Carpal Tunnel

Things that can help – CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME

Two simple exercises that really help carpal tunnel syndrome.


Question Number 1

Question Number 1

Question: what percentage of people go into residential or care homes? Close your eyes, no cheating and come up with a number. I’ll write a couple of lines of nonsense so it’s harder to see the answer: (Why is there a ‘w’ in answer? I have an Argentinian friend who always pronounces the ‘w’. I keep telling him, “The ‘w’ is silent!” But he takes no notice. It’s made me think….where does this ‘w’ come from? Why don’t I pronounce it? If the ‘w’ was silent in swerve I’d be serving instead of swerving.) The answer was one in four 10 years ago. Which surprised me. I asked two people yesterday and they both said 60%. I would have guessed 50%. And the average stay is said to be 30 months. Now the answer is 15% which annoyingly at a recent trustee meeting both our Chair Lloyd and our Treasurer Maureen knew; but they both used to run day centres for older people so they are professionals.

This means most of us stay at home as we get older, or perhaps live with family. Not such a bad idea when the average cost is said to be around £35,000 per year. “I’ll look after you for £35k a year mum!”

I read all this in an article by Peter Lilley a former secretary of state who is now in the House of Lords. It was in the Daily Telegraph on or around the 8th September 2021. You may remember at the time it was a hot subject in Parliament and the media. He has an interesting solution which does not involve raising taxes.

Instead of me distilling the article I shall risk suits and opprobrium and you can read the whole thing below or read/download the pdf here:


Satellites and Sun

Satellites, Sun and Space Cowboys

The following is taken from a website You can sign up for free space weather alerts at They keep up to date with things happening in space including when the sun is spewing flares towards earth.

In 1859 there was the most intense solar flare in recorded history. At that time there was already an extensive telegraph system and it caused sparks and fires everywhere. A geomagnetic storm of this magnitude occurring today would cause widespread electrical disruptions, blackouts and damage due to extended outages of the electrical grid. And apparently we are overdue a big one.

On the 15th November, just two weeks ago, Russia destroyed one of its own satellites. A missile launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome struck Kosmos 1408, shattering the old satellite into thousands of pieces. Debris came so close to the International Space Station that astronauts took shelter in their crew capsules, just in case they had to abandon ship.

Littering Earth orbit with debris is never a good idea. Space weather could make it much worse. To understand why, turn back the clock 18 years to the Halloween Storms of October 2003, when our planet “lost” half its satellites.

Solar Cycle 23 was winding down. Space weather forecasters were talking about how quiet things would soon become when, suddenly, the sun unleashed two of the strongest solar flares of the Space Age: An X17 flare on Oct. 28th followed by an X10 flare on Oct. 29th. Powerful CMEs struck Earth’s magnetic field only 19 hours later, sparking 3 days of severe to extreme geomagnetic storms.

Commercial airlines scrambled to redirect flights from the poles, where radiation levels were suddenly high. Each detour cost as much as $100,000. Many Earth-orbiting satellites experienced reboots and even unwanted thruster firings. Some operators simply gave up and turned their instruments off. Goddard’s Space Science Mission Operations Team estimates that 59% of NASA’s Earth and space science satellites were affected.

There’s a dawning awareness that something else important happened, too. Many of Earth’s satellites were misplaced.

In a 2020 paper entitled “Flying Through Uncertainty,” a team of researchers led by Thomas Berger at the University of Colorado’s Space Weather Technology, Research, and Education Center report a little-known anecdote from USAF satellite operators. During the Halloween storms, they recalled, “the majority of [low Earth orbiting] satellites were temporarily lost, requiring several days of around-the-clock work to reestablish [their positions].”

“The Halloween storms pumped an extra 3 Terrawatts of power into Earth’s upper atmosphere,” explains Martin Mlynczak, principal investigator of NASA’s SABER spacecraft, which measured the energy dump. “We didn’t feel it down on the planet’s surface, but it was a big event for Earth orbiting satellites. The extra power puffed up the atmosphere, sharply increasing aerodynamic drag.”

Simulations show that even moderate geomagnetic storms can shift the position of a satellite by 10 km or more. The Halloween Storms created far larger uncertainties. This is a problem because, when you’re in a shooting gallery, you can’t dodge the bullets unless you know where they are.

“Fortunately, the Halloween storm did not cause any major collisions that we know of,” write Berger and his co-authors. “But if a geomagnetic storm on the level of the 2003 event were to occur today, the situation could be very different. Most satellite operators today have never experienced anything like the Halloween 2003 storm.”

Right now radars and telescopes in the United States Space Surveillance Network are surely working to pinpoint the debris of Kosmos 1408. Orbital solutions will allow collision warnings to be issued; satellites can dodge. However, a strong geomagnetic storm could wipe out their findings in an instant.

Intensifying geomagnetic activity is almost certain as young Solar Cycle 25 gains steam in the years ahead. It’s something to think about the next time you launch an ASAT weapon…

Health Recipes


Sugar Free Scones

Makes 5-6 large scones, 9-10 medium size


230g/8oz white spelt flour and brown spelt 50/50 (You can experiment to see what you like – some go 100% brown. I like 70 white/30 brown)

1 tablespoon or 2 dessert spoons baking powder (not heaped – kind of flat)

Cinnamon powder – as much as you like

40g/1.5oz butter

150ml/5floz milk (I use water) 

1 handfuls raisins or sultanas. I also use half a banana cut into small pieces sometimes and blueberries but they tend to be a bit messy.

Cooking Directions

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

Sift the flour into a large bowl (or just throw it in)

Add the baking powder and cinnamon and stir well

Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips, until it looks like fine breadcrumbs (it never looks like breadcumbs to me but just make sure butter is well mixed)

Add the raisins or sultanas and stir well (add more or less depending on how fruity you like your scones) (I often use banana and have tried blueberries and other fruit but always go back to sultanas and banana)

Pour in the milk or water and stir with a spoon until all the liquid is incorporated

Flour your hands and knead gently into a soft dough

Sprinkle a surface with flour and roll the dough out to about 2.5cm

Cut out with a 7-9cm pastry cutter (use larger or smaller or shapes for different size scones) (I use a glass)

Pick up the remaining dough and knead together to roll out again until all the dough is used

Place on a lightly greased/oiled baking tray

Bake for about 19 minutes (in a fan oven, you may need longer in regular oven) or until risen and golden brown

Place on a cooling rack 

Best eaten cut in half and spread with butter while still warm!


Storing Food

Tips On Storing Food

Make sure your freezer maintains a temperature of 0° F or less.  If the temperature rises above that level, the frozen products may begin to thaw and lose some of their vitamin content. In addition, some frozen products have been found to lose vitamin content after prolonged storage of a year or more, so you should not store them for more than two or three months before use.

Vegetables should be stored unwashed in a sealed plastic bag in the vegetable crisper draw. The refrigerator should be set at 35 to 40° F.  Today’s frost-free refrigerators are the worst thing for fresh vegetables because they automatically withdraw moisture from the air in the refrigerator, and water-soluble vitamins will be lost with the moisture extracted from the vegetables. Placing produce in sealed plastic bags in the crisper drawer will help to maintain the vitamin content for a few days.

Canned foods should not be stored in a very hot environment.  The breakdown of vitamins is a chemical process. Like all chemical processes, this breakdown is more rapid when temperatures are higher. Therefore, maintaining your pantry in a cool place will minimise vitamin losses in canned foods.

Store milk and bread away from the sun or strong light, which can destroy their riboflavin content (and milk’s vitamin A content, too).  Clear plastic milk bottles should not be used for this reason.

Orange juice will begin to lose vitamin C after it has been stored in your refrigerator for several days, regardless of the container in which it is stored. Don’t keep more than you will be able to use in a week’s time. Powdered drinks with supplementary vitamin C will hold their vitamin content for a long time and may be an acceptable alternative to fresh or frozen juice products for some people even though they have no other nutrients.

If you pick tomatoes before they are ripe, allow them to ripen in a cool (not cold), dark place.  They can be easily ripened by storing them in a paper bag at room temperature, never in the refrigerator. Ripening under any other conditions will result in the loss of some of their nutrients.


Morning Exercises

Morning Exercise Routine

In the interests of coming up with the possible, Healthy Generations have put together a short exercise routine that you can do in five or six minutes. Three of the movements are to aid flexibility and large joint mobility. The last four are as a group known as the Nitric Oxide Dump.

The Nitric Oxide Dump is a fast way to increase the amount of nitric oxide in our bodies. The endothelium (inner lining) of blood vessels uses nitric oxide to tell the surrounding smooth muscle to relax, resulting in vasodilation, increasing blood flow, and lowering blood pressure. Nasal breathing produces nitric oxide within the body, while mouth breathing does not.


Buying Food

Tips On Buying Food

Buying food knowledgeably, storing it carefully, and using cooking methods that preserve vitamins and minerals can greatly enhance the nutritional value of the foods in your diet.


Buy cereals and breads made from whole grains rather than processed grains.  Most of the vitamins and minerals are removed in the milling process. Some but not all of those nutrients are replaced if the grain is “enriched” and some nutrients, such as folic acid, are now being added to “fortify” grain and other products. If you can’t find whole-grain products, try for an enriched product. Non-enriched, processed products are least desirable.

Frozen meats, poultry, and vegetables are essentially equal to their fresh counterparts when it comes to vitamin and mineral content.  The flash-freezing process used to prepare frozen foods does not result in vitamin losses, except for vitamin E. They maintain their full vitamin content through the cooking process because of the sealed pouch. Avoid packages that have ice crystals on the outside; that indicates they’ve been thawed and refrozen, which may mean they’ve lost nutrients and/or been contaminated with bacteria. I have read that fish high in Omega 3 when frozen lose about one third of the Omega 3. However two thirds of Omega 3 is still better than no thirds.

Avoid canned vegetables. Any water-soluble vitamins left in the vegetables after processing dissolve in the water used in the packing process and are lost for nutritional purposes. In addition, most people are better off without the salt and sugar that may be added to canned foods to preserve them and make them taste better.

Never buy cans that have dents, bulges, or are rusting.  They may be contaminated with bacteria.

Fresh and frozen fruits are preferable to canned fruits because of potential losses of their water-soluble vitamin content during storage. Fresh fruits may take several days or weeks to reach you, during which time they can begin to lose vitamin content. Still, we believe that fresh fruits should be your first choice—the fresher the better! Frozen fruits are a good second choice since they maintain their vitamin content in the same way as frozen vegetables do. Canned fruits are a poor third choice.

Colour may be an indicator of vitamin content.  For example, vitamin A is orange in colour, and those foods with a high vitamin A content, such as carrots, reflect that colour. When buying fresh fruits and vegetables, look for those with a deep, rich colour.

Don’t keep fresh fruits and vegetables around the house until they are overripe.  The continuing enzymatic process of fruit ripening can lead to the loss of valuable vitamin content. If you buy fresh produce, buy only enough to last a few days (and no more than a week).

Homegrown fruits and vegetables are not nutritionally superior to the kind you can buy in your supermarket.  However, they usually taste better because they are allowed to ripen naturally before you pick and eat them. And they may not contain pesticides, if you choose to and can grow them without using such products.


Autumn Music With Mary

Music Appreciation Autumn Sessions with Mary Tyler

Mary Tyler’s Autumn sessions will be starting on Friday 17th September at the usual time of 2.00-3.00pm. As always Healthy Generations’ Music Appreciation sessions are in partnership with Age UK Islington.

Check below to see the week-by-week programme starting on the 17th September. To book send an email to Sam

17th September. Music from the British Isles. From Skye Boat Song to Elton John, British music through the ages.

24th September. American Patchwork. A journey through America featuring traditional folksong, classical, jazz and film music.  

1st October. No Session.

8th October. Around the World.Travels around the world with music from over ten countries.  

15th October. The Seasons. Music to reflect our four seasons.

22nd October. La Vie Française.Music by French composers including Ravel, Fauré and Debussy.  

29th October. Opera & Ballet.An afternoon at Covent Garden featuring Tchaikovsky, Puccini and Stravinsky. 


Music In Care Homes

Music In Care Homes

We are back with many of our partner organisations now lockdown has eased. We used to do a lot of music events – sing-a-longs, choirs, parties and tea dances and slowly but surely they are all coming back. And we are starting sessions in a lot of new places.

We have risk assessments that we adapt to each new venue if needed. We follow and regularly update all government guidelines.

Ring Sam Tomlinson our admin manager on 0798 114 2376 or send him a message

Meanwhile here is Marco Magnani at Care UK Muriel Street.


Vitamin D

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is found in foods in two main forms, mostly as cholecalciferol and in small amounts as ergocalciferol. Vitamin D is converted into another (active) form in the liver and then undergoes further changes in the kidney. In this form it works as a hormone in controlling the amount of calcium absorbed by the intestine. Vitamin D is also made by the action of ultra violet rays on the skin and this is the most important source for the majority of people since few foods contain significant amounts of vitamin D.
Experts say going outside for 10-20 minutes in the midday sun—in shorts and a tank top with no sunscreen—will give you enough radiation to produce about 10,000 international units of the vitamin.

Sunbeds do not provide you with Vitamin D.

If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis consider going to one of our remedial classes Instructor Petra Hind was trained at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, London and we originally set the classes up after seeing research done at Loughborough University called the Hip Hop Study. They said, “The findings suggest that exercise could be used to target bone gains in areas of structural weakness. Further study found that the exercises also increased hip bone density in postmenopausal women.” Go to and have a look.

Vitamin D is essential for proper bone mineralisation. Poor diet or inadequate exposure to sun are viewed as the two main factors in Vitamin D deficiency.


(Average adult RDA is 400 IU, or 10 mcg)

FOOD                                    APPROXIMATE CONTENT

                                                (IU PER 3 OZ)

Butter                                      36

Cheese                                     27

Cod liver oil                       10000

Eggs                                        45

Liver                                        45

Milk (fortified)                         36

Milk (human)                             6

Mushrooms                            135

Salmon                                   360

Sardines                                  450

Shrimp                                    135

Sunflower seeds                        83

Tuna                                        225


Booking music now

Live music is starting again – big time

Marco Magnani our music booking manager is busy organising going back to playing with partner organisations we sometimes haven’t seen for over a year….and…. reaching out and contacting new partners. If you would like any of our wide variety of musicians to come to your home, day centre or housing scheme then contact Marco on and listen to the video below:-


First Live Classes

First Live Classes

Our first live class back from lockdown has begun at Sotheby Mews Day Centre every Tuesday from 11.00am-12.00 noon called “Equipped for Life ” run by Gee Dudley who also does an online class for Healthy Generations on Fridays called “Cardio, Core and More”. It’s a workout for the whole body using lots of equipment provided by Gee including Swift Balls, Weights, Step Rebounder, Waist Twister and a Suspension Trainer but you don’t have to bring anything except yourself. It’s a great welcome back from lockdown and guaranteed to get those lockdown muscles working again. If you’d like further information email

We have also added two Pilates and one other keep-fit class. Go to for full information and how to join. Face-to-face is back!


NHS Hospital Beds

NHS Hospital Beds

In the last 30 years the number of beds in the NHS has been reduced from approximately 300,000 in 1987 to 148,000 now. The population has increased from 56.8 million to 66.2 million. So hospital beds have reduced by a half, and population increased by 17%. This information comes from a recent Iain Dale book “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along…”.

In general and acute beds, the biggest category, the figures are:

  • 1987/8 – 180,889
  • 1997/8 – 138,047
  • 2010/11 – 108,958
  • 2016/17 – 102,369

For mental health beds:

  • 1987/8 – 67,122
  • 1997/8 – 36,601
  • 2010/11 – 23,448
  • 2016/17 – 18,730

This is not party political. This has been happening with New Labour, Coalition and Conservative governments. The average decline under Blair/Brown was 1,315 beds per year. During the coalition and Conservative years it was 783 per year. The figures must demonstrate that hospital bed cuts are part of a long-term strategy.


Courgette pea and mint soup

Fanny Sprocket’s Courgette, Pea and Mint Soup

I had this soup in a posh restaurant and loved it. I like it even more because it is so easy to prepare.

Serves: 4
• 1 onion, diced
• 1 teaspoon butter
• 3 medium courgettes, grated
• 300g frozen garden peas
• 1.5L water or vegetable stock
• 10g fresh mint leaves
• 6 tablespoons crème fraîche

In a saucepan, soften the onion in butter. Add the grated courgettes and peas and stir to coat in the butter. Add the stock and bring to the boil until peas are tender. Add mint to the pan together with the crème fraîche. Heat through then blend with a hand held liquidiser. Salt and pepper to taste.


I don’t bother too much whether liquid is water or vegetable stock. It tastes great either way. Also if I don’t have crème fraîche or sour cream – who cares!


Cheapest PAYG

Cheapest PAYG Mobile Deal

The Three network stopped their 123 pay-as-you-go deal so we’ve been looking around at alternatives. The best one out there appears to be 1p Mobile. They offer 1p per call, 1p per text and 1p per mb of data; it’s all 1p.

There are two basic deals: you either buy £10 of credit when you order the sim card and then have to top up £10 every 120 days; or you can buy £30 of credit which lasts you a year and afterwards you have to buy £10 every 120 days. Any unused credit rolls over.

It means you can have a payg phone for more or less £30 a year which if you don’t use your phone much has to be the best deal on the market. The cheapest monthly bundle is around £5 a month or £60 a year which is great if you are on the phone a lot – unlimited minutes. But if you are using less than 500 minutes a month regularly you are better off with a good value payg and 1p mobile seems to be the only one left. If you do use a lot of data looking at Youtube videos etc they have some pretty good data add-on deals. It’s all on their website

I should point out we do not receive any benefit or payment for recommending 1p Mobile although I’d be quite happy if we did and had to tell you. Something the charity may work on in the future! Maybe we could get a couple of pre-paid sim cards and run a competition or give away prizes for something…..a quiz?

Anyways……..check them out. And if you do need help come to one of our digital classes


Online classes will stay

Online Classes to continue after lockdown

We have just received confirmation of two new funding streams from the National Lottery and local charity Richard Cloudesley which will help ensure our online classes keep running.

Our long-term aim is to provide online and live classes when things go back to normal.


Mediterranean Cabbage Soup

Rachel’s Mediterranean Cabbage Soup

Eat Right With Rachel 

Hope you all keeping well in this lockdown times!

Here is a simple tasty soup that is very easy to make & smells wonderful !

Serves 3/4


1/2 white cabbage ( 20cm width approx )

1 medium white onion

3 garlic cloves

1/2 cup tomato purée

1 can ( 400gr)chopped tomatoes

1 can/ cannelloni beans

1 tsp aniseed seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 bay leaf

*1tsp brown sugar (I always add to take the acidity of the tomatoes)

*Salt and pepper

*Lemon juice

*1.5 ltr Chicken or veg stock


Rinse the canned beans in a colander set aside.

Slice the cabbage into thin long stripes set aside

Chop the garlic to thin slices

Set aside


Chop the onions into small cubes and fry with olive oil in a deep

soup pot on low heat.

When softened but not browned add the bay leaf, cumin & aniseed seeds.

