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Sunday 30 June 2019

Salad Days ... mean lettuce !

Here in the Northern Hemisphere most of us are experiencing warm summer days. In fact for some the weather has been extremely hot! If you are like me, at this time of year, when considering my LCHF menu plans my thoughts nearly always turn to wonderful salads and lettuce! 

"Lettuce are available in a vast number of varieties, and are either crisp or floppy, growing from a central stalk to form a spherical or lozenge-like head. Most of them have green leaves, some with red tinges, and they all have a delicate, clean flavour. 

Lettuce is mainly eaten raw in salads, though you can also add them to soups or braise them as a side dish. Crisp leaves work well with robustly flavoured dressings, while the floppier types need to be partnered with something more subtle.

Among the most commonly available floppy lettuces in the UK are Round, Butterhead, Lollo Rosso, Escarole, Oak Leaf and Little Gem. Crisp include Iceberg, Cos, Curly Endive (also known as Frisée), Web's Wonder and Romaine.

All year round. British lettuce are in season from early May through to December. 

Choose the best 
Lettuces need to be really fresh to taste good, so avoid any that show any signs of wilting (though the outer leaves of the crisp varieties often reveal fresher leaves beneath when removed) or yellowing. 

Prepare it 
Pull off as many leaves as you need from the base, then wash, drain and shake well (but gently, as they bruise easily) to dry them. It's worthwhile investing in a salad spinner if you eat a lot of lettuce, as it dries them much more efficiently. Don't allow lettuce to soak in water, as it softens the leaves. 

Store it 
In a perforated bag in the fridge. Soft lettuces will last around one or two days, crisp varieties a day or two longer. 

Cook it 
Dress and serve in a salad. Shred and add to a spring or summer vegetable soup just before the end of cooking. Braise with peas (20-30 minutes). Brush with marinade, then grill halved crisp lettuces like Romaine on a barbecue, three minutes each side. 


For more lettuce varieties
See here

Recipe Suggestion
Garden Salad

which is crunchy, herby and fresh
and dressed with a light garlic and parsley vinaigrette
recipe details are here

A variety of articles and recipe ideas are within this blog, but please note, not all may be suitable for you.

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

All the best Jan

Saturday 29 June 2019

Chris Rea - All Summer Long

Saturday night and music night again. This track is certainly appropriate for the UK and Europe tonight. Record temperatures and we are chilling out with Gin and tonics in our garden. This is a great video with absolutely stunning images from Greece, enjoy. Peace to all Eddie.

Better health from fewer carbs, even without weight loss

Words and picture from Diet Doctor site:

"Nearly everyone has heard that obesity is “bad for you.” When patients show signs of developing the kinds of diseases related to obesity, the advice that many doctors give is to lose weight by eating less and exercising more. While this may result in weight loss and improved health for some, others don’t experience these results. Is there another path to metabolic health besides weigh loss? 

According to new research, there is. A study done by investigators at Ohio State University indicates that restricting dietary carbohydrate can improve the features of metabolic syndrome without requiring an individual to lose weight.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions associated with the development of diabetes and heart disease. The features of metabolic syndrome are abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal levels of cholesterol or triglycerides. This study included 16 obese men and women who had been diagnosed with both obesity and metabolic syndrome. 

In this study, participants took turns eating one of three diets — low-carb, moderate-carb, or high-carb — for a month. In between each diet, participants had a two-week break where they ate their normal diet. The entire study took about four months, and the order in which a participant ate a certain diet was assigned randomly. 

In most study settings, eating a low-carbohydrate diet causes individuals to spontaneously reduce calories — even if they were not planning on doing so. The reduction of carbohydrate and calories usually results in weight loss, so it is difficult to tell which of these two factors led to the improvement in metabolic health. In this study, the diets were deliberately designed to match the calories each individual needed so that participants would not lose weight; because of this, the study addresses the question: “Can carbohydrate restriction without weight loss improve metabolic health?” 

The results showed that more than half of the participants no longer met the definition of having metabolic syndrome after four weeks on the low-carb diet. In addition, three people reversed their metabolic syndrome on the moderate-carb diet and one person reversed their metabolic syndrome on the high-carb diet. For lead researcher Jeff Volek, this indicates that, “Even a modest restriction in carbs is enough to reverse metabolic syndrome in some people, but others need to restrict even more.” 

Although this is a small, relatively short-term study, it highlights the possibility that reducing carbohydrate intake may be more important than weight loss in improving metabolic health. This study offers hope to those who struggle to lose weight, providing another possible path to metabolic health: carbohydrate restriction. 

This study also suggests that the current focus on obesity, weight loss, and calories may be misguided. Messages that obese bodies are automatically unhealthy bodies may not be true. It may be the quality of the diet, rather than the number of calories eaten or amount of fat tissue a person carries that has the most impact on health. 

Another recent study has shown that a low-carbohydrate diet is better than a low-fat diet in reducing levels of fat in the liver. This study also demonstrated that it is the reduction in carbohydrate, not weight loss, that matters most in improving health. 

This study shows that almost any reduction in dietary carbohydrate can improve your health — and most importantly, you don’t have to lose weight to see those improvements. This study reinforces our message that dietary changes are not just about losing body weight, but about gaining metabolic health."
Original article is here

All the best Jan

Friday 28 June 2019

Fabulous Friday ... flowers and a low carb/gluten free muffin cake

Happy Friday to you.
Why not treat yourself, or your loved one, to some lovely flowers ...

… and perhaps a delicious
Low-carb, gluten free muffin cake which has a hint of cinnamon
and goes very well with a cup of tea or coffee

Makes 10
4g carbs per muffin/cake
200 g almond flour or crushed almonds
¼ tsp salt
4 eggs
80 ml water
2 tsp baking powder
100 g butter
10 g Splenda (sugar substitute)
2 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat the your oven to 350º F 180º C gas mark 4-moderate
2. Mix all the ingredients together either by hand or using a mixer.
3. Grease a muffin/cupcake pan and evenly divide the mixture.
4. Bake for about 25 Minutes

These taste amazing, but you can also add sultanas, nuts or anything else to the mixture before baking if you so wish, although this will alter the carb count!
From an idea here
If you should need help with measurement conversions please see here

A variety of recipe ideas are within this blog, but please note, not all may be suitable for you.

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

All the best Jan

Thursday 27 June 2019

Ginger Lime Chicken ... Asian Inspired Low Carb Dish

This quick and easy low-carb Asian inspired chicken recipe is not only full of flavour, but it is also very versatile. You can double the recipe and have it for dinner one night, and then use the leftover chicken for salads throughout the week.

Serves Four
2g net carbs per serving
1½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup tamari soy sauce or Coconut Aminos
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 pinch chili flakes, extra for garnish
1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted, for garnish (optional)

1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish (optional)
for this dish can be found here
Serve with
Low Carb Asian Cauliflower Rice, see

Limes are the same shape, but smaller than lemons, with a bright green, fairly smooth skin, limes are a highly aromatic fruit. Like lemons, limes are high in vitamin C.

There are three main types:
Tahitian, which is the largest, with the most acidic flavour;
Mexican, slightly smaller, very aromatic, and with a particularly bright green skin;

Key lime, which have a paler skin, a high juice content and a strong flavour.

Limes are available all year round, when buying them look for unblemished, firm limes that feel heavy for their size as they will be the juiciest. If you intend to use the zest, buy them unwaxed (shops should state this clearly). If you can't find unwaxed limes, scrub the limes thoroughly before zesting. 

To extract the maximum amount of juice, make sure the limes are at room temperature, and firmly roll them back and forth under your palm a couple of times - that helps to break down some of the flesh's fibres. Alternatively, microwave them for around 30 seconds, depending on the size of the lime - warming them up also helps them give up more juice. 

You can store limes in a perforated bag in the fridge (for a couple of weeks); in a fruit bowl (for around a week). Once cut, wrap in clingfilm and keep in the fridge for up to four days.

