eat less meat while still pretending that we are eating meat.
Putting the mind-fuck of that aside for a moment, there are real problems with meat analogues – both old and new – which, in their enthusiasm, supporters either don’t understand or wilfully choose to ignore.
Fake means fake
The glossy PR about the future of food is compelling; but fake meat is no more the future of food than fake fur or fake leather are the future of clothing.
Moreover, as with all market solutions to complex problems, once the cracks begin to show they quickly become irreparable.
Yesterday documents emerged which showed that the US FDA has repeatedly sought, but not received, proof of safetyfor the one of the ingredients in the much vaunted Impossible Burger, a substance known as soy leghemoglobin (SLH).
The documents were obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the ETC Group and other environmental and consumer organisations.
The Impossible Burger is already on sale in selected outlets across the US. Backed by $257 million in venture capital funding from Khosla Ventures and Bill Gates amongst others, manufacturers Impossible Foods, have pushed it onto the marketplace on the basis of a self-affirmed GRAS (Generally Recognised as Safe) status. Its panel of paid experts determined that the SLH proteins were structurally similar to natural ones and therefore safe. The FDA, however, rejects this claim.
Amongst its concerns was whether SLH was an allergen and in the FDA’s words: “The current arguments at hand, individually and collectively, were not enough to establish the safety of SLH for consumption.”
So many campaigners were super excited by the news yesterday, but food being the big business that it is, the Impossible Burger does not need FDA GRAS status to remain on the market.
Regulations don’t require the company to disclose the results of its own ‘safety’ tests or even share them with the FDA, so really we may never know what testing was done unless, or until, more whistleblower documents suddenly appear. Or until it kills someone.
This story will run for a while, but while we wait it’s worth deconstructing other aspects of the burger as well.
Bleeding obvious
The SLH in the Impossible Burger is produced using a genetically engineered yeast culture. Its purpose is to make the burger cook and taste more like meat.
Impossible Foods maintains that humans have been eating this kind of heme for “hundreds of thousands of years”. This is patently not true since it is a novel ingredient which has only emerged in the last few years.
The SLH, a plant based source of iron, also makes the burger appear to ‘bleed’ when cooked.
Technically the manufacturers should not be referring to it as heme since this is only present in meat and shellfish. Plants produce non-heme iron.
The distorted focus on the bleeding burger and its ‘heme’ content assumes that foods, like Lego action figures, are just assemblages of individual components. It denies the fact that fresh meat, just like fresh grains, pulses and vegetables is a wholefood and that wholefoods are complex. We really haven’t even scratched the surface of how the components of wholefoods work synergistically with each other and in our bodies.
But there are some things we do know and one of these is that there is more to nutrition than how much of something a product has in it. Iron, in particular is tricky stuff and how much the body absorbs is dependent on multiple factors including the source of the iron and how low or high an individual body’s iron stores are. Impossible Foods nutrition data suggests that its burger has more iron than a comparably sized ground beef burger, which on the surface of things looks true.
But some aspects of the matrix may render this unavailable to the body. For instance, soya and wheat contain phytates, fibre that binds to iron and transports it through the digestive tract unabsorbed. Experts continue to wrestle with the issue of iron bioavailability from different foods; it is possible, for example, that the processing of the Impossible Burger may break down some of the phytates and make iron more bioavailable. But in general only 5-12% of the iron in a strict vegetarian diet is absorbed, compared to 14-18% from a mixed diet that includes meat.
Graham

Beef Chili : Low Carb


One pot cooking is just so good, and this low carb beef chili recipe is a favourite. There are quite a few combinations many of us use when it comes to our favourite Chili recipes. For those living the LCHF lifestyle why not serve it with cauliflower rice or a green salad, which is my particular favourite.

I like the red cooking pot shown here, I may have to get some LOL! it adds to the warmth of the Chili somehow, don't you think!

Ingredients:
Serves Nine
8g carb per serving
2 lb lean ground (minced) beef (10% fat)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground allspice
6 oz. tomato paste
3 bay leaves
4 oz. canned mushroom slices, drained (ok to use fresh)
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

Method:
1. In large stockpot, brown meat, drain fat.
2. Add 4 cups cold water, cinnamon, cumin, onions, Worcestershire sauce, garlic cloves, salt, chili powder, black and red pepper, allspice, tomato paste, bay leaves, mushrooms, and green pepper. Bring to a boil.
3. Reduce to simmer. Cover and cook 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves before serving.


For help with measurement conversion please see here
From an original idea, with helpful video guide, here

A variety of recipe ideas are 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

Thought for the day.


Eddie

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Tesco sausages of death?

