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Friday 31 March 2017

Dr.Carrie Ruxton RD junk food shill?

Some time ago, I started a thread called No Xmas card from Dr.Carrie Ruxton RD. It was in response to her gushing enthusiastically about a new product she had "been working on" the kind of food increasingly considered a health hazard by many. Including many highly respected medical professionals.

Well, while I was away recently, Carrie commented on the linked above thread. 

"I have not blocked you on twitter" oh yes you did Carrie, and checking today, I am still blocked.

Carrie also states "I am still slightly bemused why you want to keep attacking me" Attacking, rather over the top don't you think? You place posts on social media and when I respond, you block and go for the victim card. BTW I am still waiting for you to tell us what these "good ingredients" are what is the carb and sugar content, any trans fats? You must know as you worked on them, yes.

You get no special treatment from me, I comment on other British Dietetic Associations dietitians and the BDA on a regular basis. It is my opinion the BDA and it's dietitians, should be leading the way in the fight against the epidemics of obesity, and it's often linked type two diabetes. I appreciate that must be a tough gig, when the BDA and some of it's highest profile dietitians are on the junk food payola treadmill.

Over to you Carrie, and may I take this opportunity to wish you a great weekend and the very best of health.

Looking forward to your reply.

Kind regards Eddie

Green Eggs and Ham Omelette : LCHF

Green eggs I can hear you say ...
Well you can add a little green to your breakfast favourite with this easy green eggs and ham dish.
It's a speedy and satisfying brunch that packs flavoursome pesto, ham and creamy Edam into a most nutritious omelette.
With the weekend coming, why not give it a try!

Serves Four
8 medium free-range eggs
20g (3/4oz) unsalted butter
1 x 130g tub fresh pesto
240g Wiltshire cured ham, chopped
250g Edam slices, chopped
fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)

1. Crack 2 eggs into a small bowl, add 30g (1oz) pesto, a little salt and pepper for seasoning and mix thoroughly with a fork.
2. On a medium heat, add 5g (1/4oz) butter to a small 20cm (8in) non-stick frying pan. Once melted add the eggs and using a spatula move the eggs around to slightly scramble. Allow to settle so that the bottom of the pan is covered completely.
3. Add 2 slices of ham and 2 slices of cheese to the pan. Turn the heat to low and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes until the eggs are cooked.
4. Gently slide the omelette onto a plate and fold over in half. Give the pan a wipe with some kitchen paper and repeat the process again to cook the next omelette.

Each serving:
Carbohydrate 1.8g Protein 45.5g Fibre 1.3g Fat 46.5g

If serving vulnerable groups, elderly people, babies, toddlers, pregnant women and people who are unwell, cook until the whites and yolks are solid.

Original recipe here

If you prefer to make your own pesto see here

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

All the best Jan

Guide To Carbs in Fruit

'Have you always wondered why you should stay off the fruit when starting low carb?
Why are berries recommended but not bananas?
Have a look at this list of 28 fruits - which fruit do you enjoy and how often?
Take a closer look to see how many carbs in fruit,
it will help you make an informed choice and work them into your menu plans.'

Read much more at Libby's Ditch The Carbs site here

All the best Jan

Thursday 30 March 2017

Chicken Casserole Idea - Why Not Keep It In Your Recipe Book

I think most of us enjoy watching cookery programmes on TV and we each have our favourites. This recipe suggestion was on a BBC programme called 'A Taste of My Life' which featured various actors and comedians. So for 'an easy chicken casserole recipe - which should be in every cook's little black book - add your favourite vegetables, herbs or a splash of wine.' Here is what you need ...

Serves Four
For the casserole:
4 chicken breasts

2 onions, 1 roughly chopped, 1 thinly sliced
1 carrot, 
roughly chopped
1 celery 
stalk, roughly chopped
6 whole peppercorns

1 fresh bay leaf
water, to cover
55g/2oz butter

30g/1oz plain flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small head broccoli
, cut into florets and blanched
1 x 225g/8oz tin water chestnuts, 
1 free-range egg
yolk, lightly beaten
2-3 tbsp double cream
squeeze lemon juice
To serve: 
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
boiled baby carrots

1. Place the chicken breasts, roughly chopped onion, carrot, celery, peppercorns and bay leaf into a large pan and add enough water to cover the ingredients.
2. Bring the mixture slowly to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through.
3. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Keep warm. Strain the cooking liquid and reserve 450ml/16fl oz of it. Set aside.
4. Heat half of the butter in a large separate pan and add the flour. Stir over a low heat until the mixture forms a smooth paste that leaves the sides and base of the pan cleanly. Gradually add the reserved cooking liquid, stirring well after each addition, to make a sauce. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
5. Add the broccoli and water chestnuts to the sauce.
6. In a bowl, mix the egg yolk with the cream and slowly add this mixture to the sauce. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and stir to combine.
7. Cut the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and return to the sauce. Stir well.
8. In a separate pan, heat the remaining butter and fry the remaining thinly sliced onion until soft and golden-brown.
9. To serve, sprinkle the onion over the casserole, garnish with parsley and serve with the boiled baby carrots.

