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Saturday 31 December 2016

ღ✿•*¨`*•♥ 2017 Happy New Year! ♥•*`¨*•✿ღ

Wishing you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year

John Lennon - Imagine

Saturday night and music night again on this blog. Being New Years Eve I had a look around for something special, then this track came to mind. Seems very appropriate to me. From one of the greatest song writers of my generation. Eddie

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year

As 2016 draws to a close, we thank all the people that have taken the time to read our blog during this past year, and special thanks to the people that post comments, you are very much appreciated. Thanks also for the emails, phone calls, twitter messages and support we get from friends from all around the world.

The team enjoy posting the recipes, links to diabetes and low carb news, the Saturday Night Is Music Spot and of course some posts which highlight even more!!!

We never stop telling the good news, about the LCHF lifestyle, we believe that every post can make a difference. Someone, somewhere, will read it, and may well change their life. We never forget, diabetes can be a life sentence, not a death sentence. Control your diabetes and live a long and active life.

If we have helped one diabetic, per hundred thousand page views, in the time that this Blog has been active then that's very cool. So our thanks again.

Wishing all our readers a very Happy and Healthy New Year

Jan, Eddie and Graham 

Most diabetes treatment is a disaster here is why.

Around 400 million people in the world are diabetics. It has been estimated the number will double in the next twenty years. This situation could have been avoided, unfortunately most diabetes treatment is a disaster, here is why. First you need to understand a few facts. Around 90% of diabetics are type two, at diagnosis approximately 80% are overweight. This next point is very important to remember! without insulin there can be NO weight gain. Below you will see a young type one diabetic boy, a very lucky boy, he lived just at the time lnjectable insulin arrived on the scene. Type one diabetics produce little or no insulin of their own. Typically back in the days before man made insulin, the poor victims withered away to skeletal before dying, regardless of how much they ate. Once a type one diabetic had access to insulin, they very quickly returned to a healthy weight as you can see. Just for a moment, let's do a 180 and look at type two diabetes from a different angle.

As around 80% of type two diabetics, at diagnosis are over weight, lack of insulin cannot be the problem. In fact many have up to three times the blood insulin levels of a slim non diabetic. You don't need the brains of Einstein to realise, giving a type two diabetic insulin, or drugs that encourage the pancreas to output more insulin, is not the way to go. It makes as much sense as giving an alcoholic more booze to cure his alcoholism, so why do Doctors do this. All this achieves is addressing the symptom high blood glucose, it does not address the cause, insulin resistance, in fact it makes the condition far worse. 

We are constantly told, people eating too much become over weight, and many after time become type two diabetics. But what happened first. Type two diabetes, is infinitely more complicated, than eating too much and becoming over weight. For example the most heavily over weight people in the world are Sumo wrestlers, rarely do they become type two diabetics. The thinnest group of people on the planet suffer from Berardinelli-Seip Congenital Lipodystrophy, a very rare condition, these poor souls have no fat cells and cannot put on weight. How many are type two diabetics? All, every single person.

At this stage, you may be wondering what is the success rate in the UK for treating diabetes, one word, abysmal. The NHS audited statistics published every year, from information received from GP's records, show on average 93% of type one diabetics, and around 50% of type two diabetics, fail to get to a safe blood glucose level. There is only one way to control diabetes for the majority of diabetics, the low carb higher healthy fats lifestyle, using minimal medication (type one diabetics) and minimal or nil medication (type two diabetics) The way to achieve safe control of diabetes, and weight for non diabetics, can be found on our blog here. 

You may be wondering how this ludicrous situation regarding diabetes treatment has occurred. Why does the largest diabetes charity in the UK Diabetes UK, and the British Dietetic Association, recommend a diet that almost guarantees failure for diabetics, and costs the NHS around £15 billion a year. Could it be because DUK are heavily sponsored by a long list of big pharma companies, and the BDA and some of it's highest profile dietitians, are sponsored by junk food outfits. Make up your own mind, I did years ago and so have countless other well controlled diabetics.  

Happy New Year folks. Looking forward to another year of telling it like it is.


Smoked Salmon Appetiser with Lettuce Wrap : Low Carb

Just a few simple ingredients, and a few minutes, is all it takes to make this lovely smoked salmon appetizer. Serve it as a starter, a snack with drinks, or on a buffet. Only 2 grams of carbs per serving, a winner!

Serves Four
225 g smoked salmon
225 g cream cheese
80 ml mayonnaise
60 ml chopped fresh dill or fresh chives
½ lemon, the zest
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
small leaves of lettuce for serving

Recipe / Instructions can be found at Diet Doctor site here

Fresh Dill:
Dill is an important culinary herb that is used for its seeds and leaves It originally grew wild in Southern Europe thru Western Asia.

It was extensively used by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Remnants of the herb were found in Swiss Neolithic settlements dating back to 400BC. By medieval times its use spread to central Europe. Dill is a popular culinary herb used in Greece, Scandinavia, Germany, Central Europe, Russia, the Balkans and Romania. References to the fresh herb can be found in the writings of Roman naturalists, English clergy and German literary works in the 11th century.

All parts of the herb can be used for culinary purposes. Dill is not a common herb in Mediterranean cooking. It is known as a spice used in pickled cucumbers. In the United States they are known as dill pickles. The herb is key for the production of dill vinegar (a key cooking ingredient in some recipes). You will find it used/employed in many sour dishes, especially sauerkraut. You will find dill used in lemon sauces for fish, yogurt, sour cream, salad dressings, spinach dishes, chicken and lamb casseroles. Because of its delicate nature most chefs add the fresh herb to their hot recipes just prior to removing from the heat source.

