Category Archives: Personal Stuff

Changing My Life With Fitbit Charge 2

Assalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

So it’s been a long, LONG time since I discussed my health and fitness regime on my blog…

Probably because it went down the drain and has been needing a reboot for quite a while so in this post I’m going to talk about my new fitbit charge 2, how fantastic it is, how well it’s worked for me Alhamdulillah and why maybe you should probably think about buying one too.

JUST A CRAZE?

So this fitness fitbit thing has been on my radar for the past year or so, even without a TV or taking much interest in popular culture, some things like this do creep in to my view and attracts my interest, like what’s that? Does it work? Is it worth the cost?

Especially as I keep seeing them increasingly at work, who give them out as one of the prizes for taking part in certain healthy living schemes they promote to make us extra super fit uber productive workers!

But at £120 or there about’s it’s quite an expensive bit of kit, for what is effectively a digital watch if it doesn’t work so I was going to wait and see if seems to be the real deal.

I also thought it wouldn’t help me in my current stage of getting healthy, which is trying to slim down enough so I can get out and jog without too much risk of damaging my knees or getting shin splints.

Then the Mrs went and bought me one as a present…

SO DOES IT WORK?

Short answer is yes… if you stick with it. The concept is not something new, the monitoring of in-comings and outgoings has been around for decades and effectively does the same as MyFitnessPal mobile phone app but much more efficiently as you only need to enter in your in-comings, the daily exercise grind is all entered for you when the phone updates from a bluetooth connection to your fitbit device.

By seeing your steps going up and up, as well as the number of floors you’ve done or minutes exercised etc, it gives you a real sense of getting somewhere, a tamagotchi type buzz of achievement as you hit each target and smash them and keep going onward and upward.

Now if you’re going to cheat, forget to enter in that sneaky burger or chocolate bar you had at lunch, then maybe the fitbit is not for you, but if you’re willing to stick with it then by effectively monitoring you food and exercise you will quickly see where you are going wrong, what habits you need to break and what you need to work on and it’s all available to see on the phone ap or on a PC dashboard.

It even measures your sleep pattern and asks you to enter your water intake each day, these being two areas of health and fitness people often fail to monitor.

RESULTS SO FAR

So results so far, in a month and a half of using the fitbit has been losses of 10lbs, as well as some reasonable gains in muscle mass around my shoulders and arms and corresponding fat losses from my substantial waist and the rest of my body.

If you want an idea of what 10lbs of fat looks like, see the image here, or else weigh out 10lbs of butter as animal fat is about the same mass and size as butter.

The beauty of the fitbit is that it enables you to choose your own exercise regime and then monitor the results, so if you want to push the weights, there is an option for that, if you want to run or jog, an option for that and so on and so on.

Unlike with other health and fitness regimes I’ve tried, there is no where to hide with fitbit, it’s harder to cheat and if you fail you not only see it on the scales but you can see why it is on the app or dashboard.

GOING FORWARD

I can really see myself using this for a long time to come and as I’ve lost weight, I’ve gained energy, as opposed  to feeling drained and lethargic which happens when people only diet and don’t exercise.

Extra energy I’ve been able to put into studying the deen, getting into reading al-Adab al-Mufrad as well as getting into listening to lectures and reading more about my own totally unprofessional interest in psychology.

Given how quickly the fitbit has helped me slim down I can see myself being back in the gym in the matter of the next couple of months, as opposed to 6-9 months which was my previous target and getting on those running machines to target that hard to reach subdermal fatty layers and push myself to my higher goals in gaining and maintaining a more healthy body.

A healthier body has brought me more confidence, a better relationship with my family as I’m not constantly tired, except sometimes in a good post exercise good way and finally restored my confidence in being able to Insha’Allah get my body back into shape whilst I still can given my age.

If you were like me, struggling to know where to start with getting healthy, then fitbit could easily be good for you and if you only gain the benefits I have so far, worth the £120 expenditure.

Assalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

Gingerbeardman

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Jordan Peterson – How to Improve Yourself Right NOW (and Why)

Assalaamu Alaykum,

I have a strange hobby, actually I have a few of them but this one I am discussing today is picking up interesting text books on subjects I know little or nothing about and starting to read, to see how much I can understand and where I don’t understand the topic what I need to learn to get there and doing so.

I am not claiming to be some sort of genius or anything, but it just helps me grow in understanding as a person and I might then read about this subject for a few weeks, months or sometimes longer.

So whilst studying English at college I used to browse the library and from this I developed a casual interest in psychology which unlike many other subjects has stuck with me since.

So no formal training or education, just a passing interest but one which I find often helps me relax from my daily life and also in understanding the world and though sadly it’s something which with marriage I had to slow down with and sometimes stop at times because with marriage, kids, life etc you have to prioritize your time, still it interests me.

My favourite teacher and speaker in this field at the moment is a man called Prof. Jordan Peterson who brings a whole other element to psychology which can often be aloof and distant from the concerns of man’s daily life in that he brings it down to a practical level.

Actually, that’s not really true. He brings the average man or woman up  to a level they can understand basic psychology which is a much better way of teaching and helps you ask important questions about yourself, your life, how you got to where you are and how you can get to where you want to go.

How did this happen and how can I stop it happening again?
How do I improve myself and what is the most efficient method of doing so?
Where do I want to be in x years and how do I get there?

I’ve reached a point in my life myself where these questions are reaching a greater degree of importance, I am conscious of time, that I have to work smart and not just work hard so for a while you’ll probably start seeing more and more posts on psychology and related fields popping up on this blog.

Hope you enjoy this short video and find it as beneficial as I did where Prof. Peterson some practical steps on improving your life, and why you should start doing so right now. Good advice for a natural procrastinator like myself.

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

Gingerbeardman Does Gingerbreadmen

Gingerbeardman does not often bake gingerbreadmen but when he does, they are the best tasting gingerbreadmen around…

Here showing is some of the ‘wonderful’ icing ihram and kaaba inspired design work for our Eid al Adha themed gingerbread biscuits.

Eid Mubarak to you all from Gingerbeardman and family!

Maybe There is a Reason Allah Made Men Forgetful

Assalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

Every man here will sympathise I am sure, unless he has an eidetic memory the frustrations of getting into an argument with his wife, and she can bring up past mistakes in detail whilst he is pretty sure there are some similar good points from his side, but right there and then the details just are not there.

Point and often argument lost in many cases and men in they are wise learn other coping mechanisms to deal with this side of relationships over the years.

My own personal one being not allowing the matters to escalate to that level in the first place because it’s not possible to ‘win’ in such a situation against a woman, even if you come up with the pertinent facts she just changes angle and brings up some related topic, or something totally unrelated until she ‘wins.’

But what if we could remember brothers, what then?

Being a somewhat typical INTJ personality type, I thought I’d come up with a cunning plan to get around my male memory and I did once make a spreadsheet of every thing done in our relationship, good or bad but this included every argument and misdemeanor for about two months in a row.

Not a good idea apparently and it was one of the worse times in our marriage at least from my point of view as I found myself becoming more agitated and not my usual calm self, as each day I would submit the latest entries, and dwell on past problems.

I became more liable to see flaws I would otherwise have not seen, or else let go long before, in the past. Every relatively minor little thing became another bitter addition to the previous few days list of what were really totally minor and petty disagreements.

I’d often become vexed, walking around doing a Mr angry impression with the Mrs not knowing why and often I was more annoyed with an unresolved issue from days or even weeks before I’d read about that morning than I was about the actual thing which was on my mind right then.

So maybe for good reason we are forgetful creatures, perhaps it’s really a good thing, or mostly so.

This old English saying (actually most languages probably have this one) has a lot of truth in it…

“MEN DO NOT FORGIVE, THEY FORGET. WOMEN FORGIVE EVERYTHING BUT NEVER FORGET!”

Whenever I have to listen to a brother or sister discuss the problems in their marriage, men tend to have a few ‘big’ items they just cannot let go off, where as the sisters… the sisters can write long lists sometimes even with dates of every infraction real or imagined most of which the man cannot even remember happening.

In our lives trying to follow Islam brothers need to learn to forgive, struggle and strive to forgive others especially our spouses and sisters need to learn to let things go, if a matter is resolved and in the past don’t keep bringing it up every time you are angry with him.

