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Tuesday, 31 July 2018

“Pills always cause harm”: BMJ editor-in-chief calls for lifestyle changes over medication



"“Pills always cause harm”: BMJ editor-in-chief calls for lifestyle changes over medication.

As chronic disease rates increase and the pharmaceutical industry grows in size, are we in danger of believing that popping a pill can solve problems caused by an unhealthy lifestyle?

BMJ editor-in-chief Fiona Godlee certainly thinks so. She cites new US guidelines that would label more than half of adults aged over 45 as hypertensive, exploding rates of type 2 diabetes, and a market for drugs for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease of an estimated $1.6bn by 2020, pointing out that all of these conditions could be addressed by adopting healthier lifestyles. She cites a recent review led by a Cambridge University professor finding that:

Whether by calorie or carbohydrate restriction, weight loss has been shown to improve glycaemic control, blood pressure, and lipid profile and is the key to treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes.

Fiona Godlee has made a point, since she took up the position of editor-in-chief of The BMJ, of standing up for what she believes in. She has, in the past criticized the corruption of medicine and science by the pharmaceutical industry. She also stood behind a decision to publish a critique of the US dietary guidelines by Nina Teicholz, after a correction was published about one of the references. Godlee has spoken up in the past about the way diabetes is treated, describing the way insulin is “pushed” on to diabetic patients as “a scam”. Now, in the latest edition of the BMJ, an article by Godlee describes the growth of the pharmaceutical industry and the growing number of people to be put on medication as:

An appalling prospect. Pills can’t be the answer to diseases caused by unhealthy living. As well as unsustainable cost for often marginal benefit, they always cause harm. Rather than medicating almost the entire adult population, let’s invest our precious resources in societal and lifestyle change, public health, and prevention.

The BMJ: Pills are not the answer to unhealthy lifestyles

Increasingly, people around the world are dramatically improving their health and either reducing or eliminating their need for medications by following a low carbohydrate diet." 
The above article and image from Diet Doctor site here

All the best Jan

Monday, 30 July 2018

Rustic Ratatouille ... so tasty and so colourful !


Rustic ratatouille is really simple yet wonderfully colourful. Tuck in quick - before it's all gone!

Ingredients:
Serves Four
225g cherry tomatoes
1 red onion
1 medium aubergine (eggplant)
1 yellow pepper
2 red peppers
2 courgettes
1 fennel bulb, small
90ml olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
10g fresh basil, torn
1 pinch salt

1 pinch black pepper

Method:
1. Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4, 220°C, fan 200°C.
2. Peel the onions, cut into quarters and then cut each quarter lengthways again. Roughly chop the remaining vegetables to a similar size and place into a large bowl with the onions.
3. Pour over the olive oil, add the garlic and use your hands to mix thoroughly. Spread out the vegetables in a roasting tray and season with salt and pepper.
4. Place the roasting tray in the oven. Once the vegetables have started to colour, around 10-15 minutes, add the tomato and basil.
5. Mix well and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are well coloured but remain reasonably crunchy in texture.

6. Remove from the oven, season to taste and serve.

Nutrition Per Serving:
Carbohydrate 13.6g Protein 4.1g Fat 11g
From an original idea here

Aubergines (eggplants) are an excellent source of dietary fibre. They are also a good source of Vitamins B1 and B6 and potassium. In addition they are also high in the minerals copper, magnesium and manganese. Aubergines have been recommended for those managing type 2 diabetes or managing weight concerns. Initial studies indicate that phenolic-enriched extracts of aubergine/eggplant may help in controlling glucose absorption, beneficial for managing type 2 diabetes and reducing associated high blood pressure (hypertension). Aubergines may also help to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. These positive effects are likely to be down to nasunin and other phytochemicals in aubergines. Read more about aubergines here


We bring a variety of articles/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

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Gouda Cheese ... and a LCHF recipe suggestion



Gouda, or "How-da" as the locals say, is a Dutch cheese named after the city of Gouda in the Netherlands. It is one of the most popular cheeses in the world, accounting for 50 to 60 percent of the world's cheese consumption. There are seven different types of Gouda cheese, categorized depending on age. Each cheese gets increasingly firmer in texture and richer in flavour than earlier classification. The waxed rind of the cheese also changes by the age as soft, younger Dutch Gouda cheese are identified by yellow, orange, or red wax rinds white mature cheese have black wax coverings. Gouda cheese may be grated, sliced, cubed or melted. It may be used as a table cheese or dessert cheese. 

