When Shannon Cooper, health & wellness coach had her first baby in 2014, she decided to take her knowledge of nutrition and apply it to her newborn from the moment she was born. The new mom raised her child with a very controversial diet that included literally zero grams of sugar and refined carbs from day one. Journalists everywhere were interested in the story and wanted to cover her baby’s development, some were hoping to see how well the child develops while others were hoping that the diet ultimately fails.
In the end, the Australian based fitness fanatic and founder of the popular blog My Food Religion decided to go with her instincts and knowledge of how the body works and apply it in the raising of her new sweetheart without letting the opinions and judgments of others get in the way. She knew the science behind her decision and was confident that the results of a zero refined carbs diet would end up in extremely positive results. What challenges did Cooper experience? What lessons can we learn from her journey? Get ready for all this and more…
The First Rule of Food: You Are What You Eat
There’s an old saying that is widely known by most, “you are what you eat,” which is probably the phrase that best sums up the way diets work. When you eat great food, you feel great and everything in your body works better. When you put bad foods in your body, nothing works as well as it’s supposed to. The Australia-based fitness fanatic and diet coach, Shannon Cooper, spent most of her life studying and testing how different foods affect the human body.
Cooper claims that the foods we eat fall into one of two categories of a spectrum. On one hand, the best types of foods will act as fuel, just like a car can run smoothly when given proper fuel. One the other hand, putting bad foods into our bodies is like putting poison in our bodies that slowly decreases the effectiveness of our bodily systems and lowers their abilities. This knowledge would later cause Cooper to take a very controversial stance and make a choice that would bring a lot of attention directed at her and her family.
The Second Rule of Food: You Are What Your Food Ate
Building on the aforementioned phrase, “You are what you eat,” Shannon Cooper has another phrase that she believes compliments the former, and is just as true and sometimes even more important: “You are what your food ate.” What exactly does this mean? Let’s see what Copper has to say about this phrase.
Cooper claims that what our food ate also has a very strong effect on our bodies since the foods that our animals ate have a direct link to their bodies too. As an example, eggs that were laid by a free-range chicken, (which means a hen that was raised in natural conditions and allowed to roam freely during her life), will contain up to 19 times more Omega 3 and fatty acids, which are very important to the human body than that of a regular hen who was raised do give eggs. This applies to all other animals in various fashions. This has caused Shannon to take a bold step and prove her phrase, “You are what your food ate”.
What Started it All
Shannon Cooper got pregnant around 2013. She already knew so much about diets and health that something inside her told her not to stick to common dietary practices for her child.
Cooper was a strict proponent of the paleo diet and wanted to raise her baby without sugar and carbs from the beginning of its life.
A Specialist of Nutrition
Australian-born Shannon Cooper has many years of experience with everything related to fitness, health, nutrition, and wellness and currently works as a health and wellness coach and popular food blogger. She's an expert on the topic of food and the way that it affects our body. In fact, her entire life and income revolve around helping herself and others become as healthy as they can possibly be via the foods they put in their bodies.
When Shannon wanted to start her family, she knew that her knowledge of food, nutrition and their effect on the human body will play a major role in the way that she raises her children. Cooper was very aware of the various benefits and risks involved with the standard diet and wanted to make sure that her family is living the healthiest lifestyle possible. This knowledge would affect her family, especially her daughter, in some very unexpected ways.
A Mother Obsessed About Health
The successful and popular Shannon has a great lifestyle that includes cooking, travel, giving workshops, coaching people and having a lot of fun in nature. Her expertise in health was her main source of income and cutting out sugar, carbs, and preservatives from her diet gave Cooper a very healthy and active body. When she found out that she was pregnant, it was time to make a decision that would prove to have very dramatic results for her and the family.
Shannon's daughter, Grace, was born in 2014 and turned out to be a beautiful, vibrant and creative little girl. Even before she was born, the fitness and diet expert decided she was going to make sure that her daughter is raised on the best diet possible so that she'll be healthy and happy her entire life. This caused Cooper to put her daughter Grace on a very strict diet that would make her different than any other kid her age.
Creating a Healthy Gut Environment
As we've stated previously, Shannon Cooper HATES preservatives. She's an avid proponent for the Paleo diet and has used it successfully for most of her adult life. She claims to not be a strict vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, fat-free or carb-free and attempts to avoid categorizations due to everyone needing different diets based on their bodies.
What Shannon is obsessed about though, is gut health. She claims that the gut microbiome affects many different aspects of our body and has a very dramatic effect on our level of health and quality of life. This is why she opted not to feed her daughter out of any baby jar food, but rather go for something she believed was much healthier and more natural for her newborn, Grace.
