Have A Happy Sunday

image from here

Wishing all readers a Happy Sunday
Hoping you find time to relax and enjoy your day.
All the best Jan

Diabetes & Pizza – What are the Best Options?

If you live with diabetes, you may know that trying to eat pizza while juggling unruly blood sugar levels and unpredictable insulin dosages can spell disaster.  However, pizza is delicious (and can be nutritious!), and if you’re a pizza lover who happens to have diabetes, you shouldn’t feel as though you need to cut pizza…

The post Diabetes & Pizza – What are the Best Options? appeared first on Diabetes Strong.

Don’t forget the carrot for its nose !

As regular readers know, this blog is presented in a magazine style – we hope something for everyone. You will find a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, music and recipes!

Please note, not all the recipe ideas featured in this blog may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

Today’s post is perhaps something a little different, sparked by conversations with the younger family members … yes our grandchildren. Like many other children (and perhaps a few adults) they do enjoy it when it snows, and of course “o
ne of the most popular things to do with snow, other than to have a snowball fight is to build a snowman. The tradition has been passed on from generation to generation, alongside tales of snowmen at Christmas. But why do we dress a snowman a certain way and more importantly why a carrot for a nose?”

Sit down, relax and read on … “Let’s have a look at the history of snowmen and see if we can find out where the tradition began.

Why do we build snowmen?
We all know snowmen are great fun at Christmas but let’s go a little deeper than that. Let us start with a little bit of background into where the tradition originated.
Throughout history, we have associated the seasons and times of the year with personifications. The winter season in Greek Mythology would have been referred to as “Old Man Winter” and across other cultures, there are similar representations. Jack Frost was one of the first personifications of winter that was written about across literature in the late 19th Century. This is believed to be the reason behind the construction of the snowman. The snowman is another form of Old Man Winter and the tradition of building one has been around for hundreds of years. This character of Old Man Winter was said to leave a frosty air in his presence and be a cold and fierce character, much like the harshness that winter brings. Many of these personalities and traits have fed into our representation of snowmen and this is where his sometimes scary and fierce characteristics come from.” (Although I prefer ones with a smiley face)

“Why a carrot for a nose?
Using a carrot for a snowman’s nose is a global tradition when it comes to constructing a snowman. It is unsure why this is a common trend and there are many theories that suggest why we automatically use this vegetable. Some of the earliest depictions of snowmen date back as far as the 1300s and they show snowmen with long pointed noses. It could be that the carrot was used to emphasize this feature of snowmen. They were represented as fierce and cold characters, so a pointy nose was a common way of making them appear harsh. 
Much like we associate witches with a hooked or pointed nose, it was important for a snowman to carry these defined characteristics. Other objects have been used throughout history for a snowman’s nose, things such as buttons and coal but the carrot is the most iconic item to use. Traditionally a snowman would have coal for eyes and small pieces of coal to make a mouth. The nose however would have been made from whatever resources were around at the time.

Who was the first snowman with a carrot nose?
The first known snowman character to have a carrot for a nose featured in the German animation “Der Schneemann”, which was created in 1943. In English, “Der Schneemann”, is known as “The Snowman” or “Snowman in July”. This was one of the first representations of a snowman being naïve and that made the audience feel sorry for him.

Throughout history, snowmen were associated with harsh winters and strength, but this was when snowmen started to become adored cartoon characters. This suggests that the tradition originated in Europe and possibly more specifically Germany, as there had not been depictions of a snowman with a carrot nose before this time. Characters that win the hearts of the viewers will then often be represented in their lives, and this could have been the start of the tradition of using a carrot for a nose.

Where do carrots come from?
Another question to help us solve this mystery is looking at where carrots originate. The orange carrots we use on snowmen today were specially cultivated in the Netherlands in the 16th Century. The myth and legend suggest that orange carrots were specifically bred by the Dutch in honour of King William I, also known as William of Orange. Although there is not a large amount of evidence to suggest this story is true, it could have been one of the catalysts for growing orange carrots in Europe. Hence meaning they were widely available and a common vegetable found in the home. This would have meant that alongside coal and a scarf, a carrot became a normal household item to use when building a snowman.

What was used for a snowman’s nose before?
One of the earliest drawings of a snowman is written about in Bob Eckstein’s “The History of the Snowman” [2007]. Eckstein found the drawing in a 15th-century book called “The Book of Hours”, which he found in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (library) in The Hague, Netherlands. This doodle of a snowman showed a white rounded figure with a pointed nose. It is seen from this drawing that a snowman has a universal shape of being constructed from gathering snow and forming it into circular shapes with a pointed nose. It would have been common to use an icicle for a snowman nose, as they are pointed and seasonal. However, icicles would have likely melted quicker than the snowman itself. Other common items used for snowmen’s noses were buttons, as seen on 1982 animation, The Snowman.

In Conclusion
Snowmen are an important character in creating a winter wonderland and Christmas atmosphere. It is difficult to pinpoint a time in history when snowmen’s noses became carrots, but there are some theories behind it. We choose to decorate them with our household items, and this is different depending on where you are in the world. It could have been that following the release of “Der Schneemann”, people loved the character and wanted to recreate him when building their own snowman. Carrots have also become a widely available and affordable vegetable that is often harvested just before winter. The tradition of using a carrot for a nose has become a global ritual thanks to characters such as Der Schneemann, Jack Frost & Olaf from Disney’s Frozen.”
Most words above from original article here

Related Posts

It’s Snow-time, let’s play! – see here

‘Snowy the Snowman’ and Summer carrot, tarragon and white bean soup it’s vegan, vegetarian, gluten free – see here

Unfortunately the grandchildren will not be building a snowman this weekend, although the weather is cold they have no snow! This photograph of Grandson was taken a few years ago .. happy smiles and happy snow memories … I do like his smile and his snowman 😊

Of course for those readers in the Southern Hemisphere, building a snowman could well be the last thing you have in mind! 
Many thanks for reading and whatever your weekend plans are, I wish you a good one.
All the best Jan 

New cost-saving drugs website

“Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company’s online pharmacy launches with the lowest prices on 100 lifesaving prescriptions.” Cost Plus is a direct to consumer pharmacy. It reflects the current need, with 1 in 10 Americans needing to skip doses of their medicine due to cost. I need to credit my friend Scott Strumello who posted … Continue reading New cost-saving drugs website

Chicken (or Eggplant/Aubergine) Parmesan : Low Carb : Keto

Chicken’s many plus points – its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it can be cooked – make it one of the most popular meats around. It has a high level of good quality protein, as well as B vitamins, iron, copper and selenium. The pale flesh has a close texture and a mild flavour that pairs up well with many different ingredients. Never eat raw chicken, and always thoroughly wash your hands, utensils and cutting board as soon as you’ve cut or handled raw chicken.
Here is a low carb/keto chicken dish you may wish to try:-

Chicken Parmesan

There are many chicken parmesan recipes,
but none is simpler than this four-ingredient chicken parmesan.
Golden brown chicken breasts are slathered in sugar-free marinara,
 topped with a gooey layer of cheese

Two Servings
Chicken Parmesan
1 lb (450g) chicken breasts
(If you are a vegetarian, eggplant/aubergine is a great substitute for chicken)
salt and ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup (120ml) unsweetened marinara sauce
2 oz. (½ cup) mozzarella cheese, shredded
1½ oz. (½ cup) shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups (4 oz.) leafy greens
8 (5 oz.) cherry tomatoes, quartered
Instructions more details here
Related Posts

CHICKEN Dishes – Three Popular Low Carb and Keto Suggestions – see here

Chicken – Low Carb and Keto – Three Delicious Recipe Choices* – see here
(*for those who may not like chicken, this post also includes choices for vegetarian and vegan recipes)

~ and some pretty winter blooms ~

Dear reader, you will find a variety of recipe suggestions within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Thursday Three : Low Carb Recipe Suggestions (7)

Here we are with another ‘Thursday Three’ of lower carb recipe suggestions.

I hope you enjoy these suggestions 😊
Lime and Vanilla Cheesecake
A low carb, delicious treat you may like to try.
100g melted butter
2 cups Almond meal
1 tbsp Almond butter
4 Eggs plus 1 egg yolk
500g Cream cheese (regular)
200g Coconut cream
1 tbsp Vanilla essence
3 tbsp Natvia (sweetener of your choice)
4 Limes (juiced)
Instructions more details here
Crab-stuffed Avocado with a Buttermilk Dressing
This makes a tasty lunch that’s ready in just ten minutes.

Serves Two
100g (3 1/2oz) fresh or tinned white crab meat
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 tbsp. finely chopped coriander
1 shallot, finely chopped
handful baby salad leaves
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 avocados, halved and stoned
For the dressing
2 tbsp. buttermilk
1 tsp Tabasco
1 tsp mayonnaise
Instructions more details here
Pork With Pepper Kebabs
This recipe is great for barbeques, but can be cooked indoors under the grill.

Serves 4 Adults
480g / 1 lb of diced lean pork
2 green or red peppers
For the Marinade
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 red chilli, trimmed
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
zest and juice of ½ a lime
1 level teaspoon of paprika
Small bunch flat leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions more details here
I hope you’ve enjoyed this ‘Thursday Three’.
Did you spot the theme running through these choices?
Have you a favourite looking recipe out of these three?
They all look good, but I think I will make sure Avocados are on my shopping list 😀
You can also have a look at previous ‘Thursday Three’ lower carb recipe suggestions using this link here

Dear reader, you will find a variety of recipe ideas within this blog. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Nothing changes. In the name of God go!

Oliver Cromwell: ‘In the name of God, go!’ speech dismissing Rump Parliament – 1653

20 April 1653, London, England
“It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place,which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.
Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government.
Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.
Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?
Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?
Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices?
Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.
Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God’s help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do.
I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.
Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go!”

History repeats itself. 
Ex-Cabinet minister David Davis said Mr Johnson had failed to take responsibility for the breaches of lockdown in Downing Street, and he had enough of taking the flak for him. ‘In the name of God, go!’ he said. A visibly shaken Mr Johnson insisted he was not going to resign.
Today in Parliament

Stacey Simms of Diabetes Connections with Joanne Milo, Living Longer with T1D

Diabetes Connections is the T1D news show you’ve been waiting for! Long-time broadcaster, blogger and diabetes mom Stacey Simms interviews prominent advocates, authors and speakers. Stacey asks hard questions of healthcare companies and tech developers and brings on “everyday” people living with type 1 diabetes. Great for parents of T1D kids, adults with type 1 and anyone who loves a person with diabetes.  You can find Diabetes Connections on any podcast app. New shows come out every Tuesday.     Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms 


From Stacey:  “This week’s guest brings up a fascinating issue about living longer with T1D.

Cauliflower and Seed Bread : Lower Carb

I am sharing a recipe from Jessica Sepel, it’s for Cauliflower and Seed Bread, made with a low carbers favourite … cauliflower rice! Why not give it a try this weekend. 😊

2 cups cauliflower rice (see notes)
100 g (1 cup) almond meal
2 tablespoons psyllium husk
2 tablespoons chia seeds
40 g (1⁄4 cup) pepitas, plus 40 g (1⁄4 cup) extra for decorating
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs, whisked
2 tablespoons cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Line the base and sides of a 20 x 10 cm loaf tin with non-stick baking paper.
2. Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well combined and smooth. Transfer the dough to the prepared loaf tin, spreading it out evenly and pressing down firmly to level the surface.
3. Sprinkle the top with the extra pepitas then bake for 55–60 minutes, or until the top is golden and a skewer inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.

4. Allow to cool completely in the tin, then turn out and slice to serve.

This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To freeze, wrap the slices individually and keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.

To make your own cauliflower rice, you’ll need 1 cauliflower head to get 2 cups of ‘rice’. Simply break the head of cauliflower into florets, place these in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower resembles fine rice-like grains.

Allergic to almond meal/flour, how about this recipe which uses coconut flour.

For help with weight/measurement conversion see here

~ bringing a little greenery indoors ~

Dear reader, this blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas, and it is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Lowering blood insulin levels could lower your risk of getting COVID-19

“Lowering blood insulin levels could lower your risk of getting COVID-19

Researchers from Osaka University find that SARS-CoV-2 binds to a cell-surface protein whose expression is promoted by high blood insulin levels in older, obese, and diabetic individuals.

Oct 28, 2021●Life Sciences & Medicine

Keeping blood insulin levels within strict, healthy parameters is a daily goal for people with diabetes. But now, researchers from Japan have found that regulating blood insulin levels may even help lower the risk of getting COVID-19.

In a study published this month in Diabetes, researchers from Osaka University have revealed that a protein called GRP78 helps the virus that causes COVID-19 bind to and enter cells. GRP78 is a protein that is found in adipose tissue (i.e., fat). Older, obese, and diabetic people are all more vulnerable to COVID-19 and, while the reasons for this are still not completely clear, the team from Osaka University sheds some light on this issue.

“It was recently suggested that adipose tissue might be a major reservoir for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,” says lead author of the study Jihoon Shin. “Because of this, we wanted to investigate whether there is any link between the excess adipose tissue in older, obese, and diabetic patients and their vulnerability to COVID-19.”

To do this, the researchers looked at GRP78, which has recently been suggested to be involved in the interaction of SARS-CoV-2 with human cells. The major method by which SARS-CoV-2 enters human cells is by a spike protein on the viral surface binding to a human cell-surface protein called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Shin and colleagues discovered that the spike protein can also directly bind to GRP78, and that the presence of GRP78 increases the binding with ACE2. To get an idea of GRP78’s involvement in COVID-19 vulnerability they investigated how much GRP78 protein is present in tissues from older, obese, and diabetic patients.

“The results were very clear,” explains senior author Iichiro Shimomura. “GRP78 gene expression was highly upregulated in adipose tissue, and was elevated with increasing age, obesity, and diabetes.”

Aging, obesity, and diabetes are known to be associated with increased blood insulin levels. Therefore, the group wondered whether insulin was involved in GRP78 expression. They found that exposing cells to insulin did induce expression of GRP78. Importantly, they discovered that treatment using widely prescribed anti-diabetic drugs that reduce insulin levels successfully reduce expression level of GRP78. They went a step further and showed that exercise and calorie restriction in a mouse-model also worked to reduce GRP78 levels in adipose tissue.

“Our findings suggest that a high blood insulin level is an important risk factor that can predispose older, obese, and diabetic individuals to COVID-19 infection. As such, controlling blood insulin with pharmacological interventions or with environmental interventions, such as exercise, could help lower these patients’ risk,” says Shin.

Given the global impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the results from this study provide important insights into how to lower the risk of infection in these vulnerable patients. Reducing GRP78 expression by pharmacological or environmental interventions may improve outcomes in these patients.”

More to read here
h/t Marks Daily Apple here 

Related Posts

BMJ Editorial – Endorse low carb for COVID-19 prevention – see here

Nutrition Can Strengthen the Immune System to Fight COVID-19 – see here
Boosting your immune system to fight the coronavirus, what you need to know – see here

~ ~ xx ~ ~ xx ~ ~

Dear reader, this blog is presented in a magazine style – we hope something for everyone. You will find a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, music and recipes! However, not all the recipes ideas featured in this blog may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan