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Saturday, 16 February 2019

With a Spring In Our Step ...

Did you know that the first day of Spring in 2019 is Wednesday, the 20th of March - well that is what the calendar may tell us - but out and about yesterday it really was a lovely spring-like day. In fact many in the UK experienced temperatures around 16C (61F) and the unseasonably mild weather saw the warmest Valentine’s Day (14th February) in more than twenty years recorded in the Welsh town of Bala, Gwynedd.

There was definitely 'a spring in our step' as Eddie and I enjoyed a walk in the garden,
the crocus were pleased to see the sunshine, as they formed a ring around the tree

Several clumps of snowdrops looked so beautiful,
as they bowed their heads in the sunlight

and the early daffodils were such a cheerful sight

Leaving the garden behind, we just enjoyed a walk around the neighbourhood, sometimes it's just the simple things of life that are so pleasing … 

Of course the first thing I did on our return was put the kettle on, well you just can't beat a nice cup of tea (or coffee), especially if you have a small piece of low carb Black Forest Gateau with it … please see recipe details here

Wishing all readers a Happy Weekend
All the best Jan

Friday, 15 February 2019

Low Carb Savoury Buffet Ideas - Here are Five

If you are looking for ideas for a low carb savoury buffet
how about these five suggestions

Prosciutto & rocket rolls
more details here

Stilton bites, a crisp and refreshing canapé
more details here

Eggs on the go
more details here

Black Olive Penguins - Have you met Pingu?
more details here

Mini Aubergine / Eggplant Pizzas
more details here

Hope these ideas will help - enjoy your buffet
How about some flowers too?

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

All the best Jan

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Turmeric Seeded Loaf : Gluten-Free

As regular readers of this blog will know, we share a variety of articles and recipe ideas, but 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. 

The recipe shared today is a nourishing combination of nuts, seeds, and turmeric, it may soon become a staple in your kitchen... read on and see what you think. 

Makes 9 x 30 cm (3.5 x 12 inch) loaf
200 g (7 oz. / 2 cups) almond meal
60 g (2.25 oz. / 1/2 cup) walnuts
50 g (1.75 oz. / 1/2 cup) flaked almonds
75 g (2.75 oz. / 1/2 cup) pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
40 g (1.5 oz. / 1/4 cup) sunflower seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
15 g (1/2 oz. / 1/4 cup) coconut flakes
3 eggs
2 egg whites
90 g (3.25 oz.) butter or coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons rice malt syrup
1/2 banana, mashed

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) and line a 9 × 30 cm (3.5 × 12 inch) loaf (bar) tin with baking paper.
2. Combine the almond meal, nuts, seeds, salt, turmeric, baking powder and coconut flakes in a large bowl.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix until well combined.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 45–50 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

5. Allow to cool in the tin before slicing.
From an original idea here

    Turmeric is a spice with a strong, earthy flavour that's often used in curries and other Indian dishes. It has received a lot of attention for its content of the powerful anti-inflammatory nutrient curcumin. Turmeric is effective at reducing the inflammation related to arthritis, diabetes and other diseases.

    nothing to do with a seeded turmeric loaf!
    But I happened to see some yellow crocus yesterday, very similar to these … 
    Spring is coming !

    All the best Jan

    Wednesday, 13 February 2019

    To Celebrate Valentines Day 2019

    In celebration of Valentine's Day here is a bunch of flowers and a special dessert that you may like to try... if you'd like to find out a lot more interesting details about Valentine's Day (and there is quite a lot) why not go across to Mike's, 'A Bit About Britain,' blog. He has a recent post called 'Be my Valentine' and you find it here.

     However, you celebrate February 14th Valentine's Day I wish you a good one.

    Lemon Yoghurt Cheesecake : The Low Carb Way

    This is a very nice recipe idea from Julia McPhee, a fellow blogger, who lives in New Zealand. It's a 'low Carb lemon yoghurt cheesecake', and is a special dessert - for a special occasion like Valentine's Day! 

    Serves 12
    2.5g carb per serving
    1.5 - 2 cups Almond meal or almond flour
    150 g. Butter (melted)
    Juice and rind of 5 medium sized Lemons
    2 cups cream
    1 cup natural Greek yoghurt (full fat, unsweetened)
    2 tsp Natvia (or sweetener of choice)
    2 tbsp. Gelatine powder
    ¼ cup boiling water

    You will find the instructions here 
    If you should need help with measurement equivalents see here

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

    All the best Jan

    Tuesday, 12 February 2019

    Can you eat rice pudding on a low carb / keto diet ?

    I'm often asked, can you eat rice pudding on a low carb / keto diet ?
    Well, yes you can, please read on and discover why !

    Did you know that in a fairly typical 'old fashioned rice pudding' there are 59.9g carbohydrate (carbs) per one cup serving. If you are a diabetic eating this amount of carbs would result in your blood sugar readings going 'high' ... as your meter would show! Many Type 2 (and Type 1) diabetics exclude rice from their menu plans because of this reason ... elevated blood sugar readings are the last thing a well controlled diabetic would want. So if you are diabetic, or indeed like me a non-diabetic but choose to live the LCHF lifestyle - what do you do?

    Well, for many of the higher carb foods there are excellent alternatives, and you can swap many foods e.g. pasta for courgette, tacos for lettuce etc.

    If you may be looking for a low carb (alternative) version of 'rice pudding' then look no further. Anne Aobadia at Diet Doctor site has come up with this super 'Creamy Cottage Cheese Pudding' …  'this is a low-carb version of the classic rice pudding - and you can serve (and enjoy) it all year round'

    Serves Six

    just 4g carb per serving 

    300 g cottage cheese
    300 ml heavy (double) whipping cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    60 g fresh raspberries or other berries of your liking 

    Delicious serves with red berries of your choice, or why not try a few wedges of a clementine ...

    Just look at the difference in carb count:
    4g per serving in the low carb version

    59.9g per serving in the 'old fashioned' version 

    Please see original recipe and instructions here
    I do hope you may enjoy a serving soon …

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

    If you would like to read more about eating lower carb foods, and the LCHF lifestyle, why not see our post 'Introduction to low-carb for beginners' here

    All the best Jan

    Monday, 11 February 2019

    Health Benefits of Eating Eggs

    Kris Gunnars BSc writes:
    "Eggs are one of the few foods that should be classified as "superfoods." They are loaded with nutrients, some of which are rare in the modern diet. Here are ten health benefits of eggs that have been confirmed in human studies.

    1. Incredibly Nutritious
    Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. A single large boiled egg contains:
    Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA
    Folate: 5% of the RDA
    Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA
    Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA
    Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA
    Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA
    Selenium: 22% of the RDA
    Eggs also contain decent amounts of vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B6, calcium and zinc. This comes with 77 calories, 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fats. Eggs also contain various trace nutrients that are important for health. In fact, eggs are pretty much the perfect food. They contain a little bit of almost every nutrient you need. If you can get your hands on pastured or omega-3 enriched eggs, these are even better. They contain higher amounts of omega-3 fat and are much higher in vitamin A and E.
    Summary Whole eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet, containing a little bit of almost every nutrient you need. Omega-3 enriched and/or pastured eggs are even healthier. 

    2. High in Cholesterol, but Don't Adversely Affect Blood Cholesterol 
    It is true that eggs are high in cholesterol. In fact, a single egg contains 212 mg, which is over half of the recommended daily intake of 300 mg. However, it's important to keep in mind that cholesterol in the diet doesn't necessarily raise cholesterol in the blood. The liver actually produces large amounts of cholesterol every single day. When you increase your intake of dietary cholesterol, your liver simply produces less cholesterol to even it out. Nevertheless, the response to eating eggs varies between individuals. In 70% of people, eggs don't raise cholesterol at all, and in the other 30% (termed "hyper responders"), eggs can mildly raise total and LDL cholesterol. However, people with genetic disorders like familial hypercholesterolemia or a gene variant called ApoE4 may want to limit or avoid eggs.
    Summary Eggs are high in cholesterol, but eating eggs does not adversely affect cholesterol in the blood for the majority of people. 

    3. Raise HDL (The "Good") Cholesterol 
    HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. It is often known as the "good" cholesterol. People who have higher levels of HDL usually have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and other health problems. Eating eggs is a great way to increase HDL. In one study, eating two eggs per day for six weeks increased HDL levels by 10%.
    Summary Eating eggs consistently leads to elevated levels of HDL (the "good") cholesterol, which is linked to a lower risk of many diseases. 

    4. Contain Choline — an Important Nutrient That Most People Don't Get Enough Of 
    Choline is a nutrient that most people don't even know exists, yet it is an incredibly important substance and is often grouped with the B vitamins. 
    Summary Eggs are among the best dietary sources of choline, a nutrient that is incredibly important but most people aren’t getting enough of. 

    5. Are Linked to a Reduced Risk of Heart Disease 
    LDL cholesterol is generally known as the "bad" cholesterol. It is well known that having high levels of LDL is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. But many people don't realize that LDL is divided into subtypes based on the size of the particles. There are small, dense LDL particles and large LDL particles. Many studies have shown that people who have predominantly small, dense LDL particles have a higher risk of heart disease than people who have mostly large LDL particles. Even if eggs tend to mildly raise LDL cholesterol in some people, studies show that the particles change from small, dense to large LDL, which is an improvement.
    Summary Egg consumption appears to change the pattern of LDL particles from small, dense LDL (bad) to large LDL, which is linked to a reduced heart disease risk. 

    6. Contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin — Antioxidants That Have Major Benefits for Eye Health 
    One of the consequences of aging is that eyesight tends to get worse. There are several nutrients that help counteract some of the degenerative processes that can affect our eyes. Two of these are called lutein and zeaxanthin. They are powerful antioxidants that accumulate in the retina of the eye. Studies show that consuming adequate amounts of these nutrients can significantly reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, two very common eye disorders. Egg yolks contain large amounts of both lutein and zeaxanthin. Eggs are also high in vitamin A, which deserves another mention here. Vitamin A deficiency is the most common cause of blindness in the world.
    Summary The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are very important for eye health and can help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. Eggs are high in both of them. 

    7. Omega-3 or Pastured Eggs Lower Triglycerides 
    Not all eggs are created equal. Their nutrient composition varies depending on how the hens were fed and raised. 
    Summary Omega-3 enriched and pastured eggs may contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Eating these types of eggs is an effective way to reduce blood triglycerides. 

    8. High in Quality Protein, With All the Essential Amino Acids in the Right Ratios 
    Proteins are the main building blocks of the human body. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, with a single large egg containing six grams of it. Eggs also contain all the essential amino acids in the right ratios, so your body is well-equipped to make full use of the protein in them. Eating enough protein can help with weight loss, increase muscle mass, lower blood pressure and optimize bone health, to name a few. 
    Summary Eggs are fairly high in quality animal protein and contain all the essential amino acids that humans need. 

    9. Don’t Raise Your Risk of Heart Disease and May Reduce the Risk of Stroke 
    For many decades, eggs have been unfairly demonized. It has been claimed that because of the cholesterol in them, they must be bad for the heart. Many studies published in recent years have examined the relationship between eating eggs and the risk of heart disease. One review of 17 studies with a total of 263,938 participants found no association between egg intake and heart disease or stroke. On a low-carb diet, which is by far the best diet for people with diabetes, eating eggs leads to improvements in risk factors for heart disease.
    Summary Many studies have looked at egg intake and the risk of heart disease and found no association. However, some studies have found an increased risk in people with type 2 diabetes. 

    10. Are Filling and Tend to Make You Eat Fewer Calories, Helping You Lose Weight 
    Eggs are incredibly filling. They are a high-protein food, and protein is, by far, the most satiating macronutrient. Eggs score high on a scale called the satiety index, which measures the ability of foods to cause feelings of fullness and reduce later calorie intake. In one study of 30 overweight women, eating eggs instead of bagels for breakfast increased feelings of fullness and made them automatically eat fewer calories for the next 36 hours. In another study, replacing a bagel breakfast with an egg breakfast caused significant weight loss over a period of eight weeks. 
    Summary Eggs are highly satiating and may reduce calorie intake later in the day. Regularly eating eggs may promote weight loss.

    The Bottom Line 
    Studies clearly show that eating up to three whole eggs per day is perfectly safe. There is no evidence that going beyond that is harmful — it is just "uncharted territory," as it hasn't been studied. Eggs are pretty much nature's perfect food. On top of everything else, they are also cheap, easy to prepare, go with almost any food and taste awesome."

    The words above are just a snippet from Kris's post. You can see his full article which includes all research and related links, here

    How about this vegetarian breakfast made easy, packed with protein, and yes it uses eggs! What could be better ...

    Breakfast Casserole : Vegetarian low carb / keto

    Serves Four
    5g carbs per serving
    ½ leek
    1⁄3 cup / 75ml green olives
    12 eggs
    1 cup / 225ml heavy (double) whipping cream
    7 oz. / 200g shredded (grated) cheese
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    3 oz. / 75g cherry tomatoes
    1 oz. / 30g parmesan cheese, shredded (grated)
    salt and pepper 

    Of course you may wish to experiment by adding different kinds of vegetables, herbs and seasonings. Note, that you may need to sauté harder veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage a few minutes before adding them to the dish. Approx. five minutes to prepare and 45 minutes to cook ... and you can see the cooking instructions at Diet Doctor site here

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

    All the best Jan

    Sunday, 10 February 2019

    What (low carb) dinner did you enjoy last night ?

    … ours was Beef Bourguignon, low carb and so delicious

    Yes, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you may have already seen and tried this lovely low carb dish, it's one of our favourites, but you can never have too much of a good thing - can you? It really is delicious, why not give it a try soon.

    Serves Two
    250 grams of diced braising steak
    A handful of shallots
    A handful of button mushrooms
    50 grams of smoked bacon lardons
    1 teaspoon of mixed dried herbs
    1 bay leaf (optional)
    2 beef stock cubes
    1 large glass of red wine
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 tablespoon of olive oil

    Heat the oil (to medium heat) in a frying pan. Add the shallots and mushrooms, fry/sauté until golden brown, Remove from pan into oven proof casserole dish.

    Add bacon lardons to pan and cook until they are lightly browned, add to casserole dish.

    Finally put diced beef into frying pan and lightly brown each side of cubed beef then put into casserole dish.

    Make up the beef stock to approx. half to three quarters of a pint, but the red wine should make up about half of the liquid.Bring to a gentle simmer in the frying pan and add the mixed herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

    Pour over the ingredients in the casserole dish, add your bay leaf (optional). Cover and cook for approx. two to two and a half hours at Regulo 4 Electric 180 stirring after the first hour. Serve with steamed broccoli and white cabbage or vegetables of your choice.

    Very delicious, very easy to make and very low carb.

    Hope you enjoy it.

    If you may be looking for a vegetarian version, why not have a look at this Mushroom Bourguignon with Celeriac Mash, see the details here

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

    All the best Jan

    Saturday, 9 February 2019

    Jack Savoretti - Candlelight : Saturday Night Music

    Yes, it's Saturday Night once again, so time for music night on this blog! Giovanni "Jack" Savoretti is an English solo acoustic singer of Italian descent. In fact Savoretti's grandparents hid in the mountains near Genoa, Italy during World War II. His grandfather was posthumously recognised by the city as being the head of the partisan movement that freed Genoa, and that area of Italy, from fascism. Subsequently a street in Genoa has been named in his memory... but back to the music, 'Candlelight'. Many think it has a James Bond feel about it, have a listen and see what you think. All the best Jan 

    Friday, 8 February 2019

    Ways That Having a Pet Can Help Your Diabetes

    Maria Muccioli Ph.D. writes:
    "It is well-established that having a companion animal can do wonders for our health, both physically and emotionally. How can having a pet help with diabetes management? Here are five ways that you can benefit from making a furry friend (or several) a permanent part of your life:

    1. Stress Relief 
    Life with diabetes can be stressful at times. Stress is known to raise blood glucose levels. It is well-known that petting an animal can reduce the levels of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Translation: spending time with your pet may make you calmer. Thus, having a pet can have a direct, positive impact on diabetes management. 

    2. More Exercise 
    Everyone knows that dogs need exercise. After becoming a dog owner almost six years ago, my activity levels increased significantly. Long hikes in the woods are not uncommon. I always notice a positive effect on my blood glucose levels when I incorporate a regular exercise routine on a daily basis.

    Of course, the exercise benefit of pet ownership may be less pronounced if you have an animal that doesn’t require regular walks. Even so, the calories spent on other maintenance activities can add up! Whether you are getting off the couch to play with them or feed them, or even cleaning up their mess, you are likely less sedentary than you would be if you didn’t have them to take care of.

