What I eat

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I stick to a variety of fresh, whole foods that are low carb, with good fats and protein.

I eat lots of veggies. I still eat fruit.

I eat nuts, seeds, nut butters. I add olive oil to just about everything. I cook and bake with butter or coconut oil.

I eat a variety of meats, including every part of the chicken with the skin including the livers, the fatty parts of the pork and beef, and all types of fish and seafood.

I still eat beans, legumes and chickpeas (most keto and low carb diets restrict this, but I like to alternate meat days with meat free days and I don’t find I get a blood sugar spike from these foods if I have a small enough quantity)

I don’t eat (or at least limit) bread, pasta, rice, starchy veg.

I don’t eat desserts when I am out, but I make a lot of great sugar free, low carb desserts at home, such as cakes, biscuits, slices, etc. that make AMAZING substitutes. I usually have some back up sugar free or dark chocolate for days when I’m craving something sweet. Or berries with fresh cream or sugar free ice cream is an easy alternative.

I’m not terribly strict on myself and try to eat for enjoyment. I don’t get upset with myself for eating a chocolate or having a bit of sourdough with some avocado if I really feel like it. Life is absolutely too short to never eat another square of roast pumpkin ever again. But I am mostly low carb. Everything within reason.

I ALWAYS read the label for ingredients and carb content. When you’re buying packaged foods, you don’t always know what you’re getting. Become savvy with nutrition labels. Understand macro contents and the ingredient list. When I see ham or sundried tomatoes that have glucose in the ingredients, I steer right away. When I see a packet of sugar free biscuits with white flour as the main ingredients and 20g of carbs per serving, I put it away. When a bread claims to be low carb but is still 25g of carbs per serving, I don’t buy it. When I see almond milk that has 10 ingredients, I put it back on the shelf. When the main ingredient in tzatziki isn’t yoghurt, I don’t want it. I try to stick to less ingredients, less processed, and no added unnecessities. E.g. coconut milk should be just that. Coconut milk with maybe a bit of water.


  • Low carb veggies or fruits or whatever you want to call them. That’s a huge range of non starchy veg. Generally anything that grows above ground. Anything leafy, green, crunchy, colourful. Eggplant, zucchini, lettuce, cabbage, brussels sprouts, fennel, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, capsicum, tomato, kale, green beans, avocados…. This is a great list from the Diet Doctor.
  • Onion, shallots and garlic.
  • I eat the occasional pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato, beetroot, parsnip, peas, but in small quantities.
  • Low carb fruits, such as berries. And low GI fruits in small quantities, such as kiwi fruit and stone fruits. Lemons and limes, especially squeezed on salads or in soda water (sometimes with vodka, too).
  • Dark chocolate. Preferably 85% Lindt or equivalent. Never less than 70% cocoa.
  • Sugar free sweeteners. Stevia, erythritol, xylitol are my go-tos.
  • Nuts, particularly macadamias, almonds, walnuts and pecans. Nut butters including almond butter and peanut butter. Almond meal.
  • Protein balls and protein cookies (homemade).
  • Dips with low carb seed crackers or veggies. Hommus, eggplant, roast capsicum, tzatziki.
  • Cheese.
  • Thick, full fat Greek yoghurt. Great with berries, cream, sugar free ice cream, low carb pancakes, or mixed into a salad.
  • Low carb wraps and protein bread. The occasional small slice of sourdough if it’s topped with fats to bring the GI down (avocado, butter, cheese, cream cheese and salmon).
  • Salads, grilled veggies, steamed veggies, stir fried veggies.
  • Good quality tuna in oil. Sirena tuna in chilli oil is my favourite.
  • Seeds, including chia, sunflower, pepitas, sesame, LSA mix.
  • Tahini. Amazing as a dessert with melted dark chocolate, or mixed with lemon and salt for a salad dressing.
  • Coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, butter, sesame oil.
  • Sugar free chocolate (Well Naturally No Added Sugar or Sweet Williams are great).
  • Homemade cakes, desserts, slices, biscuits.


  • Unsweetened almond milk.
  • Coconut milk.
  • Black coffee and tea (or with a dash of full cream milk or almond milk).
  • Red wine, white wine, sparkling wine, vodka sodas. No cocktails.
  • Sugar free drinks occasionally, but I try not to make a habit of it.


  • Potato chips, corn chips, veggie chips. Nightmare for BGLs.
  • Starchy carbs. Hot chips, mashed potato, pies/pastries, breads, pizza, pasta, crackers.
  • Dried fruits, except occasionally small quantities of dates if mixed in with nuts such as in protein balls or baked into a cake.
  • Cakes, biscuits, anything sweet from a cafe even if it claims to be healthy.
  • Sugary chocolate bars and lollies.
  • Ice cream.
  • White sugar, brown sugar, fruit sugar, any sugar.
  • Honey or maple syrup (unless in very small quantities in baking).
  • Fruit juices.
  • Smoothies (unless I make them at home myself with almond milk. berries, Greek yoghurt).
  • Cocktails.
  • Cereals. Make your own low carb granola or chia porridge.


  • Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil.
  • Vinegars, soy sauce, chilli sauce.
  • Lots of spices and herbs.
  • Tea and coffee.
  • Tinned beans, legumes and chickpeas.
  • Almond meal, coconut flour, LSA mix, flaxmeal.
  • Baking powder, gelatine.
  • Dark chocolate.
  • Nuts.
  • Nut butters, tahini.
  • Chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds.


  • Cheese.
  • Eggs.
  • Lots of veggies.
  • Berries.
  • Olives and other antipasto things such as artichokes, grilled capsicum.
  • Cold meats, such as salami, ham.
  • Bacon.
  • Bottles of soda water.
  • Limes and lemons.
  • Butter.
  • Insulin.


  • Sugar free ice cream.
  • Meats including steak, chicken, fish, paleo sausages.
  • Frozen berries.
  • Leftovers.
  • A loaf of lower carb Herman Brot bread.


I totally respect veggies and vegans. As an animal lover, I do believe we eat too much meat for our own good (and for the sake of the animals themselves). I try to be mindful of how much meat, dairy and eggs I’m eating. I try to eat a veggie meal at least once a day and try to alternate a meat day with a meat free day if I can. Eating low carb can be restricting at times, particularly when you’re trying to eat less meat, but it doesn’t need to be. There is still a healthy range of veggies you can eat and a great variety of vegetarian recipes. It’s why I haven’t completely cut out foods like lentils and beans and some veggies. I try to have a good balance. It’s easy enough to substitute butter for coconut oil or another oil such as olive, macadamia or avocado. Eat lots of nuts and add some chickpeas or seeds to a salad. Fry up some tofu to go with a stir fry instead of chicken or beef. While I rely on eggs a lot, I try to be mindful of where they’ve come from, and always buy the true free range varieties (and often have the eggs from the backyard). I buy free range meat and sustainable meat if I can, and I’m mindful that when I eat out it’s not always going to be free range.


A traditional Greek soup that is creamy and comforting. My mum would make it for me whenever I had a cold or was feeling under the weather. It can be made without chicken if you’re going vegetarian, but the chicken brother and flavour makes it. You can add a whole carrot, a celery stalk and a peeled onion to the broth and discard before serving to add more flavour, but you don’t have to. Feel free to add in a handful of basmati rice, or leave it out to go carb free. It’s high in protein and low in carbs if you omit the rice. The small quantity of rice still makes it a lower carb, high protein option, though. 

carbs 8g / fat 4g / protein 22g

1 chicken breast, or 2 chicken thighs
1 lemon
2 eggs
1 litre of chicken stock, or 1 chicken stock cube dissolved in boiled water
2 litres of boiled water
A good pinch of salt and black pepper
1 bay leaf (optional)
½ cup of basmati rice (optional)
1 peeled carrot
1 celery stalk
1 peeled onion

Add the whole pieces of chicken to the stock and water in the pot, with the salt, pepper, carrot, celery, onion and bay leaf. Bring it to the boil and let it simmer for 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. The chicken should be white (not pink) inside. Pull the chicken out and let it cool, then shred it into smaller pieces using a fork, discarding of any fat or bones. Skim off any scum from the broth and remove the bay leaf, onion, celery and carrot so you are left just with the clear stock. Add the rice (if using) to the broth and let it simmer for another 10 minutes until the rice is cooked.

In a medium bowl, crack the eggs and squeeze in the lemon juice, making sure to remove any pips. Whisk it up well. Continue to whisk vigorously and slowly pour in a ladle or two of the hot soup broth into the egg and lemon mixture. Move your whisk over to the pot, and slowly pour in all the egg mixture while you are whisking. The colour of the soup will turn a creamy white colour and will thicken up slightly. Whisking the hot soup into the egg mixture and then pouring this back into the soup ensures you don’t end up with scrambled eggs!

Add in the chicken, stir, taste for salt, pepper and lemon, and add more if you think it needs it before serving. Serve with a wedge of lemon on the side, and extra salt and pepper. If you need to heat the soup up again, be sure to not bring it to the boil as it can curdle with the egg. Slowly heat it up and turn it off before it boils. Never microwave the soup to heat up as it will heat the eggs too much.

Ginger pear crumble

If you have a few leftover pears, this is a great way to use them up. You could use other fruit such as apples, rhubarb or berries instead. This is low GI and has no added sugar – just the sweetness of the fruit, making it a healthier dessert option. 

carbs 9g / fat 23g / protein 5.5g

4 pears
Peel of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon or 1 cinnamon quill
1 centimetre piece of ginger
1 cup of almond meal
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon stevia or xylitol
Thick Greek yoghurt to serve

I leave the pears with the skin on but you can peel if you wish, then core and dice. Place in a saucepan with the lemon peel, cinnamon and sliced ginger. Add 1/2 a cup of water and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes until the pears have softened.

In the meantime, heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Melt the butter in a baking dish in the oven for a couple of minutes. Add the almond meal and sweetener to the melted butter and stir to combine into crumbs. Place back in the oven for 10 minutes, being careful not to burn the crumble. Remove the crumble from the baking dish and place in a separate dish.

When the pears are done, remove the lemon peel, cinnamon quill (if using) and ginger (if you wish, or you could leave the ginger in for some extra spice). Pour into the baking dish and cover with the crumble. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Serve warm with the Greek yoghurt. 


Carrot ginger soup

This is a simple one to whip up. It’s creamy with a slight zing from the ginger and a little heat from the curry powder. 

carbs 15g / fat 8g / protein 3g

6 large carrots
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
A thumb-sized piece of ginger or 1 teaspoon of dried ginger
2 teaspoons of curry powder (or 1/2 teaspoon each or turmeric, cumin, coriander seeds and chilli)
2 dried bay leaves
1 vegetable stock cube (or liquid stock)
1/2 cup coconut milk
Generous pinch of salt
Splash of olive oil or coconut oil

Peel and dice the onion. Saute in a saucepan with the oil for a few minutes until softened but not browned.

Peel and mince the garlic and peel and roughly chop the carrots. Add the garlic, ginger and spices to the onions and cook for a minutes, making sure not to burn (add a splash of water if it starts to stick to the saucepan).

Add the carrots, salt, bay leaves and stock, and fill the pot with water. cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes or until the carrots are soft.

Turn off the heat and allow to cool before blending thoroughly with a hand blender. Stir in the coconut milk. Taste for seasoning and add salt or coconut milk to taste. Serve with some fresh herbs, a little toasted bread, or as it is.

Spicy pumpkin soup

Creamy, warming and spicy, this pumpkin and sweet potato soup is hearty, low GI and gluten free. It’s not low carb, but sweet potatoes are low GI, making them a perfect carb for diabetics that doesn’t spike your sugar levels. Combining sweet potato and pumpkin actually lowers the glycemic load of the pumpkin, making this meal low GI. Sweet potato is an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, as well as other essential vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin B6. Both pumpkin and sweet potato are high in fibre, keeping you fuller for longer with the benefits of aiding your digestive health. All the health benefits aside, it really is just a delicious, hearty soup. The coconut milk and coriander cools off the spice, and the earthiness and sweetness of the pumpkin and sweet potato keeps you coming back for more. I like to use an Indian type of curry powder, but red curry paste is also delicious and adds a Thai flavour. You could also just make your own by combining spices (cumin, paprika, turmeric, ginger, coriander and chilli makes a good mix).

coconut curry sweet potato and pumpkin soup

carbs 23g / fat 9.5g / protein 6g

1 kilogram butternut pumpkin
1 sweet potato
1 onion (red or brown)
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of curry powder or curry paste (or a spice mix of your own)
200mL of coconut milk, plus extra for serving
1 vegetable or chicken stock cube (or liquid stock)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or olive oil or butter)
1 fresh red chilli (optional)
A handful of fresh coriander (optonal)

Peel and roughly chop the onions, pumpkin and sweet potato. Peel and crush the garlic.

Heat a large saucepan with the oil (or butter). Add the onion and saute for a couple of minutes until soft. Add the garlic and curry powder or paste with a pinch of salt and cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Add the diced sweet potato and pumpkin. Dissolve the stock cube in a mug of boiled water, if using, and add to the saucepan with the coconut milk. Fill the pot to the top of the vegetables with water. Stir, turn the heat down and put a lid on the saucepan. Let it simmer for 30 minutes or until the veggies are soft. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and a little pepper or chilli if needed.

Allow to cool slightly, then blend the soup with a hand-held blender.

Serve with a little drizzle of extra coconut milk, sliced fresh chilli, and roughly chopped fresh coriander on top. Enjoy!


This is a classic staple that mum would make nearly every week, from fava beans that dad would grow seasonally and dry out to last the year. It is now a dish that I get homesick about. You can buy the dried beans from European food stores or most supermarkets, and either soak them overnight or boil them in plenty of water for an hour before you start cooking the soup. Any white bean is fine to use. A quick alternative is using a can of fava, lima, butter or cannellini beans. I have added carrot, celery and tomatoes as an option in this recipe as it is not traditionally used, but I like the extra flavour it adds. 

carbs 13g / fat 4g / protein 6g

1 cup of dried or tinned white fava, lima, butter or cannellini beans
1 brown onion
1 teaspoon of fresh or dried mint
1 teaspoon of fresh or dried parsley
1 clove of garlic
2 teaspoons of paprika
A generous pinch of salt
Pepper or chilli to taste
1 small carrot
1 small celery stick
1 tomato
Splash of olive oil

If you’re doing it the longer, more traditional way, soak the beans overnight in cold water, or boil them in a large pot of water for an hour until they soften. If you’re doing it the fast and easy way, drain the tin of beans.

Peel and dice the onion into chunks, peel and dice the garlic, and roughly chop the mint and parsley if you’re using it fresh. Dice the carrot, celery and tomatoes if you’re using them. 

Heat up a splash of olive oil in a pot, add the onion (and the carrot and celery if you’re using them) and saute for a couple of minutes until it softens. Add the garlic, mint, paprika, salt, and a dash of chilli or pepper and cook for a further two minutes (and the tomatoes if you’re using them). Add a cup of water if the paprika starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. Throw in the beans and top up with 2 litres of water. Let it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning and serve.



Almond crumble

This is great crumbled over ice cream or yoghurt, or as a topping to stewed fruit or apple crumble. 

1 cup of almond meal
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon of stevia
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Melt the butter. Mix the ingredients together and pour into a baking tray, spreading out evenly. Bake for 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container or allow to cool and serve over stewed fruit or ice cream. Add a little drizzle of dark chocolate for something extra special when serving.


Vegetable curry

Very quick and easy to make with the veggies in your fridge. If you like, add 1/2 cup of tinned chickpeas to the mix. 

2 cups of vegetables of your choice (such as cauliflower, broccoli, carrot, sweet potato, green beans, peppers/capsicum, eggplant/aubergine, zucchini/courgette)
1 onion
A thumbsize piece of ginger, finely grated
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of good quality curry powder (or a mix of your choice of cumin, ground coriander, ground ginger, ground turmeric, ground fennel, garam masala)
200 mL coconut cream or natural Greek yoghurt
A pinch of salt
Chilli powder, fresh chilli or harissa/chilli paste, according to your taste
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or other oil, butter or ghee) for frying

Peel and dice the onion into chunks. Peel and mince the garlic and peel and finely grate the ginger. Chop up all your vegetables into chunks.

Heat a large saucepan and add melt in the coconut oil. Add the onions and saute for a couple of minutes until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and cook off for a further minute or two. Add the vegetables to mix through with the spices, then add the yoghurt or coconut milk and enough water to not quite cover the vegetables. Cover and let is simmer on low heat for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked. Give it a stir halfway.

Serve as it is, with some cauliflower rice, or some low GI basmati or brown rice. Serve with some fresh coriander.

vegetable curry

Low GI & low carb

When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I was given books on low GI eating. I could eat pasta, basmati rice, apples, pears, sweet potatoes, grainy breads, oats – anything with a GI of 55 or lower would have the least impact on my blood sugar levels. It was how I should eat to avoid sudden spikes in my sugar levels, according to my diabetes educator, dietitian, GP, and endocrinologist. Watermelon, corn flakes, mashed potato, rice cakes – anything rated as high GI – was a no-no. Anything in the middle – couscous, pineapple, popcorn – was still OK in moderation. So, armed with GI tables and low GI recipe books, I went on my way and ate accordingly.

What is GI?
The glycemic index is basically a measurement of the rate of absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. It is a scale from 0 to 100, and is broken into 3 categories – high (70 or more), medium (56 to 69), and low (55 and below). White bread, corn flakes, and sweets are among those rated as high GI as they raise blood sugar levels more quickly because the glucose in these foods is more rapidly absorbed in the blood. Foods on the lower end of the scale, such as beans, basmati rice and al dente pasta, have a slower release of glucose into the blood, making them more ideal for diabetics than higher GI foods.

Now, 9 years on, with years of up and down trial and error of different foods and trying various ways of eating, I have had my fair share of low GI. I admit that eating a sweet potato is better on my levels than eating fluffy white potatoes, grainy sourdough bread is better than crumpets and white bread, and oats are better than corn flakes. So, low GI has some merit in my books. It has helped with controlling my blood sugar levels, to an extent.

But the amount of low GI carbs I was eating was not. There are times when I have eaten sweet potatoes, baked beans. sourdough toast, or lentil soup – all classed as low GI – and my levels have skyrocketed. Low Gi is great in theory, and it does provide a good basis for knowing which carbs to eat and which ones to avoid in order to avoid massive spikes in blood glucose levels. I haven’t eaten corn flakes or rice cakes for years, because I know from experience that they have the same effect as eating sweets for me. But it is also important to factor the amount of low GI foods you are eating. Eating a big sourdough pizza is difficult to manage. Having a small piece of grainy bread with your eggs is easier to manage. Having just an omelette is even easier still.

I was never told to lower my carb intake by dietitians, nutritionists, endocrinologists, GPs, or diabetes educators. When I had an HbA1c test result of more than 9, my diabetes educator was visibly angry at me for not being more careful. But I didn’t know what to do. I was following the advice they gave me. When I confessed to the dietitian and nutritionist that I thought my eating habits were what was affecting my high levels (sometimes rising up to 25 mm/L post-meal), I was told I could still eat anything I wanted, as long as I carb counted correctly, and stick to low GI foods. Keep having basmati rice, wholegrain pasta, grainy breads, low GI fruits.

It wasn’t until I spoke to other diabetic friends that I realised I could gain better control of my levels by eating lower carb. It was also speaking to them that I reaslised GI affects people differently. Some friends said they couldn’t go near pineapple because it had a high GI affect on their levels; other friends admitted to eating watermelon, which is a high GI food, and said it didn’t spike their levels.

I read some books, including Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetic Solution and The Diabetic Diet, and put some theories into practice. Eating low carb, with the concessional small portion of low GI carbs, has proven to be the diet that works best for managing my sugar levels. It is not easy to maintain healthy blood sugar levels when you are eating carbs all the time. Counting carbs at every meal is not easy or always possible. Opting for lower carb foods, and opting for small quantities of low GI foods, seems to work best for me.

But, taking these ideas to a dietitian does not get such a positive response. Low carb is still controversial. At a type 1 diabetes talk, run by JDRF that I attended in November 2015 in London, the dietitian who was giving a presentation about food, exercise and diet for type 1 diabetics did not want to hear about low carb diets and the positive effects it had proven for many people in the audience. These people swore that low carb had improved their overall blood sugar control, lowered their HbA1c levels, and gave them ideal triglycerides and cholesterol levels. She basically shunned the evidence, said that no trials had been done therefore there was no real evidence, and kept promoting the traditional food pyramid of a high carb low fat diet, even for diabetics who struggle every day with keeping levels low when eating a high carb diet.

Dr. Bernstein, a long advocate of the low-carb diet for diabetics, shuns the glycemic index, saying that it is not accurate enough to provide stable sugar levels. There are so many variables: How cooked the food is (Do you boil peas for 5 minutes or 20 minutes? What happens if you overcook the pasta by a couple of minutes?); How processed it is (Is it mashed, juiced, pureed, or eaten whole? How refined or course is the flour in that bread?); How ripe or unripe it is (How green is that banana? Were those plums picked early or late?). How the testing was done and who was tested (Was it tested on diabetics or non-diabetics?), and what the outcomes show (Does the effect of GI differ from person to person?) are all questionable variables. Every body is different, and we absorb different foods at different rates depending on the person, so how a sweet potato affects my blood glucose levels is going to be different to how it affects yours.

Note that.a lot of GI tables also differ. Some say bananas are high, some say they are medium, some say that bananas are low if they are unripe. There are a myriad of wholegrain breads available – so which one is 55 and which one is 68? Pureeing a vegetable will impact its absorption. Cooking a vegetable soup for an hour and a half compared to half an hour will also make a difference. That’s because every bit of food, and every person, and every test, has its variables.

So, what do we take from this? Our aims as diabetics is to have a ‘normal’ HbA1c of below 7 – in fact, if we talk of ‘normal’, it should be closer to 5. That means having mean sugar levels of about 5 or 6, ranging between 4 and 8, never going above 10, all the time. This is incredibly tricky, particularly if you are eating carbs, whether they are low GI or not. Low GI makes it easier to not have large spikes in the teens and 20s (which, believe me, happens, sometimes more often than you would hope). But, eating a portion of pasta, rice, or wholewheat bread, even if they are low GI, can have a roller coaster impact on your levels if you don’t get the carb counting 100% correct and if you miscalculate things like how ripe the fruit is, how pureed the vegetable is, and how processed the bread is.

No matter how much I tried to count carbs and get my portions right, I have still suffered from unstable sugar levels for years. I now opt for lower carb, and when I have some carb, I make sure it is a small portion and try to go low GI on foods I have tried and tested myself, but I don’t invest everything in GI tables.