Total Pageviews

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Bread and Other Edible Agents of Mental Disease.

Department of General Psychology, University of Padua, Padova, Italy

Perhaps because gastroenterology, immunology, toxicology, and the nutrition and agricultural sciences are outside of their competence and responsibility, psychologists and psychiatrists typically fail to appreciate the impact that food can have on their patients’ condition. Here we attempt to help correct this situation by reviewing, in non-technical, plain English, how cereal grains—the world’s most abundant food source—can affect human behavior and mental health.

We present the implications for the psychological sciences of the findings that, in all of us, bread (1) makes the gut more permeable and can thus encourage the migration of food particles to sites where they are not expected, prompting the immune system to attack both these particles and brain-relevant substances that resemble them, and (2) releases opioid-like compounds, capable of causing mental derangement if they make it to the brain.

A grain-free diet, although difficult to maintain (especially for those that need it the most), could improve the mental health of many and be a complete cure for others 

Full text here:


Hazelnut and Chocolate Cake with Raspberries : And this one is LCHF

If you follow this blog you may have already seen some recipe suggestions from Ewelina, who is a Type 1 diabetic. A while ago she came up with this delicious recipe, and she describes it as:
A "Beautiful chocolate torte. Based on hazelnuts and sweetened with erythritol guarantees diabetic friendly nutritional values. Rich, dense and irresistible teatime treat that is surprisingly easy to make. This cake brings together the flavour of chocolate, hazelnuts and raspberries. Can't think of any better combination!"

These are the ingredients you will need:
4 eggs
200g butter
200g hazelnuts (roasted and ground)
150 dark chocolate
150g erythritol

And for the topping:
80 g dark chocolate
30g butter

Nutritional Details:
Whole Cake:

Carbohydrates 93g Protein 85g Fat 428g Calories 4667
One Slice (1/16 of the cake)
Carbohydrates 5.8g Protein 5.3g Fat 27g Calories 291

To see details of preparation / cooking please use this link here

Did you know ... Roasting hazelnuts, or filberts, will remove some of the moisture in the nut, allowing it to have a more crunchy texture, and the natural fats in the nut will turn the nut brown. Roasted hazelnuts have a nuttier flavour, but over-roasting them can result in burned or bitter nuts. Roasted hazelnuts can be used in recipes or eaten as they are. You can read more, including a step by step guide, on how to roast hazelnuts by either; Roasting them in a Pan or Oven, or over an open fire and also skinning the hazelnut here

Now where's my small slice of this delicious lchf cake ...

... enjoy

All the best Jan

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Shaun Escoffery - Perfect Love Affair (Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park 2015)

Weekend chill out time enjoy

Mirrors - Justin Timberlake (Boyce Avenue feat. Fifth Harmony cover)

Obviously I can't match Eddies offering with over one billion views but my choice has had over 100 million views which ain't  bad for a cover

Passenger Let Her Go over one billion views!

Yes, it's Saturday night again and music night on this blog. The first time I heard this song, it put a hook in me. It appears to be very popular, with a claimed, wait for it, over 1,059,556,141 views. When this blog gets to that level, we will call it a day. Dreaming on. Eddie 

Super Power Ice Block Lolly : LCHF Summer Snack : Full Of Goodness

These 'Super Power Ice Blocks' are full of goodness and just perfect for a LCHF Summer Snack! The grand-children (aged 4 - 12 years) love 'snacks' like these, but I'm sure even younger children would like them to! They can even be poured into ice cube trays, frozen and added to smoothies, which our daughter-in-law loves too.

Serves 12
250ml/ 8.5fl.oz unsweetened yoghurt
250ml/ 8.5fl.oz coconut cream
100g/ 3.5oz frozen or fresh berries
30g/ 1oz cocoa powder
75g/ 2.6oz silverbeet/spinach chopped
2 (5ml) teaspoons chia seeds
100ml/ 3.4fl.oz full fat milk
1 (15ml) tbs granulated stevia (or sweetener of choice) to taste

This makes a LARGE volume, you can make a smaller volume if you wish and adjust the ingredients accordingly.
You can also drink this as a smoothie instead of freezing.

Serving size: 1 Ice Block

Calories: 85 Fat: 6.5g Carbohydrates: 3g Sugar: 1.8g Fibre: 0.6g Protein: 3.2g

Please see making instructions at Libby's, Ditch The Carbs Site here

two of our grand-children enjoyed a snack similar to this after tennis
this recipe can be adapted to suit tastes

... we bring a variety of recipe ideas to this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account.

All the best Jan

Friday, 29 July 2016

Added sugars drive chronic kidney disease and its consequences: A comprehensive review.

The consumption of added sugars (e.g. sucrose [table sugar] and high-fructose corn syrup) over the last 200 years has increased exponentially and parallels the increased prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Data for animals and humans suggest that the consumption of added sugars leads to kidney damage and related metabolic derangements that increase cardiovascular risk. 

Importantly, the consumption of added sugars has been found to induce insulin resistance and increase uric acid in humans, both of which increase the conversion of glucose to fructose (i.e. fructogenesis) via the polyol pathway. The polyol pathway has recently been implicated in the contribution and progression of kidney damage, suggesting that even glucose can be toxic to the kidney via its endogenous transformation into fructose in the proximal tubule.

Consuming added fructose has been shown to induce insulin resistance, which can lead to hyperglycaemia, oxidative stress, inflammation and the activation of the immune system, all of which can synergistically contribute to kidney damage. CKD guidelines should stress a reduction in the consumption of added sugars as a means to prevent and treat CKD as well as reduce CKD–related morbidity and mortality.

Full paper here.


Get your BS detector today.

If you believe, big pharma and multinational food outfits, have your health and well-being as a number one priority, you need a BS meter. Eddie 

Chicken caesar salad with red grapes

The summer months are a great time to enjoy salads and there are so many wonderful variations. Take this one for instance - a chicken caesar salad - topped with red grapes, can make for a healthy lunch or tea. Well why not eat and enjoy it at a time that suits you!

Serves Four

460g chicken breast fillets
1 tbsp olive oil
2 sticks celery, sliced
½ cucumber, de-seeded and cut into half moons
150g red grapes, halved
680g Romaine (Cos) lettuce
2 tbsp Caesar salad dressing

1. Slice the chicken into thin strips and brush all over with the olive oil. Heat a griddle pan and cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes, then turn and cook for another 1-2 minutes on the other side, or until cooked through. You may have to do this in batches. Set the cooked chicken aside and allow to cool slightly.
2. Toss together the celery, cucumber, grapes and cooked chicken. Spoon on to the lettuce leaves and then top with the chicken. Drizzle over the dressing to serve.

Each serving provides:
9.5g carbohydrate 3.4g fibre 30.3g protein 7.7g fat

Recipe idea from here

Romaine (Romano) or Cos lettuce is long and almost oblong in shape. The leaves are thick and firm with a stiff central rib. The outer leaves are slightly bitter, but the ones in the centre are sweeter and more delicate. This lettuce is also packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fibre, which you can read more about here 

Enjoy your salad ...

All the best Jan

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Chris Froome Cut Back on Carbs, Lost 20 Pounds and Won the Tour de France – 3 Times!

Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt (Diet Doctor site) writes:
"Here’s a true atomic bomb in the sports nutrition world.

Chris Froome, winner of Tour de France 2013, 2015 and 2016, now says that the winning concept was saying goodbye to most carbohydrates, and introducing more fatty protein such as salmon and eggs. By doing so, he lost 20 pounds, increased his power to weight-ratio and started winning.

It’s quite funny that there are still many people who think that you need to load up on carbs to exercise at all. This is just a great example showing that that simply isn’t true.

If reducing carb intake can make Chris Froome win one of the most competitive endurance races on the planet, multiple times, how could it help you get into better shape?"

... Also, in an article in 'Business Insider' Chris says "I think hard about the quality of the food I'm eating – organic fruit, vegetables and meat wherever possible. It's a common misconception that because we're training five or six hours a day that we can eat what we want and burn it off. It really is a case of watching every little thing you put in your mouth and how it's going to benefit you. Your body really does respond to tweaks then."

From Chris on twitter - this is his rest day breakfast
Read more at Business Insider here 

Well, we may not all be sporty - but eating whole fresh food
and taking exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle makes good sense doesn't it?

All the best Jan

Avocado and Cucumber Soup

This recipe for a delicious summer soup combines avocado, cucumber and green onion. I have to say that avocado's are one of my favourite foods and they are packed full of good nutrients, you can read more about that here

If you'd like to make this soup here is what you'll need, serves four:

12 oz. (English) cucumber, peeled, cut into 4 pieces
2 Fresh California / Hass Avocados, peeled, seeded, quartered*
1 oz. green onion, cut into large pieces
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Tbsp. cilantro leaves, plus extra for garnish
4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt, plus extra for garnish
1 cup cold water or cold vegetable stock
1 cup ice cubes

( If you should need help with measurement equivalents look here )

This is how to make it:

Puree (use a blender) all ingredients until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish each serving with a swirl of yogurt and cilantro.

* Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger avocados, adjust the quantity accordingly.