Gouda is similar in character to another Dutch cheese, Edam. Gouda is a firm cows’ milk cheese with a mild, slightly salty flavour and an elastic texture. It is sometimes flavoured with cumin, or dried in the oven to concentrate its flavour. Gouda can be kept for several years, although aged examples are not widely available outside the Netherlands. Gouda from south Holland is protected, but imitations are produced all over the world. Farmhouse Goudas, made on a small scale, have a fruitier flavour, but are not often exported. Goudas from the traditional region of production will be labelled ‘Noord-Hollandse Gouda’. Young Goudas are eaten fresh, or melted into cooked food; older, drier cheeses can be grated as a garnish. (You can click on the green linked words in the article to find out more). 

If you are looking for a tasty recipe that uses Gouda, this one may fit the bill! It's for a LCHF dish, Courgette/Zucchini, Tomato and Cheese Carpaccio. The recipe suggestion comes from Pascale Naessens, on Diet Doctor site. This courgette/zucchini, tomato and cheese carpaccio, makes a very good vegetarian type twist on the Italian classic. It may be served either as a main course or appetizer, and is quite delicious when the cheese slowly melts over the warm vegetables. 


Ingredients:
Serves Two
2 tomatoes
1 courgette/zucchini
2 tbsp. capers, drained
3½ oz. (100g) gouda cheese, in slices
2 tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
2 tsp balsamic vinegar, syrup
1 tbsp. olive oil
Full instructions:
for this recipe can be found here

Tip!
If you cannot find balsamic syrup, you can make it yourself with regular balsamic vinegar. Boil the vinegar in a saucepan and let it reduce until you get a thick syrup.

Another Tip!
If you are not too bothered about presentation, don't bother with putting it in a ring mold! Just melt the gouda on the veggies in the frying pan and slide it out onto a plate. Yum!

Toasted sesame seeds!
You can use natural sesame seeds but if you have some more time and want that extra flavour, Pascale recommends toasting them. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking dish with parchment paper. Spread the sesame seeds on the prepared baking dish and bake for 6-10 minutes. Check the seeds frequently to make sure they're not burning. Let them become crispy. They should not become dark brown; take them out when they are lightly browned. If necessary, reduce the oven temperature and let them roast a little bit more. Make extras as you can keep them for a few days on a piece of waxed paper in a cool place and use them in other dishes. If they lose their crunch, put them back in the oven for a few minutes.





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

All the best Jan

Saturday, 28 July 2018

If tomorrow never comes - Belinda Kinnaer

Saturday night is music night, I like this cover of a Garth Brooks song nice video too, enjoy
Graham

Ways to Improve Your Digestion Naturally !



"The 12 Best Ways to Improve Your Digestion Naturally.

Everyone experiences occasional digestive symptoms such as upset stomach, gas, heartburn, nausea, constipation or diarrhoea. However, when these symptoms occur frequently, they can cause major disruptions to your life. Fortunately, diet and lifestyle changes can have a positive impact on your gut health.
Here are 12 evidence-based ways to improve your digestion naturally:-

1. Eat Real Food
Diets high in processed foods have been linked to a higher risk of digestive disorders. Eating a diet low in food additives, trans fats and artificial sweeteners may improve your digestion and protect against digestive diseases.

2. Get Plenty of Fibre
A high-fibre diet promotes regular bowel movements and may protect against many digestive disorders. Three common types of fibre are soluble and insoluble fibre, as well as prebiotics.

3. Add Healthy Fats to Your Diet
Fat keeps food moving smoothly through your digestive system. What’s more, omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, which may prevent inflammatory bowel diseases.

4. Stay Hydrated
Insufficient fluid intake is a common cause of constipation. Increase your water intake by drinking non-caffeinated beverages and eating fruits and vegetables that have a high water content.

