Day 1 It is always satisfying to have a cupboard full of fresh food! There is so much choice on day 1 if you do a weekly shop, but there is a risk that shopping in this way may result in all of the luxury stuff disappearing on the first day. I usually spread the shop throughout the week. It avoids temptation, and more importantly, it means that I don’t have to juggle the veg. Both fruit and veg can go off quite quickly as can meat, dairy and fish, but that seems more natural to freeze. The goods I have bought today are not that perishable, and I should get through the week okay. It’s late afternoon now, and it’s time to get that chicken roasted. It’s the last meal of the day. All I have had today is a two-egg omelette with cheese and mayo, and I ate that before I did the shop. The ingredients were already in the fridge, so I will subtract those ingredients from this shop so that my day 1 is a full day. Now, I don’t know how much of each nutrient there will be in any of these recipes. I do know, however, that the meals will be low carb. Over the week ahead, I will get sufficient for everything I need. I do think it’s too many calories - this recommended reference value if 2000 calories per day. I’m not sure exactly how many calories I use per week, but if my weight stays around what I consider optimum, then it will be okay. I can always adjust either way. The worry is that I might not be able to eat all of the food I have bought. I try to eat to my hunger, not to the clock, or that’s what I like to think I do. That’s my official line, but sometimes if I’m cooped up indoors or am feeling stressy, I will not eat to hunger but will nibble away all day on small pieces of keto food. It’s not what I should do, and I know that when I do it, I shouldn’t - but that’s being human for you. This snacking on fatty food will often raise my blood glucose to a plateau of around 9 or 10, and it will stay there irrespective of how much insulin I inject. Snacking makes me insulin resistant, and I know this is a common experience amongst Type 1’s. The only way I have found to clear insulin resistance is to go for some exercise. The muscles will hoover up that glucose and restore insulin sensitivity. In my experience, the body likes long periods with an empty stomach, up to 16-18 hour daily gaps between the last meal of one day, and the first meal of the next are a good aim. It sounds a lot, but it helps the body to heal, and doing nothing can be good. It’s a western concept to think we need to be doing something all of the time - maximise the output and all that. But so-called downtime or ‘time offline’ as we call it now, can be beneficial. We all like a ‘good nights’ sleep, it’s good for the brain and also our mood. We all know that, and I think the stomach is the same - it likes a good rest! Snacks for the stomach are like a constant social media spat for the mind. No good ever comes of it. You might get a short-term gratification on social media when you get a ‘like,’ but it is short-lived. You become a slave to social media, and I think it’s the same with snacking for our stomachs. That is to digress. Yes, calories. To be honest, I don’t often count calories anymore, but the last time I did, it came out at an average of 1360 calories a day. I do, however, quietly count the carbs, and I will be counting the carbs for the meals. This week is perhaps not the best week to start blogging about recipes. It was planned for this week, but it has been a stress-bag of a fortnight. Some error of mismanagement, I suspect at my end, has led to cyberspace losing a website. So, it’s a whole redo - hours and hours of going through my chaotic filing system. But a lot of people do this sort-of more sedentary work for a living so there’s good to be had from this. It might be a realistic setting in which to test the diet out. A ‘real world’ experiment, isn’t that what they call it? Perfect! This chicken dinner has now almost finished cooking after all that rambling on. It would have been colourful to have broccoli with it, but I want to use that for something else. If it wasn’t for being lazy, I could have used a couple of florets and added them to the cauliflower to make a pleasing green and cream side dish. Not to worry, though, as the cauliflower is a monster, so about a quarter of this will be just fine. So, I’m having Roast Chicken with Steamed Cauliflower, Black Peppercorns and Mayo. I’m keeping the bone for recycling into soup later in the week. Some of the juices from the roast will make a good gravy on their own. The first course is done. And even if I say so myself, it was delicious if a bit colourless. It was so simple to make, and there are masses of chicken for the week still to go. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! While the chicken is cooking, you could make the weeks snacky treat at the same time. A nutty chocolate snack. If you have 15 minutes to spare, here is the recipe. Take the whole 200g bag of chopped nuts, around a small dessertspoon of coconut oil, and a bar of chocolate. This Tesco chocolate is cheap at £1 and quite carby for a bar of dark chocolate, but we are on a budget and still well within the keto range. It’s an individual preference. Lindt 90% is my current favourite, but a while back it was Godiva 90%. They both contain fewer carbs than Tesco Intense Dark 85%. 15g compared to 22g. If you like Galaxy chocolate, then Godiva is a bit like that, but I’m sure that the master chocolatiers at Godiva would not like that comparison. Both cost £2 but often come on offer at £1.50. Aldi has a Moser-Roth brand, and Sainsbury’s 85% is tolerable. I find these brands a bit un-memorable but not unpleasant, and they are cheaper than Godiva and Lindt at their full price. Coop 85% is ethical, but for me, bitter and a bit hard. Chocolate is a bit of a treat, so I think it might be worth getting what you like. Here’s what I did to make the Nutty Chocolate Snack, but there are variations. Some people use almond flour and peanut butter for the base and pour the chocolate on top. The best recipe I have ever had has been a 50/50 mix of roasted pecans and macadamia nuts topped with Godiva, but this first-time-ever-made-on-a-budget snack is very nice too. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a glass bowl resting on a saucepan of boiling water, but don’t let the water touch the bottom of the pan. I think this arrangement is called a Double Boiler, but if you have a microwave, you can use this to melt the chocolate. When the chocolate has melted, add in the coconut oil. When that has melted, empty the 200g bag of chopped nuts into the mix. You might want to liven up the nuts by giving them a good grilling; it adds a pleasant deep taste. I have known people to sprinkle a bit of erythritol sweetener on them to sweeten up the mix before roasting them in the oven. Once it is all mixed up, spoon it onto a small baking tray covered with baking paper and leave to cool. At this point, score the top with a knife into as many pieces as you like. I made 20, which comes out at around 2g carbs per portion. Put in the fridge, and then when they have set, break up the pieces and enjoy as a treat. Great with a coffee. That chicken followed by a coffee and chocolate nut snack would have been enough. But we all like a pudding…and I am doing some research after all. It’s a tough job and all that! So, tonight, it’s going to be a couple of too-big-to-be-credible strawberries. I could have added some Greek yogurt, or even/and a couple of pecan nuts. But two ( that is four normal) strawberries are enough.