Perimenopause is a time of change. Each woman’s journey will differ, but it can be an uncomfortable and confusing time for most women. Luckily, there are many ways to feel better during perimenopause. You can try hormone replacement therapy or natural supplements to relieve your symptoms.
You could also try meditation, yoga, or acupuncture to make yourself feel more balanced. Here we will discuss how you can ease into perimenopause to reduce the effects.
One thing you can do to help ease into perimenopause is to stop smoking. Smoking causes several health-related problems, but it also contributes to menopause symptoms. Quitting is easier said than done, but you might be able to make it happen with patience. You can try nicotine patches to help you stop, visit a Vape store for nicotine-free vape liquids to substitute for smoking or chew on gum to ease your cravings during the early weeks of quitting
Reduce or eliminate alcohol intake
Many women find themselves drinking more during perimenopause. This can lead to many problems. When you drink alcohol while going through perimenopause, the effects are even stronger and more pronounced.
Avoid drinking alcohol as much as possible during this time in your life. If you do drink, try to keep it limited to only one or two drinks a night and for every drink of alcohol, have at least one glass of water to stay hydrated!
Maintain a healthy weight
A common symptom of perimenopause is weight gain. Hormones fluctuate during this time, making it tougher to control your appetite and maintain weight.
The first step to easing into perimenopause is maintaining a healthy weight. Eating a balanced diet and incorporating physical activity can help with this. You might also try eating more fibre or drinking more water to curb your appetite.
Additionally, you should get plenty of sleep so that your body has time to recover and regenerate hormones. Sleep deprivation can lead to decreased energy levels and increased levels of stress hormones like cortisol. Finally, if you suffer from night sweats, wear loose-fitting clothing, so you aren’t uncomfortable while sleeping.
Add calcium to your diet
Perimenopause can make you feel tired and irritable. You might notice mood swings or other symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness. One way to ease into perimenopause is by taking calcium supplements. Calcium supplements are often recommended during perimenopause because they can help reduce the severity of symptoms. They are also helpful for protecting bones in the long term, which may be an issue during this time since perimenopausal women are at risk for osteoporosis. Plus, calcium supplements have reduced PMS symptoms like cramping, bloating, and mood swings.
Try natural remedies
There are several ways to ease into perimenopause. One way is to try natural remedies. These remedies are usually herbal and can be purchased in-store or online. Some common natural remedies include soy, vitamins, minerals, herbs, and essential oils. All of these items have different benefits for perimenopausal symptoms. For example, soy may reduce hot flashes or vaginal dryness, whereas minerals could help with mood swings or headaches.
Are you going through the perimenopause? Share your experience with us by commenting below or join our community on Instagram.
As life starts to throw more challenges as we get older, whether it’s in terms of our health or just the sheer volume of tasks we need to complete every single day, the fact is that we’re not always in the mood for a bit of naughtiness, if at all! We can be very surprised by changes that occur in our sexual activity, especially after 40. There are very common reasons for this, such as decreased libido, hormone decreases, and changes in our sexual response. But there is more to it than this. Here, we explore, 4 common sexual concerns after 40.
1. Loss of libido
It’s a very common thing women experience, but we must remember that men experience it too! As women go through perimenopause into menopause, women are less likely to think about sex, if at all. And they may be very surprised at this sudden change. But it’s not just women. But men can have decreased libido too. And this is predominantly because their testosterone levels are starting to dip.
While some methods and medications can help with this, such as Testogel, the fact is that when both partners are losing their libido, this can throw up a confusing number of components. Commonly, if one partner is sexually active and the other one isn’t, this can pose relationship problems, where breakups and divorces can occur.
2. Perception of the self
Something that is not always spoken about in relation to sex is the fact that as we get older we are going through so many physical changes that we can feel less desirable, which means we can be less interested in sex. Over the age of 40, there is more of a chance of us gaining weight, losing fitness levels, as well as our mood altering throughout these times.
But we have to bear in mind that the challenges in dealing with each of these aspects can be overwhelming all in themselves. If we don’t feel attractive, which will impact our interest in sex, the best approach is to do what is manageable and reasonable to improve our overall health and appearance. But this alone is not enough. We then need to move on and learn to accept that we are who we are as we enter a new stage of our lives.
Having that sense of self-perception is so important, regardless of your sex drive, but the more important component is to learn to accept who you are. Once we begin to feel more comfortable in our own skin, this is when we’re going to feel more attractive and open to possibilities. So many of us don’t feel attractive, even during the act of sex, which means that we’re going to not want to even initiate this because it’s going to have a negative impact on our frame of mind.
3. Gender role behaviour
In mid-life, partners can begin to fall out of sync with each other. Women in mid-life will experience a number of changes, not necessarily because of pre-menopause but the focus in their lives changes. For women who have had children in their 20s or early 30s, now they are beginning to focus more on their own needs, but will also have more time to devote to themselves. This is why we see many women changing careers in mid-life. The same thing applies to men, as they are more likely to start slowing down in their careers and want to have a balance in their lives.
Overall, these things will impact sexual behaviour and will mean that when both partners are going out of sync with each other, they won’t necessarily have those same desires to focus on the other person. As we get older we can feel that we may have given too much of ourselves to others, especially if we’ve been in a parental role. We see many women and men in middle age going out and socialising more as they may have felt they missed out on a lot of this over the last decade or so.
The main solution to this is about, very simply, learning to sync up with each other’s lives, even to the smallest degree. It’s almost like we’ve got to let our partners get these things out of their system. After all, we deserve to let our hair down, but if our partner is looking to do the same thing we’ve got to be aware that as we try to reclaim our lives for ourselves, there is another person in the equation.
4. A change in sexual response
In women and men, there is a lot more difficulty in coming to orgasm, or orgasms may be less satisfying, and could potentially be an early warning sign of underlying health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease.
What can we do to help with these problems?
