Tiffany Writes

Tiffany Writes: Stuart, I have not seen any posts on your Blog for awhile and am concerned that your bereavement Counselling is not going well.

I have just returned from evening Dance class in Eastbourne and I shared my concerns with the class. We have had a whip round and have decided to hire a minibus to come up and see you.

My good friend Horatio Fellatio, our male choreographer,  has even offered to drive as he is very interested in attending your weekly aviation class with all those pilots.

Stuart writes: Don’t bother.

I have moved house and, by the way, my weekly class is not with Pilots but is a Pilates class. Horatio would be severely disappointed.

Take your minibus to Brighton…


Tiffany Writes

Tiffany Writes:

Stuart, I have just got back from my latest Dance class in Eastbourne and have read about your horrible loss. I am heartbroken, as I am sure you are.

Needless to say, I have some marvelous grieving lotion that I could apply (by hand). All it would take would be a quick trip to the south coast. Hopefully, see you soon.

Stuart writes: There is no such thing as “Grieving Lotion”  – and may I remind you of your Restraining Order !!

Bugger Off…..

Good Bye, God Bless – Julie

For those unable to attend Julie’s Funeral – My Eulogy to her

Goodnight Sweetheart – Sleep Well………………

It was a dark and stormy night the first time that I met Jules on Dec 9th 2009. We immediately clicked.

After a couple of more dates she invited me to her house for Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day.

As it turns out it was a truly memorable meal, because it was the only one that she has ever cooked for me.

She would often say that her main forte in the kitchen was “warming things up”.

If there was a TV programme called “The Great British Warmer Upperer” –she would win it hands down.

Fortunately for us , it snowed like Billy ho that Christmas . Roads were blocked and so on, and to cut  a long story short  I went to Julies for Christmas Day Lunch and didn’t leave till the middle of January.

From that day forward we were inseparable.

18 months later we got the news ……………


We would have several high powered meetings to discuss medical matters with the Cancer team at Christies (the top Cancer Hospital in the North of England)

Which was great…

After every meeting I would ask Jules  “What did you think of that ?”

She would invariably say “What a bunch of Knobheads, they have no idea what they are talking about.”

She was her own woman

From the start, she point blank refused radiation, chemotherapy and drugs such as Tamoxofin to treat her illness on the basis that it would ruin her immune system and stop her living life to the full, in the time that she had left.

The pressure to conform to the norm was enormous.  But she stood her ground and I supported her tooth and nail. We became a formidable team and we completely changed our lifestyle.


Instead she choose to ……………..

  • Juice
  • Organic
  • No Sugar
  • No chemicals etc

And just build up her body to fight this insidious illness and live the best life that we possibly could,

And so we did.

We knew that the clock was ticking. Her only regret was that we would not have the luxury of an old age together.

So we decided to sod everything and have our old age right now .


So we retired and decided to travel

  • Germany
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Russia
  • Norway (Nul point)
  • Finland
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Portugal – six times
  • Spain
  • Greece
  • France – drove to the south of France twice with the caravan and the dogs
  • Belgium
  • Holland
  • Austria
  • Bosnia
  • Slovenia
  • Canada
  • Malta (Douze points)
  • Germany
  • Canada
  • Alaska in the US
  • Florida in the US
  • The Caribbean including amongst others …………
  • Grenada
  • Puerto Rico
  • St Kitts and Nevis


  • And last but not least
  • Garstang ………..


Garstang was one of the first places that we tried out what Julie would  call our “Caravan of Luurve”

You know ……. “Don’t come knocking, if the Caravan’s a Rocking” !!!!

We had endless happy weekends and, indeed weeks, with our camping buddies, her cousin Corinne and Ian and other great folks that we met along the way.


She was always happy around cars, lorries and transport in general.

She was Cab Happy as she would say.

Just last September we went to Croatia to meet up with our Canadian friends

Normal people would go to Manchester Airport, get on a plane and Relax.  Not our Jules ….

Oh No – We were going to drive …

She said all we have to do is drive through Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Bosnia and we will be there …..!!!!

I could never win – and off we trolled

Her love of transport was enhanced by being Manager at Leach Transport and latterly working with Mark and John at RMS . She absolutely adored working with all of you.

She was practical too. I remember once we were going to see our fabulous holistic people in Shropshire and we had a tyre blow out in the fast lane on the M6 at half past seven in the morning, which is not the best place to be.

We managed to get onto the hard shoulder .

She said “Don’t Panic, Just keep hold of the F ing Dog” and within seven minutes she had changed the tyre and we were off.

It was like watching  a Formula one pit stop

On the transport theme her favourite perfume was not Chanel or Dior but “Eau de Diesel” .

If i was feeling lucky , a couple of dabs of Esso Blue behind my ears at night and we were off …..

Too much information ……….I know


Another One of Julie’s characteristics was that she was selfless at helping other people.

In fact, one of the many cards that I received reflects that part of her personality. It was from someone that I don’t know and have never met.

It read:

“She was one in ten million, or more. What a wonderful person Julie was. She looked after me when I got into a right bloody mess on drink. She took me under her wing. That‘s the sort of person she was.