5. Manage Your Stress
Stress can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Incorporating stress management techniques, such as deep belly breathing, meditation or yoga, may improve not only your mindset but also your digestion.

6. Eat Mindfully
Eating slowly and mindfully and paying attention to every aspect of your food, such as texture, temperature and taste, may help prevent common digestive issues such as indigestion, bloating and gas.

7. Chew Your Food
Chewing food thoroughly breaks it down so that it can be digested more easily. The act also produces saliva, which is needed for proper mixing of food in your stomach.

8. Get Moving
Exercise may improve your digestion and reduce symptoms of constipation. It can also help reduce inflammation, which may be beneficial in preventing inflammatory bowel conditions.

9. Rebalance Your Stomach Acid 
Low stomach acid may cause digestive symptoms such as nausea, heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux. Drinking 1–2 teaspoons (5–10 ml) of raw apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water before meals may help increase your stomach acid.

10. Slow Down and Listen to Your Body
Not paying attention to your hunger and fullness cues and eating when you’re emotional or anxious can negatively impact digestion. Taking time to relax and pay attention to your body’s cues may help reduce digestive symptoms after a meal.

11. Ditch Bad Habits
Bad habits such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol and eating late at night can cause digestive issues. To improve digestion, try to avoid these damaging habits.

12. Incorporate Gut-Supporting Nutrients
Certain nutrients are necessary for a healthy digestive tract. Ensuring that your body gets enough probiotics, glutamine and zinc may improve your digestion.

The Bottom Line
Simple diet and lifestyle changes may help improve your digestion if you experience occasional, frequent or chronic digestive symptoms. Eating a whole-foods diet high in fibre, healthy fat and nutrients is the first step toward good digestion. Practices such as mindful eating, stress reduction and exercise can also be beneficial. Finally, ditching bad habits that may affect your digestion — such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol and late-night eating — may help relieve symptoms as well."

Words above taken from an article by Melissa Groves RD.
Read her full article, with all relevant links here

Regular readers will know … there is a variety of articles and recipe ideas 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

Friday, 27 July 2018

Vegetable Frittata : LCHF


This LCHF Vegetable Frittata is a Julia McPhee recipe, and is a great addition to any low carb recipe collection. It's one that the family can enjoy, or why not keep it to the 'two of you' like Eddie and I so often do! If there are any leftovers - just keep them for tomorrow's lunch! 

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

Instructions: 

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

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

Need help with weight / measurement conversion: 
Look here 

Are you a quiche or a frittata person ? 
Read more here 

Regular readers will know … there is a variety of recipe ideas 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

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Chicken, Avocado, Bacon with Tarragon : A Tasty Salad Bowl


This may be just what you are looking for … it makes a perfect, speedy and tasty salad lunch - or perhaps a weekday meal - you choose! A simple chicken and avocado salad does make a mouth-watering dish and doesn't take too long to prepare.

Ingredients
Serves Four
6 lean bacon rashers
1 large avocado, cut into wedges
400g (13oz) cooked chicken, shredded
4 spring onions (scallions), minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
150g frozen peas, thawed
2 tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped

For the dressing
3 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard 

Method
1. In a glass jar with a fitted lid, combine the dressing ingredients with a pinch each of salt and sugar; set aside.
2. Cook the bacon in a hot frying pan until crisp, then break into pieces.
3. Combine the avocado, chicken, spring onion (scallion), celery and peas in a serving bowl. Give the dressing a good shake, then pour it over the salad and toss to combine. Add the bacon and tarragon and mix again.
4. Eat and enjoy!

Nutritional Details Per Serving
Carbohydrate 5.2g Protein 37g Fat 32g

From an original idea here





Tarragon is a popular and versatile herb, it has an intense flavour that's a unique mix of sweet aniseed and a mild vanilla. The leaves are narrow, tapering and slightly floppy, growing from a long, slender stem. It's a key herb in French cuisine (it's an essential ingredient in sauce Bernaise), and goes very well with eggs, cheese and poultry.

Choose the best:
Go for fresh-looking leaves, with no dis-colouration or wilting. French tarragon is considered to be the best - its flavour is more subtle than the coarser Russian tarragon. Dried tarragon is also available. Or, for a ready supply, keep a pot on your windowsill, or grow in your garden or window box.

Prepare it:
Wash, then use whole sprigs or strip the leaves from the stalks and use whole or chopped.

Store it:
Fresh cut tarragon should be wrapped in damp kitchen paper, placed in a perforated bag and stored in the fridge. It will last for around 4-5 days. Dried tarragon should be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dark place - it should last for 4-6 months.

Cook it:
Use to make sauces for fish and poultry. Add to salad dressings; use to flavour butter or white wine vinegar.

I hope you may enjoy this recipe suggestion soon... but please note, we bring a variety of recipe suggestions 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

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Liver's Super Powers !



Both Eddie and I enjoy eating liver … especially a liver and bacon casserole see recipe here, but do you like liver? 

"If you are like almost 50% of Anglo-Western populations, the answer is likely no.

In fact, surveys in some countries — UK, US, Canada — regularly find that liver is always among the top five most hated foods, often taking the #1 spot.

To me, that’s a shame because various types of liver— beef liver, lamb liver, chicken liver in particular — are an inexpensive, tasty, nutritious food that is great on the low carb / keto diet.

Many people could be missing out on a powerful addition to their LCHF way of eating because of some preconceived notions or ancient aversions.

Liver’s super powers!
In fact, liver is a low carb/keto super food. Gram for gram, it is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.
Here are some of liver’s super powers:
It is a fabulous source of protein; 100 grams of chicken liver has 26 grams of protein; 100 grams of beef liver has 29 grams of protein.
It contains all the B vitamins, and is particularly rich in B12, an essential vitamin for functioning of every cell in the body — that can only be obtained naturally through animal foods. Liver has levels ten times higher or more than other common sources.
It is a terrific source of folate (Vitamin B9), which is also essential for key cellular processes – and especially essential for women in the reproductive years.
It is the highest source of Vitamin A of any food — which is needed for healthy eyes, skin, teeth, bones, immune system, cellular functions.(Too much Vitamin A can be toxic, so it means you cannot eat liver every day, if you do happen to love it).
It is a fabulous source of key minerals that are all essential to healthy body process, especially iron, selenium, chromium, phosphorus, and copper.

With all these attributes, it is no wonder that liver and other organ meats have been so prized by cultures like the Inuit of Northern Canada and Sami of Northern Scandinavia. Animals seem to naturally know its benefits. Predatory animals, like lions, wolves and other carnivores usually open’s their prey’s abdomen to eat the organs — especially liver —first."

The above is a snippet of an article by Anne Mullens.
Why not read it in full, with all related links, here

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Leafy Green Vegetables ... so healthy !



"The 14 Healthiest Leafy Green Vegetables


Leafy green vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre but low in calories. Eating a diet rich in leafy greens can offer numerous health benefits including reduced risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and mental decline.

Here are 14 of the healthiest leafy green vegetables to include in your diet.

1. Kale
Kale is rich in minerals, antioxidants and vitamins, particularly vitamins A, C and K. To reap the most benefits, it’s best eaten raw, as cooking reduces the nutritional profile of the vegetable.

2. Microgreens
Microgreens are immature greens, which have been popular since the 1980s. They’re flavourful and packed with nutrients like vitamins C, E and K. What’s more, they can be grown all year.

3. Broccoli
Broccoli  is part of the cabbage family and packs several nutrients, including the plant compound sulforaphane, which may decrease heart disease and cancer risk and improve your gut flora and even symptoms of autism.

4. Collard Greens
Collard greens have thick leaves and are bitter in taste. They’re one of the best sources of vitamin K, may reduce blood clots and promote healthy bones.

5. Spinach
Spinach is a popular leafy green vegetable that can be used in a variety of ways. It’s a great source of folate, which may prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, during pregnancy.

6. Cabbage
Cabbage has thick leaves and comes in various colours. It has cancer-protective properties and can be turned into sauerkraut, which offers additional health benefits.

7. Beet Greens
Beet greens are edible green leaves found on the tip of beets. They’re full of nutrients, including antioxidants that may support eye health.

