How UK and USA Governments Hijacked COVID-19 to Distract Us From Their Dealings

The main difference between SARS-COV1, MERS-Cov and SARS-COV2 or COVID-19 is the size of the elephant in the room.

With unclear, patchy and one-size-fits all guidelines from government, there has been a huge amount of finger pointing and name calling over how we respond to COVID-19. Good old divide and conquer.

Getting the nation tearing strips off each other is the perfect deflection technique. What about the Great Furloughed in Small Households with Gardens listening to and understanding the perspective of the Multi-Generation Household in a Towerblock with Hospital Visits and Full Time Workers?

Our government doesn’t want to delegate power to local regions. They don’t want challenge, anyone else showing them up or even to deploy qualified scientists to provide clear and articulate guidelines to the nation.

They don’t want their “science-based” response to be questioned. Not the tiniest query. We all know how to protect ourselves against viruses as we all do it when we need to. We do not need to all be treated like children with a one-size-fits-all response.

SARS-COV-1 and MERS-COV have been transmitting within the UK for a decade. The warnings were completely different and Public Health England even down played the threat in 2013, when respiratory premature deaths started to rise in UK. As there was no drug to sell or vaccine, they didn’t cause a panic. All the impacts on the UK that haven’t been properly documented are collateral damage from the benefits of our current corrupt government’s hidden benefits and funding from this situation.

All three are ‘new coronaviruses’ that ‘originate from bats or civets’ and have ‘passed to humans via wet markets in China due to increasing demand for wild game. Since the SARS outbreak over 10 years ago, that exact story has emerged a few times. However, nothing like COVID-19 has been anything like as successful as a virus spread. Who is pinpointing the reasons why? This really is a virus you want to avoid at any age,

SARS originated in 2002 and became prevalent in 2009 in the UK and America. Both Obama in USA and Gordon Brown in the UK consulted with independent scientists and responded to the threat through collaboration with other nations and health organisations without whole nations being impacted.

Firstly, we need to look at how healthy people respond to these viruses, compared to vulnerable ones.

Statistics will not show how many people caught SARS-COV or MERS-COV when they were transmitted within the UK as healthy people would think they ‘had a heavy cold’ and carry on as normal. This means possible transmission through healthy colleagues to vulnerable elderly or sick members of the household who may have died prematurely.

Many incidence of SARS-COV-1 and MERS-COV in the UK have transmitted unreported as people believe they have a heavy cold or that their immunity was down, perhaps due to stress, anxiety or grief.

However, in the last decade, the UK has had the rate of premature death from highest chronic lower respiratory disease out of 15 other EU countries.

SARS-COV1 and MERS-COV were more lethal than COVID-19, which spreads in just the same way. There is no difference between viruses in the means of transmission, just the differences in behaviour between humans.

In the UK, heavier colds have crept up on us and otherwise healthy people have been ill enough to stay at home. With a little awareness, such as the press at the start of the SARS and MERS spread in the UK, sufficient

What politicians, the press and the public do not know, but scientists are constantly studying, is how many people have died as a result of a chronic lower respiratory disease as a result of one of these new coronaviruses spreading in the UK.

According to the Office of National Statistics and WHO, lower respiratory diseases are the 4th biggest causes of death amongst men and women in the UK and we are at the highest level of respiratory viruses out of 15 EU countries. We also, unsurprisingly, have the worst diet amongst those 15 EU countries too. .

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A New Era for Chefs and Catering Through Hearth

Hearth provides a clear and simple definition of what human nutrition is and how we, as a species, access it best.

It is not ‘one-size-fits-all’ as has been assumed. A one size fits all approach is saying one diet is better than another. Hearth does quite the opposite and caters for all diets, food preferences, tastes, cultures, expenditures, intolerances and allergies.

home cooking can provide a tasty part of many meals – Image by Tomaž Jevšenak from Pixabay

It does not matter what you like to eat, the principle is the same: we are all healthier on real food. Whether it is cooked from scratch or eaten raw, the variety of foods on the plate can provide a wider spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Our bodies seem to be satisfied more quickly by delivering all the vitamins and most minerals in one meal.

To avoid the increased inflammation, intolerance and sugar spikes most of us experience through the day, we can also taper our meals by eating a good, nutritious breakfast, which means the body requires less nutrition as the day progresses.

We have lost touch with many of our natural instincts. Modern food has become so adulterated, that it has messed with our bodies, minds and taste buds. However, there are plenty of ‘cravings converters’ around, which tell you which nutrients your body is asking for, when you start craving certain processed items.

Cold and raw food can be very nutritious and important items on the plate for quick satisfaction – Image by Mogens Petersen from Pixabay


If you think of the best known cravings: pregnancy, you can understand this easily. When pregnant, the growing foetus will work with a woman’s body to demand the exact nutrition it needs through cravings. Luckily, today, pregnancy is one of the best areas of knowledge about nutrition, thanks to women who ask questions and search for answers, which they share with other women.

Today, plenty of companies are competing in the home delivery foods market. What Hearth could provide is a funnel through which food manufacturers and retailers could reach customers. Meals on Wheels are still available through your local council and independent caterers for parties or cooking for the freezer could also use simple ideas on how to deliver the most economical but tasty, satisfying and nutritious meals to a wide range of customers, from a good selection of local, independent suppliers.

Posted in 3 meals to deliver vitamins and mineral, Accessibility, Big breakfast, Create your own meals without recipes, Creating a Health App, How to avoid snacking, How to not get food cravings, Inclusion and DIversity, Nutrition and Health, politics and public information, taste and nutritious meals, Universal Truths, Vitamins and minerals in foods, Weight versus health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Raiders of the Lost Truths About Food

If you’re looking for what to eat to aid recovery from COVID-19, here is a spreadsheet of what foods deliver the range of daily vitamins and minerals we need for optimal health.

After years of research and trial and error, I have found there are various clues in culture and oral tradition, that have become worn, faded and doctored over time.

Essentially, we know ourselves best and the only thing that connects us all is ‘single ingredient, real food’. However, that is getting increasingly expensive, especially since lockdown. We have been confused by conflicting messages about diets and food, with recipes, counting calories, restrictions and measuring ingredients.

This data shows we don’t need any of that and if we know what ‘fuel’ human bodies need, we can adapt this information for our own needs, knowing how to get vitamins and minerals in our diet or from supplements if not accessed from foods we eat.

This also means creating our own meals and original recipes from scratch, using wisdom from other cultures, enjoying a variety of flavours, tastes and textures at every meal and providing our bodies with the daily nutrition they need by knowing what it is for ourselves.

Salad looking pretty

Salads are a great way to get lots of flavour, taste and nourishment

My quest to discover what ‘healthy diet’ means for humans, to work out nutrition for self-care and recovery – Raiders of the Lost Truth about Food – led me to realise something all cultures have in common: variety.

Have you found how filling Indian Thalis, Spanish Tapas, Greek Meze, Mexican food and French Cuisine – which is based on a variety flavours through many small courses – are compared to a traditional meal?

I’m working on an app to make it quick and easy for anyone to get their essential daily nutrition, vitamins and minerals, in each meal. Plan Pixels in India are making the interactive, functional app and the Appsheet prototype is a working data-only prototype I am using for feedback and adjustments to the actual app. It is public and free and I do not harvest any user data. That is Appsheet continually bugging me to upgrade.

Apologies for this not working when I launched it. Appsheet didn’t clarify ‘personal use’ so it stopped anyone uploading photos or adding items to the lists. I’ve had to remove the lists to make it work as a reference to glance at while shopping, eating out or seeing what’s already at home.

What I discovered is that if I have a breakfast with boiled egg, some salmon, with steamed greens, deli items, olives, cucumber, raw peeled slices of courgette, or avocado, asparagus, artichoke hearts, vine leaves etc) it is very tasty and keeps me going for hours without thought of interim snacks. This also means lunch and dinner get smaller as I’ve given my body most of the nutrition it needed to perform well at breakfast.

As sugar spikes, water retention and inflammation increase across the day, a nutritious, breakfast with variety leads reduces hunger throughout the day.

Therefore, please try Hearth Nutrition as a reference on your device when ordering food in, from shop or takeaway or seeing what you have already. This combines nutritious, tasty, satisfying meals with giving whole body what it needs to heal and recover and can reduce costs of real foods by eating a variety of different items at each meal.

To me, this combines wisdom from different cultures (meze, tapas, thali etc) with cost efficiency, increased taste and satisfaction from variety and oral tradition; big breakfast, medium lunch, small supper. It also properly explains the undefined statement by the NHS ‘varied’ – lots of different tastes, eaten raw or a variety cooked together as preferred. Also, the never defined NHS ‘balanced diet’ seems to mean between either carbs and greens for a vegan or protein and/or fats and variety of ‘greens’ for non-vegans.

This link provides:
Vitamins and minerals listed with the foods they come from
Staple foods that deliver the largest variety essential daily vitamins and minerals
The body science – how our bodies use all the vitamins and minerals. (A, C, E and Copper for immunity)
How to create your own 3 meals a day to get vitamins and minerals
More information about nutrition, food tests and natural healing
The elimination diet to find food intolerance

Can be viewed on mobile device here

Can be viewed in browser here

Posted in 3 meals to deliver vitamins and mineral, Big breakfast, Create your own meals without recipes, Creating a Health App, Female Start-up, Getting 3 healthy meals a day, How to avoid snacking, How to not get food cravings, Nutrition and Health, taste and nutritious meals, Vitamins and minerals in foods, Weight versus health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Three Meals To Get All Vitamins and Minerals Each Day

When you put ‘3 meals to get all vitamins and minerals’ into Google, the search results tell you how overwhelming the amount of information out there is. How do we ever make head or tail or that? This is one of the problems that the idea for my app Hearth sets out to solve.

Asking this question means you are near the Holy Grail of nutrition and nourishment. However, like Dawn of the Daytreader or whatever you call your own voyage of discovery and adventure to find the best nutrition for you, the closer you get, the bigger the obstacles seem to come. There is definitely a game in that.

In conclusion to this research, I have an update for my app Hearth. It will help users get nutritious meals three times a day, which contain single ingredient real foods, either cooked together or in a salad.

Information about nutrition isn’t just what nutrition is, what it does and how we get it. It is a huge topic, puffed out by opinions, assumptions, projection, vested interests, lobbies and politics amongst other agendas. Not many people study food to get these simple answers: how it works for human health, what is tasty and satisfying without flavouring, adding salt or sugar or combining fat with sugar?

The less naturally nutritious the food, the more people eat. How do we find foods that are nutritious, not just in their own context, but in context with other foods on the same plate?

Ox tongue salad – wish restaurants would stop plying us with bread and chips!).

There is an ocean of understanding between different types of people, organisations, healthcare, scientists, food manufacturers and retailers, nutritionists, natural healers and dietary supplement manufacturers.

After discovering that people in the UK do not get enough sunlight for half the year to make enough Vitamin D, I looked at the NHS Vitamins and Minerals page and found information about each vitamin and mineral, how our bodies used them, how much and what foods they came from.

Somewhere hidden in ancient wisdom or oral traditions in all our cultures are the clues to a good diet. Like an old family photo, though, they have become warped, faded and, more recently, Photoshopped through time.

Here are the clues I have been following:

Breakfast Like a King, Lunch Like A Prince, Dinner Like a Pauper. 

Salad looking pretty

Salads are a great way to get lots of flavour, taste and nourishment

OK, that one is out of date. But you get the gist, right? Breakfast: royal. Lunch: Rich person Dinner: Poor Person.

This one, despite its terminology has best stood the test of time. However, it leaves many questions as to how this is realistically done. This blog shows that it is part of the answer but doesn’t leave a good trail.

Little and Often

To me, this is half right, half wrong. Perhaps because it has become a Chinese Whisper and wasn’t originally about food. Little and Often Makes Much. Little and Often Fills the Purse.

Everything is sold out of context. If we know more about the foods we eat, it is easier to find the right dietary supplements in the right doses.

In food terms, there is a clue. A friend found a way to slowly and healthily lose weight and he also became very healthy. He created a set of rules but I don’t believe he knew why they worked.

For each meal, he had a main item, meat or fish and sometimes a carbohydrate, which he ate with a variety of single ingredient whole foods. It made meals very nourishing, tasty and satisfying, which meant he stopped snacking and craving fast foods.

This leads us onto the ‘official advice’ from the NHS repeated throughout their minerals and vitamins page as if to say ‘nothing to see here’. (That will be in the market stall in Marrakesh scene in my Raiders of the Lost Truth about Food game). However, there is a clue in this:

Eat a Varied and Balanced Diet

Balanced? What’s that? What the hell is a ‘balanced’ diet if the two sides of the seesaw are not named? However, it is a clue to nutrition if you look closely.

A variety of food provides great nutrition

Greek Meze

If we eat 3 meals a day, big breakfast, medium lunch and small dinner, each one could be ‘varied and balanced’ to get all the vitamins and most minerals too. Each meal, ideally, wants to contain only nutritious, single ingredient, real foods. By sticking to these we can find out:

Any essential nutrition we are not getting in our diet to supplement. This makes the single ingredient, real food idea work for vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians and omnivores equally as we all vary genetically in how we absorb vitamins and minerals, which is what nutritionists are qualified to tell us individually. To get to that level of the game, we need to bridge the knowledge gap first.

More places offer small snacks, which are satisfying enough for an evening meal. Crab bites pictured.

