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Katie Bishop is back with another recipe to make your mouth water. This month, she’s developed one specifically for my Menopause Metamorphosis programme as part of the self-care Sunday feature. I’m so grateful to her for doing this – I really hope you enjoy it!

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This incredibly easy recipe uses only a few products, but tastes great. You can vary the grains depending on what you have in the cupboard, or what you like to eat, but the pack of lentils I use in this recipe has lots of great flavour which really adds to the dish, so I would strongly recommend it.

“I’m not a nutritionist, but I do know that the most important thing to remember when eating during menopause, is to ensure you have a balanced plate of food.”

That means it needs to include wholegrain carbs for slow release energy, a good source of protein (salmon is good because it’s high in vitamin D), healthy unsaturated fats (so that’s things like olive oil, nuts, seeds etc), and preferably some calcium too.

Osteoporosis can be an issue during menopause, so it’s important to look after your bones. Calcium and vitamin D are both critical for this.

This recipe ticks all of those nutrition boxes, but also tastes delicious and feels comforting, warming and wholesome to eat.

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Overview

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Time to cook: 10-12 minutes
Serves: 2 people

Ingredients

2 x 250g lightly smoked salmon fillets (or unsmoked, if you prefer)
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
200g Tenderstem broccoli (or other favourite green veg)
About 10-15g basil
250g pack Merchant Gourmet Tomatoey French Puy & Green Lentils
2 tbsp half fat crème fraiche

Let’s get cooking …

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C, gas mark 7. Line a baking sheet with foil. Put the salmon on top, skin-side down. Drizzle with olive oil and season well. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a medium pan of water to the boil. Cook the broccoli for 4 minutes, then drain and keep warm.
  3. Return the pan to a low heat. Trim then finely chop the basil stalks. Place them into the pan with the lentils and 2-3 tbsp water. Cook over a low heat for 2-3 minutes, until piping hot.
  4. When the salmon is cooked, stir the crème fraiche and whole basil leaves through the lentils. Spoon onto warm plates.
  5. Serve the salmon, leaving the skin behind on the foil (unless you like to eat it), on top of the lentils, with the broccoli, seasoned and drizzled with olive oil, on the side.

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Katie will be back next month with something else delicious to try.

In the meantime, you can find out more about her at https://katiebishop.co.uk or follow her on Instagram at @ktbishopcooks

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Hi! I’m Helen Gambarota and I am delighted to be back with Jo’s Weekly Workout Family to share my love of books with you.

I am a total book nerd and an avid reader and a compulsive book buyer, although I do need to slow down on the book buying as there are piles of books all around the house. I started reviewing books on Instagram as @BestBookFoward almost 4 years ago and I love chatting about books and sharing my passion for reading.

Each month I bring you my recommendation of a must-read book. I read a variety of genres so it could be anything from fiction, non-fiction, romance, historical fiction or a thriller and I really hope that you’ll enjoy each of them as much as I do.

If you’d like more book inspiration you can find my reviews on my Instagram account which is @BestBookForward, on Facebook or on my website bestbookforward.org

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Autumn has to be one of my favourite times of the year to curl up with a good book. I just don’t think you can beat snuggling up on the sofa with a hot chocolate and escaping into the pages.

I wanted to pick a book this month that would really compliment Jo’s fabulous self-care series and so I’ve gone for the The Last Library by Freya Sampson which is out now in hardback.

The story is about a young woman named June who is the local library assistant. June thinks that you can tell a lot about a person from the library books they borrow, but June herself is very much a closed book.

Since her mum passed away June has retreated into herself, surviving on Chinese takeaways for one and rereading her favourite books at home.

When the library is threatened with closure, an unlikely group of locals band together to save it and we get to see just how important the library is to the community. But in order to save it, they’ll need to persuade the shy and reclusive June to join their cause.

To me, this just felt like a big warm hug of a read! It is a story about love, loss, friendship, kindness, community and standing up for what you believe in.

It is funny, warm and while it is a little sad at times it overall a wonderfully uplifting read which I really hope you’ll love as much as I did.

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You can buy your copy from Amazon here, or from all good bookshops.

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There’s one BIG and very important reason why Pilates is the perfect exercise to practice when you head into menopause. It helps to keep your bones strong by working with your own body weight and with weighted exercises.

During menopause, the risk of osteoporosis can increase due to a lowering of the homormone oestrogen.

So, working with weights as well as our own body weight is vital, as strength training exercises will help to build bone and muscle strength.

Screenshot taken from one of Jo’s on-demand workout classes – Rock bottoms

During menopause, because bone density decreases, it’s weight bearing and weighted exercises that will help counterbalance this.

How? Well, it’s because the action of muscle pulling on bone which results in denser, stronger bones which are less likely to break.

Strength training is also fabulous to do, as the higher the muscle to fat ratio we have, the more metabolically active we are and so the more calories we burn.

Screenshot taken from one of Jo’s on-demand workout classes – Upper body weights

Therefore a good pilates regime will target muscle and bone strength, directly aiding in the prevention of osteoporosis.

If you’d like to know how I can help you, to help yourself – visit my Menopause Metamorphosis page.

I’m so proud of our amazing membership – here’s a snippet from a recent email …

“I Just wanted to drop you a note to say how much I’m enjoying the menopause program! Life is incredibly busy of late and we have also sold our house and buying a new one in the countryside. But I’m determined to stick to the classes, I so need them to keep me sane at this crazy time! Im full into menopause now too….

I have been with you around 18 months now and can honestly say I so look forward to my 30 minute class each work day morning. Your classes give me routine, it’s really toned me up and I thoroughly look forward to laughing along with you… most days I’m chuckling along 🥰 it sets my day up!”

Thanks so much to Lesley for her lovely words.

xx

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Each month, we feature one of our amazing Weekly Workout Club members here in our smaall bu perfectly formed wellness and lifestyle area.

If you’re a member, you’ll know that its really important to Jo that we are all in this together and supporting one another on our fitness journeys.  This is the reason why Jo always refers to the club as the ‘Weekly Workout Family’

We thought it was time for members to get to know each other a little more and to share some stories and experiences.

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Our October spotlight features Carolyn Colvin. Over to you Carolyn ….

Tell us about yourself

My name is Carolyn Colvin, I am 48 years young and I live in Dublin, Ireland, after moving here from Cheshire, UK in January 1995 after meeting my Irish husband Peter on holiday in the South of France.

I have 3 children, my eldest daughter Ciara (22), my son Conor (18) & my youngest daughter Carys (15).  I work in a mainstream primary school as a special needs assistant – a job I absolutely love, supporting children with additional needs is an absolute privilege.

Why do you enjoy The Weekly Workout Club?

I found the weekly workout club during the very beginning of the first lockdown in March 2020, and honestly I haven’t looked back.

“Working out with Jo energises me, gives me focus, purpose and so much joy.”

I have been in perimenopause for the past 5 years and find that my mobility is less than it was, I have gained belly fat and my anxiety has increased hugely.  Pilates is just so good during this time of my life.  It’s low impact, but still helps increase my flexibility and my balance and improves my muscle strength and ‘hones and tones’, as Jo likes to say.  It is also so good for my mental health and it reduces my stress, anxiety, fatigue and lifts my general mood overall if I practice my pilates with Jo regularly.

I love the varied classes offered by Jo, there is something for everyone, all abilities and levels and it is just so much fun. Jo offers so much information too, so you know why you are working a particular muscle, how to get the most out of each move and what each muscle group does…it’s so interesting and motivating.

Jo offers 30 minute online workouts but also has 10 minute blasts, which are just fantastic if you’re short on time.

What are your favourite three classes?

It is so hard to choose just 3 favourite classes, but I do love workouts with weights and the pilates ring. But here’s 3 of classes I have completed and returned to repeatedly:
I think all the workouts are my favourites to be honest, but being in perimenopause, I am learning the importance of strength training and how important it is to build bone and muscle strength, burn body fat and get the metabolism going, so July #2 – ‘Weight it up’ is one I really enjoy and challenges me in a good and positive way at this time in my life.

[You need to be a member and logged in to view those workout pages!]

What are some of your favourite things?

 

Food – Fish and seafood.  Nobody in my family likes it, so it is a treat to go to a restaurant and pick seabass or prawns from the menu.
Drink – I love a glass of wine.  Red is my colour and a lovely Rioja or Merlot would be my favourite.
Book – ‘The Anne of Green Gables‘ series by LM Montgomery and ‘Me before you‘ by JoJo Moyes
FIlm – ‘The Holiday’, ‘Elf’ and ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ Oh yeah, and I love everything  to do with Christmas
TV show – ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.  I’ve been a fan since series 1.

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Thank you so much to Carolyn for her wonderful spotlight article. We’ll feature another member next month and if you’d like to be featured – drop us a line!

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In order to view the video below – you do need to be logged in as a member. If you’re not already a member – you can find out more about my Menopause Metamorphosis programme here.

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To all my members, welcome to self-care Sunday!

Today is all about looking after your hands and nails, and who better to do this than Kim Treacy – nail stylist to the stars!

Kim has been a nail Technician/ Manicurist for 25 years. Over the years the nail industry has boomed – there are now so many ways of doing a manicure, and therefore, so many ways to destroy your natural nails with use off gel polish if you do not know how to remove  it properly!

So Kim is very passionate about natural nail and hand care and below shares a few tips as part of my Menopause Metamorphosis programme.

In the video below – we talk through a hand scrub – you can find the ingredients below:

Ingredients

* 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (preferably organic)
* 1 tablespoon of honey (preferably organic)
* 1/4 cup of sugar ( brown or white)
* 1/4 cup of sea salt
* Lime juice

Method

1. Mix one tablespoon each of coconut oil and honey
2. Add the sea salt and fine sugar to this and mix well
3. Add the juice of a lime and blend for 30 seconds
4. Massage the mix gently onto your hands for 1 minute. Rinse with warm water
5. Store in an airtight container and use it within a week

I really hope you enjoy our fun chat and you take some time out for yourself at some point today.

x

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