Blog Update

Friday, 21 July 2017

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

Over the years I've loved sharing my knowledge of wellness and yoga with you all. I've wanted to share as much as possible, so I have been posting six times a week over the two blogs. However, I'm planning some new and exciting projects to share with you, and to give me the time to work on these, I won't be posting quite as frequently. I'll still be here though, and I look forward to continuing on our wellness and yoga journeys together.

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

Please see below for my latest post!







Age reverse - youthful skin


When I was in my 20s my skin was, I considered my best feature.  Then to my horror, I caught chicken pox. My face became a red and yellow mass - only one square centimetre on my cheek was unblemished.  I cannot tell you how low I felt.  I hid away for many weeks, embarrassed to go out. When a cold caller knocked at the door, he took one look at me and turned tail and ran - that's how bad it was.  When eventually I had to go out I wore thick make up and had a fringe cut to hide my forehead.  Now thankfully, apart from a few small marks on my forehead my skin is restored and I no longer wear make-up (except lipstick!).
  
There is much you can do to maintain a youthful skin.  Below are my top tips:-

Wear sun protection EVERY DAY, not just in spring and summer but autumn and winter too.  The burning, UVB rays are weaker but the aging, UVA rays can still damage your skin. Please see 'Sun Protection - what you need to know' for more on sun protection.  

Stop smoking - along with protecting yourself from the sun, stopping smoking if you are a smoker are the best steps you can take to restoring youthful skin.  Why?  Because smoking reduce blood flow and oxygen availability to the skin, accelerating skin aging.  Smoking also depletes antioxidants such as vitamin C leading to skin damage.

Don't forget the muscles under your skin give support and if these muscles become thinner then the overlying skin can sag and wrinkle.  To help prevent practice facial exercise several times a week.  Please see 'Facial yoga' and 'Lion breath - the three minute facial toner

Moisturise to hydrate your skin and protect your skin from the ageing effects of pollution. 

Coconut oil is a good choice as many commercial moisturisers contain ingredients that are best avoided. Please see 'Spring clean your beauty products' and 'Reduce the effects of air pollution on health and skin aging'.

My mother always told me to pat my face dry rather than rub.  This was good advice because the facial skin, especially around the eyes is delicate and rubbing can lead to wrinkling. Also, if you sleep on your side consider a silk pillow to avoid 'sleep lines' when you wake.

Sleep well  - please see 'Love your sleep' for how your sleep can affect your skin.  

Hydrate from the inside with water and herbal teas to maintain the skin's elasticity.  Avoid alcohol which dehydrates.  

Eat a skin friendly diet.  Make sure you include omega 3s in your diet.  Please see 'Where do vegans get their omega 3s from? ' Omega 3s reduce the inflammation that accelerates aging.  Also include antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E and zinc from fresh fruit and vegetables, lentils, beans, nuts and seeds.  Protein is essential too in order to maintain skin and the underlying muscle. Please see 'The vegan diet and protein'. Also include probiotics which make nutrients available, break down toxins and reduce stress which affects skin. 

Supplement help- serrapeptase helps reduce the inflammation that leads to skin aging. Please see 'Beating inflammation with serraenzyme' Glucosamine with chondroitin can also help reduce skin wrinkling.


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Meatless Monday : Tofu with vegan barbeque sauce and sweet potato wedges

Monday, 17 July 2017


Whatever the weather, you can still enjoy this recipe. The barbeque sauce is so moreish and you will probably have some left over which you can enjoy with kebabs, on or on a pizza. The sauce can be frozen if you do not need it within a couple of days.

Tofu with vegan barbeque sauce and sweet potato wedges

Serves 2

You will need

400g tofu

For the barbeque sauce

1 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
350g no sugar tomato ketchup
1 tbsp vegan worcester sauce
1 level tbsp English mustard
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp stevia
1/4 tsp cayenne
Sweet potatoes (allow 250g per person)

Drain the tofu and squeeze between pieces of kitchen towel to remove the water.  Cut into 1/2 inch slices then cut each slice in two.  

To make the barbeque sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.


the un-cooked tofu with sauce


Spread some of the barbeque sauce on a baking tray, top with tofu then cover with more barbeque sauce. Cover with a sheet of kitchen foil and place in an oven at 200 degrees for 25-30 minutes with the sweet potato wedges.  

To prepare the sweet potatoes, scrub the sweet potatoes and cut into wedges.  Place on another baking tray and spray with olive oil.  


 cooked tofu

Enjoy with corn or the cob and a side salad if you wish.

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This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 16 July 2017


This week's yoga video is another quality cultivated by #yoga- equanimity, one of the four 'divine abodes'.
Please see my 'sister' blog- http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/qualities-cultivated-by-yoga-equanimity.html

When you are building your home yoga practice don't skip the warm ups. On my 'sister' blog we look at a sample warm up to standing poses-
http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/building-home-practice-yoga-warm-ups-so.html

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Oh, why do we love to beside the seaside?

Thursday, 13 July 2017


On a Friday evening, and even though still a good hour from Scarborough, you will see queues of cars heading for the seaside town.  What draws us to be beside the sea?  I believe there are several reasons.  

If the weather forecast is hot, it can often be cooler at the coast because of the sea breezes. I also think that most people like to connect with nature.  When I am up on the cliffs at Bridlington watching the seabirds wheeling and calling and listing to the waves lapping on the rocks below, I feel at one with nature and a peace steals over me.- so meditative. 

For children of course the seaside has much to offer.  I have fond memories of rock pooling with my children, paddling in the sea, building sandcastles and playing beach games - all free activities in nature's playground.

When I was young and suffered from asthma, my mother used to tell me that the sea air would do me good. She was right - the salt air has all the benefits of a salt pipe.  If any bacteria are lurking in the lungs the salt will burst their cells apart rendering them harmless. Sea spray is also good for skin problems as salt is healing.

Have you noticed too that when you spend a few days at the seaside, you sleep 'like a top'. This may be because sea air is charged with negative ions which boost serontin, (the feel good neurotransmitter) in the brain, reducing stress and energizing us through the day so that we sleep well at night.  You get similar effects near waterfalls, up mountains or even going for a walk after a rain shower.

If you like a swim in the sea (make sure it is safe to do so) there are even more benefits.  Sea water is rich in magnesium - it is the second most abundant mineral after sodium in sea water.  The mineral helps remove toxins from the body.

It is no wonder then that we 'do like to be beside the seaside'.

Wishing you happy summer days!

You might also like:-
'Been out Christmas shopping?  Restore with an epsom salt bath'
'Salt pipes and lamps'

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Meatless Monday : Southern 'fried' tofu with sweet potato wedges

Monday, 10 July 2017


This is a vegan version of a takeaway that will even delight your non-vegan friends - healthier too!

Southern 'fried' tofu with sweet potato wedges

Serves 2

You will need

450g tofu
2 tbsp tamari
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion salt
pinch cayenne pepper
75g polenta flour
sweet potatoes (allow 250g per person)
Olive oil spray

Drain the tofu and squeeze between pieces of kitchen towel to remove the water.  Cut into cubes and place in a bowl with the tamari.  Leave for at least an hour.  

Mix the polenta flour with onion salt, cayenne pepper and paprika.  Spread out on a plate and toss in the marinated tofu until the tofu is coated.  Spread out on a baking tray and spray liberally with olive oil spray.  

Scrub the sweet potatoes and cut into wedges.  Place on another baking tray and spray with olive oil.  Place in an oven at 200 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  After the sweet potatoes have been roasting for 10 minutes place the tofu in the oven for around 20 minutes until crisping on the outside.

Serve with a side salad if you wish.

Enjoy!


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A taste of summer - strawberry macaroons (sugar-free, gluten-free)

Wednesday, 28 June 2017


The summer flavours are a taste sensation and these strawberry macaroons will not disappoint.  I am using fava aka the liquid from a can of chickpeas as a replacement for egg whites. Whoever thought of using this liquid, which is normally thrown away, to replace egg whites is a genius. 

We also have a lot of strawberries to eat from the allotment.  This time of year, all the hard work starts to pay off as the harvesting begins.  It's been wonderful to see so many children up at the allotment this year - it's a good way to learn how food grows (it doesn't just appear in the local supermarket!). The recipe below makes 3 strawberry macaroons - perfect for the three of us.  Great for afternoon tea, dessert or use without filling them with cream to top ice cream sundaes.  Don't expect the crisp outer of macaroons made with egg white but you can expect sweet, almondy yumminess.

Strawberry macaroons (sugar-free, gluten free)
You will need 

100g ground almonds
15g stevia + extra for sprinkling
1 tsp rice flour
60ml fava aka the liquid from a can of chickpeas
couple drops almond essence
strawberries to fill
coconut cream to fill

Mix the ground almonds, stevia, rice flour, fava and almond essence.  Using a tablespoon spoon onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment or rice paper (the mixture will make 6 - leave space between them).  Bake in an oven at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Fill with strawberries and sandwich together with coconut cream.
Sprinkle with stevia

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Thank you