Crystals for chakra healing - root chakra

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Smoky quartz for healing root chakra imbalances

Your chakras are energy vortexes, where many energy channels meet. There are seven of them arranged in a line down your body and they control not only your bodily functions but your emotions.

In this blog post, I look at how crystals can be used to balance the root chakra, located at the perineum. If your root chakra is balanced you feel secure in your relationships, and comfortable with yourself. If your root chakra is unbalanced you may feel 'stuck' in your relationships and circumstances, anxious or depressed, exhausted and ungrounded.

The colours associated with the base chakra are red and black so any red or black crystals will bring about healing in the root chakra. Examples are ruby, hematite or smoky quartz. You may either wear your crystal, carry it in a pocket or you could use with this grounding meditation.

Lie with the crystal you have chosen to balance your root chakra on your lower abdomen. Close your eyes and let your body become pleasantly heavy. Bring your attention to your breath and for a minute or two just watch your breath without trying to change it in any way. If any thoughts come into your head just let them go like clouds passing in the sky.  

Now sinking below the level of awareness of your breath, imagine a mountain, rooted, grounded. Spring rains lash down on the mountain, followed by the hot summer sun. As summer turns to autumn strong winds blow and as winter settles on the earth, soft snow covers the mountain. Throughout the seasons the mountain remains unchanged, grounded. Absorb the groundedness of the mountain. Life brings about change: stress is part of life, but with the groundedness of the mountain you can withdraw into a place of stillness, a place of peace where all is well.

At the end of your meditation, deepen your breath and gently opening your eyes stretch in any way you need to in order to awaken your body.  Turn onto your right side, drawing your knees up and rest there before coming back to seated.
Please make sure that you are fully awake before continuing with your day

Other blog posts on my blog about crystals-

'Crystals for healing-Headaches including migraine headaches-

You may also like to heal your base chakra through yoga. Please see 

Be happy,
Janet x

Meatless Monday: Brazilian style bean stew

Monday, 28 September 2015

A Brazilian stew is usually made from firm, white fish but if you want to make a meat-free version, you may want to try this recipe with beans instead. Brazilian stew is a warming dish, perfect for those chilly autumn days.

Serves 2
You will need

1 tbsp organic olive oil or rapeseed oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
120g organic brown rice
1 carton chopped tomatoes
1/2- 1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp pink salt in 300ml water
Juice 1 lime
1 carton organic cannellini beans
1/2 can coconut milk

Heat the oil and fry the onion for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and continue for a further minute. Add the rice, chopped tomatoes, salt and water. Add the thyme, turmeric, and garam masala and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 25-35 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid reduced.  

Janet x  

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 27 September 2015

My new series on my 'sister' blog, 'mindfulness' begins by slowing down in our yoga practice. This is an antidote to our fast paced lives, helping to reduce stress and anxiety.

If you are feeling stressed out but don't have time for a full length yoga class you might want to try this 20 minute stress relief yoga video. This is one of four short yoga videos that I have made in celebration of National Yoga Month. The final one will be posted next week. Please see the link below for the video on my 'sister' blog.

Ever wondered how yoga poses get their names? Learn the legend behind Lord of the Fishes Pose and practice this detoxifying pose on my 'sister' blog.
See next week's blog post for the story behind another pose. 

In season and delicious- Plums

Make the most of the season's bounty.  

Plums are not only delicious but they are good for you too. Bursting with antioxidants such as vitamin C, plums will help protect you against free radicals which contribute to aging and degenerative diseases such as heart disease and cancer.  Vitamin C also helps protect you against seasonal colds and flu by improving immunity. Enjoy them just as they are or try this baked plums with oat and nut topping.