Original recipe idea is here

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

couldn't resist these spring flowers ...
All the best Jan

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Aseem Malhotra - Sugar, Advocacy or Activism?


Haddock with Roasted Summer Vegetables

I do enjoy visiting the fishmonger counter at my local supermarket, the people there are always so friendly and helpful. I'm finding more and more that a fish dish, like this recipe suggestion, can be enjoyed any day of the week ...

Serves Four
4 tbsp olive oil
2 aubergines, chopped
2 courgettes, sliced into thick discs
2 red peppers, seeded and cut into strips
2 yellow peppers, seeded and cut into strips
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled but lightly crushed with the back of a knife
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
salt and pepper
bunch chives, chopped
4 x 200g haddock fillets
small handful basil leaves, shredded
juice of ½ lemon

1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C.
2. Toss the vegetables in olive oil and place in a large roasting tin. Season and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar if using. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned and tender. Sprinkle with the chives and set aside.
3. Place the haddock fillets on a baking sheet, season and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast in the oven for 7-10 minutes until just cooked through and flaking easily.
4. Serve the haddock with the roasted vegetables, sprinkled with basil leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Each serving:
Carbohydrate 12.1g Protein 43.1g Fibre 7.5g Fat 13.6g

Original idea from here

Herbs are those wonderful fragrant plants whose leaves,
and sometimes stalks, are used in cooking to add flavour to dishes.
Read more

All the best Jan

Tuesday 28 March 2017

Opinion: It’s time to clear up the misinformation about low carb diets

LOW carb diets are often labelled “dangerous” and “extreme”, when in fact, there is ample scientific evidence to back them up.

Low carb diets restrict carbohydrates, principally in wheat, rice, corn, potatoes and sugar.

Instead, you eat a higher proportion of natural fats found in fresh produce like meat, oily fish, avocados, eggs, nuts and butter. Fats are not sourced from fried or processed junk food.

These diets have been used for over a century and there are over 20 studies demonstrating the superiority of Low Carb diets over Low Fat diets for weight loss and the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Let’s look at the science and myths.


There are essential fats (fatty acids) and proteins (amino acids) which you cannot manufacture in your body so they must come from the diet. However, dietary carbohydrates, which are broken down to glucose, are the only ‘non’ essential macronutrient in the diet.

Yes, your brain needs glucose to function, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Your body has a clever way of making its own glucose in the liver when required (a process called gluconeogenesis).

From an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense. As a species, we evolved to cope with extended periods of fasting. The body can cleverly switch to using an alternative fuel source called ketones, produced when the body starts burning its own fat stories. It’s a state called nutritional ‘ketosis’.


Ketosis is often confused with another medical situation, called ketoacidosis. It sounds similar, but ketoacidosis is a complication of uncontrolled diabetes, which can be fatal, a far cry from a state of nutritional ketosis.

Even babies, soon after they are born, are in a natural state of ketosis.


While fat has more “calories” than carbs per gram, it’s what happens in the body that matters. Unlike fat, carbohydrates (particularly refined carbs) are a potent stimulator of your fat-storing hormone, insulin.

Consistently high insulin levels means a consistent tendency to keep fat stored. That’s when those kilos creep up on you until one day you discover the spare roll around your waist (also known as the “insulin” roll).

Also, fat meals keep you fuller for longer so you end up eating less food. Whereas, refined carbs keep you “always hungry”, a phenomenon recently described by Harvard Doctor David Ludwig.

So, eating fat won’t “make you fat” because it controls satiety and reduces your requirement for (fat-storing) insulin.


There is now ample evidence that the demonisation of fat has been misguided. UK researchers analysed all of the studies which were available to the US committee before the introduction of the 1977 US dietary fat guidelines. Of the 6 high quality trials that were available, none of the dietary fat interventions made a difference.

“There was no evidence whatsoever from these trials to support the ‘low fat’ mandate” said lead author and obesity expert, Dr Zoe Harcombe.

Nevertheless, the committee forged ahead. It instituted guidelines recommending population-wide dietary fat restriction, which was widely adopted by other western nations.

Fast forward several decades and we’re now confronted with a tsunami of diabetes and obesity, much of it blamed on the erroneous low fat, carbohydrate-rich diet.

The slow realisation that many fats are healthy is seen in the embracing of the high-fat Mediterranean diet and in the latest iteration of the US Dietary Guidelines where they removed the cap on total fats in a healthy diet.


Despite several major clinical trials and analyses failing to demonstrate a link between saturated fat consumption and heart disease, the myth still persists.

Saturated fat is often talked about in isolation, but the reality is that food contains a mixture of different kinds of fats. For example, health authorities encourage consumption of “mono-unsaturated olive oil” but it actually consists of about 14% saturated fat. Even 50% of the fat in breast milk, is saturated fat.

Recently, top cardiologist and former president of the World Heart Federation, Prof Salim Yusuf addressed a group of doctors at a Cardiology Update meeting. “Contrary to common beliefs, the current recommendations to reduce saturated fats have no scientific basis”, said Prof Yusuf.

He presented the latest unpublished findings of a large ongoing study involving 140,000 people in 17 countries, which showed the higher the fat consumption, the lower your risk of heart disease. Conversely, the higher your carbohydrate consumption, the higher your risk of heart disease. Yet, this is the advice our health authorities have been recommending to people for decades.


Should everyone go on a low carb diet? It’s a personal choice, but there are distinct advantages in its overall palatability and role in controlling hunger and weight loss.

There are doctors in the US and the UK who have been ignoring the current dietary guidelines and recommending Low Carb diets to people for years, some for over a decade.

However, in Australia, we’ve seen some examples of health practitioners castigated for issuing this very advice. Dietitian Jennifer Elliott and orthopedic surgeon, Dr Gary Fettke have reportedly been sanctioned for giving low carb dietary advice to their own patients.

Perhaps there might be less resistance in this country following the recent publication of a robust study by Australia’s leading scientific organisation, the CSIRO.

“The most amazing benefit of the low-carbohydrate diet was the reduction in the patients [with type-2 diabetes] medication levels, which was more than double the amount than the volunteers following the lifestyle program with the high-carbohydrate diet plan”, says the lead investigator, Associate Professor Grant Brinkworth.

These researchers are now suggesting that the dietary guidelines need a rethink.

While the study from the CSIRO confirms original work completed by Westman and colleagues a decade ago, it may be that the high profile of this organisation and the motivation to promote its new book will help to initiate change.

Change takes time. Lets hope it doesn’t come at the cost of another rise in largely avoidable, lifestyle related diseases like type 2 diabetes and obesity.


Chocolate and Peanut Butter Squares : Low Carb Version

When living the LCHF lifestyle choices still have to be made as to whether or not you include treats like this in your menu plans.
But perhaps once in a while you just need to say ...
Some would say that chocolate and peanut butter are meant for each another, especially when presented like these with some toasted nuts on top for crunchiness!

12 servings
3g carb per serving
3½ oz. / 100 g dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa solids
4 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
1 pinch salt
3 1⁄3 tablespoons / 50 ml peanut butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon liquorice powder, or ground cinnamon, or ground cardamom (green)
3 1⁄3 tablespoons / 50 ml chopped salted peanuts, for decoration

Almond or hazelnut butter work, too. And try different toppings: toasted (and coarsely chopped) almonds or hazelnuts, roasted sesame seeds with unsweetened coconut flakes, or even tahini. Mmmmm

Please find instructions at Diet Doctor site here

This recipe has just 3g carb per serving compared to a popular make shop bought chocolate slice which has 19.3g ... that's quite a difference!

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

All the best Jan

Monday 27 March 2017

Halloumi is to be enjoyed ...

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

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

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

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

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

Recipe idea using Halloumi

Serves Four
For the dressing
1 x 200ml/7fl oz pot crème fraiche

½ handful fresh mint, 
finely chopped
½ ruby grapefruit, 
juice and flesh
salt and freshly ground black pepper, 
to taste
For the vegetable stack
1 each red, green, and yellow sweet peppers, 
quartered, seeds removed
1 medium aubergine, 
1 medium courgette, 
olive oil
1 x 250g/9oz block halloumi 
To serve
courgette flowers (if available)
4 mint 

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. For the dressing, mix the crème fraîche, mint, grapefruit juice and grapefruit flesh in a bowl until well combined. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Set aside until needed.
3. For the vegetable stack, place the peppers, aubergine and courgette onto a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and slightly crisp on the outside. You can also grill the vegetables on a preheated barbecue, but watch them carefully so they do not burn. Set the vegetables aside.
4. Cut the halloumi lengthways into eight slices. Brush a griddle pan with oil and place it over a medium heat. Add the halloumi to the griddle pan and cook for 20-30 seconds on each side, or until golden-brown griddle marks appear on both sides.
5. To serve, place a slice of griddled halloumi onto each of four plates and stack alternate slices of the vegetables on top. Top with another slice of the halloumi. Serve the dressing alongside the vegetable stack. Garnish with a courgette flower (if using) and one of the mint sprigs.

Griddle the halloumi at the last possible minute before serving, as it quickly turns rubbery once cooled.

