About learntoeatwell

I'm an ex-international competitor in archery with a scientific background and a passion for food and health. I used to eat a diet considered very healthy; low in fat with lots of fruit and veg. Sadly, I put on weight and was tired and hungry all the time. A Metabolic Type Test put me on the right track and is the foundation of my Nutrition Coaching programme which combines information about foods with coaching support for behavioural change. Eating differently, my own excess weight melted away, my energy came back and I've felt great ever since. My passion now is to help other people learn to eat well and enjoy the benefits of managed weight, more energy and better health. Wishing you well Jackie

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.

Ultra-Processed Food

Most of the supermarket’s shelves are taken up with ultra-processed food. Is that a problem? People often say to me, “They wouldn’t be allowed to sell it if it was bad for you.” If only we lived in a world where that was true. It is bad and they can sell it. But how much of it do you buy? Have a think about what percentage of the food you eat is real and what percentage is fake. Well to call a spade a spade, when I say fake, ultra-processed, recreational or artificial what I mean is junk, usually containing sugar, highly processed carbohydrates, seed oils and chemical additives.

As Dr Chris van Tulleken said in the Daily Mail and his recent TV programme, ‘What Are We Feeding Our Kids?’

The aim is not to nourish you — this isn’t food made with love: it’s food made using the cheapest possible ingredients and designed to be over-consumed.”

Chris van Tulleken

There is a system, NOVA, giving different levels of processing with Ultra-Processed Food (UPF) being the most processed and containing things you wouldn’t have in your kitchen eg.high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated or interesterified oils, and hydrolysed proteins, or additives eg. flavouring, flavour enhancers, colouring, emulsifiers, sweeteners, thickeners, and anti-foaming, bulking, carbonating, foaming, gelling and glazing agents.

When you shop, check the ingredients list so you can avoid all of these. Minimally processed foods have small numbers of ingredients which are recognisable foods. Real foods don’t have labels.

Only a few decades ago we bought mostly real food ingredients with a bit of convenience food. Now we buy lots of convenience food but less real food ingredients and have the worst diet in Europe at over 57% UPF. This has shot up since 1980 when it was 26%. Here’s a Daily Mail article showing the percentage of processed food in different countries a while ago – it hasn’t got better. Children eat even more UPF than adults. One in five people eat a terrifying 80% UPF. No wonder the health of the average Brit is so poor.

Iceland came top for the world’s healthiest diets. As a nation, they kicked McDonald’s out. You can see pictures and videos on the internet of a 10year old burger (someone decided to keep the last one ever sold in Iceland. It’s now in their museum) and a 20year old McDonald’s burger (Utah) that still look the same as new!!! That’s what I call fake food.

The queues at drive-through McDonald’s, KFC and the like are a depressing sign of junk’s enduring allure and a lack of awareness of how damaging to health junk really is.

What did Chris suffer when he tried a processed-food diet?

  • Weight gain of 6.5kg – that’s a stone!!!

  • 30% increase in the hormone that makes you hungry

  • decrease in the hormone that tells you you’re full

  • Bad sleep

  • Heartburn

  • No libido

  • Constipation

  • Piles

  • Low mood

  • Sluggishness

  • Aches and pains

  • Anxiety

  • Felt 10 years older


And this was after only 4 weeks.

Chris showed how, as well as very quickly making his body overweight and unhealthy, processed food rewired his brain – and that has stuck!

What are these fake foods doing to children? No one knows.

Another experiment showed that even when real food is made to match UPF for sugar, fat etc, the processed group ate 30% faster, ate 500kCal a day more and gained 1kg in 2 weeks.

UPF arrived in Brazil only recently and very suddenly (Nestle did it and no doubt made lots of money). Already, they have seen a 150% increase in obesity and now the government recommends that people don’t eat any processed food at all. They still do of course. Availability, clever formulation to make products appealing and advertising really do influence people’s behaviour.

Are you now angry that for profit we are being robbed of our health and happiness? Anger is a powerful weapon for defending your health. Once you’re angry, you stand a chance of saying, “No” even when your poor addicted brain still wants to put the stuff in your mouth.

Chris felt better straight away when he went back to real food so it’s fantastic that lockdown has been such an opportunity to develop our home-cooking skills.

Remember to reinforce every positive step you take – congratulate yourself and celebrate all the fresh food you buy, every healthy meal you cook and every new recipe you try. Enjoy feeling better for it and keep on looking after yourself.

Top tip: Ditch the junk and Eat Real Food.

Quote of the Month – Hugs

What the coronavirus pandemic has really served to highlight is just how important connection is for us – emotionally and physically.

Many have been denied the opportunity of holding someone’s hand. Or giving a simple hug and that is hard as it comes so naturally.

We’re working in an alien environment.

The pandemic has cast a shadow over us all this year.

Reverend Rob Pestell

He also pointed out that “as sure as day follows night, so also spring will follow winter, and the signs of new life will again be all around us.”

The thing the government most succeeded in was depriving us of our sources of support.

What a joy to regain our right to hug our loved ones today.

Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels