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Saturday, 21 October 2017

Cauliflower Bake : Vegan Style Recipe

Rachel Morrow says ... 'Cauliflower has been one of her favourite vegetables to recreate into new dishes over and over again! It's amazing what you can do with this humble vegetable that too often gets neglected in the bottom of the vegetable drawer.' You may wish to try this vegan style cauliflower bake recipe ...

1/2 head cauliflower, broken into florets
1/2 cup cashew nuts, soaked overnight
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp turmeric (If you don't have any turmeric, a little Moroccan spice mix works well)
1 tbsp. coconut oil, plus a little extra
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
Pinch of Salt

1. Lightly steam your cauliflower and then place into a baking dish.
2. In a small pot on a medium heat, sauté the onion, and garlic in the coconut oil until golden brown.
3. Add the vegetable broth, turmeric and salt, allow to simmer on a low heat. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
4. In a blender, add the cashew nuts, nutritional yeast and vegetable broth mix.
5. Blend until smooth and creamy then pour this mixture over the top of your cauliflower in the baking dish, spreading evenly.
6. Grill for 5-8 minutes, or until golden brown.

Please see Rachel's original recipe here
For help with weight and measurement conversion see here

You may also like to see this LCHF Cauliflower Cheese recipe, it's made using double cream and cheese, and is delicious - recipe suggestion here

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

All the best Jan

Friday, 20 October 2017

Ghoulish Goulash Stew : Perfect For Halloween

If you are looking for a perfect Halloween recipe to tuck into after a night of trick or treating, then look no further! This ghoulishly good stew, complete with creepy eyeballs made from stuffed olives, is packed with succulent lamb and flavoured with chilli and paprika for a warming, spicy kick... Yum!

Serves Four
2 tbsp. olive oil
600g (1lb) diced lamb leg
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 - 1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped (depending on taste)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
750ml (1 1/4pt) lamb or vegetable stock
2 medium beetroot, peeled
250g (8oz) butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and chopped
1 large red pepper, de-seeded and sliced
10 Pimento stuffed olives, halved
handful parsley or chives, finely chopped
soured cream, to serve
crusty bread, to serve - optional

1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Heat 1 1/2 tbsp. of the oil in a large shallow casserole dish, season the lamb and brown well on all sides. Remove and set aside.
2. Add the remaining oil and the onion to the pan and soften for 5 minutes. Stir through the garlic, chilli and spices, fry for a couple of minutes. Now pour over the tinned tomatoes and stock, season generously with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar and stir well.
3. Wrap the raw beetroot in a foil parcel and cook in the oven for 1hr 30mins. Bring the stew up to boil then cover with a lid and simmer over a gentle heat for 45 minutes (adding a splash more water if it needs it). Add the squash and pepper, cover and return to the heat for 45 minutes more, after which time the lamb should be really tender and the sauce thickened.
4. Remove the beetroot from the oven, chop and stir it through the stew. Taste and season as necessary. Scatter over the halved olives (as eyeballs) and fresh parsley. Serve with soured cream and (optional) crusty bread.

Nutritional Information:
Carbohydrate 19.3g Protein 32.6g Fibre 3.8g Fat 27.2g
From an original idea here

Dear reader - please be aware that you will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas within this blog. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

image from here
Enjoy the Autumn Season

All the best Jan

Ten Sources Of Low-Carb Protein For Vegetarians

Libby at 'Ditch the Carbs' site writes: "Quality low-carb protein for vegetarians can be hard to find. These are my top 10 sources and a handy infographic – scroll below to see the comprehensive guide of 33 protein sources for low-carb vegetarians and pescatarians.

Many vegetarians are unknowingly high carb, low protein, especially those who don’t have well formulated meals.

Traditional foods many vegetarians eat, such as grains, bread, pasta, rice, fruit and legumes, are high in carbs. Quinoa for example – 1 cup of cooked quinoa provides 8g protein but an astounding 35g carbs.

Click here  to see the full infographic - use the zoom!

Soy, another classic vegetarian protein source, is generally avoided by many due to the increasing research that is showing a link between their phytoestrogens disrupting both male and female hormones.

The debate over the health benefits/harm from soy and tofu can be a polarising argument due to the conflicting research (and who has paid for it to be published).

Soy, tofu and protein powders are highly processed, that is another factor to be taken into consideration.

So what are some healthy low carb protein options that vegetarians can enjoy? And how can you formulate a balanced low-carb vegetarian diet?

It can be done with a little planning and forethought. You may not be as low carb as some, but you can enjoy a balance of vegetarian ideals, with a lower carb goal.

10 sources of low-carb protein for vegetarians:
To become a low-carb vegetarian, begin by simply cutting back on the bread, pasta, rice, fruit, dried fruit that many vegetarians rely on, and all sweet dishes. No more juice, fruit based smoothies and bliss balls. No more tomato sauce and pasta. These are not well formulated meals.

Go for fully loaded salads with cheese, nuts, eggs and fish (if you are pescatarian and happy to consume this). Add some seeds, enjoy some natural yoghurt, sprinkle chia seeds or hemp seeds over the top.

Add plenty of healthy plant based fats on your meals" ...

Please continue reading all of Libby's article here

She also has a great recipe for a LCHF vegetarian Spinach and Feta Pie,
it's so incredibly colourful, delicious, healthy and nutritious.
What is even better, it is super easy to make - see here

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

All the best Jan

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Courgette / Zucchini Crab Melts : Low Carb / Keto

If you are already living the LCHF lifestyle, you will know that courgettes / zucchini are low in carbs, just 2g. carb per 100g, and they are probably high up on your must buy shopping (or growing) list. They may not pack the nutritional punch of other green vegetables (broccoli, kale etc.) but they do contain significant levels of potassium to control blood pressure and vitamin C to boost your immune system.

There are so many ways you can incorporate these vegetables into your recipes, for example take this suggestion ... 

Serves Four
7g carb per serving
2 courgettes / zucchini
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 oz. / 75 g celery stalks
1 red bell pepper
12 oz. / 350 g canned crab meat
¾ cup / 175 ml mayonnaise or crème fraiche
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
7 oz. / 200 g shredded (grated) cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
4 oz. / 110 g baby spinach
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

This delicious melt dish can also be made with canned tuna, lobster, or even chicken or ham... what a choice!

You can see the recipe instructions at Diet Doctor Site here

Did you know that "Baby spinach" is a term typically used to describe spinach that has been harvested during a fairly early stage of plant growth, usually between 15-35 days after planting. We're usually familiar with baby spinach in the grocery store because of its small leaves, tender texture, and sweet taste in comparison with mature, fully formed spinach leaves. (For these mature spinach leaves, the harvest dates are usually between 40-65 days.)

image of baby spinach from here

Research has shown that the concentration of nutrients in spinach may vary. Some studies show that baby spinach to be more concentrated than mature spinach in nutrients like vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavonoids while others show the opposite. What seems to impact this variation is the soil, the season, and the climate in which the spinach grows. So, we can't say that either baby spinach or mature spinach is categorically richer in nutrients than the other.

There had been research showing that baby spinach had lower levels of oxalic acid. Yet, other studies have shown the opposite, that in fact some samples have higher levels. Therefore, like with the nutrients, we can't categorically say that baby spinach is higher or lower in oxalates. The levels of oxalates formed depend upon a variety of factors.

While the research currently doesn't allow for conclusions, here's what we know. We see all types of spinach as nutrient-rich additions to your Healthiest Way of Eating. We also prefer to use the delicate leaves of baby spinach in salads while using mature spinach when we quick cook this delightful vegetable. We feel that this is the best way to enjoy the unique tastes and features of these different variations of spinach.

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

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

A Nine-Year Collaboration Has Just Shown How Sugar Influences Cancer Cell Growth

There's a long-known relationship between cancer and sugar, but figuring out exactly how it works has proven elusive. Now, thanks to a nine-year research project, scientists have made a breakthrough.

They've narrowed down the mechanism whereby cancer cells metabolise sugar.

The focus of the new research was on a metabolic effect that has been understood for over 90 years.

We know that almost all the cells in the human body require energy, and they derive this energy from the sugars in the food we eat. Cancer cells also require sugars to grow. But their glucose intake is a lot higher than that of healthy cells, as is the rate at which they ferment that glucose into lactic acid.

This is known as the Warburg effect, and it may, scientists have hypothesised, have something to do with cancer's rapid growth rate. But it's hard to determine whether the Warburg effect is a symptom or a cause of cancer.

It's been proposed that the growth of cancer cells may be stymied by starving them of sugar, but the problem with that is there's currently no method of cutting off the supply to cancer cells while keeping it open to normal cells.

This is why the biological mechanism behind the increased glucose metabolism is important. It may hold the key to starving cancer cells while keeping healthy cells functioning. We're not there yet, but this research brings us a critical step closer.