Stir until you smell the aroma-add the sliced garlic & fry further 20 seconds, add the cabbage, cover stirring at times until cabbage softened a little.

Add the tomato purée & stir until mixed well. Add the chopped tomatoes and gradually pour in the stock to the level of liquid you want.

I like the soup with less liquids. I measure the stock about 3cm approx above the cabbage.

Cover and simmer for 5 min on low heat. Add the can of beans, cover and simmer further 2/3 min.

Adjust seasonings salt pepper sugar & lemon juice as you like.

Serve hot on its own or with Brown bread. I like to serve this soup with side dishes like Humous & warm pitta.


The Anti Cancer Diet

The Anti Cancer diet

David Servan-Schreiber is a psychiatrist who, diagnosed with a brain tumour, was shocked at how little information there was on how to help yourself when faced with a cancer diagnosis.

The book is the story of his search for the science behind the effect of exercise, meditation, support groups, addressing the possible reasons for developing cancer and the best anti-inflammatory foods to eat and the worst foods to avoid.

It also explains how cancer develops and the fact that we all have cancerous cells that most of the time either don’t develop or get wiped out.

It is very well written and a good read beyond the invaluable information. Below are his recommendations for what foods to eat. For brevity I’ve left out why although in the book he explains the science and reasons. 

One thing I will say is this is not ‘woo-woo science hope this helps’. Everything suggested below has been researched and proven to make a difference.  

Green Tea

You can use decaf. Drink 6 cups a day

Olive Oil

Has to be cold pressed extra virgin. Have between half to one tablespoon a day used in cooking, salad dressing or added to vegetables.


Must be mixed with black pepper to be assimilated in the body. Ideally dissolve in olive oil. Mix a quarter of a teaspoon of turmeric powder with half a tablespoon of olive oil and a generous pinch of black pepper. Add to vegetables, soups and salad dressings.


Add grated ginger to a vegetable or meat mix while cooking in wok or pan. Or marinate fruits in lime juice and grated ginger. Or cut into slices and steep in boiling water for 10-15 minutes and drink as a tea.

Cruciform Vegetables

Brussels sprouts, bok choi, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Only steam cabbage and broccoli to preserve necessary chemicals.

Garlic, Onions, Leeks, Shallots, Chives

Eat all cooked or raw every day. (Garlic molecules are released when clove is crushed and dissolved in a little olive oil).

Vegetables and fruit

Carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, certain varieties of potimarron squash (Hokkaido squash), tomatoes, persimmons, apricots, beetroot, and all bright coloured fruits and vegetables.

Tomatoes and tomato sauce

Tomatoes must be cooked to release necessary nutrients. Use canned tomato sauce with olive oil and no added sugar. Or make your own: cook tomatoes in olive oil. Add onions, garlic, tofu or eggs rich in omega 3 along with cumin, turmeric, pepper and seasonings. Avoid cans with plastic linings inside or choose brand in glass jar. Olive oil helps assimilation of nutrients.


Replace conventional milk with soy milk and yoghurt. Soy beans and mung beans can be cooked or sprouted. Also use tofu, tempeh, miso. Tofu can be cooked or eaten raw.


Shiitake, maitake, cremini, portobello, oyster and thistle oyster mushrooms all good. Good for supporting immune system during chemotherapy.

Herbs and spices

Rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil and mint.  Also parsley and celery.


Nori,  kombu, wakame, arame and dulse are main seaweeds although there are more – they are all brown seaweeds.


Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and cranberries.


Rachel’s Lasagnetta

Rachel’s Lasagnetta

Eat right with Rachel

Hi everyone!

I thought to share my unique Italian lasagnetta with you. Serve as a starter or main course. For vegetarian option don’t add bacon use veg stock.

