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Wednesday 31 August 2016

Statin-Related Muscle Symptoms More Common in Patients With Metabolic Syndrome

JACKSONVILLE, FL--(Marketwired - August 29, 2016) - new study shows that muscle pain and weakness, already common enough in patients taking statins -- the most widely used cholesterol-lowering medications -- appear to be even more common in patients with metabolic syndrome (MetSynd).

In a scientific publication in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology, self-reported data from the Understanding Statin Use in America and Gaps in Education (USAGE) study showed that MetSynd patients were 19 percent more likely to report muscle symptoms than those without MetSynd. Lead study author, Eliot Brinton, MD, pointed out that the study findings highlight a clinical dilemma. "Patients with metabolic syndrome have increased risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), which means they are more likely to need a statin, but they have more muscle symptoms and are more likely to stop taking their statin for those symptoms," said Dr. Brinton. "These results suggest a real challenge in ASCVD prevention. Healthcare providers who choose to prescribe a statin for their patients with MetSynd need to work harder to prepare them for possible statin-related muscle symptoms, and also to deal with those symptoms if they occur."

The increase of muscle symptoms was related mainly to three MetSynd elements: increased triglyceride levels, low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, and increased body weight. Overall, the symptoms were worse in patients with elevated triglyceride levels, low HDL-C levels and greater relative body weight, patients being 32 percent, 28 percent and 18 percent more likely, respectively, to report muscle symptoms. Further, patients with MetSynd were 13 percent more likely to have stopped taking a statin due to muscle symptoms, this also being associated mainly with increased triglyceride and low HDL-C levels.
"Statin associated muscle symptoms remain one of the leading causes of statin discontinuation and nonadherence," said Terry Jacobson, MD, FNLA, Past President of the National Lipid Association (NLA) and co-author of the study. "This is the first study to date to describe a link between statin related muscle symptoms and elements of the metabolic syndrome. This novel association requires further study and independent verification."
When asked to explain potential mechanisms of the increase in muscle symptoms in MetSynd, Dr. Brinton replied, "Insulin resistance appears to be a key element of MetSynd. Basic science data suggest that insulin resistance is related to low-grade muscle dysfunction, which could lead to a higher risk of muscle symptoms when taking a statin."

Atom day

For one of our sons birthday presents, we clubbed together to get him a fun day out driving an Ariel Atom. Ever since he had watched the Clarkson video below, he has been in love with the car. See the video and you will understand why. Clarkson described the car as the fastest thing on four wheels. The car today had been up-rated with more power and lightened. 0 to 100 mph 5.5 seconds. Bear in mind this car is road legal, no road legal Ferrari could get close to the acceleration of an Atom. The day starts with a briefing, then out onto the track in a M3 BMW and taught the track braking points and racing lines. Then our son was allowed to drive the Atom accompanied by a racing driver.

Our lad ever thoughtful, gave up some of his laps to his non driving brother and son. Being non drivers, the race car instructor drove them around the track at blistering speed. We wondered if our grandson would be frightened by the speed and noise, no way. As a bonus our grandson got some extra laps, because the driver had forgotten to turn the on car camera on. When told of this, he almost dived back into the car for more. Looking forward to receiving the video. 

Our son at the wheel

Race driver and Grandson about to blast off

The intrepid hero fastens his helmet as he walks to the Atom

Great memories for all and the boys will never forget a great day out.


Clarkson test drives the Atom

Flying Jacob (Flygande Jacob), a classic Swedish Chicken Dish : Moderate Low Carb Version

Who, or what, is 'Flying Jacob' I hear you asking ...Well until a short while ago I would have said ... sorry I haven't got a clue!

However, I can now tell you that it is a classic Swedish dish/recipe, which as you will see from the ingredients listed below has a somewhat eclectic range of ingredients!

The "inventor" of this original dish was Jacobsson and he was indeed Swedish, but he wasn't a chef. However, he worked in the air freight industry ... which explains the name, "Flygande Jacob" which means "Flying Jacob".

Now there could also be a little story behind this dish ... about the night Mr. Jacobsson had to cook, since his wife was away, and he didn't really know what to serve up for his hungry children because all he had was cream, bananas, ketchup and chicken? Guess what ... from these ingredients sprang a very popular Swedish dish... however, I can't confirm that is what actually happened! 

I do know, however, that in an excerpt from the Swedish book "På svenska bord 1970-2000 Tidernas Mat - Nordiska Museet * Allt om mat" page 137 ... (roughly translated)  says, the name of the dish hasn't got anything to do with the chicken, but comes from the name of the creator who was called Jacobsson. His daily job was in the air freight industry - hence "Flying Jacob".

Now this easy to make and popular dish has become a part of the Swedish household and is today also served in Swedish schools. Few people know that it originated in "Allt om mat" (a well known Swedish cooking magazine // Manne); it was first published in issue 13, 1976.

So to recap - Flying Jacob (Swedish : Flygande Jacob) is a Swedish casserole that consists of chicken, cream, chili sauce, bananas, roasted peanuts and bacon. In the original recipe, the chicken is seasoned with Italian salad seasoning. The dish is cooked in an oven and is usually served with rice and a salad.

The ever inventive Anne Aobadia at Diet Doctor has come up with a delicious, moderate low carb, version of this casserole made with chicken, chili sauce and a mild curry flavour. It’s a classic Swedish recipe, in a reduced carb version. May I suggest that if you live the LCHF lifestyle use cauliflower rice as a side dish.

4 servings
14g carb per serving
1 fully cooked rotisserie chicken (1 lb, 450 g of chicken meat)
2 tablespoons butter
½ lb (225 g) diced bacon
½ lb (225 g) mushrooms
2 cups (500 ml) heavy (double) whipping cream
3 – 4 tablespoons chili sauce or ketchup
1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
salt and pepper
1 banana
3 tablespoons salted peanuts

For the cooking instructions please use this link here

Some of the above words taken from here and here

We bring a variety of recipe ideas and articles to 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.

Happy eating - or as I believe the Swedish translation is -

Glad ätande

All the best Jan

Tuesday 30 August 2016

Dietary Intake and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Icelanders Following Voluntarily a Low Carbohydrate Diet



Most studies regarding low-carbohydrate diets (LCDs) have been intervention studies. The aim of the current study was to investigate dietary intake and cardiovascular risk factors among individuals who voluntarily follow a LCD.


A cross-sectional study was conducted (N = 54, 20–66yrs) in Reykjavik, Iceland. Participants recorded food intake for three days. Blood samples were analyzed for cardiovascular risk factors.


Nearly half of the participants were obese and around 60% had been on a LCD for ≥ 6 months. Fifty percent claimed they had lost weight during the past month. The median intake of carbohydrate, protein and fat were 8%, 22% and 68% E (hereof 25% saturated fatty acids), respectively. The consumption of bread and wholegrain cereals was very low (<5g/day), including the intake of dietary fiber (11g/day). Median fruit intake was 12 g/day. Intake of red meat and meat products was double that of the general population or ~900 g/week. Median intake of vitamins and minerals were mostly higher than the estimated average requirements. Cardiovascular risk factors were mostly within normal range. Mean blood lipids were slightly elevated although the high density lipoprotein/total cholesterol ratio was normal.


Despite poor diet quality and high prevalence of obesity, individuals who voluntarily follow a LCD have cardiovascular risk factors mostly within reference range. These individuals consume very low amounts of carbohydrates and high amounts of fat and saturated fat acids. Intake of red meat and processed meat exceeds recommended intake. Very low intake of whole grain cereals and fruits results in low intake of fiber. Long term health implications need to be examined further in longitudinal studies.


Low Carb Chocolate Chip Cookies

With only 2 net carbs per cookie biscuit for this low carb version of chocolate chip cookies, you may like to give Stacey's recipe a try. If you do, I think it may be one you will use again and again, as many others have found out ...


Makes 24
1 ¼ cup almond flour
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder (preferably corn free)
⅛ tsp sea salt, * optional
⅔ cup sweetener of choice e.g. Swerve sweetener or other low carb granulated sweetener equivalent
5 ½ tbsp butter, cold (it must be cold)
½ tbsp molasses *optional
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
½ cup sugar free chocolate chips or chopped low carb chocolate bar (85% type)
¼ cup chopped pecans *optional

You can see full recipe and baking instructions here

I think I may have a cookie biscuit with a cup of tea - how about you?

If you need help with measurement conversions, please see here

Almond flour is a good source of Vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium, and several other minerals.
Coconut flour is a good source of iron, manganese, copper, and several other minerals.

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

All the best Jan

Monday 29 August 2016

Effect of Statin Therapy on Mortality in Older Adults Hospitalized With Coronary Artery Disease


To examine the effect of statins on long-term mortality in older adults hospitalized with coronary artery disease (CAD).

Design: Retrospective analysis.

Setting: University teaching hospital.

Individuals aged 80 and older (mean aged 85.2, 56% female) hospitalized from January 2006 to December 2010 with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), unstable angina pectoris, or chronic CAD and discharged alive (N = 1,262). Participants were divided into those who did (n = 913) and did not (n = 349) receive a discharge prescription for a statin.

Measurements: All-cause mortality over a median follow-up of 3.1 years.

Participants treated with statins were more likely to be male, to have a primary diagnosis of AMI, to have traditional cardiovascular risk factors, and to receive other standard cardiovascular medications in addition to statins. In unadjusted analysis, statin therapy was associated with lower mortality (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.83, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.71–0.96). After adjustment for baseline differences between groups and propensity for receiving statin therapy, the effect of statins on mortality was no longer significant (HR = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.74–1.05). The association between statins and mortality was similar in participants aged 80 to 84 and those aged 85 and older.

In this cohort of older adults hospitalized with CAD, statin therapy had no significant effect on long-term survival after adjustment for between-group differences. These findings, although preliminary, call into question the benefit of statin therapy for secondary prevention in a real-world population of adults aged 80 and older and underscore the need for shared decision-making when prescribing statins in this age group.

Full article here:


Happy Summer Carefree Days

I just had to share these pictures, how lovely to walk on the beach with not a care in the world

or pause a while by the fence.

Summer fun and carefree days are just so special, and to be enjoyed at every opportunity.
Two of our grand-children making us smile
I hope they may make you smile too

All the best Jan

Paprika Pork with red peppers

Just lightly spiced and satisfyingly creamy, this pork recipe needs only a handful of ingredients, and the addition of sliced red peppers gives the dish more depth and texture.


Serves Four
4 pork chops or escalopes
1 onion
1 clove garlic
2 red peppers
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp tomato puree
200ml chicken or vegetable stock
200ml crème fraiche
Chopped fresh parsley

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the pork chops or escalopes for two minutes on each side until lightly golden brown. Remove to a plate.

Finely slice the onion, peppers and garlic and add to the pan you had sealed the pork in. Cook over a moderate heat for about ten minutes until soft and translucent.

Stir in the tomato puree and then pour over the stock. Return the pork to the pan and simmer for five minutes until slightly syrupy. Add the crème fraiche and some seasoning and simmer for two more minutes before stirring in a handful of chopped fresh parsley.

Serve with mashed swede or cauliflower rice, and perhaps some green beans

Original recipe here

Paprika is the ground bright red powder from sweet and hot dried peppers. It is much milder than cayenne pepper with a characteristic sweetness, and it is a favourite ingredient in European cookery. Hungarian or Spanish, hot or sweet, smoked or un-smoked, these clay-red powders all bring a distinct flavour to the dishes they are added to.

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

All the best Jan

Sunday 28 August 2016

This is the secret to being happy according to psychiatrists.

A psychiatric study which focused on the mental and physical well being of over 1500 people has apparently found the 'secret' to being happy - but you could be in for a long wait.

To the chagrin of the youthful and impatient among us, the study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that older people were much happier than millennials, and their age appears to be deciding factor.

The research was conducted by the San Diego School of Medicine, University of California, and looked at the well being of 1546 adults aged between 21 and 100. The psychiatrists measured the participant's cognitive function, physical health, and other indicators of a person's well being.

The findings showed that despite physical ailments being more common in the elderly participants, their mental health was much better. Fewer of the older people involved expressed feelings of anxiety, depression or stress, compared to ones aged between 20-30.

More on this story here.

I believe people born in the fifties had the best years in history for working class people. Far more well paid job opportunities, far easier to buy a home, and free University education for many. In real terms, earning's have been going backwards for years, and very few have guaranteed long term job prospects. Kids are leaving Uni with massive debts and many will never get a well paid job. It's easy to see why the young are fearful of the future. 


Sugar Free Iced Tea : Perfect for a Low Carb High Fat Barbecue

I certainly hope that over the summer months you've managed to have at least one barbecue, because they are such fun aren't they. During the warmer summer months it's just so nice to be outside in good company enjoying some great LCHF barbecued food and a nice chilled drink ...

At BBQ's many choose to have some white wine or beer chilling but sometimes what could be more refreshing than 'Iced Tea', and as Swedish chef Birgitta Höglund (pictured below) writes, " it is a very refreshing drink that goes well both when you’re waiting for the charcoals to get ready for the grill, and as an alcohol-free drink anytime.

But don’t drink the ready-made product sold in cans—it contains lots of added sugar.

My iced tea gets its fresh taste from lemon and peppermint leaves. I use Earl Grey tea, but feel free to choose your favorite blend. The tea bags should steep in cold water to prevent the tea from turning bitter."

Here is what you will need to make a refreshing drink of
Iced Tea with Lemon and Peppermint
4 1/4 cups (1000 ml) cold water
5 tea bags
4 sprigs peppermint
juice of 1 lemon

to find out what to do with these four ingredients
do go over to Birgitta's blog here
this recipe also features in her book LCHF Barbecue

Swedish chef Birgitta Höglund has featured on Diet Doctor site
and also has a popular low carb/Paleo recipe blog

Did you know ... Peppermint is a perennial mint with coarsely serrated leaves which can reach more than 2 inches (5 cm) in length. It is a favorite strewing herb due to its bright aroma when crushed underfoot. Peppermint is said to lend an atmosphere of cheer and optimism, so a cup of Peppermint Tea is refreshing as a pick me up.

Peppermint Tea and mints have been served as after dinner fare not only to freshen the breath, but to also aid in digestion. Peppermint has been found to smooth the long muscles surrounding the stomach and intestines, which is how it aids in digestion. It allows the stomach and intestines to do their job more effectively.

Peppermint is native to the Mediterranean and North Africa. In Ancient Egypt Peppermint was used to aid in the relief of stomach pains. During Biblical times it was used as a medium of monetary exchange and for payment of tithes.

In Greek mythology, the story of how Peppermint got its characteristics goes something like this:

Minthe was a river nymph in the Cocytus River (one of the five rivers of Hades). When Hades was driving his golden chariot, he came upon Minthe and was about to seduce her when his wife Persephone caught them. Persephone then turned Minthe into a lowly mint plant that people would walk upon. Mint supposedly got its pungent, sweet smell when Hades softened the spell so that when people walked upon his lover they would smell her sweetness...

Peppermint was also used in the potions made by Harry Potter and in Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans which were a regular treat at Hogwarts.

But returning to the weekend, family gatherings, sugar free iced tea ...
Enjoy your BBQ, and thank you Birgitta for the recipe idea

All the best Jan

Saturday 27 August 2016

Above & Beyond Acoustic - "Sun & Moon" Live from Porchester Hall (Official)

Time to wind down, have a good weekend 

Rose & The Howling North 'Cuckoo'

I always try to find something different for music night and tonight's no exception enjoy !


I'm Yours - Jason Mraz ft. Sungha Jung

Another stunning track, enjoy. Eddie 

Habibe - Big Blue Ball

Saturday night again and music night on this blog. This is a very different sound, I hope you like it. Eddie

"Habibe" (featuring Natacha Atlas, Hossam Ramzy, Neil Sparkes) Big Blue Ball is an album by multiple artists which grew from "recording weeks" at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios in the early 1990s. In production for more than 15 years, "Big Blue Ball" is a project featuring several artists from all around the world working together. 

Natacha Atlas (Arabic: نتاشا أطلس‎‎; born 20 March 1964) is a Egyptian-Belgian singer known for her fusion of Arabic and Western electronic music, particularly hip-hop. She once termed her music "cha'abi moderne" (modern popular music).

All Aboard For Watercress

I've always enjoyed a steam train ride, there is something almost magical about it, and you somehow appreciate the countryside scenes more as the train takes you along the track. I know many people enjoy the variety of steam train rides that are available throughout the year on the many heritage type railways that you can find around the UK.

Last year we were fortunate to have a ride on 'Steam Train Victor' (pictured above) when we visited Newby Bridge - Lakeside at Lake Windermere, in the Lake District, North West England. Lakeside Pier is one end of the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway in which you can travel by steam train 3.5 miles via Newby Bridge to Haverthwaite, along the old Furness line that used to go to Ulverston and Barrow.

Another lovely ride is on 'The Watercress Line' which is the marketing name of the Mid Hants Railway, a heritage railway in Hampshire, South England. It runs for 10 miles (16 km) from New Alresford to Alton. The line gained its popular name in the days that it was used to transport locally grown watercress to markets in London. If you should be in Hampshire, you could choose to let off steam and travel in one of the lovingly restored Steam trains through the beautiful countryside. It really is the perfect way to unwind and witness the sights, sounds, smells and magic of steam travel from a bygone age.

Perhaps you may stop a while at the picturesque Georgian town of Alresford or Alton, a bustling market town and purchase some watercress! 

" Watercress is in season from April to September and although it's usually relegated to a garnish on the plate, why not look upon it as a delicious and health-giving vegetable in its own right. You can use the hot peppery leaves to add a kick to salads, and their pungent flavour also makes flavoursome soups, sauces and flavoured butters and goes particularly well with eggs.

The hot peppery taste comes from the mustard oil in the plant and its strong flavour stimulates the taste buds and digestion. Young leaves contain less mustard oil and so have a milder flavour.

Curiously the peppery taste of watercress has a cooling effect, a paradox that was noted by the celebrated 14th century French chef Taillevent, who was also the first person to include it on a menu. He prepared a lavish banquet and served watercress after the fourth course, writing on the menu 'Watercress, served alone to refresh the mouth'.

Watercress was so popular in the past that every spring it was sold tied into bunches in Covent Garden, London by London street sellers. Buyers ate the bunches from their hands, rather as we would eat an ice cream cone!

Hippocrates the 'father of medicine' opened what was probably the world's first hospital near to wild watercress growing in a stream, so that he could use the watercress to treat his patients. In fact watercress is one of the most nutritious vegetables and is a rich source of vitamins and essential minerals. That's why the French call their watercress soup, potage de santé or 'healthy soup'.

It's not a good idea to eat watercress found growing in the wild though, as it's likely to be polluted and may carry liver fluke.

Cultivated watercress is grown on washed gravel and nourished with pure fresh spring water."
Above words from here 

Watercress can be eaten in many ways ... my favourite is to serve watercress with salmon, where its refreshing flavour just compliments the taste of the fish perfectly.

Poached salmon, watercress mayonnaise with a hint of dijon mustard
See recipe here

All the best Jan

Diabetes Related Vision Loss Growing Worldwide

Photo of the retina at the back of the eyeball
This article from Steve Parker MD 'Diabetic Mediterranean Diet' blog here

After near-sightedness, diabetes affecting the eyes (aka diabetic retinopathy) is the leading cause of impaired vision in adults. The key to preventing retinopathy is strict control of blood sugars, especially early in the course of diabetes. Controlling blood pressure and not smoking are of secondary importance.

