Cancer and Diet – Spare 5 mins to watch this and share with friends and family

Yet another brilliant article from Michael Greger. This time looking at the positive impact of restricting methionine on cancer.

Where is methionine found? Poultry & Fish – Foods that we often think of as healthy!

Take a look – it runs for 5 mins. Then share with friends and family.

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Heart Disease in childhood? Watch this video if you care about your children or those of your friends and families.

This hard-hitting short video by Michael Greger MD is shocking, insightful, interesting and motivating….

Take a look and let me know what you think.


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pumpkins and walnuts

Plant-Based Living. Will it reach the masses in the UK

Interesting article by Doug Lisle on his view on Plant-Based Living reaching the masses in the US.

I wonder if this is true for the UK too? With “free healthcare” and a lack of taking responsibility for our own health, I have to say that I am concerned that we may eventually lag behind the US.

Your thoughts?


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Who said: “You have a responsibility to try and be as healthy as possible.”?

So who said this?

He also said a great many other things…

None other than Bill Clinton.

President Clinton’s Heart Disease Reversal through Dietary Lifestyle Shift is Proof Positive for North American Plant-based Nutrition Healthcare Conference.

If only my Dr would attend this!

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Slow down the aging process?

Here are the details of a study by the University of California, that was published in Lancet Oncology on Monday.

The subjects all followed Dr Dean Ornish’s plan.

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Supper for when you don’t feel like cooking.

It’s Friday night. The dishwasher doesn’t work. I’ve been up since 5.30am and its 7.55pm and I have the shopping to put away and dinner to cook. It’s been a long day at the end of a long week. We all have them.

In the past, I’d have reached for the phone or PC and ordered a delivery from a local take-away. Yes, I know that I still could, but thought I’d make something quick but healthy.

So what did I do?

I quickly cooked some potatoes with their skins on and cooled. Sliced into thick slices and oven grilled them on a Teflon sheet for about 30 mins at 190c hot air grilling. Perfect no fat sauté potatoes.

While the potatoes were cooking, I made some of the non-dairy cheese sauce. (See recipe and video previously blogged).

In the saucepan i cooked the potatoes in (remember the dishwasher is kaput) I shredded some spring greens (cabbage) and placed in the saucepan with half a cup of water. Clamped the lid on and cooked on high for 5 mins.

I then added a pack of cooked black beluga lentils to the cabbage and stirred in the cheese sauce and heated gently until the sauce thickened.

Serve sprinkled with some fake Parmesan (see previous post). alongside the sauté potatoes.


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Plant-Based eating when travelling?

Do you travel, for work?

I used to travel a lot for work that it got so mundane criss-crossing the Atlantic as if I was travelling into my office in Central London. Having done the “regular commute” from London to Toronto for two and a half years, a little like a chubby ping pong ball being batted back and forth thanks to the efforts of British Airways.

When I did that, I was not plant-based and although I would often avoid airline food, I would eat indulgently when out, my workout routine would go to hell and my health went down the tubes. I had almost a year of illness. It was a standing joke that when I went to our offices in San Bruno, California, Barry would be ill and so I was. So Ill on one trip that I was almost hospitalised and flown back and wheel-chaired off the flight and then off work for 6 weeks with severe viral pneumonia. That took some getting over. Lucky for me, my company were so concerned that I reduced my travelling substantially and for the past 12 months have had only a few trips from time to time, working predominantly on deals in the UK and Europe.

So how come I am typing this at 33,000 feet then? En-route to Johannesburg in South Africa? I am taking on a new role that requires my traveling more. Not as much as before and this is my decision but I will be doing a long haul flight every 5-6 weeks, and staying away from home for about 5-6 days per trip. I have to say that working from my home office or the company office in Central London once a week, as has been my habit of late, has become a pleasant habit, allowing me to get good quality sleep in my own bed, see my trainer once or twice a week, exercise regularly and for the past few months stick to my plant-based diet, even when dining out with clients. This has resulted in a huge improvement in my health and fitness and my quality of life.

So what am I going to do differently now that I am eating a plat-based diet and planning to run 5km in 4 short weeks? To be honest, I really don’t know, but here are my thoughts so far:

Eat before you leave home
I know this may sound so stupidly obvious, but I am lucky that my flights leave at night, so I had my breakfast and a snack and before I left, I had an early dinner. I had a heavy starch dinner which completely filled me up. In fact, I am still full now, several hours later. If I were at home, I would not have anything else before bed, so why should I eat on my trip? Just because its “free” doesn’t mean I either want to or have to eat it.

Eat at the airport or grab and go?
Heathrow T5 has a plethora of places to eat, including several that do plant-strong food. Maybe not as good as home cooked, but infinitely better than what is on offer on the plane. There is an Itsu where you can get really healthy food, several Cafe Eats and a Wagamamas.

Airline Lounge Food
Being a frequent flier with British Airways I have access to their lounges. Unlike US airline lounges, the ones in Europe generally provide more than just peanuts. Some of the food is processed, high in fat, or meat heavy, but there are lots of choices that are suitable, including sandwiches, soups, fruit and salads. In fact I was a regular at the First Class Lounge Salad Bar, dressing my salads with balsamic vinegar. It’s not easy but you should be able to find something that works for you even if you cannot be “plant-perfect”. Remember the odd bit of mayonnaise or fat in a bowl of soup won’t kill you, so be a little bit relaxed about it. I just remember that I do not chose to eat meat and dairy and try to stick to that If I can, if not a bit cheese or fats may be consumed, sometimes unknowingly.

My test for BA will be to find if they will be able to make me porridge in the lounge with water or soy milk – that might test them, but for now I have no morning flights planned. If no, then it’s lots of fruit for breakfast.

Talking of fruit, that’s another top tip. The lounges often offer a range of fruits and today in my bag, I took a banana, an apple and a small orange. If you don’t have lounge access to “steal” your fruit (i think if it more like liberating the fruit), you may be able to buy fruit at one of the air side shops or coffee shops, or bring some from home.

On board the plane
If you are on a “full service” flight where food and dink are served, you can usually order a “special meal”. I chose not to do this as I was advised that as a frequent traveller that if you do, I may not get upgraded as if you have a special meal request they will not move you as they won’t have your special meal option in the next cabin. I’d rather get a better seat and deal with the food my own way. You could choose a special meal although I am unsure what BA offers by way if plat-based or vegan food options, and I am sure all other airlines vary.

So equipped with my fruit, do I look like a “right sad ol’ git”? It’s strange but the flight crew often commented on my not choosing to eat the food, mainly because many of them don’t either! BA now routinely offer a vegetarian option in economy, but it is typically a risotto swimming in fat or white pasta covered with cheese.

Take a snack on board
This is a first for me on this trip. I baked some plant-strong flapjacks and brownies this morning, so rather than leaving them for Mr G to eat, I wrapped some in foil and bag and popped them in my hand luggage. So along with my fruit which I can have, I also have a healthy treat and something better for breakfast as we approach Johannesburg tomorrow morning rather than the awfully unhealthy breakfast served in board of a breakfast muffin or breakfast box.

At my destination
So on this trip I have done something that I have never done before. I have some food in my checked luggage. I am unsure if I can officially take food in with me, I know some countries are very strict in terms of protecting their agriculture. The US does forbid the importation of food stuffs, but I do no know about SA. I have some more flapjacks and brownies, which will last in their wrappings for about 5 days plus two packs of cooked mixed grains. They can be eaten cold or microwaved. Why have I got those? I have been to SA before and know that unlike the US and the UK it’s no somewhere you can easily just wander out of the hotel and walk to the nearest supermarket for provisions. I will be eating out a lot with my colleague and with clients, so I just thought that I might eat a little of these before I go out, so if my only food choice is a rather meager salad I won’t be starving. I also thought that if I came back from a meal hungry, they are an easy way I can fill up on quality nutritionally-dense food and not CRAP (Calorie Rich And Processed) food.

Ask, smile and ask
I had a look online and there are vegan restaurants in Johannesburg but I can hardly drag my clients half-way across a huge city so I can satisfy my food choices. I’m going to have to be like those awkward Americans I know, who always ask for something off menu – and why not? It’s so bloody British to just “put up and shut up”. Well, no more. What’s the worst that they can say? “No”. If I do not ask I will never know if they can for example give me balsamic vinegar instead of the house dressing or provide the dressing on the side, or remove the cheese from a dish etc.,

Talk to others
I plan to talk to my colleague so she knows about my dietary choices and can guide me on where I can eat, or where we take clients etc., I also plan to talk to the hotel staff regarding breakfast once I see what is on offer, although I usually find that the easiest meal of the day, especially if it is a buffet.

What about exercise?
One of the challenges that I found on business trips was how could I maintain my exercise regime. One colleague is brilliant at doing that, but I always struggled with the jet-lag, how busy i am and worst of all, the tiredness. This trip involves 2 overnight 11 hour long haul flights in economy/coach, and I find it almost impossible to sleep on flights. So this is going to be interesting. Quite a challenge in fact. I have asked my trainer for a gym programme that I can do anywhere regardless of the equipment in the gym, as it is a hotel that I am unfamiliar with. My thinking is to use my new level of fitness to just do something every day. I am also going to try to use some relaxation apps etc., to rest on the flights – any tips?

What are your tips and experiences?
Can you share your tips and experiences if you are vegan, or like me, eating a no added fat, wholefood plant-based diet and traveling for business or pleasure. I will report back my experiences as comments or other blog entries as the trip progresses. I’m only away from Sunday night returning home on Friday morning, and if I am not plant-perfect that is not the end of the world. I do think that it is important to remember that what I am doing is not a diet, it is a lifestyle and if I cannot be perfectly plant-based a la practically perfect Mary Poppins – it really doesn’t matter. It’s all about the balance and what I am fueling my body with for the majority of the time. It is not about being good or bad, it’s about progress.

More later…..on how I got on.

So, what did happen?

Well nothing earth shattering. I did not eat on the flight. My hotel offered a plant based dish of roasted artichokes, lentils, broccoli with some nut curd (who knew you could make nut curd). It did come with some rather odd croutons, but was very nice otherwise.

I could not find anything wholemeal. I had a veggie pizza – delicious but white flour. I had balsamic on my salad. Pasta was all white flour but hey ho.

Breakfast was easy, as I had suspected with some great options. Plus one day they made me porridge with water instead of milk.

I had a couple of meals on the client sites which were ok. One was rice and veggies. Polished rice and overcooked veggies. That afternoon I had one of my flapjacks to fill me up.

One night I had an indulgent meal. The starter did not say it had butter and Parmesan in it, but it did. I lived!

I drank a bit more than I should have one night, but we were out letting our hair down after a particularly long and difficult day. I also had some fried bits with my veggie burger.

I ate before my flight on the way home. The food in the lounge at Johannesburg was ok. Not perfect but good enough. I just had my flapjacks and fruit on the plane. I got quite jealous looks as the food served looked and smelled awful.

I did not need to use the packs of cooked grains I’d taken, so they’re now back in the larder.

My only regret was that I did not do much exercise as I was so busy, plus you travel everywhere by car for safety reasons. The furthest I walked was to the shopping centre, 5 mins away.

All in all, a good week.

What has your experience been?

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Commitment – what will you change on World Encouragement Day – Sept 12th?

As you know I’ve been banging on about plant-based food for a while. I’m committed to this way of life as I want to change my health destiny. I’ve blogged links, articles, lots of recipes and I’ve run a cookery demo.


My goal is to just to try to help one person – that’s YOU dear reader; to improve your health and well being in some small way through the adoption of a no-added fat whole food plant-based diet.

The problem, is what do I mean by “adoption”? You might be thinking, it’s alright for him, he loves cooking and can afford all those weird ingredients, what about me? Do I want to change my eating habits?

I have spent part of today in a London Hospital at the Cardiac High Dependency Unit surrounded by very sick people.  All of these people had had the best that medical science can do thrown at them, to help alleviate their symptoms and in some cases, save their lives. Highly skilled surgeons have opened up their chests and undertaken the most delicate of operations in the hope of improving these people’s quality of life. Quite wonderful work, but….

What if those people just go back to their old habits after their operations? Will that stent keep that artery open? Will that bypass of a blockage keep open to allow blood to flow freely around its new diversionary route?

My family has a history of heart disease. I was on track to maintain the family tradition of Honeycombe men who have died early of heart disease.

What if, we could change our health destiny or at least improve our chances?

So that’s what I am trying to do for myself. I love food. I’m obsessed by it. I eat too much. Even now. However despite that, I’m making a conscious choice to radically change my diet.  It is like turning around an oil tanker in the middle of the ocean and setting a new course, but I am trying.

When I enrolled on the e-Cornell Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition, my tutor told me that having done the course she and her family now followed a WFPB (whole food plant based) diet.  I have to say that what I said was “oh that’s interesting, jolly good for you” and what I thought was “you must be barking mad, you stupid woman. Imagine me, giving up lots of foods I love, you must be bloody mad. Now shut up, and enroll me before I change my mind. Oh and I bet this course is going to be full of ying-y yang-y hippy types”.

Well it wasn’t full of hippies, it was full of people who inspired me. They talked of amazing experiences that clearly showed that the research we were learning and hearing about was working in everyday lives, reversing many of the chronic diseases we are all facing today in the western world.

    So I made a commitment that I’d try this.

That’s all. See if it worked. What was amazing, was that after a few short days at the Farms2Fork event in Orange County in April 2013, I suddenly realised that I was loving my food and that it loved me back as it nourished my body and helped me fight those diseases that ail so many in our society today.

At my recent cookery demo, I asked the people gathered there, what commitment would they make? After all, they had paid good money to attend my event. What would they do differently as a result of attending?

Would they…

  • Eat WFPB 1 day a week?
  • Try it for 7 days?
  • Do a 5:2 plan, where 2 days per week are WFPB?
  • Challenge themselves with a 28 day challenge  like the firefighters at the Austin Firehouse as a way of supporting their colleague with exceptionally high cholesterol.
  • Try a “PB6” – Plant-based before 6pm – based on the VB6 (Vegan before 6pm) see –

What commitment will you make?

I now have the confidence and resources to cook this way and am slowly but surely changing my “health destiny”.  In just a few days, my blood pressure had normalised.  I have just booked to have my cholesterol checked next Friday to see how it has changed since it was last tested in March 2013.  I have lost about 30lbs and my performance in terms of exercise and recovery has never been better.  I am also planning to run a 5km.

So…what will you do?  What will you commit to?

Whatever it is, whatever commitment that you make it has to be:

  • Workable and fit in to your life

It must fit in with your daily life and work with whatever commitments you have.  How practical is it for you to take your own food to work?  What if you are eating out with clients or colleagues, what if you have children, or regular evening commitments etc.,  Think carefully before setting out to make changes to be sure that you can incorporate them easily into your life, schedule and routine or you are destined to fail.

  • Not involve deprivation

One of the reasons that diets fail is that they deprive you of certain foods.  I often hear people say: “Oh, i can’t eat that”; “I am being good”, or “I am on a diet”.  All of these phrases ring warning bells for me.  If you go on a diet, you will soon “go off it”.  That is not what we are doing here.  The plan here is to gradually change your lifestyle and eating habits.  It may just be one day a week, it may be 98% of the time, but remember if you deprive yourself, you will fail.

The recipes that I share and cook are not boring low fat ones, or teeny-tiny portions placed on a small plate, they are healthy, nutritious and filling.  Full of complex carbohydrates that will nourish your body and that should prevent you from feeling deprived.  This is a key part to finding what works for me.  I need to feel full and sated.  My food should provide me with a sense of well-being and satisfaction.  Not leave me thinking, so that was dinner, now i want a bacon sandwich, packet of crisps and a chocolate bar or three.  Oh, but I can’t – I’m on a diet!

  • Measurable

You want to be able to see what effect you are having on your body by making this commitment.  Try not to focus on weight.  Remember, this is first and foremost about being healthier.  Choose something that indicates clearly that you are improving your health.  It could be blood pressure or cholesterol – look at the Happy Heart Course as an example 4 weeks to lower your cholesterol by 20%.  It could just be how much further you can walk, or how many steps you take in a day, or how puffed you feel when walking upstairs.  Just make it measurable and keep tabs on your progress.  There is nothing more motivating than to see that you are turning that oil tanker around in the ocean.

When I started on this, my mindset was predominantly focused on health, but every now and then I’d get on the scales.  I can remember moaning to a friend that my weight had gone up!  I was devastated, but he reminded me that my blood pressure had gone down and that I was not depriving myself, I had simply changed what I was eating, not the portion sizes.  In due course, the weight-loss followed.

  • Flexible to allow you to cheat?

Actually, it is not all about cheating.  Its all about perfection.  So many people think in terms of black and white.  I’ve been good or bad.  Perfection is something to be avoided.  Personally, I do not aim for 100% WFPB diet deliberately.  I know that when I am traveling or out with clients I am likely to eat something that may have mayonnaise in it, it may be made with refined flour or it may (heaven forbid) contain diary.  IT IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD.  Get over yourself.  If you want a bacon sandwich – have one.  If you want to eat something that has white sugar in it, do it.  Just do it in the context of what you are trying to achieve.  If you commit to one day a week WFPB and one week you cannot do it for some reason, it’s ok – there are 51 more weeks in that year and by the end you will have been 98.08% plant-based on your 1 day a week plan.

  • Avoid moderation

I wish I had a £1 (or a € or $) for every time I hear someone talk about moderation with regard to food and nutrition.  There is no such thing and it is a dangerous road to go down thinking that it’s all about moderation.  Moderation is like an elastic band – it all depends on how far you stretch it.  My favourite definition of moderation is “eating less that your sister-in-law at the all-you-can-eat buffet on a cruise ship”.  Here is a serious article on moderation from Jeff Novick –

  • Your responsibility

Your health is not the responsibility of anyone other than yourself.  It is not the government, the food companies, your family, your genes etc.,  Wake up and acknowledge that you are not a victim, you are the person who puts the food into your mouth.  You are the person who decides if they exercise, or not.  I know that I am fat as I ate too much food over the years.  I know that I damaged my health and I know that I am now taking my health seriously and am doing something to change my health destiny.

So on Sept 12th – World Encouragement Day – I encourage you to think about your health, your health destiny and what you are prepared to commit to, by way of making a positive change for yourself.

Please let me know what you choose to do and how it goes for you.

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Plant-Based Cookery Demonstration – August 17th

Demo Title: “A day living a plant-based lifestyle”

Summary: This event is a demonstration, where a number of dishes will be showcased illustrating a day of dishes, from breakfast, lunch and dinner to snacks and the basics. It will also showcase some techniques, such as how to sauté vegetables without oil.

Date: Saturday 17th August 2013

Times: 10-30-2.30pm plus lunch. Please arrive from 10am (for coffee/tea)

Location: 65, Bishopsthorpe Road, Sydenham. SE26 4PA

Cost: £25 per person (£15 for the event/food and a £10 donation to charity)

Attendees: There is a limit of 6 attendees at this event

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I book? Please send me an email to with the subject of “Plantalicious – Booking for August 17th” with your name, address, phone number and how many places you are booking. I will then send you a confirmation.

What should I bring? A hunger for food and knowledge! You can bring a note-pad and pen, although you will get copies of all of the recipes either on the day or emailed to you.

Will there be food to eat and drinks? Yes – we will have a light breakfast at the start of the session and then we will have lunch together at the end of the demonstration. There will be plenty of teas, coffee and water available throughout.

What will I be expected to do? Just enjoy the time – my goal is for you to go home armed with the confidence to cook more plant-based meals that will help you to lose weight and improve your health. Please ask lots of questions and be prepared to stir and taste things!

How do I find you? Here’s a map –,+London&hl=en&sll=51.528642,-0.101599&sspn=0.604029,1.783905&oq=65,+bishopsthorpe+&hnear=65+Bishopsthorpe+Rd,+London+SE26+4PA,+United+Kingdom&t=m&z=16

What’s the nearest station? Sydenham is the nearest, an 8 min walk. There is also Lower Sydenham and the house is on the 75 bus route from Lewisham to East Croydon. Penge East is also close and you can take the 75 towards Lewisham and get off at Burghill Road, (the stop is next to my house).

Is there parking? There are no parking restrictions on Bishopsthorpe Road but please be aware of my neighbours. You can also park on Mayow Road.

Who is the host? My name is Barry Honeycombe, I have been a life-long yo-yo dieter and have recently been studying plant-based nutrition and gained a certificate from E-Cornell University. I love food and now blog about my plant-based food and recipes and my “personal journey” (gosh that sounds American – sorry). I am not an “expert”, merely an enthusiastic amateur who is happy to share what I know and have learned.

Can you give me advice on my medical conditions? I do not have any medical training and therefore cannot give any advice. I can of course share my experience. I am new to this and I am learning all the time, I hope to learn from you too! If you have questions and queries, the best that I can do is to point you toward sources of materials and experts where you can acquire additional information that might be helpful.

What if I have food allergies? Please let me know at the time of booking if you have any food allergies or intolerances. We will not be using any meat, fish, diary etc., Please be aware that we will be using nuts.

Will you use everyday ingredients? I obviously do not know what you have in your cupboards at home! Most of what I use will be standard ingredients, although some might be unfamiliar such as tofu and nutritional yeast, some might be downright strange sounding such as vital wheat gluten and agar-agar. I will explain any I use and where you can obtain them.

Will you use any specialist equipment? I will be using common kitchen equipment, which most people have. I do have one piece of specialised equipment that I use a lot and will certainly use in the demonstrations. It’s a very high-powered blender – A VitaMix. I use it a great deal and I will always explain how you can use a standard blender or a food processor instead. My VitaMix is the one thing that I would save if my house was flooded, probably ahead of my partner – I love it that much! (Only kidding).

What is a plant-based lifestyle? For me a plant-based lifestyle is first and foremost not a diet. This is a way of life that I have chosen for health reasons. I am not restricting myself to a certain number of points, green days, red spots or calories. I am aiming to simply eat more plant-based foods. My personal aim is 98% but this is an individual choice. So what constitutes a plant-based lifestyle? Firstly starches, (potatoes, rice, corn, grains and legumes), then vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. I choose not to eat anything with a face or a mother – ie., Meat, Fish, Dairy or derived products from these sources. I also do not use any added fats and eat wholegrains/wholefoods where possible. I am not a vegan and there are some significant differences between the two – see this article for details:

Why are you charging? To cover the cost of the food for the day and my time. I’m not looking to make my fortune from this. My goal is to share my passion and to learn from the experience.

What’s with the donation to charity? I thought that it would be a nice gesture to donate part of the money to a charity and as I am not a “pro” at these demonstrations, in fact, this is my first and you are my guinea pigs! I’m also trying to make the point that this lifestyle can be done on a budget and so the money will be donated to the Lewisham Borough Food Bank.

What happens if I cannot make it on the day? Things can happen, I understand that, but unless you cancel 48 hours in advance, I have to insist that you pay as I will have purchased the food for the day and it will be too late to fill your place with someone else.

If you’ve done this, how come you are still fat? I have only been plant-based for about 14 weeks and anyway this is a journey not a “silver bullet”. I have lost about 28lbs over my time doing this and my primary reason is for my health and the weight loss is kind of a bonus that goes hand-in-hand with the improved health.

What’s with the video camera? I may have some or all of the session videoed. This is partly for my own interest to see how it went and to see it from your perspective. I may also use some of the footage on my blog.

How and when do I pay you? You can either pay me (£25) before the date using my pay pal account. My email for my paypal account is (You will need a paypal account yourself to do this) or you can pay me cash on the day. I would rather not accept cheques and cannot accept credit card payments.

I have other questions…. Then please ping me an email at or leave a comment below.

See you on the 17th of August from 10am onwards!

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