Serves 2/3


3 large Leeks

4 streaky smoked bacon/ or pancetta

6 medium button mushrooms

1 clove of garlic

2 handful of fresh spinach leaves 

or 3 cubes of frozen spinach, defrosted

250gr Ricotta cheese

2 medium potato

Pinch of oregano

Black pepper & salt to taste

250ml of veg or chicken stock

6 sheets of lasagna

Parmesan cheese

Olive oil

To prepare the leeks I make a small length cut in the middle. Rrinse any mud from the green leaves and the top of the white stem.

Slice thinly approx 1/2 cm width, put aside.


In a large deep pan fry with a little olive oil the sliced mushrooms on high flame – when coloured set aside.

In the same pan add thinly sliced bacon (or pancetta) and cook slowly on lower heat until bacon is crispy brown. Put aside with the mushrooms keeping as much bacon fat in the pan as you can.

Add the sliced leeks to the bacon fat stir and cook slowly on low heat until leeks soften a little.

Add the mushrooms, bacon, chopped garlic, spinach leaves, 250gr ricotta cheese & oregano. Stir well. 

Add  the warm stock slowly as needed until the mixture becomes creamy but not too watery! 

When done turn off the gas.

Adjust seasoning. Salt pepper.

Turn oven on gas mark 7

Slice the potatoes thinly approx 2mm thickness, put in a bowl with cold water to prevent from browning.

Put each lasagna sheet in warm water for few seconds to soften when layering.

Prepare lasagna oven dish  

I use bread loaf size baking dish but you can use smaller personal size dishes also.

Start layering with the leek mix first/ grated parmesan then lasagna sheet. Repeat the layers until you have used all 6 pasta sheets. Make sure the top layer is the leek mix.

Layer the cut potato thinly.

Drizzle 2/3 tbs of stock on the sliced potato, grate more parmesan or cheddar cheese – put on the potato.

Cover with tin foil & bake for 45 min gas mark 7 middle oven. when done uncover and put under grill for the cheese to brown.

Serve hot with the rocket and sun-dried tomato salad topped with balsamic vinegar and capers.

Bonapetito !


The Diet Myth

The Diet Myth

Nutrition is not a simple science. 

Tim Spector, Professor of Epidemiology at Kings College London, explains the proven science of diet and good eating.

There are some excerpts below but the message is the health of our bowel flora is a good indicator of our overall health. Improve your bowel flora and you improve your health. The Mediterranean diet, unpasteurised cheese and natural unsweetened yoghurt, eating a greater variety of foods, particularly fruits, olive oil, nuts, vegetables and pulses, and intermittent fasting are all good. Sugar, processed foods, including pre-prepared meals, snacks, crisps, cakes, biscuits and sweetened drinks are bad.

In the UK in 1980 only 7% of men and women were obese – now it is 24%.

15,000 years ago it seems our ancestors regularly ate around 150 different ingredients in a week. Now, we often eat less than 20. Keep a diary and find out how many you eat in the next week.

Most things we eat now are artificially refined and come from four main ingredients: corn, soy, wheat and meat. 

Most of us do not lose weight exercising. (However there are many good reasons to exercise – bone density, muscle mass, respiration, heart health, flexibility, reduces risk of chronic disease, the list is endless but we have to spend more time exercising than most of us would want to lose weight and too much exercise can be bad for us).

Approximately 270 hours of exercise per year adds around three years to a lifespan. That’s just under 45 minutes a day and walking does count.

Our brains use 20-25% of our daily energy resources.

Saturated fat in products like cheese and yoghurt is not unhealthy but likely to be beneficial provided the food is real and contains living microbes, meaning not over-processed and full of chemicals and sweeteners.

Exercise can reduce blood pressure.

For many people salt reduction only has a minor effect on blood pressure.

Extra virgin olive oil and nuts taken regularly on top of a basic Mediterranean diet reduces the incidence of disease and early death.

Brightly coloured vegetables and fruits contain polyphenols. Polyphenols and considered good. They are impoirtant in helping the body clear and regulate.

Extra virgin olive oil is definitely good which means eating saturated fat is not bad. Also natural yoghurt and unpasturised cheese is also good for a healthy gut.

There is no doubt  that diverse, real, fresh foods from the Mediterranean are what we should be eating more of.

Trans fats are seriously bad and have been banned by many countries. They are chemically manufactured vegetable substitutes that increase the shelf life of packaged foods. Margarine is a trans fat and was sold as a healthy alternative to dairy fats.

The dogma we should reduce total fat intake has no scientific basis.

Fats in processed foods with lots of salt and sugar are bad for us.

Artificially created trans fats are even worse.

Many fats such as the saturated varieties are good for us.

The Mediterranean diet is high-fat but heathy – the key is diversity, colour and freshness.


Creme of Mushroom Soup

Rachel’s Creme of Mushroom Soup

Eat Right With Rachel

This is the first recipe from guest blogger Rachel Kashi who specialises in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food; often quoted as being the healthiest in the world. Here’s Rachel:

“Hi my name is Rachel I grew up in the Mediterranean I just love the different cuisines: Algerian salads, Moroccan lemon chicken, to french Qoq au vin. Healthy eating is tasty eating! I love herbs and I use many spices. I hope my food will Inspire you to cook and try new dishes. My first dish today is heart-warming soup which will be great on a cold winter day for lunch or dinner.”


Two packs or 15 medium chestnut mushrooms white or brown

2 Shallots

3 medium potatoes

50ml Single cream or 1/2 cup of milk for less calories

4 ltr Chicken or veg stock

2 Garlic Cloves

1 Boiled Egg for each person

2 tbs All purpose flour

5 Allspice

2 Bay Leaves

1/2 Pinch fresh or dried Taragon

Salt and black pepper to taste

Fresh parsley to garnish


Slice mushrooms thinly keep aside

Slice potato into small cubes (1 square cm )and keep in cold water so not to brown. Slice shallots.

Put olive oil and one table spoon of butter to the deep soup pot

Fry shallots on low heat and cover with lid for half a minute. Add the cubed potatoes, chopped or sliced garlic,herbs & sliced mushrooms, toss and simmer on low heat until mushrooms cook a little 2 min or so.

Add the stock cover and cook for further 8-10 min until potato cubes done. Boil the eggs until hard keep in the warm water.

Add flour easiest is to put flour into a cup add cold water, mix until no lamps showing and pit into the soup stirring faster until flour dissolved. to thickness you like.

Half a cup of single cream or the milk stir add salt and pepper to tase

Serve hot

add the egg last to each bowl.

Garnish with fresh chopped parsley

Cut large rustic bread of any kind


Serves 4

Preparation time: 15min

Cooking time: 15 min

Suitable for vegetarians

Serve with rustic bread


Fegato Alla Inglese

Fanny Sprocket’s English Style Italian Liver


  • 200gm liver of choice
  • 3 pork & bramley apple sausages. If regular sausages cut up half a small apple into small squares (the fruitiness really helps)
  • 5 medium to large onions
  • Splash of available wine


  • Dice onions into strips
  • Fry initially high temperature until sizzling then down to lowest possible temperature
  • Put a lid on and leave at least half an hour and even better one hour
  • Cut liver into bite size strips
  • Cut sausages into small chunks
  • Add flour if you want juice thicker
  • Empty pot of onions and then add liver and sausages
  • Fry high temperature for 2 minutes until done
  • Empty into same container as onions
  • Add splash or three of available wine to absorb residue from frying. Some scrapping may be necessary. If no wine carry on – it’s still good.
  • Put onions and meat back into pot and simmer for at least 10 minutes
  • Add flour if you want juice thicker
  • Salt, pepper and whatever else you fancy to taste

Dish Philosophy

This is a version of popular Italian dish: fegato alla veneziana which is often served with sauteed potatoes. The apple (you can try other fruits) balances the taste of the liver. I serve with mashed potato and lots of vegetables al dente. It works with just about everything though: rice, pasta, couscous, cold vegetables, salad, etc, etc.