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Saturday 28 February 2015

Amy Winehouse - You Know I'm No Good

One of my favourite Amy tracks 

Want to survive in this world? Then you will need a stiff upper lip.

Frank Sinatra Saturday Night Is Music Night.

As another week whizzes by, I'm pleased to start off our regular spot 'Saturday Night Is Music Night'. It's the one and only Frank Sinatra singing Strangers in the Night. Frank, born Francis Albert Sinatra, had such a colourful life, he was born in December 1915 .... and died in May 1998 aged 82yrs, but what a life, what a career, what great songs. His music lives on, and with this having had over 15 million views, I'm not his only fan.

All the best Jan  

Twitter don't you just love it !

Hey darling, if you're 18+ and have e-mail join me for more fun at <3 I'll be waiting.. Nina_69 <3 <3

16 minutes ago

Thanks for the offer, but I am so old I don't buy green bananas anymore. Good luck and health to you and yours.


Type 2 diabetes starter kits come in so many pretty colours these days...


Moroccan Fish Stew

Moroccan fish stew

Cue some Moroccan style music for this is an impressive dish that's fantastically easy to make, and perfect for a relaxed dinner with friends.

Ingredients - Serves 4
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
pinch cayenne pepper
400g/14oz can chopped plum tomatoes
pinch salt
500g/1lb 2oz firm white fish fillets (cod, snapper or ling) cut into chunks
400g/14oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tsp honey
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve
fresh coriander leaves
flaked almonds lightly toasted

Preparation and method
1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
2. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric and cinnamon stick and cook for two minutes, stirring regularly.
3. Add the cayenne pepper, tomatoes, salt and 250ml/9oz of water and cook, stirring frequently, for ten minutes.
4. Add the fish and simmer for five minutes, or until the fish is almost cooked through and tender.
5. Add the chickpeas and honey and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, then season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To serve, spoon out the tagine into bowls and garnish with fresh coriander leaves and flaked almonds

This really is a great dish, however, just a word of caution the recipe does contain chick peas and honey, which some diabetics do not tolerate well. However, as the quantities are shared between four it may not elevate blood sugars too much...... if in doubt use your meter and test. 

Original recipe here 

All the best Jan

Friday 27 February 2015

World premiere STATIN NATION II trailer:

STATIN NATION II trailer from Justin Smith on Vimeo.

  I am delighted to announce the world premiere of Statin Nation II

 Duration: 75 minutes 

 Brief Synopsis: The film is in three parts. Part 1 explains how health authorities around the world have continued to ignore the huge amount of data suggesting that saturated fat and cholesterol do not play a causal role in heart disease. Part 2 examines the current system of using risk factors for disease prevention - which of these risk factors are correct, and can a person be reduced to a short list of numbers? Part 3 moves beyond the system currently used and investigates the real causes of heart disease - proposing for the first time, an alternative model for thinking about the disease.

The film includes interviews with 12 leading experts in this field, and was shot on location in the UK, USA, Denmark, Sweden, France, Lithuania, Australia, Egypt and Japan.


Energy drinks containing 20 teaspoons of sugar 'should be banned for under-16s'

Energy drinks containing 20 teaspoons of sugar 'should be banned for under-16s'

"Action on Sugar (AoS) says drinks are 'fueling the obesity epidemic'.

Energy drinks aimed at children contain a 'disgraceful' 20 teaspoons of sugar and should be banned, says a charity.

Action on Sugar (AoS) said the drinks were 'fuelling the 'obesity epidemic' and served 'no purpose whatsoever' other than to make children addicted to caffeine and sugar.

It found that energy drinks contained up to 78g of sugar per 500ml - more than three times the 25g limit for women proposed by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition.

AoS has called for sales of energy drinks to be banned to children under 16, and said children and adolescents should be aware of the 'excessive and worryingly high' levels of added sugar.

Out of 197 energy drinks surveyed by AoS, 78 per cent of these would receive a 'red' label for sugar content, while 101 contained the same amount or more sugar than Coca-Cola, which contains the equivalent of nine teaspoons of sugar per 330ml can.

Per portion, the worst offender was Rockstar Punched Energy plus Guava, which contained 20 teaspoons of sugar per 500ml can.

Per 100ml, examples of high sugar energy drinks included Sainsbury's Orange Energy Drink (1L) with 15.9g, Rockstar Juiced Energy with mango, orange and passion fruit (15.2g), Red Devil Energy Drink (15g) and Lucozade Energy Pink Lemonade/Caribbean Crush (14g).

The charity said there were similar products on the market with considerably less sugar, for example Monster Khaos Energy and Juice, which contained 7.8g per 100ml, or about 50 per cent less than the highest sugar-containing energy drinks.

Last year the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) issued new draft guidance saying that even people of a normal weight should be urged to avoid sugar sweetened drinks including fizzy drinks, sports drinks, squashes and any other hot or cold drinks that contain added sugar.

AoS nutritionist Kawther Hashem said: "The level of sugars in a typical can is disgraceful. Free sugars increase the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and dental decay and we need to protect children and teenagers from drinking these products.

"Sugar-free options are available from some manufacturers but be aware these still contain high levels of caffeine or other stimulants, so are not a healthy option."

Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Queen Mary University of London and chairman of AoS, said: "Children are being deceived into drinking large cans of this stuff, thinking they are going to improve their performance at school, during sports or even on a night out.

"In reality all they are doing is increasing their risk of developing obesity or type 2 diabetes which will have lifelong implications on their health. Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, limb amputation and kidney dialysis - hardly the image of a healthy, active person."

British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) director general Gavin Partington said: "These products are called energy drinks for a reason - they deliver a caffeine or glucose-based energy boost.

"They are now available in a variety of types, flavours and sizes, including a range of low and no calorie options, so that consumers have a much wider choice.

"BSDA members do not promote energy drinks to children under 16 and all products are clearly labelled in compliance with EU regulations."

Original picture and article here including the top ten worst drinks.

These levels of sugar, to me, are horrendous. I can remember as a child drinking water and sometimes juice that had been well diluted with tap water. The bottled waters, in their many shapes, sizes and eye catching packaging was not around to buy ........ and to me there is still something so refreshing about that glass of water taken from my kitchen tap.

What do you think - have you any thoughts, or comments to share.

Thanks for reading.

All the best Jan

Denver-based Atkins Nutritionals up for sale, could fetch $1B

The owner of Atkins Nutritionals is going on a diet of its own.

Private-equity firm Roark Capital Group, which owns Atkins, is gearing up to seek a buyer for the low-carbohydrate-diet pioneer, according to people familiar with the matter. The Denver company could fetch more than $1 billion in a sale, one of the people said. There is no guarantee a sales process will result in a deal.

Atkins was founded in 1989 by cardiologist Robert Atkins, who created one of the first mainstream diets focused on high-protein foods. In the early 2000s, the Atkins diet prompted many adherents to eschew bread, grains and sugar in favor of meats, other sources of protein and higher-fat diets--a regimen that remains popular today. Dr. Atkins died in 2003.

Atkins generates revenue from books and food it sells to promote its namesake diet. The company sells protein bars, frozen meals and shakes at retailers including Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Americans have tailored the way they eat to incorporate facets of the program into their diets. To capitalize on changing tastes, mainstream food companies have been buying protein companies at a rapid clip. Last year, Hormel Foods Corp. purchased Muscle Milk maker CytoSport Holdings Inc. Tyson Foods Inc. paid $7.8 billion for Hillshire Brands Co., which makes Jimmy Dean sausages.

Roark bought Atkins in 2010 for an undisclosed sum. The company had changed hands a number of times already, with private-equity firm North Castle Partners LLC paying just $100 million to buy it in 2007, a few years after Atkins had filed for bankruptcy. It is unclear who might be interested in buying Atkins this time around, but auctions of such companies typically draw private-equity firms and other industry players.
Atlanta-based Roark specializes in consumer, business-services and environmental-services investments. The buyout firm, an investor in brands including Anytime Fitness LLC and Wingstop Restaurants Inc., last month announced it raised $2.5 billion for its fourth fund.

Info taken from here.


This government has lied to you. They are selling off your NHS to their cronies.

Thursday 26 February 2015

Banned weight-loss drug could combat liver disease, diabetes

A drug the U.S. government once branded “extremely dangerous and not fit for human consumption” deserves a second chance, a study of rats suggests. Researchers report that a slow-release version of the compound reverses diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), an untreatable condition that can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Diabetes has already become an epidemic. And up to 30% of people around the world may have a lesser known but related metabolic illness, NAFLD, in which lipids— the family of molecules that includes fats—amass in the liver. Although the extra fat often causes few problems, about 10% to 20% of people develop nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a serious illness in which inflammation and scarring can provoke cancer and liver failure. So far, there are no approved drugs for treating either condition. “This is one of the biggest unmet needs in medicine today,” says hepatologist Rohit Loomba of the University of California, San Diego.

To address that need, endocrinologist Gerald Shulman of the Yale University School of Medicine and colleagues proposed resurrecting a drug with a dark history: 2,4 dinitrophenol (DNP). Originally used as an industrial chemical and explosive, the compound captured researchers’ attention after French munitions workers were exposed to high levels of it during World War I. One frequent consequence of this exposure was weight loss—although another consequence was sometimes death. After further research suggested the compound spurred obese people to shed pounds, drugmakers in the 1930s included DNP in diet pills that were available without a prescription. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the compound at the end of the decade, however, because it caused side effects such as cataracts and was responsible for a handful of deaths.

Despite its bad reputation, DNP does have some virtues. By altering the activity of mitochondria—the powerhouses that provide cells with energy—it forces the body to burn fat. It provides other metabolic benefits as well. For example, people with NAFLD or diabetes typically have insulin resistance, meaning that their cells don’t respond normally to the hormone that controls blood sugar levels. However, when Shulman and colleagues fed DNP to rats, they found that the drug boosted the animals’ insulin sensitivity.

The researchers decided to design a safer version of DNP that would retain its benefits. First they tried to limit the effects of the drug by creating a version that is active mainly in the liver. In a study published in 2013, the researchers demonstrated that this version of the drug was about one-tenth as toxic as standard DNP. Moreover, the targeted drug reduced fat buildup in the livers of rats that had NAFLD and improved the animals’ insulin sensitivity.

But the researchers thought they could do even better. In their new study, they packed the original form of DNP into a pill that slowly dissolves and releases the drug over 12 to 24 hours. This strategy reduces the amount of the drug in the bloodstream. When fed to rats that devour a fat-laden diet and develop their own version of NAFLD, the slow-release drug slashed their liver lipid levels by about 90%, Shulman and colleagues report online today in Science. Rodents that consumed the drug also saw improvements in their insulin sensitivity and blood glucose quantities. In rats with NASH, the drug reduced fibrosis, the scarring that can cause cirrhosis and liver failure. The team also showed that it reversed diabetes in rats. Comparing the doses that provide these benefits with the doses that trigger side effects, the researchers determined that the slow-release version is safer than the liver-targeted drug.

