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Sunday, 31 December 2017

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year

As 2017 draws to a close, we thank all the people that have taken the time to read our blog during this past year, and special thanks to the people that post comments, you are very much appreciated. Thanks also for the emails, phone calls, twitter messages and support we get from friends from all around the world.

The team enjoy posting the recipes, links to diabetes and low carb news, the Saturday Night Is Music Spot and of course some posts which highlight even more!!!

We never stop telling the good news, about the LCHF lifestyle, we believe that every post can make a difference. Someone, somewhere, will read it, and may well change their life. We never forget, diabetes can be a life sentence, not a death sentence. Control your diabetes and live a long and active life.

If we have helped one diabetic, per hundred thousand page views, in the time that this Blog has been active then that's very cool. So our thanks again.

Wishing all our readers a very Happy and Healthy New Year

Jan, Eddie and Graham

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Katelyn Tarver - You Don't Know

Last one for 2017 wishing everyone a Happy New Year

John Lennon - Imagine

Saturday night and music night again on this blog. It is also the last Saturday of 2017. I had a look around for something special, then this track came to mind. Seems very appropriate to me. From one of the greatest song writers of my generation. Eddie

Chicken with Gewürztraminer White Wine and Grapes

If you should be a "fan of coq au Riesling" then I think "you will find much to love in Felicity Cloake's deliciously retro dish infused with aromatic Gewürztraminer and studded with juicy grapes" ...
Read on and see what you think.

Serves Four
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 chicken legs (bone in, skin on)
200g bacon lardons
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp. plain flour
400ml Gewürztraminer
300ml chicken stock
50ml double cream
100g green seedless grapes, halved 

1. Melt the butter with the oil in a wide casserole over a medium-high heat. Season the chicken well and fry until golden brown on both sides, in batches if necessary.
2. Lift the chicken out and set aside. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of the fat into a bowl (do not discard); add the lardons to the pan and fry until crisp. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. Add the shallots to the pan with a pinch of salt. Turn the heat down and fry until soft.
3. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until it’s beginning to colour (pour in a little of the reserved fat if the pan seems dry). Stir in 300ml of the Gewürztraminer, scraping the bottom of the pan, then the stock.
4. Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a simmer, then cover and cook very gently for about an hour until tender.
5. Lift out the chicken; set aside and keep warm. Add the final 100ml of wine to the pan, bring the sauce to the boil; simmer until thickened and reduced by about half.
6. Turn down the heat; whisk in the cream. Stir in the lardons and grapes; season, then return the chicken to the pan and heat through.
7. Serve with vegetables of your choice ... perhaps some buttery mashed swede/rutabaga or cauliflower rice/couscous to keep the carb count lower!

Nutritional Information:
Fat 27g Protein 33g Carbs 10g

From an original idea here

If you would like a little more information about Gewürztraminer please use this link here

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

All the best Jan

Cauliflower tortillas - a lower carb alternative - with a black bean salsa

By using cauliflowers, this recipe is a great lower carb twist on a Mexican classic. It's optional whether or not you wear your Mexican Sombrero ... or indeed do the Mexican Hat Dance ... but I hope you may enjoy these tortillas

Serves Four
1 large cauliflower, leaves and stem removed and roughly chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ tsp ground cumin
6 tbsp. chopped coriander
380g carton organic black beans, drained
2 medium tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
1 avocado, diced
½ red onion, finely diced
½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
½ lime, juiced
Sour cream, to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 190°C/gas mark 5 and line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until the texture is fine and grainy. Place in a microwaveable bowl and cover with cling-film. Pierce a few times with a fork and cook on high for 1 minute, then stir. Cook again for 1 minute, stir, then allow to stand for 1 minute to cool slightly. Transfer the cauliflower to a muslin or clean dishcloth and squeeze any excess water out. Be careful, as the liquid will still be hot.
3. Transfer the cauliflower to a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, cumin and half the coriander and mix well. Season and mix briefly again.
4. Make thin 17cm small circles with the cauliflower mix on the lined baking tray, making sure there are no gaps or holes in each one. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until they start browning on the edges. Carefully flip them over and place back in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Place on a wire rack and leave to cool slightly.
5. Meanwhile, toss together the black beans, tomato, avocado, red onion and chilli with the lime juice and remaining coriander. Season to taste and serve wrapped in the cauliflower tortillas with a dollop of sour cream.

Each serving provides:
13.9g carbohydrate 3.5g fibre 13.2g protein 16.4g fat

Original recipe idea
image from here

Coriander is one of the world's most commonly used herbs - in spite of the fact that the name comes from the Greek, koris, meaning bed bug! It is green, leafy and strong-smelling with a fresh, citrus taste that makes it an invaluable garnish and flavour enhancer. Both the fresh leaves and stalks are edible, as well as the berries, which are dried and called coriander seeds. Native to southern Europe and the Middle East, the plant is now grown worldwide. Coriander tends to be associated most with Asian and Central and South American cooking. For maximum flavour, it is best added to dishes just before serving.

Do not clean coriander with the roots still attached - instead, simply keep them wrapped in a damp paper towel inside an open plastic bag and store in the salad drawer of the fridge, where they should last five to six days.

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

All the best Jan

Friday, 29 December 2017

Wildlife Photography Can Be Fun !

From time to time we post something completely different ...
Like these photos from the 2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

'I am loving it', Baby Dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius) on the top of a yarrow flower
in Monticelli Brusati, Italy. Photo by Andrea Zampatti.

A squirrel scratches himself in Gothenburg, Sweden. by Johnny Kaapa

'Who's the boss!'
Two king penguins are standing firm while another seems to be giving them orders.

Photo by Miguel Illana.

There are lots more photographs to see here

All the best Jan

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Gingerbread Crème Brûlée : Low Carb New Year Celebration Dessert

This lovely dessert of creamy custard and dreamy gingerbread combined makes an indulgent low carb finish to your evening... 

Serves Six
3g carb per serving

1¾ cups / 425ml heavy (double) whipping cream
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
½ clementine (optional)

The recipe calls for pumpkin pie spice. If you can’t find it, you can make your own by using this recipe or by mixing equal amounts of ginger, cinnamon and ground cloves.

This dessert may be served either lukewarm or cold, and preferably with a clementine segment on top...

Please see full recipe instructions at Diet Doctor site here

With New Year celebrations just around the corner, this could be your perfect low carb dessert !

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Winter Green Beef Casserole : It's Low Carb

During these cooler winter months, you just cannot beat a warming casserole. The meat is always tender, and the vegetables with the various seasonings, herbs and gravy/stock just combine together and the taste is simply gorgeous. The other bonus is the sense of the taste you also get as the glorious aroma wafts through the kitchen into the hallway ....

Have all your cooking ingredients ready

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

Wipe / wash meat and all vegetables with water before using
Put oven on to warm up. Gas 4, Electric 180
Dice up Meat into approx. 1 inch 'chunks' and place in oven proof casserole dish
De-seed pepper and cut into square pieces (or slices if you'd prefer)
Top and Tail Courgettes, then slice and add to casserole dish
Slice leek and add to casserole dish
Slice or quarter mushrooms and add to casserole dish
season with salt and black pepper
add herbs of your choice - I used dried mixed herbs
Make up your stock and pour over meat and vegetables to cover
Put lid on casserole dish, place in warmed oven, cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until meat is tender.

Tip - I usually gently stir all ingredients at least twice during cooking

Prepare your accompanying vegetables - we had white cabbage

When cooked - take out of the oven and serve on warmed plates.
We enjoyed this casserole simply served with white cabbage

Of course when you say the words Winter Green Beef Casserole, there is such a great choice of green vegetables to choose from. You could add to those I used, for example a few peas or green beans to name just two more ...

However, you choose to serve yours, hope you enjoy it.

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Boxing day joke ya gotta larf!

Nicked from a site in the US. Eddie
An Irish woman of advanced age visited her physician to ask his help in reviving her husband’s libido.
“What about trying Viagra? asks the doctor. “Not a chance,” she said. “He won’t even take an aspirin.” “Not a problem,” replied the doctor. “Give him an “Irish Viagra. It’s when you drop the Viagra tablet into his coffee. He won’t even taste it. Give it a try and call me in a week to let me know how things went.”
It wasn’t a week later that she called the doctor, who directly inquired as to the progress. The poor dear exclaimed, “Oh, faith, bejaysus and begorrah!  It was terrible! Just terrible, doctor!”
“Really? What happened?” asked the doctor.
“Well, I did as you advised and slipped it into his coffee and the effect was almost immediate. He jumped straight up, with a twinkle in his eye, and with his pants a-bulging fiercely!”
“With one swoop of his arm, he sent the cups and tablecloth flying, ripped me clothes to tatters and took me then and there, took me passionately on the tabletop! It was a nightmare, I tell you, an absolute nightmare!”
“Why so terrible?” asked the doctor. “Do you mean the sex your husband provided wasn’t good?”
“‘Twas the best sex I’ve had in 25 years!
But as sure as I’m sitting here, I’ll never be able to show me face in Starbucks again!”

