All the best Jan
Sunday, 29 November 2020
All the best Jan
Saturday, 28 November 2020
"Adapted from BMJ Sept 19 Promoting physical activity to patients by Christine Haseler et al.
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has described walking as a miracle cure. Despite this many of us are not as active as we should be and inactivity is thought to result in as many deaths as smoking. More than a quarter of UK adults do less than 30 minutes physical activity a week.
Quantified, these are the benefits of just plain walking:
30% lower all cause mortality, even 10 minutes a day is worthwhile.
20-30% lower risk of dementia.
Better relief from back pain than back exercises
30% lower risk of colon cancer
30% reduction in falls for older adults
22-83% reduction in osteoarthritis
even lower body fat than playing sports
20-35% lower risk of cardiovascular disease
20% lower risk of breast cancer
30-40% lower risk of metabolic syndrome or type two diabetes
The people who need to see their GP before undertaking exercise are few but include people with unstable angina, aortic stenosis or uncontrolled severe hypertension.
In pregnancy the sort of activities that need to stop are: impact activities, lying on the back for long periods, high altitude activities and underwater activities."
All the best Jan
Friday, 27 November 2020
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp red chilli, sundried tomato pesto or vegan alternative
1 heaped tsp ground coriander
400g can mixed beans, drained and rinsed
400g can chopped tomatoes
½ x 250g block halloumi*, sliced
½ small bunch of coriander, finely chopped
To serve (optional)
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and pepper, along with a pinch of salt and fry for ten minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, pesto and ground coriander, and cook for one minute. Tip in the beans and tomatoes along with ½ can of water, then bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for ten minutes.
Add the remaining oil to a separate frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the halloumi for two minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Taste the beans for seasoning, then spoon into deep bowls. Top with the halloumi and scatter over the chopped coriander. Serve with garlic bread, if you like.
All the best Jan
Thursday, 26 November 2020
Wednesday, 25 November 2020
All numbers are net carbs per 100 grams (3½ ounces).
Cauliflower – 3 g.
Perhaps the most classic and iconic of all low-carb vegetables. The base of cauliflower rice and cauliflower mash.
Cabbage – 3 g.
Avocado – 2 g.
Not just low carb, but also full of nutritious fat. Technically a fruit, but most people likely think of it as a vegetable. Avocado can be eaten in all kinds of ways, including on its own, in salads, or it can be used to make guacamole.
Broccoli – 4 g.
As well as low carb, it's brimming with good nutrients. Just fry it in butter or add some cheese for great-tasting side dishes.
Zucchini/Courgette – 3 g.
Try zucchini (courgette) fries or chips. Zucchini/Courgette can also be used to make low-carb pasta...yummy!
Spinach – 1 g.
An extremely low-carb vegetable, spinach is full of vitamins and minerals and can be used many ways. It pairs beautifully with eggs, such as in a frittata.
Asparagus – 2 g.
Revered as both a food and medicine – and aphrodisiac – by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans up to medieval times, asparagus is one of the world’s oldest cultivated vegetables. Nutritious and delicious! Try it wrapped with prosciutto and grilled.
Kale – 3 g.
Hardier than spinach, less watery, but just as nutrient-rich, kale can stand up to mincing, sautéing, baking, and much more.
Green beans – 4 g.
Frenched, diced and tossed in a salad, fricasseed and more, green beans taste great especially with added fats like butter, an olive-oil vinaigrette, or bacon.
Brussels sprouts – 5 g.
Nutty, filling and nutritious, they are especially good roasted with olive oil and garlic, or with bacon... or steam and serve with a cheese cream sauce."
Tuesday, 24 November 2020
All the best Jan
Firstly, I do appreciate many people have died due to the Covid 19 virus, evidently, from many sources, the average age is 82. We live in the New Forest, population 180,000. Total deaths up to 30th October,138. Please understand, the area has a higher than average aged population, many people retire to the area, it's a great place to live and see out final years. I don't know what you think, but a 138 deaths does not seem too many to me. The sixty-four thousand dollar question for me is, how many have died from heart attacks, stroke, Alzheimer's, etc. etc. in the same period? Far more than 138 fore-sure. Remember cases does not mean deaths, and latest info suggests the tests have proved to be woefully inaccurate.
Getting me coat.
Monday, 23 November 2020
Is a keto diet helpful for migraines and cluster headaches?
If you suffer from migraines or cluster headaches, you’ll likely agree that few things on earth can make you feel more miserable. Could following a ketogenic diet possibly provide relief? Emerging scientific evidence suggests that, possibly by reducing inflammation in the brain, keto eating may benefit those with migraines or cluster headaches. Indeed, some people have reported that their headaches dramatically improved after switching to a keto diet.In this guide, we’ll discuss why a ketogenic diet may be helpful for migraines and cluster headaches, and provide practical advice for getting the best results.