8. Watercress
Watercress has been used in medicine for centuries. Some studies have shown that watercress may be beneficial in cancer treatment.

9. Romaine Lettuce
Romaine lettuce is a popular lettuce found in many salads. It’s full of water and fibre, making it a great food to help you lose weight. It’s also rich in vitamins A and K.

10. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is rich in colour and often incorporated into Mediterranean cooking. It contains the flavonoid syringic acid, which may be beneficial for reducing blood sugar levels. However, human-based research on its effectiveness is lacking.

11. Arugula
Arugula is a leafy green vegetable that goes by several different names, including rocket and rucola. It’s rich in vitamins and naturally occurring nitrates, which may help reduce blood pressure and improve blood flow.

12. Endive
Endive is a lesser-known leafy green vegetable that is curly and crisp in texture. It contains several nutrients, including the antioxidant kaempferol, which may reduce cancer cell growth.

13. Bok Choy
Bok choy is popular in China and often used in soups and stir-fries. It’s one of the only leafy green vegetables that contain selenium, which benefits your brain health, immunity, cancer protection and thyroid health.

14. Turnip Greens
Turnip greens come from the greens of a turnip plant and are considered a cruciferous vegetable. Studies have found that they may decrease stress in your body and reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, inflammation and atherosclerosis.

The Bottom Line
Leafy green vegetables are packed with important and powerful nutrients that are critical for good health. Fortunately, many leafy greens can be found year round, and they can easily be incorporated into your meals — in surprising and diverse ways. To reap the many impressive health benefits of leafy greens, make sure to include a variety of these vegetables in your diet."

Words above taken from an article by Autumn Enloe.
Read the full article, with relevant links here

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

All the best Jan

Monday, 23 July 2018

Camembert Cheese ... and a LCHF recipe suggestion


Camembert is a soft cows’ milk cheese with a furry white rind speckled with beige, and a creamy, pale interior which becomes increasingly yellow as the cheese matures. The best examples are usually made from raw milk, but most mass-produced camembert's are now pasteurised.

When fully ripe, camembert has a pungent, strongly-flavoured and runny interior somewhat similar to the milder brie. Unlike brie, which is produced in large flat wheels, camembert is made in individual cheeses about 11cm/4.5in in diameter.

Buyer's guide:
The very best camembert, made in the traditional way, will be labelled Camembert de Normandie appellation d’origine contrôlée au lait cru, which means it has been made from unpasteurised milk in a particular region of northern France. Good camembert is also made in south-west England.

Camembert becomes increasingly soft as it matures, and should be springy to the touch when ripe. It’s available year-round, but AOC Camembert is considered to be at its best from March to October.

Storage:

Unripe camembert should not be refrigerated, as this will disrupt the maturing process: keep it in a cool place for a few days before consuming.

More about Camembert Cheese here

Coconut Camembert : LCHF



Serves 2
½ Camembert cheese,
1 egg, beaten,
2 tbsp. fine desiccated coconut,
olive oil for frying,
30g baby spinach,
5 cherry tomatoes,
10 slices cucumber,
40g berries of your choice,
balsamic vinegar, to serve

Method:
1. Cut the cheese into 4 wedges; dip each wedge in beaten egg and then coconut to coat.

2. Heat the oil in a small pan and cook wedges for 30-60 seconds each side until golden brown.

3. Make a salad by tossing together the spinach, tomatoes, cucumber and berries
and serve cheese wedges on top, drizzled with vinegar.

This makes such a lovely lunch, or starter
from an original idea
here


You will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas 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

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Lemon Ice Cream : Low Carb : Lovely for Summer Days



Why not treat, the whole family to this fresh and creamy low carb/keto dessert. Summery home-made ice cream, bursting with luscious citrus flavour, and it's sugar free too!

Ingredients:
Six Servings
3g carbs per serving
1 lemon, zest and juice
3 eggs
1⁄3 cup / 75ml / 50g erythritol (sweetener)
1¾ cups / 425ml heavy (double) whipping cream
¼ tsp yellow food colouring (optional)

Tips:
Quickest made with an ice cream maker - but you don't have to own one, just be more patient before it's ready to eat!

Of course you could 'switch up your citrus! Limes and grapefruit make yummy ice cream flavours, too. If you try a grapefruit, use only one tablespoon of juice for every two servings of ice cream.'

Instructions:
Can be found here 

Lemons, so handy when cooking:


They are oval in shape, with a pronounced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits around, and contain a high level of Vitamin C. Although the juicy yellow flesh is a little too sour to eat on its own, its citrus fragrance and tartness means it's wonderful combined with all manner of ingredients and dishes, from the sweet to the savoury. The bright yellow skin can be used as well, when zested. Why not make them a kitchen essential!
You can read more about lemons here

You will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas 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, 21 July 2018

Leslie Grace - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

It's music night, and tonight a cover of the Shirelles classic sixties hit with a difference she switches to Spanish during the song. 
Graham

Ray Davies (Kinks)Days Glastonbury 2010

Here is a song for the people in our lives who have passed on. The people that gave to us, and we can never repay, the people who gave us a moral compass, and a work ethic, the people that kept us on the straight and narrow, the people who told us what we did not want to hear, for our own good. Eddie

Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade of Pale, live in Denmark 2006

Saturday night again and music night here. No apologies for posting this masterpiece again, in my opinion one of the greatest 'pop songs' of my life. Don't ask me what it is all about, I don't think the guy who wrote it really knows. Who cares, enjoy. Eddie

Study first to show that low-carb diets can improve blood flow in as little as four weeks


Saw this article quite recently and thought it one to share …

"While Men Lose More Weight on Low-carb Diets, Women Show Greater Improvements in Artery Flexibility.

Study first to show that low-carb diets can improve blood flow in as little as four weeks.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1 out of 3 American adults live with higher than normal blood sugar levels known as prediabetes. Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine recently found that while men may lose more weight on low-carb diets, women actually see better improvements in artery flexibility. It’s a finding that may help pre-diabetic women reduce their risk for heart disease through a low-carb diet.

“Previous research has shown that as women age, their blood vessels stiffen more so than men, putting them at an increased risk of heart disease,” said Elizabeth Parks, PhD, professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at MU. “Contrary to what you may think, you actually don’t want stiff blood vessels. Rather, you want flexible vessels that expand slowly as the blood flows through them. Our study found that low-carb diets helped reduce the stiffness of arteries in women, which can, in turn, reduce their risk of developing serious heart conditions.”

To illustrate this, Parks compares good vessels to be like a rubber hose and aging causing vessels to become stiff, similar to a plastic pipe. When you pour water through a rubber hose, the hose bends and flexes as the water makes its way through. When you pour water through a solid pipe, the water travels through the pipe quickly. In the human body, for good health, we want flexible, pliable, resilient arteries.

As part of the study, 20 middle-aged, pre-diabetic men and women were given carb-restricted meals provided by the MU Nutrition Centre for Health for two weeks and were supplied meal planning instructions for an additional two weeks. Over the four-week period, the men in the study lost 6.3 percent of their body weight, while women lost 4.4 percent. However, using an arterial stiffness measurement called pulse wave velocity, the women showed reduced blood flow speeds of 1 meter per second, while men showed no changes in blood flow speed.

“Vascular stiffness is a natural process of aging that can be accelerated by obesity, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome,” said Parks, who also serves as associate director of the MU Clinical Research Centre. “Our study is the first to demonstrate that weight loss can reduce arterial stiffness in as little as four weeks and that dietary carbohydrate restriction may be an effective treatment for reducing aortic stiffness in women.”

The study, “Effect of carbohydrate restriction-induced weight loss on aortic pulse wave velocity in overweight men and women,” recently was published online by Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. In addition to Parks, study authors also include Majid Syed-Abdul, Qiong Hu, Miriam Jacome-Sosa, Jaume Padilla and Camila Manrique-Acevedo with the MU School of Medicine. Colette Heimowitz, an expert in low-carb diets from the company, Atkins Nutritionals, was also an author. The study was funded by the University of Missouri and Atkins Nutritional, who also provided some of the foods subjects ate. Parks is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Atkins Nutritionals Inc, led by Heimowitz. Neither conducted data collection and remained blinded during data analysis. The other study authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies."

