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Thursday 31 August 2017

Low Carb : Blueberry Courgette (Zucchini) Cake with Lemon Frosting

Doesn't this look a wonderful cake, and it's low carb too, under 10g carbs per serving! The recipe uses courgettes (zucchini) blueberries and lemon, for full details, please see here

Blueberries are one of the few edibles native to North America and credited with being particularly high in antioxidants. They're now grown very widely internationally but the ever-increasing number of varieties marketed means there's no reliable guide to flavour, sweetness or texture. They're credited with many different health benefits if a handful or so is eaten every day, but this is only true if eaten raw. Cooked blueberries lose a great deal of nutrition and most also forfeit flavour; only small, sharp wild blueberries picked directly in Maine are likely to retain flavour when cooked, such as in a blueberry muffin – others more often become a purple tasteless mush.

Fresh blueberries are available from somewhere in the world throughout the year. Frozen ones are likely to have been blanched so offer less nutrition.
Choose the best:
There's no immediate clue to flavour based on colour, size, variety or country of origin; thus, it’s worth remembering the variety noted on the label when you find one you like. Check for firmness of the berries and look for any obvious softness or broken skins, which will indicate they're not in top condition.
Store it:
The high vitamin C content of fresh blueberries means they last many weeks when refrigerated.
Cook it:
Don’t cook blueberries, unless you're absolutely certain the variety used will retain flavour; most varieties do not. A perfect snack by the handful, fresh blueberries make outstanding additions to breakfast cereals, pancakes and waffles, yogurts and fruit salads. They're equally good when used as a sweet-sharp garnish to almost anything else sweet or savoury, from a slice of fresh mango to a ham salad or plate of charcuterie, from chocolate ice cream to coronation chicken. They're especially delicious when generously whizzed up with a sharp salad dressing or crushed into mayonnaise but you might want to strain afterwards for smoothness.

You can also read about the health benefits of blueberries here

A variety of articles and recipe ideas are within this blog. 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

Wednesday 30 August 2017

Take Two Super Salads : Avocado, Bacon & Blueberry or Triple Berry

A tale of two super salads, which one would you prefer? You may try them both! With August nearing it's end, and in the Northern Hemisphere we see the approach of Autumn (the Fall), perhaps we should make some time to enjoy a late summer salad! Now there's a good idea ...

The Avocado, Bacon and Blueberry Salad is a tasty salad that's super quick to make. Packed with creamy avocado, peppery rocket (arugula) and Smokey bacon topped with a delicious fruity dressing.

Serves Four
8 rashers smoked streaky bacon
100g (3 1/2oz) rocket (arugula)
1 large avocado, chopped
100g (3 1/2oz) blueberries

For the dressing
50g (2oz) blueberries
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp clear honey

1. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat and cook the bacon for two minutes on each side, until crisp. Set aside to cool completely.
2. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Put the blueberries, oil, vinegar, mustard and honey into the bowl of a food processor (or use a stick blender) and whizz to combine. Season well.
3. In a serving bowl, toss together the rocket (arugula), avocado and blueberries, then crumble over the bacon and drizzle with the blueberry dressing.

Per Serving:
Carbohydrate 8.3g Protein 7.8g Fibre 1.3g Fat 25.1g
From an original idea here

Triple Berry Salad is so colourful and absolutely delicious. Just have a read of the ingredients and your taste buds are already in action savouring the great taste. Make a note of the ingredients - go out and get them and then just make and enjoy this super summery salad.

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

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

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

*The easiest way to toast almonds is to spread them on a plate and microwave in thirty second increments until they’re golden brown.
See original recipe idea here 

If you need help with measurement conversion please see here

A variety of recipe ideas are within this blog. 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

Where People Can''t Live Without The Internet.

Have you ever wondered, how fit and healthy you could be, if you spent less time on the internet and more time exercising? I have. When I tell youngsters old timers like me survived very well before the internet and smart phones, they look agog. One thing for sure, I've got to get out more.

More on this article here.


Tuesday 29 August 2017

How Being Happy May Make You Healthier

How Being Happy Makes You Healthier
All words by Daisy Coyle, RD

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
"The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle said these words more than 2,000 years ago, and they still ring true today.
Happiness is a broad term that describes the experience of positive emotions, such as joy, contentment and satisfaction.
Emerging research shows that being happier doesn’t just make you feel better — it actually brings a host of potential health benefits.
This article explores the ways in which being happy may make you healthier.

Promotes a Healthy Lifestyle
Being happy promotes a range of lifestyle habits that are important for overall health. Happy people tend to eat healthier diets, with higher intakes of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A study of more than 7,000 adults found that those with a positive well-being were 47% more likely to consume fresh fruits and vegetables than their less positive counterparts. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables have consistently been associated with a range of health benefits, including lower risks of diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
Summary: Being happy may help promote a healthy lifestyle. Studies show that happier people are more likely to eat healthier diets and engage in physical activity.