    Image credit: Brian Muccioli

    3. They Have a Sixth Sense 
    Okay, perhaps it is just an enhanced fifth sense. It is well-established that dogs have a heightened sense of smell, and can even be trained to alert people with diabetes to out-of-range or rapidly-changing blood glucose levels.

    Some people purchase a Diabetes Alert Dog (DAD) or even train their own. Incredibly, I’ve found that my dogs (who did not train for this) appear to sense low or rapidly-dropping blood glucose levels and start to lick my face with caring concern when this occurs. In fact, there have been several occasions when I was too busy to notice the early symptoms of hypoglycaemia and my dogs promptly got my attention.

    I am not sure if cats can sense blood glucose levels. Let us know in the comments below if you happen to have a diabetes alert cat!

    4. They Make Us Laugh 
    Pets can be goofy – I know mine are! From her puppy days of tail chasing to the silly faces and noises she makes to her endearing interactions with my one-year-old, my oldest dog certainty makes us smile and laugh on a regular basis.

    At least one study has shown that laughter may be effective in reducing postprandial blood glucose levels. The scientists are not sure whether the physical action of laughing increased glucose utilization by the muscle or if the effects are endocrine-mediated. It appears though, that laughter is good medicine! 

    5. We Can Learn from Them 
    Undoubtedly, humans have evolved to be quite intelligent as compared to other animals. However, this does not mean that we cannot learn valuable things from our pets.

    My biggest lesson? “Shake it off!” Dogs live in the moment. They do not worry about “what-ifs” or what “could be.”

    I think this is a useful strategy to apply to diabetes management. When we see a high blood glucose value, it can be hard not to feel discouraged, especially if we’re struggling to find the reason behind it. Not everything is in our control, but by letting go, we can focus on the present moment and what we can do to make the best of what we have.

    Finally, the unconditional love that a pet provides is priceless. No matter what kind of a day you’ve had, you can count on your pet to be happy to see you when you come home."

    Above article taken from here

    All the best Jan

    Thursday, 7 February 2019

    Mexican Chicken Casserole : Low Carb

    You could well be doing a Mexican hat dance
    after you've eaten this dish …

    Why not give this low carb Mexican chicken casserole a try! It’s a bake, melt, slice and serve kind of meal, and it’s full of cheesy, crunchy, nutrient dense goodness.

    Serves 10
    1 Lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
    2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
    1 Red Bell Pepper
    1 White or Red Onion
    2 Teaspoons Salt
    1 Teaspoon Pepper
    1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
    1 Tablespoon Cumin
    2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
    1/2 Cup Sour Cream
    1 Cup Salsa, spicy or mild depending on preference
    1/4 Cup Heavy (Double) Cream
    1 Cup Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded (grated)

    Cilantro, to garnish

    Help with weight/measurement conversion
    see here 

    1. Preheat oven to 350F.
    2. Cook the chicken anyway you’d like. Allow chicken to cool, then shred it into bite sized pieces.
    3. Chop bell pepper and onion. Add them to a pan with olive oil, salt and pepper, and sauté until softened. Remove from heat.
    4. In a bowl, mix chili powder, cumin and oregano. Add sour cream, salsa, cooked veggies and shredded chicken and stir to combine.
    5. Pour contents of bowl into a 9x13 casserole dish or large skillet.
    6. Pour heavy (double) cream evenly over the top and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
    7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until casserole is warmed all the way through and the cheese has lightly browned.

    Original recipe with step by step guide (and more) can be seen here

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

    All the best Jan

    Wednesday, 6 February 2019

    Kiwi Fruit : Facts, Nutrition and a Recipe for a Low Carb Kiwi Fruit and Blackberry Cake

    Kiwi fruit:
    The brown and hairy exterior of this egg-shaped fruit doesn't look promising, but inside it's a different story - sweet, yielding, bright green flesh, prettily dotted with black seeds.

    The flavour is distinctive but hard to pin down - some say it's like strawberry, others say pineapple. Its named after the bird of the same name from Zealand, where it's also grown, though its other name, Chinese gooseberry, reflects its original country of origin.

    Very high in vitamin C, kiwi fruit is far better eaten raw - cooking it destroys the vitamin content and the green colour. The enzymes it contains makes it good for tenderising meat, but they'll also cause milk to curdle and will prevent gelatine and aspic from setting, so don't attempt kiwi ice cream or jelly. 

    All year round. 
    Choose the best
    Go for firm fruit that gives slightly when gently squeezed. Avoid wrinkled and bruised fruit. 
    Prepare it
    Peel off the skin with a knife or vegetable peeler, then chop or slice. Alternatively, to eat it as a snack, cut in half and scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon. 
    Store it
    If ripe, keep in the fridge - they'll last around at week. If under-ripe, keep at room temperature.

    Back in 2011 Eddie wrote "Check out the nutrients in a kiwi fruit. OK at around 10 carbs per 100 grams it’s a bit carby. When you consider the average Kiwi fruit weighs around 70 grams, half is only around 3.5 carbs. Thinly slice and serve with some double cream, great grub and very high in vitamin C."

    Kiwi Fruit and Blackberry Clotted Cream Cake
    Low In Carbs

    100 grams of ground almonds
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    2 large eggs
    1 tablespoon of melted butter
    2 tablespoons of double cream
    One Kiwi fruit
    100 grams of blackberries
    125 grams of clotted cream

    Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
    Melt the butter in a Pyrex jug/dish, add the eggs, cream.
    Add the dry ingredients and mix.
    Pour mix into a 6" x 3" micro-wave safe glass dish.
    Microwave in a 700watt for 4 minutes.
    Allow to cool and cut in half.
    Spread on extra thick clotted cream add the sliced kiwi fruit.

    Place top on cake and cover with clotted cream and add the blackberries.
    Tastes fantastic serves six.

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

    All the best Jan

    Tuesday, 5 February 2019

    Tomato, Basil and Lemon Courgette / Zucchini Pasta : It's Low Carb : Vegan : Gluten-free.

    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. There are so many great recipe ideas to enable you to include this great vegetable in your cooking plans, this one for instance!
    It uses Courgette/Zucchini "noodles" sautéed with fresh cherry tomatoes, basil and lemon and it makes a wonderfully fresh and fragrant dish which is low carb, vegan and gluten-free. I wonder, may you give it a try soon?

    Serves Two 
    2 tbsp. olive oil
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    2 tsp lemon zest
    ½ tsp crushed red chili flakes
    ½ lb (250g) cherry tomatoes, halved
    4-6 small courgettes/zucchini, a mix of yellow & green ones is nice if you can get them
    freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon
    fresh basil leaves
    salt and pepper

    Use a julienne peeler or vegetable spiralizer to prepare the courgette/zucchini "noodles"
    Heat olive oil in a frying pan, add garlic, lemon zest, and crushed red chili flakes and cook for one minute.
    Add cherry tomatoes and zucchini, and cook for one minute.

    Add lemon juice, fresh basil, salt and pepper and toss to combine.
    Recipe idea from here

    Enjoy, with a glass of water, or if preferred a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc.

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

    All the best Jan

    Monday, 4 February 2019


    Ever had a framed picture that needed two hands to hold, and struggled to line up the wire or cord with a screw, nail or pin? This looks like a good idea to me.


    Chinese New Year 2019 : Tuesday 5th February

    If one New Year isn't enough, millions of people will be looking ahead to the next big celebration. Chinese New Year will be celebrated across the globe and takes place on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.

    image from google

    If you're wondering why it is different to the traditional UK date which starts on January 1, it is because Chinese New Year marks the start of the lunar year whereas here we use the 'Gregorian' calendar. Sounds a tad confusing but simply, the date of the Chinese New Year follows the start of a new moon, which is why the date changes each year but it usually falls between January 21 and February 20. Though the Gregorian calendar is more widely used, in China the lunar calendar still has its place. 

    The Chinese New Year, which is also known as the Spring Festival, falls in line with the Chinese Zodiac which runs in a 12 year cycle. Twelve animals represent each year: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. And each one has its own characteristics just like the zodiac signs. 

    So, 2019 is the Year of the Pig and in Chinese culture, pigs represent good fortune. Here are the different signs of the Chinese Zodiac for when you were born and what they mean:

    As mentioned above, 2019 marks the year of the pig - oink oink - but it also applies to those born in 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959 and 1947. 
    Those born in in the year of the twelfth zodiac are said to be friendly and relaxed, rarely lose their temper. 
    For pigs, their lucky numbers are two, five and eight and yellow, grey and brown are their lucky colours. But if all is to be believe, pigs are in for an unlucky year in 2019. 
    The first animal of the zodiac is the Rat. Doesn't sound so appealing but characteristics include being clever, quick thinkers and successful. The year of the Rat applies to those born in 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996 and 2008. 
    Hard workers, intelligent and reliable, it's all praise for the Ox even if they never demand it. If you're born in 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997 or 2009 - this applies to you. Blue, yellow and green are lucky colours for the Ox. 
    The characteristics of the tiger are exactly what you'd think they would be. Courageous, active and fans of a challenge and adventure. They year of the tiger was marked in 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998 and 2010. 
    Those born in 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 and 2011 are all Rabbits. Traits of the rabbit include kindness and that there quiet personality makes them appear soft and weak when actually, they are full of confidence and strength - they just don't need to shout about it. 
    Those born in 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000 or 2012 are associated with the dragon. There's a bittersweet twist for those born in this year as they are strong and independent but yearn for support and love. 
    The sixth zodiac, the snake is another that doesn't sound the most appealing but they are not as slippery and as slimy as you may think. Snakes, those born in 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001 and 2013, actually have a deep and complex mind. Red, yellow and black are their lucky colours along with the numbers two, six and eight. 
    In Chinese culture, the Horse represents speed and freedom. Just like their animal counterpart, those born in the year of the horse are full of energy and strongly believe in chasing their dreams. The horse applies to those born in 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002 and 2014. 
    Born in 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991 or 2003? You're a lovely goat. And they are very lovely as they are loving, selfless and always thinking of others. 
    Cheeky monkey definitely rings true in this case as those born in this year are light-hearted pranksters. If you're born in 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992 or 2004, this is you. They're all pretty intelligent, win plenty of awards and gaining professional recognition. The down side? They can be a little arrogant. 
    Who rules the roost? It seems it could in fact be the rooster as they are serious in their work and straightforward and decisive in their actions. Gold, brown and yellow are lucky colours for those born in 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993 and 2005 along with the numbers five, seven and eight. 
    Just like our four-legged friends, those born in the year of the dog are honest, loyal and the truest friends you can have. If you're born in 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994 or 2006 that makes you a dog, and people will want to be friends with you! 
    Words/picture above from article here

    Chinese New Year Recipe Suggestions:
    Chicken recipe how about 'Cashew Chicken', see it here 
    Fish 'Steamed fish with ginger, served with Asian greens' more details here 
    Vegetarian please see these suggestions here 
    Vegan please have a look here

    Dear reader you will find a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas within 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. 

    But to conclude … wherever you are … whatever nationality … at this time I would join in the Chinese custom and wish everyone peace and prosperity in the coming year. Maybe we should add good health too. 

    All the best Jan

    Sunday, 3 February 2019

    Dry Skin? Don’t Always Blame it on Diabetes

    Joy Pape writes: 
    "Many people think that having dry skin is a result of having diabetes. It’s true, but it’s important to know there are other factors that may cause your skin to be dry such as the environment and other underlying conditions. Sure, diabetes can cause havoc all over your body, but it’s not always the cause of everything that may be going wrong. Many times there are other causes. Sometimes your problems may be related, sometimes not. 

    Diabetes can cause your skin, including the skin of your feet, to be dry when you have:
    Higher than normal blood glucose levels pull fluids from your body, causing dry skin.
    Diabetic neuropathy can cause you to sweat less which can be drying to your feet.
    Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) causes dry feet because it affects the arteries that “feed” your legs and feet. 

    Other causes of dry skin and feet may be: 
    Low humidity
    Dry heat in winter months
    Thyroid problems
    Athlete’s foot
    Certain skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema.
    Side effects of certain medications

    When your skin is dry, your skin is more apt to “crack” open or cause calluses. When your skin cracks, you lose the protection your skin provides from the environment. Calluses act like a foreign body, causing pressure, which can then cause a sore. Both situations increase your chance for infection. With diabetes, infections don’t heal as well, which increases your risk for amputation. These problems are preventable and treatable. 

    What you can do for softer, supple skin: 
    Keep your blood glucose and blood pressure in your target range.
    See a podiatrist routinely and for anything that bothers you.
    Use a humidifier in areas with low humidity and during the winter months.
    Be a detective. Talk with your healthcare provider about other causes for dry skin, such as those listed above. Once you’ve detected what the problem is, together you can make up a plan to improve your skin.
    Age healthfully. There’s nothing you can do to turn back the clock, but you can prevent complications and live a healthier life by managing your diabetes.
    You can also keep your skin moist but applying your moisturizer while your skin is damp to “lock in the moisture.”

    NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition." 

    Speaking personally (and I am not diabetic) I always use a moisturiser, especially during the winter months when wind and rain can cause skin to be drier … I'm doing my best to age gracefully and healthfully! 
    Do you use a moisturiser regularly? 

    All the best Jan

    Saturday, 2 February 2019

    Bob Blakeley - Cry Me A River : The Voice - Saturday Night Music

    I wonder do you watch 'The Voice'? Here in the UK the show started on TV back in 2012, and it's still going strong. Back in 2014 "the nation gasped in shock, (me included),  when The Voice judges failed to turn round for Bob Blakeley’s spine-tingling performance of Cry Me A River. The Granddad from Stockport then won the hearts of millions when he cheerfully shook hands with the judges before graciously leaving the stage. However, the story did not end there for the 56 year old warehouse worker. Appearing on BBC Breakfast the following week Bob was offered a deal by music producer and record company boss Mike Batt." I waited patiently and when Bob's CD Album 'Performance' was released bought it - to this day it remains a favourite play. I hope you enjoy Bob's 'Performance' as he sings the classic 'Cry Me A River'.  All the best Jan

    Crispy Chicken with creamy mushrooms and braised leeks

    Chicken has many plus points - its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it can be cooked - make it one of the most popular meats around. It has a high level of good quality protein, as well as B vitamins, iron, copper and selenium. 

    This blog has many chicken recipe suggestions, and below you can see another one! Well you can't have too many can you! It's rich, creamy, full of mushrooms and tastes great, it's also a dish that is good for freezing. 

    Serves Four
    2 tbsp. olive oil
    2 onions, thinly sliced
    250g closed cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
    8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
    400ml chicken stock, made using ½ a stock cube
    100ml half-fat crème fraîche
    2 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
    1½ tsp cornflour
    1 tbsp. roughly chopped parsley, to serve
    For the braised leeks
    2 leeks, rinsed, outer layer discarded, quartered lengthways with root left intact
    1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the onions. Cook for 15-20 mins until softened and lightly golden. Transfer to a roasting tin and set aside.
    2. Add the mushrooms to the pan and turn the heat up to high. Cook for 8-10 mins until soft, then add to the roasting tin.
    3. Season the chicken thighs, add to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook skin side down for 10 mins or until the skin is golden and crisp. Turn and cook for a further 5 mins. Transfer to the roasting tin and wipe the pan clean with kitchen paper.
    4. Pour the chicken stock into the roasting tin and roast for 25 mins or until the chicken is cooked through.
    5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in the frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the leeks, cut side down, and cook for 4 mins or until lightly golden. Using tongs, turn the leeks so the cut sides face up, then pour in 150ml hot water. Cover and simmer for 15-20 mins until tender.
    6. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Put the mushrooms, onions and cooking juices in a saucepan, then stir in the crème fraîche, mustard and cornflour. Season to taste. Simmer for 2-3 mins until thickened.

    7. Divide the chicken and sauce between plates and serve the leeks alongside. Garnish with the parsley and a twist of black pepper.
    Each Serving
    Carbohydrate 11.9g Protein 33.2g Fibre 2.2g Fat 40g 
    Freezing and defrosting guidelines
    To freeze, prepare until the end of step 6, omitting step 5. Cover the chicken in foil, leave to cool, then put in a freezer-proof container on top of the cooled sauce. To reheat, remove from the freezer the day before you want to eat and defrost in the fridge. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Put in a roasting tin, cover with foil and pierce it a few times. Heat for 25 mins while you cook the leeks, then remove the foil and roast for a further 10-15 mins until the chicken is piping hot and the skin is crisp. Once reheated from frozen, eat on the same day – do not reheat a second time. 
    From an original idea here 

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

    All the best Jan