Some party and outdoor recipe ideas for low-carb courtesy of the Nourishing World Blog.
With the Summer Party season about to get underway, I wanted to share some great keto-Friendly Summer recipes. My Daughter and I recently did another round of the 21-Day Detox and found a few new healthy recipe favorites. This Buffalo Wing Sauce is keto friendly, Paleo and Whole30 friendly. My daughter ate this almost every […]
Proving once again, a low-carb diet can be plant-based*, I bring you the sausage, pepper and red lentil casserole!
My ‘beef’ (see what I did there) with the hi-jacking of the term ‘plant-based’, is that it’s assumed to mean vegan, whereas I’d argue you can eat meat, fish and eggs and still have most of your diet made up of plants.
Sausages and lentils have a long dating history. The French twin them together for cassoulets as lentils soak up meat juices and add cheap bulk to a dish. Bulk’s important to me. Who wants a small bowlful of food when you can have a big one?
The better quality your sausages, the better the finished dish. The casserole is great with buttered cauliflower or broccoli. Or you could add another 250-300ml of vegetable or chicken stock to turn it into soup.
And a cheeky helping of grated cheese on top always adds extra deliciousness.
Four, good quality pork sausages, each cut into chunks
75g chorizo, sliced
75g red lentils
2 cloves garlic, crushed
400g tinned, chopped tomatoes
1 chilli, chopped (optional)
1tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
Put everything into your slow cooker, stir well and put on the high setting for four hours.
The mix makes a soupy casserole because it’s done in the slow cooker. You might want to take the lid off yours for the last 20 minutes to get rid of some of the excess liquid.
To make the recipe on the stove, use a large saucepan. Place the chorizo slices in the pan, then turn on a gentle heat so the oils from the sausage run out. Add the other sausages, celery, peppers, mushrooms and garlic, mix well and cover. Cook over the gentle heat for ten minutes. Add the tomatoes, lentils, red wine, chilli and paprika, stir well and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for a further 30 minutes, mixing from time to time.
In both instances, add salt and pepper to taste.
Each portion has 17g carbs and 4g fibre.
*And also that my food styling and photography skills get no better.
So, you get to take all sorts of measurements and I need to answer lots of questions about what I eat? Sign me up!
Reader, I adore a study and even more so when it relates to lifestyle. I started work at Glasgow University in April and spotted a poster looking for participants in a low-carb study.
“Aha!” I said to myself. “I’m your woman! A low-carber for years, diabetic to boot and a person well-versed in the filling in of a form.”
While certain aspects of the low-carbohydrate diet have been well researched, such as weight loss, there has been little focus on testing how this way of eating affects micronutrient levels in the body. The Glasgow Uni study, Nutritional and Cardiovascular Risk Factors associated with Long-Term Adherence to Low-Carbohydrate/Gluten-Avoidance Diets, funded by the Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand, concentrates on this.
What is the purpose of the study? Low carbohydrate diets (LCD) such as the Atkins Diet have become common dietary approaches for weight management, and aiming to avoid starchy foods such as bread, cereals, pasta, rice and potatoes which are major dietary sources of B-vitamins, magnesium, and fibre.
The researcher is investigating the contribution of starchy / sweet foods in body composition, micronutrient status and cardiovascular risk factors. To do this, they seek people who either exclude or include these foods in their diet.
I’m not one hundred percent low-carb compliant. Who is? But when I filled in the forms for the study, I realised that I follow a low-carb diet much more closely than I thought. How often do I eat potatoes, rice and pasta, the survey wanted to know—the answer, never or less than once a month for rice and pasta and about twice a month for potatoes.
I eat bread more often (LOVE bread), and ditto chocolate, but I don’t bother with most of the other high-carb foods listed in the questionnaire.
The outline of the survey had said they’d do urine testing. I assumed that meant a sample in one of those little tubes. Not so! The doctor sent me off with two large flasks (pictured) and asked me to collect all my pee over a 24-hour period.
TBH, I wasn’t sure the two flasks would be enough. We diabetics tend to wee more than ordinary folks, anyway. When you add in my daily diet coke, water and peppermint tea intake, a lot of fluid swishes around inside me.
And what goes in must come out!
The survey will be followed up in six months’ time, then another six months after that and so on until two years are up.
At the time of writing, the researchers hadn’t found that many people to take part—nine out of a necessary eighty. If you live in the Glasgow area and follow a low-carb diet (you don’t need to be diabetic and you don’t have to follow it all the time), then they’d love to hear from you—firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy New Year from all of us at the Diabetes Diet. Here’s wishing you health and happiness in 2018.
Anyone with an interest in health and fitness can’t have missed noticing the current furore around veganism. Proponents tout it as THE ethical and environmental way to eat, and it is very fashionable. Your local supermarket has probably vastly increased its vegan offerings (or the labelling of such foods anyway) and you’ll notice many restaurants and take-away chains have jumped on the bandwagon too.
There are even those who argue a vegan diet is helpful for diabetes, such as Dr Neal Barnard who promotes a vegan, fat-free way of eating as the way to reverse diabetes.
I don’t dispute veganism as an ethical choice. As far as environmental factors go, you could point out that wide-spread veganism would increase the production of mono-crops, a process that depletes the soil and cause issues. The recent over-consumption of coconut oil and avocados in the west has caused enormous problems in their countries of origin.
When it comes to health, the bonuses of veganism often occur because people shift from a diet of highly processed foods and little fruit and veg to a way of eating that is plant-based. The health benefits may not come from ditching meat, fish and dairy per se, but more from vastly increasing how much fruit and veg they eat and getting rid of processed foods which are hard to find on a vegan diet*.
Let’s argue semantics here. I eat a plant-based diet. The bulk of the food on my plate is plants, nuts, some lentils and pulses and the odd wholegrain.
I just happen to eat meat, fish, eggs and dairy too. Yesterday, I ate scrambled eggs and chopped tomatoes for breakfast, an avocado, mushroom and bacon salad for lunch, and for dinner I had tomato, onion and barley stew with some haddock and steamed broccoli. I ate some peanuts for a snack.
That’s a plant-based diet, isn’t it?
Plant-based Taken to Mean Veganism
For whatever reason, plant-based is now taken to mean veganism. Perhaps someone somewhere thought plant-based sounded nicer than veganism, or they wanted distance from the term, which in the past might have had negative connotations.
Just as Dr Barnard puts forward an argument for veganism as a way of treating diabetes, so do we with low-carb eating. The global diabetes community, diabetes.co.uk, runs an award-winning digital health intervention for people with type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes and obesity. It was developed using the feedback and opinions of more than 100,000 people who reported good results from low-carb. Like our approach to diabetes, the site’s website promotes lots of vegetables. Plant-based again, right?
If ethical concerns still bother you (as they do me), there are steps you can take.
Buy your eggs from the Farmers’ Market where they are likely to be free-range and organic.
Buy meat that has an RSPCA stamp on it, or again from the Farmers’ Market where animals are more likely to have been raised and slaughtered in a better way.
Eat dairy sparingly, and again choose organic options, preferably from local producers.
Investigate where your fish comes from and how it is farmed.
Base some of your meals around egg-free Quorn products and tofu.
Here’s to a plant-based 2018! And if you’d like to start a low-carb diet, check out our book – available in e-book and paperback on Amazon.
*Though the food industry is now doing its best to up its production of vegan junk food.
Diabetes and how you cope with it is an ongoing exploration. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with pulses such as lentils, and beans (kidney and butter) and even (shock, horror) whole grains such as barley.
I find their effect on my blood sugar minimal, and I love the variety they add to my diet. I was vegetarian for a long time, and lentils were a favourite food – lentil curries, patties and stews, all delicious.
Keto proponents don’t approve of lentils and beans because such diets promote extremely low carb intakes as sub 50g, but if you aim for a more moderate carbohydrate intake, such as 90-150g a day, you can easily add in pulses and beans. Remember too, that they have a high fibre content and you’ll probably be able to subtract that from the carbohydrate total when you work out how much insulin you need to cover a meal.
Apart from adding variety to my diet, I’ve also gone back to pulses and beans because of their fibre content. A lot of nutritional research these days points towards the importance of fibre, and it’s difficult to get much fibre on an extremely low-carb diet.
My body seems like the pulses and beans, and my blood sugar results confirm this. If your diet opens up and allows you more variety, this is always a good thing.
So, to celebrate here’s my recipe for hummus. Hummus is high in fibre and relatively low-carb. Used as a dip or sauce, you’ll only be adding minimal carbs to your diet.
Now, one thing I tried with this is the peeling the skins off thing. I’d read about this online, that if you want velvety-smooth hummus, you need to peel the chickpeas. U-huh. I wouldn’t do this every time as it’s possibly the most tedious job in the world, but for a special occasion, absolutely. You get beautifully smooth hummus.
· 1 x 400g tin chickpeas (save two tablespoons of the water)
· Juice of one lemon
· 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
· 2 heaped tablespoons tahini
· Salt to taste
Drain the chickpeas, reserving two tablespoons of the water. Peel the skins off. The easiest way to do this is to pinch each chickpea between your thumb and finger, and it should pop out of its skin. Do this above a bowl and be prepared for a few to ping across the room.
Pop into a food processor, along with the garlic and reserved water and whizz for a minute or so. You can also use a stick blender, but this is the less messy method.
Add the lemon juice and tahini and whizz again, for a couple of minutes, so you get a smooth, creamy texture.
Add salt to taste – about ½ to one teaspoon.
Use as a dip, spread on your favourite low-carb bread. It’s also lovely spread on lamb steaks.
We’ve been doing a little work in the background here at the Diabetes Diet. We decided to go for a print version via CreateSpace, and we’ve updated our book and uploaded it onto Kindle.
This is the new cover. What do you think?
The Diabetes Diet explores what people affected with type one diabetes and type two diabetes, pre-diabetes and obesity need to do to get mastery over their blood sugars, metabolism and weight.
The scientific reasoning behind the low carbohydrate dietary approach is fully referenced and made easy by menu plans and low-carb recipes. You will be introduced to information and case studies that help you decide what level of blood sugar control, carbohydrate restriction and monitoring is most appropriate for your individual needs.
This book can help those with type 1 diabetes AND type 2 diabetes. It won’t cure diabetes, but it will make living with the condition so much easier.
The print version is going though some final checks, but should be ready in a few weeks’ time and we’ll update you.
Joy of joys! I’ve found low-carb bread in Asda of all places…
Unlike the gluten-free and vegan markets, low carb high-fat diets don’t lend themselves easily to convenience foods. Hey, that’s probably a good thing. And it’s not as if you don’t have plenty of choices when you factor in cream, cheese, eggs, nuts, meat and fish and all the other yummy things that do fit perfectly with this way of eating.
But bread. Bread! Ask many people on the LCHF way of life what they miss most, and we are willing to bet it’s bread. Yes, you can make low-carb bread (and we offer a recipe here), but it is expensive to make. This protein bread I found in Asda is made by Scheidner Brot, and it has about 4g of carbs per slice, 7g of fibre and 11g protein. Best of all, it does actually resemble bread – albeit it’s more similar to that heavy rye bread, sometimes called black bread. This packet cost me £1.50. Okay, it does have a lot of ingredients (our low-carb bread recipe, for example, has six things in it) and it’s not suitable for coeliacs, but still…
Ah, the possibilities that open up in front of me are endless! Toast with butter and Marmite! Toast with peanut butter and sliced cucumber… You need the cucumber because peanut butter is claggy, and the cucumber cuts through it. Or what about a healthy dollop of egg mayonnaise? Some chicken liver pate would be nice too, and there is always cheese on toast with a little dash of Worcestershire sauce. You can freeze it in slices for convenience.