MNT has the details on the global increase in retinopathy:

“The worldwide burden of diabetes-related vision loss is growing alarmingly. Over 2 decades from 1990-2010, the number of people worldwide with diabetes-related blindness or visual impairment rose by an alarming 27 percent and 64 percent, respectively. In 2010, 1 in every 52 people had vision loss and 1 in every 39 people were blind due to diabetic retinopathy – where the retina is damaged by diabetes.

The researchers suggest poor control of blood glucose and inadequate access to eye health services in many parts of the world are contributing to the growing global burden of diabetes-related vision loss.

These figures are the result of an analysis by a global consortium, who recently published their work online in the journal Diabetes Care.

As the number of people living with diabetes worldwide grows, so does the chance that more people will develop diabetic retinopathy and suffer subsequent vision loss, especially if they do not receive or adhere to the care they need. Diabetic retinopathy is a disease of the retina that damages sight as a result of chronic high blood sugar in diabetes. The high sugar damages the delicate blood vessels in the retina – the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye.”

Source: Diabetes-related vision loss growing worldwide – Medical News Today

Friday 26 August 2016

Sugar Is Actively Controlling Your Brain More Than Previously Thought

No wonder we're getting that 3pm slump.

German scientists have discovered that your brain is actively taking in sugar, rather than passively absorbing it, as previously thought.

Prior to this new study, it was believed that the human brain – which has the largest sugar consumption rate of all body organs – passively received sugar from the bloodstream as it wasn’t controlled by nerve cells.

However the new study, from the Technical University of Munich, shows that the brain actually actively takes the white stuff from your blood; meaning that it has far more bearing on our cravings, metabolism and hunger levels, than previously acknowledged.

The team discovered that they key component in sugar intake are ‘glial cells’ in the blood-brain barrier, which selectively allow certain substances from the blood through to nerve cells.

Director of the Helmholtz Diabetes Center, Matthias Tschöp, and his team have been able to prove that these glial cells are influenced by insulin, and act as a ‘sugar switch’.

As a result they directly control the energy sources that are reaching neurons in the brain, and making us act the way we do.

Not only do these findings shed light on brain function and why we get that 3pm sugar slump, but will be essential in advancing treatment of diabetes, obesity and other sugar-related health problems.

Tschöp said: “This represents a paradigm shift and could help explain why it has been so difficult to find sufficiently efficient and safe medicines for diabetes and obesity until now.”


Make your salad colourful

It was last summer that I discovered this great salad. It is so colourful and absolutely delicious. Just have a read of the ingredients and your taste buds are already in action savouring the great taste. Make a note of the ingredients - go out and get them and then just make and enjoy this super summer salad.

Serves 4
9oz baby spinach, torn
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/3 cup chopped basil
1 avocado, chopped
4oz goat cheese

Divide baby spinach between plates then top with berries, almonds*, basil and chopped avocado. Crumble goat cheese on top then dress with salad dressing. You could use a strawberry balsamic vinegar, but any olive-oil based vinaigrette would be fantastic.

So easy and fabulously fresh, no-cook, and light ...yet filling from the goat cheese and avocado. You could if you wish serve it with some grilled chicken breast marinated in some of that balsamic vinegar. Dear readers it's entirely up to you.

*The easiest way to toast almonds is to spread them on a plate and microwave in thirty second increments until they’re golden brown. You could also do this in the oven, but it’s getting hot out there, and sometimes you just don't need the oven on!

See original recipe idea here 

... just a thought! This coming weekend will be the last weekend of August - where is the year going - so why not make the most of the warm weather and enjoy this taste of summer.

All the best Jan

Thursday 25 August 2016

Nick Mailer and Fat Emperor chat in London - Part 1 & Part 2

Published on Jul 25, 2016 Finally met Nick Mailer himself in London, to discuss important matters of the world. In part one we tackle the epidemiological claptrap of the 'meat causes cancer' ruse. What on earth is driving these people?

Nick Mailer and Fat Emperor - welcome to Part 2 !

Published on Aug 12, 2016 The second part of my chat with the intellectual's intellectual - Nick Mailer ! Here we take the p"ss out of weak hypotheses - well someone has to, eh? Nothing is sacred - all science must be questioned or science is for nought. Okay then - let's do it.


Smoked salmon with fennel and avocado cream : Low Carb Starter

"The Galvin brothers, Chris and Jeff, have been producing some of this country’s (GB) finest French food for the past ten years. It all started in their first restaurant Bistrot de Luxe, which opened in 2005 in London’s Baker Street and is now one of the capital’s great dining destinations." This lovely recipe idea is from Chris Galvin the older brother. He produced it for Sainsbury's magazine and if you have a special gathering / dinner party soon you may wish to consider this recipe ... it makes a very nice low carb starter dish  ... at only 3g carbohydrate per serving fits into LCHF menu plans well!

Serves Four as a starter

For the dill dressing:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
zest and juice of 1 lemon
25 ml white wine vinegar
50 ml olive oil
a small handful of dill, finely chopped

For the avocado cream:
1 very ripe avocado
0.25 tsp lemon juice

To serve:
1 head of fennel, trimmed
400 g smoked salmon
coriander cress or coriander leaves
pea shoots


1. To make the dill dressing, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small pan, add the shallot and sweat until softened but not coloured. Add the lemon zest and juice; simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the vinegar and simmer until reduced by a third. Remove from the heat and whisk in the olive oil and dill. Adjust seasoning and then chill.
2. For the avocado cream, halve, stone, peel and chop the avocado. Toss with the lemon juice, then place in a food processor or blender and blend to a smooth purée; if it's too thick to blend, you can add a few drops of water to help keep it moving. Season with sea salt and place in a piping bag. Place in the fridge.
3. Cut the fennel in half lengthways and shred it very finely, preferably with a mandolin. Toss the fennel with a teaspoon of the dill dressing, season with sea salt and set aside.
4. To serve, arrange the smoked salmon in an overlapping circle around a plate. Place a small cookie cutter in the centre of the salmon and using it as a guide, pile in the fennel salad. Pipe five dots of avocado cream around the fennel salad. Spoon a teaspoon of the dill dressing around each portion of salmon. Garnish with the coriander cress and fresh pea shoots.

Each serving provides:
3.0g carbohydrate 4.3g fibre 21.2g protein 36.9g fat

See original recipe idea here

Happy Dining !

All the best Jan

Wednesday 24 August 2016

Diabetes patients are losing limbs because insulin is expensive

Amid reports of the rising cost of EpiPens comes news of another drug that has increased in price. Insulin has gone up in price over the years and there have been diabetes patients who can't afford it.

As a result of not being able to afford insulin, which has to be taken every day, some patients have had to go without. Some have even lost limbs and their sight.

Insulin is a drug that is injected and some patients can't take it daily because of its price. Some forms of insulin can cost patients hundreds of dollars, when they don't have health insurance or if they have a high deductible.

One medical professor tracked the price of insulin over the years. They said a one-month supply of a popular version of insulin once cost $45 wholesale. Years later, the price of it increased by almost 3,000 percent to $1,447. That's just the wholesale price and not retail.

The Consumerist quoted a pharmacist and diabetes educator, who said that patients are desperate, so they go without insulin or they skip doses. Sometimes they lower their prescribed dose, but then they end up in the emergency room with long-term complications such as vision problems, leg amputations and kidney failure.

Dr. Irl Hirsch, professor of medicine in the Division of Metabolism, said he once had a patient tell him that her insulin bill cost her as much as her mortgage. Another doctor, Dr. Claresa Levetan, chief of endocrinology at Chestnut Hill Hospital, said she sees people daily in the hospital because they can't get their doses of insulin. She added that many are in the intensive care unit with diabetic ketoacidosis.


NHS launch new low cost retinopathy test.

Eddie, who else. 

RD Dikeman and Fat Emperor wonder at the Type 1 Diabetes Disgrace

Low Carb Carrot Cake

A classic low carb carrot cake can make a fabulous treat with your morning tea or coffee, and also works well as a dessert. This Low Carb Carrot Cake is fine without icing, however if you are a fan of cream cheese icing, mix cream cheese, lemon juice and 1 tbsp of stevia and ice when cake is cold.

3 cups grated carrot
5 eggs
1 cup Butter melted
3 tbsp Natvia (granulated)
1 ½ cups Almond meal/flour
2 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Cinnamon

½ cup Chopped walnuts
1 tsp Mixed spice
2 tsp Vanilla essence
½ cup Coconut (desiccated or thread)

Nutrition Information:
Serves: 20

Calories: 174
Fat: 16.7g
Saturated fat: 7.9g
Carbohydrates: 1.7g
Sodium: 116mg
Protein: 4.0g

This super recipe from Julia McPhee, her instructions are here

For help with measurement conversions see here 

Did you know ... Cinnamon is a popular spice often associated with baked treats, cereals and smoothies. However, you may not have considered that the teaspoon of cinnamon that you add to your baked treats may doing you more good than you realized. Studies have shown that cinnamon could assist with boosting brain function, fighting cancer, aiding in digestion, supporting weight loss and fighting diabetes.

Incorporate cinnamon into your life by:
Adding a cinnamon quill into your morning tea, sprinkling half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon onto your homemade granola or adding a sprinkle of cinnamon into your next bowl of breakfast oatmeal.

All the best Jan

Tuesday 23 August 2016

Have you tried Cauliflower “Couscous” ?

It's great and " making cauliflower couscous couldn’t be easier. You just grind up fresh cauliflower florets in a food processor until they resemble couscous. Steam the cauliflower in just enough water to coat the bottom of a pan. Then lightly sauté some nuts, fruit, and onions and toss with the “couscous”."

See this super 'Simply Recipes' idea with full instructions here.

The cauliflower is "loaded with vitamin C, this cruciferous cousin to broccoli was once revered by a French king.

First prized by the court of King Louis XIV, cauliflower provides a royal health boost to everyone's diet. This versatile veggie is not only low in calories, it's also full of vitamins and minerals. One cup of raw cauliflower is high in the antioxidant vitamin C -- required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body, and necessary for the formation of the important protein collagen, used to make skin, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels.

Cauliflower also offers a healthy dose of potassium, fiber, and folic acid and contains a sulfur compound called isothiocyanate that protects health and prevents disease. Not all cauliflower is white. You can find green and orange varieties of this cruciferous (named for the cross-shaped flowers) cousin of broccoli and Brussels sprouts. The difference is in the amount (or absence) of chlorophyll present during the vegetable's growth.

More Veggie Might:
All vegetables in the cruciferous family -- kale, cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts -- are packed with vitamin C and potassium."

The above details taken from here

All the best Jan

Monday 22 August 2016

More than 100,000 patients embroiled in statins scandal not told

More than 100,000 patients who may have been misdiagnosed in a statins scandal have not been alerted to a potentially fatal glitch in systems used by the NHS.

Earlier this year, the computer system used by GPs was found to have been miscalculating patients’ risk of heart attack since 2009.

The blunders mean that those in grave danger of heart attacks and strokes may not have offered cholesterol-lowering drugs, while others with little risk of heart disease were needlessly put on the pills.

In May, medicines regulators issued an alert to 2,500 GP practices warning them to review every patient who might be affected, and to stop using the faulty software until the glitch was resolved.

Doctors were told to contact up to 260,000 patients to identify those who suffered heart attacks and strokes, or were left in danger of them, after being wrongly classed as low-risk.

GPs were also supposed to identify those who had been needlessly put on the drugs for years, despite the fact their likelihood of heart disease was low.

But senior health officials say around half of GP practices have not even looked at the lists of affected patients, in an attempt to review their care.

In an email sent last month, doctors from the British Medical Association (BMA) said the failure to act, following the alert in May, was “difficult to defend”.

Dr Andrew Green, clinical lead for the BMA’s GP committee, wrote to local medical committees after receiving a warning from NHS England’s director of general practice.

In the email, he wrote: “I have spoken today with Dr. Arvind Madan from NHS England, who is concerned that about half of practices affected by this issue have not accessed the lists NHSE has provided them of their affected patients.”

“I would agree with him that practices should be aware of who these patients are and that it would be difficult to defend a practice that had not done so,” he continued, in the email seen by GP magazine Pulse.

The errors stem from a problem in the QRISK2 tool provided by UK IT company TPP.

Current NHS advice is that anyone with a 10 per cent chance of cardiovascular disease within the next decade should be advised to take the cholesterol-busting medication.

Such scores are calculated using software which takes account of factors such as blood pressure, weight, health problems and family medical history.

GPs calculate patients’ risk of having a future heart attack or stroke when they attend the NHS health check offered to all patients aged 40 to 74 every five years.

Doctors have now been told to use their own clinical judgement or alternative software until the bugs in the system used by at least one third of practices have been solved.

Earlier this month leading doctors warned that the cholesterol-busting drugs, which cost just pennies, were being rationed in some parts of the party, in measures “born out of desperation”.

The decision to restrict the heart drugs was last night attacked by health watchdogs, who said wider prescribing of the medication had been recommended to stop “lives being destroyed”.

Two years ago, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence cut the “risk threshold” for cholesterol-beating statins in half, meaning than up to 40 per cent of adults are eligible to take the drugs.


Lemon Chicken : Simply Delicious

just go so well with this Gino D'Acampo lemon chicken recipe idea

Whip up a lemon butter sauce in next to no time,
it makes something special of simple fried chicken breasts.

Serves One
2 tbsp olive oil
1 chicken breast
½ lemon, juice only
5 tbsp white wine
knob of butter
pinch of flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
green beans

1. Heat a large frying pan and add the olive oil, fry the chicken for 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
2. Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper. Add the white wine and reduce for 30 seconds. Coat the knob of butter in flour, and drop in the mixture to thicken.
3. Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the green beans for 3-4 minutes, drain.
4. Put the beans on a plate, top with the chicken, drizzle over the sauce and serve.

Original recipe idea from here


All the best Jan

Sunday 21 August 2016

Why Skim Milk Will Make You Fat and Give You Heart Disease

Joke: How do you dramatically increase sales of a new or unpopular food product to the American public?

Answer: Call it a health food!

This joke, while funny, is also very sad as it illustrates with humor what common sense, logic, observation, and facts cannot for the vast majority of Westerners. Time and time again, Americans are completely duped by the clever marketing of a food product, falling all over themselves to buy it just because it has been touted in the media and by their (equally duped) doctors as a food that will improve their health.

Don’t believe it? How about margarine? Americans, in the span of just a few short years after World War II, all but completely shunned butter and this behavior pattern continued for decades because saturated fat was supposedly the demon of heart disease. See my blog which explains the truth about butter. Americans are finally waking up to the fact that butter is a wonderful, truly natural healthfood and it is margarine that ironically causes heart disease!

What about soy? This is another supposed “health food” that has been proven to do nothing but cause an epidemic of hypothyroidism is the Western world (you know the symptoms: overweight, losing your hair, depressed, tired all the time). Soy in Asia, as it has been consumed for thousands of years, is always fermented for long periods of time before it can be safely consumed – and even then – in very small quantities! The modern processing of soy which involves grinding up the leftover soy protein, the waste product in the production of soy oil, and putting it in all manner of food products which line our grocery store shelves makes for a dangerous and health robbing line of consumer goods.

I also blogged recently about the latest healthfood scam: agave nectar. Here again is an example of a new food that was marketed using the “health food” label. This approach to selling to the American people is obviously working as these products are readily available in most health food stores despite the fact that this product has a more deadly concentration of fructose than the high fructose corn syrup in soda!

Now, On to Skim Milk!

Hopefully, you are now convinced that labeling an item as a “health food” is a frequently used approach for selling something to the American public. Skim milk falls into this same category.

Prior to World War II, Americans didn’t ever drink skim or lowfat milk. Drinking such a product to stay “thin and healthy” would have been laughable. Americans would only drink whole milk. In fact, the larger the creamline on their milk, the higher quality the milk, and the more likely the consumer was to buy it. Milk wasn’t homogenized in those days, so a consumer could easily see the distinct creamline on the milk to determine quality.

Cream has been considered a true health food for centuries. In Ancient Greece, Olympic athletes drank a bowlful of cream to give them strength and endurance before competition. Why? Because cream steadies blood sugar for an extended period of time. No ups and downs in insulin when your diet has lots of wonderful saturated fat in it. It is only when you eat lowfat that blood sugar issues such as diabetes and hypoglycemia tend to arise.

So, how did skim milk come to be recognized as a healthfood in America? It all ties back to the demonization of saturated fats that began shortly after World War II. Americans started to abandon butter and cream in droves about this time because studies had apparently shown that saturated fat was linked to the growing number of heart disease cases in America. Never mind that atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) was virtually unknown prior to the mid 1920’s when Americans drowned everything in cream and butter. Logic and observation clearly indicated that saturated fat could not possibly be the cause of heart disease – it was obviously something new that had been introduced into the American diet. Of course, this “something” is partially hydrogenated fats which were introduced around 1921 (Enter the first transfat … Crisco. Bingo! First documented heart attack from artherosclerosis in 1927, and it rapidly got worse from there). These factory fats are primarily responsible for the epidemic of heart disease yet saturated fats took the fall anyway.

With Americans abandoning whole milk due to its high saturated fat content, skim milk was touted as the new heart healthy food. Americans bought the scam hook, line, and sinker. Skim milk was the new king of the dairy aisle. This behavior pattern has continued for decades despite the average American getting fatter and fatter and the cases of heart disease showing no signs of abating.

In the 1990’s with the beginnings of the childhood obesity epidemic, doctors even started to encourage parents to switch their children to skim or lowfat milk around age 2. This foolish recommendation has done nothing but make kids fatter (source).

How does drinking skim milk make kids (and adults) fatter? This apparent paradox occurs when you reduce the saturated fat in a person’s diet and he/she turns to carbs (grains and sugars primarily) to fill in the gap. It is the grains and sugars that truly make you fat, not saturated fat. I’ve said before on this blog that the more butter and cream I eat, the easier it is to maintain my weight. MUCH easier. The same goes for all of us. If you drink skim milk, you will be missing out on the satiating, blood sugar and insulin steadying affects of saturated fat, so your body will automatically give you sugar and carb (grains) cravings to make up for it. The body is able to MAKE saturated fat out of sugars, hence the sugar cravings that are impossible to control when you eat a lowfat diet that includes skim milk.

Try it! Increase your consumption of butter, whole milk yogurt and whole milk cheese for a few days and watch your sugar cravings rapidly diminish!

Another big secret is that Big Dairy adds skim milk powder to skim milk. Here’s an excerpt from “Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry” from the Weston A. Price Website:
"A note on the production of skim milk powder: liquid milk is forced through a tiny hole at high pressure, and then blown out into the air. This causes a lot of nitrates to form and the cholesterol in the milk is oxidized. Those of you who are familiar with my work know that cholesterol is your best friend; you don’t have to worry about natural cholesterol in your food; however, you do not want to eat oxidized cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol contributes to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, to atherosclerosis. So when you drink reduced-fat milk thinking that it will help you avoid heart disease, you are actually consuming oxidized cholesterol, which initiates the process of heart disease."
 One parting fact: pig farmers love feeding skim milk to their pigs. Why? It makes them REALLY fat! Still want to drink your skim milk? I hope not.


Sometimes a quiet day can be so perfect !

You wake and put the kettle on

enjoy a cup of tea, with a perfect LCHF breakfast

which keeps you going throughout the day to do a little dusting

before you treat yourself to a sit down and listen to your new CD

then later into the kitchen preparing tonight's meal

a low carb lamb moussaka, which is family friendly too!
see the recipe here

now don't forget the glass of merlot !

and to top it all get the butler to do the washing up ...
well I'm dreaming a bit here ... perhaps Eddie may volunteer !

image from here

I wonder have you enjoyed a quiet day recently ?
Take care and thanks for reading

All the best Jan