Not getting too much as, for example, liver more than once a week packs too much Vitamin A punch, as we store it and do not need it every day, or at least not too much. Therefore, if you did have liver this week, perhaps reduce other high vitamin A foods, such as one smaller egg instead of 2, for the rest of the week.

Cravings for Healing

This is, of course, a general rule. If we are ill, our bodies will want more vitamins A, E and C plus a little copper to fight us back to health. However, any additional vitamin A is not beneficial during pregnancy, nor is liver.

Therefore, the varied and balanced diet, basing your meals on one main item (either meat, complete plant proteins such as quinoa or soy beans. Not, as the Eatwell Guide says, a starchy carbohydrate). Official advice ought to specify for people who do not eat eggs, fish or meat as well as those that do.  A jacket potato or brown rice are best digested in a separate meal from fats and proteins, which our bodies cannot deal with simultaneously, which means unused energy will be stored as fat. There is also the matter of good and bad cholesterol as this video shows:

BBC The Truth About Eggs

Boiled egg, brocoli, salmon and cucumber

Salad added to eggs and fish makes breakfast tasty and filling

Let’s bring the clues together so far:
1. Big breakfast, medium lunch, small dinner
2. Little portions often on the plate of different flavours – whatever is to hand, cucumber, artichoke, asparagus, chard, steamed spinach, brocoli, courgette, olives stuffed with garlic etc
3. Variety of items and either animal protein: meat, fish and/or egg, plant protein, soy or quinoa, or a jacket potato or brown rice. These options balanced with vegetables and salad.

Let’s move on to what various diets tell us:

Keto and Atkins.

Roast lamb and vegetables

roast lamb with vegetables

These say dietary fats are good and to cut out the starchy carbohydrates. That’s useful for people who eat meat, fish and eggs as they, particularly, do not require starchy carbohydrates such as jacket potato or brown rice. No one needs pasta, bread or pizza or anything glutenous, starchy or stripped carbohydrates.

Fortified and enriched foods are simple processed foods with dietary supplementation, justified by research into essential nutrition funded by food manufacturers for their own benefit. The American Dietary Guidelines were not the general public’s information but to advise food manufacturers on how to use nutrition for profit by continuing to work over people’s heads to get government funding to reduce malnutrition and malnourishment. In my view, the only way to reduce those is to raise health literacy about food. We need The Sesame Street Nutrition Edition.

This leads to another clue given to us by the NHS delivered without full context. What do you understand by the NHS’s advice on their vitamins and minerals page?

“You Should Get All The Vitamins and Minerals You Need in a Varied and Balanced Diet” 

Variety plates go a long way

More variety plates, which are in every culture around the world for flavour, taste, nutrition and they go a long way

When you look at items on the Eatwell Plate, it suggests snacking away to your heart’s content on crisps and bread. This is not what it could mean, if there weren’t so many conflicts of interest in funding public health information. It would make it much more difficult to get the right amount of vitamins and minerals if we relied on dietary supplements and enriched or fortified foods.

Instead of deficiency, this causes toxicity. Having too much of certain vitamins is the biggest clue to food allergies there is. People from an Afro Caribbean background may be able to eat fruit til the cows come home but not require the extra nutrition from, say, fish, eggs nuts, legumes, beans, grains or pulses. A big culprit there could be vitamin A, which is toxic in high doses, as well as trace elements and minerals that we do not require as much of in our diet.

Anything that grows with carbon and water is a carbo-hydrate including leafy greens and tree fruits. I am calling white pasta, rice and bread ‘stripped carbohydrates’ while couscous, potato, quinoa and brown rice provides fibre as well. These do not digest well with protein and fat on the same plate, but the carbohydrates, containing sugar, are the culprits for unhealthy cholesterol, not the dietary fat from olives, avocados, cheese, yogurt, eggs, meat and fish.

roast beef and salad

Roast beef and salad

What about fruit?

Different races respond to these differently, but they pack a lot of sugar in. Particularly as today we get all fruits all year round. This has only been the case since our parents were young. No wonder our grandparents didn’t have food intolerance.

My favourite use for fruit is flavouring for cooking meat. A plum or apricot with the roast lamb roast combined with the cooking fats, juices from vegetables sprinkled with herbs, spices, onions and garlic will not cause a sugar spike but increases taste.

Genetically, the modern diet is not ideal. Luckily, in most European countries, single ingredient real foods are available. In some parts of America, these are expensive and tricky to get hold of. This increases the exposure that poorer people face to fast and junk food outlets in rural areas in the USA.

The Mediterranean Diet

Spanish Tapas

Variety of Mediterranean foods

In fact, when you look at foods from around the world, there is are so many varieties of small portions in one meal, for example Indian Thali, Greek Meze, Spanish Tapas and Caribbean food lends itself very tastily to tapas.

When you have had these dishes, do you remember how quickly they fill you up compared to a large plate of fish and chips? Thalis do not look more filling than a large curry, rice, puppadoms, daal, and naan bread, but they deliver a range of vitamins and minerals, which our bodies say a big happy yes to once they have what they need.

42 safe foods to eliminate food intolerance

Elimination Diet and foods with vitamin and mineral content have many similarities. The Appsheet prototype for Hearth has the 42 safe foods to eliminate food intolerance.

Therefore, the idea behind Hearth is to get our essential daily nutrition from real, single ingredient foods. When cooked from scratch, say; chicken with onions, garlic, herbs, spices, oil and some greens, this could be spread out over a week with other dishes with salad. The quicker our bodies get what they want, the less we need to eat. This means we do not need to weigh, measure, count, report and test all the time. The clues are out there.

We can all enjoy food if we know these basic truths. Then, to find out more, there are nutritionists, intolerance tests, DNA wellbeing tests and specialist caterers, who base their meals on good nutrition. When did you last eat out in France? It seems the most popular cuisines in the world are based on many small courses instead of just one type of protein, a starchy carbohydrate and a vegetable.

Meze – Thali – Tapas. Tasty – Satisfying – Nutritious

The idea of eating three nourishing meals a day is what Hearth is all about. Whether you are cooking from scratch or putting leftovers on a plate, these ideas could provide you with optimum health for your body, mind and organs to perform at their best. With modern day storage, we can spread cooking out over many meals, which makes it economical, tasty, satisfying and nutritious. Ever found yourself getting full quickly when you eat a variety of small portions or bites?

Indian Thali can be more filling than curry

Thali looks like less food but packs flavour and nutrients so quickly fills us up

This also means we can get creative in the kitchen with whatever foods are in the house or cooking interesting meals for the family or with friends. This also makes food easy to upscale for buffets, parties or picnics.

Additionally, this could reduce the cost of groceries, stress from following recipes and time. The result is nourishing, nutritious meals to look forward to, easier weight management, less sugar spikes, inflammation, food intolerance, toxicity and, importantly, taste, flavour and satisfying our appetites and our bodies saying when they have received the nutrition they need without eating too much.

Meals On Wheels

As well as nutritionists, caterers for parties or – a type of business which grew in the 1980s around Surrey – cooking for the freezer, particularly to help people recovering from cancer treatment or an operation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, housebound people were sent boxes of junk food, potatoes, bread, pasta etc. Long gone are the days of Meals on Wheels, when people were delivered a hot nutritious meal by volunteers.

If anything like Meals on Wheels ever happened again, the updated version could be a variety of hot and cold foods, which can be kept for up to a week for a selection of ‘balanced and varied meals’, based on international cuisine – meze, thali, tapas – which are tasty, satisfying and nutritious.

Posted in 3 meals to deliver vitamins and mineral, Create your own meals without recipes, Getting 3 healthy meals a day, How to not get food cravings, taste and nutritious meals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What to Do if Your Learning Style is Not Catered For

Since the 1990s, when I was taking my art degree, I noticed how many English higher education establishments were very academic-centric.

My various artistic friends attended free art colleges in London, Bristol and the south coast (Bishop’s Otter, Dartington etc) and I went to the American College in London. My first impression of the American College was how much it boasted and promoted itself. American propaganda, I thought. It was recommended by my A’level art teacher Ian Scott, a surrealist and I was impressed at the open day.

My dad was cynical about it. He always thought I should have applied to a proper English art college, with a prestige or cache. However, I learned so many skills and we were taught every process. They made Harvard Referencing enjoyable! We were taught it in class, which was fun, interactive and accessible for all. ‘Paranthetical citations’ to use their term. It was a laugh when I mentioned ‘brackets’. Too English. ‘Brackets? BRACKETS? It’s parentheses Sophie’.

Aside from Dangling Modifiers and learning calculus with impeccably suited Arabic business students, who I wiped the floor with covered in oil paint from painting class, the art department was filled with teachers emerging from real world experience. Advertising tutor Mr Penrose was fresh from an agency, Jill, Steve, Liz and Sandie taught us all kinds of skills without an essay in sight. (The Harvard Referencing was for a 10,000 thesis in English Composition, which I wrote on music law and got an A).

Meanwhile, my friends at their prestigious free art institutions were having sleep overs, the teachers were on strike, no library, no computers (yes even in 1990 we had Macs though I only got to touch one in computing classes) and they barely saw a tutor a term. They were left to their own devices for 3 years and had to write a thesis with Harvard referencing. This academic essay requirement meant that most of them didn’t get the 2:1 needed to carry on and do an MA.

Back at the American College we had an international mix of students, who all became friends and got to know one-another. We still chat on social media 27 years later. The other thing to note is we all do what we did at college: Hernando still paints, Guillermo plays guitar, Nicole does graphics, Cristel is a photographer still, Rizal does cartoons, Sheila, Paula have creative jobs and I still write. In 2001, I went to college in Los Angeles and Linita, who wrote for the Hollywood Reporter now runs her own music and film industry magazine and attends all the press junkets to interview stars.

After graduation, I could use various tools I’d learned at college to find work. I did a letterhead for a business and advertising boards for various pubs and off licenses. I marketed and sold a creative child-minding business and got a clutch of long term clients, including a cabinet Minister, who got sacked while working for this family and had a laugh about taking their children to rock gigs and teaching them to use oil pastels.

After a few years trying out a few things: graphic design, doing advertising boards, painting, had an exhibition in 1994 and sold paintings (attended by Chris and Karyanne Jagger and Davey Pane from Ian Dury’s Band), writing a humour column for a local paper (as I had done on the magazine we created at ACL: Art Holes) I got into the London College of Printing (now LC of Communication) to do a postgraduate certificate in Periodical Journalism.

This journalism course cost around £275 in 1997 and was for 11 weeks, followed by an industrial placement. The course was clearly routemapped and all skills based. We had to write features but not thesis about writing features. No Harvard Referencing in cite (sic). We learned the journalist alternative, which is quoting credible and named sources and qualifying statements.

The interview process seemed fair and meritocratic. I didn’t have a hearing aid or know I had dyspraxia and yet I got an immediate place (not to mention an unconditional place to do an MA in broadcast journalism in 2011). There was no segregation for learning styles.

We learned Quark Xpress, page layout, T-line shorthand, news reporting, interview technique, media law and had 3 features to hand in as well as sitting test for the other skills. At the end we worked together to devise and publish our own newspaper Liquid London (a little drinking followed of course).

Therefore, it wasn’t until I attended Falmouth University in 2011, that I had to do academic work. I was baffled, having attended the most competitive journalist college in the country, with alumni all over the publishing and journalist world, why I had to submit studies of the work I was undertaking as well as producing the work. Surely, if you produce the work you have understood the teaching.

It seems to me that the education system used in England has been taken over by academics. The top art colleges expect visual minded, creative people to apply rote memorisation techniques to fulfil their academic objectives. Those, like me, with dyspraxia are considered constrained. We are not included in the way the courses are taught and have to be given special individual learning plans. Even though this is a University of the Arts. Falmouth houses an art college, music AMATA and other creative practices.

When I discovered I had dyspraxia in 2006, the London Dyslexia Teaching Centre, which did my assessment (which would have cost upwards of £400 but I sold them an advert for a magazine) said that most students attending all London’s top art colleges, Fashion, Music, Fine Art, Graphics, Dancing, Drama and Film had some kind of dyslexic or dyspraxic profile. There was one test to put these red and white diamonds together to copy a shape that required the mind of an MA student at the Royal College of Art. I managed it just in time in 2006, but actually failed it in 2020, which I personally account for a lack of confidence in my way of processes thinking, after the invalidation it receives from academic courses taught at convention British universities. It is just a thought.

With all arts courses, we need to learn the nuts and bolts we will need to forge our careers on graduation. In the business world, only scientists and medical researchers write thesis, while people setting up businesses write business plans.

The more successful alumni become after completing a course is the best way in my view to attract the most talented prospective new students. Do you want your art graduates to go and hold their own exhibitions and sell their work or go full time at the local supermarket?

In my view, an art course is like designing a new car. We do not have to reinvent the wheel or work out how cars move because those are already well known and fall under mechanics and engineering. To launch a new car, before we decide on what type of fuel (diesel, unleaded, electric, hybrid etc) or the size wheels, we need to work out what the market wants and learn how to engage with them, test our ideas and get confident that our new car is going to be worth funding and setting up a business up to put on the market.

Once we have designed a car, found factories to build it, made a prototype, test run it and chosen the engine and the wheels and attracted funders to finance the production and launch of the vehicles, we then need to put our marketing strategy into operation, find dealers to sell the car and start getting interest from buyers. Once the orders start coming in, surely that is when we engage our business services to incorporate the company and do the accounts and legal. They can talk us through this so we can fulfil our responsibilities and check on the engine of our business regularly to know where we are.

From my earliest memory of learning, how to write, using an ink pen, times tables, spelling, grammar, history dates, geography, etc, I never saw the point of rote memorisation. I never mastered it. What was the point of memorising something to put into an exam paper, to forget shortly afterwards.

Now I see it is an exercise, in the same way that an artist will learn to drawer, use all the pencils, paint with oils, glaze and work with different mediums before they find their style and start doing their own work.

No one told me rote memorisation was going to be needed for so many processes in adult life. Surely, we need to learn rote memorisation AND meaningful learning. Why spend years at school to not carry anything with you? All those works of literature, poems, understanding ordnance survey maps and electrical circuits.

I could never remember my periodic table. That is the first time I realised I didn’t retain information if I wasn’t putting it into practice. Knowing gold was Au and water is H2o didn’t seem essential in order to become a doctor, to me.

However, at the American College in London (ACL), we were asked to do rote memorisation. We had 8 week modules containing 2 tests. We did art history, which I had done badly at in the English system (Exam papers asked for an understanding of history, no one said I had to remember dates. It was in the English unsaid. Doesn’t work for me. Just put it on the table please). At ACL, we went home to learn a time line of painting names, titles, dates and mediums and I could get them all correct the next day. Can I remember any now? Nope. Can I remember things I was taught in a meaningful way? Yes. Dangling modifiers are phrases that can be understood with two completely different contexts.

Rote memorisation, I now understand, is great for remembering login details such as passwords and PINs, learning new processes and remembering them, structure, organising thoughts, writing theses or reports. However, I think meaningful learning is very important and our schools are deprioritising it and children who do not see the point, and therefore, reject rote memorisation end up being excluded and segregated in the Special Needs department.

We ought to agree various protocols to make learning inclusive for all styles and development paths. Otherwise we get to university and find that meaningful-only learners struggle with processes and structure and rote-only learners struggle with putting new learning into practice and integrating it into their existing raft of skills and knowledge.

Knowing what learning style and the strengths and weaknesses I’ve ended up with, with hindsight, I wish teachers had defined the separate mental processes for rote and meaningful learning. In my experience teaching times tables or spelling by rote doesn’t work so they need to be taught meaningfully. On the other hand, learning dates for history or place names in Geography as well as reciting poetry or starting to play a musical instrument can all be achieved through rote learning.

I gained confidence at college when tested on a timeline of paintings by artist, title and date but I didn’t retain the information for long. In other words, I suspect rote learning exercises the brain to retain information intellectually, that isn’t required for action or practice, just knowledge. This mental process can help with linear structure, which is required for essay writing, remembering log in details and remembering abbreviations and, perhaps, for html or javascript, where remembering letters and numbers can be of great benefit. If we apply meaningful learning to these tasks, we can end up over thinking.

It seems as if education has changed how we think away from meaningful thinking, as people overthinking a repetitive or manual job won’t be good for them. However, those going on to careers in law or medicine, particularly, need to develop far beyond the Periodic table and memory bank of laws to pursue brilliant careers.

In conclusion, if we teach both learning styles to children and choose which task is better suited to meaningful or to rote learning, why and what we will use them for later in life, there will be a huge increase in healthy outcomes from school and so much more could be achieved. There will then be much more inclusivity and diversity and this could lead to a whole new period of innovation.


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When Academic Courses Equip their Graduates with Business Sense

Whatever you are studying at degree level and beyond, the greater context has to be preparation for finding work or starting a business in your chosen sector.

It seems that whatever you learn, showing people under the engine of the business sector students will be entering is not seen as helping them. We have to reinvent the wheel. Rather giving us the engine and the wheels and allowing us to design and build the car and road test it. We also need to find its audience, hire staff, create our marketing budgets and launch it with an information website and sell it, eventually, to mass market.

Case studies from other businesses that have incorporated could show us the simple steps that all businesses go through. Why do we have to fumble around in the dark, pulling threads from YouTube Videos, books, bits and bobs when setting up a business is a clear linear process to follow: 1. Choose a name 2. Register at Companies House 3. File a report 4 create a budget, etc.

It is the same with much of science in my view. To be healthy, every human body requires the same set of essential vitamins and minerals but we all respond to foods differently. Likewise, we all need to do the same things to start a business, but we will all be creating our own services or products. There may be direct competition but mostly we would be able to learn from them and vice versa.

In therapy, many people look at human psychology in a subjective, isolated way. This is much the same as diet. I think the bigger picture is how humans work. Even though one person may become a sociopath and another a philanthropist from the same treatment, there is also nature and perhaps one person had loving parents and the other was adopted. There is an set of factors that would determine how different people respond mentally, as much as they would to food. Why does science not look at the whole picture and put all contributory factors into one holistic jigsaw puzzle rather than just looking at the pieces.

It seems to me that human nature or, more specifically, human psychology is not well understood. We have an education system, which may provide degrees in the arts, music and writing, but in the UK, the main focus always seems to be about academic thinking.

Even if you are an active, creative thinker who has made a success of this way of working, processing visually and seeing the whole picture, looking at things holistically and being able to see the problem and solve it are not regarded in academic. If you can’t think in a straight line and do things in the right order, you have a ‘constraint’ in the eyes of the people who decide your success from university courses.

I have always believed that universities at the top of the league tables, Oxbridge for example, have less to prove and therefore integrate neurodiversity into their programs. You may be an artist or an engineer but you won’t need special assistant at any top university as they will have invested money in being able to attract the best students. They are also vested in these students moving into successful careers to have the best alumni to attract more of the best students.

It is worth at least considering whether the most important engine to drive success after graduation is the provision of tools. A modern artist first learns how to use oils, how to glaze, to paint on canvas, stretch canvases, how to mount pictures and use the whole range of pencils. A piano student learns scales.

A guitarist learns how to hold the guitar to be able to run their finger up a fretboard and to play different styles. However, they also learn how to create websites, biographies, do recordings, promote themselves and some music law too. The best music schools teach about copyright, publishing, recording contracts and hold showcases to be seen by talent scouts.

There have been more studies on how we learning. There are two ways described in this article by Oxford Learning: Rote Learning and Meaningful Learning. This sums up my experience as I remember struggling with my times tables until I found a meaningful way to learn them. I could not learn conventionally. Moving my attention from one subject, when I immersed myself in it, to another was hard enough, without being expected to fill my memory with rote memorisation.

Throughout my education I have felt let down by learning expectations. During my O’levels, I didn’t do as well as teachers expected due to me wanting to provide my own thoughts, not the ones dictated to us in class. I took great interest in all my education and then went to art college as, due to blatant sexism in the system – unchallenged and accepted in society – I didn’t get physics and Latin options at O’level. In the 1980s, it seemed I was being raised to be a housewife and mother, not to have a career. It was like ‘shut up the men are talking’.

In business, soft skills are under valued by far. Hardnosed business is looked up to and emulated, even expected. Meanwhile, communication – which is free and can be mistressed (not saying mastered, am reclaiming ‘mistress’ from its seedy usage) to great affect for websites, PR, content, social media and customer relations.

Am also re-reading the Seed Network by Lynne Franks. It recounts the route from kitchen table to large PR company that dealt with celebrities, famous musicians and top brands (where I worked in 1995). The feminine way of business has many benefits to both men and women and contributes directly into businesses about sustainability, human resources, equality, communications and relationship building.

Therefore, I refute the academic view that dyspraxia is a ‘constraint’. It is a disempowering and oppressive label, seemingly, to keep down those of us who learn meaningfully and still use watching and copying to mistress (or master for a guy) new skills.

Providing tools and laying out processes clearly in step by step instructions are soft skills and ones that the top arts schools and universities have integrated into their diversity and inclusivity initiatives

Rant over.


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Need for Public Nutrition Information From Impartial Sources

All my life I have thought about my weight. Looking back at photos of me as a child, it seems as though I was inflating and deflating regularly. Hindsight is fantastic for diet and I now know that the food at home and on holiday agreed with me far more than that served at school.

Natural colour

In the 1970s, it seems we were force fed milk. Governments realised that dairy foods delivered important nutrients, such as iodine and we were going to get them, whether we knew about it or not. Many public health decisions made by politicians do not make themselves  known to the nation through the press as they are just not deemed interesting enough or likely to sell newspapers or adverts.

Yes, that does the way people look after themselves and what they know about health comes from the media, education, political initiatives and the medical profession.

What if we want to live as best we can with optimal health? Likely as not, this will start a never-ending quest of book and article reading, TV watching, discussing and perhaps asking a doctor or nutritionist.

From each one, we will get their perspective. It is unlikely we will be served just facts. What another human being writes or says comes from their experience, their knowledge, their instincts and their education. It will also, subconsciously at least, be influenced by their genetics and their preferences and beliefs.

How do we get the facts? Does anyone know what their own ‘healthy weight’ is?

My grandfather’s diary from 1931 does provide a chart of healthy weight arranged by height and weight. This chart is mentioned in a book called The BodyWise woman by Melpomeme Institute for Women’s Health and BodyWise; Discovering Your Body’s Intelligence for Lifelong Health and Healing by Dr Rachel Carlton Abrams.

Seeing the food boxes prepacked and sent to people shielding during the COVID-19 pandemic seems typical of official nutrition advice, as ordained by Public Health England and our government. There is no public information campaign. We do not receive facts. We get the results of research funded by food and drink companies, therefore biased to their products and interests.

Everything seems tied up in a thread of human bias and agenda. However, what many people do is start on their own journey of discovery, research and trial and error.

Hearth aims to gather the information, hopefully the facts, and put it at our fingertips in a handy format to use for seeing what we’ve eaten, the vitamins and nutrients we have accessed, what to buy, a meal planner and any dietary supplements to make up for any deficiencies. Using a photo food diary, we can also add our health actions each day, alcohol free, smoke free, exercise, water, sugar free etc.

Then we can look back over what we have eaten and done to find any causes of complaints, such as aches, pains, anxiety or fatigue.  In that way we can quickly identify any food intolerance or sensitivity, as these tend to occur two or three days after we ate the culprits.


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Universal Language and the Visual Mind

What is the first thing that springs to mind if I mention ‘universal language’? For me it is sign language, although sadly, that turns out to be not the case. To me that is one big missed opportunity.

The other missed opportunity is the one where we go against nature and use phrases that require prior knowledge to comprehend. I’m talking about references and abbreviations.


Jargon is ineffective as a communication tool

For me, as a picture thinker, I hate jargon as it is inaccessible to outsiders. I hate exclusion. it seems that many people feel the absolute necessity to be part of a tribe, to the point that they jealously guard their position within it by making sure outsiders don’t have a clue what they are on about.

This even happens amongst people who’s very purpose is to expand their community, such as word of mouth marketing companies. People use the same phrases and even corrupted grammar. From a visual thinker’s point of view, this is an added, unnecessary and alienating obstacle.

When discussing something as a group, people routinely use abbreviations, when a visual thinker will have to be very familiar with the term to remember what the letters stand for. Using verbal and not visual language excludes people. It prevents me from keeping up and means I have to ask for definition or clarity and make others think I am weaker or less able then others.

from JK Rowling’s words, people in over 70 different languages all imagined Hogwarts from JK Rowlings words

If this is about ‘survival of the fittest’ then, in this sense, the fittest are a self-anointed group of people who have decided what ‘the fittest’ is to suit themselves and put others, even people who are possibly fitter, at a disadvantage.

Harry Potter may have been a success as everyone wanted to hear a story about a child wizard brought up by a dysfunctional family in Surrey. However, films showed how many people had imagined the same universe through the visual words in JK Rowling’s books. Harry Potter is one of the 10 most translated stories in the world and by far the most recent of the 10. The list here includes Harry Potter

If we have to say what we mean, our communication is not doing its job

alongside Asterix, Pippi Longstocking, Alice in Wonderland, Tintin, Don Quixote, Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Prince and Pinocchio.

In fact, the only adult book on this list is the true story of Kon-Tiki Ekspedisjonen By Thor Heyerdahl, which illustrated how much more connected ancient indigenous communities were by sea than we assume today. It is one universal story that brings people together into one global community.

As well as abbreviations and references, people all seem to use the exact same phrases. It gets so boring. Every single mention of ‘making contact’ or ‘getting in touch’ today is ‘reaching out’. The Four Tops be chiming in with ‘I’ll Be There’.

Before pictures we could add texts on were called memes, it referred to over-used phrases or words. The word meme comes from the French ‘la même’, which means exactly what it is: the same. The boring old, same old same or, in French, la même.

Everyone stops acknowledging each other with hi and now say ‘hey’. I cannot hear hey as a greeting as it is embedded in my mind as a shout, like ‘oi’. I can’t understand why someone would need to grab my attention at the start of a message. They already have my attention. It’s like ‘look’ or ‘listen’ and comes with the presumption someone isn’t paying attention, when they are


The word hello? was used for the first telephone conversation as it had previously been an expression of surprise

Interestingly, when the telephone was first invented, the response ‘hello’ was used as it expressed surprise, as in ‘hello, I can actually hear your voice in this thing.’ As I was born a good century after this change in use for ‘hello’, I hear it as a greeting of acknowledgment.

Any words I learned when I first started to speak are second nature to me. As learn to speak our ‘mother tongue’ from people speaking around us at an early age, the words our parents used, how they used them and pronounced them will form the bedrock of our own use of spoken language.

The phrases that really get me are those that assume common knowledge amongst the audience. If I was listening to a Ted talk, I would be get stuck if abbreviations, jargon or unfamiliar names or terminology were used if I could not picture those in my mind. I read the first chapter of a book, written by a friend who mentioned a restaurant menu item I had never heard of. The film reel in my mind, which was following the narrative, stopped there and then and my attention dropped off completely.

Inaccessible or exclusive language alienates those who are not familiar with the terms, references, abbreviations or pronunciations. People’s attention is also lost when context is missing.

In my mind, context is an important part of the picture. A picture, which sums up a manipulated ‘survival of the fittest’ is the one in which a row of different animals, including a fish, are told to climb a tree. This was said to sum up modern education. To me, it is a fitting illustration of the frustration I feel when faced with inaccessible and exclusive language.

Therefore, as a person labelled ‘dyspraxic’, I find moving my mind’s eye and looking at things from different angles second nature. We discuss visionaries as if this is what to aim for. But none of the visionaries we talk about, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk etc had to do anything like the amount of written work, accounts, validating and proving an idea that we are being asked to do. We all know about Pythagoras, Hippocrates, Socrates, Leonardo Da Vinci, Edison, Einstein and Henry Ford. These people all used visual thinking.

To me, the best Ted Talks are inclusive, universal, can be easily translated and ensure, like the best journalism, that as many people as possible can understand and follow the thread. I enjoy listening to Eddie Izzard’s train of thought, but I got distracted and lost the thread, it would be harder to pick it up again.

Phrases that give me no meaning when I hear them are all based on assumed understanding; pushing the envelope – Where? what’s inside? Who from and who to? Why? – or the writing is on the wall – what writing? What does it say? What Wall? – just conjure images of things but all the context that would tell the story is missing. They all require explanation.

This is like buying clothes online that are sized; small, medium, large, extra large. That does not give any indication of size. There is no context. It is purely opinion. Like ordering a drink and being asked which one and replying ‘in a glass’.

putting self in other's shoes

the mental picture I get when I hear ‘sliding into DMS’

One phrase that I took months to discover what it meant, that gave me a completely misdirected understanding was ‘sliding into DMs.’ I now know it means someone leaving a public social media forum and contacting someone privately. As I first heard it used in a romantic context, I thought that if people were secretly getting together the expression meant to slip your feet into someone else’s Doc Martens as a euphemism for getting into bed with them. No clear picture at all. Verbal hogwash.

Let us be inclusive, accessible, diverse and follow the facts to find universal truths as fellow human beings that unite us, rather than jargon, abbreviations and clichés that lose the audience.

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Understanding My Target Audience and Key Features

All the research I’ve done seems to keep leading me back to one main route, which accumulates things that occurred to me following various experiences, views remembered from books or articles I’ve read or what I learned during my childhood, from parents or school.

I’ve also wondered what role my dreams play in forming new realisations. There are so many ways in which dreams are dismissed in modern life. However, books such as Original Wisdom by Robert Wolff describe what a central role they played in the lives of indigenous people. Wolff’s book, subtitled Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing, focuses on the Sng’oi tribe of Malaysia whose community only fizzled out in the 1980s.

To keep me on track, I’m writing a separate blog about Understanding Dreams, What they Mean and How Our Minds Send Us Messages.

From my review this morning and from the research for the latest data update for the prototype, it seems that two areas stand out, that would be for a specific audience, while applying to everyone.

Yesterday, I found my way to a British Medical Journal article that said how iodine deficiency during pregnancy could lead to congenital hypothyroidism and hearing loss, which I have. I don’t have children but this has given me more impetus to focus on prenatal, pregnancy and early life as a focus for Hearth.

We’ve all heard of cravings, when a pregnant woman heads to the cupboard and demolishes a cereal box, haven’t we?

In his book about food, Easyway to Stop Smoking author and creator Allen Carr wrote long before the popularity of the Paleo or Mediterranean diet about choosing real, single ingredient food and responding to the needs of the body. Carr describes pregnancy cravings as a clear request for certain vitamins or nutrients for the growing baby, not the mother, being expressed through sudden urges for unusual snack choices.

Therefore, we could look at this premise, when it comes to snacking, which can lead to weight gain, insulin intolerance and over-eating.

Many tomes have been written about over-eating and, of course, many professionals and all our friends and families think they know the answer. However, let us look at it as a symptom of malnourishment.

Half a century ago, people could buy many more of their family groceries from local independent retailers such as butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers and bakers. Allotments and kitchen gardens, plus maybe chickens or guinea fowl were not just the domain of the characters in the Good Life on TV, nor were they solely found belonging to the rich and privileged.

In my view and from observed experience, supermarkets wiped out the local greengrocer in around 2003. This was a particularly hot year when the temperature went over 30 degrees for the first time in decades. Greengrocers had to install cooling systems, which would have increased the price of their produce, perhaps gaps in trading and loss of income.

Meanwhile, supermarkets were growing – my father remembers an early Sainsbury’s store – and the swooped down their fresh produce prices. To exploit the additional costs faced by local greengrocers to keep their produce cool in the sun and to keep the flies away, supermarkets dropped their plastic packaged fresh produce prices. This put many local shops out of business as people did more big weekly shops and bought everything in one go.

During 2004, I remember hearing that Sainsbury’s had been fined £10million for price fixing their fresh produce. The power of the big retailer was taking its toll on farmers too, with supermarkets demanding aesthetically pleasing, regulation sized produce. Soil was being further depleted in the UK as successive governments cut tape in soil management regulations.

Big company accountability seemed to be withering like the loose fresh produce from the remaining greengrocers hanging in there.

This relayed a huge amount of income away from local independent food retailers into the big corporate grocery stores. In America, stories of Walmart flattening the array of local retailers kept emerging in the late 1980s, 1990s and onwards.

Today, particularly following months of lockdown, unadulterated, real, locally produced food has risen steeply in price, to rebalance the extra costs faced by farmers, who have lost their teams of pickers to protectionist government policies. Salad has escalated sharply in price as growers have been forced to waste harvests with no restaurants to supply and no farmers’ markets and many vegetable stalls closed.

Before the breakout of COVID-19, a grocery shop comprising just real food from the 11 varieties including, meat, fish, vegetables, rice, eggs, fruit and dairy would be cheaper than as many meals made up of processed, prepared and ready meals with sauces, snacks and confectionary. The former would definitely far exceed the latter in terms of nourishment, while being a smaller quantity of items.

Now, the cost of buying fresh arable produce from local shops and market stalls far exceeds meat and the same supermarket shop of junk foods.

If we imagine that human beings are cars, we know that cars run on fuel. However, this might be electricity, hybrid, diesel, unleaded or even recycled cooking oil. Depending on how the car is made, links to the fuel it requires and if it gets the wrong one, it is very likely to break down and require urgent repairs.

Our bodies are the same. The different components of the fuel – food and liquid – that we run on perform different functions and if we don’t get the foods we need, we are hungry. Also, a pregnant mother will get clear signals, in the form of cravings, to ensure she gets what the growing foetus needs.

Likewise, when we are hungry between meals, it may be a call for acidophillus or more iodine, amino acids or perhaps anti-oxidants to deal with toxins that have got into the body (i.e. alcohol, sugar etc).

I think we need to regain use of our instincts and natural responses to things. We have got so caught up in diets, opinions, indoctrinations and beliefs, that we have discarded our own self-knowledge, experience and instincts about food.

Have you bought items you have been told are ‘superfoods’ to see them gradually go off in the fridge? Likely as not, you may enjoy their taste but something tells you not to eat them. I stopped buying blueberries, melon, oats and raisins for this reason, particularly with confirmation from Langton Smith Health that I absorbed way too much sugar from these items and didn’t need fructose or carbohydrates in my diet.

Sugar intolerance is a good place to look. It is often accompanied by yeast intolerance (bread etc) and is part of our bodies’ responses to modern processed foods and hidden ingredients we don’t need, which do us more harm than even just filling us up.

On one hand, fruit, cruciferous vegetables, legumes and root vegetables have been part of a staple diet to people whose ancestors lives surrounded by them and they are full of vitamins and nutrients.

On the other hand, people whose ancestors lived in snowy mountains during the ice age (as my mother’s line did), have adapted to absorb the carbohydrate and vitamins they need from whatever they could hunt or forage, which would have been a lot less of what today we call carbohydrates.

Therfore, one body has become adept at absorbing sugar from many more foods than someone with ancestors from warmer climates and would pile on the pounds and respond with sugar spikes and inflammation when this extra insulin is consumed.

This would also lead to insulin intolerance when the body throws its hands up and calls time on carbohydrates. We know, of course, that insulin intolerance leads to metabolic conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and obesity.

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Why and How the Idea for Hearth Came Up

The idea started after a lecture from the NHS called The Prophesy of Doom. This showed how our healthcare system had been under funded for years and was, as a result, understaffed.

Real unadulterated food has got to be more nourishing than anything produced in a factory

Instead of funding and support from parliament, the NHS gets used in election promises and then forgotten once a parliament takes power. Instead of providing the necessary funds to provide free healthcare, governments seem to add red tape, issue fines, create tests, commission their own research without proper impartial checks to ensure there are no conflicts of interest, to then impose on our existing healthcare, medicine, researchers and scientists to issue to the public.

Going it solo – trying to create the idea for an icon and logo for Hearth

An example of this is the Eatwell Guide, created by Public Health England and updated in 2016. The overall aim is to combat widespread malnutrition by suggesting everyone, no matter what their background or nutritional history, eats a starchy carb based diet.

Here is the history of nutrition in the British Medical Journal, leading to how fortified and enriched processed foods and dietary supplements have been used to tackle deficiencies from the 1920s, during the great depression.

My first idea centred around people being able to share their own kitchen innovations

As I was born without a working thyroid and with hearing loss, from a young age I took notice of my parents’ interest in diet and the food available in the UK, where I live. I sensed a lack of attention or provision for nutrient rich food. Even expensive restaurants do not focus on real, single ingredient, nutrient rich food.

Like many people, in my 30s I started to put on weight. I set out on a voyage of discovery and self-experimentation, which has included sugar tolerance tests (Langton Smith Health, hair samples) and DNA wellbeing tests (LivingDNA).

The idea of adding your own visual food diary so we can see what nourishment we get

My interest in food intolerances and recognising in my later 40s that I had an intolerance to standard cow’s milk sold in the UK, particularly semi-skimmed and mass farmed. This resulted in weight gain, fatigue, bloating, mucus and inflammation and would have been a key culprit for childhood acne and a constantly runny nose. I stopped smoking in January 2018, but breathlessness when climbing hills and steps didn’t stop until I stopped the dairy.

Of course then the fat and sugar bubble burst. We were told how we had been lied to for years about our diet by official authorities. Still Public Health England do not update their Eatwell Guide, featured predominantly on the NHS website. In America, the equivalent is MyPlate that advises us strongly to base meals on starchy carbohydrates.

Here is quote that resonates with me about the importance of knowing about all the essential nutrition the human body needs to prevent avoidable congenital and non-communicable diseases.

Field trials provided a basis for WHO recommendations for widespread micronutrient supplementation, especially during pregnancy, with iron and vitamin A, and for fortification of salt with iodine to prevent goitre and developmental abnormalities such as congenital hypothyroidism and hearing loss.

BMJ “History of Modern Nutritional Science”

Salad is a great way to get nutrients from some foods

In my 20s, I had read and followed Fit For Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond, and it worked well. Once I stopped commuting to work each day, I started to put on weight. I now believe the structure of the working day, breakfast before leaving, period of walking, no food until lunchbreak, then part of commute home on foot, dinner then nothing to eat before bed. Office life generally means no snacking, even if the work canteen and all the cafes  are predominantly starchy carb laden.

Unfortunately, losing control of one’s weight can be disorientating. Instead of going back to find the principles that worked (3 meals a day with no snacking in between) I then went down many side roads, following lines of enquiry wherever they led.

This is not without the usual cries of propaganda from family and friends, most of whom are in office jobs and not facing the same challenges as working from home without a journey on foot everyday.

All in all, this keeps leading me back the main path, which is that if we eat nourishing food and get all the essential vitamins and minerals in our diet, we will naturally eat the right foods in the right quantity to be healthy.

Along the way we have to wade through the various fad diets, the “eat less exercise more” and “little and often” tropes of one-size-fits-all. These ignore our genes and the congenital or future health impact of deficiencies.

Good nourishment

Now we live in a world where deficiencies do not need to happen. Sadly, due to supermarket greed, we have lost independent shops and many people buy their fresh produce in a larger supermarket shop. Big grocery shelves are full of processed, preserved and nutrient depleted, enriched and fortified artificial foods, which are for entertainment, not for nourishment.

The burden on the NHS from these complex, stripped and preservative and fertilizer addled foods is the cost of treating a rapid increase in non-communicable diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity, heart disease and cancer.

Circle of conflicted interest

Despite the dominating power of official guidelines from politicians and their funded accomplices (Public Health England is a typically named, just such an organisation cuddling up the government and industry, including unhealthy commodity stakeholders such as alcohol, tobacco, ultra-processed food and medicines) there are many good nutritional scientists out there wanting to find and tell us the truth. People such as Tim Spector, whose team Zoe created the COVID-19 symptom tracker app at the start of lockdown, Dr Zoe Harcombe, Gary Taubes, Harvey Diamond, Dr Joel Kahn and many more. Proper trials and research, transparent and free of conflict of interest from industry funding have been carried out.

Unfortunately, organisations such as Dietary Association of South Africa have worked against people such as Professor Tim Noakes to tell us that starchy carbohydrates are NOT an important part of a healthy diet.


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