Highly Processed Foods and Cancer

Reports in the media about highly processed foods being linked to cancer are no surprise. I have been watching numerous programmes about how our food is made and I am incereasingly horrified at the amount of work that goes into even the most simple of foods.


I have been watching the BBC’s Inside the Factory. Each episode follows a product through the factory from raw ingredients to finished product; from pasta to biscuits.

Its surprising how much effort goes into the getting the perfect product.

The thing is it isn’t only chocolate bars and pop (soda). Fresh chicken and other meats are injected with chemicals and water to make them look bigger, coloured to suit our tastes. Vegetables and fruit are sprayed to keep off bugs and disease.

We have NO idea what we are really eating most of the time.

In addition to all this we are then peeing it away into the water supply. Hormones, antibiotics, chemicals. All inserted into out food supply by manufacturers increasing profit margins and trying to meet the demands for perfect food from the shops who have ld us to believe that there is no such thing as a bent carrot or mishaped apple.

In turn we the consumer have been trained to demand perfection. Neatly packaged and pure.

So I guess there is no one place to put the blame. If you want to break the mold, look out for other ways of getting good food. Growing it, buying organic, cooking from scratch.

Here is some general advice:




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Current Themes – An Update

Another month has whipped by and I hae been fairly busy. My mind is still on my goals which I have updated below.

Health and Fitness:  The cough has finally gone and I have got on with training. I am currently on week 8; doing longer walks. The farthest I have gone in the last few weeks has been 8.5 miles continuously and 11 miles in a whole day. I am also losing weight  bit by bit, a few pounds a month, which is great as I am not dieting yet. I usually wait until spring for that.


Still struggling to get enough sleep. Some nights better than others for no one reason. Waking up with aches and pains, hot sweats, too cold, need the loo, dreams and restless legs. I have ditched the kindle at night and only read paper books, this has helped. Weirdly I sometimes fall asleep for a micro period and wake again. Ah well. Onward and upwards.

You would think that the walking improves matters but it hasn’t really.  It doesn’t make the tiredness worst either so I am carrying on.


Making Money: I am back to doing surveys but find my heart isn’t in it. The sites I have been using are changing on a regular basis and its harder to earn. In the next few months I hope to find other sites or just quit it and use my time better elsewhere.

Prepping: I have been working though my address book and phone book, updating them both. Its amazing how many people change their phone and or their number regularly these days.

Decluttering and Minimising: Since the beginning of January another 14 bags of books and clutter have gone to the charity shop. I have slowed down a bit, preserving energy sometimes but I am still doing a small amount regularly, which is better than nothing at all.

We won’t be moving now but will still be doing the house up for when we do, maybe in five years or so. We would rather retire early than be saddled with a bigger mortgage.

I have started on my craft stash,  crocheting a blanket, but got a way to go yet.

Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: I see plastic waste has been making big headlines in the news in the UK. On a personal level I have converted to a single waterbottle and will refill that rather than buy.

To really give up plastic it means giving a lot of other stuff. Washing liquids, cleaning stuff, fizzy pop, shampoo. There are ways around this but I need to spend some time working out what the solutions are.

I haven’t bought a plastic bag for months, reusing the ‘bags for life’ I have in the car. The thing is to remember to take them when going shopping otherwise I am tempted to buy more.



Posted in Avoid, Reduce, Recycle, charity marathon walk, cleaning and clearing, decluttering and minimalism, Health and Fitness, Making Money, miscellanous, plastics, Prepping, reuse, sleep, walking | Tagged | Leave a comment

Getting The Vote – 100 Years On

In Britain, as in many countries around the world, it is difficult to imagine not having the right to vote. Only a hundred years ago women got this right in this country.

 Image result for suffragettes getting the vote

Image from Wikipaedia.

A hundred years is a long time, progress to equality is being made, but this last year of revelations of women still being treated poorly and unequally in all areas of life demonstrate that there is a way to go.

It is going to take us a lot longer to shake off the thousands of years of ingrained manupmanship that came before the hard won change in the law.

Anyway, I am proud to use my vote each time I can and hope my daughter who is now eighteen and can also vote will use it wisely. I firmly believe that if we want equality we have to carry on fighting the inequalities wherever we see them.

Image result for suffragettes getting the vote

Women protesting about cuts to services for women at the premiere of Sufragette.

Image from Google

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Plastic – A Move in the Right Direction

I was pleased to hear today that in England we may get points where we can refill our bottles with water instead of buying them prefilled.

Picture: BBC

Pile of plastic bottles


I have been watching the BBC’s Inside the Factory. The episodes about drinks and how they make them were very interesting, then you get to the bottling bit.

You realise that the numbers of bottles are enormous. The size of the problem is vast.

It is hard to get a perspective because you may see a few shelves of bottles in the supermarket but that doesn’t make you go Wow. The waste is taken away in small bags bit by bit. You can never get a picture of the full extent of the waste until it is presented to you like this programme does. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07mddqk

Blue Planet 2 , another BBC programme has been concentrating on waste and the water environment showing vast islands of plastic floating into the sea and and how the life of the sea is affected by our waste.


It wears down into micro plastics eventually which then settle on the beaches and in the bodies of the seafood we eat. Humans and animals alike are not meant to ingest plastic. We still don’t know the full extent of what it is doing to us but it is certailnly in the food cycle.


In the  UK we have been aware of the problems but not so bothered seeing as we could ship our waste off to China. Now China is refusing to take our rubbish, we have to take responsibilty too.

Picture: The Guardian

Sorting paper and plastic waste in Oregon, US


And remember, it’s not just bottles you have to consider. Go to your local supermarket and virtually everything will be on or in plastic or at least have some plastic in the packaging.  Here is an example from the fruit counter of my local supermarket.

plastices shopping (3)plastices shopping (4)

Time to rethink the shopping I think.

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RIP -Ursula K. le Guin

I was saddened to hear today that Ursula K.Le Guin had died. I haven’t read anything of hers for a while but feel that she was one of those wide ranging authors who wasn’t afraid to put controversial subjects into her work.

Image result for ursula k le guin

I read first the Wizard of Earthsea  and then the whole Earthsea collection.

From that I moved on to The Left Hand of Darkness – Science fiction with gender at it’s core. In 2015 the BBC presented The Left hand of Darkness as a Radio 4 play in two parts. It was well done, very atmospheric.


Before that  Goro Miyzaki  introduced a new generation to her work with the animated Tales  of Earthsea  which I still enjoy every now and again.

Image result for bbc left hand of darkness free images

My favourite was The Word for World is Forest. I realise when looking today that I haven’t read as many of her books as I had thought I had. The Birthday of the World awaits.

I espcially like the Den of Geek interview she did in 2015.


So the world has lost another creative and challenging author, groundbreaking for her whole lifetime. As someone who would like to write something good she will always remain an inspiration.


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Kickstarting the Year


This is a chatty post so nothing clever will be said but you might like it anyway.

So the last few weeks have been a bit hectic and I still haven’t got the Christmas decs in the loft yet.

I am exhausted (not sleeping so well) and have had to have a few days off from marathon training but I am back on it. I slept through The Lord of the Rings  (Fellowship) last night and felt a lot better. Its one of those comfort movies.

In that category there is Stardust, The first Star Trek featuring Chris Pine and the mini series ‘Going Postal’  which Sky did a good few years ago now. I wish they would do more Terry pratchett stuff as it is always good.

Seeing in the New Year was a quiet affair, as in just me, DH and DD.

Since then I have been busy decluttering and cleaning. Not spring cleaning as such, just keeping on top of things and doing a bit more.

DD has gone back to Uni now so I am able to use her room as a sorting area again. I have a new system for clearing out. If something is to go out of the house and is not to go in the bin it will go in her room in a box for reuse (gifts and things for the charity shoe boxes), charity shop ragbag, charity shop good stuff or it will go to work for distribution either by giving away or donating to various departments.

The important thing is that as soon as a bag or box is full it is taken and put in the car and taken to it’s final destination within a few days. This is working very well for me. I used to build up mountains of stuff and never move it on becasue I thought I would take it all in one big go. What actually happened is that things got moved around, spilled over or I would change my mind.

I do struggle to let books go. They have been my protection since childhood and I know I don’t need all of them any more, in fact I am not sure I can read all the ones I have.

Some are parts of series where I didn’t collect the next in line and so the rest have waited. I am now using my library for these or kindle if I can’t get them from the libary. Thjis is also workig well for me.

A second major area is the craft stash. Its amazing how you can build up such a collection and still have nothing to show for it. I am tackling this in categories. I am onto wool first. I am crocheting a blanket and shawl set for me for the car. I  have hot and cold flushes and they will be easire to throw off than suffering in a coat.


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Current Themes – An Update


Happy New Year Folks.

I can’t believe its nearly a month since I have written. Lots of reasons, none important really. Here is my monthly report.

Health and Fitness: STILL coughing, had a chest infection. The Couch to 5k has been dropped for now because I didn’t want to end up with pneumonia but I haven’t stopped.

In December I volunteered to do The Moonwalk. A night walk which is a marathon distance around London. Its all for breast cancer charities and I have agreed to go.


I am in training and have managed 2 weeks of an 18 week programme bar one day. Its not until May so should be up to speed and distance by then. I am walking 5 to 6 miles a day at present with work as well as training walks.

I got a Fitbit for Christmas, I lost my last one. It is showing how little sleep I have although I am not waking every hour as I used to. In the last week I have made over 6 hours once and over 5 hours twice, otherwise less than four hours. I admit I was burning the candle at both ends but even when I go to bed earlier I am still struggling to get to sleep.

I have been feeling that I am on a plateau with my health of late, not moving forward. The walk and efforts to focus on sleep should help that.

Making Money: Still not doing the surveys, I hope to get back to that once DD has returned to uni and I can put up my computer. I haven’t overspent over Christmas and this year intend to save something every month into account just for birthdays etc.

Prepping: Nothing to report again. No time or energy at the moment. We did have the water turned off at night for three days in December while the water company did some work. It was no problem as we have plenty of water stored for emergencies. As it happened we didn’t need it as we filled pans and the kettle for hot drinks and fitted all other activities around the times.

Decluttering and Minimising: Since last writing I have sent about 20 bags of books and stuff to the charity shop and around various departments at the hospital for their fundraising efforts.

This year it will continue. There is a chance that we will move house in 2108 so I could really not do with packing all that stuff up and moving it to the next place.

I am also intending to work through my craft stash to use up as much as possible.

Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: This year I was lucky to get food, drink and useful presents. I have used everything and recycled the packaging. I haven’t moved much more forward with plastic avoidance. I tried to buy a glass bottle of salad cream last week with no luck.

When buying presents I tried to consider the disposal of the leftovers. Bottles of wine are an especially good present for this purpose. I also recycled and re-purposed some packaging from 2016 Christmas so I didn’t feel too bad.

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