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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. 

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 
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, 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.


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 …

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

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

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Nut Loaf, Paleo Bread, Low Carb and Gluten Free !

If you are a seed and nut lover, then this loaf could be for you! It's crunchy, hearty and tasty! Plus it's low carb, dairy-free and gluten-free. Could be a perfect choice for sandwiches, but it is also delicious as a side or stand-alone snack.
Some may say - whatever you do - don't forget the butter! LOL!

makes 20 servings/slices
3g carbs per slice
7 oz. (200g) almonds or hazelnuts
7 oz. (200g) pumpkin seeds
3 oz. (75g) flaxseed
3 oz. (75g) sesame seeds
4 oz. (110g) sunflower seeds
2 oz. (50g) pecans or walnuts
1 tbsp. fennel seeds, crushed
2 tsp salt
6 eggs
1⁄3 cup (75ml) olive oil or coconut oil, melted

½ tsp white wine vinegar (optional)

This recipe makes an oversized loaf. It keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week. It also freezes well; for best results, cut into thin slices before freezing.

Spread a generous amount of butter on each slice—it will be almost as satiating as a full meal!

Can be found here

Read more about it here

We bring a variety of recipes 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

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Josh Groban - Granted

It's music night and tonight a beautiful song from Josh Groban's new album, enjoy

Superfoods That Are Worthy of the Title : Here Are Sixteen

Ansley Hill RD,LD writes:
"Nutritionally speaking, there is no such thing as a superfood. The term was coined for marketing purposes to influence food trends and sell products. The food industry bestows the superfood label on nutrient-rich foods with a supposed capacity to positively affect health. Though many foods could be described as super, it’s important to understand that there is no single food that holds the key to good health or disease prevention. But since the term “superfood” doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, it may be worth taking a closer look at some healthy options. 

Here are 16 foods that may be worthy of the esteemed superfood title: 

1. Dark Leafy Greens
Dark green leafy vegetables are full of fibre and nutrients which may be instrumental in preventing certain chronic diseases.

2. Berries
Berries are full of nutrients and antioxidants which may prevent certain diseases and improve digestion.

3. Green Tea
Green tea is antioxidant-rich with many health benefits including possible cancer prevention.

4. Eggs
Eggs are rich in high-quality protein and unique antioxidants. Research indicates that eating eggs regularly will not increase your risk of heart disease or diabetes.

5. Legumes
Legumes are rich in many vitamins, protein and fibre. They may prevent some chronic diseases and support weight loss.

6. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are full of fibre and heart-healthy fats. They may reduce your risk of heart disease and support weight loss.

7. Kefir (And Yogurt)
Kefir is a fermented dairy beverage with multiple health benefits related to its probiotic content. Though generally made from cow’s milk, kefir is also available in non-dairy forms.

8. Garlic
Garlic is a nutrient-rich food used for its medicinal benefits for centuries. It may be useful for supporting immune function and reducing your risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

9. Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of the principle fat sources in the Mediterranean diet. It may be beneficial in reducing heart disease, diabetes and other inflammatory conditions.

10. Ginger
Ginger is used for its flavour and potential medicinal effects. It may be useful in treating nausea, pain and preventing certain chronic diseases.

11. Turmeric (Curcumin)
The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, is associated with several medicinal effects. Curcumin is not easily absorbed and should be paired with substances that enhance its absorption, such as black pepper.

12. Salmon
Salmon is a good source of many nutrients, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Limit your consumption of salmon to avoid potential negative effects from contaminants common in fish and seafood.

13. Avocado
Avocados are nutrient-rich, high-fibre fruits that may play a role in reducing inflammation and chronic diseases.

14. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are a highly nutritious food loaded with carotenoids, which have strong antioxidant properties. They may also be beneficial for blood sugar control.

15. Mushrooms
Mushrooms are full of nutrients and may reduce your risk of certain diseases. Additionally, mushrooms are a sustainable food choice.
16. Seaweed
Seaweed is a group of highly nutritious sea vegetables that may play a role in protecting against certain chronic diseases.

The Bottom Line
Achieving optimal health through food and nutrition is about more than focusing on one or two of the latest food trends. Instead, good health is best supported by eating a variety of nutritious foods every day. Including some, or all, of the foods on this list as part of a balanced diet can benefit your overall health and may prevent certain chronic diseases."
Ansley's full article with all information / research links is here

I wonder if you may have a particular favourite from this list? Mine would be eggs!

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

All the best Jan

Friday, 13 July 2018

Halloumi Fries : Low Carb & Gluten Free

Aldi is limiting shoppers to just two boxes each of halloumi fries after a surge in popularity. The budget supermarket chain has announced the product has become so popular with customers that it has to limit the amount it sells to each person!

Well, goodness me, I know halloumi is very popular but who would have thought? Of course I'm not too sure how low carb the Aldi ones are, but I know these are!

Makes eight fries
8.9 oz. Halloumi
3 Tablespoons Almond Flour*
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
1 tablespoon Paprika
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
3-4 tablespoons Olive oil

In a bowl mix the almond flour with the spices.
Remove the Halloumi cheese from the packet and DON’T dry it. You need it slightly moist.
Cut the Halloumi cheese in half lengthwise (down the middle, some cheeses will have a natural crease).
Cut each slice into four strips (or more if you want the fries thinner).
Dip each Halloumi strip into the spiced flour and ensure that it is covered well. The moisture of the cheese should ensure that the flour sticks to it.
Heat the oil on a medium heat in a frying pan.
Fry the Halloumi strips on all sides, turning over when slightly crispy.
Eat and enjoy!

Nutritional Details Per Fry:
14g Fat, 8g Protein, 1.9g Total Carbs, (0.6g Fibre, 1.3g Net Carbs)

You could oven bake these, but many prefer them pan fried for extra crunch. If you want your halloumi fries baked, it's better that you line a baking tray with parchment paper and put the tray in the oven for about 5 minutes before use to heat it up. Lightly spray the halloumi fries with oil before baking to help give them a crispy texture and turn over half way through cooking. With another spray of oil.
* you could also use coconut flour - it works okay, but the almond flour ones gives a crispier coating.

Please see original recipe, picture and more here

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

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

In good supermarkets and speciality stores.

Choose the best:
Cut into slices - the halloumi should 'squeak' as it is cut into.

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

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

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

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

All the best Jan

Thursday, 12 July 2018


1 The total f**kwit

These dullards wade into a thread containing great news, from people who have reversed terrible health problems, by way of a low carb higher natural fat lifestyle. They proceed to tell us we are dead men walking. While forgetting to tell us, they are on the run from a secure mental health facility. Very often body builders, out of their heads caused by steroid and insulin abuse, and very often flogging supplements to their misguided followers.

2 The Mercenaries

Mercenaries are very often Scientists and Academics, who have received eye watering amounts of money from junk food companies and or big pharma. Arguably these people are the leading cause of the obesity and type two diabetes epidemics. Following closely behind, we have the Dietetic Associations, also on the junk food payola treadmill, with many of their most high profile dietitians morbidly obese, go figure that point. But whatever you do, don't mention fat shaming.

3 The Trolls

Very often nameless, faceless, anonymous, misfits. Life has treated these people badly, they blame everything for their misfortune on others, it's never their fault. Their favourite target is happy people who have regained their health by eating real food. Nothing sticks more in a trolls throat, than an enlightened person who took a leap of faith, went against the diet of slow death, and regained their health.

4 The Goons

These people are very often educated way beyond their level of intelligence. Typically PhD's, we know that because it appears in their signatures, as if that makes us gasp in admiration, and we will accept their every word. Their fall back position is to link to science papers, the more technical and convoluted the better. It seems never to dawn on them, most people do not ever read the papers, including most hard pressed medical professionals. But hey, quoting the Krebs cycle can make a man look very clever. I suspect most think the Krebs cycle is some sort of mountain bike.

5 The nice but dims

Mostly people on a ludicrous diet, who try to flog it to a low carber, very often Vegans. These well meaning souls, remind me of the Jehovah's witnesses who bang me out of bed early on a Saturday morning, informing me they can save me. I ask them why me, have you run out of human beings?


Well, you didn't think my Jan would post a rant like that, surely!

Low Carb Chocolate Cookie / Biscuits : Spoilt For Choice!

Low Carb Chocolate Cookie / Biscuits, we're spoilt for choice, I wonder which one would you choose?

 number one

 number two

number three

For the recipe idea please go across to Libby's 'Ditch the Carbs' site here

Once you've baked the cookie/biscuits allow to cool and then add frosting/icing and decorate anyway you like. Now, I like the dark chocolate (90%) swirls on number two
... but which cookie/biscuit would you choose?

Dark chocolate (cocoa) ..."is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. It's made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.

Studies show that dark chocolate (not the sugary type) can improve health and lower the risk of heart disease.

Dark Chocolate is Very Nutritious:
If you buy quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, then it is actually quite nutritious.
It contains a decent amount of soluble fibre and is loaded with minerals.

A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains:
11 grams of fibre.
67% of the RDA for Iron.
58% of the RDA for Magnesium.
89% of the RDA for Copper.
98% of the RDA for Manganese.
It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium."

Above words and much more about dark chocolate here

Now, although I usually drink tea, I find a nice cup of coffee goes well with one of these cookie/biscuits ... can I make you one …

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Making a difference

Saw this on a US blog today and thought this is what we try to do. Saving diabetics one at a time. Eddie

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Sea Bass Marinated in Lime and Cumin, with a Mango Salsa

Do you like fish? Both Eddie and I enjoy eating fish, and it features quite regularly in our menu plans. So how about this idea for a quick, midweek meal for two, these cumin-spiced sea bass fillets are fresh and vibrant. The mango, avocado and coriander salsa adds a tropical vibe, with a hot kick from the horseradish sauce. Of course, you can easily replace the sea bass with any fish you have in the fridge, (or might prefer), and of course adjust amounts to suit how many you are cooking for!

Serves Two
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 lime, zested and juiced
190g boneless sea bass fillets
1 mango, cut into small cubes
1 small avocado, cubed
2 spring onions (scallions), trimmed and finely chopped
2-3 tsp horseradish sauce, to taste
10g fresh coriander, chopped
220g pack tender-stem broccoli, stems cut from florets and halved lengthwise

1. Put the cumin seeds, lime zest and juice into a shallow dish, then add the sea bass, turning to coat. Set aside to marinate for 5 mins.
2. Meanwhile, make the salsa by mixing the mango and avocado in a bowl with the spring onions and horseradish sauce. Stir in the coriander, season to taste, then set aside.
3. Blanch the broccoli florets and halved stems for 3 mins in a pan of salted boiling water, or steam. Drain and set aside.
4. Put the sea bass and the marinade in a frying pan, add 75ml water and bring to a simmer. Cover and steam for 5 mins, or until cooked.

5. Serve the steamed sea bass with the broccoli and a generous helping of the salsa.

Nutritional Details Per Serving:
Carbohydrate 13.1g Protein 25.2g Fat 21g

From an original idea here

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

Monday, 9 July 2018

Chicken : Favourite Recipes To Share : Here Are Three

Chicken Thighs Pan Roasted with a Chive Cream Sauce

I just don't think you can beat chicken, and in particular chicken thighs.
This is such a tasty recipe idea - could be a mid-week hit - see what you think. 

Serves Four
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Yellow (white) Onion
1/4 Cup Dry White Wine (use whatever white wine you enjoy drinking for this, a chardonnay is nice)
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 Cup Chicken Stock
1/2 Cup Heavy (double) Cream
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Chives
(Kosher) Salt + Black Pepper
and more here

Mustard and Sage Chicken with Celeriac Mash

Swapping potatoes for celeriac lowers the carbohydrates in this lovely mid-week dinner suggestion ... ready in under half an hour and tastes great!

Serves Three

1 celeriac, peeled and cut into chunks
3 chicken breasts, skinless
1 tbsp. English mustard powder
2 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
8 sage leaves, chopped
100g low-fat crème fraîche, plus 2 tbsp. for the mash
1 chicken stock cube
2 tbsp. wholegrain mustard

To Serve:
275g cooked green veg, such as thin-stemmed broccoli, peas or Savoy cabbage,
and more, here 

Chicken Casserole - with a selection of vegetables

There are many good recipes for Chicken Casserole, but can you have too many? No, I don't think so ... If you'd like to add another version of a chicken casserole to your recipe collection, this one is very tasty. Read on and see what you think!

For the casserole:
Serves Four
4 chicken breasts, or 600g/1lb 5oz cooked leftover roast chicken
2 onions, 1 roughly chopped, 1 thinly sliced
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
6 whole peppercorns
1 fresh bay leaf
water, to cover
55g/2oz butter
30g/1oz plain flour salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets and blanched
1 x 225g/8oz tin water chestnuts, drained
1 free-range egg yolk, lightly beaten
2-3 tbsp. double (heavy) cream

squeeze lemon juice
To serve: 
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
boiled baby carrots
and more here

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

All the best Jan

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Are You Addicted to Your Phone?

Laurentine ten Bosch writes:
"Keeping connected is paramount in today’s digital society, but is our inconsumable obsession with our smartphones taking a toll on our inner health? Over the past 10 years we have seen a paradigm shift in the way we use technology, specifically with the rise of the smartphones that spawned from the release of Apple’s iconic iPhone. Marketed as technology to make our lives easier, more organized and convenient, it’s almost ironic that people are now feeling more time poor and stressed than ever before. 

In this article we will take a look at the side effects of smartphones, what it takes to digitally detox, and tips and tricks to distance yourself from distracting notifications. 

What’s The Relationship You Have With Your Phone?
Understanding the relationship with your phone is key to kicking the addiction with your so-called smartphone. Looking at how we use it, why we use it, when we use it and what we’re using it for is a great way to start evaluating how much time we spend looking at the black mirror. By evaluating the who, what, when, where and why, you can begin to understand what emotions you are hoping to experience or avoid. 
MIT professor Sherry Turkle discusses the many negative effects of our over-reliance on technology, arguing that it's changing not just what we do but who we are and adversely creating more lonely, isolated people. This discovery is not alone with social psychologist Adam Alter juxtaposing substance addiction with behavioural addictions. He noted that in the past we have mostly associated addiction to chemical substances, whereas now we have a phenomenon of people spending nearly three hours a day tethered to their cell phones - this is what we now know to be a behavioural addiction. 
Behavioural addictions are fast becoming social norms with a 2011 study suggesting that 41% of us have at least one. This increasingly high number is vastly due to the rise of social media platforms and the inevitable integration between the digital world and the ‘real world’.

How Is My Smartphone Affecting My Health?
As we’ve discovered, smartphones have the capacity to develop addictive behaviours similar to that of gambling, which can interfere with our everyday lives. Notable scientific studies demonstrate how classic addiction symptomology is intrinsically linked between smartphone overuse, which includes loss of control (e.g. distortion of time spent on the phone), preoccupation with the smartphone and withdrawal symptoms. Perhaps this suggests why we coined the appropriate term ‘Crackberry’? 
These addictive tendencies can wreak havoc on our productivity, brain function, wellbeing, work-life balance and even our personal lives with quantifiable evidence suggesting social anxiety and loneliness is intrinsically linked to smartphone use. While the primary function of a smartphone is to communicate more effectively with one another, it’s also important to remember to disconnect in order to really communicate with people.
Our ‘technostress’ (originally conceptualized as the negative influence of technology and social media) is directly associated with the round-the-clock accessibility afforded by mobile phones, creating a feeling of never being free and guilt at the inability to respond to notifications, calls and text messages. These feelings are now developing into mental health issues, with overuse symptoms severely increasing our risk of social isolation.

The Benefits of a Digital Detox:
More peace and less anxiety
Clearer thinking and less distraction
More focus and less multitasking
More creative and less reactive
More empowered and less guilt
Better sleep
More personable with stronger relationships
More conscious eating and drinking 

How Do I Kick My Smartphone Addiction Without Dropping Off The Face of The Planet?
We know smartphones are incredibly useful and we don’t think you should, or expect you to, give them up completely. However, there are some things you can do to maintain a more healthy relationship with technology. We’ve researched some key tips and tricks to keep your technostress at bay, ensuring you’re using your smartphone the smart way.

1. Get An Alarm Clock
It’s a trap to think you’ll just set your alarm on your phone and go to sleep. What really happens is you see a new notification and all of a sudden you’ve spent an hour mindlessly scrolling through an infinite Instagram feed of holiday pictures and click-bait videos. A great way to kick your social media craving is by taking away the temptation of checking your phone before bed - so pop it on charge in a different room and instead get a real alarm clock on your bedside table (not an app!). Not only will you get a better sleep, you’ll get more of it! 

2. Set Up Some Smartphone Hacks
Organize and categorize your applications into pertinent and non-pertinent folders. By doing this you will reduce the temptation to open social media applications for the sake of opening them. Another great way to reduce your screen time is by setting your phone to ‘grayscale’ - bolstering your battery life and your need to check the ‘gram'. 

3. Set Up Some Phone-Free Zones
Make certain rooms in the house phone free. The bedroom, living room and dining room are great places to start. Setting boundaries like this for yourself and your family can go a long way to improve connection and relationship satisfaction.

4. Know When to Turn Off
For many of us, work doesn’t end when the clock strikes five – and we mostly have our smartphones to blame for that. But by allowing yourself some screen-free time at the end of the day you can really evaluate whether you need to ‘drop everything’ to answer an after-hours work request or email. You can also turn off notifications for certain apps or snooze group conversations for a certain amount of time to give yourself some peace and quiet. 

5. Make Time to Actually ‘See’ Your Friends and Family
We’re social creatures by nature, so putting in effort to make some ‘face-to-face time’ for your friends and family will go a long way not only for your inner wellbeing but also for your friends! By the way, your mum and dad will thank you for this! And your kids also deserve to see the ‘real you’ rather than you glued to your phone. It’s really hard to tell your kids not to spend too much time on screens and devices if all they see is you scrolling your social feeds. 

6. Set Some Social Etiquette Phone Rules
When you’re with people, be with those people. It seems simple enough, but so often many of us get distracted by notifications and may unintentionally be rudely ignoring the ‘real’ people in front of us. Set and stick to some rules like ‘no phones at dinner’, ‘no social media when socializing’ (or maybe one quick selfie and then put the phone away!) and make conscious decisions on whether an email, text or phone call has to be addressed immediately or if it can wait. You can feel more empowered by your decision to control your phone use, and the people around you should feel more valued when you prioritize them." 

All words and pictures above are from an original article, with full links, here 

Do you think it's a good idea to have a digital detox? Are the younger generation more addicted to phones than the older generation? At what age should young people have a mobile phone? 
Do please share your thoughts … 

Readers - you will find a variety of articles (and recipe ideas), are within this blog. 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.
As always thanks for reading.

All the best Jan

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Deva Mahal - Snakes

Saturday night is music night, yet another new singer this song is taken from her debut album, enjoy

Nina Simone Feeling Good

Saturday night again and music night on this blog. In the UK we have a very famous music programme called Desert Island Discs, this is a programme (started in 1942) where the great and the good pick their favourite pieces of music, and explain why it means so much to them. An old nobody like me, will never appear on the show, but if I did, I would pick this piece of music as one of my choices. Did a better singer ever draw breath? Eddie 

Sorry folks, the track has been disabled, my bad for not checking. Let's try this track.

Courgette/Zucchini Noodles with Tomatoes, and Mushrooms and a Parmesan Creamy Sauce

and some tomatoes

and button mushrooms

add a lovely creamy sauce containing Parmesan Cheese

and you end up with a delicious plateful of
Courgette/Zucchini noodles with tomatoes, mushrooms and Parmesan sauce

Serves Two 
3 courgette/zucchini
4 tomatoes
8 oz. (225g) button mushrooms
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup (225ml) heavy (double) whipping cream
½ cup (125ml) grated parmesan cheese, plus a handful of shaved pieces for serving
2 tbsp. olive oil 
salt and pepper, to taste
are here

All the best Jan

Friday, 6 July 2018

Summer Fruits Low Carb Sponge Cake ... it's delicious !

This is actually one of Eddie's low carb cake recipes! He first made it some years ago now, and it has remained a favourite with us and other family members. I haven't shared the recipe idea for a while, and knowing that in recent months we have new readers, I thought it would be nice to share it again. With summer upon us, a low carb sponge cake could be just what you need!

The fruits you use can always be adjusted to what is in season, and what may be available in a shop near you! If you need a guide to lower carb fruits have a look here 

200g ground almonds
2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
3 medium eggs
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons double (heavy) cream

Low-carb fruits 

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. 
Melt the butter I used a Pyrex jug, add the eggs and cream, then add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. 
Add some low-carb fruits, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries to the mix and spoon into a baking container. I used a silicone bread mould. 
Microwave in a 700watt for 6 minutes. 
Take out of the mould, if still damp place upside down on four layers of kitchen paper and microwave for a further one minute. 
Allow to cool then spread on a layer of extra thick cream, then add fruits to the top. 
A little tip, allow to cool on four or five layers of kitchen paper to remove any excess moisture. 
Serve in a bowl with some double cream. 
Serves eight.

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

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Coconut Oil Kills


Gazpacho Soup - A wonderful taste of Andalucia - Perfect for Summer

Gazpacho is a soup made of raw vegetables and served cold, usually with a tomato base, originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalucia, which some spell with a c, while others use an s !

This soup can be "great for a hot day when making a lunch that takes just a few minutes is exactly what you want. In our version of this Andalusian peasant dish we leave out the soaked bread and instead use a creamy avocado to give it substance. Eating some of your food raw every day is important as the vitamins are retained as well as the all-important enzymes.

Serves 4
8 large, ripe tomatoes
½ medium red, orange or yellow pepper (green peppers are unripe)
½ large cucumber, peeled
1 medium avocado (or a handful of soaked nuts such as almonds, cashews, or brazil nuts)
1 small red or white onion or a bunch of spring onions
3 large cloves of garlic
1 handful of fresh herbs (we like parsley or a mix of parsley and basil / coriander)
1 tsp of good quality balsamic vinegar or sherry vinegar*
The juice of ½ a lemon or lime
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

Optional toppings:
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Diced olives
Diced cucumber/red pepper/tomatoes
Toasted pumpkin seeds
Parmesan crisps - how to make these see here

 For GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome) use apple cider vinegar instead of balsamic or sherry
 For Paleo, add an extra ½ lemon or lime instead of vinegar
 If you would prefer, you can substitute the avocado for a handful of soaked almonds, cashews or brazil nuts"

This recipe suggestion, and words above, are from Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley. They are home cooks and food lovers with a passion for wellness and delicious, nutrient-dense food. Their cooking is all about creating natural, satisfying and easy to digest meals that make you feel vibrant, strong and healthy; recipes that are full of flavour and goodness and free from gluten, grains and refined sugar. They believe in the nourishing power of real food and that eating well can be easy, affordable and enjoyable for everyone.
Original recipe here
More about the Hemsley's here

Facts about Andalusia ... a rocky, sun-baked region on Spain’s southern coast, embodies much of what the world thinks of as Spanish: flamenco, tapas, matadors and bullfights. Yet it was under Moorish rule from the 8th-15th centuries, a legacy that shows in its architecture, including such landmarks as the Alcázar castle in Seville, the capital city, as well as Córdoba’s Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral and Granada’s Alhambra palace.

Seville - Place d'Espagne - image from here

Well, you may not be able to visit Andalucía, but I hope you may get to taste this Gazpacho soon. Happy Eating - which if my Spanish is correct, translates to

Comiendo feliz!

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