The natural low carb store: Cinnamon pinwheel biscuits

Biscuit Ingredients
200g almond flour
75g Inulin or a tablespoon of granulated sugar substitute
50g butter (soft but not melted)
1 medium egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
20ml double cream
Filling Ingredients
30g butter (soft but not melted)
1 tbsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla extract


Mix biscuit ingredients. Make into dough. Form into a square shape.

Roll out on silicon liner or parchment.

Mix filling ingredients. Spread on the dough.

Roll up tightly using the silicon paper.

Put in freezer for ten minutes or the fridge for 30 minutes.

Put the oven on to 180 degrees.

Take the dough out of the fridge/freezer and cut into slices.

Arrange these on a silicon sheet and bake for 12-18 minutes depending on thickness of dough slices.

Nice eaten warm.

Food 4 your mood: Breakfast banana bread and pancakes


1/2 c. almond flour
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
1 tsp. lemon zest
Butter, for frying and serving
— In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, cream cheese, eggs, and lemon zest until smooth.
— In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Pour in about 3 tablespoons batter and cook until golden, 2 minutes. Flip and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and continue with the rest of the batter.
— Serve topped with butter.

Banana Bread

1/3 c. coconut flour
1/4 c. almond flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. smooth unsweetened almond butter
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 tbsp. agave syrup or 1 tbsp. granulated sugar substitute (optional)
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
— Preheat oven to 350° and line an 8″-x-5″ loaf pan with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine coconut flour, almond flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
— In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine coconut oil and almond butter. Microwave until coconut oil is melted and almond butter is more liquid, 10 seconds on high. Whisk in mashed bananas, agave, and vanilla, then whisk in eggs. Gently fold in dry ingredients until just combined.
— Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 40 to 45 minutes, until top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before slicing.

Vitamin D shown to improve blood sugar control in gestational diabetes

From Ojo O et al. The effect of vitamin D supplementation in women with gestational diabetes mellitus. A systemic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019:16(10)

A meta-analysis has indicated that various factors relevant to improved blood sugar control are likely to be improved by vitamin D supplementation in  a total of 173 women with gestational diabetes.

Fasting blood glucose decreased by a mean of 0.46 mmol/L

Glycated haemoglobin decreased by a mean of 0.37%

Serum insulin reduced by a mean of 4.10 uIU/mL.

 My comment: Although the improvements are small, vitamin D supplements are inexpensive, easy to take and do not have the side effects of other medications.



Lower cholesterol may not better if you have neuropathy

From Jende JME et al. Peripheral nerve damage in patients with type 2 diabetes. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(5);e194798

In type two patients who had diabetic neuropathy affecting the legs, low total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol had more nerve lesions, impaired nerve conduction and more pain and disability than those with higher cholesterol levels.

Almost all type two diabetics will be advised to take statins to keep the cholesterol level down as this is generally accepted as improving the outlook for cardiac and circulatory conditions.

One hundred participants with type two diabetes were tested using magnetic resonance neurography. 64 had diabetic neuropathy and 36 did not.

My comment: Although this was not discussed in the abstract, I wonder whether those people with more advanced complications were being more intensively treated all round and thus had more/higher doses of statins, and so the relationship between low cholesterol and neuropathy severity was simple association, or whether there is a causative factor here. I am aware that statin neuropathy is believed to exist.

Higher blood pressure is linked to LESS cognitive decline

From Streit S et al. Ann Fam Med 1 March 2019 and reported by Sarfaroj Khan UK Clinical Digest 13 March 2019

In my GP career treatment of blood pressure for the general population has become more intensive as time has gone on. This hasn’t always resulted in better long term outcomes overall. Indeed, the target systolic blood pressure, the upper measurement, has been moved from 130 to 140 in the last few years because of this.

A Dutch study of over a thousand patients over the age of 75 showed that those with a systolic blood pressure under 130 showed more cognitive decline than those with a blood pressure over 150 when they had mental functioning tests a year later.

Those with higher blood pressures had no loss of daily functioning or quality of life.

As aggressive blood pressure control in those with diabetes is standard treatment, it is worth knowing this. Perhaps further studies in this subgroup of patients would be worth doing. I have seen reports of impaired kidney function when blood pressure levels are “optimal” but low too.

Another study regarding blood pressure management reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine indicates that blood pressure reduction of almost 9mm Hg in hypertensive patients when regular structured exercise is undertaken. This is of a degree similar to most anti-hypertensive medications. (Reported in BMJ 5 Jan 2019)



Royal Garden Party at Holyrood Palace 3rd July 2019

I was thrilled to be invited to the Royal Garden Party at Holyrood Palace Edinburgh on 3rd July.

The Queen, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon were in attendance as were 8,000 other people.

Invitations came out a month in advance. Most guests are invited due to having a role in public services, the armed forces, youth work or for humanitarian work.  I saw two dogs who were both Labradors wearing service uniform.  I was invited due to my General Practice work which I have been doing in Mauchline Scotland for the last 32 years. I am retiring from this aspect of my career in January next year.

The weather was great. Sunny, a little cloud and not too hot. Despite floods the week before and rain a couple of days later, we managed to hit a sweet spot. The grass had dried out too so was good underfoot. The ground didn’t turn into a quagmire in other words.

Organisation was very slick and the large group of guests were ushered in via three entrances well staffed by police to allow security checks.  Tea and food pavilions were well laid out with about 15 stations in each of two rectangular open marquees.

The toilet facilities were portaloos of a very good standard and most importantly there was about four times the number of cabins for women as men. This meant that the queues were always similar for each gender. Someone has done the maths!  Theatres and other public venues take note! Additionally they had guest wranglers who made sure that everyone came in and out of the cabins in the most efficient manner possible.

Music was provided by two different military  bands. One male and one female. The Queen’s bodyguard were in attendance. These old gentlemen had long arrows with them and each had a golden eagle feather in their caps. They were very helpful and interesting to talk to.

There was a good choice of snacks and drinks. Tea, cold coffee, water, and apple juice.  Cucumber sandwiches, salmon on oatcake, chocolate cake, Victoria sponge and macaroons for example. Unfortunately all were wheaty and carby so I didn’t have anything to eat. Surprisingly I only saw one seagull the whole time.

People were dressed as if they were going to a wedding. Fascinators dominated the women’s heads compared to the hats by about 7 to one. The gardeners must have been delighted to get the lawns aerated by about 8,000 high heels.  By 5 pm many women were nursing their sore feet and walking about in their stocking soles.

There were many uniforms in evidence and some top hats from the men in morning suits. It was evident that a lot of people knew each other.  This didn’t work out for myself and my husband. Although we knew of three other couples who were going, we never managed to see them.

The day started at 3pm. The Queen came down the steps from the palace at 4pm and the national anthem was played.  We left at around 5.10pm. I understand that the Queen leaves at 6pm and the national anthem is played again.

Our vantage point for the Queen’s entrance was at a higher point in the garden. Thus we had a good view of her and the group, but we were so far away that we couldn’t have identified anyone except for the colour of clothes they had on.  The Queen wore pink. Anne wore Aquamarine, Nicola wore white. Andrew and Edward wore morning suits. They all had umbrellas.  No doubt they had been  caught out before.

This was an interesting and memorable day.