A variety of recipe ideas/articles 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

Wednesday 26 June 2019

It's Hot : Stay Hydrated : These Foods May Help You

Wherever you live some days can just be too hot, and on these sort of days it is important to stay hydrated. Parts of the UK and Europe this week have been extremely warm ... and with more hot weather promised, it is important to keep hydrated. Sometimes the easiest way is to use water from your kitchen tap, but bottled water can also be a great help. Of course on a hot summer’s day, why not boost your hydration with these juicy foods, all of which are around 80-90% water by weight. 

1. Cucumber:
At 95% water content, this crunchy summer vegetable has the highest water content of any solid food! It’s great in salads, or sliced up with some dip, why not just eat it by itself ... it's something our grandchildren love to do. Cucumber also contains a little fiber and vitamin C!

2. Green Peppers:
These hydrating vegetables contain 93.9% water, just slightly more than the red and yellow versions. They are also rich in antioxidants, and make a great snack with dip, sliced up in salads or can be eaten alone - it's up to you.

3. Tomato:
Tomatoes make a delicious, hydrating snack, especially cherry tomatoes! Eat a handful as a snack or add them to your meal! They’ll provide a tasty pop of hydration plus lycopene and other vitamins and minerals.

4. Watermelon:
Not only is watermelon a great source of water at 92%, it’s also a good source of vitamin C and other antioxidants. Serve icy cold for a satisfying Summertime snack!

5. Strawberries:
91% water, strawberries are a great contributor to your water intake for the day! Delivering the most vitamin C of all berries, folate, fibre and antioxidants, they’re a great little snack to enjoy! Eat them as is, or with some yogurt, or double cream ... even in a salad, a great summer fruit. 

6. Papaya:
This gorgeous fruit tastes incredible with fresh lime juice! Plus it delivers a source of fibre and hydration with 88% water! It’s also rich in vitamin C and contains the digestive enzyme known as papain along with fibre which helps improve your digestive health.

7. Grapefruit:
A juicy, tangy citrus with a powerful hydrating punch! Not only does it contain 90.5% water, some say it can help shrink your waistline, help lower your cholesterol, help stabilise your blood sugar and potentially help reduce your cravings! Eat it straight, or pop some wedges into a salad. 

8. Butternut Squash:
The humble, sweet and nutty squash is actually 88% water. Yet it provides over 400% of your daily requirements for vitamin A, as well as being a source of vitamin C, potassium and manganese! Roast some and serve in a salad, stuff small ones with lean grass-fed mince and vegetables, or turn it into a tasty dip with some bell peppers, cucumber and carrots to serve!

9. Cantaloupe:
One six ounce serving (about ¼ of a melon) provides 100% of your recommended intake for vitamins A and C! Comprised of 90.2% water, it’s a nourishing snack that can contribute significantly to your water intake! Why not serve sliced in salads, or as part of a mixed melon salad with fresh mint!

10. Radishes:
It’s not the first thing you may think of when talking about hydration, but these pretty vegetables are 95.3% water! Not only are they hydrating, but they are full of antioxidants including catechin (found in green tea!), adding a nutritious burst of spiciness and colour to your plate!

Some words taken from an article by Laurentine Ten Bosch

Not all foods mentioned may be suitable for all, so please bear in mind any food allergies, health conditions and with grapefruit, for example, care should be taken if on certain drugs.

On a personal note I am including cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, radishes and strawberries in my menu plan, melon is nice too ... how about you?

All the best Jan

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Is Sitting Too Much Bad for Your Health?

Joe Leech MS writes:
"Modern society is designed for sitting, as a result, people spend more time in a seated position than ever before. However, you may wonder whether excessive sitting could have negative health effects.

This article tells you whether sitting is bad for your health.

People sit more than ever before. 
Sitting is a common body posture. When people work, socialize, study, or travel, they often do so in a seated position. However, that doesn’t mean that sitting and other sedentary behaviours are harmless. Over half of the average person’s day is spent sitting, doing activities such as driving, working at a desk, or watching television. In fact, the typical office worker may spend up to a whopping 15 hours per day sitting. On the other hand, agricultural workers only sit for about 3 hours a day. 
Summary While sitting is a common posture, modern society overemphasizes this position. The average office worker spends up to 15 hours a day seated.

Sitting limits the number of calories you burn. 
Your everyday non-exercise activities, such as standing, walking, and even fidgeting, still burn calories. This energy expenditure is known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), the lack of which is an important risk factor for weight gain. Sedentary behaviour, including sitting and lying down, involves very little energy expenditure. It severely limits the calories you burn through NEAT. To put this into perspective, studies report that agricultural workers can burn up to 1,000 more calories per day than people working desk jobs. This is because farmworkers spend most of their time walking and standing.
Summary Sitting or lying down uses far less energy than standing or moving. This is why office workers may burn up to 1,000 fewer calories per day than agricultural workers.

Sitting increases your risk of weight gain. 
The fewer calories you burn, the more likely you are to gain weight. This is why sedentary behaviour is so closely linked to obesity. In fact, research shows that people with obesity sit for an average of two hours longer each day than do people with a normal weight.
Summary People who sit for long periods of time are more likely to be overweight or obese.

Sitting is linked to early death. 
Observational data from over 1 million people shows that the more sedentary you are, the more likely you are to die early. In fact, the most sedentary people had a 22–49% greater risk of early death. However, even though the majority of evidence supports this finding, one study found no link between sitting time and overall mortality. This study had some flaws, which likely explains why it contradicts all other research in the area.
Summary Evidence suggests that sedentary behaviour is correlated to a much greater risk of premature death.

Sedentary behaviour is linked to disease. 
Sedentary behaviour is consistently linked to more than 30 chronic diseases and conditions, including a 112% increase in your risk of type 2 diabetes and a 147% increase in heart disease risk. Studies have shown that walking fewer than 1,500 steps per day, or sitting for long periods without reducing calorie intake, can cause a major increase in insulin resistance, which is a key driver of type 2 diabetes. Researchers believe that being sedentary may have a direct effect on insulin resistance. This effect can happen in as little as one day.
Summary Long-term sedentary behaviour increases your risk of health conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Inactivity is believed to play a direct role in the development of insulin resistance.

Exercise doesn’t completely eliminate your risk. 
While regular exercise is always recommended, it doesn’t completely offset all the health risks of sitting too much. One study measured metabolic markers in 18 people following different exercise protocols. One hour of intense exercise did not make up for the negative effects of inactivity when other hours were spent sitting. Additionally, a review of 47 studies found that prolonged sitting was strongly linked to negative health outcomes, regardless of exercise levels. As expected, the negative effects were even greater for people who rarely exercised. 
Summary Being physically active is incredibly beneficial, but exercise alone does not completely offset the negative effects of sitting. 

The bottom line. 
People in Western societies spend too much time sitting. While relaxing can be beneficial, you should try to minimize the time you spend sitting during the workday. If you have a desk job, one solution is to get a standing desk or go for a few short walks during your workday. Minimizing sedentary time is just as important for health as a nutritious diet and regular exercise." 

The above words and picture taken from Joe's article, which has all the relevant research links here

Anyone for a walk?

A variety of articles and recipe ideas 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 24 June 2019

Pea, mint and cheddar frittata ... an Italian in the kitchen !

Monday comes around again! I do hope you enjoyed your weekend, we had a wonderfully relaxed one … possibly helped by glorious sunshine and lovely temperatures on Saturday. It really was picnic weather and the grandchildren had a wonderful time tucking into a picnic tea! Isn't it amazing how food can taste so much nicer outdoors … Sunday was dry but more cloudy, and I kept up the relaxed theme by taking some time out to read a book, well not a whole book but a good few pages. 

But back to today (Monday) and I thought, why not invite Gino D' Acampo into the kitchen!!! Gino is an Italian celebrity chef and media personality based in the United Kingdom, best known for his food-focused television shows and cookbooks. This recipe really can be enjoyed any-time of the day and is so quick and easy. A lovely pea, mint and cheddar frittata which fits so well into my LCHF menu plans, and is suitable for vegetarians. I hope you may give it a try and enjoy a little bit of Italian inspired cooking in your kitchen soon.

Serves One
1 tbsp. olive oil
15g/½oz butter
½ onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, chopped
200g/7oz frozen peas, defrosted
salt and freshly ground black pepper
55g/2oz cheddar cheese, grated
small handful fresh mint leaves, chopped

3 (free-range) eggs, lightly whisked

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. In a small ovenproof non-stick frying pan, heat the olive oil and butter together and sauté the onion until soft, but not coloured.
3. Add the tomato and peas and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. Pour over the eggs and cheese and cook over a low/medium heat until the base is set.

