No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016


7th December 2016
In an attempt to avoid BSE/CJD (Mad Cow's Disease), I became a vegetarian 15 years ago. I first of all gave up beef, then, after Christmas 2001, all other sources of meat. It was just easier that way.

It then took me around 2 years to transition to a completely plant-based (vegan) diet - impelled by increasing concerns about animal welfare. About 2-3 months after giving up all sources of dairy, I found that my nasal drip - a constant irritant - had completely dried up. 

My osteoarthritis, from which I'd suffered for the previous few years, stabilised - it was no longer getting worse each year, as it had been. Today it is no longer a concern - I no longer have osteoarthritis.

Now, of course, Climate Change has reared its ugly head and forswearing meat and meat products is even more of an imperative.

So, 3 reasons to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet: 
Animal Welfare; and, 
Global Warming.

Any one of these three reasons, IMO, should be sufficient on its own to persuade people to eat nothing but plants.

The evidence for the health effects of eating a plant-based diet is overwhelming. The case is made most effectively in the film, Forks Over Knives. (95 minutes) 

Here is a review.

The film Forks Over Knives, Extended Interviews is also available. In it the scientists who contributed to the film talk about their work.

Review here.

"...A plant-based diet has an ability to repress almost all kinds of diseases. This effect also happens very fast: in the case of diabetes - cut it off within days, maybe within hours, you know - you start reversing the whole phenomenon."
Dr. T Colin Campbell  (FOK Extended Interviews)

"Some people think a plant-based diet, whole foods diet is extreme. Half a million people a year [this is in the US] will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme."
Caldwell Esselstyn, Surgeon (Ibid)

And we've know about this for over 100 years!

The evidence is stacking up - eating meat and meat products is deleterious to our health.

And human beings haven't developed to eat meat - we're naturally plant-eaters - just as our cousins, the primates, are.

The canary in the mine - erectile dysfunction!

Meat is manly, isn't it? Think again.

The perils of dairy:

Here's more - a TEDx talk on Plant-based Nutrition.

Dr Michael Greger runs, a free, non-commercial website, dedicated to publishing the last findings on nutrition. His book, 'How Not to Die' made the NY Times bestseller list when it was released.

How not to die: Preventing, arresting and reversing our 15 top killers(Michael Greger MD)
(Video and transcript.)

The surprising power of microbes
Another of Gordon’s students, Vanessa Ridaura, demonstrated this in 2013 by using mice to stage battles between the gut microbes of lean and obese people. First, she loaded these human microbial communities into two different groups of germ-free rodents. Next, she housed the mice in the same cages. Mice readily eat each other’s droppings and so constantly fill their guts with their neighbours’ microbes. When this happened, Ridaura saw that the “lean” microbes invaded guts that were already colonised by “obese” communities, and stopped their new hosts from putting on weight. The opposite invasions never worked: the obese communities could never establish themselves in the gut when the lean ones were already there.
It’s not that the lean communities were inherently superior at taking hold in a mouse’s gut. Instead, Ridaura had tipped the battles in their favour by feeding her mice with plant-heavy chow. Plants contain a wide variety of complex fibres, and microbe communities from lean guts contain a wider range of fibre-busting species than those from obese guts. So, when the obese communities colonised lean guts, they found that every morsel of fibre was already being devoured.
By contrast, when the lean communities entered obese guts, they found a glut of uneaten fibre – and flourished. Their success only evaporated when Ridaura fed the mice with fatty, low-fibre chow, designed to represent the worst extremes of the western diet. Without fibre, the lean communities couldn’t establish themselves or stop the mice from putting on weight. They could only infiltrate the guts of mice that ate healthily. The old dietary advice still stands, over-enthusiastic headlines be damned. (My italics)
(Guardian article, 25/8/16)


  1. Why eating nothing but plants is bad for us:

    "Vitamin B12, whether in supplements, fortified foods, or animal products, comes from micro-organisms."

    The above quote is taken from:

  2. Easily sorted, Mike - my recent blood test showed my B12 level was fine. All I do is eat a little yeast extract and make sure my nutritional yeast is fortified with B12.