Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Thai Chicken with basil sizzle : Low Carb

Thai chicken does make a lovely, tasty meal. I always serve mine with cauliflower rice ...

Serves Four
4 x 150g skinless chicken breast fillets
125g chestnut mushrooms
2 hot red chillies
3 cloves garlic
2cm piece fresh root ginger
1 medium pot fresh growing basil
2tbsp groundnut oil
2tsp (10g) Thai red curry paste
100ml chicken stock
juice of 2 limes
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Slice each chicken
breast into six diagonal strips and slice the mushrooms. Set aside. Halve the chillies lengthways and de-seed then cut into very thin long strips. Peel and finely chop the garlic and ginger. Cut all the basil from the pot and discard stalks; set leaves aside.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wok and stir-fry the chicken for 2 minutes, then add the chillies, garlic, ginger and stir for another minute. Add the mushrooms 
and curry paste and stir for half a minute. Pour in the chicken stock and lime juice and stir for a further minute until sizzling an the chicken is cooked through, then stir in most of the basil leaves - immediately remove from the heat and serve straight away garnished with the remaining basil leaves.

Each serving:

Carbohydrate 1.6g Protein 37.1g Fibre 1g Fat 7.8g

Recipe idea from here

I would serve this with cauliflower rice ... perfect for those living the LCHF lifestyle and for those who do not want a blood sugar spike!

All the best Jan

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Milk and dairy products: good or bad for human health? An assessment of the totality of scientific evidence



There is scepticism about health effects of dairy products in the public, which is reflected in an increasing intake of plant-based drinks, for example, from soy, rice, almond, or oat.


This review aimed to assess the scientific evidence mainly from meta-analyses of observational studies and randomised controlled trials, on dairy intake and risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, cancer, and all-cause mortality.


The most recent evidence suggested that intake of milk and dairy products was associated with reduced risk of childhood obesity. In adults, intake of dairy products was shown to improve body composition and facilitate weight loss during energy restriction. In addition, intake of milk and dairy products was associated with a neutral or reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly stroke. Furthermore, the evidence suggested a beneficial effect of milk and dairy intake on bone mineral density but no association with risk of bone fracture. Among cancers, milk and dairy intake was inversely associated with colorectal cancer, bladder cancer, gastric cancer, and breast cancer, and not associated with risk of pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, or lung cancer, while the evidence for prostate cancer risk was inconsistent. Finally, consumption of milk and dairy products was not associated with all-cause mortality. Calcium-fortified plant-based drinks have been included as an alternative to dairy products in the nutrition recommendations in several countries. However, nutritionally, cow's milk and plant-based drinks are completely different foods, and an evidence-based conclusion on the health value of the plant-based drinks requires more studies in humans.


The totality of available scientific evidence supports that intake of milk and dairy products contribute to meet nutrient recommendations, and may protect against the most prevalent chronic diseases, whereas very few adverse effects have been reported.

Creamy Fish and Broccoli Casserole : Low Carb

Are you one of those people who sit down once a week and plan your meals, or do you only look a few days ahead? Sometimes it may just be the case of 'I wonder what's in the fridge' ... oh, yes that will do!

When looking at meal plans I do think 'all-in-one-dishes' are a boon. So convenient, usually easy and a big plus - they can save on the washing up! LOL!

I saw this lovely recipe suggestion recently and thought it one to remember - if like me you are giving thought to a mid-week or even Friday night dish - how about trying this?

Serves 4
7g carb per serving
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb broccoli
6 scallions (spring onions)
2 tablespoons small capers
1 oz. butter, for greasing the casserole dish
1½ lbs white fish, in serving-sized pieces
1¼ cups heavy (double) whipping cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley
3 oz. butter

For serving
1⁄3 lb leafy greens

Useful tips!
This is a wonderful all-in-one dish that can be varied in many different ways. Use salmon instead of white fish or perhaps fresh or frozen tuna fish. Use Brussels sprouts, asparagus, zucchini (courgette) or mushrooms instead of broccoli.

Please see recipe instructions here

Should you need help with weight/measurement conversion, see chart here

Hope you may enjoy this soon

All the best Jan

Low carb diet reverses diabetes in Cats and Dogs.

If you visit any Zoo in the UK, you will see many signs saying do not feed the animals. This is for two reasons, one, these animals can be highly dangerous and two, to maintain the animals health, they are fed as near as possible on the foods they eat in the wild. Sadly, this is not the case with pet dogs and cats. Dogs and cats are carnivorous, they evolved eating meat and fat. I knew diabetes rates were increasing in domestic pets, but was stunned to read the following.

"Cases of Diabetes in Cats and Dogs has risen over 900% since 2011. We wanted to investigate the health of some of the pets on our database, and after a five-year study of almost 9000 animals, we discovered that cases of diabetes in cats and dogs has risen by over 900% since 2011. We discovered that cats are at highest risk of contracting diabetes with an 1161% increase since 2011, compared to dogs’ 850% rise" Stated here.

As reported here infinitum, the rates for type two diabetes in humans, are also going through the roof. The same reason applies to animals and humans, the wrong diet. I thought I would check out a leading premium dog food in the UK, and what do I find, the main ingredient is corn.

Below you will see some information from wiki. A low carb higher healthy fat lifestyle, is proving to be the salvation of countless diabetics and overweight people all over the world. Clearly straight thinking people are restoring their pets health in the same way. 

"Diet is a critical component of treatment, and is in many cases effective on its own. For example, a recent mini-study showed that many diabetic cats stopped needing insulin after changing to a low carbohydrate diet. The rationale is that a low-carbohydrate diet reduces the amount of insulin needed and keeps the variation in blood sugar low and easier to predict. Also, fats and proteins are metabolized slower than carbohydrates, reducing dangerous blood-sugar peaks right after meals.

Recent recommended diets are trending towards a low carbohydrate diet for cats rather than the formerly-recommended high-fiber diet. Carbohydrate levels are highest in dry cat foods made out of grains (even the expensive "prescription" types) so cats are better off with a canned diet that is protein and fat focused. Both prescription canned foods made for diabetic cats and regular brand foods are effective. Owners should aim to supply no more than 10% of the daily energy requirement of cats with carbohydrates"

Most people get very attached to their dogs and cats, I have read of people who regard their pets as almost one of the family. One of my favourite writers Hugh Falkus, expert fisherman and film maker, summed up the situation in the following way. 

Hugh Falkus: from his book “Some of it was fun”

"And the day came (so soon it seemed ) when the leg cancer spread and he couldn’t run at all. We did our best for him. There were two operations. But they didn’t work. After the second, he seemed better for a time. Then very early one morning at daybreak I heard him crying. He was in great pain, and I realised there was no hope whatever.

At that hour we had no chance of a vet, but to let him lie there suffering was unthinkable. To keep a dog is a great responsibility, and I knew that here, alas, was my moment of reckoning. So I took a spade and went down to the Square at the bottom of the Run and dug a hole. Then I got my gun and a piece of chocolate. When he saw the gun his tail twitched with pleasure and he fell silent.

“Come on doggie,” I said softly. “Let’s go and shoot some ducks.”
The magic in those well- known words roused him, and he came slowly down with me to the river. When we reached the hole I gave him the chocolate…and while he was licking it, I shot him.

I took off the old shooting coat I was wearing and spread it out. It’s weird how the mind works when wrenched with emotion. Quite silly sometimes. But I just couldn’t bear to think of the earth going into his eyes…

You will probably think me very sentimental. And perhaps I am. But I don’t care. You see, although times have changed and fishing the Run is only a memory, I can pass the place without regret. I gave that dog as good a life as I could - and when the time came, as quick a death.

I only hope that one day, if necessary, someone will do the same for me"

Hugh Falkus (born 15th May 1917, died 30th March 1996) was one of the foremost natural history film makers and angling writers of the twentieth century.

His film ‘Signals for Survival,’ made with Niko Tinbergen, Nobel Laureate and Professor of Animal behaviour at Oxford, is still the only BBC programme ever to have won both the Montreux Film Festival Italia Prize and New York Film Festival Blue Ribbon Award for documentaries.

As Hugh said "To keep a dog is a great responsibility" feeding a dog or cat a high carb diet (all carbs turn to sugar once digested) is clearly the wrong way to go. Not only for your pet, but also for you.

Wiki information here.


Saturday, 14 January 2017

King King - 'Jealousy'

Never heard this band before but they sound good to me !

Sophie Zelmani - Waiting For The Miracle To Come

Chill out time, a song with lyrics by  Leonard Cohen


Vide Cor Meum

Does music get more sublime than this track? If this does not move you, get someone to check your pulse. Eddie

Paolo Conte- Via con me (It's wonderful)

Saturday Night is here again, and it's music night on this blog. I'm starting off this evenings selection with Paolo Conte. He was born on January 6, 1937, in Asti, Piedmont, Italy. He is a singer, pianist, composer and lawyer. Perhaps known for his grainy, resonant voice, his colourful and dreamy compositions, evocative of Italian and Mediterranean sounds ... which I just love. This track always leaves me feeling happy, and the selection of photographs used in the video is also good to see. Why not click the button and see what you think. Enjoy your evening. All the best Jan

Clementines and a Clementine Almond Cake : Low Carb and Flourless

'This is a lovely everyday cake - spongy, not-too-sweet, and just a touch bitter in the absolute most perfect way possible - as it contains no flour, it is also a lovely gluten-free cake recipe,' says Alejandra.

image from here

Made using clementines, "which is a hybrid between a mandarin orange and a sweet orange, so named in 1902.The exterior is a deep orange colour with a smooth, glossy appearance. Clementines can be separated into 7 to 14 segments. Similarly to tangerines, they tend to be easy to peel. They are almost always seedless when grown commercially, and therefore are also known as seedless tangerines. The clementine is also occasionally referred to as the Moroccan clementine. They are typically juicy and sweet, with less acid than oranges.

Most sources say that the clementine came to exist because of accidental hybridization, with the first fruits discovered by Brother Clement Rodier (after whom the fruit was named in French and then English) in the garden of his orphanage in Misserghin, Algeria. However, there are claims it originated in China much earlier; one source describes it as nearly identical to the Canton mandarin widely grown in the Guangxi and Guangdong provinces in China.

The clementine is not always easy to distinguish from varieties of mandarin oranges. As such, it should not be confused with similar fruit such as the satsuma or honey sweet orange, or other popular varieties.

It is best to choose Clementines that have a uniform orange colour, shinny skin with no blemishes or wrinkles, and they should feel soft

If stored at room temperature they should last 2/3 days ... but may be placed in a fridge if you do not intend using them within this time

Clemetines are an excellent source of Vitamin C"

The above words from here and here

Now onto the delicious recipe, for which you will need these ingredients, serves 10.

