Posts Tagged ‘charles best’

 Today is World Diabetes Day–Nov 14th, birthday of Fred Banting, who along with Charles Best first discovered insulin, revolutionizing the treatment of diabetes.world-diabetes-day

The World Diabetes Day 2014 campaign marks the first of a three-year (2014-16) focus on healthy living and diabetes.

Special focus will be placed on the importance of starting the day with a healthy breakfast. (see below!)

Facebook question for Robin & Meredith: What do you guys have for breakfast? The cookbooks don’t mention anything and I’m curious ~Maire Martello 

To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day.

                                     ~ W. Somerset Maugham

All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.            ~ John Gunther

Oysters are the usual opening to a winter breakfast. Indeed, they are almost indispensable.

~ Grimod de la Reyniere (1758-1838)

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” 

~ I’m sure my mother said that a few times!

Breakfast–before I set off on my walk–is the same every morning (and no sign of an oyster)!


large organic oat flakes mixed with…

freshly-cracked walnuts (watch out for rogue pieces of shell that crack your teeth)

a dried, untreated apricot–chopped

a teaspoon of linseeds

a prune (cooked),

half a pot of plain organic yogurt

cinnamon–sprinkled on top (Some studies show cinnamon helps lower blood sugar levels.)

and moistened with unsweetened oat or almond milk

Two slices of 100% organic rye bread with a little butter and pear & apple fruit spread (no added sugar)

and a small black coffee

The same every morning?



Not for me. I look forward to it–once a day, at least!

Maybe we are at our most conservative, most in need of ritual, just after waking up. I find the assembling and eating of this bowl of goodies a daily delight.

Meredith’s version of breakfast heaven is cooked oats (she’s eating it as I write!) :


Porridge: small oat flakes cooked in organic milk, organic plain yogurt, a cooked prune, perhaps some seasonal fruit, cinnamon sprinkled over.

Neither of us feel the need to snack before lunch–the oats keep us going.

Latest estimates* suggest that there are 382 million people living with diabetes worldwide.

What makes the pandemic particularly menacing is that throughout much of the world, it remains hidden.

In my case, there were NO symptoms. My Type 2 diabetes was picked up in a routine blood test.

Up to HALF of all people with diabetes worldwide remain UNDIAGNOSED!

A simple blood test is all that is needed for a diagnosis.

If you have a family history of diabetes, as I did, a routine test is a good idea!

Life, within doors, has few pleasanter prospects than a neatly arranged and well-provisioned breakfast table. 

~ Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

* International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas

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I feel pretty invested in this day–November 14th–each year. World Diabetes Day…


Frederick (Fred) Banting, who would have been 122 today (!) was one half of the Canadian duo (the other was Charles Best) who by discovering insulin, prolonged the life of my mother Molly Ellis and millions of other diabetics worldwide.

“With the relief of the symptoms of his disease, and with the increased strength and vigor resulting from the increased diet, the pessimistic, melancholy diabetic becomes optimistic and cheerful. Insulin is not a cure for diabetes; it is a treatment.”

Sir Frederick Banting, Nobel Prize Lecture, 1923


Dr. Banting and Dr. Charles Best (a medical student at the time) worked together at the University of Toronto where they discovered a method to extract the hormone, insulin. It was a fundamental breakthrough in the treatment of diabetes.

Insulin is central to regulating (metabolizing) sugar and carbohydrate in the body. Without it there was little hope of survival for millions who, like my mother, were diagnosed with Type 1.

On January 23rd, 1922–a historic date–they tested their insulin serum on 14-year-old Leonard Thompson–who experienced almost instant relief. He survived into his thirties.

My mother, Molly, often referred to Banting and Best as her saviours–and they were.  Diagnosed in her mid-thirties, she survived for over 30 years, dying from a diabetes-related heart attack at the age of 68. ma3img_0044_2

November 14th is also the anniversary of my father’s death–30 years ago. Tony would have been ten days into his 99th year today. Image 83 RIP Mum, Dad and Dr Banting.

Millions of people have diabetes but are ignorant of it (for Type 2, there are often no symptoms in the early stage). It’s diagnosed by a simple blood test.


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