Welcome to Clenergy Kitchen

The Diabetes Focus team experienced a lunch at Clenergy Kitchen. We give you the low-down on this guilt-free eatery. Plus, Tammy Jardine, shares her perspective as a dietitian and having diabetes.

It’s always pleasurable to go and sit down in a restaurant and socialise with friends while enjoying good food together. Upon entering the clean and simplistic restaurant, we were welcomed by the friendly and charming owner, Abdulla Miya, and his staff.

As you sit down, the array of health foods, supplements and vitamins catch your eye and you know you just must inspect what is on offer in the display after lunch. You are more than likely to walk out having purchased your favourite health snack.

Abdulla shared his vision with us and his passion was apparent and so the excitement built-up to taste the food. It’s clear that this isn’t only about making a profit, but rather this is about offering solutions to consumers who still want to enjoy the treat of eating out but also to know what they are putting in their body won’t aggravate any allergies or health issues.

As we are left to choose our meals from the menu, the start of a wonderful food journey commences. By the end of the meal, our tummies are full and the conversation is all about how good things tasted and the good impression of the overall experience. Plus, we even got to meet the head chef. That is always a bonus!

Left to right: Owner, Abdulla Miya and Head Chef, Andre Brown.

About Clenergy

Clenergy started with an ambitious dream of Abdulla Miya. Since he is insulin resistant, he found it hard to find restaurants that offered meals that would comply with his health concerns. So, he set aside his career of marketing and advertising and after six months, Clenergy Kitchen – guilt-free eatery was opened in November 2019.

What makes Clenergy different?

Clenergy provides customers with a truly safe place to enjoy the pleasures of delicious food without having to compromise their health.

They have set out on a journey to provide guilt-free meals that break the paradigm of what is generally expected of healthy food. Clenergy’s goal is to provide restaurant meals, fast food favourites and decadent desserts that consumers crave, in a much more beneficial way. The Keto and Banting way.

The menu is completely wheat-free, low carb and sugar-free. While all the meals are sugar-free and low carbs. This means that anyone wanting to lose weight or who has diabetes can enjoy all Clenergy meals.

A brand that you can trust

Their healthy food only earns a spot on their menu after it has met the requirement of being decadently delicious. Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures and at Clenergy, they don’t compromise on that at all. But more importantly, the goal is to create a brand that customers can trust.

They guarantee that all their foods are wheat-free, low-carb and sugar-free (no added refined sugar). This means that all meals are Keto and Banting friendly. Standing by these three key values allows customers to lower their sugar intake. How? Refined sugars are found in many foods, desserts, drinks, sauces and condiments, but by taking the sugar out, they reduce your sucrose intake.

However, high carbs, such as wheat, maize, rice, and potatoes, also convert to sugar once inside the body. So, this way they reduce your intake holistically as well. This allows consumers to avoid sugar related ailments without compromising on their food’s taste and while still being able to satisfy their cravings.

What is on offer?

Not only is Clenergy a sit-down restaurant but you can order take aways from the local menu as well as a variety of 24 frozen meals. They also offer various meal plans that can be delivered in Gauteng, Cape Town, Durban and regional areas.

Meal plans offered:

  • Keto
  • Banting
  • Premium Keto/Banting
  • Vegetarian
  • Weight loss
  • Premium weight loss
  • Body Building
  • Diabetic
  • Vegan
  • Juice
  • Custom

To find out more about these meal plans and delivery visit clenergy.co.za

Next step

The vision doesn’t stop here, Abdulla aims to open more Clenergy franchises across South Africa. He also has a bigger dream of suppling hospitals with healthy meal options. We wish him and his team great success!

A Type 1 dietitian’s perspective

On walking into Clenergy, I was extremely aware of the sugar-free, healthy food marketing which was new and refreshing and I already felt positive that the foods would most likely be high in fibre and made with clean, low processed ingredients.

When the owner, Abdulla Miya, started to share his story and talking about low carbs, I must admit that I had my reservations and even wondered whether he thought that only sugar contributed to total carbs since the menu included toasted sandwiches, pizza, burgers and pasta. I decided to put my scepticism aside and base my review subjectively on taste and objectively on how the meal affected my blood glucose.

Obstacles of testing

I admitted to myself that this was probably not the best day to review a restaurant meal by blood glucose since I had eaten a big slice of red velvet cake that morning at 11am to celebrate my husband’s birthday.

I thought I had injected enough insulin for the piece of cake and checked my blood glucose before I left home. It was 13,9 – yikes! I decided not to inject more insulin and to test before eating at the restaurant and give insulin then.

As fate would have it, I left my meter and the insulin on the kitchen table (what can I say – life happens) and therefore did not test or inject any insulin before the meal.

Choosing what to eat

At the restaurant, I scrolled through the menu thinking about what I would order if I could eat anything I wanted without thinking about the effect it would have on my blood glucose. I chose the Arabiatta Pumpkin Pasta with Chicken. It’s a tomato and chilli based sauce on pasta made from pumpkin spaghetti (spirals of pumpkin).

The pasta was a little harder than original pasta but still delicious and satisfying. The portion was filling. I did share some in exchange for a taste of the other meals that were ordered around the table. The Toasted Chicken Sandwich was loaded with chicken but the bread was a little too oily for me. It took a bit of coaxing to get over the green base of the pizza, but once I got over that the zucchini pizza was super tasty.

The burgers had big meaty patties and generous amount of topping but the roll was a little spongy. Certainly, all the meals were flavourful and totally acceptable alternatives to the carb-rich originals.

I didn’t stop there. My sweet tooth was pleading to try the beautifully displayed and irresistibly tempting dessert options. We chose the Chocolate Torte and Cheese Cake to share between us. The cakes were rich and didn’t disappoint, with very little aftertaste from the sugar substitutes.

Testing blood glucose after meal

I left for home certain that my blood glucose would have sky-rocketed from the feast I’d enjoyed and especially because my last blood glucose reading was high and I had not injected any insulin for what I had eaten at the restaurant.

To my surprise, my blood glucose had dropped from the high teens to 10,2. I had purposely not corrected with insulin when I got home since I wanted to see if the meal would spike me later. It did not. My blood glucose dropped even further to 8,3 before dinner (about six hours after the restaurant meal).

Frozen ready meals

I also purchased three frozen ready meals to try at home. I wanted to try the Arabiatta Pasta again to see if it would be as good at home. The portion was smaller than the restaurant portion but still as tasty. I also tried the Coconut Fish Bake and the Spinach Lasagne. All were delicious.

The nett carbs (total carbs minus fibre) of these frozen meals were listed as follows:

  • Arabiatta Pasta (300g) 0g net carbs
  • Spinach Lasagne (300g) 14.5g net carbs
  • Coconut Fish Bake (300g) 15.9g net carbs

Every person can tolerate different amounts of carbs. I did give insulin for the carbs in the lasagne and the fish bake based on my individual carb ratio and my blood glucose did not spike. I estimate that I had to give a third of the amount of insulin I would have had to give if the meals were not carb reduced and used original rice and pasta. Usually if I have a meal with rice or pasta, I feel lethargic and bloated but I felt really good after eating these carb-reduced meals and extremely satisfied as they have lots of flavour.

Note for people with diabetes:

The only way to identify your tolerance for carbs is to test before the meal and two hours’ post meal. Ideally two hours post the meal, your blood glucose should rise no more than 2mmol/L more than it was before your meal.

For me, the Clenergy options were well-tolerated. So, why not try them for yourself?


Tammy Jardine is a qualified diabetes educator and a registered dietitian. Living with diabetes for over 15 years means that she knows first-hand how difficult it can be to achieve and maintain optimal blood glucose control with good lifestyle habits. She believes that diabetes affects every person differently and takes the time to understand how it’s affecting the individual and to help them manage it effectively. With more than 20 years of experience working as a dietitian in the UK and SA, she has a passion for helping people live a better and happier life with good food. Tammy currently works from Wilgeheuwel hospital. Email: tamjdiet@gmail.com

Clenergy is situated at 51 Greenfield Road, Greenside, Jhb.

Opening hours: Monday – Thursday (9:00 – 17:00). Friday – Sunday (9:00-20:00).

Diabetic skincare during COVID-19

Over the past year, you may have noticed a flare up of very dry, rough or flaky skin, which could be a direct result of your blood glucose reacting to stressful situations. Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS is here to offer you and your family immediate relief and protection.

Recommended by medical experts, Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS offers immediate dry skin relief with its unique formulation.

Learning to navigate your diabetic journey during a global pandemic has no doubt added an intense amount of pressure to your daily routine. Between glucose monitoring, following a diet plan, and sticking to a strict medication regime, keeping physical stress under control may be leaving you with a couple of worrisome side effects.

How high blood glucose affects the skin

By now you’re probably well aware of the effect high blood glucose can have on blood vessels. With the constant stress of COVID-19, your blood glucose can easily spike which can cause your veins to contract and harden.

Blood carries the necessary nutrients and oxygen that your skin cells need to stay healthy. When the vessels narrow, it becomes difficult for them to efficiently transport blood throughout the tiny capillary fields that feed your skin, often leading to dry skin.

