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Tag Archives: stop yoyo dieting

How to survive Xmas Tip no 5 – Dont panic!!

Peg Alexander worried about XmasCan you have a Lite Christmas? Can you enjoy yourself this festive season and not become the Christmas pudding? Of  course you can; just follow my 5 Golden Rules of Christmas.

Golden Rule of Christmas No 5:
Don’t panic! You always have January to deal with any extra festive weight.

Watch the video about this Golden Rule here.

Even if you follow all these tips you may still end up putting on SOME extra weight. It’s pretty inevitable if you eat or drink more than usual, you eat different foods and do less exercise. So don’t beat yourself up or give yourself a hard time; accept it’s inevitable and decide that you will deal with it in January. BUT MAKE SURE YOU DO! Research suggests that most people don’t lose the weight they gain over Christmas – and year on year that could add up.

From just cutting things out through to a full-on diet
For some people, all they will need to do to get back to normal is to cut out the extras they’ve been having – such as cakes, chocolates, take-aways or even alcohol – for a few weeks.

Other people may need to go a bit further and cut out foods like bread, pasta, potatoes and rice for a few weeks. This isn’t as hard as it sounds. A bolognaise sauce or a chilli can be just as good on a bed of salad leaves as on pasta or rice. Just swapping your morning toast for a bowl of porridge may be easier than you think, and it will keep you feeling fuller for longer. If you do have carbs such as bread, pasta or rice, always keep them brown as wholegrains don’t turn to fat in the same way as refined carbs.

You may decide you need to go on a formal diet. Research shows that people who follow a recognised programme where they are part of a group or structured programme do better than those who try to go it alone. Remember there are loads of different diets and different ones suit different people. So think about the diet you choose carefully and whether it is one that will suit you. If you try one and it’s not for you, look at others rather than totally just giving up; there’s bound to be one that suits you.

Go to rule no 4 -Dont slump – find ways to be active

Surviving Christmas & manage your weight – Rule no 3!

Peg Alexander worried about XmasCan you have a Lite Christmas? Can you enjoy yourself this festive season and not become the Christmas pudding? Of  course you can; just follow my 5 Golden Rules of Christmas.

Golden Rule of Christmas No 3:
Plan, plan, plan. Plan all your meals and food throughout the festive season, including the days after Christmas. Balance sugary, fatty high calorie food and drink with other low fat, high protein, high fibre fat burning meals.

Watch the video about this Golden Rule here.

Do a meal plan for the whole festive season, including after Christmas. Think about your meals across a day and week so that if you know you’ll be at parties and/or eating out and eating high-calorie, sugary, or fatty food you can balance these against other meals which are fat-burning and slow-release. You can download a Festive Season Meal Planner here.

Remember that not all calories are equal. Some foods turn to fat more quickly than others (such as refined, fatty, sugary and many processed foods) and should be avoided. But others, like low GI foods and fat-burning foods keep you feeling fuller for longer, help boost your metabolism or take more energy to digest. So you need to fill up with these foods and plan meals that include:

  • Loads of fruit and vegetables – try to fill over half your plate with vegetables.
  • Lean protein – lean meat or veggie alternatives such as soya, quorn, pulses and nuts.
  • High-fibre – go for brown over white. Avoid all refined carbs such as white pasta, rice, flour, bread etc and instead choose brown pasta, rice, bread etc. Use oats and oatmeal in food where you can – it’s often easy to swap flour for oatmeal.
  • Low-fat dairy – such as skimmed milk or fat-free yoghurt.
  • Use as little fat as you can – choose virgin olive or coconut oil when you need oil.

Planning your meals will also mean you’re less likely to end up having take-aways. It’s easy to think they are quicker, cheaper and easier, but in fact I don’t think they are any of those things. They are also more likely to make you put on weight. So when you plan your meals, plan a number of really quick easy meals for the times you can’t be bothered – such as stir-fry, pasta or quick rice dishes like chilli. Another good hint is to make extra when you do cook and freeze it, so all you need to do is pop into the microwave.

Manage your sugar rushes
Remember that when you have a lot of sugar it brings on sugar rushes which means you are more likely to crave more sugary food. So on Boxing Day and the days after Christmas, plan to eat as much slow-release Low GI and fat-burning food as possible. This will help you manage your blood sugar and help to reduce sugar cravings. Get Low GI and Fat Burning foods here.

Go to rule no 2 – Christmas is a social time.

Surviving Christmas & manage your weight – Rule no 2!

 

Peg Alexander worried about XmasCan you have a Lite Christmas? Can you enjoy yourself this festive season and not become the Christmas pudding? Of  course you can; just follow my 5 Golden Rules of Christmas.

Golden Rule of Christmas No 2:
Christmas is a social time – so think about how you will deal with people who you know find it hard when you are careful about your food and drink. Just because others are eating and drinking doesn’t mean you have to.

Watch the video about this Golden Rule here.

Unfortunately we all know someone who finds it hard to accept other people’s decisions about food and drink. For example people who want you to eat loads – like Mrs Doyle in Father Ted (Go on, go on, you will, you will, you will!) This can be really hard if you are staying with others over Christmas and you feel you have to follow their food and drink habits.

So remember that mostly, this is THEIR issue, not yours. Think about anyone in your life with whom, when you spend time with them, you find it hard to keep to your food and drink decisions. Have a think about why this is and try to talk to them BEFORE the holiday period about why you want to make certain food and drink choices, about how important this is to you, and ask them to help you keep to these decisions. Offer to sort out your own food if this will make it easier. How about asking for this as your Christmas present! Remember, just because other people eat or drink to excess this doesn’t mean you have to.

Go to rule no 1 – Christmas dinner is not the problem.

Love mince pies? Then make your own!

mince pie muffins cookedOne of the many lovely things about Christmas is mince pies. They are scrummy. And very plentiful. From now on there may well be mince pies at meetings, at gatherings, when you go for a cup of tea or coffee at a friends. But sadly, many will be very fattening and will turn to fat on you! It really is the case that one mince pie could hurt. Indeed, you may need to walk about 4 miles to walk off just one mince pie! So if you are watching your weight then you need to think carefully about how many you can eat this festive season.

Many mince pies will be shop bought, and most shop bought goods come with more calories which turn more quickly to fat than home-made or unprocessed food. But as we know Christmas is not a time to deny yourself everything. So here is my solution. If you love mince pies, make your own, and take them to places where you know there will be.

This is just one suggestion from my new 5 Golden Rules of Christmas which I’ll be sending out in coming days. In the meantime, here is a lovely, quick, easy and lower fat/sugar free mince pie recipe.

So enjoy!

Low fat and sugar mince pies

For the mincemeat:
500g apples (use cooking apples if you can)
900g mixed dried fruit
3 tsp mixed spice
600ml cider
2 tbsp brandy, whisky or rum.

For the pastry:
1 packets of filo pastry sheets

 

To make the mincemeat:

mincemeat1. Grate the apple and put into a pan with the mixed dried fruit. Add the mixed spice and cider and stir well.

2. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the liquid has almost gone and the mixture is soft and pulpy.

3. Stir in the brandy, whisky or rum and leave to cool.

 

To make into mince pies:
You can either use a small muffin tray to make open pies or you can make parcels.

Using a muffin tray:

mince pie muffin with filo pastry1. Spray with some fry light.

2. Cut the filo pastry into squares. Then use 2 or 3 squares depending on the size of your muffin cases. Place the first square over a cup and mould. Then take the second and put at an angle to the first and again mould. Do the same with any third sheet.

3. Bake at gas mark 4 or 180c for 10 mins.

4. Spoon in the mincemeat.

5. Bake for a further 12 to 15 minutes. Keep checking to see when they are ready. If your muffin tin is large you may need to bake for a further 5 minutes.

 

To make parcels:

mincepie parcel uncooked1. Spray a non stick baking sheet with fry-light

2. Use 2 or 3 squares of file depending on how thick you would like your pastry.

3. Place a couple of spoonfuls of mincemeat in the centre of the square.

4. Bundle up into a nice parcel.

5. Bake at gas mark 3½ or 150c until the tops are brown but the bottoms of the parcels are also cooked. I baked them for around 20 minutes; larger parcels may need more time to bake the bottoms.

Hypno Gastric Band – does it make you lose weight?

 

As readers of my blog will know, although I keep weight off, I still have a small amount of weight I would like to lose; between half and a stone or around 10lb to be precise. This would mean I would be a small size 10 rather than the big size 10/small 12 I have been for the last year or two. I know I can go on a very low calorie diet and lose it and get down to size 8, but I keep putting this amount on again afterwards; it seems this size is just where my body naturally wants to stay. I eat an incredibly healthy diet and am pretty active but I have real trouble keeping to small portions and I eat huge amounts. I also want to be able to eat out a bit more than I do at the moment so when I read that Hypno Gastric Bands have an 80% success rate I decided I had to give it a go! Will a Hypno Gastric Band work?

They aren’t cheap and some hypnotherapists were advertising Hypno Gastric Bands at around £300. But when I received an offer of 3 sessions for £80 it seemed the signal it was time to give it a go.

Hypnosis works for me….
I know I am susceptible to hypnosis. I gave up smoking with hypnosis and I have used it since when I am very stressed about my weight or life. So I was really excited about it and convinced it would work for me. I set off for the first session full of anticipation looking forward to the hypnotist telling me my stomach had been made smaller and I would want to eat a lot less. I thought it would be that easy. Instead, at the first session the hypnotist was quite challenging to me and I wasn’t expecting that! One thing he challenged me about was a need to use scales. As you may know I don’t agree with using scales as the main way to check how you are getting on, rather I prefer judging by my clothes. But he told me I had to use the scales so I could lose my fear of them. He also challenged me about my saying I like eating cakes and chocolate too much and how I find it hard to control myself sometimes around cake. His view – it’s as easy as just deciding so to cut them out. Hmmm.  We finally did he hypnosis. I was disappointed – no mention of the gastric band. Just that I would be happier to eat less and want to eat healthily (which I already do!).

But being a compliant sort of person I did decide to weight myself. The next day I weighed in at 147lb.

Session 2 a week later was a bit easier, helped somewhat by the fact that despite me having been to a house party weekend abroad I had lost 3lb! The session was shorter and we got down to the hypnosis more quickly. Similar stuff to the week before. Again I was left feeling slightly miffed my ‘gastric band’ hadn’t been fitted and it was the same stuff I’ve heard a lot before in hypnosis.

Session 3 and I was on a role. Again I’d lost weight – I’d lost 0.6lb despite having eaten out a couple of time so I thought I was sorted. Clearly my portion sizes had gone down. This time he did ‘fit’ the band. Under hypnosis he took me through the process – from getting on the trolley, through to the operating theatre where he turned the lights off, and then imagining exactly how my stomach was being made smaller. It didn’t seem at all gory though! The hypnosis was quite quick though, I was in and out in 20 minutes. But if it worked I didn’t mind that I felt maybe I needed a bit more time.

So what has happened since?
Well it started off well. I decided I’d weigh myself once a week and the following week I’d lost even more weight and was down to 141.1lb. I was cock-a-hoop to say the least. I was eating more variety of food and the weight was dropping off. And my clothes were feeling looser which I always like.

But then it all went wrong. Another week on and I got on the scales. And …. in the space of a week I had put on over 5lb. Part of the hypnosis was to learn not to panic if I put on weight; to be able to just accept it and then decide to take action the following week. But as we know its not that easy and despite the hypnosis, I was in a bit of a tizz the day I went on the scales.

This is why I don’t like scales. Putting on 5lb of fat in a week with no major change in diet is just not possible, it must be something else (for example I’ve been ill during this time). That’s why I prefer clothes as my guide as they are a more realistic judge.

And how have I got on since?
Well since then I’ve started losing weight again – earlier this week I weighed in at 2.5lb less than 3 days before! But I’m also not giving up on hypnosis as I do think it can work. So to help me top up I’ve downloaded a weight hypnosis book and I’m listening to it once a day if I can. Plus I’m trying some metabolism boosters too and continuing to follow my ‘21 Keys to Keeping Weight Off’ as I know they have helped me stay a size 10. You see, I’ll try anything and am glad for anything that works. This morning the scales have again been kind and I’m back down to 141lb.

Bring it on…..!

Staying motivated when dieting or keeping weight off no 2 – Don’t give up even if you put on weight!

 

In a previous blog I talked about how to stay motivated when you keep weight off or when you are trying to lose weight. Thanks for the comments you sent about this being helpful. In that blog I talked about how you have to concentrate on any positives, even if your weight loss isn’t going to plan. But what do you do if worse than not losing weight, you end up putting it on? Well, that’s what’s happened to me in the last few weeks – I’ve put on weight despite being on a diet – so time for another blog post!

It is hard to stay motivated  …..
There’s no doubt its hard if you are denying yourself and keeping to a diet and then you don’t lose weight or worse put some on. A couple of weeks ago I got on the scales and, horror of horrors, I’d put on about a pound. And I have to be honest and say it’s sent me off-course. Seeing a higher number on the scales bought back the crooked thinking I have about me and weight and I started to catastrophize. I decided that as the diet I was doing ‘obviously wasn’t working’ I may as well give up. Of course, it wasn’t the truth that it wasn’t working as I was losing size, just not weight. But I didn’t see that. I wasn’t concentrating on the positives as I should have been. Old habits returned quickly – I’d been missing porridge for breakfast (not allowed on my diet) so I went straight back to that. Other food came back into my diet pretty quickly. I also went for an impromptu curry one evening, had a couple of cakes at an event one afternoon, and then had puddings every night whilst staying with my in-laws.

We all know it’s just too easy to go back to our normal habits. And what do you think has happened? Well I’ve put on a fair bit of weight in the last couple of weeks; my clothes are telling me this. But I haven’t weighed myself as there is no point in just adding to my misery.

But all is not lost; I’ve not given up…….
So, and I think this is the main point, that sometimes we all fall off the wagon. The point is how do we respond when we do?
I think a lot of the time we think if we have given in once or twice, or even for a couple of weeks, that that is that. It’s all over so we may as well give up on the diet and just go back to old ways. Well ….. WRONG!! Research shows that successful dieters and people who keep weight off don’t do this. When we go off track we accept it, don’t give ourselves a hard time about it. We pick ourselves up quite quickly, dust ourselves down and we just start searching for ways to get back on track.

That’s what I’m doing, and today I am going to try something new to help me eat less! (More of that to come in the future.)

Part of my getting on track involved one last blow out…..
One thing I did decide to do though whilst off the wagon was to allow myself a bit of a blow out and the chance to have some flavours, tastes and foods I don’t normally have. As a calculated decision I decided that having some of these foods on one occasion would help me get my motivation back for the longer term. So last Sunday me and my husband went to the ‘all you can eat international buffet’! Of course I eat loads and came back far too full if the truth be told. But I enjoyed every mouthful and it has helped me prepare for the new method I’ll be trying later today.

I didn’t totally let go though. Here’s some tips I used to still control even at the all you can eat buffet…

1. Quite a lot of the buffet was fried food. Try and avoid food like fried rice, deep fried starters etc. I did have a few prawn crackers and poppadums but kept them to a minimum.

2. Only put a small amount on your plate at a time. You can always go back for more. Use the smallest plate you can find. The puddings section may have smaller ones.

3. Have a break between plates. You may find you don’t want to have as many visits as you first thought you would!

4. Fill up with salads and fruit; most buffets have them. But watch the dressings as they can be really calorific and if you have fruit salad watch for sugar syrup.

5. If you know that puddings will be your weakness plan for this. Don’t have too much first course. Do some extra exercise and think about what else you eat that day. Top up puddings with fruit.

6. Beware of any sauces as they can be very fatty and full of sugar.

7. Drink plenty of water. I also ordered a green tea.

8. Prepare for the sugar rush and carb effect the next day. Have lots of fruit to hand so you can manage it.

9. If you know you are the kind of person who will keep going back for more even if you aren’t hungry, do some deals with yourself about how many times you will do this and stopping before you end up feeling sick!

So if you’ve fallen off the wagon don’t panic. Just get back on, no self re-criminations. And good luck!

Like eating a lot but keeping weight off? Just go for fat burning foods

 

There were reasons why I used to be a size 22 and according to the doctors ‘morbidly obese’. The main one was that I like eating. And I like to eat big large portion sizes. That will never change. After losing weight I had to find a way I could still eat a lot and maintain my new size 10 weight. Aiming for maximum volume for minimum calories I started looking at what happens when you eat different kinds of foods. That’s when I discovered fat burning and calorie neutral foods.

Fat burning foods are foods that:

  • make the body work very hard and use up calories in the food when processing it, and/or
  • start a reaction or process which speeds up your metabolism and manages your blood sugar, and/or
  • fill you up more so you eat less, and/or
  • are not digested at all and just pass through the body.

Calorie neutral foods are those that use up more calories than there are in the foods in processing them so you actually lose weight by eating them.

Of course it’s a lot more complicated than that but you get the idea.

Calorie counting assumes all calories are equal; they are not.

One of my ’21 Keys to Keeping Weight Off’ is to remember that not all calories are equal.  This is why I do not believe that simple calorie counting is the best way to manage your weight when you are keeping weight off .


If you rely on calorie counting then, in theory, you could eat chocolate and crisps all day and so long as you don’t go over the recommended calories for your height, current weight and activity levels then you would keep weight off. But you wouldn’t be healthy and in the long term that will make keeping weight off neigh-on impossible for someone who has struggled with weight gain. (If you want to find out how many calories you need you can click here to check your BMR).

Brownies made with added fat burning ingredients

Keeping weight off requires you to have a healthy, balanced diet and to keep your metabolism as fast as possible. One easy way to do this is to eat lots of fat burning foods. There is a real variety of fat burning foods, something for everyone, and they are foods you can easily just make the staple of your day to day diet. Or, you can adapt recipes to include fat burning foods to make your favourite dishes more fat burning. It’s amazing how easy and routine ‘easy swaps’ can become with a bit of thought. And then, like me, you can eat loads and still keep weight off.

So, want to know what these wonder foods are? For a list of fat burning and calorie neutral foods click here.

Good luck, enjoy the foods. And let us know on here or on facebook about any fab recipes you have using fat burning foods.

Understanding Obesity – Why it’s essential to include those of us who have been obese in finding the solutions

 

Today’s news is dominated by the obesity debate. Researchers reporting in The Lancet are calling for Government action – including taxing junk food. About time – thank God we finally have some research which doesn’t think it’s just down to blaming people who struggle with their weight. This is a real opportunity to hear the voice of those of us who have ourselves been overweight and have found ways to overcome it.

I know all about this given I used to be a size 22 but have maintained at a size 10 for over 3 years now. I know that the biggest factor has been my own self determination and complete desire to not be over weight again. But since day one I have felt that society and our institutions have made it really hard for me:

  • Everywhere you turn there is food, and generally it’s high fat/high sugar comfort food. At work or get togethers you go to meeting and there are cakes and biscuits; rarely fruit, or something like veg sticks with healthy dips. We all need to change so we don’t think it’s a treat to offer people obesity causing food. Like many overweight people I cannot resist – so please, don’t tempt me all the time!
  • It’s an outrage that processed food and junk food, full of rubbish that our body cannot digest and therefore turns to fat quicker, is cheaper than organic food which is good for our bodies, less likely to turn to fat, and is better for our economy and land.
  • Over the years when I was fat the medics just used to tell me to lose weight. I didn’t get any real help from the NHS, just lectures – my doctors surgery even wanted to charge me to do a medical report to say I was OK to go on the Lighterlife diet! I was lucky and could afford to do Lighterlife and so had a year where I was supported to come to terms with my relationship with food through its counselling. One woman in my group had to drop out because she couldn’t afford it. This kind of counselling needs to be available to all and diets like this funded by the NHS. It’s far cheaper than the cost of treating obesity related diseases and far cheaper than weight loss surgery.
  • This is because obesity is not just about the food we eat. We have to get to grips with the psychological reasons why people put on weight. For so many of us, our weight is related to self esteem and how we feel about ourselves. When I was fat I was so overwhelmed by how let down I felt by life and my body if people had a go at me about it then that just made me feel worse – and then even less able to deal with it. We have to stop blaming and stigmatising people and start understanding more.
  • We don’t structure society to help us being able to eat well. How many people gobble a quick lunch whilst working, eating sugary snacks to get us through long working hours. How many families are able to sit down to eat a meal together each day? Life has become so busy we try to just fit in food in between everything else. How many people know how to cook? Basic life skills and yet we don’t have them. I’ve been looking at some cooking courses at local colleges yet they cost quite a bit of money….

I could go on …..

Plus, there is virtually no information dedicated solely to how you keep weight off. I had to find it out for myself. That’s why I’m now sharing what I know.

Joining the debate – where are our voices?
This morning I was lucky to get on the Radio 5 Live ‘Your Call’ phone in.

Someone asked me why overweight people simply just don’t eat so much. I know that sounds easy and straightforward to people who have never struggled with their weight but I can tell you as someone who has it’s not that straight forward. I don’t have a ‘off switch’ from food I like. I wish I did, but I don’t.

You see this is just one really good illustration why I believe people like me have to be at the heart of the debate about how we deal with obesity. I know what it’s like, and I know what took me there. I don’t judge people who are overweight but I know it’s possible to change and to keep weight off.

I hope that as well as listening to The Lancet, policy makers start listening to people like me to see if together we can find the solutions to this very complex problem.

A flat stomach with little effort? Trying out Slendertone

Is it possible to get a flat tummy without doing loads of exercises and starving yourself? In my endless quest for an easy answer to the lump that is my belly and midriff, I decided to try out a Slendertone machine.

So as we moved into summer, I started putting a very strange machine around my middle for between 20 and 30 mins a day to see if I could lose any inches and feel a bit better about my stomach.

The model I tried was the Slendertone Flex Abdominal Toner which is a small belt and cost me around £40.

Before my first session I took my measurements:
Midriff – 84cm; Waist – 79cm; Hips – 97cm.
I’d just come back from a short holiday so was hoping it might stop any post holiday tum showing on me.

What was it like?
It’s a strange machine. For a start it was a lot shorter than my tummy and midriff so I wondered if it would have enough ‘stretch’. But when turned it on, the movement could be so strong if I was brave enough to turn it up high that I’m sure the effects moved beyond the size of the belt itself. It’s certainly strong and you can definitely feel it; indeed if I turned it up too high it would, at times, feel very uncomfortable and occasionally verging on painful.

You are supposed to use it every day for at least 2 months, starting with 20 minute and sessions, moving to a maximum length of 30 minutes. Some marketing says you start to see results in 6 weeks if you do. I have to be honest and admit that I struggled to use it every day.

My habit was to use it when watching TV at night but I don’t get to sit down and watch a programme of over 30 minutes every night. So I probably managed every other day.

It’s also not very pleasant when you put the belt on. It sticks to your skin and is cold and feels wet at first. You also have to replace the pads; I’ve bought one set of replacements at a cost of around £10.

So has it worked?
Well I’m afraid to say it hasn’t worked for me. I did my measurements again this morning and there’s no much change; my midriff is a couple of cm smaller but my waist the same and I’ve put 1cm on my hips!!

I think the fact that I struggled to do it every day means it probably hasn’t had enough time to do its work and it’s more of a hassle than I thought it would be. However I also think I probably have too much spare belly for this work anyway. Given I used to be a size 22 and am now a size 10 there is no getting away from the fact that my tum is not flat and I don’t think, actually, without surgery I’ll ever get a flat tummy now. (Surgery is not something I am even willing to think about for a minute by the way). I’m sure the belt was stimulating muscles under my flab, and maybe if you are fairly slim to start with and you just need to tone up it could do the trick nicely. But not for me I’m afraid.

Maybe it’s just me and the fact I didn’t do it properly. Certainly other reviews on the net are positive. So let me know if you’ve tried one and how you got on. And if its worked, your tips for getting the most from it so I can maybe try again but properly this time…..

 

A brilliant summer salad – Oriental Rice Salad

Its time for some recipes on here I think. Here’s one of my favourite summer dishes; Oriental Rice Salad.

Oriental Rice SaladThis dish is not only really tasty, but its easy to make, 100% fat free and keeps in the fridge for a couple of days. Plus, with the exception of a handful of raisins and a spoon of sherry, it only contains foods which are brilliant for keeping weight off. All the other ingredients are fat burning, and almost all are low GI (pineapple, though is medium GI). The ginger adds a bit of heat which also helps boost metabolism.

So tuck in and enjoy, eating as much as you want! As you know I like eating LOADS so I reckon the recipe below will serve 3 decent portions or 4 smaller portions.

Ingredients:

8oz / 225g brown rice

For the sauce:

4 tbsp fresh orange juice

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 clove garlic minced

½ tsp grated ginger

1 dsp sherry

For the salad:

6 radishes, sliced

2oz / 60g bean sprouts

2oz / 60g raisins

1 orange

2oz / 60g toasted or dry fried cashew nuts

2 sticks celery

4oz / 120g pineapple

Instructions:

1.  Cook the rice following the instructions  on the packet. Make sure you rinse well in cold water first to remove dried starch. Make sure your water is boiling when you put the rice in the pan. This helps stop the rice getting sticky.

2. Mix together the dressing of fresh orange juice, soy sauce, minced garlic, grated ginger and sherry. Add some salt and pepper.

3. When the rice is cooked, drain and season with salt and pepper. Then pour over the dressing whilst still warm so it will soak up some of the dressing into the rice. Leave to cool.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the salad. To toast the cashew nuts I recommend dry frying in a non-stick pan for a few minutes.

5. When the rice is cool mix together and enjoy!