brown rice



This week every paper in the country ran a story about statins. The headlines announced that everybody over the age of 50 should be taking the cholesterol lowering drugs statins. According to BBC there are currently between 6-7million people in the UK taking statins every day. That means roughly 10%, about 1 in 10. According to the new recommendations this number would go even higher.

Statins save lives, there is no doubt about that, mainly in people who had already suffered a heart attack or have other cardiovascular problems or can’t lower their cholesterol sufficiently with diet and lifestyle change. However giving statins to people within the low risk category scares me.The problem with statins is the same as with all drugs, they come with side effects. I read that some 28% quit taking them because of the side effects. Just looking at the comments (that follow the recent stain articles online), from people who have had bad experiences with statins. How about memory loss, severe pain in joints and muscles, muscle wastage, depression, kidney and liver problems, lack of appetite, sickness, apathy, night sweats, sexual disfunction... On top of this they also raise the risk of Type-2 diabetes (which is out of control so no need to push the numbers any higher).

It worries me that anybody would even entertain the idea of giving a certain drug to everyone over certain age. I want to be prescribed medicine if I really need it. I try to avoid taking medicine if I can help it I won’t even take a pain killer for a headache; water and rest usually helps. I don’t want to be made into a patient if I am not ill. We wouldn’t be taking daily antibiotics just in case we might catch a bacterial infection sometimes in the next few years... Let’s give statins to the people who do need them, and who will benefit, but let’s put more effort into education people and help everybody lead a healthier lifestyles.

Cholesterol can be easy to control with a plant based diet. There are countless success stories, just look up Dr Fuhrman, Dr McDougal, Dr Barnard, Forks over Knives, Engine 2 Diet and many others. To quote Dr Margaret McCartney (I will be reviewing her book Patient Paradox soon) on statins: “ These tablets save lives - but the life they save will probably not be yours.”


This made a huge batch, perfect if you are feeding lots of people. You can serve it as a side dish or it is satisfying as a main with some green leafy veggies or salad on the side.

I made the leftovers into spicy fried rice, I say fried but I used a bit of water in the frying pan and some chilli sauce and a splash of tamari. Delicious.

The brown rice I used was my favourite Thai Jasmine rice that I get in my local Oriental supermarket, but any brown rice will be great. Just follow the cooking time on the packet.

Serves 6-8


1 1/2 brown rice of your choice
3 cups of stock (or water)
1/2 Tbs olive oil or 60ml (1/4cup) of water
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp Hungarian paprika (sweet or hot)
1 tin of red kidney beans, drained
1 cup of sweetcorn kernels (I used frozen)
1/2 cup of peas (I used frozen)
125ml (1/2 cup) vegetable stock

  1. Cook the rice in the 3 cups of stock according to instructions, set aside.
  2. In a large saute pan heat the oil or 60ml of water, add the onion and garlic and gook till softened.
  3. Add the spices, kidney beans and sweetcorn. Add the 125ml of vegetable stock, cook on medium until most of the stock is gone. This softens the beans and gives them lovely flavour.
  4. Next add the peas and the rice and heat through.
  5. Serve.