Meatless Monday: Black eyed bean and lemon tagine

Monday, 30 November 2015

A warming dish to keep out the cold!

Serves 2

You will need

1 tbsp oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and slice
1 medium carrot, sliced
1/4 small yellow turnip, peeled and sliced 
1/2 tsp coriander leaf
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp preserved lemon paste
1 tsp pink salt
50ml-100ml water
1x400g tin organic black eyed beans
50g dates, stones removed
couscous to serve

Heat the oil and add the onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes until softened.
Add the carrot, turnip, garlic, spices and preserved lemon paste and continue to cook for a further few minutes until the vegetables are softening, adding a little water if needed.  
Add the water, salt and chickpeas and cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the dates and heat through.
Serve with couscous.

Janet x 

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 29 November 2015

In celebration of Thanksgiving, our mindfulness practice this week is 'Mindful of gratitude'. Please see the link for my 'sister' blog below.
This blog post was include in 'The Mindfulness Daily'- 

New evidence about the gut and neurotransmitters, has led me to create this sequence to boost immunity in preparation for winter colds and flu. Please see my 'sister' blog on the link below.

Yogis think of the body as being composed of 5 layers or sheaths, arranged one inside the other like the layers of an onion. The yogic path to self-realisation involves moving in through the layers to reach the innermost layer, bliss, the part of us that is divine.
We explore the energetic layer, pranamaya kosha, with a breathing technique. 
Please see the link below to my 'sister' blog.

Adult Colouring Books - add colour to your day!

Illustration by Rebecca Barnes

If you are putting together your Christmas 'wish list' be sure to add an adult colouring book. 

Adult colouring books are this year's trend for relieving stress and let's face it, who doesn't get stressed these days? We live in a 24/7 society, where work is no longer confined to the office but we are in constant contact via emails etc. More and more seems to be expected of us these days. Added to this the news often makes us fearful.

So how do these colouring books help relieve stress. You may have noticed that if you have helped your children or grandchildren with their colouring that you become totally absorbed - you stop fretting over the past or worrying about the future. In other words you are anchored in the present moment, totally focused on what you are doing just as you would be when meditating and it is this that is stress relieving.  

Although adult colouring books are 'new', I remember buying my dad a child's colouring book and a set of colouring pencils some years ago. He was suffering from Parkinson's Disease and I believe that colouring helped his fine motor skills. As well as stress, colouring can also help with panic attacks, depression and dementia and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Now what was Santa's address again?

Janet x 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, 26 November 2015

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope you have a happy holiday!

Vegan Thanksgiving Dessert - Pumpkin Pie

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving, or if you just fancy giving pumpkin pie a try, here is my vegan version with no added sugar. 

For the pastry 
170g rye flour + extra for rolling
80g dairy free spread
5 tsp stevia
approx 100ml cold water

For the filling
750g pumpkin(skin on weight), peeled and cut into chunks
2 heaped tbsp cornflour
2 heaped tbsp stevia
500ml soya milk
1 tsp cinnamon
pumpkin seeds to top (optional)
serve with coconut cream

To make the pastry seive the flour into a bowl.  Add the dairy free spread, divided into small pieces and rub the spread into the flour.  Stir the stevia into the mixture and add the cold water a little at a time and mix to a dough.  Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.  Roll on a floured surface and line an  8 in flan dish.  Bake blind for 20 minutes at 200 degrees.  
Meanwhile make the filling.  
Make a pumpkin puree by placing the pumpkin pieces in a blender and pulsing until a smooth puree results.
To make the 'custard', place the cornflour in a saucepan and mix with the stevia. Slowly add the milk, stirring between additions to make a smooth mixture. Warm over a medium heat stirring constantly in a figure of '8'. When the sauce thickens remove from heat and allow to cool slightlingly.  Stir in the pumpkin puree and cinnamon.  
Pour the filling into the flan dish and scatter pumpkin seeds over.

Bake at 200 degrees for 20-30 minutes.  Eat warm or cold
Serve with coconut cream if desired.  

Janet x

You might also want to try :-

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

Meatless Monday: Turkey style tofu with stuffing

Monday, 23 November 2015

'Amazing', 'It smells like Christmas', 'Delicious and moist', 'We want this again at Christmas' were just some of the comments from my family (even to my surprise, the meat eaters) when I tried my turkey style tofu with stuffing on them.

The great thing about turkey style tofu is that it takes a fraction of the time to cook compared to turkey and there is no risk of food poisoning.  

For the stuffing I used my 'Cheesy' leek bread- which worked deliciously well but if use plain breadcrumbs if you wish.

Turkey style tofu with stuffing
Serves 2-3
You will need

400g tofu
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1- 2 tbsp tamari

For the stuffing
1-2 tbsp organic olive oil or rapeseed oil
1 small onion, finely chopped in blender
100g breadcrumbs (I used my 'Cheesy' leek bread)
1 tsp bouillon
2 tbsp dried sage
Olive oil spray

Dip to serve
1 avocado, peeled and stone removed
Juice 1 lime
Sweet potato wedges to serve

Blend the tofu, garlic and tamari.

Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl and stir in the onion, bouillon, oil and dried sage.  
To assemble, spray a 2lb loaf tin with olive oil spray and place half the tofu mixture at the base. Arrange the stuffing evenly over the tofu and press lightly down.
Arrange the rest of the tofu mixture over the stuffing. Spray with oilve oil spray.  
Place in an oven at 200 degrees for 20-30 minutes. If serving with sweet potato wedges, place these in at the same time.

If serving with avocado dip, blend the avocado with the juice of a lime.

Janet x

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 22 November 2015

In this week's yoga video on my 'sister' blog, we have the intention of silencing our inner critic, our negative ego by cultivating self love and compassion. 

For World COPD Day, see how yoga can help by having a look at this link on my 'sister' blog-

Poor posture can lead to many health problems. These two yoga poses on my 'sister' blog will help correct any posture faults. There is also a link to yoga videos to help with posture-

Yogis think of the body as being composed of 5 layers or sheaths, arranged one inside the other like the layers of an onion. The yogic path to self-realisation involves moving in through the layers to reach the innermost layer, bliss, the part of us that is divine.
In this sequence on my 'sister' blog we explore the physical layer, Annamaya kosha. 

Medicinal Mushrooms - fight colds and flu this winter!

Regular readers of this blog will know how important it is to me that my immune system is in tip top condition. Medicinal mushrooms were recommended to me by an acupuncturist several years ago. I have found the two I tried, cordeceps and reishi, in capsule form wonderful not only for boosting immunity and fighting off viral infections such as colds and flu, but also for helping with respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis.  

Like all mushrooms, medicinal mushrooms are fungi.  

Cordeceps fungi grow on the bodies of caterpillars but the commercially produced capsules are cultivated industrially. Traditionally they were used to help with the effects of aging in particular weakness and fatigue. They have been found to be effective for chronic fatigue. Their antioxidant properties may contribute to their anti-aging effects. They may also contribute to improvements in learning and memory. Cordeceps may also reduce the risk of cancer and have beneficial cardiovascular effects.

Reishi similarly boost immunity. They grow on decaying wood. Like cordeceps they have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system in that they reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure. They are thought to extend life through their antioxidant activity (reishi are the most powerful of the medicinal mushrooms in terms of anti-oxidant activity) and by helping to reduce the risk of degenerative diseases. It is this that have earned reishi the title of 'king of mushrooms'.

Please note medicinal mushrooms are not suitable if you are pregnant or if you have low blood pressure. If you have any health condition or are on any medication please consult your doctor before taking them.

For the dosage please see the manufactures instructions.

See also 'Tis the season to be healthy' for tips on avoiding colds and flu this winter.

Also 'How yoga helps boost immunity'.

I am grateful to 'Pocklington Post' for publishing a blog post that I recently wrote about fracking.

Friday, 20 November 2015

I am grateful to 'Pocklington Post' for publishing a blog post that I recently wrote about fracking. Hopefully this will raise awareness of the problems of fracking. You can read the article on this link.

Organic gardening update-Harvesting the leeks

Thursday, 19 November 2015

In the Spring, if you remember, we planted out some leeks that had been given to us by a neighbour.  He had sown them in seed trays and at that they had reached the point where they could be planted outdoors.  Now it is time to harvest them.  Keep an eye on them as it comes near to harvesting in autumn or early winter because if they flower they will not taste very nice.  Below is an idea for using your leeks.

'Cheesy' leek bread

500g strong stoneground wholemeal bread flour 
1 tsp salt
25g dairy free spread
1 sachet 'easy bake' yeast
1 leek, white part only, sliced into rings
300 -350ml warm water (1 part boiling water, 2 parts cold water)
2 heaped tbsp nutritional yeast
Pumpkin seeds to top (optional)

Mix the flour with the salt. Rub in the dairy free spread. Stir in the yeast, nutritional yeast and leek slices.  Add the water and mix to form a soft dough.  Knead on a floured surface for several minutes to make smooth and elastic. Place in a 2lb loaf tin and top with pumpkin seeds if using. Cover and leave in a warm place for 30-40 minutes.  
Place in an oven that is preheated at 200 degrees for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy with soup.  

Janet x

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' -

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

Meatless Monday:Tofu stir fry

Monday, 16 November 2015

Apart from marinading, this is so quick to make, yet delicious and good for you.  Because they are cooked quickly, the vegetables retain their nutrients. You do not have to use the same vegetables as me.  You could also use baby corn, broccoli florets, shredded cabbage, or even water chestnuts which give a nice crunch.
The kale was from my allotment.  We use the young, tender leaves and the rest feed the allotment chickens (the 'girls').

A note about rice - recently there has been a great deal in the press about rice being a source of arsenic. Organic rice is no better than non-organic in this respect. To minimise the risk, I suggest that you cook the rice in plenty of water. When the rice is tender, pour off the excess water and a large percentage of the arsenic. Also think about using other grains and limiting rice to once or twice a week.  

Tofu stir fry
Serves 2

1 pack firm tofu

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp tamari
2 cm piece ginger, minced
1 tsp stevia

Other ingredients
1 tbsp organic olive oil or rapeseed oil
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
1/4 red pepper, sliced
1/4 green pepper, sliced
1/4 yellow pepper, sliced
1 carrot, finely chopped
2-4 large kale leaves
25g cashew nuts
Brown rice or noodles to serve

Marinade the tofu for 1-2 hours or overnight.  

Using a small wok fry the red onion in the oil for 3 minutes. Add the carrot and continue for a further 2 minutes. Add the peppers and continue for a further minute. 

Use a colourful array of vegetables

Add the tofu and marinade and heat through. Sprinkle on the cashews.
Serve with brown rice and sweetcorn.

Janet x

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Your samskaras are your habitual thought and emotional patterns which influence how you behave. In this yoga video on my 'sister' blog we focus on getting rid of those thought and emotional patterns that cause us to behave in a way that is hurtful to ourselves and to others.

On Remembrance Day, we look at how yoga can help relieve stress on my 'sister' blog.There is also a photo sequence for soldiers or anyone else under stress.

In the last of our Yoga Myths and Legends series on my 'sister' blog we look at the story behind Monkey God Pose. Also instructions on how to do this hamstring stretch.

Crystals for chakra healing - Crown chakra

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

The crown chakra is located just above the top of the head.  It is our link to our higher consciousness; the divine, spiritual wisdom or higher force of nature depending on your beliefs.  It is associated with the colour violet. When in balance we feel connected to all beings and to something greater than ourselves. When out of balance we feel confused, unfocused, limited in our spiritual growth or lack direction. Headaches or even migraines, insomnia or depression may result.

Crystals for healing this chakra include quartz, amethyst and selenite.  

You may wish to record the following meditation and play it back to yourself.  

To help balance this chakra lie with your crystal placed just above your head. Make any adjustments you need to feel comfortable so that your physical body is not a distraction then spend a minute or two simply watching your breath as it settles into a smooth, natural, rhythmical pattern.  Let go of any thoughts, concerns or worries and stay focused on your breath.  

Now let your awareness sink below the level of your breath and just let the breath, breathe you. Imaging a white light beaming down onto a violet lotus flower at the crown of your head. This lotus flower has a thousand petals which are closed towards the centre of the flower. Although the white light looks cold, it is actually as warm as sunlight and in the beam of warmth the petals of the lotus flower start to open. As more and more of the petals unfurl, you feel the awakening of your spiritual wisdom. At last when the flower is fully open all feelings of disconnection have melted away, you are one with all beings and the divine. Stay with this feeling for several minutes before deepening your breath, wriggling and stretching. Before coming to seated, turn onto your right side and spend a minute there.  Make sure you are fully awake before continuing with your day.

My 'Loving Kindness Meditation' would also help heal this chakra by enhancing the feeling of connection to all living beings. Please see the 'Loving Kindness Meditation' on my 'sister' blog's YouTube channel-

Other blog posts on my blog about crystals-

'Crystals for healing-Headaches including migraine headaches'-

'Crystals for chakra healing - Root chakra'-

Please note-see a medical practitioner if you are concerned about headaches or depression.

Stay balanced,

Janet x

Herbal help for SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder or winter depression)

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

St John's Wort

Last year we looked at the cause of SAD, how adjusting your diet helps and other self-help measures.  Please see

This year I want to tell you about some herbal remedies that may be of benefit if you need a little extra help.

St John's Wort (Hypericum Perforatum) is used to treat mild depression including SAD. Compared to conventional anti-depressants (SSRIs - selective serontin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac), it is just as effective but has far fewer side effects and fewer withdrawal symptoms.  It helps with sleep problems, anxiety and appetite changes, as well as the depression associated with SAD. How it works is not fully understood but it would seem to reduce the re-absorption of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.  Reduced levels of these neurotransmitters are linked with depression.  Be aware however that maximum benefit may only be gained after a few weeks of taking St John's Wort.  A further benefit is that St John's Wort has anti-viral properties. 

Do not take St John's Wort if you are pregnant.  If you are taking any medication or receiving treatment for a mental health condition CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR. It may also increase your sensitivity to the sun and reduce the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill.

Rhodiola (also known as 'Arctic root' because it is grown in the cold Arctic regions) - whereas I have not tried St John's Wort, I have used rhodiola for several winters.  Rhodiola is an adaptgen, helping the body cope with stress.  It reduces fatigue, anxiety and helps with depression.  It works by increasing serontin where this is low. It also may improve learning and memory and have neuroprotective effects.  I found it to be effective but I would advise that you take it in the morning as it is a mild stimulant.  Again however ask your doctor if you are on any medication before taking it.

Hope this helps
Janet x

Meatless Monday: Farro salad with pumpkin pesto

Monday, 9 November 2015

Farro is an ancient grain, it has even been found in the tombs of ancient Egypt. It can be eaten for breakfast, in soups and salads. It is high in fibre so it keeps blood sugar stable and helps lower cholesterol. It is also rich in magnesium, protein and iron and has a 'nutty' flavour. Use the 'quick cook' variety which does not need soaking.  

Serves 2

You will need
1 tbsp organic olive oil or rapeseed oil
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced
120g farro
large slice of pumpkin or neck end of squash, peeled and diced

For the pesto
50g pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp organic olive oil or rapeseed oil
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp dried coriander leaf

Fry the onion and garlic in the oil for 3 -5 minutes until soft. Add the farro and cover with water. Add the pumpkin and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed. and the farro cooked.

Meanwhile make the pesto. Place all the ingredients for the pesto in a blender and blend.  
Stir the pesto through the farro and serve warm. You may also serve it cold in a lunch box.

Janet x

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Have you ever become emotional while practicing yoga? This is quite common and the reason for this is the mind-body connection. In this week's yoga video on my 'sister' blog we look at how yoga can help us release any emotions that we are not comfortable with-anger,grief,guilt,fear,anxiety etc.

In keeping with my series on mindfulness, in this post on my 'sister' blog I look at how mindfulness can help with weight loss. Also there are links to videos which may help and a link to my playlist on Mindfulness on YouTube. 

We continue our series on 'Yoga myths and legends' with Goddess squat. Read the story behind the pose and learn how to do it on my 'sister' blog.

Crystals for chakra healing- Third eye chakra

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.

The third eye chakra is located between the eyebrows and is associated with the colour indigo.  It is our centre of intuition. When in balance we are focused, make good choices in life and feel connected to all beings. When out of balance we can lose our sense of direction in life, we may feel 'stuck', unable to move forward with our lives, worry about the future or feel unable to let go of the past. We may become depressed, have mental 'fog', poor memory or feel overwhelmed. Physical symptoms include headaches including migraine, poor vision, low immunity or high blood pressure.

Crystals for this chakra include amethyst and blue kyanite. To help balance this chakra sit in a cross legged position or on a chair and hold your crystal to your third eye. Close your eyes and practice Humming Bee Breath. To do this breathe in through your nose and as you breathe out make an elongated 'mmmmmm' sound like a bee. The technique is very calming as it sets up a soothing vibration throughout your head. This soothing vibration also stimulates your third eye. Continue in this way for a few minutes then sit quietly feeling the effects of the breath practice before opening your eyes, This technique is really nice to practice with other people. Because everyone breathes at a different rate, the effect is a continuous healing vibration.  

Other blog posts on my blog about crystals-

'Crystals for healing-Headaches including migraine headaches-

'Crystals for chakra healing - Root chakra'-

Be happy, be healthy,

Janet x

Today is National Stress Awareness Day

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Today is ISMA National Stress Awareness Day which focuses this year on stress in the workplace. In today's society more and more is expected of us. We no longer are able to 'switch off' when we leave our place of work but today's technology allows us to take our work home. This means that the boundaries between work and home have been eroded which can be a source of stress.
For tips on reducing stress please see 'Reduce stress, increase wellbeing'-

Also please see the link on my 'sister' blog-'Today is National Stress Awareness Day'

Janet x

Granny knew best - an apple a day really does keep the doctor away!

Autumn is here and its the time when English apples really are at to their very best BUT apples are one of the 'dirty dozen' (ewg- so be sure to choose organic.  

Apples are cleansing which is why they are often referred to as the 'body's broom'. This is partly due their fibre content. Much of the fibre content is soluble fibre so as well as encouraging elimination, apples also help lower cholesterol. The cleansing effect of apples is also the reason why apples help keep the joints healthy, helping to prevent arthritis.

The quercetin and vitamin content also supports immunity which is just what we need at this time of year to help ward off autumn sniffles (isn't nature wonderful- producing apples just when the viruses are taking hold).

In this vegan version of bread and 'butter' pudding, the bread and 'butter' pudding tops an apple layer made warming by the addition of cinnamon. If you want to make this into a dessert for Bonfire night, you could add a teaspoon of lacuma to the apples in place of the cinnamon to make 'Toffee Apple Bread and ''Butter'' Pudding'

Apple Bread and 'Butter' Pudding
Serves 4-6

You will need
For the apple layer
500g apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1level tsp cinnamon

For the bread and 'butter' pudding
70g sultanas
300g sliced bread (I made the bread myself to ensure it was vegan)
dairy free spread 
2 heaped tbsp cornflour
2 heaped tbsp stevia
500ml soya milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

Place the apples slices in a saucepan with 2 tbsp water. Cook over a low heat until the apples are soft then stir in the cinnamon.  
Place the apples at the bottom of an ovenproof dish.  

Spread the dairy free spread on the bread, cut the slices of bread into small squares or triangles and arrange half over the apples. Sprinkle on half the sultanas then top with the remainder of the bread then the remainder of the sultanas.  

To make the 'custard', place the cornflour in a saucepan and mix with the stevia. Slowly add the milk, stirring between additions to make a smooth mixture. Warm over a medium heat stirring constantly in a figure of '8'. When the sauce thickens remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour over the bread and 'butter'.  

Place in an oven at 200 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Janet x 

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

Meatless Monday:Banger balls with fiery tomato sauce

Monday, 2 November 2015

Serves 2

You will need

For the sausage balls
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
400g carton cannellini beans
80g breadcrumbs
1 tbsp flaxseed 
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp fennel
1 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme
olive oil spray

For the fiery sauce
1 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
6 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp stevia
1 tsp chilli

Finely chop the carrot and onion in a blender.

Add the remainder of the ingredients and blend to a paste like consistency.  

Spray a baking tray with olive oil spray, then using two tablespoons, make sausage balls and place on the baking tray.  Place in an oven at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes, turning half way through.  

Meanwhile make the fiery sauce.  Fry the onion in the oil until transparent, around 3-5 minutes.  Add the stevia, chilli, tomato puree and around 250ml water.  bring to the boil then reduce heat to simmer for around 5 minutes.

Serve the sausage balls on pasta and top with the fiery sauce.

Janet x  

You may also be interested in my recipe-'Meatless Monday: Vegan bangers with fiery mash-Bonfire Night Special' -

Janet x

Recipe Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

It's World Vegan Day

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Today is World Vegan Day. On the blog we have a 'Meatless Monday' recipe each week which are vegan as well as other vegan recipes in some of the blog posts. If you want to see the links for the recipes at a glance, please take a look at the blog's Instagram feed.

Janet x

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

This week's yoga video on my YouTube channel is a chakra balancing flow 'Mindfulness-Mindful of your energy body'. We cover all of the chakras to allow you to become mindful of where our energy flow is 'stuck'. Please see the link below for my 'sister' blog.

Our minds have a tendency to flit from one thought to another- thoughts of what we need to do, thoughts of what has happened, thoughts of what might happen etc, etc. just like a monkey flitting from tree to tree.
Did you know that your brain uses 20% of your body's energy? If we can calm our minds therefore, we will have more energy as well as enhanced mental clarity and a greater sense of wellbeing.
Try this yoga sequence on my 'sister' blog to help calm your 'monkey mind'.

Halloween Special-Kids yoga on my 'sister' blog.

This week's yoga myth and legend is about Dancer Pose. Please read the story and practice the pose on my 'sister' blog.