Appears to Boost the Immune System
A healthy immune system is important for overall health. Research has shown that being happier may help keep your immune system strong. This may help reduce your risk of developing colds and chest infections. One study in over 300 healthy people looked at the risk of developing a cold after individuals were given a common cold virus via nasal drops. The least happy people were almost three times as likely to develop the common cold compared to their happier counterparts.
Summary: Being happy may help keep your immune system strong, which might help you fight off the common cold and chest infections.

Helps Combat Stress
Being happy may help reduce stress levels. Normally, excess stress causes an increase in levels of cortisol, a hormone that contributes to many of the harmful effects of stress, including disturbed sleep, weight gain, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. A number of studies demonstrate that cortisol levels tend to be lower when people are happier.
Summary: Stress increases levels of the hormone cortisol, which can cause weight gain, disturbed sleep and high blood pressure. Happy people tend to produce lower levels of cortisol in response to stressful situations.

May Protect Your Heart
Happiness may protect the heart by reducing blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease. A study of over 6,500 people over the age of 65 found that positive well-being was linked to a 9% lower risk of high blood pressure. Happiness may also reduce the risk of heart disease, the biggest cause of death worldwide. A number of studies have shown that being happy has been associated with a 13–26% lower risk of heart disease. One long-term of 1,500 adults found that happiness helped protect against heart disease.
Summary: Being happier can help lower blood pressure, which may decrease the risk of heart disease. However, more research is required.

May Lengthen Your Life Expectancy
Being happy may help you live longer. A long-term study published in 2015 looked at the effect of happiness on survival rates in 32,000 people. The risk of death over the 30-year study period was 14% higher in unhappy individuals compared to their happier counterparts.
Summary: Happier people live longer. This may be because they engage in more health-promoting behaviours, such as exercise.

May Help Reduce Pain
Arthritis is a common condition that involves inflammation and degeneration of the joints. It causes painful and stiff joints, and generally worsens with age. A number of studies have found that higher positive well-being may reduce the pain and stiffness associated with the condition. Being happy may also improve physical functioning in people with arthritis. One study in over 1,000 people with painful arthritis of the knee found that happier individuals walked an extra 711 steps each day — 8.5% more than their less happy counterparts. Happiness may also help reduce pain in other conditions. A study in nearly 1,000 people recovering from stroke found that the happiest individuals had 13% lower pain ratings after three months of leaving the hospital.

Summary: Being happy may reduce the perception of pain. It appears to be particularly effective in chronic pain conditions such as arthritis.

Other Ways Being Happy May Make You Healthier

A small number of studies have linked happiness to other health benefits. While these early findings are promising, they need to be backed up by further research to confirm the associations.
May reduce frailty: Frailty is a condition characterized by a lack of strength and balance. A study in 1,500 elderly adults found that the happiest individuals had a 3% lower risk of frailty over the 7-year study period.
May protect against stroke: A stroke occurs when there is a disturbance in blood flow to the brain. A study in older adults found that positive well-being lowered the risk of stroke by 26%.
Summary: Being happy may have some other potential benefits, including reducing the risk of frailty and stroke. However, further research is required to confirm this.

Ways to Increase Your Happiness
Being happy doesn’t just make you feel better — it’s also incredibly beneficial for your health.
Here are six scientifically proven ways to become happier.
Express gratitude: You can increase your happiness by focusing on the things you are grateful for. One way to practice gratitude is to write down three things you are grateful for at the end of each day.
Get active: Aerobic exercise, also known as cardio, is the most effective type of exercise for increasing happiness. Walking or playing tennis won’t just be good for your physical health, it’ll help boost your mood too.
Get a good night’s rest: Lack of sleep can have a negative effect on your happiness. If you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep, then check out these tips for getting a better night’s sleep.
Spend time outside: Head outside for a walk in the park, or get your hands dirty in the garden. It takes as little as five minutes of outdoor exercise to significantly improve your mood.
Meditate: Regular meditation can increase happiness and also provide a host of other benefits, including reducing stress and improving sleep.
Eat a healthier diet: Studies show that the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the happier you will be. What’s more, eating more fruits and vegetables will also improve your health in the long-term.
Summary: There are a number of ways to increase your happiness. Getting active, expressing gratitude and eating fruits and vegetables are all great ways to help improve your mood.

The Bottom Line
Scientific evidence suggests that being happy may have major benefits for your health. For starters, being happy promotes a healthy lifestyle. It may also help combat stress, boost your immune system, protect your heart and reduce pain.
What’s more, it may even increase your life expectancy. While further research is required to understand how these effects work, there’s no reason you can’t start prioritizing your happiness now. Focusing on the things that make you happy will not only improve your life — it may help extend it too."

Daisy's full article with all information / research links is here

'They say laughter is the best medicine'

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

Monday 28 August 2017

The Ketogenic Diet Improves Cognitive Function

The first trial using the ketogenic diet (KD) in patients with Alzheimer’s disease was presented at the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. It was presented in session of the Conference that was dedicated to the potential benefits of ketones called: Brain Ketone Metabolism, Ketogenic Interventions and Alzheimer’s disease.

As discussed in another blog post, it is know that in Alzheimer’s disease, the brain loses its ability to uptake and use glucose. This decreased glucose utilization results in decrease energy (ATP) production, causing an energy deficit in the brain. It is believed that this energy deficit then increases the risk of neuronal dysfunction and cognitive decline. Specifically, it has been shown that patients with early Alzheimer’s disease have 20-30% less glucose uptake and utilization in certain areas of the brains compared to cognitively normal older adults. Research by Dr. Cunnane, has shown that the uptake and utilization of ketones is the same in brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease compared to the brains of cognitively normal older adults. (Cunnane, 2016)

This research by Dr Cunnane shows that the even the areas of the Alzheimer’s brains that had decreased uptake of glucose had normal uptake of ketones. The implication of this is that the neurons themselves are not dead just not able to use glucose. The hope is that ketones can help improve cognition by improving this brain energy deficit. This was the basis of the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Ketogenic Diet study. The objection of the study was to see if by changing the fuel source from glucose to ketones thru the KD, would result in improvement of cognitive symptoms in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

The KU Alzheimer’s Disease Ketogenic Diet Feasibility and Retention Trial

The KU Alzheimer’s Disease Ketogenic Diet Feasibility and Retention Trial, involved 15 patients with a diagnosis of mild Alzheimer’s disease. The 15 patients were placed on the KD and an additional triglyceride supplement for 3 months. The degree of ketosis was measured thru urine and plasma ketone levels. Cognitive function tests were assessed at baseline, at the end of the 3 months, and then a month later after back on a regular diet.

Out of the 15 patients, 5 were able to unable to achieve ketosis and dropped out of the study. The 10 that were able to get into ketosis and remain on the diet for 3 months, showed an improvement in cognitive function of 4.1 points on the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-Cog (ADAS Cog) score. After returning back to a standard diet, the scores then dropped back down to their baselines values.

The author of the study, Dr. Swerdlow, was noted to say: “As far as Alzheimer’s studies go, a 4 point improvement in the ADAS Cog score is fairly robust.” “It suggests a meaningful improvement in cognition.” “It is greater than that seen in the cholinesterase inhibitors studies.” (Hughes, 2017)

Data from this study supports the need for further studies of KD in Alzheimer’s disease. The intervention was well tolerated without serious adverse event. The main limitation of the study was adhering to the KD. (Swerdlow, 2017) Dr. Swerdlow noted that the KD is not an easy diet to be on, and potentially an easier way to get ketones to the brain may be with supplements, which does not require such a strict low carbohydrate diet.


Colin Furze Cake-O-Matic

The British are well known for producing eccentrics (nice name for nutters) here is one of my favourites. He has several Guinness Book Of Records inventions, this contraption is not one of them. Try and watch this short video without laughing. Enjoy Eddie

Italian Meatballs with Mozzarella Cheese : Low Carb and Delicious

Tomato sauce, rich and comforting. Mozzarella, fresh and creamy. Meatballs, with just the right touch of onion and oregano. It's like spaghetti night, but without the carbs. Enjoy ...

Serves Four
4g carbs per serving
1 lb / 450 g ground (minced) beef
2 oz. / 50 g grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 tablespoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
14 oz. / 400 g canned whole tomatoes
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
7 oz. / 200 g fresh spinach
2 oz. / 50 g butter
5 oz. / 150 g fresh mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper

Recipe instructions are on Diet Doctor site here

Did you know that Oregano is a pungent green herb with a great affinity for a variety of foods, from lamb to vegetables, stuffing's and egg dishes. Oregano is closely related to marjoram. It is characteristic of many Greek dishes (particularly lamb) and (in the UK) is often sprinkled liberally on pizzas. Oregano grows easily in well protected areas. Because of its high oil content, oregano dries well. You can replace dried oregano for fresh, but reduce the amount used by about half. Dried oregano is a kitchen essential, but make sure you replace it frequently as it quickly loses its pungency. Oregano is one of the herbs in the mixture called herbes de Provence.

Often used to top your favorite pizza, oregano may offer you a range of health benefits you may have never considered. Oregano contains a powerful substance called beta-caryophyllene that helps fight inflammation. This herb is said to benefit people suffering conditions such as osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis. On top of it’s anti-inflammatory properties, antibacterial and antifungal properties can also be added to the list of what make oregano a top pick.
A variety of recipe ideas and articles are within this blog. 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

Sunday 27 August 2017

Forgive Me When I Whine

Each and everyone of us have days when we may moan or whine. Yes, some do have serious cause to have a whine, but many of us don't!

“Forgive Me When I Whine”
-Author Unknown

Today, upon a bus, I saw a lovely girl with golden hair,
I envied her….she seemed so beautiful….and wished I were so fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and wore a crutch; but as she passed….a smile!

Oh God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two legs. The world is mine!

I stopped to buy some candy. The lad who sold it had such charm.
I talked with him. He seemed so glad. If I were late, it’d do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me, “I thank you. You have been so kind.
It’s nice to talk with folks like you. You see,” he said, “I’m blind.”

Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two eyes. The world is mine.

Later while walking down the street, I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play. I stopped a moment,
When I said, “Why don’t you join the others, Dear?”
He looked ahead without a word, and then I knew he could not hear.

Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two ears, the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I’d go, with eyes to see the sunset’s glow,
with ears to hear what I would know….

Oh God forgive me when I whine.
I am blessed indeed. The world is mine!

If you've had a bit of a trying day, or perhaps trying times, just maybe these beautiful flowers will help you smile a while, I do hope so.

image from google

All the best Jan

Saturday 26 August 2017

Jennifer Ann - Mad World

A cover of Gary Jules Mad World

Lucio Dalla - Caruso

This is a great song, and a stunning video. Real talent in a world of Z list celebrities and where mediocrity is applauded. Eddie 

Mark wills-like there's no yesterday

Saturday night again so soon, and music night on the blog. We've had an up and down week, nothing new there then, thems the breaks. Found this the other day, enjoy. Eddie

Raspberry Baked Custard Dessert

I know not all of our readers are dessert lovers, in fact if I said to Eddie would you prefer cheese or a low carb cheesecake, he'd choose cheese! However, this dessert is 10g carb per serving so may be just right for your menu plans!

Serves Six
10g carbs per serving
3 eggs
1/3 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, granulated
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
2 1/2 cup whole milk
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 tsp all natural agave nectar

1. Heat oven to 350°F. / 190º C / Gas mark 5
2. In medium bowl, mix eggs, SPLENDA®, vanilla, and salt. Slowly stir in milk.
3. Pour into eight 4-oz custard cups. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
4. Place cups in 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish, on oven rack. Pour boiling water into pan to within 1/2 inch of tops of cups.
5. Bake 1 hour or until knife inserted halfway between centre and edge comes out clean. Remove cups from water. Let cool 30 minutes. Un-mold and serve warm with fresh raspberry sauce.
6. Place raspberries, water, and agave nectar (or sugar) in food processor or blender. Cover and process until smooth. Press through food sieve to remove seeds, if desired.

Original recipe idea here
For help with measurement conversion please see here

A variety of recipe ideas are within this blog. 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 25 August 2017

Opinion: A low-carb diet changed my life, and my patients' lives

“You’re no longer diabetic!” This was a phrase that I was fortunate enough to be able to tell six different patients last week who were previously diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. “You don’t need your blood pressure medication, or this statin anymore either” is becoming another one of my catch-phrases, too. I’ve uttered those words more in the last six months than in the previous nine years combined of practice as a family doctor.

What am I doing to be able to say this to patients?

Simple: showing them how to take control of their health through eating foods low in carbs and high in fats. Unfortunately, articles like the one by Dr. Christopher Labos published earlier this month (“Little difference between low-carb and low-fat diets,” Opinion, Aug. 9) may give readers the impression that low carb, or ketogenic diets, are just another fad.

The reality is that a low-carb lifestyle is so much more than a diet. Yes, of course it is a wonderful way to lose weight, but even more important than that, it is a robust tool in our arsenal against a plethora of medical conditions. It has a tremendous implication in treating diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, epilepsy and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, to name a few. Over the past few years, we’ve seen emerging evidence about the connection between glucose and Alzheimer’s disease, which some are now referring to as Type 3 Diabetes.

It is well documented that this is a great way to lose weight, and the weight loss is sustainable. The Public Health Collaboration, an organization devoted to informing the public on how to make better choices for a healthier lifestyle, compares randomized controlled trials of low carb versus low fat for weight loss. While the studies are of varying durations and methods, of the 57 studies listed, 48 of them are in favour of a low carb diet. When you look at the studies more carefully, the overwhelming majority conclude that glucose control and cholesterol panels improve significantly more on a low-carb diet than they do on a low fat one.

It isn’t just an academic exercise; I see these results in my practice every day.

No matter how you slice it, we are in an epidemic. Obesity rates in the United States have tripled in just one generation, and rates of diabetes have skyrocketed as well. This is showing no signs of slowing down. Changing the way we go about food is imperative if we have any hopes of turning a corner. A low-carb diet is an easy (yes, really!), safe and effective way to lose weight and reverse Type 2 diabetes, improve blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular risk factors.

I say this not only as a physician — I speak from personal experience. Because of these diets, the better part of my 20s was spent being “hangry,” and despite that, the weight continued to creep up. Thanks to a group of Canadian physicians, I was pointed in the direction of a low-carb diet, and I can say without a doubt that it has changed my life. I look better, I feel better, and I’m healthier now than I ever was before.

If my N of 1 is not convincing — that is, if one person’s experience may not be thought to prove anything — all you need to do is to look at my patients who have not only lost significant amounts of weight, but reversed their diabetes, and it becomes clear that conventional low fat diets are not the way to go. Every day I see my patients improve their health, decrease or stop many of their medications all because they said goodbye to the carbs.

Plus, bacon is delicious.

Elyssa Elman, MDCM, CCFP is a family physician and medical director at Nutria Clinic in Westmount.


Salad Aveyronnaise : A little bit of France on your table !

What is salad?
Food historians tell us salads (generally defined as mixed greens with dressing) were enjoyed by ancient Romans and Greeks. As time progressed, salads became more complicated. Recipes varied according to place and time. Dinner salads, as we know them today, were popular with Renaissance folks. Composed salads assembled with layers of ingredients were enjoyed in the 18th century, they were called Salmagundi, today they are called chef's salad.

I happened across this classic warm south-western French salad with bacon, walnuts and Roquefort. It's called Salad Aveyronnaise ... you may wish to try it.

Serves Six
500g punnet cherry tomato, halved
1 garlic clove
drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
5 tbsp. walnuts
3 large handfuls baby spinach or other salad leaves
large handful basil leaves
200g pack bacon lardons
100g Roquefort, cut into chunks with a small, sharp knife

For the vinaigrette
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
4 tbsp. mild-tasting olive oil

1. Put tomatoes in a small roasting tin or dish and crush the garlic directly over them using a garlic crusher. Season, drizzle with oil and roast for about 15 mins at 190C/fan 170C/gas 5, until slightly shrivelled. At the same time and temperature, toast the walnuts until glossy and fragrant, about 10 mins, then chop them roughly. Set everything aside in the fridge until ready to reheat.
2. Before serving, heat oven to 110C/fan 90C/gas ¼ Put in the tomatoes, still in their dish, and the walnuts, in a dish or on a piece of foil on a baking tray, to keep warm. Toss the spinach and basil together in a large bowl and season lightly.
3. Heat a little oil in a pan and sizzle the lardons for 3-4 mins until just lightly browned. Transfer to a piece of foil and keep hot in the oven.
4. Stir the dressing ingredients together and pour into a pan, which must not be more than lukewarm. Bring to a boil (the vinegar will smell very strong, so stand back), then pour over the salad and toss again to wilt slightly. Add remaining ingredients to the salad, reserving a few choice crumbs of Roquefort and a scattering of walnuts. Toss and transfer to plates, then top with the remaining cheese and nuts.

Nutrition Per Serving:
Fat 27g Carbs 4g Protein 10g
From an original idea here

Why not read more about Roquefort Cheese here

Bon Appetit

All the best Jan

Thursday 24 August 2017

He had one job.....................

This bedraggled poor little chap is one of our grandsons. His other grandmother was cleaning her car. She popped back into her house to answer the phone, and the lad thought he would help out cleaning the car. This is the scene that greeted her when she stepped back outside. Call me warped, but I can't stop laughing. His face says it all. Eddie

The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

In my opinion the NHS is the UK's finest institution. The experience of my family and friends has been 99% positive. We all know it is not perfect, what system is? A big problem is lack of money, these days the NHS is stretched to the limit financially, the NHS is in need of any more money it can get right, It's got to be politically correct money. The BBC reports here.

"A hospital has turned down a £2,500 donation from a group of men dressed up as nurses after bosses said the outfits were "demeaning". The group, which was supporting Ludlow Hospital in Shropshire, raised the money by pushing a bed around the town.

Jan Ditheridge, chief executive of Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, said the behaviour was "insulting". The hospital's friends group said it was a "sad day for public support for our health services"

The PC mob will be the end of us all I tell ya! 


Italian-style courgette/zucchini and parmesan soup

Many of us at this time of year may have a glut of courgettes/zucchini. This is a super recipe idea to help use them up in a most delicious way. The creamy soup covers tender, diced pieces of courgette that add a contrasting texture.

Serves Four
60ml/2fl oz. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
handful basil leaves (preferably Italian), chopped
sea salt and ground white pepper, to taste
1kg/2¼lb green courgettes / zucchini, cut lengthways into quarters then into 1cm/½in slices
750ml/1¼ pint chicken stock
60ml/2fl oz. single cream
handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
50g/2oz freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve

To serve - optional:
low carb seedy bread
Green salad
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat.
2. Cook the garlic, basil, salt and courgette/zucchini slowly for 10 minutes, or until the courgettes are lightly browned and softened.
3. Add white pepper, to taste, then pour in the stock and simmer for 8 minutes, uncovered. Remove from the heat.
4. Put three-quarters of the soup mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth.
5. Return the mixture to the pan and stir in the cream, parsley and parmesan.
6. To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle over more parmesan, to taste.
7. Optional - serve with low carb seedy bread and a green salad.

From a recipe idea here

Courgettes/zucchini are usually cheap, tasty, quick-growing and endlessly versatile, courgettes make a decent meal of any store-cupboard ingredient. They can be dressed up in a creamy lemon sauce and served with pasta, grated and added to a quiche, or served as crisp fritters. In fact, recipes for courgettes come in as many shapes and sizes as the squash itself: varieties of this summer vegetable can range from small and flying-saucer shaped, to dark-green and tennis ball-sized, to long and yellow. Give courgettes a go: remember, the smaller they are, the more flavour - if you don't pick them early enough they grow into marrows.

The perfect courgette is no fatter than your middle finger, with a wide-open yellow flower still clinging to its stem. Look for small, firm, unblemished courgettes whose skin has a healthy glow.

Dark green courgettes are easily available in Britain. Larger, pale green courgettes streaked with cream, a common sight during the summer in Italy and southern France, are starting to appear in UK farmers' markets. Round courgettes, which are sometimes imported from France, can also be grown successfully in Britain. Spaghetti squash, a rather bland-tasting vegetable whose flesh comes away in long, skinny strands when roasted, can sometimes be found in supermarkets.

Courgettes will keep in the fridge for weeks, but taste best when used as quickly as possible after picking or buying.

Courgettes can be poached, blanched, hollowed out and stuffed, baked, fried, steamed or stewed, and taste great combined with goats' cheese or garden herbs. They are quite watery vegetables so need to be cooked with care. If stuffing courgettes, pre-cook them for a few minutes in salted water before baking with their filling. Try courgettes preserved in vinegar, made into fritters or stirred into risotto. If you’ve grown your own, you can make good use of the delicate flowers too: remove their stamens, dip the flowers in tempura-style batter and deep-fry, or stuff with ricotta, parmesan and herbs and bake. They can also be sliced and added to salads, soups or risotto.

A variety of articles and recipe ideas are within this blog. 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

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Ya gotta larf!

A police officer pulls over a speeding car. The officer says, "I clocked you at 50 miles per hour, sir." 

The drive says, "Goodness, officer, I had it on cruise control at 30; perhaps your radar gun needs calibrating." 
Not looking up from her knitting the wife says: 'Now don't be silly, dear -- you know that this car doesn't have cruise control" 

As the officer writes out the ticket, the driver looks over at his wife and
growls, "Can't you please keep your mouth shut for once !!?" 

The wife smiles demurely and says, "Well dear you should be thankful your radar detector went off when it did or your speed would have been higher." As the officer makes out the second ticket for the illegal radar detector unit , the man glowers at his wife and says through clenched teeth, "Woman, can't you keep your mouth shut?"

The officer frowns and says, 'And I notice that you're not wearing your
seat belt, sir. That's an automatic £75 fine. ' The driver says, 'Yeah, well, you see, officer, I had it on, but I took it off when you pulled me over so that I could get my license out of my back pocket. '

The wife says, "Now, dear, you know very well that you didn't have your seat belt on. You never wear your seat belt when you're driving."

And as the police officer is writing out the third ticket, the driver turns
to his wife and barks, ‘WILL YOU PLEASE SHUT UP??

The officer looks over at the woman and asks, "Does your husband always talk to you this way, Ma'am? "

"Only when he's been drinking" 


Chicken Cordon Bleu : A Tasty Dish

Chicken Cordon Bleu is a firm favourite in our house, in fact one of our sons cooks a most delicious version of this! The mix of ham and cheese in a chicken breast just works so well. Does this classic French dish ever get old?
No, of course it doesn't, and this version is just 4g carbs per serving. Yum!

Serves Four
4g carbs per serving
4 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon dried thyme
4 oz. / 110 g deli smoked ham
4 oz. / 110 g gruyère cheese
2 oz. / 50 g butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

7 oz. / 200 g lettuce
1 carrot
½ zucchini (courgette)
½ lemon in pieces (small wedges)
8 tablespoons / 125 ml olive oil
salt and pepper

Why not
Make extra! Chicken Cordon Bleu is delicious cold (or room temperature).
Try it for lunch, sliced on a salad, or wrapped up in lettuce and eaten like a sandwich.

Full recipe instructions here

Gruyère is a famous Alpine cheese, which originated in Switzerland but is also now produced in France, it has a firm, pliable texture and a nutty, slightly sweet flavour, and is popularly used in dishes such as fondues and gratins. It is made in large rounds which, if left uncut, will keep extremely well for over a year. The ivory or pale-yellow interior has fewer (and smaller) holes than Switzerland’s best-known cheese, emmental. Neither should gruyère be confused with other cooked, pressed Alpine cheeses such as comté and beaufort.
Gruyère is at its best from mid-November to mid-April. Swiss gruyère - labelled as Le Gruyère Switzerland is protected and will have the word ‘Switzerland’ stamped in red across the top and bottom of its rind. If you prefer a milder flavour, look for gruyère doux, which will have been matured for around five months, rather than gruyère vieux, which can be aged for up to 18 months.

A variety of articles/recipe ideas are within this blog. 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 21 August 2017

Of burgers, blood and balderdash

It’s one of the most depressing aspects of environmentalism that pressing needs for change inevitably get turned into saleable products.
As the need to reduce our meat consumption rises so too do the number of so-called ‘meat substitutes’, products which aim to get us to eat less meat while still pretending that we are eating meat.
Putting the mind-fuck of that aside for a moment, there are real problems with meat analogues – both old and new – which, in their enthusiasm, supporters either don’t understand or wilfully choose to ignore.
Fake means fake
The glossy PR about the future of food is compelling; but fake meat is no more the future of food than fake fur or fake leather are the future of clothing.
Moreover, as with all market solutions to complex problems, once the cracks begin to show they quickly become irreparable.
Yesterday documents emerged which showed that the US FDA has repeatedly sought, but not received, proof of safetyfor the one of the ingredients in the much vaunted Impossible Burger, a substance known as soy leghemoglobin (SLH).
The documents were obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the ETC Group and other environmental and consumer organisations.
The Impossible Burger is already on sale in selected outlets across the US. Backed by $257 million in venture capital funding from Khosla Ventures and Bill Gates amongst others, manufacturers Impossible Foods, have pushed it onto the marketplace on the basis of a self-affirmed GRAS (Generally Recognised as Safe) status. Its panel of paid experts determined that the SLH proteins were structurally similar to natural ones and therefore safe. The FDA, however, rejects this claim.
Amongst its concerns was whether SLH was an allergen and in the FDA’s words: “The current arguments at hand, individually and collectively, were not enough to establish the safety of SLH for consumption.”
So many campaigners were super excited by the news yesterday, but food being the big business that it is, the Impossible Burger does not need FDA GRAS status to remain on the market.
Regulations don’t require the company to disclose the results of its own ‘safety’ tests or even share them with the FDA, so really we may never know what testing was done unless, or until, more whistleblower documents suddenly appear. Or until it kills someone.
This story will run for a while, but while we wait it’s worth deconstructing other aspects of the burger as well.
Bleeding obvious
The SLH in the Impossible Burger is produced using a genetically engineered yeast culture. Its purpose is to make the burger cook and taste more like meat.
Impossible Foods maintains that humans have been eating this kind of heme for “hundreds of thousands of years”. This is patently not true since it is a novel ingredient which has only emerged in the last few years.
The SLH, a plant based source of iron, also makes the burger appear to ‘bleed’ when cooked.
Technically the manufacturers should not be referring to it as heme since this is only present in meat and shellfish. Plants produce non-heme iron.
The distorted focus on the bleeding burger and its ‘heme’ content assumes that foods, like Lego action figures, are just assemblages of individual components. It denies the fact that fresh meat, just like fresh grains, pulses and vegetables is a wholefood and that wholefoods are complex. We really haven’t even scratched the surface of how the components of wholefoods work synergistically with each other and in our bodies.
But there are some things we do know and one of these is that there is more to nutrition than how much of something a product has in it. Iron, in particular is tricky stuff and how much the body absorbs is dependent on multiple factors including the source of the iron and how low or high an individual body’s iron stores are. Impossible Foods nutrition data suggests that its burger has more iron than a comparably sized ground beef burger, which on the surface of things looks true.
But some aspects of the matrix may render this unavailable to the body. For instance, soya and wheat contain phytates, fibre that binds to iron and transports it through the digestive tract unabsorbed. Experts continue to wrestle with the issue of iron bioavailability from different foods; it is possible, for example, that the processing of the Impossible Burger may break down some of the phytates and make iron more bioavailable. But in general only 5-12% of the iron in a strict vegetarian diet is absorbed, compared to 14-18% from a mixed diet that includes meat.

Beef Chili : Low Carb

One pot cooking is just so good, and this low carb beef chili recipe is a favourite. There are quite a few combinations many of us use when it comes to our favourite Chili recipes. For those living the LCHF lifestyle why not serve it with cauliflower rice or a green salad, which is my particular favourite.

I like the red cooking pot shown here, I may have to get some LOL! it adds to the warmth of the Chili somehow, don't you think!

Serves Nine
8g carb per serving
2 lb lean ground (minced) beef (10% fat)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground allspice
6 oz. tomato paste
3 bay leaves
4 oz. canned mushroom slices, drained (ok to use fresh)
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

1. In large stockpot, brown meat, drain fat.
2. Add 4 cups cold water, cinnamon, cumin, onions, Worcestershire sauce, garlic cloves, salt, chili powder, black and red pepper, allspice, tomato paste, bay leaves, mushrooms, and green pepper. Bring to a boil.
3. Reduce to simmer. Cover and cook 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves before serving.

For help with measurement conversion please see here
From an original idea, with helpful video guide, here

A variety of recipe ideas are within this blog. 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

Thought for the day.


Sunday 20 August 2017

Tesco sausages of death?

Yesterday Jan and myself spent the afternoon down the park with three of our grandchildren. On the way home she asked me to pull into a small shopping complex, she wanted to get a few items including some sausages for today's breakfast. After a very nice full English blow out breakfast, Jan checked out the news on her phone. Good grief she cried, supermarket X flogs sausages that could have infected thousands. Here's the crack, we had just scoffed a half a pack of, you guessed it, Tesco sausages. affraid The thing is, we hardly ever shop at Tesco. The labelling says British Pork, but I'm remembering the horse meat scandal.  Who knows what we are eating these days. Thems the breaks folks. rofl 


"A leading British supermarket may unwittingly have infected thousands of people with a pig virus that causes liver cirrhosis and neurological damage, say researchers at Public Health England.

Hepatitis E (HEV) is transmitted by sausages and pork products from Europe, mainly Holland and Germany. UK pigs do not have the virus strain in question.

Scientists at PHE, a government agency, have traced the shopping habits of infected people and found that a common factor is consumption of own-brand sausages from “Supermarket X”.

PHE and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) have refused to name Supermarket X but two separate sources said it was Tesco." 

From The Sunday Times here.


Pork, celeriac and apple bake

It was back in 2011 that Eddie wrote about 'Great Grub Celeriac' and still to this day it is one of our favourite lower carb vegetables. I saw this recipe which combines pork, crisp apple and celeriac, and thought Yum! Perfect for two, or just amend the recipe to suit you. The cooking aroma is great and with Autumn, in the UK, being just around the corner could be perfect for those cooler nights. Having said that, I think, a dish like this can be enjoyed at any time of year.
Serves Two
1/2 celeriac head
3 tbsp. olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 lemon, zested
salt and pepper
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced (no need to peel)
3 rosemary sprigs
2 pork chops

1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Cut the celeriac in half and place it cut-side down on a chopping board. Use a knife to cut off the peel, then cut in half again and slice the celeriac as thinly as you can – the thinner it is, the quicker it will cook.
2. Pour 1 tbsp. olive oil on to a baking tray and layer the celeriac all over its base. Scatter the sliced garlic and lemon zest, sprinkle over salt and pepper and then layer the apple slices on top.
3. Scrunch up the rosemary sprigs in your hands to release the oils and scatter them around the apples. Place the pork chops on top of the apples and season again with salt and pepper. Pour over the rest of the oil. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until the celeriac is soft and the pork is cooked through.

Each serving: Carbohydrate 16.7g Protein 30.3g Fibre 3.1g Fat 49.7g
From an original Tesco real food recipe here

We bring a variety of recipe ideas to this blog. 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

Saturday 19 August 2017

London Grammar - Non Believer

Another great song from one of my favourite bands, have a good weekend everyone

Paolo Conte - It's Wonderful

We love this sort of music, reminds us of warm summer days, carefree times, completely chilled out, and enjoying family and friends company at a BBQ, far away from the madding crowd. Eddie 

Autumn Leaves - Yenne Lee plays 2004 Pepe Romero Jr.

Saturday night again and music night on this blog. Found this track the other day while surfing around. A different interpretation of one of Jan's favourite tunes, enjoy. Eddie

Blueberry Ice Cream Delight : Low Carb

Three of our favourite fruits are strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, they are lower in carbs so fit right in with our Low Carb High Fat Lifestyle ... and importantly help keep Eddie's blood sugar levels low. You can read our Introduction To Low Carb post here

But hey, it's the weekend so why not treat yourself to a bowl of this delicious ice cream, it's a very nice recipe from Anne Aobadia at Diet Doctor site - here are the ingredients you will need...
Low-Carb Blueberry Ice Cream
It's 'icy cool and unbelievably creamy'
Six Servings
6g carb per serving
1 cup / 0.2 litre (approx. 7 fluid ounces) heavy (double) whipping cream
3 egg yolks
½ teaspoon ground cardamom (green)
½ lemon, the zest
8 oz. / 225 g mascarpone cheese
6 oz. / 175 g blueberries, frozen

You can also:
Use raspberries instead of blueberries for even fewer carbs, about 3.5 g per portion.

Please see Anne's instructions at Diet Doctor site here

Perfect for summer days ...

All the best Jan