Insect flour

Ever get the feeling your protein shake isn’t protein-y enough?

Well, some might say the solution just isn’t cricket, but it is.

It’s cricket flour. Yep, the insect.

Give your protein shake a protein boost with cricket flour.


Give your protein shake a protein boost with cricket flour.

While it’s called cricket flour, it’s really a high-protein additive (68 per cent protein) and it’s even gluten free.

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Perfect for your ‘new year, new you’ post-workout recovery.

Shop owner Jeremy Claasen was not sure how edible insects would go down in Blenheim.


Shop owner Jeremy Claasen was not sure how edible insects would go down in Blenheim.

Judy and Jeremy Claasen have started selling cricket flour, along with a host of other edible insects, from their new Blenheim store, The Shop That’s Not.

Salted-caramel scorpions, barbecued grasshoppers, chili chocolate lotus have been flying off the shelves in the Queen’s Market Mall store since they opened eight weeks ago.

They sourced their products from Crawlers, based in Auckland, which imports insects and insect products from Thailand.

Edible insects are flying off the shelves in Blenheim and "everybody" is trying them.


Edible insects are flying off the shelves in Blenheim and “everybody” is trying them.

The Crawlers website said it took approximately 1000 crickets to make 100 grams of cricket flour.

Cricket flour was 100 per cent natural with no preservatives, artificial colours or flavours.

Judy Claasen said they asked everybody who came into the shop if they wanted to try an edible insect, and about 90 per cent were willing.

The Hell Pizza bug pizza with edible insects that didn't make it. But you can make your own insect toppings at home.

Hell Pizza

The Hell Pizza bug pizza with edible insects that didn’t make it. But you can make your own insect toppings at home.

The crunchy critters had been selling well for Christmas and birthday gifts, Claasen said.

“A woman bought crickets for her son for Christmas … he was 11 I think and he enjoyed them so much he came back the next week and bought another packet,” she said.

Claasen said people had been “pleasantly surprised” with the taste.

There's a new source of protein available at The Shop That's Not, in Blenheim, if you're brave enough.


There’s a new source of protein available at The Shop That’s Not, in Blenheim, if you’re brave enough.

“If you didn’t know you were eating an insect, you’d think it was like a nice biscuit,” she said.

Claasen said she wanted her store to stand-out from the crowd.

“Our aim is to sell products no-one else in Blenheim has,” she said.

Dunedin Polytechnic Food Design Institute student Funn Boyle created an insect ice cream in 2016.

Funn Boyle

Dunedin Polytechnic Food Design Institute student Funn Boyle created an insect ice cream in 2016.

Partner Jeremy Claasen said he wasn’t sure how the edible critters would go in a town like Blenheim.

“It’s different eh, especially in a little conservative town,” he said.

Although, he was thrilled the insects had been going so well.

The Shop That's Not, in Blenheim, is selling a variety of edible creepy crawlies.


The Shop That’s Not, in Blenheim, is selling a variety of edible creepy crawlies.

He said the tarantulas had proved the most popular of the lot so far.

The pair were planning to expand the variety of insects instore because the first batch was successful.

Judy Claasen wanted to sell edible black ants, meal worms, scorpion lollipops, ant lollipops, cricket lollipops and mealworm lollipops.

The insects had a shelf life of 12 months and had been collected fresh from farms and cleaned, cooked, dried and packaged, Claasen said.

The cost of the edible crawlies ranged from $12 to $25.

Insects from more than 1900 species form parts of the diets of roughly 2 billion people worldwide, according to a study by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. The crunchy critters were a good source of protein, iron and calcium.

One warning: if you are allergic to prawns and shrimps, crickets and locusts will cause you problems.

Why gym bunnies are mixing it up

There’s been a change in what gym bunnies think is the best way to work out. Photo / File

When you’re slogging away at improving your fitness you want to be sure all that effort isn’t wasted.

It seems there’s a new way to get fit every day. Aerial suspension ran hot for a while, with people trying yoga or strength classes while suspended in reams of silks.

There are shake weights, rolling weights, or weights you can strap onto different parts of your body.

For those who fancy themselves a bit of a ballerina, barre classes have been popular for a while now.

I love a good gimmick, and if it gets me moving, all the better.

But under all the fads, I want to know what’s actually working for people, and what the experts recommend as we head into 2018.

So I called Ish Cheyne, Head of Fitness for Les Mills.

He’d just returned from an international fitness conference, so was ready to tell us all about the fitness trends becoming more popular, the ones that are one their way out, and the difference between people who stick with the fitness habit and those who don’t.

8 for 2018

Swapping treats for a piece of fruit or walking an extra block each day are small, simple changes that could make a huge difference to a person’s health and wellbeing in 2018.

Being healthy is easier said than done but it does not have to be chore, says Kirstan Corben, executive manager of programs at Victorian Health Promotion Foundation in Australia.

“Setting small, realistic goals helps to make them more achievable and less daunting, which means you’re more likely to stick to them.”



One simple way to avoid excess sugar is to swap sugary drinks for water. Sugary drinks like soft drinks are the largest source of sugars in our  diet, and they can lead to weight gain and tooth decay.


It’s all about moderation. Drink water in between alcoholic drinks. Remember, alcohol contains a lot of empty kilojoules.


Being active helps us to clear the mind, feel energised and importantly reduces our risk of nasty chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.

Try parking the car at the far end of a car park, play a family game of cricket, or do some laps at the local swimming pool.


Salt increases the risk of high blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke. To cut back salt, fill up on fresh fruit and vegies and use herbs, garlic and pepper to food flavour.

Buy low salt versions of your favourite foods and where possible cook instead of getting takeaway.


Stress can impact our physical health, making a person more prone to illness, and it also impacts mental wellbeing. Make time to read a book, go for a run, listen to music or just sit in a park. Activities such as yoga, can also help keep stress at bay.

If you feel like you’re not coping, contact a support service like


Too much screen time can impact kids’ sleep and reduces the amount of time they spend being active. Swap screens for the great outdoors.

Take the kids to the beach or go for a walk.


Social connection is important for strong mental wellbeing but for many people Christmas and the New Year can be a lonely time. Keep an eye on your friends, neighbours and loved ones and offer support when needed.


It’s never too late to quit. Research shows smokers who quit at age 50 halve their risk of death caused by smoking, while quitting by age 30 avoids almost all of the excess risk associated with smoking.

Russia to become major supplier of organic food to Asia-Pacific Region

Measures taken by Russia to improve agricultural productivity will make the country a leading supplier of organic produce in the Asia-Pacific region, said President Vladimir Putin.
Read more

© Sputnik

In an article published on the Kremlin website ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, Putin suggests a common approach is needed to meet Asia’s rapidly growing demand for high-quality and healthy food.

“As a major Eurasian power with vast Far Eastern territories that boast significant potential, Russia has a stake in the successful future of the Asia-Pacific region, and in promoting sustainable and comprehensive growth throughout its entire territory.”

The Russian president said he supports the idea of forming an Asia-Pacific free trade area, saying that over the past five years, the share of APEC economies in Russia’s foreign trade has increased from 23 to 31 percent. Exports were 24 percent. “And we have no intention of stopping there,” said Putin.

“Russia is one of the world’s leaders in exports of grain, vegetable oils, fish, and a number of other foods. We expect to become the leading supplier of ecologically clean food to our neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region.” He added that measures are being taken to increase agricultural output and improve productivity.

The Russian leader explained that establishing effective cooperation to support innovation is the most important task. Russia has put forward a number of specific initiatives, including unifying the digital economy and trade rules, harmonizing national technical standards, coordinating strategies for forming high-tech markets, and creating a uniform conceptual framework for the digital space.

“We have also shared with our partners our experience in providing e-services to the public. In addition, we suggest starting consultations within APEC on international information security and protection of computer software,” said Putin.

Russia is serious about including small and medium-sized businesses in APEC economic integration processes, and supporting female entrepreneurship and start-up companies run by young entrepreneurs, he added.

According to the president, Russia is ready for a collaborative effort in finding “acceptable solutions to the challenge of supporting the steady, balanced, and harmonious growth of our shared region, and securing its prosperity.”

President Putin’s message was published ahead of the 25th APEC Economic Summit taking place in Vietnam on November 10-11.

Boosting happiness

The next time you are feeling down, skip the chocolate, cake or icecream binge and grab an apple or carrot instead.

You’ll miss the instant pleasure of a sugar hit, but you’ll be feeding your brain nutrients that make you feel happier in a more substantial and meaningful way, according to a new study.

Boosting fruit and vegetable intake can make you feel more vital and alive within a couple of weeks, researchers say.

But there’s a twist – they need to be fresh and raw.

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Dr Tamlin Conner says eating more fresh fruit and veges with lift your vitality and motivation.

 Otago University

The researchers at Otago University, led by senior psychology lecturer Dr Tamlin Conner, were trying to find out if fruit and vegetables made you feel better, or if people ate more of them when they were in a good mood. The study indicated eating led to a mood lift.

They studied 171 people aged 18-25 who were split into three groups over a fortnight.

The first group continued eating as normal. The second were encouraged by text reminders and given pre-paid vouchers to eat more fruit and vegetables. The last group was personally given two extra daily servings of fresh produce (carrots, kiwifruit, apples and oranges).

Only those in the last group reported significant improvements to their psychological wellbeing (a 10 per cent lift), with motivation up 25 per cent.

“For students, this is a really important thing,” Conner says.

Conner says the key seemed to be eating raw, fresh vegetables and fruit. The group given vouchers tended to eat vegetables cooked as part of meals like casseroles.

“We think it’s the freshness of it. An intervention that improves wellbeing over two weeks is pretty amazing.

“It’s a particular type of pleasure. We found this was related to feelings of engagement, interest, energy, vitality. It’s not just feeling good, it’s approaching your life with zest.”

Conner says ​the study indicates giving people more fresh fruits and vegetables, rather than simply reminding them to eat their 5+ a day, could have better results.

“People in dormitories, children in daycare centres, patients in hospitals, employees in the workplace, could be provided with fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis.”

Conner’s study has been published in the journal Plos One. It can be read here.

How to take the best Instagram photos

Want to take that perfect food shot? Avoid taking photos at night.

Edwina Pickles

Want to take that perfect food shot? Avoid taking photos at night.

Food, glorious food. It’s a global obsession far beyond mere sustenance, and what better way to share the glory of our ‘foodie’ infatuation in these digital times than popping up a quick pic of our latest meal out or homemade creation.

Along with pets, selfies, plane wings, feet, manicures and the sky, food shots are one of the top subjects on Instagram, with nearly 190 million posts currently hashtagged ‘food’, and #foodporn, #foodie and #foodstagram also numbering in the multiple millions.

But there’s often nothing instant about Instagram posts, and this definitely applies to those involving food, where empires are built on the back of choosing the right filter for your eggs benedit, the right angle to show off that painstakingly sliced wedge of cake or those carefully arranged plates and accoutrements.

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It’s an art, undoubtedly, and based on the high number of likes afforded to the snaps of our foodie photographers, it’s something people continue to take great pleasure in, both the sharing, and viewing of.

We checked in with some of New Zealand’s top foodie Instagrammers to see just what it takes to capture that magic macaron moment, spot on smoothie shot or perfect pork bun pic.

I really love minimal food photography, namely white ground and just the food styled, but then I also adore tables covered in food with flowers, props, etc. Both are beautiful as one is about the food, and the other is about the life that surrounds food.

The lovely thing about styling photos for Instagram is that really anything goes – a simple photo of you holding an ice-cream against a beautiful wall, or a photo of a perfect macaron in a paper bag can sometimes work just as well as a beautiful styled photo in a cafe or studio.

Don’t be afraid to be ‘that person’ who shuffles food, coffee and flowers around, then quickly stands so you’re high above the table and take as many photos as possible before your supportive friends are wanting to enjoy their meal.

I love photography filter apps, mostly because the majority of my photos are taken on my phone so I need to be able to edit them quickly to share. I really like PicTapGo and VSCO – they’re both simple to use and export well, which is perfect as I’m then able to use those photos on my website too.

I personally avoid taking food photos in low/dark light (unless of course that’s your style, then go forth) but I find it easier to photograph food in natural light.

I like to see an interesting point of view or a good story. Getting a peek into people’s routines and lives is great. Funnily enough, despite my health geek tendencies, I get bored of endless photos of green smoothies or acai bowls. There has to be something a little more intriguing, real.

I’m also a big sucker for beautiful lighting. Always use natural light, never artificial. Find a window and use that lovely side light. Full sun is not your friend when shooting food outdoors (like a picnic). Use the dappled light of a tree instead and you’ll get a prettier, more natural effect.

Some of my best snaps are unplanned and taken spontaneously because something catches my eye or inspires me. These are usually perfect within a couple of goes. When I over think things or try to plan too much it can take longer. Being relaxed and letting the creativity flow is the best approach.

Some of my favourite Instagrammers to follow are a mix of self taught, bloggers and chefs but the accounts I admire most are well thought out beautiful pages with content that inspire visually. I’m attracted to things like composition of styling and the use of negative space, and of course, food that makes me want to lick the screen, haha.

Never take photos at night time, use natural light. Allow enough time to cook and shoot so you’re not rushed. Have a large surface to photograph on so that you’re not limited with how big your compositions can be.

I use the VSCO app to edit, Lightroom and Photoshop. And I personally never use a filter.

Styling is important, although it doesn’t need to be overly styled, more thoughtfully arranged. Good lighting is important and not too much clutter. I prefer real-life styling as it makes me want to make the dish, with basic food props that are relevant to the food. I love images that tell a story, and although sweet dishes are often the most popular I love savoury food images as they can incorporate colourful garden produce.

Stand back, give the food some space and include some negative space (white or dark) so it draws your eye to the hero of the image (the food) as you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed.

Flatlays (shot from above) if using a phone camera will give the best images to remove background clutter, or set up in front of a wall. Keep the colours simple and complementary. White backgrounds are a good place to start, although some of my favourite accounts use darker backgrounds with amazing images and style.

I don’t use filters as I think they can take away from the image too much, especially if you’ve spent the time creating a lovely scene. I use basic photo editing either in VSCO if I need something specific or often just in Instagram. I mostly take images on my DSLR camera as I have an older iPhone (with poorer photo quality) and wireless transfer the images straight to my phone.

Unfortunately with little kids in tow, I don’t often have the luxury of spending extended time on an image. Instead, I focus on sharing quality images less often as they really make an Instagram profile shine. Quality over quantity, always.

I love looking at pictures of ridiculously beautiful creations but at the same time, my favourite accounts feature quite simple food I can draw inspiration from and make at home.

Props can definitely elevate pictures from good to amazing. I feel like some Instagrammers have a whole room full of props that they use – their photos are amazing! Food/prop styling is definitely a skill though and one which I have not yet mastered. My favourite prop is just a good backdrop. Using an old rustic wooden pallet or textured board to take pictures on can really elevate a picture and make it look cooler than on the old dining table or kitchen bench. I know lots of people who’ve had a bit of luck with finding these at junk shops/yards.

If you’re like me and your skill set only allows you to use an iPhone camera, natural light can be your best tool! Take your food close to a window.

I use VSCO to edit all my photos, it has heaps of filters you can buy and some awesome ones that are free as well. Avoid using flash. Take more photos than you think you need, just in case.

My partner (bless him) has to sit and wait for food that will literally go cold before he can eat it. It all really depends – sometimes I have to wait for the light outside to dull down so it’s not so harsh, but if it’s just a point-and-shoot scenario then maybe around 10 minutes? Maybe it’s my partner that makes it seem like I take hours. It’s always better to get more than not enough though.

For me it’s about lots of bright colours and lots of texture within the food, and also props – I like to use wooden boards, bright tea towels and interesting utensils. Then there’s the composition of the shot and playing around with the balance and placement of items within the frame.

One tip would be good lighting – natural light always, but also out of direct sunlight to avoid harsh shadows.

I only use Instagram filters and then do my own editing within Instagram also. A little straightening, brightening and sharpening of a photo can make a big difference – just don’t over do it.


The magical thing eating chocolate does to your brain

A study suggests people who eat chocolate at least once a week tend to perform better cognitively.

In the mid 1970s, psychologist Merrill Elias began tracking the cognitive abilities of more than a thousand people in the state of New York. The goal was fairly specific: to observe the relationship between people’s blood pressure and brain performance.

And for decades he did just that, eventually expanding the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study (MSLS) to observe other cardiovascular risk factors, including diabetes, obesity, and smoking. There was never an inkling that his research would lead to any sort of discovery about chocolate.

And yet, 40 years later, it seems to have done just that.

Late in the study, Elias and his team had an idea. Why not ask the participants what they were eating too? It wasn’t unreasonable to wonder if what someone ate might add to the discussion. Diets, after all, had been shown to affect the risk factors Elias was already monitoring. Plus, they had this large pool of participants at their disposal, a perfect chance to learn a bit more about the decisions people were making about food.

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The researchers incorporated a new questionnaire into the sixth wave of their data collection, which spanned the five years between 2001 and 2006 (there have been seven waves in all, each conducted in five year intervals). The questionnaire gathered all sorts of information about the dietary habits of the participants. And the dietary habits of the participants revealed an interesting pattern.

“We found that people who eat chocolate at least once a week tend to perform better cognitively,” said Elias. “It’s significant – it touches a number of cognitive domains.”

The findings, chronicled in a new study published last month, come largely thanks to the interest of Georgina Crichton, a nutrition researcher at the University of South Australia, who led the analysis. Others had previously shown that eating chocolate correlated with various positive health outcomes, but few had explored the treat’s effect on the brain and behaviour, and even fewer had observed the effect of habitual chocolate consumption. This, Crichton knew, was a unique opportunity.

Not only was the sample size large – a shade under 1,000 people when the new questionnaire was added – but the cognitive data were perhaps the most comprehensive of any study ever undertaken.

The chocolate effect

In the first of two analyses, Crichton, along with Elias and Ala’a Alkerwi, an epidemiologist at the Luxembourg Institute of Health, compared the mean scores on various cognitive tests of participants who reported eating chocolate less than once a week and those who reported eating it at least once a week. They found “significant positive associations” between chocolate intake and cognitive performance, associations which held even after adjusting for various variables that might have skewed the results, including age, education, cardiovascular risk factors, and dietary habits.

In scientific terms, eating chocolate was significantly associated with superior “visual-spatial memory and [organisation], working memory, scanning and tracking, abstract reasoning, and the mini-mental state examination”.

But as Crichton explained, these functions translate to every day tasks, “such as remembering a phone number, or your shopping list, or being able to do two things at once, like talking and driving at the same time”.

In the second analysis, the researchers tested whether chocolate consumption predicted cognitive ability, or if it was actually the other way around – that people with better performing brains tended to gravitate toward chocolate. In order to do this, they zeroed in on a group of more than 300 participants who had taken part in the first four waves of the MSLS as well as the sixth, which included the dietary questionnaire. If better cognitive ability predicted chocolate consumption, there should have been an association between the people’s cognitive performance prior to answering the questionnaire and their reported chocolate intake. But there wasn’t.

“It’s not possible to talk about causality, because that’s nearly impossible to prove with our design,” said Elias. “But we can talk about direction. Our study definitely indicates that the direction is not that cognitive ability affects chocolate consumption, but that chocolate consumption affects cognitive ability.”

What’s going on?

Why exactly eating chocolate is associated with improved brain function Crichton can’t say with absolute certainty. Nor can Elias, who admits that he expected to observe the opposite effect – that chocolate, given its sugar content, would be correlated with stunted rather than enhanced cognitive abilities. But they have a few ideas.

They know, for instance, that nutrients called cocoa flavanols, which are found naturally in cocoa, and thus chocolate, seem to have a positive effect on people’s brains. In 2014, one concluded that eating the nutrient can “reduce some measures of age-related cognitive dysfunction.” A 2011 study, meanwhile found that cocoa flavanols “positively influence psychological processes.” The suspicion is that eating the nutrient increases blood flow to the brain, which in turn improves a number of its functions.

Chocolate, like both coffee and tea, also has methylxanthines, plant produced compounds that enhance various bodily functions. Among them: concentration levels. A number of studies have shown this, including one in 2004, and another in 2005.

Experts have known about the wonders of eating chocolate for some time. A lot of previous research has shown that there are, or at least could be, immediate cognitive benefits from eating chocolate. But rarely, if ever, have researchers been able to observe the impact of habitual chocolate eating on the brain.

The takeaway isn’t that everyone should rush to stuff their faces with the magical sweet. “I think what we can say for now is that you can eat small amounts of chocolate without guilt if you don’t substitute chocolate for a normal balanced healthy diet,” Elias said.

The research, he says, isn’t finished yet. There are more questions to ask, more answers to pursue.

“We didn’t look at dark chocolate and lighter chocolate separately,” he pointed out. “That next study could tell us a lot more about what’s going on.”

“We also only looked at people who were eating chocolate never or rarely versus once a week or more than once a week,” he added. “I’d really like to see what happens when people eat chocolate more often than they reported in our study.”

Are chia seeds the energy boost you need?

Are chia seeds the energy boost you need?

Daniel Allen

Chloe with Caroline Marshall, owner of Nelson’s RED Gallery & Café, one of the first in the country to stock the drink.

Thirty-year-old Chloe Van Dyke, Otago University neuroscience graduate, Alzheimer's researcher, advocate of herbal medicine, jogger, Himalayan trekker and the brains behind an award-winning beverage chock-full of hydrated chia seeds, isn't prone to slick publicity spin. 

On a temperate Nelson morning, her recounting of the fast-paced tale of her CHIA drink, launched only two and a half years ago, is candid and comparable to the natural ingredients in her glass bottles.

"Our story just keeps going. We may not have been

but we started and we're running to keep up but I love the challenge," says Chloe, who jointly founded CHIA Limited with her father Ben in December 2012.

Daniel Allen

Imported chia seeds are chemical and allergen free.

Plentiful challenges there have been and Chloe is not glossing over the bumpy patches during the development of her drink which boasts more than 2000mg of omega-3 goodness per 275ml bottle.

"Our first CHIA bottling run at a local Nelson brewery was complete mayhem. We discovered that chia seeds, with their delicate gel, don't go through a standard bottling line. The liquid overflowed everywhere – it even hit the roof. I think there are probably chia seeds still stuck on the walls."

A year earlier, intent on developing a natural health elixir, Chloe's experimental production of the historic Asian fermented tea kombucha also hit the rocks.

Daniel Allen

Chloe and Ben on quality control.

"I had a winery vat in my parents' living room which I'm sure they didn't really appreciate and I learned that kombucha gets complicated when you upscale from little batches. The yeast and the bacteria went berserk and it tasted horrible."

And then there was the

episode with an early consignment of CHIA fermented in the family garage.

"I had to put on a bike helmet before entering because of the explosions. In

it was very funny but at the time it was an expensive exercise."

Daniel Allen

A soft gel forms around chia seeds when they are soaked in water.


that disasters are behind every person who succeeds – "it's just that you don't see people until they are successful". This being the case, the diminutive CHIA Limited company director is poised for an exciting ride. Her biggest triumph to date is her success at the prestigious ANZ Flying Start Business Plan in mid-2013 when she scooped the supreme award just six months after launching CHIA.

"It was a Dragons' Den situation with cameras on you and five minutes to present to the judges. My younger sister is a lawyer so I borrowed her blazer to look more corporate!"

The prize of $58,000 in cash and business advice allowed Chloe to import specialized bottle-filling equipment from Italy while the resultant media coverage put her product on the map and sparked a raft of speaking engagements.

Daniel Allen

Chloe relaxes in Kahurangi National Park.

"I spoke to some Massey University students recently and said, 'You don't need to know everything before you

but you need your philosophy in place'. The 'what' doesn't matter but if you are true to the 'why' then it gives you the freedom to evolve."


that evolution began with a desire to salute her interest in the brain, the body and super-foods and create an endurance drink for athletes.

The project commenced in her family kitchen where she and her father, an age group champion swimmer, began mixing Nelson blackcurrant juice with hydrated chia seeds in a bid to find a natural and nutrient-rich fuel.

Jane Ussher

The March/April issue of NZ Life & Leisure is on sale now.

"My sister is also a competitive athlete and there were no natural drinks available. All the

sports drinks contained caffeine, sugar, salt, potassium and colour. Athletes are supposed to be the healthiest

but the drinks to sustain them are short-sighted." 

The first batches of CHIA were tested on a local swim squad in Nelson which reported that the drink boosted energy and recovery rates. Encouraged by the result, Chloe brought a food technologist on board to provide expertise on fine-tuning flavours and maximizing the integrity of the chia seeds.

Before CHIA's first production run in late 2012, Chloe took a prototype to the remote Himalayan region of Ladakh where she was climbing to 5500 metres. "Each morning I soaked the seeds in blackcurrant concentrate in my eco-tanker. I found I needed less water and it sustained me." 

Ironically, while CHIA began as an athletes' brew it has morphed into a broad-appeal commodity and is now stocked in more than 400 cafés and speciality food stores nationwide. Only five percent of its market is the sports sector. Chloe says

unexpected texture – akin to a half-set jelly – has been both its strength and its weakness.

But with CHIA orders having doubled in the past six months and 10,000 bottles being made per week over the summer its surprising consistency is anything but a negative. 

Despite CHIA's burgeoning growth and its recent accolade (winner of the Massey University Healthy Choice at the New Zealand Food Awards), Chloe has her feet fixed to the floor of the bottling room she rents at Nelson Bays Brewery in Stoke.

Three times a week at 6.30am she and her father blend fruit juice and chia seeds in a compact stainless-steel mixing tank, taste testing as they go.

Until a year ago Chloe was hand labelling her bottles. Her flatmate handles dispatch, she has four part-time staff on the go and her father orders ingredients while her portfolio covers "the rest".

She says that five years ago CHIA would have been "too weird" for New Zealanders. "But now we know that this tiny seed with its big nutritional profile is the best in the world and we are all looking for it." 


– CHIA blends chemical-free chia seeds imported from Australia with super-juices including blueberry, blackcurrant, orange and passionfruit plus apple juice. It is 100 percent natural with no added sugar, artificial flavours or preservatives and is vegan and gluten free.

– When CHIA was first launched it was the only chia drink in the Southern Hemisphere.

– It's made in three flavours: Blackcurrant & Apple, Blueberry & Apple and Orange Passionfruit & Apple and retails for about $5 per bottle.

– It should be served chilled.

– Chia seeds are rich in vegetable omega-3 and contain complete protein, minerals, electrolytes, fibre and antioxidants.

– Chia seeds are expensive (average cost is $40 per kilogram) and at present they are not commercially grown in New Zealand.

– A soft gel forms around chia seeds when they are soaked in water. The gel prolongs hydration, provides an energy boost and is crammed with essential nutrients.

– Chia seeds came originally from South America but Australia is now a major producer.

This article first appeared in the March/April 2015 edition of NZ Life & Leisure. To subscribe, visit or join us on Facebook.

 – NZ Life & Leisure

Living the Paleo way

You can find burgers, fries milkshakes and other unhealthy American-style cuisine on almost every street corner– but what about trying Paleo or Paleolithic cuisine, where you eat the way early humans did? This ancient way of life has now become a popular diet.

According to, headed by Lorin Cordain, one of the world’s leading experts on Paleolithic diets and the Paleo Movement, this lifestyle is “based upon every day, modern food that mimics the food groups of our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestor.”

“In the late 60s and 70s I was involved in athletics and I knew to improve my performance, nutrition mattered,” said Cordain, who was introduced to the Paleo Diet concept in the late 80s after reading Boyd Eaton’s Paleolithic Nutrition.

Cordain is now the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles and over six books about the Paleo diet, including the bestselling The Paleo Diet.

The diet consists of a high intake of protein, fiber, healthy fats, potassium and vitamins and minerals with low carbohydrate and sodium intake.

“You can call it pizza, ice cream, microwaved meals or whatever, it’s all processed food. If you notice, almost all grocery stores are set up the same way. The fresh produce is on the perimeter and in the aisles is where the packaged, junk food is found. We have to stay on the outside more often,” mentioned Cordain.

The diet excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.

For those in Indianapolis who may be new to the Paleo lifestyle, but aren’t too savvy in the kitchen, a delivery service is now available.

Artie Stevens and his wife Erica began the Paleo lifestyle after their exercise facility, CrossFit NapTown challenged attendees to live the Paleo lifestyle for one month, and they love a good challenge.

“We cleaned out our kitchen of all the junk and went grocery shopping for fresh items,” said Artie.

After coming back from their honeymoon in March 2012, Artie and Erica kicked around the idea of a Paleo food delivery service and after hearing of the success from others in different cities, Artie’s Paleo OnTheGo was born.

Meals are $13 each and can be picked up at more than 30 locations in the city. Customers pre-order their weekly meals online.

“My goal is to provide a healthy meal at a reasonable price. The truth is that while Paleo is mainly seen in the CrossFit family it would be beneficial to anyone trying to better their quality of life,” said Artie, who has more than 16 years of experience as a professional chef.

Each week the couple and other family members evaluate dishes that have been in high demand. About 60 dishes rotate and include a beef, pork, chicken and seafood option along with mixed vegetables and a sauce. One of their most popular dishes is the honey vanilla sweet potatoes.

The delivery service is starting a campaign to open a restaurant in CrossFit NapTown’s new facility located at 922 N. Capitol Ave.

For more information on the Paleo Diet, visit For more information on Artie’s Paleo OnTheGo, visit


Make (Healthy) Fudge Magic with Two-Ingredient Paleo Fudge

Have you ever felt like skipping dinner and digging into a vat of double-chocolate ice cream, a pile of candy, or a bottomless bowl of cookies, and planting yourself on the sofa? Of course you have! Truth is, from time to time, we all have cravings for the sweet stuff. It’s how we handle those cravings that matters, so the next time the Chocolate Monster bubbles up inside, be armed with a batch of this silky smooth, indulgent tasting healthier version of everyone’s favorite treat – fudge! With only two ingredients and a few minutes, you can have your new favorite dessert ready. Sofa time is optional.

Make (Healthy) Fudge Magic with 2-Ingredient Paleo Fudge

Gigi Stewart
  • Active Time

    15 min.

  • Total Time

    1 hr. 45 min. 1 hr. 30 min. for chilling the fudge.


  • coconut milk
  • dark chocolate (I use sugar-free, raw chocolate), chopped


  1. Prepare an 8×8-inch square baking dish by lining it with foil, leaving a bit of overlap at the top edges. This will allow you to easily lift out the fudge block later for slicing.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine chocolate and coconut cream over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth. Do not boil or overheat, only heat until the chocolate is just melted.
  3. Spoon the mixture into your foil-lined pan and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  4. Then, chill the fudge in the fridge 1 hour. Transfer to the freezer until firm (about 1 hour).
  5. The stages of chilling really contribute to a smoother finished product and it’s totally worth it for making the silkiest fudge. (You can go straight to the freezer with it if you like, but I really recommend the staged chilling.)
  6. Once the fudge is set, remove it from the freezer, then lift the foil up to remove the fudge from the pan.
  7. Pull back the foil edges, then slice fudge block into small squares (it is very rich, so I recommend no larger than 1×1-inch squares).
  8. Transfer squares to a freezer-safe container, separating layers with wax paper.
  9. Store in the freezer, and remove a few minutes prior to enjoying so the fudge softens just a bit. It will melt rather quickly, so freezer storage is essential.

About the Author

Gigi Stewart, M.A., Founder & CEO, Gluten Free Gigi, LLC, is a former neuroscience researcher and the author of The Gluten-Free Solution: Your Ultimate Guide to Positive Gluten-Free Living, creator of the popular website, and Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Food Solutions magazine. Follow Gigi on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.


Can Paleo dieters eat chocolate? Easter eating explained |

Can Paleo dieters eat chocolate? Easter eating explained

Andy Zakeli

Feel the guilt but eat the chocolate anyway. You know you want to.

Did Palaeolithic people invent the Easter egg hunt?

New research shows the closure of supermarket chain Countdown for Cavemen, approximately 10,000 years ago, may have forced the hunter-gatherer civilisation to put down its activated kale smoothie and forage for actual food – including the eggs of ancestral chickens.

None of the above is true. But today, three months after your New Year’s resolution to go Paleo, follow the 5:2 diet or seriously do the Dukan, you may be wondering: Can I eat Easter eggs?

Bad news from the country’s hottest exponent of Paleo, the eating plan that focuses on the unprocessed foods consumed by cave dwellers. Arthur Green (better known as The Bachelor NZ) insists, "on a strict paleo diet, you can’t eat regular chocolate".

Your bedroom eyes are wasted on The Bachelor, he ain’t sharing that chocolate.

However Green, who co-owns the company Clean Paleo, says, "you can eat Paleo chocolate which is usually sweetened with dates or honey and tastes just as good".

And, in a shock revelation, The Bachelor says he will be eating dark chocolate this Easter.

"As I don’t let my lifestyle get in the way of enjoying chocolate."

While yet to appear twice a week on primetime television, the country’s hottest 5:2 diet follower, Sunday Star-Times columnist and music writer Grant Smithies, said he wouldn’t be fasting today.

"You can shift your days so you can pig out vigorously."

Smithies has lost 15kg on the diet that requires minimal calorie intake on two days every week. One of its toughest aspects, he says, has been limiting alcohol on fasting days.

"I’ve developed a reasonably punishing enthusiasm for craft beer and a decent beer is your day’s calorie intake in one go. You’d want to say no to the communion wine, I reckon, and not just because it’s the actual blood of Christ."

This 5:2 dieter is happier with buns than eggs.

Smithies, who describes himself as an "enthusiastic atheist" said he enjoyed the way Easter traditions like rabbits and eggs, had been borrowed from earlier pagan springtime rites. While he wasn’t a big fan of chocolate eggs, Smithies said he would be leaving room for hot cross buns from Nelson bakery Tozzetti.

"You have to virtually buy them on HP [hire purchase] because they’re so expensive. But they’re really dense and really great."

While Easter eggs have been stores for weeks now, Easter Sunday is, traditionally, the day of consumption. But what if you are following a food fad? Herewith, an unscientific guide to what you can (and can’t) eat.


The clue is in the name. This seven-day programme requires the dieter to consume vast amounts of cabbage, a brassica best known for inducing flatulence. Ground activated charcoal inhibits fart production, but so far, is not commercially available in Easter egg form. Look, instead, for products containing fennel seed or ginger.

Recommended: Molly Whoppy’s Nice n’ Iced Easter gingerbread shapes. (Includes two bunnies and three eggs).


Based on ancestral foods consumed during the Palaeolithic era, a period that wound up when humans figured farming was easier than foraging. In his new book celebrity paleo-chef, Pete Evans recommends pasture-raised, free-range, organic biodynamic eggs. He says they’re "particularly great" for breakfast. He also thinks it’s ok to feed babies a DIY "milk" formula made from liver and bones. Proceed with caution.

You know he’s day dreaming about Easter Eggs. Go on Pete, have one…just one

Recommended: First, purchase your ancestral chicken. (Brown shaver hens approximately $13 this week on Trade Me).


Aka intermittent fasting. This diet imposes severe calorie restrictions – 2100kj for women – on two out of every seven days. You can eat absolutely anything you like for the other five days. Catholics should note the blood and flesh of Christ has been measured by some calorie counting websites at approximately 29 kilojoules.

Recommended: Two Cadbury crème eggs and one large head of cauliflower (1436kj for the chocolate; 664kj for the cauli; adjust according to gender and religious beliefs).


Lauded by the eco-conscious who eschew food with food miles in favour of that produced within a pre-determined radius – commonly, 100 miles – of their home. New Zealand is geographically small, so we get a bit of scope, but not enough to take advantage of the marmite or pot noodle flavoured Easter eggs British press trumpeted in January.

Recommended: Devonport Chocolate’s white chocolate fried eggs or Easter bunny lollypops. (Obviously, some consumers will have to move to Devonport. New QV figures put the median house price in the suburb at $1.3).


Want the body of a Greek god? (Or just that of a Greek?) Think plants, olive oil, limited red meat and plenty of fish and poultry. This is the diet based on the foods most consumed by healthy-hearted Mediterraneans. Nuts, eggs and chocolate containing more than 50% cocoa are all permitted.

Recommended: The Central Otago Pinot Noir Wine Story by the Seriously Good Chocolate Company. (Technically, nothing to do with Easter, but there’s wine and there’s chocolate. Suck it up).


What you eat on the high-protein Dukan Diet depends on which of its four phases – attack, cruise, consolidate or stabilise – you’re enduring. In attack mode, for example, you must eat from a pre-approved list of 68 things that used to have a heart.

Recommended: Slow-braised wild rabbit stew, topped with flaky pastry, served with a wide of roasted vegetables, $26 at the Darfield Hotel’s Backcountry Kitchen. (Easter: it’s ok to be a bunny boiler).

 – Stuff

I’d Rather Be with My Dog Rolls Out Paleo Dog Treats

Doug Ratner has parlayed his Longmeadow, Mass.-based I’d Rather Be with My Dog dog-themed apparel and accessories brand for dog lovers into a like-named line of paleo dog treats.

The new treat line follows the paleo diet, which is all about eating the kind of natural foods likely eaten by humans and animals prior to the advent of agriculture and domesticated animals.

The U.S.-made treats are free of gluten, soy and dairy.

The line includes Duck; Salmon; Venison; Joint Health; Digestive Health; Skin and Coat Health; Lamb, Beef, Pork; Chicken, Turkey, Duck; Salmon, Whitefish, Tuna; Turkey and Pumpkin Trainers; Lamb and Sweet Potato Trainers; Chicken Chia Trainers; Beef, Bacon, Eggs Trainers; and Treat Sampler.The new treats will be the first Paleo dog treats on the market and are available for purchase directly from for a limited time, before expanding to pet stores across the country, and 10 percent of all sales go to the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, a nonprofit guide dog school in Bloomfield, Conn.

Unsafe food is ‘growing global threat’, says WHO

Unsafe food is 'growing global threat', says WHO

By Smitha Mundasad
Health reporter, BBC News
  • 9 hours ago
  • From the section Health

Eating food contaminated with bugs leads to more than half a billion cases of illness a year, the World Health Organization warns.

It says this "global threat" contributed to 351,000 deaths in 2010.

Unsafe foods, for example undercooked meat, can cause 200 problems – from diarrhoea to cancer.

But changes in food production mean there are more opportunities for meals to harbour harmful bugs or chemicals, experts say.

A local food problem can quickly turn into an international emergency

Dr Margaret Chan, WHO

Culinary caution

Unsafe foodstuffs can contain many types of harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemicals.

Examples include undercooked meat, fruits and vegetables contaminated with faeces and shellfish containing marine toxins.

But the WHO says investigating these outbreaks has become increasingly challenging as single plates of food often have ingredients from many countries.

In its first WHO report on this issue, its director-general Dr Margaret Chan warns: "A local food problem can quickly turn into an international emergency.

"Food production has been industrialised, and its trade and distribution have been globalised.

"These changes introduce multiple opportunities for food to become contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemicals."

The analysis, which pulls together scientific literature from across the globe, shows:

  • Most deaths are caused by pathogens such as salmonella, E. coli and norovirus
  • The majority of lives lost are in Africa and South East Asia
  • 40% of the deaths are among the under-5s, the most vulnerable group

Raw hazards

Experts say illnesses caused by food also carry major economic risks.

They estimate the E. coli outbreak in Germany in 2011 cost about US$1.3bn (£876m) in losses for farmers and industries.

WHO leaders are calling on governments to urgently strengthen food safety systems.

On April 7, the WHO launches its food safety campaign, From Farm to Plate.

It aims to prompt the public and governments to consider where individual ingredients in meals come from and question whether these are properly and safely handled at every stage.

How to be food-safe:

  • Wash hands, surfaces and equipment before preparing food
  • Separate raw and cooked food – use separate utensils for handling raw foods
  • Safe temperatures – do not keep cooked food at room temperature for more than two hours. Keep food piping hot (above 60C) before serving
  • Use safe water to wash raw fruit and vegetables

Source: WHO

2-Ingredient Paleo Fudge Recipe

2-Ingredient Paleo Fudge Recipe

By glutenfreegigi on January 16, 2015
Featured Member Post

It's mid-January, time to make sure you're set for a healthy, happy New Year! But that doesn't mean a year of deprivation and avoiding the foods you love. When it comes to your sweet tooth, you can definitely say "yes!" with recipes like this healthy 2-Ingredient Paleo Fudge!

By simply combining two basic ingredients, you can have a batch of fudge on hand that will satisfy your chocolate cravings any time, and you will still stay right on track with your healthy eating plan.

Don't forget to check out my other healthy recipes at, too!

2-Ingredient Paleo Fudge

This recipe is free from: gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, tree nuts (coconut is not a tree nut, by the way—read more here), all grains, sugar, eggs.


  • 1 can Trader Joe's Coconut Cream (This is canned coconut milk, and it is extra thick and creamy, with 16 grams of fat per serving. Look for this product, or for another canned coconut milk product with an equal amount of fat per serving to achieve the best results. This is not sugar-added coconut cream—it is a four-ingredient coconut milk in a can.)
  • 16 ounces (about 2 cups, chopped or morsels) dark chocolate (I use raw dark chocolate like Santosha chocolate which has no added sugar or allergens. Use your favorite dark chocolate.)


  1. Prepare an 8×8-inch square baking dish by lining it with foil, leaving a bit of overlap at the top edges. This will allow you to easily lift out the fudge block later for slicing.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine chocolate and coconut cream over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth. Do not boil or overheat; only heat until the chocolate is just melted.
  3. Spoon the mixture into your foil-lined pan and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  4. Then, chill the fudge in the fridge 1 hour. Transfer to the freezer until firm (about 1 hour).
  5. The stages of chilling really contribute to a smoother finished product, and it's totally worth taking the time for the silkiest fudge. (You can go straight to the freezer with it if you like, but I really recommend the staged chilling.)
  6. Once the fudge is set, remove it from the freezer, then lift the foil up to remove the fudge from the pan.
  7. Pull back the foil edges, then slice fudge block into small squares (it is very rich, so I recommend no larger than 1×1-inch squares).
  8. Transfer squares to a freezer-safe container, separating layers with wax paper.
  9. Store in the freezer, and remove a few minutes prior to enjoying so the fudge softens just a bit.
  10. It will melt rather quickly, so freezer storage is essential.

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Louie talks with award-winning Australian chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Pete Evans, author of THE PALEO CHEF. Evans takes a whole new approach to making gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free meals that are worthy of a restaurant but effortless to prepare. In THE PALEO CHEF, Evans provides more than 100 recipes for gorgeous food that is satisfying, distinctive, and good for you, including Kale Hummus, Vietnamese Chicken Wings, and Key Lime Tart.

Aired March 28 & 29, 2015

Paleo: 10 things to know

10 things to know about paleo

Paleo conjures up images of meat. But it also relies heavily on vegetables, herbs and spices.

Paleo has evolved into more than just a diet, and is now considered a lifestyle by some and a movement by others.

Australian chef Pete Evans is emerging as its controversial Trans-Tasman leader, intent on changing the world one pasta-less Spaghetti and bunless Joy burger at a time.

But he's not alone. At his paleo workshops held in Auckland and Wellington over the weekend, Evans was joined on stage by a personal trainer, a naturopath, a couple of nutritionists, a chiropractor, a lifestyle educator, and one Australian Idol winner, his wife and child. All people living the paleo way of life.

The audience – from the faithful and converted to the merely curious – soaked up the day's cooking demos, presentations, and stories of personal transformation through paleo.

The elephant in the room – the recent outrage over Evans' liver and bone broth formula for infants – was only partly tackled by guest speaker Charlotte Carr, co-author of Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way. She spoke about her son's own troubles with feeding and how he started 'stimming' and showing symptoms of autism. A paediatrician advised Carr to remove any casein and gluten from his diet, but finding a baby formula with ingredients she understood was near-on impossible. That's when a naturopath put Carr onto a homemade broth and liver formula, which Carr claims turned things around.

Outside of this workshop however, baby broth has taken paleo a step too far. Sue Pollard, CEO of the NZ Nutrition Foundation, says "the idea of giving babies bone broth instead of formula is certainly something we wouldn't condone. From a food safety point of view there are all sorts of risks, and it's quite dangerous nutritionally."

As for the diet as a whole, she says eating more vegetables and cutting refined sugars and processed foods has merit, but not enough. "It's expensive, it's alternative, it's trendy – you don't need to do it to have a well-balanced diet. And I would suggest that avoiding legumes, grains and dairy is inappropriate."

"The food and nutrition guidelines developed by countries, including New Zealand, are based on the latest science. And so one of the things we would be concerned about is the complete removal of a whole food group. You'd be missing the likes of B-vitamins from grains and calcium from milk," she says.

It would also be difficult to get a high-fibre diet without grains and legumes. "They've been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. And they contribute to satiety so people don't eat too much, which helps with weight loss," says Pollard.

While that controversy continues to brew, we attempt to explain what you can and can't eat on the world's most polarising diet. From all the various experts on deck at Evans' workshop, here are 10 things that stuck out …


1. It's not too far from 'meat and three veg'… so says Evans. Meat is ideally pasture-fed and the seafood sustainable – but virtually all types of meat, poultry and fish are on the table. Meals can include as many vegetables as you want – raw or cooked. Above-ground veges are preferable to root vegetables (although potatoes seem to be quite divisive in the paleo world).

2. Remove grains and dairy: Okay, so that means no pasta or bread in the pantry. You'll have to ditch the cereal too. Grains contain phytates, which bind up minerals in food and make them difficult to absorb. They also contribute to high blood sugar, another no-no. Dairy, like grains, can cause an inflammatory response and is linked with allergies. So basically, paleo might be your friend if you're lactose or gluten-intolerant. Paleo makes a lot of use of nuts and seeds, which can be made into muesli and even bread.

3. Avoid legumes: You can also forget about beans, including soybeans, peas and lentils. Even though these are a source of protein, paleo folk say they are full of anti-nutrients, such as phytates (which impair the absorption of other nutrients found in these foods) and lectins, which might be toxic in the bloodstream. Sceptics argue that sprouting and cooking destroys lectin so it isn't an issue, and that these foods contain important nutrients we need.

Pete Evans and Luke Hines have been touring Australia and New Zealand teaching fans to cook the paleo way. Photo: Vincenzo Amato.

4. Ditch refined sugars: Eating too much sugar – especially via processed foods – can lead to weight gain and diabetes. When you're filling your body with sugar, that's the fuel your body will run on and burn, whereas the fuel your cells actually need is protein and fat, claims Dr Nora Gedgaudas, author of Primal Body, Primal Mind.

5. Fruit is okay on occasion: What could possibly be wrong with fruit? Just all the sugar content by way of fructose. Some paleo advocates say one to three servings of fruit a day is okay. Evans opts for the occasional green apple and antioxidant-rich berries.

6. Bone broth is a good staple: A cup of broth every day, instead of coffee, is one of the most important habits to adopt if you're going paleo, says Evans. Bone broth, or stock, contains a host of minerals and nutrients that is good for the gut, say advocates.

7. Fermented foods rule: For gut health, fermented vegetables are the tonic as they're thought to contain a heap of beneficial probiotics as well as enzymes to help break down and digest foods. Naturopath Helen Padarin claims that when you ferment a vegetable you increase its nutritional value by up to 100 times.

8. Eat unrefined fats: Avocados and olives are a great source of healthy fat, as are nuts and seeds. For cooking, coconut oil and duck fat is a better bet than less-stable modern vegetable oils such as soybean, sunflower, rice bran and canola oils, say the paleo people.

9. Eat nose to tail: If you're going to eat meat, it should be done in the most respectful way, not wasting any parts of the animal. If you cook a roast chicken, don't throw the carcass away. For broth, you can use chicken feet and necks, for example. Offal, such as liver, is also full of vitamins, minerals and amino acids and can be added to meals or made into pate. And all the fat that rises to the top of the broth or stock, while cooking, can be scraped off and used as cooking fat.

10. Don't fret about calories: In terms of portion sizes, Evans recommends a piece of meat the size of your palm with a meal. Just by eating protein and healthy fats – and avoiding sugar, gluten, dairy and grains – you shouldn't feel hungry between meals, your body will draw on fat for its energy, and weight loss should follow says Evans and his like-minded paleo faithfuls.


* Baby paleo book delayed

* Pete Evans defiant in face of cookbook criticism

* Pete Evans' paleo rant: He's a 'warrior'

* What makes Pete Evans feel good?

– Have you tried paleo? Did you feel healthier? 

 – Stuff


Baby broth paleo guru explains why she does voice-overs for junk food

‘I am a working mother and will do everything to keep my family safe and nurtured’: Baby broth paleo guru explains why she does voice-overs for junk food brands Coca-Cola, Cadbury and KFC

  • Paleo diet guru Charlotte Carr breaks her silence on junk food voice-overs
  • It emerged she performed voice-overs for Cadbury, Coca Cola and KFC
  • In a statement, Ms Carr said she did not ‘personally’ endorse the products
  • ‘If I’m telling you through advertising on television or radio to buy a certain car… I may not drive that car,’ she told her followers
  • Ms Carr recently co-authored a controversial cookbook with My Kitchen Rules judge Pete Evans
  • Publisher Pan MacMillan will not go ahead with the recipe book after health authorities raised the alarm over a baby formula
  • Public health experts had warned ‘a baby may die’ if the book goes ahead
  • Ms Carr said in a podcast interview there was a ‘censorship issue’ over the recipe


Daniel Piotrowski for Daily Mail Australia

A paleo diet guru who wrote a controversial cookbook with My Kitchen Rules judge Pete Evans has hit back at critics after it was revealed she performed voice-overs for junk food commercials.

In a statement released on Tuesday, food blogger Charlotte Carr argued she never ‘personally’ endorsed the products she spruiked in advertisements for Cadbury, Coca Cola and KFC.

The revelations came just weeks after publisher Pan MacMillan dumped her controversial cookbook, Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way for New Mums, Babies and Toddlers, after public health experts expressed alarm over a DIY baby formula recipe in the book.

‘I am a working mother and like everyone else, will do everything I can to keep my family safe and nurtured,’ Ms Carr said today about her decision to do voice-overs for the junk food brands.

‘If I’m telling you through advertising on television or radio to buy a certain car, or catch a certain airline, or use a certain toothbrush, I may not drive that certain car, or use that airline or use that toothbrush.’

Charlotte Carr has worked as a voice artist for a number of leading brands.

In a statement, Ms Carr said it was difficult to select individual voice-over roles because she worked as a freelancer and often received offers as a package deal

Ms Carr said it was difficult to select individual voice-over roles because she worked as a freelancer and often received offers as a package deal.

She said she was talking to her agent about choosing ‘roles that align more closely to my values’.

Ms Carr, Mr Evans and nutritionist Helen Padarin are forging ahead with plans to independently publish their controversial cookbook in a digital format next month.

The book has copped heavy criticism from dietitians and health authorities, with the president of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA), Heather Yeatman, quoted saying ‘a baby may die if this book goes ahead’.

The PHAA said its DIY baby milk formula, which is based on liver and bone broth formula, contained excessive amounts of Vitamin A.

In an interview about the book with the That Paleo Show podcast, Ms Carr said there had been a ‘censorship issue’ with the recipe.

‘I think we need to look at possibly where the comments have come from and who sponsors those organisations,’ she said. It’s a very, very big issue here.

‘It’s also a censorship issue, you know? This has been promoted and printed I know it’s well over 500,000 times because the (inaudible) manual has been printed that many times already.

‘And it’s in many, many other books across the world.’

 Pete Evans explains the controversial Paleo Diet

‘Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way – for new mums, babies and toddlers’ will be published independently online. Pan MacMillan Australia will not publish the book after concerns were raised by health experts

‘As a hard working mum to my beautiful baby boy Willow, and like most Australians, my family are my highest priority and will always be’, Ms Carr said in a statement

‘Paleo Pete’ Evans has become one of Australia’s leading spruikers of the paleo diet.

A spokesman for Pan Macmillan Australia would not comment on censorship claims.

‘The authors of Bubba Yum Yum – The Paleo Way – for new mums, babies and toddlers have decided to release a digital version of the book very shortly, and will, therefore, no longer publish the book, in any format, with Pan Macmillan Australia,’ he said in a statement.

Public Health Association CEO Michael Moore told Daily Mail Australia the real issue was that specific diets discourage parents from breastfeeding.

If adults want to use a paleo diet, even though it’s rated amongst the worst diets of the world, then so be it,’ he said.

‘When you start talking about specific diets for infants… It discourages from breastfeeding and there’s huge amounts of research around the world that breastfeeding’s best.’

A Department of Health spokeswoman said authorities recommend that parents use commercial infant formulas if an infant is not breastfed.

She said the paleo formula is also concerning because it contains one-tenth of the calcium of breast milk, 879 per cent the sodium of breast milk, and 168 per cent the selenium of breast milk.

‘These are important nutrients to get right in the diets of babies,’ the spokeswoman said.


As a hard working mum to my beautiful baby boy Willow, and like most Australians, my family are my highest priority and will always be. I often have little control over the jobs that are contracted to me as a voice over artist, like so many freelancers in my field. I am frequently presented with a package rather than specific clients that I can pick and choose from.

Over the years as I have become devoted to eating and living a specific way, due to the health concerns of my family, I have been working with my agent to choose roles that align more closely to my values. I have never “personally “endorsed any of these products since becoming a holistic health coach and baby food blogger. I am a working mother and like everyone else, will do everything I can to keep my family safe and nurtured. If Im telling you through advertising on television or radio to buy a certain car, or catch a certain airline, or use a certain toothbrush, I may not drive that certain car, or use that airline or use that toothbrush.

I originally created this page out of love and kindness and to share my story so that any Mum in a similar position who has been told to put their child on a gluten free and dairy free diet would have a place to come to for inspiration and ideas.

When you are told your child can not have these foods, sometimes its overwhelming and scary and you are unsure where to start. Its a lonely place. This is why I created Bubba Yum Yum. A place of fun beautiful, delicious yummy food.