Recipes

Autumn Apple Flapjack!

Here is my apple flapjack recipe which is one of my new favourites! I have apple trees in my garden so it’s the time of year to cook them down, and make some delicious autumnal recipes!

Makes approx 16

Macros:

Calories: 179
Carbohydrates: 21g
of which sugars: 3.6g
Fibre: 3g
Protein: 2.5g
Fat: 10g

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium cooking apples
  • 100g golden syrup
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 300g rolled oats
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 lemon

Apple Flapjack Method:

1.Firstly, peel, core and chop the apples into small chunks.

prep apples - apple flapjack

2. Put the apples in a saucepan with around 1tbsp of water and a drizzle of lemon juice. Cook them on a medium heat for around 5 minutes, the apples should start to crush down. Once all of the apples are crushed, remove them from the heat and mash them down into a paste.

cooked apples - flapjack

3. Next, preheat the oven to 180 and line a 20x20cm tin with baking paper and grease it.

4. In another saucepan, melt the butter and golden syrup together.

5. In mixing bowl, mix the oats and cinnamon together. Next, add the apple and the butter mixture. Fold them until thoroughly combined.

6. Next, push the flapjack mixture down into the tin and bake for 20-25 minutes (until golden and slightly crisp).

7. Once the flapjack has cooled, cut it into chunks (I usually get 16).

8. Next, enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

apple flapjack

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If you liked this post, be sure to checkout Strawberry jam cake recipe and Ginger Cookies you have to make this Christmas!

ripe red fresh apples growing on tree in orchard
Diet

Nutrient Feature: Chromium

Chromium is a trace mineral that is vital for the breakdown of carbohydrate, fat and protein, as well as maintaining balanced blood sugar levels.

Mechanisms

One role of chromium is to increase the number of insulin receptors on the surface of cells. Having more receptors means more glucose can move into cells, preventing high blood glucose.

This helps insulin to become more efficient, meaning the body needs less of it to get sugar into cells to produce energy.

Chromium deficiency can therefore increase insulin resistance, potentially influencing the progression of high blood glucose and diabetes.

Remember that insulin resistance always changes, the body can alter how sensitive your cells are to insulin depending on your body’s needs at that given time. Severe insulin resistance is the main characteristic of type 2 diabetes, meaning it may be more applicable to support type 2.

Chromium Rich Foods

garlic and chromium

Make sure you are eating at least 2 of these daily!

  • Apples
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Beef and poultry
  • Grape juice

Chromium picolinate supplements are often ‘recommended’ for people who are prone to insulin resistance. E.g. Type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and pre-diabetes. I always recommend opting for foods rich in specific nutrients first, rather than jumping straight to supplements.

Some research has shown that chromium picolinate supplements can increase the action of insulin, potentially leading to severe hypoglycaemic episodes. Therefore please do not take any chromium supplements if you are taking any form of diabetic medication, always speak to a medical professional first.

chromium supplement

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If you liked this post, be sure to checkout Vitamin D Deficiency & Autoimmunity and Leaky Gut Syndrome 101

roller coaster rail at cloudy day
Education on Diabetes

Riding The Blood Sugar Rollercoaster

The blood sugar rollercoaster, also known as ‘dysglycemia’ is when sugar levels quickly bounce between highs and lows (see graph below). The rollercoaster causes severe fatigue as well as detrimental physical and mental symptoms.

blood sugar rollercoaster

Many factors can cause the rollercoaster, such as:

  • Severe hypoglycaemia
  • ‘Rage bolusing’
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Intense exercise
  • Illness
  • Lack of sleep

My Tips On Handling The Blood Sugar Rollercoaster

1.Portion your hypo snacks before When you have hypoglycaemia it can send you into a ‘hangry’ monster, trying to eat everything in sight. To prevent this I always carry/have portioned hypo snacks, for example I have small juice bottles and small boxes of raisins etc. This can help to prevent over-treating a low sugar, causing a rebound high.

2. Resist the ‘rage bolus’ If you do become a hangry monster (don’t panic we have all been there!) try not to take a big dose of insulin to overcome the high sugar. I know it’s annoying, but bringing sugar levels back down gradually is preferable because it will prevent another sudden hypo.

3. Close your eyes and rest – If your sugar levels are everywhere it can become tiring and stressful. When we get stressed it can cause blood sugar levels to rise even more, which is not ideal in this situation. So I like to close my eyes and focus on my breathing, always set a 20/30 minute alarm incase you fall asleep so you can check your levels again.

4. Reach out to your support network – If you are feeling really unwell and are struggling, ask for help! If you need someone to grab you snacks or give you a hug, ask your parents, partner, friends, whoever is your go-to!

support - blood sugar rollercoaster

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Dangers of Frequent Hypoglycaemia and How to handle a hypo mid-workout!

Recipes

The Best Scrambled Egg Recipe

I absolutely adore scrambled egg, for me it is a quick and healthy breakfast or lunch which I enjoy multiple times a week! I thought I’d share this recipe as it is my favourite way to have scrambled egg.

Eating eggs a couple of times per week is a great way to add protein and healthy fats to your breakfast or lunch, so if you like eggs, make sure you are getting them in!

Serves 1

Macros: *Including eggs and bread.

Calories: 435
Carbohydrates: 61g
of which sugars: 10.5g
Fibre: 5.5g
Protein: 22.5g
Fat: 11.5g

Ingredients:

scrambled eggs recipe
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 small diced spring onion
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 2 slices sourdough bread

Method:

1.In a small frying pan heat a drizzle of olive oil, once it is hot add the spring onion, sun-dried tomatoes, paprika and oregano. Let this fry off on a medium heat for around 2 minutes.

2. Next, decrease the heat to a low setting and crack the eggs directly into the frying pan. Using a spatula, whisk the eggs to scramble them as they cook.

3. Cook the eggs to your preference, I prefer mine a bit runny so I usually remove them from the hob quickly and let them cook in the hot pan.

4. Once the scrambled egg is cooked, season with salt and pepper.

5. I usually have my eggs on 2 slices of sourdough, garnished with coriander and cheese, alongside a salad.

6. Next, enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

scrambled eggs

Thank you for reading The Best Scrambled Egg Recipe, let me know if you give it a try! Be sure to like, subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out What I Eat Daily With Type 1 Diabetes and Sun-dried tomato and chicken pasta dish!

sunlight with white clouds
Diet, Education on Diabetes

Vitamin D Deficiency & Autoimmunity

Vitamin D plays many crucial roles in maintaining our health. This includes maintaining bone density, muscle contraction, hormone balance and immunity.

The active form of vitamin D is actually a hormone called calcitriol, which is produced by the kidneys after sunlight hits our skin, or we eat vitamin D through food sources.

Calcitriol binds to vitamin D receptors aiding balanced immune response and appropriate levels of inflammation. This prevents the immune system from attacking its own tissues, known as autoimmunity. Therefore, inadequate levels of vitamin D in the body can increase the risk of developing autoimmune diseases. This includes type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

This is demonstrated across research, if you would like to know more here is a great paper to read.

Preventing Vitamin D deficiency

  • Spend time outside – 12pm is actually the best time to go outside. At midday the light rays are at the optimum length to efficiently absorb UVB rays to make vitamin D. Get some rays for about 10 minutes before applying suncream. If you have very pale skin limit this time to 5 minutes or less, and if you have darker skin increase the time (to up to 20 minutes) to allow adequate vitamin D synthesis.
  • Eat vitamin D food sources – Mushrooms are great sources of vitamin D, try and pick mushrooms that have filaments facing vertically. This means they have been exposed to sunlight, allowing them to make vitamin D for us to absorb. Eggs and liver are also good sources.
  • Supplements – particularly during the winter months when sun exposure is low, I think it is worth taking a vitamin D3 supplement. A dose of 2000IU is a good maintenance level.
leave a like - vitamin d

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Autoimmune diseases 101! and Autoimmune conditions linked with type 1 diabetes

wood man woman hand
Education on Diabetes, Top Tips

Dangers of Frequent Hypoglycaemia

Everyone living with diabetes knows how draining hypoglycaemia can be, particularly when low sugars frequently occur. Until recently the long-term dangers of hypoglycaemia have not really been spoken about, or known. So I wanted to write a post about what recent research has started to find.

This post is not intended to scare you, but to share knowledge and to help prevent hypoglycaemia.

Frequent hypoglycaemic episodes have now been linked to increasing the risk of developing complications of diabetes, such as heart disease, retinopathy, kidney disease and impaired cognitive function (memory loss specifically). More research is needed to gain more understanding on why and for treatments on these complications.

The best way to avoid further health complications is to prevent hypoglycaemic episodes in the first place.

My tips on avoiding frequent hypoglycaemia

1. Invest in technology

If it is possible, the best place to start is to get a CGM or FGM so you can monitor your sugar levels more easily. I use the Freestyle Libre and this has really improved my diabetes control. Preventing hypos has become so much easier!

Technology for preventing frequent hypoglycaemia

2. Set your alarms with precaution

If you use a CGM or FGM with an alarm system, I recommend setting the low boundary slightly higher. This way the alarm will go off just before you dip into a hypo, giving you more time to treat and prevent the hypo.

My low alarm is set at 4.5 mmol/L, which gives me time to get my levels up before they drop lower.

3. Learn your trends

If you have frequent hypoglycaemia, try to record when your levels drop. For example, I tend to drop during the night if I have done a lot of running, to avoid this I decrease my insulin dose with dinner and I try to run earlier in the day if possible.

preventing frequent hypoglycaemia

4. Avoid ‘rage bolusing’

If you are having a stubborn high glucose, try to not over-correct and take lots of insulin. I know this can be annoying, but we are much better off getting high sugar levels down gradually, to avoid subsequent hypoglycaemia.

5. Always carry your favourite snacks!!

heart - frequent hypoglycaemia

Thank you for reading Dangers of Frequent Hypoglycaemia, I hope this post is useful, let me know if you would like more tips on this topic! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to checkout How to handle a hypo mid-workout! and Keeping your heart healthy with diabetes

Recipes

Garlic, Lemon & Mustard Salmon

Here is my amazing garlic, lemon & mustard salmon recipe, this is one of my favourite meals at the moment. It is so easy to make especially if you are in a rush.

Serves 2

Macros:

Calories: 627
Carbohydrates: 61.5g
of which sugars: 5g
Fibre: 8g
Protein: 39g
Fat: 28.5g

Ingredients:

For the salmon

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 2 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Juice & zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • Salt & black pepper for seasoning

For the sides

  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 handfuls of broccoli
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper for seasoning

Method:

1.Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.

2. Remove the salmon skin and place it in a bowl.

3. For the marinade add the olive oil, lemon juice, zest, mixed herbs, garlic and mustard in a bowl. Mix until combined, then pour over the salmon fillets and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.

mustard salmon marinade

4. While the salmon is marinating, wash and cut the potatoes into small chunks. Peel and cut the carrots and place both on the baking tray.

5. Season the potatoes and carrots with olive oil, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper. Put this in the oven for around 15 minutes.

6. Next, prep the broccoli and onion by cutting them into big chunks.

7. When the 15 minutes is up, take the tray out and add the salmon fillets, broccoli and onion. Cook this for another 15 minutes.

garlic lemon mustard salmon

8. Once everything is crispy and golden, serve onto plates.

9. Next, enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

garlic, lemon & mustard salmon

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out What I Eat Daily With Type 1 Diabetes and Jamie Oliverโ€™s Jerk Chicken Recipe

kitchen knife
Diet

What I Eat Daily With Type 1 Diabetes

breakfast - what i eat daily

I get asked all the time what I eat daily with type 1 diabetes, so here is a normal day of eating for me.

Please remember what I eat is what works for me, my body and my sugar levels. Eating looks different for everyone and you have to eat what works for you! This also is not what I eat everyday, there are of course days where I indulge!

Breakfast

My go-to breakfast is always oats with fruit and a coffee. It literally takes 5 minutes to make, is delicious and is a great balanced meal.

I add peanut butter, raw cacao powder, cinnamon, walnuts and/or chia seeds. I have recently started adding some coconut yogurt on top which is delicious! If my sugar levels are low I add some honey to get them up quickly. I’ll have blueberries, strawberries or raspberries on the side.

Click here for the recipe link

Lunch

If I am at home for lunch I usually make some scrambled eggs with sourdough bread and salad.

I love to add spring onions and sun-dried tomatoes to my eggs and I always have at least 3 handfuls of different coloured vegetables like cucumber, tomato, radish and beetroot to include a variety of nutrients. – This recipe will be posted soon!

On the go, I might make a sandwich or pasta salad, making sure I always have a source of protein and plenty of veggies.

Dinner

Dinner is definitely my most diverse meal, I love cooking and trying different meals in the evening. Recently I have loved cooking salmon so I’ll use this as my example.

For a quick dish I go for garlic, lemon and mustardThis recipe will be posted soon!

My protein sources include chicken, turkey, salmon, occasionally beef and veggie protein sources like beans and lentils.

salmon - what i eat daily

Snacks

I always carry sugary snacks in case my sugar levels drop low, my favourites are juice boxes, bananas and dried fruit.

Lower carb snacks include, I’ll go for salted popcorn, dark chocolate and mixed nuts.

I drink between 2.5-3L of water and normally 2 coffees per day (sometimes more because I love coffee!).

coffee - what i eat daily

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Coffee and diabetes and 4 Nutrients for Insulin Sensitivity

blue and white boat on body of water
Education on Diabetes, Top Tips

Holiday tips to maintain sugar levels

Everyone wants to let loose on holiday and enjoy delicious food without feeling restricted. Here are my top tips on making the most of your summer holiday while managing your sugar levels!

1. Watch your drinks

smoothie - holiday tips

On holiday you are more likely to indulge in cocktails, smoothies and coffee, but remember these are often packed with sugar.

I try and choose cocktails that contain less sugar, my favourite is a mojito. If your sugars are running a bit high, ask the bartender to leave the sugar out and to give some sugar sachets so you can add the right amount for you.

If you fancy something with lots of sugar in, try and time it right, for example after a walk or swim.

2. Plan activities

Plan activities that involve some exercise, even just book a walking tour so you can explore your holiday destination and get some movement in at the same time. Play games in the pool or volleyball on the beach!

Just remember to always carry a sugary snack or money for treats if your sugars suddenly drop.

exploring - holiday tips

3. Take cool packs

It isn’t always possible to put your bag in the shade so invest is some cool packs to stop your insulin from denaturing.

Denaturing is when the insulin gets too hot, meaning it is no longer active when it enters the body. This can therefore result in very high sugar levels.

Etsy have some really nice cooler cases, I take them everywhere with me so my insulin stays cool whether I am by the pool, beach or exploring a new town.

4. Make sure you have a mini fridge

Contact your hotel and make sure there is a mini fridge in your room. The last thing you want is to arrive and then realise there is no where to safely store your insulin (I have been in this position, it’s not fun!).

5. Relax

Remember you are on holiday and you are there to have fun. If you run a little high a couple of times it is not the end of the world (not too high of course).

Go back to basics and remember timing is always the key to indulging!

relax by the pool, holiday tips

Thank you for reading my Holiday tips to maintain sugar levels, I really hope it was useful! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Top tips on alcohol consumption and diabetes control! and How to Stop CGMโ€™s from falling off

Recipes

Summer Mixed Bean Salad

Here is my Summer Mixed Bean Salad which super fresh and perfect to accompany your BBQ. This recipe is rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein, also nourishing your body!

I haven’t posted in a long time as I have been enjoying a break and recovering from a period of burnout. I think it is really important to talk about, and this has taught me the importance of living a balanced lifestyle. Giving your body what it needs is always the priority!

I am pleased to say I will now be posting regularly again, and I have lots of content for you to look forward to!

burnout - mixed bean salad

Serves 4

Macros:

Calories: 181
Carbohydrates: 20g
of which sugars: 3g
Fibre: 66g
Protein: 6g
Fat:

Ingredients:

  • 1 can mixed beans
  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • 1/2 a red pepper
  • 1 avocado
  • 80g beetroot
  • Small bunch of coriander
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp dry oregano
  • Salt and black pepper for seasoning

Methods:

1.Pour the mixed beans into a colander and wash thoroughly with water. Now pour them into a large salad bowl.

2. Finely chop the red pepper, cucumber, avocado, beetroot and coriander. Add all to the salad bowl.

3. For the dressing, squeeze the juice of the lime, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, oregano, black pepper and Himyalan sea salt.

4. Using a fork and spoon, give the salad a toss. Place a lid over the bowl and leave in the fridge for around 1 hour before serving to allow the flavours to absorb.

5. Next, enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Mixed Bean Salad

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out 3 Delicious Summer Dips! and Firecracker chicken salad recipe!