MFS Fit Babe Spotlight with Shan Cooper: Let’s talk Nutrition !

January 15, 2014

Diet TIPS, Nutrition, Recipes

healthy diet tips with Shan Cooper

It’s time to have our weekly chat with this month’s MFS Fit Babe: Shan Cooper via My Food Religion! I really enjoyed reading Shan’s blunt and  clear-cut “healthy diet” advice and personal insight about nutrition … I strongly believe in the power of Real Food myself and I am so thrilled to be spreading the awareness with all you lovely readers. It’s time we get real about the way we fuel our bodies! Shan, you’re up:

Whatever you were taught about nutrition at school, you probably want to forget it if your goal is health & wellness!

The ‘healthy’ food pyramid is anything but, the recommendations put forth by institutions like the Heart Foundation are a joke. We only need to look around at the obesity, diabetes & heart disease epidemic that surrounds us to see that ‘low fat’ everything & the minefield of ‘low calorie’ packaged foods are nothing but a chemical $hitstorm that are making people sicker & fatter.

Think that butter is going to give you a heart attack? News flash: Old foods don’t cause new diseases.  Heart disease is a modern-day illness, it is not caused by naturally occurring saturated fats that have been around for eons, perhaps take a look at that ridiculous pre-packaged junk that is loaded with sugar that you call ‘cereal’.

healthy diet tips- processed food

“Carb-age” more like it. Like garbage, only the crappy carb type.

Want to be healthy, lose fat, be strong, think clearly & NOT suffer these modern diseases? Here’s an idea for you: Just Eat Real Food. Or JERF as the always fabulous Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness would say. It’s a totally new concept, it’s only been around for…. About 10,000 years.

  • Eat foods that your grandmother would recognize as food, not ‘food-like’ products
  • Read ingredient labels & if you don’t know what those ingredients are then I think it’s safe to say that it’s not ‘real food’
  • Avoid processed sugar…. that is far more difficult than you might think, it’s in pretty much everyone that comes in a packet disguised as fructose, glucose, sucralose, syrup, dextrose, maltose & lactose just to name a few. Thought your fat-free dressing was healthy? Think again, it’s likely loaded with sugar. You are much better off eating the healthy fat.

I follow a paleo template because to me it just makes sense, oh & I love eating fat!

Often people will tell me that they think they way I eat is ‘extreme’. I find that pretty confusing. How is eating unprocessed real, whole food extreme?

I think that packaged ‘snack bar’ you are eating, containing 135 ingredients, none of which you can pronounce, is extremely dangerous to your health. Paleo is a template, not a diet. It helps people to get back to eating real food instead of the hyper-palatable processed junk we now call food.

Is it hard being Paleo?

It’s as hard as you want it to be, I don’t find it a challenge anymore because I choose to eat foods that nourish my body & make me feel good. I have a fair few food sensitivities so I’d rather not deal with the repercussions of consuming dairy or gluten that you can see in the picture below. It can be hard when away from home but I think the important thing is to just do the best you can with what you have.

healthy diet tips - dairy and gluten with Shan Cooper

Don’t let ‘perfect’ choices get in the way of ‘good’ ones. Be kind to yourself & nurture your body with the best food you can, after all, it is the only place you have to live.

I try & eat intuitively, I eat when I am hungry not just because it’s ‘breakfast time’. I rarely snack because I find I have enough fat & protein in my meals to keep me satiated for at least 5 hrs. I used to be a total sugar junkie in my younger days & I was ALWAYS hungry. I had to eat at least every 2 hrs to stop from tearing people’s heads off.

Once I stopped with the fat-free rubbish & quit chowing down on lollies for a higher fat & protein diet, everything changed. The brain-fog lifted, the energy troughs disappeared, I could last hours without needing to snack, my aching joints resolved & my entire body shape changed for the better. I still love desserts but I will make my own ice cream or chocolate rather than buy the store-bought stuff. Since I quit sugar I don’t crave sweets like I used to, I crave fats, but you can read more about that here if you like.

I love to cook. The kitchen is my haven & I live to create new food combinations.

They don’t always have to be complicated but they do need to pack a flavor punch. This is one of my favorite recipes & also one of the easiest.

Lemon & Sumac Chicken

healthy diet tips - lemon and suman chicken paleo recipe

This totally does not require a recipe but I will humor you anyway.


  •  Zest & juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 kg chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp sumac spice


  • Preheat oven to 160C
  • Add all ingredients to a big bowl & toss to coat well
  • Transfer everything to a baking dish & bake for 60-80 mins until the thighs pull apart easily
  • Serve with some delicious greens sautéed in coconut oil, ghee or organic butter
  • Eat up!

Told you it was easy, didn’t I!

Here’s a few more pics of my fave recipes

healthy diet tips recipes by Shan Cooper Browse through Shan’s official blog to find more delicious & nutritious recipes!

healthy diet tips recipes by Shan Cooper 02

Stay tuned for next week’s “Training” post by Shan Cooper!

photo credit: cereals

MFS Suggests…

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Shan Cooper

Shan Cooper

Shan Cooper. Aussie. Food, Health & Wellness blogger. Coconut lover. Wife to a wonderful man. Mother to an enormous dog. Wellness Coach. All round crazy chick. Join me for random ramblings & adventures of food, fitness & fun over at
Shan Cooper
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  1. MFS Fit Babe Spotlight with Shan Cooper: Let’s talk Training ! | My Fit Station - February 3, 2014

    […] In the past articles, we’ve learned a little more about Shan and her thoughts on healthy nutrition. Today’s post is all about “exercise” and how this fit babe has found her […]

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