Tag Archives: health

Chilli con carne recipe

Chilli con carne is great for those looking to stay in shape as long as you do keep it low fat (by choosing the right meat and using almost no oil) and have it solo (leave rice for guests or other family members). The combination of meat + beans makes it a great source of protein, peppers and paprika will give your metabolism a boost, its low in sodium, salt and sugar; and, of course, it just tastes amazing.

Chilli con carneIngredients:

  • 500g lean beef mince (5% fat or less). *Can be substituted by turkey mince or any other that contains less fat.
  • 400g tin of red kidney beans, washed and drained.
  • Olive oil or low calorie cooking spray
  • 1 large onion, 2 garlic cloves, 2 fresh bell peppers (green or yellow if available), 1 stick celery, 4 ripe plum tomatoes (or a can of chopped tomatoes if you are feeling lazy, although natural is always best), all finely chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste.
  • Meat broth, ground cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, chilli powder and/or chilli flakes, tabasco sauce, ground black pepper.
  • A pinch of cinnamon.
  • One small bunch fresh coriander

Chilli ingredients


*You can make cook chilli using a slow cooker, in which case all you have to do is put all ingredients at once (with the exception of oil, as you don’t need it at all) and let it simmer while mixing it every now and then . It ussually turns pretty good.

Spray a large pot with low calorie cooking spray (or use 1 tsp olive oil) and fry onion, bell peppers, celery and garlic gently over a low heat until softened and golden. Add the minced beef, meat broth and all spices but cinnamon and cook until browned, splitting the bigger meat chunks with a wooden spoon.

An important tip: Use small amounts of “hot” spices such as chilli powder, paprika and cayenne pepper, and only 2 or 3 drops of tabasco; it’s better to start just by giving flavor, will get back to spices at the end of the recipe.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, kidney beans and half a cup water, gently stir so beans don´t break in half. Bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the pinch of cinnamon, taste and add more of the “hot” spices if necessary. Leave another 5 minutes.

At this point, your chilli is ready to be enjoyed; nevertheless, the longer you let it simmer, the best it tastes (not to mention the left overs!!). If you want to let it simmer for more than 30 minutes, make sure you put the lid on so it doesn’t completely dry.

Serve topped with chopped fresh coriander.


Easy Veggie noodles recipe

The magic of this recipe is not only that´s easy; but the fact that you can basically use any veggies left over in your fridge and have a healthy delicious meal in 15 minutes.
You will need a wok and full 15 min to babysit the veggies. Other than that: we are ready to go! 😀


100 gms of Mie noodles per person (or, for this instance, your favorite ones)
1 tsp Ginger, finely chopped
2-3 garlic gloves, finely chopped
Half a bell pepper, julienned.
Half a big onion, thin sliced.
1 medium carrot, julienned.
3 mushrooms, julienned.
¼ cup bean sprouts.
¼ cup broccoli, in small pieces.
* You can also add other veggies you have, cabbage and spring onions go awesome with it.Veggies


2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp Chicken or beef broth
1 tsp coriander, finely chopped
Black pepper
Sriracha Sauce



First, heat enough water on a pan with a bit of salt; bring to boil. Work on the veggies while you prepare the noodles following the directions on the package, usually takes 3 minutes or less. Drain and rinse with cold tap water. Set aside.

Veggie Noodles 1Vegetables:

Heat oil on wok and add ginger and garlic, stir fry on medium heat for some seconds.
Increase heat to high and add all vegetables but coriander, continue to toss and stir fry until vegetables are almost done (careful not to overcook, veggies should be crunchy!).
Add soy sauce, broth, pepper and coriander, stir and then add the noodles.
Keep on tossing and stirring until vegetables are well mixed with noodles. Turn heat off.
Taste it and add more soy sauce or pepper if required. As soy sauce is a bit salty, I didn’t include any salt on the recipe; add some if needed.
To make them a bit spicy, you can add 3-4 drops of sriracha sauce after serving.


Veggie noodles 2

PICNIC TIME! Healthy Potato salad recipe

Picnic time has arrived and I couldn’t stop myself from bringing a nice potato salad to the park last weekend. Basically, I made a few adjustments here and there and Voilà! We have a healthier potato salad that tastes as good as the one your grandma makes. 😀

I´m gonna go straight into the recipe and explain the reasons for choosing one ingredient or another at the end of this post.

Salad Ingredients:
  • 3 white potatoes, with the skin.
  • 1 large orange/sweet potato, skinned (it´s not yam! Make sure you read the label)
  • 4 carrots, skinned
  • ½ a cup of cauliflower (or 2 “pieces” smaller than your hand…)
  • 2 large eggs, boiled.
 Dressing ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons Natural yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Light mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Light mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Red onion, chopped (the smaller the pieces the best)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cut all vegetables on small squares. Place potatoes on bottom of a big pot, followed by carrots and end up with cauliflower. Add water and let cook at high temperature.
On the meanwhile, boil the 2 eggs.
Once the potatoes are done, drain all vegetables and let them cool. Usually, at this point the cauliflower should be super tender or even reduced to very tiny pieces adhering to the rest of the vegetables: don´t panic, this is exactly what we need.
Peel the 2 boiled eggs, cut in the middle and gently remove and dispose of one of the yolks. Cut both in little squares.
Once vegetables are cool, put on a salad bowl, add all dressing ingredients and combine using a spoon. As the dressing ingredients combine, you will note the cauliflower “disappearing” and melting along, which is a good thing… All guests will end up saying “can´t believe this is healthy” 😀

So, why is this recipe supposed to be healthier than a regular potato salad:
  1. Potato with skin: Potato skins are a rich source of iron; if you eat potatoes without the skin you will not lose ALL the vitamins; but yes, very important quantities of vitamins do lay there.
  2. Sweet potato vs. White potato: There´s been a long debate over which one is better and the truth is all kinds of potato are very similar (white, sweet, purple…). They all are healthy carbohydrates, and, in general, they are roughly similar in their vitamin and mineral content. Nevertheless, orange sweet potatoes are vitamin A superstars. Plus, we all know the more colors we have on a plate the healthier it is so: why not??
  3. Adding cauliflower: Cauliflower, the same as broccoli, arugula and cabbage, makes part of the cruciferous vegetables family. This vegetable family is well known for its low calorie content PLUS it has the highest content of vitamin A carotenoids, vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber.
  4. Using only 1 egg yolk: Egg yolks contain most of the calories of the egg, and all of its fat and cholesterol. I know, I know… If you remove the egg yolk, you will cutting all of the Vitamin A, B12 and D of the egg; but that´s why we want to use that sweet potato and cauliflower!!
  5. Last but not least: We are using light mayonnaise and light mustard, plus, substituting the enormous amount of mayo you will usually have in potato salad for natural yogurt. Just in case: Mayonnaise is made by blending an egg with a bunch of oil… I guess I don´t have to explain myself further here?

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy the picnic! 😀

Tuna salad wraps recipe

I´m sorry I didn’t post this before, have been busier enjoying my food than posting about it…! 😀

Here´s the recipe for tuna salad wraps, from the Forgive me- diet experiment.


  • Whole-wheat tortilla
  • ¼ of a tuna can (water one, of course!)
  • ¼ of a sliced avocado
  • 3 to 4 slices of tomato
  • Spinach leaves, chopped
  • Lettuce leaves, chopped
  • Lime juice and red wine vinegar
  • * Optional: 1 carrot, shredded; and red onion (I know, I can´t get enough onion!)

Directions:Tuna salad wrap

It´s as simple as possible, just top each tortilla with all ingredients aligning them as it shows in the picture and then squeze lime juice and add a few drops of vinegar on top of your salad. Freshly ground pepper also goes very well with it.  Wrap up and enjoy!

Easter special: Fish Tacos (from the forgive me diet experiment)

Based on Dr.Oz Clean Detox Plan Fish Tacos, I came out with this refreshing, filling, guilty free pleasure (from the forgive me diet experiment, of course…). Try them this Easter for a healthy dinner that will WOW everyone.

Fish Tacos


  • a couple drops of olive oil and (only if available) Thai fish sauce (Nam Pla)
  • 2 halibut filets (or any white fish you find in your local market)
  • large leaves dark green lettuce
  • chopped spinach
  • shredded cabbage (better if mixing green and purple cabbage instead of using just one)
  • shredded carrot
  • thin sliced onion

Dressing: lemon juice red vinegar salt and pepper to taste.

Fish Tacos Directions:

  • Salad and dressing: in a small bowl stir all ingredients together and set aside.
  • Tacos: Cook the fish with olive oil and fish sauce, remove from the pan and gently break up into large bits. Top each lettuce leave with a fish portion and salad. If the lettuce leaves are big enough, you can try to wrap them as a burrito; otherwise, just eat them as a hand size.

* Note for not so healthy guests: As you see from the pictures, you can always use half a wrap tortilla underneath the lettuce leave. It tastes equally good. 😀

Why we all need our own trainer… even personal trainers…

Go back into time and remember your 1st day at a gym. If you’re reading this and you’re over 15 you probably have been at a gym at least once in your life. Isn’t it frustrating not to know how machines work? If you were lucky enough, you had a receptionist/smoothie maker/trainer that would give you a hint. Most of us will simply have to wait for a day when there aren´t 30 people around so one can take the time to read the sticker on the machine and then try to change the settings (so your body looks like the drawing on the stupid sticker) and then use it for the first time hoping its ok; but, mainly, hoping there´s no one making a video of you just to share it with Awkward Gym Moments.com.
We all know that “Im an idiot” feeling…

woman demonstrating an exercise machine, known as the Gymo Frame, to members of the Arsenal soccer team at Highbury football ground in London, UK, in 1932.
Woman demonstrating an exercise machine to members of the Arsenal soccer team in London, UK, in 1932.

You will need a personal trainer at least from time to time, not only to teach you how to use the new machines, not only to give you a program that gets you the exact results you want (yeah yeah, these amazing lunges will make your butt look like J. Lo’s); but you will need a personal trainer because they give you the knowledge and the push you need… even if you are in the business.

My sister “V” goes to the YMCA classes almost every day and trains for 2 hours. Between one class and the other she will go running with her gym mates. This January, while my other sister was visiting, she said to V: – “Ha! You spend 2 hours working out every day, yet, once a year I come and you all look the same to me”. V humbly replied: -“Well… we all work out to “maintain”, we can´t do better than this at our ages”. Funny thing is my sister might be the youngest, at her early 30s and the oldest… well… the oldest died while I was there on Christmas… at 79. It´s not a matter of age, is not that they don´t push themselves enough (God, they do!!); then why are they only “maintaining”?? They could use those 2 hours better… as a matter of fact, with their condition most probably they could “maintain” by doing 20 min of HIIT… And that’s when you want to invest in a coach…

ImageWatching the Champion´s League yesterday, José Mourinho, Manager of Chelsea, ran to celebrate the second score of the night… turns out he was running to tell them what to do next, the game wasn´t over… and he wasn´t sure they were going to win if they kept playing the same way. In the heat of a match, sometimes you lose consciousness of what´s going on. At a Cross Fit class, when you are pushing your limits, you have a coach yelling at you to go deeper on that squat, to go faster, to keep on pushing… And I must say, to all of you who don´t fancy the idea of been yelled at, there´s a scientific explanation to it; when you are really pushing yourself, hearth rate super high, muscles sending info through your nerves, nerves to brain, adrenaline snatching your body, muscles in pain, loud music on… if they don´t yell at you, you don´t hear them.

Last 11K I ran, I was happy doing 59 minutes because it was an easy, plain route. I love running, but my knees don´t anymore and 59 min sounded respectable. By the start line, I glanced at the pace maker with the 55 min balloon, same nice guy who had given me my pace maker bracelet and I thought, if he can do it: I can do it! Easier said than done, yes; nevertheless, at the end, if it weren´t for him and his blue balloon standing from the crowd, I would have done 59 minutes, maybe even 60. I simply wouldn´t have pushed myself as hard.
Look at professional athletes; do they do everything by themselves? Of course they don´t! Now, do you think Mo Farah (just saw him on TV as London Marathon is this Sunday) has his trainer next to him, yelling him to run faster?? Of course not!

So, what´s the thing with coaches, senseis, instructors, personal trainers?
That they (we) have been trained to get the best out of you. We push you, we motivate you, we feel your pain and we share and celebrate your victories. Your knockout punch, your best time at a run, the 2 extra kilos you lifted, the 1 pound you lost this week. Our only job is to yell at you what sometimes, in the heat of that long journey called life, you can´t see: that you are stronger, faster, better than you can even imagine.


Vegan zuchinni pasta from the “Forgive me diet” experiment

One of the best discoveries of this diet experiment (the mango smoothie continues to be my #1!) was zuchinni pasta. I tried to follow Vegan Angela´s recipe for raw vegan alfredo sauce with zucchini noodles but that ended up been a waste of cashews, hopefully due to a lack of a proper food processor and not because I cant properly follow recipes… O_o

Since I already had the zucchinni pasta made (which takes ages but God-its-so-good-all-that-time-is-worth-it) I decided to have a modified version of Vegangela zuchinni pasta using what I had available and hoped for the best. And it worked!! 😀

Here are the main ingredients:

  • Zuchinni (1 big zuchinni per person shall be enough).
  • Garlic gloves
  • Chilli flakes
  • Tomatoes, cut in half or 1/4 (depending on the size…)
  • Olive oil
  • Pepper


  1. Use a fruit peeler to prepare the zucchini pasta (yes, just peel the skin off, discard and then keep on peeling and peeling in order to make the “pasta”)
  2. Heat olive oil in a frying pan, add garlic, chili flakes and saut for a minute.
  3. Add tomatoes, saut for another minute.
  4. Add the zuchinni, a bit of pepper (to taste) and saut all together for another minute.

I promess it´s all worth it!! This is the best no-carbohidrates pasta I have ever had, and I think it might even taste better!

Bon app tout le monde! 😉