"Our research reveals how the hyperactive sugar consumption of cancerous cells leads to a vicious cycle of continued stimulation of cancer development and growth," said researcher Johan Thevelein from KU Leuven in Belgium.

"Thus, it is able to explain the correlation between the strength of the Warburg effect and tumour aggressiveness. This link between sugar and cancer has sweeping consequences. Our results provide a foundation for future research in this domain, which can now be performed with a much more precise and relevant focus."

The team used yeast cells for its research – specifically looking at the 'Ras' gene family, a family of genes that is present in all animal cells, including human cancer cells. This makes the study of Ras mutations in yeast an increasingly useful tool in cancer research.

Yeast also has highly active sugar metabolism, yet doesn't have the additional regulatory processes of mammalian cells that can conceal underlying processes.

"We observed in yeast that sugar degradation is linked via the intermediate fructose 1,6-biophosphate to the activation of Ras proteins, which stimulate the multiplication of both yeast and cancer cells. It is striking that this mechanism has been conserved throughout the long evolution of yeast cell to human," Thevelein said.

In lay terms, the researchers found that the yeast that had an overactive influx of glucose caused the Ras proteins to activate too much, which would then allow the cells to grow at an accelerated rate.

He was, however, careful to note that this research, while important, is one step in a much larger process - and that a breakthrough in research is not the same thing as a medical breakthrough.

"The findings are not sufficient to identify the primary cause of the Warburg effect," he added. "Further research is needed to find out whether this primary cause is also conserved in yeast cells."

The team's research has been published in the journal Nature Communications.


Welcome to my mid-week mix, and some low carb cookie biscuits!

I thought ... goodness it's Wednesday already!
So welcome to my mid-week mix

out locally on a grey day I spotted these slightly faded rose blooms

Yes our Autumn visitor is back - seen this week tucking into his/her favourite seeds

Winchester Cathedral looking good in the Autumn Light (image from the web)

now this looks a welcoming cup of tea ...

and one of these cookie biscuits will go well with it
only 2 net carbs per cookie biscuit for this low carb version of chocolate chip cookies,
you may like to give this recipe a try, more details here

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Salads are Healthier with Full-Fat Dressing

Thinking you’re doing yourself a favour by choosing a low-fat salad dressing? It is time to think again!

A new study finds that you absorb more nutrients from vegetables if you choose a full-fat dressing, compared to a low-fat variant.

The study assessed the vegetables’ bioavailability – the proportion of the nutrients that are actually absorbed by your digestive system after you eat a certain food. A food with a low bioavailability wouldn’t provide your body with much nutrition, while a food with higher bioavailability gives you more bang for the buck.

The bioavailability of vegetables dressed with full-fat dressings was much higher than that of vegetables without fatty dressing. So eating those under-dressed vegetables could be less efficient for you than enjoying a fattier bed of greens.

Above words also seen/from Diet Doctor site

All the best Jan

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Roasted Red Pepper, Capers and Herbs

How about this lovely plateful of food, which works out at just 6g carb per serving! It's chicken breasts stuffed with a mix of red pepper, caper, and herbs with a white wine-shallot sauce.

Serves Four
2 oz. roasted red peppers with brine
1 tbsp. capers
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp ground thyme
½ tsp minced garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pinch salt
1 pinch black pepper
2 tbsp. chopped shallots (You can substitute onion for the shallot)
1/4 cup white wine
¼ cup (no salt) chicken broth
1 tbsp. chopped parsley

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. 190º C. Gas Mark 5
2. Peel and mince shallots and set aside.
3. Dice peppers.
4. In small bowl, mix peppers, capers, rosemary, thyme, garlic, and 1 teaspoon oil. Set aside.
5. Slice horizontal pouch in each breast. Portion stuffing among the breasts, and stuff. Season breasts with salt and pepper.
6. In large, oven-proof skillet (frying type pan), add 1 teaspoon oil and heat over medium-high. Sauté chicken 6 minutes per side.
7. Transfer skillet/pan to oven. Cook 6 minutes. Remove from oven and return to cook top.
8. Transfer chicken to plate and cover to keep warm.
9. Return skillet/pan to medium heat, add shallots and cook 1 minute. Add wine and broth, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes.
10. Return chicken to skillet/pan, cover, and simmer 2 minutes. Serve chicken with sauce and garnish with parsley.
... delicious, hope you may enjoy this dish soon.

Nutrition Information - Per serving:
6g carbohydrates; 1g fibre; 1g saturated fat; 30g protein;

From an original recipe here

For help with weight and measurement conversion please see here

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

All the best Jan

Monday, 16 October 2017

Cheese-steak Casserole : Low In Carbs

How about this combination of rib-eye, Provolone cheese, peppers and onions, served up as a tasty casserole - it's just 9g carbs per serving!

Serves Four
9g carbs per serving
4 oz. / 110 g butter
2⁄3 lb / 300 g mushrooms
1 yellow (white) onion
2 green bell peppers
1 lb / 450 g rib-eye steak*, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
7 oz. / 200 g shredded (grated) provolone cheese
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons unsweetened (low carb) marinara sauce
6 oz. / 175 g leafy greens
4 tablespoons olive oil

* you could swap out the rib-eye for deli roast beef for an even quicker meal.

Please see full recipe instructions at Diet Doctor site here

Did you know that "Italian seasoning is a spice mixture popular in many parts of the world that attempts to capture some of the most common flavours of Italian cooking. It is typically sold as a dried herb mix. It can contain a wide range of ingredients, but rosemary, oregano, thyme, and marjoram are usually some of the most common. As its name suggests, cooks use it most often in Italian cooking, but many people also consider it to be something of a kitchen “staple” that can add a quick flavour boost to many different meals." Read more here

All the best Jan

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Greek Salad Omelette - a taste of Greece in your own home !

How about enjoying a taste of Greece in your own home with this recipe suggestion, it's very quick and simple, and can be enjoyed anytime! Many may think this perfect for a mid-week meal. You'll just love how the feta melts when put under the grill ... yum!

Serves Four
10 eggs
handful of parsley leaves, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
3 tomatoes, chopped into large chunks
large handful black olives, (pitted are easier to eat)
100g feta cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper

1. Heat the grill to high. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl with the chopped parsley, pepper and salt. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, then fry the onion wedges over a high heat for about 4 mins until they start to brown around the edges. Throw in the tomatoes and olives and cook for 1-2 mins until the tomatoes begin to soften.
2. Turn the heat down to medium and pour in the eggs. Cook the eggs in the pan, stirring them as they begin to set, until half cooked, but still runny in places – about 2 mins. Scatter over the feta, then place the pan under the grill for 5-6 mins until omelette is puffed up and golden. Cut into wedges and serve straight from the pan.

Make it meaty, for a non-vegetarian version why not ripple over slices of ham or bacon before scattering over the feta, then grill until crispy.

Nutritional details:
Fat 28g Carbs 5g Protein 24g

Recipe idea from here

optional - a glass of retsina may go well

χαρούμενος τρώει !

All the best Jan

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Kaleo - Way Down We Go

Saturday's here again and my offering comes from an Icelandic rock band, enjoy your weekend folks

David Bowie - Let's Dance

Nice to remember one of the very best, at his best. Eddie

Queen + Zucchero - Everybody's got to learn sometime

They say the older we get, the faster time fly's, this week has gone by in a flash. So, Saturday night again and music night on this blog. I may have posted this before, but hey ho I like it, enjoy. Eddie

Berry Pie : Low Carb - Keto

If you live the LCHF lifestyle then regular type pie crusts do not feature in your menu plans. Instead you look for the lower carb versions like this one featured here.

Serving Size 10
1 cup (2 sticks of butter melted and cooled - 1 stick of butter is the equivalent of 4 ounces/113grams)
4 large eggs
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ cups coconut flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon of water
Filling Ingredients
1 ½ cups of berries e.g. blueberries, raspberries (you can use mulberries)
2 tablespoons of sugar substitute (e.g. Swerve)
1 8 ounce package of room temperature *neufchâtel cream cheese or regular cream cheese 

Crust Instructions
1. Mix all the ingredients of the low carb crust just until dough forms.
2. Divide dough in half to make the top and bottom of the pie crust.
3. Roll out with between two sheets of parchment (grease-proof) paper. Set aside.
4. Transfer one crust into a 9-inch pie pan. Being careful to smooth out any cracks.
5. Once you add the filling to the pie and the top crust
Pie Instructions
1. Pre-heat oven to 350º F / 180º C / Gas Mark 4
2. Place half the rolled low carb dough into a 9-inch pie pan.
3. Spread the cream cheese to the bottom of the crust.
4. Add the berries that have been mixed with the 2 tablespoons of sugar substitute over the cream cheese layer.
5. Top the pie with the other half of the rolled-out dough. Make sure to add vents to the top of the crust.
6. Bake for 25 minutes until the topping is lightly brown.
7. Allow to cool before slicing.
8. Store in the refrigerator

Nutrition Facts - one slice
Total Fat 28.8g Total Carbohydrate 2.3g Protein 4.8g

*Neufchâtel is a cream cheese that is a little sweeter than regular cream cheese and has less carbs; go figure! You can certainly just use regular cream cheese if you can’t readily find it. What’s more If you don’t’ have access to mulberries you can substitute with your favourite berry. Any berry would work with this simple yet delicious pie.

Not familiar with mulberries? Well mulberry trees grow throughout the eastern half of the United States and in many cases in the wild. The flavour tastes like a cross between blueberry and raspberries. They are also very high in vitamin C, 61% of the RDA as well as 23% of the RDA for iron! Not to mention the antioxidants and phytochemicals. That’s a lot of nutrition in a little serving of mulberries.

For help with weight and measurement conversion please see here

The original recipe idea, and more, can be seen on the 'Fit To Serve' Site here

All the best Jan

Arthritis - Ten of the Best Foods to Eat

If you have arthritis, you know just how devastating this condition can be.

Arthritis is a term for a class of diseases that cause pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It can affect people of all ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds.

There are many different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is one type, which develops in joints with overuse. Another type is rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks your joints.

Fortunately, there are many foods that can ease inflammation and may help relieve some of the joint pain associated with arthritis.

In fact, one survey found that 24% of those with rheumatoid arthritis reported that their diet had an impact on the severity of their symptoms.

This article will look at 10 of the best foods to eat if you have arthritis.

1. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish varieties such ass salmon, mackerel, sardines and trout are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory effects.
Fish is also a good source of vitamin D, which can help prevent deficiency. Multiple studies have found that rheumatoid arthritis may be associated with low levels of vitamin D, which could contribute to symptoms.
Summary: Fatty fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, both of which may be beneficial for reducing inflammation and the severity of arthritis symptoms.

2. Garlic
Garlic is jam-packed with health benefits. Additionally, garlic has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect that may help decrease symptoms of arthritis.
Summary: Human and test-tube studies have found garlic may possess anti-inflammatory properties, and that eating it may be associated with a decreased risk of osteoarthritis.

3. Ginger
Besides adding a burst of flavour to teas, soups and sweets, ginger may also help ease the symptoms of arthritis.
A 2001 study assessed the effects of ginger extract in 261 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. After six weeks, 63% of participants experienced improvements in knee pain. Consuming ginger in fresh, powdered or dried form
may reduce inflammation and aid in reducing symptoms of arthritis.
Summary: Ginger has been shown to reduce symptoms of arthritis. Test-tube and animal studies have also found it may decrease inflammation, but more research in humans is needed.

4. Broccoli
It's no secret that broccoli is one of the healthiest foods out there. In fact, it may even be associated with reduced inflammation. One study that looked at the diets of 1,005 women found that the intake of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli was associated with decreased levels of inflammatory markers.
Summary: Broccoli has been associated with reduced inflammation. It also contains sulforaphane, which may have anti-inflammatory properties, according to test-tube studies. More research is needed to look at the effects of broccoli in humans.

5. Walnuts
Walnuts are nutrient-dense and loaded with compounds that may help reduce the inflammation associated with joint disease.
Summary: Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which could alleviate arthritis symptoms as well as inflammation.

6. Berries
Tons of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals are crammed into each serving of berries, which may partially account for their unique ability to decrease inflammation. In one study of 38,176 women, those who ate at least two servings of strawberries per week were 14% less likely to have an elevated level of inflammatory markers in the blood.
Fortunately, if you want to take advantage of these impressive health benefits, there's a wide variety of berries to choose from. Strawberries, blackberries and blueberries are just a few options that can satisfy your sweet tooth and provide plenty of arthritis-fighting nutrients.
Summary: Berries contain antioxidants that have been shown to decrease arthritis-related inflammatory markers in test-tube and animal studies.

7. Spinach
Leafy greens like spinach are full of nutrients, and some of their components may actually be able to help decrease inflammation caused by arthritis. Several studies have found that a higher intake of fruits and vegetables is linked to lower levels of inflammation. Spinach, in particular, contains plenty of antioxidants as well as plant compounds that can relieve inflammation and help fight disease. Spinach is especially high in the antioxidant kaempferol, which has been shown to decrease the effects of the inflammatory agents associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Summary: Spinach is rich in antioxidants, including kaempferol. Test-tube studies have found that kaempferol can reduce inflammation and slow the progression of osteoarthritis.

8. Grapes
Grapes are nutrient-dense, high in antioxidants and possess anti-inflammatory properties.
Summary: Grapes have anti-inflammatory properties and contain compounds that may help reduce inflammation. However, additional studies in humans are needed.

9. Olive Oil
Well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, olive oil may have a favourable effect on arthritis symptoms. Although more research is needed on the effects of olive oil on arthritis, including olive oil and other healthy fats in your diet can definitely benefit your health, and may also reduce arthritis symptoms.
Summary: Olive oil has been shown to reduce inflammation and may be associated with a lower risk of arthritis. One animal study found that it may slow arthritis progression and ease symptoms.

10. Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice is an increasingly popular beverage derived from the fruit of the Prunus cerasus tree. This potent juice offers a wide array of nutrients and health benefits, and may even help reduce the symptoms of arthritis. In a study, drinking tart cherry juice for three weeks reduced the levels of inflammatory markers in 20 women with osteoarthritis. Be sure to look for an unsweetened variety of tart cherry juice to make sure you don’t consume excess added sugar. In combination with a healthy diet and other arthritis-fighting foods, a serving of unsweetened tart cherry juice per day may help decrease some of the symptoms of arthritis.
Summary: Studies show that tart cherry juice could lower inflammation and alleviate some symptoms of arthritis.

The Bottom Line
It's clear that diet can play a major role in arthritis severity and symptoms. Luckily, a variety of foods with powerful components may offer relief from inflammation and arthritis — while also promoting overall health. Along with conventional treatments, eating a nutritious diet containing healthy fats, a few servings of fatty fish and plenty of produce may help reduce some symptoms of arthritis.

Words above are taken from an article by Rachael Link MS RD.
You can read her full article with all relevant information and research links 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 also be interested in reading our post 'Introduction to Low Carb for Beginners', see here

All the best Jan

Friday, 13 October 2017

Chicken Casserole : Slow cooker recipe

I know many regular readers have slow cookers, with favourite recipes they enjoy. I happened upon this recipe idea, and thought it worth sharing. Chicken cooked in a rich tomato sauce with sweet paprika and smoky chorizo, this easy slow cooker chicken casserole recipe is cooked with butter beans, celery and tomatoes ...

Here is what you need to feed four:
600g (1lb 3oz) skinless, boneless chicken thigh fillets
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. smoked sweet paprika
1 x 225g pack Spanish chorizo ring, sliced into rounds
2 red onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp. plain flour
pinch saffron (optional)
2 chicken stock cubes, made up to 600ml (1pt)
70g (3oz) tomato purée
250g (8oz) baby plum tomatoes
3 celery sticks, cut into 3cm (1in) pieces
2 x 400g tins butterbeans, rinsed and drained
large handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Here is what you do:
1. Set your slow cooker to medium. Coat the chicken in 1 tbsp. olive oil and paprika. Season with salt and pepper and then set aside.
2. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat and add the chorizo, cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium, add the onions and cook for a further 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and flour, cook for 1 minute, then remove from the pan and set aside.
3. Put the saffron (if using) in a small glass and pour over 2 tbsp. boiling water to infuse.
4. Heat the same frying pan used to cook the chorizo and onions on a medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and brown on each side for 1 minute or until golden.
5. Add the chicken, chorizo and onions to the slow cooker. Pour over the stock and tomato puree. Add the baby plum tomatoes, celery and saffron-infused water (if using). Stir well to combine, cover with the lid and cook for 2.5-3 hours or until the chicken is very tender.
6. Add the butter beans, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Divide the casserole into bowls and top with chopped parsley.

Serving suggestions? Well I think it looks perfect, but some may like a slice of low carb seedy bread
Original chicken recipe can be seen here

Did you know that butter beans are high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and thiamine, they are also a good source of protein.

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

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Dr. David Unwin - resolving Diabetes and Obesity

Ivor Cummins
Published on Oct 9, 2017

Do you want to know the cheapest, simplest method for resolving Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity? A method which empowers and motivates the patient to save themselves - without being pickled with pharmaceuticals?

Well then you need to listen to the doctor who figured it out some years back, and is saving people left, right and centre. And these people love him for it - as well they should. Humble and elegant, possessed of an enormous technical ability that can deploy new scientific push back the tsunami of diabetes, obesity and CVD in our society. He rather reminds me of Professor John Yudkin. But Yudkin was beaten back through no fault of his own. Whereas David will prevail. Because David is supported by an army. A fighting force which will win this battle against disease-breeding foods for once and for all. "Call us legion...for we are many." Please support my ongoing work by subscribing at - free and will always be free !


Pumpkin, Kale and Goats' Cheese Frittata : Low Carb & Gluten Free

Yes, it's pumpkin season ... and this delicious gluten-free frittata is ideal for a light lunch or supper, goes well served with a green salad. 

Serves Four
600 g pumpkin or squash (approx. 500g) cut into 1.5cm pieces
3 tbsp. olive oil
100 g curly leaf kale
6 large eggs
200 ml double (heavy) cream
25 g grated parmesan (or a vegetarian hard cheese alternative)
0.25 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 garlic clove, crushed
150 g tub soft French goats' cheese (or vegetarian alternative)

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas mark 7. Put the pumpkin in a shallow roasting tin, toss with two tablespoons of olive oil, season well, and roast for 20-25 minutes or until just tender.
2. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, blanch the kale for 3 minutes, then drain and pat dry with kitchen paper.
3. When the pumpkin is ready, remove from the oven and set aside; reduce the oven temperature to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas mark 6. Put the eggs, cream, parmesan and chilli flakes in a bowl, season, and whisk to combine.
4. Heat the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil in a 22-24cm non-stick ovenproof frying pan. Add the crushed garlic, stir over the heat for 30 seconds, then add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes. Tip into the bowl with the egg mixture and stir in the pumpkin. 
5. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and dot over the goats’ cheese. Add a little more pepper and cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes, then transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until puffed and golden – cover with foil if the top is over-browning. Slice into wedges to serve. This lovely meal is ready in 1 hour 15 minutes. The cooking time is 25 minutes but preparation time is about 50 minutes so why not get ahead and roast the squash and blanch the kale a couple of hours ahead...

Each serving provides:
1.9g carbohydrate 0.4g fibre 7.8g protein 45.7g Fat
From an original recipe idea seen here

All our five grand-children love pumpkin season, but especially these two, picture from 2016
2017 Halloween and Pumpkin fun will soon be enjoyed

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Moussaka-stuffed aubergines / eggplants

What a tasty plate this looks, and I love food simply served with a salad too! Purely optional is a nice glass of red wine to go in the dish, and also to accompany it!

Serves Four
3 small aubergines
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
olive oil
300g lamb mince
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp dried oregano
50ml red wine (optional)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
75g feta cheese
100ml (low-fat) Greek yogurt
green salad

Preheat the oven to Gas 4, 180°C, fan160°C. Halve the aubergines (eggplants)lengthways and scoop out the flesh. Chop the flesh into small (1cm) pieces. Gently fry the onions (finely chopped), garlic (crushed) and aubergine pieces in a splash of the oil, until softened but without colour.

Heat up a little oil in a separate frying pan, then season and brown the lamb in batches. Combine the lamb with the onion mixture. Add the cinnamon, oregano and red wine and cook for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and a cup of water or stock. Bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, place the aubergine skins on a baking tray, season, drizzle with oil and roast for 20 minutes, then take out but leave the oven on.

When the lamb is cooked, spoon into the aubergine skins. Crumble the feta, mix with the Greek yogurt and spoon on top. Sprinkle with extra oregano and oven cook for 20 minutes. Serve with a green salad.

Per serving:
Carbohydrate 11g Protein 22.9g Fibre 5.8g Fat 15g
From an original recipe idea here

Why not make the meat filling earlier in the day and roast the aubergine skins, then all you have to do is put in the oven for 30 minutes or so later in the evening, and dinner is done! Also the meat then has had time to take on the flavours... delicious

You can also ring the changes by making a veggie filling ...

All the best Jan

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Low-Carb, High-Fat Is What We Physicians Eat. You Should, Too

We have adopted this diet for ourselves and our families, for health and well-being reasons. And we continue to eat this way because we love what we eat.

Èvelyne Bourdua-Roy Family doctor at Coop de santé-solidarité de Contrecoeur

As physicians, we are concerned when we see misinformation circulating in the media, especially when it comes from health-care professionals. Therefore, we would like to rectify some points raised recently by a few nutritionists and dietitians in a letter of opinion published in a daily newspaper in Quebec

Not a 'fad diet'

First, the low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet (LCHF) is not a "fad diet." It's a way of eating that is as old as the world. Human beings evolved by eating this way for hundreds of thousands of years. In fact, humans have only been eating an abnormally high quantity of carbohydrates (bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, fruits and sweets) for about four decades.

The "restrictive" nature of this diet is often cited as a reason not to offer it to patients. It will supposedly be so difficult to sustain it that the majority of people will give up in the short or medium term.

People who choose to be vegetarians face restrictions and make choices for their own health, just like people who are intolerant to gluten. Let's not forget that people who are following a low-fat diet, the fad diet of the last few decades, also face many food restrictions, such as: avoiding whole dairy products, fatty cheeses, full cream, butter, eggs and certain cuts of meat. When it comes to health, we all make choices. The low-carb diet is no exception, and is not any more restrictive than other diets. It deserves to be offered.

The main objective of LCHF isn't rapid weight loss. LCHF is a way of eating, a way of life.

Following a low-carbohydrate diet often makes counting grams or calories unnecessary. This practice, which is so common in many approaches in the field of nutrition, can trigger an eating disorder. Rather, patients are taught to listen to their bodies, and to stop eating when they feel full. Weight loss has been shown to be more effective with low-carb diets than with the standard low-fat diet, and this occurs while feeling satiated.

One must understand that in order to get the energy required to properly function, assuming protein intakes are constant, carbohydrates must be increased if fats are drastically reduced. We favour an approach that is lower in carbohydrates and higher in natural fats than the current dietary guidelines recommend. Natural fats are present in butter, cream, cuts of whole meat, fatty cheeses, olive oil, avocados and coconut, for example.

The experience of thousands of doctors and other health professionals

Our personal and clinical experience shows that this diet is more varied, tasty and satiating than the low-fat diet proposed by the Canadian Food Guide. We are thousands of doctors across the country and around the world who have adopted this way of eating for ourselves and our families, for health and well-being reasons. And we continue to eat this way in part because we love what we eat.

The main objective of LCHF isn't rapid weight loss. LCHF is a way of eating, a way of life. Weight loss is one of the side-effects of this way of eating, and it is not always rapid. We offer this diet to our patients because it can help reverse several lifestyle chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, chronic pain and chronic fatigue, hypertension, etc.

What we see in our clinics: blood sugar values go down, blood pressure drops, chronic pain decreases or disappears, lipid profiles improve, inflammatory markers improve, energy increases, weight decreases, sleep is improved, IBS symptoms are lessened, etc. Medication is adjusted downward, or even eliminated, which reduces the side-effects for patients and the costs to society. The results we achieve with our patients are impressive and durable.

With the current recommendations, on the other hand, patients remain diabetic and still need medication, usually in increasing dosages over time. Don't we say that type 2 diabetes is a chronic and progressive disease? It doesn't have to be this way. It can actually be reversed or put into remission. Of the patients that we treat with a low-carb diet, most will be able to get off the majority or all of their medications.

Where does energy come from?

The human body mainly draws its energy from ingested carbohydrates, protein and lipids. However, carbohydrates are not essential for providing fuel. Lipids can play this role in the human body, often more efficiently. There are essential fatty acids and essential amino acids. But there are no essential carbohydrates. According to the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (U.S.), "The lower limit of carbohydrates compatible with life is apparently zero, provided that adequate amounts of protein and fat are consumed."

One of the most common myths is that carbohydrates are essential to brain function. This is false. Certain parts of the brain need glucose, possibly around 130 grams per day, but that glucose does not need to come from ingested carbohydrates. The liver can effortlessly produce the required glucose from protein and fat: it is called gluconeogenesis. However, reducing carbohydrate intake to 130 gram per day would already be a step in the right direction over what many patients are currently eating, and would correspond to a liberal form of low-carb/LCHF, resulting in real health benefits for the majority of patients.

Many of us doctors, as well as our patients, are doing perfectly well with 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, with a stable energy and mental clarity that we didn't know existed. Many high-level athletes have now also adopted this way of eating for enhanced endurance and performance, after an adequate period of adaptation.

It is true that carbohydrates can contribute to the pleasure of eating, but they are not essential to make food tasty. That being said, a well-designed low-carb diet allows for plenty of high-quality whole food sources of carbohydrates, such as vegetables, whole milk products, nuts, seeds, berries, legumes and smaller amounts of whole grains. People with diabetes can choose to eat less of them, while others without metabolic problems may choose to eat more. It's a choice. The pleasure of eating is important, indeed, but the pleasure of living a healthy life is even more important in our view.

Let's briefly mention that people who adopt a low-carb diet very frequently report a significant reduction or disappearance of their IBS symptoms, including less cramps, flatulence and bloating. We believe that it is likely, therefore, that their microbiota (intestinal flora) improves.

Couldn't fit the whole article in read more here: