Diet Successes

Put me in a room of people discussing weight loss and I’ll tell you that the room will soon form little clumps of people touting one diet or another. The more widely used diets have their proponents, many of whom will argue the point.

A little considered element when talking weight loss diets is looking at what people were eating before they embarked on a weight loss adventure.

There’s science and there’s nonsense. For the most part, lower carb wins slightly over low fat, but the issue is that the lower carb way of eating is much more in line with a diet best suited to people with diabetes. Why? Because whether we have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, we have a carb metabolism problem of one type or the other. Simple as that. Giving someone a whole lot of carbs when that requires a whole lot of insulin, whether exogenous or endogenous insulin, has to me always defied logic.

The lower carb you go, the more you will use ketones as fuel rather than glucose/glycogen. I could explain the intricacies of it, but entire books have been written on the subject (for example Jimmy Moore’s Keto Clarity), so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel.

One thing I will say is that fuel ketones are the healthy kind. The ketones that are only present with a high blood glucose – they are the bad kind. That’s why I call the state of producing the good kind, nutritional ketosis. It’s very different to being in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) with high blood glucose and high ketones. That can be deadly. Being in nutritional ketosis is nothing like that.

Whatever success or failure you’ve experienced with weight loss, it’s not always the type of diet alone. Always compare your chosen diet to what you were eating before! See if you’ve reduced carbs, are eating healthier, not drinking sodas, not eating sugar laden food, and note any other changes.

Eating a diet almost devoid of nutrients, full of artificial flavours and preservatives, frankenfood fried in hydrogenated fat, no vegetables, and often out of a packet, is courting disaster on the weight gain front (depending on how active you are), in addition to which, you’re also courting inflammation, gut issues, dental issues, liver issues (especially with a high sugar diet), and general bad health by eating garbage.

Once you start eating real, single ingredient, fresh food in the form of moderate protein (approx. under 80g a day) meat, fish and chicken with sides of lower carb vegetables and the odd piece of fruit, rather a lot of healthy fats (including saturated fat if organic) which will help with hunger, cutting out most grains, (dairy is your choice but many feel better without it), you’re going to feel better and see the scales move in the right direction.

You also need to move a bit too. If you are sedentary and able to walk, a simple walk, breathing fresh air a few times a week, will do it. Unless you’re exercising for several hours a day, exercise doesn’t really burn calories (it apparently takes 5 hours of vigorous exercise to burn off a Big Mac) as much as it makes cells more insulin sensitive. The less insulin you need or produce, the less that insulin will promote weight gain and hunger.

Stress is also an issue. Trying to lose weight when you’re stressed makes the job much harder. Actively getting your stress levels down with yoga, meditation or by whatever natural means work for you, is a big thing. High stress chemicals in your body can impede weight loss. So can inflammation and many other things.

So, next time someone tells you that their diet is the best and the only one that works, ask them what they were eating before, and ask them what’s different now! On that basis, most of the more popular diets will work compared to before! For diabetes, a diet based on fresh food and lower carbs, makes lots of sense to me.

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Low Carb Down Under Aus/NZ Tour November 2014 with Jimmy Moore

A must-see series of Low Carb events is being held in Australia this month! With speakers like USA’s low carb guru Jimmy Moore from Livin’ La Vida Low Carb fame, these events promise to be awesome, informative and life-changing if you take the challenge of going low carb! 

Keto Clarity - Jimmy MooreJimmy Moore’s weight loss and his n=1 experiments, along with hundreds of  interviews with experts in the field, have spawned several best-selling books – Keto Clarity, being his latest. His books and blog are here.

Want to be healthier? Would you like to lose weight? Do you have diabetes and want to keep your blood glucose more stable? Want to understand more about the role a low carb/ketogenic way of eating can play in your life and how it can keep you in optimum health?

All this and more!

The opportunity to see Jimmy Moore in person made me jump at the chance. Bought a ticket about 5 seconds after I first heard. Many of you know that I’ve been promoting a low carb diet. I’ve particularly encouraged you if your diabetes isn’t under good control, but low carb can play a very healthy role in much more than just diabetes. 

The organisers include doctors of medicine, who strongly believe in this way of life. What better validation?

The movement away from sugar and isolated fructose, reducing carbs, and ditching gluten-grains (in fact, preferably all grains) has been gaining momentum since I started on low carb many years ago. I’m absolutely delighted to see the progress made in recent years, particularly the favourable research into low carb and ketogenic diets, and the number of people switching to this way of life.

Eating real food is good for you! Simple, easy to prepare, no ingredients you can’t pronounce, just real food that nourishes you and keeps you healthy. 

Come along!

Information about the Australia-wide events below with links to further information on the Low Carb Down Under website.

If anyone’s going to the Gold Coast event, let me know (use the contact page)? I’ll be there! 

(Event details reproduced here with the permission of Dr Rod Tayler from Low Carb Down Under.)

Melbourne: Saturday 15th November   Details here

Hobart: Sunday 16th November   Details here

Launceston: Monday 17th November   Details here

Byron Bay: Wednesday 19th November   Details here

Gold Coast: Thursday 20th November   Details here

Brisbane: Saturday 22nd November   Details here

Adelaide: Tuesday 25th November   Details here

Perth: Thursday 27th November   Details here

Sydney: Saturday 29th November   Details here

**New Zealand – Auckland: Thursday 13th November** Details here 

Jimmy Moore talks to LCDU about the Nov. 2014 Tour

Here’s an update from Jimmy Moore, who can’t wait to meet you and answer your questions at an LCDU event near you.


Jimmy asked if you could post questions in advance on the LCDU Facebook page.


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Low Carb on a Budget

Depending on where you live, low-carb can be expensive. It can be even more expensive if you want grass-fed beef, lobster and asparagus.

You also want to do your blood glucose a favour by eating low-carb. Combining that with a lack of funds isn’t easy but it’s possible!

The trick to low-carb on a budget is to buy on sale and buy seasonal which means abundance and reasonable prices. It’s probably a good strategy for all food shoppers on a budget.

By ‘sale’ I don’t mean horrid looking limp vegetables. You don’t want to buy rubbish vegetables that have been sitting on a shelf for a week and every vitamin has long evaporated into thin air, yet you can’t afford what you think is low-carb.

Vegetables you buy have to look good, smell good and hopefully taste good. It’s not enough for the veggies to be on sale, you have to think about why they’re on sale. Are they in season and abundant, or are they an over-purchase that the vendor can’t move? Are they a loss-leader to get people into the store? Are they completely out of season or imported?

If budget buying means driving an extra 5 minutes, the petrol is minimal compared to the favour you’ll be doing your bank account, your body and your budget.

Similarly for meat – buy what’s on special at the butcher’s but don’t buy rubbish meat that looks like it’s about to go off. With low-carb, you NEED the fat! Don’t think buying low-fat will save you anything. It won’t. You can buy cheaper cuts that need long, slow cooking, or mince that can be made into any number of tasty low-carb dishes.

Buy in bulk and store appropriately, eg freezing or in long-life vegetable bags. If you’re not in the city and you need vegetables, then buy direct from farmers or go to local farmers markets. At the end of the market, that’s when the produce is often cheaper.

Buying larger quantities of cold pressed oils is often more economical. Take your calculator to the store or make use of the one in your mobile phone – I do, often!

Buy cheese in bulk  – as much as you think you can eat before it goes off.

In Australia, if you know someone with an ABN, then get a Campbells card and go bulk shopping. It’s a huge money-saver.

Another trick is to shop like many Europeans do – don’t go to the store with a meal in mind. Go to the store with an open mind. See what’s on offer. If chicken is cheap, that’s what’s for dinner. If lettuce is expensive and cabbage will stretch further, then make a cabbage salad instead (recipe below). If the Roma tomatoes you want are expensive, then see what other tomatoes are on offer.

Eggs can be  a cheap or expensive meal. In the city, often your only option is a choice between organic, free range or battery hen eggs. In Australia, there’s a huge difference in price between these options. In rural areas, find a local farm which sells eggs and buy in bulk! In the city, go for free-range at the very least, if you can afford it.

In Australia Aldi supermarkets sometimes have a two-for-one on chickens. That’s a great way to get 2 or 3 meals (for two) out of a low carb ingredient. Or a large pack of steak, at a reasonable price.

Go shopping at the end of the day if possible – that’s when specials often appear.

If you work, then take your lunch. A salad with some meat and cheese is easily transportable, so is tuna and any number of other low-carb lunches. Put your homemade salad dressing in one of those tiny containers and only open it right before you’re going to eat the salad.

Here’s a salad dressing I keep made up in one of those chefy squeeze bottles at home. It’s not only used as salad dressing but as a marinade or a splash of it across some BBQ meat.


Susi's Salad Dressing
Easy salad dressing
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  1. 1 cup cold pressed olive oIl
  2. Red Wine Vinegar ⅕ to ⅓ volume of Olive oil (to taste)
  3. 1 tsp grainy mustard or Dijon Mustard
  4. Large clove garlic, grated
  5. Salt and pepper to taste, or distribute through the salad instead
  1. Fill a squeeze bottle with the ingredients. Shake. Taste. Adjust.
  1. The dressing is better after a couple of hours.
  2. Can be kept in the pantry a week or two.
  3. Don't store in the fridge, the oil will solidify.
Another cheap option is cabbage salad, especially in winter. This salad tastes great with fatty dishes. The vinegar in the salad seems to cut the fat.

Hungarian Cabbage Salad
Serves 6
Easy cabbage salad. Great for a crowd!
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
  1. Half a head of plain old-fashioned cabbage (sugarloaf cabbage is ok too), shredded into long strands (must be shredded very finely or the salad doesn't work) .
  2. Half a mild Onion (use a whole one if you love onion), very finely chopped or sliced
  3. 5 tablespoons of plain vegetable oil (this salad doesn't work with olive oil or any other flavoured oil)
  4. 3 tablespoons of plain white vinegar - don't use red or any other type of vinegar
  5. 3/4 - 1 teaspoon sweetener (I use Splenda, but you can use whatever you want, including sugar - there's not enough sugar in there to make a huge difference in your carbs if you consider 1 tsp sugar is around 11 grams of carb)
  6. Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Combine the dressing first, then pour over the cabbage
  2. IMPORTANT: Once the dressing is on the salad, get your clean hands in and squeeze the cabbage to get the juices out. These will dilute the dressing some so what you think might be too much vinegar, isn't after the salad has been sitting for a while.
  1. Note about the vinegar: you may like more vinegar, I do, I put about equal amounts. It won't taste good right away.
  2. This salad is much better made a few hours ahead and is great the next day.
  3. Keeps for several days in the fridge.
There are definitely ways to make eating low-carb much more affordable. If you’ve not tried low-carb because you think you can’t afford it, give the budget way a try! Your waist-line will love you and so will your blood glucose!

And please don’t start on me about ‘healthy whole grains’! When you have diabetes (of any kind), there’s nothing healthy about whole grains. The body does not need this kind of carbohydrate, despite what you may think. Carbs are also converted in the body from about 58% of protein and 10% of fat, as well as from low-carb vegetables. Plenty for your body’s needs! You don’t need high-carb fruit or high-carb vegetables when you’re trying to get your A1C into a normal range and further down into a range that won’t cause complications. It goes without saying that grains aren’t necessary.

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Animas Insulin Pump

I've had an Animas Insulin Pump since June 2009. I absolutely love my pump and I love the wonderful people at Animas (AMSL Australia).

If you are even remotely thinking of getting an insulin pump, please feel free to contact me and ask me why I love mine and what a huge difference it's made to my life.

There are also lots of posts here to give you similar information.