Meatless Monday: Calzone pizza with tomato pesto and red pepper

Monday, 31 August 2015

A calzone is an Italian folded pizza. This one is made with a filling of homemade pesto, tomatinos and red pepper but you could use any vegetables you like.

For the pesto
Serves 2-3
75g pine nuts or flaked almonds
Handful Greek basil (approx. 15g)
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp lemon
90ml olive oil
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
2 tbsp tomato puree

For the pizza dough
175g flour (I used half spelt and half rye) + extra for rolling
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
90ml organic unsweetened soya milk

Tomatinos, halved
Red pepper slices
Place all the ingredients for the pesto in a blender and blend.

To make the dough, place the flour and baking powder in a bowl and mix. Add the lemon juice and soy milk and mix to form a dough. Knead for 1 minute then leave to rest for 20-30 minutes. 

Divide the dough into 2 or 3 and roll out in a circular shape around 1/8 inch thick. Spread the pesto over the dough leaving a gap around the edges. Add the tomatino halves and pepper slices and fold.  

Seal the edges using a fork and place in an oven at 180 degrees for 20-30 minutes. 

Serve with a salad.

Janet x

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 30 August 2015

If you have SI joint problems, you may be interested in this yoga video which shows you how to strengthen the muscles that support the SI joint and how to modify some yoga poses to avoid further issues. Please note you should not practice yoga while you are still experiencing pain.

Chanting has so many benefits which you can read about in this blog post. If you would like to try chanting but don't know where to start, this blog post may help.

If you have trouble with Pigeon pose, this blog post may help you find a variation that is perfect for your body.

Blackberry Fool - Bank Holiday Treat

It's bank holiday weekend and my kind neighbours invited me to 'pick my own' blackberries from their garden because they have a 'bumper' crop once again this year. Blackberries are traditionally an autumn fruit but already on my walks I am seeing signs of autumn - the haws, the rosehips, beechnuts falling, conkers, and crab apples. It is sad to see the summer fading but you just have to embrace the beauty of each season. If blackberries near you are not quite ready yet, you could use gooseberries or stewed apples to make a fruit fool.  

Blackberry fool (Vegan)
Makes 4

300g blackberries
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp stevia (or to taste)

For the sweet white sauce
2 rounded tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp stevia (or to taste)
1 tsp vanilla essence
400ml unsweetened organic soya milk

Place the blackberries in a saucepan with 1 tbsp water and lemon juice. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Sieve the contents of the saucepan, pressing the fruit with the back of a spoon to extract the fruit puree. If necessary heat to reduce to a thick, fruit puree. Allow to cool. 

To make the sweet, white sauce mix the cornflour with the stevia in a saucepan. Add the soya milk a little at a time and blend with the cornflour and stevia so that no lumps form. Stir in the vanilla essence and heat stirring all the time moving the spoon in a figure of eight. Remove from heat just as the mixture begins to thicken and continue to stir while the mixture continues to thicken. Allow to cool.  
Stir the fruit puree into the white sauce (lightly if you want a 'ripple' effect). Spoon into sundae glasses.

Janet x 

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

Organic gardening - the winter vegetable garden

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

You might be forgiven for thinking that the vegetable gardening year is coming to a close. After all the churches are organising their harvest festivals now that 'all is safely gathered in' but there are still crops you can grow.

We recently dug our potatoes up, leaving a patch we can now use for our winter crops. If you fancy growing your own potatoes (which are much more tasty than shop bought), it is still not too late. Please see 'Organic gardening update-Harvesting the potatoes' 

Kale is good to grow for a winter harvest. It is easy to grow so ideal if you are new to organic vegetable gardening. It is a hardy plant but if you are going to grow kale, you need to plant it now, six to eight weeks before the winter frosts. Ideally this would be by the end of July but the climate in this part of the UK is fairly mild so we have planted ours (redbor kale) today. If your climate is not so mild you could plant kale out in a polytunnel. Sow your seeds in a seed tray. Fill the trays with organic compost and plant the seeds around 2cm deep. 

Sowing the kale seeds

Water but do not over-water and keep in the greenhouse. You should be able to plant them out in around four weeks. Plant them 12-18 inches apart (the nearer together they are, the smaller your kale will be). You may want to net your kale if there are still cabbage white butterflies about when you plant them out. They played havoc with some of the cabbage and brussel sprouts but I'll tell you more about that in another post. Kale becomes sweeter tasting after the first frost so you should be able to harvest it from November.

Salad growing too, is still a possibility in winter. You can grow rocket in the greenhouse. Any container will do (we grew our summer lettuce in ice cream tubs given by a local ice cream shop. We simply punched a few holes in the bottom for drainage). Fill with compost and sow your seeds in a 'channel' made using your index finger. Cover with compost. Do not over-water or you may wash the seeds away and lose the flavour, but you do need to keep them watered to prevent them flowering. Like lettuce, rocket is a 'cut and come again' crop. In other words you can keep harvesting the leaves and more will grow. We are also having a go at growing Lamb's lettuce. 

Lamb's lettuce

So there are a few ideas to fire up your enthusiasm for winter vegetable gardening.

You may also wish to read the other organic gardening posts from this year:-

'It's spring, the organic fruit and vegetable year begins!' -

Happy gardening days 
Janet x 

Meatless Monday : Vegan moussaka

Monday, 24 August 2015

Moussaka is a classic Greek dish made from layers of either potatoes or aubergines and mince in a tomato sauce topped with a cheese sauce. This is my vegan version which is just as delicious. It is made using textured vegetable protein (TVP), a deffatted soy product that is also known as soy mince.

Serves 2-3
You will need

100g TVP plain mince

1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
4 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp stevia
1 tsp pink salt
1 tsp oregano
handful Greek basil or 1 tsp dried basil
1 aubergine, thinly sliced with a mandolin

For the 'cheese' sauce
1 tbsp rice flour
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
150ml unsweetened soya milk, warmed
2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Place the TVP in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for a couple of minutes until the water is absorbed.
Meanwhile place the oil and onion in a fry pan and sweat for 1 minute. Add the garlic and continue to sweat for a further minute.
Add the soy mince, tomato puree, stevia, pink salt and herbs to the pan and cook for 5 minutes adding more water if necessary.
In a casserole dish, and starting with a layer of mince, layer up the mince and aubergines.You should be able to make 3 layers ending with a layer of aubergines.

Making the 'cheese' sauce
Mix the flour and the oil in a saucepan and cook on a medium heat for 1 minute to make a roux.  Add the warmed milk a little at a time whisking constantly so no lumps form. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to simmer until thick.  Remove from the heat and stir in nutritional yeast. Pour over the mince and aubergine layers.

Bake at 200 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
Serve with a salad.

Janet x

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 23 August 2015

The last fibromyalgia video on my 'sister' blog is for 'Building strength and confidence' with the Warrior poses practiced using the wall as a prop. You may like to follow the video by practicing the meditation 'Strength to overcome difficulties'. Link to the meditation is below the video.
Hope you find the fibromyalgia videos helpful. Please let me know how you get on.

Why not try this yoga sequence to help with jet lag if you are globe trotting this summer? 
There are also links for 'Yoga for your hotel room' and 'Yoga on a plane/coach'.
Please see the link for my 'sister' blog below.

Triangle is a great yoga pose but there is not a 'one size fits all'. In this blog post on my 'sister' blog you can read how to tailor your triangle to your body.

Superfood spirulina

Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is rich in nutrients. It is a good source of protein (60%), iron, calcium, B vitamins, carotene, omega 3 and iodine. But be sure to buy responsibly sourced spirulina to avoid the risk of contamination by heavy metals and bacteria. Below are just some of the benefits of spirulina:-

  • The B vitamin content means that spirulina can help relieve stress and fatigue. Note however that spirulini is not a source of B12, at least not in a bioavailable form so vegans may still need to supplement this B vitamin.  
  • Spirulina can stabilise blood sugar levels.This can help with weight loss by reducing cravings.
  • It is a vegan source of omega 3s promote heart health and brain health.  See 'Where do vegans get their omega 3s from'
  • It is a vegan souce of iron, helping to prevent anaemia
  • Spirulina can lower cholesterol levels - more specifically in lowers LDL cholesterol (the 'baddie') and raises HDL cholesterol (the 'good guy')
  • Phycocyanin, a pigment protein in spirulina is anti-inflammatory which helps prevent many degenerative diseases and antioxidant which means it 'mops up' the free radicals which cause aging.
  • Spirulina has anti-viral and cancer preventing properties.

You can add it to your smoothie if you wish but many people find it has an unpleasant flavour so an alternative would be 1 teaspoon in half a glass of water or follow the guidelines given on the packaging.

Spirulina should be avoided if you have phenylketonuria as it is a source of phenylalanine. It should also be avoided if you have thyroid issues due to its iodine content although it is possible to buy spirulina that does not have iodine. It also causes allergies in some people so check with your doctor before taking spirulina.  

Stay healthy, stay happy

Janet x

Using crystals to clear negative energies

Friday, 21 August 2015

We all have an aura, an energetic body which surrounds our physical body. The aura is linked to your physical body through the chakras which are spinning energy vortexes. We have seven major chakras and each chakra is associated with a colour. I will be talking more about using crystals to balance the individual chakras in another blog post.

Our auras can become cluttered by our own negative energies from our negative thoughts, and emotions or it can pick up the negative energies from the thoughts and emotions of other people. If your aura is not cleared of these energies they start to affect us physically eventually manifesting as health problems.

Crystals can help protect you from negative energies, strengthen your aura, and clear your aura. Quartz is a good crystal to start with because being clear it has the entire spectrum of light which can be split to form all the colours of the chakras. Make sure that your crystal is cleared of negative energies before your begin your aura cleanse (see  

Below is a step by step guide to meditating on the crystal to clear negative energies.
  1. Sit comfortably in a cross-legged position or on a chair with the crystal in your hand. Take a good look at your crystal noting its colour and shape then gently close your eyes.
  2. Visualise all the negative energy that you have created in your aura pouring into the crystal. This negative energy may be from stress, guilt, grief, anger, irritability etc.  Let it all go into the crystal.  
  3. Next visualise all the negative energy you have picked up from other people and which is now cluttering your aura, pouring into the crystal.  Give all this negative energy over to the crystal.  
  4. Now visualise a beam of white light entering the crystal and destroying all the negative energy and filling the crystal with a calm, loving energy. See this energy entering your body through the hand in which you are holding the crystal and from there filling your entire body with calm, loving energy.  
  5. Sit for a while noticing how you feel and when you are ready start to breathe more deeply then gently open your eyes to continue with your day, cleansed, restored, refreshed and renewed.
Stay healthy,
Janet x


Meatless Monday: Sweet potato and dhal bake

Monday, 17 August 2015

This recipe incorporates several vegetables. The recommendation now is no longer for '5 a day' but more like 9 or 10 vegetable servings a day. Here's a delicious way to enjoy them. You could also use left-over vegetables in the recipe. 

Serves 3-4
You will need

150g brown lentils, rinsed
2 carrots, scraped and sliced
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and diced
6 broccoli florets
6 cauliflower florets
6 tbsp frozen sweetcorn
2 rounded tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp pink salt
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
2 bay leaves

Place the lentils in a saucepan with the onion, garlic, carrots, sweetcorn and bay leaves and cover with water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for around 20 minutes until soft and water reduced. Add the broccoli and cauliflower florets for the last 6-8 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and stir in pink salt, coriander, cumin, turmeric and tomato puree. Place in a casserole dish.

In a separate pan, cover the sweet potatoes with water and boil until soft (around 15 minutes). Drain and mash. Top the lentil mixture with the sweet potato mash. Bake at 200 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve.

Janet x

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 16 August 2015

This week's yoga practice on my 'sister' blog is to help relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia. It is also suitable for anyone who wants a slightly shorter, more gentle yoga practice. 

Traveling on longer plane journeys or coach travel can be tiring and sitting all that time can create tension in your body as well as increasing the risk of DVT. Doing a few yoga stretches can help. Why not try these next time you travel? Please see the link for my 'sister' blog below. 

Some thoughts on how we can practice aparigraha ('non-greed', 'non-covetousness', 'non-attachment') in our lives and an accompanying meditation. Please see my 'sister' blog-

The 'M' word Part 5- Should I take soya isoflavones?

What are soya isoflavones? 
Soya isoflavones are phytoestrogens that is chemicals derived from plants that mimic the effects of oestogen in the body although they are much weaker than oestrogen. Soya products such as tofu, soy beans, miso, soy milk, yogurt and cheese are all sources of these phytoestrogens along with other plant based foods such as chickpeas, and other legumes. Check with your doctor before taking a supplement. For instance, if you suffer from asthma or have had breast cancer you may find soya isoflavones are contraindicated. You may not need a supplement if you include soy products in your diet. If you do decide to go ahead and take a supplement, make sure it is not from genetically modified soya, that is non-GMO.

How do they work to ease the symptoms of menopause? 
Initially when you begin going through the menopause your oestrogen levels actually become elevated as your body overcompensates for falling oestrogen levels (your body likes to keep everything the same - this is known as homeostasis). This can cause heavy blood loss, headaches, mood swings and breast tenderness. At this time soya isoflavones act as endocrine disruptors blocking the effects of the excess oestrogen by binding to oestrogen receptors. This period of elevated oestrogen is followed by a  decline in oestrogen. At this time the soya isoflavones bind to the oestrogen receptors mimicking the effects of oestrogen and thereby reducing menopausal symptoms.

Other benefits of soya isoflavones 
It was noticed that Asian populations that include a great deal of soy in their diet have lower rates of breast cancer, endometrial cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease and menopausal symptoms. The effect on heart disease is due to lowering LDL cholesterol (the 'baddie') and increasing HDL cholesterol (the 'good guy'). Science is still unsure if all these benefits are attributable to the consumption of soy but of the research that has been carried out soy would seem to have a positive effect in menopause. More research is still needed however to establish the long term effects.  

Soya isoflavones vs HRT 
HRT has been shown to have a positive effect on cardiovascular health in menopausal women. Also on bone density, cognitive function and menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes. However HRT is also associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and endometrial cancer. There is also an increased risk of blood clots leading to stroke in women who already have cardiovascular disease.  

Given these risks it may well be that soy isoflavones are a good natural alternative. Current research will hopefully prove this to be the case.  

Please see also ''The M-Word Part 1-Diet to help ease your way through the menopause''- 

''The 'M' word Part 2 - coping with 'brain fog', and memory impairment'' 
''The 'M' word Part 3-Avoiding weight gain in the menopause''

Stay well,

Janet x

Organic gardening update- Harvesting the potatoes

Friday, 14 August 2015

Our potato crop, planted in the spring is now ready to harvest.  

One thing I have learned from growing potatoes for the first time is that if tubers begin to show above the soil, you need to cover them up immediately by ‘building up’ the soil otherwise they will go green and then be inedible. Potatoes ready for harvest now are known as maincrop and the variety we grew were King Edward. They are best used for roasted potatoes, baked potatoes or oven-baked chips. They are not as good for boiling as they have a tendency to ‘mush’. Why not try these baked potatoes topped with the Thai inspired coleslaw below:-

Crunchy Thai inspired coleslaw (serves 2)

70g shredded cabbage (I used Sweetheart cabbage)
1 carrot, grated
1 tsp lemon grass paste
small slice ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, grated
juice 1 lime
2 rounded tbsp soya yogurt
20g chopped walnuts

Mix all the ingredients together. 

Wash and scrub the potatoes. Bake at 200 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Make a cross in the skin and squeeze to open up the top. Top with the coleslaw.

Other toppings you could try include vegan bean chilli

If you fancy growing your own potatoes, it is still not too late to plant late cropping potatoes. These can be planted in August and harvested around 10-12 weeks later, when the plants have flowered. You may however have to place a covering of straw down to protect them from frosts.

You may also wish to read the other organic gardening posts from this year:-

'It's spring, the organic fruit and vegetable year begins!' -

Happy gardening days

Janet x

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

Meatless Monday : Quinoa and bean patties

Monday, 10 August 2015

Quinoa is a complete protein, that is it supplies all the amino acids so it is a valuable addition to the vegan diet. It also is a plant source of omega 3, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.

Himalayan pink salt has less sodium than table salt but is rich in minerals including iron which gives it a pink colour. It is also more easily absorbed by your body.

Serves 2

You will need

100g quinoa
1 400g carton cannellini beans
4 tbsp sweetcorn kernals
1 1/2 tsp wholegrain mustard
2 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp pink salt
Olive oil spray

Alternative flavourings

1. Omit the mustard and mixed herbs and add 1 tsp coriander, and 1 tsp cumin.
2. Omit the mustard and mixed herbs and add 1/2 to 1 tsp chilli flakes.
You could also vary the recipe by adding alternative veggies to the sweetcorn such as grated red onion, grated carrot, left over roast beetroot or pepper. Make the recipe your own.
Salad to serve or salad and a burger bun.

Place the quinoa in a saucepan.  Cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Drain well.  
Lightly mash the beans (this will help bind the mixture) and mix into the quinoa. Mix in the sweetcorn, mustard, mixed herbs and pink salt.  Form into patties (the mixture will make around 8) and place on a baking tray sprayed with the olive oil spray. Spray the top of the patties and place in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees. Cook for 30-40 minutes turning once.  
Enjoy with a salad or a burger bun and a salad.

Janet x 

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 9 August 2015

10 of the tender points used to diagnose fibromyalgia are located in the neck, shoulders and the upper back. In the video on my 'sister' blog we focus on these areas in order to help relieve the pain of fibromyalgia.

You might be interested in these short hotel room yoga practices on my 'sister' blog. They will help you relax into your holiday, sleep and release any tension from your body.

Off the mat, brahmacharya means not giving energy to stress and emotions that do not serve you. Try this meditation on my 'sister' blog to let them go.

The 'M' word Part4- pelvic floor

The pelvic floor consists of a set of 16 muscles slung between your tailbone, pubic bone and the two hip points. They support the abdominal organs, sexual function and have a role in preventing incontinence. The problem in menopause is that lack of oestrogen may cause a weakening of these muscles. This may lead to stress incontinence that is coughing, sneezing, high impact exercises, or lifting may cause leakage of urine. Pregnancy may have also weakened the pelvic floor. 

BUT like any muscles the pelvic floor muscles CAN be strengthened. When I used to do pre-natal classes I tried various ways to help 'my' ladies to strengthen their pelvic floor (a strong pelvic floor means fewer contractions to give birth - a great incentive!) but the way described below was the one they found easiest. Let me know how you go on.

Pelvic floor strengthener
Sit on a rolled up blanket or cushion with the soles of your feet together. When you look down at your legs they will be in a diamond shape. For this exercise the feet represent your pubic bone, your knees, your hip points and your tailbone is your actual tailbone. Spend a minute tuning into your breath then breathe in and as you breathe out isometrically draw your feet, knees and tailbone together (this means that although there is a 'squeezing' together these points do not actually move. You should be able to feel a 'lift' of your pelvic floor. Now breathe in and let everything relax. Repeat 9 more times.  Repeat this exercise daily.

Please see also ''The M-Word Part 1-Diet to help ease your way through the menopause''- 

''The 'M' word Part 2 - coping with 'brain fog', and memory impairment'' 
''The 'M' word Part 3-Avoiding weight gain in the menopause''

Stay healthy

Janet x

Thinking of trying crystals? Start here

Friday, 7 August 2015

Recently I have begun using crystals. If you are thinking of using them too but don't know where to start I hope this blog post will help.

What are crystals? Crystals are formed deep in the earth from molten rock. They cool to form a irregular- and beautiful- shape. Each one is unique.  

How do they work? Each crystal resonates at its own frequency which means that different crystals have different effects on your body, workspace or home. When held close to your body crystals can bring about healing by drawing out negative energies or releasing energy blockages so that positive healing energies can flow. They can also amplify positive healing energies, helping you to achieve a high, healing vibration. In this way they can recharge you physically and mentally. The same is true of your workspace or your home- they can absorb unwanted frequencies from electronic equipment, cleanse your home from negative energies, and help you to create healing sancturies.  

How do I care for my crystals? Because crystals absorb negative energies they need to be regularly 'cleansed'.  There are various ways to do this.  Some can be cleansed using moonlight or sunlight for a period of 24 hours (leave on a windowsill).  Others by holding under running water for five minutes but this depends on the individual crystal.  As you hold the crystal imagine the water is a cleansing waterfall that will carry all the negative energy stored in the crystal away. Be careful because you can damage your crystal by using the wrong method to cleanse them. For instance you should not cleanse amythyst, rose quartz or turquoise with light and do not cleanse selenite, turquoise, lapis lazuli, malachite or halite with water. An effective way of cleansing your crystals is with sound. I use the sound of a Tibetan singing bowl, but you can also use computer generated crystal cleansing sounds or a tuning fork.

How do you choose a crystal? Choose the crystal initially that you feel drawn to. You intuitively know what you need so trust yourself to choose the right crystal- you'll be surprised how accurate you are. Later on, you may want to to purchase a crystal for a specific purpose. For instance you may want a crystal to help heal headaches, to aid meditation or to relieve stress. I will give you more guidance on this in future blog posts.

Hope this is helpful

Janet x

Meatless Monday: Bean Salad with Roasted Vegetables

Monday, 3 August 2015

Recently I have been shocked by the amount of food we waste each year (see  

This recipe uses up any leftover roasted vegetables you may have.

Serves 2
You will need Leftover roast vegetables – mine were courgette, squash, pepper, red onion, beetroot and sweet potato (still using the beetroot harvest!).  They had been roasted with a sprinkling of rapeseed oil, garlic salt and mixed herbs.
1 can mixed beans
For the dressing
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
sprinkle of pumpkin seeds

Combine the beans and roasted vegetables.  Mix the ingredients for the dressing and stir through.  Serve with tacos or pittas and a salad.  

You could also make leftover roasted vegetables into a soup with some stock, use in a rice salad or a quinoa salad.  Let me know if you have any other ideas.

Janet x

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 2 August 2015

This week's yoga video and blog post is to help with fibromyalgia. The video includes a breathing technique to encourage deeper breathing and poses which help release healing energies.

Few people who practice yoga would like admit that they do not find Easy pose, well, 'easy'.
Tips to help you find an easy seat

Asteya does not only mean 'non-stealing' but also 'non-hoarding'. Please read more on the blog and practice a gratitude meditation with me.
Thank you 

The 'M' word Part 3 - avoiding weight gain in menopause

Weight gain after the menopause is not inevitable. It is true that oestrogen helps with weight gain because of its effect on metabolism. As we age our metabolism slows which only adds to the problem. Fight back with a good diet, exercise, adequate sleep and taking steps to reduce stress.  

Let's start with diet. A good diet should be built around fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans, lentils, chickpeas, and wholegrain cereals If you are not vegan add a little fish including oily fish, eggs, poultry (no skin) and occasional lean red meat or cheese. If you are vegan you might also include tofu.

Aim to eat high GI foods which will not cause blood glucose levels to rise sharply then plummet leaving you hungry and irritable. Choose wholegrain cereals rather than refined with added sugars (look out for ‘barley malt’, maltose etc which are essentially SUGAR). 
Porridge with fruit makes a satisfying breakfast that will keep you going until lunch. Choose brown rice over white, wholemeal bread over white, and wholegrain pasta. Sweet potatoes are better than white potatoes. Consider alternatives to bread such as quinoa, oatcakes, crispbreads.

Even when you are dieting you need to feel satisfied by every meal. Pile your plate up with salad made from salad leaves, tomatoes, peppers, radish, cucumber, radish, spring onion or red onion with a low calorie dressing or vegetables (other than potatoes and parsnips) which are low calorie but leave you feeling you have had plenty to eat. Think about making your own soups from left over vegetables blended with stock as a starter. Including a soup in your meal tends to lower the amount you eat overall and keep you satisfied for longer. All this will mean you are getting at least your 5 a day which will provide you with antioxidants. These antioxidants will neutralise any free radicals that might be released as you lose weight.  

Optimize nutrition by avoiding sugar in cakes, pastries, sweets etc and processed foods.

SNACKS ARE ALLOWED - Oatcakes or rice cakes with hummus make a good savory snack or for something sweeter what about the summer fruits that are available at the moment such as strawberries and peaches 

Exercise can help reverse the decrease in muscle mass that often accompanies aging and muscle burns calories. This is why it is important to include exercise in your daily routine. Ideally this should include an aerobic form of exercise such as power walking or High Intensity Interval training (HIIT) which is trending at the moment. HIIT involves short burst of high intensity aerobic activity followed by a recovery period. The benefits of HIIT are that it burns fat and builds muscle. Do not undertake any form of exercise however without the consent of your doctor.  A more gentle approach would be to try yoga. Here are a few ways yoga can help you with weight loss.
  • Certain types of yoga, such as Ashtanga, Power Yoga and Vinyassa with dynamic sequences burn calories
  • Yoga helps you become more in tune with your body, so that you eat mindfully
  • Yoga reduces stress (also see below).  As overeating is often an emotional issue, reducing stress can help with weight loss
  • Yoga regulates the thyroid gland (as it does all the endocrine glands) which regulates metabolism
  • Yoga improves sleep (see below for how this can help with weight loss)
  • Yoga tones your body including the abdominal area 
  • Yoga improves posture leading to a slimmer appearance
Below are some yoga videos from my YouTube channel to help with weight loss
'Yoga for Weight Loss- Part 1' 
'Yoga for Weight Loss- Part 2' 
'New Year, New You Series- Yoga for weight loss'-

It is important to get good quality sleep. This brings about a balance between two hormones that affect your eating habits, gherlin and leptin. When you are sleep deprived you have more gherlin, the hormone that triggers eating and less leptin the hormone that signal that you are satiated.  

Stress exacerbates the problem of weight gain around your middle. The culprit is cortisol secreted by the adrenal glands when you are stressed.  This hormone can increase your appetite and cause the resulting fat cells to be stored on your tummy. Try yoga, meditation or Tai Chi.

Allergies or food intolerances can sometimes make you gain weight so if you suspect that allergies/intolerances are to blame have an allergy test.

Please see also 'The M-Word Part 1-Diet to help ease your way through the menopause'- and 'The 'M' word Part 2 - coping with 'brain fog', and memory impairment' 

Stay slim,

Love Janet x