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Wednesday 30 August 2023

The seven colours of the rainbow - do you eat them?

'Come on now eat your greens' ... is something my Mum used to say, and sure enough there was usually at least two green vegetables on my plate, very often peas and cabbage - and I did eat them up!

"Including vegetables in your diet is extremely important. Veggies are incredibly rich in nutrients and antioxidants, which boost your health and help fight off disease. Additionally, they are beneficial for weight control due to their low calorie content. Health authorities around the world recommend that adults consume several servings of vegetables each day, but this can be difficult for some people. Some find it inconvenient to eat vegetables, while others are simply unsure how to prepare them in an appetizing way."

Nowadays, when it comes to vegetables we could eat the colours of the rainbow, there are so many great colours to choose.

The colours of the rainbow are Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. So starting with Red - how about red pepper or red tomato. Moving onto Orange - how about carrot or an orange pepper. Next is yellow - so it could be butternut squash or a yellow pepper. Yes, it's Green next - so broccoli or Brussel sprouts ... now the last three colours of blue, indigo and violet may be easier to achieve if we think of them as one! Aubergine (eggplant) is a good start, followed by purple cabbage and how about purple cauliflower!

Have you any rainbow favourites, do please share them ...


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. If you have any concerns about your health it is always advisable to consult your Doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Tuesday 29 August 2023

Trees, aren't they wonderful

I was over at Juliet's blog recently, aka Crafty Green Poet and she had a post about the Woodland Trust Tree of The Year. 

Every year, the Woodland Trust runs a competition to find the Tree of the Year in the UK. Trees are nominated for their age or importance, in some cases their historical importance, in others because they have been threatened with destruction and the local community has rallied round them. The winner will represent the UK in the European Tree of the Year competition!

Voting is open until Sunday 15 October, and this year's winner will be announced on Thursday 19 October 2023.

If you've got a minute or two they are well worth looking at.

Find out more and cast your vote here

h/t Crafty Green Poet Blog here 

Last year, 2022, the Surrey Yew Tree was named as 'Tree of the Year'. The tree at Waverley Abbey is thought to be about 500 years old... look at those roots!
More to read 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, music and recipes!

Please note, not all recipe suggestions 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. If you have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Monday 28 August 2023

Roasted Carrot and Apple Soup with Toasted Seeds : Vegetarian : Gluten Free : Dairy Free

I know it's not yet Autumn/Fall but the weather here in the UK had been a little cooler of late ... perhaps time to start thinking about warming soups.

This delicious roasted carrot and apple soup recipe works all year round but is especially suited for the autumn months when a warming dish is needed. Seasonal apples add extra sweetness to bring this simple soup an extra deliciousness 😋


This recipe is suitable for vegetarians and vegans, it is also gluten
 and dairy free.
I hope you may enjoy it.

Ingredients
Serves Four
700g carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp
1 red onion, roughly chopped
2 eating apples, quartered, cored and cut into chunks
½ tsp crushed chillies
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 vegetable stock pot, made up to 600ml
450ml apple juice
4 tbsp mixed seeds
Method
1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180˚C, fan 160˚C. Put the carrots in a roasting tin and toss with 2 tsp cumin seeds and 1 tsp oil; season. Roast for 25 mins until lightly charred and tender.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium, lidded saucepan over a high heat. Fry the onion and apples for 5 mins to soften. Add the chilli, turmeric and remaining cumin seeds and cook for 2 mins, stirring occasionally. Add the stock and apple juice and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 5 mins.
3. Put the roasted carrots in a food processor or blender and pour in the apple mixture. Blitz until almost smooth.
4. Toast the seeds in a small frying pan over a high heat for 2-3 mins until starting to pop. Ladle the soup into bowls and scatter with the toasted seeds to serve.
Each serving contains
Carbohydrate 36.3g Protein 6g Fibre 10.5g Fat 13g
Tips
If you don't have red onions, try using white, brown or spring onions (scallions).
Some readers may find the carb. count a little high, find a lower carb. alternative here
The above recipe from idea seen here


Perhaps a little early for an Autumn/Fall mantel
but I like it 😊
image from google

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. If you have any concerns about your health it is always advisable to consult your Doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Sunday 27 August 2023

Homegrown fruit and vegetables makes for healthier diet and less waste, study suggests

"Homegrown fruit and veg makes for healthier diet and less waste, study suggests

People who grow their own fruit and vegetables eat more than their five-a-day and waste much less than households that only buy, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Sheffield said improving access to growing will make people healthier, cut waste and make the UK more self-sufficient.

Their study, published in the journal Plants, People, Planet, found those who grow their own food produce half of the vegetables and a fifth of the fruit they consume annually.

They also ate on average 6.3 portions of their five-a-day, compared to the UK national average of 3.7, and threw away 95% less fruit and veg compared to the average household.

Recycling old jeans is one way some growers have created extra space (Giles Anderson/PA)

Author of the study Dr Zilla Gulyas said: “Eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is associated with significantly decreased risks of developing health issues like obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, and could help prevent associated deaths and cut healthcare costs worldwide.

“Our new study highlights the role that growing fruit and vegetables at a household scale could play in increasing their consumption.”

The team recruited 197 people growing their own food in allotments or home gardens in July 2020 and asked them to keep a year-long record of their production, purchases, foraging, donations and waste.

By February 2022, 85 of these had submitted complete records covering at least 80% of the year.

People grew more food if they had larger gardens or visited allotments more often, with the researchers concluding that increasing the amount of space available or promoting active engagement and skill development can allow people to produce higher yields.

Dr Gulyas said: “We need to find ways to overcome socioeconomic challenges to upscaling household food production, especially among those most affected by low fruit and vegetable intakes, like low-income families.

“Increasing the amount of space available to UK households to produce their own food is essential to this, especially given the steady decline in allotment land nationally.”

The researchers said that wide adoption of homegrown fruit and veg could provide up to 5.5% of the national supply, compared to the 18% produced during the Dig For Victory campaign in the Second World War.

This would need greater access to growing spaces, they said, with lower-income families less likely to have space while the number of allotments has been declining over the decades.

Dr Jill Edmondson, the study co-author, said: “Global food security is one of the biggest challenges we will face in the future, therefore it’s crucial that we find new ways to increase the resilience of the UK food system.”

She said the study provides the “first long-term evidence” of the role that household food production could play in “promoting healthier diets through self-sufficiency and adds important support to any policy making that seeks to expand household-level fruit and vegetable production”."
Above taken from article seen here

Do you like to grow your own vegetables?
Do you find that some are easier to grow than others?
Have you a favourite that you grow each year?

Some readers may not have a garden or space to grow fruit or vegetables but did you know you can grow a herb garden in an eggshell - see post 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 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. If you have any concerns about your health it is always advisable to consult your Doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Saturday 26 August 2023

Eggs Baked in Portobello Mushrooms : Low Carb, Tasty and Nutritious

Eggs, are so nutritious and when baked in Portobello mushrooms make a fun weekend breakfast, a great lunch, and even a vegetarian dinner or supper when served with a salad. Choose large, firm Portobello mushrooms, that are not too flat (or the egg will spill) nor too deep (or the egg will take forever to cook).


Ingredients
Serves Two
4 large Portobello mushrooms, stem removed, wiped clean
Olive oil spray
½ teaspoon (kosher) salt, divided
½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
½ teaspoon garlic powder
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions on how to prepare and cook this dish can be found here

... did you know that Portobello mushrooms have a robust meaty texture making them good for roasting, baking and stuffing. They are great for barbecuing, too Рjust dot with butter, crushed garlic, herbs and seasoning and cook for a few minutes until the juices run, or slice thickly and saut̩ with onions and garlic, so many ways to enjoy them ...

~ pretty flowers to brighten your day ~

image from here

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. If you have any concerns about your health it is always advisable to consult your Doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Friday 25 August 2023

It's Almost The August Bank Holiday Weekend 2023

Yes, it's almost the weekend and here in the UK we have a Bank Holiday Weekend, which for many means a nice three day break from work. Time to see family, friends ... perhaps do some gardening or decorating even visit a local event.

