Baked pasta with Maltese sausage

One of my favourite dishes is this baked pasta with Maltese sausage. At a first glance the ingredients of this recipe might look ‘unhealthy’ but as I always say “everything can be healthy & everything can be unhealthy. It depends on the portion size.” I strongly believe in eating food which offer sensory pleasure to your taste buds. Moderation and balance plays also a key role. This baked pasta contains a variety of herbs which are full of anti-oxidants to protect our body from harmful substances and radicles in our body. In addition, wholemeal pasta can be used for this recipe to make it full of fibre which contains vitamins and minerals. So as you can see it is a balanced recipe where it is still rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants but still offers a delicious taste to satisfy both your hunger and appetite!


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

200g Maltese sausage

Half a cup mini pepperoni

450g tomato sauce

½ teaspoon dried mint

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon oregano

240g wholemeal pasta

Black pepper

1 cup shredded mozzarella



Preheat the oven at 150 degrees for 20 minutes.

Put the vegetable oil in a pan and heat. Add the Maltese sausage and cook for about 4 minutes until browned.

Add the pepperoni and heat for about 1 minute.

Add and stir the mint, basil, oregano and black pepper with the mixture.

Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the pack instructions.

Mix the cooked pasta with the tomato sauce mixture and put in a dish.

Add the mozzarella on top of the pasta and put in the oven for 10 minutes.

Serve and garnish with basil if required.

NB: In this recipe different types of sausages can be used according to your preference.

I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Let me know what you think about this recipe in the comments below. If, you would like more recipes which are low in calories & carbs I invite you to order our book. Each recipe also contains the nutritional information inside.


Chili Bean Soup with Avocado

Are you stressed out about what to cook for your family and friend at Christmas lunch?

Are you going to prepare a 3 course meal and want easy, delicious recipes?


This nutritious recipe of chili bean soup with avocado salsa is perfect to serve it for Christmas lunch as a starter for all your family and friends. This recipe is suitable for vegetarians and vegans as it contains beans, avocado, tomatoes, herbs and spices for a delicious taste. In addition, it is also low in calories, carbs and fats. It is full of vitamin B, C, E, K, folate and anti-oxidants.

Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 800 g kidney beans
  • 400 g chopped tomatoes
  • 2 L vegetable stock


For the salsa

  • 1 avocado, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
  • Half small onion, finely chopped
  • Half small red chili, sliced (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion, garlic and chilies and fry for 2-3 minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add the spices and continue to fry for a further minute.
  2. Add the remaining soup ingredients to the pan, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Transfer the soup to a food processor or use a stick blender and process until smooth (it may be easier to do this in batches), return to the pan and heat. Meanwhile, mix together all the ingredients for the salsa.
  4. Serve the soup topped with a spoonful of salsa.

Nutritional Information

  Per 100 g
Energy (Kcal) 62.3
Protein (g) 2.6
Carbohydrates (g) 6.0
of which sugars (g) 2.0
Fats (g) 2.4
Of which saturates (g) 0.4
Fibre (g) 3.0
Salt (g) 0.3

So, now you have your starter idea ready for Christmas – Chili bean soup with avocado!  If, you are still worried what to cook for Christmas main and dessert, I encourage you to check out our blog for easy, healthy and delicious recipes. In addition, if you want to change your eating habits throughout the coming year or want more recipe ideas I recommend you to order our recipe book ‘Everyday Cooking – a helping hand’. In this recipe book you will have more than 50 delicious recipes to cook for all your family and friends, all year long.


Kidney Stones Prevention

A healthy diet can directly reduce your risk for kidney stones. There is plenty of information on the web that is incorrect and not scientifically proven. This has led to misinformation and confusion about what a healthy kidney stone prevention diet should be.

What are kidney stones?

Kidney stones forms from a high concentration of calcium and oxalate in the urine which combines to form calcium oxalate. In other words, these two substances binds together to form kidney stones. Urine that is too acidic increases the risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones. Calcium and oxalate are more likely to bind in acidic environments. So, the kidney stone diet aims to increase urine pH to reduce the risk that calcium and oxalate will bind.


7 nutrition tips for kidney stones prevention
  1. Drink lots of fluids

The first diet goal for kidney stones prevention is to drink more fluids. The more urine you pee, the less concentrated calcium and oxalate there will be. As a result, it is less likely that a kidney stone will form. It is recommended to drink about 3L of fluid per day. Your daily fluid requirement may be different based on your body size, environment, gastrointestinal health and exercise schedule. Always seek advice form a dietitian about what is your fluid requirement. Drinking too much fluids can also lead to other health problems such as oedema. The best beverage choice is water and drinking 3L of tasteless fluid can be challenging for some people. Making water more “exciting” can help quite a bit. This can be done by infusing fruits or herbs with water in order to add a very lovely flavour without adding many calories or sugar.

  1. Limit Salt (Na)

Eating lots of salty foods will increase urine calcium and the risk for kidney stones. The extra calcium in the urine due to a high salt diet comes from our bones, putting them at risk of osteopenia. In addition, a high sodium diet is associated with increased blood pressure, which increases the risk of all sorts of health problems like kidney disease, heart disease, stroke and dementia. It is important to note that the majority of the salt we eat is already hidden in food. So, simply avoiding salt will not reduce sodium to our goal for most people. The key to a low sodium diet is to choose foods that are low in sodium in the first place. In other words, this means cooking with fresh, non-processed ingredients. Restaurants, commercially prepared and to-go foods are usually high in salt.


  1. Moderate amount of protein

A high protein diet will increase the urine calcium. In addition, high protein diets produce acid during metabolism. This acid is eventually excreted in our urine, which lowers urine pH and increases the risk of kidney stones. Similar to sodium, the extra calcium in urine from a high protein diet is taken from bone, putting the bones at risk of osteopenia.

  1. Eat enough Calcium

Calcium is a critically important piece of the kidney stones prevention diet. Previously, doctors told people with kidney stones to reduce calcium and dairy. This seemed to make sense since one of our goals is to reduce urine calcium.

However, we now know about the importance of calcium in stopping oxalate absorption in the intestines. Similar to how oxalate loves to bind with calcium in our kidneys and make kidney stones, they love to bind in our intestines as well. So, if calcium binds with oxalate before it is absorbed, the oxalate is excreted in our feces, instead in our urine. Studies have shown nearly a 50% reduction in kidney stones by adding dairy to the diet along with the low sodium and moderate protein considerations. It is important to note that for the latter to happen, we need to eat calcium when we eat oxalate so make sure to eat dairy with meals.

In addition, a diet high in calcium is critical for bone health. People who have a history of calcium kidney stones are more likely to experience bone fractures and weak bones. This makes sense, as all of that extra calcium in your urine comes primarily from breaking down bone.


  1. Reduce added sugars

Too much sugars in your diet will increase urine calcium. Therefore, sugar will increase the risk of kidney stones. In addition, high sugar intake is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Make sure to check the nutrition facts label for added sugar, as well as sodium. Try to find products with as little added sugar as possible. And, save sweet desserts for special occasions. Swap out ice cream after dinner for a lower sugar frozen yogurt or fruit.

  1. Reduce food containing oxalate

Reducing oxalate in the diet is perhaps the trickiest part of the kidney stone diet. Firstly, oxalate information found online is often conflicting, which results in frustration for people trying to follow a low oxalate diet. Foods which are high in oxalate include spinach, almonds, bran, rhubarb, raspberries and potato with skin.

  1. Eat fruit & vegetables

The final nutrition tip is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. How many? Aim for at least 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables per day. Eating fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced risk of hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer and gastrointestinal conditions. For kidney stones specifically, they help make our acid less acidic in urine. Therefore, it is less likely to form calcium oxalate from an acid urine.

Putting all the pieces of a healthy kidney stone diet can be overwhelming so always seek the help of a dietitian. A dietitian will guide you step by step for a kidney stone diet so that it becomes relatively easy and healthy for you. Lastly remember that this diet will reduce your risk for kidney stones and further medical complications.


Crab and Spinach Soup

This month, I invite you to try this Crab and Spinach soup. This delicious, low calorific recipe is full of Vitamin A, B12, C and K. In addition, it is also a rich source of Zinc, Magnesium, Copper and Selenium. As a result, these powerful anti-oxidants promotes proper immune function and healthy skin.

Moreover, this easy recipe is perfect if you have a busy lifestyle as it takes about 15 minutes to prepare it and 20 minutes for cooking. It is also ideal for 3 course meals during family dinners to serve as a delicious starter with low calories. After that, remember that there is still the main course and dessert to be served!

I love soups and seafood. In other words, I love this crab and spinach soup as it is a combination of my favourite food likes. Lastly and most important, I hope you find it easy and tasty as much as me…enjoy!!

Ingridients (Serves 4)
• 1 chicken stock cube dissolved in 1.2 L water
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• Pinch dried thyme
• 250 g fresh spinach, roughly chopped
• 250 g crab
• 6 tablespoons coconut milk
• 200 g green beans
• Freshly ground black pepper
• Few drops Tabasco

1. Place the stock, onion, garlic and thyme into a large pan.
2. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add the spinach, crab, coconut milk and green beans, and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Season well, adding a little Tabasco to taste.

Nutritional Information

Per 100 g
Energy (Kcal) 37.7
Protein (g) 4.9
Carbohydrates (g) 1.4
of which sugars (g) 1.1
Fats (g) 1.3
Of which saturates (g) 0.1
Fibre (g) 1.3
Salt (g) 0.4


Mind Your Own Plate! Food and Diet Health

I explain why you should mind your own plate as so many people with specific diets have developed terrible food intolerance of others & diet shaming.


  1. a time when everyone could go to dinner in peace and not get a lecture from your relative about the dangers of carbohydrates?


  1. when you could post a picture of your bacon and eggs and not get blasted by some troll for eating ‘chicken periods’?



  1. you could send your kids to schools with chocolates without getting a note sent home with them scolding your poor parenting skills?


Since the explosion of digital media, we’ve seen a concurrent explosion of what looks like ‘diet-ism’. My meaning of ‘diet-ism’ is an obsession of morality to a specific way of eating. As a result people develop in an intolerance of other people with “different” diets.

I’ve noted through experience in this field that everyone has their own unique opinion on how to eat. It seems people spend way too much time trying to convince others to eat that way too. If, you follow my blog you know that I don’t discriminate any type of food. I deliver facts on the safety and efficacy of certain restrictive diets. First of all that’s my job and secondly I am against restriction!

I’m against anything that gets in your way of enjoying food.

Unfortunately, for a lot of people, if you are not 100% aligned with their obsessive diets in their heads, you are doing something really really wrong!

How food choices shape our identity and food intolerance?

“You are what you eat”, a quote that comes from Brillat-Savarin’s quote: “tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you what you are.” This means that food is an inherent part of our identity. A lot of us hold onto our cultural identity by cooking and eat traditional foods. But cultural and geographic background is just a small piece of who we are.

Research suggests that people, especially women, tend to choose certain foods to manage other people’s impressions of them. One study even found that women tend to eat less when they worry their femininity is being threatened.

The thought of salads are feminine and steaks are for men is already bad enough. But now suddenly you’re a bad woman if you eat a slice of pizza? Or you’re a bad parent if your child eats a piece of chocolate? LOL! This is exactly the kind of crap that gets so many women suffering from orthorexia and eating disorders.

One study asked university students to rate profiles of people based on their diets. The students were shown pictures of sets of two identical looking people. One was classified as a “good” food eater, and the other as a “bad” food eaters. Apparently the students judged the “good” eater as more attractive, likeable, quiet, practical, methodical and analytical than those who ate “bad” foods. Even though everything else about them was identical!

Diet believes

Depending on whatever food dogma you believe, being bad could mean eating a chocolate bar because it has sugar in it. Or eating a burger because it’s fattening. Or eating a moderate bowl of pasta because of the gluten. We have assigned the moral weight of “bad” to a lot of foods, and that label is then transferred onto us. No one wants to feel like a lazy, stupid, fat, sloppy, BAD person so we avoid any of these “bad” foods like the Bubonic plague. But I want you all to know that we don’t have to be bad. Being jealous is bad. Lying to your partner is bad. Flirting with married men is bad. Eating a piece of chocolate isn’t bad and no one should make you feel like it is.

One theory by Lori Lieberman in her book Drop the Diet: Guided Recipes for Overcoming Your Food Rules, is that people are more likely to pass judgement on other people’s dietary choices when they’re less comfortable with their own way of eating.

As a woman and especially as a dietitian, I feel myself being judged on my food choices every single day. Here’s the thing. We all have our own journey to health and wellness. But when we find what works for us, and we start to feel good- physically and emotionally- we don’t give a shit what anyone else is doing in their diet. Exactly like I do unless I am asked to give a professional advise!


3 Mindful Eating Tips

What is mindful eating?

Are you continuously eating while watching TV?

Or eating too fast?

Does this sound similar to you?

I share my five easy mindful eating tips that will keep you healthy!


Nutrition tips for mindful eating


  1. Make a shopping list

When you food shop abundantly to store, first you should always make a shopping list! Plan monthly meals and make a shopping list of the ingredients you need. To help you save money check what you already have in the fridge and cupboards. In the shopping list include low calorie snacks such as rice cakes, sugar-free jelly and pop-corn.

  1. Prepare some low calorie snacks

Right after you go shopping, wash, chop and portion up some carrots, cucumber and bell peppers with hummus or Greek yogurt for an easy to grab snack. Put these low calorie snacks front and center in the fridge so that these are the first thing you see when you mindlessly open the door. I also like to prepare a portion of nuts and 2 bags of popcorn in the front of the cupboard just in case the cupboard door is opened first instead of the fridge.

  1. Swap your serving kitchen ware

Try to swap your dishes and dinner plates to a smaller size. You will be amazed how small they look in comparison to what you are used to but in reality our dishes are super-sized! This will also play a trick on your brain to eat less as you won’t be tempted to fill the empty space with large portions of food.


So there you go – three super easy mindful eating tips that will help you eat better without even knowing you are trying!


Fish Pie

A healthy homemade fish pie which is low in calories, low in carbs and high in proteins. This delicious fish pies is also full of omega 3 and vitamin D for a healthy balanced diet. I highly recommend you to try this homemade fish pie as a lovely recipe for your family. 

  • 1 kg sweet potato, cut into large chunks
  • 2 teaspoons rapeseed oil
  • 2 leeks, halved lengthways, then chopped
  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 fish stock cube
  • 400 ml skimmed milk
  • Good pinch white pepper
  • 25 g fresh parsley chopped (plus a little to garnish)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 300 g white fish, cut into cubes
  • 300 g salmon, cut into cubes
  • Pinch black pepper



  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Boil the sweet potatoes for 15-20 minutes until soft and drain.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a low-medium heat and fry the leeks, stir regularly, until they soften, about 7-8 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the leeks and crumble the stock cube over. Mix well for a minute or so until the leeks are coated.
  4. Slowly stir in a quarter of the milk until it becomes quite thick, then gradually stir in the rest, stirring constantly, until it comes to the boil. Stir in the white pepper and parsley and remove from the heat.
  5. Mash the sweet potatoes thoroughly and mix in the smoked paprika.
  6. Add the leek sauce to an ovenproof dish and arrange the fish so that it is evenly distributed, pushing it into the sauce. Top with the sweet potato and bake for 25-35 minutes until the sauce starts bubbling through the sweet potato, sprinkle with the remaining parsley and black pepper.

Nutritional Information


  Per 100 g
Energy (Kcal) 88
Protein (g) 6.0
Carbohydrates (g) 10.3
of which sugars (g) 3.3
Fats (g) 2.1
of which saturates (g) 0.3
Salt (g) 0.2

Healthy recipe of Strawberry Lemonade

A healthy recipe of homemade lemonade with fresh, tasty strawberries. At this period of time, strawberries are in season resulting in a cheaper, more affordable price.

As a result, have you ever bought a box full of strawberries due to its affordable price but ending up throwing it in the organic bin because after 1 day in the fridge it gets moulded?

This is perfect to use all your strawberries to make a homemade strawberry lemonade. In addition, this healthy recipe offers a great taste with low carbs and calorie content. Above all, it also contains plenty of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants to keep you healthy. This extremely healthy drink can be offered to children as part of a healthy diet.

  • 1 box fresh strawberries
  • 3 granulated artificial sweetener
  • 1.5 L carbonated water
  1. Finely chop the fresh strawberries and liquidise. Sieve the liquidised strawberries in an empty glass bottle.
  2. Add the 1.5 L of carbonated water.
  3. Add 3 tablespoons of artificial sweetener (add 1 tablespoon at a time and check taste according to your preference) and serve.
Nutrition tips

The first nutrition tip is to freeze strawberries when they are in season for later use. As a result, all their nutrients will be preserved for when they are not readily available at the counter. in addition, for more tips to reduce food waste you can check out my other blog: healthy food on a low budget  .Secondly, another nutrition tip is that this recipe can be done with all types of fruit. In my opinion, all type of berries such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries also offer a great taste for this healthy recipe. In this recipe you can also try it with normal sugar instead of sweeteners.

In conclusion, I invite you to try this drink which is perfect for children, diabetic persons and all your family. This drink is excellent for parties and family gatherings.


Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting for weight loss?

Evidence based pros & cons


Curious whether intermittent fasting will yield the best results for weight loss? And your health? We’ll review the most recent evidence on the topic.


Intermittent fasting is among a variety of diets right now. Even though it has been around for a while, it has gained popularity over the past 2 years.


What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting involves a fast. It’s the “intermittent” part that sets this fast apart from annual religious fasts. In most intermittent fasting diets you can only eat for less than 8 hours and fast for the remainder of the day. This means that you fast for a range of 16 hours in a day on certain days. On other days you would have the freedom to eat and meet energy requirements.

Many have claimed that these diets have various health benefits such as improving glucose homeostasis, boosting energy, increasing growth hormone production, reducing inflammation, decreasing oxidative stress, lowering triglyceride levels, increasing & protecting brain function, lowering blood pressure, increasing resistance to age-related diseases like immune disorders, cancer, heart disease, stroke, eye disease, Alzheimer’s and promoting longevity!

Are these claims true?

A lot of these claims have been made based on animal studies. Although some rodents are clever ones, a rat body and a human body don’t work the same way, and therefore it’s harder to conduct those studies on humans due to many influencing factors. The ones performed on humans are pretty limited, but do show some exciting results that intermittent fasting as a possible approach to benefiting human health as well! It is important to mention that these studies had mixed results, so we can’t make super clear cut conclusions.






Pros and Cons of Intermittent Fasting


Promoting health & weight loss Interference with the social aspect of eating
Reduces fat free mass Gets hungry, low energy & unproductive
Increases brain functioning Fasting = Binge
No change in diet Digestion problems
Simple Unclear impact on heart
Larger portions in a shorter time Potential long-term health consequences (especially for women)
Potential weight gain
Slower metabolism

No difference in results to calorie restriction


Personally, I’m not convinced by the research conducted till now. I believe that any “diet” that requires you to disregard your body’s innate hunger and satiety cues is not likely to be sustained. Ultimately, the goal of a diet is not to cause your body to go under any sort of chronic stress. Instead, to nurture and show it some love by taking care of it, starting with a foundation of a nutritious diet.


Real food vs supplements?

Immunity boost

Currently, there is a constant stream of articles and blogs on the web that suggest that we can ‘boost’ our immune system by having supplements of multi-vitamins and minerals. But are supplements something that we should be spending our money?


Now, more than ever it is time to boost your immune system. Your immune system depends on: age, diet, exercise, stress and lifestyle. Your immune system will function better if you adopt a healthy lifestyle strategy such as:

  • Quit smoking
  • Balanced diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Adequate sleep
  • Good hygiene practices (such as washing of hands)


Diet effects on our immune system

Like the Maltese saying “ xkora wieqfa ma tieqafx”, our body needs good regular nourishment to produce its warriors against bacteria and viruses. People who are malnourished are more prone to infectious diseases. Malnutrition can occur due to macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fats) or micro-nutrients (vitamin and minerals) deficiencies.

A balanced healthy diet will provide all types of vitamins and minerals which are essential for our body to remain in optimum health. As, I mentioned in other blogs there is no need to cut any type of food groups.

All food groups i.e. carbohydrates, proteins and fat provide different vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants essential for health. Make sure that all your meals contain a portion of carbs, protein and vegetables. Eat 2 to 3 fruits per day in between meals or as a dessert after meals.

Vitamins and minerals found in carbohydrates

Carbohydrates Starchy Carbs Fruit & Vegetables
Vitamins B1, B2 & B3 A, B6, C & K
Minerals P, Mg, Fe, Mn & Se K, Mg, Fe, Ca & Se


Vitamins and minerals found in proteins

Proteins Milk & dairy Meat & alternatives
Vitamins A, B6, B12, C & D B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, B12, D & E
Minerals Ca, P, K & Co Fe, Zn, P, S, K, Cu & Co


I truly believe that the more varied diet you eat, the more you manage to obtain different micro-nutrients from natural food without the need of any artificial supplementation. This will definitely boost your immune system to help you fight any disease and remain healthy.

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