As we get older, there needs to be more focus on sex in a holistic manner. The fact is that it’s not just about being able to do it as in when you please. As we get older, we’re going to encounter more health problems that pose obstacles. Here are a few things that you can do to help move things along:
As we go into mid-life, our stress can increase. And this is where taking a look at your common stressors and eliminating these will help. Because if you work to manage your stress, you’re going to improve your general well-being which will have a positive effect on your sexual appetite. Managing stress doesn’t have to be about meditating for 2 hours a day, in fact, even as little as 5 minutes a day can have a positive impact, as long as you choose the right practises for you. Learning to breathe low, slow, and deep can have a positive impact on your abilities to deal with stress.
Having a healthier diet
Our bodies respond very well to certain diets. And because there’s so much information around being healthy, we can find ourselves going down certain avenues that don’t benefit us on an individual level. Physiologically speaking, you have to ensure that you are increasing blood flow and helping your body to regenerate in the right ways. In many ways, the solutions are simple: eating for energy and having whole foods without any preservatives or additives. But it’s also important to remember that fat can also be beneficial here, especially good fats.
Women who take part in exercise have been shown to display fewer menopausal symptoms. It also increases cardiovascular health, resulting in a better sexual response.
It may be beneficial to go to the doctor and discuss the right methods to medicate any form of anxiety or depression. It’s worth noting that medication like antidepressants can inhibit sexual function, but having this in combination with a type of therapy such as CBT may work for you.
Finally, having adequate sleep is vital for every aspect of your life. Having a solid 8 hours is not just going to reduce your stress, but will increase your hormone production which has a natural impact on increasing sexual desire.
Because getting older, for many people, means naturally losing interest in sex, this doesn’t have to be the case. The reality is that we all deserve a healthy sex life, and having an understanding of the common issues that underlie a lot of middle-aged sexual anxieties, as well as having the best health solutions, will make a massive difference.
Keep the conversation going by commenting below or connecting with us on Instagram
By now we can all safely admit that we have tried SOME form of restrictive dieting in our time. I remember an old boss going through the cabbage soup diet trend and just feeling so sorry for her. She must have been starving and farty! I had the benefit of working on Celebrity Fit Club where I worked closely with the team supporting the celebrities and I learned so much about nutrition. However, I was in my early 20s and had a metabolism faster than a speeding train. It’s only now, in my 40s, I’ve discovered that this train needs a frikking service!
These days, I look to maintain a healthy balance with food. I eat mindfully and I enjoy what I eat. That said, I know that at this stage of my life, I will benefit hugely from fuelling my body in the right way. I do enjoy meat but for various reasons I do want to cut back so I was super interested to learn more about the benefits to a plant-based diet.
What is a plant-based diet?
We asked Dr Kirstie Lawton, a registered nutritional therapist at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and an AfN registered nutritionist to explain a little more. She offered us the following information.
According to the British Dietetic Association, a plant-based diet consists mostly or entirely of plant-based foods. While the term is synonymously used with veganism, a plant-based diet isn’t necessarily vegan and may include those who eat some meat, fish, egg, or dairy. The diet is predominantly made up of fruit and vegetables, grains, pulses and legumes, nuts and seeds.
What are the benefits to a plant-based diet?
An entirely plant-based diet, if correctly balanced, is rich in a wide range of protein building blocks, phytonutrients (plant-derived nutrients) and a diverse array of fibre, that can support the microbiota and improve gut health. Pulses and legumes are protein-rich and contain a variety of nutrients including B vitamins, iron, folate, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and fibre to support the microbiota.
Nuts and seeds are highly nutritious food sources containing a wide variety of protein building blocks, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, potassium, selenium, magnesium, zinc and copper, and fibre. Fruit and vegetables are rich in a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fibre also.
There is research supporting the use of a well-considered plant-based diet for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and blood lipid profiles, management of diabetes type 2, weight reduction and prevention of some cancers. However, what is key here is that the diet is from whole food sources that are prepared from scratch, rather than over-reliance on processed plant foods that are high in salt and additives.
What considerations are there for eating a plant-based diet?
While a number of vegan food sources contain protein, the amount is generally quite low, so it is essential to ensure that you are eating a good source of protein at each meal. A number of these sources also have what we call limiting amino acids, e.g. a protein building block that is essential from the diet is missing. By combining plant-based foods e.g. beans and rice, the meal becomes a source of all essential amino acids. The richest and most complete source of protein is soy, however, this can be highly processed and isn’t suitable for everyone.
Research indicates that those eating an entirely plant-based diet may be deficient in a number of nutrients including riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), vitamin B12, vitamin D, iodine, zinc, calcium, potassium, and selenium. Sources of all of these nutrients are available through a plant-based diet and some fortification (calcium, vitamin B12). However, someone who is plant-based and concerned that their diet isn’t diverse enough may wish to consider supplementation, which should be done in consultation with a registered nutritional therapist.
Further potential deficiencies include the essential fatty acids DHA and EPA, which are derived from fish, and are essential for a number of functions in the body. While these can also be converted from the fatty acids found in seeds, conversation rates are low. Algae is a plant-based source of DHA and EPA and should be considered in supplement form. Finally, choline is essential for a wide range of functions, and is especially important for the growing foetus, so choline supplementation may also be a consideration in those who are eating a plant-based diet and of childbearing age.
There are more and more plant-based products on the market that are highly processed, and full of inflammatory ingredients which may not be optimal for health. These should be eaten as an occasional food choice, and replaced with homemade recipes from raw or minimally processed ingredients where possible.
Finally, those with GI issues, such as an imbalance or overgrowth of bacteria, issues with nightshades, a soy allergy, or intolerance to histamine-rich or oxalate-rich foods may struggle with a plant-based diet, and should seek support from a registered nutritional therapist to correct these health concerns.
Packed with plant-based protein, the range is ideal for those looking for a natural protein boost, whether it’s to increase energy after a workout or to incorporate as part of a family meal, the delicious topper combinations are here to elevate and nutritionally optimise those bland dishes.
To add nutritional benefit to those more indulgent meals, these tasty toppers can be added to a wide range of dishes including your favourite pizza, curry, or burrito. In fact, the handy pouches can be easily resealed and used whenever a sprinkle of goodness is needed in your dish.
Good4U Super Seeds offer a crunchy and savoury mix of tamari roasted sunflower seeds, pumpkin, and British-grown green peas. At only 144 calories per 25g serving, the seeds contain zinc, known to help the immune system to reduce unwanted bacteria and viruses, ideal for fighting off those colds and flus during the winter months.
If you want to add a bit of spice to your evening meal, why not turn up the heat with Good4U’s Garlic and Chilli Salad Toppers. This spicy mix is only 123 calories per 25g serving, made with sweet red peppers, chilli roasted seeds, smoky chipotle, and a sprinkle of kale, which can be poured on your curry for a nourishing boost or added to your salad to give an extra punchy kick.
To find out more about the range and for recipe inspiration, visit the Good4U website.
I’ve been really enjoying building Buddha bowls for a satisfying lunch. Follow the steps below, picking one suggestion from each. Season to taste and enjoy! Send us your pictures on Instagram!
Grains are naturally high in fibre, helping you feel full and satisfied. Choose from one of the following:
Giant Cous Cous
We need protein in our diet to help our body repair cells and make new ones. Choose from one of the following:
There’s nothing more beautiful than eating the rainbow. So add one of the following to invite your eyes to the party:
Fats in dressings can actually help you absorb key nutrients. But don’t go crazy! Choose from one of the following:
Apple Cider Vinegar
Red or white wine vinegar
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Who doesn’t love that added crunch. Salads don’t need to be boring. What will you add from the following?
I love seeing all the gorgeous colours in the bowl knowing I’m eating mindfully and healthily. The best part is, it tastes amazing. We have introduced meat-free Mondays at home. It’s a start!
Are you plant-based? Are you considering cutting back on meat? Let us know by commenting below.
What are the tell-tale signs of a mid-life crisis? This is a question that many people ask, especially those who are in the midst of a mid-life crisis. There is no one answer to this question, as the signs can vary from person to person. However, some general signs may indicate that you are experiencing a midlife crisis. This blog post will discuss some of the most common symptoms of a mid-life crisis. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek help and get support.
Dramatic changes in relationships
One of the most common signs of a mid-life crisis is a change in relationships. You may find yourself withdrawing from old friends and family members, or you may become more involved with them than ever before. You may also experience changes in your romantic relationship, such as increased fights or a decrease in intimacy. If you are experiencing these changes, it is important to seek help and get support. You should also keep in mind that relationships are not static, so this may be normal if your relationship with someone has changed significantly over time.
Loss of interest in hobbies & activities
Another common sign of a mid-life crisis is losing interest in hobbies and activities. You may find that you are no longer interested in doing the things you used to do, or perhaps your interests have changed entirely. If this is the case, ask yourself if these changes may have a negative impact on your life. Of course, some hobby changes are normal, but if you are experiencing changes that negatively impact your life, it is important to seek help and get support.
The loss of interest in hobbies and activities can also be caused by depression or anxiety. If this is the case, these conditions should be treated before they lead to more serious problems such as substance abuse or suicide.
Increased substance abuse
Substance abuse is another common sign of a mid-life crisis. You may find that you are using drugs or alcohol more than usual or that you are engaging in other risky behaviours such as gambling. If you are experiencing these types of behaviours, it is important to seek help and get support. Substance abuse can lead to more serious problems such as substance dependence, which can be detrimental.
Another sign of a mid-life crisis is when someone starts spending recklessly. This can be on things like cars, vacations, or even gambling. Often people in the throes of a mid-life crisis will feel like they need to “live it up” before they reach the end of their life. The key here is to carefully consider your spending habits and make informed decisions of which you’ve assessed the consequences. For example, a person experiencing a midlife crisis might be tempted to buy a new car that is out of their budget like a Maseratti, when they can, in reality, afford something more reasonable like a new Jaguar. Mismanaging your finances at this critical stage in life can seriously affect the next twenty years of your life, where you should be building towards a solid retirement strategy.
There are many tell-tale signs of a mid-life crisis. It’s important to be aware of these warning signals and take the necessary precautions, so you can make the most out of the second half of your life.
Have you fallen into crisis? Keep the conversation going by commenting below or follow us on Instagram.
Making changes to your appearance is probably something that you do many times throughout your life. Some people are happy to make huge changes all at once, but not everyone is happy doing something completely different. You might want to change your appearance but do it in a way that’s a bit more discreet and perhaps that other people can’t even identify. Maybe you want people to notice that something is different and that you look good without really being able to say what it is. If you want to change your appearance in a more subtle way, here are some options.
Straighten your teeth
Straightening your teeth is a great way to get a new look and improve your smile. It’s something that you might have wanted to do before but couldn’t afford when you were younger. However, as an adult, the idea of wearing braces probably doesn’t appeal to you. Fortunately, you now have the option of Invisalign, which is transparent and discreet. Instead of having visible braces like a teenager, you’ll have see-through aligners that are custom-fit for you. People probably won’t even be able to tell that you have them in, so you can happily wear them without feeling self-conscious.
If you’ve worn glasses for a long time, you’re probably used to wearing them every day. But contact lenses provide an alternative that can allow you to change your look. As you get older, you could find that your vision changes and you might end up needing to wear glasses or contacts even if you never have before. Contact lenses allow you to correct your vision without having to wear glasses all the time, and it’s not difficult to learn to use them. Of course, if you don’t feel confident about it, you could consider switching up the style of your glasses.
Wear different underwear
The foundational garments that you wear can actually make a big difference to how you look in your clothes. In particular, wearing the right bra can really help your clothes to look better. You can also wear underwear to give you a smoother silhouette and help you get the right shape, especially if you’re wearing clothes with a closer fit. Try experimenting with some different styles to find underwear that you feel good wearing and that helps to provide your outfits with the right foundation.
Learn some new makeup techniques
Doing your makeup in a different way is something that other people might not pick up on straight away. You can make subtle changes that help you to feel more confident and give you a new look that you love, but you don’t have to do anything too drastic. You could change the way you do your eyeliner, choose a new lip colour, or try some subtle contouring if you want to do something a little different from your usual makeup.
If you want to make changes to your appearance, they don’t have to be huge changes. Try something a little more subtle that will still make a difference.