Not only was Julie widely respected in Rochdale, she also cast her smile across the globe. Today, there are people who cannot be here from Vancouver to Sydney and places in between who have told me that they will be wearing Red in her honour.

She had a special bond with her Canadian friends with whom we had many fantastic, exotic and boisterous times. In fact I can share with you an Email from her special Canadian friend Sandra.

It reads:

“I am so sorry that I am not able to deal with what is happening

I believe that Julie knows how much I love her and know that you are the support that she wishes.

She is an amazing woman that i have had the honour of being close to. We have shared so many memories and tons of love. Over the last passing months I have reminisced with laughter and tears .

She has an enormous place in my heart. I love her ….and always will ….today, tomorrow and always…..”


I met Julie on the basis of a huge smile that she posted on the internet.

A smile that would melt my heart, and a lot of others who crossed paths with her.

That smile completely changed both of our lives.

We became best friends, lovers and ended up with the perfect marriage.

It was perfect because we ticked all the boxes to which we agreed on New Year’s Eve 2011 when we got married.

We agreed to be:

  • For richer – we did that
  • For poorer – we did that
  • In sickness – we did that
  • In Health – we did that
  • Till Death us do part

It’s the last one that I’m not too keen on, but thanks Jules for being perfect.

Love You

God Bless




Tiffany Writes:

Tiffany Writes:

Stuart, I have just read your blog about Julie coming home.I have just come back home from my first Dance class in Eastbourne after being released from the Unit. My good friend Horatio Fellatio was fantastic and visited me every week, and those rumours about me in the storeroom are complete LIES .

The tag ruins my leggings, though

How is the bulge in your leggings? I hope it is under control. Maybe you could come down to Eastbourne and we could do some “planking”.

Speak soon.

Stuart writes: I thought that you had a restraining order.I will be writing to the warden soon.

Julie is Home ….

In 2011 when Julie was first diagnosed with cancer the medics gave her about three years life expectancy as long as she did chemo, radiation and took the drugs that they prescribed.

We had both seen friends of ours suffer badly and ultimately succumb the prescribed regime.

Cancer is a bit of a bitch. When you get medical professionals telling you this sort of thing you can either tow the party line, or do your own thing.

The tipping point for us came quite early on in the diagnosis.

Jules said to me “Look…, the one thing about all of this is that we won’t be able to live long and enjoy our old age together.”

So we decided to have our old age together NOW !!

The outcome was to eschew medical opinions and crack on with a healthy alternative lifestyle in order to get the absolute best out of the time that you have left.

At the same time knowing that the clock is ticking.

With that in mind we said “No conventional medicine ! “Thank you”, we are off on our own journey”.

As a result, we packed in our jobs and downsized our lives as well as changing our nutrition and surroundings to the healthiest lifestyle that we could muster.

We then embarked on a series of adventures, the least of which were “great” and the best of which were “absolutely fabulous”.

Our latest excursion took place in Sept 2016 when we arranged to meet our Canadian friends at a villa in Croatia. They would fly in from Toronto and we would meet them in Croatia.

Simple …..? No … !!!

Julie decided that it would be a good idea to drive, which when you think about it is not a bad idea because you get to see the length of Europe.

As it turns out, it was a fantastic drive through Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Bosnia and Croatia with some wonderful scenery.

After a four day drive we arrived at a fantastic villa that our Canadian friends had arranged for us to stay in for a week or so.

It was excellent !!  Perfect !!

We had a great day catching up with our great friends and exploring the local area which was exceptional.

The next day, we got a ferry from our waterfront villa to the island of Korcula. A famous Croatian landmark. As we walked down to the ferry Jules said “I don’t want to worry anyone, but I am peeing blood”

Not  …… “I have blood in my pee”……..But, “I am peeing blood..!!”

There is a not a subtle difference. This opinion was confirmed by the only Medic on Korcula Island who diagnosed a ferry ride and then a two hour trip the nearest hospital in Dubrovnik.

This was like having a major medical incident in Manchester and then being told that if you wanted to be treated you would have to drive yourself to Birmingham, or beyond, on the off chance that a Doctor would be available.

That drive was the most stressful event I think that I have ever endured. Our villa was on a peninsula called Peljesac and the drive involved two hours of twisty tourney cliff roads. Just like the ones that are on Top Gear and James bond films. However, when Julie was in utter, utter agony and throwing up on the back seat (plus, we did not know where the hospital was) my stress levels were unbelievably high.

In fact, when we were high in the mountain region of the peninsula. I thought that she had passed away on the back seat of the car.

Fortunately, she hadn’t and by the time that we had got to Dubrovnik had recovered consciousness and was able to guide me to the hospital by lying on the back seat and using the Map App by saying “Left, Left, Right, Right, You’ve gone wrong you pillock !!!”

All because she wasn’t able to sit up and look through the car window.

We got to Dubrovnik “A and E” hospital in the end. A 1950’s communist grey breeze block building, if ever I saw one !! Something straight out of a film set. Steel shutter doors, dim lit corridors, or, indeed, unlit corridors. But fabulous nursing staff… !!!

After a lengthy assessment in A and E the medics decided that kidney stones were the problem and that Jules had to be admitted to the main hospital.

What a joy that was. A trip back in time to 1960’s Communist Yugoslavia!!

By this time, it was 10.00 pm and there was absolutely no way that I was going to drive back to P. Two hours on unlit coastal roads with no co-pilot was not the best idea in the world, so we decided that I should check into a hotel in downtown Dubrovnik.

This was one of those weird situations where you check into a hotel in a foreign town that you haven’t a clue where you are, in the middle of the night, with just the clothes that you stand up in, shorts and Tee shirt !!

After three days and a load of intrusive tests , the Croatian medics decided that the issue was nothing to do with her cancer but was a kidney stone episode. We were happy with that diagnosis and after three days we drove back to the villa with Jules pretty much restored to full health apart from a dull ache in and around her hip.

The rest of the time in Croatia went swimmingly (apart from me having to go to Hospital in Split for one day – but that is another story !!!!)

Julie’s dull hip ache did not really go away, but we managed to spend the rest of our holiday with our Canadian buddies and pretty much shared the driving back from the Balkan States to catch our ferry from Rotterdam to the UK.

We landed in England on the Wednesday morning and drove home for a quick turn-around so that we could drive down to the South of England for a pre arranged Reunion with my University mates. Another 400 mile round trip !!!.

By this time, Julie’s hip pain was getting a lot stronger and spreading around her back and ribcage.

Those damned kidney stones, we presumed.

The following week Julie’s kidney stone pain becomes increasingly intolerable. We had always had a code of “How is the pain?” based on a score of 0 to 10. Zero was, obviously, no pain; to ten which meant “Call an ambulance NOW !!!! ”

As the week progressed the pain hovered between five and sevenish.  On the Thursday night I knew it was a ten, but Jules said it was a seven so I had to abide by her score.

Come Friday morning, she immediately had to admit that it was a ten …..!!!!She was in unbearable agony and no matter what we did could not even get her out of bed, let alone get her dressed or downstairs, it was desperate measures.

Oh shit….!!! It was phone 999 time which is a phone number that you do not take likely nor often in your lifetime.

I called the Emergency Operator and gave her all the details asking for an ambulance, without delay, because Julie was in great pain and distress and that I could not get her out of bed because of:

  • “Breast Cancer”
  • “Spinal Cancer and Spinal Compression”
  • “Immobility and Acute Pain “
  • “Nausea etc……”

After answering the standard operator questions, she said, and I quote:

“I’m afraid that the computer says that your wife does not need an Ambulance and should go to her GP in due course for assessment.”

I went fucking ballistic….!!!

After a few more acutely pointed phone conversations with the emergency services a very very kindly trio of paramedics arrived and, with appropriate pain relief, finally managed to extricate Julie from the bedroom and onwards to be admitted to the EAU (Emergency Assessment Unit) at Salford Royal Hospital in Manchester.

To cut a very long story short, the CT scan showed that Julie’s pain was nothing to do with kidney stones whatsoever. In fact, her cancer had spread to her liver, pelvis and further down her spine into the lumber region. The cancer had caused her lumbar vertebrae to crumble and compress her spinal nerves.

However, the big, hitherto unknown issue was that there was a massive tumour at the top of Julie’s femur (Thigh Bone) which, if she was to put any pressure on, would fracture forthwith. The medics, immediately, confined her to bed until they;

  1. Dealt with her acute pain  issues,
  2. Figured out what to do with her hip,
  3. Controlled the crumbling spine.
  4. Identified anything else that needed sorting out.

For the next two weeks or so Julie was confined to bed in the Spinal Unit whilst the Pain Relief Team figured out what the correct dose of Morphine and other heavy duty shit was needed to get her, at least, comfortable.

Nothing worked.

Eventually, after a couple of weeks, someone in the “Bright Spark Dept.” decided that the way forward was to give Jules a Total Hip Replacement so that her femur wouldn’t fracture and that it would remove the cancer eating into the bone at the top of her thigh. This was a good plan apart from the fact that it would not stop the agony of having a compressed spine. Unfortunately, it made sense to do the total hip replacement to at least give Julie a chance to stand up once again.

Without it, she never would.

Our concern was that, after the hip job, she would still have the spinal pain in addition to the post operative pain from her hip replacement. Furthermore, she would have to wait a couple of weeks to recover before the spine team could swoop in and perform their magic. Normally, nowadays, they get you up and walking about after a hip replacement, but in this case that would be impossible because of the agonising spinal cancers.

As a consequence, she would lose what is considered to be vital physiotherapy because she had to wait for a couple of weeks by lying in bed waiting for the Spinal Team to come up with their cunning plan.

Needless to say, Julie was duly prepped and “Nil by Mouth” for the Hip Op. Everything was going to plan until about mid afternoon when the Op was cancelled because some poor woman had decided to throw herself from a Motorway Bridge over the M57 on the morning of Jules’ operation. Salford Royal is the trauma hospital for the central Manchester area so the surgeon who was scheduled to give Julie her new Hip had to piece together this poor lady. At around 3.00pm the surgeon called off the Op which knocked everything back for a few days before the Op eventually took place.

More pain and frustration.

After another couple of weeks the Spinal Ninja Team decided to apply themselves to Julie’s vertebrae and their calculated plan was to inject her cancerous vertebrae with cement. That would be two measures of sand, one of cement and a tablespoon of calcium for bone stability.

It would now be a month of Julie lying on her back looking at the ceiling and all the various indignities that go with that.

It would be a further two weeks or so before a complete meltdown meant that something positive had to be done. During that time, just to add to the fun, a poor old dear with complete dementia was put onto the ward. Six other ladies, including Julie, in varying states of recovery were then subjected to 36 hours of continuous screaming.

When I say screaming, I mean the sort of screaming that means that you cannot hear what someone is saying across a hospital bed, a distance of some four or five feet.

There is nothing like a challenge to recovery and that is only the thin end of the story but it would be unfair to delve into that.

After a further two weeks had elapsed the tipping point occurred.

In our minds, potentially, there was no end to the daily, weekly, monthly cycle of medical routines. Julie was very upset, to say the least.

So we asked the medics “What would it take to get out of here?”

Having asked the question, we duly overcame the various obstacles within a few days and Julie come home to admittedly little fanfare and some trepidation on my part as the main nurse, cook and washer upperer.

On 29th November 2016 Julie came home after six, or so, horrendous weeks in hospital under the care of the Spinal Team, Oncologists, Orthopaedics, Medical Team and the Palliative Care Wallahs all of whom were brilliant in their own idiosyncratic ways.

The next month was brilliant.

No pain to speak of, full mobility and a generally “normal” life.

On New Year’s Eve (Our Wedding Anniversary) the old pain kicked in again.

That Cancer is a Bitch.

So I spent New Year’s Day going from Palliative Care Team to Emergency Doctor to find a Pharmacy that was open and also stocked a particular type of Morphine.

A New Year challenge that I didn’t expect to have to do so soon.


For anyone who thinks that just because Julie is out of hospital that she is “better”.

Far from it……

However, we will regroup and rethink.

Somehow and from somewhere bright ideas will come forth and ever onward…………………………….

Got Gout ? Sort it out…

The Ideal Diet for Gout Patients

Eliminate these foods from your diet.

  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup

HFRC is found in processed items such as breakfast cereals, ice cream, fizzy pop, fruit juices, and sports drinks. Removing this from your diet is crucial because it’s known to pave the way for the onset of gout.

High blood sugar levels, an outcome of eating fructose-loaded food, are the root cause of inflammation.

High-fructose corn syrup affects your uric acid levels

  • High-Purine Food

When you eat something with purine, the body breaks it down, and uric acid is formed. Some examples of high-purine foods include offal, red meats, shellfish, anchovies, herring, mushrooms, asparagus, cauliflower, kidney beans, lentils, spinach, peas, and whole wheat grains

  • Processed Food

Apart from high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives and additives are added to processed food, making them nutritionally deficient and setting you up for a gout attack.

  • Alcohol

increases your blood uric acid levels.

  • Soy Milk

Avoid drinking soy milk if you have gout. Research has shown that uric acid levels were elevated by about 10 percent if you drink soy milk.

Absolute Musts in a Gout Diet

The main rule of thumb for any healthy diet (not just for gout patients) is to eat whole, ideally organic, and locally grown food, and none of the processed and artificial items that are common today. Some of the best choices if you have gout are

  • Organic Cherries and Strawberries

These fruits contain two powerful antioxidents called anthocyanins and bioflavonoids that slow down the enzymes Cyclo-oxygenase-1 and -2.

This results in pain relief from gout.Strawberries have antioxidants that combat free radicals and assist the body in eliminating uric acid. Just make sure to eat these berries in moderation, since they have fructose that can be harmful if eaten excessively.

  • Healthy Fats

Replace non-vegetable carbohydrates with sufficient amounts of healthy monounsaturated fats. Your best bets include coconuts and coconut oil, avocados organic butter, olives, olive oil, and raw nuts such as macademias walnuts, and pecans.  This type of fat is reliable in regulating your insulin and leptin levels. Add animal-based omega-3 fats like krill oil to your diet as well.

Omega-3’s are extremely helpful for people who have gout, because the production of compounds called resolvins and protectins by the fat aids in controlling inflammation. Plus, krill oil is known to fight inflammation-related disorders.

  • Therapeutic Herbs

Therapeutic herbs such as ginger, cinnamon, rosemary, tumeric and ashwagandha work well in reducing the pain brought about by gout, because they are powerful anti-inflammatories.

  • Potassium-Rich Food

Potassium found in fruits and vegetables, neutralizes uric acid found in your urine and encourages your body to excrete this acid.

Green vegetable juice, avocados, papayas, brussel sprouts  Swiss chard, and broccoli are excellent sources of potassium. You can also consider taking the best potassium source for supplementation called potassium bicarbonate.

  • Pure Water

Pure water is the best drink for people with gout, since it helps your body with detoxification. This is a process that your blood, kidneys, and liver undergo wherein they flush out waste products and toxins (uric acid is an example) from your body. In effect, this lessens the amount of uric acid in your system, reducing your risk of uric acid build-up and gout.

Gratitude – Is it a Load of Bollocks ?

For the second time this year I have just returned from a three day “retreat” which involved a lot of exercise and “wellbeing” malarkey.

For the second time this year also, during one of the talks, the course leader presented us with her view on “Gratitude” which she maintains has helped her through periods of (deep) depression.

To be honest, I had not thought much about this concept until quite recently. It dawned on me on the back of what she said that there is a link between health and gratitude.

So, I had a bit of a think and decided that she had something in this idea because

  • People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions and less anxiety, sleep better and have better heart health
  • Your sense of gratitude can be strengthened with practice. Ways to cultivate gratitude include keeping a gratitude journal, prayer, meditation, writing thank you notes and non-verbal actions like smiling and hugging.

A cursory surf on the Internet about whether gratitude can influence your health found that according to a number of studies, the answer is almost certainly yes !!

“If [thankfulness] were a drug, it would be the world’s best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system.”

Americans have once-a-year gratitude ritual of Thanksgiving; the Brits have a Harvest Festival which is better than nothing.

However, if you’re serious about your wellbeing, it would be good to increase the frequency at which you feel and express gratitude to a daily basis. Because, people who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions less anxiety, sleep better and generally have better health.

In fact, gratitude can produce measurable effects on a number of systems in your body, including:

  • Mood – Serotonin
  • Inflammatory and immune systems
  • Reproductive hormones (testosterone)
  • Stress Levels (cortisol)
  • Social bonding (oxytocin)
  • Blood pressure and heart rhythm (adrenalin)
  • Pleasure (dopamine)
  • Blood sugar – stress (Cortisol again)

While there are as many reasons to be thankful as there are people in the world, one fact of life that many often forget to be thankful for (until it is too late) is their health.

We tend to take our health for granted until we’re suddenly in the throes of pain or chronic illness.

The old adage that it’s really the little things that matter most, and if you are grateful for the little things, it will bring a more deep-seated sense of happiness. After all, if you have good health and all your mental faculties intact, you also have the basics for doing something about unpleasant  situations in your life.

I now think of a sense of gratitude as a muscle which can be strengthened with practice. One way that Sally (the instructor) harnessed the positive power of gratitude was to keep a gratitude journal where she wrote down what she was grateful for each day.

My internet research found that people who kept a gratitude journal reported exercising more, and had fewer visits to the doctor compared to those who focused on sources of aggravation.

I also read in a recent Huffington Post article that creating a nightly gratitude ritual can be a powerful strategy and I quote from that:

“My colleague has a bedtime routine with her [3-year-old] and it includes recognizing what you are grateful for. When this part of the night comes, you can’t shut him up,”  

“There are so many things that we take for granted and when you listen to the long list that a child can come up with you realize the possibilities for gratefulness are limitless!

Take a couple minutes each day to stop and reflect; taking regular pause is an excellent way to bring about more feelings of gratefulness in your life.”

Avoiding getting sucked into bad news is the other side of this equation. You may have to limit your media exposure from time to time if you find it difficult to maintain a positive outlook in the face of terrible headlines.

Personally, I have, for some time now, absolutely avoided people who I call “Energy Vampires”. They just seem to drain the positive life force from you. So if you are an Energy Vampire, go suck the life force out of someone else !!

Some other ways of getting the gratitude habit would include;

  • Write thank you notes: Whether in response to a gift or kind act, or simply as a show of gratitude for someone being in your life. Getting into the habit of writing thank-you letters can help express gratitude in addition to simply feeling it inside.
  • Smile: Smiles and hugs, both of which can express a wide array of messages, from encouragement and excitement to empathy and support.
  • Thank You: It’s so easy to say please and thank you in passing, these courtesies are powerful when combined with eye contact and sincerity.  Equally, when people are ignorant enough to not respond to you please or thank you, it is perfectly acceptable to show your feelings by giving them the finger or a sharp punch on the nose.
  • Prayer and mindfulness: Expressing thanks during prayer or meditation is another tip. Practicing “mindfulness” means that you’re actively paying attention to the moment you’re in right now.

You can also focus on something that you’re grateful for, such as a pleasant smell, a cool breeze, or a good memory.

  • Tap gratitude: The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is another helpful tool. EFT is a form of psychological acupressure based on the meridians used in acupuncture.

It’s an effective way to quickly restore your inner balance and healing and helps rid your mind of negative thoughts and emotions.

Last but not least, I’m grateful for YOU reading this blurb. If I were not passionate about improving health and wellbeing, there would be no point in any of this.

Sharing simple strategies that have a powerful effect on health is my passion. The fact that you are reading this fills me with gratitude.

It’s what makes this blog worthwhile.

End of Message



I am just back from another three day Juice Retreat in Morecambe with the formidable Sally Wilkinson. While I was there I had a brief conversation with some of the other guests about the benefits of Bone Broth

So before I forget, here are some updated reasons why bone broth is good for you, and the Recipe.

But you will need to read until the end for that….

Here you go ………………..

Bone broth has been used as food and in healing remedies for a long time in traditional remedies throughout the world.

Bone broth is bones and water, simmered for between 1½ and 48 hours. Essentially it is bone soup. No more, no less.

Today, health experts talk about why this traditional broth is the best way to stay healthy. They use exciting terms such as superfood, anti-ageing, gut healing and energizing.

Basically, there are a few reasons to make bone broth (as well as being cheap and easy to make)

  1. It helps to heal a leaky gut.

The gelatin in broth protects and heals the mucous lining of your digestive system as well as helping the process of digestion itself.