Psychologists have pondered over the reason why men are more forgetful, and this has been measured and proven to be so but for whatever reason Allah has designed and made us different in this way. I am not sure there is one reason why, but perhaps if men were less forgetful they would not be able to fully function in their overall tole as leaders of the household.

We are made to be forgetful of these little details in arguments and life and if this makes married life run along more smoothly so Alhamdulillah I am grateful to Allah he has made us this way.

Assalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

Gingerbeardman

A Tap On the Shoulder…

Assalaamu Alaykum brothers and sisters,

So turned out I did alright in my interview and it’s been over a month since I started my new job at the call-centre in the evenings.

The location is really, and I mean REALLY convenient for me. Being near my existing work and new home and so save me some mega money in shoe leather and so far I’m enjoying it, or content as possible at least when working.

However one of the more unsettling niggling matters about starting a new job is learning about how different all the processes and procedures in your new role. It seems things just change, sometimes dramatically from company to company even when they’re vaguely in the same business.

So in some customer service roles I’ve worked in, everything right down to the breaks is strictly regimented, even down to having to a time limit on going to the toilet,  in others you are free to come and go as long as the work gets done.

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Multi-faith prayer rooms (used almost exclusively by Muslims) are increasingly common in larger UK businesses

My new job seems to fall somewhere in the middle, but in one respect I have to credit them in that they are very easy when it comes to Salaat, even having a dedicated prayer room and not having to struggle and strive to get this facility and already having it in place is a big blessing.

It makes good business sense for them to do this, probably about 40% of the workforce at least are Muslim and keeping your workers happy is the key to keeping them productive but can you imagine the reward of whichever brothers / sisters it was who asked for this from their workplace?

How they probably needed to push over and over with different managers until finally they succeeded in establishing a room in the workplace so that everyone who came after them including myself earned them more and more good deeds on their scales on the day of judgement?

Saying that… it still shocked me that even though the facility is there, time can be taken for prayers even if it’s not a break time, still some of the brothers and sisters don’t pray.

…Indeed, the prayer is on the believers
prescribed (at) fixed times.
From Surah an-Nisa, 4:103

How lazy do you have to be with your salaat to actually not bother even when allowed by your workplace, they set out a place to make it easy for you and even give you a few minutes off outside of your regular break times?

A TAP ON THE SHOULDER

Anyway, so first week out of training I am just sitting taking calls minding my own and all of a sudden I get a tap on the shoulder and turn around and it’s one of the managers who tells me to pick up my notes and headset and to follow, no explanation, other than that and with a great deal of trepidation and annoyance at being touched by a ghair-mahram woman I follow to the managers duty desk and am told to sit down.

Immediately I am thinking what did I do?
Am I being fired?
Have I done something badly wrong and need retraining or disciplining?
Has a non-Muslim or even a Muslim said something about me talking about the deen?

I was fairly sure it wasn’t the last one as I had read up on the companies policies on such matters to make sure I stayed with the rules but you never know who you might annoy and a long time employee can easily make things difficult, even impossible for a temp should they choose to do so.

So I sit down, I’m told to plug in my headset and without warning the manager hits play on the computer and all of a sudden I am listening to one of my calls from during the week,  I think it was actually the second call I ever took.

Not only am I listening but the playback in front of me is giving me absolutely everything I did on screen during the whole call, the way my mouse cursor wandered aimlessly from tab to tab, button to button as I sought to find the access to each function and screen at what I hoped was the right moment in the call.

She then asked me how I felt the call went, no feedback straight away. I needed to analyse the call myself first, tell her what mistakes I feel I have made, what I did well, where I could improve and it was definitely something quite different compared to any job I have done before.

It was a very unsettling moment, and since that time and subsequent two other call reviews I have been more than a little conscious that every single call is recorded and can and will be used against you if that particular call gets listened to where you make a total mess of it, then it does come back on you.

Inversely, knowing that when calls and actions are well thought through and carried out successfully then that success will be rewarded, and known about.

NOW FOR A REMINDER…

I’m struck though by the way we don’t take our daily lives as seriously as this as Muslims should.  Are all our actions not monitored and we will not be answerable to and be questioned by Allaah for every little thing we do in our lives?

Indeed, your Lord (is) surely Ever Watchful.
Quran translation, Surah al Fajr, 89:14

We believe as Muslims that Allah is Al-Basir, the All Seeing, that Allah is As-Sami’, the All Hearing, that He sees and hears all we do and all everyone does, but does this belief reflect in our actions and if not what does that say about the strength of our belief?

Abu Dharr and Mu`adh bin Jabal (May Allah be pleased with them) reported that: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Fear Allah wherever you are, do good deeds after doing bad ones, the former will wipe out the latter, and behave decently towards people”
Recorded in At-Tirmidhi

That tap on the shoulder can come at any time for us, except then there is no returning to your desk to live on, to try harder, then it is the end of your life on this world and then only a time awaiting in your grave waiting for your judgement before Allah.

Then every one of your deeds will be brought before you, you will answer for all you have done so it is important we correct ourselves in this life, before the end of time here, make tawbah often for our mistakes and sins and ask Allah sincerely for his forgiveness where we fall short.

May Allah make us all among the heedful, those who remember the purpose of this short life, making tawbah where we fall short, ameen

 

 

Form vs Function – Unrealistic Body Images of Men in the Modern Media

basmillah

O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.
Quran translation, Surah al-A’raf, 7:31

Assalaamu Alaykum brothers and sisters,

We’re all used to hearing about an unrealistic body image being promoted for women in the modern world and yes this is a terrible problem, leading to depression, anxiety, eating disorders (over as well as under eating) and suicides among many, including our young (and sometimes not so young) sisters. We cannot deny how huge an issue this has become but are we not guilty as a society of the same when it comes to men?

bodytalk-male-bodybuilder-sTHE UNACHIEVABLE MALE BODY IMAGE

Given these same eating disorders are now affecting males, as well as physiological problems relating to health and fitness I think it’s fair to state now that modern media, social media, artwork and overall society is promoting just as an unhealthy body image of men as  they’ve done in the past with women. Body images which are just as unreachable as those female equivalents that are now so widely recognized as so damaging on the minds and bodies of women that we see some city authorities wanting to ban from the public space so should we not recognize the dangers to men also?

STRUGGLING WITH DEMOTIVATION

This unachievable male body image was something which disheartened me recently as I’ve looked into getting back to a more healthy state. I just knew I am never going to be thin nor will I ever be the right shaped human to get that V upper-body figure most men crave.

I’m a human being, and as I read article after article on health and fitness it affects me on some level seeing the accompanying images (most likely photo-shopped),  a body image I’ll never achieve no matter how long or how often I worked out or did sports.

This was something which can be a huge downer and as I read others blogs and online material I know it is something which can make many, men and women, want to give up almost before they start. I think if it was not for the fact I know I’m failing in my Islamic obligations by being so out of shape I’d have been far more tempted to give up myself by now after just a few weeks or eating more sensibly and a wee bit of regular exercise.

Narrated by A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said: “The first calamity for this nation after the Prophet’s death is fullness of their stomachs; when their stomachs became full, they became obese and their hearts weakened and their desires became wild.”
Sahih al Bukhari

Thinking about all of this brought my wandering and desperate thoughts back to my favourite part of the Quran, a couple of verses I come back to again and again when faced with difficulty in life.

Do think the people that they will be left because they say, “We believe” and they will not be tested?
And indeed, We tested those who (were) before them. And Allah will surely make evident those who (are) truthful and He will surely make evident the liars.
Quran translation, Surah al-‘Ankabut, 29:2-3

So I knew I just had to keep going, even with the occasional slips, and disheartening as it is get to the best I can be and in every instance of being tested we have difficulties, and I find if you keep looking at a problem from different angles you’ll find a way through the problem.

AN EPIPHANY THROUGH FACEBOOK

So I kept walking as I do when I want to think, or just to relax and still this problem would trouble me, I couldn’t think of a way through until one day on opening facebook in the morning the following image came up.

form-vs-function

I looked, and looked again and it hit me that the 1st image on the left, that is something I can never achieve, but the 2nd image, the one of the right, yes I could see myself looking like that after plenty of work.

Guidance from Allaah comes sometimes in the strangest places, one conversation, one quote, one meme or picture can change our perception for us, Allah opens up our minds and allows us to view things from a different perspective.

As I continued to think about the problem I realized there is no one ideal body shape, or even just a few different body images, each difficult or almost impossible to achieve for myself and most others. Instead each of us has our own ideal size and strengths we can work towards.

As I read more about this  topic I realized more and more the ‘healthy’ body image given to us is actually unhealthy, and almost impossible to achieve hence why men are now increasingly resorting to plastic surgery to get that ‘perfect’ muscle structure implanted into their bodies.

You may be small, wiry, you’ll also never achieve that V upper body, but maybe you’ll run marathons one day which I’ll likely never do. You may be large like myself and aim to be strong and healthy in a different way. Each is good, none is wrong, none are ideal for everyone, each of us needs to tailor our health and fitness to best suit the hand we’ve been dealt.

Though the Sahabah all sought to be healthy, as taught in the Quran and by our beloved Nabi Muhammad ibn Abdullah (Sallallahu alayhi wa salam), they were a differing bunch of people as we all are today.

Some thin like Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him), some large like Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), some tall and some short, differing looks, differing physiques, they strove and struggled just as we do today and by living a moderate life according to the guidance given to them and us they achieved a balance in such matters of health and fitness as they sought balance and a moderate path in all areas of life.

So for myself I know I need to keep working hard, striving for the sake of Allah and know Allah doesn’t measure me against others but against myself, knowing what I am personally capable of doing.

My health didn’t get so bad in just a matter of weeks, it took years of neglect and it will take many more months and years to get back to something approaching acceptable and I have to accept that and keep going.

For those of you in the same boat as me, all need to remember it’s not just a physical battle we’ve got going on here, but a mental, emotional, even spiritual battle as well to get ourselves and keep ourselves in the best possible health and I think we need to put to one side and maybe ignore many of the things we see around us, instead aiming for a body image which is personal to us, the best each of us can be.

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

Invite to Interview, don’t panic, DON’T PANIC!

orangutan-suit

Assalaamu Alaykum folks,

So I do actually have a job, it’s not well paid but to make it clear I’m not one of those dole-wala types chilling all day online because I should be paid by society as I’m doing ‘dawah.’

I am not one of those guys, and I do love my job working in a community centre, they pay me to help people which I’d happily do for free if I was rich, but unfortunately I’m not. Rich that is, I am happy most of the time Alhamdulillah.

But not being rich, the charity sector not paying well, the cost of living going up, as well as house rental costs rising at an alarming rate I’ve found myself facing the prospect of being on the job scene after many years away.

scared-orangutanSCARY TIMES

Times are tough, and only going to get tougher, the country is effectively broke and living off it’s credit cards due to spending tonnes of money we didn’t have on public services, disastrous foreign adventures and of-course bailing out all  those toff merchant bankers who almost pushed the world economy off a cliff a few years ago.

So cuts are biting for everyone, the benefit caps coming in in November which is going to hit so many people, prices are rising and I am finding myself looking for part-time work at a time when everyone else is probably deciding it’s a good time to do the same.

What is more, to make matters more difficult in finding extra work, it needs to be something which will fit around my existing position and I am totally looking forward to going from the jolly flexible role in the charity sector to the strife and struggle of trying to find time for family, shopping, friends, studies, going for salaat with working 2+ jobs.

APPLICATIONS DUTY SENT

Applications have been duly sent in to usual agencies, the job centre,  subtle and not so subtle queries made to friends and family and I also applied for a number of call centre positions in my city. Yes I’m probably a bit old for call-centres but it’s something I’ve done before and let’s be honest, though it also doesn’t pay well it is easy money.

I must have applied for 200+ jobs in the space of the past 3 weeks, had a few call backs from agencies for entirely unsuitable jobs, either the hours were not right, they were expecting me to go self-employed (Been there, done that, never again), or they wanted me to work in places as a Muslim I’d rather not go near.

“No thank you for the kind offer, but as a Muslim I really don’t want to work in the head office for a pub chain, nor do I want to work in HR in a Pork Pie factory.”

But then out of the blue I got a call back today from the very first job I applied for on that first day of looking. I had assumed I’d failed somehow as not heard anything back and they’d had a totally evil online application form and devilish mathematics quiz attached which I assumed I’d failed.

The call took about 40 minutes and despite my mobile sound cutting out and being crackly all the way through I managed to pass the dreaded phone interview and I’ve been invited to an further interview and work based assessment tomorrow morning, look, here is the confirmation email!

invite-to-interview

DAVID BRENT NEVER GOT FIRED HE JUST GOT MOVED SIDEWAYS TO HR

If Allah wills it and I am successful tomorrow, I’ll begin training later this month which will be lots of fun… think if they try to make me do that ‘trust-exercise thing’ where someone drops backwards I’m thinking of moving to drop them straight to the floor.

Well maybe not… unless I really don’t like the guy then I am up for it but really cannot stress enough how much I cringe at these training days, but at least if I’m successful I’ll have more money coming in, and maybe, just maybe I’ll finally have a bit left over to start saving up and getting ahead in the financial stakes.

Would appreciate if those reading this can raise their hands and make a quick dua for me to be successful tomorrow, or even a long dua, or even setting your alarm for tahajjud and getting up and making lots and lots of dua for me, and  the rest of the ummah as well of-course. Please?

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

RED HOT PEPPER SOUP

20160927_180434

Assalaamu Alaykum folks,

It’s a little known fact that some Muslim men can actually cook… I don’t count myself in their number but I can dabble a bit and as I’ve even the past shared some other recipes from blogs I thought I’d share this one… my ‘Red Hot Pepper Soup.’

So here goes, it seems like it has a lot of ingredients but it’s really easy and simple to make.

Cooking time:
1.5 hours

Serves:
8 – 10 people easily

Ingredients:

  • Large knob of butter
  • 3 medium sized red onions
  • 5-10 pepper corns, 3-5 cloves whole
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • About 5 or 6 Medium sized mushrooms
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of chilli flakes
  • 4 medium to large carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • Good size handful of green beans
  • 2 Peppers
  • 2 tins of mixed beans, or two tins of two different types of beans
  • 2 tins of tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of tomato puree
  • 2 tsp of cracked black pepper
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes, or some other stock cubes if you prefer
  • 1.5l of water

Method:

  1. Place a large cooking pot on the hob, medium heat, add the butter and let it melt being careful not to let it burn.
  2. Chop the red onions small and add to the pot when the butter is melted, stir occasionally, you want to soften them up not brown them or caramelize them.
  3. Chop the garlic roughly and add with the whole black pepper corns and cloves.

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4. Chop / slice the mushrooms and add to the pot. I prefer to slice half so has that mushroomly look my wife likes and so can easily be avoided for the kids bowls, as well as finely chopping the other half so it dissolves in the soup so I can sneakily feed it to the kids without them knowing about it.

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5. Allow the onions, garlic, pepper, cloves and mushrooms have cooked for about 5 minutes on a gentle heat. Stir occasionally and if sticking add a little water to the pot to avoid any burning.

6. Chop the carrots and parsnips, at an angle if you like to make it look nicer when cooked and add to the mix, stir in and allow to cook and soften for further 5 minutes whilst you move onto the next step.

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Check out the handmade spice rack in the background made by my mrs from salvaged wood

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7. Cut up the green beans and peppers, add to the pot along with the tomato puree, salt, chilli flakes, and cracked black pepper. Stir and allow to cook for a few more mins, add water again if necessary to prevent sticking.

7. Add beans and tomato tins along with the juice from the tins, vegetable stock cubes, and 1.5l of water. This doesn’t seem like a lot for a large pot but the fluid from the tins also adds to the volume as well.

8. Cover, bring to a simmer and leave it for about 35-45 minutes. Stir occasionally when needed to avoid any of the beans or other vegetables sticking to the bottom of the pot

40-45 minutes is about right if you want it to be soft but not soft, I tend to cook it for 35 minutes so that when I warm it up to eat for a 2nd meal the vegetables are not going to turn mushy.

9. Finally serve up with whatever bread you prefer. My kids prefer crusty french breads with butter on, but trying to be healthy myself I think it goes better with brown bread, whether shop bought or home made.

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So there it is, a very simple and healthy home made soup, very warming, especially if you substitute the chilli flakes with a little scotch bonnet which I like doing sometimes but my kids complain about it being too hot.

Please feel free to share, like and let me know what you think.

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman