Eat green leafy vegetables to give your brain many extra years


If you eat one or two portions of green leafy vegetables a day you could have a brain 11 years younger than you otherwise would.

That is the conclusion of a longitudinal study of almost a thousand elderly  people in the USA. Compared to people who rarely or never ate green vegetables there was a very marked difference in brain function over time.

This seems to be due to the folate, phylloquinone and lutein in the foodstuffs.

So eat up and protect your brain. If like me, you prefer your salad well dressed and your vegetables laced with fat and garlic and spices look around the site for our recipes. Spinach in a cheese and garlic sauce, and buttered peas and leeks are my favourites.

Adapted from BMJ 13 Jan 2018 from an article in Neurology









Fittoservegroup: Peanut Butter Cookies



Low Carb Keto Peanut Butter Cookies

by fittoservegroup

I grew up always baking and my parents gave me free license in the kitchen to do so. I remember begging my father to buy me my first Betty Crocker cookbook and then proceeding to wear that book out.  From measuring the ingredients, to the enticing smells  coming from the kitchen that bring the family together, I love everything about baking. Well, maybe not the cleanup afterwards. My point is, that baking has always played a big role in my life. So, when I went low carb keto, I was pretty certain I would have to hang up my baking apron. Needless to say, I was pretty sad about that possibility.

Frankly in the beginning, I really struggled to understand how to use alternate low carb flours. Working with gluten-free flours can be quite tricky. It’s that darn gluten that makes everything so tasty and easy to work with. However, I will tell you that it was my determination to figure out how to bake again, that pushed me to learn.

It’s hard to believe it’s been three solid years of this lifestyle for Randy and I. Today, I know my way around the low carb keto baking kitchen. I am not saying those first few attempts were not an epic fail. Trust me when I tell you, you would not have liked what was coming out of that oven. I threw out my fair share of low carb baked goods that no one ever even tasted. Sure it took some trial and error, but once I understood the basics, I was off and running. I hope this encourages you to keep trying. The satisfaction of knowing you are not only making something delicious but healthy, is powerful.

Creating a low carb keto peanut butter cookie was something I really wanted to accomplish. I love peanut butter and the thought of never having a peanut butter cookie, was just not an option. This is a simple recipe and one that I am confident any one can recreate.

Peanut allergy? Not a problem, just substitute the peanut butter for a sugar-free almond butter, or other favorite nut butter.

If you enjoy our melt-in-your-mouth low carb keto peanut butter cookies, please consider sharing the recipe.

Wondering how to transition into a low carb keto diet effortlessly? Allow me to introduce you to keto//OS the first and most delicious way to raise your ketone levels by drinking therapeutic ketones. Ready to get started? Order keto//OS here

Watch this short video to explain how it works.

Low Carb Keto Peanut Butter Cookies


1 cup sugar-free chunky peanut butter

1 stick ½ cup of unsalted softened butter

1 cup of sugar substitute, I us Swerve or other erythritol blend.

1 egg

1 cup of almond flour

1 tsp of baking powder

½ tsp sea salt

Parchment lined cookie sheet


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a stand-up mixer, beat well the peanut butter, sugar-substitute, and egg. Next add the almond flour and baking powder. Stir mixture until fully combined.

Drop a teaspoon amount of dough to form little balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Once the dough is on the cookie sheet, flatten them with the tines of fork and to make the classic peanut butter design.

Bake in a 350-degree oven until lightly brown around the edges around 10 min.  Allow them to fully cool for another 10 minutes before eating and story.  T

Makes about 1 ½ dozen cookies.  2.5 net carbs per cookie

Note: This recipe doubles easily.

Enjoy in good health!


Orthopaedic surgeon who wants to reduce amputations silenced by regulatory body


It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic. Gary Fettke, a Tasmanian orthopaedic surgeon has been banned from talking to patients about the nutritional changes they can make to prevent amputations.

His wife, a nurse, tells his story here:


Gary’s presentation on you tube is here:









As you start a low carbohydrate diet your kidneys get better at excreting salt thus you will usually find that you lose a lot of water from the tissues of the body.  This can make you instantly slimmer, particularly around the legs, but also can give some cramps in the muscles when you exert yourself.  Be aware of this and add extra salt to your food, and drink plenty of water.  When you are on a low carbohydrate natural foods diet you will be consuming considerably less sodium chloride, which is present in many processed foods including sweet ones.  Bread for instance has a lot of added salt that most people are completely unaware of, therefore feel free to be liberal with the salt cellar.



Blood pressure comes down, partly due to less water retention, but also due to lowered natural insulin levels in the body.  As the weight comes down as well, blood pressure tends to drop.  For most people who are not on any antihypertensive drugs they may feel slightly lightheaded from time-to-time.  This can be abolished by adding more salt to the diet.

For people who are on medication to reduce their blood pressure they should have their blood pressure measured by their general practitioner and cut back on medication on embarking on a low carbohydrate diet if their blood pressure is under 140/90.  After a few weeks on a low carbohydrate diet they will be adjusted to a lower level of blood pressure.  Thereafter blood pressure only requires to be checked on several occasions with each extra half stone of fat loss.

It is helpful to buy your own blood pressure monitor as measurements done when you are relaxed at home tend to be more accurate than those undertaken in a surgery.

As many blood pressure medications have more than one use, and different effects on the body, it is worth discussing with your general practitioner which ones would be better to cut out altogether or which ones could be reduced in dose.  This is because certain drugs such as ACE inhibitors and sartans have an extra protective effect on the kidney and this can be important for diabetic patients. They also help improve heart function in cardiac failure.

Beta-blockers are sometimes given to people with atrial fibrillation, or who have had a heart attack, or who suffer from angina, and continuing these may be a priority for some individuals.


Blood sugar reductions happen rapidly with a low carbohydrate diet.  This is mainly due to the lack of sugar and starch being turned into blood glucose.  This has several effects.

The most pronounced and rapid effect could be on the eyesight.  The lens of the eye adjusts to a particular blood sugar and if the level goes suddenly up, or suddenly down, your vision can become blurry, particularly for reading print.  It is worthwhile avoiding getting new spectacles for about 6 months to give time for the lens of your eye to adjust otherwise you can end up having to get another pair of spectacles at a very short interval and this can be rather expensive.



Type 1 diabetics will have been using insulin from the time of diagnosis.  Increasing numbers of Type 2 patients are going on insulin as their pancreas needs more support as time goes on.  A rapid change in pattern of sugar and starch intake can give dangerously low levels of blood sugar unless the insulin dose is proportionately reduced from the outset of the diet.  The amount of reduction will depend on how high your blood sugars run normally, and how strict your low carbohydrate diet is.

For many people who are taking insulin, or sulphonylurea drugs which also have a marked blood sugar reduction effect, starting on a moderately low carb diet of 100g or so a day may cushion the effect somewhat.

Most diabetics will need to cut their insulin quite dramatically, particularly if they go on less than 50g of carbohydrate a day.  It is normal to have to cut insulin by a half or even two thirds in some individuals.

A close eye on blood sugar monitoring needs to be done and we would recommend that, for particularly people who are operating machinery or driving, they start a low carbohydrate diet over a period of holiday when there are other people around who can assist them should they have low blood sugars, and also people to undertake driving on their behalf.


Your own general practitioner or hospital endocrinologist is the best person with whom to discuss your planned reduction in insulin or sulphonylurea medications.

Many patients on sulphonylureas are able to stop these drugs completely prior to starting a low carbohydrate diet and thus remove the risk of low blood sugars completely.  People who use insulin however are not able to do this and must have a degree of background insulin to prevent them developing dangerously high blood sugars and ketoacidosis.

  The normal blood sugar ranges between 4 and 7 at most times.  Drivers must not drive unless their blood sugar is at least 5, and they should re-check their blood sugar after every 1-2 hours of driving.  To treat a hypo use 15-20g of glucose and do not drive till blood sugars are completely normal and you have fully recovered.

Setting an alarm to check blood sugars in the middle of the night, and taking blood sugars at 2½ hourly intervals through the day is advised in the first few days for insulin users.

The normal correction dose is one unit of rapid acting insulin for every 2.5 units of blood sugar elevation. This can be helpful to know if you have cut down your insulin doses a bit too much.

Aiming for blood sugars between 6 and 8 mmol can be a safe strategy in the first 2 weeks after starting a low carbohydrate diet.  Thereafter the blood sugars can be tightened up when insulin requirements are more predictable.  To prevent blood sugars going up and down unpredictably it is best to stick to 3 main meals a day and avoid snacking.


For insulin users and people on sulphonylureas it is best to fully understand the implications of a low carbohydrate diet and know how to control your blood sugars and insulin as well as having a good grasp of carb counting prior to undertaking a low carbohydrate diet.  There are many educational resources on the web to do this.  Some of these resources are Dr Bernstein’s Diabetes University on you tube, website and Low Carbohydrate Course which is web based, and which has two written courses.


Although it can be daunting to think about the initial difficulties that can occur with a low carbohydrate diet, the long term benefits of improved blood sugars, weight, blood pressure and lipids make the outlook for pre-diabetics, the overweight and people suffering from diabetes much brighter indeed.  It is worth educating yourself about your condition and how to effectively use a low carbohydrate diet to change your health destiny.  The extra planning that you need to do for meals, more frequent shopping for fresh ingredients and often increased expense are worth the long term health benefits.


Alcohol can be a pleasant part of life.  Many alcoholic drinks are high in sugar, such as beer and sweet wines, and also cocktails.  These need to be eliminated for success in a low carbohydrate diet.  Spirits such as whisky, gin and vodka have less impact on the blood sugar, and dry red and white wines are also suitable.

For insulin users, and particularly Type 1 insulin users however, alcohol can tip them into unexpected hypoglycaemia if they are consuming more than 1-2 units of alcohol without a corresponding increase in dietary carbohydrate.  This is because alcohol limits the ability of the liver to manufacture glucose, and also blood sugars tend to run much more towards the normal range, around 4.6, when diabetes undergoes an apparent reversal on a low carbohydrate diet.


Exercise is a very beneficial and pleasant adjunct to a low carbohydrate diet for increased mood and health.  For insulin users and those on medication such as sulphonylureas, adding exercise into the regime early on in the stages of a low carbohydrate diet add an increasing layer of complexity to blood sugar management.  We therefore recommend that unaccustomed exercise is avoided for the first 2 weeks until blood sugar stability is achieved.


Dr Katharine Morrison



Public Health Collaboration: Free booklets


LA2-vx06-konsthallen-skulpturThis is the link to the Public Health Collaboration site where you can download for free or order print versions, at a modest cost, of illustrated health booklets that will help you:


know what to eat for a wide variety of good health outcomes

plan your meals

count your carbohydrates

lose fat


Hopefully you will end up somewhere between the extremes of our sisters up there!

Dr Lois Jovanovic:Everything you need to know about diabetes in pregancy

Dr Lois Jovanovic from Santa Barbara is an expert in getting great results with diabetic women in pregnancy. This video series from Diabetes in Control covers in depth interviews with Lois. Even if you are not pregnant or intending to be you can pick up information on how to get excellent blood sugar control in these videos.

Jovina cooks Italian: Seafood and Vegetable Grill with Green Goddess Marinade


Seafood On The Grill Tonight


Tips On Grilling Shellfish

The flavor of shellfish benefits significantly from grilling. Removing the shellfish from the grill before they become too well done and rubbery is the biggest challenge. Watching closely for shellfish to turn opaque (non-transparent), removing them from the grill and serving them immediately are key to delicious tasting fish.

Prepare scallops for grilling by cutting off the curved shaped appendage that is attached to the side of the body, if still intact.

Prepare shrimp by removing the shell and the vein that runs along the back. Personal preference dictates whether to leave the tail on or off.

Marinating shellfish in a flavorful oil will help to prevent the tendency of the scallops and shrimp to dry out.

Two skewers work best to prevent the seafood from spinning or turning on the grill.

Grill shrimp on each side for 2-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the shrimp. Cook scallops for 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on their size.

Tips On Grilling Vegetables

Make room on the grill for vegetables. The caramelized, smoky flavor that comes with grilling does wonders for vegetables. A lot of veggies do well on the grill, but some really stand out — asparagus, corn, eggplant, squash, mushrooms, peppers and onions.

Most vegetables cook better and are less likely to stick if they’re marinated first or brushed lightly with vegetable oil.

For added flavor, sprinkle grilled vegetables with chopped fresh herbs. Cut the vegetables all about the same size for even cooking.

If you use wooden skewers, soak them in warm water for 20 minutes.

Marinade for the Shellfish and Vegetables

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper



Whisk all the marinade ingredients together in a measuring cup. Divide in half. Use one half for the shellfish and one half for the vegetables.

Grilled Shellfish Skewers


For 2 servings


  • 6 medium sea scallops
  • 6 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Marinade, recipe above
  • 2 double skewers
  • Green Goddess Dressing, recipe below

Grilled Vegetable Skewers

For 2 servings


  • 1/4 of a Fennel bulb, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/3 of a Red Bell Pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 small Zucchini, cut into 2 inch slices
  • Marinade, recipe above
  • 2 double skewers
  • Green Goddess Dressing, recipe below


Marinate the shellfish and vegetables separately for 30  minutes. Drain and thread the scallops on one double skewer and the shrimp on a second double skewer.



Do the same with the vegetables. Save any marinade left in the bowl to use as a basting sauce.

Preheat an outdoor grill to high and grease the grill grates with oil.

Place the vegetable skewers on the grill first, since they will take longer to cook. Cook until the vegetables are tender, turning and basting them with the olive oil mixture occasionally, about 15 minutes.

After the vegetables have cooked for 10 minutes, place the shellfish skewers on the grill.  Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Serve the grilled shellfish and vegetables with the Green Goddess Dressing.

Green Goddess Dressing


This may be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This dressing is also delicious drizzled over hard-boiled eggs.

Makes 1 cup


  • 1/4 cup snipped chives
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Place the chives, parsley, anchovy fillets, tarragon and vinegar in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.

With the motor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream, scraping down the sides, and process until pureed. Add the sour cream and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Store in the refrigerator until serving time.

Dana Carpender: What Health Conditions Respond to Low Carb Diets?

Dana,  what is the range of health conditions that you have seen respond to a low carb diet in your readers?

The most exciting, perhaps, is polycystic ovarian syndrome, the most common cause of female infertility, and very definitely an insulin-driven illness. Back when I was still self-published, I got an email from a woman who had tried for years to get pregnant, but couldn’t because of PCOS. She read How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds, went low carb, got pregnant, and carried the child to term. That’s the kind of thing that keeps me grinning for days.

Commonly, I hear of vastly improved blood work – one fellow had his triglycerides plummet by 1200 points in 2 weeks. People regularly report low trigs and high HDL.

Blood pressure reliably drops, too. It’s common for detractors to say “Oh, you only lost water weight on that diet.” That’s nonsense, of course, but it is true that the very rapid loss of 5-10 pounds in the first week or so is largely water. That’s because when insulin levels drop the kidneys resume excreting sodium properly, and with it the water it was holding. Because of this, blood pressure comes down quickly. (For this reason, people who are medicated for high blood pressure must be under a doctor’s care when they first go low carb. They may need a reduction in medication within days.)

By the way, the proper excretion of sodium means that many low carbers need to increase their salt intake – I’m one of them. If a new low carber is feeling tired, achy, dizzy, headache-y, the first thing to try is increasing salt – heavily salted broth or bouillon works wonderfully.

Energy swings vanish when the blood sugar swings stop. Many annoying symptoms of generalized inflammation, such as arthritis, are reduced or eliminated.

Gastroesophageal reflux, aka heartburn, generally clears up.

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And all kinds of little things – skin conditions, bleeding gums, stuff like that. My husband, who has a mouth full of crowns, hasn’t had a single new cavity since we went low carb 20 years ago. (I still have no fillings at the age of 57.)

Perhaps most surprising was the woman who wrote me to say that since she and her husband had gone low carb, a range of problems had cleared up, including that he had “stopped coughing up blood.” She finished with “You have been a miracle for our family.”

I have no idea how a low carb diet would stop the coughing up of blood, but I’m certainly glad it did.


Dana Carpender is the author of nine cookbooks, including the best-selling 500 Low-Carb Recipes.

Dana Carpender: how can low carbers overcome difficulties?

Chris_Sharma_Climbing_in_Yangshuo,_China (1).jpgIn part two of my interview with Dana Carpender, author of several low carb cookbooks, Dana gives words of experience and wisdom concerning lack of support at home, dealing with emotional blackmailers and gives her favourite online resources to help you.

Q. Dana, what do low carb dieters tend to struggle with the most? What strategies help them to overcome these difficulties?

Low carb dieters often feel like the odd man out. This is especially true if they have no support at home, or even face opposition.

I have heard some real horror stories. One that has stuck with me since my self-published days was a woman who wrote to say that she had been morbidly obese and had diabetes, but had committed to low carb, lost a lot of weight, and greatly improved her health. Her husband, for some unpleasant reason of his own, was threatened by this. He would bring home a box of expensive chocolates, open the box, and set it on the sofa next to her. She had taken to slipping a few into a baggie and tucking them under the seat cushion, so her husband would think he was “winning.”

I told her that while I admired her patience and strategic thinking, I would have marched the whole box of chocolates straight to the bathroom and flushed them down the toilet. Let him spend his money feeding the septic tank and maybe he’d cut it the heck out. But then, I’ve never been known to be a shrinking violet.

Support is vital. If a low carber doesn’t find it at home, s/he needs to seek it out. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of low carb Facebook groups and message boards, each with its own culture. Anyone can find a few where they fit in (and quit the ones that aren’t a good fit). A low-carb Meetup (, perhaps for Saturday brunch, can be a great source of local support. Consider starting one.

It also helps to develop an attitude. No apologizing, no listening endlessly to all the people who are “concerned” that you’re not eating a “balanced diet,” or who parrot “all things in moderation.” A quick “Thanks for your concern,” perhaps — the first time, not the tenth — and then quite deliberately change the subject. (Eventually you’ll very likely be able to say, truthfully, “My doctor says I’m doing great.” When people tell me that a low carb diet will give me heart disease, ruin my kidneys, yadda-yadda, I make big eyes at them and plaintively ask, “When?”)

It helps, too, to read a few blogs or listen to some podcasts that will keep you filled in on the rapidly accumulating research showing just how beneficial a low carb/high fat diet is. Jimmy Moore does a great job both blogging and podcasting. I love Tom Naughton’s Fathead blog. Andreas Eenfeldt’s Diet Doctor is always good for a quick shot of enthusiam, while for geeks like me, Dr. Michael Eades at Protein Power does a terrific job with more detailed medical analysis. Gary Taubes, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick — there are so many smart and credentialed people writing on the topic, there’s no reason to let yourself be scared by the “But all that fat!” boogeyman. Katharine, you are doing one of the most helpful things possible for the low carb community.

Along with feeding your body the right food, feed your brain the right messages.

Sooner or later you will deal with a food pusher. In particular, female relatives tend to do this — Mom, mother-in-law, grandma, etc. You’ll be at Thanksgiving/Christmas/Fourth of July/whatever, and it will start:

“But you can’t diet on a holiday! You have to treat yourself sometime! Anyway, Aunt Suzy made her sweet potato casserole just for you! It’s tradition! You have to have some!” Etc, etc, etc. We all know the 1001 verses to this song.

Be clear on this: It is always polite to say, “No, thank you.” If you feel like you’re being rude, ask yourself how you would react if you were violently allergic to the item being offered, to the point that you would collapse right there from anaphylaxis. Would you feel you were being rude to say “No, thank you?” Would you feel “loved” by the pressure to eat that food, and your health be damned? You would not. You’d wonder if they’d taken out a sizeable life insurance policy on you.

As for “You have to treat yourself,” ask yourself this: Why does no one say this to sober alcoholics? Or people who have finally managed to kick a two-pack-a-day cigarette habit?  Carb addiction is just as deadly. It takes longer, that’s all.

But you know as well as I that the family food pusher will not take a simple “No, thank you” for an answer. There will be endless push-back.

What you must not do is JADE: Justify, Argue, Defend, or Explain. You do not have to justify your choices to anyone, and any argument or explanation will be seized upon as ammunition to argue you out of your stance. Instead, try this neat bit of social ju-jitsu: Say “No, thank you,” and then immediately change the subject. Do this by asking a question of the group at large, or at least of someone other than the food pusher.

Let’s practice, shall we?

“You always loved my homemade banana bread! I made it just for you! You have to have a slice!”

“No, thank you. Hey, does anyone want to hit the sales first thing tomorrow?”

“You can’t diet on Thanksgiving! You have to have at least one piece of pie!”

“No, thank you. Hey, has anyone seen cousin Jamie’s new baby? Any photos?”

“Just a little bit won’t hurt! I made it from Grandma’s recipe!”

“No, thank you. Hey, Henry – you’re graduating this year, right? Have you started applying to colleges?”

I recommend you come up with a list of questions before you attend this sort of event, anything from “Has anyone seen (insert current movie)?” to “I’m thinking of going to Playa Del Carmen on vacation. Has anyone been?” By doing this, you make the food pusher look a trifle obsessed if she continues – she, rather than you, becomes the oddball.


Dr Bernstein’s Diabetes University on You Tube

Diabetes in Control Advisory Board member, Dr. Richard K. Bernstein, has recently created, “Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes University,” a complete course of video classes geared towards patients, which is now available on Youtube. Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes University Playlist includes these short videos: “Basic Science of Diabetes,” “Values and Methods of Exercise,” “How Much Protein,” plus much more. Just follow this link for more information: Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes University Playlist