Migraines are severe headaches that are usually accompanied by nausea, dizziness, and sensitivity to light and noise. They are more common in women and can be triggered by hormonal changes, certain foods, stress, and other factors. Medications provide relief for some but often come with side effects.
Why a ketogenic diet might help
Migraines appear to involve inflammation, chemical imbalances, and impaired energy metabolism in the brain. Some researchers theorize that ketogenic diets may provide migraine relief by reducing inflammation and imparting other beneficial effects on the brain.
Keto for cluster headaches
Why a ketogenic diet might help
Ketogenic diets can potentially reduce inflammation, and small studies suggest they may be beneficial for people with migraines. Because migraine and cluster headaches share some similarities, a keto approach may potentially provide relief for people with cluster headaches.
Scientific evidence supporting keto for cluster headaches
Anecdotal evidence supporting keto for cluster headaches
How can you follow the keto diet and get the best results for migraines? Here are a few pointers:
Keep carbs very low
Learn more about the keto diet
Take steps to avoid the “keto flu”
Get enough magnesium
Discuss medications with your doctor
If you suffer from migraines or cluster headaches, a keto diet may potentially help improve your symptoms.
Based on published studies and personal reports, some people have experienced dramatic reductions in headache frequency, severity, and medication usage simply by changing their diet.
However, there are no guarantees. As with epilepsy and other neurological conditions, it’s likely that not everyone who follows a keto diet for migraine or cluster headaches will improve.
On the other hand, a keto diet is a healthy way of eating that can provide other benefits. And if following a keto lifestyle might lead to fewer migraine or cluster headaches and improve your quality of life, it seems worthwhile to give it a try.
All the best Jan
Sunday, 22 November 2020
Saturday, 21 November 2020
If like me you have American friends and bloggers they have been busy getting ready for Thanksgiving Day which is on Thursday 26th November … for our blogging friends in Canada they have already celebrated theirs!
1. Load Up On Veggies
With roast turkey a common thanksgiving meal in many homes, it is the ideal dish to boost with veggies. Load up on pumpkin, kale, sweet potatoes, asparagus, carrots, onions, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, green beans, garlic, and mushrooms, and you will find you have a plate of sensational goodness right there – no guilt necessary! Just be careful how you cook your veggies, using a high-quality oil if roasting (keeping oil to a minimum), steaming as many veggies as possible to ensure their nutritional value is maintained. Complement them with homemade gravy and fresh cranberry sauce, and voila!
2. Experiment With A New Menu
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to cook up a storm, so why not break some boundaries and do something different this year? It’s the perfect moment to think outside the square and make your own thanksgiving classics! With so many delicious and healthy recipes available, you can nurture your body with tasty nutritional dishes galore. Try gluten/grain/dairy/meat-free if you want – it’s up to you!
3. Practice Conscious Consumption
Eating mindfully and slowly is one of the best ways to listen and respond to your body. Being aware of each mouthful as you eat brings your mind to the moment and helps your stomach connect with your brain, allowing you to sense when you feel satisfied. The antithesis of mindless consumption, conscious consumption enables you to revel in and feel grateful for each taste, flavour, and sensation that you encounter.
4. Hold Back On The Gluten
Gluten is a protein composite found in several types of grains, including wheat, spelt, rye and barley. Gluten does not agree with everyone, and even in those who do not experience an obvious intolerance, it has been shown to cause lethargy, bloating, stomach pain, diarrhoea, and irritable bowel syndrome to just name a few side effects. Gluten has even been linked to some serious autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes. Holding back on the bread over the holiday period is therefore not unwise.
5. Steer Clear Of Refined Sugar
One of the main sources of calories is refined sugar – and it is poison! In fact, excessive sugar consumption is probably the largest factor underlying obesity and chronic disease in America. It damages the immune system, causes mood swings and premature aging, and contributes to ailments such as tooth decay, osteoporosis, and heart disease. Found in pre-packaged foods, refined sugar is toxic, and should be avoided at all costs.
6. Look After You
If you are out dining with friends or family over the Thanksgiving period, don’t feel you have to bend to peer pressure by gorging on the food you would rather not have. Feel free to refuse a second helping or give the chocolate box a swerve. If eating out, suggest a restaurant you know has a great healthy menu. You deserve to look after yourself and ultimately your body will thank you for it.
7. Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Everyone loves to relax and unwind over the holiday season, but overdoing it in the alcohol stakes can leave you feeling sluggish, moody, dehydrated, and on a big come-down. With alcohol depleting the body of essential minerals and nutrients, zapping energy, and causing weight gain, keeping tabs on the amount you consume is a good idea. Alternatively, you could ditch it altogether, and go for a fresh juice mocktail instead, packed full of feel-good fabulousness!"
Turkey, a fool-proof guide, perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas - see it here
If you should be looking for alternative Vegetarian and Vegan Thanksgiving / Christmas recipes have a look here please note not all shown in the link are low carb!
Friday, 20 November 2020
2 tbsp olive oil
500g lamb neck fillet, cubed
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
125ml dry white wine
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 x 5cm strips orange peel (pith removed)
2 sprigs thyme
1 red pepper, sliced
handful pitted Kalamata olives
sourdough or crusty bread, to serve, optional
1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan. Add the lamb and cook for 5-10 mins until browned all over. Remove from the pan and set aside.
2. In the same pan, heat the remaining oil, add the onion and cook for 5 mins until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 secs more.
3. Increase the heat and pour in the white wine. Bring to the boil, then leave to bubble for 2-3 mins until the liquid has reduced by half.
4. Return the lamb to the pan, along with the tomatoes, orange peel, thyme sprigs and 200ml water. Leave to simmer gently for 1 hr, adding a splash more water if needed.
5. Add the red pepper and olives and cook for a further 20 mins, until the peppers have softened. To serve, remove the orange peel and enjoy with some sourdough or crusty bread, if you like.
All the best Jan
Thursday, 19 November 2020
"As interest in ketogenic diets continues to grow, we are seeing more reviews analyzing the outcomes of existing trials, including a study we covered last June.
Now, a new meta-analysis of clinical trials looking at ketogenic diets exclusively in people with type 2 diabetes concludes that very low-carb diets significantly reduce blood sugar, promote weight loss, and improve lipid profiles:
Cureus 2020: Effects of the ketogenic diet on glycemic control in diabetic patients: meta-analysis of clinical trials
Admittedly, this was a small meta-analysis. Although the researchers accepted six studies for the review, they included only the four trials with control groups in the meta-analysis. Of those four, three were randomized controlled trials, and in the other trial participants were allowed to choose whether to follow a keto diet or a low-calorie diet.
Some of the studies may be familiar to many people, including a 2008 trial comparing a keto diet to a low-glycemic diet led by Dr. Eric Westman and a 2017 trial testing a keto diet against a “Plate Method” diet led by Dr. Laura Saslow.
The trials lasted between 16 and 32 weeks, and the number of participants ranged from 25 to 363. Target carb intake was less than 20 grams per day in two studies and 20 to 50 grams per day in the other two studies.
Overall, participants had significant reductions in fasting blood sugar, HbA1c, weight, and triglycerides, along with increases in HDL and little to no changes in LDL. Yet when analysts pooled all the trials’ results, the effects were less dramatic due to the large variations in outcomes among the studies.
However, the researchers emphasized that this should not influence clinicians’ decision-making when considering ketogenic diets for their patients, given that ketogenic diets outperformed the control diets in each trial.
The researchers admitted that they had assumed the participants’ lipid profiles would worsen due to higher fat intake on the keto diet. Yet after conducting their analysis, they found that the opposite occurred.
They concluded by stating, “It is, therefore, the recommendation of this review that the ketogenic diet be considered as a therapeutic intervention for diabetic patients along with medications.”
At Diet Doctor, we wholeheartedly agree. We hope that reviews like this encourage clinicians to support their patients who want to reverse type 2 diabetes with a keto or very-low-carb approach."
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 a reliable meter.
All the best Jan
1. All About The Flavour
Everyone knows the best roast isn’t about what veggie, but about the flavour, it’s smothered in. Get creative with your spice rack and try a new combination. Curried vegetables with turmeric, curry powder, and chili are a crowd-favourite to accompany any Asian dishes. For a traditional Tuscan taste, try herbs such as thyme and oregano, with a generous helping of garlic. Those potluck Mexican nights? Try glazing your cauliflower with cumin and smoked paprika. Herbs and spices are like a math equation with no right answer; keep trying all the possible combinations until you find your most mouth-watering answer. After a good place to start? Let this Whole Roasted Cauliflower knock your taste buds off.
2. Keep It Local
Where possible, make sure the veggies you’re using are locally grown, seasonal and organic. This will make sure you’re delving into the most nutrient-rich and diverse plate of vitamins and minerals. Our body’s digestive cycles move with the seasons, so they crave different vegetables throughout the months of the year to support natural detoxification and hibernation. Plus, the reward of knowing you’ve supported a local business and kept your food miles to a bare minimum makes the roasties taste extra-sweet. This Roast Kumara and Chickpea Salad with Almond Parmesan is a great base to start substituting those out-of-season vegetables with some local produce.