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

All the best Jan

Sunday 26 March 2017

Dave Feldman - 'The Dynamic Influence of a High Fat Diet on Cholesterol Variability'

Published on Mar 24, 2017
Dave Feldman is a senior software engineer, business developer and entrepreneur. He began a Low Carb, High Fat diet in April 2015 and after experiencing a significant rise in his total cholesterol he committed himself to learning everything he could about cholesterol and the lipid system.

As an engineer, Dave spotted a pattern in the lipid system that’s very similar to distributed objects in networks. Through research and N=1 experimentation he has revealed some very powerful data which he shares in this presentation and in further detail on his website;

A .pdf version of the slides used in this presentation is available here;


Mothers Day 2017

Today in the UK, we celebrate Mother's Day. Cards and gifts, perhaps flowers may have been sent, or given, as children take time to say some special words to their mum.

Forever in my heart
Forever in my thoughts
Forever in my life 
My mum is always with me
Thank you Mum
I'll always love you

Wishing Mum's everywhere a lovely day

All the best Jan

Saturday 25 March 2017

Salma Hayek / From Dusk till Dawn

From the Quentin Tarantino movie and if you've watched it you will recognise the scene

Michelle Branch - Hopeless Romantic

Heard this on the radio from yet another singer who's new to me enjoy 

Chuck Berry - No Money Down

Saturday night again and music night on this blog. Last week rock and roll legend Chuck Berry passed away. A true icon who influenced countless musicians and bands. Rest in peace Chuck. Eddie 

Friday 24 March 2017

Analysis: Reports of drug side effects increase fivefold in 12 years

More than 1 million reports of drug side effects were filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2015, a fivefold increase since 2004, according to an analysis by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today.

Numbers aren’t final for 2016, but are expected to match that all-time high.

Drugs used to treat diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, a type of cancer and diabetes are among those with the greatest number of reports. Many of the drugs are for conditions that occur in 1% or less of the population, but several have seen increasing use in recent years.

For years, the FDA’s adverse events system has been derided because of its largely voluntary nature — only drug companies, not doctors or patients, are required to report problems. As a result, the system likely only was capturing a small percentage of cases.

In recent years, the number of reports filed has been multiplying, prompting more independent researchers and drug companies to use the data as a way to detect safety problems, the Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today found.

But experts say the information still is largely untapped and — if used more — could become an important alarm that warns of dangerous drugs after they hit the market.

The surge in reports could indicate a growing number of harmed patients or more vigilant reporting of adverse events, a goal of the FDA. Experts say both likely play a role.

Twelve years ago, there were 206,000 reports of side effects from medications filed with the FDA — complaints as frivolous as flatulence, as serious as death.

By 2015, the most recent full year of data, the number had grown to 1.2 million.

The FDA has long discouraged use of the system for research purposes. When it distributes the database, it attaches warnings that say the reports aren’t evidence drugs caused the problems listed, that the data can’t be used to estimate risk and that it should not be used to compare drugs.

In 2005, the Government Accountability Office estimated the system only captured 1% to 10% of all adverse reactions. Despite the explosion in reports, that remains the most recent estimate of how many cases are caught by the system.

Strength in numbers

The increased volume of reports has researchers, insurance companies and even some pharmaceutical groups re-imagining how the data can be used.

“Sheer numbers have some scientific weight,” said Thomas Moore, senior scientist at the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, a nonprofit watchdog group focused on drug safety. “If 500 people report a problem, it is unlikely that they are all wrong.”

For all its warnings about the limitations of the system, the FDA itself has relied on the reports to guide its actions. Case in point: a patch used to treat migraine headaches.

In September 2015, the Zecuity patch was allowed on the market after years of give-and-take with FDA officials. The patch, which looks like a large armband, released a drug through the skin to fight migraines. An early version failed to get approval after the FDA raised concerns that it could “cause severe burns and permanent skin lesions.”

The patch was redesigned and tested on 58 people, none of whom reported problems. The FDA could have required more clinical testing, but instead chose to approve the redesigned patch and rely on “postmarket surveillance.” In other words, the safety of the product would be linked to reports of side effects.

The FDA ordered Teva, the manufacturer, to report adverse events within 15 days of receiving any complaint.

Nine months later there were hundreds of reports of blisters, burns, scars and pain. On June 2 of last year, the agency said it was “investigating the risk of serious burns and permanent scarring.” A week later, Teva voluntarily pulled the product.

The company said it worked with the FDA to pinpoint a problem but noted because the root cause was not identified, the product remains off the market.

However, others say the voluntary and cumbersome nature of the system makes the value of the information limited.

“As a physician, I have tried to use it and it is very, very clumsy,” said Joseph Ross, an associate professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine.

He said the system only provides a numerator — the number of adverse event reports for a drug — without establishing the denominator, the number of people using that drug.

In doing its own analysis, the Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today found that among the 10 drugs that accounted for the most reports, seven carry “black box” warnings, the FDA’s most stringent alert for serious or potentially life-threatening side effects.

The 10 drugs account for one out of every five reports filed since 2013. Yet, none is on the top-10 list of most prescribed drugs as determined by IMS Health, a drug market research firm.

“We are concerned,” said Michael Carome, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group. “It reflects that the FDA has allowed drugs to come to market without adequately ensuring safety.”


Tuna Steaks Seared : Served With A Pineapple Salsa

This sweet and spicy salsa goes brilliantly with tuna, but is also great with pork chops, too!

Serves Four
432g tin crushed pineapple in natural juice, drained, 1 tbsp juice reserved
½ green pepper, deseeded and finely diced
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
2 tbsp fresh coriander, washed and finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
4 tuna steaks
1 tbsp olive oil
75g watercress, to serve

1. Chop the pineapple into small pieces. Put in a bowl with the pepper, chilli and coriander. Add the reserved pineapple juice and lime juice and stir well to combine. Set aside.
2. Heat a griddle pan to high. Brush the tuna with the oil and season well. Griddle for 1½ minutes on each side for medium or 3 minutes each side for well-done. You may need to do this in 2 batches.
3. Serve the seared tuna steak with the salsa and the watercress.

Each serving provides:
13.7g carbohydrate 1.8g fibre 25.3g protein 3.9g Fat

Recipe idea from here 

Watercress ... with deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of the strongest-tasting salad leaves available. It has a pungent, slightly bitter, peppery flavour and is highly nutritious, containing significant amounts of iron, calcium, vitamins A, C and E. It's sold in either bunches or bags, and is good combined in a salad with milder leaves, or made into soup.

Watercress is available all year round but is at its best from April until September.

Choose the best:
Go for crisp, dark green leaves, with no sign of yellowing or wilting.

Prepare it:
Wash and shake dry just before you're about to use it. Both the leaves and stems are edible - just trim off any tough roots.

Store it:
Watercress is highly perishable, so store it in a perforated bag in the fridge and eat it within a couple of days. Alternatively, treat it like a bunch of flowers and put in a glass of water in the fridge, covering the leaves with a plastic bag - it can last a little longer that way.

Cook it:
In a salad with rocket and orange segments; combine with potatoes in a soup; use in tarts and omelettes; use to make sandwiches or as a garnish for cooked foods such as game.

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

All the best Jan

Thursday 23 March 2017

Berries can make a quick and easy low carb dessert

Strawberries 6 grams. Blackberries 5.1 grams. Raspberries 4.6 grams. of carbs per 100 grams.

For a quick and easy low carb dessert
just place a few in a bowl and enjoy them with some double (heavy) cream

All the best Jan

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Sunshine Peppers and Pork Casserole : Low Carb

How about this colourful low carb dish. It's a 'Sunshine Peppers and Pork Casserole' dish  ... with it's bright colours it could well brighten up the cloudiest of days.
This is what I used and how I made it ... I can also tell you it didn't hang around on the plate long either ... delicious was the word used when the meal was complete!

Serves 2/3
450g diced leg (or shoulder) of pork
1/2 large red pepper
1/2 large orange pepper
1/2 large yellow pepper
1 carrot

1 onion (you can use white or red) sliced
mushrooms, a handful 4 - 6
salt and black pepper for seasoning
mixed herbs
gravy / stock (of choice) about 3/4 pint (to cover meat e

Wipe / wash meat and all vegetables with water before using
Put oven on to warm up. Gas 4, Electric 180
Dice up meat into approx 1 inch 'chunks' and place in oven proof casserole dish
Remove skin from onion and slice, add to casserole dish
De-seed, as appropriate all, peppers and cut into square pieces, add to casserole dish
Peel and slice carrot and add to casserole dish
Slice or quarter mushrooms and add to casserole dish
season with salt and black pepper
add herbs of your choice - I used dried mixed herbs
Make up your stock and pour over meat and vegetables to cover
Put lid on casserole dish, place in warmed oven, cook for approx 1 1/2 hours until meat is tender.

Tip - I usually gently stir all ingredients at least twice during cooking

Whilst casserole is cooking prepare any accompanying vegetables

Serve on warmed plates and enjoy

How about this tip for preparing onions:

First slice off the top of the onion (leave the root on for the moment), then remove the papery skin and any brown outer layers.
To chop the onion, cut in half from top to bottom. Put the cut side down and make a number of horizontal cuts towards, but not quite reaching, the root. Then make as many vertical cuts through the onion, again not quite reaching the root. Holding the onion very firmly and with the knife blade at right angles to the first set of cuts that you made, slice down vertically - the onion will fall away in small pieces as you go. Continue cutting until you reach the root, which you can now discard.
To slice, trim the root off, then cut in slices moving from the root end towards the top. Leave as slices or separate each one out into rings.

All onions are best prepared just before you use them.

All the best Jan

Tuesday 21 March 2017

We Need to Talk About Fat

Are you confused about whether eating fat is good or bad for you? The demonisation of fat has been the cause of more ill health (physical, emotional and mental) than I have room to write about. That’s why I made this video – to cut through the myths and give you the straight up facts on fats.


Basque Chicken Fricassee : A Tasty Dish

Did you know that Basque chicken is called Poulet Basquaise in France, and this dish is similar to chicken fricassée, but with tomatoes, green peppers and Bayonne ham. It seems that the recipe was created in a Paris restaurant and has nothing to do with the Basque region!
Now a fricassee is halfway between a sauté and a stew. A true classic, and there are many variations, it relies on humble ingredients and just a single pot. It's the original French comfort food, simmered chicken with hearty vegetables in a rich sauce/stock.

This recipe suggestion for Basque Chicken Fricassee seems to be a merger of the two ideas, it takes about 15 minutes to prepare and 45 minutes to cook. Have a look at the recipe below and see if you think you may give this a try ... indeed perhaps you already have this as a favourite dish!

Serves Four
50ml olive oil
4 chicken legs
50g ham, chopped
2 red peppers, chopped
2 large plum tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, finely sliced
50g whole green olives
50ml sherry
600ml chicken stock

1. In a large heatproof casserole dish, heat the olive oil over a medium-high heat and sear the chicken legs until golden all over. Remove and drain to one side on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Add the onion to the dish and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped pepper and ham and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

2. Deglaze the pan with the sherry, stirring the base and sides well to dissolve any residue. Add the chicken legs back to the dish along with the tomato and olives and cover with the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.

3. Cover the dish and lower to a simmer, cooking the chicken gently for 25-35 minutes until cooked and tender. Cut into a thick chunk of chicken and check that it is cooked through, with no pink showing. Adjust the seasoning once the chicken is cooked, then spoon into serving bowls.

Each serving:
Carbohydrate 9.4g Protein 27.9g Fibre 3.2g Fat 11.7g

Idea from

All the best Jan

Monday 20 March 2017

Exercise, diet better than medicine for treating Type 2 diabetes, says UBC group

Taking medication to tightly control and lower blood glucose levels is the advice frequently given by doctors to the 400,000 B.C. residents with Type 2 diabetes — but it’s a “misguided” approach, according to the University of B.C. Therapeutics Initiative.

More than $1 billion is spent annually on diabetes drugs in this province, but in its latest bulletin to doctors, the TI says a growing body of research casts doubt on the effectiveness of Type 2 diabetes treatment. Doctors should focus instead on prescribing lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, exercise and healthier diets instead of medications to many patients, it says.

Type 2 diabetes, characterized by resistance to insulin, is largely caused by obesity, lack of exercise, high-carbohydrate diets and aging. 

With the exception of a drug called metformin, many glucose-lowering medications like insulin can lead to weight gain or potentially cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can lead to falls, driving accidents or even loss of consciousness, the TI says. More than half of Type 2 diabetes patients take such medications. (Insulin is an essential medication for those with Type 1 diabetes, which accounts for less than 10 per cent of all diabetes cases in B.C.).

The TI, an independent body that provides advice to doctors, said the optimal blood glucose level target is actually unknown in Type 2 diabetics, and there’s still no conclusive evidence that taking medications to lower blood glucose levels will decrease complications of the condition. Such complications include kidney disease, blindness, cardiovascular disease, strokes and amputations.

Dr. Tom Perry, a Vancouver internist and clinical pharmacologist with the TI, said doctors tend to minimize harms when prescribing drugs to patients.

At the same time, he says that he’s had few “star” diabetic patients willing to put in the hard work to shrink waistlines, exercise and change diet patterns.  

“It’s kind of frightening because we don’t really have the right evidence for treating the Type 2 epidemic. What we’ve been doing is not very scientific,” he said, adding that publicly funded (as opposed to pharmaceutical industry-sponsored) research trials are needed to study the best treatment approaches.

Vancouver endocrinologist Dr. Tom Elliott said he’s in general agreement with the TI that some doctors may be over-treating Type 2 diabetics.

“But there are lots of patients we may be under-treating too. The problem is we don’t know how low the glucose levels should go in order to reduce the risk of bad things happening to patients.”

In an article he wrote last fall, Elliott discussed the growing controversy, saying it is true that in borderline patients, there is little high quality evidence regarding glucose lowering drugs for preventing long-term complications.

“What’s clear is that a concerted effort needs to be made to help high-risk groups to achieve better blood sugar control,” Elliott wrote.

Lawrence Leiter, a professor of medicine and nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto and a specialist in the division of endocrinology at the city’s St. Michael’s Hospital, was critical of the TI bulletin. He said the TI group has been overly selective in choosing which studies to base its recommendations upon.

“In the past two years, we have evidence from large, well-conducted, randomized controlled trials that three different medications for the management of diabetes — empagliflozin (Jardiance), liraglutide (Victoza) and semaglutide (not yet approved) — significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with a history of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and that empagliflozin also reduced the risk of kidney problems.

“Canadian Diabetes Association clinical practice guidelines have for many years emphasized that we must not just lower blood glucose levels but also improve all risk factors, including blood pressure and cholesterol (and) the most recent update to our guidelines, published in November 2016, now recommend the use of empagliflozin and liraglutide to reduce the risk of complications in appropriate patients.”


Pepper : Some helpful things to know ...

Also known as capsicums, bell peppers, sweet peppers or by their colours, for example red and yellow peppers.

These are a non-hot member of a large family that varies enormously in size, shape, flavour and heat content and that includes all the chilli peppers.

Green peppers are the unripe state of red peppers and are the most aggressively flavoured, being vegetal, acidic and a little bitter, traits that soften with cooking. Once ripe and red, peppers are gentler and sweeter in flavour and far more use raw or cooked, although it's common to use red and green peppers together.

Yellow and orange peppers are individual varieties rather than stages between green and red peppers, and both of these were specially bred to be sweet and gentle.

Purple peppers have a slightly stronger flavour but will turn green when cooked.

One sort or another is usually available fresh year round. Canned and bottled peppers are excellent if preserved in brine or oil but less useful if preserved in vinegar or other acid.

Choose the best:
Peppers have a very long life, particularly when refrigerated. Check for puckering around the stalk end or wrinkling of the skin as early signs of ageing.

Prepare it:
However you want to slice up a pepper, you always need to remove the core, pith and seeds. To skin peppers, lay them on a foil-lined grill pan and turn the grill to high. Turn them now and again until the skin is blackened all over, then put them in a bowl and cover with cling film, or seal in an airtight plastic bag. When they're cool, their skin can be peeled off easily with your fingers.

Store it:
Peppers are best kept chilled and out of the light.

Cook it:
To peel or not to peel. That is a major question. Peppers are unquestionably even nicer to eat when skinned, which can be done by charring over a flame or by pouring on boiling water. Both methods are fiddly and time-consuming, especially when skinned red peppers are so easily and cheaply available in bottles and tins; skinned Spanish piquillo peppers are a great store cupboard addition.

Whether using raw or to cook, peppers should be cut from top to bottom in large slabs and then the pale inner vertical membranes removed, as these are always bitter.

Because they're acceptable eating when raw, pieces of pepper that are only part cooked add colour, juiciness and crunch to stir-fries, when the short heating time will soften them without fully cooking.

Otherwise, whether stuffed and roasted, gently fried in olive oil (with garlic of course) or similarly simmered in (tinned) plum tomatoes as a side dish or added to casseroles, fully cooked peppers add reliable flavour, colour and satisfaction.

Rings of any colour of pepper are something that should remain in the recipes of past decades, because cutting them like this means the bitter inner membranes have not been removed.

Words and picture from article here

The low carb team love red pepper see here

All the best Jan

Sunday 19 March 2017

The Twelve Most Nutrient Dense Foods in the World

Michael Joseph from Nutrition Advance writes:

"Not all food is made the same. While some foods are incredibly high in nutrients, others are just empty calories and even harmful to our health.

This article takes a look at some of the most nutritious foods available, and if you think that only means fruits and vegetables, then you’d be wrong.

Here are 12 of the most nutrient dense foods in the world.

1. Liver

Key Point: Liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods on earth. It’s high in protein and also extremely rich in vitamins and minerals.

2. Cacao
Key Point: Real chocolate—without all the sugar—is one of the healthiest, most nutritious foods on the planet.

3. Eggs

Key Point: Eggs are rich in minerals, high in vitamins, and full of beneficial compounds. They’re one of the most nutrient dense foods money can buy.

4. Avocado
Key Point: Avocados are the most nutrient dense fruit going, and they’re delicious. Compared to an apple, an avocado per day better keeps the doctor away.

5. Wild Alaskan Salmon

Key Point: Salmon is one of the most nutrient dense foods from the sea, but ideally opt for wild-caught if you can.

6. Oysters
Key Point: Oysters are one of the most nutritious foods in the world. And there are so many creative recipes out there.

7. Steak
Key Point: Despite fear mongering in the media, steak is actually one of the most nutrient dense foods we have. It’s delicious too.

8. Seaweed
Key Point: Seaweed is another excellent example of a high nutrient-density food — and it can play a huge role in a health-protective diet.