Words and picture from original article here
Couldn't you just tuck into some of that lovely looking food!

All the best Jan

Friday, 20 July 2018

Crab-stuffed Avocado with a Buttermilk Dressing : A Healthy LCHF Dish !


This simple seafood salad recipe suggestion from 'Tesco' uses avocados as the perfect pockets for holding sweet, lime-dressed crab meat. Drizzled with a tangy buttermilk dressing, this makes a tasty lunch idea that's ready in just ten minutes. 

Ingredients:
Serves Two
100g (3 1/2oz) fresh or tinned white crab meat
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 tbsp. finely chopped coriander
1 shallot, finely chopped
handful baby salad leaves
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 avocados, halved and stoned
For the dressing
2 tbsp. buttermilk
1 tsp Tabasco

1 tsp mayonnaise 
Method:
1. In a small bowl, combine the crab meat, lime zest, coriander and shallot. To make the dressing, mix the lime juice, buttermilk, Tabasco and mayonnaise in a small jug. Season well.

2. Divide the salad leaves, tomatoes and avocado halves between 2 plates. Fill each avocado with the crab mixture, then drizzle over the dressing.
Nutrition per serving: 
Carbohydrate 6.9g Protein 14.5g Fat 30g




Avocados are full of healthy fats
Over 75% of the fat content in an avocado is great for your heart! In fact, having more of these healthy unsaturated fats is better for your heart than eating low fat!

They're nutrient dense

Avocados are packed with beneficial nutrients to enhance the nutrient quality of your meals. 

Avocado boosts your eye health
Avocados contain 81mg of lutein & zeaxanthin, antioxidants known to support eye health as we age. 

They have more potassium than a banana!
Bananas are known for their potassium content, but per 100g, the avocado fruit contains 485mg of potassium, that's 127mg more than bananas! 

They're super versatile
Known for guacamole, dips, and other savoury dishes, yet avocados are appearing more and more in sweet dishes too. Think chocolate mousse, ganache, smoothies and ice cream! 

You can make ice cream with avocado!
A brilliant, dairy-free, vegan alternative to store-bought ice cream varieties, simply blend 1/2 an avocado and a squeeze of lime juice with 2 tbsp. of maple syrup and 1 cup of your milk of choice. Pour into ice block moulds and freeze.
Read more about Avocados here

You will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas 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

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Courgettes/Zucchini ... don't come better than this !

Following on from our 'dream to reality', which regular readers of this blog may recall, we have settled in so well … but if you don't know what I'm talking about see this post here

We have some lovely neighbours who grow their own organic vegetables and were kind enough to give us some wonderful courgettes (zucchini), pictured below...


I just knew how I was going to use them … washed and sliced, then sautéed in butter with mushrooms, some cherry tomatoes, seasoning and lovely mixed herbs. So simple and so delicious! They went perfectly with a fillet of salmon and a spoonful of mashed swede (rutabaga), such a tasty low carb meal. I just happened to have some feta cheese in the fridge too, so I cubed it and 'sprinkled it' over the courgette (zucchini) mix... 


If you’re already living the LCHF lifestyle, you will know that courgettes/zucchini are low in carbs, just 2g. carb per 100g, and they are probably high up on your must buy shopping (or growing) list. They may not pack the nutritional punch of other green vegetables (broccoli, kale etc.) but they do contain significant levels of potassium to control blood pressure and vitamin C to boost your immune system. Hope you may enjoy some courgettes (zucchini) soon !

A variety of articles and 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

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Low-Carb Pantry Essentials

Libby at Ditch The Carbs site has recently posted about "Some low-carb pantry essentials that are needed to be successful on your road to low-carb living. Here are 20 items you should have in your pantry … many of which you might already have!



1: Almond flour/meal

2: Coconut flour

3: Erythritol/xylitol/stevia

4: Nuts and seeds

5: Cream cheese

6: Coconut oil

7: Extra Virgin Olive Oil

8: Cocoa powder (unsweetened)

9: Avocado oil

10: Coconut cream

11: Cacao nibs

12: Herbs and spices

13: Flaxseeds/linseeds

14: Macadamia nuts

15: Psyllium husks

16: Nut butters

17: Tinned/canned tuna

18: Tomato paste

19: Coconut butter

20: Vanilla

So there you have it! 20 low-carb pantry essentials. All of these are nutrition packed and perfect for starting your low-carb life. Have fun cooking and baking up a storm!"