What is the Paleo Diet
Almost all the recipes that Shannon features on her popular diet blog "My Food Religion" are based on the Paleo diet. The Paleo diet, also known as the stone-age diet, is a way of eating that restricts us to eat almost exclusively things that our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate thousands of years ago. Foods that are included in the Paleo diet include mostly animal foods such as meat, fish and eggs, as-well-as various plants, seeds, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Proponents of the diet avoid all processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, grain, dairy products and more. This diet has been known to cause fast weight loss due to a large reduction in carb intake and has been argued to reduce rates of heart disease while improving health.
Shannon Cooper started her Paleo diet around the year 2010 and has since been almost exclusively on the diet. She claims her entire life has changed since adopting it, and mostly promotes foods that are aligned with the Paleo diet. This diet developed into a full lifestyle for the health expert and eventually led to her raising her daughter on it as-well. Up next: what health problems caused Shannon to start the Paleo diet, and did it help relieve them?
Dealing With Health Problems
Shannon suffered from various health problems throughout her life. She had various food allergies and felt bad no matter what she ate. This might be where she first came upon the idea of food being either fuel or a poison. She tried various diets but for some reason, nothing seemed to work. No matter what she ate, her health and well being were seriously damaged.
Cooper knew she had to find a way to improve her energy and health, or else she would see her life go by without the full enjoyment and experience that were so important to her. She knew that not all diets work for everyone and that it would be a matter of trial and error until she finds exactly what works best for her body. In the year 2000, she heard about a diet called paleo and decided to give it a try. The results from that diet would change her life’s journey forever.
Trying Out the Paleo Diet
Shannon Cooper started her paleo diet by removing all sugars, carbs, processed foods and many types of dairy, grains and legumes. She took it one step at a time and gradually began to see the effect of the diet. To Cooper's surprise, her body started reacting very well to the diet. She began to feel healthier, have more energy and even began experiencing better moods. When asked by the Daily Mail what caused her to make this massive change in her diet, restricting herself from eating many foods that are very common, she said, “I just got sick of not feeling great." Cooper then added, “That had become my normal, and [I decided] that it wasn’t going to be my normal anymore.”
The Paleo diet is a highly debated one, with experts leaning both ways in terms of its health benefits vs. the potential risks. Many people swear by paleo and claim that it caused them to lose weight, feel healthier, be able to sleep less and have more energy and focus. Despite that, some researchers and people who tried the paleo lifestyle claim that it leads to adverse health effects. Our next entry will explore what health experts have to say about the diet...
What Medical Experts Say About Paleo
Paleo has been a very popular and controversial diet for quite a while now. The diet basically changes the food pyramid prescribed by the government (which no one actually follows). The diet takes carbs out from the base of the pyramid and replaces them instead with seafood, meat, fish, eggs, seeds, fats and oils. The advantages of the diet, according to health professionals, are that it's rich in potassium which helps blood pressure and kidney function. Paleo also helps people eat a lot of good fats and protein, resulting in better skin, muscle, bone and cartilage growth. The elimination of processed foods is another one of the diet's major benefits, as these foods are generally filled with salt and sugar.
One of the coolest things about our ancestors is that they were much stronger than your average modern person, due to their very tough environments which forced them to take part in things like hunting, cold weather and tough terrains. The average cavemen had roughly the same fitness level as a triathlete, with all-around conditioning that optimized both strength and endurance. So far the paleo diet sounds fantastic, but what are the downsides of the diet that medical experts warn potential dieters from?
The Downsides of Paleo
On the negative side of paleo, medical experts claim that many of the foods in the paleo diet are eaten in exaggerated amounts much beyond the recommended daily allowance, such as eating too many eggs daily, which contain a high level of cholesterol. There is also a concern for a lack of essential nutrients, vitamins, and calcium, fiber, selenium and manganese due to the restricted nature of its food choices. The diet is also claimed to not account for vast differences in lifestyle, environment and body structure that our human ancestors experienced when they lived 10,000 years ago.
Another point that many paleo enthusiasts seem to dismiss often, is that cavemen did not have good lives. Most of them died early, at the hands of predators, parasites, diseases, cold and many other of nature's harsh punishments which we have since mastered. There are numerous debates as to what factor heart disease and hardening of the arteries played in the deaths of our ancestors. It's also important to note that the average lifespan of the caveman was around 30 to 40 years due to many obvious reasons. This means that we can't really say for sure if our ancestors actually benefited from their diets, especially considering the large time gap and the very circumstantial evidence at hand.
One Dramatic Decision
Despite the controversial nature of Paleo and the various split opinions that medical experts hold regarding the diet, Shannon Cooper decided that since the diet worked so well for her, she was more than willing to try it out with her lovely baby daughter Grace. The benefits that the young fitness and diet coach received from her new diet were immense, and she felt more energetic, happy and healthy than ever before. Obviously, when you raise a kid, the stakes are much higher. These young humans have a much less developed immune system and body, and any mistake on the young parent's part could result in permanent damage to the child's development, and in worse scenarios could even lead to a fatal error.
Cooper knew that she had to be very careful and to avoid making any assumptions about the safety of paleo when it comes to children. She carefully studied the research the science behind paleo and consulted with every possible source of information to know as much about the child’s body as possible. In addition, Cooper also did what any responsible parent would do, and made sure to consult with medical experts before setting out on this unique lifestyle journey.
It was extremely important for Cooper to get answers. This was no game, as her child's health was on the line. The young mother knew that if anything happened to Grace because of the diet she decided for her, it would be entirely her responsibility. Looking for answers, Cooper consulted a doctor about the paleo diet, trying to figure out if it could be safely attempted with children. Historically it's known that our ancestors lived almost entirely on a paleo diet, but mortality rates for kids at the time were extremely high - albeit for many other reasons.
Her doctor said that she should definitely be careful if Grace is going to adopt the paleo diet since there is little to no actual verified research on the effects of the diet on young kids. Shannon decided to raise her daughter on the diet anyway and wanted to raise Grace on the same foods our ancestors ate from day 1. There was only one exception she had to make for her daughter, because Cooper knew there was only one thing that would always be healthier for a baby, and help her daughter grow much better than regular food.
Better Than Any Diet
The paleo diet is notorious for being against many dairy products, including milk. Our ancestors did not do any farming and were mostly hunter-gatherers, so they did not enjoy any form of milk throughout their lives during what historians call the "Palaeolithic Era". This is why many people following the paleo diet avoid dairy products almost entirely and prefer to use various substitutes for their desire to drink milk such as butter, yogurt, and sour cream. In fact, it's not unusual to see a person on the paleo diet adding butter or cream to their coffee, instead of the more traditional milk.
Despite the fact that paleo shy away from dairy and especially milk, Shannon Cooper knew that the best thing her baby could get was some good old breast milk. There's no better nutrition for a growing newborn than that which their mother nature provides, and is custom-tailored by her body to fit their needs, including various anti-bacteria agencies that essentially "borrow" themselves from the mother for the child's needs via breastfeeding. It would also be very hard to give her baby Grace raw vegetables and meat since babies don't have teeth. This is why the young mother opted to give her baby exclusively natural breast milk for the first few months of her life. This also gave her time to prepare for Grace's transition into a full-blown cavewoman diet. However, many Do It Yourself baby formulas for babies transitioning into the paleo diet are often highly dangerous and not approved by various health agencies, here’s how this happened...
The Serious Dangers of Newborn DIY Formulas
There is nothing more enjoyable for an avid home cook than to scour the internet for incredible homemade recipes and cook some of the most original and nutritious meals that other people have discovered and shared. Many mothers also enjoy sharing various recipes that they found to help their babies with everything from stomach aches to magical "this will make him fall asleep" formulas. These are generally harmless, as they are just combinations of everyday foods that most babies already eat. However, when you're talking about paleo, the stakes are entirely different for children. There are numerous homemade recipes for baby formulas that are based on the paleo diet, but you have to remember that this is a very strict diet that follows only what our ancestors ate.
Many health experts claim that most of these paleo formulas are not only unhealthy but downright dangerous for children. One nutritionist even went as far as to say that a paleo formula recipe created by popular celebrity chef Pete Evans can “cause permanent damage and possibly result in death” to infants. The Chef was lucky because he had a chance to change the recipe before the book was published, likely resulting in babies' lives being saved. The book was eventually published, although health experts say it doesn't meet the legal standard to be called baby formulas and are definitely not safe for infants. They even stated that some of these formulas contained foods that babies are literally unable to digest.
Time For Some Baby Food
Once babies are past the age of a few months, they are able to gradually wean themselves off breast milk and are to try out very light and mashed foods. Between five to six months into a baby's life, it's time to start offering your baby mashed single-ingredient fruits, vegetable puree and infant cereal which contain things like green beans, carrots, and pears.
Shannon, however, did not intend to give her baby any premade food in a jar. Instead, she was going to hand-make all of Graces food, so that she knew exactly what was going into every meal she ate. Her newborn’s healthy development was the most important thing in her life at the time, so the only question that remained was what foods could she mash for her? What paleo ingredients were healthy for a child and which were not allowed at this age?
Following the Paleo Guidelines
Shannon began making meals for her daughter based on the paleo diet guidelines but kept breastfeeding her during the adjustment period into solid foods. The meals Shannon made for Grace were entirely natural and lacked any processed foods, sugars or preservatives, making them already much healthier and better for the baby than anything you can get in the market.
Both Shannon and Grace handled the transition to solid foods quite well, as the little one quickly became accustomed to eating vegetables and organic chicken. Everything went perfectly when it came to Grace's development, and she even started to show some incredible signs of developing differently from other children, in some very good ways. In the next entry, we’ll show you exactly how Grace grew up as a paleo baby, and just what special signs of development she showed even before her first year.
A Very Special Paleo Baby
Shannon was very active on social media for a long time thanks to her popular blog and consulting business, so it was easy for her to also begin uploading various pictures and videos of her daughter's growth, as-well-as the various meals she prepared for her. Shannon currently has over 50,000 loving followers, many of whom actively follow her recipes and health advice. Fans and journalists were eagerly following Grace’s growth and diet and were excited to see just how this kid would turn out with her unique situation.
Grace was growing fast, like most kids, and was already weaning and mostly eating solid foods by the time she was just a year old. In addition, Shannon’s daughter was unique in the way she happily ate things that other kids her age tended to stay away from. In one Instagram picture, we can see grace happily eating a piece of broccoli, which is the type of food that most kids her age tend to fervently hate and avoid.
Most children and adults in Western civilization are chronically addicted to sugars. That's why you'll find an excess of sugar in almost everything that can be bought at an average supermarket. From coffee to cakes and even beverages, it's almost impossible to avoid sugar, leading to emotional and psychological dependence on this highly addictive substance. It's reported that around 75% of all Americans eat too much sugar, with many of them classified as sugar addicts. What's unique about Grace is that by the time she was just over a year old, she was already munching down quinoa, porridge, sauerkraut, and chia pudding as part of her main meals. These foods would make most kids squirm and spit out their food in disgust, as they ask for pasta or something sweet instead. If that's not impressive enough, wait until you find out what Grace DOESN'T eat.
According to Shannon, Grace has not eaten carbs or anything that contains sugar in her entire life. We're not just talking about snacks, she also never had any sweet beverage or even a regular cake. Is she happy with this diet though? Her mother says that Grace "loves it" and is very happy about it. But how did the Paleo diet affect Grace's health? Is she any healthier than other kids her age? The answer will surprise and amaze you on the next page.
The Incredible Results
A few years into Grace’s childhood, she was already exhibiting signs of excellent health, according to Shannon Cooper. The paleo mother claims that Grace was only sick once in her entire life, and even that was just a mild cold. If this claim is true, that is quite rare indeed - since young children are often sick multiple times in their first few years. The main reason kids tend to get sick a lot at a young age is due to their socializing with other children, who are rarely hygienic, and being exposed to a variety of bacteria and viruses that their immune systems have never seen before.
Despite hanging out with other kids, Grace is perfectly healthy almost all of the time, according to Shannon. “She spends a lot of time around other kids who are sick all the time – who have snotty noses, coughs, colds – but she just doesn’t pick it up,” Shannon told the Daily Mail. The young mother also claimed that all of these health benefits are the result of her paleo diet, although there is no way to empirically confirm or deny that claim.
Growing Up With a Strong Immune System
Some mothers and journalists have criticized Shannon’s claim that her kid’s healthy body and great immune system was not the result of paleo, but due to Shannon being an overprotective mother. Shannon quickly denied these claims by telling The Daily Mail: “It’s certainly not because I’m not shielding her from any of that stuff, I absolutely think a nutrient-dense diet is giving her a strong immune system.”
It’s important to emphasize again that there is no scientific basis to Shannon’s claims, and that they are based purely on anecdotal claims. While that doesn’t discredit her assertions in any way, it also means that they are not medically verified and should not be taken as proof of paleo being the best diet for your child. Nevertheless, Shannon is certainly an avid supporter of paleo and even wrote a few cookbooks for people wanting to make paleo-friendly recipes for their children. This is despite claiming on her website that she is not a strict paleo follower, and only takes the best parts of every diet that she follows.
A Mixed Diet Inspired By Experience
As stated before, Shannon does not view herself strictly as a paleo diet follower, rather she views herself as a free thinker who prefers to take the best of every diet she has tried and leave out the rest. In her website, she tries to reject the various diet labels that people like to put on her, and claims that she’s not “vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, fat-free, carb-free or any other food ‘denomination’ in its entirety.” It’s clear that her approach is working for her, based on both her health and the health of her child, Grace.
Regarding her diet choices and philosophy, she expanded: “I take what I like from different food approaches and recipes and adapt it to suit what makes me feel good.” While it’s clear that she is flexible in her approach to nutrition, it’s still a mystery how Shannon would react if her daughter ever were to break the strict ‘no carbs or sugar’ diet, and whether or not she would adapt to it and help her daughter find balance there, or attempt to restrict her back to the classic paleo diet. Our biggest question is, how the heck does Shannon manages to keep her daughter safe from all the sugar at birthday parties!?
Letting Go of Some Restrictions
While Shannon herself is a very strong believer in paleo and avoids “bad” foods that are outside of the diet’s range, she does acknowledge that it’s not sustainable to force your child to only live on a very limited set of foods and beverages. When asked how she responds if her daughter “sins” and eats something that contains sugar or carbs, a piece of bread for example, she said that she acknowledges that Grace will eat sugary foods sometimes, and doesn’t lose her cool over it. Shannon taught herself the virtues of patience and accepting others, which helps her throughout her life in general, but also when it comes to raising her daughter to be a happy and healthy child with good self-esteem.
“If she eats a piece of bread, I’m not going to have a conniption. I’m not going to not let her go to kids’ parties. She’s going to go to kids’ parties and eat what’s there.” Shannon said in her interview with The Daily Mail. It’s good to know that Shannon has a very open attitude towards her daughter’s diet and doesn’t force her into social isolation just to keep her on a perfect diet. That still leaves out the question of her daughter growing older; What does Shannon plan on doing when her daughter is old enough to make these dietary decisions on her own? Will she attempt to influence her into maintaining the paleo diet, or let her go about her own way and see where it leads?
A Loving and Open Parent
Shannon knows that her job as a mother is to help her child grow into a competent, strong woman who can make her own decisions and achieve what she wants in life. This is why she chose not to put her thumb on every little decision her daughter makes, and also to let her choose whatever diet she finds to be the best when she’s old enough to make that kind of decision. It’s obviously too early at this point, as most kids below twelve would most likely choose to eat candy all day if they were given permission to, but she knows that the day will come when her daughter is mature and wise enough for these kinds of considerations.
When pressed a bit about her decision to let Grace make her own mistakes sometimes, she told the magazine that it happens occasionally that her daughter comes back from a party or a school activity and doesn’t feel well. The main reason is almost always that she ate too many cupcakes or other sugar or carb-based foods. Instead of punishing or moralizing her, Shannon lets these examples serve as an opportunity for her daughter to learn on her own what works best for her and what doesn’t. She truly believes in her daughter’s ability to make decisions on her own and doesn’t mind people's’ negative and critical opinions about her parenting style, especially since these are often tainted with malevolence and ill-will as-well.
Online Doubt, Hate, and Criticism
With fame and attention also comes negativity, especially when you’re also doing something which many people might find controversial, even though it seems to be working perfectly well. Shannon is no stranger to online bullies, critics, trolls and haters since she has been online for many years thanks to her health consulting business and online diet blog. It was only expected that a large number of people will be against putting a child on such a strict diet. While many of them have good intentions and try to put the kid’s health at the top of their goals, it’s clear that they don’t have anywhere near enough of the information and experience that the loving mother has, as she gets to see the effects of her choices towards Grace on a daily basis.
Of course, there are also other types of comments which come from a much more negative place. These come from either parents who are completely against restricting your child and putting boundaries on them. These kinds of parents usually believe that placing rules and limits on your children will inhibit their creativity and that it’s not the parents’ role to discipline his or her children. Another type of negative criticism comes mainly from various groups who oppose paleo, either to promote another diet or for mostly ethical reasons, such as the case in veganism. These criticisms left Shannon quite confused, and in the next page, she explained exactly why...
The Parents Hypocrisy Mystery
While some of the negative criticism that Shannon received makes sense because there are many reasons to be critical of her choices, the one type of negative comments she received that make no sense to her are the ones from your average worried parent. What baffled Shannon is why some parents are perfectly happy giving their children every processed food that you can buy from fast-food chains to processed sugars and low-nutrition foods that are known to cause various health issues in the long term; The same parents who later go online and rant about how irresponsible Shannon is by restricting her daughter to paleo, despite all the evidence pointing to her daughter having an excellent status of health.
“If you want to feed your kid one of the most nutrient-void pieces of [nonsense] ever, knock your socks off. [But] people think that it’s offensive to eat a plate of vegetables [over] a piece of bread. That’s bizarre,” Shannon said in an interview. While getting negative feedback online sucks, it’s not something that a grown and mature mother can’t deal with. You can always just turn off your phone and log off Twitter for a while to immediately forget about these pesky troubles. What happened next was way beyond what Shannon has ever handled before. This was one kind of media storm that the health coach would not be able to ignore.
The Media Went Crazy After Her
Although Shannon Cooper had some respectable presence and following in the online media space, she was never so famous as to attract widespread media attention, and definitely not any viral negative press. Once some journalists took notice of the mothers’ unique parenting style, all bets were off and a media frenzy began. All of a sudden, Shannon found herself in the center of a controversy surrounding the way she raised her child on the paleo diet. She received much more criticism than ever before, this time not just from online trolls and regular “average” citizens, but also from big names in the medical industry. It seemed that everyone had a strong opinion about Grace’s diet and especially on the way Shannon was raising her. You know how these things go, they tend to get quite simplistic and dirty very fast.
One of Australia’s most well-known nutritionists, Dr. Rosemary Stanton, even went so far as to actively caution other parents against letting their children adopt the same diet as Shannon was teaching Grace, she said: “It’s not usually a good idea to put a child on such a restricted diet, particularly when there are no valid grounds for it.” Dr. Stanton, who mostly advocates for plant-based diets and the “vital roles that vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and nuts can play in a healthy diet,” also recommended for Shannon to add grains and legumes, such as alfalfa and chickpeas to Grace’s diet.
Disputes Over Diet
When Shannon Cooper received the advice from Australia’s renowned nutritionists, Dr. Rosemary Stanton, she politely declined to take her advice, claiming that Grace was as healthy as she can possibly be and absolutely loves what she gets to eat every day despite her restricted diet. Shannon went further and explained that what Grace is eating isn’t anything weird or something that other people wouldn’t want to eat and that the key component of her diet is in restricting the foods that she’s allowed to eat, rather than adding foods that nobody usually eats.
“[What Grace eats now] is not weird, or anything that normal people wouldn’t eat. She loves it. I don’t feed her toast or cereal or anything like that. [But] I think, That stuff is not going to kill her.’ If she eats a piece of bread, I’m not going to have a conniption fit,” the young mother stated. So while all of her critiques and naysayers are actively trying to demotivate her from Grace’s paleo diet, at the end of the day, there’s no arguing with the proof in front of everyone’s face that Grace is happy, energetic and healthy, and to some extent even doing much better than many other kids her age, which is something that you just can’t take away from Shannon.
The Proof is in the Paleo-Friendly Pudding
The most important thing to know is that Shannon and her daughter Grace are both as happy and healthy as they can be. They are both doing fantastic, and Shannon likes to share their beautiful life with her Instagram followers. The family enjoys everything from traveling to hiking in nature, to cooking together and celebrating various holidays together. Clearly this mother is doing something right, and if they are both healthy and happy, then that only makes everything better. It seems that her big bet on the paleo diet has paid off, and both her and Grace are enjoying the benefits of that bet.
“I don’t want there to be any disordered eating around here. Females particularly have enough problems with eating disorders. I want Grace to eat what makes her feel good,” Shannon said in her interview with The Daily Mail. She absolutely makes a great point, as most women have severe challenges with eating disorders, due to many reasons including body-weight issues, mental health challenges caused by food, bad eating habits and much more. If anyone’s going to raise their child to be a confident and healthy adult, it’s definitely going to be Shannon Cooper.
A Thriving Business
Shannon certainly found her own niche in life, as she happily and passionately writes about food recipes on her blog called 'My Food Religion'. She gives cooking classes, develops recipes and writes cookbooks, records educational YouTube videos, gives workshops and helps people become as healthy as possible, both in one-on-one consultations and what she calls "group dates" where up to six people get a 90-minute cooking lesson from her. Shannon's hilarious but deep motto is "we can change the world, one kitchen at a time."
Based on the various reviews on her website and social media channels, it seems that people are resonating with her message, humor and great understanding of health education. She gives workshops all around Australia and seems to be loving every moment of it. Her work helps people become healthier and happier, so she’s clearly doing a lot of good in the world. Luckily since the media frenzy died down and now that her daughter is a bit older, things have also stabilized in the online negativity part of her social media presence. Now what you mostly see on her channels are loving and happy reviews, along with fans rooting for her every step of the way. In the next page, we’ll update you on what Shannon and Grace are up to these days, and how Grace’s health and lifestyle have changed since the media fiasco calmed down…
Not a Baby Anymore
Grace is getting older and definitely has a bright future ahead of here. The young girl recently enrolled in kindergarten in mid-2018. Shannon recently commented on how amazing it is to watch her girl grow up, although she wishes that time didn’t move so fast and that she would have as much time to enjoy Grace’s youth as possible. The loving mother also said that she’s astounded by how healthy Grace looks and feels and that she has only gotten sick once in her entire life. She continues to claim that the reason for her blessed health is mainly the family’s paleo lifestyle.
In a recent Instagram post of her cute little girl blowing bubbles in her Superwoman shirt, Shannon wrote: “Slow down baby. How is my baby girl almost off to Kindy. As much as she drives me nuts some days I know this time will be gone in the blink of an eye.” It’s great that the young mother is capturing all of their special times together, but what’s even better is that her career allows them to travel and go on the most amazing vacations. The Coopers are definitely living a great lifestyle due to Shannon’s awesome job and passion.
Fun, Traveling and Awesome Vacations
A big part of Shannon's life is having fun. She's an advocate of trying to make anything you're doing as pleasurable and enjoyable as possible. This is why even when she and Grace are traveling, it's fairly easy for them to stick to their paleo diets. In this picture, we can see the two on a vacation in Mykonos, Greece, as the two enjoy a set of yummy strawberries. We can easily tell that they are enjoying themselves by the look on the daughter, Grace's face, looking as happy and relaxed as you can imagine.
Another big reason why the two have a really easy time keeping up with their paleo diets is that Shannon is highly versatile in different tasty recipes that are all based on the Paleo diet. Based on the photos on her Instagram feed and popular blog, the dishes all look incredibly appetizing and are probably delicious whether you're into paleo or not. This is perhaps why she’s so happy spreading the health message and showing people that you don’t have to suffer to be healthy and maintain a healthy weight.
Delicious Paleo Snacks Are Tastier Than Sugar-Based Ones
Since Shannon believes that diets are supposed to be fun and tasty, she has worked hard to come up with the most enjoyable recipes for anyone who’s trying paleo. This helps people stay on their chosen diet since the most common reason people quit on a new diet is that they really don’t enjoy it. You also can’t neglect how much people love their snacks. There’s nothing quite as nice as a good snack in the middle of the day or after a good workout. That’s why the health coach also created many recipes for guilt-free paleo-friendly snacks. In the picture below you can see a delicious snack from Shannon’s Instagram feed, these are what she refers to as “Nut Free No Bake Fig & Quinoa Bars”, and are just one example of an awesome snack that will make you happy while taming any craving for sugar and its various related sweets.
Shannon points out that you can eat food that’s just as tasty when you’re on paleo, with dishes sometimes being even better than a regular diet that includes a lot of processed foods. Another huge benefit of these quick to make Quinoa Bars is that they don’t even require baking. This is a great advantage because the paleo cook claims to hate standing in the kitchen while baking food, and prefers faster and easier to make servings that support her busy lifestyle. There are also a few other healthy habits and disciplines that Shannon is big on, which all add up to a very wholesome and holistic lifestyle.
Living a Holistic Life
A huge part of Shannon’s life which she happily shares with her Instagram followers is a commitment to living the most healthy and happy life she can possibly have through a combination of meditation, great sleep, and various products that help keep your body and skin healthy. Shannon regularly meditates to calm her mind and create a sense of peace and relaxation. She also has a strong interest in products and gadgets which help people sleep better, which is a massive part of living a healthy and happy life.
Shannon’s Instagram account is like a holistic person’s paradise and is full of great tips, awesome products and all-around wonderfully positive photos that encourage people to live the most full and happy lives that they can possibly have. Her Instagram account is also a great place for the young mother to get tips and opinions from her friends and fans, who want to help her on her journey to living the best life for herself while helping Grace do the same. Part of this is also being a great parent, especially when it comes to involving your kids in choices and explaining to them why you do what you do as a parent. This is why Shannon is big on sharing with Grace the reasons for her various decisions.
Helping Grace Transition Into Adulthood
It’s very important for parents to be as honest and forthcoming with their kids about their various choices and decisions throughout their lives. Once kids grow older, they will be much better able to make their own decisions if their parents share with them how they make choices in their own lives. This is why Sharon Cooper likes to share her lifestyle and food choices with Grace at every chance she gets. She wants her daughter to be able to make her own decisions one day with as much clarity and wisdom as possible, and that can only happen through mature dialogue and understanding. Shannon is very clear with Grace about her decision to put her on a strict paleo diet and explains to her exactly why she was put on the diet from the day she was born.