Sunday, 24 December 2017

A Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all our readers.

Thank you so much for reading our blog and a special thank you to the very kind people who take the time to comment. 

All the best Jan Graham and Eddie

Asparagus Wrapped With Prosciutto : Low Carb

Low-carb prosciutto wrapped asparagus can be cooked in the oven or even on the barbeque for summer...

Serve it as an appetiser, side dish, a light lunch or finger food. This recipe uses five ingredients - asparagus spears, thin prosciutto, almond meal/flour, Parmesan Cheese and double/heavy cream. Doesn't that sound a delicious combination ...

Please see more, including a step by step guide at Libby's Ditch The Carbs Site here

"Did you know that asparagus originated 2,000 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean region and was initially touted as an aphrodisiac. It has many health benefits including these five:

It Improves Heart Health
It Has Anti-Carcinogenic Properties
It Is A Powerhouse Of Essential Nutrients
It Lowers Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
It Helps Fight Digestive Troubles

Plus these additional benefits:
In addition to the above benefits, asparagus is also known to be effective in improving skin health, preventing signs of premature aging, reducing the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and relieving PMS related symptoms. So, the next time you head to the supermarket, you know which vegetable to stock your basket with!"
These words and more taken from article

All the best Jan

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Mary, Did You Know? - Pentatonix

Last one from me tonight have a great time folks wishing you all a very Happy Christmas

Tom Chaplin - Walking In The Air (Live In Studio)

New cover of the song from the ever popular childrens Christmas film The Snowman

O Come All Ye Faithful - Epic Flash Mob Carol

Saturday night again and music night, and the last Saturday before Christmas. It just has to be some Christmas music, enjoy. Eddie

Roasted Pork Belly with Creamed Pointed (Chinese) Cabbage ... makes a low carb rustic feast

Not a pork chop, not bacon, something in-between. Pork belly anchors this rustic feast. It's a great choice for feeding a crowd - it's affordable, easy, and just different enough to keep it interesting...

Serves Six
8g carbs per serving
2½ lbs / 1.1kg pork belly
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion
1 apple (optional) 

Creamed cabbage
2 lbs / 900g pointed (Chinese) cabbages
2 oz. / 50g butter
1 cup / 225ml heavy (double) whipping cream
2 tablespoons cream cheese
salt and pepper

Pointed Cabbage is also known as Chinese Cabbage ...
If you don’t have pointed cabbage, regular cabbage is fine! You can prepare the cabbage ahead of time and just warm and serve when the meat is done. It’s a perfect way to enjoy your guests instead of focusing on the meal.

The apple does have some sugar in it, and onions contain some carbs. To make this dish more strictly keto, just leave the apples and/or onions in the pan after roasting the pork.

Above details and cooking instructions are on Diet Doctor site here
If you'd like to know more about Pork and its different cuts please see here

All the best Jan

Friday, 22 December 2017

Black Olive Penguins - Pingu - Perfect For A Christmas Get Together !

You may not have met Pingu the Penguin ... his family and friends live happily together on a polar ice cap. Pingu is a British-Swiss animated children's comedy television series created and produced from 1986. To this day it still has quite a following, and in the UK has occasional re-runs on Children's TV. The grandchildren have watched it and I must admit Pingu is quite a lovable character !

Now these, pictured above can be enjoyed by adults, although children may like them too! Please try not to feel guilty as you eat 'Pingu' or any of these other super Olive Penguins which are made with black olives, mozzarella balls, and carrots. Yes, they are adorable and make such a fun appetizer!

