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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Chipotle and kale frittata

This is a wonderful one-pan dish, topped with tomato and mint salsa. Each serving is just 5.2g carb so suits many who live the LCHF lifestyle ... and even if you're just looking for a tasty frittata, this fits the bill so well!


Serves Four
For the frittata:
1 tbsp olive oil
100 g kale, washed and chopped
1 red pepper, sliced into thin strips
2 spring onions, (scallions) finely diced
4 whisked eggs with a pinch of salt
1 tsp ground chipotle pepper
For the mint and tomato salsa:
2 medium tomatoes, finely diced
handful of torn mint
1 clove garlic, finely minced
8 slices of jalapeno from a jar, drained on a kitchen towel and finely chopped
half a red onion, (sliced into half moons)
juice of 1 lime
pinch of paprika
salt and olive oil to dress the salsa

For the frittata:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C / fan 160˚C/ gas mark 4.
2. Using a small frying (skillet) pan, heat the oil over a medium heat and add the kale, peppers and spring onions (scallions). Cook for about 2-3 minutes.
3. Pour in the eggs, sprinkle over the chipotle and transfer to the oven to cook for around 5 minutes, or until the eggs are evenly cooked.
For the salsa:
1. To prepare the salsa, add all the ingredients to a small mixing bowl, and mix until all the vegetables are thoroughly covered.
2. To serve, remove the frittata from the oven, allow to cool for a few minutes then top with the salsa and serve straight to the table.

Each serving provides:
5.2g carbohydrate 2.4g fibre 9.1g protein 8.8g fat

Recipe idea is from Shelina Permalloo. She is an English cook, author and winner of the MasterChef 2012 UK TV show competition.

It's just a thought - but this recipe may also work well with spinach. If you'd like to read more about Frittata's and quiches see here

I thought I'd also share some autumnal flowers, image from here

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Thousands Sue for Damages Against Cholesterol Drugs as Big Pharma Defends Billion Dollar Industry

The $100 billion dollar cholesterol-lowering statin drug industry is under attack, as thousands of Americans are filing lawsuits against the manufacturers of cholesterol-lowering drugs such as Lipitor. Research continues to confirm just how dangerous these drugs are, with yet another study published recently linking increased statin drug use to type 2 diabetes.

Since the study was published by the American Diabetes Association, these known risks to cholesterol-lowering drugs can no longer be denied or defended, and the lawsuits are pouring in at a rapid pace. Most of the lawsuits at this point are from women who have suffered with diabetes as a result of taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, but lawsuits over breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, liver damage, and others may soon follow now that it is generally known how dangerous these drugs are.

This information regarding a tsunami of lawsuits against cholesterol drug manufacturers has yet to be widely published by the mainstream media, however. To find out the magnitude of the lawsuits being filed against statin drug manufacturers, we turn to law firms who are reaping the fruit of litigation against Big Pharma.

According to statistics supplied by various law firms, there were 464 claims filed against Lipitor as of April 15, 2014, which increased to 703 by May 15, and then to 846 by June 16. By mid-July 2014 over 959 claims have been filed for damages due to Lipitor alone, and that increased in August to 1162. There are also many claims currently filed against Crestor, the next nearest competitor to Lipitor, and undoubtedly other similar drugs now sold under generic labels. These lawsuits now number well over 1,200, and are increasing at a rapid pace.

Lipitor is by far the most profitable drug in the history of mankind among all pharmaceutical products, let alone being the most profitable cholesterol drug before its patent expired at the end of 2011. Sales to date from this one particular cholesterol-lowering statin drug have exceeded $140 billion.

Lipitor benefited from the change in marketing laws in 1997 that allowed pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. to advertise their products directly to consumers. Pfizer convinced an entire generation of Americans that they needed a pill to lower their cholesterol in order to prevent heart disease, in what will go down as one of the most brilliant and unethical marketing schemes of all time.

After Lipitor’s patent expired at the end of 2011, the FDA issued its first warnings against statin drugs, which includes: liver injury, memory loss, diabetes, and muscle damage. Soon after issuing these warnings, the lawsuits started trickling in. Today, with more and more studies being published linking statin drug use to various side effects, those lawsuits have become a tidal wave, even though you are not likely to hear about this in the mainstream media.

Big Pharma Fights Back – They Do Not Want you to Know Cholesterol Drugs are Worthless and Dangerous

As is often the case when learning about the criminal activities of Big Pharma, much of the research is conducted outside of the U.S. The above referenced study published recently by the American Diabetes Association, for example, was conducted in Italy.

