Author Archive | Shannon

How to start feeling good again after a weekend of overindulging

Whether you indulged on massive amounts of sugary milk chocolate or you kept it healthier and stuffed your face with dark chocolate this Easter, if you’re human, you probably over ate this weekend!

Even though we enjoyed it in the moment, we land up punishing ourselves for days afterwards with feelings of guilt and shame.

So today I want to help you emerge from the weekend overload and take these few little steps to start feeling good again.

Step 1: Become present

Realize that the ‘you’ that existed over the weekend doesn’t exist anymore, so you can stop feeling guilty for that person because that person only exists in your memories. The ‘you’ right now, is ‘a new you’, with new thoughts, new cells and a new future to look forward to.

Step 2: Choose a feeling

How do you want to feel this week? And don’t say skinny – that’s not a feeling, that’s an adjective! Do you want to feel alive, rejuvenated, energized? Make an effort to find a word that really speaks to you, then write it down on a few pieces of paper, take a photo of it and make it your computer / phone background pic, make it visible to you as often as possible.

Step 3: Go grocery shopping!

Here comes the fun part. Okay so I usually hate grocery shopping… Think it’s got something to do with my childhood, my Mom is obsessed with going to Pick ‘n Pay EVERYDAY and as a child we would get fetched from school and then go straight to Pick ‘n Pay where she would bump into everyone she knew, talk to every staff member who worked there and they would be like “oh cute, look how much your kids have grown, are you enjoying helping mommy shop girls?” And then they’d give me a pat on the head. Terrible life I know, I’m working through this with my therapist. So anyway back to the grocery shopping…

So I’ve found a way to really enjoy grocery shopping. With your word in mind, get ready to go shopping. Choose an outfit that makes you feel the way you want to feel this week.

Tracksuit pants and an old t-shirt ain’t good enough – who knows who you might meet while shopping…

Who knows who you might meet while shopping?

Put on a hint of makeup, spray on some perfume and go grocery shopping with your word in mind. When you’re walking down the isles deciding on what food to buy, walk with a certain sexiness about you – feel confidence through every cell in your being and choose foods that will make you feel good when you eat them. And if you’re feeling brave, walk down the sweet isle (really quickly) and be like “Whatevs, processed rubbish to clog up my system, who needs it”. But get out of there quickly!

So by this stage the new you should’ve chosen your feeling good word for the week and stocked your fridge and cupboards with healthy and delicious ingredients that will make you feel that way when you eat them. Keep up this (somewhat crazy) behaviour for at least 5 days in a row and I promise you, you’ll be feeling good about yourself in no time.

Hope you enjoyed todays post, I thought we could all do with a little crazy in our lives for a change.

And remember:

Nothing is permanent in this world, not even our troubles – Charlie Chaplin
(It’s a tweetable)


From a low-fat low-carb diet to high-fat all the way, meet Graeme Goode


I met Graeme at a friends Primal dinner party a few months back and he explained to me what a difference eating low-carb high-fat had made to his training and his life, so I thought I’d catch up with him and share his story. Graeme is into MMA and hardcore guy exercize stuff… that I don’t know very much about, but I always find it interesting how well this seems to work for super active people, so if you’re one of them, Graeme is living proof that high fat is sustainable!

1. How long have you been Primal and what was your primary motivation?

Since I met Donal O’Neill in late 2012 through Louise Knoop. I was eating a low fat, low carb eating plan (steamed chicken breast, steamed broccolli/veg 3 times a day, with snacks in between – very little fat. I was also training twice a day – early morning and late afternoon, doing Jiu-Jitsu and MMA training.

He had one look at me, asked a few questions regarding what my eating was and told me about Cereal Killers. This was a Sunday – Monday I went full high fat and I haven’t looked back. I needed strength, endurance and weight loss – plus the added health benefit. I got it all from this way of eating.

2. What is the most significant benefit you’ve experienced?

I’ve just got better looking – just kidding, I have noticed a change in all aspects of my life really. I sustained 2 relatively serious shoulder injuries from Jiu-Jitsu – 2 torn rotator cuffs. I stopped training for 2 weeks and then came back hitting the anti-inflammatories hard after the training sessions.

After 1 week of repetitive use of the anti-inflams I upped the fat content and was able to train and not have as bad pain as before…weird right? I can also surf without too much discomfort – the paddling before really made me ache afterwards.

3. Do you ever cheat and if so, how often?

I do – having a wife that has a sweet tooth does not help me! I cheat on the weekend – I don’t feel great afterwards but I think you need to break away and not prevent yourself from indulging once in a while. I don’t go completely mental but I do enjoy a few sweets.

4. What’s your favourite Primal dish?

I absolutely love pork belly on the Weber with cauliflower mash and LOADS of butter!

5. Random Graeme fact?

I take shot glasses of coconut oil and olive oil as often as I can. I also cannot resist eating butter on it’s own – yum!

Thanks Graeme, not so sure if I could stomach those shots without a smoothie mix, but they definitely seem to be working for you, so I may give them a try!


Low fat VS high fat: Which one wins the war?

By far the toughest thing for any of us to get our heads around is that anything with the label low-fat = marketing.

This is the number one question I get with regards to the primal way of eating so I thought I’d do a post on it today to help you understand why high-fat and full cream is the way forward.

How can low-fat make you fat when there is no fat?

Well that’s the thing – fat doesn’t make you fat. Just like eating foods that are high in cholesterol doesn’t give you high cholesterol – but that’s another story for another day…

low-fatIt all starts with the way they make low-fat products. When the fat is removed, it needs to be replaced to make it palatable, so they replace it with ingredients like dried skim milk powder or un-saturated vegetable oils.

Manufacturers also neglect to tell you that they have to increase the amount of sugar in their “low-fat” products so that they still taste good. (It’s those original fats that made them tasty to begin with!)

So what happens is that all these low-fat products actually become extremely high in carbs after all the processing and they have a very similar calorie count to the original product. Except now, they’re unhealthier and helping you put on more weight. When your body isn’t getting enough healthy fats, it goes into starvation mode because your body thinks it’s starving. This in turn slows down your metabolic rate which encourages the conversion of glucose into fat – which means… love handles and cellulite baby.

Now you get good carbs (which are found in fruits and veggies) and you get bad carbs, and these low-fat products are full of the bad carbs that spike your blood sugar and cause you to become hungry again in a very short space of time.

Full cream dairy on the other hand contains saturated fats – which are the healthy fats – the fats we have been warned about all our lives. The fats that we in fact need to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. So if you are eating and drinking low-fat dairy products, it doesn’t matter how many vitamin supplements you are taking or how much healthy fruit and veggies you are eating, those essential vitamins will not be absorbed. It’s a scary cycle!

“But I have thin friends who consume low-fat products and they aren’t getting fatter by the day.”

Well good for them. But chances are that if they continue to consume these low-fat vitamin blocking foods they will eventually suffer from 1 or more of the degenerative diseases caused by vitamin deficiencies. So it’s not just about getting sexy, strong and lean, it’s also a major health concern, especially for women. There was a study done in 2007 proving that consuming low fat dairy actually raises our risk of infertility. Awful that the media neglects to inform us of these possibly life changing side effects.

You cannot eat high-fat and full cream products – combined with a diet of sugar, grains and wheat and expect to lose weight

This is the one thing most newbie primal’s get wrong. This is not a matter of just changing from eating low-fat to high-fat and full cream. This is a major lifestyle change.

High-fat low-carb means just that. No sugar, no wheat, no grains. You’ll be surprised at just how little that leaves on your supermarket shelves…

But it’s not as bad as you think.

I for one am a huge lover of food. If it doesn’t taste good, then I’d rather eat something else and be chubby. And trust me, my primal meals are always delicious – I’ve just learnt to live without all the processed crap that I used to eat and I’ve learnt where to shop and how to cook clean.

It’s definitely a learning process, but one that I encourage you to invest in. There are so many free resources out there to help you get started, including my free guide to Primal living which you can sign up for below.


New ‘low-carb high-fat’ magazine hits SA’s shelves

Can you remember the last dinner party you attended where the subject of the ‘Tim Noakes’ diet or banting didn’t come up? Of course not – it’s what everybody’s talking about.

No matter what you call it – the ’Tim Noakes’ diet, Banting, LCHF (Low carb, high fat), it’s a revolution, and it’s gaining momentum all the time. LOSE IT!, a new magazine launched this month (April 2014), is at the vanguard of that revolution. Headed up by experienced editor Suzy Brokensha, the bang on-trend quarterly is produced by Media giant Media24.


‘There’s no doubt that there’s a complete shift underway in the way we eat,’ says Brokensha. ‘Countries worldwide are starting to change the way they look at the food pyramid we all learnt in school, and not a moment too soon! LOSE IT! is at the cutting edge of that shift. It’s got loads of expert input from, among others, Professor Tim Noakes and nutritional therapist Sally-Ann Creed – who has been working with this diet and seeing incredible results for decades already.’

LOSE IT! gives the reader everything they need to know to start banting immediately, from detailed food lists of what you can and can’t eat to inspiring success stories, expert advice and tips and over 60 nutritionist-approved recipes that will delight the fussiest foodies – as well as the science behind the theory.

This 84-page glossy fills a unique gap in the market, says Brokensha, because it’s about much more than the weight-loss – although the weight-loss results are extraordinary.

‘It’s a revolutionary way of eating and thinking about food,’ she says. ‘Banting is part of a worldwide realisation that sugar and other carbohydrates compromise our health far more than fat, which has been demonised for years. We need to change the way people think about what they eat, and we’re committed to doing just that.’

‘LOSE IT! is more than just a magazine – it’s about giving people who have given up hope of ever feeling healthy or slim their lives back.

‘It has all the tools and expert advice that you could possibly need, and it’s very inspiring. It will put you on a course that will change your life,’ says Brokensha. ‘For anyone who wants to lose weight, up their energy levels and reduce their chances of type 2diabetes among other conditions, LOSE IT! is the answer.’

Professor Tim Noakes (exercise scientist), Sally-Ann Creed (nutritional therapist), Jobst Olschewski (CrossFit trainer) and Justine Kiggen (FAIRLADY food editor and recipe developer) are just some of the experts providing advice in LOSE IT!.

LOSE IT! launches on Monday, 7 April 2014, and will be on sale quarterly (volume 2 on 30 June, volume 3 on 15 September, and volume 4 on 29 December). The title retails for R49 and is also available digitally at


5 Questions with Carly Shankman


Carly is the owner of popular blog Peace, Love & Kale as well as a Certified Holistic Health Coach trained through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition & a member of AADP (American Association of Drugless Practitioners).

She believes that mental, spiritual and physical health are NOT exclusive of one another and that in order to reach optimal health, we must look at the WHOLE being; your relationships, work environment, spiritual practices, exercise patterns, relationship with food and the food we are selecting to fuel our bodies.

1. How long have you been Primal and what was your primary motivation?

I was a vegetarian with bouts of veganism for 7 years and according to conventional nutrition I should have been the image of ideal health. As a vegan, I initially saw huge benefits in my health; I felt connected to my body in a way I never had before. I was predominately eating food from the Earth and this allowed me to recognize what my cravings were – instead of sugar I realized I was actually craving high quality fat, water, a walk, a friend to talk to, or a list of other things my body (or heart) was asking for. I developed a deep and connected relationship with my body and I could hear the messages clearly.

I truly had an experience with knowing that my body can only perform based off the quality of food I choose to fuel it with. I lost the college weight, my skin began to glow, my spiritual practices were deeper, and I went from a love/hate relationship with my body to a love/love relationship. It was incredible, yet I was always a couple steps away from the goals I wanted to obtain in regards to my health and body.

I continued my vegan/vegetarian diet for many years, until I started to see my health and vitality deteriorate again – I had hit a plateau and was having dreams of eating meat.

In 2012, I decided to embrace good old-fashioned meat, and overnight, I added in animal protein and more fat than I ever thought was “safe” to eat – I feasted on chicken, pork, beef, coconut, raw dairy, eggs (yolk and all ::gasp!::), avocado, and butter. The effects were instant.

Within 2 days of eating meat again, I felt strong and grounded in a way I hadn’t felt in many years. I felt like all the energy literally drained from the constant swirl around my head and flowed evenly throughout my body; my head was clear and alert. I began rockin’ the body, energy, and level of vibrancy that I had never before experienced and I felt alive, inspired and radiant. I had found the level of health that had alluded me for so long! This, I liked.

2. What is the most significant benefit you’ve experienced?

Carly ShankmanToday, I follow more of a paleo/gluten-free/Weston A. Price/do-my-best diet. I simply follow the guidelines that work for me and discard the ones that don’t. Do I drink, yes? Do I eat quinoa on the regular because it’s easy, fast, and incredibly versatile and tasty? Yes. Do I eat too much almond & cashew butter, hell yes.

But I have a deep and respectful relationship with my body which allows me to listen to the cues and cravings to know how best to fuel and service my temple.

I know for the first time in my entire life, I have a healthy, respectful, loving relationship with food. I feel strong and confident in my body, I look forward to creating new and delicious meals in the kitchen, and I feel light, radiant, and clear.

3. Do you ever cheat and if so, how often?

Hmm cheat is a hard word because cheating is like I’m deviating from some set, strict plan when in reality what I’m doing is choosing foods that allow me to be the very best, most vibrant version of myself. Are there nights when I go out and drink beer and eat pizza, absolutely. But I know my body doesn’t thrive on that so when I want it, I eat it but the majority of the time I crave true nutritious food.

4. What’s your favourite Primal dish?

ANYTHING with eggs: frittata, hash, scrambled, baked, poached – they are a powerhouse of nutrients, so easy to make and extremely versatile. I also love spaghetti squash, bacon from the farmer’s market, and raw almond butter. As for a complete meal, probably this Luscious Lemon Butter Salmon.

5. Random Carly fact?

I LOVE to dance and sing! If I wasn’t so passionate about nutrition and wellness, my dream job would be to be on stage entertaining the masses with my (offpitch) voice and badass dance moves. You can usually find me rockin’ out in the kitchen while I cook!

Haha, awesome Carly, sounds like fun! I love the way you have such a deep understanding of your own body and what it’s asking of you – thanks so much for taking the time to share your story with us.


Eat yourself sexy like Gwyneth Paltrow: how to make your diet work for you!

Losing weight doesn’t have to be a boring, dreary experience and it shouldn’t be a short term effort either.

“I’m going on a diet” means that it’s not permanent, except we’re always after permanent results. Doesn’t really make sense does it?


The latest in Hollywood gossip is that Gwyneth Paltrow has been ‘depriving’ her children of ‘healthy grains’… oh dear, what a naughty irresponsible Mom she has been.

Hollywood pediatrician, Dr. Robert Hamilton was quoted to say, “I feel it’s unnecessary really, all around the world, the foundation of people’s diets are carbohydrates and sugar.”

Um, yes, quite the observation Doctor. And all around the world people are becoming fatter and unhealthier by the day.

Gwyn’s story:

In 2011, after a particularly grueling schedule and lapse of overindulgence, Gwyn was feeling fatigued and faint. A visit to her doctor revealed that she was anemic, vitamin D deficient, and that her stress levels were sky high.

He prescribed an elimination diet to clear out her system and help her body heal. But this meant no coffee, no alcohol, no dairy, no eggs, no sugar, no shellfish, no deep-water fish, no wheat, no meat, no soy, nothing processed at all!

An avid foodie, Gwyneth was concerned that so many restrictions would make mealtime boring, so she compiled a collection of 185 delicious, easy recipes that followed her doctor’s guidelines.

And it worked! After changing her diet, she healed totally, felt more energetic and looked great.

Gwyn’s story reminds me somewhat of my own personal health journey:

In early 2013 I had hit rock bottom in terms of how I felt about my body and my health. I was putting on more and more weight year after year, and my energy levels were steadily decreasing. The more I tried to exercize, the more tired I became.

And then to make matters worse, I spotted a grey hair. I started to believe that when you hit 30, life really does throw you a curveball…

And then thankfully, I discovered the Primal Lifestyle and everything changed.

However, like Gwyneth, I found certain elements of the Primal way of eating very boring, so I started to experiment and spice it up a bit by adding my own style. I think this is very important when embarking on a long term eating plan or ‘diet’.

If your diet is not enjoyable, you are not going to stick to it!
(it’s a tweetable!)

For example, I luuuurve honey and I luuuurve fruit. The Primal diet suggests limiting these two things to a very high degree – they say 1-3 portions of fruit per day and a little honey here and there, if any at all.

I admit I abided by this rule for my first 90 days while I was trying to get my body to lose weight quickly, and it definitely worked, but once I felt healthier, stronger and leaner, I started to expirement by re-introducing certain foods here and there to see how my body would react.

There is just no ways I can be on a diet that limits fruit. I love fruit. It makes me feel healthy and my body craves it.

I have a teeny drop of honey in every cup of tea and I love it.

I also stick to the 80/20 rule – I eat Primal for 80% of the time, maybe even 90%, but if I feel like indulging with a couple slices of pizza here and there, I do and guess what… I don’t get fat.

If I eat an entire pizza – yes, my tummy will suffer, so if I really feel like an entire pizza, then I have to go to the extra effort to make a cauliflower or almond flour base pizza, but honestly, after 2 pieces of regular pizza – your new Primal body will tell you that you’ve had enough and you’ll feel like you just ate a whole pizza anyway.

So my advice when going on any diet, is to make it work for you. You shouldn’t be feeling like you’re missing out on life just to lose a few kilo’s.

Rather embark on a lifestyle change that works for you and allows you to add some of your own personal style to make it your own. For more ideas you can check out these 16 easy primal ingredient swaps.

I’d love to hear from you – how has ‘being on a diet’ made you feel in the past? Let me know in the comments area below.