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!

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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


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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 '

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Meatless Monday : Broad bean summer salad

Monday, 24 July 2017


This week’s Meatless Monday uses some of the produce that we have grown on the allotment and in the greenhouse – broad beans, salad leaves, peas and lemon balm. I have also added some courgettes – we haven’t grown them this year but they have been given by a fellow allotment grower. The broad beans and peas add protein to this dish, which would make a great lunch pack-up, as well as fibre, and vitamins A, B1 and B2. So enjoy a taste of summer!


Broad bean summer salad
Serves 2


You will need

150g buckwheat

½ tsp pink salt

300ml water

150g broad beans

1 medium courgette, diced

Handful peas, podded

Dressing

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 ½ tbsp. olive oil

½ tsp stevia

1 tsp English mustard

Garnish

Lemon balm or mint leaves
preparing the broad beans from the allotment

Rinse the buckwheat and place in a saucepan with the salt and 300ml water.  Bring to the boil then reduce heat to simmer until all the water is absorbed – about 25 minutes.  Towards the end of cooking time, place the vegetables in another saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to the boil and boil for 3-4 minutes.  Drain and stir into the cooked buckwheat.  To make the dressing, blend all the ingredients together and stir through the buckwheat and vegetable mixture.  Serve on lettuce leaves and garnish with lemon balm or mint leaves.

Enjoy!


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This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 23 July 2017



In this week's yoga video we cultivate curiosity by being mindful and returning to a beginner's mind-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/qualities-cultivated-by-yoga-curiosity.html

A yoga finishing sequence will release any tension and calm the mind ready for final relaxation.
Please see the blog post for an example of a finishing sequence-
http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/yoga-finishing-sequence-receive-benefits.html

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Age reverse - youthful skin

Friday, 21 July 2017


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
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
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

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

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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http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/been-out-christmas-shopping-restore.html