Foodie Friday: Pete Evans
Pete Evans is the co-host of TV’s My Kitchen Rules and the author of seven cookbooks. He is one of the few mainstream popular chefs who speak out about true health and nutrition (remember when he spoke about activating almonds and the media had a field day). Pete is super passionate about preaching the importance of whole, organic foods. He even studied through the Institute Of Integrative Nutrition (the same nutrition school I attended) to brush up on his knowledge of holistic health and is part owner of B.U Organics in Sydney’s Bondi Junction.
I’m so excited to feature Pete on my site, and even more excited to have him as a special guest at the Sydney leg of my Australian tour later this month. Pete will be joining me on stage, along with Melissa Ambrosini and Wes Carr.
Until then, meet Pete …
What was the catalyst that turned you into a healthy foodie?
I’ve always been relatively health conscious, and even more so once I became a father. But I knew I didn’t quite have things right as far as my diet was concerned. So a couple of years ago I began studying nutrition so that I could have a clearer understanding of how the digestive system works and what foods allow the body to function at an optimum level. Everything I studied and all the latest research pointed me in the direction of trying a Paleo style diet. I eliminated everything that wasn’t providing nourishment. The results were nothing short of astounding. I enjoyed renewed health and vitality like never before. The proof was in the pudding, or rather the lack there of!
What are your non-negotiables when it comes to your diet?
It’s really simple. I don’t eat sugar, gluten, wheat, dairy, grains, or animals that haven’t been humanely raised and allowed to live a natural life.
Why do you eat the way you eat?
Because the food that Mother Nature provides us,, like seasonal vegetables, a balanced amount of organic, grass-fed meat, wild caught sustainable fish, organic free range poultry and eggs, gives my family and I vitality, nourishment . There’s also pleasure in knowing that we’re eating consciously with the aim to be the best we can be.
If you were trying to convert someone to your dietary philosophy, what would you make for them?
First, I would take them fishing so that we could chill out, have a chat and catch a beautiful fish. Then I’d head home and turn our catch into a simple herb and spice crusted pan seared fish served with a beautiful, refreshing side salad. Then I would teach them how to make a delicious fish stock with the remains of the fish so that nothing goes to waste.
How do you stay healthy while travelling?
If I’m away from home I tend to stay in serviced apartments so that I can cook for myself. There are little farmers markets and organic grocery stores all over Australia, so finding great produce is never an issue. My amazing girlfriend Nic looks after me really well too. She always packs me a beautiful lunch or dinner for on the plane, and puts snack packs with nuts, seeds and coconut in my luggage.
What are your go-to meals and snacks when you are super busy?
Carrot, cucumber and celery sticks dipped in pesto made with the herbs from our garden, is a good snack. I also love whipping up a quick vegetable stir-fry with a couple of organic, free-range eggs scrambled through it.
Juices or smoothies: which do you prefer? What’s your favourite combination?
I love them both! But we tend to make more smoothies than juices. Nic makes the green best smoothie for us every morning. It contains organic kale, green apple, lemon, ginger, cucumber, celery, mint, parsley, soaked chia seeds, coconut water and coconut flesh and tastes divine!
What’s the biggest nutrition misconception you frequently have to clear up for people?
Probably the whole low-fat marketing ploy. There are good fats and there are bad fats. We need a certain amount of the good fats, especially omega 3, in our diet for great health. The crazy thing is the fact that most of the low-fat products like trim milk or yoghurt actually have more sugar added to replace the flavour of the fat. There’s an abundance of research that proves sugar to be one of the main causes of weight gain, diabetes, cardio vascular diseases and many other health issues. I don’t believe that dairy products nourish us, I believe they nourish the baby calves that the milk was intended for, so I don’t encourage people to consume them. But I do encourage people to read the labels on packaged food so that they can understand what they’re really absorbing.
If you could prepare a meal for anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and what would you make?
Nothing gives me more pleasure than making a delicious, nutritious meal for my family. But maybe a wise choice would be a good sugar-, wheat-, gluten-, grain- and dairy-free feast for our government, in the hope of educating them about what real nutrition is. Imagine if we could implement real education about food, health and wellness in the areas that desperately need and deserve it like schools, hospitals and aged-care facilities.
What does being a Wellness Warrior mean to you?
Sharing knowledge and creating a sense of community. Joining with like- minded people to create balance, harmony and empowerment. Caring for each other, and nourishing our minds, our bodies and our planet with nutritious food, unconditional love and respect.
A Recipe From Pete:
Fruit salad popsicles
What you’ll need:
A selection of fresh fruits of your choice, such as: strawberries, grapes, mangos, lychees, kiwi, raspberries, pineapple, cut into thick slices for the larger fruit.
2 young coconuts
What to do:
Open the coconuts by cutting a circular hole in the top of each one. Strain the coconut water and set aside.
Arrange some pieces of each fruit in eight 80mls popsicle moulds, making sure the pieces fit very snugly in the moulds. Pour enough coconut water into each mould to just cover fruit. Insert ice-pop sticks and freeze until solid – 6 hours or up to 2 weeks.
Positive affirmation for the day: I choose to nourish myself on all levels.
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