The smallest and most delicate member of the onion family, chives are a popular herb used in European cookery. They have long, thin green blades that are hollow inside. They have a mild, grassy flavour similar to baby spring onions or young leeks. There is also an Asian variety of chive called Chinese chives, garlic chives or kuchai.

Buyer's guide:
Chives are in season in spring and summer. Fresh chives are widely available from supermarkets and garden centres. Do not substitute fresh chives for dried, as the finished dish will taste musty.

Keep fresh chives refrigerated for up to three days.

Snip chives with scissors instead of chopping them, and do not subject them to much cooking as they are delicate. Instead, use chives in garnishes, salads, egg mayonnaise sandwiches, vegetable stocks, soups, creamy sauces, potato dishes and omelettes, adding the herb to the dish just before serving. Purple-blue chive flowers are also eaten and used as a garnish.

All the best Jan

Friday 30 December 2016

Diabetes can be prevented and reversed with carbohydrate restricted diet, says UAB expert

According to a new comprehensive financial analysis reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association and The Washington Post diabetes leads a list of just 20 diseases and conditions that account for more than half of all spending on healthcare in the United States.

U.S. spending on diabetes diagnosis and treatment totaled $101 billion in 2013, and has grown 36 times faster than spending on heart disease, the country's No. 1 cause of death, researchers reported.

University of Alabama at Birmingham Professor of Nutrition Barbara Gower, Ph.D., conducts research on diet composition and disease risk and says that diabetes can both be prevented and reversed with a carbohydrate restricted diet.

Type 2 diabetes can be managed with diet alone in many cases.  However, this message is not getting to the patients; they are told to take drugs.  A clinic at UAB treats diabetics with a diet that dramatically reduces carbohydrates. In most cases, patients can eliminate all medication.

"They are thrilled to stop injecting insulin, and they question why "no one ever told them" they could control their diabetes diet alone," Gower said. "The conventional advise to diabetics is to eat carbs, and then inject insulin - or take other drugs.

Why do this?

"The medication is needed because diabetes is a disease of carbohydrate intolerance; if the patient does not eat carbs, they do not have to use medication," she said.

"I use the 'cigarette' analogy. We know it is bad to smoke, so we tell patents not to smoke. Why don't we do the same thing with sugar and processed starches?  The excuse I hear is that 'people won't stop eating sugar and starches.'  However, by the same analogy, we could have thrown up our hands and said, 'people can't give up smoking.'"

"We need to treat diabetes like lung cancer and COPD; all of these diseases are preventable with lifestyle," Gower said. "Further, even with established, long-term, type 2 diabetes, it can be managed with diet. It is not impossible to eat a low-carb diet that is healthful and satisfying. We do it all the time, and we teach our patients to do it. They love it.

"Carbohydrates are not essential nutrients for the human body, and with proper instruction, patients can adjust their diets to minimize them."


How to get rich in the diabetes business.

How businesses work or don’t work, has fascinated me from an early age. In a nutshell, for a business to work, you have to have a viable business model. All the hard work and money in the world, won’t turn a dead duck into a soaring eagle. I have looked at countless business models and ideas. By far and above the finest business model I have ever seen, ever created, is the diabetes, big pharma, junk food and dietary information business. The money and profits it creates is incalculable.

The business model junk food

First you create very cheap to make, highly profitable, highly processed carbohydrate foods with a very long shelf life. Will people eat this crap? True, some may have their doubts, not a problem, almost all will be fooled. But how will they be fooled? That’s an easy question to answer. By paying only a fraction of your profits, to easily swayed boffins. They will come up with so much scientifically sounding mumbo jumbo, for the right amount of money, even a team of world class lawyers would be confused. Sponsoring dietetic associations and high profile dietitians is also money well spent, in fact it’s a must if you want to fool most of the people, most of the time. Let’s face it, people “Trust A Dietitian” yes? A great plan eh, we all know it works, yes.

So, you have the masses eating this high sugar highly processed gruel, the money counting is a full time job. The next stage of the cunning plan. The really clever buggers have known almost from the start, this junk eating is going to go pear shaped big time in the future. Oh dear, ah well, let’s take the money while it lasts. It was good while it lasted, but all good things come to an end yes? No, you remember you have paid the mainstream media $billions in advertising fees over the years, time to call in a few favours. Time to point the finger of blame on the great unwashed. The media hacks do what they are told, even these dullards are not about to blow their brains out with the truth. So, day after day, wherever you look articles blaming these victims appears. They're such an easy target, everyone knows they all sit around watching daytime TV stuffing their faces with donuts and takeaways. Yeah, great idea, they all bring it on themselves. Yeah, no easier target than the fat man or woman, lazy bastards deserve all they get.

The business model big pharma

You realise your junk food business, apart from being a complete catastrophe, for millions upon millions of people, is the best news you ever had. Being extremely shrewd, you start piling your massive profits into pharmaceutical companies. You realise the profit from your junk food division, was mere petty cash, compared to flogging drugs, that usually don’t work, indeed you work out, you can sell even more drugs, to counteract the damage being caused by the err..drugs. Bring out the Krug Champagne, order another yacht, by jingo, you're the finest business brain in the history of the world.

