Making Sundays Special

roast pork on the Diabetes Diet
Roast pork – eat this to make your Sunday special… (recipe Ministry of Food, Jamie Oliver).

New Year’s resolutions? Pah! One, you can makes changes any time you want, and two, most of us see them as miserable—the lose weight, take up punitive exercise regimes kind. In this part of the world, January is a challenging month. The weather’s dreich, the nights are long and the pennies few and far between. Who wants to add starvation and exhaustion to the mix?

One resolution I do intend to stick to is my campaign to Make Sundays Special again. Years ago, my husband and I used to make a point of doing something on Sundays. He works most Saturdays, so the Sundays were the one day a week we could visit castles, go to Edinburgh, take the motorbike out for a spin, bike to Balloch, drink too much and cycle back via the main road while piddled*. Last year, we fell into the habit of doing nothing. He’d be downstairs catching up on Colombo (why, why, why?), and I’d hide away upstairs working or writing. We added doing the supermarket shopping to a Sunday. As I love food, I don’t mind the supermarket shop but does it belong on a precious day off? I think not.

Cut the screen time

In 2019, I’ve vowed to spend less time in front of a screen. I’m there for work and as a hobby, and I dread to think how many hours I spend hunched over my laptop. On the plus side, I use a standing desk so it’s not as sedentary as it could be. On the other hand, it’s still not healthy. Time to reinstate the Sunday activities, such as:

Ben Lomond

I have Ben Lomond in my sights. Hill climbing is one of the best activities you can do in Scotland. The Munro is right on my doorstep, and the shame is I’ve yet to climb it.

Three Lochs Walk

I’d also like to walk from Balloch to Helensburgh with Sandy. I’ve done it a couple of times with my friends, and it’s a fabulous walk because of the views you get of Loch Lomond.

Linlithgow Palace

We’re members of Historic Scotland and we’ve yet to visit Linlithgow Palace so a train trip there and a pub lunch is in order.

Uni tour

The University of Glasgow offers walking tours. As I work there, it will be fascinating to find out more about this iconic Glasgow building. Another tour that has always piqued my interest is the one you can do of Glasgow Central station. If I book now, we might get there in the summer. (It’s terrifically popular.)

Sunday roast

Roast pork, the before version.

Finally, it’s nice to include special meals in your Sunday plans. As a child, I didn’t like the Sunday roast—probably because it meant sitting at the table waiting for adults to finish so we children could be excused, and I have memories of thick slabs of meat and nasty bits of under-cooked fat. These days, I’m a fully paid up member of the Sunday roast forever club. While the meat is nice, the best bits are the accompaniments – home-made gravy with a decent amount of wine thrown in, roasted parsnips and carrots, crackling if you’re making pork (or just make it as a side dish anyway) and one roast potato as a treat.

Bring on the special Sundays!

What’s your idea of a treat on a Sunday? Is cutting back your time online part of your plans for 2019, and if so what do you intend to do instead?

*Don’t do this at home, folks!

New Year Resolutions – A Low Carb Diet?

Bacon, mushroom and poached egg salad.

Are you making New Year resolutions to diet?! It’s that tedious time of year when we are encouraged to self-improve – usually on a big scale.

Punishing diets and exercise regimes work for very few people. Why would you make yourself suffer in that way? But if you do want to improve your health and stabilise your blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes, why not opt for the low-carb diet?

Low-carb diets can be easier to stick to than most diets because they tend to be higher in protein which keeps you feeling full for longer. Because they incorporate delicious ingredients like cheese, avocados, oily fish, cream, nuts and more there’s none of the deprivation feelings either.

Remember too that low-carb is a broad church. You can do anything from 45g of carbs a day to 130-150g. If you opt for the higher carb count, fill up on natural sources such as the higher-carb vegetables and fruits.

Resolutions – and any kind of change to the lifestyle – need preparation and planning to succeed. Here are our tips for how to adopt and stick with a low-carb diet:

Plan what you will eat and shop for the ingredients. Our book, The Diabetes Diet, has meal plans in it and you will also find plenty of suggestions online.

If you have type 1 diabetes or you use any blood glucose lowering medication, you need to start a low carb diet cautiously. Read our tips here about preparing to lower your carbohydrate intake and how to adjust medication to suit

Buy one good recipe book. A great example is Dana Carpender’s 500 Low Carb Recipes (left). This is an American recipe book, but most of the ingredients are available over here.

Buy yourself a set of measuring cups. Many of low-carb recipes are American – and Americans use cups to measure, rather than scales. Cup measures are widely available.

The above two suggestions depend on one thing – willingness to cook. Because low-carb diets don’t have many ready-made options, cooking is a necessity. Most low-carb recipes are really easy to follow, but quick and easy ideas are cooked meats and chicken with ready-made salads and dressing, good quality burgers with a slice of cheese, any kind of egg dish or prepared fish and prawn cocktail. You can also buy cauliflower rice these days for an instant accompaniment.

Spicy Peanut Pork

Try out our recipes! Here are some suggestions.

  1. Meatballs
  2. Pancakes
  3. Spicy Peanut Pork
  4. Spinach and Feta Crust-less Quiche
  5. Low-carb Chocolate Cookies
  6. Crab Cakes
  7. Easy Low-Carb Bread

Start following our blog. We update this blog regularly with recipes and health information about diabetes.

All the very best to you for 2017!