Hello and welcome!

Monday, 18 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!







This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 17 December 2017


You may think a pre-holiday detox is a strange idea. After all don’t we usually detox after Christmas? But wait a minute – getting your digestive system in tip top condition before the feasting begins will help your digestive system cope.
Yoga video and blog post on my 'sister' blog-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/yoga-for-self-care-pre-holiday-detox.html

In this week's blog post on 'Yoga for back pain' we will be practicing a yoga sequence to ease sciatica. Please see my 'sister' blog-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/yoga-for-back-pain-sciatica.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

Christmas Craft: Elf Activity Jar


This elf jar is a brilliant way to keep little ones (and not so little ones!) entertained between courses at Christmas dinner. Each jar contains two fun games- the first is a game to find out what kind of elf you would be in Santa's workshop, and the second helps you discover your special elf name! 


An added bonus is that it is super easy and quick to make, allowing you to put a stress-free personal touch on your Christmas table.


For each elf activity jar, you will need:



Small jar


Baking tray


Cup


Teabag (black tea) 


Christmas-themed  table confetti (I used snowflakes) 


Small plastic fairy wand


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: 




What sort of elf will…………………….be in Santa’s Workshop?


Elf numbers ……  ……  ……

When I turn……………………into an elf with a wave of my wand, he/she will have…

(1)  A big white beard (2) Pointy ears (3) Stripy tights (4) Shoes with jingle bells

(5) A long green cap (6) Rosy cheeks


    With a shake of my wand, in Santa’s workshop he/she will be making…

(1) Toy trains (2) Teddy bears (3) Whoopee cushions (4) Noisy toys

(5) Jigsaw puzzles (6) Stink bombs


With a swirl of my wand, he/she will also be…

(1)  Checking the nice list (2) Feeding the reindeer (3) Polishing Santa’s boots

                      (4) The leader of the naughty elves

      (5) Cleaning the sleigh (6) Checking the naughty list





Elf Name Generator



To discover your elf name, just use the first letter of your name and the month you were born!



January = Snowball  February = Snowflake March = Mischief 



April = Jingle May = Nutmeg June = Snuggly



July = Sweetest August= Peppermint September= Pinecone



October= Sugarplum November= Jolly



December= Gingerbread




A= Fairy bells  B= Starry night C= Woolly mittens  D = Sparkle toes




E = Candy Cane F = Rosy Cheeks G = Twinkle lights  H = Little tinker




I = Stripy stockings J = Bright baubles K = Twirly ribbons




L = Fluffy beard M = Frosty nose N = Pixie ears O = Tinsel twinkle




P = Cookie nibbler Q = Sleigh rider R = Sparkle pants S = Shiny buttons T = Sugar sprinkles 




U = Figgy pudding V = Star bright



W = Santa Hugger X = Wooden toys Y = Frosty tree Z = Glowing heart




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. 

The next step is to tea stain these pieces of paper- instructions for doing this can be found in my fairy jar tutorial here.

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

To play the "Elf Name Generator", just use the month you were born and the first letter of your name (or the birth month and letter of whoever you are generating an elf name for). The month gives the first part of the name and the letter the second- so someone whose name begins with "C" and born in February would be "Snowflake Woolly Mittens". Easy!

To play the "What sort of elf will................be in Santa's Workshop?" game, write down the name of one of the other guests in the two large blank spaces. Then throw a dice three times and write down the numbers in the small "Elf numbers" spaces. The numbers tell you what the person you have chosen will be doing in Santa's workshop- for example, if you threw a 6, 3 and 5, the person would be an elf with rosy cheeks, with the jobs of making whoopee cushions and cleaning the sleigh. And don't forget- if you wave, shake and swirl your wand, your elf magic will be twice as strong! 



Always supervise children when playing games with small parts. 



If you are enjoying the 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 Tofu 'Turkey' with 'Sausage' Stuffing

Monday, 11 December 2017



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.


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, 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.

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-