What's happening on Flexiladiesyoga

Friday, 31 October 2014



Have fun with the kids or even grandchildren doing these 'monstrous' yoga poses in our Halloween special kid's yoga sequence http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/halloween-special-kids-yoga.html There is also a video 'How Yoga Boosts Health-Circulation of blood and lymph' http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/how-yoga-boosts-health-circulation-of.html together with an article  'How yoga can help boost the circulation of blood and lymph'
http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/how-yoga-can-help-boost-circulation-of.html

'Cheesecake' Pumpkin Pie

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Serves 10



For the base
200g organic oats
50g pumpkin seeds
200g cooked pumpkin flesh, pureed in blender
2tsp lacuma
2 tbsp organic sweetened soya milk
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger

For the topping
2 eggs or equivalent
750g cooked pumpkin flesh, pureed in a blender
14g stevia
1 tsp cinnamon+extra for top
175 sweetened soya milk
Mix all the ingredients for the base thoroughly and press into adjustable round cake tin. Bake for 15 minutes at 180 degrees.
Beat the eggs in the milk and in a separate bowl mix the pumpkin, cinnamon and stevia.  Stir the eggs and milk into the mixture.  
Pour into the tin on top of the base, sprinkle with a little cinnamon and place back in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the topping is set.
When cool, remove from tin and slice.
For an extra indulgent dessert serve with vegan banana ice cream. Simply blend two frozen chopped bananas with a little almond or soya milk.
Enjoy 
Janet x





Recipe Copyright © 2014 40plusandalliswell

Love your sleep




Good sleep is vital to your wellbeing.  Sleep allows your brain to do its 'housekeeping' free from the distractions of sensory perception etc.  It is during sleep that memories are 'stored' and learning consolidated.  Growth hormone is released and in adults this maintains muscle mass and bone tissue.  When sleep is inadequate, more stress hormone, cortisol is released and this can break down collagen resulting in wrinkles.  No wonder they call it 'beauty sleep'!!
Of course, stress hormones do more than give you a few wrinkles.  Stress is associated with many diseases such as cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure, gasto-intestinal problems such as IBS, insulin resistance and even osteoporosis since it accelerates bone breakdown.  Lack of sleep also enhances the inflammatory response which may explain the link to some types of arthritis.
Did you know that lack of sleep can also make you put on weight?  This is all because of the balance between two proteins that regulate appetite.  Ghrelin stimulates hunger while leptin gives rise to feeling of satiety.  Lack of sleep elevates ghrelin and suppresses leptin leading to cravings especially for fats and carbohydrates.
We all know how even one poor night's sleep can make us feel 'off colour', headachy, lethargic, irritable but for some people insomnia can be a real problem.  Don't panic, there are steps you can take to improve your sleep.
Firstly, see you doctor to check there is no medical cause for your lack of sleep.  Menopause can play havoc with sleep for instance, sleep apnoea can leave you feeling unrefreshed by sleep as can chronic fatigue.  Asthma, prostrate problems and acid reflux also affect sleep. If you are on medications check to see if they are affecting your sleep.  Your doctor might be able change them.
If there is no medical cause for your sleep problems you might want to try some of the following;- 
  • Take steps to reduce stress.  Try yoga, meditation and relaxation techniques. You could try my stress series on YouTube Channel Playlist https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLS4Wjf00I4uzH0r7p5O4pV1mlF5Rikjo or my latest video on 'How Yoga Boosts Health-Better Sleep' https://www.youtube.com/watchv=rg0jQLuWsus&list=UULQJlhRTBurtAo2bHPgzLfA Write down any concerns, 'to do'lists and mentally label these 'tomorrow' then clear them from your mind.  BUT avoid rigorous exercise (including yoga deep backbends and sun salutations) for at least four hours before bed.
  • Try to connect with nature if only for a few minutes each day as this can help set your body clock.
  • Switch off tvs and computers about an hour before bedtime.  Try not to have electronic equipment in your bedroom.  Your mobile should be on silent and as far away from the bed as possible.
  • Stick to regular sleep times where possible.
  • Calamine tea is a great bedtime drink as is warm soya milk.  Soya milk is rich in tryptophan which aids sleep.  Avoid caffeine in tea, coffee, chocolate after 3pm. Even sugar is a stimulant so avoid this also.
  • Make sure your bedroom is really dark as even a little light can disturb sleep.  Your bedroom should also be neither too hot nor too cold.  
  • A few drops of lavender on your pillow will help soothe you to sleep (works for me!!!).
If you really can't sleep, get up, have a drink, read for a while then try again,
Enjoy restoring, refreshing, renewing sleeps.
Janet x

On Flexiladiesyoga, there is a video 'How Yoga Boosts Health-Better Sleep' http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/how-yoga-boosts-health-better-sleep.html and an article explaining how yoga helps you sleep well. http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/how-yoga-helps-sleep-problems.html

Article Copyright © 2014 40plusandalliswell

Meatless Monday:Halloween special- Jack o'lantern stew baked in a pumpkin

Monday, 27 October 2014


Did you know Halloween evolved from the Celtic celebration of Samhain?  This marked the end of the harvest and the beginning of the 'darker' time of year when the separation between this world and the world of the dead became thin.  Nowadays we associate halloween with 'trick ot treating' and dressing up.
serves 4
1 medium pumpkin, with a lid carved out
coconut oil
1 onion 
2 cloves garlic
1 large sweet potato, cut into small chunks
2 carrots, cut into small chunks
100g mushrooms, sliced
1 small beetroot, cut into small chunks
1 carton chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chilli
Sweat the onion in a little coconut oil.
Add the vegetables, garlic and chopped tomatoes.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in the spices.  Place the pumpkin on a baking tray and ladle the vegetables into it.  Replace the lid and place in an oven at 200 degrees for one and a half hours.  
Towards the end of cooking time stir in the beans (if you put them in too early, they will 'melt')
Ladle out scooping the pumpkin flesh with the bean mixture.  Serve with crusty bread.
Enjoy 
Janet x

Recipe Copyright © 2014 40plusandalliswell

Love your circulation

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Our blood flow and lymph flow may be something we hardly ever think about but poor circulation of blood can lead to fatigue, pain, tingling and numbness in the hands and feet, muscle cramps, swollen ankles and heavy legs etc.  Poor circulation of lymph can lead to infections and build up of toxins.  Unlike the blood circulation which has a 'pump', the heart, the flow of lymph relies on peristalsis (alternate contraction and relaxation) of lymphatic vessels and gravity.

Here are some of the ways you can keep your circulation healthy:-

  • Exercise- exercise that increases your heart rate gets your blood moving round your body and also helps the flow of lymph.  Balance this with yoga which releases tension in the muscles which could impede blood flow. For more ways that yoga can help with circulation see my article http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/how-yoga-can-help-boost-circulation-of.html Also you might want to practice with me on my YouTube video to help boost your circulation http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/how-yoga-boosts-health-circulation-of.html
  • Maintain a healthy weight - if you are overweight, losing weight will help improve circulation of both blood and lymph.  Rather than go on a 'diet', make healthy changes to your diet that you can enjoy and continue.
  • Eat for healthy circulation - plenty of fruit and vegetables provides the antioxidants which prevent free radicals damaging blood vessels.  Fruit and vegetables also are a source of vitamin C especially oranges, kiwi, and peppers. Vitamin C is a blood thinner, preventing clots that would impede flow. Include wholegrains such as quinoa, brown rice, bulgar wheat etc which stabilise blood sugar levels. Beans, legumes, tofu provide protein in a form that reduces cholesterol, which can block arteries. Make sure you eat healthy fats such as coconut oil and olive oil.  Did you know that coconut oil can improve circulation by slightly raising body temperature? Also make sure you get your omega 3s in hemp oil, flaxseed oil, marine algae or oily fish if you are not vegan/vegetarian.  Include nuts and seeds for vitamin E which boosts circulation by widening blood vessels to facilitate flow. Some nuts and seeds are a source of niacin which lowers cholesterol. Avoid transfats in processed foods which clog up the arteries, and sugar as there is a link between sugar consumption and cardiovascular disease.  The healthier your diet also, the less your lymphatic system has to detoxify.
  • Avoid alcohol - drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure which strains the heart and arteries.
  • Don't smoke - smoking causes changes in artery walls which lead to plaques being deposited.  
  • Reduce stress with yoga, meditation and relaxation techniques
  • Drink plenty - if you are dehydrated, blood volume is depleted, meaning there is less to circulate.
  • Treat yourself to a massage to increase lymphatic flow!  At home try body brushing (more on this to come).

Be healthy, be happy
Janet x

Article Copyright © 2014 40plusandalliswell

'Cheesecake' Pumpkin Pie

A taster of things to come for a Halloween recipe...I made a 'Cheesecake' Pumpkin Pie.

Recipe coming soon!


Surprising superfood – chocolate

Friday, 24 October 2014


Being on a healthy diet does not mean that you have to miss out on the pleasure of chocolate. In fact, chocolate can be good for you. Not the sort that is full of sugar and dairy but raw cacao has several benefits.  For instance it lowers insulin resistance.   Insulin resistance, a condition where your body produces insulin but does not use it effectively, can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes.  Chocolate also is rich in the antioxidant, resveratol, which helps protect against such conditions as heart disease, cancer and aging.  Another way it protects from heart disease is by increasing ‘good’ cholesterol in your blood while at the same time lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol.

Here is a way for you to enjoy raw cacao 

Double chocolate buns
Makes 10

70g rice flour
30g organic raw cacao
100g organic virgin coconut oil
10g stevia
1 egg
1tsp baking powder
100ml milk

For the chocolate ‘cream’ topping
Solid portion of can organic full fat coconut milk
1 tbsp organic raw cacao

1. Cream coconut oil and stevia.  
2. Sieve rice flour, cacoa powder and baking powder together and add to the mixture together with the egg.  
3. Add milk to form creamy mixture with no lumps of coconut oil.  
4. Spoon into baking cases and bake at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes until firm.
5. Place on a cooling rack and when cool top with coconut ‘cream’ topping.
6. To make the coconut ‘cream’ topping, whisk the coconut milk solids with raw cacao until the mixture resembles whipped cream.  You can use the remainder of the can of coconut milk in smoothies or curries.

Enjoy this guilt-free indulgence

Janet x

Recipe Copyright © 2014 40plusandalliswell

What's happening on Flexiladiesyoga?

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

A yoga video 'How Yoga Boosts Health-promotes good digestion' has been added
http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/how-yoga-boosts-health-promotes-good.html There is also an article to accompany this video http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/how-yoga-can-help-with-digestion.html Yogis believe that good digestion is the basis of good health in general.
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month I have posted a sequence of yoga poses to help maintain healthy breasts http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/october-is-breast-cancer-awareness-month.html
I have also entered Flexiladiesyoga in the National UK Blog Awards 2015!

Blog link-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/

Don’t be SAD, embrace the season

Tuesday, 21 October 2014


When the nights start drawing in, I mourn for the light nights when I can watch the birds in the garden until late.  But for some people it’s much worse than this. At the end of September or the beginning of October they experience low mood, lethargy carbohydrate cravings and a need to sleep more which can last until the end of April or even the beginning of May.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as winter depression is thought to be caused by lack of natural daylight. Many people in autumn and winter go to work before it gets light, come home after it has gone dark and grab a sandwich at their desk at lunchtime.  The lack of light affects hormones in the brain called serotonin, which explains the low mood, and melatonin, which explains the disruption to your body’s circadian rhythms (your internal clock) and this in turn explains the changes in sleep patterns and appetite.

If you suffer with SAD do speak to your doctor who may recommend light therapy which has been used successfully.  It can however cause headaches and nausea at first.  If you can, try to get some natural daylight every day, even if it is not sunny.  You can also help curb carbohydrate cravings by eating foods that are rich in tryptophen as this is the precursor to serontin.  Foods rich in tryptophen include oats, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, bananas, soya milk, soya beans, mushrooms, tofu, almonds, cashew nuts and spirulina.

Hopefully these measures will enable you to embrace the changing seasons.  Autumn has its compensations such as the beautiful autumn leaf colours, the warming, comforting autumn soups and stews, Halloween fun and bonfire night, the cosiness of drawing the curtains early and curling up with a good book.  As for the birds.  Since the nights started drawing in, a blue tit has started sleeping in a nest box on the side of the house.  I feel very privileged to be able to view her on a screen in my kitchen. Maybe autumn’s not so bad after all.

Please also see 'Herbal help for SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder or winter depression)'-http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/herbal-help-for-sad-seasonal-affective_11.html

Article Copyright © 2014 40plusandalliswell

Meatless Monday-Autumn Cassoulet

Monday, 20 October 2014




The vegetables in the recipe are suggestions, you could use any autumn vegetables you like.

Serves 4 generously
1 can pinto beans
1 garlic bulb, divided into cloves and peeled
1 red onion, cut into chunks
400g pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 large beetroot, cut into chunks
100g chestnut mushrooms
1/2 celeriac, cut into chunks
1 sweet potato, cut into chunks
2 tsp organic reduced salt boullion
1 tsp rosemary
2-3 bay leaves
1 tsp oregano
Olive oil spray
1 carton chopped tomatoes in juice
For the topping 
3 thick slices cornbread/soda bread (see Meatless Monday last week-Baked beans and cornbread http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/meatless-monday-baked-beans-and.html)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
Fresh basil leaves
Place all the vegetables in a casserole with the garlic bulbs spaced evenly between them.  Sprinkle with herbs and tuck the bay leaves among the vegetables.  Spray with olive oil and place in the oven at 200 degrees for 40 minutes until the vegetables are tender.  Add the pinto beans spreading them evenly over the vegetables.  Add the chopped tomatoes mixed with the boullion, again spreading evenly over the vegetables.
Mix the breadcrumbs with the nutritional yeast and sprinkle over the vegetables.  Return to the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes.  Serve with a green salad.

Recipe Copyright © 2014 40plusandalliswell

Love your breasts

Saturday, 18 October 2014

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  This applies to you men too, because although less common in men, men can get breast cancer. On the yoga blog you will find some yoga poses to help keep the breasts healthy.  Here we will think about some other ways to help stay healthy and reduce the risk of breast cancer.

  • Check your breasts regularly.  Firstly stand in front of a mirror and check your breasts noticing their size, shape and colour.  It is by examining your breasts regularly that you become familiar with what is normal and notice immediately any changes.  If you are over 50 you will have routine screening but it is still important to check your breasts as screening is only every 3 years.  After the visual check you can examine your breasts either lying down or in the shower with the pads of you first two fingers, using your right hand to check your left breast, left hand to check your right breast. Do not forget to check the lymph glands under your armpits. For more details see http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/self_exam/bse_steps
  • Maintain a healthy weight - eat a variety of wholegrains such as quinoa, brown rice, bulgar wheat etc,  plenty of fruit and vegetables for antioxidants, beans and lentils, fortified milk alternatives such as soya, rice or almond milks.  A vegan diet is ideal  but If you are not vegan wild salmon is a good addition to your diet.  Avoid or limit red meat (if you do have red meat make sure it is organic) and especially avoid processed meat. Eat only organic poultry.  Avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugar.  Do not eat charred foods which are carcinogenic.
  • Exercise - the indications are that breast cancer can reduce your risk of breast cancer by up to a third.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Find alternatives to HRT such as organic soya milk, tofu, and soy beans.  Yoga also will help you through the menopause. You might want to practice my yoga videos on YouTube below:-
 Yoga for Women-Yoga for the menopause-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?  v=7ObAu5lDcpY&list=PLS4Wjf00I4uwk4J_NzAsY_U5gFYLCL1An&index=3
Yoga for Women-Yoga for the menopause-2
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqupHNDVhSE&list=PLS4Wjf00I4uwk4J_NzAsY_U5gFYLCL1An&index=2
Yoga for Women-Post menopause yoga
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKBemKkWKj8&list=PLS4Wjf00I4uwk4J_NzAsY_U5gFYLCL1An&index=1
  • Wear a well fitting bra.  A badly fitting bra will impede circulation of blood and lymph to the breasts. This circulation is important for removal of toxic waste.
Please see my yoga blog, Flexiladiesyoga for my yoga article 'October is breast cancer awareness month'-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/october-is-breast-cancer-awareness-month.html 


Stay healthy, stay happy
Janet x

Where do vegans get their omega 3s from?