9. Spinach
Key Point: Spinach is one of the most nutrient dense foods; it’s extremely rich in vitamins and minerals, and various studies show it plays a role in disease prevention.

10. Sardines

Key Point: Sardines are one of the most nutrient dense foods from the sea, and they’re especially high in calcium, selenium, and vitamin D.

11. Mushrooms
Key Point: Mushrooms are one of the tastiest and most nutrient dense foods. They also improve the taste of almost any dish that uses them.

12. Almonds
Key Point: Rich in micronutrients and antioxidants, almonds are one of the most nutritious foods in the world.

The Most Nutrient Dense Foods
Generally speaking, the most nutrient dense foods come from animals and the sea. Perhaps this is why so many people enjoy success with
the ketogenic style of eating
By the same token, some plant foods such as leafy greens, nuts, and sea vegetables can also be reasonably nutritious.
Given this, we should ask why dietary guidelines emphasize grains and high-sugar fruits so much.
If dietary guidance also focused on nutrient density, maybe we’d all be a little healthier."

Words above from, Nutrition Advance, a website dedicated to providing nutrition and health articles backed by the latest science.

Please read Michael's full article with all information / research links

All the best Jan

Saturday 18 March 2017

Deep Purple "All I Got Is You" Official Music Video from the album "inFinite" OUT April 7th, 2017

Almost fifty years on Deep Purple are still going and releasing a new album

Michael Kiwanuka - The Final Frame (Live at RAK Studios)

Featured a few times previously on this blog I just love this guys songs 

Ray Davies (Kinks)Days Glastonbury 2010

Once again it's Saturday Night and that means music night on this blog. One of my all-time favourite songs enjoy. Eddie 

Sicilian-style salmon with garlic mushrooms

Gino D'Acampo says, "bring the flavours of Sicily to your plate with this simple fish supper,"

For One
For the Sicilian-style salmon

100g/3½oz salmon
fillet, skin removed
1 lime
, juice only
olive oil, for drizzling
½ tsp dried chilli 
1 tsp ground paprika

salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the mushrooms and broccoli

1 tbsp olive oil

100g/3½oz button mushrooms, sliced
100g/3½oz broccoli, 
1 garlic
clove, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
, optional


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
2. Put the salmon fillet on a lightly oiled baking tray. Drizzle over the lime juice and a little olive oil. Sprinkle with the chilli flakes and paprika and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
3. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and stir-fry until cooked to your liking. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute, then stir in the parsley. Serve immediately with the salmon

Recipe idea from here

All the best Jan

Friday 17 March 2017

Type 2 diabetes numbers treble, Cardiff University finds

The number of people in the UK with type 2 diabetes has trebled from 700,000 to about 2.8m over the last 20 years, Cardiff University has found.

The research, based on data collected by GPs between 1991 and 2014, also show an increase in life expectancy for those with the disease.

Between 1993 and 2010, the proportion of obese people across the UK doubled from 13% to 26% for men.

That figure went from 16% to 26% for women.

Wales has the highest prevalence of diabetes in the UK, with 7.1% of people aged 17 and over living with the condition, Diabetes Cymru UK has said.

Rates of the type 2 form of the disease continue to rise, according to Professor Craig Currie from Cardiff University's school of medicine.

He added the increased life expectancy finding could be due to earlier diagnosis of the condition, as well as drugs such as blood pressure tablets and statins for blood cholesterol.


The research also revealed the prevalence of type 2 diabetes increased with age, although this increase is lower in people aged 80 years and above.

Prevalence was also generally higher in men than in women above the age of 40.

Around 90% of the 4.5m people who live with diabetes in the UK have type 2 diabetes.

This form of the disease develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body are unable to produce enough insulin, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly.

It is treated with a healthy diet, increased physical activity, medication and insulin.


Friday ... let's take five

Landscape Photographer of the Year 2016
Matthew Cattell - Starling Vortex, Brighton, East Sussex
This "intriguing" image of starlings swirling around the remains of Brighton's West Pier
scooped the top prize ... I wonder how many starlings there are!  

The GREAT Britain #OMGB Award Winner
Mark Gilligan - Finding Gold, Wast Water, Cumbria

Youth Urban view - Winner
Henry Memmott - City Lights, Glasgow, Scotland

Youth Classic view - Winner
James Bailey - Hoarfrost over Herringfleet Mill, Suffolk

There were quite a few different categories and many lovely photo's.
I've only shown four, more to see here and here

... and really could it be a Jan post without a recipe!

Provençal Chicken, is a favourite : Especially for low carbers - LCHF 
you can find the recipe here

Did you have a favourite photograph out of this Friday Five?
Did you prefer one that I haven't shown? (Check out the links...)

Happy Friday Wishes, and good wishes for the weekend too
All the best Jan