Baked plums with oat and nut topping

Serves 3
You will need

6 black plums, cut in 2
50g oats
1 tbsp stevia
30g walnuts
1 tbsp coconut oil
Coconut cream to serve

Place the plums in 3 individual ovenproof dishes or a large ovenproof dish with the cut side up.
Mix the oats and stevia, stir in the coconut oil and then the walnuts. Sprinkle over plums and bake at 180 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
Serve with coconut cream.

Please see also-'Healthy dessert day: Plum, apple and pecan crumble-

Janet x

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

Crystals for healing - headaches including migraine headaches

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

I think that I have mentioned before that I sometimes have migraines with aura. One of my 'tools' to prevent migraines is to use a crystal.  Sometimes I use a crystal along with a visualisation and other times I use crystal with a mudra (hand gesture).

My favourite crystal for preventing and healing headaches, including migraine headaches is lapis lazuli.  This is especially good if the kind of migraine you get is so disorientating that you vomit. Watching a pantomime with strobe lighting did this to me - it was the first time I realised that strobe lighting had this effect on me.  Now I simply close and cover my eyes!

For preventing migraine, lie down with the lapis lazuli on your forehead. Visualise the energy from the crystal entering into your head and unblocking any 'stuck' energy in your head which may cause you to have a headache or migraine. You can do this daily if you suffer from headaches often.

If you are already suffering from a headache or migraine visualise the negative energy that is the cause of your headache or migraine entering into the crystal as black smoke. Now see a beam of white light focused on the crystal, destroying the black smoke and relieving your headache or migraine.

Alternatively use a crystal combined with a mudra. Lie down as before with crystal on your forehead.  Bring the tips of your index finger, middle finger and thumb together. Bring your ring finger to the base of the thumb and have the little finger pointing straight forward. The mudra should be held for 6-8 minutes.  While you hold the mudra visualise cooling blue light emanating from the crystal, concentrating on your head, soothing and healing.

Other crystals can help with headaches too. Rose quartz and clear quartz can help with pain. If your crystal has a pointed end, have that facing away from your head, as you hold the flat side of the crystal to your forehead then close your eyes and visualise the pain leaving through the crystal's point. Selenite and ameythyst are good also as both help relieve stress and fatigue which are often the underlying cause of headaches.  

Hope this helps.  

Janet x

NOTE - if you are concerned that your headache has a serious cause, consult your doctor immediately for advice. You should also see your doctor if you suffer from headaches frequently.

Other blog posts on my blog about crystals-

'Thinking of trying crystals?-start here'

'Using crystals to clear negative energies'-

Meatless Monday: Rustic butter bean and vegetable soup

Monday, 21 September 2015

Autumn officially arrives in the northern hemisphere on the 23rd spring and everywhere in the fields and woodland, nature seems to have decided to start putting forth her autumn splendour. The elderberries, blackberries and haws decorate the trees. Acorns, beech nuts and conkers have arrived and the leaves are beginning to turn as nature slows down and starts to draw in.  In the woods fascinating fungi are beginning to appear.

In terms of our diet, salads are beginning to pale and we are drawn to warm, comforting foods such as soups and stews. This rustic soup includes some of the seasonal vegetables recommended by Ayurveda for the season of autumn. To find out more on how to eat for the season according to Ayurveda principles, please see 'Ayurveda and autumn' on my 'sister' blog

Rustic butter bean and vegetable soup

Serves 3-4 

You will need

1.5l water
1 tsp pink salt crystals
1 onion peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
narrow end of a squash, peeled and diced
1 large sweet potato, scrubbed and diced
2 carrots, scrubbed and sliced (optional)
1/4 sweetheart cabbage, shredded
1/4 swede, peeled and diced
1 tsp thyme
1 can organic butter beans

Place the vegetables in a large saucepan, and add water, salt and thyme.  Bring to the boil and turn the heat down to simmer.  Simmer for 45minutes - 1 hour allowing the flavours to meld.  Serve with organic rye bread.