Large black olives (for body)
Small black olives (for head)
Baby carrots
Mozzarella balls
Toothpicks (handle with care)

I got everything ready then made a penguin assembly line.
Cut each mozzarella ball into about 4 pieces.
Chop baby carrots into thin disks, then cut out a tiny triangle to make feet. Use the cut out triangle to make the beak.
Slice a large olive & slide in a piece of cheese.
Stack the large olive onto the carrot, then a small olive sideways onto the body. Hold them straight and secure with a toothpick. Insert the carrot/beak.
Repeat as many times as you want/need. Enjoy!

Recipe idea from here

Now do you fancy being creative ...

All the best Jan

Black OP's outfits.

So often when researching major UK health charities and dietary organisations, you will find multi-national food conglomerations and large pharmaceutical companies, acting as financial sponsors. Certain questions come to mind. Firstly, how would it affect the sponsors turnover and profits, if the healthcare organisations, promoted a whole fresh food diet, and advised us to stay well clear of highly processed factory produced high carb/sugar/starch foods to all, especially diabetics. It's my opinion big pharma and big food would lose £billions. The second question you need to ask yourself, should healthcare organisations accept funding from outfits that have vested interests in maintaining the status quo. I call these organisations Black OP's outfits.

Please note.

This is by no means a complete list of commercial organisations funding and sponsoring UK health organisations. Also, the companies involved change from time to time, almost always 'the usual suspects' are to be found. We will endeavour to update this list in the near future.

Diabetes UK The diabetes charity.

Abbott Bayer Boehringer Ingelheim Bristol Myers Squibb Bupa Bunzl Everyclick First Capital Connect Flora pro.activ Kodak Lilly Lloyds Pharmacy Menarini Merck Serono Morphy Richards Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited Novartis Novo Nordisk Nursing Times PAL Technologies Ltd Pfizer Rowlands Pharmacies Sanofi-aventis SplendaTakeda Tesco Diets

The British Dietetic Association

Danone, Abbott Nutrition, Nestle, Cereal Partners, BelVita Breakfast Biscuits and Coca Cola.

HEART UK -The Nation’s Cholesterol Charity

Abbott Healthcare Alpro UK AstraZeneca BHR Pharma Cambridge Weight Plan Cereal Partners UK (Sh Wheat) Food & Drink Federation Fresenius Medical Care (UK) Limited Genzyme Therapeutics Hovis Kellogg’s (Optivita) Kowa Pharmaceutical Europe Co Limited L.IN.C Medical Systems Limited Merck Sharpe & Dhome PlanMyFood Pfizer Premier Foods Progenika Biopharma s.a. Roche Products Limited Unilever (Flora) Welch’s (Purple Grape Juice)

The British Nutrition Foundation

The organisation's 39 members, which contribute to its funding, include – beside the Government, the EU – Cadbury, Kellogg's, Northern Foods, McDonald's, PizzaExpress, the main supermarket chains except Tesco, and producer bodies such as the Potato Council. The chairman of its board of trustees, Paul Hebblethwaite, is also chairman of the Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery Trade Association.

The European Food Information Council

Current EUFIC members are: AB Sugar, Ajinomoto Sweeteners Europe, Bunge, Cargill, Cereal Partners, Coca-Cola, Danone, DSM Nutritional Products Europe Ltd., Ferrero, Kraft Foods, Mars, McDonald's, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Pfizer Animal Health, Südzucker, and Unilever.

The British Heart Foundation

Unilever Flora margarine.

A black operation or black op is a covert operation by a government, a government agency, or a military organisation. This can include activities by private companies or groups. Key features of a black operation are that it is secret and it is not attributable to the organisation carrying it out.The main difference between a black operation and one that is merely secret is that a black operation involves a significant degree of deception, to conceal who is behind it or to make it appear that some other entity is responsible. Wiki


Ghee: Better Than Butter?

Have you ever wondered about ghee, also known as clarified butter? Well Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE gives you the lowdown!

"Ghee has become quite popular in certain circles lately. It’s been praised as an alternative to butter that provides additional benefits. However, some people have questioned whether ghee is superior to regular butter, or may even pose health risks. This article takes a detailed look at ghee and how it compares to butter.

What Is Ghee?
Ghee is a type of clarified butter. It’s more concentrated in fat than butter because its water and milk solids have been removed. It has been used in Indian and Pakistani cultures for thousands of years. The term comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “sprinkled.” Ghee was originally created to prevent butter from spoiling during warm weather.

In addition to cooking, it’s used in the Indian alternative medicine system Ayurveda, where it’s known as ghrita. Because its milk solids have been removed, it does not require refrigeration and can be kept at room temperature for several weeks. In fact, like coconut oil, it may become solid when kept at cold temperatures.

Bottom Line: Ghee is a type of clarified butter that is stable at room temperature. It has been used in Indian cooking and Ayurvedic medicine since
ancient times.

How Is It Made?
Ghee is made by heating butter to separate the liquid and milk solid portions from the fat. First, butter is boiled until its liquid evaporates and milk solids settle at the bottom of the pan and turn golden to dark brown. Next, the remaining oil (the ghee) is allowed to cool until it becomes warm. It’s then strained before being transferred to jars or containers. It can easily be made at home using grass-fed butter, as shown in this recipe.

Bottom Line: Ghee can be made by heating butter to remove water and milk solids from the fat.

How Does It Compare to Butter?

Ghee and butter have similar nutritional compositions and culinary properties, although there are a few differences."

There is a lot more to read in Franziska's article, including:
The nutrition comparison data for one tablespoon (14 grams) of ghee and butter, its use in cooking and food preparation, its potential health benefits and any potential adverse effects.

Take Home Message
"Ghee is a natural food with a long history of medicinal and culinary uses. It provides certain cooking advantages over butter and is definitely preferable if you have a dairy allergy or intolerance. However, at this point, there isn’t any evidence suggesting that it’s healthier than butter overall. Both can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy diet."

Please do go and read Franziska's full article, you will find it here

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

As always thanks for reading.

All the best Jan

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Marijuana for you Lowcarbdiabetic! Express UPS Delivery in UK!

This came in as a spam email to us today.

"Buy Medical Marijuana safely from your home!
24 hour UPS delivery in UK!
Visit this link:

Relax yourself Lowcarbdiabetic while enjoying THC Clinic's finest
Cannabis strains, with high CBD and THC content!

Buy Marijuana now:

Legal Organic Weed !

Suzann Cannabis Shop"

Around 50 years ago, I tried smoking a marijuana cigarette, the room smelt like a burning compost heap and I very near choked. That was my drug taking days over and just as well, marijuana is still an illegal substance in the UK. That being said, it's OK to smoke and drink yourself to death. If I had my way wine would be available for free on the NHS for us old diabetics.

It's a medical fact red wine reduces blood glucose numbers. This is not as good as it sounds. The reason it works is because our bodies see alcohol as a poison and the liver prioritises dealing with alcohol before sugar. We can but dream.


Winter On The Beach ... and a low carb pizza

It doesn't have to be summer to enjoy a walk on the beach, just ask our grandchildren, and afterwards what could be better than a nice pizza! You could even enjoy a low carb one like these suggestions ...

Mushroom Pizza's

From an original  Sainsbury recipe featured here

Mini Aubergine / Eggplant Pizzas

From an original Rachel Morrows recipe featured here

Why not check out the recipes and perhaps give them a try!

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Love this!


Cajun Crab Meat Casserole : Low Carb

This is a tasty and quick-to-make low carb /  keto casserole with crab meat and delicious seasonings. 

Serves Four
5g carbs per serving
1 oz. / 30g butter, for frying
1 yellow onion
5 1⁄3 oz. / 150g celery stalks
1¼ cups / 300ml  mayonnaise
4 eggs
2⁄3 lb / 300g shredded (grated) cheese
1 lb / 480g canned crab meat (120 g/can, drained)
2 teaspoons paprika powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper 

For serving
3 oz. / 75g leafy greens
2 tablespoons olive oil

This casserole is easy to vary by substituting the crab meat for canned tuna,
or other cooked fish like mackerel or salmon. 

Full recipe instructions here 

"Cajun food" comes from the deepest Southern parts of Louisiana and Mississippi. Like the area it originated from, Cajun flavour is spicy, rich, and really, really good! A lot of people don’t know that the typical Cajun food was developed by extremely poor people. Refugees and farmers used what they had to feed large families. Since Cajun people are so close to the Gulf of Mexico, seafood is a big item in their dishes. Favourites are craw-fish, catfish, crabs, and oysters. This is another example of the Cajun people living with what they had. Seafood was available, as there were a lot of fisherman, and that’s what they had to eat. Cajun spices always consist of three things. Bell pepper, onions and celery are the favourite vegetables to add flavour for the Cajun food. It is referred to as the ‘Holy Trinity.’ A couple of other favourites are cayenne pepper and garlic. Cajuns are fond of their spice, and add it to most dishes that they prepare.

All the best Jan

Ways To Healthify Your Christmas Day Menu

Laurentine ten Bosch writes:
"With the festive season right around the corner, many of us are wondering how to deal with the food challenges that this time of year can present. On one hand, it’s important to enjoy social occasions without obsessing over food. On the other, our bodies can start to feel a bit sluggish if we’re overdoing it. Here are ten tips to enjoying the holiday season, without being a Christmas Food Grinch or compromising your wellbeing.

1. Mix Up A Ginger Kombucha Punch
This is seriously delicious! Replace ginger ale with ginger kombucha in your favourite punch recipes. Both ginger and kombucha are excellent digestive aids, and your guests won’t taste the difference. You can also combine ginger kombucha, sliced citrus, fresh lemon wedges and pure fruit juice of your choice to create an extra-restorative elixir.

2. Plan The Menu Together
A little communication and coordination can really make a big difference to your Christmas feast. Decide ahead of time who will prepare each dish or aspect of your Christmas menu. This saves a surplus of food that otherwise encourages overeating and also makes Christmas expenses more manageable.

3. Eat Like It's Fine Dining
Gourmet restaurants always serve small portions, but are you ever left unsatisfied? There are several reasons for this. Firstly, no bite ever tastes as good as the first mouthful, as our taste-buds progressively desensitize to the flavours in our meal. We are also more likely to notice fullness when served with small portions on petite plates.

4. Enjoy Some Nutty Nibbles
Nuts provide quality protein, are high in fibre and can help us to feel fuller for longer. Roast some mixed nuts in honey with a little cinnamon or allspice and include them with your Christmas appetizers. They are delicious, make a great festive snack and can curb your appetite for the main meal.

5. Spritz Up Your Drinks With Lemon
As you top up your Christmas drinks, add in a fresh wedge of lemon. The light taste of lemon refreshes the palate, complements the flavour of sweet drinks, and is a natural alkalizer to help balance out the intake of acid-forming treat foods.

6. Start With The End In Mind
Take a moment to ask how you would like to feel when you finish your Christmas event. Are there certain foods that are non-negotiable indulgences? Or perhaps there are some foods you would be happy not to sample? You can avoid the post-feast downer by deciding how you want to feel afterwards and tuning in to how your body is matching this as you eat.

7. Go Seasonal With Your Christmas Cooking
Most Christmas recipes can be modified to incorporate foods that are in season. As long as the produce is similar in texture most dishes can be easily adapted to use seasonal fruit and veggies. It will taste just as good but provide more goodness!

8. Buy Less But Only The Best
Food wastage is a massive environmental concern, with an estimated 6 million tonnes of additional food waste generated during this season. Try to think about how much food you realistically need and treat yourself by buying the finest quality, rather than splurging with quantity. Your wallet, bellies and Mother Nature will all benefit for it!

9. Use Fine And Dainty Chinaware
Who doesn’t want to present a beautiful table spread on Christmas Day? Some good quality chinaware not only puts the Wow factor on your Christmas table but also limits the amount of food we can pile on our plates.

10. Don’t Turn The Feast Into A Festival
If you treat your body with nutritious food most of the time, splashing out a bit with Christmas food isn’t likely to be very bad for your health. However, it’s easy to slip into unhealthy eating habits if you have lots of non-nutritious food left over in your fridge. Divvy up the leftovers between your Christmas guests and make the transition back into vibrant eating all the easier!"

All words and picture above are from an original article here

With Christmas just around the corner, are you still ...
Looking for a fool-proof way to cook your turkey then look here
You may want a low carb mince pie recipe please look here,
Have you seen 'The Best Low Carb Christmas Pudding Recipe Ever' - look here

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

As always thanks for reading.

All the best Jan

Monday, 18 December 2017

Spiced Shepherd’s Pie - with a squash and sweet potato mash

This dish really provides colour on your table ... perfect for Autumn or Winter Days ... although for many it can be enjoyed anytime of the year! The spices add warmth and earthy flavour to a humble shepherd's pie especially using the Middle Eastern spice Baharat. Then top with delicious sweet potato and butternut squash.

Serves Six
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra to garnish
500g lamb mince
2 tsp Baharat spice
1 tbsp. tomato puree
400ml lamb stock, made with 1 stock cube
1 large courgette, trimmed, halved lengthways and sliced
2 x 300g packs pre-prepared butternut squash and sweet potato (or equivalent bought loose)

1. Heat the oil in the frying pan and add the onion, garlic, carrots and picked thyme leaves. Cook over a medium heat for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften. Add the mince to the pan, increase the heat and fry for 10 minutes, stirring all the time, until no longer pink. Stir in the baharat spice and tomato puree and cook, stirring for a further 1 minute.
2. Stir in the stock and bring to the boil. Season to taste. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the courgette after 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, boil the butternut squash and sweet potato according to pack instructions. Drain well, then mash until smooth. Season to taste.
4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Spoon the lamb mixture into a 2-litre ovenproof dish. Spoon the mash over the top to cover completely. Season with freshly ground black pepper and garnish with the extra thyme leaves. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden and bubbling.

Each Serving:
16.4g carbohydrate 3.0g fibre 20.8g protein 18.8g fat

From an original idea here

For our vegetarian and vegan readers, I'm sure you could substitute some of the above ingredients to suit ...

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

All the best Jan

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Mistletoe - Why Do People Kiss Underneath It !

I wonder, have you ever stopped to think about how this tradition started ...

Mistletoe has long been considered a 'romantic' plant - as far back as the Celtic Druids of the first century - because of its ability to blossom even during freezing winters, according to .

By the 18th century, it had become widely incorporated into Christmas traditions and men were allowed to "steal a kiss" from any woman caught standing under the mistletoe.

Refusing was seen as bad luck - so if someone tries to kiss you under the mistletoe at the Christmas party (and you actually want to kiss them) maybe really consider if you want to.

Another tradition saw men pluck a berry from the branches for each kiss they had - until they were all gone, and then they had to stop kissing.

But there's a more beautiful tale in Norse mythology about the festive favourite.

According to the legend, "when the god Odin’s son Baldur was prophesied to die, his mother Frigg, the goddess of love, went to all the animals and plants of the natural world to secure an oath that they would not harm him.

"But Frigg neglected to consult with the unassuming mistletoe, so the scheming god Loki made an arrow from the plant and saw that it was used to kill the otherwise invincible Baldur.

"According to one sunnier version of the myth, the gods were able to resurrect Baldur from the dead. Delighted, Frigg then declared mistletoe a symbol of love and vowed to plant a kiss on all those who passed beneath it."

The plant has always been associated with fertility and vitality.

By the 18th century it had been incorporated into Christmas tradition, and now it's a staple decoration in Christmas parties across the land.

Above words and picture from here

You may also like to read 'Christmas, the history behind our festive traditions' please see post here

Are you ...
Looking for a fool-proof way to cook your turkey look here
You may want a low carb mince pie recipe look here,

Have you seen 'The Best Low Carb Christmas Pudding Recipe Ever' - look here

Thanks for reading ...

All the best Jan

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Mean Mary - Sweet Jezebel

Something a bit different for tonight's offering from a Nashville based blues/folk singer 

Josh Groban - Happy Xmas

This is a fantastic version of the John Lennon classic, enjoy. I expect Graham will be a long later with some more up to date music. Eddie

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Christmas for Christians, means more than an excuse for an orgy of over indulgence, and material extravagance, it is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Eddie

Chris Rea - Driving home for Christmas

Saturday night again and music night on this blog, and not long until the Christmas festivities. Chris was taken ill during a concert this week and we wish him a speedy recovery. This is a very cheerful Christmas song to get us all in the mood. Eddie 

Sautéed scallops with roasted sesame : Delicious served with bok choy

Elegant and exotic. Fresh and fun. Try these sautéed scallops served up on stir-fried bok choy. And don’t forget the mayo with wasabi and lime accents. Perfect for a night when you may want tasty keto fast food.

8 scallops
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
½ tablespoon wasabi paste
1 tablespoon lime juice
5 1⁄3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sesame oil
4 oz. bok choy
2 scallions/spring onions

For recipe instructions please see Diet Doctor site here

Bok Choy is closely related to the pak choi, this leafy green Chinese vegetable belongs to the cabbage family - though tastes nothing like cabbage! It has long green slightly ribbed leaf stalks and soft, oval green leaves. The leaves and stems are best suited to brief stir-frying or steaming so they retain their mild flavour. Occasionally you may be able to find baby bok choi which can be cooked whole.

It's "a staple in Asian cooking, this round-leafed vegetable may be less familiar to some cooks. Here's what you need to know -- including what its name means, how to wash it, and how to use it.

1. Bok Choy's Name
Bok choy is sometimes referred to as white cabbage, not to be confused with Napa cabbage, which is also a type of Chinese cabbage. There are many kinds of bok choy that vary in colour, taste, and size, including tah tsai and joi choi. You might also find bok choy spelled pak choi, bok choi, or pak choy.

2. Its Plant Family
Bok choy might look a lot like celery, but it’s a member of the cabbage family.

3. History
The Chinese have been cultivating the vegetable for more than 5,000 years.

4. Where It's Grown
Although the veggie is still grown in China, bok choy is now also harvested in California and parts of Canada.

5. Cooking It
Bok choy, known for its mild flavour, is good for stir-fries, braising, and soups. You can also eat it raw.

6. How to Clean It
The leaves and the stalks can both be cooked, but they should be separated before washing to ensure that both parts are thoroughly cleansed.

7. Keeping Bok Choy
For optimal freshness, don’t wash bok choy until you’re ready to use it. Unused parts can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.

8. Nutrition Facts
The veggie is packed with vitamins A and C. One cup of cooked bok choy provides more than 100% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of A, and close to two-thirds the RDA of C.

9. Growing Bok Choy
The veggie takes about 2 months from planting to harvest and thrives best in milder weather.

10. Bok Choy: The Soup Spoon
Bok choy is sometimes called a “soup spoon” because of the shape of its leaves."

Words above from here

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

All the best Jan

Friday, 15 December 2017

A Santa Dash ... and a bowl of warming Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

At this time of year you will see and hear about many Santa Dash Fun Events. Yes you can "leave the sleigh at home and take part in a 3k fun run, walk, hop, skip or jump – whatever you fancy! All we want this Christmas is for you to help create a sea of Santa’s, all running or walking for Oakhaven Hospice and raising much-needed funds so our specialist services can continue across the community."

These two Santa's AKA Grandson and his Dad almost ready for the off!

There were over 1000 Santa's of all different shapes, sizes and ages waiting to take part in the Charity Santa Dash
Brrr it was chilly - Grandson with Mum and Dad waiting for the off !

A little later with the Dash completed and back home ...
a bowl of warming roast red pepper and tomato soup was being enjoyed

A delicious warming soup stacked with vitamins & minerals.

Serves Four
3 Deep red peppers, halved & de-seeded.
1 White onion, unpeeled & halved.
4 Cloves of garlic, unpeeled.
2 Sticks of celery, sliced & chopped.
500g Plum tomatoes.
450ml Vegetable stock.
2tbsp Olive oil.
2tbsp Tomato puree.
1tbsp Sundried tomato paste.
1tsp Flaked chilli.
25g Butter.
Salt & coarsely ground black pepper

1. Pre heat oven to 190/gas mark 4. Place the pepper & onion halves (cut side down) along with the plum tomatoes & garlic cloves into a baking tray & drizzle with the olive oil. Bake at the top of your oven for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are roasted & tender.
2. Meanwhile melt down the butter in a large pan over a medium heat and sauté the chopped celery for 4-5 minutes. Not too hot, don't burn the butter.
3. Make up the vegetable stock adding the tomato puree, sun-dried tomato paste & the chilli flakes. Mix well and then add to the sautéed celery. Remove from the heat.
4. When the baked vegetables are ready remove the peel from the onion & garlic cloves roughly chop them & add them to the pan along with the plum tomatoes. Place back on to a low to medium heat & using a hand blender blend until the soup is smooth.
5. Season to taste & gently simmer until the soup is at a comfortable edible temperature. Do not allow the soup to boil.

I certainly hope you may enjoy this recipe idea. You will find many recipe suggestions are within this blog, but not all recipes will suit all. Any food allergies, or underlying health issues 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.

The above recipe idea from here

All the best Jan