fiftysisterblog

  • Butternut squash & yellow split pea dahl

    A rainy day in Algarve, so lets make a dahl. You can hear the rain in the background, my feet were soaked as I filmed next to the open door for optimum natural light.

    For my dahl, I like to cook the veggies separately in the airfryer because they require less oil and they can be roasting on a high heat (check regularly) whilst I get on with the rest of the dish.

    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/nqaJMdnneEw

    I also cook the split yellow peas separately, as I cook extra to use in other recipes. Once cooked, I keep surplus peas in the freezer in a bag.

    Slice onion and butternut squash, drizzle over mustard oil, and roast on baking paper in airfryer for 20minutes on 200°C

    Dahl ingredients

    • 1 large red onion – sliced
    • 4 garlic cloves – crushed
    • 1 thumb ginger – grated
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon black onion seeds
    • 2 tablespoons garam masala
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 small butternut squash – cubed
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon veg stock powder or stock cube
    • 1 tablespoon mustard or coconut oil
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • 1 tablespoon tomato puree.
    • 2 cups cooked yellow split peas
    • 4 plum tomatoes chopped
    • 1 can coconut milk
    • Pinch sea salt
    • To decorate
    • 1 diced mango
    • Coriander or chives

    In a pan, put black onion seeds, grated ginger, crushed garlic, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, garam masala with a teaspoon of oil. Warm gently to release the flavours, it’s important not to burn the spices or the garlic. Add the tomatoes, turmeric, tomato paste, garlic powder, veg stock and salt. Cook for a few minutes before adding a cup of water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the cooked yellow peas, roasted veg and the can of coconut milk. Gently heat again to simmer then its ready!

  • Leek and pear soup

    Leek and pear soup is simple, quick and exceptionally tasty. I’ve used asian flavours, which go perfectly for this sweet and sour soup.

    The only way you can ruin this leek and pear soup is by adding too much salt or soy, or by burning the veg so avoid adding too much extra salt, and ensure veg is gently fried on a medium heat. It needs to be soft so that the pear is very soft and coating the veg. The sweetness from the pear balances the salt from the soy, stock cube and salt. . Note that you should add the sesame oil at the end when serving, as this oil is best for flavour, not for cooking. Add the vinegar at the end too, because we don’t want it to evaporate.  

    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/sSRBQwJveiw

    Leek and pear soup ingredients

    • 1 teaspoon Hatcho miso (any miso will do)
    • 1 veg stock cube
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 or 2 star anise
    • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
    • 1 grated or crushed garlic clove
    • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
    • Black & white pepper – at least a pinch
    • 1 small leek
    • 1 pear
    • 1 stick celery
    • 4 scallions/spring onions
    • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
    • Pinch of Piri Piri salt – or standard sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
    • Chives or coriander/cilantro

    Soup base – stock

    Grate the ginger (I keep the root in my freezer) and the garlic. Put the garlic, ginger, veg stock cube, bay leaf, miso, soy sauce, black & white pepper, star anise in a saucepan with roughly 3 cups of boiling water. Leave to simmer whilst prepping the veg.

    Leek and pear prep

    Chop the leek, pear, celery & spring onions/scallions. Gently fry with 1 teaspoon coconut oil and a pinch of chilli or normal sea salt flakes. Cook until soft. Pour the stock onto the softened (not browned) veg & pear mixture. Add rice vinegar and sesame oil. Serve with fresh herbs or your choice.

    Saucepans – 1 or 2 it’s up to you.

    You could cook this is one pan, however, I like the stock to have a head start for the flavours to develop whilst I am prepping the veg.

    Fussy eaters

    If you have fussy eaters in the house, remove the star anise and bay leaf then liquidise the soup. Works for my husband every time – he thinks he doesn’t like leeks!

  • Bean Kofta

    Black bean kofta – full of protein and flavour.

    Before becoming fully plant based, I had been vegetarian on and off for 30 years. I had recreated recipes from all over the world in my kitchen in Devon. To say my husband was a little bit upset at the thought of never eating my Chinese BBQ pork or beef kofta is an understatement. So here we are 8 years later, fully plant based, recreating all our favourite recipes but using only plants.

    For my videos I cut and blend most things by hand so there’s no excuses of ‘oh I don’t have a food processor’.  All appliances are different, so cooking times my differ.

    Today I am using black beans – mainly for the colour, but you can use any beans you prefer.

    For the flat bread

    • 1 cup flour
    • Half teaspoon salt
    • Half teaspoon turmeric
    • Half teaspoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • Coconut milk to bind into a dough.

    I don’t give exact measurements for the coconut milk as it will depend on the flour you use and what your environment is like. Start with a quarter cup of coconut milk, mix and add little by little until you get a stiff dough.

    Divide into 6, roll into balls and then into desired flatbread shape with a rolling pin. Heat a frying pan – NO OIL. Dry fry one side (about 1 minute) and then flip over.

    Bean kofta

    https://youtube.com/shorts/FvJLWaa91V0?feature=share
    • 1 cup black beans
    • Half stick celery
    • 1 scallion or chalotte or 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • Half a sweet pepper
    • Fresh herbs (I’m using lemon thyme and chives but recommend using cilantro/coriander)
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or chopped fresh garlic
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • Pinch of chilli powder
    • Half teaspoon cinnamon
    • Black pepper and sea salt

    Finely chop the fresh herbs and veg. Add the beans in a bowl along with all other ingredients. Use something to squish the mixture into a paste – could be a glass, jar, rolling pin.

    Shape into 4 sausages/koftas and drizzle with olive oil. I also threw on some sliced onions. Place in the airfryer or oven on a high heat for 10-15 minutes. I used an airfryer on 180° for 15 minutes, turning once.

    For the parsnip chips

    Finely slice 2 parsnips, sprinkle on 1 teaspoon paprika, good pinch of sea salt, drizzle over olive oil. Toss the parsnips to ensure they are coated before cooking. Cook in oven/airfryer on 175°C for 10 minutes and check. How long you cook them depends on how crunchy you like them.

    To serve, squish the kofta onto the flatbread, add homemade tomato sauce, fried onions, fresh herbs like mint/coriander and some scallions/chives. Tahini is essential for me, although my husband prefers mayo. I mix 1 tablespoon tahini with the juice of one lemon and pinch of sea salt.

    I make my recipes up as I go, depending on what fresh ingredients and spices I have on hand. Don’t be afraid to experiment, generally, the only way you can ruin a dish is by adding too much salt or hot spice.

    Have a beautiful day!

  • Minestrone soup

    Minestrone soup is absolutely one of my favourite soups. The most important ingredient for my recipe, is the Hatcho Miso which replaces beef stock to provide an outstanding depth of flavour.

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    You can use any veg you prefer, but today I used; chives, leeks, spring onions/scallions, red cabbage and carrots. Use any pasta you like, but I prefer to use broken spaghetti and add it at the start of cooking so that I know when the soup is ready, because the spaghetti is cooked.

    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/6wb3f9EeXII

    My measurements are approximate as I don’t measure anything. The only mistake you can make when cooking is to add too much salt, sugar, spice or sourness. If you are using a stock cube, ensure its dissolved before adding any additional salt.

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    Minestrone soup ingredients

    • 1 cup chopped carrots
    • 1 cup chopped red cabbage
    • 1 cup chopped leeks
    • Half cup chopped spring onions/scallions
    • 1 handful chopped chives
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 veggie stock cube
    • 1 bay leaf
    • Black and white pepper
    • Half teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon Hatcha Miso paste
    • Half cup broken spaghetti
    • Extra sea salt if needed.

    Place pan on medium heat and add olive oil to the pan. Add all ingredients and cover with boiling water. Simmer until pasta is cooked. The soup will thicken slightly from the flour in the pasta. Taste before adding extra salt. If I am making a big pan I will add two stock cubes.

    Thanks for stopping by, have a beautiful day!

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  • Veg fritters with tahini and fresh lime sauce

    I make these veg fritters often when I want to use up fresh veg. It’s a simple batter of chickpea flour (gram flour) salt, pepper and mixed seeds. Use whatever veg you have on hand, and season it how you like it.

    If you can’t easily buy chickpea flour, you can either grind your own flour using a high-speed blender, or use a different flour. Lentil flour is a good option, but don’t use coconut flour as it won’t hold together.

    Veg fritters ingredients

    • 1 cup chickpea flour
    • 1 tablespoon mixed seeds
    • Pinch salt
    • Black and white pepper (as much as you like)
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
    • Enough water to make a sticky paste
    • Cooking oil for frying – coconut oil is a good choice.

    Veg of choice, finely chopped – whatever you like, you could also use apple and pear.

    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/vrCC33VOeiM

    Chop all of the veg into small pieces roughly the same size, you want it all to cook at the same time. In the video I am using spring onions/scallions, chives, carrots, red cabbage and leeks.

    In a small bowl, mix the chickpea flour with the other dry ingredients with a little bit of water, until you make a good paste.

    Stir in the veggies.

    Place spoonful of mixture into frying pan containing a small amount of hot oil. Flip over when browned. Drain on kitchen paper to absorb excess cooking oil.

    Tahini paste recipe.

    The tahini paste is very simple. Use a tablespoon of pure tahini paste straight out of the jar and slowly mix in the juice of 2 limes or lemons. Don’t panic, keep stirring until the juice blends into the paste. Add a little sea salt. You can also add chopped fresh herbs or some spices like cumin, but I like to keep it simple.

    The flavour combinations are endless!

  • Thai green curry with tumeric rice

    Thai green curry is one of our absolute favourite meals when the days start to become a little cooler. I first tried Thai green curry in Bangkok over 22 years ago and was completely smitten. I always say, it would be my last meal on earth, if I had a choice in the matter.

    I live in Portugal, so it’s quite hard to get my hands on all the authentic ingredients like Thai basil and lemongrass. When I lived in the UK I could find everything I needed in most supermarkets. Now I have to take a hour’s drive west to pick up supplies.

    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/UqXRToNqE_M

    Today I have replaced coriander and Thai basil with parsley and chives. A little disappointing for me, but I used what I had available. My husband isn’t too keen on coriander, so another reason to leave it out.

    I served it with turmeric rice. I simply added 1 teaspoon of turmeric to the basmati rice at the start of cooking. The colour is incredible!

    Thai green curry Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 2 cups of mushrooms
    • 2 cans of coconut milk
    • 6 Lime leaves, with the centre vein removed then chopped
    • Half cup cherry tomatoes
    • 2 teaspoons Thai green curry paste
    • 3 spring onions
    • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
    • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
    • 1 teaspoon of coconut palm sugar (brown sugar will do)
    • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or vegan equivalent)
    • 1 vegetable stock cube
    • 3 spring onions/scallions
    • 1 handfull green beans
    • 1 handful of chives and parsley, but I would use coriander and Thai basil instead.

    Prep all veg. Heat coconut oil and add garlic and ginger. Add mushrooms and brown a little. Add curry paste and coconut and stir. Add all other ingredients except the veg. Ensure everything is hot and blended well, then add fresh veg until tender then sprinkle with herbs just before serving.

    This recipe uses a lot of ingredients, but I keep everything I need in my store cupboard for other recipes. I use lots of coconut milk in many recipes, so stock up next time you go to the grocerty store.

    I’m going to post some very simple recipes too, so stay tuned for quick and easy lunch and supper ideas.

    Thanks for stopping by. Have a beautiful day!

  • Autumn soup

    Another way to use all the scrumptious pumpkins – abundant this time of year, is a very simple autumn soup. We buy pumpkins every week, as it’s one of our dog’s favourite veggies.

    Top tip: This can also be used as a a sauce for pasta or gnocchi, maybe add some vegan cream or a little bit of spice.

    In this recipe, I used half a small pumpkin, simmered the flesh in a pan, then drained. For recipe purposes, use 2 cups of cooked pumpkin. You could roast this in an air fryer if you prefer, I would cook on 175C for 20 minutes.

    In a terracotta bowl, I roasted (in the air fryer) red onions, crushed garlic cloves, red bell pepper, rosemary, cherry tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil. I like the depth of flavour achieved by roasting, but you could fry the ingredients instead. It’s important to brown the onions and soften the garlic for amazing flavour.

    Autumn soup ingredients

    2 cups cooked pumpkin
    2 cups of coconut milk
    1 cup cherry tomatoes
    1 pinch sea salt flakes
    1 red bell pepper
    1 red onion
    1 sprig rosemary
    3 crushed cloves of garlic
    1 handful chopped chives
    1 handful chopped parsley
    1tsp sweet smoked paprika
    Half tsp turmeric
    Half tsp white pepper
    Half teaspoon black pepper
    1 vegetable stock cube

    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/GwPueDcnxyk

    I then blitzed all ingredients in the blender to my preferred consistency. The key for me is to hide as many veg as I can from my husband, who thinks vegetables are the work of the devil.

    All my quantities are approximate as I don’t measure anything. The only time precise measurements are important, is when baking. The only way you could mess up this recipe is by adding too much salt. I added a sprinkle of sea salt flakes to the roasting veg, then I added a veggie stock cube (which also contains salt) to the blender. It didn’t need any more seasoning.

    Add whatever herbs you prefer. Cooking should be fun and not stressful, it’s very difficult to mess up a bowl of soup. Maybe make it spicy by adding some chilli powder!

    I ate this for lunch with a homemade turmeric and pumpkin seed scone. I will make a video about scones soon but the basic recipe is:

    • 1 cup of self raising flour
    • half teaspoon baking powder
    • Quarter cup of vegan butter
    • Quarter cup of vegan milk (or enough milk to make a soft dough)
    • Half teaspoon tumeric
    • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds.

    Makes 3 medium sized scones. I served with vegan butter and a sprinkle of toasted nuts and seeds on top.

    I will now fast until 8am tomorrow morning. Don’t be fooled by how small this meal of autumn soup and a scone is. It’s full of plant fibre and will keep my belly happy until tomorrow morning.

    Thanks for stopping by, check back weekly for new recipes.

    Gail x

  • Ice spiced pumpkin latte and scones

    I needed a spiced pumpkin latte today, and the only way I was going to get one, is if I made it myself! There’s an abundance of pumpkins at the local market, so today I thought I’d make some pumpkin purée to freeze in ice cube trays, for when I fancy a spiced pumpkin milkshake or latte.

    I roasted half of a small pumpkin in the airfryer for 20 minutes on 170°C. I then covered it and let it cool, so I could easily remove the skin.

    In a blender I added the skinned pumpkin, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, pinch of sea salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Off camera (pressed the wrong button with my sticky fingers) I added a tablespoon of peanut butter, quarter cup of plant milk and quarter cup of Veganbloc butter.

    *You may wish to add more syrup. I don’t like mine too sweet.

    https://youtube.com/shorts/8KcMbWHEVPU?feature=share

    For the scones I used;

    • 1 cup self raising flour
    • Quarter cup of Veganbloc butter
    • Half teaspoon turmeric
    • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
    • Half teaspoon baking powder
    • Enough plant milk to make into soft dough.

    Baked in airfryer for 13 minutes on 170°C turned them over for another 3 minutes.

    Lots of noise going on in the background with the washing machine and airfryer whirring away next to me. I only have a tiny kitchen in this rental property. I look forward to having a proper kitchen again one day.

    I hope you like this recipe – I’m so happy to have a supply of spiced pumpkin purée on standby.

    Gail x

    #pumpkinseason#pumpkinspice#pumpkinspice#wholefoodplantbased#veganeats#wholefoods#veggie#vegan#homecooking#homecooked#fastingfood#IntermittentFasting#midlifemakeover#menopausehealth#loseweightforgood#menopauseweightloss#loseweightfeelgreat#womenover50#healthyageing#veganrecipes

  • Gnocchi (Italian potato dumplings) with walnut sauce

    For lunch today, I made gnocchi with walnut sauce. I’m starting over with my food blog as I’ve been inundated with requests for recipes and meal ideas. I’ve been working on ways to encourage everyone to eat more plants and to consider trying intermittent fasting.

    I post on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube in an effort to spread the word about the benefits of eating only plants.

    My short videos will be linked to YouTube as it’s the best website friendly format for my blog, but you will also find my videos on the usual social media channels.

    https://youtube.com/shorts/am8npvYSfPI?feature=share

    I’m playing around with video formats… what do you think of this style for vegan meal inspiration? I’ve used birdsong as a background sound, (rather than music) which I captured on one of my early morning walks in spring. I find it very calming.

    For lunch today, I made gnocchi with walnut sauce. Tip: Use equal amounts flour to potato (doesn’t have to be exact).

    Gnocchi:
    2 potatoes boiled in their skins
    (Remove skins after cooking)
    2 cups wheat flour
    Salt, black and white pepper.

    Sauce:
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 crushed garlic cloves
    1 cup walnuts
    Fresh lemon thyme
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 veggie stock cube
    Half cup of soya cream
    Black and white pepper.

    I didn’t add extra salt in the sauce as I used a vegetable stock cube (which contains salt).
    I hope this inspires you to eat more veggies. This made enough to feed 4 – 5 people. Potatoes cost €1, soya cream 80cents, walnuts €1.50 I served with leeks sautéed in veganbloc, and a salad of sliced cherry tomatoes, pinch of sea salt, chopped parsley & mint plus a drizzle of olive oil.

    Stay tuned for more detailed posts in the furture, I’m desperately trying to find a way of streamlining my content as it takes up lots of my time, and it’s only me doing everything.

    I hope you enjoy my video. We both scored this meal 10/10.

    Gail x

    VeganFood #plantbased #plantbaseddiet #dairyfree #menopauseweightloss #wholefoodnutrition #fooddiary #whatiatetoday #veganmeals #healthylifestyle #eatyourveggies #eatyourgreens #weightlossjourney #weightlossfood #eatwell #veganeats #microbiome #microbiomehealth

  • The insane benefits of fasting and food you need to stop eating.

    I watched this on YouTube last night, the insane benefits of fasting & foods you need to stop eating. It’s quite long at 1hr 47minutes but I guarantee it’s a good use of your time.

    https://youtu.be/Yg6UhhV_K1s

    Watch the video to the end, or listen to it as it’s just doctors chatting, no graphics or anything visual to miss. It’s also available as a podcast.

    Check out my JUMP30 challenge by clicking here.

    Testing out those insane benefits of fasting for myself.

    Today is my first 24 hour fast. Since last November I have decreased my food intake substantially. Switching from three meals per day to two. I lost 14lbs and now my weight has plateaued at 10stone 4lbs – 144lbs and I know I have more blubber to shed. It’s time to take the next step and only eat once per day. It’s not forever, only until I get as lean as I’d like to be. I’m eating one meal per day at least five days per week for one month to check out the effects on my body.

    Never stop trying!

    I sleep seven hours per night, I drink lots of water, I eat plant based whole food and I try to control my stress levels. Last year was tough for me, watching what was being reported on the news, but seeing a totally different view via livestreaming on other platforms. I couldn’t understand what the hell was going on. I had to step away from all social media to find a peaceful place and my true self again.

    I like motivating other women to enjoy ageing, and sharing videos and information that I find helpful.

    I will post more about fasting soon so stay tuned.

    Thanks for stopping by…have a beautiful day.

    Gail x

  • Just lucky?

    I guess I’m just lucky…..? I get a lot of comments and direct messages telling me how lucky I am that I am not overweight. The truth is I have been in battle with my weight my whole life. I have found the correct balance of calories in, exercise and levels of meds for my underactive thyroid, to finally be within an ideal weight range and feel good.

    https://www.tiktok.com/@fiftysister/video/7073482821108616453?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7075739995122796038

    Times have changed

    I know that times have changed and to be plus size is to be celebrated. What a difference that would have made, to how I felt about my body growing up…but, how we move and nourish our bodies will show more as we age. It seems everyone accepts that to be old, means to be overweight. Maybe that’s true, but I want to be fit and mobile for as long as possible. Keeping my weight in check and giving my body every vitamin and mineral it needs to continue to flourish is paramount.

    Just lucky or good genes?

    ‘You have good genes’ people say. That’s an interesting comment when they haven’t seen my family members ahead of me in the ageing process. My grandma was overweight but very active. She loved fatty roast lamb, cheese and butter. She lived into her 80’s and was active until she suffered a stroke. My mother is active, always making something or in the garden. She’s carrying some extra weight (sorry Mum!) and I wouldn’t describe her as slim or fit. Nobody in my family, except one cousin exercises regularly. He’s 56 and still completes in Iron Man challenges. I guess he’s lucky too 😉

    Sugar Daddy

    My husband is slim, but is addicted to sugar. I bore myself nagging him most days to stop eating white flour foods, laden with fat and sugar. I stop for a few days, as I am sick of my own voice, but I care enough about him to continue nagging him.

    Hypoparathyroidism

    I have an underactive thyroid, and even though I tried starving myself to keep my weight down, it made zero impact on the scales. I know that other meds such as steroids have an effect on our energy and size. Ensure you eat natural unprocessed foods like fruit, veg, nuts, seeds and beans, keep your health in check and seek medical advice if you are lacking energy or gaining weight without reason.

    Be fat, be thin, be lazy, be fit, it’s our choice, but I don’t think genetics has much to do with it. What we eat and how much we move is what determines how ‘lucky’ we are. I have used myfitnesspal a lot to keep a check on my weight and to detemine how many calories and the amount of exercise I need to maintain my weight. It’s a very useful free tool.

    To get in touch click here. Thanks for stopping by, have a beautiful day.

    Gail x

  • Pet portrait

    Custom Pet Portrait

    I do love a good custom pet portrait! I wanted to create an adorable and more interesting way of capturing my dog’s personality. So I played around on my computer for a few weeks and created a colourful snazzy and fun style of pet portrait. As I don’t have a TV, I spend my evenings doing lots of different creative things and learning new skills. One of those new skills is bright and beautiful funky pet portraits.

    pet portrait
    Stanley the Cairn Terrier.

    All I need is a good clear photo, the name of your dog and what colour background colour you prefer. I charge £30 per portrait, which will be delivered to you via digital print file, size 6000 x 6000 pixels. Large enough to print out as a high quality poster. Lead time is currently running at one week. Please get in touch if you are interested. I donate 10% from each portrait to an animal charity.  

    Bespoke pet portrait by FiftySister
    Faith the Hungarian Vizsla

    Above is Stanley the Cairn Terrier and Faith the Hungarian Vizsla. Drop me a line to get in touch by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by today, have a beautiful day.

    Gail x

  • Zero to one thousand jumps!

    So how am I progressing on my 30 day, zero to one thousand jumps challenge? The first few days were really tough. I immediately regretted saying my target was 1000 jumps within 30 days. I thought I was fitter than I really was. Sure, I can walk for miles, but the terrain here is very flat. Completely different from the steep hills of south Devon in the UK.

    https://www.tiktok.com/@fiftysister/video/7072332300754668805?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id7069503273820587526

    Gotta keep going!

    After day two, I called my son and told him there was no way I could reach 1000, it was impossible. He told me to just keep going. To begin with, the idea of skipping a set of 100 without stopping seemed like an unreachable goal, but within one week I was doing sets of 100 and my recovery breaks were getting shorter and shorter.

    Dope Ropes with FiftySister
    Use discount code FIFTYSISTER on Dope Ropes website. This is my preferred jump rope from DOPE ROPES for speed.

    Work in progress.

    I am still not completely happy with the length of my rope. The issue I have is, that my husband and son (who is here on vacation) both use the rope, and they are much taller than me. Maybe I will have to buy them one each, so I can keep my rope at the correct length for me.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvswRmPI7_E
    This is one of my favourite jump rope workout music videos on YouTube.

    Day Eighteen

    Today is day eighteen, and I’ve just completed another 1000 jumps. I’ve timed my jumps per minute and I’m averaging 130. So, let’s say 2 skips/jumps per second. If I can jump rope for 10 minutes, I’m going to be around the 1200 mark. Ten minutes of exercise is not a lot. But if I do it every day, in the morning and the evening, its 20 minutes of cardio I wasn’t doing before. I am going to finish the month on one set of 1000 jumps per day. Then I will work on doing it twice per day, and then even work up to 15 minutes twice per day.

    Jump 30 progress
    Jump 30 progress

    Jumping makes me smile.

    Finally, I have found an exercise that I really enjoy. It doesn’t need any special equipment – apart from a rope and a good pair of sneakers…oh and of course a sports bra. There are lots of benefits to skipping click here to read them.

    A big thank you.

    I am so happy I started this zero to one thousand jumps challenge. I’ve made lots of lovely new connections on social media. To all the amazing women around the world who are joining with this challenge, ‘thank you’.  It was my mission to inspire other women to start moving, pick up their ropes (hidden in closets) and start getting fit again. It really is never too late.

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    Downloadable guide for zero to one thousand jumps coming soon.

    Lots of people have asked so I have set to work writing ebooks/guides. I am in the process of writing some downloadable guides for ;fasting, a plant based diet, and getting started with jump rope. I will let you know once they are ready to purchase.

    Available in lots of colours from my online store. Click here to view.

    New FiftySister athletic range – great for my zero to one thousand jumps.

    I’ve been designing leggings and cycling shorts – which are perfect for jump rope and uploading them to my online store. I’m going to order some for myself, but which colour to choose…? I want them all.

    Thanks for stopping by, have a beautiful day.

    Gail x

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  • Humans are strange creatures

    I often think about the way society treats (in particular) ageing women. Humans are strange creatures, we all want to live a long life but nobody looks forward to getting old. click the link to follow me on: TikTok https://www.tiktok.com/@fiftysister or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/fiftysister

    https://www.tiktok.com/@fiftysister/video/7073067948264393990?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id7069503273820587526

    Why the change in video style?

    I wanted to try something new today as I find choosing a music track for a video quite time consuming and frustrating.

    I really enjoy writing, but not everyone knows about my words or my blog. I thought I’d combine my love of making short videos, with my love of writing and so here’s my first attempt, I hope you like it.

    Makeup for today.

    Today’s cruelty free makeup;

    • Foundation is Amazonian Clay, colour =light medium sand – from Tarte Cosmetics.
    • Highlighter, blue eyeshadow and coral coloured blush from Revolution Pro Palette.
    • Mascara, bronzer, grey eyebrow pencil and liquid lipstick is ‘Dash” from MUA Cosmetics.
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    Humans are strange creatures, but I know I’m not alone in my way of thinking, to be truly grateful to be gaining wrinkles and ageing everyday. If this happens to be a popular format, I will make more.

    It didn’t take long!

    Already I’ve received messages and comments telling me I look 64 or more. Why does it matter how old I look? Is it meant as an insult? I don’t think it’s an insult at all. We have been programmed through social media and movies etc, to believe that the images we see are women in real life. I don’t use a filter, and I wish I could upload a video which plays at the same quality as I upload it. Both Instagram Reels and TikTok downgrade the quality which appears to blur my skin somewhat. I find that really frustrating

    Thanks for stopping by. Have a beautiful day!

    Gail x

    If you want to get in touch click here.

  • T shirts are coming back!

    Happy to tell you that my full range of designs of t shirts (and more!) are coming back online. Sadly, I had to change suppliers for my T shirts as UK shipments incur a huge import tax for European buyers. For example, in Portugal, there’s a +20% import tax, +23% VAT. My customers were very unhappy as you can imagine and asked me for a solution.

    https://www.tiktok.com/@fiftysister/video/7071227977199127813?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id7069503273820587526

    It’s such a pity, but rather than continue to brood over it I have started working with another print on demand supplier. All that work lost, but I can’t give up, it’s not in my nature (annoying sometimes!). The upside is that I am able to offer more products such as phone cases, cushions, mugs and lots lots more. Every cloud has a silver lining so they say.

    This design is called ‘Lovesick’ and it’s my absolute fave!

    I joined TikTok to see what all the fuss was about. I posted a few videos, got freaked out by the number of followers and comments within such a short period of time, so started deleting my videos and removing followers. ‘Crazy woman!’ I hear you cry. I guess I panicked at the thought of more communication from another platform. After cutting myself off from all social media for a while, coupled with the fact I don’t have or watch TV, I found myself at a loose end when I wanted to take a break from thinking too much. That’s where TikTok came back on the scene.

    My son told me not to download it, he told me not to start scrolling, but it’s so difficult because it’s so addictive. TikTok learns what your interests are at lightning speed, so it knows how to keep you hooked. I set a limit to how much time I spend on there and have to be strict with it, because before you know it, its 1 o’clock in the morning, and I’m still sat in the same position I was, 2 hours ago.

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    Anyway, take a look at TikTok, there’s plenty of older women on there. I like that the caption space is limited so I am not able to waffle on with my writing there. It’s for short videos, that’s it. I’ve found some great tips and content that I wouldn’t find on YouTube, Instagram or Facebook. Far too much censoring on those platforms for my liking.

    I will post videos on TikTok, some of those videos on Instagram, photos on Instagram and all of it on my blog. So, if you are tired of looking for my content, my blog is where you will find it in one place.

    This t shirt is one of my husband’s favourites of mine. He loves the combo of the pink kiss with the green t shirt. You can buy it on my store, (available in lots of colours) along with many other merch with the same design. It’s just me here at FiftySister HQ. Trying to make this blog pay for itself in one way or another. I want to design more, also why I have a poster store with my digital art (ginandbird.com) but I need to re-stock my T shirt store first. Closing down the store with the other company was so easy. Two clicks and poof! It was gone….so many hours down the drain!

    I have a discount code for the whole of March, use code MARCH22 at the checkout for 10% off.

    Thanks for stopping by, have a beautiful day.

    Gail x

  • Life after 50

    Life after 50

    Curious about life after 50? I started FiftySister for myself primarily, somewhere to write down my thoughts about ageing and life after 50. Creating content for this blog and social media channels is a lot of effort, but I really enjoy writing and taking photos for other women. After all, that’s where I started my journey, spending time online, seeking out new ideas and inspiration to make the most of my life after 50. Being over 50 isn’t all Tena lady and support pants, there’s a lot more on offer to women of every age, in fact, it seems that age is no limit at all to some women.

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    Ask the Doctor

    I’ve told this story before but if you are new here its’ definitely worth reading on… I met a doctor who looked after senior patients, he was in his 70’s himself. I asked him “What’s the number one thing you have learned from working with elderly patients?” He didn’t hesitate with his response. ‘People who thought they were old, acted old and expected to get sick. They didn’t take care of their health or exercise. They had resigned themselves to illness and early death and therefore decided there’s no point limiting their intake of food or alcohol,  they’d spend all day watching TV, eating crap without limits. Those who didn’t think about the number on the scoreboard (their age) continued to live their life as though it would never end. They took care of their health by limiting alcohol, exercising daily and eating lots of the good stuff, like colourful fruit and veggies’. “Did it make a difference to their final years or health?” I asked. With a hearty laugh, he boomed ‘Of course! The ones who looked after their bodies for the long term, lived longer and weren’t so sick. They didn’t expect or want to be sick, so when they showed signs of illness, they took action immediately’.

    These are the Doctor’s words, not mine. This conversation happened on my 50th birthday. Those words have stayed with me to this day.

    What are you worth?

    What are women over 50 worth to companies who market on social media? To many companies, our demographic is strangely worth less than that of younger women. Which is surprising, as we have time to shop and money to spend. Recently a hair care company contacted me, asking me if I would make videos and posts for them in return for a free bottle of shampoo. My response – “Do you think I can pay my electric bill with shampoo?”  – ‘What?’ – was the reply of the hair care company. “Well, you are asking me to perform like a monkey for a banana or a handful of nuts.  My work is worth more than a banana, so unless energy companies start accepting bananas or shampoo instead of money, I am going to happily decline your ungenerous offer”. From my own experience, if I work for free, that’s what a non fee paying customer’s value of my time is. Nothing. Zero. Not even a banana.

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    There’s no magic pill.

    I’m worth more than that. Even though I’m quite partial to a banana. I value my time, so I will never work again for free.  I also value my time on earth and I know there’s no magic pill. I take care of myself by eating lots of plants, nuts, seeds, beans and fruit. I exercise daily, I don’t drink alcohol very often (2 glasses of wine or cider per week) and I spend as much time as possible with my dogs and in nature. I could still get sick of course, but I am doing everything within my power to make that less inevitable. In my head (and heart) I’m still 18. My face isn’t playing along, but I’m completely happy with my wrinkles, age spots and creases. I’ve enjoyed many days outside hiking, swimming and lazing in the sunshine. Laughter lines are to be celebrated. Those happy moments are written on my face for all to see. I hope I get many more belly laughs and lines before I return to, and become part of, mother earth again.

    Thanks for stopping by, have a beautiful day!

    Gail x

    To get in touch click here.

  • Best way to start the day.
    https://www.tiktok.com/@fiftysister/video/7070592228741156101?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id7069503273820587526

    This is the best way to start the day. I’m a morning person and it drives my husband crazy. I babble on at a hundred miles an hour and he just stares into his porridge willing me to STFU!

    I thought I’d share with you my morning routine to make you smile. I’m wearing ‘Lovesick’ by Kat von D bought from from Amazon below.

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    I’ve started making videos again. I really enjoy the creativity of putting it all together. I do everything myself. I learned how to make videos for YouTube, Reels and TikToks from zero complete newbie. I researched taking photos with an iPhone, shooting video, adding sound effects and transitions to building my website. The best way to learn skills is using YouTube. I’ve really enjoyed the process and finally I feel like I have something that looks professional an appealing.

    TikTok videos can be added to my website very easily, so I post on there first and then re-post on Instagram. Instagram doesn’t like you doing this, as TikTok is a competitor with their logo on the video. So I download the TikTok video, edit to remove the audio, rename the file and then upload to Instagram, and add the music again. A bit of a fiddle but I think it helps prevent reels made on TikTok from being hidden.

    Thanks for stopping by. Have a beautiful day.

    Gail x

    To get in touch click here

    #mymorning #morning #morningmotivation #morningvibes #midlifeblogger #silverhair #silversisters #mylife #mylifestyle #jumprope #getfitordietrying #lifeafter50 #midlife #crueltyfreebeauty #veganwoman #getoutofbed #morningperson #veganwomen #veganlife #seniorinspire #matureskin #maturebeauty #middleage

  • Skipping or Jump rope top 10 benefits.

    Skipping or Jump Rope TOP 10 benefits

    I’m discovering that there are many benefits of jump rope skipping from mental health and losing weight to reducing the chances of illness and injury. You can find out more about my JUMP 30 challenge by clicking here. Jumping rope is a great calorie-burner too and most importantly improves cardiovascular health. I’ve outlined the top 10 benefits of skipping rope below.

    Jump rope or skipping?

    In the USA they call it jump rope, in the UK we call it skipping. I’ve combined the wording to jump rope skipping so that everyone can find my page via Google. Let’s go with my top 10 benefits of jump rope skipping!

    1. Increases concentration and gives your internal number counter a work out

    Counting steps whilst coordinating all of your body parts is quite a work out for your brain. Skipping rope can calm your mind as you are distracted from everything else. Intense concentration, full body moving and bouncing in general will create a clear space for your mind. It’s made me very happy and I hope I can continue for the rest of my life.

    2. Jump rope skipping will get your heart pumping to improve heart health

    Jump rope skipping is the best cardio exercise as it rapidly increases your heart rate. I struggled the first three days, but quickly gained stamina with my rest periods becoming shorter as my recovery time got quicker. Jumping can significantly reduce the risk of heart diseases and stroke, especially coupled with a wholefood plant based diet.

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    3. Jump rope skipping improves eye, hand, foot coordination

    The first few days I was totally uncoordinated and felt like giving up, but within four days I improved significantly. Jump rope skipping improves your coordination as there’s a lot to think about such as footwork, counting, arm rotations, all at the same time!

    4. Increases stamina, improves energy levels and decreases fatigue

    The more you sit around on the couch, the less you want to do anything. Equally, the more you jump rope, the more active you will become. Someone once told me that the biggest killer is the couch, I’ll add to that the TV. Switch off the TV and reduce couch time and replace it with jump rope skipping. The more regularly you exercise the more your stamina will increase. Consistent jump rope skipping practice will make you want to bounce daily and can completely banish fatigue.

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    5: Increases joint flexibility and muscle tone

    I have strong legs from hiking, but my arms and shoulders were lacking in any kind of workout and it showed. I didn’t like the marshmallow texture of my upper arms, but I didn’t fancy going to the gym or lifting weights. Jump rope skipping works out shoulders and arms and I’m excited about the possibility of having lovely toned shoulders. Jumping makes your mind focused, gives your body good posture, makes you calm and flexible.

    6. Improve heart health, lung capacity and pulmonary function

    It’s important to give your heart a good workout, but don’t go crazy to begin with, take it slowly with lots of breaks between sets of one hundred. Skipping rope improves blood circulation and breathing, and over time can improve your lung capacity.

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    7. Boosts mental health 

    The past two years have been tough on everyone. Skipping has given me a new challenge to focus on and has significantly reduced my anxiety. Exercise can increase blood circulation to your body and brain and I cannot recommend it enough for anyone suffering with mental health.

    8. Jump rope skipping tones up your wobbly bits!

    Skipping reduces belly fat and this is well documented on YouTube. I was blown away with all of the body transformations. You will see lots of Jump rope body transformation videos from all over the world, men and women of all shapes and sizes seeing an improvement in belly tone. I am excited about this!  I am hoping to tone up my jelly belly a little. My goal isn’t to lose weight as I’ve been working on my ideal weight for the past few months, I just want to build muscle and carry less fat. HIIT – High-intensity interval training exercise can help reduce belly fat without having to go on extreme diets and will of course, strengthen your abdominal muscles.

    How many calories burn in jump rope / skipping? Skipping rope is a full body exercise and can burn approximately 10 – 20 calories per minute. It will strengthen your legs, tone your butt, belly, shoulders and arms. On average, you can burn 200 calories in 10 minutes sessions each day. It is more strenuous than hiking. When I lived in Devon, I hiked up to 34,000 steps per day, on an average day around 22,000 steps. Jump rope has quickly improved my stamina and takes a lot less time than walking 10,000 steps.

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    9. Jump rope skipping strengthens your bones

    From all of the research that I’ve done, I know that skipping rope will give strength to your bones and increase bone density, therefore reducing the chances of osteoporosis. I always bounce and land on both feet to avoid strain on my knees or hips joints.

    10. Improves Your Balance

    A skipping rope workout session takes a great deal of balance and coordination. Jumping daily with your rope will help you improving balance and coordination. As we age this is so important to prevent mis-placed feet which leads to tumbles, falls and broken bones, and we don’t want that.

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    Bonus jump rope skipping benefits!

    11. Improves posture

    Keep your head up and look to the horizon when you jump, your whole body should be aligned. Keep your back straight, knees slightly bent, don’t bounce on your heels (they should be off the floor), arms symmetrical both sides. To begin with you may jump too high until your brain learns the ideal bounce height. Once you get into the rhythm, you will only jump a small distance whilst the rope whips under your feet.

    12. Makes your body tingle and gives an all over glow.

    I feel amazing after a jump rope session with a lovely post-workout glow. I’m excited every day to start skipping. My whole body has been jiggled around and it likes it!

    Click here to get in contact me.

    https://www.tiktok.com/@fiftysister/video/7069859478425947397?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id7069503273820587526
  • Day 3 jump rope journey

    I made it through day 3 of my jump rope journey and challenge I given myself to jump for 30 consecutive days. I’m happier with the format of these posts now, which I will try and keep to 3 minutes or less. It’s amazing how quickly I have improved, which I think is down to the shorter rope. I’m even dreaming about jump rope now!

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    A video came up in my YouTube feed (now it knows my new obsession) and there’s such a thing as a weighted rope – I had no idea! This is definitely something for the future as I progress and build strength in my shoulders.

    https://youtu.be/DOx2SLXtG94

    I plan to take my rope out and about to keep my posts a bit more interesting. I am sure that watching me jump will get boring very quickly, so I will combine cycling with jump rope and some scenery.

    I am using the beaded rope above from DOPE ROPES Use my discount code FIFTYSISTER at the checkout.

    If you are reading this thinking that you’d like to have a go – then just do it! It’s not easy, but it’s very rewarding. I did feel faint today because I need to reorganise my workout to fit with fasting eating pattern. I only eat breakfast and lunch, so I will need to jump rope when I have the most energy. I get out of breath, but that’s to be expected. I take breaks, but get back up and keep going. My target is to take fewer breaks and to keep momentum once I start so that I get into a rhythm.

    Thanks for stopping by today. Have a beautiful day!

    Gail x

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  • Day 2 Jump Rope Journey

    I’m on day 2 of my jump rope journey, to see if I can tone up and build core strength through skipping/jump rope. Skipping (as we call it in the UK) was my major pastime at home and in the playground/school yard. Nothing as posh as a proper jump rope, just a length of green rope left over from my father’s water-ski line.

    https://youtu.be/mP7IL3rfN9o

    It’s not going to be easy!

    I was going to make this video really short, however, I don’t want to make this challenge look easier than it is, because it’s bloody tough! I see young women bouncing all over social media with their jump ropes, like they came out of the womb clutching the jump rope handles, but at 54, it’s pushing me outside of my comfort zone, not to mention trying my patience and giving my heart a much needed work out.

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    There’s hope with a Dope Rope

    Below are the ropes I am using from Dope Ropes, click here to visit their store use discount code FIFTYSISTER on the Dope Ropes website. Today I tried the beaded rope (the one on the right), which was a completely different experience. Dope Ropes got in touch with me to suggest shortening the rope (I was thrilled they made the effort to contact me) however, I feel I still don’t have the correct length of rope, so I’m reluctant to make the cut. Maybe this is something I should have researched before I started this challenge…?!

    Will it be a day, a week, or even a year?

    I’m committed to this challenge for 30 days, then I will assess whether I want to continue for another 11 months. It will be interesting to see what I can achieve as a woman in my mid fifties, who hasn’t skipped since maybe the age of 12. I’m not trying to lose weight, I’m determined to tone up and increase my level of fitness, which has diminished slightly since moving to Portugal. I am already thinking about how I can keep going in the heat of summer – I may need to move indoors to stay cool. I will worry about that if I make it that far.

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    Nobody wants a soggy gusset.

    I am OK in the pelvic floor strength department at the moment, but that can change at any time…all the fun of ageing! I will order some washable pads (like the ones below) which I will throw in the washing machine along with my exercise kit after each workout. These pads create less waste, save you money and catch any spillage, to save you jumping with a soggy gusset. I use a yoga mat for my jump rope workout to cushion my feet from the impact on the terracotta tiles.

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    Stay tuned in for my jump rope journey. If I can do it, anyone can.

    Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a beautiful day.

    Gail x

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