Hello and welcome!

Monday, 23 April 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 : Vegan Chickpea and Spinach Curry

As a vegan, you are already doing your bit for the planet - much less land is needed to produce plant-based foods than meat.  But how does being a vegan affect your pocket?  In fact as a vegan you may already have noticed that your food bills have reduced - vegan sources of protein such as beans, tofu, chickpeas etc are considerably cheaper than meat, fish and poultry.  To illustrate this, this week’s Meatless Monday comes in at less than £1 a portion (around 85p) - tasty, nourishing and satisfying too. Another reason to be vegan!!

Vegan Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Serves 2

You will need
Olive oil spray
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
4 ‘balls’ of frozen spinach
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp curry powder
100g tomato puree
1 can chickpeas
100ml light coconut milk

To serve
150g brown rice
4 tbsp frozen sweetcorn (optional)

Rinse the rice and place in a saucepan.  Cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile spray a non-stick pan with olive oil spray.  Cook the onion for 3 minutes then add the salt, garlic and curry powder.  Cook a further 2 minutes, adding a little water if necessary. Add the spinach and 200 ml water.  Bring to the boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the drained chickpeas and coconut milk.

Drain the rice then serve with the curry.   


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Celebrate Earth Day 2018 by reducing your plastic use

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Last year I watched a wildlife programme in which a whale was refusing to let her baby go even though the baby was dead.  The baby had died because the mother’s milk was contaminated by plastic.  A real tear jerker.  I immediately donated to a charity dedicated to cleaning up the oceans but that is not enough – I, and all of us need to reduce our plastic use and this is the theme of this year’s Earth Day.  Between us we dump 8 million tons of plastic in the oceans.
There are some positive moves.  Since the introduction of a 5p charge, the use of carrier bags has reduced greatly.  Microplastics in facial scrubs and toothpastes have now also been banned.  It’s so easy to make your own too.  All you need is a tablespoon of coconut oil and 2 tbsp granulated sugar and mix well (note this is the only time I will recommend use of sugar – internally it is definitely best avoided).  Rub onto your face in a circular motion avoiding your eye area.  Rinse well.  Another positive move is the possibility that cotton buds will be banned soon.  
 A great deal of our plastic waste comes from our use of bottled water.  This is not good on several levels – the waste gets dumped in the oceans and recent research has revealed that many bottled waters contained microplastics – not the healthy alternative to ‘corporation pop’ (tap water) we thought.  My suggestion is to buy a reuseable bottle and use a water filter that is connected to your tap.  
Pre-packaged foods are another way we use a lot of plastic.  Could you possibly buy ‘loose’ fruit and vegetables (cheaper too!) or even grow your own?  There is a great deal of advice on this blog on organic fruit and vegetable gardening.  
Sanitary protection  is another way we get through a lot of plastic – a large percentage of your sanitary towel is plastic.  However there are biodegradable ones available and although these may be more expensive, it is worth it for the future of our oceans and our planet.  
If you use a lot of plastic food bags, you could consider using a silicone alternative.  These are expensive but you can wash and re-use them so that in the long run they will pay for themselves.
Let’s reduce plastic, have a happy healthy planet and a happy, healthy us.

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This week on Flexiladiesyoga

In the second of our series, 'Finding your true-self', which is part of the series 'Yoga for self-care' we practice non-attachment with a peak pose sequence.
Please see my 'sister' blog - http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/yoga-for-self-care-finding-your-true_22.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

Meatless Monday : Mumbai 'mince' wraps

Monday, 16 April 2018

Simple and quick to prepare but tasty, you will just love these spicy wraps. The soy mince provides complete protein and the veg add to your ‘five (nine) a day’.  

Mumbai 'mince' wraps

You will need

Serves 2 generously

120g dried soy mince
Spray olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 tsp pink salt
1 tbsp curry powder
2 chopped tomatoes
4-6 tbsp tomato puree
½ tsp stevia
4 tbsp frozen peas

1 tbsp coconut cream
spring onions, sliced 
2 wraps

Place the soy mince in a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Leave for 10 minutes.  

Spray a fry pan well with olive oil spray and fry the onion for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, pink salt and curry powder and cook for a further 2 minutes.  Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato  puree, and stevia and 200ml water and bring to the boil. Add the soy mince and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes adding a little more water if absolutely necessary (the final mixture needs to be thick).  Stir in the frozen peas and heat through for 2-3 minutes.  Divide the mixture between 2 wraps and garnish with coconut cream and spring onions.  Enjoy with a side salad if you 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- 

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Finding true self is not easy in today’s busy, busy world. It’s hard to turn inward when so much is demanding your attention outside of yourself. 
In this #yogasequence we focus on sensations, breath and thoughts as a way of increasing our awareness, a step towards finding true self.
Please see my 'sister' blog-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/yoga-for-self-care-finding-your-true.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

The Vegan Diet and Healthy Bones

When I was at primary school a crate of small milk bottles was delivered to each classroom every morning.  Drinking one of these was compulsory for every child so even though I was lactose intolerant, I had to drink it.  This was promptly followed by me throwing up.  Eventually the teacher was so fed up of me that she threatened to smack me if I was sick again (lactose intolerance wasn’t really understood in those days).  Needless to say I was terrified because as sure as night follows day, if I was made to drink milk the next morning I would throw up.  Thankfully mum had a word with the teacher and I was allowed to bring freshly squeezed orange juice to school to drink at break time.  This was probably good for me in some ways but did not supply the calcium I needed to have healthy teeth and bones and in those days there were no fortified non-dairy milks.  As a result years down the line, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis. 
Thankfully, these days even if you can’t or do not want to drink milk there are several non-dairy milks, yogurts and cheeses that are fortified with calcium so there is no need to worry about not getting enough.  The recommended daily intake for an adult is between 700mg and 1000mg. Non-dairy milks are not the only source of calcium either – calcium fortified tofu is a good source for vegans as are some green vegetables such as kale. broccoli and brussel sprouts.  Some green vegetables however such as spinach, although good for you in other ways, are difficult to absorb calcium from because of the presence of phytates and oxalates which reduce calcium absorption.
The other important mineral for bone health is magnesium.  Food sources for vegans include bananas, avocados, black beans and pumpkin seeds.
Another important nutrient for healthy bones is vitamin D which is necessary to absorb the calcium in your diet.  In summer you may be able to make enough from the action of sunlight on your skin but please do not expose your skin to the sun for longer than 10 minutes without protection because of the risk of skin cancer.  Food sources of vitamin D include fortified non-dairy milks and mushrooms (did you know that exposing mushrooms to the sun increase their vitamin D content?) The daily requirement for adults is 400IU so if you feel that you are not getting enough in your diet, take a daily supplement.  You might also like 'Bring on the sun- vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin'.
Bones are not just made of calcium  - in fact bones consist of calcium salts held together by a collagen-rich protein matrix. For this reason it is important to ensure that you have enough protein in your diet from soy products, beans, legumes etc.  Please also see 'The VeganDiet and Protein ' and you might also find Collagen-your internal anti-wrinkle cream useful.  Please see 'Collagen-Your internal 'anti-wrinkle cream'
Vitamin C enhances the formation of collagen and so should also be part of a bone healthy diet – fruit and vegetables should provide you with your daily requirement.  Rich sources include citrus fruits, kiwis and peppers.  A diet rich in fruit and vegetables is also an alkalising diet  - if the body is too acid it will leach calcium from the bones.
Other bone friendly nutrients include boron and vitamin K. Sources of boron include apples, bananas and dried fruits while vitamin K sources include leafy green vegetables such as kale and brussel sprouts. 
Do not overlook exercise as a way of keeping your bones health.  I tried several medications for osteoporosis and didn’t get on with any of them – the side effects were awful and my bones were still worsening.  In the end I agreed with the doctor that I would try power walking which I have kept up five times a week ever since.  A year on. I had a scan and my bones had stopped worsening and there was a slight improvement – a better result than with medications!  If you wear wrist and ankles weights the effect will be even greater.  Please see Walking my way to stronger bones.
Yoga too includes weight bearing exercises. Please see the following yoga videos on my YouTube Channel:-

Osteoporosis 1-Part 1
Osteoporosis 1-Part 2

Osteoporosis 2-Part 1
Osteoporosis 2-Part 2
Hope this helps reassure you that being a vegan doesn’t have to be detrimental to your bones. 
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