4 clementines (about 13 oz)
6 large eggs
1/2 cup erythritol + 1/2 cup granulated Splenda OR 1 cup Swerve sweetener
2 1/4 cups of ground almond meal (or 9oz of almonds finely ground)
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1/2 teaspoon (kosher) salt
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

Nutritional Info:
Calories: 220
Fat: 16.3g
Protein: 10.4g
Carbs (using Swerve): 10g (total) and 6g (net)
Carbs (using Splenda): 13g (total) and 9g (net)
Fiber: 4g

Please see full recipe instructions here
If you should need help with measurement conversion see here

Please note this should be made using a Springform pan

A cake that can also provide a touch of Vitamin C - hope you may enjoy a slice soon.

All the best Jan

Friday, 13 January 2017

Beyond the Higgs Boson the low carb anti.

Scientists have announced, they may have discovered a previously unknown level of low carb anti, dietary knowledge incompetence.

"We have hypothesised for a long time, that a level of sound dietary knowledge so incredibly small, as to be almost undetectable could theoretically occur. But now it appears that we may be close to proving its existence" said leading researcher Professor Novro Claphanger. 

Incompetence research enjoyed its golden age in the 1990’s when the Clueless, the Useless, and the Hopeless elements were all discovered, who together created the US food pyramid, but it was probably the discovery of the Total F**kwit, just a few years ago, which revitalised the entire field and led directly to this newest breakthrough. Scientists have dubbed this latest discovery the Bonkers Particle.

The Bonkers Particle, if confirmed, will represent a level of capability several magnitudes below even the Total F**kwit’ Explained the Prof. "It really is almost impossible to overstate just how small a level of dietary knowledge we are talking about here" will it ever be thus?


Thought for the day.

Ain't that the truth.


Swede / Rutabaga : How will you serve this low carb vegetable

The picture above shows what Americans know as "rutabaga". The Scottish call it "neeps" and serve it with haggis. I know it as swede, a fairly recent root vegetable, which is thought to have originated around the 17th century in Bohemia. In 1620 a Swiss botanist described the root vegetable, believed to be a hybrid of the cabbage and the turnip. By 1664 it was growing in England. A good source of vitamin.C, fibre, folate and potassium. It's low in calories.

Wash then peel thoroughly to remove the thick outer skin. Swede / Rutabaga can be prepared and served in any of the methods used for potatoes. Swede can be added to soups, stews and casseroles. Use mashed swede instead of mashed potato it has a slightly sweet taste. Swede can also be made into fritters and pancakes. Collins Gem states 2.3 grams of carb per 100 grams. It doesn't spike blood sugar numbers like a potato may. Swede is just great, try it and see.

mashed swede / rutabaga

Even our kids love swede and the grandchildren like its slightly sweet taste. It is lovely mashed up with lots of butter and served with meat, fish, other vegetables, ... whatever you like. It really does taste very good. Do try it!

swede / rutabaga rosti

Cut a swede into large chunks or strips and put through a food processor fitted with a fine slicing blade. Or grate with a coarse cheese grater. Put the sliced raw swede into a mixing bowl and add some olive oil and three egg yolks per medium sliced swede. Mix well with a spoon and place a handful of mix into a steel ring. I use one 3.5" dia.x 2" deep. Get a cup or glass and compress the mix until firm within the ring, remove the ring. Rosti will be around an inch thick. Make up more until you have used all your mix. You can then fry them straight away in oil or butter or store them in a fridge. Carbs. around three per rosti or 100 grams.

Oven-Baked Paprika Chicken with Swede / Rutabaga

4 servings
2 lbs (900 g) chicken, preferably thighs or drumsticks
2 lbs (900 g) rutabaga/swede or root celery
4 oz. (120 g) butter or olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup (240 ml) homemade mayonnaise for serving
recipe and instructions here

Hope you may try these suggestions soon
All the best Jan

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Are Statins a Waste of Time, Money?

Millions are being misled about the pros and cons of statin drugs, according to a panel of experts who gathered recently to discuss the controversial class of the massively prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Doctors from the United States, France, England, and Ireland questioned the theory that lowering LDL (so-called “bad” cholesterol) actually cuts heart disease.

They also wrote in the Prescriber medical journal, where their theories were published, that the side effects of statins used to lower cholesterol, may be far more common and debilitating than major studies suggest.

While most cardiologists today are quick to prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs to our aging and increasingly obese population, they are potentially mistaken in thinking that statins are a cheap, safe, and effective way of preventing heart attacks said the group of doctors.

London cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhorta, for example, questions whether these medications are even as effective as thought, claiming that the “cholesterol con” has led to “overmedication of millions.”

Harvard Medical School’s Dr. John Abramson cited earlier research that found no link between high LDL cholesterol levels and heart deaths in those over 60.

“A lack of association between LDL cholesterol and cardiovascular disease in those over 60 from our recent systemic review suggests the conventional cholesterol hypothesis is flawed,” wrote Abramson in the article, entitled “The Great Cholesterol Con.”

Richard Thompson, the Queen’s former personal physician asked this telling question: “For hundreds of years physicians have clung to outdated and ineffective treatments. Could statins be now the latest star to fall? Have patients been misled over them for many years?”

Dr. Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., co-author of “The Great Cholesterol Myth” with renowned cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra, tells Newsmax Health that “the new article is a wonderful development, but not wholly unexpected.”

“Our book, ‘The Great Cholesterol Myth,’ references dozens of and dozens of studies that not only cast doubt on the cholesterol theory but in some cases totally refutes the notion that cholesterol causes heart disease,” he says.

“We list several peer-reviewed studies that show more than half the people admitted to hospitals for cardiovascular disease have normal cholesterol. Not only doesn’t cholesterol cause heart disease, it is a lousy predictor of it!”

Bowden, appearing on The Doctor Oz Show, said that “trying to lower the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol is like trying to lower the risk of obesity by taking the lettuce off your Big Mac.”

He went on to say that this new theory was actually voiced long ago by researcher Dr. George Mann, one of the principal investigators of the long-running Framingham study of heart disease.

Mann said that the notion of cholesterol causing heart disease was “the biggest scam ever perpetuated on the American public.”

Another excellent article, says Bowden, published in the journal Nutrition pointed out the discrepancy between scientific literature and dietary advice. The authors found that the “results and conclusions linking saturated fat to cardiovascular disease from leading advisory committees do not reflect the available scientific data.”

Finally there is the issue of the $34 billion statin drug industry and the overmedication of the public in general. Dr. John Abramson of Harvard Medical School has been an outspoken opponent of the overuse of ineffective drugs and wrote a book called “Overdosed America” describing the abuse and overuse of statins.

Statin drugs have multiple serious side effects from memory loss to fatigue to loss of energy and libido. Others may suffer serious muscle pain, says Bowden.

Last April, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that between 5 percent and 20 percent of all people taking stains stopped because of muscle pain.

And these figures may be just the tip of the iceberg. Bowden refers to a telling study by Dr. Beatrice Golumb, from the University of California-San Diego, in which she reveals that more than 65 percent of doctors do not report statin side effects because they don’t believe their patients.

“The average patient comes in and says ‘Doc, ever since you gave me this Lipitor I’ve been forgetting things right and left,’ ” says Bowden. “And the doctor replies, ‘Mr. Jones, that’s just mild cognitive impairment that comes with old age, nothing to worry about and definitely not coming from the statin drug.’ ”

Despite the evidence that statins don’t save lives, they are routinely prescribed even for low-risk patients.

“Doctors prescribe them randomly for anyone with a so-called elevated cholesterol level,” says Bowden. “Interestingly, the Framingham study revealed that people with the highest cholesterol levels actually lived the longest.

“And the claim from drug companies that statins save lives usually does not hold up upon close examination. You may see a slight reduction in heart attacks but your will see a corresponding increase in cancer and diabetes.”

In fact a 2013 Harvard study calculated that for every low risk patient who takes statins for five years, only one major heart event will be prevented.

Ultimately experts say that revamping one’s diet and lifestyle to reduce or eliminate processed foods and sugar and exercising more should be the main focus for heart disease prevention.

But as long as the statin industry keeps raking in big bucks, says Bowden, the powers that be will turn a deaf ear and blind eye to the actual facts.

“As the great American writer Upton Sinclair once said: ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”


Evidence that supports the prescription of low-carbohydrate high-fat diets.

From the British Journal Of Sports Medicine


Low-carbohydrate high-fat (LCHF) diets are a highly contentious current topic in nutrition. This narrative review aims to provide clinicians with a broad overview of the effects of LCHF diets on body weight, glycaemic control and cardiovascular risk factors while addressing some common concerns and misconceptions.

Blood total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol concentrations show a variable, highly individual response to LCHF diets, and should be monitored in patients adhering to this diet. In contrast, available evidence from clinical and preclinical studies indicates that LCHF diets consistently improve all other markers of cardiovascular risk—lowering elevated blood glucose, insulin, triglyceride, ApoB and saturated fat (especially palmitoleic acid) concentrations, reducing small dense LDL particle numbers, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, blood pressure and body weight while increasing low HDL-cholesterol concentrations and reversing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

This particular combination of favourable modifications to all these risk factors is a benefit unique to LCHF diets. These effects are likely due in part to reduced hunger and decreased ad libitum calorie intake common to low-carbohydrate diets, allied to a reduction in hyperinsulinaemia, and reversal of NAFLD. Although LCHF diets may not be suitable for everyone, available evidence shows this eating plan to be a safe and efficacious dietary option to be considered. LCHF diets may also be particularly beneficial in patients with atherogenic dyslipidaemia, insulin resistance, and the frequently associated NAFLD.

Full paper here.


Low Carb : Cinnamon Apple Crumb Cake

This low carb, and gluten free, recipe suggestion is from Melissa - she says - this low carb Cinnamon Apple Crumb Cake, or coffee cake if you prefer, is lightly sweet and flavored generously with cinnamon. The buttery apple topping is also loaded with cinnamon as well as the light crunch of toasty walnuts for texture.

If you'd like to give this a try here are the ingredients you will need for nine servings ...

For the Cake:
6 Tbsp butter
⅓ cup Erythritol sweetener (Melissa used Swerve)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 cup almond flour
⅓ cup coconut flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp xanthan gum
½ cup unsweetened almond milk

For the apple streusel layer:
3 Tbsp butter
1 cup granny smith apples, peeled and chopped into ½ inch pieces
¼ cup Erythritol sweetener (Melissa used Swerve)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¾ cup almond flour
¼ cup walnuts, chopped
pinch of salt

Recipe and cooking instructions can be found here

If you should need measurement conversion chart see here

Nutritional Information:
Serving size: 3x3 square
Calories: 306 Fat: 28 Carbohydrates: 5g net Protein: 8

Did you know ... Cinnamon is a popular spice often associated with baked treats, cereals and smoothies. However, you may not have considered that the teaspoon of cinnamon that you add to your baked treats may be doing you more good than you realized. Studies have shown that cinnamon could assist with boosting brain function, fighting cancer, aiding in digestion, supporting weight loss and fighting diabetes.

image from here

A variety of recipe ideas are featured in 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.

If you would like to read more about eating lower carb foods, and the LCHF lifestyle, why not see our post 'Introduction to low-carb for beginners' here

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

NHS Scotland: My Diabetes My Way

Unbelievable what NHS Scotland say are healthy snacks for diabetics

But not to worry further down this FB page is the antidote 


Quote of the week.

"Demanding more evidence is fine, but don’t pretend there will ever be enough for those whose agendas are harmed by the conclusions"  Garry Kasparov

Garry Kimovich Kasparov is a Russian chess grandmaster, former World Chess Champion, writer, and political activist, whom many consider to be the greatest chess player of all time.


Would you take flying lessons from a Kamikaze pilot?

If you believe the average BDA dietitian and the lowcarb antis, you may have come to the conclusion, a low carber has the life expectancy of a kamikaze pilot. Even if you survived the first six months, you would become riddled with osteoporosis and scurvy. Kidney failure was a certainty. When that does not have us running back to the sugar laden junk, we are told our brains will turn to mush. Cognitive disorders are on the way, turning us into gibbering baboons. Mood swings, so bad from lack of serotonin, would turn us into crazed axe murderers. In short, we were all doomed. So, back to flying lessons.

If you needed flying lessons, who would you chose to teach you? a man like the hero pilot Chesley B "Sully" Sullenberger or a Kamikaze. A no brainer yes, but what if you wanted professional advice on diet, and needed to lose weight. Would you chose a slim person, or someone with a BMI like the late great Pavarotti? For me another no brainer. 

Claire Julsing Stryd arguably South Africa's highest
 profile dietitian measuring a slim persons waist.
Claire doesn't rate a low carb diet, could her paid consultancy for Kellogg's, and links to other junk food outfits and big pharma, have anything to do with that I am wondering. Make up your own mind. We have the same situation in the UK. Some of the highest profile and most vocal dietitians, can't control their own weight, yet they have the chutzpah to lecture others on weight control, and the so called healthy balanced diet. Only in a world this crazy.


Spanish-style Chicken Paprika : The Mary Berry Way

This lovely recipe idea comes from Mary Berry. She has been teaching the nation (UK) to cook for over four decades and is the author of over 70 books including 'Mary Berry Cooks The Perfect' - from where this recipe suggestion comes.

Mary is Cordon-Bleu trained and an experienced magazine cookery editor as well as a seasoned television presenter. In 2009 she was awarded the highly coveted Guild of Food Writers Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2012 she was made a CBE for her services to culinary arts. Mary lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband, Paul, and their dog, Millie, and continues to inspire thousands of people across the country to enjoy home cooking.

About this recipe suggestion, Mary says she 'likes this dish for casual entertaining - you can make it ahead and finish it in the oven before serving. If it’s been in the fridge, allow a bit longer to heat up' 

Serves Four
115g chorizo, cut into 1cm (1⁄2in) thick slices and then small cubes3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, about 140g (5oz) each
salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g chestnut mushrooms, cut into 1cm (1⁄2in) thick slices
2 tsp paprika

1 tsp cornflour

1. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan or saute pan. Add the chorizo and fry until crispy. Remove using a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper, and set aside. Keep 1 tablespoon of the chorizo oil in the pan and drain off any excess. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. (See below, Use the chorizo oil for frying.) When hot, add the onion and garlic and fry for 6–8 minutes over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to brown. Spread the onion over the bottom of the baking dish.

2. Preheat the oven to 200C (fan 180C/400F/Gas 6). Pour another tablespoon of the oil into the pan. Season the chicken and brown over a medium heat for 10 minutes, turning once. Place on top of the onion.

3. Add the final tablespoon of oil to the pan, tip in the mushrooms, and season with pepper. Fry for about 3 minutes over a medium–high heat, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown. Stir in the paprika and cornflour. Pour in the stock, stirring to de-glaze the bottom of the pan, and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the soured cream and heat until just starting to bubble.

4. Pour the mushroom sauce over the chicken in the dish. Scatter over the chorizo and olives. Cover with foil and bake for 15–20 minutes or until bubbling around the edges. Serve sprinkled with the parsley.


Use the chorizo oil for frying

Fry the chorizo in a hot, dry pan over a medium heat for about 1 minute until the fat starts to run, then increase the heat for 2 minutes until crispy. Stir frequently so it doesn’t burn. Remove using a slotted spoon.

Use 1 tablespoon of the spicy red oil released by the chorizo for frying the onion and garlic: its smoky paprika flavour adds depth to the dish. Don’t use any more, as it can overpower; instead, top up with olive oil.

Recipe from here

I would consider serving this with some cauliflower rice, just right if you are living the LCHF lifestyle! Why not sit and enjoy this tasty dish soon ... these flowers, or something similar, will look good on the table ... an early touch of Spring!
image from here

Hope you may give this recipe a try soon
All the best Jan

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Are dietitians selling us out?

Dietitians are rolling out their ritualistic warnings about ‘fad diets’ so it must be January. Prepare to be warned about the dangers of avoiding gluten, quitting sugar or going Paleo. Instead you will be told to give the new (heavy on whole grains) microbiome diet a go or perhaps become a Vegan.

According to dietitians, crazy ‘fads’ like quitting sugar are dangerous because they ask us to ‘cut out whole food groups.’ Only a dietitian high on sugar would describe sugar as a ‘food group’, but I guess the argument could apply to the stricter forms of paleo which ask devotees to ditch dairy, legumes and grains.

If food group deletion is the reason for official opposition to paleo, gluten free and quitting sugar why are they quite happy to give a free pass to vegetarianism and its more extreme cousin, veganism? Both of these diets do actually cut out food groups and both require careful management in order to avoid significant nutrient deficiencies. But they are never attacked by Dietitians.

Vegetarian diets do not contain meat, poultry or fish. Vegan diets go a little further and also exclude dairy products and eggs. Both diets have been part of British and US culture since the mid-19th century so we’ve had a bit of time to study them in the wild.

Those studies tell us that (compared to omnivores) vegetarian diets provide higher amounts of carbohydrates, omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, fibre, vitamin C, vitamin E and magnesium but lower amounts of protein, saturated fat, omega-3 fats, vitamins A, D and B12 and Zinc. Vegans are usually particularly low in B12 and also Calcium, a deficiency they are likely to share with hard-core paleo enthusiasts because both avoid dairy.

We use vitamin B12 to create our DNA, red blood cells and the myelin insulation around our nerves. Not having enough of it can result in fatigue, weakness, psychiatric problems and anaemia. B12 deficiency in children and the elderly is even more worrying. Studies have consistently shown that children and older people lacking B12 suffer significant cognitive defects such as memory and reasoning.

The lack of long chain omega-3 fats, the abundance of omega-6 fats and deficiencies in the fat soluble vitamins A and D are also serious cause for concern particularly in pregnancy.

This does not mean that vegetarian or vegan diets should not be followed, just that they need to be carefully managed, particularly in pregnant women, children or the elderly. But that is what you might expect from a diet that actually does delete ‘whole food groups.’

So where then are the January warnings to avoid those ‘fad diets’? Why are the dietitians’ scare tactics focused only on diets which might stop people eating grains and legumes? It’s a real conundrum.

Coincidentally, the body that regulates dietitians in Australia is sponsored by Arnott’s, Nestle and the Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum. And while that last one sounds like an almost official body, it’s really just a long-winded way of saying the Breakfast Club. No not that one, this one is responsible for supplying all those sugary boxes of grain we are supposed to consume as part of a ‘balanced breakfast.’ The gang’s all there. Kellogg’s (coincidentally founded because of a vegetarian religion), Freedom, Nestle (again) and Sanitarium (coincidentally founded, and run by, the same vegetarian religion).

But surely that can’t be the answer? Surely dietitians wouldn’t sacrifice their professional integrity just to grasp a few stray dollars from the Breakfast Cereal manufacturers? No, there must be some other reason which is not fathomable to us uninformed masses. Because if that were the case, it would mean dietitians are really just the undercover arm of Nestle (etc)’s marketing departments. And that would spell big legal (not to mention moral) trouble

If dietitians have really been selling us out to flog processed food, then collectively they would owe this country the hundreds of billions a year spent treating the chronic disease disaster those foods have inflicted. But even more importantly they owe us something that can’t be repaid, our health.

This is not a game. Australians are no longer prepared to accept dietetic advice which is curiously aligned with the interests of the processed food industry rather than what the science tells us. Now would be a good time for the dietitians of Australia to lead, follow or get out of the way. A good start would be to stop telling us that quitting sugar is a ‘fad’ that should be abandoned. And they can hope like crazy that when the lawsuits start, everyone has forgotten their role in the catastrophe which is Australia’s health in the 21st century. I, for one, won’t.


Behaviour of the low carb antis explained.

Typical low carb anti too much sugar making them aggressive.

One of the great mysterious of life to me, is the attitude of low carb antis. Why certain people are so vehemently opposed to low carb is beyond me. I can understand why The British Dietetic Association and some of its high profile dietitians do not approve, because they are sponsored by junk food outfits such as Danone, Abbott Nutrition, Nestle, Cereal Partners, BelVita Breakfast Biscuits and Coca Cola. The funding would disappear like a rat down a pipe, if the BDA promoted a whole fresh food, non processed junk diet. Clearly money is a big consideration with dietary professionals, but what about the amateurs. So many work so hard to rubbish low carb at every opportunity, the $64,000 question is why. Could it be the reason is too much sugar?

This is an interesting story. Experts noticed the monkeys were getting very aggressive and worked out sugar was the cause. When the sugar via fruit was reduced, the monkeys improved mentally and physically. Maybe next time an anti is giving it large on social media, I should check out their fruit consumption, well you never know.

"The monkeys at Bristol Zoo are having bananas – and in fact all fruit – phased out of their diet – after research found bananas are too sugary and healthy and another West zoo said they can hype the monkeys up to fight each other more.

Bristol Zoo’s keepers said although that has not been a problem in their zoo, they are in the process of cutting out all fruit from all the meals given to primates, who will be tucking into fresh vegetables and pellets instead.

Experts said that the bananas and other fruit grown for human consumption has been developed to be far more sugary and less nutritious than the monkeys might otherwise have found in the wild, and therefore it was not good for them.

Bristol Zoo’s director, Dr Bryan Carroll, said many of the primates at Bristol Zoo receive little or no fruit at all in their daily diets already, and that would soon be down to zero for all of them.

Senior head keeper of mammals at Paignton Zoo, Matthew Webb, said it had already made a difference “We have noticed an improvement in the condition of primate coats – in particular the colour and thickness of the fur of the Sulawesi crested black macaques,” he said.

“Smaller monkeys such as tamarins and marmosets are highly-strung animals and live in tight-knit social groups which can be quite aggressive at times. Reducing the sugar in their diets has calmed them down and made their groups more settled.”

Amy Plowman, the head of conservation and advocacy at Paignton Zoo, said: “People usually try to improve their diet by eating more fruit – but fruit cultivated for humans is much higher in sugar and much lower in protein and fibre than most wild fruit because we like our fruit to be so sweet and juicy.

“Giving this fruit to animals is equivalent to giving them cake and chocolate"

Full story here.


Feta Cheese : Is it Good or Bad?

These words taken from an article written by Arlene Semeco MS RD

"Feta is the most well-known cheese in Greece. It is a soft, white, brined cheese that is very nutritious and is an excellent source of calcium.
As part of Mediterranean cuisine, this cheese is used in all sorts of dishes — from appetizers to desserts — because it can enhance the taste of foods.
Here is everything you need to know about feta cheese.

What Is Feta Cheese?
Feta cheese is originally from Greece.
It’s a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product, meaning that only cheese made in some areas of Greece can be called “feta”.
In these regions, feta is made with milk from sheep and goats raised on local grass. This particular environment is what gives the cheese its unique characteristics.
Feta’s flavor is tangy and sharp when it’s made with sheep’s milk, but milder when combined with goat’s milk.
Bottom Line: Feta cheese is a Greek cheese made from sheep and goat’s milk. It has a tangy, sharp flavor and a creamy texture in the mouth.

How Is It Made?
Genuine Greek feta is made from sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk.
However, goat’s milk cannot be more than 30% of the mixture.
The milk used to make the cheese is usually pasteurized, but it can also be raw.
After the milk is pasteurized, lactic acid starter cultures are added to separate the whey from the curds, which are made of the protein casein. Then, rennet is added to set the casein.
Once this process is complete, the curd is shaped by draining the whey and placing the curd in molds for 24 hours.
Once the curd is firm, it is cut into cubes, salted and placed in wooden barrels or metal containers for up to three days. Next, the blocks of cheese are placed in a salted solution and refrigerated for two months.
Finally, when the cheese is ready to be distributed to consumers, it is packaged in this solution (called brine) to preserve freshness.
Bottom Line: Feta cheese is a fresh cheese that is shaped into cubes. It is stored in salted brine and matured for only two months.

Feta Cheese Is Packed With Nutrients
Feta cheese seems to be a healthy choice. One ounce (28 grams) provides:
Calories: 74
Fat: 6 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Carbs: 1.1 grams
Riboflavin: 14% of the RDI
Calcium: 14% of the RDI
Sodium: 13% of the RDI
Phosphorus: 9% of the RDI
Vitamin B12: 8% of the RDI
Selenium: 6% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 6% of the RDI
Zinc: 5% of the RDI
It also has decent amounts of vitamins A and K, folate, pantothenic acid, iron and magnesium.
Bottom Line: Feta cheese is a low-calorie, low-fat cheese. It is also a good source of B vitamins, calcium and phosphorus.

It Can Support Bone Health
Cheese seems to be the primary source of calcium in Western diets.
Feta cheese is a good source of calcium, phosphorus and protein, all of which have been proven to promote bone health.
Calcium and protein help maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis, while phosphorus helps your bones absorb calcium.
Bottom Line: Calcium and phosphorus are present in feta cheese in amounts that can help support bone health.

Feta Cheese Is Good for Your Gut
Probiotics are live, friendly bacteria that can benefit your health.
Feta has been shown to contain Lactobacillus plantarum, which accounts for about 48% of its bacteria.
These bacteria can help promote immune system and gut health by protecting the intestinal tract from disease-causing bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella.
Furthermore, they seem to increase the production of compounds that inhibit the inflammatory response, thus providing anti-inflammatory benefits.
Bottom Line: Feta cheese contains friendly bacteria that have been shown to promote immune and intestinal health, in addition to their anti-inflammatory effects.

It Contains Beneficial Fatty Acids
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a fatty acid found in animal products. It has been shown to help improve body composition, decreasing fat mass and increasing lean body mass. CLA may also help prevent diabetes and has shown anti-cancer effects.
- eating feta cheese could contribute to your intake of CLA and provide you with all of the benefits it offers.
Interestingly enough, Greece has the lowest incidence of breast cancer and the highest consumption of cheese in the European Union.
Bottom Line: Feta cheese contains good amounts of CLA, which may improve body composition and help prevent diabetes and cancer.

Potential Problems With Feta
Feta cheese is a good dairy source of nutrients. However, due to how its made and the types of milk used, it could have some drawbacks.
It Contains High Amounts of Sodium
During the cheese-making process, salt is added to the curd. Additionally, during storage, the cheese block needs to be submerged in a brine of up to 7% salt.
The finished product is a cheese that’s high in sodium. In fact, feta cheese contains 312 mg of sodium in a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving, which can account for up to 13% of your RDI.
If you’re sensitive to salt, one simple way to reduce the salt content of this cheese is to rinse the cheese with water before eating it.
It Has a High Lactose Content
Fresh cheeses and cheeses made with high levels of milk fat tend to be higher in lactose than aged cheeses.
Since feta cheese is a fresh cheese made from whole milk, it has a higher lactose content than cheeses like gouda, Parmesan or ricotta.
People who are allergic or intolerant to lactose should avoid eating fresh cheeses, including feta.
Pregnant Women Should Not Consume Unpasteurized Feta
Listeria monocytogenes is a type of bacteria found in water and soil that can contaminate crops and animals.
Pregnant women are usually advised to avoid consuming raw vegetables and meats, as well as unpasteurized dairy products, because they have the potential to be contaminated with these bacteria.
Cheeses made with unpasteurized milk have a higher risk of carrying the bacteria than cheeses made with pasteurized milk. Similarly, fresh cheeses have a higher risk of carrying it than aged cheeses, due to higher moisture content. Therefore, feta cheese made with unpasteurized milk is not recommended for pregnant women.
Bottom Line: Feta cheese has a higher sodium and lactose content than other cheeses. Also, when made with unpasteurized milk, it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria bacteria.

How to Eat Feta Cheese
Feta can be a great addition to your meals because of its flavor and texture. In fact, Greeks traditionally keep it on the table for people to freely add during meals.
Here are a few fun ways to add this type of cheese to your food:-
On salads: Sprinkle crumbled feta on your salads.
Grilled: Grill feta, drizzle it with olive oil and season with pepper.
With fruits: Create dishes such as a salad of watermelon, feta and mint.
In omelets: Combine eggs with spinach, tomatoes and feta.
Bottom Line: Because of its characteristic flavor and aroma, feta cheese can be an excellent addition to meals.

Take Home Message
Feta is a fresh, white cheese with a soft and creamy texture.
Compared to other cheeses, it’s low in calories and fat. It also contains a high amount of B vitamins, phosphorus and calcium, which can benefit bone health.
Additionally, feta contains beneficial bacteria and fatty acids.
However, this type of cheese is high in sodium and lactose. Pregnant women should also be sure to avoid unpasteurized feta.
Yet for most people, feta is perfectly safe to eat. What’s more, it can be used in a variety of recipes, ranging from appetizers to desserts.
At the end of the day, feta is a delicious and healthy addition to most people’s diets."

Arlene's full article with further information / research links is here

How about trying this delicious Greek Sardine Salad with feta recipe (bread optional)
You can find the details 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.

All the best Jan

Monday, 9 January 2017

Association of dietary cholesterol and egg intakes with the risk of incident dementia or Alzheimer disease

The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study.


BACKGROUND: There is little information about the associations of intakes of cholesterol and eggs, a major source of dietary cholesterol, with the risk of cognitive decline in general populations or in carriers of apolipoprotein E ɛ4 (APO-E4), a major risk factor for dementia.

OBJECTIVE: We investigated the associations of cholesterol and egg intakes with incident dementia, Alzheimer disease (AD), and cognitive performance in middle-aged and older men from Eastern Finland.

DESIGN: A total of 2497 dementia-free men, aged 42-60 y in 1984-1989 at the baseline examinations of the prospective, population-based Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, were included in the study. Information on the apolipoprotein E (Apo-E) phenotype was available for 1259 men. Data on cognitive performance tests at the 4-y re-examinations were available for 480 men. Dietary intakes were assessed with the use of 4-d food records at baseline. Dementia and AD diagnoses were based on Finnish health registers. Cox regression and ANCOVA were used for the analyses.

RESULTS: During the 21.9-y follow-up, 337 men were diagnosed with dementia, and 266 men were diagnosed with AD. Neither cholesterol nor egg intake was associated with a higher risk of incident dementia or AD. For example, when evaluated continuously, each intake of 100 mg cholesterol/d was associated with a multivariable-adjusted HR of 0.90 (95% CI: 0.79, 1.02) for incident dementia, and each additional 0.5 egg (27 g)/d was associated with an HR of 0.89 (95% CI: 0.78, 1.01). However, egg intake was associated with better performance on neuropsychological tests of the frontal lobe and executive functioning, the Trail Making Test, and the Verbal Fluency Test. The Apo-E4 phenotype did not modify the associations of cholesterol or egg intake (P-interactions > 0.11).

CONCLUSIONS: Neither cholesterol nor egg intake is associated with an increased risk of incident dementia or AD in Eastern Finnish men. Instead, moderate egg intake may have a beneficial association with certain areas of cognitive performance.


How to write a rant against low-carb

Your post should begin by explaining how much you don't intend to become embroiled in another argument about low-carb. You should state clearly how much respect you have toward anyone who low-carbs. You might like to close paragraph one with the phrase "each to his own", as this serves as a cue for the reader to prepare for the ensuing tirade by clenching their buttocks and assuming an appropriate crash position.

"However..." is always a great way to begin paragraph two. This is where your post turns and the kettle really gets whistling. You should make it clear not only where you'd like the low-carbers to go, but also what they should do when they get there. If possible, you should add some typing errors into this section in order to demonstrate just how hard it is to use a keyboard when you're shaking with furious anger. Under no circumstances must you indicate what it is that you're really angry about. Don't forget to include the words zealot and evangelical somewhere along the way.

Paragraph three should be reserved for inconsequential anecdotes.

Use paragraph four to show people that you're not afraid to be tenuous when an argument demands it. Don't forget to finish by adding a HbA1C well below 6% and be sure to mention the fact that the quinoa on toast that you had for breakfast was mind-blowingly good. Paragraph four should contain the phrase "I am happy" at least five times."