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Friday 1 March 2024

Welcome March 2024

I'm always pleased when the 1st of March is here because it's nice to think that Spring is just around the corner. The daffodils are springing up well and lots are showing their lovely colourful, cheerful heads.

It's also St David's Day today, and St Patricks Day on the 17th March.

daffodils, so cheerful

Stained glass depiction of Saint David, designed by William Burges, at Castell Coch, Cardiff

Stained-glass window of St. Patrick from Saint Patrick Catholic Church, Junction City, Ohio, U.S.

"The Month Of March
“March” is named for the Roman god of war, Mars. However, we think of it as the beginning of spring, as March brings the vernal equinox and the Full Worm Moon.

March’s birth flower is the daffodil, which signifies regard or unrequited love. 

March’s birthstone is the aquamarine; its colour can be pale to dark blue, greenish-blue, or blue-green; deep, intense blue versions are more valuable.

March’s Zodiac signs are Pisces (February 20 to March 20) and Aries (March 21 to April 20).

March weather can bring rain and mud! Sprinkle salt on carpets to dry out muddy footprints before vacuuming.


The Full Worm Moon
March’s full Moon, the Worm Moon, reaches peak illumination on the morning of Monday, March 25, 2024. Look for it on the evening of Sunday, March 24, as the moon rises above the horizon!

The brown buds thicken on the trees,
Unbound, the free streams sing,
As March leads forth across the leas
The wild and windy spring.
Elizabeth Akers Allen (1832–1911)"
words and images above taken from article here

~ Wishing you a happy March 2024 ~

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 ... 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 have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Thursday 29 February 2024

February 29th 2024 : Leap Year !

 

Leap Day, on February 29, has been a day of traditions, folklore and superstitions ever since Leap Years were first introduced by Julius Caesar over 2000 years ago.

Women Propose to Their Men:
According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every four years.

This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how leap day balances the calendar.

Gloves Hide Naked Ring Finger:
In some places, leap day has been known as “Bachelors’ Day” for the same reason. A man was expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day.

In many European countries, especially in the upper classes of society, tradition dictates that any man who refuses a woman's proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. During the middle ages there were laws governing this tradition.

Leap Day Babies World Record:
People born on February 29 are all invited to join The Honour society of Leap Year Day Babies.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the only verified example of a family producing three consecutive generations born on February 29 is that of the Keogh family. Peter Anthony was born in Ireland on a Leap Day in 1940, while his son, Peter Eric, was born in the UK on February 29, 1964. Peter Eric's daughter, Bethany Wealth, was also a Leap Day baby, born in the UK on February 29, 1996.

The Henriksen family from Andenes, Norway currently holds the official record for the most number of children born in one family on leap day. Karin Henriksen gave birth to three children on February 29; her daughter Heidi in 1960 and her sons Olav and Leif-Martin in 1964 and 1968.

When do Leap Day Babies Celebrate Their Birthdays:
Leap day on February 29 occurs (nearly) every four years, but leap day babies, or leaplings, still get to celebrate their birthdays in common years. Some celebrate on February 28, some prefer March 1. However, many countries have laws defining which date a person born on February 29 comes of age in legal terms. For instance in New Zealand, the official birthday falls on February 28 in common years; in other countries like the United Kingdom, leap year babies have to wait until March 1.

Unlucky in Love:
In Scotland, it used to be considered unlucky for someone to be born on leap day, just as Friday 13th is considered an unlucky day by many. Greeks consider it unlucky for couples to marry during a leap year, and especially on Leap Day.

St Oswald’s Day:
Leap day is also St Oswald’s Day, named after the Archbishop of York who died on February 29, 992. His memorial is celebrated on February 29 during leap years and on February 28 during common years.

See words above, and more, from articles here and here


Meatball, Lentil and Cabbage Hotpot
A Comforting and Tasty 'Leap Year' Dish
more details here


~ Enjoy your day ~
Enjoy your life, love and health.
Look after yourself, and loved ones, the best way you know how.

Dear reader, please be aware, that you will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter. If you have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Wednesday 28 February 2024

Four Easy Steps To Cut Down Sugar In Your Diet


It seems that we are hearing more and more how sugar is having a detrimental affect on our health. The article I've linked to below talks about the average American adult, but I really think you could add the UK, Australia, France .. in fact almost any country plus include children too! Many of us are still eating too much sugar!