Whatever you may be doing I wish you a happy weekend, with some good weather, although I'm not sure we will be lucky with that!

Eddie and I have no plans to travel far, the roads are always extra busy at bank holiday times.

Instead I will include some older photographs from a visit to Mudeford we enjoyed back in 2019 (don't the years pass by quickly?)


gulls diving for dinner


sorry doggie, you missed the ferry, the next one will be along soon 😊

However you plan to spend your Bank Holiday weekend (or ordinary weekend) do have a good one.

... and how about enjoying this colourful salad sometime over the weekend!

Mozzarella, Peach and Tomato Salad : A Taste of Summer
find the recipe and more details here


You can see more about Mudeford here and 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. If you have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Thursday 24 August 2023

Tomato Pie : A Taste of Summer : Low Carb Recipe

Tomatoes are in season during Augustsimple salads of fresh tomatoes are a highlight of summer. Look for bright and firm tomatoes with wrinkle-free skins that are not split, and have a sweet, earthy scent. If sold on the vine, choose a thick, strong vine with tightly attached tomatoes. It's best not to put tomatoes in the fridge as this will impair their flavour and texture.

But ... have you tried tomato in a pie? This savoury low-carb pie is best with fresh summer tomatoes from a Southern garden. If you can’t get Southern tomatoes, just get tomatoes! You can enjoy this pie by itself, or with salad, but it's also delicious served with grilled meats - as always dear reader the choice is yours.


Ingredients
Six servings
5g carb per serving
Crust
1¼ cups (3½ oz.) shredded/grated Parmesan cheese
¾ cup (3 oz.) almond flour
1⁄3 cup (1¼ oz.) oat fibre*
1 egg
2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
¼ tsp salt

Filling
5 (1¼ lbs) large tomatoes, sliced
1⁄3 cup (2 oz.) finely slivered red onions
½ cup mayonnaise
1¼ cups (5 oz.) cheddar cheese, shredded/grated
½ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil

Tips
For more flavour, feel free to sprinkle chopped, cooked bacon over the tomatoes before baking the pie.
* The oat fibre can be replaced with 2 tbls. of coconut flour (1 pie).
Need help with weight/measurement conversion, see here
Find recipe instructions here

Tomatoes and their health benefits
read more 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. If you have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Wednesday 23 August 2023

More About Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner !

On my recent post here called 'Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner' Erika made this comment "This looks and sound delicious! And that's such a great phase, Winner, winner chicken dinner. You should look up the history of that quote and do a post about that" ... so guess what? I did look up its history and this is the post 😊

"The exact origin of the phrase winner winner chicken dinner is disputed, but it may have come from gamblers. The most popular origin story of the term is that a chicken dinner at a Las Vegas casino used to cost $2, the same amount as a standard bet. So, if you won a bet, you won a chicken dinner.

However, David Guzman, author of a book on craps lingo, has said that the term comes from back-alley gamblers during the Great Depression of the 1930s. These desperate gamblers would bet whatever they had in hopes of winning a chicken dinner.

The phrase gained mainstream popularity thanks to its frequent use in the 2008 casino heist film 21.

Winner winner chicken dinner became popular online after the release of the 2017 multiplayer shooter video game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). Game developer Brendan “PlayerUnkown” Greene is a fan of the phrase and included it in most of the battle-royale modes he has created. If a player manages to be the sole survivor of the notoriously difficult game of PUBG, they are greeted with the poultry praise upon victory."

Words above taken from here
Once again, thanks Erika for the idea.

... and of course I just had to share another chicken recipe ðŸ˜‹
Easy Baked Chicken Drumsticks
A lovely low carb recipe suitable for diabetics and non diabetics.
Chicken thighs may be used in place of drumsticks if preferred.


Ingredients
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
Instructions
more details 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. If you have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Monday 21 August 2023

Bay Leaves ... did you know!

It was way back in my school cookery classes that I first started using bay leaves, and now when I open my kitchen cupboard - sure enough I'm still using them ... I wonder how many I may have used over these years? Makes you think!


The aromatic leaf from the bay laurel tree, it is an essential component of the classic bouquet garni: parsley, thyme and a bay leaf. The bittersweet, spicy leaves impart their pungent flavour to a variety of dishes and ingredients, making bay a versatile store cupboard ingredient. It’s also one of the few herbs that doesn’t lose its flavour when dried.

A brief guide to bay leaves including nutritional information and uses in the kitchen.
Bay leaves are a wonderful addition to any soup, sauce, stew or casserole. They are mainly used dry and are just thrown into the pot and allowed to impart their rich and aromatic flavour.
The bay leaf that we use in cooking is actually the dried leaf of the Bay Laurel tree (Laurus Nobililis). This is why bay leaves can also be known as sweet bay, sweet laurel, laurel leaf or bay laurel.
The bay laurel tree is native to Asia Minor but is now grown all over the Mediterranean, as it is suited to warm climates. There are two main types of bay leaf - the Mediterranean bay leaf and the Californian bay leaf. The Californian bay leaf is much stronger in flavour and the Mediterranean bay leaf is widely used in Mediterranean-style cooking.
The bay leaf is one of the herbs and ingredients that make up a "bouquet garni". A bouquet garni is a bunch of herbs that is tied together with string and placed into a stock, sauce or stew whilst cooking. It is used to add flavour to the dish and the bundle is removed before serving and discarded.

History of the bay leaf.
Although the bay leaf was not introduced to England until the sixteenth century, it has been around since ancient Greek and Roman times.
In fact, the bay leaf was held in such high esteem that victors of battle, sport and study were crowned with garlands of laurel, as a symbol of their success. This is where the term "baccalaureate" originates from and it is now referred to when students have successfully completed their schooling years.

Vitamin and mineral content of the bay leaf.
Although bay leaves are only used a few at a time and are not actually consumed themselves, they still provide a number of vitamins and minerals to a dish through cooking. Bay leaves are a good source of Vitamins A and C and also contain significant amounts of iron and manganese in particular, as well as smaller amounts of calcium, potassium and magnesium.

Health benefits of the bay leaf.
In ancient times bay leaves were used medicinally for a number of things. They were used for ailments of the liver, kidney and stomach and were also thought to alleviate wasp and bee stings.
Nowadays, bay leaves are still used by herbalists to treat even more illnesses and complaints than ever. Below is a list of how bay leaves are used curatively today:
* A cloth soaked in boiled bay leaves in water, which is placed on the chest can relieve chest infections, flu, coughs and bronchitis.
* Massage bay leaf essential oil onto affected areas to relieve sprains, swellings, backache and arthritic and rheumatic pains.
* An infusion of bay leaves will promote sweating, which will help clear up flu and feverish symptoms.
* Bay leaves settle the stomach and help to treat digestive disorders.
* They are useful for proper digestion and can reduce flatulence.
* They can help to breakdown and digest certain food types such as proteins.
* A bay leaf rinse can help to treat dandruff.

Ideas for using bay leaves in the kitchen.
Bay leaves are never eaten themselves and are really just used to add extra flavour to a number of dishes. Bay leaves can be used in the following ways:
* Prepare a bouquet garni and add to soups, stews, casseroles and sauces.
* Use in pickling solutions.
* Add to boiling water for shrimp, crab and other seafood.
* Use in marinades for meat and fish. * Add to milk when preparing homemade rice puddings or other milk puddings.

Most words above taken from this article

Bay Leaf Recipes.
Individual Fish Pies, Low Carb, Dairy Free and Tasty - see here
Honey Roast Chicken - see here
Lentil and Vegetable Minestrone Stew / Casserole - see here

Are bay leaves something you use in your cooking?
Do you have a favourite recipe?

~ wishing you a happy day ~

We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter. If you have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Sunday 20 August 2023

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner !

Chicken, Leek and Cheddar Cheese Bake


Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Yes, sharing a tasty chicken recipe! You really can't have too many can you!? For me chicken has so 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's certainly popular in our house! Plus of course it has a high level of good quality protein, as well as B vitamins, iron, copper and selenium... and it's usually reasonably priced too!

Easy to make and ready in half an hour, this chicken, leek and Cheddar Cheese bake recipe is the perfect midweek or any day bake. This delicious recipe serves 4 people (amend as necessary to suit you) and will take about 35 mins to rustle up. Packed with plenty of flavour, thanks to the buttery Cheddar cheese sauce and tangy leeks. This recipe uses chicken breasts but you could use other cuts of chicken too including thigh or wings to cut the cost down.

Ingredients
1tbsp oil
4 chicken breasts, diced
2 leeks, washed and sliced
25g butter
150ml double (heavy) cream
150ml full fat milk
125g Cheddar cheese, grated

Method
1. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan and fry the chicken for 5 mins. Add the leeks and fry for 10 mins, covered.
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan (low heat) and stir in the cream. Cook for about 1 min. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the milk then bring to the boil, keep stirring. Season and add half the cheese and stir until melted.
3. Place the chicken in a heatproof serving dish and pour over the cheese sauce.
4. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and place under a preheated grill for 2-3 mins until golden and bubbling. Serve with a green salad.

Recipe adapted from original idea here
Such an easy bake recipe, hope you enjoy it !

~ enjoy your day ~

Alternative Recipe Suggestions
For our vegetarian and vegan readers, why not have a look at these recipe suggestions;
Vegetarian Choices, five recipe suggestions can be seen here
Vegan Choices, lower carb recipe suggestions can be seen here

This blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas, and 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. If you have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Friday 18 August 2023

Zucchini / Courgettes : Some Questions and Answers


Some call them courgettes, while others know them as zucchini ... but did you know this vegetable is a great low calorie, low carb option to include as a regular food choice in a diabetic diet. (Of course can be enjoyed by non-diabetics too.)

"Can a diabetic eat Zucchini or Courgette?

Yes. A diabetic can indeed eat zucchini or courgette. Experts say there are many benefits of including zucchini in a diabetic diet. Being low in calories and high in nutrition, zucchini or courgette is sometimes a super food for diabetics. Vitamin B is abundant in courgette. Zucchini is also rich in fibre and is a great food for diabetics.

What nutrients, vitamins and minerals are in courgette?

Courgettes contain protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, thiamine, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, copper, niacin, fibre,

Are courgettes low in carbs?

Yes, courgettes have around 3 gm of carbs per serving which is low.

Does zucchini raise blood sugar?

Courgettes have a low glycaemic index (GI) and so will not cause huge changes in blood sugar levels. Zucchini contains beneficial antioxidants that may help lower blood sugar or insulin levels. Diabetics find it hard to regulate blood sugar levels due to metabolic issues. Hence, zucchini is helpful in regulating blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics.

Why are courgettes healthful? Why can a diabetic eat zucchini or courgette?

Some experts consider zucchini a super food. But why? To begin with, courgettes are low in calories and carbs and rich in water. This makes them a favourite food for anyone on a diet.

Zucchini does have reasonable levels of vitamin C which can boost immunity and potassium that can control blood pressure. Experts say including more potassium and less sodium in diet can significantly reduce your risk of stroke or heart attack.

Courgettes are also rich in vitamin A, folate and fibre. All these nutrients can help in keeping heart healthy. Thus, eating courgette regularly can boost your heart health and lower the risk of stroke, regulate blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels.

Thus, eating courgettes every day may be a very good idea.

Does courgette help to lose weight?

Courgettes are really low in carbs and calories. That in itself is great for weight loss. Moreover, zucchini has plenty of water and fibre in it. Water in zucchini keeps you full for longer and makes you feel less hungry. This too helps with weight loss. So courgettes are very easy on your belly fat with just around 2gm of carbs and less than 1 gm of fat per 100 gm."
Words above from article here

Do you like eating zucchini/courgettes? They are certainly in my menu plans.

Related Posts
Diabetic Friendly Courgette / Zucchini Recipes, see here
Some clever courgette / zucchini tips, see here

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

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

It is important to note that articles within this blog are 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. 

All the best Jan

Thursday 17 August 2023

Beef : Three Lower Carb Recipe Choices

Beef is a rich source of high-quality protein and various vitamins and minerals. As such, it can be an excellent component of a healthy diet. It contains all of the essential amino acids and is referred to as a complete protein.