The study suggests that this gentler version of DNP could be useful for treating diabetes and NAFLD, Shulman says. It reduces fat buildup and corrects defective liver metabolism of glucose, so “it’s getting at the root cause of these diseases.” He and his colleagues plan further animal studies of the drug and hope to move on to safety trials in people.

Hepatologist Sean Koppe of the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System in Chicago says that the results justify testing the drug in humans. “They show it has a broad window between therapeutic and toxic levels,” he says. Loomba says that the drug’s ability to curb fibrosis, one of the hallmarks of NASH, is encouraging, and he also supports safety trials in people. “This preclinical data is extremely exciting,” he says.

Koppe and Loomba agree that if DNP does prove to be safe and effective in further trials, it could win approval from FDA, despite its history. Banned drugs have made comebacks before. The prime example is thalidomide, which was outlawed in the 1960s because it caused birth defects but has now found a niche in the treatment of cancer and leprosy.

Yet more dangerous drugs, as far as NAFLD goes that is treatable with a LC diet


Swede Wonderful Swede - also known as 'Rutabaga' or 'Neeps'

The humble swede is so often part of our menu plans and is known under various names, depending on where in this world you live ..... so I thought why not give a little more detail for those of you who have not tried this wonderful vegetable.

Americans know it as "rutabaga". The Scottish call it "neeps" and serve it with haggis. The swede, a fairly recent root vegetable, is thought to have originated around the 17th century in Bohemia. In 1620 a Swiss botanist described the root vegetable, believed to be a hybrid of the cabbage and the turnip. By 1664 it was growing in England. A good source of vit.C, fibre, folate and potassium. Low in calories.Wash then peel thoroughly to remove the thick outer skin. Swede can be prepared and served in any of the methods used for potatoes. Swede can be added to soups, stews and casseroles. Use mashed swede instead of mashed potato it has a slightly sweet taste. Swede can also be made into fritters and pancakes. Collins Gem states 2.3 grams of carb per 100 grams. It doesn't spike blood sugar numbers like a potato may. Swede is just great, try it and see.

Even our kids love swede and the grandchildren like its slightly sweet taste. Mash up with lots of butter and serve with meat, fish, other vegetables, whatever you like. It really does taste good.

All the best Jan

Tesco "Every bit helps"

Quote of the day from a Daily Mail reader.

"The only time most of us could afford grass fed red meat was when it was actually horse."

Many a word said in jest. 

Wednesday 25 February 2015

ADA: Keeping it's corporate sponsors Big Pharma happy

BUSTED: 10 diabetes myths debunked

Myth: If you have diabetes, you should only eat small amounts of starchy foods, such as bread, potatoes and pasta.
Fact: Starchy foods can be part of a healthy meal plan, but portion size is key. Whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice and starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, peas and corn can be included in your meals and snacks. In addition to these starchy foods, fruits, beans, milk, yogurt, and sweets are also sources of carbohydrate that you need to count in your meal plan.

Wondering how much carbohydrate you can have? A place to start is about 45-60 grams of carbohydrate per meal. However, you may need more or less carbohydrate at meals depending on how you manage your diabetes. You and your health care team can figure out the right amount for you. Once you know how much carb to eat at a meal, choose your food and the portion size to match.

Myth: People with diabetes can't eat sweets or chocolate.
Fact: If eaten as part of a healthy meal plan, or combined with exercise, sweets and desserts can be eaten by people with diabetes. They are no more "off limits" to people with diabetes than they are to people without diabetes. The key to sweets is to have a very small portion and save them for special occasions so you focus your meal on more healthful foods.

The American Diabetes Association (Association) released new research on March 6, 2013 estimating the total costs of diagnosed diabetes have risen to $245 billion in 2012 from $174 billion in 2007, when the cost was last examined. 

The ADA by sticking to the high carb low fat nonsense is fueling the rise in costs of treating diabetes, but hey at least Big Pharma and their share holders are happy.


Incorrect nutritional advice immediate cause of global obesity and diabetes !

Dear Offended !

If you don't like free speech, don't use it, don't listen to it. Your choice.

               Embedded image permalink

Slow Cooker - Simple Beef and Portobello Stew Recipe

Many I know like to use a slow cooker - so if you have one, you may like to try this recipe.
" Simple Beef & Portobello Stew.  Know how to make it even simpler?  Use a slow cooker.  This tomato based stew uses grass-fed beef and portobello mushrooms for a heartiness that will stick to your ribs.  The slow cooker makes it all happen without any fuss.  Family is happy…boom goes the dynamite.
Simple Beef & Portobello Stew
(serves 4-6)
1 pound grass fed beef stew meat, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon onion powder to season beef
1 yellow onion, loosely chopped
3 stalks celery, loosely chopped
1/2 cup loosely chopped carrots
8 ounces portobello mushroom caps, loosely chopped (about 3-4 portobello caps)
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
3 ounces tomato paste (1/2 can)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, plus more for seasoning
Season beef with onion powder.  Brown on high heat in a sauté pan, searing each side of the beef chunks, about 3-4 minutes total.  Pour beef into slow cooker, add in all remaining ingredients.  Cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours until stew is ready, season with additional salt and pepper to taste. "
This lovely recipe idea comes from Anna here
All the best Jan

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Is this the best chocolate in the world ?

To'ak chocolate

"This chocolate bar costs £170 and the Company tells you how to eat it to.

If you think you're pushing the boat out a bit with a box of Thorntons, you're probably not the target market for the new chocolate bar from To'ak Chocolate.

The company's got just 574 of the 50-gram bars for sale, costing a far-from-sweet $260 (£170) each.

The cacao beans for the bars are sourced from Ecuador's Arriba growing region, and were harvested during the latest rainy season. Each bar is sold in a hand-crafted Spanish Elm wooden box, and comes with a special set of wooden tongs so that it's unsullied by human touch, along with an information booklet.

"The initial attack is smooth, highlighted by notes of cherry, raisin, and fig that give way to earthy tones of wood and tobacco," says Idaly Farfán of chocolatier Xocolatl, in Quito.

"The finish is long and elegant with a mild bitterness imbued with walnut, all of which is given structure by a balanced acidity that calls forth citrus and hints of orange blossom. This is a subtle and complex chocolate; in the world of wine we would say that it has noble character."

To'ak expects you to take its chocolate very seriously indeed: it's "not for late night-cravings, not for trick-or-treats, not distributed in fun sizes, not to be consumed when stressed," says To'ak in a statement.

"This bucket list-worthy experience deserves to be enjoyed in its own room with reverence and ritual. There probably should even be a certain gown worn while mindfully sampling every sensory element - aroma, texture, flavour and finish."

The bars are for sale on the company website - but you'd better hurry, as once they're gone there won't be another batch until next year.

The instruction that customers should use a special pair of tongs - and even wear a special gown - is a canny one on the part of the manufacturers.

Two years ago, University of Minnesota researchers discovered that people rated the flavour of chocolate more highly if they were instructed to follow detailed instructions on how to break it in half and unwrap it.

"The results showed that those who had performed the 'ritual' rated the chocolate more highly, savoured it more, and were willing to pay more for the chocolate than the other group," says the team

To'ak even goes so far as to provide a list of cognacs and whiskies that it says complement its chocolate particularly well - and gives instructions on how to drink the spirits, too. It really should taste delicious after all that."

More on this story here

I must say it puts my £1-70 bar of 85% dark chocolate into perspective, and living the LCHF lifestyle, dark chocolate is what I eat. A square with a cup of coffee - delicious !

All the best Jan

DCUK Great Grovels in history !

"It’s all too easy to criticise those who run the site and posted the recipe but please keep in mind the simple, and yet ever so important fact, that without them, there would be no site." Said here.

And without the members who supply 99% of the content for free there would also be no site. A site that is primarily about profit and exploiting people in trouble, as most of the owners sites are about.


Monday 23 February 2015

Dr Aseem Malhotra: Mediterranean diet is heart healthy – if it’s high-fat

The Mediterranean diet is good for hearts as long as it is also high in fat, says Dr Aseem Malhotra, a British interventional cardiologist. He is science director of Action on Sugar, a group of 23 specialists working to reduce sugar consumption in that country, and is a speaker at the low-carb, high-fat Summit in Cape Town. Here he talks to me about why he decided to attend, and his views on heart disease and statins. – MS

Transcript of interview:

 Dr Malhotra, thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me.

It’s an absolute pleasure, Marika.

Thank you.  You once wanted to be a professional cricketer.  Cricketing’s loss is cardiology’s gain.  Why didn’t you  become a cricketer?

I’ve always had a passion for sport.  I played at a good level in cricket, in my school days.  I used to open the batting for my grammar school, which produces many good cricketers, including Mike Laverton, the former English captain.  I had to make a decision in my late teens to pursue a career in medicine.

Did your parents guide you in that one?

Well, my dad was actually very keen that I do cricket.  He’s a doctor but he was a very big cricket fan himself.

What kind of doctor is he?

He’s a general practitioner, but he played a lot of cricket with some of the great cricketers in his university days – cricketers like Kapil Dev, etcetera – in India.  Cricket runs in our blood and I made a decision that (probably the right one) that I was also very attracted to becoming a cardiologist.  For a long time, I wanted to do cardiology and I think I thought “well, I don’t think I’m going to be the next Tendulkar”, and therefore, I’d probably be better off doing cardiology.

What made you decide to specialise in cardiology?

Medicine obviously runs in the family and that had an influence on me (in a positive way) although I had decided I didn’t want to do general practice.  Both my parents were GP’s and growing up in a family of two GP’S, I felt like I was almost already a GP because you all about the work.  I was always interested the human body and science, but I had very up close and personal experiences of people with their hearts.

When I was young, my grandfather died of a very rare heart condition, called amyloidosis.  He was a very fit man.  It was tragic, he died in his early sixties, and he could have lived much longer.  That isn’t something that runs in families but it was heartbreaking.  I had a brother, who had a small hole in his heart, but he had Down’s syndrome and at the age of 13, he picked up a regular virus.  At the time, we didn’t know what happened, but he basically, went into crashing heart failure within the space of a week of being well, and it’s likely that he had something called myocarditis, which can happen.  I’ve treated patients with this.  He passed away.

I’m sorry to hear that.

Thank you.  It’s a long time ago, but I think those things definitely influenced in my thinking about cardiology.  When I went to medical school, I was fascinated with the heart.  We know that heart disease is the biggest killer in the Western world.

Read more or listen to the full interview here:


Beer-braised lamb shanks

Slow cooking meat makes it melt-in-the-mouth tender. This simple lamb shank recipe can also be made in a slow cooker, at 5.8g carb per serving a winner.
If living the LCHF lifestyle just serve with buttery mashed swede - not potato.

Ingredients Serves 6

3 tbsp olive oil
6 lamb shanks
1 large onion, finely sliced
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
500ml bottle pale or golden ale
300ml lamb or chicken stock, hot
2 bay leaves
5 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped
Knob of unsalted butter
Handful flat leaf parsley, chopped


1. Heat half the oil in a large, heavy-based casserole (with a tight-fitting lid) over a medium heat. Add the lamb shanks and cook to brown all over for a few minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Heat the remaining oil in the pot and fry the onion, celery, carrot and garlic over a gentle heat for 10 minutes until really soft and beginning to colour. Return the lamb shanks to the pot and pour in the ale and stock. Season well, add the herbs, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover with the lid and cook over a low heat for 2½ hours, turning halfway through, until the lamb shanks are 'meltingly' tender.

3. Remove the lamb to a warmed serving dish and keep warm under foil. Discard the bay leaves. Bring the sauce to the boil and reduce it by half until it’s nice and glossy.

4. Whisk in the butter and return the lamb to the casserole to warm through, if necessary. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with buttery mashed swede.

Note: To cook this recipe in a SLOW COOKER brown the lamb shanks all over in a little oil and place in the slow cooker. Fry the onion, celery, carrot and garlic for a couple of minutes and add to the slow cooker. Add all the remaining ingredients except for the butter and parsley, season well. cover with the lid and cook on low for 7-8 hours. Whisk the butter into the sauce with the parsley and serve. (you can reduce the sauce in a pan if you like).

Of course you may like to enjoy a glass of red wine to accompany this great tasting meal. 

Original recipe idea is here 

All the best Jan

DCUK Flog member hits the nail on the head !

"Site owners will be furious if an upgrade has made us all diet-only. No more meds. No more sponsors. Where will their future revenue come from? LOL"


Said here. No flies on Smidge. Obviously the thread was locked swiftly. 


Children and Low Carb Eating

With so much talk about living the low carb lifestyle. Would you recommend it for pregnant women? Would you bring up your children the low carb way? I read with great interest an article by Kelly on The Zero Carb Blog, but more on that in a moment. 

Our grandchildren are being brought up on a reduced carbohydrate lifestyle. Dr Andreas Eenfeldt's two girls eat real whole foods, and a reduced carbohydrate lifestyle. I can remember his daughter's birthday cake being made of melon and double cream. Dr Jay Wortmans daughter is a low carb child. 

If you want what is best for your child have you considered a reduced carb lifestyle? You can and should read the many articles and books that are available so you can make an informed choice. Neither Kelly or I are medical professionals, we share and discuss what we have found works well for us and our families.

Here are Kelly's words and her pictures.

"After having two zero-carb pregnancies (minus some darned pickles), I gave birth to two healthy, happy babies. And that, my friends, is when I faced my greatest challenge to date.

I had to actually FEED them.

You know, in today’s world, everything is about the treats. Going to the movies? You gotta have popcorn and candy. Having a birthday? Get a cake. Going to the bank? Here’s a sucker. Learning to go potty? Give them M&Ms. A special holiday? Candy, candy, candy! Taking your child to the church nursery? Here come the cookies! Going to the grandparents’ house? Hope you saved room for dessert.

I knew from my own personal experiences that I felt worlds better without carbs and sugars in my diet. I knew that I felt more relaxed and calm without my blood sugar surging and plummeting all day long. I was calm, but also had plenty of steady energy, more than I ever did while eating carbs. I slept well at nights and lived my life free from cravings, moodiness, and weight gain. I just felt GOOD.

Why wouldn't I want my kids to feel the same way?

After much discussion with my husband, we decided to feed our children a diet of only meats, low-carb vegetables, low-sugar fruits, and water. No grains, sweets, juices, potatoes, breads, or starches.

And wow. I don’t think either of us really knew what we were signing ourselves up for.

What they ate as infants/babies

Raising low-carb kids was simplest when they were first born, mostly because no one else really attempts to feed other people’s infants. For their first six months, both of our babies were breastfed, without cereal supplements or any additional food. I didn't worry about keeping sugar or carbs from them, and I didn't have to worry about someone tossing a lollipop into their bottles. Nutritionally, the ball was completely in my court.

The real challenge began when they were about six months of age, and they each became interested in table foods. We started out giving them a mix of solid and mushy foods. I continued breastfeeding them, but we also gave them their first food: meat.

Even though meat is not a traditional “first food” for babies in America, it’s very common in many countries around the world to start children off this way. It’s worth pointing out that meat is one of the least allergenic and most digestible foods.

We would let Thomas pick up a chicken leg or burger patty and gum it. Or I would cook a fatty roast in the crock-pot and then purée it in a food processor to spoon-feed to Julia. Voila! Instant beef baby food.

I introduced low-carb pureed vegetables a couple of weeks later, when I felt that they had developed a healthy taste for proteins and fats. And though I would usually add some form of fat to the veggies (green beans with bacon fat, or carrots with butter), the kids quickly found that they loved vegetables, too, especially green beans, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, olives, and carrots. My kids have both been known to squeal at the sight of beets. Seriously. Beets.

What they eat now as toddlers

Now that they’re both sitting in booster seats at the table, putting a low-carb meal on their plates is basically like feeding a [short] low-carb adult. Truth be told, they could probably out-eat most adults.

Here’s a standard breakfast selection for our children: eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit or tomatoes, and unsweetened, high-fat Greek yogurt.

Low-carb snacking on-the-go was something else I had to figure out. Because they eat such huge and filling meals, they don’t snack a lot, but when they do, they eat things like pepperoni, nuts, summer sausage, carrot sticks, pork rinds, and granny smith apples.

If we go out to eat, I order them a meat (steak, bun-less burger, beef tips, pork chop, chicken wings, chicken salad, or roast beef with melted cheese on top), and some vegetables. Going out to eat with them is still difficult, but only because they’re two and three years old and have the patience of a gnat when it comes to waiting for food. They may have come by that honestly, though.

They only drink water, which they both LOVE. They've never tasted juice, so they don’t ask for it. They've also never tasted cow’s milk (other than unsweetened heavy whipping cream), but they do get dairy in the form of cheese and Greek yogurt. Also, Julia has a great love for seltzer water. (She has her daddy’s face, but is definitely my child.)

Their most favorite treat (aside from a juicy steak) is fruit. I mostly stick to lower-sugar fruits like granny smith apples, honeydew melon, watermelon, and cantaloupe. I can get Thomas to do ANYTHING for a grape.

The world is a sugar minefield.

As they are getting older, things are becoming markedly trickier. For instance, our choices in child care providers and preschools have been based in part upon who will allow us to pack our own lunches and snacks. And when my kids are invited to a birthday party, I bake them a cake without flour or sweeteners (recipe coming soon) to make sure they don’t feel left out. In case there is ever a party at my kids’ school, I always have an extra special (though still low-carb and sugar-free) bag of snacks in their backpack.

One thing I didn't anticipate was how easy it would be to tell my children that they can’t have sugar and sweets. I haven’t had to turn them down, because they've never even asked me for sweets. They don’t even like the smell of baked goods or sugary foods. They truly have NO sweet tooth whatsoever and have no desire for anything other than meats, vegetables, and fruit. I don’t think they’d like the taste of candy even if I gave it to them.

And what a difference it makes in their behavior! They are incredibly calm, good kids with a great demeanor. But, WOW. Ingesting even the slightest bit of sugar can quickly change that. Because the only sugary thing they've ever been exposed to is prescription medicine, it’s easy for me to see the instant decline when sugar enters their systems. Do you know how many common medicines have sugar and sweeteners in them? Most all of them. And when it comes to my kids, the end result is melee. It’s not pretty.

If I can spare my children from a lifetime of negative effects from sugars and carb addiction, I will be thrilled. If I can help keep their blood sugar stable and allow them to feel the calmness and happiness that I have experienced over the past five years, I will consider myself successful.

I should mention that there is one side effect that has been completely unexpected. Due to their diets being so different from most (all?) other kids that we know, I can already tell that Julia and Thomas realize that it’s completely okay to think outside of the box and go “against the grain,” if you will. They’re finding out at an early age that it’s fine to be “different.”

And I’m definitely okay with that. Because, let’s face it: Aren't we all? "

Words and pictures are Kelly's at 'My Zero Carb Life' here for which I thank her.

I hope you have found this an interesting read and perhaps it has given you food for thought?

All the best Jan

Sunday 22 February 2015

Big Pharma Is America’s New Mafia

Pharmaceutical companies have more power than ever, and the American people are paying the price—too often with our lives.

By now you have probably seen John Oliver’s comic take on the pharmaceutical industry’s influence on doctors’ prescribing habits. Media outlets from Mother Jones to the Wall Street Journal commented admiringly, and even the American Medical Association felt compelled to declare they were “committed to transparency” around drug company payments to doctors.

But satire will do very little to focus on the real problem if we’re distracted by the humor inherent in self-important doctors being bought off by a steak. What’s not funny is that America is the most medicated nation on earth, with some 70 percent of Americans taking prescription drugs—yet we have worse health outcomes than other industrialized countries. Part of the problem may be the drugs themselves. As Slate’s devastating expose on the fraud in clinical drug trials shows us: We don’t know much about the drugs we prescribe.

But as physicians, we have very little good information to go on. Even our most prestigious journals publish research based on falsified studies, according to Charles Seife, a journalism professor whose class spent a semester trying to figure out why the data don’t get corrected once research fraud comes to light. “As a result,” Seife writes, “nobody ever finds out which data is bogus, which experiments are tainted, and which drugs might be on the market under false pretenses.”

If no one knows which data is bogus, we obviously have a big problem in conventional medicine. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so focused on marketing shenanigans, and more concerned about the original study data before something becomes standard of care. Standard of care, of course, is driven by “research” that is incorporated into academic guidelines and is the basis of customer demand.

Understanding consumer demand takes very little study—just turn on the TV. Every year pharmaceutical companies spend over $3 billion on direct-to-consumer ads. These ads work: a patient who requests a specific drug will get it most of the time. (We are, by the way, the only country besides New Zealand that allows this.) But the question of how something becomes part of a recommended guideline is less obvious—and has a lot to do with pharmaceutical money paid to academic physicians in research and consulting fees.

Many of these physicians “leaders” then get to influence prescribing practices—since researchers and consultants are, well, experts. Consider the 2004 Cholesterol guidelines that resulted in an explosion in the use of statin drugs—eight out of nine of the doctors who wrote those guidelines were in receipt of money from statin manufacturers. The Harvard psychiatrist credited with hyping the use of stimulant drugs for ADHD—that has resulted in nearly 15 percent of our youth being medicated—received $1.6 million from producers of stimulant drugs. Prestigious medical journals—the ones that often define medical guidelines—allow physicians consulting for pharmaceutical companies or paid medical writers to extol the virtues of the drugs they are selling.I hate to ruin the fun, but practicing physicians are influenced far more by guidelines, esteemed academic physicians, and opinion pieces in prestigious journals than we are by a deli platter and a smiling drug rep. We look to the world of academic medicine because, well, where else can we turn? Pharmaceutical companies know this and have worked hard to sway the leadership. Now the question comes up if we can trust the data that the leadership relies on. One wonders how deep the deception goes. In fact, the heavy influence of pharmaceutical dollars inspired the former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Marcia Angell, to conclude, “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines.”

That’s why so many practicing physicians and patients alike were relieved that Obamacare would force pharmaceutical companies to come clean about how much money they’re throwing at some doctors. Sure, it’s fun to ridicule a middle-aged doctor ogling the drug rep’s cleavage while stuffing pens in his pocket or wolfing down a falafel sandwich—but this guy isn’t really the problem and everybody knows it. While $90 million went to drug-company sponsored meals in 2013, according to the Open Payments database, at least $1.4 Billion went to research. If we can believe that doctors can be bought with a slice of pizza pie, then we cannot underrate the influence of research monies.

And by the way, that $1.4 billion is probably a fraction of what is spent on researchers. Obamacare allows a four-year delay in the reporting of research grants for reasons that really don’t make any sense. An explanation fromMedscape does little to satisfy: “The thinking is that if there were public transparency, it might stifle companies from getting involved in very early research…. And that’s again to specifically protect that research space.”

Whether or not the research space needs protecting is a matter of debate. Certainly we have so much research that it’s impossible for a working physician to get through it—some 800,000 articles are published annually. In response, theCochrane Collaboration was formed in the 1990s to perform systematic reviews of the literature. Dr. Peter Gotzsche, the Director of the Nordic Cochrane Center in Copenhagen, has seen enough over the last two decades to sum up his findings in a book whose title says it all: Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare.

“Much of what the drug industry does fulfills the criteria for organized crime in US law,” Dr. Gotzsche said in a recent interview. “And they behave in many ways like the mafia does, they corrupt everyone they can corrupt, they have bought every type of person, even including ministers of health in some countries…The drug industry buys the professors first, then chiefs of departments, then other chief physicians and so on, they don’t buy junior doctors.”

Gotzsche isn’t the only one accusing pharmaceutical companies of wrongdoing beyondthe marketing malfeasance they’re famous for. In Australia, during the Vioxx class action suit brought against Merck, company emails were released revealing that Merck employees planned to “neutralize” and “discredit” doctors who criticized the drug. “We may need to seek them out and destroy them where they live,” a Merck employee wrote, according to The Australian. Apparently, uncooperative physicians were targeted to lose academic appointments and research funding for telling the truth about the negative side effects they observed.

This is troubling—but even more so in light of the fact that it’s now widely accepted that prescription drugs can be dangerous and over the years dozens have been recalled. “Our prescription drugs are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer. Our drugs kill around 200,000 people in America every year, and half of these people die while they do what their doctors told them—so they die because of the side-effects,” said Dr. Gotzsche in his recent interview. “The other half die because of errors—and it’s often the doctors that make the errors because any drug may come with 20, 30 or 40 warnings, contraindications, precautions…and then the patients die.”

This is a hard pill for any of us to swallow. We should be able to trust our doctors, who should in turn be able to trust “the science.” As amusing as Oliver’s “epic takedown” of doctors was, the trouble isn’t physicians prescribing a new drug because a drug rep brings us a platter of tacos, the problem is whether the drugs we have to choose from are truly safe and effective in the first place.

Of course pharmaceutical companies are here to stay—and on the whole that’s a good thing. But to prevent a power dynamic that may deny us fully accurate drug data, physicians, and patients need more transparency—not just about the money, but about the drugs we are putting in our bodies.


Bell Pepper Snacks Adored by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Fairy Princesses!

Well half term week came and went, in a blink of an eye it seemed, no sooner had we traveled to see family, including the grandchildren, then it was time to head back - but we enjoyed special time with them. As the grandchildren grow older so they change and whereas our grandson's favourite toys and game had been 'Octonauts' this has now been superseded by 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'. The amazing thing is these toys have been around a long time because I can remember our boys liking them and now it's the grandchildren.

With regard to our grand-daughter I always find it refreshing to see Fairy Princesses are still popular and of course 'Frozen' ...... I can recall that at Christmas there were scenes of many parents fighting to buy their girls 'Frozen' presents, thankfully we didn't come across such problem or mayhem!

As you will have previously read on other posts, our grandchildren do follow a reduced carbohydrate lifestyle. Things they just love to eat are peppers, especially the yellow, orange and red ones.Carrot sticks go down a treat with them as does celery and cucumber.

Their mother often serves up a snack using these. I did come across these fun recipe ideas you may like to incorporate for children, although why should adults not enjoy them too !

You could cut up peppers, carrots, celery and arrange them to look like stick people, with a smile on their face ..... kids get such delight as they eat an 'arm' or a 'leg' from their stick pepper person LOL

Or how about these ?

Celery and Pepper Traffic Lights made with celery stick, cream cheese, and bell peppers punched out using the back side of a frosting tip, you will find the circle is the perfect size

stoplight celery copy

Green Pepper, courgettes and carrot Octopus, made using a green Bell pepper. The octopus is sitting in a bed of hummus with some courgettes / zucchini and carrots to complete his adorable look.

Bell Pepper Octopus

Thanks to Super Healthy Kids for these ideas here  

All the best Jan

Pork Chops with lemon and herbs

Herb & lemon pork chops

This recipe can be used whatever the season, because these fresh, zesty chops may be cooked on a barbecue, griddle or in a frying pan, and at 1g carb per serving what a great LCHF dish. 

Ingredients - Serves 6

6 big pork loin chops
3 garlic cloves, crushed
small handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
½ tsp fennel seeds, roughly chopped
zest and juice 1 lemon, plus 1 lemon, quartered
3 tbsp olive oil
6 bay leaves


1. Sit the chops in a dish. Mix together the garlic, parsley, fennel seeds, lemon zest and juice, oil and bay, then rub all over the chops. Leave the chops to marinate for at least an hour, or up to a day.
2. Heat a barbecue, frying or griddle pan. Season the chops, then cook for 5-8 mins on each side until cooked through (if cooking in batches, wrap the cooked chops in foil while you finish the rest). Add the lemon quarters for the last min to char, then serve alongside the pork.

The recipe above is for six people but can be adapted to suit your requirements.

It's a really lovely taste, and can be served with a simple salad or fine green beans.

If eating this for an 'at home lunch' I may just be tempted to enjoy a glass of rose wine, or perhaps a glass of sparkling 'Pellegrino'.

All the best Jan

Have benefits of statins been exaggerated? Advocates distorted statistics and downplayed side-effects say experts !

The benefits of taking statins have been exaggerated, two leading experts claim.

They say the cholesterol-lowering medicines – hailed as miracle drugs when they hit the market 20 years ago – are not as safe or effective at preventing heart attacks as patients have been led to believe.

Although they can dramatically cut cholesterol levels, they have ‘failed to substantially improve cardiovascular outcomes’, says an analysis of data in clinical trials.

It was carried out by Dr David Diamond, a professor of molecular pharmacology at the University of South Florida, and expert in cardiovascular disease Dr Uffe Ravnskov.

They say many studies touting statins’ efficacy have failed to note serious side effects. They also claim ‘statistical deception’ has been used to make inflated claims about their effectiveness, which has misled the public.

The two authors say in the analysis, published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology: ‘The adverse effects suffered by people taking statins are more common than reported in the media and at medical conferences.

‘Increased rates of cancer, cataracts, diabetes, cognitive impairments and musculoskeletal disorders more than offset the modest cardiovascular benefits of statin treatment.’

They conclude: ‘There is a great appeal to the public to take a pill that offers the promise of a longer life and to live heart attack free.

‘The reality, however, is that statins actually produce only small beneficial effects on cardiovascular outcomes, and their adverse effects are far more substantial than is generally known.’

In July, NHS rationing body Nice said statins should be given to 17million patients, almost 40 per cent of the adult population.

The US experts say those who champion the medication have often presented data in a way that exaggerates the benefits.

Full story here.


Saturday 21 February 2015

Ellie Goulding - Love Me Like You Do


Mark Knopfler - Beryl

New song from Mark Knopfler


Arabic Version - Hotel California

If you have a good sound system turn this up. It just shows how good the Eagles hit was, played totally different, it is still a masterpiece. Eddie 

Gipsy Kings - Escucha Me

Check this out, great music from a mega band. Eddie 

Saturday Night is Music Night - Matt Dusk My Funny Valentine

Saturday Night Is Music Night on this blog .......... and I'm starting it off with Matt Dusk and My Funny Valentine. Matt is my favourite Canadian Jazz Musician /Vocalist.

Hope you enjoy this. All the best Jan

What your food label really means.

Added vitamins One-dimensional factory versions of natural vitamins found in whole foods: ascorbic acid (man-made vitamin C) is usually synthesised from the fermentation of GM corn, while artificial vitamin E is commonly derived from petrol.
Soluble fibre A healthier-sounding term for modified starch, which is widely used to reduce the quantity of more nutritious ingredients in processed foods, and keep down manufacturers’ costs.
‘Natural’ colourings The only difference between these and artificial ones is that they start with pigments that occur in nature. Otherwise, they are made using the same highly chemical industrial processes, including extraction using harsh solvents.
Artificial ‘diet” sweeteners Several large-scale studies have found a correlation between artificial sweetener consumption and weight gain. Accumulating evidence suggests that they may also increase our risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Enzymes Used to make bread stay soft longer; injected into low-value livestock before slaughter, to tenderise their meat; and used in fruit juice processing to create a cloudier, more natural appearance.
‘Packaged in a protective atmosphere’ Food that has been “gassed” in modified air to extend its shelf life. It delays what food manufacturers call “warmed over flavour”, an off-taste that occurs in factory food.
Beef/pork/poultry protein Collagen extracted from butchered carcasses, processed into a powder and added to low-grade meats. It adds bounce, increases the protein content on the nutrition label and, combined with water, is a substitute for meat.
Washed and ready-to-eat salads “Cleaned” by sloshing around in tap water dosed with chlorine, often with powdered or liquid fruit acids to inhibit bacterial growth. The same tank of treated water is often used for 8 hours at a time.
‘Pure’ vegetable oil Industrially refined, bleached, deodorised oils. Food processors often add chemicals to extend their “fry life”.
‘Natural’ flavourings Even the flavour industry concedes that “there isn’t much difference in the chemical compositions of natural and artificial flavourings”. They are made using the same physical, enzymatic, and microbiological processes.

Full story and more horror here.