Did you know ... Cilantro is a herb with wide delicate lacy green leaves and a pungent flavour. The seed of the cilantro plant is known as coriander. Although cilantro and coriander come from the same plant, their flavours are very different and cannot be substituted for each other. (Some countries refer to the cilantro as coriander, so any references to "fresh coriander" or "coriander leaves" refer to cilantro.) It can be easily confused with flat-leaf parsley in appearance, so be sure to sniff carefully. Look for a bunch with un-wilted leaves in medium green. Found fresh year round in most markets.

Information about Cilantro from here

We try and bring a variety of recipe ideas to this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. 

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Dr Aseem Malhotra : The Big Fat Fix

Rosamund Urwin writes, "Dr Aseem Malhotra orders a double helping of cheese. At Li Veli — an Italian bistro in Covent Garden — he picks a plate of Italian cheeses as a starter and then tucks into aubergine Parmigiana, a gratin with mozzarella and Parmesan.

This isn’t a “sod the diet” day, thought” day, though. Malhotra is a cardiologist, and this is how he thinks we should all eat. He puts grass-fed butter on his vegetables, and extra-virgin olive oil on everything else. And in his new documentary, The Big Fat Fix, he sets out why fat isn’t the enemy but sugar is, and how refined carbohydrates — white bread and white pasta — are false friends, to be consumed only in moderation.

“Some people have an outdated fear of fat,” the 38-year-old says. “It’s nonsense. We’ve got better data than we had years ago when it was said fat was the problem. Full-fat, non-processed dairy is good for the heart and fat keeps you fuller for longer.”

What about the old bogeyman of the food industry, saturated fat? “There are different types. Extra virgin olive oil — amazing for health — has about 14 to 20 per cent saturated fat. We should move towards food-based, not food-group, guidelines.”

Malhotra dismisses the current health consensus: “The focus has been on cholesterol, weight and burning calories — it’s all fatally flawed. The root cause driving heart disease and diabetes is insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that helps control glucose levels in the blood. What drives insulin resistance is a diet that’s high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.”

In The Big Fat Fix, Malhotra travels to Pioppi in southern Italy where the residents enjoy longevity and a healthy old-age with low rates of heart disease, diabetes and dementia. Britain’s bastardisation of the Italian diet means we think it means pizza and pasta. It doesn’t. It means oily fish and lots of vegetables. Pizza is a once-a-month treat; pasta is a starter. And in Pioppi, even a rare pudding was cooked in olive oil.

The Pioppi Protocol should be our dietary model, Malhotra says. His first advice to patients (he works at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage) is that they should eat a handful of nuts a day. Then they should cut all processed and refined sugar. They should never buy anything marked low-fat but should eat lots of veg and oily fish, which is high in Omega 3. Counting calories is out too: “It’s the quality of the calories you are eating that matters, not the number.”

The effects, he says, are dramatic: “I don’t mean weight loss — although you may lose weight as a side-effect — I mean with health. We should focus on health not weight — and the weight will correct itself.”

Even the slim should heed this advice. Many have the “illusion of protection”, Malhotra says, because they aren’t struggling to button up their jeans. “Many of my patients’ measure of success is their weight and doctors focus too much on it too. There’s no such thing as a healthy weight. Forty per cent of people with a normal BMI will still get lifestyle diseases. The biggest risk factor for them is waist circumference."

Malhotra wasn’t always this way. He used to eat sugary cereal for breakfast. Finding himself starving at 11 am, he would reach for a KitKat. For lunch he might have pasta, while Dinner could be a curry with lots of rice. Since changing his diet, he’s lost a stone — and it’s all from around the waist.

What changed his view was seeing, as a junior doctor, the pressure on the NHS. “There was ever more misery, ever more people who were overweight or with Type II diabetes.”

He believed our dietary advice must be wrong, started investigating and noted conflicts of interest in the promotion of a low-fat diet. “I’ve been eating and sleeping this for five years.”

The Big Fat Fix also looks at exercise (there’s even a training montage!). Previously Malhotra was a drive-to-the-gym-and-pound-the-treadmill type. But then he spoke to orthopaedic surgeons, who said they were seeing people in their forties needing hip and knee replacements, and that no one should run on the pavement, or even treadmills.

Now he does a lot of squats, and focuses on compound movement. “Try not to sit for more than 45 minutes at your desk. Just stretch for 15 seconds or do a squat. For heart health, keep moving. Do what you enjoy: whether it’s cycling or walking.” In Pioppi there are no gyms. “If you look at the Mediterranean culture in the film, they walk everywhere. These people are living until 90! ” He also reckons we should have more sex — to reduce the odds of heart disease, obviously.

He is frustrated that so much focus is on working off calories. “It angers me that people are measuring how many they are burning on a treadmill. The body doesn’t work that way. The amount you burn from exercise is minimal compared with what people eat. If you want to put on weight, we tell you to exercise because it increases appetite.” 

He calls for a revolution in how we think about energy from food. “About 75 per cent of the calories we burn are for just keeping your organs going. I need energy for my brain, my heart. I don’t want to be fuelling that with stuff that’s going to give me heart disease and Type II diabetes. The idea that it doesn’t matter where the calories come from, you can just burn it off, is nonsense.”

Malhotra’s mission now is to take these messages to the masses. “A doctor’s duty goes beyond individual patients to the whole population.”

"THE DOCTOR DIET: what you need to know

1. Fat is not the enemy: cheese and butter are off the banned list, and olive oil and nuts are your dietary NBFs.

2. Stop counting calories — what really matters is the quality of the calories you are eating.

3. Cut out processed and refined sugar. You can still eat fruit — but try to get the majority of your five-a-day from vegetables.

4. Reduce your consumption of refined carbohydrates by eating as the Italians actually do — pasta is not a main course and pizza is a treat.

5. If you sit at a desk all day, set a timer and every 45 minutes do 15 seconds of stretching, a squat or walk to the watercooler.

6. To combat stress, get 10 minutes a day (you can break it up) of deep breathing or Tai chi exercises, where you switch off. "

The above words from an Evening Standard article here and photo credit Matt Writtle.

Dr. Malhotra has just released a film with Donal O’Neill, called The Big Fat Fix, see here

All the best Jan

Low Carb Seedy Bread

This Seedy Bread recipe is from Julia McPhee (pictured below). Julia completed a Masters Thesis in Public Health, "Investigating adherence to and acceptability of a restricted carbohydrate, higher fat diet in middle-aged women", and graduated in 2015 with 1st Class Honours. Her aim is to make the low carb lifestyle an achievable option for everyone - read more about her here

 ... she writes "Low Carb Seedy Bread is based on a recipe from NZ Herald Bite magazine. It is a very well 'plagiarised' recipe apparently! I have named it Low Carb Seedy Bread, it's just really seedy, easy and nutritious!!"

With all those lovely seeds, I think she's right! Don't forget to have your butter handy when you eat a nice slice!

¾ cup Sunflower seeds
¾ cup Pumpkin seeds
¼ cup linseed/flaxseed (whole)
2 tbsp Chia seeds
¼ cup LSA (ground linseed/sunflower/almond)
¼ cup Psyllium husk
2 tbsp Olive oil
¼ cup water
4 eggs

Nutrition Information
Serves: 10
Serving size: 1
Calories: 191
Fat: 16.1g
Saturated fat: 2.5g
Carbohydrates: 1.0g
Protein: 8.5g"

Instructions to make this bread are here

You may also be interested in this low carb flax-seed bread recipe here

If you should need Cooking Measurement Equivalents, use this link here

We try and bring a variety of recipe ideas to this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account.

However, I hope you may be able to give these low carb breads a try !

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Know your eggs in the UK

Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

This article is by Franziska Spritzler who has a BSc in nutrition and dietetics. She is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with expertise in carbohydrate-restricted diets for diabetes and weight management.

"Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin that has powerful effects on several systems throughout the body.

Unlike most vitamins, vitamin D actually functions like a hormone, and every single cell in your body has a receptor for it.

Your body makes it from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to sunlight.

It’s also found in certain foods such as fatty fish and fortified dairy products, although it’s very difficult to get enough from diet alone.

The recommended daily intake is usually around 400-800 IU, but many experts say you should get even more than that.

Vitamin D deficiency is very common. It’s estimated that about 1 billion people worldwide have low levels of the vitamin in their blood.

According to a 2011 study, 41.6% of adults in the US are deficient. This number goes up to 69.2% in Hispanics and 82.1% in African-Americans.

These are common risk factors for vitamin D deficiency:
Having dark skin.
Being elderly.
Being overweight or obese.
Not eating much fish or milk.
Living far from the equator where there is little sun year-round.
Always using sunscreen when going out.
Staying indoors.

People who live near the equator and get frequent sun exposure are less likely to be deficient, because their skin produces enough vitamin D to satisfy the body’s needs.

Most people don’t realize that they are deficient, because the symptoms are generally subtle. You may not notice them easily, even if they are having a significant negative effect on your quality of life.

Here are 8 signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency:

1. Getting Sick or Infected Often.

One of vitamin D’s most important roles is keeping your immune system strong so you’re able to fight off the viruses and bacteria that cause illness.
It directly interacts with the cells that are responsible for fighting infection.
If you become sick often, especially with colds or the flu, low vitamin D levels may be a contributing factor.

Bottom Line: Vitamin D plays important roles in immune function. One of the most common symptoms of deficiency is an increased risk of illness or infections.

2. Fatigue and Tiredness.
Feeling tired can have many causes and vitamin D deficiency may be one of them.
Unfortunately, it’s often overlooked as a potential cause.