Thursday, 16 October 2014


A concern for many vegans is how to get enough omega 3s in their diet to be healthy.  We read how important omega 3s are for brain function and heart health but often the recommendation is to get your omega 3s from oily fish or from a supplement (usually fish oil).  
You may think that you can get your omega 3s from nuts and seeds, but there is a problem.  Nuts and seeds are a source of omega 3, it is true, but they are also a source of omega 6. Omega 6 can undo the benefits of omega 3 because it inhibits the conversion of omega 3 to DHA and EPA.
What is the answer?  My recommendation would be to choose an oil that has a high ratio of omega 3s to omega 6s like flaxseed oil or hemp oil.  Just 1/2 teaspoon flaxseed oil has the recommended daily amount of omega 3s. Alternatively you could take a marine algae supplement.  Marine algae are, after all, where salmon get their omega 3s from.
Stay healthy, stay happy
Janet x

Article Copyright © 2014 40plusandalliswell

Superfood in Season - Pumpkin

Tuesday, 14 October 2014



Pumpkin is bursting with anti-oxidants which fight those free radicals that age us, and carotenoids  (the precursors of vitamin A) which keep our eyes healthy.   Together these help prevent cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and even cancer.  It also provides fibre to help keep your bowels healthy.  The seeds are a source of protein and magnesium for healthy bones.  Magnesium is also necessary for healthy levels of serontin: if levels are low, mood is affected as are some cognitive functions like memory and learning.
Not that you should need convincing to include this versatile vegetable (scientifcally a fruit) in your diet while it is in season (October and November).  Here is a healthy cake to start you off but look out for other ways to use pumpkin in the coming weeks.


Pumpkin Cake with Coconut 'Cream' topping




200g organic virgin coconut oil
20g stevia 
200g organic rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 organic eggs (or equivalent)
400g roasted pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger 
50g chopped walnuts + extra for topping
For the coconut cream
'Solid' part of a can of coconut milk (tip place the coconut milk can in the fridge for several hours)
stevia to taste
Cream the coconut oil and the stevia.  Puree the roasted pumpkin in a blender and add to the mixture.  Mix the rice flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger in a separate bowl. Add eggs and rice flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix.  Stir in the walnuts then transfer to a greased loaf tin.  Bake at 200 degrees centigade 35-45 minutes.  Test with a skewer placed in the middle of the cake.  If it comes out clean, the cake is done.  Turn out onto a cooling rack.
To make the topping place the solid coconut 'cream' on top of a can of cool coconut milk in a bowl.  Add stevia to taste and mix with a hand blender until a whipped cream consistency.  Spread over the cooled cake and sprinkle chopped walnuts over the 'cream'.  Yum!!

Enjoy
Janet x

Recipe Copyright © 2014 40plusandalliswell

Meatless Monday-Baked beans and cornbread

Monday, 13 October 2014


For the baked beans
1 carton organic cannelloni beans
1 carton organic chopped tomatoes in juice
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp stevia
pinch paprika
1 tbsp soy sauce
100ml water
Place all the ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring to the boil and reduce heat to simmer until the sauce thickens.  Serve with cornbread.
For the cornbread
200g spelt flour
200g cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
200ml sweetened soya milk
2 tbsp organic olive oil
Mix the oil and the soya milk in a jug.  Place the flour, cornmeal and baking powder in a bowl and mix.  Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the oil and soya milk mixture, stirring well.  Form into a soft dough and transfer to a greased loaf tin.  Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees centigrade.  Serve with the baked beans.
Enjoy!
Janet x 

Recipe Copyright © 2014 40plusandalliswell

What's happening on Flexiladiesyoga?

Sunday, 12 October 2014

This week on Flexiladiesyoga we have added a video 'How yoga boosts health-Bone strength' http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/how-yoga-boosts-health-bone-strength.html This would be great to practice alongside the article 'Love your bones'
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/love-your-bones.html
Also on the yoga blog you will find a bee update
http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/bee-update.html There has been much concern over the decline in bee populations in the past year or so. Find out how the bees are going on since the ban by the EU of certain pesticides. I am pleased to say this article was featured in the environment section of 'Yoga Vitality Magazine' on 7th October 2014.
In recognition of World Mental Health Day I posted some of Flexiladiesyoga's yoga video links for videos to help with depression. There are videos to help with the depression characterised by lethargy and hopelessness and the type of depression characterised by anxiety http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/world-mental-health-day-10th-october.html This article was also featured in 'Yoga Vitality Magazine' on 11th October 2014. 
Please take a look at these on the blog and you will also find lots more exciting content for you to enjoy and benefit from.
Many thanks
Janet x

Love your bones

Wednesday, 8 October 2014



We think of bones as rigid scaffolding in our bodies but in fact bones are living tissue, constantly being broken down and built up again.  
Unfortunately as we age bone can be broken down faster than it is built up.  We reach peak bone density in our early 20s and bone loss starts at 40 and for women bone loss escalates after the menopause.  
What can we do?  Accept these changes as inevitable?  Take medication? I believe there is much we can do without having to resort to medication to keep our bones healthy.
Firstly lets think about a bone friendly diet

  • Eat foods that are rich in calcium.  Fortified tofu, soya milk, almonds and vegetables such as brocolli ad spinach are sources of calcium for vegans.  For vegetarians dairy produce such as milk and cheese are additional sources. 
  • Be aware that caffeine in coffee and alcohol may interfere with calcium absorption
  • Magnesium regulates calcium absorption.  Magneium is found in beans, soya milk, wholemeal bread, almonds, walnuts, cashews and pumpkin seeds.
  • Another nutrient for bone health is Vitamin D which is essential for the absorption of  calcium.  Your body can make vitamin D from sunshine but, because of justifiable worries about skin cancer we tend to block out the sun with sunscreen.  Vegans and vegetarians may need to take a supplement.   For non-vegans the best sources are oily fish such salmon and milk.  
  • Boron in fresh fruits such as apples aids calcium absorption
  • Vitamin K is necessary to activate bone proteins which build bone.  Find it in leafy, green vegetables such as spinach and kale
  • Vitamin C found in citrus fruits, kiwi peppers, blueberries etc helps with collagen production which is a component of the bone matrix
  • An alkaline diet such as a vegan diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables is ideal for bone health as acid forming foods like meat accelerate bone loss.  Fizzy drinks are also very acidic and should be avoided.  
  • Cut down on salt which accelerates bone loss.  A diet rich in potassium, that is with plenty of fruit and vegetables will help counteract the effect of a little salt in your diet. 

Now let's think about exercise. 

  • The best exercise for bone health is weight bearing exercise. I have this week uploaded a video  'How Yoga Boosts Health-bone health'                           https://www.youtube.com/watchv=xVgzWgHxvNA&list=UULQJlhRTBurtAo2bHPgzLfA which includes weight bearing exercises.  In yoga we use our own body weight as the 'weight' to strengthen bones.  Also when ligaments and muscles pull on bones this stimulates bone cell production and of course yoga provides a way of doing this.  Yoga also reduces stress. Stress affects the health of your bones in that it inhibits osteoblasts which are responsible for bone production.  Progesterone which increases after the menopause has a similar effect and this is why many doctors recommend hormone replacement therapy to boost more bone friendly oestrogen.  Given the possible side effects this may not be for you.  A more natural alternative would be soya isoflavones which are plant based sources of oestogen  and of course yoga can help balance your hormones. Yoga twists, squats and dynamic flows also help with digestion which helps the absorption of the nutrients we talked about above.

Other considerations

  • In traditional Chinese medicine, poor bone health is attributable to weak kidney energy.  This can be strengthened by a combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine.
  • If you suspect you may have osteopenia or osteoporosis, that is if you have a family history of osteoporosis, have taken steroids or have had a calcium deficient diet ask your doctor for a DEXA scan.

Over three million people in the UK now have oseoporosis.  Please make sure you don't add to that number.

Article Copyright © 2014 40plusandalliswell

Blackberry and apple 'Eve's pudding'

Tuesday, 7 October 2014




This year I have been blessed with gifts of blackberries from one neighbour and bramley apples from another neighbour.  People around where I live are so generous.  I have also been given pears and beetroot, while I, in turn, have given some of my glut of courgettes and rhubarb.  With my recent bounty I came up with this variation of Eve's pudding.  it is delicious served with natural yogurt or a sweet white sauce made with sweetened soya milk or even on its own!

Blackberry and apple 'Eve's pudding'

For the fruit base
250g blackberries
1tbsp lemon juice
1 very large bramley apple or 2 smaller ones, peeled, cored and chopped
stevia to taste
For the sponge
10g stevia 
100g organic virgin coconut oil
200g flour (i used half rice flour and half spelt)
2 eggs or equivalent
organic soya milk sweetened with apple juice
flaked almonds for topping
Poach the fruit with the lemon juice over a low heat for a few minutes then stir in stevia and transfer to an ovenproof dish.  Leave to cool. Meanwhile cream the coconut oil and stevia and add the eggs and flour.  Add soya milk a little at a time to make the mixture into a dropping consistency. Sprinkle some flaked almonds over the sponge mix  Place in the oven at 200 degrees until the top is golden.  



Enjoy
Janet x

Recipe Copyright © 2014 40plusandalliswell

Introducing my 'sister' blog Flexiladiesyoga


Please take a look at my other blog, Flexiladiesyoga, http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/ and my YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/flexiladiesyoga On both the blog and the YouTube Channel you will find free yoga videos for you to enjoy. My latest series is 'How yoga boost health' and this week we have been filming a video about bone health You can watch this series by following this link https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLS4Wjf00I4uynUeqr6IoTpEmzrzG9FPw4
You will also find breathing practices on the blog and some yoga practices for autumn.

Meatless Monday:Warming Squash Soup with herb soda bread

Monday, 6 October 2014


Serves 4
1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 large onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3cm piece ginger, peeled and chopped
500ml stock made with reduced salt organic bouillon
Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan.  Bring to the boil then turn down the heat to simmer until the vegetables are soft.  Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.  Serve with toasted pumpkin seeds and herb soda bread (see below)
Herb Soda Bread
250g spelt flour 
250g rice flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
100g organic virgin coconut oil
450ml unsweetened soya milk
2 tbsp lemon juice
 Sieve the flours  and baking powder into a bowl.  
Add the coconut oil and rub in.  
Make a well in the mixture and add the milk and lemon juice.  Mix thoroughly.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly.  
Place in a greased and floured loaf tin and bake at 180 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

Enjoy!
Janet x

Recipe Copyright © 2014 40plusandalliswell

Love your eyes

Thursday, 2 October 2014


We only get one pair of eyes and they need to last a lifetime.  Follow these guidelines to make sure your eyes are healthy all your life


  • Eat healthily - like any other part of your body, your eyes age by free radical attack.  These are the result of normal metabolism but you can fight back by eating foods rich in antioxidants which neutralise free radicals.  These can be found in fruit and vegetables.  Lutein and zeaxanthin found in kale is reputedly particularly good for eye health (see 'Superfood and in Season'). Try to eat a variety of different coloured ones for maximum free radical fighting power.  Avoid processed foods, smoked foods and 'charred' foods which may be carcinogenic.  Also avoid sugar (see 'Sugar, not so sweet'), transfats and saturated fat (not monosaturated fat such as coconut) which increase the risk of cholesterol and so may affect blood flow to the eyes.  
  • Exercise - exercise boosts circulation and this includes to your eyes, keeping your eyes supplied with nutrients.  Research has shown that exercise reduces the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and narrowing and hardening of the blood vessels, all of which can affect your eyes.  As well as full body exercise below are some eye exercises for you to try.
  1. Sit comfortably and bring your right hand into a 'hitchhiker' gesture. Bring your thumb towards the tip of your nose and focus on it with both eyes.  Slowly move your thumb to arm's length keeping your eyes focused on it. Slowly bring your arm back towards the tip of your nose following it all the time with your eyes.  Repeat with the left hand.  
  2. Sitting with your chin level with the floor, take your right arm to arm's length, your right hand in the 'hitchhiker' gesture.  Slowly move your right thumb up as far as you can to the right, then down as far as you can, then to the left and then back up.  Move the thumb in this circular way several times, all the time following with your gaze only, do not move your head.  Repeat with the left hand thumb. 

  • Protect your eyes by wearing sun glasses when it is bright at any time of year.  
  • Do not smoke.  Smoking increases your risk of age related macular degeneration.
  • Make sure you have regular eye tests.  Eye tests can detect health problems early before symptoms appear.

Article Copyright © 2014 40plusandalliswell

World Vegetarian Day

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

On World Vegetarian Day why not try a meat free recipe from this blog?