This image is a snapshot from one of Shannon's most popular Instagram videos, where the two unbox a product they received from GoodnessMe Box, a company that provides organic and healthy food for a monthly fee. This allows Shannon to make her daughter an active part of her social media feed, which is something that the young mother spends a lot of time and energy on. Shannon is also not just a big proponent of open communication with her child, but also actively and openly communicates with her audience about her opinions towards various brands and products. Like any person who takes a lot of time practicing their profession, Shannon has very strong opinions about the best companies for organic and health products, which we'll share with you just up next.
Shannon’s Favorite Health Brands
Unlike many influencers in the fitness and health category, Shannon Cooper doesn't just promote any company that wants to pay her to do so. She likes to test out products, see what really helps her, and only then give out a strong recommendation if she likes the results. She has tried many brands and products over the years, but we have collected a small group of brands that the fitness and health expert strongly recommends.
Some of Shannon's favorite companies which she strongly supports are PrimalThenics, which is a unique training style that uses pure bodyweight and movement exercises to build a fit and healthy body. She's also a big fan of Cleanse Skincare, a company that sells organic and natural skincare products. Another company that Shannon swears by is Crema Coffee Garage, an organic coffee brand that helps her start her day as a professed coffee lover. This is just a small sample of her favorite companies, you can read about other companies and brands she supports on her blog.
Successful Writing Career
Shannon has built an online following through her positive attitude and great information on healthy and tasty meals. She is a self-proclaimed “Mum, bacon addict, coffee lover, and food, health & wellness coach.” and claims to have a passion for unprocessed food which feeds your body and your soul. The health guru also likes to create recipe books with very fun themes, such as "Love Ya Guts - Lunchboxes For Big and Little Kids," and "CBF PALEO - For people who really want to eat well, but can't be f**ked", which includes tasty servings with only five ingredients or less, for those who are a bit lazy in the kitchen or have less free time.
Her books are very popular amongst her fans and considered very clear and helpful, mostly because of her fantastic writing and super-tasty recipes. Shannon has many other hobbies and work habits outside of writing and posting on Instagram. Up next, we'll tell you more about her fantastic Australian workshops.
Shannon’s Australian Workshops
Shannon likes to travel around Australia with her current partner Sofie Van Kempen who runs 'Sofie Van Kempen Nutrition', as the two are giving fantastic workshops in Queensland, NSW, and VIC. In their workshops, the two discuss gut health and which are the most nourishing foods that are both delicious and healthy. Their goal is to create a fun and relaxed environment where everyone can talk, share and laugh. She claims her workshops are masterclasses in cooking where they demonstrate how to cook various recipes, give out tastings and teach you how to craft the food yourself.
The workshops are getting some great reviews online, and are said to be fun, relatable, very educational, and most importantly - very tasty experiences. You can check out dates and book a seat in one of her Australian workshops through her website My Food Religion, which also doubles as a popular blog that contains many of her famous paleo recipes.
A Wonderful Mother-Daughter Bond
Grace and Shannon love appearing together in Shannon's "My Food Religion" Instagram channel, where they wear adorable matching outfits. The two girls are not just mother and daughter but also best friends, as they love to match various aspects of their lives, including eating together, traveling together, cooking side by side and more. The two are absolutely adorable, and it's a true pleasure to know that Shannon can be both a fantastic Mom and her daughter's best friend at the same time, a feat which is incredibly hard to perform - especially for a first-time parent who also runs a full-time business.
Shannon loves sharing incredible moments with her daughter like the one you can see in the image above. Her social media feed is full of positive and awesome adventures with her daughter, from a nice dinner together to an incredible trip. Shannon regularly emphasizes how healthy and happy her daughter is, and that she currently chooses to eat paleo out of her own free will. Grace reportedly enjoys paleo very much, and it's not hard to believe based on how happy and healthy the adorable little thing looks in all of their pictures. Finally, how are people reacting to Shannon’s influence across the internet? What do her fans and clients think of her services?
Positive Reviews From Fans and Clients
Over the years, Shannon has built up a substantial following of fans and clients who love her vision and values. Most of them got to know her either through the popular articles about her paleo-eating daughter, Grace or through her many recipes which are bound to be accidentally found on Google by anyone looking for some tasty paleo dishes to cook without too much hassle. Her website, My Food Religion, is full of positive reviews from people who read her books, have used her recipes and attended her workshops.
One of the health consultant’s biggest motivations is seeing her wonderful impact on the people that interact with her, which is why she believes you should never force someone to adopt any diet or belief that they’re not voluntarily interested in. Her fantastic recipes, easygoing style, and great personality all keep her fans coming back for more, and we can only wish her to have the best career and life she can possibly have while educating millions on how to live a healthy, happy and satisfying lifestyle.