The business model the medical profession

After sobering up, it dawns on you, the medical professionals are not as dumb as the average punter on the street. Granted, the dietetic associations and the on payroll boffins fooled the masses, but how do you get the medics on board? Well, much to your surprise you learn most Doctors have little if any training in nutrition. Most are so overworked, dealing with a multitude of complex medical conditions, diet is not their main priority. Indeed, few have the time to keep up with the monumental amount of information published by big pharma. Some do have the time, they even have the time, to be flown out first class to a five star hotel in the Caribbean. They find the time to speak at all sorts of conventions, on your behalf, for a fat fee. You quickly learn, bunging these medics a few hundred thousand dollars, every now and again (for research work you understand) on your wonderful drugs, is a sure fire winner. What the hell if you get caught, and end up paying $billions for bribery and corruption, falsifying drug trial results and killing people. No one goes to prison right, and all you have to do is up the price of your drugs (i.e. the punters pay) and the dosh is back in your pocket in no time.

So, everyone is a winner. Junk food, big pharma, the medics, even the Government love all that corporation tax coming in. UK MP's can be bought for next to nothing in the big scheme, this they call lobbying, sounds so much better than bribery and corruption don't you think. As Joseph Stalin said "When one dies, it is a tragedy. When a million die, it is a statistic" With around 400 million diabetics in the world, that's one hell of a profitable business.


It certainly wasn't like that yesterday !

Seasons ... we have four of them! Now some love winter, while others prefer summer. Speaking personally I have two favourites, and they are Spring and Autumn. Of course that isn't to say I dislike the others ... in fact I think we should embrace each day, perhaps 'grab it with two hands' and make it the very best we can! 

Looking back to when it was like this 

and tennis was being played

it certainly wasn't like that yesterday!
In fact it was more like this

and thicker coats and hats were needed

except of course if you were indoors and practicing ballet steps ...

This cooler weather, I'm sure Grandma is cooking one of her lovely casseroles

pork casserole rustic style - such a simple recipe - it's one of her favourites

Serves two
2/3 pork chops remove fat and cut into small pieces
2 large leeks chopped
1 hand full of button mushrooms
1 large sliced carrot
1 table spoon of dried mixed herbs
Approx 1 pint of gravy stock
Salt and pepper to taste.

Clean, cut and place all ingredients in a casserole dish or earthenware oven proof pot with lid. Pour over the stock and cook at 190c in an electric oven 90 mins. Gas mark 5. I usually give it a little stir every 30 minutes!

What could be easier, very lowcarb, real food and tastes great. 

Whatever you are doing today have a good day
perhaps 'grab it with two hands' and enjoy it as best you can

All the best Jan

Thursday 29 December 2016

Why Your Doctor May Question a Low Carb Diet

I am a retired physician who graduated from Emory University School of Medicine in 1986. A vast majority of physicians I’ve encountered during my career have the patient’s best interest in mind and want to improve their health.

So if you learn about the benefits of a low carbohydrate lifestyle from books, articles published in medical journals, or God forbid, the INTERNET, you might wonder why your doctor is either not supportive or even cautions you against it.

The answer is simpler than you might think. It is not that your doctor does not want you to experience the benefits. It is most likely that your doctor was not educated about the effect of diet on disease. To understand this, let me give you some background about medical education.

In order to get into medical school in the first place, you have to be an excellent student. In our current education system, being an excellent student means being able to learn and retain lots of information in a short period of time and accurately recall that information on a test or later in medical training with their patients. It does not require that they be creative thinkers or innovators, or question what they are being taught. Once a student enters medical school, the amount and pace of learning is accelerated further. There is literally no time to question the validity of the material.

Most medical students have heard from their wise professors the phrase, “half of what you just learned is wrong, but we don’t know which half.” However, that is a difficult concept to accept given the time and effort spent learning all that material. In essence, the overwhelming feeling at the end of medical school is, “I know I don’t know everything, but at least I know what matters the most.”

The next piece to this puzzle is to know that nutrition is barely discussed in most (not all) medical schools. At Emory, in 1982, we had about 2 weeks of education in “nutrition.” But what was covered was how the body metabolizes protein, carbohydrate, and fat, nutritional deficiency diseases, and the nutritional requirements to prevent those diseases. The fact that many chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and digestive diseases were rare prior the adoption of the Western diet was not covered. I did not learn this until 2011 when I read Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.

So by the time a medical student graduates, they think they know most of what they need to know, that some of it may be wrong, and that they will need to continue learning. But how does all that work out in practice? Next comes internship and residency. This is the time when the young doctor learns how to care for sick patients in the hospital and outpatient clinic. The caseload starts low but quickly builds. We are taught about how to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions from self-limited to life threatening. These treatments usually involve one or more medications. In order to learn new therapies or understand which current therapies are not very effective one must spend extra time and effort reading the medical literature, neither of which are in abundant quantity. What little time remains to read a small subset of the vast medical literature is usually devoted to one’s specialty, leaving topics of nutrition and its influence on chronic disease off the radar.

Some physicians will be familiar with the low carbohydrate diet already and others may be willing to learn about it and support you especially when they see your condition is improving as a result. However, other physicians may immediately recognize it is not part of their armamentarium, therefore it must be either not effective, or possibly dangerous, especially if the word “ketosis” or “ketones” is mentioned. Although doctors should know the difference between “nutritional ketosis” and “ketoacidosis,” the term “nutritional ketosis” is only mentioned in the context of a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet and therefore is not discussed in medical school. So the only context in which most doctors know about “ketosis” is one of the following: starvation ketosis, diabetic ketoacidosis, or alcoholic ketoacidosis, none of which are good.

The final thing you should know about the practice of medicine is that physicians are constantly aware of being sued for malpractice. One of the criteria for malpractice is when a physician does not follow “standard of care.” So if a therapy is safe and effective, but not generally recognized as “standard of care,” the physician could be accused of malpractice should something adverse happen to the patient whether or not it was causally related to the low carb diet.

Overall I would say that despite the mounting evidence of the benefits of a low carbohydrate diet for many medical conditions, it has not yet been accepted as “standard of care” in 2016. I doubt there will ever be a sudden declaration of its benefits and safety. Rather, there will be a gradual move over to its acceptance in small steps. For example, the American Diabetes Association in its Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes-2016 states the following: “As there is no single ideal dietary distribution of calories among carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for people with diabetes, macronutrient distribution should be individualized while keeping total calorie and metabolic goals in mind.” I hope you can appreciate the subtlety of this statement. It is not a specific endorsement of low dietary carbohydrate, but it is acceptance of it. However, physicians who may read that one sentence of the 112 page document might not interpret it in the same way.

I know many physicians who enthusiastically endorse a low carbohydrate diet for many medical conditions. The great majority of them have experienced personal health benefits from actually adopting the diet for themselves and that includes me. Although physicians are taught to ignore anecdotal evidence, it is difficult to do when it applies to oneself.

How to approach your doctor in supporting your low carbohydrate lifestyle

For reasons that are beyond the scope of this article, it is best to have your physician on board with your low carbohydrate lifestyle. It will affect the need for or lack thereof of many of your medications. There can be side effects that are easily corrected with knowledge of how the diet works.

With the above as a background, I think the best approach to getting your less-than-enthusiastic doctor on board is to gently encourage your physician to read a few selected references about the benefits of a low carbohydrate lifestyle for your specific medical condition(s). PubMed is a good source of articles published in the medical literature. A skeptical physician will be less likely to read a book about low carbohydrate diets although you can give that a try, too. However, every low carbohydrate book I have read has many references to the medical literature that you can find on PubMed and print out for your doctor. There will be some physicians who will not be convinced despite being shown numerous articles. At that point, you might want to seek a second opinion with a physician who has experience with low carbohydrate diets. This is only list I am aware of. The low carbohydrate ketogenic diet may not be right for everyone, but for me, and numerous others with diabetes (and a host of other medical conditions), it has been a life-changer.


IEA Director Christopher Snowdon aka the Caped Crusader.

Following on from my post Christopher Snowdon a total numbskull? (the over the hill BDA RD's poster boy) outlining his pathetic ramblings on Channel 4 News, regarding the current epidemic of obesity. Snowdon reckons it's all down to lack of exercise. Nothing to do with consuming high sugar high carb junk food. BTW this is an old Navajo Indian trick (no disrespect to native Americans) Blame the victims not the crooks.

I had a google around for more intel on Snowdon, good grief, check out what I discovered. I find myself asking, how long before Snowdon is extolling the health benefits of crack cocaine? One thing cannot be denied, Snowdon doesn't pull his punches. Here is how he described experts who warn us on the health dangers of smoking.

Simon Chapman a Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney. 

"a scrotum-faced head-banger” and "He also has an unfortunate habit of listening to the voices in his head and then repeating their words out loud (or on Twitter)”

Professor Linda Bauld is a Professor of Socio-Management at the University of Stirling. 

“One of the bits of voodoo science upon which the anti-smoking extremists are pinning their hopes vis a vis plain packaging"

Professor Stan Glantz has been a leading anti-smoking academic since the late seventies and is currently a Professor at the Department of Medicine; and the Director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California. 

“I have always feared for Stanton Glantz's mental health, but it's only since he started blogging that I've realised that the guy is genuinely certifiable. He also labels Glantz a “Gobshite” who is “deranged” and a “clueless clown”

Snowdon has clearly attempted to undermine the credibility of leading tobacco control scientists. As I have said countless times, always follow the money. When you follow Snowdon and the IEA back to the money, the money is coming from tobacco companies. 

"In 2012, Snowdon joined the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) as a Research Fellow. The IEA accepts funding from tobacco companies"

You may be wondering, why I am giving the reptilious Snowdon, the time of day over here. It is my opinion he is a dangerous health hazard. Cavorting around in the Caped Crusaders cloak, saving the good people of Gotham City, from the nanny state, may be fooling the on the way out MSM outfits he writes for, not to mention BDA RD's, but he fools no one who reads this blog. Clearly he has fought hard against tobacco regulation, while receiving funding from tobacco companies, it appears to me, he sees much mileage for defending junk food.

The material quoted is reproduced from Copyright University of Bath and used under permission of the University of Bath.

Link to the above information here.


Spicy mushrooms with peppers : Low carb starter or side dish


Serves Four (as starter or side dish)
200g chestnut mushrooms (wipe gently with dampened kitchen paper to clean)
50ml olive oil
20ml truffle flavour olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 red chilli pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6
2. Whisk together the olive oil, truffle oil, garlic, parsley and chilli pepper in a small mixing bowl until combined.
3. Arrange the mushrooms with the stems facing up in a roasting tray. Pour over half of the oil marinade and season them well. Bake for 12-15 minutes until soft.
4. Arrange in serving bowls and pour over the remaining marinade. Serve immediately.

Each serving:
Carbohydrate 0.8g Protein 2.5g Fibre 1.6g Fat 9.0g

Original recipe idea here

... the delicious and vibrant taste and wonderful healing properties of parsley are often ignored in its popular role as a table garnish. Highly nutritious, parsley can be found year round in your local supermarket.

Parsley is the world's most popular herb. It derives its name from the Greek word meaning "rock celery" (parsley is a relative to celery). It is a biennial plant that will return to the garden year after year once it is established. 

All the best Jan

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Off the Cuff: David S. Ludwig

Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. chan School of Public Health and author of Always Hungry?

Conquer Cravings, Retrain Your Fat Cells & Lose Weight Permanently

Q: What is the ideal New Year’s resolution for losing weight?

A: Forget calories, focus on food quality, and let your body do the rest.

Cutting back on calories, the time-honored approach to weight loss, will work for the short term. But for most people, it eventually fails, for a simple reason: The body fights back in predictable ways against enforced calorie deprivation—through rising hunger, slowing metabolic rate, and production of stress hormones. Only a vanishingly small fraction of people can keep weight off through calorie restriction. That’s not because of poor willpower—it’s because of biology.

The main problem with our diet today is that it has been hyperprocessed. It is fast food in every sense of the word: You eat it quickly, but you also digest it quickly, causing a surge and crash in metabolism. Processed carbohydrates program our bodies for weight gain, because they raise levels of the hormone insulin, which is like Miracle-Gro for fat cells. Natural, whole foods, on the other hand, are digested across the full length of the intestinal tract, which leads to a gentle rise of blood sugar and a gentle return to baseline. Calories are not shunted into storage in fat tissue, but rather used—oxidized, in biological terms—by the rest of the body and the brain.

To gain these benefits, do three things: First, replace processed carbs with whole fruits, vegetables, legumes, and modest amounts of whole-kernel grains. Second, eat an adequate amount of protein, which can include plant sources. Third, enjoy plenty of delicious high-fat foods—nuts, nut butters, olive oil, and even full-fat dairy, rich sauces and spreads—because fat is filling and has minimal effect on insulin. When you eat this way, blood sugar, hormones, and insulin change more gradually after the meal. It’s like an ocean tide that gently rolls in and rolls out, versus a tsunami—a natural process of feeding and fasting that the body adapts to easily. Fat cells calm down and store less. Hunger decreases. Metabolism speeds up. It’s a recipe for long-term weight control without restriction or deprivation.

Any weight-loss approach that involves deprivation wears you down, psychologically and biologically. But if you give your body what it needs, it gives you immediate positive feedback, and that’s reinforcing. The beauty of working with, rather than against, your body is that your New Year’s resolution never expires.


Cauliflower tortillas - a lower carb alternative - with black bean salsa

By using cauliflowers, this recipe is a great lower carb twist on a Mexican classic. It's optional whether or not you wear your Mexican Sombrero ... or indeed do the Mexican Hat Dance ... but I hope you may enjoy these tortillas

Serves Four
1 large cauliflower, leaves and stem removed and roughly chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ tsp ground cumin
6 tbsp chopped coriander
380g carton organic black beans, drained
2 medium tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
1 avocado, diced
½ red onion, finely diced
½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
½ lime, juiced
Sour cream, to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 190°C/gas mark 5 and line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until the texture is fine and grainy. Place in a microwaveable bowl and cover with clingfilm. Pierce a few times with a fork and cook on high for 1 minute, then stir. Cook again for 1 minute, stir, then allow to stand for 1 minute to cool slightly. Transfer the cauliflower to a muslin or clean dishcloth and squeeze any excess water out. Be careful, as the liquid will still be hot.
3. Transfer the cauliflower to a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, cumin and half the coriander and mix well. Season and mix briefly again.
4. Make thin 17cm small circles with the cauliflower mix on the lined baking tray, making sure there are no gaps or holes in each one. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until they start browning on the edges. Carefully flip them over and place back in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Place on a wire rack and leave to cool slightly.
5. Meanwhile, toss together the black beans, tomato, avocado, red onion and chilli with the lime juice and remaining coriander. Season to taste and serve wrapped in the cauliflower tortillas with a dollop of sour cream.

Each serving provides:
13.9g carbohydrate 3.5g fibre 13.2g protein 16.4g fat

Original recipe idea here

image from here

Coriander is one of the world's most commonly used herbs - in spite of the fact that the name comes from the Greek, koris, meaning bed bug! It is green, leafy and strong-smelling with a fresh, citrus taste that makes it an invaluable garnish and flavour enhancer. Both the fresh leaves and stalks are edible, as well as the berries, which are dried and called coriander seeds. Native to southern Europe and the Middle East, the plant is now grown worldwide. Coriander tends to be associated most with Asian and Central and South American cooking. For maximum flavour, it is best added to dishes just before serving.

Do not clean coriander with the roots still attached - instead, simply keep them wrapped in a damp paper towel inside an open plastic bag and store in the salad drawer of the fridge, where they should last five to six days

All the best Jan

Tuesday 27 December 2016

If Drug Companies Were Honest.

Twitter not all bun fights at dawn for me.

Follow the low carb diabetic on twitter here.

Jan keeps well away from my twitter account, can't think why LOL


Turkey Soup : A great way to use up that leftover meat !

This lovely recipe suggestion is from Heather and you may find it most helpful, because at this time of year, I wonder how many of us think ... 'what am I going to do with the left over turkey ?'

Using Heather's idea ... you will see that the broth is made from the turkey carcass, so none of the nutrition in the turkey goes to waste, and is packed with minerals and gelatin — great for when you have a winter cold. You can really use any veggies or root vegetables in this simple soup. Sweet potatoes, rutabagas (swede), parsnips, jersey yams, or even turnips work just as well. You can add green beans, kale, tomatoes, peppers, or whatever vegetables you have sitting in your fridge. If you want your soup to have a rice texture, add chopped cauliflower.

'Leftover Turkey Soup'
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:10 hours

1 leftover turkey carcass
4 carrots, peeled and chopped, divided
5 celery ribs, chopped, divided
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, peeled and cubed
2 T apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Water to cover
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
12 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
¼ to ½ t poultry seasoning
3 cups shredded cooked turkey
1 cup chopped broccoli

1. In a slow cooker, layer the turkey carcass, 2 carrots, 2 celery ribs, onion, garlic, and apple cider vinegar. Cover with water and season with salt and pepper.
2. Cover and turn the slow cooker on high. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or overnight.
3. Strain the turkey carcass and vegetables out of the broth.
4. Either put the broth in a soup pot or back in the slow cooker.
5. Add 2 of the carrots, 3 celery ribs, the sweet potato, mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste, poultry seasoning, broccoli, and turkey.
6. If using a soup pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until everything is tender. If using a slow cooker, cover and cook on high for about 4 hours.
7. Enjoy!

PS: Don’t have any leftover turkey on hand? A chicken carcass and meat (or even duck) make a great substitute.

Heather is a celiac food blogger with a passion for cooking. She loves to help others eat healthier through creating delicious and nutritious recipes that everyone will enjoy. You can see the recipe idea, with step by step guide, from Heather here

If you should need help with measurement conversions, see here 

The low carb team bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy ... but please note, not all may be suitable for you.

If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Monday 26 December 2016

Boxing Day - the Day after Christmas!

"Boxing Day takes place on December 26th and is only celebrated in a few countries; mainly ones historically connected to the UK (such as Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand) and in many European countries. In Germany it is known as "Zweite Feiertag” (which means 'second celebration') and also “Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag” which translates as Boxing Day (although it doesn’t literally mean that)!

It was started in the UK about 800 years ago, during the Middle Ages. It was the day when the alms box, collection boxes for the poor often kept in churches, were traditionally opened so that the contents could be distributed to poor people. Some churches still open these boxes on Boxing Day.

It might have been the Romans that first brought this type of collecting box to the UK, but they used them to collect money for the betting games which they played during their winter celebrations!

In Holland, some collection boxes were made out of a rough pottery called 'earthenware' and were shaped like pigs. Perhaps this is where we get the term 'Piggy Bank'!

The Christmas Carol, Good King Wenceslas, is set on Boxing Day and is about a King in the Middle Ages who brings food to a poor family.

It was also traditional tthat servants got the day off to celebrate Christmas with their families on Boxing Day. Before World War II, it was common for working people (such as milkmen and butchers) to travel round their delivery places and collect their Christmas box or tip. This tradition has now mostly stopped and any Christmas tips, given to people such as postal workers and newspaper delivery children, are not normally given or collected on Boxing Day.

Boxing Day has now become another public holiday in countries such as the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It is also the traditional day that Pantomimes started to play.

There are also often sports played on Boxing Day in the UK, especially horse racing and football matches! It's also when shops traditionally had big sales after Christmas in the UK (like Black Friday in the USA).

The 26th December is also St. Stephen's Day. Just to confuse things, there are two St. Stephens in history! The first St. Stephen was a very early follower of Jesus and was the first Christian Martyr (a person who dies for their religious beliefs). He was stoned to death by Jews who didn't believe in Jesus.

The second St. Stephen was a Missionary, in Sweden, in the 800's. He loved all animals but particularly horses (perhaps why there is traditionally horse racing on boxing day). He was also a martyr and was killed by pagans in Sweden. In Germany there was a tradition that horses would be ridden around the inside of the church during the St. Stephen's Day service!

St. Stephen's Day (or 'the feast of Stephen') is when the Carol 'Good King Wenceslas' is set. It's about helping the poor - so it has a strong connection to Boxing Day."

Words above taken from article, which has additional links, here

Talking about tradition, for as many years as I can remember, it was always a Boxing Day tradition for the family, with any relations who may be visiting, to enjoy a walk. Some years it was not possible due to very bad weather, but this year I think we will be in luck ... 

now where are my walking shoes, and my pink winter jacket

 Come on Eddie

 don't the berries look good

These photo's taken using a mobile phone from an earlier walk

Happy 26th December - Boxing Day
All the best Jan

Saturday 24 December 2016

Anna Madsen - "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"

Wishing a  Merry Christmas to all our blog visitors and their families, have a great time folks

Bing Crosby, David Bowie - The Little Drummer Boy / Peace On Earth

Can't believe it's nearly a year since David Bowie sadly passed away but his music will live on, a duet with Bing Crosby who is another legend  from a different era


Chris Rea - Driving home for christmas

Yes, it's Christmas Eve 2016, where did the year go? For those of you who may be travelling, or have loved ones travelling, I wish all a safe journey. From me to you, Happy Christmas ... Happy Holidays. All the best Jan

The Pogues Featuring Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale Of New York

Well my friends, another week goes by, and not only Saturday night, music night on this blog, it's Christmas Eve. Wishing all peace and goodwill. Eddie

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

We have all heard the saying, and when it comes to describing many BDA dietitians of a certain vintage, it fits perfectly. After years of patrolling hospital wards, like Gunga Din the water carrier, dispensing Fortisip, and making big decisions, will it be the banana flavour or strawberry. The days of impressing other hospital colleagues, with a laptop and the Henry equation, are long gone. Trained so long ago, back in the days Tim Berners-Lee was winning activity badges in the cubs, accepted sound dietary science has changed out of all recognition. Granted, most Doctors and Nurses have always viewed dietitians as more ornamental than true healthcare professionals, but it’s the internet that has changed everything.

We now live in an age where the ordinary guy or gal has access to unlimited information. So many people are realising, the standard eat five a day malarkey and cut down on the fat, is complete bunkum. So antediluvian are the dietitians diet sheets, they are more akin to an exhibit in the Ashmolean Museum, than a useful tool in a hospital or GP’s surgery. Worse still, is the fact dietetic associations all over the world, are increasingly jumping into bed with junk food outfits. Hardly a week goes by, when we don’t see a high profile BDA dietitian promoting high carb, high starch and even worse, high sugar junk food.

The days where a senior dietitian, lecturing in a University, could get away with writing off Dr. Robert Atkins as a man killed by his diet, or describing Dr. Richard Bernstein as a dietary heretic are coming to an end. Describing the countless diabetics, posting low carb higher healthy fat good news on social media, as nothing more than “anecdotal” looks more ridiculous by the day. The increasing number of well controlled diabetics, consider the average dietitians dietary advice, about as dangerous as going down with the Ebola virus.

Nobel Prize winner Max Planck said “Science advances one funeral at a time” I am not wishing the death of the dietetic dinosaurs, but the sooner many are pensioned off the better. They have become totally irrelevant in a modern world. A world where many healthcare systems are collapsing due to the epidemics of obesity and the often linked type two diabetes. Telling people to eat less and move more, has failed totally. As one of the new wave of dietary leaders said recently “you can’t outrun a bad diet” ain’t that a fact.


Sautéed sprouts with almonds and cranberries

This Christmas Season you can give sprouts a delicious festive twist by adding sweet cranberries and golden almonds. It makes a lovely flavoured side dish to serve as part of your Christmas or New Year feast ... so please tuck in!

Serves 8
500g (1lb) sprouts, quartered
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
30g (1 1/4oz) whole blanched almonds
2 garlic cloves, sliced
60g (2 1/2oz) dried cranberries
50ml (2fl oz) balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar

1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the sprouts and cook for 3 minutes, or until al dente. Drain well, then refresh under cold water.
2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan, add the almonds then gently fry for 3-4 minutes, until just golden. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
3. When ready to serve, add 2 tbsp oil to the pan and gently fry the garlic for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Stir in the cranberries, add the vinegar and sugar then cook for 30 seconds. Add the sprouts and fry over a high heat, until warmed through. Season to taste and serve topped with the almonds.

Helpful tip:

Blanch the sprouts on the morning of cooking and reheat just before serving.

Each serving:
Carbohydrate 12.1g Protein 3.1g Fibre 0.5g Fat 8.6g

From an original idea here

We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy.

Please note, not all may be suitable for you.

If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Friday 23 December 2016

R.I. cardiologist calls new guidelines for statins a disgrace

‘American Heart Association has become a propaganda arm of Big Pharma and Big Food’

PROVIDENCE – Dr. Barbara Roberts, director of the Women’s Cardiac Center at The Miriam Hospital, is angry – and she’s speaking out.

Roberts, a cardiologist who is associate clinical professor of Medicine at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, is the author of “The Truth about Statins: Risks and Alternatives to Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs.” 

She does not mince her words when it comes to the new cholesterol guidelines recently published by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology – which have suggested that millions of healthy Americans should start taking statins. 

“The new guidelines are based on shoddy science and misinterpretation of the data,” she told ConvergenceRI in a recent interview. “This is a gift to Big Pharma. The American Heart Association has become little more than a propaganda arm of Big Pharma and Big Food. It’s a disgrace.”

Expanding the number of healthy people who take statins by the tens of millions, Roberts continued, “is going to reap a holocaust of adverse effects.”

Holocaust? Isn’t that too strong a word to use?

“No,” countered Roberts. “I will stand by that. For example, we may see upward of more than a quarter-million new cases of diabetes as a result. At a minimum, about 10 percent of new users of statins will suffer serious muscle side effects.” In addition, Roberts continued, “We will see increased instances of cognitive dysfunction, nerve damage, liver damage and an increased risk of kidney injury.”

Worse, Roberts said, “Nobody’s life is going to be extended; nobody’s life is going to be saved [by having healthy people taking statins].”

Roberts is not alone in debunking the new guidelines. She pointed to a Nov. 13 op-ed in The New York Times, written by John D. Abramson, a lecturer at Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Rita F. Redberg, a cardiologist at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center and the editor of JAMA Internal Medicine.

“Statins are effective for people with known heart disease. But for people who have less than a 20 percent risk of getting heart disease in the next 10 years, statins not only fail to reduce the risk of death, but also fail even to reduce the risk of serious illness,” Abramson and Redberg wrote. Based upon the same data the guideline writers relied on, they continued, “140 people in this risk group would need to be treated with statins in order to prevent a single heart attack or stroke, without any overall reduction in death or serious illness.”

Roberts said: “We have a saying in medicine. If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything.”

An alternative to statins
Roberts promotes an alternative to statins for most of her patients – a Mediterranean diet that is high in monounsaturated fats from olive oil and is low in red meat. “Adhering to the plant-based Mediterranean diet will lower your risk of heart disease just as much as any use of statins – without any side effects,” she said. 

Very few physicians, Roberts continued, will read all 85 pages of the new guidelines. “What people have to do is to become informed patients. They have to read both points of view and come to a decision on their own,” she said. But it’s very important, Roberts said, for people to know that statins are not as innocuous as people have been led to believe. 

The numbers in the studies, she reiterated, show that you would need “to treat more than 100 people for a number of years to prevent one event [of a heart attack].”

Further, she argued, “cholesterol is misunderstood. It’s not the villain it’s been said to be. Every cell has cholesterol; 25 percent of cholesterol is in your brain. It’s absolutely crucial to the function of the brain.”

Heart disease is still the number-one cause of death in adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with more than 597,000 deaths in 2011, according to statistics released in January 2013.

Changes in diet and lifestyle -- as well as what Roberts’ terms “primordial” interventions are the best ways to address chronic heart disease – rather than prescribing statins. 

“We need to stop subsidizing the production of corn and soy, which are the ingredients in many of the unhealthy foods that are foisted on people,” she said. “We need to try to limit the advertising to children of unhealthy food products such as Cocoa Puffs. We need to raise cigarette taxes even more. And we need to stop eliminating physical education classes.”

Most doctors have swallowed the Kool-Aid
Roberts is been an outspoken advocate against the misuse of statins. “I’ve never turned down a speaking engagement – from Pawtucket to Reykjavík, Iceland.”

Many doctors, she continued, don’t want to hear what she has to say. “They don’t want to hear it so much,” she said. 


“Because they’ve swallowed the Kool-Aid, most of them,” she said. “I would be happy to talk with them and give them my perspective, that the use of statins is not supported by the medical literature.”

Further, Roberts continued, the fact remains that “we really don’t know the truth about statins. The reason I say that is because we know that a lot of studies that are undertaken never get published.”

Roberts cited a recent British Medical Journal article that showed that for all registered clinical studies, 29 percent of those trials never get published. 

“It’s much more common for an industry-sponsored study not to be published,” she said. “Industry-sponsored clinical trials are four times more likely to report positive results than non-industry sponsored clinical trials. There could be a lot of studies that showed statins were not efficacious that we don’t know about because they have never been published.”


Malibu Coconut and Chocolate Low Carb Cake

This is a great favourite of Ewelina's ... in fact she writes " If I was to create a list of top 10 cakes this one would be on the very top. I love the combination of coconut cream and chocolate cake covered with low carb chocolate ganache, which gives the cake a nice finish. The cake is very moist and chocolaty and it’s hard to believe it’s so low in carbohydrates. I used Xylitol but you can replace it with any sweetener of your choice if you don’t mind using it...

55 g dark chocolate (70%), broken into small pieces
85 g of cocoa
200 ml of boiling water
100 g ground almond
50 g soy flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
90 g butter, softened
200 g xylitol
5 eggs, at room temperature
125 ml coconut milk, at room temperature

Coconut filling:
80 ml whipping cream, chilled
220 g mascarpone cheese, chilled
2 tbsp. coconut liquor (Malibu or similar or coconut essence)
30 g desiccated coconut
3 tbsp. Xylitol, powdered (or more to your taste)

Chocolate ganache:
2 tbsps. of xylitol, powdered
1 tbsps. sour cream
1 1/2 tbsps. cocoa
30 g butter
½ teaspoon gelatine

1. Preheat oven to 170 C / Gas Mark 5 and line two identical baking tins with baking paper (squared 23 cm or sandwich tins)
2. Place chocolate and cocoa in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Stir well until you get a nice and smooth mixture. Set aside to cool down a bit.
3. Sift ground almond, soy flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
4. Using electric mixer beat butter with Xylitol. Add egg yolks one at the time beating continuously.
5. Add coconut milk and chocolate mixture (in few stages, about 2 or 3 spoons at a time).
6. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix briefly with the electric mixer.
7. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and fold in gently using a spatula.
8. Pour the batter into the baking tins and bake for about 20 minutes (check with the skewer if the cake is baked. Skewer should come out clean). Let it cool down completely. 

Coconut filling:
Whip the cream. Add mascarpone, xylitol and liquor and mix gently.
Spread the coconut filling on one cake and top with the second one.

Chocolate ganche:
Dissolve gelatine in small amount of hot water (2 or 3 tablespoons). Place the rest of the ingredients in a small pan and bring to boil. Mix well and let it cool slightly. When it starts to thicken spread on top of the cake. 

Enjoy ...

The whole cake is 122g carb but served as 1 slice (1/16th of cake) it is 7.6g carb 

Please see original recipe idea here

All the best Jan

Christopher Snowdon a total numbskull?

When you hang out on social media, you get to meet all sorts of people. From highly respected medical professionals to complete numbskulls. By and large the majority of people I follow on twitter, are tweeting information of benefit to others. They seek no reward, they have no hidden agenda, what they stand for is plain to see. What Christopher Snowdon stands for, and what his agenda is, appears to be dubious at best, to me.

He describes himself on his twitter account as "The IEA's abrasive director of lifestyle economics" The IEA has been described as "The most influential think tank in modern British history" according to the video presenter, in the IEA corporate awareness video below. One year on, the video has received 611 views, about the same number of views, this blog receives in a few hours on a good day. Can we claim to be the most influential diabetes blog in UK modern history? I think not. 

Check out the Channel 4 news video below, and you will see Snowdon coming apart at the seams. Notice as the interview comes to an end, how Snowdon equivocates when asked does the IEA have connections to the food industry, he finally says when pushed "possibly" and also says "don't trust me" fair enough, I won't trust him.

"The most influential think tank in modern British history"
Link to video here.

I started this post with "highly respected medical professionals to complete numbskulls" Make up your own mind as to whether Snowdon is a professional or a complete numbskull.

Link to this tweet here.

As you will see, registered BDA dietitian Catherine Collins, gives us the benefit of her acumen, again, another complete numbskull? As you would expect, I will be keeping a close eye on Snowdon's antics from now on. I doubt I will learn anything to my advantage, and if he is one of the more accomplished low carb higher healthy fat antis, my side has already won the argument.


Post edit.