red celebrate print baubles hang on green christmas tree
Top Tips

Christmas Day Blood Sugar Control

Everyone wants to relax and enjoy Christmas day to the max. This might mean eating more than usual and letting sugar levels slip.

Here are 5 tips to help maintain blood sugar control while having fun with your loved ones.

1. Choose your drinks wisely

Many drinks contain a lot of sugar which can drastically increase the amount consumed. Sugar in the form of liquid absorbs quickly, causing sharp glucose spikes.

So I recommend stocking up on low sugar options that you can enjoy without setting off the dreaded blood sugar rollercoaster. Save the high sugar options for when your blood sugars start to drop.

If you drink alcohol, keep in mind that wine and spirits with low sugar mixers are good options!

drinks for Christmas day blood sugar control

2. Timing is key

Before a big meal make sure you pre-bolus to prevent the post-meal glucose spike. For me this is usually 20 minutes before a meal, but make sure you find the timing that works best for you.

As I have said previously, try and time high carb/ sugar snacks for when you might need a correction dose anyway, or when your sugars start to naturally dip low.

3. Play active games

Christmas day boardgames

I don’t know about you but we love to play games on Christmas day! This is a fantastic way to get some activity in without actually thinking about it.

Some game examples are:

  • Inflatable reindeer ring toss
  • Charades
  • Just Dance
  • Task Master card game
  • The Sumo Squat hook race
  • Hide and Seek

4. Go for a family walk

After Christmas dinner I love to go for a walk with my family. We usually go between main course and pudding to give ourselves a break.

Walking is a fantastic way to prevent or help to correct high blood sugars. We usually walk for around 30 minutes, and decide what games/ films we’ll play for the rest of the day.

5. Opt for lower carb starters and snacks

I usually snack on nuts, cheese, olives and cocktail sausages as well as having some crisps etc. This helps to decrease the carb load, and makes me feel less restricted.

Keeping the carb content a bit lower helps blood sugar control, and it means less corrective insulin doses!

christmas day

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Christmas activity ideas! and Homemade mince pie recipe!

brown powers
Diet, Education on Diabetes

Nutrient Feature: Berberine

Berberine is a bright yellow bioactive compound (known as a polyphenol) present in some herbs and spices.

Emerging research has shown berberine may have the potential to have glucose lowering effects. This research is mainly based on type 2 diabetes, I recommend reading this article to find out more.

steeping goldenseal


Berberine could potentially stimulate glycolysis. This means more glucose is put into storage rather than remaining in the blood (causing hyperglycaemia).

Berberine is also thought to increase insulin sensitivity in people with newly diagnosed pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. This could be promising in helping blood sugar control and reducing complications.

I also want to highlight that there is no magic pill or nutrient which will ‘cure’ any form of diabetes. It is important to remember the best health outcomes are achieved when we use lifestyle modifications alongside any potential medication options. Health is multi-factorial!

Berberine in the diet

nutrient feature: berberine supplement

The easiest way to consume berberine in the diet is to steep 2 tsp of dried goldenseal in a mug of hot water. Have this twice a day.

Goldenseal can be tricky to get hold of so most people opt for a berberine supplement. I’m not the biggest supplement advocate, so I would talk to your healthcare provider before buying any form of supplement.

*Be aware that taking berberine supplements could significantly interact with any form of glucose lowering medication. Please do not take anything without speaking to a healthcare professional first, as it increases the risk of dangerous hypoglycaemia.

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Nutrient Feature: Chromium and 5 Easy ways to lower your HbA1c!

woman lying on bed while blowing her nose
Education on Diabetes

5 Ways To Support Illness Recovery

Unfortunately it is the time of year where immunity drops and our risk of getting the common cold or flu goes up. Here are 5 natural ways to support illness recovery

1. Honey!

honey in glass jars

Local organic honey has proven to be just as effective as over-the-counter flu remedies.

This is because honey contains antioxidants and antimicrobial properties which helps the immune system to fight and clear infections. Honey can also be soothing for sore throats.

Have a teaspoon of honey with a slice of fresh lemon and ginger in boiling water to get the benefits! Obviously honey is sugary, so make sure you account for this in your insulin dose.

2. Clearing sinuses

Nothing is more annoying than having a blocked nose and feeling like you can’t breathe properly.

Steam is really important in clearing sinuses. I recommend drinking plenty of warm drinks and deep breathing while in the shower to inhale more steam.

You can also fill a large bowl with boiling water, put a towel over your head and lean over the bowl. This can feel quite intense but it definitely works for me!

If none of this works, you can buy salt water sprays which will certainly do the job!

3. Rest

Getting adequate rest is vital for recovering from an illness. When we are ill our immune system needs to use more energy to fight off the bug.

Therefore you will need to sleep and chill out more. If you have the option to work from home this will help recovery, and it will prevent the bug from spreading to other people.

Snuggle up, keep warm and try to take regular naps if you can!

sleep for natural ways to recover from illness

4. Herbs

I highly recommend drinking herbal teas when ill. This will help to boost hydration, and some herbs have useful properties for illness recovery.

Think of:

Ginger – in the form of tea and/or adding fresh ginger to cooking.
Berberine – in the form of tea or syrup.
Echinacea – in the form of tea.
Oregano – Add fresh or dried oregano to cooking (1-2 tsp).
Turmeric – Add fresh or dried turmeric to cooking (1-2 tsp).

All of these herbs have anti-inflammatory properties, supporting the immune system.

5. Movement

While rest is vital, taking part in gentle movement is also important. If we are sedentary for hours or days it can increase the risk of getting blood clots.

Try and make yourself tea/food regularly, this will make you walk around and promote blood flow.

photography of blue ceramic coffee cup

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out 5 Nutrients To Boost Immunity and 5 ways to reduce your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes


Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

Carrying on with my immune support posts, I thought I would share my chicken noodle soup recipe! Having chicken noodle soup when you are ill, or trying to boost your immune system is a must! This is packed with nutrients, it will increase hydration and keep you warm in the winter months.

Keep reading for my go to recipe.

Serves 2


Calories: 696
Carbohydrates: 77g
of which sugars: 18g
Fibre: 16g
Protein: 53g
Fat: 22g


  • 3 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 medium red chilli diced
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 1/2 head of broccoli diced
  • 1 medium white onion diced
  • 80g frozen peas
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 nests rice noodles
  • 1.5 pints chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • Salt and pepper
  • Drizzle of sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds for garnish
  • Coriander for garnish
  • 2 spring onions finely chopped for garnish

Peanut butter paste:

  • 1tbsp Crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Rice wine vinegar


1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. While the oven is heating up, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the white onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Fry this off for a couple of minutes.

frying off - chicken noodle soup

3. Next, add the carrots, broccoli, five spice, turmeric, soy sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper. Continue to fry this off for around 5 minutes.

4. Add the stock and noodles to the vegetables and allow this to simmer for around 15 minutes. Then reduce it to a low heat to keep it hot.

5. While the soup is simmering, cut the chicken breast into strips and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook this for around 15-20 minutes in the oven.

6. For the peanut butter paste, add all of the ingredients to a small saucepan. Keep stirring it on a high heat for 2 minutes (when it starts bubbling) and remove from the heat.

7. Serve the soup into a bowl and put the chicken strips on top. Next, drizzle some sesame oil and paste over the chicken. Finally, garnish it with the sesame seeds, coriander and spring onion.

8. Next, enjoy 🙂

chicken noodle soup

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Halloween pumpkin soup recipe! and Butternut Squash soup recipe!

update lettering text on black background
Education on Diabetes

The FreeStyle Libre 2 Update!

As of the 17th August Abbott released a new update to the FreeStyle Libre 2 app which now means the system acts like a continuous glucose monitor (CGM).

What the update means

new update arrows

The new CGM system means that you no longer have to scan the sensor with your phone, you simply open the app and it automatically displays your glucose.

Not only this, when the high or low glucose alarm goes off, the notification banner displays the sugar level and the arrow trend.

These updates are fantastic because it makes glucose monitoring even easier and it helps to prevent hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia even sooner. This improved technology continues to increase quality of life, and the burden of living with diabetes.

The update has removed the 24 hour time in range percentage from the home page (I’m not sure why).

*Be aware that it is only available on the mobile app, if you are using the separate FreeStyle reader it is not available.

How to get it

For Android users you need to install the version (2.10.0)

For iOS users you need to install 2.10.1.

new update - FreeStyle Libre 2

*Abbott have said the update may disconnect your alarm system and LibreView. After installing the update make sure you scan your arm and check the alarms are connected. Also log out of your LibreView and log back in.

When I did the update it didn’t change my app until I changed my sensor. So if yours doesn’t update straight away this might be why. If you have any problems call Abbott straight away.

thank you lettering on white surface

Thank you for reading The FreeStyle Libre 2 Update, I hope you found this useful! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Diabetes technology 101! and Dangers of Frequent Hypoglycaemia


Halloween Pumpkin Pie!

This year my Halloween recipe is a delicious pumpkin pie! This recipe is perfect for spooky season, and another way to use the leftover pumpkin flesh after carving!

Serves 8-10

Macros: (based on 10 servings)

Calories: 235
Carbohydrates: 31g
of which sugars: 19g
Fat: 10g
Protein: 4g


For the pastry:

  • 150g plain flour
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg yolk

For the filling:

  • 750g cubed pumpkin flesh
  • 120g caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 medium eggs beaten
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 175ml milk
  • Icing sugar for dusting


1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease a 22cm pie dish with butter.

2. Add the pumpkin chunks to a large saucepan and cover with boiling water. Let this boil for around 1 minute and then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes (until it is soft). Strain out the water and leave the pumpkin to cool down.

3. For the pastry, add the flour and butter into a large mixing bowl and crumble together until it looks like fine crumbs. Then stir in the icing sugar.

4. Next, add the beaten egg and continue to mix. If the mixture is not holding, add 1 tbsp of water at a time until it holds together. Once combined, wrap it in clingfilm and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Shortcrust pastry for pumpkin pie

5. For the filling, add the cool pumpkin to a blender and blitz into a purée. Next, add the caster sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and a crack of salt in a new mixing bowl and stir. Add the beaten egg, milk, melted butter and pumpkin purée, continue to mix until fully combined. Set this aside for later.

6. Now get the cooled pastry and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Roll to about the depth of a pound coin. Lay it in the pie dish and remove the excess pastry spilling over the sides.

Pastry bottom for pumpkin pie

7. Put a sheet of baking paper over the pastry and fill with baking beans. Bake this for 10 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake for another 12 minutes.

8. Once the pastry shell is baked, remove it from the oven and pour the pumpkin filling in. Now bake it for a further 30-35 minutes (until the filling has started to set).

pumpkin pie filling

9. Leave the pie to fully cool, then dust with icing sugar, cinnamon and Halloween decorations if you wish!

10. Serve with ice cream and enjoy! 🙂

Finished pumpkin pie

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

variety of vegetables
Diet, Top Tips

5 Nutrients To Boost Immunity

It is now the time of year where the days grow shorter and colder. This makes it really important to boost immunity and minimise the risk of coming down with sickness.

Here are 5 nutrients to boost immunity and how you can make sure they are sufficiently in your diet!

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has many roles in immunity! It increases the production of immune cells and acts as a major antioxidant. This means it prevents cell damage from infection and promotes recovery.

kiwi fruit to boost immunity

Collagen is built from vitamin C, which is important for maintaining our skin and mucous membranes which act as barriers to pathogens.

This is a water soluble vitamin, meaning our body cannot store it. Therefore it is important to eat sources throughout the day to maintain an adequate level.

With every meal/snack try to have a handful of red pepper, citrus fruit, kiwi, blueberries, strawberries, cauliflower or broccoli.


Selenium promotes antioxidant activity and helps to lower inflammation.

Inflammation is a vital process in fighting infections, but sometimes the body takes a while to reduce inflammation during infection, causing fatigue and lasting symptoms.

Everyday, try to have a source of selenium, this includes 5 brazil nuts, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds or a chicken breast.



Glutamine is an important amino acid which immune cells use for energy. When immune cells are fighting a bug off they need more energy to prevent or recover from infection.

Glutamine is also a building block for an enzyme called glutathione. Glutathione is a vital antioxidant in the body which prevents cell damage and aids the process of detoxification in the liver.

As it is an amino acid, the primary sources in the diet include poultry, beef, as well as raw spinach and cabbage.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is paramount in maintaining the first line of defence in the immune system. being a fat soluble vitamin, it maintains the mucous membrane which covers the inside of our mouth, nose, respiratory tract and digestive tract (these are a few examples).

pumpkin soup in a metal cup held by a person

This layer gathers bugs and prevents them from multiplying and causing an infection in our body. Vitamin A also helps to increase secretory IgA (sIgA) within the mucous membranes. sIgA is a broad antibody which fights against many pathogens, preventing infection.

When it comes to vitamin A in the diet, think of orange and dark green vegetables. Eat at least 2 portions of carrots, pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet potato, broccoli and spinach everyday.


This mineral helps to activate enzymes which breakdown pathogens so they can be excreted. High immune activity depletes zinc, therefore it is really important to get sufficient zinc through the diet.

Zinc also aids taste and smell, so it is important to eat plenty of zinc if you are struggling with taste and smell post infection.

Poultry, beef, nuts, seeds and whole grains are all high in zinc. Oysters however are the richest in zinc!

* Herbal teas like mullein, echinacea and elderberry are really good when you are ill with a cold or flu. They help with hydration as well as clearing congestion. I always keep some at home just incase!

Tea to boost immunity

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out 5 ways to reduce your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes and 5 easy ways to reduce your toxin load!


Homemade Chicken Shish!

Here is my homemade chicken shish recipe, this dish has been one of my favourites since my childhood! It is delicious and a perfectly balanced meal.

Serves 2


Calories: 630
Carbohydrates: 3g
of which sugars: 0.5g
Fibre: 0g
Protein: 60g
Fat: 40g


  • 2 chicken breasts diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • A handful of fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Chicken Shish Method:

1. For the marinade, add the olive oil, cumin, paprika, oregano, lemon, parsley and garlic to a blender. Blitz until combined.

2. Next, add the marinade, diced chicken, salt and pepper to a large mixing bowl. Cover and leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

chicken shish marinade

3. Add a drizzle of olive oil to your skillet (or frying pan), turn to a medium heat and start to cook the chicken.

cooking chicken shish

4. Continue to regularly turn the chicken until its cooked through (usually takes around 12-15 minutes). For the last few minutes turn to a high heat to get the chicken crisp.

5. Once it is cooked, serve onto a plate with your choice of sides. I normally have a pitta, some rice, greek salad and tzatziki.

6. Next, enjoy! 🙂

Chicken shish

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Orange & Mustard Chicken Pasta and Turkey Burger recipe

a woman using an insuling injection pen
Education on Diabetes

Rage Bolusing 101

Rage bolusing is when lots of insulin is administered to get a high blood sugar down quickly. 

From my experience, all people living with diabetes rage bolus from time to time when blood sugars are running high and we get annoyed that they are not coming down.

rage bolusing

It is completely normal to feel agitated when you have stubborn blood sugars, but rage bolusing can actually do more harm than good. It is common to think that getting hyperglycaemia down quickly is optimal, when the opposite it actually true.

Getting high sugar levels down gradually is better than overcorrecting and having a subsequent hypo. Rage bolusing can lead to ‘rollercoaster’ sugar levels which can become much harder to control.

My tips on dealing with rage bolusing

1. Gradually administer insulin – Administer your first correction dose and if you can, do some very gentle exercise. I like to go for a short walk (about 15-20 minutes), I then check my levels again. If they are not coming down one hour after the correction dose, I will administer another one. Sometimes it can take a few hours for the insulin to fully kick in.

*Be careful with insulin layering, this is when multiple doses of insulin are administered over a short period. This can result in delayed hypoglycaemia which can be very difficult to get back up.

do something relaxing - rage bolusing

2. Be patient – Try and do something you find relaxing while you wait. I like to watch my favourite TV show, read my book or play with my cats. When we get annoyed it increases the level of stress hormones in our blood, which can result in blood sugars rising even higher.

3. Keep hypo snacks at the ready – Always be ready for sudden low sugars, keep your favourite snacks nearby (and portioned!).

4. Share your annoyance – I like to talk to someone I trust when my sugar levels are being stubborn. Talking really helps to let emotions out, which may help to prevent a rage bolus.

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Restaurants and Diabetes 101 and Riding The Blood Sugar Rollercoaster


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


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


  • 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! 🙂

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!