Have you made a pact with yourself to eat better this year? If you’re reading this because you’ve already hit the 40 mark – which you most probably have – then you will know that we can’t quite get away with shovelling any old thing into our system and not pay the penalty for it. The bottom line is that at 40, we need to start thinking about eating well to age so we can feel more vibrant and vital for longer. Because that’s the aim of the game now folks isn’t it?
So what’s the schtick here? At 40, eating well to age means we should all be eating plenty of veggies – the more colourful and intense in colour the better, a variety of fruits, wholegrains, the right amount of protein, healthy fats and the like. As our metabolisms slow down, quite simply…we need to be more selective about what we eat if we want to walk the path to improved wellness.
With that said, today we are sharing some of our favourite recipes for eating well to age from the very appropriately named book – Eat Well to Age Well – the inspiring new cookbook by Beverley Jarvis – which is a veritable bible for eating well to age. It’s packed full of delicious whole food recipes, as well as insightful nutritional and invaluable practical guidance to help us all become super agers, without the hard work!
Vegetable medley with chickpeas and almonds – V
This filling vegetable dish is ideal served as a light lunch or supper, needing only the addition of a dressed, mixed-leaf salad to make it into a complete meal. If you don’t eat the whole dish at one sitting, leftovers can be chilled and re-heated the following day. You may prefer to cook the vegetables on the hob while you cook the sauce in the microwave.
250 g washed and diced butternut squash
1 celery stick, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 medium-size courgette, sliced
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
Juice ½ orange
25 g flaked almonds
1x 200 g chickpeas, drained
You will need a shallow microwaveable dish (about 1 ½ litre in capacity), a citrus juicer, microwaveable dinner plate, chopping board and knife, spoon for stirring and microwaveable dinner plate.
Butternut squash is a good source of dietary fibre and contains 22 g carbohydrate per cupful. One cup also contains 57% of the RDI for vitamin A and 52% of the RDI for vitamin C, as well as vitamins B1, B3, B6 and B9. It also makes a valuable contribution towards the RDI for the minerals calcium, iron, phosphorus and copper. The chickpeas provide 7.4 g fibre, 7.2 g protein and 15.7 g carbohydrate per 100 g.
Dressed, mixed-leaf salad with chopped apple; wholemeal bread rolls.
1. Put the prepared vegetables into the shallow dish, sprinkle with the herbs and then add the orange juice.
2. Cover the dish loosely with greaseproof paper, wrapping it under the dish to prevent it from blowing off.
3. Microwave on High for 5 minutes.
4. Remove the dish from microwave and carefully stir the vegetables, then recover and return to microwave for a
further 3½ minutes on High.
5. Set aside to stand, covered.
Toast the almonds:
1. Arrange them around the outside edge of the dinner plate and then microwave on High for 5 minutes, opening the door and rearranging the nuts once during cooking. They will turn lightly golden.
2. Add the drained chickpeas to the vegetables and return to the microwave for 1 minute on High.
3. Serve the vegetables with their delicious juices, topped with the toasted almonds, accompanied by the bread rolls and salad.
Cod and courgette kebabs with pineapple
These tasty fish kebabs, flavoured with lemon and garlic could be cooked on the BBQ, or under a pre-heated grill. They are as attractive to serve as they are good to eat.
250 g cod fillet (or salmon fillet if
preferred), skinned and cubed
6 button mushrooms
½ tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
Juice and finely grated zest of
½ lemon or lime
1 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
1 medium courgette, cut into 6 equal slices
1 small red pepper, cut into 2.5 cm pieces
2 canned pineapple rings in natural
juice, drained well, then cut into chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
You will need a chopping board and knife, small mixing bowl, shallow dish, fork, teaspoon, tablespoon, skewers, a pastry brush, citrus juicer, small bowl and fork.
The cod makes a valuable contribution towards your RDI for protein. It can also provide all or more of your RDI for vitamin B12 and is a valuable source of selenium and iodine. The potato mash makes a good contribution to your RDI for carbohydrate with the sweet potatoes adding vitamins A and B6, plus 6.6 g fibre per 100 g. The bell peppers are a good source of antioxidants.
Serve with the pickled vegetables on page 114 and a mash made from equal quantities of sweet and ordinary white potatoes, such as King Edwards, peeled, then cooked together in a covered large pan of boiling water until completely tender. Drain well, then mash, beating in a little semi-skimmed milk and a seasoning of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
1. Put the cod and mushrooms into a shallow dish.
2. In a mug or small bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic, lime/lemon zest and juice and the coriander.
3. Whisk with a fork and spoon over the mushrooms and fish. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
4. Carefully thread the fish and mushrooms onto 2 kebab skewers, alternating with the courgette, red pepper and pineapple pieces, if using.
5. Brush each skewer with some of the remaining marinade mixture and season with a little salt and pepper.
6. Grill on a grill rack, lined with tin foil, for 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally, or until cooked through.
7. Serve immediately, with the pickled vegetables and the mashed potatoes.
If you are using wooden/bamboo skewers, soak these in water for ½ hour before use to stop them burning.
Curried lamb soup with broccoli
Any leftovers can be cooled, then stored in the fridge, for up to 3 days. The soup also freezes well; re-heat until boiling and simmer for 3 minutes before serving. Filling and sustaining, serve the soup as a complete meal, accompanied with some warmed naan or chunky wholemeal bread.
2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
1 large red onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
3 tbsp tikka curry paste
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ red chilli, de-seeded and chopped
2.5 cm piece fresh ginger,
peeled and grated
1 x 400 g can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
350 g lamb leg steaks, trimmed and diced
1 rounded tbsp plain flour, seasoned with
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.2 litre lamb stock
1 x 400 g can cannellini beans,
drained and rinsed
1 head broccoli, florets only
You will need a chopping board and knife, 2 dinner plates, absorbent kitchen paper, a measuring jug, tablespoon, grater, teaspoon, wooden spoon, slotted spoon, large saucepan with lid and large frying pan.
The protein in the lamb contributes significantly to your RDI. Lamb also contributes vitamins B6 and B12, iron and magnesium. There are fibre and vitamins A and C in the carrot, tomatoes and broccoli and protein, fibre, vitamin B9, and the minerals copper, and iron in the cannellini beans.
1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan, on a high heat.
2. Add the onion and carrot and stir-fry for about 5 minutes, over a medium heat, until the onion is soft and translucent.
3. Stir in the curry paste with the garlic, chillies and ginger and keep stir-frying for a further minute.
4. Add the tomatoes and tomato purée to the pan; stir well.
5. On the dinner plate, toss the lamb in the seasoned flour.
6. In a large, shallow frying pan, heat the remaining oil.
7. Add the lamb to the hot oil in the frying pan and stir-fry, over a medium-high heat, until golden on all sides.
8. Lift from the pan, using a slotted spoon, and drain on absorbent kitchen paper.
9. Add the lamb stock to the saucepan and bring to the boil.
10. Cover and simmer gently, for 30 minutes.
11. Stir in the drained beans and broccoli.
12. Continue to simmer for 5-7 minutes, covered, until the vegetables are just tender. Return lamb to pan. Stir.
13. Serve, in warmed soup bowls
Avocado and chicken bake
Avocados are highly nutritious and simply delicious, quickly baked in the microwave. This easy recipe makes a great light lunch or supper dish. As an alternative to the chicken, try chopped cooked prawns or drained, flaked, canned tuna fish.
50 g cooked chopped chicken thigh
or breast meat
50 g freshly made brown breadcrumbs
1 tbsp Greek-style natural yoghurt
1 tbsp freshly chopped tarragon or parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large ripe avocado, halved
Juice ½ lemon
25 g parmesan cheese, grated
You will need a 1-litre mixing bowl, tablespoon, teaspoon, citrus juicer, pastry brush, microwaveable avocado dish, 2 microwaveable dinner plates, chopping board and knife, and cheese grater.
Avocados have many nutritional benefits (see page 23). The chicken makes a significant contribution towards your RDI for protein. The breadcrumbs provide carbohydrate and fibre.
1. Put the chicken into the mixing bowl with the breadcrumbs and yoghurt then stir in the herbs with a seasoning of salt (keep to a minimum) and pepper.
2. Brush both halves of the avocado with lemon juice and wrap one half to chill in the fridge for use in a salad the following day.
3. Fill the remaining avocado half with the prepared filling.
4. Sprinkle with the grated cheese.
5. Put the filled avocado half in the microwaveable avocado dish, then stand the dish on a dinner plate.
6. Microwave, uncovered, on High for 2½-3 minutes. Serve immediately with the crème fraîche and parsley.
This recipe can easily be doubled. If cooking two avocado halves together, allow about 4 minutes, and space them apart on a dinner plate.
Sweet jacket potatoes with smoked mackerel, horseradish and parsley
Sweet potatoes cook quickly in the microwave and can be counted as one of your seven-a-day. I often serve them for a quick lunch, straight from the microwave, with just some crumbled feta cheese and a dressed, mixed salad with a sliced kiwi fruit and some chopped dates added.
2 medium-size sweet potatoes,
washed and dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
75 g smoked mackerel fillet, skinned
3 tbsp Greek-style natural yoghurt
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp horseradish sauce
1 dsp freshly chopped parsley
You will need a vegetable knife, microwaveable dinner plate, 1-litre mixing bowl, fork, measuring spoons, chopping board and knife.
A good source of fibre, and providing 6% of your daily requirement for carbohydrate, and 4% of your daily vitamin C needs, sweet potatoes also provide 10% of the daily requirement for vitamin B6. The mackerel and yoghurt contribute significantly towards your daily protein requirement and the mackerel also provides more than the RDI for vitamin D, significant B3 (niacin) and B12 and the minerals iron, magnesium and selenium. Greek yoghurt contains 121 mg calcium per 100 g.
Accompany with a dressed, mixed salad.
1. Score a cross in the top of each potato you wish to cook.
2. Stand the potatoes, spaced apart, on the dinner plate and spray them all over with a little spray oil and season with a little salt and pepper.
3. Microwave them, uncovered, on High for 5-6 minutes for one potato or 8 minutes for two.
4. Set aside for 4 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: In the mixing bowl, mash together using a fork, the mackerel fillet with the yoghurt,
lemon juice and horseradish sauce. Add the parsley and fork in.
6. Serve the opened jacket potato(es) with the mackerel filling, divided between them, accompanied by the salad.
Baked sweet potatoes are delicious served with a dollop of lightly seasoned Greek yoghurt, with a little finely chopped red onion or a few snipped chives.
Eat Well to Age Well is available to buy at Waterstones and on Amazon. Check out the first chapter of the book here.
We hope you enjoyed these recipes which are a fantastic way of eating well to age. Have you started eating well to age? Which is your favourite recipe from the above? And if you haven’t why not join our Instagram community where we share all things related to life in your 40s here.
Could you imagine yourself in the boardroom? It’s never too late to start thinking about how to reinvent your career. So read on ladies. We’ve got the low down from Fiona Hathorn, co-founder and CEO of Women on Boards UK to find out more.
Here’s a sobering thought: at the age of 40, you’re almost two decades into your career. Whether you love, hate or are indifferent about your job, hitting the big four-oh is one of those moments that makes us all take stock, reflect, and ask, “is this it?”
If you’ve always worked in the same field, then the likelihood is that you’ve gained a great deal of experience (and a good salary and perks, too). Perhaps you’re happy with this path and excited to accelerate your way to the C-suite. Or perhaps, you’re seeking more control over your own hours, but still with the intellectual challenge you are used to.
Or maybe, turning 40 has made you realise you don’t like your job at all, you feel stuck in a dead end and are thinking of a complete career overhaul. Maybe you’ve emotionally checked out, working on autopilot without feeling any real satisfaction.
Whatever situation you find yourself in, career reinvention is good for us at any life stage and particularly when we hit important age milestones. It’s also critical to staying relevant in today’s work environment. So, what can be done?
Becoming a non-executive director (NED), Trustee or Governor is a highly attractive proposition for lots of people. Women on Boards UK is on a mission to educate more women about what a NED role is, why it can help you with career acceleration or creating a portfolio career where you are firmly in the driving seat, and to share top tips for landing your first NED role.
What is a NED?
NEDs sit on the board of many public, private and not-for-profit organisations, working as a ‘critical friend’ scrutinising the organisation’s performance and offering strategic input and advice to the executive team. In a nutshell, your role is to provide the board with independent oversight and constructive challenge. How often they meet and what duties they are required to perform varies between organisations.
Taking on a NED role can be the perfect career move for those of us seeking an intellectual challenge without the intensity or pressure of an in-house executive role. Levels of remuneration vary from pro bono to quite high, but many combine a few paid NED roles with coaching or consultancy to create a ‘portfolio career’. Becoming a NED provides you with access to the boardroom and high-level strategic conversations about how a business is run. We place, on average, seven women every week into UK boardrooms and the experience they gain has proven to help accelerate career growth in their day jobs.
When is the right time to start exploring a NED role?
We always say start early! There is a misconception among a lot of women that you need to be in your 50s, 60s or an executive at a big global firm to become a NED and that’s just not true. Yes, some of the listed global companies are looking for this kind of experience but there are thousands of other companies and organisations looking for NEDs at every level. We advertise hundreds of roles at any one time ranging from charities and universities to start-ups and FTSE-listed companies. Don’t get hung up by the ‘story’ we tell ourselves of what a NED looks like (stale, pale and grey). The experience you have gained by the time you’re in your forties is going to be invaluable to many organisations, you just have to find the right one.
For Rebecca Ganz, becoming a NED coincided with a huge life transition. At the age of 48 she moved back to the UK from New Zealand to look after ageing parents. She urgently needed to reinvent her career back in the UK, having to rebuild her networks and reputation from scratch. Applying her wealth of experience to different organisations would provide the stimulus and challenge she craved, while the idea of a portfolio career of NED roles afforded her the flexibility she required. With five NED roles across the public and private sector, Becks is thoroughly enjoying her new career.
Meanwhile, Alison Green came to Women on Boards when she wanted to build on her trustee experience and secure her first NED role. After a very successful career in advertising and marketing, Alison had transitioned to a career as an Executive Coach and wanted a portfolio of NED roles that would align with her new career path but also her values. The pandemic had highlighted deep societal inequalities and Alison wanted to find a role that would help her address diversity and inclusion issues. Women on Boards provided her with interview practice, helped to demystify some of the terminology of the boardroom and refreshed her financial literacy skills via our tailored courses. Alison now sits on several boards including the Skinners’ Academy, a secondary school in Hackney, and she is the first female NED for Cake Box PLC.
Women on Boards member, Neelu Agarwal, started to think about a NED role when she was in her early 30s. Whilst on maternity leave, she began to re-evaluate her current job, which was leaving her feeling dissatisfied. She wanted to step up her skills and do something meaningful but had never thought of a NED role. She felt her lack of experience and broad Indian accent would be barriers. However, the network she met through Women on Boards and the access to training and useful tools such as CV templates gave her the boost she needed, and she landed her first NED role at a mental health charity called Second Step.
How to find your first NED role and reinvent your career
Breaking through into the non-executive world and achieving your first role can be tricky. Here are my top three tips to help improve your chances:
Network, network, network. The best networking activities are ones where you will meet members of boards, especially Chair people. If real world or virtual events are tricky to fit into your busy life, take inspiration from Neelu above who used LinkedIn to connect with new people whilst on maternity leave. A good place to start is to identify the organisations you would love to be a part of and connect with people who sit on their board.
Know the basics. While you will get appointed to a board based on your specific experience, be that digital, marketing or HR, it’s important that every NED has a grasp of the fundamentals such as financial literacy and corporate governance. It’s not rocket science and you will find lots of online resources to help you. Women on Boards has an online Resource Centre packed with links and advice, and we also have specific webinars on key topics such as finance and cyber.
Present yourself as a board-level candidate. There is a difference between a CV and a Board-ready CV. Understanding how to frame your achievements and potential in a way that appeals to boards is a skill that needs to be honed. You also need to articulate what it is that you can uniquely bring, in terms of your personal style as well as expertise. It can be challenging, but Women on Boards has lots of advice and different levels of support to help you do just this.
Whether you’re looking for an intellectual challenge or to simply pursue your passions, there is a generation of 40-something women who are staring at the second half of their life excited about the journey and the chance to reinvent their careers. Remove any obstacles you have in your mind (too old, too busy, too scared) and, quite literally, jump on Board! As they say, “the bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
If you would like help getting started with your Board career or taking it to the next level, please get in touch here.
About Women on Boards UK
Women on Boards UK exists to encourage, inspire and actively support women – from all sectors – to find their own pathway to the boardroom. Its network of 35,000 women (and some men) gain access to information, support and connections to help them take on a board role as a non-executive director, trustee or governor, or to get to the top within their own company. What we do works – seven of our members gain a new board role every week (on average).
Do you feel inspired to reinvent your career? Let us know by dropping a comment below or reaching out to us on Instagram.
When was the last time that you did something to treat yourself? So many people don’t put any time into treating themselves and really, you should be. Closing your eyes and dreaming about your definition of life is exciting, and living a life that is packed with luxuries is something many of us strive for. Of course, luxury means different things to many; some believe just having a hot meal at the end of a long day is a luxury and it is.
However, there is a whole level of elite luxuries that you can involve yourself in, from buying a Bentley to treating yourself to a personal chef on your birthday. There are so many ways that you can enjoy luxuries that are just for you, and we’ve got so many suggestions to ensure that you enjoy a little luxury from time to time. Bring a touch of luxury into your life with these treats you just cannot say no to!
Really, when was the last time you bought yourself some flowers? Flowers make everyone happy and you can make you happy, too. You want this to be exciting and so scheduling yourself to have a flower order arrive at least once a month will be a game changer for your mood and your home. You’ll add a pop of colour you didn’t know your home needed and you can keep the flowers in your price range, too! It’ll make you feel fancy, and everyone can stand to feel fancy from time to time.
Order a new car. You might not be able to get that luxury car, but you might still be able to upgrade and buy a new car instead of a used one. That in itself can be the luxury that you didn’t know you needed. You can really enjoy something new when you do this, and it’s going to be something you use every single day, too, so it’s an investment.
Subscribe to new magazines. It’s often the little luxuries in life that make you the happiest, and subscribing to your favourite magazines can do this for you. We’re always online, so having pretty magazines in the house can make a nice change and the glossy, thick magazines are a luxury option!
Treat your tresses
Book a monthly hair appointment. It can feel opulence to sit in the hairdresser’s chair, but that’s exactly what you can do when you have the chance to treat yourself. A hair appointment makes you feel good about yourself, and you can indulge in added options like a deep conditioning and a manicure if you want to, too.
Go on a holiday. The ultimate luxury; a holiday abroad. Sure, the pandemic has stopped that for most people right now. You can book a cruise to visit new places, or a ski trip to see the world from a whole new angle. You can look at holiday experiences that you can’t get anywhere else, and you’ll appreciate the time you spend abroad and learning new cultures, too.
What do you do to treat yourself? Let us know in a comment below or connect with us on Instagram.
New Year, same you? Don’t worry this is the only survival guide you’ll need. There’s no quick fix. There’s no wake up and magically be 10lbs lighter. We’ve got the expert advice to show you how you can softly, calmly and slowly emerge from the overindulgence of the past few weeks. You’ll be able to grab 2022 by the balls and show it who’s boss!
Go for a daily walk
Penny Weston, fitness, wellness guru and nutrition expert reveals, ‘Walking doesn’t just make you feel good while you’re doing it, studies also suggest that it may reduce your risk of developing a cold or flu by boosting your immune system. It does this by increasing the amount of white blood cells circulating in your blood. These are the cells that fight infection and disease as part of the body’s natural immune system.
Make an immune boosting smoothie
Making fresh smoothies is a great way of incorporating ingredients into your diet that can boost your immune system. A favourite of mine is this vitamin rich super smoothie. This smoothie is a powerhouse for the immune system, containing blueberries and spinach that have great immune-boosting properties. It will have you glowing from the inside out, and contains nearly every vitamin and mineral your body needs and giving you a natural boost of energy. And it actually tastes delicious!
There is so much goodness in this smoothie. Use a frozen banana and less milk for a thicker texture:
Meditation is an ideal way to reduce stress over the festive period and also throughout the whole year. Meditation helps to relax the mind and body, and focus your thoughts and attention in order to eliminate the thought overload which can often result in stress. This will not only help you to de-stress but also help you learn to be strong for all that is coming in the year ahead.
Regular exercise is the key to staying both physically and mentally fit, healthy and happy. When we exercise the body releases chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin and dopamine which boost our sense of well-being and suppress hormones that cause anxiety and stress. Fortunately there are now a bigger range of exercise classes and sports out there than ever before and thanks to virtual and on demand training it’s never been easier to exercise at home or when travelling, so even if you’re away with work or family during January there’s no excuse not to be able to exercise.
Create a morning ritual
Start the morning with a ritual that lets you hit the ground running, make the most of your day, stay positive and in control and most importantly stress free! All of our rituals are different, but the key is that by setting them we are taking control of our morning, and therefore our lives. This will help to significantly lower stress levels.’
Ditch the moisturiser
Dr Rekha Tailor of Health & Aestheticssays ‘I don’t recommend moisturisers for anyone because I agree with Zein Obagi, M.D, a dermatologist and founder of ZO Skin Health. He suggests that moisturiser is a waste of time and also that it is potentially damaging to the skin. He suggests that when you use moisturiser every day, you run the risk of making your skin older, not younger, because of the fact that skin will become sensitive, dry, dull and interfere with its own natural hydration functions.’
Personally, I’m a big fan of The Ordinary Amino Acids. It’s affordable and leaves my skin feeling totally hydrated.
Celebrity facialistLisa Harris, says ‘You can see (safe) sun exposure as your free dose of vitamin D. Feeling sunlight on your arms, hands and face for just 10-15 minutes a day in the UK can boost your mood and energy levels through the release of endorphins. As well as perking up your skin, it will also wake up your mind as the sun reduces the level of melatonin (AKA the sleepy hormone) in your body, giving you energy, inside and out.
Detoxify your tissues with face yoga
Just 60 seconds of a DIY face massage can make your skin look more alive. Using a creamy cleanser or moisturiser, make small circles with your fingertips – this will boost your circulation, bring oxygen to your cells and give you an instant glow. If you’ve been a little congested, face yoga can help to remove any toxins from your tissue, helping you feel better too. You can supercharge your face yoga routine with our 3D signature facial, which relies on HIFU to restore skin vitality and improve skin health and luminosity.
Put down the needles
While it’s often easy to think that Botox and Fillers are the answer to looking younger and healthier, there’s a safe, non-invasive alternative to Botox and fillers helping you to achieve healthier, younger looking skin with long lasting results. Radio Frequency and ultrasound waves from treatments like Collagen Wave heat up the skin, encouraging your fibroblasts to produce new collagen and elastin – something we all need if we’re looking a little tired during the winter months.
Get more sleep
Sleep is a natural reset button for our brain and body, which is even more required these days because of increased work pressure and stress. Our face is the index of the mind and so naturally a skipped sleep is easily identifiable on our face.’
Choose your cleanser wisely
Consultant dermatologist Dr Ophelia Veraitch says ‘In the mornings and days you aren’t wearing makeup just use a gentle cleanser. When wearing water based coverage makeup you can use an AHA cleanser such as one with glycolic acid. When wearing heavier oil based makeup use a BHA cleanser such as one with salicylic acid.
Take vitamins to support healthy hair growth
To maintain healthy looking hair, go for hair vitamins that have relatively high concentrations of the nutrients we know that are needed to support hair growth. Iron and zinc are both very important for hair, but when taken together they don’t absorb well. So a carefully thought out hair vitamin programme (such as mine!) is ideal. If in doubt about the cause of hair thinning or loss, seek an expert opinion.
Check the ingredients of your skincare carefully
Due to lack of regulation in the industry many marketed skincare products don’t have ingredients in them that will be effective despite claims, so don’t and won’t work. Tailor active ingredients serums according to your skincare needs. For example ivermectin is great for redness/ rosacea, azelaic acid/niacinamide/ salicylic acid is great for acne, Tretinoin / antioxidants such as vit C/E for anti ageing and hydroquinone/ Kojic acid/niacinamide for pigmentation etc.
Use almond oil
On the days I’m not going out I massage almond oil into my scalp and hair and onto my children’s scalp and hair too.
It’s the best way to naturally hydrate your scalp and hair and help both to retain moisture.
This ritual comes from my Sikh background where having uncut hair (which I haven’t stuck to!) and importantly looking after your hair is a sign of respect to personal attributes that are considered god given. It’s common for Asian and Mediterranean cultures to put oil in the scalp and hair like this as a natural and effective way to moisturise our scalp and hair! Massaging almond oil into the scalp and hair like this helps to reduce frizziness of the hair and improve the condition of the scalp too. You can use coconut oil but I find this is smellier and harder, alternatively argan oil is thinner so it’s better for people with finer hair.’
Stop licking your lips
Nina Prisk, AKA ‘The Lip Nurse’, an award-winning cosmetic nurse says ‘When you lick your lips it’s usually to try and moisturise them. However, saliva actually dries them out and creates damaging friction. Sometimes it can become a bad habit which you can help to break by doing something else with your mouth such as chewing gum.
So it’s best to avoid licking your lips as much as you can. Biting and picking them should be avoided too because the lips are made up of delicate skin that can be damaged easily. Usually picking and biting happens when there’s already damage to the surface of the lip, try to resist the urge to pull or bite the rough or lose bits of skin and instead apply a treatment to moisturise and hydrate them.’
Eat more omega 3
Consultant oculoplastic and ophthalmic surgeon Dr Elizabeth Hawkes says ‘Omega-3 fatty acids are important to the health of the macula (the part of the eye that’s responsible for central vision) and the health of the skin, including around the eye area. So trying to incorporate more foods containing essential omega-3 fatty acids helps to keep your vision good and also to maintain healthy skin around your eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids are powerful anti-inflammatories.
Research suggests that the fats protect skin cells against sun-induced inflammation and help control how the body responds to UV rays, thereby mitigating damage. Eating a diet high in good fats and oily fish can help to promote good skin health because they are rich in Omega-3 which is a key nutrient for helping to repair damaged skin cells. Omega-3 fatty acids are responsible for maintaining healthy membranes around our skin cells. If we’re deficient in these it reduces the skin’s ability to absorb and retain water, causing dehydration or dry skin.
Upping your intake of omega-3 fatty acids may help improve hydration by boosting the skin’s natural barrier. Omega-3s may also help to protect our skin against the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays because studies have shown that supplementing with a combination of certain types of Omega-3s may reduce the skin’s sensitivity to UV rays.’
Look after your gnashers
We all want our pearly whites to be whiter than white. Cosmetic dentist, Dr Hanna Kinsella says ‘My Icy Bear whitening toothpaste is shown to not only brighten the smile but also to protect the teeth against cavities. Icy Bear is an earth conscious brand – palm oil free, SLS free and animal cruelty free and all of the products are produced in the UK adhering to strict industry guidelines.
The unique toothpaste has a rare ingredient combinationcontaining the finest diamonds.Thanks to its extremely low abrasiveness, tooth surfaces are gently cleaned and stains reduced with no damage to the tooth surface. Designed for twice-daily use for complete oral care, the cult product in the making uses diamond dust to effectively reduce stains – the diamond dust is a natural abrasive agent that reduces staining whilst polishing the surface of the enamel to restore teeth to their natural whiteness.’
What are your self-care plans for bossing 2022? Let us know by commenting below or reaching out to us on Instagram.
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At the end of the day, every single person on the planet wants to be the best possible version of themselves. In order to be the best version, we need to feel at ease with ourselves first. We need to look at ourselves and know that we’re confident. If you feel good in life, then you’re going to be able to perform better in whatever you do.
One thing that a lot of people – especially women – do in this life is worry about their bodies. The good thing is that we can all put our minds in better places regarding our physical selves. We can also put in the work to put ourselves in better positions. If you’re willing to alter your mindset and adopt new habits, you can achieve anything – and this is just another one of those challenges. Here are a few top tips so you can start to really feel more at ease with your body:
Recognise That You Are Beautiful As You Are
You don’t really need to make huge changes to your life or to your body. You need to know that you’re wonderful as you are. One huge change will be to your mind. You’ll want to do all you can to boost your confidence and your self-esteem. If you do look to mate improvements, know that they’re for you and not imperative in order to achieve anything.
Put Effort Into Your Physical Fitness
This helps your physical side and your mental side. You deserve to be happy and comfortable in many different ways, and exercising will put you in an amazing position. You’ll get to a point where not exercising feels a little wrong. Before you know it, you could be looking into the likes of DSIP and all kinds of other supplements to make yourself into a finely tuned athlete.
If you want to feel better about the way you look, then dating is a genuinely fantastic idea. You’ll head out and meet people that find you attractive. You’ll get to know people who might want to spend a lot of time around you. These people will lift you over time. They’ll respect your boundaries while wanting to see you more and more. And, hey, they might even want to hop into a bed with you and see that wonderful body in all its glory!
Learn How To Cook And Figure Out Nutritional Tips
Learning how to cook prepares you for life in a much better way. You’ll be more competent in the kitchen, which is such a confidence booster. It makes you feel so much more useful and attractive. The more you learn about food, the more clued in you become in terms of what’s good for you and what certain meals do for certain parts of you.
Surround Yourself With People Who Lift You
We touched on this previously when talking about dating, but you just have to be around people that make your life so much easier. If you’re with positive people who say wonderful things about you and push you to be even better, then life becomes a lot better and so much more fun. Don’t surround yourself with negativity.
Are you more comfortable with your body in your 40s? Let us know by dropping a comment below or connecting with us on Instagram.
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