Quote of the Month – Misinformation

The lies of Big Food and Bad Pharma are destroying lives on an unprecedented scale.

Dr Aseem Malhotra

Dr Malhotra has been appointed Chair of the Public Health Collaboration and is taking the first step to clean up the health and medical information mess that continues to harm millions of people on a daily basis.  Here is his short video on the state of misinformation.


He says the charity PHC is an army ready to take action to clean up the health and medical misinformation mess that continues to harm millions of people on a daily basis


Other quotes on this theme:

Science has taken a turn towards darkness. Possibly half the medical literature may simply be untrue.

Richard Horton

Editor in Chief, the Lancet

Is it time to assume all health research is fraudulent until it can be proved otherwise?

Richard Smith

Former Editor of the British Medical Journal



Bake Like a Chemist

The Great British Bake Off is back on our screens to cheer and amaze us with wacky creations – hurray!!

Baking was the biggest growth activity under lockdown – you’ll remember the empty shelves where the flour had been snapped up.

Our U3A Science group is also back up and running – hurray again!!

The first talk, from the highly entertaining chemist, Steve Wilson (he does talks on cruise ships), delved into the science of baking.

Chemists make great bakers being expert and weighting, measuring, mixing and heating things. We’ve seen something similar with the precision of engineer Bake Off competitor Guiseppe.

So here is a cakey mix of Steve’s fascinating insights and my thoughts on health.

It starts with beating sugar and butter until pale and fluffy. The sugar keeps the specs of butter apart. Any blobs of butter left will melt in the oven, leaving holes in your cake.

Health-wise sugar is bad. You can retrain your palate in only a couple of weeks to prefer less sweetness so you can cut down the amount of sugar in the recipe. You can also use substitutes like xylitol (a sugar alcohol).

Fat is an essential ingredient – butter works well, gives great flavour, is stable when cooked and is healthy.

Vegetable oil and margarine are unhealthy and damaged by heat so it’s better to avoid them altogether.

Coconut oil is very good and gives a different flavour and texture.

Flour brings gluten which provides elasticity. Anyone trying gluten-free baking will miss how pliable bread and pastry dough are in particular.

Flour is soon-to-be-sugar. It’s starchy carbohydrate which is a chain of hundreds of sugars holding hands. Your enzymes quickly break starches down into simple sugars which hit your blood stream and stimulate insulin production. The insulin takes excess sugar out of your blood and stores it as fat. This is the Carbohydrate/Insulin model of weight gain.

Baking powder is a raising agent found in self-raising flour or added separately. It contains acidic cream of tartar and alkaline bicarbonate of soda which react when wetted to make bubbles of CO2 and cause your baking to rise and be light and fluffy.

Eggs are high in protein which has many hydrogen bonds and these give strength to the bubbles. Eggs are also a raising agent. If you use coconut flour, it’s very dry and it helps to add an egg for each ounce (28g).

Dr Phil Hammond calls bought cakes, chemical cake. As Steve pointed out, it’s all chemistry! But Dr Phil is right, bought cakes have undesirable ingredients that your body doesn’t appreciate. Also they’re usually made with unhealthy vegetable oil so baking your own is preferable.

Portion size does matter – cake is something to be enjoyed in small amounts. I think I remember reading that Paul Hollywood put on a stone and a half during the last series of Bake Off! Huge slabs of cake have become normalised in shops over the years (I wrote about muffins some years ago) but you can of course ask for extra forks and share between friends.

Top tip: Love cake? Make like a chemist and get baking.

Quote of the Month – sustainable

What we need now is a nation of well-informed consumers who understand the difference between the unsustainable plants and animals which are part of the problem and the sustainable animal systems and products which are part of the solution.

Patrick Holden

CEO of Sustainable Food Trust

…in the future sustainably managed livestock will play a central role in rebuilding the fertility that we’ve lost. So we need to eat the livestock products which come from those regeneratively managed animals, but we need to give up the ones that come from the intensive side. And the key is to know the difference between the two.

Green Lumpy – Not Recommended!

I was reminded of how much we take our gadgets for granted while making my breakfast the other day.  I had the ingredients of my favourite green smoothie ready and my trusty stick blender poised when – the electricity went off!!!!

I did my best to mash things up – not too bad with avocado and banana but hopeless with apple and lettuce.  The result was most unappealing as you can see.


Quote of the Month – Happiness


Treat everyone with kindness, including yourself,

There is always something to be grateful for;

Enjoy the little things in life,

      that may sometimes pass you by,

Cherish precious moments and those whom you adore

Spread happiness like butter,

      open the blinds and the shutters,

Raise the curtain on the things that bring you smiles,

From fashion to music, football to food,

Piano playing cats or photos of Harry Styles.

Be cool with who you are and know

      you’re a part of something big,

Have goals to keep learning new things;

Life can be swings and roundabouts,

      but the world is your playground,

Joy can make you fly without wings.

Find ways to get up, find a disco to get down,

On earth we are all sisters and brothers;

If compassion is in your plan of action,

      you may gain satisfaction,

And bring happiness to yourself and many others.

All on the Board

Zip the Cow

I didn’t do a blog post in July but I did take a trip to do a very special event in memory of my Dad to raise funds for Sue Ryder who provide end-of-life care in their hospices and people’s homes.

Here’s a pic of the starting point and you can see the video here.

On paper forms and via the Just Giving page, the wonderful folk who sponsored me have together contributed £1538 to this wonderful end-of-life care charity.

Thank you to each and every one of you!


Cook Clever, Waste Less

Did you see this series on Channel 4?

Prue Leith and Dr Rupy Aujla’s Cook Clever, Waste Less has been showing us how to plan, cook and eat real food.

An unbelievable one out of every 6 bags of shopping bought, is thrown in the bin. Most of that goes to landfill where it can take years to break down, releasing methane all the time. For bread alone, Britain throws away a million loaves every day.

Reducing food waste is environmentally sound. Prue and Rupy also saved each family over £1500 – some up to £4000.

They helped people plan their week, batch cook and use unusual ingredients. Their breakfast smoothie of peanut butter, coconut milk and banana skin! My version, with yoghurt and kefir, now has 2 inches of banana with the skin left on instead of peeled off. I would never have thought of eating it instead of putting it in the compost bin.

People have taken up cooking as a hobby more during lockdown. The top 20 pass-times included:

  • no 3 baking bread
  • no 4 growing herbs and veg
  • no 10 making jams and preserves.

Getting to enjoy time in the kitchen also means more freedom and creativity around leftovers meaning less waste.  The best lunches often start with part of yesterday’s dinner.

Here’s the Public Health Collaboration’s Real Food Lifestyle leaflet showing real foods and meal ideas.

Starting each morning with a real-food breakfast sets you up for a good day without cravings for snacks.

Making your own lunch means so you won’t have to even be tempted by what they want to sell you. And you can save loads of money – probably around £1000 a year.

You’ll save even more if you make your own dinner as I proved in my recipe booklet, Eat Well and Save. One week’s dinners is £7.49. You can’t get 7 take-aways or ready meals for that!

2021 EWnS front cover


Top tip: Love leftovers, cook clever and waste less.

Diet and Dementia

The next Jackie’s Gee-Up will be on Wednesday 30th June 7:30 – 9pm, on Zoom.

The topic is Diet and Dementia.

The price has been £19 for the last 9 years but I won’t be charging this time.  If you wish, I invite you to make a donation to the Public Health Collaboration.

Drop me an email to book your place jackie@learntoeatwell.co.uk


Quote of the Month

If safety requires us to indefinitely forfeit the most valuable parts of our lives, what exactly are we trying to save?

Dr Mercola

We should always have remained open and it’s just a tragedy that we’re in this position.

Professor Sunetra Gupta

Full interview on Talk radio


Two weeks after Christmas has turned into more than half a year.  The survival rate for COVID-19 is high – very high for the under 40s, and all the vulnerable people have been jabbed – but isolation, loneliness, anxiety, depression, poverty, plus delayed and missed medical treatment for almost everything else are at epidemic levels, costing lives and still increasing due to ongoing restrictions that cannot be justified by the data.

Shame on this government.