Low-Carb Chicken Wings via Yummy Lummy

A super-duper low-carb options for chicken fans from Yummy Lummy…

Super hot and spicy chicken wings that are low carb too Spicy chicken wings were on my mind all day after I watched Megatoad (aka Matt Stonie) eating sixty-five (65) chicken wings on his YouTube channel. He starts mild and steps up to the really hot and spicy chicken wings towards the end and then […]

via Super hot and spicy chicken wings that are low carb too — Yummy Lummy

Yummy Lummy’s Low-Carb Chicken Casserole

This post belongs to Yummy Lummy – I cook, photograph and eat food with the occasional restaurant review!. Whisky flavoured chicken blue cheese casserole Whisky flavoured chicken and blue cheese casserole may sound weird but the taste is amazing, especially with some nice Danish blue cheese melted throughout the chicken and vegetable mix. 34 more…

via Whisky flavoured chicken blue cheese casserole — Yummy Lummy

Diabetic Running

This is what I look like when I’m running (I wish!)

There are no prizes for guessing what topic The Diabetic Running Podcast covers… It’s my first diabetic-related podcast subscription, and heck, it’s a useful one.

I’m a long-time podcast fan. As an uncultured Philistine, I don’t find music interesting enough for long walks and runs. A podcast on the other hand can be funny, the News Quiz for example, or educational.

I found the diabetic running podcast on Instagram (@diabeticrunningpodcast). I’ve entered the 2008 Great Scottish Run, a half-marathon that takes place at the end of September. I ran it ten years ago, a great deal younger and on the pump at the time.

The Diabetic Running Podcast is hosted by Jon Foti, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age twenty-seven. I worked out I’ve been exercising with diabetes for longer than he’s been alive, but I still find the interviews useful and informative.

Exercise is tricky with type 1 diabetes, especially anything that lasts long than forty-five minutes. The Diabetic Running Podcast featured an interview with a type 1 from London, Emma Collins, who’s run the London and Berlin marathons. Her first experience, she said, wasn’t great. She’d been wrongly advised to skip her basal injection altogether on the day of the race, so she ran at a lot of it at levels of 20+ (360mg/dl).

The ambulance crew who tested her blood glucose levels at the twenty-mile mark told her to give up, but she couldn’t bear to and ran on. For those of you without diabetes, running or exercising with high blood sugars is unbelievably difficult. Exercise makes you thirsty anyway and a high blood sugar sucks the liquid from your mouth and turns your muscles to lead. Kudos to Emma for continuing. We type 1s have a tendency to stubbornness.

What everyone Jon has interviewed so far has said is that exercise and type 1 diabetes is a matter of trial and error. What works for one person won’t work for another. For us, training for a half-marathon is not just about making sure we can run the distance.

It’s about experimenting with different boluses and basal rates, trying out different foods and drinks, and working out how adrenaline affects you to get it as right as you possibly can on the day of the run.


The Fitbit!

I’ve joined the Fitbit world. Having dipped my toe in the water via the Jawbone Up Activity tracker, I’m now the proud owner of a Fitbit.

My Up activity tracker vanished in January when the device fell out of the wristband. It must be somewhere in the house. Maybe the system thinks I’m dead thanks to my lack of movement. Hey ho! Anyway, by that point I reckoned I knew what you needed to do to cover 10,000 steps a day, and I was quite happy to live tracker-free.

I didn’t stare at my phone so much. My health didn’t take a nosedive, and the world didn’t end.

On Valentine’s Day, however, my husband gave me a Fitbit Charge 2, the reward for staying alcohol-free so far this year. To be honest, when he hinted the other week that he’d got me a pressie for my teetotal efforts, I thought he was talking about champagne. It always makes sense to reward your giving up something with the very substance you’ve been avoiding, hmm?!

And I was grateful and touched that he’d bothered. He’d done the research, he told me happily. This tracker is the all-singing, all-dancing one! It counts your steps, how often you climb up stairs (you should climb ten flights a day for good health, apparently), checks your heart beat, auto-recognises different exercises and monitors your sleep. You can add in a food tracker and monitor your calorie intake if you want to lose weight.

For someone who tends to obsessiveness, this is good and bad news. To prevent myself repeatedly checking my phone, I downloaded the app for Fitbit onto my tablet instead.

Exercise is very good for we folks with diabetes if you are able to be active. If you have type 2, you might be able to control the condition through diet and exercise alone. If you have type 1, exercise will mean you can reduce how much insulin you need to take overall, and it can be used with diet and insulin to keep your blood sugar levels in range.

At some point, perhaps activity trackers will be prescribed for people with diabetes? In the future, the Fitbit could include blood glucose monitoring, as a story earlier this year reported that Fitbit has just invested in a company that’s developing a minimally invasive glucose tracker. Imagine having all that information available in one place.

I, for one, would love that capability, so fingers crossed.

Junk Food and Cancer Risk

diabetes diet by Emma BairdThe news this week carried a story about how regular consumption of junk food might increase cancer risk.

The French study, which was published in the British Medical Journal, looked at more than 100,000 people with an average age of 42. It looked at the association between ultra-processed food and the overall risk of breast, prostate and colorectal cancer, adjusting for known risk factors.

The study found that ultra-processed food intake was associated with higher overall cancer risk. A 10 percent increase in the amount of ultra-processed foods in the diet was associated with a 10 percent increase in the risks of overall and breast cancer. The study’s authors said further research was needed to understand the effects of food processing in this association.

The foods experts warn could be linked to cancer include:

  • Fizzy drinks
  • Crisps
  • Biscuits
  • Chocolate bars and sweets
  • Instant noodles and soups
  • Ready meals
  • Packaged breads and rolls
  • Savoury or sweet packet snacks.

One of the advantages of following a low-carb diet is that it’s difficult and expensive for food manufacturers to offer ready-made alternatives, which could be one of the reasons why it’s never soared in popularity in the same way veganism has, for instance.

If you embark on a low-carb diet, you’re almost forced to cook from scratch. There are ‘junk food’ low-carb alternatives such as the bars that market themselves that way, but they are prohibitively expensive and not that nice.

The foods listed above (except for diet fizzy drinks) are all high in sugar and carbs. Researchers recommend people eat more fruit and veg to minimise cancer risk. Welcome to the low-carb world and the Diabetes Diet, full of salads, broccoli, cabbage, aubergines, peppers, courgettes, beans, berries, apples and more!







Artificial Sweeteners

As a blogger, I get sent press releases regularly. Most of the time, they’re irrelevant (I got a lot of financial information because a media directory had mistakenly classified me as a financial journalist) but I get the odd one that reflects my interests and what I write about.

Recently, the subject line Artificial Sweeteners linked to weight gain, metabolic syndrome, and metabolic dysfunction caught my eye. Our book and blog contain recipes that use artificial sweeteners. The internet abounds with blogs and posts that say ‘no’, but offer up little in the way of compelling evidence.

Anyone remember the Gulf War syndrome caused by diet coke conspiracy theory? (The authorities later dismissed consumption of overheated aspartame as a cause.)

Examine.com which offers an independent, objective and unbiased assessment of nutrition and supplements, provides this recent exploration of artificial sweeteners and their effects.

The press release I received came from the Medisys Health Group in Canada. As they say, sensationalist headlines about sweeteners aren’t new. The average Canadian consumes 88 pounds of sugar from all sources a year – more than four times the daily recommended sugar limit from the World Health Organization.

If excessive, long-term consumption of sugar leads to obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, cancer and more, are artificial sweeteners the answer?

I don’t use them in my cooking, but I get a dose of sweeteners daily thanks to my love of soft drinks; Diet Coke, mainly, but also squashes, diet tonic and chewing gum. These are all sweetened with what are called non-nutritive sweeteners (such as saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame and sucralose).

As the press release notes, health implications for them are inconclusive and overall, the ones available on the market are considered safe for regular or occasional consumption. Where the press release says we should be cautious is that they don’t retrain the taste buds, and then can make naturally sweet foods like fruit taste less appealing. There is some research that suggests that artificial sweeteners can increase blood sugar levels and trigger the insulin response*.

The Medisys Group recommends you limit or avoid artificial sweeteners, and focus on whole, unprocessed foods instead, a stance we support at the Diabetes Diet.

MY FEELINGS – I get the sugar retraining aspect, though many of the recipes in our book and on our blog do taste a lot less sweet than their sugary equivalents. The research doesn’t yet convince me that I need to give up diet drinks (though the plastic argument could and should win me over).

As for using it in recipes, sugar is by far the most harmful substance to people with diabetes. If making cakes, puddings and biscuits with artificial sweeteners and low-carb ingredients keeps you away from it, is that not the best solution? We promote low-carb, not primarily as a way of losing weight but of keeping blood sugars steady and therefore making diabetes easier to manage.

Read the full release, including a breakdown of the research into metabolism, sweeteners and losing weight etc., here. You can also read the Diet Doctor’s analysis of sweeteners and which ones have the least impact on your blood sugar control, here.

*I’ve never experienced this as a result of drinking diet sodas. 

Death of Diabetic Driver Who Missed Hospital Appointments to Avoid Fines

The delivery firm DPD hit the headlines this week – for the wrong reasons.

One of the firm’s drivers died from diabetes-related causes. According to his wife, he’d started missing hospital appointments because the company fines you £150 for not working, if you can’t find someone to drive on your behalf. As a franchisee, the onus is on the driver to find his or her replacement if that person needs to take time off for medical reasons.

Don Lane worked through the busy Christmas period, despite feeling ill. He collapsed in late December and died on 4 January.

Mr Lane’s story was widely reported. An article in the Independent said Mr Lane had worked for 20 years for the company at its Bournemouth depot. His widow Ruth told the Guardian that he’d missed appointments because he was worried about being fined, having previously been fined for taking time off for an appointment in July when he visited a specialist about the damage to his eyes caused by diabetes.

Labour MP Frank Field, the chair of the Commons Work and Pension Select Committee, said the loss of life represented a new low for the gig economy. In a statement, DPD emphasised that Mr Lane was “self-employed”, and said it was “devastated” by Mr Lane’s death, but that self-employed couriers are contracted to provide a service, and they can provide a substitute if they can’t carry out the job.

They added that they were wrong to charge him for attending his appointment in July.

Horrifying, isn’t it? If you feel strongly about this, and would like to do something about it, you can choose not to use DPD for parcel delivers where possible. This might mean changing your shopping habits or asking companies you regularly buy goods from which courier firms they use. You can also make your feelings known via social media – @DPD_UK on Twitter.