Yesterday Jan and myself spent the afternoon down the park with three of our grandchildren. On the way home she asked me to pull into a small shopping complex, she wanted to get a few items including some sausages for today's breakfast. After a very nice full English blow out breakfast, Jan checked out the news on her phone. Good grief she cried, supermarket X flogs sausages that could have infected thousands. Here's the crack, we had just scoffed a half a pack of, you guessed it, Tesco sausages. affraid The thing is, we hardly ever shop at Tesco. The labelling says British Pork, but I'm remembering the horse meat scandal.  Who knows what we are eating these days. Thems the breaks folks. rofl 

Eddie

"A leading British supermarket may unwittingly have infected thousands of people with a pig virus that causes liver cirrhosis and neurological damage, say researchers at Public Health England.

Hepatitis E (HEV) is transmitted by sausages and pork products from Europe, mainly Holland and Germany. UK pigs do not have the virus strain in question.

Scientists at PHE, a government agency, have traced the shopping habits of infected people and found that a common factor is consumption of own-brand sausages from “Supermarket X”.

PHE and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) have refused to name Supermarket X but two separate sources said it was Tesco." 
affraid

From The Sunday Times here.

Eddie

Pork, celeriac and apple bake


It was back in 2011 that Eddie wrote about 'Great Grub Celeriac' and still to this day it is one of our favourite lower carb vegetables. I saw this recipe which combines pork, crisp apple and celeriac, and thought Yum! Perfect for two, or just amend the recipe to suit you. The cooking aroma is great and with Autumn, in the UK, being just around the corner could be perfect for those cooler nights. Having said that, I think, a dish like this can be enjoyed at any time of year.
 
Ingredients: 
Serves Two
1/2 celeriac head
3 tbsp. olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 lemon, zested
salt and pepper
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced (no need to peel)
3 rosemary sprigs
2 pork chops


Method:
1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Cut the celeriac in half and place it cut-side down on a chopping board. Use a knife to cut off the peel, then cut in half again and slice the celeriac as thinly as you can – the thinner it is, the quicker it will cook.
2. Pour 1 tbsp. olive oil on to a baking tray and layer the celeriac all over its base. Scatter the sliced garlic and lemon zest, sprinkle over salt and pepper and then layer the apple slices on top.
3. Scrunch up the rosemary sprigs in your hands to release the oils and scatter them around the apples. Place the pork chops on top of the apples and season again with salt and pepper. Pour over the rest of the oil. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until the celeriac is soft and the pork is cooked through.


Each serving: Carbohydrate 16.7g Protein 30.3g Fibre 3.1g Fat 49.7g
From an original Tesco real food recipe here

We bring a variety of recipe ideas to 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

Saturday, 19 August 2017

London Grammar - Non Believer

Another great song from one of my favourite bands, have a good weekend everyone
Graham

Paolo Conte - It's Wonderful

We love this sort of music, reminds us of warm summer days, carefree times, completely chilled out, and enjoying family and friends company at a BBQ, far away from the madding crowd. Eddie 

Autumn Leaves - Yenne Lee plays 2004 Pepe Romero Jr.

Saturday night again and music night on this blog. Found this track the other day while surfing around. A different interpretation of one of Jan's favourite tunes, enjoy. Eddie

Blueberry Ice Cream Delight : Low Carb


Three of our favourite fruits are strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, they are lower in carbs so fit right in with our Low Carb High Fat Lifestyle ... and importantly help keep Eddie's blood sugar levels low. You can read our Introduction To Low Carb post here

But hey, it's the weekend so why not treat yourself to a bowl of this delicious ice cream, it's a very nice recipe from Anne Aobadia at Diet Doctor site - here are the ingredients you will need...
Low-Carb Blueberry Ice Cream
It's 'icy cool and unbelievably creamy'
Ingredients:
Six Servings
6g carb per serving
1 cup / 0.2 litre (approx. 7 fluid ounces) heavy (double) whipping cream
3 egg yolks
½ teaspoon ground cardamom (green)
½ lemon, the zest
8 oz. / 225 g mascarpone cheese
6 oz. / 175 g blueberries, frozen

You can also:
Use raspberries instead of blueberries for even fewer carbs, about 3.5 g per portion.

Please see Anne's instructions at Diet Doctor site here

Perfect for summer days ...

All the best Jan

Friday, 18 August 2017

The system always wins.

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free" Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

One of the greatest failings of the human race is not learning from history. The same mistakes are made time and time again. Extremism in politics never worked. On the extreme example of right wing politics we had the Nazi’s, result WW11 and estimated 50 million dead. On the other side of extremism the Communists, estimated north of 100 million dead. The majority of sane people are either slightly right or slightly left of centre. Up until recently in the UK and the US come general election time, some of us got the party we voted for, others lost out. Maybe we had a moan if our party lost, thinking here we go again, another five years of this lot, and then got on with our lives, better luck next time. Above all, we accepted the result and moved on. But times have changed.

Stoked up by the ever increasing lying fake news media, the easily lead are being played like glove puppets. The dullards on both sides are stupid enough to feel they can make a difference, they won’t, end of. Sure they make a lot of noise and cause a lot of trouble, but in the big scheme of things, they are no more than a grease spot on the road. They will learn the hard way, you cannot beat the system, most don’t even know what the system is.

In the UK ever since the day the result of the Brexit vote was announced, groups of people have been fighting noon and night to get the vote overturned. In the US it’s the same, when people woke up to learn Trump was the new US President, all hell has broken loose. In the UK our Prime Minister May ended up PM pretty much by default. The leader of the opposition Corbyn is not many people's idea of the next Prime Minister. In the US the people had a choice, Clinton or Trump. It staggers me to think, with the US having some of the most highly educated and brilliant business minds in the world, and they end up with either one of those people as President.

The truth is, Clinton and Trump are also glove puppets of the system. They are owned by the mega rich and gigantic multi-national corporations. The sort of outfits too big to fail, and without doubt, as have seen, too big to prosecute. The system does not give a monkeys who wins, they have a dog in the fight on both sides. General elections in so called democracies are perhaps the greatest con of all. So many think they have a choice, that they can make a meaningful difference, they don’t and they won’t. The system always wins, it will ever be thus.

Have a great weekend folks.

Eddie

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Health star rating system hides junk under spin

OPINION

OK, it was my fault. But in my defence, your honour, I was in a rush. Somewhere between work, the boy’s footy training or something, and picking up another son from a play date, shopping had to be squeezed into a seven-minute dash around the store. And I was fast. Forgot some essentials of course but who needs bread anyway?

It was breakfast cereal I sought. In the morning rush there’s nothing like tipping from box to bowl, adding milk and voila.

As the dad of one easy eater and one impossible fusspot, I thought I’d grab something different to the usual muesli. It was some kind of Weet-Bix variant, smaller and crunchy. Now given this is Between the Lines you might expect I’m the type who clogs up aisles by obsessively reading the fine print. And you’d be right. But time makes fools of us all and there was the Health Star Rating of four stars. I knew the star system was suspect but I went with it.

Later I read the ingredients: 21 per cent sugars. Sure, that includes honey, but a bowl that’s one-fifth sugars doesn’t pass my test for “healthy”, as four stars implies.

There’s worse. Nutri-Grain, which is 26.7 per cent sugar, gets a four-star health rating.

Food companies are gaming this system with ease. Milo, at 46 per cent sugar, gets 4.5 stars – that’s based on mixing it with skim milk. If you don’t, it’s 1.5 stars, and if you mix it with full cream milk, like most people do, it’s 2.5 stars. Weet Bix (with added sugar) gets five stars while Vita Brits (no added sugar) gets 4.5.

And as Fairfax columnist Peter FitzSimons pointed out, pure milk gets four stars. But Up & Go, the milk-based energy drink, gets 4.5 (reduced sugar Vanilla Ice flavour, baby).

We have paid for this rating system and we’ve been had. After a suspect design process which involved junk food lobbyists, we have been left with a scheme that could do more harm than good.

There’s a review of the star rating system going on now. Any chance it might actually create something we can trust?

Mine's bigger than yours!


Eddie

If Sometimes Sleep is Elusive: Getting Quality Rest Helps


I guess there are times when each of us do have trouble sleeping. So what do you do? Perhaps count sheep, or read a book until you begin to feel sleepy...
Dr Libby Weaver (PhD) may have some helpful advice, she writes:

"We've all been there at some point — eyes wide open, trying not to look at the clock for confirmation that yes, despite trying every imaginable strategy it is 3:00 am and there are hours yet before the sun is due to rise. The consequences of this lack of sleep add to the already compounding worry as we think of what another day of work feeling less than refreshed is going to be like. Getting enough sleep affects your health in ways you cannot imagine. Sleep, like moving your body regularly and eating a nourishing diet, is one of the pillars of good health. We cannot fight our biology — sleep is essential to our very being. Lack of sleep can increase inflammation, which in turn is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and poor digestive health. Not to mention what it does to your mood, energy and appetite (hello 10:00 am pastry and coffee and 3:00 pm chocolate bar!).

Typically sleep problems fall into two categories: trouble getting to sleep and trouble staying asleep. Here are some things you can do to ensure you get the quality rest your body needs.

1. Work With Your Wake/Sleep Cycles:
Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can help to set a rhythm to your sleep cycle and prompt your body to recognize when rest time is approaching. A morning ritual such as meditation or yoga that reduces your stress can be extremely beneficial – and this can also be repeated before sleep.
Move your body earlier in the day and avoid anything too vigorous at night, if possible. Movement, particularly movement that gets the heart rate up or is physically exerting, typically activates the sympathetic nervous system making you alert and awake, and subsequently decreases your melatonin (sleep hormone) production. Instead, in the evening, allow yourself time to slow down, unwind and stimulate your sleep neurotransmitters. Around 60 to 90 minutes before sleep, turn off your "devices", turn the lights down and maybe include some meditation or light reading. Finding sleep hygiene that works for you is incredibly important, but these are great starting points for everyone.

2. Limit Sleep Disruptors:
If you drink caffeine, find your threshold for the time you should stop drinking it. Typically, this is around midday as caffeine can stay in the body for around eight hours. Eating a heavy and rich meal late at night takes longer to digest, so your body is busy with the digestive process and indigestion rather than relaxing and helping you get to sleep. So eat smaller portions.
TV screens, laptops and electronic devices not only keep your mind active but also emit light that disrupts sleep hormone production. If you watch TV, consider what you're watching. For example, if you're watching highly stimulating crime dramas it is very difficult to switch from this sympathetic nervous system stimulation to the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for rest and repair. Your biology has primed you to "fight or flight" and then, after you've turned the TV off, you're asking it to just forget what it has seen/experienced and drift peacefully off to sleep. For many of us that's not going to happen! If you're a crime or intense drama show addict, I encourage you to go four weeks without watching them, particularly at night, and see what happens to your sleep.

3. If You Wake During The Night:
Alcohol typically makes you feel sleepy at first, which is why people often use it to help them get off to sleep. But it often results in waking later in the night, typically around 2:00 -3:00 am disrupting sleep by stopping you going into REM sleep - the deepest stage. Limiting alcohol consumption is beneficial for overall health, not just for your sleep.
Many people say they wake up in the middle of the night with their minds racing over their upcoming day. While part of this can be related to stress hormones, it can also be helpful to plan your day before you go to bed so you don't wake at 3:00 am thinking about something you forgot to schedule in your diary. Also try keeping a pen and paper by your bed; if you wake with a thought you can write it down and then address it in the morning.
If you are experiencing a particularly busy or stressful period in your life and you’re noticing that your sleep is getting disturbed, remember the importance of looking after your nervous system to promote activation of your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS); your body’s natural rest and digest pathways. During these periods we can often find that our sympathetic nervous system, our “fight or flight” response, is activated for long stints of time and this impacts significantly on many biochemical pathways, including our sleep cycle. Ways to do this include reducing your consumption of caffeine (which signals adrenaline production) and avoiding it altogether later in the day, amping up our vegetable intake to maximize our nutrient consumption, meditation, Qi gong, tai chi or diaphragmatic breathing.

There are many herbs that may support good sleep, a qualified medical herbalist could help here"
You can see the original article here

Do you have any tips, that others may find helpful.
My Dear Mum always turned to a cup of milk ...

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Once upon a time in the west.

I grew up being in awe of America. Everything in America was bigger and better. From their huge fin-tailed Cadillac's and never ending output of fantastic music, and everyone lived in a fantastic house, had two cars, and a monster colour TV. The Beach Boys drove hot-rods, and the California Girls all had fabulous looks, long blond hair and sparkling blue eyes. What young fella wouldn't want some of that? 

Of course we all grow up eventually, and the reality is far from the glossy ad mans image. In my first career as an Engineer I worked for a couple of American Companies, good jobs and well paid. I have never met an American I did not like. I loved the can do attitude, the spirit of adventure, and the yanks put their money where their mouth is. They achieved great things and benefited many, including me. 

I heard the saying a long time ago 'when America sneezes the rest of the world gets a cold' basically and especially economically, when things are bad in America, it's going to get bad elsewhere, including the UK. It appears to me on every level America is going downhill fast. Other than the civil war years, has there ever been more hate between so many people. Two groups are becoming larger and more dangerous as each day passes. On one side the extreme right, lead by neo-Nazi racist thugs, on the other side the extreme left, and I can't tell the difference.

Eddie


Words from Dire Straits Once Upon A Time In The West. 

Yes it's no use saying that you don't know nothing
It's still gonna get you if you don't do something
Sitting on a fence that's a dangerous course
You could even catch a bullet from the peace-keeping force
Even the hero gets a bullet in the chest
Oh yeah, once upon a time in the west


Bay Leaves ... did you know, some interesting information!



It was way back in my school cookery classes that I first started using bay leaves, and now when I open my kitchen cupboard - sure enough I'm still using them ... I wonder how many I may have used over these years? Makes you think!

The aromatic leaf from the bay laurel tree, it is an essential component of the classic bouquet garni: parsley, thyme and a bay leaf. The bittersweet, spicy leaves impart their pungent flavour to a variety of dishes and ingredients, making bay a versatile store cupboard ingredient. It’s also one of the few herbs that doesn’t lose its flavour when dried.

A brief guide to bay leaves including nutritional information and uses in the kitchen.
Bay leaves are a wonderful addition to any soup, sauce, stew or casserole. They are mainly used dry and are just thrown into the pot and allowed to impart their rich and aromatic flavour.
The bay leaf that we use in cooking is actually the dried leaf of the Bay Laurel tree (Laurus Nobililis). This is why bay leaves can also be known as sweet bay, sweet laurel, laurel leaf or bay laurel.
The bay laurel tree is native to Asia Minor but is now grown all over the Mediterranean, as it is suited to warm climates. There are two main types of bay leaf - the Mediterranean bay leaf and the Californian bay leaf. The Californian bay leaf is much stronger in flavour and the Mediterranean bay leaf is widely used in Mediterranean-style cooking.
The bay leaf is one of the herbs and ingredients that make up a "bouquet garni". A bouquet garni is a bunch of herbs that is tied together with string and placed into a stock, sauce or stew whilst cooking. It is used to add flavour to the dish and the bundle is removed before serving and discarded.

History of the bay leaf.
Although the bay leaf was not introduced to England until the sixteenth century, it has been around since ancient Greek and Roman times.
In fact, the bay leaf was held in such high esteem that victors of battle, sport and study were crowned with garlands of laurel, as a symbol of their success. This is where the term "baccalaureate" originates from and it is now referred to when students have successfully completed their schooling years.

Vitamin and mineral content of the bay leaf.
Although bay leaves are only used a few at a time and are not actually consumed themselves, they still provide a number of vitamins and minerals to a dish through cooking. Bay leaves are a good source of Vitamins A and C and also contain significant amounts of iron and manganese in particular, as well as smaller amounts of calcium, potassium and magnesium.

Health benefits of the bay leaf.
In ancient times bay leaves were used medicinally for a number of things. They were used for ailments of the liver, kidney and stomach and were also thought to alleviate wasp and bee stings.
Nowadays, bay leaves are still used by herbalists to treat even more illnesses and complaints than ever. Below is a list of how bay leaves are used curatively today:
* A cloth soaked in boiled bay leaves in water, which is placed on the chest can relieve chest infections, flu, coughs and bronchitis.
* Massage bay leaf essential oil onto affected areas to relieve sprains, swellings, backache and arthritic and rheumatic pains.
* An infusion of bay leaves will promote sweating, which will help clear up flu and feverish symptoms.
* Bay leaves settle the stomach and help to treat digestive disorders.
* They are useful for proper digestion and can reduce flatulence.
* They can help to breakdown and digest certain food types such as proteins.
* A bay leaf rinse can help to treat dandruff.

Ideas for using bay leaves in the kitchen.
Bay leaves are never eaten themselves and are really just used to add extra flavour to a number of dishes. Bay leaves can be used in the following ways:
* Prepare a bouquet garni and add to soups, stews, casseroles and sauces.
* Use in pickling solutions.
* Add to boiling water for shrimp, crab and other seafood.
* Use in marinades for meat and fish.
* Add to milk when preparing homemade rice puddings or other milk puddings.

Bay Leaf Recipes.
To see a lamb, a salmon and a duck recipe that include bay leaves as one of their ingredients, please look here
Most words above taken from this article

Are bay leaves something you use in your cooking?
Do you have a favourite recipe?

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

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Halloumi and Vegetable Skewers : Perfect For a Barbeque


Why not have this recipe on stand-by for when you next heat up the barbeque. These tasty halloumi and vegetable skewers are a brilliant vegetarian alternative to meat skewers. Although great at BBQ's they could also be enjoyed indoors.

Ingredients:
Serves Six
1 lemon, halved
52ml (3 1/2 tbsp.) extra-virgin olive oil
2 x 250g packs halloumi, drained and cut into 2cm (1in) cubes
2 red peppers, cut into 3cm (1 1/4in) squares
2 courgettes (zucchini), halved lengthways and sliced into thick half-moons
handful fresh mint leaves, chopped

Method:
1. Brush the cut surfaces of the lemon with a little olive oil and place cut-sides down, on a hot barbecue, or in a hot griddle or frying pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes until caramelised. Remove from the heat.
2. Squeeze the juice from one half of the lemon into a bowl. Add the halloumi and vegetables, remaining olive oil and half the chopped mint, then toss to mix.
3. Thread the cheese and vegetables onto skewers (if using wooden ones, soak them first in water for 20 minutes to prevent scorching). Reserve the olive oil mixture.
4. Barbecue over hot coals, or cook in a smoking-hot griddle pan for 4-5 minutes, turning often.
5. Once cooked, remove the skewers from the heat and place on a serving dish. Drizzle with the remaining marinade, scatter with the reserved mint and serve with the other caramelised lemon half. 


Each serving:
Carbohydrate 4.9g Protein 19.6g Fibre 1.6g Fat 27.3g
From an original idea here 

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


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

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

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


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


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

All the best Jan

Monday, 14 August 2017

Heart Doctor Says Eat Butter and Cheese but Avoid Low-Fat Yogurt

A St. Louis cardiologist says the government guidelines warning us to stay away from saturated fat are just plain wrong.

Dr. Anthony Pearson, who calls himself "The Skeptical Cardiologist," says saturated fat, especially saturated dairy fat, such as butter and cheese, is really good for us. He not only consumes it himself, but advises his patients to do the same. He says whole milk is great, but stay away from skim. Likewise, he encourages us to consume full-fat yogurt, but avoid the fat-free kind like the plague.

Dr. Pearson has been practicing cardiology for 30 years and knows what he's talking about. The American Heart Association? Not so much. After all, these are the folks who recently issued an advisory to avoid coconut oil, one of the healthiest foods on the planet.

Dr. Pearson has carefully examined the research, not to mention his patients, and concludes saturated dairy fat actually lowers our risk of having a heart attack. He says it lowers blood pressure and reduces deadly inflammation and oxidative stress. As an added bonus, consuming saturated dairy fat helps us lose weight and lowers our risk of developing diabetes.

Dr. Pearson says the original "science" suggesting saturated fat causes heart attacks is faulty. He says those who advocate a link between saturated fat and heart attacks have misinterpreted subsequent studies and have cherry-picked research to support their theory, largely for economic reasons or because they believed erroneous data from a trusted source.

The good news is more scientists, nutritionists, physicians and in particular, cardiologists are realizing saturated fat has been improperly vilified all these years, when the true cause of heart attacks, inflammation brought on by consuming too much sugar, refined grains and highly processed oils such as corn, vegetable, canola, cottonseed and soybean, has been virtually ignored.

Dr. Pearson says it's important to recognize that not all saturated fat is created equal. Steak, for example, is different from whole milk, which is different from coconut oil. The difference is the number of carbon atoms. Dairy is considered a "short chain fatty acid," coconut oil, which Dr. Pearson also considers healthy, is a "medium chain fatty acid."

While Dr. Pearson is particularly fond of saturated fat from dairy, he says try to choose products made from grass-fed cows. He does not advise against eating red meat, citing studies that conclude cutting back on it does not reduce your risk for heart attack. Again, go for the grass-fed beef rather than the conventionally-raised kind.

Processed meats should be avoided. These are the sandwich meats, that are packaged or sold in a deli that are processed with nitrites and nitrates, which have been linked to health issues like cancer.

Fermented dairy, such as full-fat yogurt is particularly healthy because in addition to the healthy fat, it also deposits good bacteria into our gut, which strengthens our immune system. But make sure to buy plain yogurt because flavored yogurt usually contains way too much sugar.

https://www1.cbn.com/

Graham

Croque Monsieur : Keto Style, Low in Carbs


A croque monsieur is a baked or fried boiled ham and cheese sandwich. The dish originated in French cafés and bars as a quick snack. A croque madame is a version of the dish topped with a fried egg. The sandwich's first recorded appearance on a Paris café menu was in 1910. Its earliest mention in literature appears to be in volume two of Proust's In Search of Lost Time in 1918.

The recipe below is a low carb version of this popular dish. At just 8g carbs per serving, it could be something you would include in your menu plans ...

Ingredients
8g carb per serving
8 oz. 2/ 25 g cottage cheese
4 eggs
1 tablespoon ground psyllium husk powder
4 tablespoons butter or coconut oil for frying
5 oz. / 150 g smoked ham
5 oz. / 150 g cheddar cheese
½ finely chopped red onions (optional)

For serving
4 oz. / 100 g lettuce
4 tablespoons olive oil
½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

With a fried egg on top and you’ll have a Croque Madame! Equally delicious.
Please see cooking instructions on Diet Doctor site here

All the best Jan

The baby boomers.

I suspect a fair few of the readers and commenters on this blog, are so called 'Baby Boomers' Jan, Graham and I certainly are. It's my opinion we have been the luckiest generation in the history of the world. We have never lived through a world war, I doubt any of us have ever been truly hungry, and all have spent all or most of our lives living in a comfortable home. Never rich or particularly well off, but never really poor. The only downside of being a baby boomer I can see is we are on the last lap of our lives. Some of us are already on the grim reapers list, our exit visas are being rubber stamped, the end is nigh.

A question I have asked myself, if I had a chance of being a teenager again in the present time, would I go for it? not in a million years. Please bear in mind, I have considered myself to be an optimist all my life, am I looking back with rose tinted glasses? or is the world that I have lived in going to the dogs? What say you my friends and fellow bloggers.

Eddie


"The phrase baby boom refers to a noticeable increase in the birth rate. The post-war population increase was first described as a "boom" by Sylvia F. Porter in a column in the May 4, 1951, edition of the New York Post, based on the increase in the population of the U.S. of 2,357,000 in 1950. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first recorded use of "baby boomer" is from 1970 in an article in The Washington Post.Various authors have delimited the baby boom period differently. Landon Jones, in his book Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom Generation (1980), defined the span of the baby-boom generation as extending from 1943 through 1960, when annual births increased over 4,000,000. Authors William Strauss and Neil Howe, well known for their generational theory, define the social generation of Boomers as that cohort born from 1943 to 1960, who were too young to have any personal memory of World War II, but old enough to remember the postwar American High" From here.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Thought for the day.

Many a word said in jest. Eddie 



Progression of the human race. 



“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” John F. Kennedy

Sweet potato, carrot, red pepper & tomato soup : Nana's 'magic' recipe


If you live in the UK, or have visited recently, you may have seen a lovely TV commercial which tells a story ... 
"When Nana, from the story, is called on to look after her poorly grandson for the afternoon, she knows something that might just make him feel better – her ‘magic’ soup. Somehow, it seems to do the trick, even though she sneaks a few ingredients into it that he doesn’t strictly like. But if he ever finds out, he won’t kick up a fuss, because it tastes so good." The wonderful thing with this advert is, it really is a good tasting soup, quite quick to make, nutritious, and not too expensive ... some would say a winner!

Ingredients:
Serves Six
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 red onion, roughly chopped
1 vegetable stock cube
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 red peppers, sliced
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
200ml (7fl oz.) light coconut milk (or regular if you prefer)
2 slices brown bread - optional
60g (2oz) Cheddar, grated - optional

Method:
1. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the onion until soft. In a jug, make 750ml (1 1/4 pints) stock using the stock cube and boiling water. Pour into the pan, add the sweet potato, carrots, peppers, stock and tomatoes, then season with pepper. Put a lid on the pan and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
2. If you've chosen the two optional ingredients ...preheat the grill to medium-high. Toast the bread on both sides. Sprinkle the cheese on one side of each slice and grill until melted. Cut 3 star shapes from each piece of toast using a cookie cutter or snip out star shapes with scissors.
3. Blend the soup until smooth, add the coconut milk, and season with pepper. Stir well to combine then ladle into 6 bowls and top each one with an optional  cheesy star.

Helpful Tips:
To deseed a pepper, press your thumb down on the stalk – it will break away from the sides and fall inside. Just scoop out, with the seeds, into the bin.
Any leftover coconut milk - just freeze in an ice cube tray until you make this recipe again.

Per serving:
Carbohydrate 17g Protein 5.4g Fibre 4g Fat 8.3g
From an original idea here

Sometimes, we all need a little magic ...

A variety of recipe ideas are 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

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Callum Beattie - Man Behind The Sun

Saturday is music night and here's new song from Callum Beattie
Graham

Is that the Incredible Hulk I see ?

Is that the Incredible Hulk I see ?
Well yes, and a wonderful Grandson having fun ...


Oh dear it's started to rain !
Never mind lets have fun in the arcade for a while - come on sis'
Don't you just love the concentration on their faces ...


Happy Weekend to all ...
All the best Jan

Friday, 11 August 2017

Effects of Popular Diets without Specific Calorie Targets on Weight Loss Outcomes: Systematic Review of Findings from Clinical Trials

Abstract:

The present review examined the evidence base for current popular diets, as listed in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report, on short-term (≤six months) and long-term (≥one year) weight loss outcomes in overweight and obese adults. For the present review, all diets in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report Rankings for “Best Weight-Loss Diets”, which did not involve specific calorie targets, meal replacements, supplementation with commercial products, and/or were not categorized as “low-calorie” diets were examined.

Of the 38 popular diets listed in the U.S. News & World Report, 20 met our pre-defined criteria. Literature searches were conducted through PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science using preset key terms to identify all relevant clinical trials for these 20 diets. 

A total of 16 articles were identified which reported findings of clinical trials for seven of these 20 diets: (1) Atkins; (2) Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH); (3) Glycemic-Index; (4) Mediterranean; (5) Ornish; (6) Paleolithic; and (7) Zone. Of the diets evaluated, the Atkins Diet showed the most evidence in producing clinically meaningful short-term (≤six months) and long-term (≥one-year) weight loss.

Other popular diets may be equally or even more effective at producing weight loss, but this is unknown at the present time since there is a paucity of studies on these diets.

