Hello and welcome!

Monday, 19 February 2018

(Photo Credit: Jane Beadnell Photography (http://janebeadnellphotography.co.uk/)

Welcome to a blog that is all about wellness for the over 40s. Here you will find blog posts to help you maintain (or restore) your natural state of health. You will also find a vegan recipe each Monday and you can learn about growing organic food from the blog posts on the 40plusandalliswell allotment. 
If you like yoga I also have a 'sister' blog, Flexiladiesyoga.

I hope you enjoy my posts and will visit the blogs often!

Thank you for your support- sending my love to you all.

Please see below for my latest post!







Meatless Monday : Chickpea tagine loaded sweet potatoes


Stuck for a filling for a sweet baked potato?  This chickpea tagine loaded sweet potato is warming, filling and delicious. It has a lovely aromatic sweetness with the dates and spices.  Comfort food in a bowl. This week I am using olive oil spray instead of olive oil to cut a few calories without affecting the flavour but feel free to use a tablespoon of olive oil to fry the onion if you wish.  Here’s a tip for you - add salt when you fry the onion.  It will bring out the moisture from the onion so that you do not have to add more oil.

Chickpea tagine loaded sweet potatoes
Serves 2

Olive oil spray
7cm piece of butternut squash taken from the ‘neck’ end
2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1 medium red onion, peeled and chopped
½ tsp pink salt
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp chilli flakes or to taste
½ tsp cumin
2 chopped tomatoes
100g tomato puree
Pinch stevia
8 dates
150-200ml water
Can chickpeas

To garnish (optional)
Coconut cream 
Mint leaves, chopped 

Cut the squash in two lengthwise and place cut side down on a baking tray that has been sprayed with olive oil spray with the sweet potatoes.  Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and place in the an oven at 200 degrees for 45 minutes until tender.  Leave the potatoes in the oven to stay warm and transfer the squash to a plate with a for to allow to cool enough to handle’

Meanwhile spray a non-stick with olive oil spray.  Add the onion and salt and cook for 2 minutes then add the garlic, tomatoes and red pepper and cook for another minute.  Add the tomato puree, stevia and spices and cook a further minute.  Add the water and dates and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove the rind from the squash and dice. Stir the squash and chickpeas into the frypan and heat through.  

Place the sweet potatoes in two bowls and cut down the middle.  Fill with the chickpea tagine and garnish with coconut cream and chopped mint leaves if using.

Enjoy!

If you are enjoying my blogs please consider making a small donation but please do not feel this is a condition of enjoying the blogs. Please see- 
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page.html 


Thank you

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 18 February 2018


The yoga video on my YouTube Channel this week is 'Yoga for self care-love your body'.

Pigeon is a great pose for opening the hips but it can also be a little intense. If this is the case for you one of the variations on my 'sister' blog might suit you better-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/same-pose-different-relation-to-gravity_18.html

If you are enjoying my videos and blog posts please would you consider a small donation? Please note however this is not a condition of enjoying my blogs. Please see-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/p/support-this-blog_44.html

Thank you

Theories on aging 2 - free radical damage


I need to wear my science hat again this week to explain this theory - sorry.

Free radicals are molecules that are highly reactive because they have an unpaired electron.  To make themselves more stable they ‘steal’ an electron from another molecule, in a process known as oxidation.  If this process happens repeatedly, the result is tissue damage, illness and aging.  The majority of free radicals are produced in the mitochondia.  These cellular components are in each and every cell of your body and are responsible for producing the energy required for all your bodily functions.  These little powerhouses use 90% of the oxygen taken in by your body to carry out their function. These processes create ‘reactive oxygen species’- in other words, free radicals. Free radicals also come from some of the foods we eat, air we breathe and water we drink. The thinking goes that anti-oxidants can ‘mop up’ these unpaired electrons so they are no longer damaging- a process known as reduction.  This reduces the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cognitive decline, macular degeneration and other degenerative diseases. Antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, betacarotene, zinc, selenium, lutein, glutathione etc.  

The theory- first put forward in the 1950s- is, however, a controversial one. One of the reasons for this is that free radicals do have a purpose in the body.  For instance the immune system uses free radicals to destroy bacteria, viruses and damaged cells.  Also some later research using worms indicated that antioxidants actually shortened life which is very confusing but kind of makes sense if you remember free radicals can destroy damaged cells.  

So what should we do?  It would seem that if antioxidants come from food as opposed to supplements they are better able to deal with  excess free radicals that are damaging.  This means including plenty of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and seeds.  Some herbs are helpful too such as turmeric, ginger, garlic and green tea. Avoid processed foods and preferably drink filtered water.  You can get jug filters or have a filter fitted to your tap.  Also avoid toxic products in cosmetics.  

You might also like:-

'Theories on aging - Telomere shortening'
'Spring clean your beauty products'
'Reduce the effects of air pollution on health and skin aging'

If you are enjoying my blogs please consider making a small donation but please do not feel this is a condition of enjoying the blogs. Please see- 
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page.html 



Thank you






Meatless Monday : Chinese New Year special - Chinese 5 spice vegan burgers with stir fry vegetables

Monday, 12 February 2018


It’s Chinese New Year this Friday and this year is the year of the dog.  If you were born in the year of the dog - 1946, 1958, 1970 etc.  If you are born in the year of the dog you are likely to be honest and loyal.  

This year I have created this Chinese 5 spice burger as a recipe in which east meets west.  It is served with stir fried vegetables in lettuce ‘buns’ if you are watching calories or sesame seed buns if not.  If you are new to veganism, you will love the 'meaty' flavour of these burgers.  

Chinese 5 spice vegan burgers with stir fry vegetables

Serves 2 

You will need

For the burgers

150g dried soy granules
50g breadcrumbs
1 ½ tbsp tamari
1 ½ tbsp Chinese 5 spice
Olive oil spray

For the stir fry vegetables

1 small red onion, peeled and chopped
1 small carrot, finely sliced
Handful of mange tout or green beans 
½ red pepper sliced
1 tsp sesame oil
1 ½ tbsp tamari
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2cm piece ginger, peeled and grated

To serve 

Romaine lettuce leaves or sesame seed buns

Place the soy granules in a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Leave to stand for 10 minutes then drain any remaining water well.  Stir in the breadcrumbs, tamari and Chinese 5 spice.  Shape into 4 burgers and place on a baking tray which has been sprayed with olive oil spray. Place in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through the cooking time.

Heat the oil and cook the onion and carrot for a few minutes.  Add the red pepper, mange tout or green beans, rice wine vinegar and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender.   

To serve place the stir fried vegetables on a lettuce leaf and top with the burgers.  Alternatively place the burgers on sesame seed buns and top with the stir fried vegetables.

If you are enjoying my blogs please consider making a small donation but please do not feel this is a condition of enjoying the blogs. Please see- 
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page.html 



Thank you



This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 11 February 2018


Our minds tend to flit from thought to thought like a monkey flitting from tree to tree.
In this yoga video the intention is to calm our monkey minds- http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/yoga-for-self-care-calming-monkey-mind_9.html

Cobra is a great pose for opening the chest. It improves posture and by encouraging deeper breathing, relieves stress and fatigue. 
In this blog post I suggest some alternatives that have just the same benefit if the prone version does not suit your body- http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/same-pose-different-relation-to-gravity_11.html

If you are enjoying my videos and blog posts please would you consider a small donation? Please note however this is not a condition of enjoying my blogs. Please see-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/p/support-this-blog_44.html

Thank you

Theories of aging – telomere shortening




One theory of aging is that cells stop dividing which is known as senescence. To understand why I need to talk a bit of science.  Each of the cells in your body has a nucleus and within that nucleus is DNA, your genetic material arranged in helixes. When your cells divide, each of the strands of DNA helixes unravels to make two DNA strands.  Each strand then forms a copy of the strand that has split away ready for cell division.  Protecting the ends of the strands of DNA are ‘caps’ known as telomeres.  Each time a cell divides, the telomere gets shorter. One of the reasons put forward for senescence is that telomeres become too short to protect your DNA. The result is the cells stop dividing and aging and degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis etc. ensue. As a theory though this does not explain why, in some people, telomeres get longer as they age.

There are several ways we can try to protect our telomeres.  Firstly we need to eat a diet rich in antioxidants which reduce the free radical damage that may contribute to telomere shortening.  This means eating plenty of different coloured fruit and vegetables. 

Stress can considerably shorten telomere length.  Try relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation and make them part of your daily routine.

Exercise can help protect telomere length possibly because of its effect on reducing stress.  Similarly adequate, restful sleep is important for stress reduction and so to protect telomere length.  

If you are enjoying my blogs please consider making a small donation but please do not feel this is a condition of enjoying the blogs. Please see- 
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page.html 


Thank you