Hello and welcome!

Saturday, 20 January 2018

(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-Edamame bean and quinoa burgers in lettuce ‘buns’ with salsa

Monday, 15 January 2018

This week the Meatless Monday is another super healthy one.  The burgers are low calorie and the edamame beans provide a complete protein for vegans as well as being a source of cholesterol reducing fibre and phytoestrogens.  Quinoa is a great alternative to grains.  It is also a source of protein and fibre as well as B vitamins and some healthy fats.  Instead of burger buns these burgers are served on lettuce ‘buns’ to make them lower calorie.

Edamame bean and quinoa burgers in lettuce buns with salsa.

Serves 3-4

You will need

For the burgers

¼ red onion, finely chopped

125g edamame beans
75g quinoa, dried weight
75g frozen sweetcorn
50g breadcrumbs
3 tbsp fava (the liquid from a can of chickpeas - use the chickpeas to make falafel or a curry.  There are many recipes for chickpeas on this blog)
¼-½ tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp soy
½ tsp stevia
Olive oil spray
Lettuce leaves 

For the salsa

¼ red onion, finely chopped

1 clove minced garlic
2 salad tomatoes, finely chopped
¼ tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
1 tbsp lime juice
Pinch stevia
Finely chopped coriander leaves

To make the salsa combine all the ingredients in a bowl and place in the fridge until needed. 

To make the burgers rinse the quinoa and place in a saucepan.  Cover with water and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 12 minutes.  Add the onion, edamame beans and sweetcorn for the last 5 minutes. Drain really well in a metal sieve, pressing lightly with the back of a tablespoon.  Add the breadcrumbs, chilli, lime, fava and breadcrumbs.  Pulse in a blender until the mixture comes together. Divide and shape into 6-8 burgers. Grease a baking tray by spraying with the olive oil spray and place the burgers on the greased tray.  

Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes, turning half way through.  Serve on lettuce ‘buns’ with the salsa or if you are not too worried about low calorie, add some sweet potato wedges (cook at the same time as the burgers)


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The wonders of winter walking

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Note walking in very cold temperatures may not be for you if you have a heart or respiratory condition – speak to your doctor. 

Around three times a week, I take a walk in a local woodland with a bag of wild bird food.  The woods have become a magical place now that winter is here.  The birds are so hungry, if you put some food on the posts round the boundary of the woods, the news quickly goes out on ‘twitter’ and bird come raining down.  Certain places in the woods seem to have more birds and I have named these appropriately ‘coal tit corner’ and ‘blue tit boulevard’.  But the most magical moments are on a lesser used path in the woods where I have formed a special bond with a robin.  Over many weeks I have gained his trust and he now comes when I call and will come within an inch or two of my hand for food. 

It’s tempting when the weather is cold and wet (and it really has been bitterly cold here in Yorkshire) to stay in and keep warm but I can honestly say that I always feel better for getting out for a walk.  Winter walking has so many benefits both physically and psychologically.  Did you know that you will burn more calories taking a walk in winter because you are burning calories to stay warm?  Walking briskly is good for your heart and circulation and this in turn is associated with good brain health.

Each season has its own beauty.  Without their leaf cover, it is easier to spot birds.  The mists form droplets on the branches, giving them a winter beauty.  Sunlight breaking through the trees forms shafts of light that are as lovely as any painting and snow and ice can transform the landscape into a winter wonderland.

You might be wondering if you can still get your daily quota of vitamin D from winter sun – sorry no.  You may have to take a supplement during the winter months but remember UVA (a for aging) rays still get through so still wear sun protection. 

My other top tips foe winter walking include:-

  • Wear a hat – a large percentage of body heat is lost through your head.
  • Wear boots with grips to prevent sliding in the mud, snow and ice (four years ago I broke my wrist by sliding in the mud) and make sure they are waterproof.
  • If you are walking when the light is beginning to fade, make sure that you have something reflective on. 
  • Wear layers with a waterproof outer layer.  I have found waterproof trousers a great investment. 
  • Also a must for me are thermal socks and gloves that are thermal and waterproof (very necessary for holding a bag of wild bird food). 

Enjoy winter walking!

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Meatless Monday : Roasted cauliflower with smoky tahini and chickpeas

Monday, 8 January 2018

It’s January and after the excesses of Christmas, it’s good to get back to something that’s healthy but tasty.  Maybe that will even help us lose a few pounds?  This recipe is so versatile.  If you just want a side dish, forget the chickpeas or better still save the flavoured chickpeas and use them to make a tasty falafel. Try using them in my 'Sweet red pepper falafel' The recipe as it stands would make a light but tasty lunch.  However you choose to eat it, enjoy!

Roasted cauliflower with tahini and chickpeas

Serves 2 

1 medium cauilflower, leaves removed
1 can chickpeas

For the dressing

2 good tbsp tahini
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice.
½ tsp pink salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp cayenne

Place the whole cauliflower in a saucepan with water (no need to cover) and bring to the boil.  Cover with the pan lid and boil for 8-10 minutes.  Cool.

Meanwhile make the dressing by mixing the ingredients for the dressing together.  

Place the chickpeas in an ovenproof dish and place the cauliflower on top.  With your hands, smooth the dressing over the cauliflower then pop the casserole dish in a pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes.


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This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 7 January 2018

There's a new yoga video, 'Yoga for self care-clearing out negative out energy'.

Twisting is a great way to release tension in your back and boost circulation to your spine. 
The following is a gentle twisting practice using a chair as a prop. 
Please see my 'sister' blog-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/yoga-for-back-pain-twist-to-prevent-and.html

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Banish belly fat

If you have belly fat, and many of us have, it can be a source of great anguish.  More than that though belly fat can lead to health problems.  Unlike fat stored around your hips which is subcutaneous fat (under the skin), belly fat is visceral fat meaning that it surrounds your abdominal organs.  Eventually this may lead to heart disease, diabetes, or some cancers.

The question is why does fat settle around the belly in some people while others are prone to weight gain in the hips?  Age may be one factor and especially after the menopause us ladies are prone to ‘middle age spread’ due to falling oestrogen levels. A sedentary life style may also be to blame but frustratingly abdominal crunches, although great for toning the belly, don’t do much to get rid of belly fat.  More effective is the recommended 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise. Other causes of belly fat include poor sleep, diet, and stress so the good news is that there is plenty you can do to prevent or reduce belly fat. 

Below are my recommendations :-

Diet – eliminate refined carbs (white rice, white bread, white pasta etc) and especially sugar from your diet.  There are plenty of ideas for sugar free desserts on my blog that you can enjoy if you have a sweet tooth.  Instead use brown rice flour, spelt flour and other wholemeal flours, wholegrains, wholemeal bread and pasta.  Why?  Because refined carbs and especially sugar enter the blood stream quickly after they are ingested leading to a rise in blood sugar.  If this contrinues insulin resistance may result and blood sugar stays high.  This is linked to storing fat in the belly area.  Much better are slow release carbs that release slowly into the blood maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. 

At the same time as curbing carbs, up your protein levels.  Why?  If your diet is low in protein a hormone, neuropeptide Y leads to increased appetite and fat on the belly.

Increasing your fibre intake will also help.  Why?  Fibre especially soluble fibre slows the entry of sugars. produced as a result of the digestion of carbs, into the blood helping to stabilise blood sugar.  

Cutting back on alcohol is a good idea too.  Why?  Because alcohol inhibits fat burning and the extra calories are stored, you guessed it, on the belly. 

Also avoid foods that will lead to inflammation in your body such as transfats found in some vegetable oil spreads.  Why?  Inflammation may lead to insulin resistance.  Please see 'Beating inflammation with serrapeptase'.

Apart from tweaking your diet, take steps to lower stress which is linked to storing fat on your belly.  This is because the stress hormone, cortisol releases fat from fat cells in case it is needed for ‘fight or flight’.  This is not usually the case and so the fat is redeposited, you guessed it on the belly. Yoga and meditation are excellent ways to destress.  Take a look at flexiladiesyoga. 

Make sure you have restful sleep too.  Please see my 'sister' blog for, ‘Yoga for self-care – restfulsleep’  Lack of sleep increases your appetite because it causes ghrelin levels to rise which has this effect.  Lack of sleep also leads to insulin resistance which as already mentioned leads to belly fat.  Finally lack of sleep is stressful for your body and we have already seen that stress leads to belly fat.

Finally, probiotics can help reduce belly fat. Why? Because gut flora regulate weight among many other functions, many of which we are only just discovering. Please see 'What's stopping you reaching your health weight-Part 5- Unhealthy gut'.

Wishing you a happy, healthy 2018

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Happy New Year!

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Happy New Year! All the very best!     😀

Your liver has been working hard for you over the festive season, so give it a little TLC-please see the blog, 'Pamper your liver'. Also, there's a post and yoga video on my 'sister' blog, 'Yoga to rebalance-Love your liver' which you may like to view.

Also, on my 'sister' blog you might want to check out my 'New Year, New You' yoga series on my YouTube Channel.

Have a wonderful 2018! 
Love, Janet x