So, why are you here? (or Let’s drink Milkshakes!)

Medical person: So, why are you here?
Louis: I’m here because I have dia-

So this conversation happened over twenty years ago, shortly after Louis had been admitted to The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH). He was sharing a ward with some other kids, when some medical type people came around, asking each of the children why they were there, posing questions about their ailments, and making notes on their clipboards.

Louis was pretty young at this point, nine years old to be exact.  I don’t know about you, but at that age I was still laughing at fart jokes, and giggling from the Clag fumes in Art Class as someone told breast (gasp!) and pee jokes.  So my point is, at that age many children have a basic understanding of biology, bodily functions and subsequently, a rather basic idea of health issues.

Medical person: So, why are you here?
Louis: I’m here because I have diarrhoea.
Medical person: Ahhhhh……..

Of course, Louis was not in hospital because he had diarrhoea.  He was in hospital because a few days earlier he had collapsed in his parents’ kitchen, as a result of undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes.  (In Louis’ defence, he knew he didn’t have diarrhoea, but it was the first thing that popped into his head that sounded remotely like what the doctors and nurses had been talking about).

Milkshake ingredients

In today’s information age, kids seem to be much more savvy, and I’m guessing that both them, and most adults are far more aware of diabetes today than back then.  However being aware of diabetes, doesn’t necessarily equate to understanding diabetes.  It is very easy to get it slightly wrong and offend a whole lot of people, as Jamie Oliver himself discovered not long ago when he failed to differentiate between Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.


Now diabetes is (if you ask me) pretty complicated, and I’m in no position to be promoting myself as an educator on diabetes (cheese on the other hand…).  So if you really want to know the technical stuff about diabetes, then here or here are a couple of good (easy) places to start.  The knowledge which I have about diabetes is in many ways utterly personal and based on my shared experiences with Louis.  The way in which I may impart any knowledge about diabetes, will be very much in the same manner in which I learned it – haphazardly and ad hoc.

Blending milkshakes

The RCH on the other hand, is much better at this educative stuff.  Louis was in the hospital for about two weeks, while the doctors and nurses taught his parents how to manage his diabetes.  They taught his mum and dad how to measure his BGLs, fill the syringes with insulin from little bottles (no insulin pens back then!), and administer it to Louis.  Whenever I think of the RCH, I think of a little nine-year old boy being carried in unconscious, and I feel so lucky that they were there for Louis and his family – which is why today’s post is dedicated to the RCH.  So get your blenders ready, because:

The Lazy Cook and The Cat present low carb milkshakes

Ok, so I know you really want to get to the milkshakes, but it just so happens that this weekend is Easter, and here in Melbourne, Easter means The Good Friday Appeal.  Give that they may grow.

Louis’ Chocolate Milkshake

Serves 1
Per Serve: 424kJ, 101 Calories, 1.0 carb exchange

Louis has incredibly fond memories of his time at the Children’s. He is always talking about how every day the nurses would give him a chocolate milkshake, and let him watch his favourite animated movie.  This milkshake is a replica of the one they made in the hospital, and is one of the few things that Louis has ever made for me in the kitchen.  Enjoy!


  • 250ml skim milk
  • 1.5 tablespoons (30g) diet chocolate topping


  1. Put both ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blitz for about 30 seconds.
  3. Pour into a serving glass.
  4. Raise your glass in a toast to the RCH, and drink with gusto.

Vicki's Milkshake

Vicki’s Chocolate Milkshake

Serves 1
Per Serve: 896 kJ, 214 Calories, 1.0 carb exchange

I love ice-cream.  As far as I’m concerned, there is no situation in which it is inappropriate to add ice-cream.  It doesn’t matter what the time, place or weather is, if I can have ice-cream, I will.  So naturally I really wanted to add ice-cream to this milkshake.  However Louis gave me strict instructions:  for this to work as an acceptable snack, I had to keep it at under one carb exchange per serve.  So… challenge accepted!

Now, I’ve always been rather leery of milk substitutes.  However I didn’t want to just add ice-cream to this milkshake, I wanted to add lots of ice-cream to this milkshake.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, and after a little research I settled on almond milk as my potential saviour.  As soon as I got home from the supermarket, I whizzed up one of these in the blender, and then marched upstairs and handed Louis a glass without telling him what was in it.  *Cue evil laugh.*  Louis drank it without blinking, and gave it his blessing.  Challenge met!  Enjoy!


  • 125ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1.5 tablespoons (30g) diet chocolate topping
  • 3 scoops (150g) no added sugar vanilla ice-cream


  1. Place the almond milk and chocolate topping in your blender.
  2. Depending on whether you like to slurp or chomp your milkshake, add either 1, 2 or all 3 scoops of ice-cream to the blender.
  3. Blitz for about 30 seconds.
  4. Pour into a serving glass.
  5. Add the remaining ice-cream to the glass.
  6. Drink with gusto, remembering to lick off your milk moustache before heading out the door for a walk.


  • Direction variation:
    • A manual shaker is a more than acceptable replacement for the blender.  In fact, Louis is convinced that old-fashioned manual shaking produces a better milkshake froth – then again, if you saw him shaking that shaker, you’d understand why!
All done!
All done!

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