Katie Bishop is back with another recipe to make your mouth water.

I’m so grateful to her for doing this – I really hope you enjoy it!

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This colourful, hearty soup is packed with flavour. It’s also made in a slow cooker – so it’s really easy and faff-free.

Lentils and plenty of veg make this a nutritious, balanced bowl of goodness – perfect as a warming lunch or meal, and an excellent option during the menopause. I like to use rapeseed oil as it is rich in omega-3 fats – but use olive oil if you prefer.

You can also make this soup with either chicken or vegetable stock; and I like to serve the soup with a grating of Parmesan on top too, just to add a little calcium as this is so very important during menopause.  If you’re vegetarian, use a suitable hard Italian-style cheese instead and keep the stock veggie.

Don’t have a slow cooker?
Simply sauté the garlic and vegetables together until softened, then add the herbs, tomatoes, and rinsed lentils, followed by the stock.  Bring to the boil, before simmering very gently until completely tender. Add the spinach right at the end.

Fab for the freezer:
Leave the soup to cool completely before transferring to freezer proof containers, then covering and freezing for up to 3 months. Defrost before reheating gently on the hob until piping hot throughout (never reheat things in a slow cooker).

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Photo credit: Steve Baxter

Overview

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook: 3-4 hours (in a slow cooker)

Ingredients

75g brown or green lentils

Rapeseed oil, enough to cover the base of the slow cooker 1-2mm

1 clove garlic

1 red onion, finely diced

1 celery stick, finely diced

400g can chopped tomatoes

2 sprigs thyme, leaves only

1 bay leaf, broken

2 litres chicken or vegetable stock

125g baby spinach leaves

Rapeseed oil or basil oil, to serve

 

Let’s get cooking …

  1. Rinse the lentils under plenty of cold water and drain thoroughly. Pour enough olive oil into the slow cooker to cover the base with a depth of about 1-2mm.
  2. Peel the garlic, then using your thumb, press the garlic firmly to bruise it. Add it to the dish with the oil.
  3. Add the lentils and mix to coat in the oil. Stir in the onion, celery, tomatoes, and herbs. Don’t season the soup at this stage, as salt could toughen the lentils.
  4. Pour in the stock. Cover with the slow cooker lid and cook on high for 3-4 hours or until the lentils are tender.
  5. Using a slotted spoon remove the garlic and herbs. Mix the spinach into the soup and stir until the leaves are just wilted. Season to taste.
  6. Ladle into warmed bowls and drizzle with a touch of extra virgin olive or basil oil before serving with crusty bread or toast.

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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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It’s time to bring you our regular meditation, courtesy of Amanda Penalver.

Amanda is a meditation expert and founder of True Rest®. Her work is devoted to challenging, inspiring & motivating her clients to live a more growth-full, rich & deeply fulfilling life.

Amanda offers True Rest classes & guided meditations to uplift, restore, replenish & re-energise you to live on purpose, fully awake, fully embodied & deeply connected.

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“Fall asleep fast” –  meditation

Take a deep dive into the medicine of inner peace within yourself.

Description: Fall asleep quickly. This meditation is here for you, to support and guide you into a deep and peaceful sleep fast. This Yoga Nidra-style meditation will soothe your body, calm your mind and nourish your soul.

Find out more about Amanda’s brilliant work at mandypenalver.com

 

 

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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I know we’re not officially in autumn but for me as soon as the calendar flips over to 1st September its autumn vibes all the way.  You just can’t beat curling up with a cosy blanket, a cup of tea and a really great read and I have a cracking recommendation for you this month.  It’s The Measure by Nikki Erlick (out now in hardback) and I really hope you’ll love it as much as I did.

This is the story of eight ordinary people in an extraordinary new world.

The story starts with the world waking up to every adult receiving the same box on their doorstep one morning.  Inside the box is a piece of string and the length of that string determines how long you will live. Nobody knows where the boxes have come from but as news spreads people are faced with the questions, what do they mean and should they open their box?

Over the coming weeks, with data gathered scientists confirm that the strings are accurate and create a website that will tell you, given the length of your string how long you have left to live.

Now you’re probably thinking this sounds pretty grim, and I’ll admit that when I first heard the premise I wasn’t sure whether it would be one for me but it is a brilliant read, so utterly unique and compelling.  I have read a lot of dystopian novels recently but this one stood out.

I love the way Nikki explores the impact the strings have on people’s lives, relationships and in society.  It really gives you a lot to think about and even a month after reading it I find myself wondering if I’d open the box and find out the measure of my life, or how I would cope if it was short string.

The Measure is a brilliant debut, it’s gone straight onto my favourites of the year. I was glued to the pages and found it really quite moving, especially the ending.  Definitely one not to be missed and I think its a great one to read with a friend or a group because believe me this is a novel you’ll want to talk about.

I hope you enjoy it and I’ll see you in October for another choice.

(Please note the book cover in the picture is of the proof and not the final on-sale cover).

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

 

No where to be

No one to see

Just me…

No makeup on
Fashion pressure gone

Just me….

Lines that tell my story
Hair in all its boat glory

Just me….

Reflective of life
Including past strife

Just me

It’s written all over my face
I’m in my happy place

Me ❤️
Poem by Me 🥰

x

In today’s BRAND NEW half hour class released today onto my website (to do at your leisure) I focus on the abdominals.

(You do need to be a member to watch this class of course – and you can join here: jotuffrey.com)

I hope you have enjoyed it or enjoy it when you do it.. I love filming outside especially with all the wildlife that comes and says hello 🦢🦢🦜🦜🐝🐝🦋🦋🦆🦆

If you’re not already a member, I wanted to show you a few core exercises to challenge your abs that you could pop into a little circuit.

Try 30 seconds of each and 3 rounds ❤️

💥Half roll backs with an oblique twist

Half roll back with an oblique twist

💥Basic curl up

Basic curl up
💥Oblique cross cross

Oblique cross cross
💥Half roll back with double open toe tap

Half roll back with double open toe tap
💥Hip dips

Hip dips
💥My jujji

The Jo Tuffrey Jujii
💥Kneeling lateral flexion.

Kneeling lateral flexion

And remember…

A strong centre is so important as it can
💥stabilise your lower back
💥improve balance
💥improve co ordination
💥improves posture
💥enhance everyday activities

You can watch the whole circuit and on my Instagram channel here:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CfHdn-ZtjWZ/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY%3D

Enjoy ❤️

x

Balance is a key component of fitness, along with strength, endurance and flexibility particularly as we get older 🥰

Want to improve your balance? Try balancing on one leg when you brush your teeth.. 🦷 🪥


Balance is a key component of fitness, along with strength, endurance and flexibility particularly as we get older 🥰

Balance training is an excellent way to help the body recognise where it is in space and to help control movements in space. With increased proprioception the body is able to produce smooth, controlled movements with a lower risk of injury.

It is an extremely important as we get older and as we go through hormone changes to prevent falls and to improve postural stability.

Whenever I teach a balance class I know eyebrows raise as I realise it’s a ‘marmite’ class! However, like I always say … like horrible tasting medicine we might not like taking it but we know ultimately it’s good for us!

Try balancing on your right leg when you do your top set and balance on your left leg when you do your bottom set 😃

This is such a great way to challenge your balance and to put into your everyday routine 🙌

So let’s get balancing 🥰

x

It’s time to bring you our regular meditation, courtesy of Amanda Penalver.

Amanda is a meditation expert and founder of True Rest®. Her work is devoted to challenging, inspiring & motivating her clients to live a more growth-full, rich & deeply fulfilling life.

Amanda offers True Rest classes & guided meditations to uplift, restore, replenish & re-energise you to live on purpose, fully awake, fully embodied & deeply connected.

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“True Transformation” –  meditation

Take a deep dive into the medicine of inner peace within yourself.

Experience the true transformation that the simple practice of Yoga Nidra offers.

Transform a tired, exhausted body into one that is rested, renewed, and restored.

Transform a busy, wired mind into one that is calm, soothed, and at ease.

Transform a state of disconnection and anxiety to one of deep connection, groundedness & peace.

This is a recording of a live class on 28/4/22.

Find out more about Amanda’s brilliant work at mandypenalver.com

 

 

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

_____________

Allow me to introduce you to a character and a book that I am certain you are going to fall absolutely in love with. It is my favourite read of the year so far and once I finished it I had to make a little space on my favourites shelf for it straight away. Yes it is that good!

The character is Elizabeth Zott and the book is Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus which is out now in hardback.

Set in the early 1960s, Elizabeth, who is a brilliant Chemist, finds herself surrounded by men whose attitudes towards equality are very much of the time. Apart from Calvin Evans, a lonely, brilliant Nobel Prize nominated scientist who falls in love with Elizabeth and… well let’s just say there’s a real chemistry between them.

A few years later, after a series of events Elizabeth finds herself a single mother and the reluctant star of America’s most loved cooking show; Supper at Six. Elizabeth being Elizabeth takes on this role but does it in her way and she starts to teach women not only how to cook but that they can be the ones to change the status quo!

Honestly you are in for such a treat. The cast of characters are all amazing – just wait until you meet Six Thirty – one of my favourite characters ever. Elizabeth is amazing, if you asked me to liken her to another character I’d have to say you can’t, she is one of a kind.

Since finishing this book I frequently find myself asking myself “what would Elizabeth do?” She really is so inspirational.

I was lucky enough to meet the author Bonnie Garmus, who is incredible and if you get the chance to go to an even that she is speaking at jump at the chance because the story behind this book is equally brilliant.

There are is so much in this book and Bonnie tackles some really big topics. (There are some trigger warnings for this which you can always find on the brilliant app Storygraph). I cried and I laughed, there are some really moving parts but it left me feeling hopeful and happy and I think about it all the time.

Lessons in Chemistry is an incredible debut and its about to get bigger as it is being made into a series and filming starts in a few months, with an incredible cast, so please make sure you read it before you watch it.

Before I sign off for the month I want to leave you one of my favourite pieces of advice from Elizabeth (she has lots, it is such a quotable book), but I just love this one.

“When you wake up tomorrow, make this pledge. No more holding yourself back.” – Elizabeth Zott

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

 

This morning I posted this picture on my Instagram account (you are welcome to follow me there!)

I was still wearing my pyjama bottoms and looking tired, because it took all of my willpower to drag myself out of bed to do one of my classes online … believe me, I procrastinated for a VERY long time.🤔

I’ve pasted it below for you too – so that you can feel my pain!

So many of you got in touch re this picture and so it got me thinking 🤔

It’s SO normal to have those inner battles of should I, or shouldn’t I, when it comes to doing exercise – I do all the time!

Somedays the thought of doing exercise will infinitely be harder than others. Sometimes the last thing we want to do is work out but, as I always say if you just press ‘play’, or put your shoes on, walk out the door to go and do your exercise … that’s the hardest part done.

“The sense of accomplishment, both physically and mentally after having done a little bit of exercise far outways the indecision of maybe not doing it!🥰”

I soooooooooo didn’t want to work out this morning (even to one of my own workouts!) but I’m so glad I did, as my inner voice for the rest of the day has been proud, rather than my inner voice berating me for the rest of the day for not having done it!!

BUT – even on the days when we don’t do the exercise we set ourselves, accept that’s ok too – as tomorrow is another day!

So, all I want to say is that it’s normal to have that inner devil voice telling you not to do it!!!

We all do….Don’t beat yourself up!!!

Jo ❤️

It’s time to bring you our regular meditation, courtesy of Amanda Penalver.

Amanda is a meditation expert and founder of True Rest®. Her work is devoted to challenging, inspiring & motivating her clients to live a more growth-full, rich & deeply fulfilling life.

Amanda offers True Rest classes & guided meditations to uplift, restore, replenish & re-energise you to live on purpose, fully awake, fully embodied & deeply connected.

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“Peaceful pause” –  meditation

Take a deep dive into the medicine of inner peace within yourself.

This yoga nidra style meditation starts with a quote by Thich Nhat Hahn and finishes with his peace chant ‘The End of Suffering’.

This is a live class from March 10th, 2022.

Good for sleep, anxiety & stress.

Find out more about Amanda’s brilliant work at mandypenalver.com