  1. Bone Formation

The Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorous in bone broth help bones to grow and repair.

  1. Fights infection – Colds and Flu

Having Bone Broth during a respiratory infection reduces the number of white blood cells, which are the little buggers that start flu and cold symptoms (allegedly)..

  1. Collagen

Collagen holds the body together. It makes up bones, teeth, tendons, ligaments, joints and cartilage, and is a key element for hair, skin and nails. It strengthens muscles, helps cell growth and supports your digestive system.

The greatest advantage of bone broth is that it’s a source of collagen, which has been broken down into gelatin, which you can easily digest and absorb.

Three types of collagen are in:

  1. Bones, tendons, ligaments and skin,
  2. Cartilage,
  3. Skin, muscle and bone marrow.

Why is this important? You normally produce collagen on a day to day basis, but after about you are  20, its production begins to decline by about 1 per cent each year. This means that when you are 50 you have 30% less natural collagen than when you where ripping it up at 20. !!

This, fact alone, in my view, is a great incentive to replace the ongoing loss of collagen.

It may come as no surprise that, in addition to natural ageing any stress or chronic illness in your life will accelerate the decline of your natural collagen production.

When collagen declines or is somehow defective, some common symptoms are loose, sagging or wrinkled skin; sagging muscles; thin or dry hair and nails; joint issues or brittle bones; and digestive problems.

As animal protein is the only food source of collagen bone broth brings you a great replacement source. Plant foods do not contain collagen, BUT foods high in vitamins such as C, B complex, A, D and E together with minerals like silicon, sulphur and copper; can all help build collagen.

Besides being good for your skin, collagen affects your digestion in a couple of ways:

Protecting and sealing the intestines. Gelatin lines the walls of your gut and defends against any issues from food or drink, which makes it valuable for improving digestive problems.

When gelatin is combined with other foods, the total nutritional value from your food increases, because of gelatin’s ability to help your body’s digestion.

  1. Nutrients

Bone broth provides nutrients, the cow, or whatever, has already digested them which makes it easier for your body to assimilate them.

The most important nutrients are:

Amino acids – which help to build and repair every tissue and organ in the body. Amino acids contribute to every bodily function, such as its growth and repair, as well as moods, energy, focus and hormone balance. The amino acid Glycine, for example, will help fight inflammation as well as being very calming. A multi tasking amino acid, eh! Well, who would have thought it?

Minerals – Bone broth contains a wide base of easily digested minerals.

Glucosamine – plays a supporting role in connective tissue along with collagen. Essentially lubricates the skin, repairs joints joints, muscles and reduces pain from inflammation.

Vitamins to suit your circumstance– While a basic bone broth only needs a variety of bones and water, you can increase the nutrient value by adding vegetables, herbs and spices. Adding these ingredients allows you to get extra vitamins, minerals and antioxidants into your broth.

Healthy fats – Help provide important vitamins like A, D, E and K.

Here is our basic Recipe for a Chicken bone broth. It is the same principle for a Beef, Lamb, Turkey broth etc depending on your taste.



Put the whole (uncooked) organic chicken in the slow cooker on low heat. – Make sure all feathers removed, otherwise when you eat it makes you go Pff Pfff.

Add two roughly chopped onions and a few roughly chopped cloves of garlic.

Add 1 Litre of Chicken stock. (Organic cubes or rectangles – avoiding anything triangular)

Add a splosh of Apple Cider Vinegar . When it comes to making broth, the vinegar helps leech valuable minerals from the bones into the stock water, which is ultimately what you’ll be eating. I use Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar as it’s unfiltered and unpasteurized. You will not, however, be able to taste the vinegar after cooking. So, there is no danger of “oversploshing”

Squeeze juice of one Lemon over the chicken.

Put lid on and forget about it for 24 hours. No need to stir it, stare at it, sing to it or otherwise boost its self esteem.

At the same time that you put the lid on put two cups of barley, lentils, or split peas – depends on your taste i.e. ONE cup of Barley and One Cup of Split Peas = Two Cups. Cover with water and leave overnight.

After 24 Hours have elapsed (You will know this because it will be the following day) – Creep up on the Chicken and Lentils.

Pour the chicken liquid into a big pot together with the Onions and Garlic.

Add chopped carrots, celery and leeks (minimum – about three of each) to suit into the same big pot of chicken liquid.

Meanwhile de-bone and de-skin the chicken (Chuck these away) . The bones will be mushy by now and will dissolve even more if you miss any. So, there is no need to panic.

We lift away the chicken breasts to use in sandwiches or salads at a later stage, or you can put the whole chicken flesh in if you wish.

The rest of the chicken, you should shred and put into what is now known as “The Big Pot”

Simmer for an hour. (The Broth, not you)

Season to Taste, serve ,eat ,enjoy ,have a nap.  In that order.

Wherever possible all the ingredients should be organic.

The chicken, or whatever bones you use should DEFINITELY be organic or from grass fed livestock, or you are wasting your time, health, money and energy.

Once you have made this basic one you can tweak it to your hearts content.


Good Luck


End of Message

Some Health Advice…

Last week we were talking to a friend of ours who said that her Sister in Law was struggling with a long term illness.

Which gave her food for thought.

The reason being that she was coming up to Retirement age, herself, and wanted to be as fit and healthy as possible to enjoy her retirement and not to struggle through, like her Sister in Law has to do.

She asked for some very simple guidance and pointers as to what she should think about and any books to read and so on. Nothing fancy or complicated just a “Starter Pack” of advice.

So, without any long explanations or scientific hullabaloo I jotted down the following list. In no specific order or priority, each being of value.

The main categories being Food, Drink and Supplements.

Have a read, and take on board what you will.




  • Cut out Sugar in all forms that you can, especially white / brown processed sugar.
  • Get into the habit of glancing at labels of everything you buy to assess sugar content to prevent “hidden sugar” creeping into your diet.
  • NEVER have any food or drink with the words “DIET”, “LITE” or “SUGAR FREE” in the titles. They are full of sugar chemical substitutes. Mainly Aspartame and Ace K and the like.
  • NEVER use sweeteners to add to drinks. Aspartame and Ace K are chemical substitutes which are worse than sugar. If you must sweeten drinks then go for Xylotol or Stevia
  • REFERENCE“I Quit Sugar” by Sarah Wilson. 108 Sugar Free recipes plus an 8 week detox program and cookbook.


  • Yeast in bread tends to encourage acidic conditions in your body which may promote yeast / skin infections. Avoid yeast products to feel less bloated.
  • Gluten reactions from wheat tend to increase with age.
  • Cut out as much as possible in all forms. Instead try Ryvitas and Gluten Free “Genius” bread from Tesco etc, flatbreads, crisp-breads – in fact any without yeast (again, read the labels).


  • Wherever possible use ORGANIC produce and eat raw and / or unprocessed foods.
  • Try a shift towards an Alkaline Diet.
  • REFERENCE – “The Alkaline Cure – The Amazing 14 Day Diet and Eating Plan” by Dr Stephen Domenig
  • REFERENCE – “The pH Miracle – Balance your Diet, Reclaim your Health “ by Dr Robert O. Young and Shelly Redford Young. A more scientific explanation of their journey from illness to good health through dietary change with c. 100 pages of Recipe Ideas.
  • PROCESSED FOODS AND PRE – PREPARED MEALS – Eliminate as much as possible from your diet.


Try and eat as much raw and unprocessed food as you can. This does not mean endless salads.

REFERENCE – “Ani’s Raw Food Essentials “ by Ani Phyo . A comprehensive introduction to Raw Food outlining the wheres and whyfors of Raw Cuisine, packed full of recipe ideas.

REFERENCE – Follow Stephanie Jeffs at “The Go To Girl for Raw Food” or follow her on Facebook.

Also –

REFERENCE – “The Medicinal Chef” by Dale Pinnock . 80 Recipes categorised by Health Condition i.e. Skin Problems, Joint and Bone issues, Respiratory Problems,Immune System boosters etc.




Only drink ORGANIC milk to avoid any risk of hormone related residue particularly oestrogen and growth related hormones. Lots of Supermarkets sell it nowadays.


  • Invest in a Juicer and Blender to make Juices and Smoothies.
  • Make Juices on DAILY bases that are 80% Greens and 20% Fruit. Greens are chlorophyll rich and help to detox your body, build red blood cells and flood you with vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
  • REFERENCE – “The Juice Master” – Jason Vale. More than 100 recipes for Juices and Smoothies, includes a 3 Day Detox program.
  • REFERENCE – “The Funky Fresh Juice Book” – Jason Vale – more of the above


Avoid tap water as it is more likely to be acidic than alkaline plus will probably contain:

  • unwanted chemicals such as chlorine, fluoride
  • pesticide residue
  • hormone residue (particularly oestrogen)
  • heavy metals (aluminium, lead, mercury etc)

So, filter it, use bottled water or add a small amount of Bicarbonate of Soda or a squeeze of lemon as a stop gap measure to alkalise.

Try to drink a minimum of 3 litres per day to stay hydrated.


Need to be tailored to your particular circumstances. However, you should consider the following:

  • Probiotic – for good gut health.
  • Magnesium – essential for enzyme activity, calcium and potassium uptake, nerve transmission, bone formation and metabolism of carbs and minerals.
  • Vitamin D3 and K2 – needed for Calcium and Phosphorus and is essential for strong bones, teeth and growth.
  • CoEnzyme Q10 / Ubiquonol – used for energy production in every cell in your body. Helps to protect against cell damage from free radicals.
  • Vitamin B Complex – Work together to promote healthy nerves. Skin, eyes, hair, liver, muscle tone and cardiovascular function. Also protect against mental disorders, depression and anxiety.

A Quiet Message.

Julie got diagnosed with cancer five years ago and decided to deal with her cancer through what have to be defined as “alternative” therapies.

That is to say, non mainstream National Health Treatments. (Surgery, Chemotherapy, Radiation and Drugs)

The point about diseases like cancer or losing a leg is that they are non-negotiable. Non-negotiable meaning that you have to do something. It is one of those events which are both life threatening and, or life changing.

Burying your head in sand will not help the situation, or make it go away.

Negotiable illnesses, such as the Flu and so on, can be dealt with by either taking pills and / or going to bed for a few days in the knowledge that it will eventually subside.

So, we had a non-negotiable event on our hands. We had to do something.

Instead of following the party line (Surgery, Chemotherapy, Radiation and Drugs) we asked ourselves the fundamental question “What caused Julie’s Cancer?”

The logic being that if we could figure out the cause and eliminating it, then it may assist in her long term recovery.

We embarked on an intense period of research and meetings for advice with a whole spectrum of people from Doctors in Harley Street to amateur, but knowledgeable, nutritionists, homeopaths etc.

Indeed, some of the best advice would come from people who had had cancer or were currently dealing with their issues in a similar manner to Julie.

One of the overwhelming pieces of advice was, without a doubt, “Completely eliminate sugar from your diet “ as this not only may fuel cancer but possibly have caused it.

I won’t go into all the other factors that we investigated, but eliminating sugar was so powerful an argument that we implemented it immediately.

Bear in mind, this decision was made some five years ago. Long before the current debate on sugar in diet, most of which currently focus upon obesity, diabetes but not the link to Cancer.

This is very frustrating.

What is even more frustrating is that the medical world has known about this connection for almost a century.

The Potted Science Bit

In the 1920’s a Dr. Otto Warburg discovered that cancerous cells “breathe” differently from healthy cells. In fact he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine twice for his finding in 1931 and 1944, although he was prevented from picking up his second prize as Adolf Hitler had allegedly issued a decree in 1937 which prevented any German national from accepting Nobel Prizes for any discipline.

Specifically, he found that cancer cells get their energy by breaking down large amounts of glucose (sugar) through fermentation. Whereas, normal cells get their energy by “breathing” oxygen.

Ergo, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of oxygen in normal body cells by the fermentation of glucose (sugar).  This change in energy production in your body happens when oxygen levels drop below a certain level and your cell’s “breathing process” is forced to change from using oxygen to fermenting glucose (sugar), thus turning normal cells into cancer cells.

What is worse is that fermentation is about 20 times less efficient than using oxygen and the process creates lactic acid as a by product. The liver then takes up the lactic acid and converts it back into glucose (sugar), which fires back into your body to fuel the cancer cells.

Cutting out sugar seemed a good place to start, based on Dr. Otto Warburg’s findings and subsequent research over the last 70 years.

That is, therefore, precisely what we did.

Systematically cleared our kitchen of all food with sugar on the labels (and any with preservatives and “E” numbers by the way) and started on a sugar free diet for the last five years.

Our first visit to Christies main hospital in Manchester, which is a world renowned Cancer Hospital, involved an eight hour visit to several departments. The work they do is great, but the frustrating part of the visit is that in each department and in each Café / Restaurant the only options for food were either vending machines full of Coca Cola, chocolate, fruit bars, Haribo sweets etc.

At Cristie’s subsidiary dept at Manchester Royal there is a small Café which also sells all things sugary !!

Even at the Hospice where Julie had to go for a few weeks of treatment their Reception area has a rack of sustenance which sells exclusively chocolate and sweets !!

So even in God’s Waiting Room the message has not got through.

It is equivalent to having a free bar giving out vodka at meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Equally frustrating are well meaning Charity Fundraising Events. Inevitably, this involves a gathering of very well meaning people who bake and sell cakes for their local hospice.

Again, I make the analogy – it is akin to making homebrew to sell on behalf of the local AA Meetings.

Finally, I have on my desk, at the moment, three documents that are handed out to Cancer patients in the UK:

  1. “Live a Healthy Life – Cut your Cancer Risk” – Cancer Research UK

This has no mention of sugar and its implications for Cancer.

  1. “Healthy Eating and Cancer” – A MacMillan Document

I quote Page 26 which says:

 “Does Sugar feed Cancer?”

“Sugar in your diet doesn’t directly increase the risk of Cancer, or encourage it to grow. But sugar contains no useful nutrients, apart from energy, and we can get all the energy we need from healthier sources. So it is best to limit the amount of sugar in your diet”

There are equally innocuous statements on pages 28 and 29 about organic foods. (Waste of time – they say) and Anti- Cancer diets (Waste of time – they say)

  1. “The Building Up Diet” – A MacMillan Document

To be fair on page 5 they do say

“Just a small amount of food high in fat, salt and sugar” and “ drinks should mainly be water, tea and coffee (without sugar) or sugar free drinks , colas and squashes.”

Unfortunately, there are no sugar free colas or squashes, and the ones that claim to be sugar free are full of aspartame and the like, which is potentially even more damaging to health than even refined sugar.

The booklet then goes on to list a few recipes which include yummy yummy sugary ingredients.

Fur Fox Sake !!!

I am getting more and more annoyed with myself as I write this missive so I had better sign off.

In conclusion, in my opinion:

  • If you have Cancer – Eliminate sugar from your diet.
  • If you do not want to get Cancer in future – Eliminate sugar from your diet.
  • If you are raising funds for Cancer Charities – Do not sell sugary things.
  • If you run a Café in a Hospice or Cancer Hospital – Do not sell sugary things.
  • If you are a volunteer in a Hospice or Cancer Hospital – Do not sell sugary things.

Over to you…..

End of Message.