I do include beef dishes in my menu plans and here are three popular lower carb beef dishes you may wish to try:-

Minced/Ground Beef and Tomato Bake with Cauliflower Topping

Ingredients
Serves 4 to 6
10g net carbs per serving
½ cauliflower
2/3 small yellow onions
2/3 carrots (not too large)
9 oz. (250g) cherry tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
14 oz. (400g) minced/ground beef
¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
More details here


Beef Chili

Ingredients
Serves 8-9
Approx. 8g carb per serving
2 lb lean ground (minced) beef (10% fat)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground allspice
6 oz. tomato paste
4 oz. canned mushroom slices, drained (ok to use fresh)
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
More details here


Winter Green Beef Casserole

Ingredients
Serves 2 / 3
.450kg casserole steak, diced
1 green pepper
1 leek, trimmed
2 (medium sized) courgettes / zucchini
mushrooms, a handful 4 - 6
salt and black pepper for seasoning
mixed herbs
gravy / stock (of choice) about 3/4 pint (to cover meat etc.)
White cabbage to accompany dish
more details here

I hope you may enjoy a beef dish soon. However, if the weather is still hot where you live how about trying a summer salad, see here

This blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas, and 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. If you have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Wednesday 16 August 2023

Phones : What Your Phone Is Doing to Your Body, and How to Fix It

image from google

"What Your Phone Is Doing to Your Body, and How to Fix It
Sharing a snippet from an article by Katy Bowman

Take a quick look around and you’ll see bodies everywhere—in most venues, across all ages—staring fixedly at a smartphone (to notice this, you might need to stop looking at your own phone for a minute). Not only are people’s eyes fixed on the screen, it’s like their entire body is being bent and pulled down towards these tiny black holes we call our “phones” (but which are more often used as multimedia entertainment devices).

When it comes to our device-shape, what’s mostly at play here is mindlessness plus gravity. We’ve got these new devices with an endless stream of captivating content, and when we dive online (which is often), we’re not only logging on with our eyeballs, we’re also logging on with our bodies.

Your Phone Is Moving Your Head and Neck
Remember back in the olden days (fifteen years ago) when if you wanted to talk on the phone “hands-free,” you had to crane your head to one side and hold the phone between your shoulder and ear? Phones have always been a pain in the neck.

Today’s smartphone movements look different, but they still often involve the head and neck moving in extreme positions for long periods of time. Fortunately, our devices don’t require that we get into specific “device-shape” for them to work; we’re just not thinking about positioning ourselves in a sustainable way. We have options when it comes to our position—yes, even when using the smartphone.

Head ramping
Instead of letting your head dangle forward when you’ve logged on, put some strength in your swipe and use a little muscle in your upper back to hold your head and spine up.

Your Phone Is Moving Your Eyes
There’s a ring of muscles in each of your eyeballs called your ciliary muscles. When you focus on something close to your face, like a smartphone or a book, this muscular ring shortens and constricts. You need to focus on something far away—at least a quarter mile—to allow these muscles to lengthen and loosen their ring.

Your Phone Is Moving Your Lungs
To be precise, prolonged periods of sitting and using the phone with your upper back rounded forward can prevent your lungs from moving well. This isn’t really the phones’ fault; it’s more about how we use them. Lots of stillness (which already keeps the lungs pretty sedentary) plus lots of kyphosis (the forward curve of the upper spine) affects the way the lungs move. Sitting up straighter and doing exercises that decrease excessive upper back curvature and shoulder tension can all help.

Your Phone Is Moving Your Hands
Raise your hand if you’re on your phone more than ever before. Is your raised hand gripping a phone? Then there are stretches you can do that will get your hands moving more and moving differently from the phone death-grip, and index-finger swipe your upper body has grown accustomed to!

Your Phone Is Messing with Your Walk
Smartphones can similarly mess with your gait when you’re on them while you walk. As more people struggle to put their phones down, more people are also using their phones even when they’re on the move. Walking becomes less stable, and you’re much more likely to miss important visual information around you."

The above is just a snippet from the original article, which also gives details of the exercises mentioned above, and relevant research links, please read more here

Related Posts You May Like To Read
Are You Addicted to Your Phone? - see here
Computer or Phone - Tips to protect your eyes when staring at a screen - see here
Why You Should Never Use Your Phone After 6:00 PM - see here

Please note that articles within this blog are 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, you should contact your local health care provider.

All the best Jan

Tuesday 15 August 2023

Halloumi salad with orange and mint : Bringing a taste of the Mediterranean to your table

We had a very enjoyable family gathering over the weekend, and the weather stayed dry with sunny intervals, making things extra special. Many thanks for all the lovely comments and good wishes on the previous post.


Today I share a favourite recipe which is popular with vegetarians, but can be enjoyed by others too! The mix of ingredients works well, adding an extra zing for your taste buds!

Of course if you wish you could also serve it with chicken breast and steamed green beans... the choice is always left to you dear reader.

Ingredients
Serves Four
(12g carb per serving)
3 medium orange segments and juice
1 small bunch mint leaves, chopped
4 tsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
2 x 250g packs halloumi* cheese, drained
50g walnut pieces, toasted (or pecans work well too)
145g rocket, (arugula) watercress and spinach salad mix

Method
1. Heat a large griddle or frying pan over a high heat. In a large bowl, combine the orange segments and juice, mint leaves, vinegar and olive oil. Season, then gently toss together.
2. Slice each block of halloumi into 8-10 pieces, then griddle or fry for 1-2 mins on each side until charred and beginning to melt.
3. Add the walnuts and salad leaves to the orange and mint, then toss together. Top with the griddled halloumi slices and season with some black pepper.

*If you find Halloumi too salty you could try mozzarella as an alternative
Original recipe idea from here
You can read more about Halloumi here

~ pretty summer flowers ~
from post here

This blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas, and 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. If you have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Saturday 12 August 2023

Enjoy your Weekend

Yes, it's Saturday once more, the start of the weekend, although some may say the weekend starts on a Friday night! Have you any plans? We have a family gathering planned, which we are really looking forward to. Keeping our fingers crossed for some good weather, but no matter the weather the company will be great 😊

It's possible some tasty low carb blueberry ice-cream will be enjoyed.
more details here 


~ Enjoy your weekend ~

All the best Jan and Eddie

Friday 11 August 2023

Fish : Two Ways

Here I share two recipe suggestions for fish you may enjoy.
However, for readers who may prefer to eat chicken, pork, vegetarian or vegan
there are links to choices at the end of this post 😊

Mediterranean Roasted Cod

Ingredients
Serves Two
1 lb cod, boneless fillets
4 oz. cherry tomatoes, preferably on the vine
1 garlic clove, sliced
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and ground black pepper
1 tbsp small capers
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
½ tsp chili flakes
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
Tip
Take the fish out of the fridge 15-20 minutes before cooking.
This will take the chill off and allow it to cook more evenly.
Instructions
can be seen here

Herby fishcakes with courgette/zucchini salad


Ingredients
Courgette/Zucchini salad
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 red chili pepper, or a pinch of chili flakes
1 garlic clove, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
Fishcakes
600 g white fish fillets fillets (For example cod, haddock or halibut)
1 (110 g) medium white onion, roughly chopped
7 g fresh mint, roughly chopped
7 g fresh cilantro, or fresh parsley, stalks and leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil or ghee
Instructions
can be seen here

You may like to see these recipe suggestions
Chicken - see here
Pork - see here
Vegetarian - see here
Vegan - see here

This blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas, and 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. If you have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Wednesday 9 August 2023

Walking Works Wonders For Your Health

Do you own a Fitbit or similar that measures your steps and goodness knows what else? Neither Eddie or I do but most younger family members seem to and on a recent short walk with them apparently we did 3300 steps! It was only a short walk which we thoroughly enjoyed, in between the many rain showers we have been experiencing recently. I think it was the first time either of us were aware of the number of steps (usually higher than 3300) we quite regularly take when out walking!

You may have already seen this article (or similar) about fewer than 5000 steps a day is enough to boost health ... an interesting read, which I share below. 

All words below are from an article by Annabel Rackham
"Fitness: Fewer than 5,000 steps a day enough to boost health - study

It has long been touted that 10,000 steps a day is the magic number you need to stay fit and healthy - but a new study shows fewer than 5,000 may be enough to see a benefit.

The analysis of more than 226,000 people around the world showed 4,000 was enough to start reducing the risk of dying prematurely of any cause.

Just over 2,300 is enough to benefit the heart and blood vessels.

The more you do, the more health benefits are seen, researchers said.

Every extra 1,000 steps beyond the 4,000 reduced the risk of dying early by 15% up to 20,000 steps.

The team from the Medical University of Lodz in Poland and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US found the walking benefits applied to all genders and ages, regardless of where they lived.

However, the biggest benefits were seen among the under-60s.

Prof Maciej Banach, from the Lodz university, said that while the number of advanced drugs for treatment was growing, they were not the only answer.

"I believe we should always emphasise that lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, which was a main hero of our analysis, might be at least as, or even more, effective in reducing cardiovascular risk and prolonging lives," he said.

According to World Health Organization data, insufficient physical activity is responsible for 3.2 million deaths each year - the fourth most frequent cause worldwide.

Honey Fine, a personal trainer and instructor for global fitness company Barry's, emphasises the problems that come from sitting down too much.

"It can slow your metabolism and affect muscle growth and strength, which can cause aches and pains," she tells the BBC.

"Sitting down for too long can also cause all sorts of back problems, we find this a lot with people with office jobs, that their backs are constantly put in a stressed compressed position which causes a lot more problems later on in life."

She explains the importance of non-exercise activity thermogenesis - also known as Neat, "which in simple terms is everything we do that uses energy and burns calories".

"Tasks like standing, carrying shopping, washing the floors, hoovering, pacing whilst talking on the phone - it's all the little things that make us more active that help us to burn calories more efficiently," she said.

Ms Fine says that although adding regular walks into your life may be daunting, the rewards are great when it comes to your health.

"Walking can lower your blood pressure, strengthen your muscles to protect your bones, it can increase energy levels as well as giving you endorphins and it can help you maintain a healthy weight alongside healthy eating," she says.

Other benefits include boosts to your mental health and important time away from screens and other distractions.

Walking is suitable for "almost anybody" because it is low impact and easy on joints and muscles, she added."
Words above and more can be seen here

Mallard Ducks on the bank - don't you just love their colours
(a photograph from a previous walk)


Dear reader, this blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas, and 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. If you have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan

Monday 7 August 2023

Spiced chicken and cauliflower traybake : Fuss-free and gluten-free

If you’re yet to try roasted cauliflower, you’re in for a treat. Traybakes are the perfect fuss-free dinner; this dish pairs Middle Eastern spices with sweet cherry tomatoes and a nutty, herb-studded tahini sauce to make a satisfying gluten-free dinner/supper.


Ingredients
Serves 4
1 cauliflower, cut into florets
2 red onions*, cut into wedges
8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
330g cherry tomatoes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
½ tsp mild chilli powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
3 tbsp olive oil
100g baby spinach
For the tahini sauce
25g (3/4oz) tahini
125g (4 1/2oz) low-fat natural yogurt
1/2 red chilli
30g fresh coriander
15g flat-leaf parsley

* If you do not have red onions try using white, brown or spring onions (scallions)

Method
1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Put the cauliflower florets, onion wedges, chicken thighs, tomatoes, spices and oil into a large roasting dish and mix well to combine.
2. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 mins, then remove the foil and continue to bake for 25-30 mins, until the chicken is cooked through with no pink meat showing and the cauliflower is golden and tender.
3. Meanwhile, put all the ingredients for the tahini sauce into the small bowl of a food processor and blitz until smooth.
4. Stir the spinach into the roasting tin and let it wilt from the heat of the chicken and veg. Serve drizzled with the tahini sauce.

Each serving contains
Fat 30g Carbohydrate 14.5g Protein 24.5g Fibre 5.7g
From original idea here

For those who may prefer a vegetarian dish
Vegetable Stew - more details here


~ enjoy your day ~
image from google

This blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas, and 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. If you have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan