5 tbsp soya flour

4 tbsp ground almonds

2tbsp granulated sweetener

½ tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 eggs

50ml/2fl oz double cream

2tsp butter

Berries and double cream (optional)



Place the soya flour, almonds, sweetener, baking powder, salt, eggs and double cream in a blender and process until smooth.

Heat a large non- stick pan over a low to medium flame and add 1 tsp of the butter. Tilt the pan to coat the surface with the melted butter.

Spoon  the batter into the pan to make three pancakes about 6 cm in diameter. Cook until risen, golden on the undersides and dry around the edges, then flip over and cook the undersides until golden.

Serve with berries and double cream.


New information about Vitamin B12 Deficiency



Type one diabetics are prone to B12 deficiency because of their increased risk of getting autoimmune disorders. Type two diabetics may get it due to the effect of metformin on B12 absorption.  The BMJ published an article about B12 deficiency and I am summarising it here because there is some important new information for doctors and patients.

The main new information that diagnosis is not as straightforward as the blood test because deficiency can occur and cause symptoms even when the levels are in the normal range. Also some symptoms won’t reverse if they are not treated within the first six months after presentation.

On the positive side, some people are able to take oral B12 quite successfully and may not need injections of B12 for the rest of their lives.

B12 deficiency affects DNA and cell metabolism. B12 is only available naturally from animal products. Because the body stores B12 pretty well, deficiency may not produce symptoms for several years, after going on a strict vegan diet for instance.

In the UK and USA around 6% of under 60s are deficient and 20% of those over 60 are too. In poorer countries deficiency is much more common, possibly reflecting the relative lack of meat in the diet.

Dietary B12 binds to intrinsic factor in the stomach and small bowel to allow absorption into the blood stream.  In pernicious anaemia the stomach cells die off.  Certain drugs can also affect B12 absorption including high dose proton pump inhibitors eg lansoprazole and omeprazole.  Other factors can be alcohol, slow K and cholestyramine.

The first symptoms to show up are often fatigue and anaemia. Moderate impairment can show up as an anaemia with bigger red cells, a swollen red tongue and reduced feeling in the fingers and toes. Severe impairment can show bone marrow suppression, neurological problems and cardiomyopathy. However B12 deficiency can occur with blood levels in the normal range and without anaemia. The cells may be of normal size if there is also iron deficiency at the same time.

Other types of blood cells can be affected in severe deficiency including the white cells and platelets.

The skin pigment can become deeper, reproduction affected, and osteoporosis can occur.

Neurologically motor disturbance, sensory loss, poor balance and reflexes, cognitive impairment and memory loss can occur. Some people may even be psychotic. Even at these extremes 20% of sufferers are not anaemic. Patients may say that their coordination is off, they have become clumsy and can’t walk right. Without treatment weakness and stiffness may develop. Damage to peripheral nerves causes sleepiness, altered taste and smell and damage to the optic nerve.  In severe stages a dementia like illness can occur with hallucinations, paranoia and severe depression.

The main test for deficiency is the cobalamin level but several other tests are also available. None are perfect. B12 levels are often tested when macrocytic anaemia is detected. People with levels of 148 pmol or in the USA 200ng/L or under represent an estimated 97% of people with the condition. This will leave a few, potentially with the condition but who are harder to diagnose. The authors state, “It is not clear what level of serum cobalamin may represent subclinical deficiency.”

Holotranscobalamin and methylmalonic acid levels may be better here but are specialist tests. Homocysteine levels may be used but the test is less specific and raised levels can occur in other conditions.

If B12 deficiency is found and there is no dietary lack of animal products tests for intrinsic factor and anti-parietal cell antibodies are usually done to identify the autoimmune condition pernicious anaemia.

Treatment is started as soon as possible particularly if there is neurological symptoms. Usually this is 1000 units intramuscularly on alternate days for up to three weeks or until there is no further improvement. For irreversible causes eg pernicious anaemia the injections continue for life, usually at 3 monthly intervals.

Oral treatment can be given in a dose of 5-150 units a day very successfully particularly in mild deficiency when the person can be trusted to take them. Potassium requirements may go up in the early phases of treatment as red cells are replenished. Folic acid and iron may also be required.

Although improvement in blood measurements is usually rapid taking days or weeks, neurological improvement can take up to three months but damage can be irreversible if treatment is not started within six months of onset.

Although pernicious anaemia is not preventable, deficiency due to vegan diets, metformin and proton pump inhibitors are. The oral form can work well here.

Summarised from Vitamin B12 deficiency. Alesia Hunt, Dominic Harrington, Susan Robinson.

BMJ 6th September 2014



The best meatballs you will EVER eat…

Half the amount of breadcrumbs or leave them out if you are doing the strict end of a low carb diet. Then dig in!


Ok… Ok… Ok… Admittedly, I’ve been slow rolling with the blog, trying to get something out with consistency but vacations can play havoc with that. Lol.

We are vacationing in Texas and I am cooking for nine people. With four adults, two teens, four pre teens, and my little two year old, portions ave how much to make is always a concern.

Yesterday, I made spaghetti and meatballs AND I’m going to share a GREAT meatball recipe. I hope you love it as much as we did.


2 lbs ground meat (80/20)

1 lb ground pork

7 cloves of garlic, minced

3 eggs

3/4 cup of water

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 cups parmesan cheese

1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

(This makes 24 nice sized meatballs so adjust accordingly)

Preheat your oven to 375.

Let’s start with putting your meat in a large bowl. Mix the ground meat, pork…

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Carb Counting Maths


I never thought I would be using maths again in my life, who needs calculus and trig for day to day work. Carbohydrate counting feels like I’m back in maths class, it’s like learning a foreign language. It is so confusing!

With type 1 diabetes you inject your insulin in regards to how many carbohydrates you have eaten in your food. Everyone’s ratio is different based on to sensitive their bodies are to carbs or not, but my ratio is 1:15. This means I inject 1 unit of novorapid to every 15g of carbohydrates that I eat in that meal or snack. Bit lost already? Don’t worry so was I when I had my first lesson in the hospital after being diagnosed.

Carbohydrate counting is super easy if you are eating packaged foods. All the information you need is on the back of a packet. On the back of the packet…

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Chicken Curry


1.25 kg chicken pieces, bone in                           1 tsp salt

Black pepper                                                      2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp fresh ginger                                               1 large clove garlic, crushed

5 tbsp full fat yoghurt                                         1 ½ tbsp ground coriander

2 tsp cumin                                                        ½ tsp cayenne

6 cardamom pods

2 tbsp finely chopped onion or shallot


Serves 4


  1. Put the chicken in a large casserole dish in a single layer. Add salt, juice, lots of pepper, mix well and set aside for 20 mins.
  2. Combine ginger, garlic, yoghurt, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne and cardamom in a bowl. Mix well.
  3. Rub chicken with mix, cover and put in fridge overnight.
  4. Heta oven to 200C/gas 6.
  5. Bring chicken to room temperature. Brush with oil, scatter with onion. Bake in middle of oven for 30 mins. Turn chicken over and put back in oven. Cook another 40 mins, basting every 10 with juices.



Depression doubles stroke risk even when treated

Persistent depression is associated with twice the risk of stroke in adults over 50.

Researchers interviewed 16,178 people every two years from 1998 over a 12 year period and assessed depressive symptoms and stroke. They showed that those people who scored significantly for depression on at least two consecutive interviews had double the risk of having a first stroke in the two years after the assessment compared to those with low depressive symptoms. The risk was slightly higher for women and those who had had previous depressive symptoms.

Paola Gilsanz of Harvard University said, ” Our findings suggest that depression may increase stroke risk over the long term. This risk remains elevated even if depressive symptoms have resolved, suggesting a cumulative mechanism linking depression and stroke. Physiological changes may lead to vascular damage over the long term. Depression is also linked to hypertension, ill effects on the autonomic nervous system and inflammatory responses that all cause vascular disease. In addition depressed people are more likely to smoke and by physically inactive.”


From Research News BMJ 23 May 2015


Food photography – Tips for beginners

Some handy tips here for photographing food.

Cooking Without Limits

I often get asked photography questions: what camera I use, how to take good photos without a professional camera, etc. Everything  in this post comes after a few years of taking photos and making lots of mistakes, but learning from most all of them (Sometimes you repeat the same mistake).

  • Lighting – For a good photography you will need good lighting. Start with natural light at your window sill; turn off all artificial light and don’t use your flash. Just see how beautifully the sunlight comes in. If the light is too strong, add a diffuser, such as a white curtain, to soften the light. If taking pictures during the day doesn’t work for your schedule (as it often doesn’t with mine) then I’d suggest investing in some lighting gear. Do not use your built-in flash. Ever!  Don’t feel confined to taking photos in your kitchen. Move around to see…

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