Janet x

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Smartphones are a feature of our 21st century living with over three quarters of adults here in the UK owning a smartphone. We also spend a great deal of time using our smartphones but this is bad news for your posture and can have health implications. 
This yoga video on my 'sister' blog will help reverse the negative effects on your neck and shoulders.

This blog post was included in 'Yoga Vitality Magazine'-

The second of my yoga practices on my 'sister' blog is in celebration of September, National Yoga Month a short energising practice for busy people.

Find out how to adapt your yoga practice and your diet to the season of autumn according to Ayurveda principles. 
Please see the link for my 'sister' blog below.

Harvesting the organic cabbage (or not!!)

Our cabbage growing was going really well. We had planted them in the raised bed and they were forming tight cabbage heads but they seemed a little squashed by the netting we had put over them. We made the mistake of unnetting them. No sooner were they unnetted than the cabbage white butterflies were on them, laying hundreds of eggs. These soon turned into caterpillars which destroyed our cabbage crop. One to learn from I think - at least the local butterfly population has benefitted from our efforts.

If your cabbage growing has been more successful than ours, you could try these stuffed cabbage leaves.

Serves 2
You will need
4-6 large cabbage leaves
100g organic non-GMO dried soya mince 
1 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
4 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp stevia
1 tsp pink salt.
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
Fresh basil leaves (optional)

Blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Leave to cool. 
Place the dried soya mince in a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Leave for a few minutes to allow the soya to reconstitute.  
Meanwhile heat the oil and add the onion. Fry for two minutes then add the garlic and fry for a further minute. Add the tomato puree, pink salt, stevia and soya mince and cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes adding more water if necessary.
When the soya mince is cooked and the cabbage leaves cool enough to handle, place a cabbage leaf on a chopping board. Cut off the bottom inch of the cabbage leaf where the stalk is thickest. Turn the cabbage leaf so that the rounded end is facing you.
With a slotted serving spoon, take a spoonful of the soya mince mixture, leaving the sauce in the pan and place towards the lower end of the cabbage leaf.  
Turn the right side of the cabbage leaf in then roll. 
Tuck the left side of the cabbage leaf in.
Repeat with the other leaves until the soya mince is used.  
Replace the stuffed cabbage in the pan with the tomato sauce and heat through.
Serve with nutritional yeast and basil leaves if using.

Janet x 

Cabbage can also be added to soups and stews, used to make sauerkraut or coleslaw.
Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that is packed with vitamins such as folate for healthy blood, minerals and fibre. It helps reduce inflammation in the body so is beneficial for heart health and it helps prevent cancer.

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

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

'Organic gardening - The winter vegetable garden' 

'Organic garden update- Harvesting the tomatoes' 

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

Post summer TLC for hair

Thursday, 17 September 2015

A few days ago, I was trying on a pair of jeans in a store changing room. The changing room had mirrors placed so that you could see front and back views. I was shocked to see how dry and brittle looking my hair was looking after being exposed to the sun all summer. Time for some post-summer TLC!!

I decided a coconut hair mask might do the trick. At this time of year you might find that you need to warm the coconut a little so that it turns from an opaque solid to a clear liquid. Then all you need to do is apply the coconut oil to your hair. 
Section off your hair using a comb and apply to the roots first. If you have a brush for hair dying, this is a good way to apply the oil (or an old pastry brush!?). You might also use a squeezy bottle with a narrow nozzle. Apply to the ends next and tie your hair up. 
Cover your hair with cling film and then a towel. Leave for an hour, then wash off with your usual shampoo (you might need to shampoo twice). If you wish you can repeat the treatment in one week's time.

Coconut oil is anti-fungal so it would also help if you have a problem with dandruff. You could also add a couple of drops of an essential oil such as lavender or rosemary to your coconut oil before applying to your hair. Both these oils promote hair growth. Rosemary was traditionally used as a hair tonic. This brings back memories of my mum boiling up fresh rosemary to use on her hair, once it had cooled of course.

So if like me, the sun has taken its toll on your hair why not give a coconut hair mask a try?

Love your hair!
Janet x 

Meatless Monday:lentil burgers with walnut burger buns

Monday, 14 September 2015

These meat-free burgers are a healthy alternative to regular burgers. Lentils are packed with protein and fibre and the walnuts in the burger buns are a healthy source of omega 3's.

You will need
For the walnut burger buns
Makes 4-6 

225 g flour (I used half rye, half spelt)+ extra for rolling
Pinch pink salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp rapeseed oil + extra for oiling baking tray
1 tbsp lemon juice
100ml unsweetened organic soya milk
50g walnuts

For the lentil burgers

Makes 6 medium or 4 large burgers

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1tbsp rapeseed oil +extra for oiling baking tray
150g dried brown lentils
150g breadcrumbs 
1 granny smith apple, cored and diced
1/2 tsp pink salt
1 tsp mixed herbs

To make the burger buns

Mix the flours with the salt and baking powder then add walnuts and the oil.  
Stir the lemon juice into the milk and add to the flours, mixing to form a dough.  
Turn out onto a floured board and lightly knead.  Divide into 4 -6 pieces and form into a ball.  
Flatten slighly and place on an oiled baking tray.  Make a cross in the top of each with a knife.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes.

To make the lentil burgers

Rinse the lentils in a sieve and place in a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are soft and the water absorbed. Drain any residual water.  
Heat the oil and add the onion. Reduce the heat and sweat until onion is translucent. Add the garlic and diced apple and continue cooking a further minutes. Remove from heat.
Add the lentils to the onion, garlic and apple mixture. Add the breadcrumbs, salt and herbs. Mix well and form into burgers. Place on a greased baking tray and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes with the walnut burger buns.

Serve with a salad.

Janet x

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Running is a great activity but it can lead to tight muscles and pain. Yoga is a great complement to running, stretching out the muscles tightened by running. Please see this yoga video and blog post on my 'sister' blog.

In celebration of September Yoga Month I will be posting four short practices for busy people on my 'sister' blog.This first video is a 15 minute relax and unwind. This practice would be suitable as an after work practice or a practice to prepare for sleep.

Warrior 3 is a great pose for strengthening your legs and core, and building focus and concentration. But if your ankles or knees are not strong or if your hamstrings or quads are tight or your balance not good, you may need a little help. Please read this blog post on my 'sister' blog.

Organic on a budget

Growing your own food is a cheaper alternative

Many of us now have come to realise the benefits of eating organic. Please see  The main reason many people do not eat organic is the cost and it is true, organic food can be much more expensive than non-organic. Below are some suggestions as to how you might make your organic food budget a little cheaper.

Fruit and vegetables
You do not need to buy all fruit and vegetables organic. For instance foods like cabbage have a natural resistance to pests so do not need much in the way of pesticides. Also the inner leaves are shielded from the pesticides so simply remove these before cooking. For a complete list of fruit and vegetables that are fine to eat non-organic please see 'ewg'-

A cheaper alternative may also be 'unsprayed' produce where the grower may not have been certified as an organic grower but does not spray his produce with pesticides. Here in York we are lucky to have a shop that sells such produce alongside organic produce.  

An even cheaper alternative is to grow your own. Not only is this a cheap option but there is something really satisfying about producing your own food. You feel connected to the earth and you get a sense of appreciation for the effort it takes to grow food.

Cereals, rice, lentils, chickpeas etc 
These are available as 'bulk buys' which work out cheaper than small packets. As they have a long shelf life it is worth stocking up on these basics.

Organic rice milk, soya milk, etc
It is important to buy organic soya milk to avoid GMO soya. You can buy 'long life'  versions of these milks which will keep several months in the cupboard so why not stock up on them when they are on offer at your local supermarket. At such times they may even be cheaper than non-organic. 

Meat and fish 
The same may be true for meat and fish- stock up when they are on offer at your local supermarket and freeze them until needed. I notice at the supermarket where I shop, organic beef mince is actually £1 cheaper than non-organic beef steak mince at the moment.  
As for salmon, it is not worth buying organic.  Please see 'Should I eat salmon' The best salmon to buy is Sockeye wild salmon.

Eat well and cheaply
Janet x

Organic gardening update-harvesting the tomatoes

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Growing organic tomatoes from seed has been an emotional roller coaster but we think that we now have the knowledge to make an even better attempt at growing tomatoes next year. Even so we are pleased to say that we have grown a variety of tomatoes successfully. 

We initially used an organic all-purpose fertiliser. Our tomato plants seemed 'very happy' on this, producing an abundance of leaves but no fruit. They only produced fruit when we stopped 'feeding' them. In hindsight it would have been better to use an organic tomato fertiliser based on seaweed which would not have prevented fruits forming.  You can also use epsom salts as a fertiliser.

Tomato plants also need quite an aggressive prune of side shoots and leaves so that they will put all their energies into producing fruit.  You also need to trim away any leaves that overhang the fruits so that the fruits will not go mouldy.  

It is interesting that tomatoes were once thought to be poisonous - well the tomato plant is of the nightshade family! Tomatoes are in fact a rich source of lycopene, beta-carotene and lutein as well as vitamins A, C and E, all of which are antioxidants. These antioxidants are linked with reduced rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer, especially prostrate cancer.

Tomatoes are wonderful enjoyed in a salad. If you have a glut of tomatoes however you may want to make this relish. Delicious with vegan burgers such as 'Meatless Monday: Bean' Burger

Homemade tomato relish
Serves 4 

1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 stick celery, sliced into small pieces
1 tsp rapeseed oil
160g tomatoes, chopped 
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp stevia (for a less tangy relish)
2 tbsp cider vinegar

Fry the onion in the oil until soft. Add the tomatoes, celery, mustard seed, cider vinegar and stevia if using. Reduce the heat and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes. Allow to cool. You could also add chilli flakes if you like a spicy relish.

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

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

'Organic gardening - The winter vegetable garden' 

Janet x 

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

Meatless Monday: Kedgeree

Monday, 7 September 2015

This dish originated in India where it was a rice and bean dish. It was introduced to the west by the British colonials. In the west it became a way of using up leftovers from the day before for breakfast. Flakes of smoked haddock and hard boiled eggs might be added.  This vegan variation uses tofu which is made from soybeans and rice is more like the original rice and beans variation.

Serves 2-3
You will need

1 pack organic firm tofu
2 tbsp tamari
180g organic brown rice
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 cm piece ginger grated
1 tsp mustard seeds
1-2 tsp of curry powder
2 tsp coriander 
1 tsp turmeric
4 tbsp frozen peas
6 tomatinos, halved

Drain the tofu and marinade in the tamari.  

Rinse the rice and place in a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 -25 minutes. Add the peas for the last few minutes. Drain.

Fry the onion in the oil until soft.  Add the garlic, ginger, mustard seeds, curry powder, turmeric and coriander and cook a further minute. Add the lemon juice, rice and tofu. Mix thoroughly. Vegetarians could add hard boiled, quartered eggs. 

Janet x

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Does gardening give you a stiff, achy back and shoulders? This yoga video may help.

It's back to school time. If your child is feeling anxious, this blog post with some confidence boosting yoga poses and rainbow meditation may help.

Crow pose can be scary. Be patient and prepare with these variations of the pose.

In the news 'Diabetes cases soar by 60% in past decade'

Showing that you can still have sweet treats without sugar 'Raspberry and 'cream' sponge cake-gluten free, no added sugar, egg free, dairy free

BBC News reported in August that 'Diabetes cases soar by 60% in past decade'. Please see . Significantly 90% of this increase is Type 2 diabetes, the type caused by poor diet and lifestyle. 

The good news is that Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by exercising and changes to your diet. This is important because untreated diabetes can lead to nerve damage, sight loss, and kidney failure. If you follow the advice of this blog, you are well on your way to preventing diabetes.  

Exercise increases insulin sensitivity. Walking is excellent or you could try power walking. Please see 'Walking my way to stronger bones' Yoga will stretch out the muscles tightened by such activities. Please see 'Yoga poses for power walkers'

As for diet, the most important foods to avoid are sugar in all its guises (sucrose, corn syrup, barley malt, fructose etc). Please see 'Sugar and skin-Not so sweet' Sugar is 'empty calories'. It has no vitamins, minerals or fibre. Also avoid refined carbohydrates such as white flour, white bread, white pasta etc. The reason for this is that these are processed quickly by your body causing blood sugar(glucose) 'spikes'. These 'spikes' cause the pancreas to go into overdrive to produce too much insulin to deal with the blood glucose causing the blood sugar levels to sink lower than normal. This may cause irritability or mood swings. If this keeps happening, the pancreas may become 'tired' and reduce the amount of insulin leading to diabetes or the body may become insensitive to insulin a condition known as insulin resistance. Wholegrains, on the other hand are digested more slowly, releasing glucose into the blood gradually, keeping the pancreas 'happy'. 

If you follow this blog however, you will know this is not the end of sweet treats - you will find 'dessert breakfasts' and even cakes on this blog which are made without sugar! The sugars you do have in your diet should be in the form of fruits and vegetables. In these the sugars are combined with fibre and so are released slowly into the blood. Avoid fruit juice which lacks the fibre to slow down absorption. Be careful with cereals. Most cereals have sugar in some form as a main ingredient. Why not make your own muesli with oats, barley flakes, rye flakes, or rice flakes and nuts and seeds. Serve with soy yogurt and fresh fruit such as berries?

The other food to avoid is saturated fat so if you are not vegan, limit red meat and processed foods and eat more oily fish such as sockeye salmon. There are two reasons for this. Firstly saturated fat can lead to weight gain which is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. Also saturated fat can worsen insulin resistance.  

Hope this helps.

Stay healthy
Janet x

Using crystals in your home and workspace

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Just as crystals can clear negative energy from your body, they can also clear negative energies from your home and workspace.  

They can also promote positive qualities. Rose quartz, my favourite, promotes loving relationships, selenite promotes a peaceful home. Quartz is an amplifier so it can raise the energy in a room. For this reason do not keep quartz in your bedroom or it may keep you awake! You might want to keep some in your purse though!

Fluorite and sodalite are good for clearing negative energies. Keep some fluorite or sodalite by your computer at home or at work to protect you from electromagnetic emissions. Also do not have quartz near your computer because it will 'amplify' the electromagnetic emissions

At work or even at home you may pick up on other people's negative energy (from their words, thoughts or emotions) and absorb it into your aura. You may also have noticed that when you are with some people they seem to 'steal' your energy making you feel stressed, weary, irritable or uneasy. You may even have anger or jealousy directed at you which can weaken your aura. 

You can help protect yourself from these energies using crystals. Smoky quartz removes any negative energies from your aura, ameythyst can heal any tears in your aura so that your aura is better able to shield you from negative energies, and quartz cleanses and strengthens your aura. If you feel you are under 'psychic attack' at home or at work simply carry a crystal in your pocket (or bra!), or wear one around your neck.

Smoky quartz, quartz or black tourmaline will clear negative energy from a room. One way you can do this is by making a 'crystal grid'.  Place a quartz crystal in each corner of the room with the faceted end (termination) pointing out. If you want to raise the energy of a room you could turn the crystal so that the termination points inwards.

Don't forget to cleanse your crystals before using them. Please see 'Thinking of trying crystals? Start here'

May you be healthy and happy, peaceful and at ease.
Janet x