My Story

Hello, I’m Geraldine, the person behind The Healthy Malteser. I’ve created this space to share healthy recipes that have helped me maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the years. My mission is to inspire others who are struggling with their relationship with food to find the right balance between eating nutritious, healthy food, and feeling satisfied and indulged. This page is all about my journey to becoming The Healthy Malteser!

A photo of Geraldine after the Malta Half Marathon

As a child, I had an uncontrollable sweet tooth, and any time sweets went missing from the cupboards, fingers pointed in my direction (and with good reason!). As I grew older and became more conscious about my looks, I was torn between craving sugary treats for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and not wanting to put on weight.


I guess we all fall into a habit of comparing the way we look with other people, especially during our delicate teenage years. In my case, I was always quite chunky – yet also stronger than the average girl. But 16 year-old me didn’t appreciate the role that genetics play, and just wanted slimmer thighs and a toned, slender frame. Quite frankly, comparing myself to others drove me nuts. I would go into a cycle of hating the way my body looked, stuffing my face in sugar to cope with these emotions, feeling overcome by guilt, followed by not eating for days on end and struggling with eating disorders.

Geraldine in a mustard dress looking chubby

I eventually crawled out of these negative patterns – yet my dietary choices never really improved. This led to a heavy weight gain and a huge drop in my confidence levels. As I matured into my 20s, I sought the help of a nutritionist (with support from dad, who also had some 50 kilos to shed). Long story short, I lost the extra weight and kept it off ever since. After years of yoyo dieting and weight fluctuations, I shifted my focus to long-term success, accepting my body and focusing all my efforts on becoming a healthier, stronger and better version of me. I learnt an invaluable lesson; balance is key.

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There is no secret to losing weight fast and keeping it off. For me, success came through these five factors.

1. Accepting my Body

It took years for me to start liking my body, to stop feeling guilty every time I ate something ‘bad’, and to stop looking at others and wishing I looked that way.  Understanding and accepting my body was, by far, the most important factor for my mental wellbeing. I now use body composition scales which track bone mass, muscle mass, water, protein and other metrics. My body is composed of a high percentage of bone mass (3.9%), a high percentage of muscle mass (60.7%), yet a relatively high percentage of body fat (34%). I found these metrics very insightful and they helped me accept that I will always be heavy – and that’s ok! I will keep working on getting even stronger, and building strength starts with fuelling myself with nutritious food.

2. Finding the right Balance 

Accepting my body helped me transition to a mindset of eating nutritious food just for the sake of being healthy and stimulating my body with optimal fuel. Tearing down the association of food with the way I looked was a powerful psychological tool to help me achieve balance. My definition of balance is feeling satisfied with the food I eat whilst also eating healthy and nutrition-packed food (and sweets 😉 ). If I crave Baci, Prinjolata or Figolli, eating fruit isn’t going to cut it… so I crafted recipes substituting ingredients with empty calories (think on the lines of white flour and margarine) for better quality ingredients, packing in plenty of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and good stuff. For this reason, not all my recipes are low in calories. Some of my recipes are created with the intention of being as authentic as possible to the traditional Maltese sweets while still being healthy. Other recipes are created with people on low calorie diets in mind.

3. Embracing Plant-based

Up until the age of 20, I never really fancied vegetables, and this was one of the main reasons why I failed to maintain a healthy diet. Upon visiting my nutritionist, I quickly understood that if I wanted to eat satisfying portions and still lose weight, I needed to pack in some vegetables into each meal. This would still allow me to enjoy all the foods I loved; for example, if I felt like eating Ghagin il-Forn, I would replace half the amount of pasta with mixed vegetables. Since I didn’t quite like vegetables at the time, I used riced vegetables to add bulk without really tasting them. After a few weeks of eating more of the vegetables I actually liked, I started experimenting with different vegetables and, over the months, grew to like them so much that I switched to a completely plant-based diet. If you hate the green stuff, don’t despair! Studies have shown that your tastebuds can actually be retrained and by ‘hiding’ veggies in foods you love. You won’t even realize they’re there! 

4. Seeking Help & Support

Successfully transitioning to a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about losing weight and keeping it off. Throughout my journey, I felt that the psychological barriers were the hardest to overcome: the pangs of guilt when eating an extra slice of cake; equating a specific number on the weighing scales to happiness; not being able to socialize without sabotaging my goals – those were some of the issues that kept me from adopting the ‘healthy is forever’ mindset. However, knowing that my dad was facing the same struggles and pledging to be healthy together was very motivational for me. We made each other accountable and supported each other along the way. It helped so much to know we were in it together. We did ‘break the rules’ with a pizza or dessert every once in a while, yet we both understood that being disciplined with food to a regimental level wasn’t going to be helpful in the long run, and that balance is key. Finally, whenever I was invited to a family gathering, I would always offer to make dessert myself. In this way, I could still enjoy the party and feast on sweets with the rest of the family. Everyone else got to enjoy a divine treat which they didn’t know was actually healthy 🙂

5. Physical Activity

Exercise helps stimulate the release of ‘feel good’ brain chemicals, triggering a feeling of positivity. Numerous studies have shown that exercise keeps your heart healthy, blood sugar levels in check, prevents diabetes, and can reduce symptoms of depression. Being physically active for at least a few minutes (or hours) a day really helps me maintain a positive mindset. Nothing beats the feeling of achievement and accomplishment I experience after a challenging workout or achieving a new personal best time in a long run. So… walk, jog, swim, run, dance, box, lift, bounce around on a trampoline… just do something you enjoy, and do it for your mental wellbeing too – not just to burn calories.

Geraldine presenting healthy sweets on The Healthy Malteser Stand at The Women in Me event

My final message to you is to find solutions that work for YOU. We’re all different, and my strategy does not guarantee you success. Seek the balance that suits you. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a long-term strategy that will require a change in habits and dietary choices. It gets easier after a few weeks, and with a little support and a positive mindset, you’ll be on the way to living a happier, healthier life. No matter what stage you’re currently at, always love your body and take care of your health because negative thoughts and actions will not give you the positive life you’re striving for.

I hope you enjoy my blog and find it useful en-route to your healthy journey! You can also follow @TheHealthyMalteser on Facebook and Instagram.

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