I might be along the right lines after all

I’m working hard at my immune system, especially hoping to get my ‘T Cells’ in fighting order so that they can eat up my cancer cells.

Research publication this week shows that I might be along the right lines:



So, there’s not only a ‘tiny British company’ working on this, there’s a not-so-tiny, short British woman doing her bit, too.

What am I doing?

  • Good nutrition
  • Daily exercise
  • Extreme cleanliness, with daily ‘Dettol’ baths and saunas a few times a week.

The last bit’s my own invention! I don’t want my T cells chasing common bacteria around when they should be concentrating ON THE JOB IN HAND! Ridding my body every night  of skin-born bacteria seems the way to go.

All I can say is at the moment it seems to be working.



Dehydrating food – a weird science

My adventures with my new dehydrator continue. It’s a roller coaster ride, but I’m persevering. The bin men might start to complain about the weight of soggy, putty-smelling residue they have to cart away each week, but I’m determined to make this work.

I’ve learned a couple of things this week:

  1. Dehydrating doesn’t chemically transform the flavour in any way, like baking does. So, if the raw dough tastes like crap, the end result will be a hard biscuit that tastes like crap.
  2. Things called ‘crackers’ need drying very thoroughly indeed. They need to spend many more hours in the dehydrator than I’ve been giving them.

I announce a moderate success with my Rosemary Almond Crackers and Sage and Onion Cashew Cheese:

almond crackers and cashew cheese

For the Sage and Onion cheese, I used the Simple Almond Cheese recipe, but substituted cashews for the almonds. I dried an onion, sliced, and a big bunch of sage, then ground it to a fine powder with a dozen black peppercorns. I rolled the cheese in this to coat it, then dehydrated it for 6 hours to give a crust.

It’s interesting that the cashew nuts hung on to the added water/olive oil/lemon juice in the way the almonds don’t in the original recipe. I drained the mixture in a cheesecloth for 24 hours, but it threw off absolutely nothing, where the almond cheese drips a couple of tablespoonfuls of fluid. This contributed to it being really light and creamy.

Yeah! I’ll make this combo again!

Adventures in dehydrating, part 2

I’m enjoying experimenting with my new dehydrator. Kale and cashew crisps are great, and I enjoyed having my Hazelnut Cranberry Flatbreads topped with cashew butter and banana for breakfast all last week.

But when things go wrong, I’ve discovered there is nothing more disgusting than a dehydrated accident.

Below on the left we have the delicious Pear and Walnut crackers. On the right, the absolutely vile Pumpkin Seed crackers.

Crackers made in the dehydrator

Appearances are deceptive. They look yummy. In fact, when you start eating one, the initial taste is acceptable, but, as you chew, it turns into something really bitter and grassy. The final impression is of chewing matted hair you’ve rescued from the bath plug hole.

I’m identifying sprouted wheat berries as the culprit. The last recipe I made with them was vile, too, but I thought that was because the batch had gone ‘off’. It’s a shame because the wheat takes ages to soak and sprout, and is supposed to be amazingly good for you. Even so, I’m going to have to add them to the very short list of foods I can’t eat without retching (the other one being skin on rice pudding – easy to avoid).

Bye bye sprouted wheat.

Almond pepper dip

Hubby and I found we were accidental vegans on Sunday. No we didn’t get pointy ears – that’s vulcans – we just didn’t get round to eating any meat.

I made some beetroot crisps and some Corn Kale Chips. I served them with guacamole and my new invention, Almond Pepper Dip.

almond pepper dip

The black things at the bottom are beetroot crisps. The corn kale chips have a healthy portion of flax seed in them, so more estrogen-busting compounds.

After we’d scoffed that we didn’t have room for the chicken stir-fry I’d planned. Plus we’d had about 12 of our 5-a-day!

Almond pepper dip
100 g blanched and skinned whole almonds
Juice from 1 lemon
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
Flavouring – see note below*
6 black peppercorns
12 szechuan peppercorns
Salt and pepper to taste

*Flavouring: I dried 1 yellow bell pepper and half a red bell pepper in my new dehydrator and ground it to a powder (home-made paprika, I guess). It would have worked as well with a couple of heaped teaspoons of paprika, or possibly a pepper that had been grilled to blackness and then skinned.


  1. Grind dried bell peppers and both types of peppercorn in a spice grinder/pestle and mortar
  2. Put everything into a food processor and whizz until smooth. Be careful with the water! It’s easy to make it too runny. Start with 1 tbsp and add more as required.

Modest cheesy success

After a week of wild culinary experimentation here at Laboratoire Squires, involving soaking, sprouting, fermenting, whizzing and drying, I’m pleased to announce a moderate success – Cashew cheese with Sesame Flax Crackers.

Nut cheese and crackers

The amount of work involved does make you wonder if it wouldn’t just be easier to go and buy some peanut butter and a pack of crispbreads, but it IS tasty.

There have been some disasters though. Real smelly ones. My dehydrator broke down and I had to get a replacement sent to me, so a batch of ‘Onion Flax crackers’ went horribly wrong. When I got my new dehydrator I carried on trying to dry the damn things out, but by then they had become a rancid mix of oxidised onion and window putty. They smelled so bad I not only had to get them in the bin, but right out of the house.

Why am I bothering? Just trying to add a bit of interest to the anti-cancer ‘Bristol Diet’, and increase my intake of plant-based foods. Flax is supposed to stop estrogen binding in estrogen sensitive cancers – like mine – so I’m trying to get more of that in my diet. Not easy, it being a rascally, putty-smelly seed. Still, when I pop my clogs you’ll be able to put in a house full of windows with me.

Sucrose… fructose… who knows?

Since I got sick early this year, I’ve been deliberately losing weight. It’s going really well, and I’m feeling better and better all the time. I reckon the more weight I can get off these metastatic bone tumours the better I’ll be. An added benefit will be that my oncologist won’t be trying to medicate a big lump of fat as well as my vital organs.

I’m eating very healthily, and really enjoying it, but the thing that gets me into a complete melt-down is the question of sugar.

Firstly, there’s a school of thought that believes that cancer cells are destroyed by being in an alkaline environment, and to achieve that means eating a diet virtually devoid of any pleasure at all, and especially sugar. Now, I have two points against this. Firstly, research shows however hard you try with diet, you can only make your body alkaline for short periods of time (too short to do any good). ‘Unlike the pH level in the urine, a selectively alkaline diet has not been shown to elicit a sustained change in blood pH levels, nor to provide the clinical benefits claimed by its proponents. Because of the body’s natural regulatory mechanisms, which do not require a special diet to work, eating an alkaline diet can, at most, change the blood pH minimally and transiently.’  Secondly, these same theorists – having banned caffeine being taken orally – somehow see benefits in sticking it up your bum in the form of coffee enemas.

This all smacks of the Victorian approach to medicine. If it’s really awful and makes you miserable, it must be doing you good. Following this to a natural conclusion, operations should be done without anaesthetic, because the more suffering involved, the better the outcome.

I don’t buy it.

Then there’s the type of sugar. According to some very convincing research shown in a BBC programme ‘The men who made us fat’, fructose is bad news. It sneakily goes straight to fat, and, worse still, stops your liver producing an enzyme that tells your brain you have had enough to eat. That explains why fruit never quite hits the spot when you’re really hungry!

This starts to get me in a fix. If I choose sweet fruits that don’t need any added sugar, then I’m taking in more fructose, which seems to be the bad guy. So, would I be better choosing tart fruits and adding ‘the deadly white’ i.e. sucrose to them?

Because fruit is such a conundrum, should I be avoiding it altogether? Then how the hell am I going to follow the ‘plant-based diet’ that is advocated for cancer? It’s just vegetables then, is it?

OK, let’s side step the whole issue and look at artificial sweeteners. They’ve got the advantage of making food palatable without any of the problems outlined above, surely?  No added calories, too – it’s all good. Except that rumours are rife that such products as aspartame give you cancer. Well, I’ve already got cancer, so does that count? You know, ‘stable door… horse… bolted’ etc?

This also smacks of those same Victorian fears mentioned above: if it tastes good, and it’s got no calories, it’s too good to be true and therefore MUST be bad for you. Some very quick research shows ‘Reviews have found no association between aspartame and cancer’ .

It all boils down to ‘fructose is bad’, ‘sucrose is bad’ and ‘aspartame is bad’, mainly based on the reasoning that they make food taste good, so therefore must be bad for you.

The conclusion I’ve come to is that I don’t need MUCH sugar to continue my weight loss down to a healthy Body Mass Index of 25, but, if I haven’t got long to live, I’m not eating cardboard for the rest of my days.

On the other hand you don’t need MUCH sugar to make healthy foods palatable. My ‘Vegan King’s breakfast’ only has less than a teaspoonful of honey (HONEY! There’s another thing! Is it fructose or sucrose? It’s a great antiseptic, but does my cancer benefit from anything antiseptic?!! I don’t know!). The ice creams and sorbets have about a teaspoon of white sugar per portion. My ‘Cucumber smoothie’ REALLY needs a couple of teaspoons of sugar to balance out the sharpness of the lime, but surely the benefits of the Vitamin C in the lime outweigh the badness of the sugar? All told, my white sugar consumption will be very low, at probably only one kilo bag every couple of months.

The ‘coffee up the bum’ brigade would say that adding any sugar at all completely negates any benefits that the anti-cancer alkaline diet can have. But I don’t care. I’m enjoying life and feeling good, so they can stuff their puritanical ideas (up the same place they stick the coffee…)

Fruity knickerbocker glory

Not so much a recipe as a serving suggestion, using the fabulous sorbets and ice creams you can make instantly in a Vitamix liquidiser.

You can pack at least 5 of your 10-a-day in here, plus use soya milk for the lactose intolerant.

Fruity, good for you, kickerbocker glories

These are composed of

  • apricot and peach ice cream
  • banana and apple ice cream
  • fresh cherries, pitted
  • blackberry coolie (we have a glut of blackberries at the moment! I heat them minimally in a saucepan until they have broken down, then rub them through a sieve and add the smallest amount of sugar possible to make them palatable. I can’t be doing with this ‘no sugar’ thing.)

I’ve scaled down the ice cream proportion from the original Vitamix recipe. It was too frightening trying to stuff those amounts of fruit onto the flashing blades!

I use:

  • 300g frozen fruit
  • 160mls water or fruit juice for sorbets, soya milk for ice creams.

This is a wonderful way to use up surplus fresh fruit. You know when you get those 2-for-1 offers in the supermarket you can’t resist, then a few days later having to throw away the bit you never got round to eating? Cut it into chunks and freeze it. It doesn’t matter if it goes floppy or discolours a bit – you’re only going to smash it to smithereens.

Using water in the sorbets can make them a bit, well, watery. I’m starting to use juice, like red grape juice or cranberry. That also ups my intakes of the red berries that are supposed to starve cancer, and add natural sweetness, so it’s all good.

Using soya milk makes an extraordinarily creamy ice cream! Wonderful stuff, especially when you realise it’s mainly composed of two thirds liquidised fruit. It honestly tastes like it’s got cream in it.