If you are trying to cut down on your sugar intake you may find the tips in the article helpful.

"The average American adult consumes the equivalent of about 32 teaspoons of sugar per day. Sugar is really the number one food additive: it is added to drinks, often in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, to bread, sauces, dressings, and to all kinds of processed foods including many low-fat products.

Cutting down sugar in your diet may be one of the best actions you can take to improve your health and your weight. And you don't need to have tremendous amounts of willpower or to go cold turkey (unless you want to do this, of course).

Here are four steps to help you cut down sugar in your diet. You'll want to follow the steps in order, except for step four which can be taken whenever you want.

1. Give yourself 30 days (or more)
There is mounting evidence that sugar can be addictive. But if you have strong cravings and you feel you're addicted to sugar, don't get discouraged.

Many people will try to convince you that breaking an addiction is very hard because of hormones and neurotransmitters in your brain, but this attitude can actually be quite disempowering. In fact, breaking an addiction is perfectly doable with the right approach. I have personally helped quite a few women do it with great success.

Your best bet is to use a gentle, step-by-step process that gives your body and your taste buds time to adapt. The mistake many people make when they decide to get off sugar is they want to be perfect from day one, so they go cold turkey and cut out sugar completely from the beginning.

While this may work for people with a very strong addiction, in my real-world practice with women who have a rather mild sugar addiction, I've seen that a compassionate, gentle approach works far better.

Start by believing that you can do it and make a commitment to give it all you've got over a period of time that feels realistic to you.

2. Identify your #1 source of sugar and start there
Think about everything you eat and drink and identify your main source of sugar. Usual suspects are sodas or other sweetened beverages, sugar you add yourself, and processed baked foods.

It may be you're drinking a lot of commercial fruit juices, carbonated sodas, or hot sweetened beverages. Or it may be you're adding four teaspoons of sugar to your tea or coffee and you eat sugary snacks, sweetened yogurt or dessert at every meal. Or it may be you're eating processed bread, cakes and cookies several times a day.

Once you know what to cut down, make a plan. If you've been adding three teaspoons of sugar to your tea or coffee, gradually reduce to two within a week, then one within the next two weeks.

If you are currently drinking at least two large bottles of soda a week, start by cutting down to one and a half bottle, then one bottle the next week, then half a bottle, and see if you are comfortable with cutting out soda entirely.

The key is to be excited about cutting down your consumption and not experiencing it as frustration and deprivation or making a point of reaching an imaginary level of perfection.

Once you've cut down your main source of sugar, you may already enjoy some improvement in your weight and your energy levels.

3. Eat more real food
Sure, the list of processed foods is a never-ending one. And sugar often hides in cakes, cookies, candy bars, ice cream, popcorn, pretzels, granola or fruit bars, energy bars, dressings, sauces, and condiments.

"Low-fat" or "no-fat" foods are often marketed as healthy but most of the time they have also been processed and fat has been replaced by hidden sugars or artificial sweeteners.

If you eat a lot of junk food and processed foods, start by replacing them with real food, one step at a time. If you cook and prepare your food yourself, you'll dramatically cut your sugar intake over time. Do this over thirty days or more, following the same gentle approach as mentioned earlier.

Once you've cut down processed foods, you may realize that your sugar cravings are gone and that you've even managed to kiss your sugar addiction goodbye.

4. Sleep your cravings away
Whenever someone tells me she needs to eat six times a day and she has strong sugar cravings, the first question I ask her is how many hours she sleeps at night. Many times, the answer is less than five or six hours.

So what would sleep have to do with cutting down sugar? Well, it will help by reducing your cravings for sugar as well as processed foods that contain sugar.

Different studies have found that sleep deprivation of two hours or more of the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep leads to overeating and junk food cravings.

Sleep deprivation also leads to sweet foods being more appealing to adolescents, with a consumption of sweet/dessert servings up to 52% higher, and to an increased intake of food in men as well as cravings for calorie-dense foods in adults.

This is why a proper amount of sleep can be a great way to curb cravings, which will also help you cut down sugar in your diet over time."

Article taken from here.

For me the key point is number three 'eat more real food' what do you think?

All the best Jan

Monday 26 February 2024

Ya Gotta Larf

 


Eddie

High-fibre foods that are low in carbs


Franziska Spritzler at Diet Doctor site writes:

Top 15 high-fibre, low-carb foods
How can you get the benefits of fibre while staying keto or low carb? Choose from our list of 15 keto-friendly, high-fibre foods, which includes the amount of fibre and net carbs (total carbs minus fibre) per serving.

Avocado
Although it’s often grouped with vegetables, the avocado is technically a fruit. However, this fruit is high in fat, with a creamy texture and mild flavour that’s neither sweet nor sour.

Broccoli
Broccoli belongs to the family of cruciferous vegetables, which includes Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. Broccoli provides several important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and potassium.

Blackberries and raspberries
Fruit usually isn’t a great fit for a ketogenic diet because most types are high in carbs. Berries are a delicious exception that can be enjoyed in small amounts occasionally, even on a strict keto diet. Which kinds are highest in fibre? Blackberries and raspberries, which are also the berries lowest in net carbs.

Asparagus
Asparagus is a popular vegetable with a delicate taste and texture. It’s also filling and a good source of the B vitamins and vitamin C.

Chia seeds
Chia seeds are a unique seed that forms a gel when combined with liquid. Chia seeds are an excellent keto-friendly source of fibre. Two tablespoons (28 grams) provide 10 grams of fibre and 2 grams of net carbs.

Macadamia nuts
Macadamia nuts are a favourite among keto and low-carb enthusiasts. Although eating macadamias may feel indulgent, they’re a nutritious food that’s not only low carb but may help lower LDL cholesterol.

Leafy greens
Spinach, kale, and other leafy green vegetables are staples of most low-carb diets. In addition to being rich in nutrients and widely available, they may help you feel full. Whether you prefer your greens sautéed, creamed, or steamed, they’re a great way to boost your fibre intake while keeping carbs low.

Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are another member of the cruciferous vegetable family. They’re rich in vitamin C and have an earthy taste that many people love.

Artichokes
Fresh artichokes take a bit of time to prepare and eat, but their delicious flavour is well worth the effort. Artichoke hearts are easy to find in cans (usually packed in water) or preserved in jars of oil. Like other vegetables on this list, artichokes, whether fresh or preserved, provide several vitamins and minerals. What’s more, they’re an excellent source of fibre.

Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts are another nutrition-packed nut that contains very few carbs.

Green beans
Green beans are technically considered legumes. However, they contain far fewer carbs than most other legumes, such as beans and lentils.

Pecans
Pecans are prized for their buttery taste and delicate texture. Like other nuts, research suggests they may improve some heart health markers. Pecans are among the lowest in net carbs of all nuts, and they’re rich in fibre to boot.

Dried coconut
Coconut is a tasty tropical fruit that’s high in fat, including saturated fats called medium-chain triglycerides. Unlike banana, pineapple, and other tropical fruits, coconut is low in carbs and isn’t very sweet. In its dried form, it’s also quite high in fibre.

Flaxseed
Flaxseed, also known as linseed, is often used in low-carb baking to mimic the texture of wheat flour and other high-carb ingredients. It’s received its share of controversy because, like soy, it contains isoflavones. However, overall, flaxseed appears to have neutral to beneficial effects on health, when consumed in small amounts. We (Diet Doctor) recommend that you limit your daily intake to a maximum of two tablespoons of ground flaxseed. Two tablespoons (14 grams) of ground flaxseed have 4 grams of fibre and 0.2 gram of net carbs.

Psyllium husk
Psyllium husk is well known for its laxative properties. It’s the active ingredient in many products designed to relieve constipation, such as Metamucil. Like flaxseed, it’s often used to give low-carb and keto baked goods a texture similar to high-carb favourites, including bread. Psyllium is extremely high in fibre. One tablespoon (10 grams) of psyllium husk powder provides 8 grams of fibre and slightly less than 1 gram of net carb. When taking psyllium powder as a laxative, it’s important to mix it with plenty of water, as taking it alone can be a choking hazard. However, when combined with other ingredients and baked into low-carb recipes, psyllium doesn’t pose this risk.

High fibre + low carb = a winning combination
For some people, dietary fibre can be beneficial for health. Yet whole grains, beans, and other high-fibre foods don’t work well for a low-carb lifestyle.

The good news is that you needn’t sacrifice fibre to stay keto/low carb.

By choosing fibre-rich foods that are also low in carbs, you can get the best of both worlds.

The above is a snippet from Franziska's article, read it in full with all research links here


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

All the best Jan

Sunday 25 February 2024

Chicken and Herb Casserole : So Tasty : A Mary Berry Recipe

Chicken has so 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.

Today I am sharing an all-in-one chicken dish to cook and serve, which comes from Mary Berry, one of the best-known and respected cookery writers and broadcasters in the UK. She describes her cooking style as 'family' - practical, healthy recipes that incorporate lots of fresh ingredients. 

Have a look at this chicken and herb casserole recipe, and see what you think.


Ingredients
Serves Four
1 pinch each salt and black pepper
250 g dry cured bacon, snipped into small pieces
2 large onions, chopped
8 skinless chicken thighs, bone in
2 tbsp sunflower oil
30 g plain (all-purpose) flour
150 ml hot chicken stock
150 ml dry white wine
2 large sprigs of thyme
1 small bunch of sage, 6 leaves removed for garnish
2 bay leaves
200 g small chestnut mushrooms, quartered
100 g full-fat crème fraîche
1 knob of butter
1 small bunch of parsley, chopped

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/315°F/gas mark 3.
2. Place the bacon in a large non-stick ovenproof frying pan or flameproof casserole and fry over a medium heat for a few minutes to render out the fat. Add the onions and continue to fry until the bacon is brown at the edges. Transfer the bacon and onions to a plate using a slotted spoon and set aside.
3. Lightly season the chicken. Place the oil in the unwashed dish, add the chicken and brown over a high heat, turning once. Transfer to the plate with the bacon and onions.
4. Scatter the flour into the dish (adding a little more oil, if needed) and stir to combine. Gradually incorporate the hot stock, whisking, and allow to thicken.
5. Pour in the wine and return the bacon, onions and chicken to the pan. Stir well, add the thyme sprigs, sage sprigs and bay leaves. The sauce will be quite thick at this stage.
6. Bring to the boil, season well with salt and black pepper and cover. Transfer to the oven for 30 minutes.
7. Remove the dish from the oven and add the mushrooms and crème fraîche. Stir well and return to the oven for a further 15–20 minutes, until the chicken is tender.
8. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a small pan over a medium heat. Add the whole sage leaves and fry until crisp.
9. Remove the bay leaves, thyme and sage sprigs from the casserole and discard (some leaves will have fallen off to flavour the casserole). Stir in the parsley and serve with the crisp sage leaves on top.

Tips
i) Can be made up to a day ahead. Add the crème fraîche and mushrooms when reheating.
ii) Freezes well.
From an idea seen here

For readers who may prefer a Vegetarian Casserole
Greengrocers Veggie Hotpot - see here

~ enjoy your day ~

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. If you have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Saturday 24 February 2024

Sleep - how going to bed at the same time every night is more important than getting seven hours per night

How going to bed at the same time every night is more important than getting seven hours per night

Seven hours is the optimum length of time you should be asleep, according to multiple studies. Research has long found those who sleep between six and eight hours a day are less likely to develop a host of diseases - and even live longer.

But what about bedtime?
Surprisingly, recent research suggests that maintaining a consistent sleep routine could be more beneficial than more time in a slumber.

Dr Chris Winter, neurologist, sleep expert, and host of the 'Sleep Unplugged Podcast', recommends going to bed and waking up at the same time every morning. 'In general, sleep schedules are important because our bodies work best when they're able to anticipate what's coming rather than simply react to it,' he said. 'Your body is anticipating the rest happening at a certain time. So if that's always moving around, a lot of the things that happen as a result of sleep don't happen or aren't as effective because your brain is not entirely sure when it's coming.'

A study published last month in 'The Journal of Sleep' found that keeping a regular sleep routine reduced the risk of early death by 20 percent. The researchers also noted that while the amount of time spent sleeping was important, shorter, more regular sleep was associated with a lower risk of early death than longer sleep with inconsistent bedtimes.

Dr Winter uses the example of some shift workers who regularly alternate from day to night shifts, resulting in them going to bed at inconsistent times.

However, people who consistently work night shifts will have a lower risk of health problems, as their sleep routine is regular.

Throughout the day, the body produces hormones like cortisol, which regulates stress, and serotonin, which controls mood.

In a healthy person, cortisol levels peak at around 8am, which wakes us up, and drop to their lowest at 3am the next day, before rising back to its peak five hours later.

Ideally, this 8am peak will be triggered by exposure to sunlight, if not an alarm. When it does, the adrenal glands and brain will start pumping adrenaline.

Afternoon, cortisol levels start their steady decline. Metabolism slows down, and tiredness sets in. Gradually, serotonin turns into melatonin, which induces sleepiness.

Because sleep is always changing for shift workers, their bodies can't properly regulate hormone production, which results in poor sleep, difficulty concentrating, lack of energy, and moodiness.

Don't stress if you can't fall asleep at your scheduled bedtime though.

'I think people get really worked up sometimes if they try to make their wake time or their bedtime really strict.

'The chances of you, over the next year, going to bed at 11 o'clock every night and always falling asleep in five minutes is slim to none. If you go to bed tonight at 11 o'clock, and you don't feel like you're falling asleep, I think the first thing to understand is this is normal.'

And if you do go to bed later one night, don't take a long nap to make up for it. This could make it more difficult to fall asleep when bedtime rolls around.

'The napping often perpetuates the sleep problem and turns an isolated, difficult night falling asleep into something that's much more chronic and sustained,' Dr Winter said.

The Sleep Foundation recommends winding down at the same time every night with a book, music, or warm bath to get the body used to a consistent routine.
Original article with all relevant links can be seen here 

~ xxx ooo xxx ~

I do think a night-time routine helps you to prepare and wind down for sleep. Taking time to read some pages of a good book works well for me. Have you any tips to aid a restful sleep, do please share them in the comments section. 

Please note that articles within this blog are provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, including medication, you should contact your Doctor/local health care provider.

All the best Jan

Friday 23 February 2024

Fruits that are low carb

If you may be looking for ideas for low carb fruits, you will find this list of the top ten low carb fruits very helpful ...

Let’s say you occasionally want to eat a fruit (or some berries) while still staying relatively low carb. What fruit would be the best choice?

Below, you’ll find the best options, ranked by grams of net carbs.
The lowest-carbs options are at the top.


1. Raspberries – Half a cup (60 grams) contains 3 grams of carbs.

2. Blackberries – Half a cup (70 grams) contains 4 grams of carbs.

3. Strawberries – Eight medium-sized (100 grams) contains 6 grams of carbs.

4. Plum – One medium-sized (65 grams) contains 7 grams of carbs.

5. Clementine – One medium-sized (75 grams) contains 8 grams of carbs.

6. Kiwi – One medium-sized (70 grams) contains 8 grams of carbs.

7. Cherries – Half a cup (75 grams or about 12 cherries) contains 8 grams of carbs.

8. Blueberries – Half a cup (75 grams) contains 9 grams of carbs.

9. Cantaloupe (melon) – One cup (160 grams) contains 11 grams of carbs.

10. Peach – One medium-sized (150 grams) contains 13 grams of carbs.

These details and more can be seen on Diet Doctor site here


~ enjoy some crunchy berry mousse ~
more 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 a reliable meter. If you have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team

All the best Jan

Thursday 22 February 2024

Goodness, I'm sure these two visitors were a surprise for many!

Imagine, if you will, whilst attending your hospital appointment you came across these two unusual visitors! They would certainly have bought a smile to my face and a definite aww that's sweet moment.

How about you?

"Ducks found waddling round Royal Bournemouth Hospital

The ducks even stuck to the hospital's single file rule along the corridor

Hospital staff found a pair of rather unexpected, feathered intruders waddling around the corridors.

The quacking pair were discovered exploring Royal Bournemouth Hospital where they made a visit to the hospital's thoracic team.

The hospital said the inquisitive ducks tried to "wing" reading directions to find their way out of the building but needed a little help.

They were ushered out and led safely back to a lake in the grounds.

The pair were ushered out after popping in to visit the hospital's thoracic team

The hospital said: "We are very lucky to have a gorgeous lake that is a great solace for patients, visitors and staff.

"Part of its attraction is our resident wildlife, including many beautiful and inquisitive ducks.... Sometimes they can be a little too inquisitive.

"Fortunately one of our incredible porters - who are always on hand for any event - was able to escort them from the premises.""
Words and pictures from article here

Have you seen the post about 'Penguin and Squid - Two Close Friends' read it here

All the best Jan

Wednesday 21 February 2024

Spiced Fruit Bread : Low Carb : Microwave or Oven Cook

Once again, I'm sharing this recipe from Karen at KETohh blog she says, "this recipe is nut free and made from healthy ingredients such as flax seed / linseed, psyllium, coconut flour and blueberries. There’s no need to feel guilty about eating these as they are a fantastic source of vitamins, nutrients and are also full of fibre. Cinnamon and mixed spice goes wonderfully with the blueberries to recreate the traditional taste of a fruit and spice bread / loaf / muffin. These taste like you are eating a slice of raison toast but without the carbs. They taste fabulous served straight from the oven warm, slathered with butter. You don’t need to serve them with any toppings as they are full of flavour. You can also toast them and again just top with butter, as the fruit and spices are flavoursome enough. Although this is primarily a microwave recipe it can also be cooked in the oven … see further details on link below.


Ingredients
Serves One
2 teaspoons coconut flour or 6 teaspoons almond meal/almond flour
2 teaspoons flax seed/linseed ground
1 teaspoon psyllium husks (not powdered)
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon mixed spice
½-1 teaspoon stevia erythritol blend optional or to taste
¼ teaspoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon EVOO - extra virgin olive oil
1 egg
A pinch of salt
8-10 small blueberries fresh, frozen or sugar free dried berries
Nutritional Information
Serving: 1 serve | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 23g | Fibre: 7g
Recipe instructions/step by step guide
can be seen here

Low Carb Flours
The above recipe uses 'low carb flour' and if you are just starting a low carb diet/lifestyle you may feel confused with which low carb flours to use. You may never have used any of them before and how to use them properly can be daunting. Low carb flours do not behave like wheat flour, and how to use them in your old regular high carb recipes is a common question. Of course you may also be interested, or want to know more about them, and you can read more here

perhaps not the best of pictures
but it was nice to see these flowering crocus
~ enjoy your day ~

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. If you have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Tuesday 20 February 2024

DIABETES NEWS About a million adults in England have type 2 diabetes but do not yet know it, putting their health at risk, experts warn.


Diabetes worldwide is on the increase! In the US more than 29 million people, that's nearly 1 in 10 people, have it. 

Meanwhile here in the UK 'about a million adults in England have type 2 diabetes but do not yet know it, putting their health at risk, experts warn.


The data, from the Office for National Statistics, also suggests many more - perhaps five million - are on the cusp of developing it.

The condition causes high blood sugar levels that can lead to serious complications if left untreated.

Experts are particularly worried about the number of younger people at risk.

Older adults were more likely to have type 2 diabetes, but younger adults were more likely to be undiagnosed if they did have it - 50% of those aged 16 to 44 years with the condition were undiagnosed, compared with 27% of those aged 75 years and over, according to the estimates.

The ONS bases the calculations on data gathered from 26,751 adults taking part in an annual survey of the nation's health called the Health Survey for England. That data included blood tests looking at blood sugar levels.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes can include:
  • peeing more than usual
  • feeling thirsty all the time
  • feeling very tired
People from an Asian, Black African or Black Caribbean ethnic background have a higher risk of getting diabetes.

Find out your risk of type 2 diabetes

Untreated high glucose levels can lead to long-term damage to blood vessels, nerves and organs. It is important that type 2 diabetes is spotted as early as possible.

Nikki Joule, from Diabetes UK, said: "Type 2 diabetes is a life-changing condition that often develops slowly, especially in the early stages when it can be very difficult to spot the symptoms.

"The figures published today by [the] ONS reveal a shockingly high number of people living with type 2 diabetes without a diagnosis, while millions more are at high risk of developing it.

"We're particularly concerned about the prevalence of pre-diabetes and undiagnosed type 2 diabetes in people from black and Asian backgrounds, and the worrying proportion of younger people who are undiagnosed, as we know type 2 diabetes is more aggressive in younger people.

"The findings are a reminder of just how important it is for type 2 diabetes to be detected and diagnosed as early as possible, so people can get treatment and support to reduce the risk of devastating complications and, importantly, be offered remission programmes where appropriate."
Above words taken from article here

~ xxx oo xxx ~

A few more words on diabetes

As stated above, more than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes. That’s nearly 1 in 10 people, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Most cases of the disease are type 2 diabetes — a condition in which the body doesn’t make enough insulin, uses insulin incorrectly, or both. This can cause high levels of sugar in the blood. People with type 2 diabetes must control this sugar, or blood glucose, with a combination of medications, like insulin, and lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise. Diet is key to diabetes management.

Found in many foods such as breads, starches, cakes, biscuits, fruits, and sweets, carbohydrate is the macronutrient that causes blood sugar levels to go up. Managing carbohydrate intake helps people manage their blood sugar.

this image from article here
Introduction to low-carb for beginners

Please note that articles within this blog are provided for general information only and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider.

All the best Jan

Monday 19 February 2024

Did You Know!

Let's start the week off with a 'Did You Know' post!

Did you / do you know these five facts?

1. Hawaiian pizza is a Canadian invention.
Sam Panopoulos, a Greek immigrant and chef, came up with the idea of adding canned pineapple to pizza in 1962. Inspired by Chinese sweet and sour cooking, he introduced this unique combination at the Satellite Restaurant in Ontario.

Despite initial scepticism, Hawaiian pizza gained popularity worldwide once people gave it a taste. Interestingly, it’s named after the brand of canned pineapples used, not Hawaii itself.

2. The smallest bone in your body is in your ear.
Known as the stapes bone, this tiny bone is, on average, 0.09 × 0.11 inches (3 × 2.5 mm) in size.

The stapes bone can be found in the middle ear of humans and many other animals. It is vital in transferring vibrations from sounds into the inner ear.

3. Only 5% of the ocean has been explored.
The ocean covers around 70% of the Earth’s surface, and it is much harder to explore than land.

As much as 20% of the ocean floor has now been mapped, thanks to advancements in sonar technologies. The reason we’ve explored so little of the ocean is that the technology needed has only developed over the last 100 years.

4. Recycling just one tin can saves enough energy to watch television for 3 hours.
That’s how important recycling is! In fact, recycling an aluminium can into a new one takes only 5% of the energy required to produce one normally.

The average person has the chance to recycle 25,000 cans in their lifetime – that’s 75,000 hours of television!

5. The average person walks the equivalent of five times around the world in their lifetime.
Unless you’re a bit of a couch potato, you will, on average, walk around 7,500 steps daily. The average person lives until they’re 80, so it works out that you’ll walk about 110,000 miles (177,027 km) in your lifetime.

The circumference of the Earth at the equator is 24,900 miles (40,072 km).

Providing you’re an average person, who takes average strides and lives an average length of time, it’s entirely possible to walk the globe five times!

~xx ooo xx~

We did have some sunshine and blue sky yesterday, so a good day to add to my walking around the world five times!

~ enjoy your day ~

This blog is presented in a magazine style - we hope something for everyone. You will find a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, music and recipes! However, not all the recipes ideas featured in this blog 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 have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Sunday 18 February 2024

Cabbage, a healthy food

Cabbage is an exceptionally healthy food. It has an outstanding nutrient profile and is especially high in vitamins C and K. In addition, eating cabbage may even help lower the risk of certain diseases, improve digestion and combat inflammation - more to read hereOf course, cabbage also makes a tasty and inexpensive addition to a number of recipes, like these three, you may wish to try.

Dauphinoise Casserole with Cabbage
more details here


Italian cabbage stir fry
more details here


Cabbage Soup
more details here


Do you like cabbage? Will you be trying any of these recipes? Perhaps you already have one of your own you enjoy ... please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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

All the best Jan

Saturday 17 February 2024

'Melatonin, a hormone essential for good sleep'

Melatonin is essential for good sleep. This unique hormone is produced by the pineal gland, located in the middle of the brain, and functions with the rhythms of the sun. More melatonin is made when the sun goes down, and less when the sun comes up. Researchers say that adding melatonin to your diet may improve sleep.

In some countries taking melatonin supplements is a popular way to boost your body’s natural supply. They’re generally safe and not habit-forming, but they can interfere with some prescription medications, and may cause side effects such as headache, nausea, drowsiness, and dizziness.

However, in the UK, Melatonin is classed as a prescription-only medicine.

But, supplements may not be necessary, as researchers have found that foods high in melatonin raise the level of melatonin in the blood.

Why You Need Melatonin
A lack of sleep negatively impacts your health. It impedes learning and increases insulin resistance, which can progress to diabetes. It can also disrupt hunger hormones, meaning you may end up eating more than you normally would.

Scientists are still learning about the importance of melatonin. Although it’s best known as a sleep aid, melatonin has a range of other potential health benefits:

Sleep Restoration
There’s little evidence that melatonin is effective against chronic insomnia. But if you’re experiencing jet lag, it may help you return to a normal sleeping pattern. It can also help patients sleep before surgery.

Better Sleep Patterns in Adults
People with delayed sleep-wake phase disorder often stay awake until early morning and sleep until around noon. Melatonin may help them maintain a more normal sleeping pattern.

Better Sleep Patterns in Children
Melatonin may also help children with certain conditions that disrupt sleep. These include asthma, dermatitis, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Because melatonin is a hormone, children should not take it without a doctor's approval.

Brain Health in Older Adults
Melatonin levels naturally fall with age. Boosting them could help prevent brain disorders later in life. Both animal and human studies have discovered that melatonin could lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease.

Eye Health
Melatonin performs several valuable functions in the human eye. Supplementation has shown benefits for those with age-related macular degeneration. Researchers think lower melatonin levels in older adults could contribute to the disorder.

Foods With Melatonin
No recommended dietary allowance (RDA) has been established for melatonin. When it comes to melatonin supplements, some experts recommend a dosage of around 0.5 to 3 milligrams for sleep-related issues. Higher doses may cause daytime drowsiness.

Most food databases do not list the amount of melatonin in foods, but according to available research, these six foods are good sources of melatonin:-

Tart Cherries
Tart cherry juice is one of the best-known sleep aids. Researchers have found that it increases melatonin levels in the body and enhances sleep. Keep in mind that cherry juice is high in sugar. Drinking it nightly could significantly raise your intake of calories. Eating cherries instead of drinking their juice is a healthier way of getting melatonin.


Goji Berries
Produced by a plant native to China, goji berries have been touted for their anti-aging effects. They are also high in melatonin and may improve sleep.

Eggs
Among animal products, eggs are one of the best sources of melatonin. Eggs are also highly nutritious, offering protein and iron, among other essential nutrients.


Milk
Warm milk is a traditional remedy for insomnia, so it's no surprise that it’s high in melatonin. It could be a good option if you tolerate dairy.

Fish
Fish is a better source of melatonin than other meats. The best options are oily fish like salmon and sardines, which also provide valuable omega-3 fatty acids.

Nuts
Most nuts have a good amount of melatonin. Pistachios and almonds are among the highest. Nuts also are an excellent source of many antioxidants, healthy omega-3 fats, and minerals."
Words above with relevant links can be seen here and here

Please Be Aware
Articles within this blog are provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, including medication, you should contact your Doctor/local health care provider.

All the best Jan

Friday 16 February 2024

Friday Food Choices : Reduced/Lower Carb Choices

As Friday comes around again, I'm sharing four meal suggestions.
Will you choose one of them?
Or perhaps you have something different in mind?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below 😊


How about a white fish omelette for lunch, tea or supper,
it's healthy, nutritious and great tasting ...
more details here


Perhaps you would prefer
Crispy Chicken with creamy mushrooms and braised leeks
rich, creamy, full of mushrooms and tastes great
more details here


Or how about
Cheezy Vegan Broccoli Soup
see what makes the cheezy flavour
more details here


to complete these Friday four choices, how about this
Spinach and ricotta lasagne with courgette/zucchini pasta
more details here


~ wishing you a happy day ~

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. If you have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Thursday 15 February 2024

Meet Penguin and Squid : Two Close Friends

I thought this was a lovely story and definitely worth sharing, would you agree?

Farnham penguin finds 'guide bird' in one of her friends


Squid, an African penguin based at Birdworld in Farnham, Surrey, developed cataracts as a chick

A partially-sighted penguin at a bird park has found a "guide bird" in one of her friends.

Squid, an African penguin based at Birdworld in Farnham, Surrey, developed cataracts as a chick.

Her friend, named Penguin, steers Squid around their enclosure, helping when she gets disorientated at feeding time.

Polly Bramham, from Birdworld, said: "The two developed this friendship from a young age and she has learnt to follow him at feeding time."


The two became friends after struggling to fit into the group due to illness

Penguin was so ill at birth he was not expected to live so he was not named, and he did not join his group until later in life when he was better.

Ms Bramham said because he was so sick he had to be hand-reared and then "had to learn how to be a penguin", so he struggled to fit in.

Eventually, he became friends with Squid and the two have been helping each other since.

"They aren't yet mature but penguins do tend to pair for life," she added.

"Whether they become a pair themselves, we will have to see but they are compatible as friends."
Words and pictures from here

All the best Jan