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Sunday, 17 October 2021

Pumpkin - Health Benefits


With the change of season we welcome back a favourite flavour; the pumpkin! From pumpkin spice lattes to big Halloween decorations, this savoury orange fruit will be everywhere you look; and did you know you can eat every part of a pumpkin? Yes, from the skin to the seeds and even the stalk, you can eat it all roasted or steamed, sweet or savoury.

With so many ways to enjoy pumpkin, you may also be interested in knowing the top health benefits of eating this versatile fruit so that you can enjoy your snacks and dishes guilt-free.

1. Low Calorie, High Nutrient Content
Being 90% water, pumpkins are a low-calorie food with plenty of beneficial nutrients. They’ve got more fibre than kale, more potassium than bananas, and are full of magnesium, manganese, and iron. Pumpkins are also a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Riboflavin.

2. Powerful Anti-Inflammatory
We shared in an earlier article how pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are a perfect snack and work as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in reducing symptoms of inflammation. Plus, they’re even better than drugs because they taste great and don’t have any of the negative side-effects!

3. Anti-Cancer Properties
Pumpkins are incredibly rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that has been linked with reducing the risk of cancer. Studies have shown that populations with high levels of beta-carotene in their diet had lower population-wide rates of cancer.

4. Great Source Of Protein
One serve of pumpkin provides 4% of recommended daily protein values, which is great news for non-meat eaters looking to increase their protein intake.

5. Good For Your Eyes
Vitamin A is essential for good eye health, helping the retina absorb and process light, and pumpkins contain around 245% of your daily requirement in just one serving! Additionally, lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants found in pumpkin, support the prevention of cataracts and may slow the development of macular degeneration.

6. Supports Your Immunity
The large amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin C found in pumpkin help protect your body and recover more quickly from infections, viruses, and diseases. Pumpkin oil can also help fight against bacterial and fungal infections.

7. Good For Your Skin
The properties of pumpkin can protect your skin from harmful UV rays, plus the pulp is a popular ingredient in natural face masks that leave your skin looking fresher and younger.

8. Helps Treat Baldness
While chemical treatments exist to treat baldness, they come with a number of side effects. The natural pumpkin seed oil alternative encourages hair growth by blocking the body’s process of creating a particular hormone that shrinks hair follicles.

9. Helps Heal Wounds And Burns
Pumpkin oil has been found to have healing properties, with tests on second-degree burns on rats showing a positive impact on the closing of wounds by increasing the production of collagen by 65%.

10. Good For The Heart
The high amount of potassium found in pumpkin is great for the heart, regulating blood pressure and supporting cardiovascular health. Studies have indicated that the consumption of the right amount of potassium is as important for hypertension and high blood pressure as is the minimization of sodium intake.

To reap the most benefits from pumpkins, be sure to opt for real, whole pumpkin rather than canned pumpkin pie mix, as it typically contains added sugars and syrups.

A word of caution … Pumpkin is mildly diuretic and could be a problem for people who take certain medications, especially lithium.
Most words above from article here

looking back at a favourite photograph
grandson with a lovely pumpkin, photo taken in 2014 ...
it will soon be time for the 2021 pumpkin!

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie, it's low carb
you may like to try this recipe suggestion

see more details here

You will find a variety of articles/recipe ideas, within this blog. It is important to 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, 16 October 2021

Thank You, for reading our blog


This blog first started back in December 2010 … and we are still here … doing our best to post a wide selection of articles.

We enjoy ... presenting articles, studies, news items, thoughts, recipe ideas, photographs, some music and even a cartoon every now and then, for all to read. It is a mix which we hope includes something for everyone to read and enjoy!

We firmly believe in the LCHF lifestyle, and how low carb choices can help diabetics.

We would like to to say a big thank you to ALL our readers, and those who do take time to stop and leave a thought or comment, you are appreciated.

Included here are just a few thank you's from the many different countries who use this blog, with some apologies, because we know there are many languages that do not appear here.

THANK YOU to all.

merci, danke, tak, terima kasih, xie xie, grazie, dziekuje, obrigado, spasibo, gracias, tack, tesekkür ederim, do jeh, Дякую, thank you.

Good Luck and Good Health To All

Jan and Eddie

Friday, 15 October 2021

Happy Friday Wishes ... enjoy some low carb Cheese Scones


Happy Friday and weekend wishes to you.
Why not take time to sit down and enjoy a
Cheese Scone, these are low carb.
Lovely to dunk in (low carb) soup, or can be enjoyed as a snack on their own,
or add some ham or bacon.
Recipe details can be seen 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, 14 October 2021

Three Common Nutrient Deficiencies

Most Common Nutrient Deficiencies Impacting Your Energy and Mood

Dizziness, low energy, fatigue, headaches… These are all common signs that your body is telling you it needs more of a certain nutrient so it can keep you healthy.

In our modern, fast-paced, and nutritionally-starved world, deficiencies are all too common. Even if you’re not struggling with a nutrient deficiency, most of us are likely to have suffered from low levels of nutrients in the past, or will do in the future.

To break down the important science, nutrients are those little things that foods are broken into when they’re digested, and each essential nutrient is responsible for activities in the body - important ones that keep us alive. Essentially, it’s a broad term that covers our foods, from macronutrients like protein, carbs, and fats, to micronutrients - our vitamins and minerals that are harder to keep track of.

They’re called essential because the body can’t produce them alone; they need to be enjoyed through the diet. That’s why having a broad and balanced diet is key to good health. So when we aren’t getting the right amount for our daily needs, the essential functions they support in the body start to falter. And that’s where those nagging symptoms of dizziness and low energy begin to set in.

Working out exactly what nutrient you are deficient in can be a lengthy, expensive, and draining process, so a lot of medical research is focused on determining the most common nutrient deficiencies - that is, the ones you are most at risk of, and the ones you are least at risk of.


Here Are The Top 3 Of The Most Common Nutrient Deficiencies (& Quick Tips On How To Fix Them):
1. Iron
It is estimated that 80% of the population suffers from iron deficiency and 30% suffer from anaemia, which is prolonged or chronic iron deficiency. One of the most noticeable symptoms of iron deficiency is fatigue and lack of energy. Other symptoms can be weakness, pale skin, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, brittle nails, fast heartbeat, strange cravings for non-food substances like ice or dirt (called pica), cold hands and feet, tingling, or a crawling feeling in the legs.

There are many plant-based and animal sources of iron that include (but are not limited to) spirulina, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, pistachios, seeds, quinoa, broccoli, dark chocolate, raw cacao powder, shellfish, grass-fed liver and organ meats, grass-fed red meat, pasture-raised poultry, tuna, sardines, and eggs. It’s also important to eat your iron with vitamin C as this is essential for the body!

2. Zinc
Zinc is an often overlooked nutrient, which in itself is contributing to the further development of chronic disease. This mineral is ​​necessary for proper immune function, normal thymus gland function, and protection of the thymus from cellular damage. It is required for protein synthesis (that is making protein within the body), cell growth, and wound healing, as well as normal skin function. Zinc is also essential for the maintenance of vision, taste, and smell and is critical to healthy male sex hormones and prostate function.

While there is a whole raft of ways that a zinc deficiency (or even just low levels) can have a serious impact on the body, there is also an abundance of zinc-rich foods that can bring you back to health. These include pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chickpeas, lentils, cashews, mushrooms, spinach, avocado, grass-fed meat, pasture-raised dairy products, and oysters.

3. Magnesium
Although magnesium is found in a wide variety of foods it is still a common deficiency amongst the population. In fact, it is believed to be the leading global deficiency. Symptoms of a mild deficiency aren’t noticeable as the body has mechanisms to preserve stores, but interestingly severe deficiency can be a result of alcohol consumption, the use of certain medications, or malabsorption - all elements of a modern lifestyle.

Your best bet for magnesium-rich foods is plant-based sources, including green leafy vegetables such as spinach and swiss chard, dark chocolate, raw cacao powder, sunflower seeds, cashews, flaxseeds, almonds, pepitas, amaranth, buckwheat, black beans, avocado, quinoa, and spirulina.

These are just three of the top deficiencies.
Above words taken from article by James Colquhoun here

Please note, the above is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, medication, you should contact your local health care provider.


You will find a variety of articles/recipe ideas, within this blog. It is important to 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, 13 October 2021

Chicken can make a lovely midweek dish, which is low in carbs

Creamy Spinach Chicken : So Delicious and Low in Carbs
Perfect for a midweek or any-day dinner; cook your chicken breasts until tender in a thick, creamy sauce. Adding fresh baby spinach and zingy lemon juice just ups the flavour, why not try it and see!

Ingredients
Serves Four
100g drained sundried tomatoes, sliced lengthways, plus 1 tbsp oil from the jar
600g chicken breast fillets
5 tsp cornflour
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
½ chicken stock cube, made up to 100ml
250g baby spinach
½ lemon, juiced
150ml single cream

Method
1. Put the sundried tomatoes in a small, heatproof bowl and cover with 200ml boiling water; set aside.
2. Lay the chicken breasts between 2 pieces of clingfilm and use a rolling pin to gently bash the thickest parts to flatten them a little, so the breasts are an even thickness. Season with salt and lightly coat with 4 tsp cornflour. Heat the sundried tomato oil in a large, deep, lidded frying pan over a medium-high heat, then fry the chicken breasts, without turning, for 4-6 mins each side until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onion and garlic and cook for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, until softened; add a splash of water if it starts to catch. Add the stock and sundried tomatoes
4. Mix 1 tsp cornflour with 2 tbsp water in a small bowl. Stir the cornflour mixture, lemon juice and cream into the pan and simmer for 2 mins until thickened. Return the chicken to the pan, stir through the spinach until wilted, cover and cook for 2-3 mins more until the chicken is warmed through, then serve.
Nutrition
Per Serving: 8.7g Carbs 3g Fibre 16g Fat 40.1g Protein
Original idea here

Happy Midweek Wishes
an autumn inspired bowl
hope you agree, a pleasure to see

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

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

'Ultra-processed foods and cancer risk'

 The Link Between Processed Foods and Cancer

Emerging research has resurfaced from the international peer-reviewed medical journal, The BMJ, and has found a strong correlation between the consumption of ultra-processed foods and the increased risk of cancer. Previous studies have found links between ultra-processed foods and their contribution to increasing the risk of cardiometabolic disorders, such as obesity and hypertension. This was one of the first studies to specifically focus on the link between the level of food processing and cancer risk - but it echoes concerns that many in the health and nutrition community have been vocal on for years.

This large study found a 10% increase in the proportion of ultra-processed foods in the diet was associated with an increase of more than 12% in the risk of overall cancer and 11% in the risk of breast cancer. The study involved 104,980 participants aged at least 18 years from a French cohort.

From 2009 to 2017 dietary intakes were collected using repeated 24-hour dietary records, tracking participants’ consumption of 3300 different food items. The results indicated ultra-processed fats, sauces, sugary products, and drinks were associated with an increased risk of overall cancer, and ultra-processed sugary products were associated with the risk of breast cancer.

Worrying Increase In Ultra-Processed Food Consumption
Increasingly over the past decades, diets in many countries have shifted towards a dramatic increase in the consumption of ultra-processed foods. The shift to higher consumption of these food products can be largely put down to being conceived as safe, convenient, tasty, and affordable.

Studies considering food consumption habits, including household food expense surveys and supermarket sales, have found ultra-processed food products contribute to between 25% and 50% of total daily energy intake. Americans are said to receive 61% of their calories from highly processed foods.

This new research sheds important light on the dangers of these commonly purchased and consumed foods, and will hopefully contribute to the changing perception that processed foods are not as harmless as once thought.

Key Cancer-Causing Characteristics
Several characteristics of ultra-processed foods may be involved in causing cancer. The higher content of total fat, saturated fat, and added sugar and salt, along with a lower fibre and vitamin density are of considerable concern. These components are contributors to inflammation in the body, and chronic inflammation has been found to increase cancer risk.

Neo-Formed Contaminants In Processed Foods
Beyond their nutritional make-up, the industrial preparation of these foods (particularly heat treating for flavour and digestibility) could be contributing to their carcinogenic properties. Acrylamide, heterocyclic amines, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are present in heat-treated processed food products and have been linked with cancer risk. Additionally, dangerous materials and chemicals found in processed food packaging including fluorine and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), have been linked with fertility and thyroid problems, developmental delays in children along with increased cancer risks.

While this research only uncovers patterns and correlations between processed food consumption and cancer risk, the researchers consider the findings to be significant and worthy of further investigation. Hopefully, ultra-processed foods will continue to be the subject of close scientific scrutiny and perceptions of these nutritionally devoid products will change.
Words above from article here

Perhaps even more reason to eat whole fresh food!


Dear reader, you will find a variety of articles, studies and recipe ideas 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

Monday, 11 October 2021

Apple Cake, the lower carb way


Sharing a recipe from Karen at Fork-Freedom, she says, "Everything you love about Autumn/Fall in one recipe! Enjoy the warmth of the cinnamon, the sweetness of the apples, and slight hints of lemon. A lower carb, grain free and sugar-free recipe suggestion.

Ingredients
8 servings
1 1/4 cup (140 g) blanched almond flour
1/4 cup (24 g) coconut flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. sea or kosher salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
1/4 cup (56g) butter or ghee, room temp.
1/2 cup xylitol or Swerve powdered
1/4 cup juice from lemon (about 1 and 1/2 lemons)
4 eggs, room temp
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Caramel sauce drizzle (optional and so good!)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch Bundt pan with oil (well)
2. In a small bowl, add almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Put aside.
3. In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, add the room temperature butter and sweetener (xylitol or Swerve). Beat on high for 3 minutes until it is light and fluffy.
4. Turn the mixer to medium high and add 1 egg at a time, making sure it’s incorporated into the batter before adding the next. When all eggs are added, add the vanilla.
5. Add half of the lemon juice. Add the dry mixture to the bowl, mix and then add the remaining lemon juice.
6. Fold in the apples with a spatula. Batter should be light and airy. Add to the Bundt pan and spread to even out the top.
7. Bake for 35 minutes until edges are slightly brown and toothpick comes out clean.
8. Place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, take the cake out of the pan by placing the cooling rack over the pan and flipping it over.
Please see original recipe, and more, here

 

Low Carb Flours
Many 'low carbers' use almond flour and coconut flour, but if you are just starting a low carb diet/lifestyle you may feel confused with which low carb flours to use. You may never have used any of them before and how to use them properly can be daunting. Low carb flours do not behave like wheat flour, and how to use them in your old regular high carb recipes is a common question.
More about Low Carb Flours (and Low Carb Cake ideas) can be seen here


Related Posts
Apples - Five Health Benefits - see here
A is for Apples - How do you eat yours? - see here

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

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Parsnips, a family favourite

Parsnips are a delicious type of root vegetable that have been cultivated and enjoyed around the world for thousands of years. They are closely related to other vegetables like carrots and parsley roots, parsnips have long, cream-colored tuberous roots with a sweet, slightly nutty flavour. In addition to bringing a unique taste to your dishes, parsnips are incredibly nutritious and have been associated with many health benefits.

Many enjoy them roasted, this makes them slightly sweet and perfectly tender for a quick side dish, which you might love more than the main course. I know two grandchildren who love eating them with a Sunday Roast 😊 their two favourites are Roast Beef and Roast Chicken 


Here is the recipe for perfect roast parsnips...
Ingredients
Serves Four
900 g parsnips, peeled and cut into 5cm pieces
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Method
1. Preheat oven to 220°C (200ºC Fan). Spread parsnips on 2 large baking trays, being sure to not overcrowd. Drizzle with olive oil and season with oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Toss to evenly coat.
2. Roast until golden and easily pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
From recipe idea here

Other Parsnip recipes you may like to try
Slow-Braised Pork shoulder with Cider and Parsnips, a one pot dish - see here
Mushroom and Parsnip Rösti pie - see here
Parsnip & Cauliflower Soup - see here

Happy Autumn
(image from google)

We bring a variety of articles and recipe ideas to 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, 9 October 2021

Mushroom Coffee - Have You Tried It?

image from here

Regular readers of this blog will know that if offered a cup of tea or coffee, my first choice would be tea, whereas Eddie's would be coffee ... and I know many readers would also go with coffee! But how about a cup of mushroom coffee? Have you tried it? 
Have you heard about it? We haven't tried it yet, and it seems the best place to buy it is online! Please read on to find out more about this coffee. 

"Apart from being great-tasting and providing the body with the caffeine, it needs to function optimally, coffee is long recognized as having different health benefits if you consume it at a reasonable pace. Still, there are some people who cannot comfortably drink coffee largely because of its hard taste and other drawbacks. Four Sigmatic, a Finnish Company, now claims to offer coffee lovers the same kick they have come to expect from caffeine, but without the dreaded taste.

Mushroom coffee is basically standard regular black coffee that has been paired with powdered medicinal mushrooms. Although made with fungus, mushroom coffee doesn’t have the typical mushroomy taste. Instead, fungus species used in the coffee powder have a more earthly and muted flavour.

Origins Of Mushroom Coffee
For thousands of years, mushrooms have been used by the Chinese and Japanese in traditional medicine. In fact, for about 2,000 years, mushrooms have remained a mainstay of ancient traditional Chinese medicine. However, it’s only recently that coffee lovers have joined the mushroom bandwagon.

During World War II, it’s reported that serious coffee rations forced people throughout the Scandinavian region to turn to other food traditions like brewing tea and coffee using Chaga mushroom. When brewed, even Chaga tea tastes more like coffee, but with more beneficial antioxidant properties.

Is Mushroom Coffee Different From Regular Coffee?
While coffee is praised very much for its diverse health benefits that don’t mean it’s entirely without several downsides. Certainly, it won’t make you blind or a terrible student or any other such serious side-effects. However, in some people, coffee can greatly impact the body in terms of sleep patterns, digestion, acidity, and several other health-related factors.

Mushroom coffee is capable of bringing balanced body stimulation while using much less caffeine than typically found in standard coffee. This also means that you can enjoy the energy boost without having to experience the kind of sleep disturbances normally associated with drinking regular coffee.

Coffee is loaded with antioxidants and when you incorporate mushroom, you are effectively adding, even more, thus providing your immune system with a super-boost.

Varieties Available
There is an endless list of edible mushrooms across the world. However, for coffee, there are specific mushrooms that are recommended. These are typically not your average culinary mushrooms. Mushroom varieties such as Reishi, Chaga, Lion’s Mane, and Cordyceps are the ones most commonly used in brews.

If you want a drink that will help you focus on that taxing ‘to-do list’ then go for Lion’s Mane as this is your brain’s BFF. Those seeking a pre-workout coffee, Cordyceps mushroom will take you to the next level.

Chaga, a Finnish favourite comes with powerful antioxidant properties that are useful in terms of supporting your immune function. Reishi mushrooms are believed to relieve stress, boost the immune function, and help you sleep.

Why Mushrooms?
Incorporating mushrooms into your daily cup of Joe eases the potential strains that coffee places on your body while enhancing the benefits of coffee. It also adds several additional health benefits.

The benefits will vary depending on the fungi used in making the mushroom coffee powder.

Smoother Flavour
Coffee contains natural acids. These might cause stomach upsets and heartburn in the coffee drinker. The earthy flavour of mushrooms complements the bold, strong roasted coffee beans to provide a smoother flavour.

It also offers high levels of antioxidants as well as other compounds that enhance your thinking capabilities and mental focus. Studies have also suggested that antioxidants are good for supporting your adrenal glands and lowering anxiety.

Lower Caffeine Content
Generally, the caffeine content you get in mushroom coffee is much lower than found in traditional coffee. Depending on the coffee brand, it ranges between 9 milligrams to 75 milligrams while a similar sized serving of regular coffee normally has between 150 and 200 milligrams of caffeine.

Vitamins And Minerals
Mushrooms are a rich source of minerals and vitamins such as copper, selenium, and potassium. In addition, they contain calcium that is good for preventing joint complications and maintaining healthy bones.

Dietary Source
Mushrooms are a great dietary source of some unique sulphur-containing antioxidants such as Glutathione and Ergothioneine. They also contain Geranium which enables your body to use oxygen in a more efficient way while at the same time reducing damage brought about by free radicals.

Weight Loss
Because mushroom coffee has no fat or cholesterol, it’s popular among body weight watchers. Besides being part of a healthy alkaline diet that naturally helps you in shedding unwanted pounds, drinking mushroom coffee further helps in boosting your body’s metabolism.

Buying And Using Mushroom Coffee
Four Sigmatic, the major mushroom coffee producer uses a dual-extraction process that effectively removes both the fat-soluble and water-soluble active compounds from the mushrooms. The process entails liquefying followed by drying the mushrooms to get a powder extract which is then mixed with your regular coffee.

Because people often don’t generally like the taste of mushrooms this producer pairs them with other bitter-tasting drinks such as coffee for the perfect smooth-tasting brew. Besides coffee, Four Sigmatic also blends different medicinal mushrooms with tea, cocoa, and/or various herbal products to produce beverages that are supposed to boost your immunity, beauty, productivity, and energy.

How Do You Make Mushroom Coffee?
If you are unable to get mushroom powder blended coffee, technically you can brew your favourite coffee bean and then manually add the mushroom powder. After that, you can add milk and sweetener.

When mixing the ingredients, however, take extra care to avoid clumps by ensuring you mix them thoroughly. Alternatively, pop the ingredients into the blender if you want for a uniform, frothy consistency.

Who Should Avoid Mushroom Coffee Blends
If you are on any type of prescription drugs, consult your physician before using mushroom coffee. Some of the supplements could have harmful interactions or trigger unexpected side effects.

It’s also worth noting that Chagas mushrooms have a blood thinning effect and should therefore not be consumed if you have scheduled surgery.

Final Thoughts
We have had standard coffee for centuries, and then came the embellishments. Butter-filled bullet coffees came first, then we were told that cold brews were the healthiest way of enjoying the ritualistic a cup of Joe. Today, mushroom coffee is being hailed as the Holy Grail. If you haven’t already heard about this new health trend, very soon you will.

While mushroom coffee might not sound all that appealing or appetizing, be assured that it not only tastes smoother but also comes with fewer side-effects and a ton of health benefits."
Words above from article by Anthony Parker here

If you prefer to eat your mushrooms,
this cheesy mushroom omelette recipe is nice, find it 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

Friday, 8 October 2021

Kale, it's not everyone's favourite!


I know that Kale is not everyone's favourite. It is in season at the moment and there seems to be a plentiful supply in our local shops. There are many recipes available for Kale and some may prefer to massage their kale as it softens and tenderizes kale leaves by breaking down tough fibres. It reduces the bitterness of raw kale and brings out great natural flavours.
Read more about this, and how to do it here

Kale
This intensely flavoured member of the cabbage family has been cultivated for over 2,000 years and has long been popular in colder regions, thanks to its excellent resistance to frost. It's at its best between September and February. Fresh kale should be a vivid green colour with crisp, un-wilted leaves. Kale is well-known for its health-promoting qualities, including its nutrient density and antioxidant content. A cup (67 grams) of raw kale contains plenty of B vitamins, potassium, calcium and copper. It also fulfils your entire daily requirement for vitamins A, C and K. Due to its high amount of antioxidants, kale may also be beneficial in promoting heart health.

A recipe you may like to try
Pumpkin, Kale and Goats' Cheese Frittata, it's low carb and gluten free - more details here


These recipes are good too
Kale and Spinach Soup, Vegan Style - more details here
Crunchy kale crisps - more details here

Related Posts
Kale, five health benefits - see here
Curly Kale : Stanley enjoys it too : see here


This is our youngest grand-daughter with Stanley … he is a Hermann’s Tortoise
apparently Stanley enjoys a little curly kale too
(they have both grown a little since this picture was taken)
you can read more about him here

Dear reader, 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

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Warfarin : Diet : What Foods Should I Avoid?


"Can you tell me what I should eat while I am taking warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)? What foods should I avoid?

Warfarin is a blood-thinning medication that helps treat and prevent blood clots. There is no specific warfarin diet. However, certain foods and beverages can make warfarin less effective in preventing blood clots. It's important to pay attention to what you eat while taking warfarin.

One nutrient that can lessen warfarin's effectiveness is vitamin K. It's important to be consistent in how much vitamin K you get daily. The adequate intake level of vitamin K for adult men is 120 micrograms (mcg). For adult women, it's 90 mcg. While eating small amounts of foods that are rich in vitamin K shouldn't cause a problem, avoid consuming large amounts of certain foods or drinks, including:
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Collards
  • Mustard greens
  • Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Green tea
Certain drinks can increase the effect of warfarin, leading to bleeding problems. Avoid or consume only small amounts of these drinks when taking warfarin:
  • Cranberry juice
  • Alcohol
Talk to your doctor before making any major changes in your diet and before starting any over-the-counter medications, vitamins or herbal supplements. If you are unable to eat for several days or have ongoing stomach upset, diarrhoea or fever, consult your doctor."
Words above taken from here

Related Posts
Some Common Food - Drug Interaction - see here
Metformin users, keep an eye on B12 levels - see here
Seven Nutrient Deficiencies That Are Incredibly Common - see here


The above is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, medication, you should contact your local health care provider

autumn inspired bowl
hope you agree, a pleasure to see

Dear reader, you will find 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, 6 October 2021

A Pumpkin Story !

Yes, it is that time of year when many of us are thinking about Pumpkins. I know the grandchildren are looking forward to getting theirs and making their 'jack-o’-lanterns'. There are many pumpkin patches, pick your own sites around the UK (and I'm sure worldwide too). The owners, the farmers have been busy growing and cultivating their pumpkin crop. One such farmer is Chris Hoggard, and you can read his story below. 

"A farmer who is getting ready to harvest more than 30,000 pumpkins said it all began with a packet of seeds sown for his children one Halloween.

Chris Hoggard, of Howe Bridge Farm in Malton, North Yorkshire, started growing pumpkins some 25 years ago when his son Thomas was a baby.

That year he grew 10, with the eight he did not need being sold at the farm gate.

He now raises about 15,000 plants and welcomes visitors from across the UK.

He said: "I bought a few seeds from the supermarket and planted them and we had no idea if they would grow or not, but of course they grew on a vine and all over the place.

"We had about 10 pumpkins so we put the other eight that we didn't want out on a stand with an honesty box. That was on a Saturday morning, and by the afternoon they had all gone.

"The year after we planted about 200 plants and then we sold them all within a week. Then we increased that number to 500 or so.

"We just kept doubling up until we got the number we are at today."

Mr Hoggard's farm is family-run, but they employ about seven staff in the farm shop and have just taken on an apprentice, to help with the harvest.

"People come from all over to the farm," he said. "The pumpkins can be seen from the road and sometimes people have passed us on their way to a holiday cottage, and come back to buy a pumpkin."

"It's just got bigger and bigger."

"We started picking about a fortnight ago. We cut them all to let the stalks dry and cure and transfer them onto the field where we sell them."

Photo credit Danny Lawson, you can see the original article and more photographs here

Of course talking pumpkin you may like to try this recipe

Thai Pumpkin Soup
A low carb high fat Thai pumpkin soup for cooler days.
It’s dairy-free, too!
see recipe details here

Dear reader, this blog is presented in a magazine style - we hope something for everyone. You will find a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, cartoons, music and recipes!

However, not all the food and recipes ideas featured in this blog 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, 5 October 2021

Walking ... can be a miracle cure!


You may have already seen this older article from last year, it is an interesting read, and I share these words from article in Diabetes Diet Blog:

"Adapted from BMJ Sept 19 Promoting physical activity to patients by Christine Haseler et al.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has described walking as a miracle cure. Despite this many of us are not as active as we should be and inactivity is thought to result in as many deaths as smoking. More than a quarter of UK adults do less than 30 minutes physical activity a week.

Quantified, these are the benefits of just plain walking:

30% lower all cause mortality, even 10 minutes a day is worthwhile.

20-30% lower risk of dementia.

Better relief from back pain than back exercises

30% lower risk of colon cancer

30% reduction in falls for older adults

22-83% reduction in osteoarthritis

even lower body fat than playing sports

20-35% lower risk of cardiovascular disease

20% lower risk of breast cancer

30-40% lower risk of metabolic syndrome or type two diabetes

The people who need to see their GP before undertaking exercise are few but include people with unstable angina, aortic stenosis or uncontrolled severe hypertension.

In pregnancy the sort of activities that need to stop are: impact activities, lying on the back for long periods, high altitude activities and underwater activities."
Words above from here

Related Post
Why not take a walk - read it here

After a nice walk why not enjoy a mug or bowl of
Spiced Parsnip Soup with Coriander and Chilli Pesto
There aren't many things more comforting than a warming mug of creamy soup, and this recipe suggestion is perfect for Autumn, for Halloween, even for the 5th November Bonfire Night!
see recipe details here


Dear reader, a variety of articles, and 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

Monday, 4 October 2021

Celeriac Gratin ... perfect for cooler days in Autumn, Winter and even Spring!


Hattie Ellis calls this 'Winter Celeriac Gratin' but I think you could also call it 'Autumn Celeriac Gratin'.
Of course if you live in the Southern Hemisphere you may want to call it 'Spring Celeriac Gratin' ...

It is a comforting yet luxurious gratin and can be served as a main course or a side-dish. Celeriac is often served raw in a mustardy sauce as celeriac rémoulade, and this dish uses the same flavour combination. Include the ham or not, as you prefer! You can also grate over Parmesan or Cheddar for extra flavour before it goes in the oven.

These are the ingredients you will need for four servings
300g/10½oz potato (1 large baking potato), peeled or scrubbed and cut into 1cm/½in slices
2 banana shallots, finely sliced
3 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley
350g/12oz peeled celeriac (about ½ large one), finely sliced
50–100g/1¾–3½oz air-cured ham, such as Parma or Serrano, thickly sliced (optional)
1½ tbsp capers, rinsed well and drained
300ml/10fl oz full-fat crème fraîche
500ml/18fl oz full-fat milk
1½ tbsp Dijon or grainy mustard
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Here is the method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
2. In a large bowl, mix the potato, shallots, parsley, celeriac and ham, if using. Add the capers and season with pepper and a pinch of salt. Tip the mixture into an ovenproof dish (approximately 30cm/12in square and not too deep).
3. Heat the crème fraîche and milk in a small pan. Stir in the mustard and garlic and season with half a teaspoon flaky sea salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil, then pour over the gratin. It won’t cover the vegetables – that’s fine.
4. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Cover the top with foil if it is getting too brown. Leave to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

From original idea here
This recipe does contain potatoes, so may affect blood sugar levels. If you would like a lower carb alternative to potatoes you will find some suggestions here

happy autumn
(image from google)

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

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Some more on EGGS !


Did you know 
EGGS are incredibly rich in vitamins. A single egg contains every vitamin except vitamin C, though these nutrients are distributed differently between the yolk and the white.

EGGS also contain high amounts of phosphorus, calcium, and potassium and carry all of the essential trace elements, including copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc. 

EGGS, after breast milk, are the best source of high-quality protein for humans.

Four Practical Tips
1. Make eggs part of a healthy breakfast.
Eating a breakfast of eggs, pancakes, syrup, juice, and sausage will have a much different nutritional profile than, say, a hard-boiled egg on top of a green salad with fresh smoked salmon. Your best bet is to keep eggs as part of a low glycemic meal, without refined carbohydrates and sugars that will likely raise glucose and insulin.

2. Choose your cooking method wisely.
Frying an egg in oil affects the health of that meal. Avoid processed seed oils like canola or safflower oils, which have damaging linoleic acids, and favour minimally processed oils like olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil. If you use animal fats like butter or lard, try to use products from grass-fed butter and pasture-raised animals.

3. Go for poached or soft boiled.
Some research suggests that cooking the egg whites while leaving the yolk essentially raw preserves the most nutritional value while still allowing the cooking process to increase the bioavailability of its proteins and kill any pathogenic bacteria.

4. Buy quality.
Pasture-raised hens produce higher-quality, more nutritious eggs and support more sustainable farming and environmental practices.
You can read these words and more in article here

Related Posts
Eggs, they really are good for you - see here
Health Benefits of Eating Eggs - see here
What Is The Healthiest Way to Cook and Eat Eggs? - see here

Eggs really are sunshine on your plate
It can be summer every day. Just take a look at these cheerful looking fried eggs - a little bit of sunshine yellow on your plate. Why not satisfy your hunger with this fresh and easy breakfast, supper, or even brunch! At just seven carbs per serving this recipe is LCHF, Gluten Free, Vegetarian and most definitely a winner!

please see recipe details here

Dear reader - you will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas 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

Saturday, 2 October 2021

Apples - Five Health Benefits

"Apples are packed with vitamins, antioxidants and fibre, apples are one of our favourite healthy fruits. Registered nutritionist Nicola Shubrook explains what else makes apples so good for us.


What are apples?
Cheap and readily available in the UK, apples come in an array of colours depending on the variety (of which there are many) from pale yellow and green through to deep red. Their taste and texture vary too, from juicy to firm and sweet to tangy. Due to the large variety available, you can buy British apples pretty much all year round, but traditionally apples are in season in the UK from September to February.

Nutritional Benefits of Apples
One medium apple contains approximately:
51 kcal/215 KJ
6g protein
5g fat
6g carbohydrates
2g fibre
100mg potassium
6mg vitamin C

What are the 5 top health benefits of apples?
1. May lower cholesterol
Apples contain pectin, a natural fibre found in plants. Recent research by the European Journal of Nutrition found that eating pectin-rich whole apples had a cholesterol-lowering effect in healthy volunteers, compared to apple juice. A study by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also showed that consuming around 75g of dried apple (approximately two apples) helped to reduce cholesterol in postmenopausal women.

2. May protect against diabetes
Apples are low on the glycaemic index (GI) thanks to their fibre content. This, together with their high flavonoid content, may help to improve insulin sensitivity, which is important both for weight management and preventing diabetes.

3. May prevent obesity
Animal studies have shown that pectin extracted from apples may help regulate the gut microbiome (beneficial gut bacteria), which in turn may help prevent obesity and other inflammatory disorders. Studies on humans also look promising, but more research is needed.

4. May protect against heart disease
Apples are rich in polyphenols, protective plant compounds, one of which is a flavonoid called quercetin. Research by the American Journal for Clinical Nutrition found that those with higher quercetin levels (mainly through eating apples) had a lower risk of several chronic diseases including heart disease and even asthma.

5. May be beneficial for bone health
Fruit and vegetable intake are thought to be associated with greater bone density and improved bone health. Findings from a study on healthy women suggested apples, in particular, may minimise the amount of calcium lost from the body and hence improve bone strength.

Is it safe for everyone to eat apples?
Apples, along with fruits including peaches, avocados and blueberries contain natural chemicals called salicylates. Some people are sensitive to these compounds and may experience an allergic reaction, including skin rash and swelling. Some consumers, who are concerned about pesticides, may opt for organically grown apples."
You can see the above article with all relevant research links here 

The above is for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider.

This easy take on low carb baked apples comes together in no-time
see more details here

Related Post
A is for Apples - How do you eat yours? - see here

Regular readers will know - there is a variety of articles and recipe ideas 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

Friday, 1 October 2021

October - fun facts and more

Welcome October the tenth month of the year.


October glows on every cheek,
October shines in every eye,
While up the hill and down the dale
Her crimson banners fly.
–Elaine Goodale Eastman (1863–1953)

The Leaves They Are a-Changin’
With the autumnal equinox in late September, many leaves begin to change, but have you ever wondered why do leaves change colours? Did you know that Autumn/Fall’s vivid colours are actually hidden underneath summer’s green? The main reason for the colour change is not autumn’s chilly weather, but light—or rather, the lack of it. The green colour of leaves disappears when photosynthesis (from sunlight) slows down and the chlorophyll breaks down. Trees with a lot of direct sunlight will produce red leaves, while other trees may turn yellow, orange, or brown.

About October
Sitting square in between September and November, October is the tenth month of the Gregorian calendar.

October is seen by many to be a time of real seasonal change, both in the northern and southern hemispheres. For those in the north, autumn is really kicking into gear and the nights are getting cooler. The harvest festivals are over, and the nights are getting longer and longer by the day.

October is unsurprisingly quite different for those who live in the southern hemisphere. Spring has already bloomed in all its glory, and life is becoming more and more pleasant by the day.

The Anglo-Saxons’ name for October was Winterfylleth, with its name containing the words for winter and full moon respectively. It was named this because winter was said to begin from the first full moon of the month.

The Saxons had a name for October, too. Theirs was Wyn Monath, which translated into “wine month” because it was the time of the year for making wine. 


October’s birthstone is the Opal. The opal comes in a myriad of striking colours that often seem to swirl together and is a symbol of both faithfulness, purity, and hope.

October has two strikingly different birth flowers, the pastel-hued cosmos, and the radiant marigold flowers. The cosmos flower is representative of the joy one finds in peace and love, as well as representing peace. The marigold, otherwise known as the calendula, is said to be a symbol of tranquillity, grace, and grief.

Octobers star signs - those born in October can be born under one of two very different star signs. If you’re born before October 23rd, then you have the sign of Libra. Those born on October 23rd or later have the sign of Scorpio. Libras are said to value harmony and diplomacy and are said to be both intelligent and kind. Scorpios are quite different, valuing trust and honesty above other things, as well as being quite intense yet imaginative people.

A UK tradition!
The Twyford church in Hampshire, UK has a tradition of ringing its bells every year on October 7th. The origin of this tradition goes back to the 18th Century when a local resident called William David became lost in heavy fog while riding home at night. Much to his luck, he heard the church bells toll and from this, he managed to find his way home. As a form of thanks, he left some money to the church when he died so that the church could continue to ring their bells on October 7th every year, just in case there were any other lost travellers. Unfortunately the funds ran out long ago but the tradition remains.

Keep an eye on the skies!
If you live in the northern hemisphere, you’ll be rewarded for keeping your eyes to the skies in October, as the Draconid Meteor Shower can be seen. It contains a single comet that is visible exclusively in the northern hemisphere between October 6th and 10th.

An even more impressive meteor shower that is visible in both hemispheres is the Orionid meteor shower, which runs from October 2nd until early November. It is named after Orion as it is usually visible in the same part of the sky as the constellation. At the peak of the meteor shower, as many as 20 meteors are visible every hour.


The Full Hunter’s Moon
October’s full Moon, known as the Hunter’s Moon, arrives on Wednesday, October 20. Like September’s Harvest Moon, the Hunter’s Moon is closely tied to the autumnal equinox. Learn more about October’s full Moon here

Folklore for the season
  • When deer are in a grey coat in October, expect a hard winter.
  • When birds and badgers are fat in October, expect a cold winter.
  • When berries are many in October expect a hard winter.
  • Much rain in October, much wind in December.
  • A warm October means a cold February.
  • If the October moon comes without frost, expect no frost till the moon of November. 
  • In October dung your field, and your land its wealth shall yield.
As you can see, October is a pretty fantastic time of the year, and remember there are some tasty foods in season during October. Things like leafy kale and leeks, so nice to add to healthy green soups and stews. Of course bright butternut squash adds colour to easy traybakes. Don't forget that once you’ve carved your Halloween pumpkin try cooking with it too – roast in generous wedges or bake into sweet pumpkin pie. British apples and pears are also in season throughout October, more to read with lots of recipe ideas here


No matter where you are in the world, I wish you a happy month of October, and if you know any fun facts about this month do please share them in the comments.
The above from here and here and here

Readers, 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 recipes 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