3. Play Around With Oils
Many of us were taught that the perfect roast is made when it’s tossed in a cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil, and in many dishes, this may be true. However, the seasoned roasters know that playing around with the type of oil used to crisp the vegetables will totally change the aromatic outcome of the dish. Coconut is a wonderful oil to use that has an impressive nutritional profile, and a dash of sesame oil can be used for an aromatic, South-East Asian flavour. If dairy is in your diet, try using a little ghee for a rustic take on roasties or opt for a neutral but nutritious flavour with safflower or grapeseed. It’s just as important to make sure you don’t drown the vegetables in oil, both for texture and overall health, and to ensure the oils aren’t exceeding burning temperature, becoming carcinogenic. This Satay Vegetable Curry with Quinoa is a wonderful way to play around with the different flavours of oils.
4. Keep It Uniform
Cutting your vegetables to roughly the same size will ensure they cook evenly and on time. Don’t be pedantic, but do try to make it easy for yourself once the roasties get into the oven. Some veggies can be trickier than others, but learn how to nail it with this Roast Pumpkin and Chili-Garlic Spinach Pasta .
5. Stagger Cooking Times & Trays
Everyone’s found out the hard way that most foods cook in their own time, meaning a zucchini/courgette is far more likely to be reduced to cinders before a chunk of sweet potato. Start with your heavier, starchier veggies, and as you take the pans out of the oven to toss, gradually add the lighter foods so they’re all ready at the same time. It’s also important not to overcrowd the pan, so the roasties caramelize and crisp, rather than steam and stick. If you’re cooking for a crowd, it may be easier to use a couple of different trays - and this way you can sort your cooking times down to the minute! Take guidance with this Prebiotic Tray Bake with Tahini Drizzle .
Roast vegetables are a household staple, but it can be hard to weed out the mouth-watering recipes from the not-so-wonderful. With these few tips and tricks up your apron, see what magic you create.
Have you any favourite ways to jazz up your vegetables?
All the best Jan
Wednesday, 18 November 2020
We’ve spoken to three psychological experts to explore the potential mental health benefits of putting your Christmas decorations up early, particularly in light of a year irrevocably altered as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
First things first, what counts as "early" when it comes to decorating? In Victorian times, decorations were put up on Christmas Eve and left up until Twelfth Night, but nowadays, many people put up all their decorations, from trees to tinsel, a lot earlier. How early, you ask? Anytime from the end of November, according to sales stats from tree seller, Stagsden Christmas Trees.
Are there psychological benefits to putting your Christmas decorations up early?
It certainly sounds as if decorating early could have its upsides. “I think everything that you can do to make your home cosier and more celebratory this winter can only help your mental state," says Heather Garbutt, psychotherapist and director of 'The Counselling & Psychotherapy Centre'.
Clinical psychologist Dr Georgia Halls agrees, sharing that, for many, putting up Christmas decorations reminds us of good times, community and connection. “It’s an activity we usually share with others and has an element of familiarity, which can be very comforting."
Inviting festive cheer into your home early by putting Christmas decorations up could create a longer-lasting feeling of goodwill and subtly lift your mood by adding sparkle to an otherwise normal environment, Heather reckons. “Whichever Christmas decorations you like – whether it’s fairy lights, table decorations, trees or candles – can form a buffer against a world that is pretty tough at the moment,” she continues. “Doing your favourite Christmas things earlier will remind you of the simple joys and pleasures of being human.” Hear, hear!
Marsha Chinichian, the resident clinical psychotherapist at 'Mindshine', agrees. “Many studies found that the anticipation of something can be a powerful, positive, and important part of a happier life,” she explains. So, decorating earlier could be a really simple way to build some healthy holiday season anticipation.
“Decorating early really isn’t a bad idea at all," she says. "Studies show that decorating for the holidays improves mood and ignites positive memories." Not to mention that fact that the actual act of putting Christmas decorations up offers a boost of your happy hormone, dopamine. “Holiday decorating ignites the child in each of us, eliciting positive emotions,” she explains.
On top of this, for many of us, Christmas decorating is a yearly ritual that brings comfort and consolation from the mere act of doing it. Research from Harvard Business School supports this, showing that repeating familiar routines is essential for mental wellbeing.
In short, yes. “The simple presence of Christmas decorations is an affirmation of joy and celebration,” explains Heather. Whether you celebrate Christmas for religious, cultural, or social reasons, decorations add more beauty to the darkest time of the year, she continues. Christmas lights can also be beneficial simply by helping to brighten up your inside space. “Any additional light we can add to our homes during the dark winter months is a real asset,” adds Heather.
Above all, if you feel like decorating early then there's no reason why you shouldn't. All three psychology experts encourage doing anything that brings you personal joy right now.
“In the context of an uncertain environment thanks to Covid-19, Christmas decorations may allow people to control their own space using a method which has proven time and time again to raise spirits for many people,” Georgia explains.
Marsha agrees, saying that decorating is crucial for bringing a little happiness to 2020, as people are spending more time than ever at home. “The pandemic is offering an almost forced slow down and check-in,” she explains. Rather than feel sad about what could have been, she suggests reframing your mindset to enjoy the small things – like decorating.
Without the prospect of festive events filling up your diary, you and your household will likely have a lot more free time to spend at home. Taking the time to decorate your space in a way you love could really lift your moods, she says. “Changing up the house and focusing on décor can shift the mood drastically and make it feel like a happier space.”
If you'd like to put your Christmas decorations up early but are still feeling a little hesitant about going against tradition, how about decorating in stages?
If don't want to make your home too festive before December but are raring to go, then decorating gradually is the way forward.
To find out how best to phase in your Christmas decorations this year, we asked Good Housekeeping's Homes & Gardens Director, Carolyn Bailey, for her step-by-step decorating timeline to follow...
1. The best way to kick off the festive season is by putting your advent calendar on display.
2. Next, unpack your scented Christmas or winter candles so you can start using these to fill your home with fabulous scents of the season.
3. Then, pop a wreath on the front door to give passers-by a festive welcome.
4. Next up, add a twinkle to your home by draping a few strings of fairy lights over surfaces – you can pop them into glass vases to create a lovely warm glow, too. If you are planning to make decorations or paperchains, this is also a good time to get on with this.
5. Once December arrives, think about installing your Christmas tree, especially if you are buying a fresh one – there will be more choice the earlier you shop – and pop on your fairy lights and decorations. Remember, more is more and the fuller the tree, the better it will look.
6. Then, fill bowls with baubles and pop them on coffee tables and side tables.
7. The week before Christmas, you can add in cut foliage from your garden – it’s amazing what you can find – and drape it over mantelpieces and along the bannister. Treat yourself to some eucalyptus branches, which make fabulous statement displays and smell divine. Look out for good quality mistletoe too, as this shouts 'Christmas'.
8. Last minute before the big day – stuff oranges with cloves and display them in bowls or along mantelpieces, buy some seasonal blooms for your dining table or console, then just wait for Santa!"
Ally's words above, with all relevant links can be seen at article here
All the best Jan
Tuesday, 17 November 2020
Sunday, 15 November 2020
The low-carb diet market is expected to grow by 6.4% by 2027. More of us are limiting the carbs on our plates, a worrying trend for food manufacturers whose business model depends on highly processed forms of corn, wheat, grain and rice.
The distinction between ‘good’ (complex) and ‘bad’ (simple) carbohydrates used to have considerable traction, but it hasn’t brought on board doubters persuaded to follow a ‘keto’ or ‘paleo’ eating approach.
Now Big Carb is trying to reverse that trend. A press release landed on my desk, trumpeting Against the Grain, “a new paper [that] reveals that cereals offer greater health and nutrition benefits than commonly acknowledged, despite often being considered ‘nutrient-poor’”. Two of the three authors of this review are economists at the CGIAR International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre.
Their conclusion is so desperate it’s almost amusing: “Only relative to other ‘nutrient-rich’ foodstuffs can cereals be described as ‘nutrient-poor’.” Well, I might appreciate the joke more if the authors stopped there, and didn’t go on to argue that to feed the world “within planetary boundaries”, current intakes of wholegrain foods should more than double. But it’s becoming stark-staring obvious that high consumption of carbs is driving the waves of obesity and type 2 diabetes washing up everywhere from the UK to India.
To be fair, the authors refer obliquely to the need to “address tricky issues like the current over-processing, to make the most of the nutrition potential of maize and wheat”. But that still leaves them behind the curve.
Worldwide awareness is growing that our bodies metabolise carbs much in the same way as sugar. In the UK, Dr David Unwin, a GP who has had positive results with diabetic patients, has developed visually striking infographics, depicting the glycemic load of any given food in terms of the equivalent number of teaspoons of sugar it contains. His infographics had their endorsement from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence removed this year, following a complaint that they weren’t “evidence-based”.
Let NICE play safe. The low-carb word is out and unstoppable. Many people who previously struggled to control their weight and blood sugar are finding that it works for them."
All the best Jan