 Full text here:  http://www.mdpi.com/

Graham


Brown Butter Sponge Cake : Low Carb and Delicious


This is proving a popular recipe ... and is so enjoyable with a cup of tea or coffee.

Ingredients:
2 cups of (4 sticks) unsalted butter melted and lightly browned
6 large eggs
2 cups of finely milled almond flour
2 cups of sugar substitute
1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of sea salt

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350º F / 180º C / Gas mark 4-moderate.
Lightly grease a 10-inch spring-form pan with butter.
2. Melt and lightly brown the butter in a saucepan and allow to cool completely.
3. Beat all the eggs and sugar substitute in a stand-up mixer on high until mixture is thick and a shade of pale yellow, about 6 minutes.
4. Add the almond flour by ¼ cup increments into the egg and sugar-substitute batter folding gently with a rubber spatula. *Do not over stir, mix only to combine
5. Once the batter has been mixed add the now cooled melted brown butter gently fold into the batter until fully incorporated.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
7. Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
8. Allow this cake to cool completely before serving. Store in the refrigerator.

Cake makes 16 servings at 3.2 net carbs per slice

For help with measurement and conversion, see charts here

Recipe idea seen on Fit To Serve Blog and The Diabetes Diet Blog 


Enjoy!
All the best Jan

Thursday, 10 August 2017

The best Detox diet, Barry Groves

These words below are taken from a 2011 blog post, that Eddie originally posted. There has been some interest in it again lately, so in case you missed it in 2011, why not read it now!
You'll need to use the link given below.

"The best Detox diet, Barry Groves.

'There are many conditions in Western industrialised societies today that were unheard of, or at least very rare, just a century ago. The same conditions are still unheard of in primitive peoples who do not have the 'benefits' of our knowledge. There is a very good reason for this: They eat what Nature intended; we don't. The diseases caused by our incorrect and unnatural diets are those featured on these pages.'

Please read more here

All the best Jan

Rolled Pork Fillet with healthy herbs and mustard : Sunday Roast



Got to admit that 'Pork and apple is a perfect pairing and this healthy, hearty main really makes the most of it. Try rolling succulent pork fillet with mustard, rosemary and sage served alongside sweet butternut squash, red onion, and nutty celeriac'. Has Sunday Roast ever been better !
Please take a seat at the table ...

Ingredients:
Serves Four
1 large red onion, cut into small wedges
400g (13oz) butternut squash, cut into bite-sized pieces
400g (13oz) celeriac, cut into bite-sized pieces
spray oil (low calorie)
2 rosemary sprigs
4 small (Cox) apples
2 tsp Dijon mustard
4 sage leaves
500g (1lb) boneless free-range pork fillet or loin
Why not choose:
steamed (tender-stem) broccoli, or spring greens to serve

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Place the onion, butternut squash and celeriac in the base of a large roasting tin, spray with a little spray oil and season well. Add a sprig of rosemary to the tray.
2. Using a small sharp knife, score the circumference of each apple, then put them around the edges of the roasting tin. Roast for 15-20 minutes, turning the vegetables occasionally to ensure even cooking.
3. Meanwhile, spray the pork fillet with a little oil and season well. Heat a large frying pan until hot, add the pork and sear on all sides for 5 minutes or until golden. Carefully remove from the pan. Then, using a pastry brush, spread all over with mustard. Remove the leaves from the remaining sprig of rosemary and finely chop with the sage. Mix together on a large chopping board. Roll the mustard-covered pork in the herbs to create an even layer.
4. Place the pork fillet on top of the half-roasted vegetables and roast for another 15 minutes, or until just cooked.
5. To serve, thickly slice the pork and serve with the roasted vegetables, one baked apple per person and perhaps some steamed broccoli or spring greens.

Each serving:
Carbohydrate 17.8g Protein 45.5g Fibre 4.9g Fat 6.8g
From an original Tesco real food idea here

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Thought for the day.

“You’ll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view” Obi-Wan Kenobe, Star Wars

Eddie

Baked Bacon Omelette With Chives


This dish could be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, tea or supper! You choose when you'd like to tuck in. Remember, recipes can always be amended slightly if you have other preferred choices -  but I like it how it is!

Ingredients:
Serves One
3g carb per serving
2 eggs
5 oz. / 150 g bacon cut in cubes
3 oz. / 75 g butter
2 oz. / 50 g fresh spinach
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
Salt and pepper according to taste

If you love cheese, you might want to mix in some grated cheddar or sprinkle parmesan on top before baking. Sautéed onions are another yummy possible addition.
Please see cooking instructions 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. Do not substitute fresh chives for dried, as the finished dish will taste musty.

Storage:
Keep fresh chives refrigerated for up to three days.

Preparation:
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.


Hope you may enjoy this recipe suggestion soon ...

All the best Jan