Bottom Line: Excessive fatigue and tiredness may be a sign of vitamin D deficiency. Taking supplements may help improve energy levels.

3. Bone and Back Pain.

Vitamin D is involved in maintaining bone health through a number of mechanisms. For one, it improves your body’s absorption of calcium.
Bone pain and lower back pain may be signs of inadequate vitamin D levels in the blood.

Bottom Line: Low blood levels of the vitamin may be a cause or contributing factor to bone pain and lower back pain.

4. Depression.
A depressed mood may also be a sign of deficiency.
In review studies, researchers have linked vitamin D deficiency to depression, particularly in older adults.

Bottom Line: Depression is associated with low vitamin D levels and some studies have found that supplementing improves mood.

5. Impaired Wound Healing.

Slow healing of wounds after surgery or injury may be a sign that vitamin D levels are too low.

Bottom Line: Inadequate vitamin D levels may lead to poor wound healing following surgery, injury or infection.

6. Bone Loss.
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in calcium absorption and bone metabolism.
Many older women who are diagnosed with bone loss believe they need to take more calcium. However, they may be deficient in vitamin D as well.
Low bone mineral density is an indication that calcium and other minerals have been lost from bone. This places older people, especially women, at an increased risk of fractures.

Bottom Line: A diagnosis of low bone mineral density may be a sign of vitamin D deficiency. Getting enough of this vitamin is important for preserving bone mass as you get older.

7. Hair Loss.
Hair loss is often attributed to stress, which is certainly a common cause.
However, when hair loss is severe, it may be the result of a disease or nutrient deficiency. Female-pattern hair loss has been linked to low vitamin D levels, although there is very little research on this so far.

Bottom Line: Hair loss may be a sign of vitamin D deficiency in female-pattern hair loss or the autoimmune condition alopecia areata.

8. Muscle Pain.
The causes of muscle pain are often difficult to pinpoint.
There is some evidence that vitamin D deficiency may be a potential cause of muscle pain in children and adults.

Bottom Line: There is a link between chronic pain and low blood levels of the vitamin, which may be due to the interaction between the vitamin and pain-sensing nerve cells.

Correcting a Vitamin D Deficiency is Simple.

Vitamin D deficiency is incredibly common and most people are unaware of it.

That’s because the symptoms are often subtle and non-specific, meaning that it’s hard to know if they’re caused by low vitamin D levels or something else.

If you think you may have a deficiency, then it’s important that you speak to your doctor and get your blood levels measured.

Fortunately, a vitamin D deficiency is usually easy to fix. You can either increase your sun exposure, eat more vitamin D rich foods or simply take a supplement.

Fixing your deficiency is simple, easy and can have big benefits for your health."

Franziska's full article with all information / research links is here

Salmon is a popular fatty fish and also a great source of vitamin D

Egg yolks contain vitamin D

... we try and 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, 25 July 2016

Omelette with a goat’s cheese twist

Now, I'd call this 'simply super' ... but then I just love the mix of eggs, chives and goats cheese, simply served with a side salad. Yum !

Serves One
3 eggs
Handful fresh chives, finely chopped
½ tbsp olive oil
30g goat's cheese

1. Whisk the eggs until well combined. Add the chives and season with black pepper.
2. Place the oil in a small omelette pan over a medium heat. When the pan is hot, pour in the eggs. Swirl the pan gently over the heat to ensure the base of the pan is coated evenly. Use a spatula to slowly push the uncooked mixture to the edges.
3. When the omelette starts to set on the bottom, sprinkle over the goat’s cheese. Leave until almost entirely set, then fold over in the pan and slide on to a plate. Serve with a cherry tomato salad.

Each serving provides:
0.5g carbohydrate 0.3g fibre 23.7g protein 27.5g fat

Recipe idea from here

Chives ... The smallest and most delicate member of the onion family, chives are a popular herb used in European cookery. They have long, thin green blades that are hollow inside. They have a mild, grassy flavour similar to baby spring onions or young leeks. There is also an Asian variety of chive called Chinese chives, garlic chives or kuchai.

Buyer's guide:
Chives are in season in spring and summer. Fresh chives are widely available from supermarkets and garden centres. Do not substitute fresh chives for dried, as the finished dish will taste musty.

Keep fresh chives refrigerated for up to three days.

Snip chives with scissors instead of chopping them, and do not subject them to much cooking as they are delicate. Instead, use chives in garnishes, salads, egg mayonnaise sandwiches, vegetable stocks, soups, creamy sauces, potato dishes and omelettes, adding the herb to the dish just before serving. Purple-blue chive flowers are also eaten and used as a garnish.

Why not sit down soon and enjoy an omelette.

All the best Jan

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Dr David Unwin at The Big Fat Fix premiere event London


Our youngest low carb star wows the audience again !

How many times do you say to yourself - where does the time go? I find myself saying it quite often, and it really doesn't seem possible that it was about this time last year that our youngest grand-daughter (aged 4yrs) was wowing the audience at her end of year ballet show; and now a full year on she's gone and done it again!

Her class were performing to Disney's Aristocats, and I think all who were fortunate to see the show just loved it - the clapping and cheering almost bought the roof down - just sheer delight for all.

All the best Jan

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Michael Kiwanuka - Cold Little Heart (Live Session Video)

The intro to this song is one of the longest I've heard but enjoy a talented guitarist and singer


The Killdares "Whiskey In The Jar" Live at the Granada Theater


Gipsy Kings - HABLA ME

Last one from me tonight. Years ago I got involved with a mob selling time share apartments in Spain. Believe me when I say MOB, I mean the MOB. I used to arrange finance for them. They treated me well and at their high sell seminars, they always played Gypsy Kings music and introduced me to the bands music.

I have loved the Gipsy Kings for years, and always thought they were Spanish, how wrong can you be. From Wiki. The Gypsy Kings are a group of musicians from Arles and Montpellier in the south of France who perform in Spanish with an Andalusian accent. Although group members were born in France, their parents were mostly gitanos, Spanish gypsies who fled Catalonia during the 1930s Spanish Civil War. We live and learn. Eddie

Coldplay - Stayin' Alive (feat. Barry Gibb) (Glastonbury 2016)

Graham is always accusing me, of living in the past, regarding my musical tastes, so a compromise. An oldie but goldie brought up to date. Ya can't beat the old stuff. Well, the crowd loved it for sure, enjoy. How many of you old 'uns have made a fool of yourselves dancing to this, well I certainly have, half drunk at a wedding, doing a John Travolta LOL. Eddie

Paul Simon - The Boy In The Bubble Live from The African Concert.

Yes, it's Saturday night again, and Saturday night is music night on this blog. For me Paul Simon has to be one of the most gifted artists of my generation. For his Graceland album he went out to Africa, and recruited African musicians. I think you will agree, musicians here are as good as they get. A track from the album, Boy In A Bubble, one of my favourites. Eddie

Coriander Chicken

This is such a quick, easy and tasty dish ... and uses coriander which, I think, just enhances the flavour so well. Read on and see what you think!

Serves Two
4 boneless chicken thighs
Butter or coconut oil, for frying,
1 tsp crushed garlic
4 tbsp creme fraiche,
2 tbsp double cream
1 tsp Dijon mustard,
1 handful fresh coriander, salt and pepper

1. Dice the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces.
2. Heat some butter or coconut oil in a large frying pan.
3. Add the chicken and garlic and cook for around 5 minutes, turning occasionally.
4. Add the creme fraiche, cream and mustard to the pan and stir until combined.
5. Allow the mixture to bubble for 1–2 minutes, then add the coriander and season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe suggestion from Karen Thomson's book 'Sugar Free: 8 Weeks To Freedom From Sugar And Carb Addiction,'

Also see article and more details here

Coriander is one of the world's most commonly used herbs. It is green, leafy and strong-smelling with a fresh, citrus taste that makes it an invaluable garnish and flavour enhancer. For maximum flavour, it is best added to dishes just before serving.

All the best Jan

Friday, 22 July 2016

Dr Tamsin Lewis - Shifting Perspectives In Mental Health


Stilton with Grapes and Red Wine

Well with the weekend (almost) here ...

Stilton Cheese
Calories: 410, Protein: 23.7g, Carb: 0.1g, Fat: 35g, Fibre: nil.

Black Grapes
Calories: 60, Protein: 0.4g, Carb: 15.4, Fat: 0.1g, Fibre: n/a

Red Wine per 100ml.
Calories: 68, Protein: 0.1g, Carb: 0.2, Fat: 0g, Fibre: n/a

Typical nutritional values per 100 grams
For this and other good low carb food recipes see here

All the best Jan

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Tomato and chickpea dip : Can be great for a summer table !

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

... but this tomato and chickpea 'houmous' is great for kids and adults alike, it can make a nice change from the classic recipe. Great for summer days too!

Serves Six
410 g tin chickpeas, drained
3 cloves garlic, peeled and bashed
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
390 g carton chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tahini
0.5 tsp smoked paprika, plus extra to garnish
A few washed sprigs of coriander to garnish
2 carrots, 2 celery sticks, 1 red pepper, 
washed, carrots peeled, trimmed and sliced into batons, to serve

1. In a food processor, whizz the chickpeas, garlic, lemon zest and juice to a rough paste. Add the chopped tomatoes, tahini and paprika and blitz to a smooth dip.
2. Garnish the dip with the extra smoked paprika and fresh coriander sprigs, and serve with the vegetable batons.

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.

Original recipe idea from here

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

These sons REVERSED their fathers diabetes by making him cut out pasta and bread. So why does the NHS advise the complete opposite?

  • Geoff Whitington struggled with Type 2 diabetes for more than 10 years
  • The 62-year-old father was overweight and faced a possible leg amputation
  • Devastated by his lack of will to live, his sons Ian and Anthony took action
On a balmy spring evening sitting on the balcony of a Spanish holiday villa, Anthony and Ian Whitington asked their father to sit down and look through some old family photos.

The brothers had arranged the ten-day break to spend precious time with their dad Geoff, but also to remind him of the man he once was.

Geoff was just 62 at the time but his weight had nudged over 20 stone — way too high for his 6 foot frame. 

He was so immobile he had to use crutches and was in danger of having a foot amputated due to the creeping effects of the Type 2 diabetes he had lived with for ten years.

The trip two years ago was the brothers’ last ditch attempt to save their dad.

‘We laid photos out on the table,’ says filmmaker Anthony, a 38-year-old father-of-four from Ashford, Kent.

‘We told Dad: “This is why we brought you here.”

‘There were old pictures of him looking fit, healthy and happy as he played with Ian and me when we were little.

‘Then there were the more recent pictures of him not only very overweight at over 20 stone, but also cutting a much more distant and depressed figure. It was clear he was ready to give up on life.’

Rather than see their father further deteriorate before their eyes, the brothers decided to take action.

‘We insisted that if he could stick to the diet and exercise plan we had devised for him, we could hopefully enable him to spend another 20 to 30 years with us and his four grandchildren,’ says Anthony.

‘That was our turning point. He realised how much he had to fight for.’

The story of how Anthony and his younger brother Ian, 37, a documentary maker, intervened to bring their father back from the brink is told in a powerful new BBC film, called Fixing Dad.

The searingly honest documentary is a salutary tale for the 3.6 million people with Type 2 diabetes in the UK.

With his family’s help Geoff believes he has managed to ‘reverse’ the disease: he now weighs 13 stone and his blood sugar levels are so low he no longer needs diabetes medication.

His sons believe this may not have happened had they not stuck Geoff on an 800-calorie-a-day diet for eight weeks, an approach pioneered by Professor Roy Taylor of Newcastle University’s Diabetes Research Group.

They also dramatically slashed his carbohydrate intake — by banning pasta and bread — after studies in the journals Nutrition & Metabolism and Diabetologia in 2008 and 2012 found this may be one of the best approaches to reset the release of insulin to safe levels again.

FIXING DAD TRAILER from Whitington Brothers Films on Vimeo.

Yet this flies in the face of official NHS advice which tells people living with Type 2 they don’t need to ‘completely exclude sugary’ foods and should include starchy carbohydrates such as pasta in the diet.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body’s cells become resistant to insulin, the hormone which helps every cell in the body to take up the glucose needed for energy.

The disease normally occurs when fat clogs the liver, which regulates the supply of glucose into the blood stream, and the pancreas, the gland behind the stomach that produces insulin.

Anthony says: ‘The official advice given to people diagnosed with Type 2 is that it’s a life sentence.
‘However, with my dad, we wanted to prove we could actually “fix” it.’

This meant the brothers had to undo Geoff’s life-long habits.

A security guard, who often worked 15-hour night shifts, Geoff would buy fast food several times a week, even though his second wife of 20 years, Marilyn, cooked for him at home. He also snacked on crisps and cookies.

When Geoff was first diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes aged 52, during checks for his irregular heartbeat, he was given medication.

‘He took the view he’d just have to take it for the rest of his life,’ says Anthony.

Every check-up he had over the next decade found that his sugar levels had risen. Yet to his family’s dismay each time he was given a higher dose of metformin — a drug which controls blood sugar — but no advice on how to control it naturally through diet and exercise.

He started to suffer side-effects of having consistently raised blood sugar. It damaged the blood vessels in his feet, reducing circulation and he developed two ulcers on his right foot, one on the ball of his foot and the other on his big toe.

On the other, he had developed Charcot foot, another side-effect of diabetes, in which the bones become so fragile that the arch collapses due to lack of blood supply to the tendons and bones.

Anthony says: ‘The result was that Dad was on crutches and spent a lot of time on the sofa watching TV, making his health worse.’

By 2013, months before the Spanish holiday, Geoff was told his ulcerated foot might need to be amputated and he sank into a deep depression.

‘Instead of making him fight back, it was as if Dad thought: “I might as well give up now,”’ says Anthony.

Read full story here:

Fixing Dad will be shown on BBC2 on Sunday July 24 at 10pm.


Summer Salads : Just Perfect

Happy Summer Salad Days
I wonder have you a favourite summer salad?

All the best Jan

Monday, 18 July 2016

Dr Zoe Harcombe PhD - Facts About Food To Help Real Foodies Fight Back

Published on Jul 1, 2016
Filmed at the Public Health Collaboration Conference 2016

Follow Dr Zoe Harcombe PhD @


Rise and Shine !

Does anyone remember the 'catch-phrase' on the old 1950's advert 'Go To Work On An Egg' ?

Well, I do and to this day I think it’s an eggscellent idea ... sorry couldn’t resist that!

When reading some of my other blog posts, you may have seen my many references to starting my day with a great breakfast. Perhaps some ham and eggs, low carb sausage and eggs, scrambled eggs, poached eggs, soft boiled eggs ... the recipes where eggs can be incorporated into a tasty breakfast are quite numerous!

A single large boiled egg contains
Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA.
Folate: 5% of the RDA.
Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA.
Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA.
Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA.
Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA. 
Selenium: 22% of the RDA. 

Eggs contain decent amounts of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium and Zinc. 
Eggs also contain various other trace nutrients that are important for health.
So 77 calories, 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fats.
Eggs are pretty much the perfect food, as they contain a little bit of almost every nutrient we need.

If you can get your hands on pastured or Omega-3 enriched eggs, then these are even better, because they have more Omega-3s and are much higher in Vitamin A and E.

So 'Rise and Shine' - why not consider starting your day with an egg

All the best Jan

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Free school meal scheme backed by Jamie Oliver making children fatter, figures suggest

The free school meals scheme backed by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is just making pupils fatter, new figures have suggested.

The £600 million pound programme was introduced with much fanfare in 2014 by Nick Clegg, who then was deputy prime minister, as a way to improve academic achievement.

However, the new data also revealed the expensive project, which replaced packed lunches with hot meals for all pupils in the first three years of primary school, is failing to significantly improve grades.

New analysis of tens of thousands of children revealed the policy has had limited impact on both making children healthier and boosting their grades, as the scheme was accused of being pricey political posturing.

Politicians had pointed to previous studies that showed that students who had proper meals for lunch were up to two months ahead in their worked compared to those who ate sandwiches and junk food.

The initiative even received the endorsement of Jamie Oliver, who had joined warnings that the obesity crisis would only get worse if the free school meals were to be scrapped.
New figures

But new figures, which were obtained by the Mail on Sunday, for two London boroughs – Newham and Islington – showed claims could have been overstated.

The NHS figures showed that 24.7 per cent of pupils who left Newham primaries in 2011 were classed as obese. But for those who left last year and had benefited from five years of free meals, the figured had increased to 27.4 per cent.

In Islington the figure rose to 22.8 per cent from 21.8 per cent in the same time period.

The two "pioneer" boroughs also made limited impact when it came to boosting students’ grades, compared to the London average.

This was assessed by the results of national English and maths tests.

Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University, said:

“The Government's free meals scheme is expensive gesture politics. In these straitened times, the money would be much better spent on education itself.

“There is no evidence of any impact on obesity, nor would much be expected given everything involved in a child’s weight.

“Children spend a relatively small part of their lives at school, so any obesity will be down to their whole way of life with their families, not just those few hours in school.”

Richard Watts, Islington Council leader, said: "Teachers tell us that children's behaviour and concentration have improved and Islington's SATs results are increasing slightly faster than the London and national average."

A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “About 1.3 million more children are enjoying a free, nutritious meal, saving families hundreds of pounds, and, along with our new School Food Standards, establishing healthy eating habits for life.”


Cherry Cupcakes : Low Carb Cooking

Well as yesterday was National Cherry Day, I'm continuing the cherry theme. This recipe suggestion comes from Ewelina - it's her lovely Low Carb Cherry Cupcake recipe. She uses one of her favourite low carb cupcake recipes, but this time uses 'sour cherries which are great for baking.' Now if you cannot get 'fresh sour cherries you can use frozen ones' ...and even the 'black-forest fruit mix available in most, big supermarkets'.

To make eight large cupcakes, which have a carb count per cake of 4g, here is what you need:
Ingredients (make about 8 large cupcakes):
180g ground almond (sieved)
85g butter, softened
240 g erythritol (ground in a coffee grinder)
5 eggs, separated
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
About 24 (frozen) cherries
Pinch of cream of tartar

180g philadelphia cheese
60g butter
2 tbsp. erythritol

Cherry sauce:
About 50g (frozen) cherries
1 tbsp erythritol
Pinch of xantam gum

You can see the preparation and cooking instructions here

Hope you may enjoy one of these low carb cupcakes soon ...

All the best Jan