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!


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.


Low Carbs or No Carbs?

Low carbs or no carbs?

We ask or believe if carbs are good for health or not? Should we consume carbs or should we eliminate them completely from our diet? We should evaluate the positive and negative effects of carbohydrates on our health.

Search on the web about carbs and you will find any type of suggestions for a normal, low or no carb diet. With no doubt you will find doctors, health professionals, gym instructors and food bloggers who agrees with low carb intake but what is the evidence about this?


How low carb diets originated?

The trend for a low carbohydrate diet started in 2015, during an episode of Doctor in the House showed on the BBC. The emphasis was on removing carbohydrates for diabetic patients emphasizing removal of wheat and diary products, fasting and eating 5 portions of vegetables a day without any fruit. As a result, this followed by a speech from Dr Mellor on behalf of the British Dietetic Association (BDA), who advised:

‘This advice is potentially dangerous with possible adverse side effects. Not only is there limited evidence around carbohydrate elimination but cutting out food groups could lead to nutrition problems, including nutrient deficiencies.’

Despite the BDA advice, the media continues to recommend low carbohydrate diets especially for type 2 diabetes (T2DM). This trend also follows in Malta with a lot of people trying different types of diets, from low carb diets to keto diets, experimenting what might work.

In the Eatwell Guide, the recommendation is to have a large portion (45 – 65%) of the diet from starchy carbohydrates. The low carbohydrate diets can be definied:

  • Normal carbohydrate intake = 250g per day
  • Low CHO intake = 136g per day
  • Very low CHO intake = 50g per day
How a low carbohydrate diet works?


Low carb diets are known for weight loss for a short period of time. If, you happen to have tried low carb diets I think you agree that they work for weight loss. But what happens in your body? When not enough carbohydrates are supplied to your body, the metabolic pathways of the body changes converting protein to carbohydrates. As a result, the lost kilos on your weighing scale will be lost from your muscles and not your fat stores leading to a decrease in metabolic rate. In addition, when the short period of diet pass and you re-introduced carbs you will experience a rapid weight gain due to the decrease in metabolism from the previous diet.


Where do we find carbohydrates in food?
Starchy Carbohydrates Simple Carbohydrates
Cereals Fruit Sweets
Bread Vegetables Chocolate
Pasta Milk & dairy products Cakes
Rice Fruit juices Soft drinks

carbohydrate rich food

Carbohydrates and health


Carbohydrates are important for your health because:

  1. Provide energy
  • Your brain cells are only happy when they use carbohydrates as fuel. When the brain does not function properly you will experience brain fog, mood swings and even possible of depression.
  • Your muscles use carbohydrates for your daily life activities, exercise and muscle recovery.


  1. Protect against diseases
  • Fibre protects you against obesity, intestinal cancers and it even acts as a prebiotic
  • Respiratory substrates – carbohydrates are used to synthesis mucous in the upper respiratory tract which protects against virus and bacteria entering your body


  1. A source of vitamins and minerals
  • Vitamin A, B, C, D and K
  • Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Iron and Selenium



I think all types of carbohydrates can be beneficial for your health if consumed in the right amount. Everyone has different carbohydrate intakes so don’t compare yours to your family, friends or anyone else as this is effected by body type, age, exercise, type of lifestyle and medical conditions.

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