Not only are the supply of nutrients affected with restricted blood flow, your white blood cells that fight disease causing viruses and bacteria also struggle to travel through these narrowed blood vessels. As a result, if you cut or scrape your skin, the skin is less capable of defending itself against infections.

It’s therefore important to use the correct treatment for your dry skin condition. According to a recent study conducted by world-renowned physicians on Diagnosis and Treatment of Xerosis cutis, urea, an organic compound found in the Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS range, is the gold standard for the treatment of dry skin.

What is urea?

Urea is a compound with the unique ability to treat two different skin factors. As a natural moisturising ingredient, it binds moisture into the outermost layers of skin while simultaneously supporting desquamation (skin peeling, which is the natural process by which the skin sheds dead skin cells). Therefore, a healthy desquamation is linked to smooth skin.

Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS range

Each product within the range plays a significant role in treating problem areas and has been uniquely formulated to relieve, revitalise, and replenish dry skin conditions.

Key products that specialise in diabetic skincare

Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS 5% Urea Lotion

Suitable for people with Type 2 diabetes, it is designed to give dry, rough, and bumpy body skin the daily care it needs. It contains a unique combination of ingredients: urea, ceramide and other natural moisturising factors that lock moisture in and repair the skin´s natural protective barrier to prevent further moisture loss. The formula has been clinically and dermatologically proven to deliver immediate relief and intense, long-lasting moisturisation, delaying dryness and roughness for up to 48 hours. 

Eucerin Intensive Lip Balm Anti-Inflammatory Soothing Care 10ml

The unique combination of active ingredients in Eucerin Intensive Lip Balm Anti-Inflammatory Soothing Care makes it a highly effective solution for extremely dry, cracked, chapped lips.

  • Soothing Licochalcone A reduces redness and calms irritation.
  • Evening primrose oil helps regenerate the lips’ natural protective barrier.
  • Panthenol moisturises, regenerates, and promotes healing.
  • Glycerol intensively moisturises to leave lips feeling soft and smooth.

The balm is also suitable for use on the perioral skin around the mouth, and for conditions, such as lip-lick eczema, cheilitis or dry lips caused by a medical treatment.

Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS 5% Urea Hand Cream 75ml

The skin on our hands is more exposed to external aggressors than any other part of our body, especially during COIVD-19. Frequent sanitising and hand washing means it is often in contact with harsh chemicals. A stable barrier function protects us from these external factors and keeps skin hydrated. When the skin barrier is impaired, skin may lose moisture and hands can look and feel very dry, red and scaly.

Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS 5% Urea Hand Cream contains urea, ceramide and other natural moisturising factors that offer a significant decrease in dryness even after six, high-temperature hand washings. It has been clinically proven to deliver both immediate relief and intense moisturisation for very dry, rough and strained hands. It strengthens skin’s natural barrier, making skin resilient to dryness for up to 48 hours.

Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS 5% Urea Replenishing Body Wash Fluid 400ml

Many soaps and cleansers contain harsh alkali detergents that wash away the epidermal lipids and moisturising factors that form the skin’s natural protective barrier. This leaves it prone to dryness and irritation.

Eucerin UreaRepair PLUS 5% Urea Replenishing Body Wash Fluid contains very gentle cleansing agents, making it suitable for cleansing very dry, rough body skin. It is further enriched with urea and natural moisturising factors which protect skin from drying out further and relieve the itchiness that often comes with dry skin.

Eucerin UreaRepair 5% Urea Replenishing Face Cream 50ml

This cream is a light and gentle everyday moisturiser for dry to very dry and tight skin. Enriched with urea and lactate, two naturally occurring compounds that bind in moisture, it instantly hydrates the facial skin, reducing the feeling of tightness to give it a smooth, supple feel. It is ideal for use under make-up or after shaving.

With more than 100 years of expertise in the science of skincare, Eucerin is now one of the world’s most trusted skincare brands. Years of dedicated research continues to develop innovative and effective products for happier, healthier skin.

Eucerin. Life-changing power of dermatological skincare.

For more information please visit www.eucerin.co.za


  1. Diabetes News Journal, High Blood Sugar Levels Affect How Blood Vessels Contract, Marta Silva. January 2016.
  2. IDF Diabetes Atlas (7th): a global report published by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), Brussels, Belgium (2015)
  3. Diabetic skin: background and treatment / Eucerin. Data on file.

Shape Diet Meal Replacement Shakes

Registered diabetes educator and dietitian, Tammy Jardine, tells us all we need to know about Shape Diet Meal Replacement Shakes.

Shape Diet Meal Replacement Shakes should be used as a meal replacement and not as a supplement (addition to a meal).

When meal planning in diabetes, the priority is the total carbohydrate content since this is the macro-nutrient that most affects blood glucose.

As a basic rule of thumb principle, it’s recommended to limit total carbohydrate in a meal to no more than 45g, and to no more than 10g in a snack for optimal blood glucose control.

Water vs milk

Shape shakes provide 21,8-24g per serving when made up with water. This means that a small fruit or a green salad could be eaten with the shake if you still feel hungry, without compromising the carbohydrate limits.

If it’s made with milk then the carbohydrate will increase to 32,8-35g per serving which will still fall within the carbohydrate limits.

Monitor your blood glucose

When substituting the shake for a meal, it’s good practice to monitor blood glucose to see what affect the shake has on your blood glucose.

Since the shake is relatively low in carbohydrates, it’s a good idea to have a healthy snack, like a small fruit, available in case your blood glucose level drops.

If you find that the shakes do decrease blood glucose then instead of having food to increase them, which would contradict your weight loss efforts, try mixing the shake with skim milk. Alternatively, speak to your healthcare provider about adjusting your diabetes medications.

Fibre content

The fibre content is a little low when considering that the requirements for fibre is 25g a day. One shake provides between 0,2g and 1,3g per serving. Therefore, it is not recommended that the shake provide the sole source of nutrition for a day. Include some fresh veg to boost your fibre intake.

Protein, fat and energy

Shape Diet Meal Replacement Shakes are high in protein which helps you feel satiated. It’s low in fat and not high in energy, at less than 845kJ per serving, which is why it will be beneficial for weight loss.

Any meal replacement shake should have added vitamins and mineral so that micro-nutrient requirements are met. No additional multivitamin supplements are necessary when replacing meals with fortified shakes.

Non-nutritive sweeteners

The non-nutritive sweeteners, sucralose (in the shakes), and sugar alcohols (xylitol) are safe to use for people living with diabetes. They don’t cause a rise in blood glucose levels.

There will always be controversy about sugar substitutes since they require processing to achieve final product. The debate is not whether it’s natural (since sucrose sugar is natural), but rather about the process and the chemicals required to process the product. In studies, there is no scientific reason to avoid sugar substitutes in diabetes.

Frequently asked questions

Can I replace all three meals and just have some fruit or salad to add fibre?

The shake can be used to replace one to all three meals a day. The reason for using a shake will determine how many meals are replaced and the length of time it will be used.

Some people may want to use the shake as a meal replacement to replace a meal that they don’t have time to prepare, like breakfast and/or lunch. Some will use it as an alternative to a meal for weight loss. The benefit being that it’s calorie controlled and fortified with added vitamins and minerals.

If three meals are replaced, it’s advised to add vegetables to the daily intake to ensure a better fibre intake. Replacing all meals would be considered a low-calorie diet. There is some evidence that a low-calorie diet for six-12 weeks can decrease weight and improve insulin resistance. These improvements have been shown to have a positive effect on diabetes since blood glucose levels improve. If this weight loss is maintained, it’s possible that the improvements in blood glucose can be more long-term and can even possibly ‘reverse’ diabetes. You should speak to a diabetes dietitian if this interests you. A low-calorie diet should be undertaken under the guidance of a dietitian.

Do I only use Shape until I have lost the required weight?

If the aim of using a meal replacement is for weight loss, then you can use the shake for the time that it takes to lose the weight. Then use the shake less frequently to transition to a normal diet and prevent weight regain.

Could you substitute two meals and still have one cooked meal a day? Or would that upset the plan?

There are various ways to use the shake. This is probably the most common way (as mentioned in the question) of using the shake. The cooked meal should still be well-balanced, high in vegetables with a portion of lean meat, high-fibre starch and a small amount of fat.

If I don’t need to lose weight, can I still use the shake for an easy convenient midday meal?

Yes, you can use the shake to replace a meal if you don’t have time to prepare a meal.


Tammy Jardine is a qualified diabetes educator and a registered dietitian. Living with diabetes for over 15 years means that she knows first-hand how difficult it can be to achieve and maintain optimal blood glucose control with good lifestyle habits. She believes that diabetes affects every person differently and takes the time to understand how it’s affecting the individual and to help them manage it effectively. With more than 20 years of experience working as a dietitian in the UK and SA, she has a passion for helping people live a better and happier life with good food. Tammy currently works from Wilgeheuwel hospital. Email: tamjdiet@gmail.com

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