Blog Update

Monday, 21 August 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!







Meatless Monday : Vegan Po Boy


There are many stories as to the origins of Po Boy, which is a sandwich traditionally made with seafood or roast beef. One story is that during a strike in the 1920s, in New Orleans which lasted four months, free sandwiches were given to ‘poor boys’. The sandwiches took on the name.  This vegan variation uses flavoured tofu and is just as tasty.  

Vegan Po Boy

Serves 2-3

You will need

2 wholemeal submarine rolls
450g pack tofu
3 tbsp tamari
1 ½ -2 tsp cajun seasoning
90g polenta flour
Olive oil spray

To serve

Shredded Romaine lettuce
Red onion slices
Tomato slices
Vegan mayo (optional)

Drain the tofu well blotting any remaining brine out with kitchen towel.  Cut into small cubes and place in a bowl with the tamari.  Stir and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.  

Mix the cajun seasoning and polenta flour, tip onto a non-stick baking tray and add the marinated tofu. Mix until all the tofu has a coating of the flavoured polenta.  Spray well with olive oil spray and pop in the oven at 200 degrees for around 15 minutes until the coating is beginning to crisp.  

Slice the submarine rolls lengthways and place the lettuce, tomato and onion on the lower slice. Add the cooked tofu and serve with vegan mayo if you wish.


Enjoy

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This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 20 August 2017


In our video this week, we will open up the heart area to bring compassion to those that need our forgiveness or ourselves. We also will be opening the hips where we hold negative emotions in order to let go of those emotions. The meditation focuses on forgiveness.
Yoga video and blog post on my 'sister' blog-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/qualities-cultivated-by-yoga-ability-to.html

Yoga can help when it comes to preventing or even reducing hearing loss. 
Read more on my 'sister' blog and practice this yoga sequence for healthy ears-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/youth-boost-yoga-hearing-loss.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


Age reverse - hearing loss





Age related hearing loss may be caused by degeneration of the sensory hairs in the ear that relay messages to the brain which are interpreted as sound.  Some conditions contribute to hearing loss too including diabetes and high blood pressure so it is essential that these conditions are managed.  

You may think that there is nothing you can do to prevent hearing loss as you age but I believe there is a great deal.  Try to avoid long term exposure to loud noise such as loud music, lawn mowers, hedgecutters etc.  Ear protection is essential if you are exposed to loud noise regularly.  My mum and dad worked in a weaving mill for many years before ear protection became mandatory - needless to say they both were hard of hearing later in life although working in a weaving shed they were good at lip reading.  

Good nutrition is also key to preventing age related hearing loss. The three middle ear bones conduct sound vibrations from the eardrum to the fluid filled inner ear where the sensory hairs are located.  All the vitamins and minerals that are essential for bone health are therefore necessary to maintain good hearing.  These include vitamin D (vegan sources include mushrooms, fortified non-dairy milks and of course sunshine), calcium (vegan sources include broccoli and fortified non-dairy milks) and magnesium (vegan sources include beans and legumes, leafy green vegetables and whole grains).  Also make sure your diet includes sources of antioxidants - vitamins A, C, E, and zinc in order to prevent free radical damage to the sensory hairs, blood vessels and nerves supplying the ear. Vegan sources of vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and broccoli.  Vitamin C is found in fruits and vegetables especially citrus fruits, kiwis, and peppers and vitamin E can be included in the diet by eating nuts and seeds.  Vegan sources of zinc include oats, pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast and wholegrains.

B vitamins are also helpful because they reduce stress which can set up the inflammatory response which in turn can lead to hearing loss. Make sure your diet includes leafy green vegetables and whole grains.

Other supplements that may help include serrapeptase-please see Beating inflamation with serrapeptase and gingko biloba-please see 'Supplements for the brain.

I also recommend exercise to boost circulation to the ears to nourish the nerves and blood vessels of the ears. On the yoga blog I have created a sequence that will do that so please take a look, Youth boost yoga-hearing loss.

Please also see 

Age reverse-Stay sharp
Age reverse-Eyes, health and beauty 
Age reverse-heart


Hope this helps,

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




Meatless Monday : Summer pitta pizzas

Monday, 14 August 2017



Need a quick, healthy, tasty light meal?  This Summer pitta pizza is just the ticket! It uses pitta breads as a pizza base and you could use whatever summer produce you have in the fridge. The courgette is from a fellow allotment grower and the basil is some we grew - it goes well with the tomato sauce.  

Summer pitta pizzas
Serves 2 

You will need
2 pitta breads
1 tbsp oil
Summer vegetable selection - I used 1 medium courgette - diced, ½ red pepper - diced, 1 small red onion - chopped, and 4 cherry tomatoes - halved.  
100g tomato puree
½ tsp pink salt
Pinch stevia 
90g vegan cheese, grated
Basil leaves
Salad to serve

Heat the oil and cook the onion for 2-3 minutes.  Add the remaining vegetables and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender.  Add the tomato puree, the salt, stevia and a little water (the sauce should be thick). Heat through then divide the mixture between two pitta breads and spread evenly over the pittas.  Sprinkle the grated cheese over the mixture and pop under the grill to melt the cheese.  Top with basil leaves and serve with a side salad if you wish.  

You may also like 'The 40plusandalliswell guide to growing herbs'

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



This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 13 August 2017


In the yoga video this week we are using the asanas to open up our bodies, creating space for abundance to enter into our lives -abundance from which we can give out to others.
Yoga video and blog post on my 'sister' blog- 
http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/qualities-cultivated-by-yoga-generosity.html

This week on my 'sister' blog, we practice a sequence to help keep the heart young-
http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/youth-boost-yoga-young-at-heart.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

Age reverse - heart


Everyone in the UK over the age of 40 is entitled to a health check. This includes an assessment of your cardiac health.  A good indicator of your cardiac health is your cholesterol level.  Normal level is considered to below 5mml/l.  A fasting cholesterol test will also measure the levels of HDL (H for healthy) cholesterol and LDL (L for lethal) cholesterol. The higher the ratio HDL to LDL, the better because HDL cholesterol can remove some of the baddie LDL, returning it to the liver for breaking down and elimination. High cholesterol means there is a risk that arteries supplying the heart may become blocked depriving the heart of vital oxygen and nutrients. Eventually the artery may become so blocked that a heart attack results.  My husband was unaware that he had high cholesterol until at the age of 39 he had a heart attack - he had hypercholesterolemia, an inherited condition which meant that his body just kept on producing cholesterol.  This, thankfully is quite rare and if you do not have this inherited condition, you can usually keep your cholesterol levels in check through diet and exercise.
Please see Love your heart 

There are also some supplements that may help.  I have already mentioned garlic which can reduce cholesterol. Other supplements that may help include niacin as this can boost HDL cholesterol. Soya lecithin can lower LDL cholesterol.  Omega 3 reduces inflammation in the body, reduces triglycerides in the blood and reduces the risk of clotting thereby helping to prevent a cardiac event.  Vegans may take a supplement of marine algae. Psyllium, a natural fibre, reduces total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol especially.  It may also well be worth taking co-enzyme Q10 which can reduce LDLs ability to stick to arterial walls.

The other indicator that may lead to heart disease is high blood pressure.  This can increase the rate at which plaque builds up on artery walls.  The reason for this is that high blood pressure can damage arterial walls allowing cholesterol to take hold. Then if blood cannot flow freely to the heart, there is a risk of heart attack. High blood pressure also means the heart has to work harder which can lead to heart failure. High blood pressure can also lead to clotting which, like plaque can reduce blood flow to the heart and increase the risk of heart attack.  The advice to lower high blood pressure is similar to that for diet and exercise in the link above. If you need to lose weight, this will help especially if you carry weight around your middle.  

You might also like:-
Is it possible to avoid statins through diet?
Mindfulness and weight loss
Unwrap your healthy weight for Christmas and keep it all year
Youth boost yoga- Young at heart

Please also see Age reverse-Stay sharp and Age reverse-Eyes, health and beauty 

Always speak to your doctor before taking supplements.

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 : Lentil and runner bean curry with coconut cauliflower ‘rice’

Monday, 7 August 2017


We have been harvesting runner beans so I have included some in this lentil curry to add extra fibre and protein as well as vitamins A, C, K and folic acid.  Cauliflower is also in season and so I have used cauliflower to make a low carb ‘rice’ - this also adds to your daily fruit and veg intake.  


Lentil and runner bean curry with coconut cauliflower ‘rice’
Serves 2


You will need:


For the lentil and runner bean curry

1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
150g brown lentils
100g runner beans, sliced
3 tbsp tomato puree
1 ½ tbsp mild curry powder
½ tsp ground ginger
2 tsp garam masala
½ tsp pink salt
2tbsp coconut milk
Fresh coriander to garnish


For the cauliflower rice

½ head cauliflower
2tbsp coconut milk


Place the lentils and runner beans in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil.
Reduce heat to simmer and cook until tender - about 20-25 minutes. Drain.

Heat the oil and cook the onion for 3 minutes until transparent.  Add the garlic, salt and spices and continue to cook a further minute adding a little water if necessary.  Add the tomato puree and the lentils, runner beans, 2tbsp coconut milk and a little water, and stir to heat through.
runner beans growing on the allotment

runner beans picked


To make the cauliflower rice, break up the cauliflower into small florets and place in a high-speed blender with enough water to float the cauliflower off the blades. Blitz for one or two “pulses” of the blender- you won’t have to blend for very long! Don’t overblend or it will go into a cauliflower mush. Drain some of the water off and transfer to a saucepan. Cook for 1-2 mins, drain the remainder of the water off, and then stir in the coconut milk. Garnish with fresh coriander. Serve with the curry. Enjoy!


You might also like:-
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, 6 August 2017


In this week's yogavideo we use visualisations to anchor us to the present moment and create a more positive outlook. We end with a gratitude meditation.
Please see my 'sister' blog-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/qualities-cultivated-by-yoga-positivity.html

In the first of a new series 'Youth boost yoga' we practice a sequence to help keep our spines young and flexible. Please see my 'sister' blog-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/youth-boost-yoga-spinal-flexibility.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

Age reverse – eyes, health and beauty




We often think that eye deterioration as we age is inevitable – it isn’t. 
Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye, which focuses the image on the retina becomes cloudy resulting in diminished images.  Exercise is key to preventing cataracts because it increases circulation to the eye bringing the nutrients and oxygen to the eye that are required for health. Smoking on the other hand reduces circulation to the eye.

Presbyopia is when the lens loses its ability to focus over a range of distances resulting in the eye being only able to see near or far images clearly.  Key here are eye exercises. Please see my video Eye yoga on YouTube.

Macular degeneration refers to loss of central retinal function. Good nutrition helps here.  Make sure your diet includes fresh fruits and vegetables including leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds to ensure you are getting antioxidants to neutralise the free radicals that cause eye deterioration. Omega 3s is also essential for eye health.  Vegan supplements are made from marine algae. You might also want to take a supplement of lutein and zeaxanthin.  Also make sure you have good lighting when you are working and if you work at a computer have regular ‘eye breaks.


Other tips
  • Protect your eyes with sunglasses – research shows that even the less expensive ones are effective in protecting your eyes from UV damage.
  • Make sure you have regular eye checks.  If you have a close relative with glaucoma, you are allowed free yearly eye checks.  If you experience a sudden increase in floaters or flashing lights seek medical help immediately. 
As we age we can often notice dark circles under the eyes because the skin under the eyes is thinner and the blood vessels become more visable producing the darkening.  This is made worse by dehydration so make sure you drink plenty of water or herbal tea and have enough sleep since lack of sleep is dehydrating.  Dark circles can also be made worse by the sun so make sure you wear your sun glasses.  
As we age the skin around the eyes gets drier and thinner and the lack of oestrogen affects the collagen under the skin resulting in ‘crows feet’.  As well as moisturising ensure your diet includes sources of phytoestrogens such as edamame beans, soy milk, or tofu as well as beans, lentils and leafy green vegetables.  Pat your delicate eye skin dry after showering and wear sun glasses in bright light to prevent squinting.
Puffy eyes and bags under the eyes are caused by the tissues that surround the eyes weakening and a consequent build up of fluid. The appearance of bags and puffiness can be reduced by placing slices of cold cucumber on closed eyes and resting for 20 minutes.

Hope this helps

Please also see Age reverse-Stay sharp

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





Meatless Monday : Vegan doner kebab

Monday, 31 July 2017


This vegan version of a popular takeaway is every bit as tasty as the meat version – healthier too.  It does not take long to make either!!
Vegan donner kebab
Serves 3-4
You will need
240g dried soy mince granules
100g breadcrumbs
2 egg equivalent (2 tbsp rice flour, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp non-dairy milk)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp onion salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp tamari
½ tsp black pepper
Olive oil spray for greasing
Pitta breads and salad to serve


Place the dried soy mince in a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Leave for 10 minutes then drain well.  Place in a high speed blender with the remainder of the ingredients and whiz to a paste.  Spray a loaf tin with the olive oil spray.  Press the soy mince into the loaf tin and place in an oven at 200 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Turn out onto a plate and slice.  Place the slices in pitta breads and serve with salad.   


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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This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 30 July 2017


In this week's yoga video we cultivate intuitiveness, tapping into our inner wisdom. 
Please see my 'sister' blog-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/qualities-cultivated-by-yoga.html

In the second of our yoga finishing sequence we practice some seated poses and end with a Legs up the wall.
Please see my 'sister' blog-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/yoga-finishing-sequence-2-receive.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

Age reverse – stay sharp

Saturday, 29 July 2017




As we age the brain can become damaged by reduced blood flow, free radical damage and neuro-connections dying.  The result is brain atrophy. The good news is that through lifestyle choices we can build up a ‘brain resilience’ so that the brain is less affected by the aging process.  Please see ‘Love your brain’. Brain deterioration is by no means inevitable – read on!
Take care of your general health now if you are not already doing so (40plusandalliswell is here to help!). Cardiovascular disease can cause brain shrinkage by reducing blood flow to the brain depriving the brain of oxygen and nutrients which keep your brain healthy.  Please see ‘Love your heart’. As well as build up of plaque reducing blood flow another marker of cardiovascular disease, that is high levels of homocysteine, is also linked to brain shrinkage. This is because it damages arterial walls allowing plaque to ‘stick’.  This in turn leads to reduced circulation to the brain. To prevent raised levels of homocysteine ensure your diet includes the B vitamins especially foleate from leafy green vegetables and B12.  Vegans in particular can be lacking in B12 so take a supplement. Please see 'Supplements for vegans-Iron and vitamin B12'.
Raised blood sugar levels in non-diabetics can also lead to brain shrinkage. This may be because high blood sugar is linked to inflammation.  If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that, in my opinion, inflammation underlies most disease and degeneration including brain atrophy.  I recommend serrapeptase to combat inflammation.  Please see ‘Beating inflammation with serrapeptase’.
As we age, neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in the brain can decline but again this need not be the case. Excitingly the gut and the brain are closely linked.  In fact the gut can produce up to 90% of the body’s serontin (the feel good neurotransmitter) as well as other neurotransmitters.  It can also influence receptors in the brain – for instance the gut can increase the receptors for the neurotransmitter GABA which plays a vital role in the transmission of nervous impulses in the brain.  Research is in its infancy but the message is clear – look after your gut health in order to help prevent age related brain changes.  Please see ‘Beat post-Christmas bloat’ .  I would also add take care with pesticides in the garden (be an organic gardener?) and try to eat organic where you can.  My dad developed Parkinson’s disease at the age I am now.  This is due to decline in dopamine.  He was a keen gardener and I suspect that using chemicals in the garden was linked to his illness.

Don't forget meditation which has been scientifically proven to increase grey matter in the prefrontal cortex.  For help to get started please see Meditation- ancient help for 21st century stress

You might also like ' Supplements for the brain '

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