February 12, 2023


The diet I have been following is very effective.  It cuts out most fat, sugar and some of the carbs from my daily intake, allowing plenty of veg, fruit and protein.  Pasta, potatoes and rice can be eaten freely, which seemed odd at first but I can understand the reasoning behind it.  There is a limit to how much of that stuff I can eat at a meal and if I'm full on those I'm then less likely to snack on fattening foods between meals.  I have never once felt hungry during the fourteen weeks I have been following the plan and so far have lost 1 stone 9 lb, i.e. 23 lb or roughly 11 kilos.  I feel immensely better for it, in so many ways.

Success lies in planning meals, not being caught out when eating out and, above all, changing the way we cook.  I say we because Nick does about the same amount of cooking as I do and we are eating the same things.  He does not need to lose any weight so fills up on bread, toast, extra potatoes or pasta or whatever.  We always had what I thought was a healthy diet but without a doubt there were too many treats, snacks and wine.  (Reducing our wine intake has been the hardest part.)

We have both adapted to the new way of cooking which is basically with virtually no fat.  It's true that a certain amount of butter or oil in cooking adds flavour to the food (and realistically we never had that much of either of them) but we have got used to not having them, to the extent that we no longer feel the need to use them.  It's an interesting process of change.  Understanding that you can cook tasty food without fattening ingredients is key to the process.

I personally make meatballs very infrequently, probably about once every ten years!  I always thought they were a bit of a faff but this recipe is very quick to prepare if much slower to cook.  The original gives courgettes and aubergine as the veg part of the dish but I used some bits and pieces of other veg instead of the aubergine, as that's what I had in the fridge.

The quantity serves four so we had the first half served separately with pasta, then turned it into a pasta traybake the next day.  Delicious and very un-fattening!


For the meatballs

500g very lean minced beef, 5% fat or less

1 onion finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

For the sauce

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tsp dried oregano

1 large can chopped tomatoes

1 400g carton passata 

1 veg stock pot made up to 150 ml with boiling water (or home made stock)

1 large courgette, cut into large chunks

Root veg such as parsnip, swede, butternut squash, celeriac, trimmed and cut into chunks


Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180° fan / gas mk 6.

Put the tomatoes, passata and stock into a large roasting tin or casserole dish, add the veg, oregano and one of the chopped onions and stir together.  Cover with foil or a lid and bake in the oven for 50 minutes

While the veg are cooking make the meatballs by putting the minced beef, the other chopped onion and the crushed garlic into a large bowl.  With your hands mix it all well together.

Divide the mixture into 20 roughly equal portions and roll each one into a ball.  Place them on a tray of some kind and put in the fridge to chill.

After the 50 minutes cooking time, stir the meatballs into the mixture and bake with the lid on for another 40 minutes.

Serve with pasta or veg.

Serves 4.


  1. I'm very impressed with your progress. We drastically reduced the amount of fat in what we cook (with some exceptions) about 6 or 7 years ago and I greatly reduced the amount of salt around 3 years ago. It seems natural now and I don't miss either but it does mean I avoid certain foods if I eat in restaurants. A risotto finished with lots of butter and seasoned heavily with salt just tastes unpleasant to me these days.

    1. It's interesting how much our taste can change, how unpalatable some foods can become after a fairly short time.
      Knowing that too much of certain ingredients is not good for us definitely adds to the change!