Words and picture above from Libby's site, where she gives a full explanation of each essential …
Why not go over and see/read more, use this link here

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

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

RCGP launches GP training on low carb diet for diabetes patients

GPs are being offered training about the ‘transformative’ benefits of a lower carbohydrate diet for type two diabetes patients through a new online course launched by the RCGP.

The 30-minute learning module, entitled ‘Type 2 diabetes and the low GI diet’, explains the role carbohydrates and the glycaemic index play in people’s diets.

It also ‘reminds’ GPs about ‘basic physiological concepts such as glycolysis, gluconeogenesis and lipolysis and their role in diabetes,’ said the RCGP.

The training is broken into three sections including an assessment of current knowledge, information about the benefits of a low carbohydrate diet, and a quiz.

It has been developed by Dr David Unwin, who previously won the NHS Innovator of the Year award in 2016 for his research into a low carbohydrate diet as an alternative to drug therapy in type two diabetes.

Dr Unwin, who wrote the module in collaboration with Diabetes.co.uk, said: 'Implementing a low-carb approach for people with T2D has been transformative for our patients and practice staff, with significant diabetes drug budget savings into the bargain of over £35,000 a year.

'Many patients understand they should give up sugar but still consume high glycaemic index carbohydrates that digest down into surprising amounts of glucose.

‘We see proud patients putting their diabetes into drug-free remission on a weekly basis by cutting the carbs.'

RCGP medical director for eLearning Dr Dirk Pilat said: ‘This course discusses the role of carbohydrates and the glycaemic index in our diet and specifically its importance for individuals with type two diabetes.

‘It reminds primary care health professionals about basic physiological concepts such as glycolysis, gluconeogenesis and lipolysis and their role in diabetes.’

‘Using real-world examples, it discusses the importance of a low-GI diet for patients affected by diabetes and how to maximise the potential of lifestyle modification to create patient impact,’ he added.

Research has previously shown type two diabetes can be reversed through an intensive weight management programme. The programme includes a low calorie, nutrient-complete diet for three to five months, food reintroduction, an increase in physical activity and long-term support to maintain weight loss.

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/

Graham

Trumps caddie


Well, I thought it was funny. Eddie

Monday, 16 July 2018

Lemon and Rosemary Pork with a Chickpea Salad




Why not jazz up pork with lemon and rosemary for a feel-good supper that's on the table in under half an hour …

Ingredients
Serves Four
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
4 cloves garlic, crushed
juice and zest ½ lemon
4 boneless pork steaks, trimmed of fat
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
2 x 400g/14oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

110g mixed salad leaves

Method:
1. Mix olive oil, rosemary, garlic, lemon juice and zest in a large bowl. Add pork, turn to coat and season well. If you have time marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Heat a large non-stick frying pan. Lift the pork out of the marinade, shaking off any excess and reserving the marinade for later. Cook the pork in the pan for 3-4 minutes each side or until cooked through. Rest on a plate while you make the salad.
3. Pour the reserved marinade into the pan with the onion. Cook for 1 minute over a high heat before adding the vinegar, plus 3 tbsp. water. Bubble down for 1 minute, until the onion has softened a little and the dressing thickened slightly. Stir through chickpeas, some salt and pepper and any of the resting juices from the pork. Put salad leaves into a bowl, tip in the pan contents and gently toss, before eating immediately with the pork.
4. Enjoy!

Nutrition Per Serving:
Fat 17g Carbs 23g Protein 40g 
From an original idea here 

Chickpeas, are also called garbanzo beans, and many find them a healthy way to add more protein and other essential nutrients to meals. They are good sources of fibre, iron, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, magnesium, folate, thiamine, riboflavin and vitamin B-6. However, as regular readers of this blog know … you will find a variety of recipe ideas within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter. 

All the best Jan