Hello There!

Monday, 5 December 2016

Welcome to a new wellness blog for those passionate about wellness in middle youth. 
Keep checking back for exciting posts on everything from yoga to superfoods, anti-aging to holistic beauty. 

Meatless Monday: Vegan Mac and 'cheese' with crispy, breadcrumb topped roast tomatoes

This is a great comfort food and you will not believe that this vegan version has no dairy in it. 
Quick and easy to make too, no wonder it is one of Britain's favourite meals. I have used silken tofu to make the 'cheese' sauce which means that the dish is protein rich too.  I like contrasting textures and the crispy, breadcrumb topped roast tomatoes are just the thing. Choose small tomatoes that will cook quickly.

Vegan Mac and 'cheese' with crispy, breadcrumb topped roast tomatoes

Serves 2

You will need
6 small tomatoes, cut in two
75g breadcrumbs
1 tsp mixed herbs
Olive oil spray

150g dried macaroni 

For the 'cheese' sauce
300g pack organic silken tofu
2 tbsp tamari 
2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Cook the macaroni according to the pack instructions. Place the tomatoes on a baking tray and top with the breadcrumbs mixed with mixed herbs. Spray with olive oil spray. 

To make the macaroni 'cheese' sauce, place the tofu, tamari and nutritional yeast in a high speed blender and combine.

Stir the 'cheese' sauce into the macaroni and transfer to an oven-proof dish.  Place in a hot oven with the tray of tomatoes for 10 minutes.

Serve the macaroni 'cheese' with the tomatoes on the side.

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 4 December 2016

The intention behind this week's video is to know the truth of our fears and anxieties so that we can challenge fears and anxieties generated by our egos trying to keep us safe.
Blogpost and yoga video on my 'sister' blog- http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/yoga-for-anxiety-truth-insight-and.html

If your legs are tired from prolonged standing (Christmas shopping??), this yoga sequence on my 'sister' blog may help- http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/yoga-for-tired-legs.html

A bolster or blanket really comes into its own in restorative poses and in Yin yoga where there are long holds, helping you to relax while your body opens.
Try this yoga sequence on my 'sister' blog to see ways in which you can use your bolster or blanket-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/yoga-with-bolsterblanket.html

A Very Merry Pom-Pom Snowman

Something that I really enjoy in the run up to Christmas is getting hands on with a little bit of festive make and do. I like to make at least one new decoration each year, and I’m always on the lookout for crafts that are quick, easy and fun. One I really like is making pom-poms using a pom-pom maker- with each pom-pom taking around 10 minutes to make, you can rustle up some seasonal loveliness in no time. In this post, I’ll show you how with a step-by-step guide to making a pom-pom snowman.

You will need:

White knitting yarn (I like glitter yarn- the more sparkle the better 😄)
Two pom-pom makers- one large and one medium
Small craft scissors
Ribbon and beads/buttons to decorate

Start by opening up one side of your large pom-pom maker as shown in the picture below:

Start wrapping your yarn around this side of the pom-pom maker- I like to get mine started by holding the yarn with my finger while I get the first couple of loops going (see below).

You don’t want your pom-pom to end up looking a bit sad and sparse, so as you wrap push the loops together with your finger.

When you get to the end of one side it should look like this:

I like a nice fluffy pom-pom, so I’ll repeat the wrapping until I’ve got a good covering of yarn on one side of the pom-pom maker. Once I’m happy, I’ll thread the yarn through the gap between the two halves that form the side of the pom-pom maker I’ve just wrapped. 

Post the thread through to the other side, and begin wrapping the other half of the pom-pom maker until it matches the side you wrapped previously. 

When both sides are wrapped you’ll have something that looks like this:

Now for the slightly tricky bit….don’t worry, we got this 😄

Using your craft scissors, cut along the centre of each side (the ‘dip’ in each side of the pom-pom maker will show you where to cut). Be careful that your pom-pom maker doesn’t open up during this process- we don’t want any yarn to fall out! 😲

You’ll be left with lots of short pieces of yarn around the edge of your pom-pom maker, allowing you to clearly see the ‘gap’ between the two halves of each side. Insert a piece of yarn in this gap all the way round the pom-pom maker, and then tie it as tight as you can. This will be the piece of yarn that holds everything together, so the tighter you can get it tied around the middle of your pom-pom strands, the better. You might even want to repeat this stage to make sure everything is super-secure.

When you’re done, pull the two sides of the pom-pom maker apart. Ta-da! You made a pom-pom!

Fluff up your pom pom and trim any uneven strands to get a perfectly round shape.  

Repeat the process with the medium-sized pom-pom maker to make a second pom-pom.

Glue the smaller pom-pom on top of the larger pom-pom. 

Now it’s time to decorate! Give your snowman some personality by gluing on buttons, beads and ribbon.

And that’s that- a lovely Christmas decoration in a jiffy!

🎅 Happy holidays!🎄

Hydrate to stay healthy

Thursday, 1 December 2016

The Thanksgiving feasting is behind us but there is still the Christmas feasting to come. In the party season it is easy to 'forget' to drink as much water as we usually do but this can lead to bloating - the last thing you want when you are trying to fit into your party clothes!  This happens because when your body is low on fluid, it will try to hold onto water.

Some of the foods we eat contribute to dehydration too, especially salty foods. Sugary foods are dehydrating too and this is why you may experience a dehydration headache after eating sugary foods. There are plenty of sugar-free desserts on this blog so you need not feel deprived. 

Not all drinks are hydrating either.  Alcohol especially dehydrates but strong coffee may also dehydrate because of its caffeine content.

Other symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, dizziness, even fainting.  If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.  You need more fluids in hot weather and before, during and after exercise.  If you do not have enough to drink when exercising, you may not be able to control your body temperature so well (you need fluid to sweat which cools the body)  

The benefits of staying hydrated are many.  It is better for your cardio-vascular health because your heart has to work hard to pump your blood around your body if the volume is reduced.   Staying hydrated also helps prevent constipation and helps remove toxins from your body. Staying hydrated is important for your immunity also - an important consideration at this time of year.

Beautywise, staying hydrated helps you maintain your skin's elasticity and combined with a well-balanced diet staying hydrated will also help prevent dark circles under your eyes.  

The best way to stay hydrated is by sipping water throughout the day - eight glasses of water is usually the recommended intake but this can vary greatly with activity etc.  Herbal teas are also a good way to take your fluids but some foods also provide a great deal of water including celery, melon,  tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce etc.

Keep a jug of (preferably filtered) water in the fridge - a slice or two of lemon in it is nice. 

Stay hydrated, stay well.

Meatless Monday: Vegan bean chilli pasta bake

Monday, 28 November 2016

Filling, warming and easy to make, this is an ideal recipe for a cold autumn day.  The addition of the chocolate squares gives the chilli a velvety richness.

Vegan bean chilli pasta bake

Serves 2

You will need 
75g cashews
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp organic olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 can organic mixed beans
6 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp pink salt
1/2 tsp chilli flakes or to taste
2 squares vegan, sugar free chocolate
150g wholegrain pasta

Just cover the cashews with water and soak for a couple of hours or overnight.  

Heat the oil and heat the onion until transparent.  Add the tomato puree, salt, chilli flakes and around 200ml water.  Bring to the boil then reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the beans and chocolate squares and heat through.

Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain well.

Stir the pasta into the bean mixture and transfer to an ovenproof dish.  

Whiz up the cashews and nutritional yeast with the water in which they were soaking.  Top the pasta and bean mixture with the cashew 'cheese' and place in a hot oven for 10 minutes.  


This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Last week our intention was to cultivate the strength to be with our anxieties and fears. This week we are cultivating detachment from our fears. This means taking a 'step back' so that we do not get wrapped up in our anxieties.
Blog post and yoga video on my 'sister' blog- http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/yoga-for-anxiety-detachment-from-fear.html

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, you may want to look at my Ayurveda Thanksgiving vegan menu with recipes.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Please see my 'sister' blog- http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/an-ayurveda-thanksgiving.html

In this blog post we are using the chair as a prop to help with balance, to bring the ground nearer than a block would and to help you relax. Please see my 'sister' blog-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/yoga-with-chair.html