Hello and welcome!

Monday, 11 December 2017

(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 : Vegan Tofu 'Turkey' with 'Sausage' Stuffing



Last week we were making a starter for the holiday feast 'Meatless Monday-Squash and ginger soup with cranberry swirl rye soda bread'.  This week we are making something for the main course. We have made tofu ‘turkey’ before with a sage and onion stuffing http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/meatless-monday-turkey-style-tofu-with.html but this year we fancied a change so I came up with this recipe for tofu ‘turkey’ with a ‘sausage’ stuffing using vegan sausage.  Easy to make, you can rustle up this tasty alternative to turkey in a short time. Hope you enjoy as part of your vegan holiday feast.  


Vegan tofu ‘turkey’ with ‘sausage’ stuffing

Serves 2-3
You will need

400g tofu
1- 2 tbsp tamari
Olive oil spray for greasing

For the stuffing
6 vegan sausage, cooked according to the manufacturer’s directions and allowed to cool
50g breadcrumbs
½ tsp dried sage (check the ingredients, the vegan sausage may already have sage.  If so, omit)



Blend the tofu and tamari and spread half over the base of a 2lb loaf tin.  Place the other half in a bowl while you make the stuffing.  
Blend the cooked ‘sausages’ with the breadcrumbs and dried sage if using.  Carefully spread the ‘sausage’ stuffing over the tofu in the loaf tin then spread the remaining tofu over the top.  Bake at 180 degrees for 20-30 minutes. 
Serve with sweet potatoes, parsnips etc  or a salad.


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http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page.html 



This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 10 December 2017




Restful sleep is so important to your wellbeing. This week's #yogavideo on my 'sister' blog is intended to release tension in your body and calm your mind ready for sleep- 
This blog post was included in the online paper 'Yoga Vitality Magazine'-https://paper.li/Yoga_Vitality/1336524135?edition_id=d54d3590-dc79-11e7-872d-0cc47a0d1605#/

In this week's yoga to prevent back pain we are boosting circulation to the muscles of the back in order to help prevent muscle spasm. Please see my 'sister' blog-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/yoga-for-back-pain-preventing-muscle.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

Christmas Craft: Fairy Activity Jar


Hello! I'm Becky, Janet's daughter, and I've got a cute and easy Christmas craft for you today. This lovely little jar is perfect to keep little ones (and not so little ones!) entertained between courses at Christmas dinner.
It contains two pieces of paper with a magical game printed on each- a fairy wish generator and a fairy name generator. I've used the technique of tea staining to give a fairytale appearance to the paper contained in the jar- it's super simple and fun.

For each fairy activity jar, you will need:
Small jar
Baking tray
Cup
Teabag (black tea) 
Star-shaped table confetti
Small plastic fairy wand
Curling ribbon

Pencil and Ruler 
Access to a word processor, printer and oven

A dice

Start by brewing a cup of strong black tea. Leave in the cup until cold- it's best to do this in a cup you're not too bothered about, as the tea can stain. 

Copy and paste the two games below into a word processing document and print out: 

Fairy Wish Generator

My fairy numbers ……  ……  ……

With a wave of my wand, I wish for………………… to have…

(1)  a unicorn horn (2) a wizard’s beard (3) Fairy wings (4) Pixie ears

                                     (5) a mermaid’s tail (6) Dragon breath



With a shake of my wand, I send him/her to….

            (1) an enchanted forest (2) a crystal cave (3) a princess castle (4) an elf village              
(5) a fairy meadow (6) a wizard’s lair



  With a swirl of my wand, in this magic place he/she will be…

(1)  a magician’s assistant (2) a court jester (3) a princess

                                                 (4) one of Santa’s helpers

                               (5) a fairy godmother (6) caring for unicorns
                                    With a sprinkling of stars, these things will be yours!

Fairy Name Generator

To discover your fairy name, just use the first letter of your name
and the month you were born!
January = Snowflake
February = Snowdrop
March = Bluebell
April = Daffodil
May = Daisy
June = Honeysuckle
July = Buttercup
August= Foxglove
September= Bryony
October= Conker
November= Acorn
December= Tinsel

A= Twinkle toes B= Flowery meadow C= Rainbow drop D = Sparkle top
E = Snow blossom F = Crystal shine G = Moon glow H = Fluffy cloud
I = Sunbeam bright J = Golden heart K = Leafy tree L = Dusky sky
M = Starry dreamer N = Frost fairy O = Glitter wings P = Butterfly wish
Q = Petal dewdrop R = Little tinker S = Rosy glow T = Elven glade
U = Wind whisperer V = River pebble W = Fairy feet
X = Airy breeze Y = Forest dancer Z = Flutter bug

It's probably best to draw a rectangle around each game and cut it out- you might find it a bit tricky to get two pages of A4 in your jar if it is small. Just use a pencil and ruler to do this.
Place the two pieces of paper on a baking tray and pour over the cold tea. Swirl the tea around until the paper is saturated. Pour off any excess. 



Put the tray into an oven AFTER it has been used for cooking and turned off- you just want the residual heat of the oven to dry out the paper.
Check regularly that the paper is not burning. 


Once completely dried and cooled, roll the two pieces of paper and place into a small jar with some star-shaped table confetti and a plastic fairy wand (this is so the glitter falls out and gives a magical effect when people remove the games from the jar). Tie some curling ribbon around the jar to decorate. You will need to make as many jars as there are players. 

To play the "fairy wish generator" game, just throw a dice three times and write down the numbers on the paper. These are your "fairy numbers". Each number gives you a part of the wish- so for example, if you had thrown 5, 3 and 4, you will have made a wish for the person you are wishing for to have a mermaid's tail (5), be sent to a princess castle (3), and to be one of Santa's helpers (4)! If you wave, swirl and shake your wand, your fairy magic will be twice as strong! 


Always supervise children when playing games with small parts



Meatless Monday : Squash and ginger soup with cranberry swirl rye soda bread

Monday, 4 December 2017



It’s December - time to do some holiday meal planning.  This week’s meatless Monday is a warming soup and festive bread which would make a great starter or will help thaw you out after traipsing around the shops searching for Christmas presents.  The tart cranberries contrast with the sweetness of the squash. The bread can be frozen and the squash can be roasted when you have the oven on up to two nights before you need the soup, cooled and popped into the fridge.

Squash and ginger soup with cranberry swirl rye soda bread

Serves 2 as a lunch or 4 as a starter and you will probably have some bread left over to freeze

You will need

For the bread
300g rye flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder1 tbsp lemon juice
280ml almond milk

150ml frozen cranberries
2 tbsp stevia (or leave this out if you want a more tart bread)

Olive oil spray for greasing


For the soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
Neck end of a butternut squash (approx 900g), roasted, cooled, peeled and diced
1 tsp cumin
2cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt 
Coconut cream to swirl on top (Optional)
Pumpkin seeds to top (Optional)


For the bread 
Place the cranberries in a saucepan with a tablespoon of water and stevia if using and heat on a medium heat until the cranberries burst and the mixture takes on a jam-like consistency.  Allow to cool.

Mix the dry ingredients together.  Add the lemon juice to the milk and stir into the almond milk.  Stir into the dry ingredients, turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly.  Press into a square shape. Spread the cranberry mixture over the soda bread leaving about ½ inch round the edge.  Roll up the bread (like a swiss roll) and squeezew the two ends together.  Lift carefully into a greased loaf tin and transfer to a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees.  Bake for around 30 minutes until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the base.  Allow to cool.

For the soup
Heat the oil and cook the onion for 3 minutes.  Add the garlic, salt and spices and continue cooking a further minute.  Add the squash and 300ml water for a thick soup or 350ml water for slightly thinner. Simmer for 15 minutes.  Blend in a high speed blender.  Divide between bowls and serve with the cranberry swirl soda bread.  Top with coconut milk and pumpkin seeds if using.

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This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 3 December 2017


Today we start a new series 'Yoga for self-care'. When you take good care of yourself, everybody benefits. We start the series with a good stretch and a guided relaxation.
Blog post and yoga video on my 'sister' blog-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/yoga-for-self-care-good-stretch.html

Strong core muscles help keep the spine aligned, making it less likely you will strain or injure your back. In this yoga sequence the intention is to strengthen the core muscles.
Please see my 'sister' blog-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/yoga-for-back-pain-posture-2-strong-core.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

Edible Vegan Christmas Gift to Make - Coconut Macaroons


These are a delight to make, eat or receive.  They didn’t last long in our house I can tell you! They will keep up to 3 days in the fridge or if you want to make them ahead, you can freeze them. You can also vary them in many ways.  Add a few drops of beetroot juice to make pink macaroons - although for Christmas, white is more like snowballs.  Or you can add chopped cherries and pistachio nuts or how about chocolate dipped macaroons.  Melt vegan chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water with a little coconut oil (take care when you lift he bowl off). Dip the base of the macaroons in the chocolate then place the macaroons on a baking tray lined with parchment.   Pop in the fridge for a few minutes to set. Alternatively place the macaroons on a cooling rack over parchment  and drizzle melted chocolate from a spoon over them .  


Coconut Macaroons

Serves 2

You will need

300g desiccated coconut
10g stevia
120ml aquafava  (the liquid from a can of chickpeas or white beans)
2 level tbsp coconut oil

Coconut oil spray for greasing baking tray

Mix all the ingredients in a blender.  Grease a baking tray with coconut oil. Spoon into an egg cup and press the mixture firmly down.  Tap the bottom of the egg cup or similar firmly to turn out onto the greased baking tray.  Bake at 180 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until starting to turn golden then leave to cool before attempting to move them off the tray.  

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Meatless Monday : Vegan sweet potato and bean hash

Monday, 27 November 2017


This is a great recipe for using up any leftover veggies.  To the basic recipe below you can add any leftover veggies you have in the fridge - roast veggies, such as squash, red onion, and courgette would be great.

Vegan sweet potato and bean hash

Serves 2 

You will need

1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
½- 1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic
2 large tomatoes, diced
½ aubergine, diced
1 large cooked sweet potato, diced
1 tsp Italian herbs
1 can 3 bean salad
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
pumpkin seeds (optional)

Heat the oil and cook the onion for around 3 minutes.  Add the salt and garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and aubergine and continue to cook, adding a little water if necessary.  Add the sweet potato, herbs, nutritional yeast and beans and again a little water if necessary and cook until heated through. Done - a meal in just a few minutes.  Divide between 2 bowls and sprinkle a few pumpkin seeds on top if using.

Enjoy!

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This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 26 November 2017


If you are feeling a little bit down at this time of year. This yoga video on my 'sister' blog will help lift your mood and energise you-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/autumn-transformation-from-sad-to-happy.html

If you sit a lot at work you may develop tight hip flexors and hamstrings which can lead to back pain. This yoga sequence on my 'sister' blog can help release tension in those muscles-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/back-pain-posture-1-hip-flexors-and.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

Soak away stress with a foot bath


The run up to Christmas is really exciting but there is also a lot more to do and only so many hours in the day.  Because of this our minds tend to be full of ‘to do’ lists and we flit from one thought to another.  We need a way of drawing some of that energy out of our heads and a foot soak is the perfect way to do this.  In yoga we say ‘energy flows where attention goes’ and by pampering your feet in this way you can draw your energy down from your head so that your mind relaxes.  A foot soak also is a way of taking ‘time out’ so that you csn relax and come back to your ‘to do’ lists later with more clarity.

Adding essential oils can help restore the circulation to your feet, soothe inflamed feet or refresh them.
For a foot soak you will need to 3/4 fill a bowl with warm water, add a 1/4 cup of Epsom salts and 6 drops of the essential oil you choose.  For a foot soak to soothe feet after you have been on them all day use 3 drops of geranium essential oil to restore circulation to your feet and 3 drops of lavender essential of to soothe inflammation or 3 drops of peppermint essential oil to refresh your feet.  Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes then dry your feet with a soft towel.  Moisturise with coconut oil and put on a pair of cosy socks.
If you have any health concerns please consult your medical practitioner before using Epsom Salt in a foot bath.


Enjoy!

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Thank you



Meatless Monday : Vegan Quesadilla

Monday, 20 November 2017


Wraps are all very well in milder weather but at this time of year it’s nice to have warm food and if it’s spicy too that’s a bonus.  This vegan quesadilla is Mexican inspired with a black bean filling and a cheesy smashed avocado. Mmm 

Vegan quesadilla
Serves 2 

You will need
2 large tortilla wraps
1 tbsp oil
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
75g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
¼-½ tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp coriander
100g tomato puree
1 tsp pink salt
1 can black beans
Olive oil spray
1 avocado, peeled and stoned
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Heat the oil and cook the onion for 3 minutes.  Add the garlic, spices and mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the tomato puree, black beans, salt and a little water (not too much, the mixture should be thick).  Cook a further few minutes, stirring.



Spray a baking tray with olive oil spray and place a wrap on it.  Spread the black bean mixture over the wrap but not right up to the edge.  Mash the avocado with the lemon juice and nutritional yeast.  Top the bean mixture with the cheesy avocado and place another wrap on top.  Press down lightly and place in the oven for around ten minutes.  Cut into 4 and serve with a side salad. 



Enjoy


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Thank you



This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 19 November 2017


In this week's yoga video on autumn transformation we are moving from a place of resistance to going with the flow.
Yoga sequence and meditation on my 'sister' blog- 
http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/autumn-transformation-from-resistance.html

Many of us suffer from back pain at some point in our lives. Over the coming weeks we will be looking at how yoga can help prevent and ease back pain.
Please see an introduction to this series on my 'sister' blog- 
http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/back-pain-introduction.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

Thanksgiving Vegan Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cookie ‘Nice Cream’

Fancy a change from pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving? This nice cream gives a nod to the classic whilst serving up something deliciously different.



Thanksgiving Vegan Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cookie ‘Nice Cream’
Serves 2

You will need


For the peanut butter pumpkin cookies


60g peanut butter

5g stevia 
100g stewed apple (1 medium eating apple, peeled cored and chopped - place in a saucepan with a little water and cook on a medium heat until a puree forms)
120g pumpkin or squash, pureed
150g gluten free flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp powdered cinnamon
Olive oil spray



For the Nice Cream

4 ripe bananas
Cup dairy-free milk of your choice

Cream peanut butter and stevia (if your peanut butter has been in the fridge, you may need to warm it for 30 seconds on high power in the microwave).  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Grease a baking tray with olive oil spray and form the mixture into 8 rounds. Flatten slightly and place in an oven at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes. Cool and then break up into small chunks. 


Chop bananas into chunks, pop them into a plastic food bag, and then leave the bag in the freezer overnight. 

When you're ready to eat the nice cream, put the bananas and dairy-free milk in a blender and blend until smooth. Take the jug off the blender and stir through the cookie chunks. Serve immediately. 




You might have some left over biscuit- but these are lovely to nibble on! 


Have a happy Thanksgiving!


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Thank you


Meatless Monday : Vegan Taco Pie

Monday, 13 November 2017


This is a recipe everyone can enjoy and if you are feeding a crowd, increase the quantities - it makes a great sharing dish.  

Serves 2

You will need

1 tbsp olive oil 
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
100g chestnut mushrooms
½ red or yellow pepper, sliced 
½ tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp paprika
½-1 tsp salt
100g tomato puree
1 can black beans
1 large tortilla wrap, cut into small triangles
Olive oil spray
Sprinkle grated vegan cheese

Heat the oil and cook the onion for around 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.  Add the mushrooms and spices and cook a further few minutes.  Add the tomato puree and 200ml water, bring to the boil then reduce heat to simmer for a few minutes.  Add the black beans and heat through.  



Place the tortilla triangles on a baking tray and heat in a medium oven until lightly toasted. Allow a minute or two to cool. Transfer the bean mixture to a casserole dish and top with the tortilla triangles so that none of the bean mixture is showing.  Sprinkle with grated vegan cheese and pop back in the oven for a few minutes until cheese is melted.  Tuck in!

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- 
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Thank you


This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 12 November 2017



Autumn is a time for taking stock and letting go of the things in your life that are not serving you which is not easy. This yoga practice and visualisation may help. Please see my 'sister' blog- http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/autumn-transformation-from-holding-on.html

At this time of year our immunity needs to be in tip top condition to fight of those annoying colds and more serious flu. 
Please see my 'sister' blog for a yoga sequence to help-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/autumn-yoga-sequence-immune-boost.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

Herbal help for PMS and menopause


Hormones.  Tiny as they are they can have big effects on you as you will know if you have ever suffered from PMS or experienced the effects of menopause.  But there is a herb that can help – chasteberry otherwise known as agnus castus.
PMS can make one week every month miserable.  Symptoms include mood swings, bloating, nausea, muscle pain, dizziness and restless sleep and food cravings to name just a few. The cause is the change in the ratio of oestrogen to progesterone which occurs just before menstruation and which leads to the breakdown of the lining of the womb.  This is thought to affect neurotransmitters in the brain, in particular, serontin, the ‘feel good’ hormone.  Chasteberry is not a hormone but it acts on the hypothalamus in the brain which links the pituitary (‘master’) gland, attached to the brain, to the endocrine system.  The result is more luteinising hormone which leads to a greater production of progesterone reducing PMS symptoms.  As a bonus if you suffer from hormonal acne it can help with that too!
Chasteberry acts in a similar way to restore hormone balance in menopause, reducing such symptoms as hot flushes, vaginal dryness, night sweats, low mood, sleep issues and fatigue. 
However chasteberry is not a quick fix but you can take it for 6-8 months.

Consult your medical practitioner before taking especially if you are taking medication. As with any herb if you notice any side effects you should stop taking it immediately and see your doctor.  Do not take it if you are pregnant or have a hormonal sensitive problem such as breast cancer. It is also not for you if you are on dopamine related medication such as drugs for Parkinson’s disease or if you are on psychotic drugs.


Be healthy, be happy

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Thank you