Recipes

Bang Bang Cauliflower for the Festive Season!

Here is my bang bang cauliflower recipe, which is perfect to make for a festive buffet. You can even use your leftover cauliflower from your roast dinner!

Serves 4

Macros:

Calories: 58
Carbohydrates: 8g
of which sugars: 4g
Fibre: 2.5g
Protein: 3g
Fat: 2g

Ingredients:

1/2 Cauliflower
2 Spring onions

For the sauce:
2 tsps grated fresh ginger
2 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp ketchup
1 tsp honey
Drizzle white rice vinegar
1/2 small red chilli
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp soy sauce
Sesame seeds for garnish
Fresh coriander for garnish

Method:

1.Chop the cauliflower into small florets. Dry fry the cauliflower on a medium heat for around 2 minutes to give it colour.

dry fry, bang bang cauliflower

2. Next, add the sesame oil and a splash of water, lower the heat and let the cauliflower soften for around 5 minutes.

3. While the cauliflower is cooking, add all of the sauce ingredients into a bowl and mix until combined.

4. Add the sauce and 1 chopped spring onion into the pan, heat this through for around 1 minute.

5. Serve into a bowl and garnish with the remaining spring onion, coriander and sesame seeds.

6. Next, enjoy! 🙂

bang bang cauliflower

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man inside vehicle
Education on Diabetes

Driving and Type 1 diabetes

People living with type 1 diabetes have to take extra precaution before driving. This post will cover what people living with t1d have to do in the UK.

Legal Requirements

Firstly, you have to declare to the DVLA that you have diabetes. This will not stop you from driving, they just need to know about any medical conditions.

People living with diabetes also have to renew their licences more frequently. This is so the DVLA can monitor any diabetic complications, or lack of hypo awareness.

check sugar levels - driving and type 1 diabetes

These are the legal requirements in the UK:

  • Check your blood sugars no longer than 2 hours before driving (really you should be checking just before)
  • Check your blood sugars every 2 hours on a long journey
  • Always carry sugary snacks and slow releasing carbs (snack bar, sandwich, etc)

If you have a hypo while driving

  • Pull over and stop when it is safe
  • Remove the keys from the ignition
  • Get out of the driver’s seat
  • Check blood sugars and treat the hypo
  • Do not drive for 45 minutes AFTER you feel better (this allows brain to fully recover so you can drive safely)

Car snack ideas

You also have to have access to hypo snacks in your door pocket. It needs to be a large opened bag so you can reach down easily and eat.

snacks for hypo's - driving and type 1 diabetes

Here are some ideas, I prefer to have dried fruit rather than sweets all the time.

  • Dried mango
  • Raisins, cranberries, dates
  • Fruit pastels
  • Sweets of choice

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Top tips on alcohol consumption and diabetes control! and Restaurants and Diabetes 101

Recipes

Orange & Mustard Chicken Pasta

Here is my delicious Orange & Mustard Chicken Pasta, this dish is so fresh and perfect for this time of year! This is also super easy to make, so it will become a staple recipe for you!

Serves 2

Macros:

Calories: 742
Carbohydrates: 88g
of which sugars: 16g
Fibre: 5.5g
Protein: 56g
Fat: 17g

Ingredients:

  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 30g flaked almonds
  • 150g dried fusilli pasta
  • 125g broccoli
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 handfuls of rocket
  • Salt and black pepper

Method:

1. Chop the broccoli, onion and garlic.

prep - chicken pasta

2. Next, cube the chicken into a large saucepan and brown with 1 tbsp olive oil. Once the chicken is browned, add the broccoli, onion, garlic and season with paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Fry this off for around 5 minutes.

3. Now add the stock, soy sauce, orange juice, mustard and let this simmer for around 10 minutes. Cook the pasta while this is simmering.

reducing stock - orange & mustard chicken pasta

4. Once the pasta is cooked and the stock has reduced by half, stir the pasta and almonds into the chicken. Let this combine for a minute or two.

5. Once it is combined, serve up the pasta. Garnish with fresh rocket and grate some fresh orange zest over the top.

6. Next, enjoy! 🙂

orange and mustard chicken pasta

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faceless couple with cups of coffee and roses in cafeteria
Education on Diabetes, Parents

How to tell people you have diabetes

Telling people you are living with diabetes can be hard, especially if it’s someone you care about, or you have recently been diagnosed.

Even if it feels difficult, the people around you must know so they can support you. Here are my tips!

Choose a familiar place

tell people you are living with diabetes

Choosing somewhere you feel safe will help you to feel more relaxed during the conversation. This can be at home or your favourite cafe/restaurant.

You can also bring the topic up casually, it doesn’t have to feel serious. I often tell people when we are talking about food or exercise. For example I’ll say ‘I like to exercise because it helps me to control my sugar levels, I have type 1 diabetes’. Then the conversation goes on from there.

Keep it simple

Most people won’t fully understand what living with diabetes means, so you need to use easy language for them to understand.

You can use stuff like:
– ‘My sugar levels can go high and low’
– ‘When they go high I need insulin’
– ‘When they go low I need to eat sugar’

Tell people how to support you

Tell them what you might need. For example, sometimes your sugar levels will influence your food choices or you might need them to go for a walk with you.

I also tell people that I will let them know if i need anything, rather than having people constantly asking if I’m ok. This puts the control in your hands, and stops you feeling overwhelmed.

Be prepared to answer questions

question about diabetes

Everyone will have questions, this is vital to their understanding, and in my opinion the best way to raise awareness.

Questions will often be about your diagnosis, what you eat or about taking insulin etc. From my experience most questions are positive, however sometimes people might ask you a questions that comes off as negative. If this happens, reinforce that people living with diabetes can achieve anything, just with a little more preparation.

For more information, check out my post Dealing with annoying questions about diabetes.

*Remember to only have conversations when you are ready, but getting things off your chest is important too. If you are worried someone is going to judge you or treat you differently after, maybe you need to question their importance in your life rather than hiding your diabetes. Please email me if you need anything!

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Tips on teaching children to inject and 10 facts about Type 1 diabetes!

Top Tips

How to Stop CGM’s from falling off

Diabetic sensors falling off can be super annoying. It can make supplies run out quickly, increase the burden of living with type 1 and can cost a lot!

Here are my top tips for making sure they stay on until they expire!

1. Keep the skin clear

keep area dry to prevent CGM falling off

Before applying your sensor, make sure the area is clean and dry. Do not use any creams, lotions or fake tan before.

Also be aware of getting it wet or exercising right before or after applying the sensor. It can cause the glue to not stick down. I would advise waiting 1 hour before/after applying so the glue can set.

2. Sensor Placement

Learning where to place your sensor will come with experience. When I first started using the FreeStyle Libre I would put it on the side of my arm. I quickly learnt this is a prime spot for it to catch on a door frame. Now I place it further around the back to prevent this from happening.

Placement depends on the type of CGM/FGM you are using, so have an experiment and see what works best for you.

3. Wear extra support when needed

When you are doing activities that makes a sensor falling off more likely you can put another layer over the sensor. This may swimming or going to the beach etc.

Some people like to use big stickers that cover the whole sensor and upper arm, medical tape can also work well.

I personally like to carry a libre band with me so I can put this on quickly and take it off easily (what I’m wearing in the picture to the rightclick here to view on Amazon).

4. Get someone else to apply your suncream

Sun cream can get under sensors very easily, so ask someone else to apply it to the area if possible. This will also ensure the skin is fully covered, preventing sunburns.

5. Be careful in the heat

Intense heat can cause the glue to melt which makes the sensor tug away from the skin. If this happens, move somewhere cool if you can and hold the sensor down until the glue sets and re-sticks.

This happens very quickly in saunas and steam rooms, if you use these keep an eye on your sensor and don’t stay longer than 15 minutes.

sauna - preventing CGM from falling off

*Remember most sensor companies will replace faulty sensors. Contact them to see if you are entitled to a replacement.

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Diabetes technology 101! and HbA1c vs time in range

Recipes

Spiced Pumpkin Cappuccino Cake!

My Halloween recipe this year is an amazing Spiced Pumpkin Cappuccino Cake! It is absolutely delicious, and it’s a perfect treat for spooky season.

Serves 12-16 – this recipe makes two small loaf cakes

Macros: (18-20 portions)

Calories: 362
Carbohydrates: 45g
of which sugars: 23g
Fibre: 1g
Protein: 3g
Fat: 20g

Ingredients:

For the sponge:

pumpkin cake ingredients
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnnamon powder
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 200g melted unsalted butter
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 75g sultanas
  • 500g fresh grated pumpkin flesh
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of half an orange
  • 3 tbsp coffee and chicory essence

For the icing:

  • 100g icing sugar
  • 200g softened unsalted butter – make sure it is room temperature!
  • Zest of 1 orange (save some for decoration)
  • Juice of half an orange
  • 2 tbsp coffee and chicory essence
  • Pumpkin seeds for decoration
  • Orange zest for decoration
  • Chocolate powder for dusting

Method:

1.Preheat your oven to 160 degrees and line the tins with baking paper.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and sultanas.

3. In a separate mixing bowl combine the eggs, butter, coffee syrup, orange zest and juice.

4. Next, fold the liquid mixture into the dry mix. Now add the fresh grated pumpkin and fold until combined.

5. Pour the batter into the tins and bake for around 35 minutes, check it is cooked with a skewer.

6. For the icing, add all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl, stir until combined.

7. Once the cake is cooked and cooled, top with icing and decorate with pumpkin seeds, orange zest and chocolate powder.

8. Next, enjoy! 🙂

Spiced pumpkin cappuccino cake

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Halloween pumpkin soup recipe! and Healthy Halloween Rocky Road Recipe!

person with writing on body
Education on Diabetes, Fitness

Body Image and Type 1 Diabetes

Recent studies are showing that people living with type 1 diabetes are more likely to have body image problems (Click here to read the study if you are interested!).

This post will briefly explain why this might be the case, and how to help yourself feel more body confident!

Factors implicating body image

Insulin injections can cause weight gain, especially when people are first diagnosed. This largely depends on the type of insulin, how much is injected and individuality. It may not cause weight gain for some people, but others may really struggle with this.

calorie counting - body image

Weight can fluctuate very quickly when blood glucose is not controlled. Having to count carbohydrates and calories can contribute towards obsession and restriction. It can cause people living with diabetes to ‘care’ more about the way they look, rather than diabetes management.

Wearing diabetes technology can also draw unwanted attention to the body, all of these factors together can cause some body image problems.

How to feel more body confident

1. Go back to basics – rather than overcomplicating health and cutting things out, focus on eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated and sleeping enough. Focus on one point at a time, for example ‘this week I will start eating 6 portions of fruit and veg everyday’. Slowly making changes makes it more likely you’ll stick to them!

2. Get movement in – Movement is vital for all aspects of health and gives us a sense of accomplishment. Make time to move your body, in whatever way you like!

3. Start a journal – Reflection is a very useful tool. Write down how you feel everyday and think about why you are feeling negatively about your body. Once you find why, you can make changes to support yourself.

4. Watch what you follow on social media – Social media can have such a big impact on mental health. It is vital that you only follow accounts that bring you positivity. Unfollow accounts that make you feel negative about the way you look. – This applies IRL too!

social media - body image

5. Speak to someone you trust – Someone else’s perspective will likely make you feel better and more confident. Problems seem a lot more manageable once we say them out loud!

6. Do more of what makes you feel good – Make time to get your hair cut, go to your favourite coffee shop, whatever it is that instantly makes you feel good. When we put time aside for ourselves we gain a more positive outlook on life.

self care - body image

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Diabulimia 101! and Lumpy skin from insulin injections? Here’s what you need to know!

clear footed glass beside bowl
Education on Diabetes, Top Tips

Restaurants and Diabetes 101

Eating in restaurants can be challenging for people living with diabetes, due to unknown ingredients, generous portions and long waiting times can cause problems.

Despite these challenges, it should not stop you from enjoying a meal out! Here is what to consider when eating out to help keep your sugars stable.

Look them up

restaurant menu

The first thing I do before eating out is look at the menu to get an idea of the food, and to get excited! 🙂

This way you can prepare earlier in the day if you need to. For example if you know it will be a carb heavy meal, you might decide to stay active and get some cardio in.

The majority of chain restaurants have macros available online which you can use to carb count. Also double check on apps like MyFitnessPal which has macros listed on there.

Of course independent restaurants may not have this information, so you’ll have to wing it or ask them before/when you arrive.

Timing

Knowing when to inject can be difficult when you don’t know the wait time.

I have a few methods which might help!

bowl of bread - restaurant

1.If my sugars are running slightly high, I’ll order something lower carb to start and a higher carb main. I’ll inject 10 minutes (ish) after ordering.

2. If my sugars are normal or running slightly low I’ll order a starter and main with carbs. Again I’ll inject around 10 minutes after ordering, but I will also order a drink with sugar and/or some bread to keep me going.

Ask the waiter what the wait time will roughly be so you can prepare and enjoy your food!

Different Ingredients

Restaurants often use more flour and sugar in recipes and sauces, so this means more insulin may be needed than usual.

Sometimes it is worth injecting a few extra units to account for this, and if you start to go low, you can always eat/drink more! Make sure you test regularly during the meal!

Asian dishes and tomato sauces often contain a lot of sugarso bear this in mind!

Final tips

  • I really like to go for a slow walk after eating. This can help with digestion, keep your levels stable and it is sociable!
  • Always remember to account for alcohol in your insulin (if it is sugary), and if you are drinking a lot, eat carbs with it to prevent a hypo!
  • Enjoy yourself… If you are running slightly high (not so much that you feel bad), inject a correction dose and forget about it. You deserve to have a nice meal out every now and then.
enjoy - restaurant

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out 5 ways to handle high carb meals and Been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes? Here’s what to do!

Recipes

Slow-cooked Beef Adobo

Here is my delicious slow-cooked beef adobo recipe! This is so easy and convenient to make, it will become a go-to recipe for the winter!

Serve with either rice or noodles.

*You can also make this in a slow-cooker, put in all the ingredients and leave it on low heat for at least 8 hours. Using slow-cookers is also great at saving electricity and money!

Serves 5

Macros: (no sides included)

Calories: 404
Carbohydrates: 16g
of which sugars: 7.5g
Fibre: 1g
Protein: 20g
Fat: 37g

Ingredients:

beef adobo ingredients
  • 500g cubed beef (organic if possible)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 75ml rice vinegar
  • 125ml soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 small red chilli
  • Small bunch coriander
  • Black pepper

Method:

1.Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the cubed beef, onion, garlic and chilli. Lightly fry until the beef is browned.

beef adobo

2. Next, add the rest of the ingredients with a generous crack of black pepper and bring to the boil.

3. Now reduce to a low heat, cover it with a lid, and allow this to cook for around 2 hours. Stir every 30 minutes if possible.

reducing beef adobo

4. After 2 hours, check the consistency of the sauce. If it is really runny, increase the heat again to reduce it.

5. Once you are happy with the consistency, serve it up with your choice of side (I usually go for rice!). Top with fresh coriander.

6. Next, enjoy! 🙂

beef adobo

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out my Butternut Squash soup recipe! and my Delicious recipes for curry night!

a person holding a cardboard with inscription
Education on Diabetes

Diabetes Charities to Support

Supporting diabetes charities is super important to raise awareness, increase access to medication and to fund research.

Here are some charities you can support through fundraising, volunteering and sharing on your social media.

Beyond type 1

beyond type 1 scholarship

Beyond type 1 is a fantastic charity cofounded by Nick Jonas. Their focus is on raising awareness and advocating for all people living with diabetes to have access to medical care.

Beyond Type 1 also offer scholarships specifically for young people living with T1D. The cost of living with T1D is extortionate, so this scheme covers the cost of their education.

You can support this charity by donating, following them on Instagram and sharing your story with them!

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)

JDRF is a large charity supporting type 1 diabetes, their mission is to eventually find a cure for T1D!

They are run events to fundraise and to create a supportive community for young people living with T1D. JDRF also have a subscription where you get a magazine 3 times a year which gives you important updates!

Get involved by taking part in a fundraiser, volunteering, or apply to work with them!

Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation

research - diabetes charities

Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation are a smaller charity but do some very important work for the diabetic community.

They fund research specifically into islet cell transplants which is looking extremely promising in becoming a future treatment and possible cure for type 1 diabetes.

They also fund research into managing diabetes during pregnancy, and they give young researchers career opportunities.

Support them by donating!

Diabetes UK

Diabetes UK is a large charity which supports all types of diabetes. They give people living with diabetes the opportunity to take part in studies to aid research.

The website is very educational and covers many areas within diabetes management, so it might be useful to get to know the Diabetes UK website!

Lots of celebrities support Diabetes UK, including Muhammad Ali, Alexandra Burke, Amelia Lily and Mel C!

You can get involved by donating online, taking part in fundraisers/research and campaigning for rights in diabetes care.

community - diabetes charities

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