Panna What-a?

Well it’s 6am and I have been awake for the past hour. It’s not fully light outside yet, so I’m sitting in the living room with the wall-lamp on and a blanket around my legs. Reminds me of winter mornings in England, when it’s dark till 8 o’clock and breakfast is eaten with the curtains closed and lights on.

I woke up feeling hungry and reached for a low-carb Vanilla Panna Cotta that I prepared a couple of days ago. In truth, I’ve never even tried the real thing, so I have no idea what it’s supposed to taste like, but it was pretty good, though next time I will whip up a couple of egg whites and fold them in, halve the water and gelatine and whip the cream more thoroughly (but I’m lazy and my electric whisker is stashed in a box somewhere). The taste was good but I would prefer it fluffier and less dense, though perhaps Panna Cotta is meant to be dense and firm?

Here’s what I did:

Low-Carb Vanilla Panna Cotta

Serves 2

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp gelatine
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • Stevia to taste
  • 125ml boiling water
  1. Whip the cream with the vanilla and stevia till thick and light.
  2. Dissolve gelatine by sprinkling over the boiling water and whisking with a fork. Leave to cool.
  3. Fold ingredients together and add more stevia if desired.
  4. Pour into 2 serving glasses and refrigerate till set.

I will post an updated version of the recipe when I’ve tried it with the aforementioned alterations.

An unfortunate side-effect of this low-carb diet for me has been oily skin. Since I am eating more fat than usual (important for encouraging ketogenesis), my skin has gone from combination to deep-fried, and I have a couple of blemishes so huge they deserve their own postcode. Perhaps a symptom of detoxification? Or maybe just a fact of life for the low-carber. It doesn’t help that most of my skincare products are tailored for dry or combination skin – something I intend to rectify soon.

Food for Thought: Letting go of the past

How often do we allow the events of the past to inhibit our enjoyment of the present? Past experiences shape us into the people we are today, and today’s events can determine who we are tomorrow. But to assume that we are merely a product of fate, with no control over the choices we make, is to short-change ourselves. We each decide how the past affects our lives. We can choose to become crippled with regret or let resentment rob us of peace. Or we can learn to forgive, let go, and live in the freedom that has been offered to us through Christ.

Forgiveness doesn’t come naturally (if it did, Christ wouldn’t have given it to us as a command!), so don’t sit around wallowing in hurt and expecting it to just happen. It takes effort, sacrifice (of pride) and prayer, prayer, prayer.

You may have trouble forgiving yourself for a past mistake; a mother or father for perceived flaws in their parenting methods; a spouse or lover for the hurt caused by their inevitable imperfections. Asking God to show you the source of your bitterness is the first step in moving forward. Once you’ve identified that, pray that God will fill you with His love and compassion. Pray for the welfare of the person you resent (including yourself!) and actively behave in love towards them (see 1 Corinthians 13). Acknowledge that the past happened the way it did and that you are powerless to change it. Try to identify the good may have come from it, or make the decision to use it for the good from now on (e.g. helping others who have struggled with similar issues). But most of all, set your sights on doing the will of God and developing a strong relationship with Him. That is the key to true contentment.

The Apostle Paul put it perfectly: “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14.

Easier said than done, but doable all the same!

Much love and laughter.


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