5. Transfer to the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through.
6. To serve, scatter with mint

Buon Appetito!

You will find a variety of recipe ideas within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues please take these 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 23 June 2019

Salmon with Avocado topping : Low Carb : Keto

Salmon is a favourite fish of mine, and appears in my meal plans on a regular basis. This recipe suggestion is quite versatile because it can be grilled, which is great for a BBQ! Or you can fry the salmon with some butter in a frying pan or bake in the oven (400°F/200°C) for 15–20 minutes, or until the salmon is done and flakes easily with a fork. (I prefer to cook mine in the oven). It really is a low carb/keto favourite having only 6g carbs per serving. I hope you may enjoy this dish soon. 

Serves Four 
1½ lbs salmon, preferably with skin
1 tsp coarse salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil or avocado oil

Avocado topping
2 ripe avocados
½ small red onion
7 oz. cherry tomatoes
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp salt 
½ tsp ground black pepper

Instructions for cooking
can be seen here

Dear reader, you will find a variety of recipe ideas within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues please take these 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 22 June 2019

Α Thousand Years - Sting

Saturday night again and music night. Check out the visuals on this video, absolutely stunning I reckon, and a great song from Sting. Have a great weekend folks. Peace to all. Eddie

What your doctor may not know about cholesterol !

Cardiologist Dr. William Davis writes:
"Confusion over cholesterol issues is everywhere and shared by most people, including doctors. Unfortunately, it means that, by seeing your primary care doctor or even cardiologist, you are being advised with information that is superficial and largely ineffective while ignoring the MANY issues that really should be addressed to manage risk for cardiovascular disease. Admittedly, these are somewhat complicated issues and even I have been guilty at times of giving overly simplistic answers. I’ll try to keep this as straightforward as possible, but it is a bit hairy. 

I blame this situation on the statin drug industry, as they have painted a misleading picture that, if you take a statin drug or reduce LDL cholesterol, you are absolved of cardiovascular risk. The exaggerated statistical manipulations used by industry—“Lipitor reduces cardiovascular events by 36%” when the real value is, at best, 1%, not to mention the fact that the majority of statin data was paid for by statin manufacturers, a big no-no in any other industry—persuaded practitioners that statins and cholesterol reduction were virtual cures. They are not, of course, as anyone in healthcare who witnesses all the people admitted to the hospital with heart attacks, angina, and sudden cardiac death taking statin drugs will attest. The statin drug industry has therefore caused doctors to wear blinders, rarely looking beyond statins and cholesterol.

So what exactly don’t they know about cholesterol? Plenty. For example:

Cholesterol does not occur as free molecules in the bloodstream, as they are fats and would separate from the aqueous plasma. Cholesterol is therefore solubilized by being complexed within lipoprotein particles—fat-carrying proteins—and cell walls. Even if you eat something rich in dietary cholesterol, such as an egg yolk, it does not enter the bloodstream as cholesterol but as complex particles such as chylomicrons created in the intestines or VLDL particles manufactured by the liver. 

Lipoproteins—can deliver cholesterol and other components to the walls of arteries such as the coronary or carotid arteries. Whether or not such components contribute to atherosclerosis does not depend on the amount of cholesterol contained within a volume of blood but on the composition of lipoprotein particles, e.g., size, surface conformation, presence of binding proteins, oxidation state, glycation state, electrical charge, etc.

Because up until the mid twentieth century, characterization of the various lipoproteins in the bloodstream was laborious and technically challenging, researchers in the 1950s and 1960s devised a crude workaround: estimate the number of lipoproteins in various fractions of the blood (low-density, very low-density, high-density levels in centrifuged plasma) by measuring a select component. They selected cholesterol, as it was easier to measure. Problem: Using cholesterol as an indirect means of estimating lipoproteins means that you have to assume that everyone shares similar lipoprotein composition, an assumption that is potentially and commonly inaccurate. A crude equation (the Friedewald calculation) was also devised to not measure, but calculate, LDL cholesterol, the focus of most mainstream efforts to reduce cardiovascular risk. LDL cholesterol is calculated from total cholesterol in the entire sample minus the cholesterol in the high-density and very low-density fractions. Once again, assumptions were made to allow this calculation. Cholesterol is therefore a crude marker for the particles that cause atherosclerosis, but that should also not be construed to mean that cholesterol is therefore causal.

When LDL cholesterol, the darling of the pharmaceutical industry and most doctors, is compared to superior measures that actually quantify and characterize lipoproteins (nuclear magnetic resonance, gel electrophoresis, ultracentrifugation), there is a statistical correlation of the two measures in large populations, but poor correlation when applied to an individual. LDL cholesterol, i.e., the cholesterol in the low-density lipoprotein fraction estimated via calculation, also tells you nothing about the number of lipoprotein particles, their size, their surface conformation, their binding characteristics, oxidative state, etc. In other words, LDL cholesterol tells you virtually nothing when applied to a specific individual.

If you cut dietary fat and saturated fat and observe the effects on lipoprotein number and composition, you will witness minor effects, such as a reduction in total LDL particle number but increase in the proportion of small LDL particles, increased VLDL particles, decreased HDL particle number and a shift towards less functional small HDL. Cut grains and sugars and you will witness dramatic transformation of lipoprotein composition and number, effects that handily and dramatically outperform the trivial effects of statin drugs.

Of all the measures on a standard cholesterol or lipid panel, it’s triglycerides that offer the most insight, as triglycerides track the number of very low-density lipoproteins, VLDL, closely. VLDL particles are crucial because they begin the process of transforming large, benign, short-lived LDL particles into small, harmful, oxidation- and glycation-prone, long-lived LDL particles (via a complex process called “heteroexchange” of cholesterol for triglycerides followed by enzymatic “remodelling” of the LDL particle). Where does VLDL come from? Consumption of grains and sugars that fuel liver de novo lipogenesis that converts carbs to triglycerides.

HDL cholesterol, a useful index of overall metabolic health, is reduced by cutting dietary fats, since this increases triglycerides/VLDL that lead to HDL degradation and clearance, and reduced by statins such as Lipitor. HDL is raised, often dramatically, by increasing fat consumption and decreased grain and sugar consumption. 

Detailed lipoprotein analyses have been available commercially for over 20 years but are not commonly used, as it requires (as you can appreciate) a deeper understanding of lipoprotein metabolism and do not point towards statins as the solution—they quickly point towards diet and efforts to correct factors such as inflammation and insulin resistance corrected, for example, by losing visceral fat, supplementing vitamin D, and cultivating healthy bowel flora that also contribute substantially to overall health, i.e., all the strategies we put to you" ...

Picture and words above taken from 'Wheat Belly Blog', more to see and read here

All the best Jan

Friday 21 June 2019

Fishmongers ... and a nice plate of buttery sea bass fillets with cider-braised greens

Did you know that "A fishmonger (fishwife for female practitioners) is someone who sells raw fish and seafood. Fishmongers can be wholesalers or retailers, and are trained at selecting and purchasing, handling, gutting, boning, filleting, displaying, merchandising and selling their product. In some countries modern supermarkets are replacing fishmongers who operate in shops or fish markets. The fishmongers guild, one of the earliest guilds, was established in the City of London by a Royal Charter granted by Edward I shortly after he became king in 1272, the guild still continues today as one of the Great Twelve City Livery Companies.

16th Century Fishmonger stall
by Italian Painter Bartolomeo Passarotti

You may also like to read more about The Fishmongers’ Company one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London, and among the most ancient of the City Guilds. For over 700 years, as well as fostering the fellowship among its members, it has upheld standards in the trading of fish and shellfish and supported the fisheries industry – roles still played today. 

It certainly has a lot of History, on Sunday 2nd September 1666, Fishmongers’ Hall was the first of forty Livery Halls to catch the flames of the Great Fire of London, and during the Second World War, on the 9th September 1940, bombs fell on all sides of the Hall, causing fire and great damage. Read more here

Now onto a light summer recipe, a delicious dinner for two, with crispy-skinned sea bass nestled into a soft bed of greens and a velvety cider butter. You can easily replace the seabass with any fish you have in the fridge. Also delicious with haddock or bream … 

Serves Two
6.4g Carbs per serving 
1 tsp olive oil
50g butter
2 sea bass fillets, skin lightly scored
½ Savoy cabbage, shredded
150g frozen peas
100ml cider

1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a frying pan. Season the fillets, and add them to the pan, skin-side down. Fry over a high heat for 3 mins, or until the skin is crisp and the butter has started to brown. Turn the fish over and fry for 1-2 mins more, until cooked through. Remove the fillets from the pan and keep warm.
2. Add the cabbage and peas to the pan and toss to coat in the butter. Once the cabbage has wilted, pour in the cider and season well. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 mins, or until slightly reduced.
3. To serve, divide the cabbage and pea mixture between 2 plates and top each with a sea bass fillet. Drizzle over the cider butter. 
From an original idea here

Dear reader, you will find a variety of recipe ideas and articles 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 20 June 2019

Chicken Drumstick Recipes ... for diabetics and non-diabetics !

We receive a variety of emails, and one came in the other day asking for chicken drumstick recipes that are suitable for diabetics. So, I'm happy to oblige. The recipes* below are actually suitable for diabetics and non-diabetics...

Chicken's many plus points - its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it can be cooked - make it one of the most popular meats around. It has a high level of good quality protein, as well as B vitamins, iron, copper and selenium. For many of us chicken drumsticks, or chicken legs, are the most perfect part of a chicken - they are protein-rich, succulent and very juicy. I also find that are usually very reasonably priced ...

Below you will find three Chicken Drumstick recipes. All are low carb, and suitable for diabetics and non diabetics. These recipes can be changed to use chicken thighs if preferred.  

Easy Baked Chicken Drumsticks

serves 4/5
10 chicken drumsticks (2,5 lb)
1 medium onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed, not peeled
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. dry rosemary 
recipe instruction details here

Chicken Drumsticks - Grilled with Buttermilk

Serves Four
8-12 chicken drumsticks (or thighs)
300ml (10 fl.oz.) buttermilk
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 spring onions, minced
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp. maple syrup

recipe instruction details here

Lemon Parsley Chicken

Approximately 2-3 lbs chicken drumsticks
1 medium purple onion, cut into slices
2-3 Tbsp. ghee or coconut oil
2-3 lemons, cut into quarters
1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

recipe instruction details here

A variety of recipe* ideas are within this blog, 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 19 June 2019

Cheesy Beef Burrito in a pan : Mexican style mid-week Low Carb meal

The history for the cheese burrito and its relatives dates back to Aztec civilizations. The first burrito-like foods were traced to these native Mexican peoples along with the Pueblos. In modern Mexico, burritos are served in restaurants and at road stands. Most varieties sold in Mexico, however, contain meat. As the food became a popular fixture in the cuisines of other nations, the exclusive cheese burrito soon gained popularity. This quick and easy one pot (mexican style) meal goes great with Mexican cauliflower rice or low-carb tortillas

Serves Four
7g carbs per serving

1 lb / 450g ground beef*
2⁄3 cup / 150ml water
4 tbsp. taco seasoning
½ cup / 60g sharp (mature) cheddar cheese, shredded (grated)
e.g. Monterey jack cheese or cheddar cheese
½ cup / 125ml sour cream
¼ cup / 30g olives, sliced
¼ cup / 30g tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, cubed
1 scallion, (spring onion) sliced, for garnish

1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish

* use ground turkey, chicken or pork if preferred 
can be found here

Why not have a Mexican style mid-week meal!

Did you know ... Cilantro is a herb with wide delicate lacy green leaves and a pungent flavour. The seed of the cilantro plant is known as coriander. Although cilantro and coriander come from the same plant, their flavours are very different and cannot be substituted for each other. (Some countries refer to the cilantro as coriander, so any references to "fresh coriander" or "coriander leaves" refer to cilantro.) It can be easily confused with flat-leaf parsley in appearance, so be sure to sniff carefully. Look for a bunch with un-wilted leaves in medium green. Found fresh year round in most markets.

