Archive: Mar 2010

  1. Jamie in the US

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    Jamie Oliver is having a tough time of it at the moment. He’s over in the US trying to educate people in Huntingdon, West Virginia that what they are eating is slowly killing them. They have not responded well, and have misunderstood his intentions. Because he has a British accent (we know its cockney) they have assumed he lives in a castle with a butler which is grossly unfair. After a disastrous interview with David Letterman it seems he is now fairing better with the help of Oprah and Ryan Seacrest, who is producing his show.

    Rod Willis, the local DJ in Huntingdon accused him of exploiting their town for money but has since become a convert after Jamie took him to see the local funeral parlour, where there is a growing trade for coffins for the obese. (please check out the picture of this at:

    He had a tough crowd over here, but nothing can compare to the US where the kids still put their hands up when asked if they wanted to eat a burger full of the most vile leftover bits of carcass. Middle America is really in trouble. Families are surrounded and hemmed in by fast food chains, full of addictive additives and education is minimal. This is a tough ask for any one to attempt. For those who have watched Food Inc, you will understand the problems facing someone to even attempt to try to turn the nations health around.

  2. Tesco in Meads

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    I am thrilled to see the Tesco in Meads completely empty of people. I know I can’t ask people not to shop there, but please keep supporting our free range butcher, our greengrocer and our Co-op. In fact I can ask – please don’t shop at Tesco in Meads – we love our community up here and let’s hope it continues like this, then maybe they will just go away and we can get a shop that we really need up here. A Tesco store closing down through lack of support and customers – how wonderful would that be…!

  3. Jewish chicken soup

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    For those feeling low with the cold virus at the moment here’s an original jewish chicken soup recipe. I did my own yesterday, boiling a free range chicken carcass, adding 12 cloves of garlic, one onion, celery, carrots, ginger and bit of potato – it was fantastic. The original versions of chicken soup do have antibiotic like qualities which is why its a staple for most families when they are sick. The recipes are often handed down from generation to generation and vary with each family. You really can’t go wrong with your own version though – using any vegetables you have to hand, some garlic etc will work too.

    Jewish chicken soup
    serves 6 to 8
    1 large chicken, about 3 pounds, with giblets
    1 large onion, stuck with 2 cloves
    2 carrots, sliced
    1 bunch (about 8 ounces) fresh parsley
    2 large white turnips, quartered
    1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon white pepper

    1. Scald the chicken by pouring boiling water over it inside and out. Put the chicken into a stew pot or Dutch oven. Add water to cover and place pot over high heat. Bring the water to a boil, skimming off the foam as it accumulates. When the water boils, reduce the heat and add the vegetables. Cover the pot and simmer for 3 hours over very low heat.

    2. Remove the chicken from the pot and serve it separately or cut it into serving pieces and add it to soup just before serving.

    3. Strain the soup, discarding the vegetables. Wipe the surface with a paper towel to soak up excess fat. Or, better still, cool the soup, refrigerate it, and remove the fat which will have solidified on top; then reheat soup.

    4. Taste soup, and add the seasonings before serving

  4. Sophie Dahl and James Wong

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    Despite being slated this morning I really enjoyed Sophie Dahl’s new cookery programme. The food wasn’t so sugary as Nigella’s and she does bring a different angle to cooking. I loved the lunch of fennel and yellow courgette salad with buffallo mozzeralla on sourdough bread and the halibut supper looked great. Also the soundtrack was pretty good as well!

    Also good to see James Wong back with his How To Grow Your Own Drugs. Am going to try his moth repellant over the weekend.

  5. Ingredients in the new KFC Krushem

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    Last week MacDonalds, this week KFC. Here are the listed ingredients of the new Caramel Crunch Krushem. (how I love it when they use a K when a C would be the appropriate letter!)

    Semi skimmed milk, sugar, butter, skimmed milk powder, dried glucose syrup, emulsifier E477, E471, stabilisers, E466, E412, E407, E451, caramel sauce, glucose syrup, caramelised sugar syrup, sweetened condensed milk, flavour, colours, paprika and caramel, honeycomb pieces (sugar glucose, vegetable fat, maize starch, raising agent E500).

    Apart from the fact that there is actually something called sweetened condensed milk (isn’t the whole point of condensed milk that it is filled with sugar anyway?) the amount of sugar in this… well it beggars belief to be honest. What is the point of top surgeons wanting a ban on butter, and the government wanting to ban smoking in doorways when this diabetes -in- a paper cup is allowed to be made.

  6. McDonalds meal that doesn’t go off

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    This article (see link below) shouldn’t surprise you. If it does you are being slightly naive in buying into the new image Mcdonalds is trying to show us. A happy meal was kept by a mother for one year and it is still in tact – take a look at the list of ingredients and the picture of the burger.–gone-off.html

    I was talking to a mother yesterday and she had been persuaded that the new image Mcdonalds was far better for you. Their adverts have oldie woldie music and kids running around on farms looking healthy. The reality is far removed from this idyllic picture. They advertise their burgers as 100% meat as if we should be grateful. What other percentage should it be? The additives in the food are still there and in my mind the food is not “real”. It is still junk food. Think very carefully before you eat this stuff and give it to your kids. It’s not really a treat is it? Try fish and chips instead.

  7. In praise of the chip

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    There is something so extraordinary about potato hitting sizzling fat. To me its a food wonder of the world.

    In the UK, fish and chips became a popular cheap food among the working classes with the development of trawl fishing in the North Sea in the 1860’s. The first fish and chip shop was opened in London by Jewish proprietor Joseph Malin who bought together fish fried in the Jewish fashion” with chips. The British usually serve thicker slabs of potato than the french fries popularised by major multinational U.S. hamburger chains, resulting in a lower fat content per portion. Cooking fat penetrates a relatively shallow depth into the potato during cooking, thus the surface area reflects the fat content proportionally. Thick chips have a smaller surface area per unit weight than French fries and thus absorb less oil per weight of potato. Chips also require a somewhat longer cooking time than fries.

    Most of the fish and chip outlets in Eastbourne serve thick chips, its only McDonalds, KFC and Burger King that serve the thin high fat french fries. Why am I banging on about chips on a friday afternoon? Well I’m not overly enthusiastic about the phrase government crackdown on fish and chip shops. Government crackdown on crime perhaps. The government should be targeting the multinational companies not the independants. Making a chip slightly larger is not going to get anywhere near bringing down heart disease and the obesity epidemic. As usual, targeted crackdowns in the wrong areas. Leave fish and chips alone – to us British they are like a nice cup of tea – the food backbone of our nation!

  8. How to successfully lose weight without dieting

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    Over the last twelve years, hundreds of people have come through my doors wanting to lose weight. I have listened to their stories of weight loss programmes, fad diets, shakes, weightwatchers, soup diets, lighterlife, slimming world, starving and binging. In the end it comes down to treating the individual in a way that looks at their particular lifestyle, health issues and metabolism. There are the lucky few that do lose a lot of weight on fad diets, but the majority pile it back on and the sense of failure only succeeds in worsening self esteem.

    Isn’t it better to completely forget the word diet, and go for a more upbeat phrase like “lifestyle change”. This implies you are in it for the long haul and more importantly, it has to be achieveable. You should never feel hungry or get cravings, your body should be well and vital. Your nutrient intake should be high and the quality of your food the best you can afford.

    Earlier this year a woman came to see me and started crying when she told me that her friend had lost 3 stone doing a shake diet and she hadn’t lost anything. She couldn’t maintain the 500 calorie a day programme, she felt ill and faint but more importantly she felt a failure. I assured her that it was a near impossible feat to live off that fewer calories when she had bad blood sugar control and a very stressful life. Nearly three months on, she has lost two stone with me and is amazed at how much food she is eating. Here’s what she has to say:

    “Since January Kate has asked me to eat five times a day combining protein with carbohydrate. I have never felt so full, but not in a bad way. She also put me on probiotics which has sorted out my bloating so my stomach feels flatter. What I have noticed apart from the weight loss and which I’m actually more pleased about is far greater energy and enthusiasm with life. I don’t get crashes in blood sugar any more, my headaches have cleared up and my whole attitude to food has changed. I was also really confused about food labelling and foods marketed for weight loss. Kate and I had an hysterical hour in Sainsburys as she took me around and really opened my eyes as to what to eat – it was a lot of fun and I learned so much. Whereas before it would be bottom of my list of priorities, I now go without other things so I can put my family’s health first. Our weekly food shop has completely changed. At first I was scared that it would cost so much more, but actually its about the same. As Kate told me when I saw her its a lifestyle change not something that lasts a couple of months and I’m so grateful that at last I have something that is achievable to do for not only myself but my family” .

  9. High St food allergy tests mislead consumers

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    There was an interesting article recently in the Times about high street food allergy tests. I have to tell you this is a hot topic for me. I am so tired of patients coming to me having wasted their precious money on quasi medical tests telling them they have food allergies when they don’t. Holland and Barratt et al are marketing something that obviously has a demand but needs to be dealt with by someone who knows what they are talking about. The no wheat, no dairy epidemic has caught the imagination of anyone who has IBS. It’s such a small quantity of the population who really have problems with these two food groups and unless you really are coeliac or lactose intolerant, they are two huge food groups to omit from your daily diet. They are also extremely expensive and often give the same results – I know because my patients bring them in for me to look at. Yeast, MSG, coffee, wheat, gluten and cows milk are the most common foods that are flagged as so called “allergies” and it’s just not that simple.

    As I keep saying in my blog, it is the state of your bowel that is paramount. This should be addressed before you start looking at allergies. If your digestion is working correctly, you have enough gut flora etc your reasons for bloating may not be that piece of bread you ate for breakfast.

    Be very careful when considering high street allergy tests. This is an area where you can waste a lot of money unnecessarily. I would be really interested to hear your comments about this and let me know what tests you have tried.