Gasp!? OMG how dare I feed my child REAL FOOD???!!

So I was approached by a big blog called Kidspot to talk about Paleo, then The Daily Mail. Well what a goddamn scandal. Who knew that NOT eating processed cr@p every day would upset so many people!? Well, actually, I did because people get upset at things that challenge what they think they know and things that might make them question their own choices.  People also become VERY brave on the other side of their computer screen…. Even when they haven’t even bothered to READ the article in question. As Ms Swift aptly sings,”And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate”.

How dare I deprive my child of what is basically kindergarden grade glue (flour & water…. Also known as bread) as a staple in her diet in place of whole foods!! Man, I’m a jerk. Grace might end up with ‘gluten-deficiency’….. Oh hold on, there’s no such thing. Now don’t get me wrong, what they left out of the article (OF COURSE) is that I am not going to have a melt-down if my kid shoves some bread down her gullet at some point, or eats a piece of cake at a kids party. If Grace  (and I) eat things on occasion that are less-than-ideal, so be it but those things will not be making up the majority of our diet. Do I think a bowl of pasta is going to cause her or I major health problems? Hell no, BUT, what I do think, is that if she’s chowing down on on a big bowl of pasta, she’s not chowing down on a big bowl of veggies and they win in the nutritional stakes. Every. Single. Time.

There’s a few things I’d like to rant about from up here on my soapbox. Firstly, this is NOT a strictly Paleo blog. It’s a real food blog it’s just that many of the things that I choose to cook (because it’s MY blog) fall into that category of Paleo because that is what makes me feel good.  Secondly, there is no ONE Paleo diet. There never has been, there is only your version of Paleo, based on a template, that works for you. The Paleolithic Aboriginies would have had a very different natural diet to the Inuits, or the American Indians, neither right or wrong but what worked for them based on what was available. Eating in this manner is not designed in any way to mimic our Paleolithic ancestors completely, rather provide a framework based on real food so that we can work out what works for us as individuals. Seriously, caveman had no Paleo cookies but I’m damn sure he would if he could. If dairy & grains make you feel good, fill your boots. My point is that no-one is reaching optimal health from coco pops, microwave pizza & Doritos.

Now before I have to hear one more time that WE NEED CALCIUM from dairy, how about a bit of education around that. Calcium is BUT ONE of the factors that influences bone health. Other integral & equally as essential things are magnesium, vitamin D, reducing inflammation that is caused by excessive sugar & processed carbohydrates, adequate collagen, vitamins A & K2. It’s also worth keeping in mind that there are PLENTY of non-dairy sources of calcium that are an excellent option for people who don’t tolerate dairy or choose not to eat it. That being said, no, Grace has not had dairy yet because she is still being breastfed & eats loads of other calcium rich foods, not to mention the fact that I don’t tolerate dairy so it’s not something I have at home right now, BUT, I will certainly try her with it in the future and provided she tolerates it well then I think it can be a very healthful food. As with all food, quality matters, so I will look for the best quality organic dairy I can for her but you can do whatever floats your boat. Here’s a great graphic from Eat Drink Paleo to show non-dairy calcium sources.


Anyone who actually knows me, knows that I am not dogmatic in my approach and if you’ve been following me for a while you would know that I am far more passionate about improving your health in whatever way that looks like for you than preaching about the evils of non-Paleo foods. The purpose of this blog is to help you get back in their kitchen and get back to eating real food in the hopes that it will improve your health & wellness. I love to cook & eat delicious & nutrient dense food. If that’s not what you like, that’s cool, no-one’s forcing you to be here so with all due respect, rack-off.

Now I’m going to make like Tay-Tay & Shake It Off. Thanks for stopping by and a word of advice from my mum, ‘if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all’, she’s smart like that.


44 thoughts on “Gasp!? OMG how dare I feed my child REAL FOOD???!!

  1. WELL SAID SHAN!! And the calcium from cows’ milk is not the same as the calcium human bones need, it’s just another one of those great (not) health myths out there in mainstream media. Even though you were portrayed in a bad light and people are going to bag you out, it’ll still end up being a positive thing in general because it’ll get people talking, and researching, and some will find out about the cleaner more natural way of living, and that’ll help more people πŸ™‚

  2. myfoodreligion says:

    Thanks guys! I appreciate your support

  3. Monica Quinn says:

    What a great Mum you are to keep to your own standards of eating without being influenced by others. Ignorant people are the most critical of what they do not understand. My husband and I are seeing a dietician and the guide is very much like Paleo but with whole grain bread, brown rice and moderate eating of carbohydrates.
    It is really commonsense to eat the right foods. Grace looks pretty wonderful considering she is eating healthy.

  4. myfoodreligion says:

    Thank you Monica

  5. Davina says:

    Love your blog Shan! Keep up the awesome work, we love trying out your recipes. I haven’t been following what the haters say. I am shocked that anyone could comment on such a thing but honestly don’t give two hoots. My family have not been better, healthier and happier then they are now. As a mum I feel it is important to ensure your children are provided with a healthy start for a healthier future. Just watched “That Sugar Film” and “Sugar Rush”. I am now the parent who says “How dare you feed my child processed food”. Stick your bread and cupcakes were you dribble the most

  6. myfoodreligion says:

    Davina right on lady! Love your work!

  7. Nina says:

    What an excellent article! Well done πŸ™‚

    I eat a lot of Paleo and also am gluten and lactose intolerant. But I’m not strictly Paleo and never will be! I love beans and legumes, which is a no no in the Paleo world.
    As you’ve stated, a lot of my food ‘falls into Paleo’ but I also eat a lot of food that works well for me and is healthy.

    It’s all about good, real food and cutting out all processed foods, in my world. πŸ™‚

    You sound like a very knowledgable, intelligent person and what you wrote made me smile. πŸ™‚

  8. myfoodreligion says:

    Thank you Nina, I appreciate you taking the time to comment

  9. Lisa says:

    Mainstream media have an agenda to push paleo as dangerous as its in the best interests of their corporate sponsors. The more viciously they attack you the more threatened they are. Its a compliment. I also believe some of the commenters on these articles are paid PR firms who write such horrible comments to give readers of the comments the idea that their opinion is the norm. I think most reasonable people you spoke to and explained your lifestyle would see the value in it, even if they didn’t want to commit to it themselves.
    My baby has also been raised on a real food diet too. He thrives on it and is very rarely ill too. The knowledge we have is a total gift and I couldn’t be happier with our choices. You cant keep a good thing down – this is going to spread whether the food companies like it or not. I feel so blessed we are a little ahead of the curve – I guarantee it will be much more mainstream in 5-10 years
    Try not to take it personally. Hugs, peace love and light to you and your happy healthy family x

  10. myfoodreligion says:

    Thank you Lisa

  11. Ann says:

    Well said. In a whole food context, “What you think and what you feel is right for you ” Is right for you.

  12. myfoodreligion says:

    Thank you Ann

  13. Kirstie says:

    I just read your interview in the Daily Mail and think you came across really well (although the “never eaten a carb” headline is typical of that paper’s type of sensationalist (and purposely misleading) journalism!).

    I currently follow the autoimmune protocol (an elimination diet fairly similar to “Paleo”) to manage hashimotos, and I’m 5.5mths pregnant. I have been thinking about how I will feed my child when the time comes and think you have a very sensible and health focused approach.

    Your daughter eats plenty of carbs, just in the form of nutrient dense veggies. And I love that you will let her make her own choices at parties. You’re already setting her up for a healthy life by feeding her the way you do at home, a couple of cakes or sandwiches here and there won’t ruin that.

    So, I think what you’re doing is great and your daughter will thank you for it in the future!

  14. myfoodreligion says:

    Thank you!

  15. Toni says:

    You go girl!!

  16. myfoodreligion says:

    Thank you Toni

  17. Holly says:

    I read the article on Good Housekeeping and thought, since when does fruit and quinoa not have carbs?! HA! Ahh journalistic “excellence”. I say BRAVO! to you. You and your sweet babe have bright white eyes and glowing skin so clearly you are doing something right! I love that you have given her a great foundation but won’t be rigid with the choices she makes as she gets older. If you were my mother, I would profusely thank you later in my life for not giving me 20 years of gut issues to solve. Keep on keepin’ on. You are doing right and you know it. Thanks for the inspiration. I plan to become a mother in the next few years and I think this is an excellent plan to follow.

  18. myfoodreligion says:

    Thank you Holly. Sounds like you’re going to be a kick arse mumma yourself!

  19. Lynda says:

    That was a fantastic response!! I couldn’t agree more. Shake it off, you are doing an amazing job!

  20. myfoodreligion says:

    Thank you Lynda!

  21. Leesa says:

    I was put onto the articles by The Paleo Way group on Facebook and everyone has glowing words for you! So don’t take it to heart (which you don’t seem to have done!) and shake it off!

    You’re a role model for those out there – and by the looks of it, your little girl is as healthy as a horse. πŸ™‚ keep doing what you’re doing and have a laugh to yourself in 5 – 10 – 20 years when everyone eats like this!

  22. myfoodreligion says:

    Thank you Leesa.

  23. Kate says:

    What a wonderful healthy attitude you have both to raising your daughter and with coping with the nay-sayers. We are all adults and we all have the right to choose what we feed ourselves and our children. Generally, I have found through life in a number of controversial issues, that the haters are the ill-informed while the strong steady minority are well-researched with better outcomes.

  24. myfoodreligion says:

    Couldn’t agree more Kate. People are getting upset because it makes them have to look at what is on their own plates. Everyone just needs to do the best they can to feel good and when you know better, you can do better.

  25. Patrice says:

    Great work Shan. You and your baby look radiantly beautiful and healthy. I love that you are still breastfeeding her (I’m a midwife!). Wish I’d known 24 years ago what I know now about food and nutrition. My boys would have been raised on a very different diet. Keep up your great work….Cheers, Patrice. p.s. I am also a Health & Nutrition coach and I always give your website as resource to my clients.

  26. myfoodreligion says:

    Patrice thank you so much. You rock like nobodies business!

  27. Courtney says:

    You go girlfriend!!! I’m in week 3 of eating paleo and each day am learning more and more about it. Everyone who I tell asks me why I’m doing it, and that it’s stupid… They just don’t have any idea what it is!!! I’ve never felt better and will continue to live the paleo life and if and when children come into the picture I would like to feed them the same!

  28. myfoodreligion says:

    Hey Courtney, how bizarre that people find eating real food so confronting! Peoples judgment of you says far more about them than it does about you so you just keep doing whatever makes you feel good & tell the others to keep their eyes on their own plate.

  29. Jemma says:

    The way I see it, I’d not heard of you or your blog before I read the ‘this baby has never eaten a carb’ article. I’d never heard of Pete Evans before I read the ‘activated almonds’ article. It’s because awesome people like you are prepared to face ridicule, that people like me and my extended family can experience health like we never thought possible.
    I love your common-sense approach. Keep doing what you’re doing. xx

  30. myfoodreligion says:

    Thank you Jemma. I appreciate that very much. The haters just need to keep their eyes in their own plate πŸ˜‰

  31. Chantel says:

    Yay!!! Some sense πŸ™‚ I have a predominately paleo baby – he may end up primal if he is ok with dairy like I am, still testing it out. He gets some corn and other non paleo stuff at Nannas and oma’s and that’s OK too, but I know his gut health is awesome, and he gets over any illness in 24 hours. Great post

  32. myfoodreligion says:

    Thank you Chantel. Sounds like you’re doing a kick arse job mumma!

  33. Sandy says:

    That was brilliant! Love your approach and your down to earth rant. You win! πŸ™‚

  34. myfoodreligion says:

    Thanks Sandy. You rock.

  35. Bianca says:

    I recently took miss 4 to the doctors for her immunisation. The doctor asked if she eats much processed foods. As I was diadnosed coeliac last year, I told the doc that we eat mainly Paleo as I find lots of gluten free products upset my and the whole house eats what I eat so we don’t have any risk of contanimation. I’ve never been a label reader so I just don’t buy things with labels.
    The doc also told me to keep the kids away from sugar. I told her we all watched that sugar film and the kids now read labels on foods they used to eat. They are all happy eating fresh foods and don’t look for snacks in the cupboard that aren’t there.

  36. myfoodreligion says:

    Bianca you rock!

  37. Misty says:

    So glad I read this because the article that first told of “your choices” did not say that you were not staunch in the following which leads people to believe that you are depriving your child. So very glad to hear you’re still breastfeeding that makes all the difference in the world. My only concern was they made it seem that you were strict on the low fat and knowing that children’s brains need lots of fat in the first 5 years to make all of the proper connections at axon junctions it worries me. But now having read your response it’s obvious that you are not some crazy person starving her child. I applaud you. Mine love veggies, preferably raw or lightly steamed but I have a hard time getting them to eat meat, I kind of have to hide it within their veggies just to make sure they’re getting enough protein. Hopefully they come to appreciate meat in the future.

  38. myfoodreligion says:

    Thanks Misty, we love fat in this house! πŸ˜‰

  39. Cassie east says:

    This was so perfectly said. It’s ridiculous that in a world where chronic disease brought on by our poor diets is rife, eating REAL food is criticised. I am in awe of you for creating a brilliant example for your children, and you should be applauded for what you have done. Keep doing what you are doing, because it’s people like you who are changing the world.

  40. myfoodreligion says:

    Thank you Cassie. I appreciate that very much x

  41. Kale says:

    Nice work Shan!! We’ll have to interview you on the podcast πŸ™‚


  42. myfoodreligion says:

    Thanks Kale! That would be awesome!

  43. Danielle Frost says:

    I’ve just found your blog – as a friend shared your post on FB. My son is 6 months and starting solids and I sort of feel pressure to justify why I don’t want him having bread. I am gluten and dairy free by choice, as I have some reactions (although minor) to them. And I liked how you put it, that nutritionally raw veges/fruit are better. Somehow we believe that we must have bread and milk in our diet – it is pretty hard to educate young people (I’m a Health and PE teacher in NZ) on this topic as the food pyramid has these as some of the main serves, and re-educate the older generation who look at you weirdly for not having bread as that was what they lived off. But I feel things are definitely heading in a better direction in this world – lots more options for gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free people, plus raw food, and more youth interested in vege gardening and health – makes me excited for the future! Thanks for sharing the Calcium table – it really puts things into perspective.

  44. myfoodreligion says:

    Good on you!

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