More information about Cilantro here

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

All the best Jan

Tuesday 18 June 2019

Lovely weather for ducks !

Where has the sunshine gone? In many areas of the UK people have been experiencing a lot of rain and indeed in the County of Lincolnshire, Eastern England it has caused chaos with hospitals flooding, roads closing and schools calling it a day! My thoughts are with all those who have been affected ...

In Southern England, although raining Eddie and I thought we'd 'brave the weather' and enjoy a walk around a local town ... after all we could easily pop into a tea or coffee shop for a warm break couldn't we! So with walking shoes and waterproofs on off we went. In fact we enjoyed a nice walk and some friendly hello's with people we met en route. What struck me was the number of people who said 'it's lovely weather for ducks' which made me think where did this saying originate ... and I wonder if ducks do like rain? 

these two didn't seem to mind it - image from here

and I'm really not sure where this friendly looking duck came from - image from here

Apparently the expression, lovely weather for ducks, (or one similar), has been in use from the first half of the 19th century. Given its humorous usage it may just be derived from a common reference to the common sight of ducks at ease in the rain... but there could be another explanation, if you should know of one do please share your thoughts in the comments.

I wonder, what's the weather been doing where you live? 
Would you be like us enjoying a warming cuppa or would it be a cooling lemonade?

All the best Jan 

Monday 17 June 2019

Looking for Brain-Boosting Foods ... plus a brain-boosting smoothie

If you’re feeling like your brain is foggy, slow and you’re finding it hard to remember things and generally keep on top of your day-to-day life, you might need to add more of these brain-boosting foods to your diet.

1. Water 
Your body is 70% water, your brain is 70% water and you want to be able to hydrate that. Your brain is only about 2% of your body mass but it requires 20% of the nutrients so keep that water up!

2. Avocados 
Containing good, healthy fats, avocados increase a number of different feel-good chemicals in the brain. Avocados are also a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids that assist with brain function, mood regulation, and emotions.

3. Blueberries 
These 'brain berries' are full of anthocyanins. Blueberries provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects which help combat brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases and also supports improved communication between brain cells.

4. Broccoli 
Your mum was right! Broccoli is good for your health and for your brain because it is high in antioxidants as well as Vitamin K so it helps protect the brain against damage and helps with better memory function. 

5. Coconut Oil 
The fatty acids in coconut oil are good for your brain and have even been linked to supporting people with Alzheimer’s Disease.

6. Eggs 
There are a number of reasons why eggs are great for the brain, with essential fatty acids, Vitamins B6 and B12, folate and choline, which help to regulate mood, memory and cognitive function.

7. Green Leafy Vegetables 
Containing large amounts of folate, green leafy vegetables and spinach, in particular, can help reduce symptoms of depression and are very neuroprotective.

8. Wild Salmon 
The Omega-3 fatty acids in wild salmon (and sardines) are good for the brain. If you’re not getting enough of this essential fatty acid you may notice a cognitive decline, emotional imbalances and mood issues.

9. Turmeric 
Turmeric, extremely good for the brain with great anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric helps to improve memory, ease depression and help new brain cells grow. 

10. Walnuts 
Nuts, and in particular Walnuts improve cognition and memory and slow mental decline. Even if you notice, we look at a walnut, it looks like what? It looks like the human brain. Walnuts also contain Omega-3 fatty acids so there’s double the reason to enjoy these nuts for brain health. 

11. Dark Chocolate 
Saving the best for last, eat dark chocolate for your brain (and your taste buds!). Dark chocolate boosts concentration, mood and actually improves blood flow to the brain. The darker the chocolate, the better! 

Words and picture above taken from article, with all related research links, here

How about trying this smoothie for a boost of morning energy and brain-boosting power! 
Brain Boosting Smoothie:
1/2 of an avocado
1/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 handful of green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale)
A small handful of walnuts (soaked overnight)
1 tbsp. raw cacao
1-2 cups of nut milk of choice or coconut water
Blend until smooth and creamy!

Recipe for smoothie:
taken from an article here
For help with weight/measurement conversion:
please see here

You will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas 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