Recipes

My tasty 5 minute salad

Here is my super quick and easy 5 minute salad. This recipe is perfect if you need to make a healthy lunch to take anywhere with you!

My 5 minute salad is high in fibre, protein and good fats which will help keep you full. You can add any source of carbohydrates you fancy to make the meal balanced.

I like to have some oat crackers on the side with hummus.
*this is not included in the macros.

Serves 1

Macros:

Calories: 378
Carbohydrates: 32g
of which sugars: 17g
Fibre: 10g
Protein: 17g
Fat: 23g

Ingredients:

5 minute salad ingredients
  • Handful iceberg lettuce
  • Handful spinach
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1/2 courgette or cucumber
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • Handful purple cabbage
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 sprays of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp organic honey
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • Sprinkle of garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 5 walnuts
  • Coriander for garnish

Method:

1. First, wash all of your salad ingredients.

2. Next, peel the carrot and get rid of the outer peel. Use the peeler to create carrot and courgette ribbons for your salad and set aside.

3. Chop celery, cherry tomatoes, purple cabbage and coriander for garnish.

4. Combine the spinach, iceberg lettuce, celery, tomatoes, cabbage, carrot and courgette in your bowl or container. Add the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and walnuts, and mix the salad together.

5. In a separate bowl, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, oregano, garlic powder and honey.

6. Toss the dressing into the salad and garnish with fresh coriander.

7. Next, enjoy! 🙂

5 minute salad

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If you liked this post be sure to check out my 5 minute breakfast oats and 5 Minute Healthy Chocolate Dessert!

Education on Diabetes

The FreeStyle Libre 3?!

Abbott are officially launching the FreeStyle Libre 3 which is more than exciting, it is life changing.

Keep reading for all of the details on the Libre 3!

The difference between the Libre 2 and 3

There are a few differences between the Libre 2 and 3.

The first difference is the 3 will be the smallest and thinnest glucose monitoring system in the world.

FreeStyle Libre graph - Libre 3

Another update is the continuous real-time glucose reading feature. This means the Libre will automatically send glucose readings every minute to the reading device.

The final update Abbott have stated is the Libre 3 will have a one piece applicator making the application process smoother for users.

The changes makes living with diabetes more discrete and glucose control more efficient. how exciting!

As well as the incredible updates to the system, the Libre 3 also upholds the 14 day glucose accuracy, as well as high and low glucose alarms.

Access to the FreeStyle Libre 3

Abbott have been able to create the Libre 3 at the same price as the previous Libre generations.

Libre 3 cost

This is fantastic news because it increases the accessibility to advancing diabetes technology.

This means here in the UK, the NHS should have no problem funding the Libre 3 because it is exactly the same price as the Libre 2.

I hope this post gets you excited, the work achieved by Abbott is incredible and shows how advancing tech is easing the burden of living with diabetes. We are hoping the Libre 3 will be available in Europe in 2022 or during 2023.

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Diabetes technology 101! and 10 facts about Type 1 diabetes!

Recipes

5 minute breakfast oats

My breakfast oats are packed with nutrients, including good fats, protein and fibre to keep your sugar levels stable.

This recipe is so quick and easy, it is perfect to fit into your busy morning. Keep reading for all the details!

Serves 1

Breakfast Oats Macros:

breakfast oats ingredients

Calories: 416
Carbohydrates: 45g
of which sugars: 17.5g
Fibre: 8g
Protein: 15g
Fat: 24.5g

Ingredients:

  • 40g rolled oats
  • 125ml plant milk
  • 2 tsp Whole Earth peanut butter
  • 1 tsp raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 80g blueberries or 1 apple
  • 5 walnuts

Method:

1. Weigh the oats in a bowl and add the milk. Put this in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. Keep checking it and cook until you are happy with the consistency.

2. Next, stir in the peanut butter, raw cacao and cinnamon. Stir until combined.

breakfast oats toppings

3. Top with the blueberries and walnuts

4. Next, enjoy! 🙂

breakfast oats

Thank you for reading my 5 minute breakfast oats, make sure you give this a try the recipe is delicious! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Peanut Butter Bites! and Strawberry jam cake recipe

coffee beans and white mug
Diet, Education on Diabetes

Coffee and diabetes

Drinking coffee has a big potential to impact glucose control. The impact depends on a variety of factors, like the type of coffee you’re drinking, your genetics and time of day.

Keep reading to see how drinking caffeine might be impacting your levels and how to minimise this!

Caffeine and sugar levels

caffeine/coffee and sugar levels

Caffeine can make it harder for some people to keep sugar levels stable.

This is because caffeine causes adrenaline to spike, which can raise blood glucose and decrease insulin sensitivity. This means caffeine can make it harder for glucose to move into cells.

This response is varied across individuals, some people are extremely sensitive to the side of effects of caffeine and struggle to control sugar levels. It is worth keeping a close eye on sugar levels when drinking coffee so you can make the right adjustments.

Benefits of drinking coffee

  • Nutrients – Coffee contains polyphenols which is an important antioxidant in preventing inflammation and chronic illnesses. Good quality coffee also contain magnesium which is vital for relaxation and the uptake of glucose into cells.
  • It may be beneficial to heart health – studies have shown coffee drinkers are at less risk of getting clots, arrhythmia, heart failure and strokes.
  • Coffee is delicious – looking forward to having one or two coffees a day is absolutely fine!

Cons of drinking coffee

starbucks coffee
  • Milk and syrups – takeout coffees that are mostly milk and sugar are far from ideal. The high content of sugar completely removes the benefits of coffee. So remember to save these drinks for the occasion.
  • Getting hooked on caffeine – we don’t want to start relying on caffeine to get through our daily lives. Drinking too much coffee can also impact quality of sleep, which creates more risk of health problems.
  • Poor sources of coffee can contain harmful chemicals. Cheap instant coffee contain pesticides and preservatives. It might be worth going for more expensive coffees and organic brands.

Good quality coffee brands to check out:

  • Lifeboost Dark Roast Coffee
  • Bulletproof The Original
  • Kicking Horse Coffee “Kick Ass”
  • Equal Exchange Organic
  • The Organic Coffee Co. Ground

To summarise, if you’re a coffee drinker try to drink one or two cups of good quality coffee and avoid sugars, syrups and lots of milk. Also try to stop drinking coffee at around 3pm so it doesn’t impact sleep.

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If you liked this post be sure to check out Is stress making your glucose levels impossible to control? and 5 ways to reduce your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes

Recipes

Butternut Squash soup recipe!

Here is my delicious Butternut Squash soup recipe, it is fresh, colourful and packed with nutrients. My garlic bread recipe is also here, which goes perfectly with the soup! The macros are listed below.

Serves 3-4

Macros: (with garlic bread)

Calories: 426
Carbohydrates: 64g
of which sugars: 15.3g
Fibre: 10g
Protein: 13.5g
Fat: 9g

Ingredients:

For the soup:

butternut squash soup ingredients
  • 1 Medium butternut squash
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 medium leek
  • 1/2 small cauliflower
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 small red chilli
  • 1 pint vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp yogurt
  • Small bunch basil
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp powdered garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper

For the garlic bread:

  • 1 large fresh baguette
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 25g butter
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

For the soup:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Prep the butternut squash and cut into cubes. Spread on a baking tray and cover with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano.
butternut squash

2. Roast this for 30-40 minutes.

3. While the butternut squash is roasting, prep the rest of the veg. Next, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and begin to fry off the veg. Add all seasonings.

4. Continue frying for 10-15 minutes (until it is soft), then pour the stock, yogurt, butter and basil into the saucepan (save some basil for garnish) .

5. Let this simmer for another 5 minutes, add the butternut squash and blend the soup until smooth. If it is really thick/lumpy add some more water or milk.

6. Then serve up and top with some fresh basil and sesame seeds.

7. Next, enjoy! 🙂

butternut squash soup

For the garlic bread:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. Crush the garlic into a bowl, then add all other ingredients. Mix until combined.

3. Next, cut the baguette into slices and coat both sides with garlic butter.

4. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden and crispy.

5. Next, enjoy! 🙂

butternut squash soup and garlic bread

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If you liked this post be sure to check out Carrot and Coriander Soup Recipe! and Lemon and Almond loaf cake

blue tape measuring on clear glass square weighing scale
Education on Diabetes, Fitness

Tips on losing weight with diabetes

Carrying excess weight is linked to many health problems and has a large link to developing insulin resistance.

This applies to type 1 diabetes as well as type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes develops regardless of body weight, however keeping a healthy weight when living with type 1 will reduce risk of complications, as well as reducing insulin demand.

Which ever type of diabetes you are living with, it’s in best interest to keep excess body weight to a minimum.

Work with your medical team

sweets - losing weight with diabetes

Trying to lose weight can cause sugar levels to drop quite quickly and can cause stubborn hypo’s.

This is due to a change in diet, increased exercise and increased insulin sensitivity.

Therefore it is vital to get advice before you make any drastic changes to your lifestyle. Making gradual changes is the best protocol. This allows sugar control to remain stable, as well as increasing the likelihood you’ll stick to positive changes.

4 simple tips to focus on

1. Increase movement

Everyone knows we have to move more in order to shift some weight.

We want to gradually increase the duration and intensity of exercise, especially when trying to keep sugars balanced.

This can start with going on a slow 20-30 minute walk everyday. The duration can then be built up, increasing by 5 minutes every week.

Whatever form of exercise you choose, remember to start slowly and you’ll eventually learn to love it!

2. Make swaps, don’t ‘cut things out’

food swaps - losing weight with diabetes

If you go crazy and attempt to ‘cut out’ all ‘bad food groups’, I guarantee it’ll be an epic fail. Losing weight is generally viewed as a negative experience, but it doesn’t have to be this way at all.

Rather than focusing on taking away, we want to focus on replacing and adding nutritious foods. You can absolutely eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, have snacks and lose weight.

I’ll write another post on the specifics but here are a couple of examples.

  • Replace chocolate cereals with oats. Add 1 tsp raw cacao, a sprinkle of cinnamon, 1 tsp of nut butter, a handful of berries and walnuts.
  • Replace snack bars with homemade protein balls. See my recipe here!

3. Focus on sleep

Sleep is fundamentally important in losing weight.

Getting good quality sleep consistently is also key to mood regulation and productivity.

When we change our routine it will require discipline. It is so hard to stay disciplined when we are tired!

Make sure you are getting 8-9 hours of sleep, avoid blue light one hour before bed and make your sleeping environment quiet and peaceful.

4. Hydrate

water bottle - losing weight with diabetes

Hydration is vital to support your kidneys, digestive system, and well, everything.

People living with diabetes must support their kidneys by drinking enough water. This puts less pressure on them and supports removing toxins from the body.

Make sure you are drinking 8-10 tall glasses of water everyday. I recommend investing in a water bottle that goes everywhere with you. Seeing your water bottle is an instant reminder to drink some water.

Thank you for reading losing weight with diabetes, I hope you found these tips useful! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Bulking with type 1 diabetes and 5 foods packed with hidden sugars!

man and woman holding battle ropes
Fitness, Top Tips

How to handle a hyper mid-workout

When our sugar levels spike during a workout it can be super confusing and we are left not knowing what to do. Here are my tips on preventing sugar spikes and how to correct it!

Why do hyper’s hit mid-workout?

why hyper's can hit mid-workout

One of the main reasons a hyper hits mid-workout is due to adrenaline.

Your body secretes adrenaline to increase your heart rate and increase oxygen delivery to working muscles. Adrenaline also increases glucose release into the blood so you have plenty of energy to workout.

Normally, small amounts of insulin would be secreted from the pancreas to ensure glucose can be used as energy. Of course people living with type 1 diabetes cannot do this, so we must adjust our prep.

The aim of the game is to find trends during exercise, e.g. when you spike, when you drop and what helps you to stay in range.

Don’t panic if you get it wrong, sometimes we have to make mistakes to learn. I used to get it wrong all the time and it would result in me having to stop my workout.

Prepping to workout

There are so many factors to consider when prepping to workout, some to consider are:

sleep - hypers during workout
  • The type of exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Insulin doses
  • How much you slept on the previous night
  • Recent alcohol consumption
  • Stage of menstrual cycle

In order to get your prep right, you have to record and learn how certain factors impact your sugar levels. For example, if I sleep less than 7 hours the night before weight training, I can expect my sugar levels to spike. I have noticed this time and time again, therefore I know my workout prep requires more insulin.

The menstrual cycle is a big factor for women to consider. Sugar levels tend to spike at certain stages, so it is a really good idea for women to track their sugar levels over a few months and apply what is noticed.

In summary, take a few weeks/months (as long as you need) to track how your sugar levels react to situations. You can then adjust your nutrition, training method and insulin dose to accommodate and keep your levels in range!

Correcting a hyper mid-workout

cardio - hyper's during workout

We need to be careful not to over correct here, the last thing we want is to drop into a hypo!

The type of workout I’m doing decides how I treat high sugars.

If I’m weight lifting I will inject a bigger correction dose (usually 1-2 units) and swap to cardio based exercise until my sugars come back down.

If I’m doing cardio and spike (this is pretty rare for me), I will inject a smaller dose (1/2- 1 unit) and continue with cardio.

When sugar levels spike above 13mmol/L I would recommend stopping your workout and continuing once your levels return to normal. This rarely happens to me, but if it does, I will calculate a correction dose and go for a slow walk. This is how I treat hyper’s normally.

If your sugar levels consistently spike while working out, you need to bring this up when you see your consultant. They will help you make a plan and can give you tips on how to calculate your insulin doses based on your sugar level data.

wood love summer writing

Thank you for reading how to handle a hyper mid-workout! 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 How to handle a hypo mid-workout! and my Simple guide to fitness with diabetes!

Education on Diabetes, Top Tips

5 ways to handle high carb meals

Sometimes all we fancy is a nice burger and chips, but the anxiety of our sugar levels spiking stops us.

Here are my top 5 ways to handle high carb meals, so you can eat that cheat meal and stay in range!

1. Nail your insulin to carb ratio

Finding your insulin to carb ratio should be part of your consultation with your endocrinologist.

Insulin to cab ratio is essentially how many units of insulin you need per 10 grams of carbs. If you know this number, it makes it 10x easier to figure out how much insulin you need for each meal.

If you are unsure of your ratio, be sure to ask your consultant at your next appointment!

2. Pair it with protein and good fats

Having a balanced meal with carbs, protein and fat is essential. The presence of fat and protein slows down the digestion of carbs, slowing down the absorption of sugar. This really helps to keep sugar levels balanced post mealtime.

So ensure you are having a portion of protein – a palm sized portion of meat/fish/tofu, or 2-3 eggs for example.

Also ensure you are consuming good fats with your meals – by good fats I mean unsaturated fats. E.g. extra virgin olive oil, avocado, hummus, nuts, seeds etc.

3. Staying active is your bestie

walking - high carb meals

Another trick I like to use when eating higher carb is to walk post meal.

I like to go for a leisurely walk with my family/friends for around 30 minutes, or until my glucose comes back down into range. I will usually begin walking when my glucose goes above 9mmol/L with sharp rise (arrow pointing up on my FGM).

This not only keeps sugars balanced, but it is also a lovely routine to get into for socialising and for mental health!

4. Go for brown carbs

 brown rice- high carb meals

If you can, opt for brown or wholegrain carb sources. I know this is harder when eating out, so don’t sweat it if you can’t – it is fine to eat white carbs every now and then!

The reason I recommend brown carbs is because they contain higher amounts of fibre, protein, essential fatty acids and micronutrients than white carbs.

Therefore, opting for brown for the most part of your diet is adding essential nutrients!

5. Give your insulin enough time to kick in

Another tip I have is to give your insulin enough time to kick in. This amount of time varies between individuals, but it is a tip that has helped me so much!

Before higher carb meals (for me that is 60g of carbs or more) I will inject about 20 minutes before eating. – This works wonders for me, if you want to try out this tip I recommend starting slowly to avoid hypo’s.

So start with injecting 10 minutes before eating, then increase or decrease this time if you spike afterwards. Set a timer straight after you administer the insulin so you know exactly when to eat!

Experiment and adjust this time until you find what suits you! – Using an FGM or CGM is especially helpful for this!

timer - high carb meal tips

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If you liked this post, be sure to check 5 ways to improve digestion! and 5 Easy ways to lower your HbA1c!

Education on Diabetes

Oxidative Stress 101

Oxidative stress is an extremely interesting subject that is linked to many diseases including diabetes and complications of diabetes.

Keep reading for a simple summary of everything you need to know about oxidative stress!

What is it?

what is oxidative stress

Oxidative stress is defined by the balance of antioxidants and free radical particles in the body.

Free radicals have a uneven number of electrons and require antioxidants to ‘neutralise’ them.

Therefore, we must consume antioxidant rich foods in order to help the body clear free radicals.

A point to note – we cannot completely stop the formation of these particles. Free radical production is part of many processes in the body, including detoxification in the liver.It is all about balance!

How does it impact the body?

When we do not have enough antioxidants in the body, free radicals begin to cause damage. This can contribute to the beginning of diseases in the body.

It can be linked to:

  • Diabetes and complications of diabetes
  • Atherosclerosis (plaque formation in blood vessels)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Parkinsons and Alzheimers

How to minimise it

cleaning products - oxidative stress
  • Quit smoking
  • Decrease alcohol intake
  • Get antioxidants in your diet!fresh fruit and vegetables are high in antioxidants. Ensure you are consuming around 7 portions a day. Also drink herbal teas such as green tea which contains lots of antioxidants!
  • Prioritise 7-9 hours of sleep a night – the sleep hormone melatonin also acts as an antioxidant.
  • Wear PPE when using cleaning chemicals – wear gloves, open a window and even wear a mask.
  • Make exercise a part of your routine – exercise is fantastic for all aspects of health, so make it a priority (even if you can only fit 20 minutes in a day!)

Thank you for reading Oxidative Stress 101, I hope you found this interesting! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Metabolic syndrome 101! and Diabulimia 101!

Recipes

Delicious recipes for curry night!

We all love a curry night! So here are some of my favourite dishes that are delicious, fresh and healthy.

Serves 2

Macros: (for half of the chicken, potatoes and Brinjal Bhaji)

Calories: 505
Carbohydrates: 47g
of which sugars: 12g
Fibre: 14g
Protein: 41g
Fat: 17g

Ingredients:

Tandoori chicken:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tsp Tandoori masala seasoning mix
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1.5 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • Salt and black pepper

Brinjal Bhaji:

  • 1/2 aubergine
  • 1/2 courgette
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 green chilli
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp crushed chilli

Curry Potatoes:

  • 2 large potatoes
  • 80g cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and black pepper

Method:

Tandoori Chicken

1. Cut the chicken into chunks and place in a frying pan. Mix all of the seasonings in a bowl, add it into the pan, and coat the chicken in this seasoning mix.

Tandoori chicken - curry night

2. Add some olive oil in the frying pan and cook the chicken.

3. Once the chicken is cooked, serve it and drizzle with lemon juice.

4. Next, enjoy! 🙂

Brinjal Bhaji

1. Finely chop the aubergine, courgette, onion, garlic and chilli.

2. Next, heat some olive oil in a saucepan and fry off the aubergine, onion, garlic and chilli. Add the courgette along with the seasonings, tomato puree and a dash of water.

brinjal bhaji - curry night

3. Lower the heat and allow this to simmer for around 20 minutes. Keep adding dashes of water to soften the aubergine.

4. Next, enjoy! 🙂

Curry Potatoes

1.Preheat your oven to 180

2. Chop the potatoes and cauliflower into chunks and spread on a baking tray.

3. Next, coat the potato and cauliflower with all of the seasonings and drizzle with olive oil.

4. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and crispy. Check them at around 20 minutes, giving the tray a shake. – I also added red pepper with 10 minutes left to add some extra veg to the dish!

curry potato and cauliflower - curry night

5. Next, enjoy! 🙂

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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Peri-Peri chicken recipe and How to lower your cholesterol!

tandoori chicken - curry night