Since the patent on Lipitor has expired, pharmaceutical companies have been searching for the next big blockbuster cholesterol drug to bring in profits like Lipitor did. One of these newer cholesterol-lowering drugs is U.S.-made Zetia by Merck. Alberto Donzelli, head of education, appropriateness, and evidence-based medicine at Milan’s public health authority in Italy, has issued warnings about the dangers of this drug, and advised doctors in Italy not to prescribe it. Merck responded with two cease-and-desist orders and the threat of suing Donzelli. Donzelli backed down, but Merck has received a lot of public pressure in Europe since the story was picked up by the British Medical Journal. It was also reported in the Wall Street Journal here in the U.S. When doctors and medical professionals oppose Big Pharma, they put their careers and sometimes their lives on the line.

The fact that cholesterol is not responsible for heart disease, and that cholesterol-lowering drugs provide no statistical advantages to prolonging life by reducing heart attacks, has been widely reported for many years now by those of us in the alternative health media. One mainstream media source in Australia, however, decided to air a documentary on the Cholesterol Myth and “Cholesterol Drug Wars”. The show featured Dr. MaryAnne Demasi and interviewed several doctors and health officials who dared to tell the truth regarding the cholesterol drug scam. It was broadcast by ABC Australia in late 2013, under vigorous protests from the pharmaceutical industry. The videos were eventually removed from their website, and the network issued a statement retracting their endorsement of the show. However, they can still be seen on YouTube for now (watch them here.)

What’s Next in the Cholesterol Drug Wars?

One in four Americans over the age of 45 are currently on statin drugs. In spite of the increased research linking these drugs to diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, liver damage, breast cancer, among many others (see: Consumer Alert: 300+ Health Problems Linked To Statin Drugs), government-funded Big Pharma agencies continue to promote statin drugs and are attempting to get more Americans to take them. New guidelines put out by the American Heart Association earlier this year (2014) would more than double the number of Americans taking statin drugs. Big Pharma educated doctors and health officials have been so indoctrinated by the cholesterol theory of heart disease, that there have actually been debates about adding cholesterol lowering drugs to drinking water! In their minds, every person on the planet should be taking these cholesterol-lowering drugs.

However, as we are seeing, Americans are starting to wake up to the Cholesterol Myth and the Statin Drug scam, and those injured by these drugs are seeking damages in litigation at a very fast pace here in 2014, in spite of the mainstream media blackout due to intimidation from Big Pharma.

So what’s next?

If we follow the pattern of Big Pharma when their products can no longer be supported in a free market due to lack of consumer confidence and demand, and massive litigation due to faulty products, they will probably seek some kind of government protection from these lawsuits. Such government protection will allow them to distribute their cholesterol drugs through government drug programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and the new Obamacare. With the baby boomer generation heading into their senior years, it is just too large of a market for them to give up without a fight.

The logic they will use with politicians in Washington D.C. will be very similar to the logic currently used by the vaccine market: Americans are too stupid to know better, so we need laws to protect us and our products against litigation so we can continue to manufacture and distribute them to people who don’t want them, because they don’t realize how much they need our drugs.

This logic is clearly seen in the above referenced American Diabetes study on statins, where they state in their conclusion: “Benefits of statins in reducing cardiovascular events clearly overwhelm the diabetes risk.” In other words, we need to sacrifice those who are harmed by our products for “the greater good” of society, because our drugs are necessary for public health.

Another study linking statin drugs to an increased rate of diabetes was just published in Scotland:

The team from Glasgow University calculated that use of statins increased the risk of type-2 diabetes by around 12 per cent after four years. Those taking the drugs also gained an average of around 240g in weight.

But after identifying that statins had this effect due to the same mechanism which led to them reducing cholesterol, the researchers said the drugs still did more good than harm and patients should continue to take them as directed. (Source)

Do you see the “logic”? “We know our products destroy your health, but we believe they prevent heart disease, so the benefit out-weighs the risk. You need these drugs.”

This kind of logic and legal protection against their dangerous products is exactly what happened in 1986, when Big Pharma convinced Congress that vaccines were necessary for public health, in spite of the fact that they were causing great harm and sales were slumping, while they were incurring great legal bills in litigation. They threatened Congress to stop manufacturing vaccines due to all the litigation, and Congress obliged by passing legislation that removed all legal liability for damages due to vaccines. That law was then upheld years later, in 2011, by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Today, you cannot sue Big Pharma for damages due to their vaccines, which has resulted in the U.S. administering more vaccines per child than any other country in the world. Without legal protection, the industry would not have survived. Or if it had survived, we would have far fewer and far safer vaccines in the marketplace today.

Instead, we mass vaccinate with an ineffective annual flu vaccine that is crippling hundreds of people a year (see: Government Pays Damages to Vaccine Victims: Flu Shot Most Dangerous with GBS and Death Settlements). The flu shot is being mandated for certain segments of the population as a condition for employment or school, with increasing pressure to mandate forced vaccinations for a greater segment of the population all in the name of “public health safety”.

Is this kind of government protection and mandated drug distribution on the horizon for cholesterol-lowering drugs? You can be sure they will try. It is up to you, the consumer, to stop buying their products now, and to stop voting for people to represent you in Washington D.C. who support Big Pharma.

We are currently living in the Dark Ages when it comes to health freedom, as today’s pharmaceutical companies are the biggest criminals in the marketplace, having reached settlements in criminal medical abuses that reach into the billions of dollars. Yet the government continues to not only recommend their products, but purchase and distribute them with YOUR tax dollars via government funded programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare.

As a consumer, you must resist purchasing these toxic products, and fight against any kind of mandated “health program” that forces you to purchase or take their products. History will look back on these Dark Days of medical tyranny with horror. In the meantime, don’t become a fatality and statistic to the cholesterol drug scam! If you are responsible for caring for any seniors, help them to not become a fatality or statistic as well, by being informed and taking a stand for your rights!


The truth about low carb.

One point you must always stay focused on, is the fact almost all whole fresh food is low carb (with the exception of most fruits and some root vegetables) Some of the great myths regarding a low carb lifestyle, include it's unhealthy, it's restrictive and people cannot stay with it long term. Nothing could be further from the truth. I will never ever accept, eating whole fresh foods from the farm or the sea, can be harmful to anyone's health. The junk masquerading as food, coming out of factories more akin to a petro-chem plant, have played a huge role in the epidemics of obesity and the often linked type two diabetes.

If you accept the above, you have to ask yourself, why are so many dietitians against a low carb diet. Could it be so many dietitians and their organisations are taking money from and are sponsored by junk food companies. 


The low carb teams diet for the last eight years.

Tomato ragù : Lovely with meatballs, or on grilled chicken or lamb

You may already have your own favourite recipe for an easy tomato sauce or shall we call it
ragù ! However, if you haven't, you may like this recipe suggestion by Gino D'Acampo. It's a basic tomato sauce (ragù) that can be used with meatballs, or on grilled chicken or lamb... and it is also great for freezing.

Serves Four
1 x 800g tin plum tomatoes (or 2 x 400g tins)
2 celery sticks
2 carrots
2 onions
1 bay leaf (dried is fine)
handful of basil leaves (optional)
1 glass of water
2 tbsp tomato 
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Finely chop the celery, carrots and onions, fry them gently in a large (tall) pan in olive oil until softened and golden-brown.

2. Add the tomatoes, basil, bay leaf, tomato purée, water, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Mix well, cover with a lid and allow to simmer on a low heat for approximately 30 minutes. (Make sure you stir occasionally). You can blend this sauce with a handheld stick blender (removing the bay leaf first!) or leave it chunky.

Fresh basil leaves just add a wonderful zing to the dish !

Recipe idea from here

Basil is a versatile and widely used aromatic herb. Basil is an annual plant that is easy to grow from seed but is very sensitive to cold. The plant grows well in warm climates and is widely used throughout southern Europe, particularly the Mediterranean, and in many parts of Asia. There are numerous species of basil; some have scents reminiscent of pineapple, lemon, cinnamon or cloves; others have beautiful purple leaves. The variety called holy basil (tulsi) is an essential part of an authentic Thai curry. In Mediterranean regions, basil and tomato is a classic combination. Pesto, made from basil leaves and pine nuts, with parmesan or pecorino cheese and olive oil (traditionally pounded together in a mortar and pestle – the latter lends pesto its name) is another classic dish.

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

All the best Jan

Monday, 24 October 2016

Registered dietitian Chris Cashin has mental capacity questioned.

We have received a complaint to our Low Carb Diabetic forum, un-signed. I presume the complaint was made by Chris Cashin aka Ally5555. Evidently I have suggested she has a mental illness. It would appear Chris Cashin does not know the difference between a statement and a question. To make her complaint even more ridiculous, the question was asked by a person who has never been a member of our forum, namely, the well known low carb expert Ivor Cummins.

Graham had posted on our forum a screen-shot of a tweet made by Ivor on twitter, asking Chris Cashin a question. So, for absolute total clarity, Chris Cashins mental state has not been questioned here, end of!

The complaint talks of harassment, I find it ludicrous that a person who has harassed countless people in the past, with her dire warnings re the low carb diet, yet never offered any constructive criticism based on science. 

The complainant talks of my criticism of her and other dietitians. I have every right to criticise anyone, as they can criticise me. Let us not forget, Cashin has spent years criticising our way of life, and the way we successfully control our diabetes. Always negative and never any sound argument put forward. The screen-shot below was posted by the highly respected Doctor Katharine Morrison a low carb expert, a mod at the time on the forum. It sums up the aforementioned dietitian perfectly, and seven years and forty-nine weeks later, nothing appears to have changed. 

Link to above comment here.
Maybe Chris Cashin would care to join the Low Carb Diabetic forum, and enthral us with her acumen, I suspect hell will freeze over before that happens. So many times we have seen in the past, people who have so much to say on social media, but when questioned or criticised, they press the block or ban button and play the victim card.


Low Carb Chocolate Cookie / Biscuits : Which one would you choose ?

 Number One
 Number Two
 Number Three

For the recipe idea please go across to Libby's 'Ditch the Carbs' site here
Once you've baked the cookie/biscuits allow to cool and then add frosting/icing and decorate anyway you like. Now, I like the dark chocolate (90%) swirls on number two
... but which cookie/biscuit would you choose?

Decorated with dark chocolate

Dark chocolate (cocoa) ..."is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. It's made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.

Studies show that dark chocolate (not the sugary type) can improve health and lower the risk of heart disease.

Dark Chocolate is Very Nutritious:
If you buy quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, then it is actually quite nutritious.
It contains a decent amount of soluble fiber and is loaded with minerals.

A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains:
11 grams of fiber.
67% of the RDA for Iron.
58% of the RDA for Magnesium.
89% of the RDA for Copper.
98% of the RDA for Manganese.
It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium."

Above words and much more about dark chocolate here

Now, although I usually drink tea, I find a nice cup of coffee goes well with one of these cookie/biscuits ... can I make you one ...

All the best Jan

Sunday, 23 October 2016

British children hit by super virulent type 2 diabetes due to unhealthy diet

SUGARY foods and fizzy drinks are leaving an entire generation open to a super virulent form of diabetes, experts warn.

More than 200 under 14s in the UK – some as young as five – were treated for type 2 diabetes last year – a disease normally only associated with the over 50s.

Medics say the situation will only get worse unless children eat more healthily.

And diabetes is a particular concern for children as it affects them more severely than adults.

Hospitals have already seen youngsters admitted with early kidney disease.

The key, doctors agree, is diet – but they warn the country is sitting on a treatment time-bomb which could end up bankrupting the NHS.

Dr Justin Warner, who leads the National Diabetes Audit for England and Wales, run by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “Ten years ago type 2 diabetes in children’s centres was almost unheard of. Now we are seeing hundreds of cases.

“The food industry needs to be regulated by the Government and we need more education in schools.

“Type 2 diabetes in children often presents in a more severe form with complications such as early signs of kidney disease and high blood pressure. This ramifications are huge putting a massive burden on the individual, the family and NHS.”

Professor Philip James, founder of the International Obesity Task Force said: “We are jacking up the next generation of trouble and the NHS cannot cope with the current levels of diabetes and obesity and will be bankrupted by this in the future unless action is taken.”

Dentists are also concerned about youngsters’ diets. More than 45,000 under 14s were hospitalised last year for rotten teeth to be extracted.

Dentist Tony Kilcoyle, a campaigner for better child health, said growing admissions for severe tooth decay were an early warning sign of a child diabetes epidemic.

Tooth extraction is now the number one reason for children being admitted to hospital.

Last year 45,532 were operated on, up nearly twenty per cent on a decade ago.

Dr Kilcoyle said: “It is already tragic now, but over the next ten years the problem of childhood type two diabetes will be epidemic unless urgent action is taken.”

“Children are becoming addicted to sugary foods and fizzy drinks. This rots the teeth first and stores up diabetes in the future.

“Levels of tooth decay are going up. Levels of childhood diabetes are going up. Bad diet is the link.”

Current figures show 533 under-19s were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, including 11 aged five to nine, 204 aged 10-14 and 318 aged 15-19.

About a fifth of five year olds and one in three aged 10 is overweight or obese. Based on current trends, half of all children will be obese or overweight by 2020.

The Government launched an anti-obesity strategy last August to tackle the problem.

Its measures, centred on a sugar tax, rely on voluntary action by the food and drink industry and are shorn of any restrictions on junk food adverts.

But Prof. James said: “We cannot rely on a profit-hungry industry to put the health of the nation first.”


Prawn, smoked-salmon and crab terrine with lemony leaves

Photo Credit: Cristian Barnett
This is a very special no cook recipe suggestion for easy entertaining ... it's a chilled, creamy terrine with crab meat and pre-cooked prawns, served with a mustardy lemon salad. Yum !

Serves Six
3 gelatin leaves
sunflower oil, for greasing
12 small cooked, peeled tiger prawns (about 75g)
400g smoked salmon
25g unsalted butter, softened
150ml double cream
1 tbsp brandy (optional)
few dashes of Worcester sauce
few dashes of hot-pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
100g dry white crabmeat

For the lemon salad:
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
the juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp clear honey (optional)
125g mixed salad leaves

To serve:
small handful of fresh dill leaves
1 chive flower, broken up (optional)
1 lemon
crispbreads, crackers* or wholemeal bread

If you live the LCHF lifestyle why not consider these low carb crackers* see here

Please note - it is important to chill the terrine well for a firm set, which will allow for neat slices. Squeeze any excess water from the crab-meat. You may need a 150g pack of crab-meat to give 100g when squeezed dry.

Please see Sharon Hearne-Smith's original recipe idea and full instructions 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.... 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, 22 October 2016

Ruth B - Lost Boy

I'm getting a bit long in the tooth now but really do like a lot of today's music

St. Paul & The Broken Bones - All I Ever Wonder

Another band that's new to me enjoy !

Les Feuilles Mortes (Autumn Leaves) Andrea Bocelli

Yes, it's Saturday night again, so music night on this blog. I'm starting it off this week with a song that seems so right for this time of year. The autumn leaves with one of my favourite singers.
All the best Jan.

Ten Minute Breakfast / Brunch Omelette : LCHF

Don't you think that weekends are made for a more leisurely breakfast or brunch! Time to sit and enjoy a plateful of healthy and so colourful great food.

Take this breakfast / brunch idea - a colourful plate of food to savour whilst you take time to think about the good things you may have planned for your weekend... and would you believe that this tasty omelette takes no longer than 10 minutes to create! 

Serves Two
4 (free-range) eggs
sea salt and cracked pepper
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup mixed greens (suggestion broccoli, beans & spinach)
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup button mushrooms, halved
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 avocado

See recipe idea and instructions here

If you should need help with measurement equivalents see here

Pumpkin seeds are greenish in colour, and can be eaten raw or cooked both in sweet and savoury dishes. Delicious roasted, or toasted and served on salads. They're rich in protein, iron, zinc and phosphorus. During the autumn, when pumpkins are in season, you can dry your own seeds for use in various dishes.

Hope you may enjoy this omelette suggestion soon ...

... and please don't forget to put the kettle on for your preferred cup of tea or coffee

Happy Weekend
All the best Jan

Friday, 21 October 2016

Cholesterol Capers - the damaging lunacy of the Diet-Heart Hypothesis

Published on Oct 20, 2016
French program on the lunacy of the #cholesterol / diet-heart hypothesis - with English subtitles!


Lemon Yoghurt Cheesecake : The Low Carb Way

This is a very nice recipe idea from Julia McPhee, a fellow blogger, who lives in New Zealand. It's a 'low Carb lemon yoghurt cheesecake', and is a special dessert - for a special occasion! I'm sure you may have one coming soon, if not who needs an excuse to enjoy this low carb dessert?

Serves 12
2.5g carb per serving
1.5 - 2 cups cups Almond meal or almond flour
150 gms Butter (melted)
Juice and rind of 5 medium sized Lemons
2 cups cream
1 cup natural Greek yoghurt (full fat, unsweetened)
2 tsp Natvia (or sweetener of choice)
2 tbsp Gelatin powder
¼ cup boiling water

You will find the instructions here

If you should need help with measurement equivalents see here

Lemons - oval in shape, with a pronounced bulge on one end. They are one of the most versatile fruits around, and contain a high level of Vitamin C.

Although the juicy yellow flesh is a little too sour to eat on its own, its citrus fragrance and tartness means it's wonderful combined with all manner of ingredients and dishes, from the sweet to the savoury. The bright yellow skin can be used as well, when zested. A kitchen essential.

Hope you may enjoy a slice of this cheesecake soon

All the best Jan

Thursday, 20 October 2016

High-Fat Diet Stops Diabetes

Researchers from Lund University Diabetes Centre in Sweden clarified the risk for Type 2 diabetes associated with meat, fish, and dairy.

Scientists studied 26,930 individuals’ dietary data for 14 years; 2,860 cases of diabetes developed.

A large intake of high-fat dairy products was associated with a 23 percent lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, compared to those who consumed one or fewer portions per day.

The authors also found that a large intake of low-fat dairy was associated with a significantly higher risk of Type 2 diabetes than high-fat dairy.

For more than 50 years, we have been told to eat a low-fat diet to lower the risk of heart disease.

Well, they told us wrong.

We followed that advice and lowered our fat intake, and the results could not be worse: We have an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes caused by low-fat dietary recommendations.

Patients need to be educated about which food sources are healthy to eat.

My research has shown that low-fat diets are detrimental in many ways. They not only promote obesity and diabetes, they also cause multiple nutrient imbalances.

The consequences of a low-fat diet can include higher rates of immune dysfunction, cancer, and chronic illness.

We were designed to utilize dietary fat for maintaining cell membranes and providing crucial nutrients to optimize the immune system.

I can make it simple for you: Avoid all low-fat food sources.

Strawberry Scareberries : Great for Halloween

For many it's countdown to Halloween and if you are looking for a friendly food idea then you may like these. If you can get your hands on some strawberries - then these friendly ghouls, made from strawberries, and dipped in Greek yogurt (use black icing for the features), will look good on your Halloween table. The idea could also work with blackberries ...

400g strawberries
500g Greek-style natural yogurt
20 raisins
Black or writing icing


1. Dip each strawberry into the yogurt to cover completely, holding on to the green leafy part.
2. Set carefully on to a lined baking tray, then freeze for 15 minutes. Stick the raisins on for eyes, and pipe a ghost mouth on before serving.

Recipe idea from here

don't forget the pumpkins !
(image from google)

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Big Pharma’s India shadow

The nexus between pharma companies and hospitals in India is pushing up treatment costs while exposing patients to huge, unknown risks

The medical world is in the grip of a fierce debate triggered by the findings of two academic studies both related to the impact on us of statins, the group of drugs which act to reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood and are routinely given to those who have cardiac issues. An article in The Lancet , Interpretation of the evidence for the efficacy and safety of statin therapy, concluded that “statin therapy has been shown to reduce vascular disease risk during each year it continues to be taken, so larger absolute benefits would accrue with more prolonged therapy, and these benefits persist long term.” It de-emphasised the side-effects from prolonged use of the drugs.

On the other hand, an older piece and its more recent follow up in the venerable British Medical Journal (BMJ) stated that “statins have no overall health benefit in this population”, while suggesting that side-effects of statins are very common, perhaps suffered by as many as 20% of people taking them.

While it is difficult to pick sides particularly since both sets of academics appear to have been compromised in some ways by being associated with companies that are either selling these statins or are pushing non-statin cholesterol-reducing drugs, the overwhelming research over the last 20 years supports the BMJ findings. A 2015 investigation,Statin Therapy and Risk of Acute Memory Impairment, concluded that “when compared with matched nonusers of any lipid-lowering drugs (LLDs)… a strong association was present between first exposure to statins and incident acute memory loss diagnosed within 30 days immediately following exposure.”

This latest attack on Big Pharma confirms how in the conflicting demands of drugs for profit and drugs for curing diseases, there can be only one winner and it is certainly not the patient. The harmful impact of silicone breast implants or certain hormone drugs were revealed long after they had been in use for decades. Expecting a pharma company to willingly give up billions of dollars in potential sales is unrealistic. After all, Pfizer’s Lipitor, the original cholesterol-lowering statin, is one of the best selling drugs of all time having grossed over $125 billion in sales for the company. Hence, studies of the kind quoted above are virtually the only lifeline for patients.

That’s sadly not even an option in India where the nexus between pharma companies and hospitals is pushing up treatment costs while exposing patients to huge, unknown risks. Atorvastatin, the generic formulation of Lipitor, is extensively recommended for use in India. Ranbaxy, the original generic pharmaceutical manufacturer of atorvastatin since 2011 (three years after it was acquired by Japanese company Daichi Sankyo where Akira Endo the original creator of statins did his initial work in the 1970s before the Japanese company shelved the project), ran into enough problems with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to suggest that the future well-being of consumers of its products was the last thing on its mind. Indeed, in India, where branded generics dominate the pharma market, constituting nearly 80% of the market share (in terms of revenues), there is little oversight, particularly since generics are not required to replicate the extensive clinical trials that have already been used in the development of the original, brand-name drug. Over the last decade, drug withdrawals from the Indian market have been mainly due to safety issues involving cardiovascular events.

Nor is it any comfort that there are competent agencies in the developed markets that from time to time do blacklist potentially harmful drugs. The typical lag between the banning of a drug in developed markets and in India is 3-5 years.

There is a process in place for this very purpose. Pharmacovigilance, as defined by the World Health Organization, relates to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse events or any other possible drug-related problems. In India, the pharmacovigilance programme is run by the The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), under the ministry of health & family welfare and coordinated by The Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC). The trouble is any such programme relies upon spontaneous reporting by healthcare professionals in an effort to prevent or reduce adverse drug reactions (ADRs). Predictably, that’s not happening in India, where the ADR reporting rate is below 1% compared to the worldwide rate of 5%.

With India emerging as the diabetes and coronary heart disease capital of the world, it is also among the fastest growing markets for pharma products. But as much the benefits of these accrue to Indians, the absence of adequate oversight and monitoring for long-term effects shouldn’t leave the country in the shadow.


Granola Bar Anybody : These are low carb

As I post this it's mid-week, so happy Wednesday to you all. Now, do you ever reach for that naughty shop bought snack bar ... you know at the back of your mind ... you really shouldn't but!!!

Well, how about making your own healthier version? Doesn't it make more sense to reach for "a healthier and lower-carb option to all the sugary bars out there. Make your own bars with nuts, seeds, healthy fats and truly dark chocolate." As one of the grand-children says 'Grandma it's yum and good for my tum' LOL !

If you'd like to give these home-made granola bars a try here is what you will need:
20 servings
10 oz. mixed nuts and seeds
2 oz. unsweetened shredded (grated) coconut
2 oz. dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa solids
6 tablespoons coconut oil
4 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 pinch sea salt
2 eggs
3 oz. dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa solids, for garnish (optional)

Please see the cooking instructions at Diet Doctor site here

A healthy nut and seed mix could consist of equal parts of almonds/hazel nuts/macadamia nuts, pecan nuts/walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds.

The tahini (sesame paste) can be substituted with almond or nut butter. But remember that peanut butter has a lot more carbohydrates than sesame paste.

You may also be interested in reading about Low Carb Breakfast Cereals have a look here

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

New study links protein in wheat to the inflammation of chronic health conditions

Scientists have discovered that a protein in wheat triggers the inflammation of chronic health conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, and also contributes towards the development of non-coeliac gluten sensitivity.

With past studies commonly focusing on gluten and its impact on digestive health, this new research, presented at UEG Week 2016, turns the spotlight onto a different family of proteins found in wheat called amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs). The study shows that the consumption of ATIs can lead to the development of inflammation in tissues beyond the gut, including the lymph nodes, kidneys, spleen and brain. Evidence suggests that ATIs can worsen the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis,multiple sclerosis, asthma, lupus and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as inflammatory bowel disease.

ATIs make up no more than 4% of wheat proteins, but can trigger powerful immune reactions in the gut that can spread to other tissues in the body. Lead researcher, Professor Detlef Schuppan from the Johannes Gutenberg University, Germany, explains, "As well as contributing to the development of bowel-related inflammatory conditions, we believe that ATIs can promote inflammation of other immune-related chronic conditions outside of the bowel. The type of gut inflammation seen in non-coeliac gluten sensitivity differs from that caused by coeliac disease, and we do not believe that this is triggered by gluten proteins. Instead, we demonstrated that ATIs from wheat, that are also contaminating commercial gluten, activate specific types of immune cells in the gut and other tissues, thereby potentially worsening the symptoms of pre-existing inflammatory illnesses".

Clinical studies are now due to commence to explore the role that ATIs play on chronic health conditions in more detail. "We are hoping that this research can lead us towards being able to recommend an ATI-free diet to help treat a variety of potentially serious immunological disorders" adds Professor Schuppan.

ATIs and Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity

Further to inflaming chronic health conditions outside of the bowel, ATIs may contribute to the development on non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. This condition is now an accepted medical diagnosis for people who do not have coeliac disease but benefit from a gluten free diet. Intestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain and irregular bowel movements, are frequently reported, which can make it difficult to distinguish from IBS. However, extraintestinal symptoms can assist with diagnosis, which include headaches, joint pain and eczema. These symptoms typically appear after the consumption of gluten-containing food and improve rapidly on a gluten-free diet. Yet, gluten does not appear to cause the condition.

Professor Schuppan hopes that the research will also help to redefine non-coeliac gluten sensitivity to a more appropriate term. He explains, "Rather than non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, which implies that gluten solitarily causes the inflammation, a more precise name for the disease should be considered."


Butternut squash soup with ricotta dumplings

This recipe suggestion is by Sarah Randell, at Sainsbury's magazine. It is a chunky butternut soup with ricotta dumplings, and makes a filling meal and a particularly fine autumn / winter lunch ... the amount of carbohydrate per serving is 21.6g so some, living the LCHF lifestyle, may find this too much ... but as always dear reader, the choice is yours.

Serves Four
1 medium butternut squash
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra
4 shallots, chopped
2 sticks of celery chopped
25 g butter, plus extra
750 ml vegetable stock
a few whole sage leaves

For the ricotta dumplings:
250 g ricotta
1 large egg yolk
3 tbsp grated pecorino
3 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp finely chopped sage

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Peel and de-seed the squash; cut three-quarters into chunks and season. Roast for 35-40 minutes in a tin with half the oil. Dice the remaining squash.
2. Soften the shallots and celery in the butter and remaining oil. Purée the roast squash in a blender with half the stock; add to the shallots and celery with all the stock and diced squash; simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Combine the dumpling ingredients. In a frying pan, fry spoonfuls of the mixture in butter and oil over a low-medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side. Fry the whole sage leaves in butter.
4. Serve the soup topped with the dumplings and frizzled sage leaves.

Get ahead: make to the end of step 2 up to 2 days ahead; you can freeze the soup at this point, too.

Each serving provides
21.6g carbohydrate 3.4g fibre 10.4g protein 26.0g fat

Recipe idea from here

The colour of downy sage leaves and their flavour varies but, in essence, sage is a very strongly aromatic and slightly bitter herb that can withstand long cooking times without losing its flavour.

The strong flavour of sage means that a little goes a long way, especially if you're using dried leaves, so use sparingly. Sage goes well with pork, beef, duck and chicken recipes, and fatty meats in particular. In Italy it is commonly chopped, mixed with melted butter and served stirred into pasta or gnocchi. Fry sage leaves with liver or kidneys, or try dipping them into a light batter and deep-frying - they can be used to garnish dishes or eaten as a snack.

Words and picture about sage taken from here

As regular readers will know, 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.... 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

Monday, 17 October 2016

Butter, cheese sales soar on popularity of high-fat, low-carb diet

A steep rise in sales of high fat dairy products including butter and cheese seems to be related to the growing popularity of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, industry officials said Sunday, citing recent data.

Sales of high-fat products such as butter, cheese and pork belly have sharply grown since mid-September, according to E-mart, a supermarket chain of retail giant Shinsegae Group.

Butter was the most popular item, with a 41.4 percent jump in sales compared to the same period last year, followed by cheese and pork belly, which saw sales increase by 10.3 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively.

“All three items’ sales rates were on (a) minus level this year, until the new diet trend hit the nation last month,” said an E-mart official.

High-fat, low-carb diets became popular after a TV documentary “Fat Under Unfavorable Name” was aired by Munhwa Broadcasting System on Sept. 19 and 26. It featured people who lost up to 90 kilograms through a diet of plenty of cheese, butter and meat, but little to no carbs. It also claimed that “quality” fat is helpful for weight loss, unlike conventional belief.

Retailers are trying to meet growing demand for high-fat products.

Within the past two weeks, Lotte Food received orders to make 220 tons of processed butter, exceeding the firm’s average monthly production of 150 tons. The firm accounts for 80 percent of the domestic processed butter market, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Meanwhile, rice sales recently plunged to reach its lowest monthly level of minus 37 percent, according to E-mart. Rice sales have been in a slump for years, due to the growing popularity of the Western diet.


Beef Bourguignon ... is so low carb.

Some readers may have already seen and tried this lovely low carb dish, it's one of our favourites, but you can never have too much of a good thing - can you? It is delicious, why not give it a try.


Serves Two
250 grams of diced braising steak
A handful of shallots
A handful of button mushrooms
50 grams of smoked bacon lardons
1 teaspoon of mixed dried herbs
1 bay leaf (optional)
2 beef stock cubes
1 large glass of red wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1 table spoon of olive oil

Heat the oil (to medium heat)in a frying pan. Add the shallots and mushrooms, fry/saute until golden brown, Remove from pan into oven proof casserole dish.

Add bacon lardons to pan and cook until they are lightly browned, add to casserole dish.

Finally put diced beef into frying pan and lightly brown each side of cubed beef then put into casserole dish.

Make up the beef stock to approx. half to three quarters of a pint, but the red wine should make up about half of the liquid.Bring to a gentle simmer in the frying pan and add the mixed herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Pour over the ingredients in the casserole dish, add your bay leaf (optional). Cover and cook for approx two to two and a half hours at Regulo 4 Electric 180 stirring after the first hour. Serve with steamed broccoli and white cabbage or vegetables of your choice.

Delicious, very easy to make and very low carb.

Hope you enjoy it.

All the best Jan

Sunday, 16 October 2016

The Story of Fat: Why we were Wrong about Health

This is the story of how we came to be afraid of fat and cholesterol & Why the anti fat mindset has made a lot of people's health worse.

Read more here:


Provencal Pumpkin Tian : Lovely Autumn / Fall Food

I thought this perfect for this time of year. A creamy starter, or side dish, for 6 people. It works really well with roast meats and chicken - perhaps for Sunday lunch - or even a mid-week meal, read on and see what you think!

Serves Six

8g carb per serving

750g seeded pumpkin (weight with skin but without seeds and fibres)
pinch of grated nutmeg
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
25g (vegetable) oil
1 tbsp plain flour
250ml milk
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
85g Gruyere cheese, grated
handful of flaked almonds

salt/pepper for seasoning

1. Preheat the oven to fan 180C/conventional 200C/ gas 6. Peel the pumpkin and cut the flesh into smallish pieces. Put it in a pan with about 6 tbsp water. Put the lid on and steam for 15-20 minutes until very soft.
2. Mash with a masher or fork, season and add the nutmeg. If it is watery, return to the heat and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
3. While the pumpkin is steaming, fry the onion in a medium-sized saucepan in the butter and oil for about 10 minutes, until softened but not brown. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually pour in the milk, a little at a time, stirring all the time to prevent lumps from forming, and cook over a low heat until the sauce thickens. 
4. Mix the white sauce with the pumpkin and the egg, and beat well, add seasoning if required. Pour into a well buttered small ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle over the cheese and almonds and bake for 40 minutes, or until slightly firm and golden on top.

Serve as a starter, or as a side dish with meat, and perhaps cabbage or another vegetable(s) of your choice ...

Recipe idea from 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.

You may be interested in reading 'Introduction to low-carb for beginners', see it here

All the best Jan

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Katie Melua - Dreams On Fire

Finishing of Saturday night one of my favourite singers, have a good weekend