Bone Broth, Quitting Sugar & The Whole Pantry full of lies

7 ways you can help our planet

Today we woke up to 2 pieces of news that resonated deeply with an issue I have been brewing my bones on for ages – those who create cults out of false or twisted claims, and then line their pockets while they continue to suck people in.

The Whole Pantry debacle is just the tip of the iceberg and I am sure there are many more chapters to come. Allegations of lies about having cancer herself, and questions about where so called charitable funds have ended up, must be causing founder Belle Gibson to hide in the pantry. Is this just a case of someone jumping on the public hunger for curing all our ills through food? That by stopping eating certain things and starting eating others we will reach the garden of eternal youth and longevity? Or simply another person trying to feather their nest without any thought for the impact on the rest of the world. I guess we will hear more as this scandal erupts.

baby eatingPaleo Pete is also finally being looked at today with some concern in the mainstream media this morning, with his Paleo baby food book “Bubba Yum Yum” (what even is THAT name!) being pulled from the shelves due to dangerous recommendations to cook up a bone broth formula for babies. It has had its release date pushed back after health experts warned “there’s a very real possibility that a baby may die if this book goes ahead.” Some of us are not surprised.

Unless you live under a rock or in a remote area with no connection to social media, you will have heard all about the latest food fads and “tribes. It’s nothing new. We have had low fat, high fat, Atkins, Pritikin, Grapefruit diets, soup diets and the 2 and 5 diet, to name a few. It seems humans are constantly looking for an answer to all ills via food.

What the hell happened? Not that long ago, you grew as much of your own food as you could, bought local and seasonal, caught some fish, kept some chooks and visited the local butcher. Before Agriculture humans gathered what they could find, hunted what was around and worked in synch with their environment. Big food corporations and supermarket chains have a lot to answer for, and maybe that is what causes this response. We are all seeking an alternative to a highly processed, highly unhealthy way of eating. But cults and fads are not the answer. Cutting core foods out and increasing intake of others is not the answer.


I live with type 1 diabetes, a condition that required me to make significant dietary changes, including quitting sugar, back in 1979 at the age of 12. We were told meats were “free foods” as they had no carbs, meaning you could eat what you liked when it came to meat. By the time I was 16, I was an unhappy, overweight young woman with an addiction to sliced and processed meats. I was certainly not a healthier version of myself.

Over the years, damage to my gut and the nerves that drive emptying of food from your body due to my type 1 diabetes, have caused havoc and my banned food list now includes red meat, fatty foods, spicy foods, onions and all related foods, pasta, pizza, any large amount of carbs, alcohol, coffee, chocolate, gassy drinks, legumes and high fibre foods. I am still not a happier healthier version of myself. But I am most definitely happy, and healthy by all accounts according to my latest round of very in depth blood tests.

In my 40’s I began running again, can now do full push ups and run a multitude of businesses and activities as well as caring for a busy family of boys. I have a full and satisfying life. This is not due to anything really except my attitude, mental strength and approach to life, developed after experiencing depression, anxiety and assorted painful experiences. Food was not part of my healing journey and my happiness is certainly not associated with food. Food has however been a big part of my problems and used as a crutch in response to emotional pain – not healthy.

I think being healthy is not about being part of a cult or lining someone’s pocket with cash from buying their stuff in order to be part of that cult. And being healthy is not about being UNhealthy if you don’t aspire to the cult. Try starting a debate on Paelo Pete’s Facebook page about some of the positive and negative aspects to his recommendations and be smartly shot down by his followers and blocked from the page. I imagine some of you out there are going to respond in this way to my post today, but I am over being silent. There is no room for debate in these groups. It is my way or the highway – and “Ka-ching, my new book just came out you can get it when you sign up to my new programme.”

There are aspects of most food ideas that are wonderful, aspects of quitting sugar (I agree about that but not about quitting honey or fruit), aspects of Paleo ( I agree about losing the processed foods) and aspects of the Whole Pantry (but not that you can lie about having cancer and then take lots of people’s money), which are brilliant. But the issue is they take elements of being healthy and make them the ONLY concept..

Being healthy does mean being sensible – don’t add sugar to food, eat low or no highly processed foods, drop the soft drinks and crap. Totally sensible and based in truth. Fads come and go. Good healthy food is for life.

The best way to eat is to have plenty of locally grown, seasonal, fresh vegetables and some fruits, and unless you choose vegetarian which is a fine way to be, eat sustainably caught fish, free range chicken, and if you really want, free range lean red meat (although I think we could lose that which is a whole other blog post). Eat legumes, free range eggs and dairy. Eat low GI breads and grains should you choose – although for some of us this needs to be a very small part of our diet. I personally find my type 1 diabetes and weight far better managed on a lowER carb, highER protein diet with a minimal amount of healthy fats. Not a no carbs, all protein, full on saturated fat diet.

Choose healthy fats like olive oil and avocado. Eat mostly fresh unprocessed foods. Babies should have milk – breast or formula. In caveman days women who couldn’t breastfeed probably had other women feed their babies and wet nursing used to be an actual job. Bone broth is basically stock and I have no issue with it, but not as a substitute for babies having milk. Coconut is not a superfood. Nor is bacon. Drink low or no alcohol. Move more. Don’t smoke. Love deeply. Meditate more. Dance. Sing. Grow your own vegies, fruit and eggs if you can. Sustainability and food waste should also be core in any food disucussion – more to come on that one.

We have become consumed by consuming. The celebrity food and diet industry is churning out so called gurus and prophets and running scare campaigns shrouded in very thin facts which include some great ideas such as giving up highly processed foods, that is a no brainer, but they forget that balance is the key. They shun those who don’t buy their words and create a world where they are right and all science is wrong while their wallets grow fatter. They seduce with beautiful imagery and claims of a better life. Lots of lovely people jump on the bandwagon and start blogging and sharing their words and this just feeds the beast.

There is no miracle diet. There are most definitely very shitty diets. There are no answers to all your troubles in a celebrity endorsed cook book or downloadable App. Diet is a core part of health and food is medicine in many ways, but not to the point of dropping other medicine. Those suffering chronic disease, cancer and mental illness need a healthy balanced diet to stay as well as possible – as does everyone.

In regards to the current high meat and saturated fats Paleo fad, Cavemen died young with hardened arteries. It is important to remember that in addition to too much processed food and sugary drinks, our obesity crisis correlates with our addiction to computers and television. We stopped moving. We made everything upsized. We made processed foods a staple diet. I have had it with the whole cotton picking pantry thing. Try living with multiple chronic conditions which affect your ability to choose food, which require you to give up core food groups and where you MUST eat sugar to avoid death when suffering hypoglycemia.

I will finish by saying, whatever floats your boat is fine, if you knowingly and honestly choose to live and eat in a certain way, that is your personal choice – it’s those who are shoving it down other people’s throats with smoke and mirrors that makes me nauseous.

Ok hit me with your comments and criticisms. I won’t be responding to any that are hurtful, unbalanced or downright rude.




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  1. Twin2_63 on March 12, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Totally agree, Helen – one of the most sensible things I’ve read for a long time…

  2. Recycled_Interiors on March 12, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Twin2_63 thank you for your support on this! Have stayed away from the conversation for fear of attack, and worse, but it is time to talk 🙂

  3. Twin2_63 on March 12, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Recycled_Interiors Twin2_63  Ah, there are always haters, but I think they are suffering from the very thing you are talking about – a lack of balance. And maybe perspective. Keep doing what you’re doing, love the recycled interiors, love hearing your ideas 🙂

  4. Stacey Alexander on March 12, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Well said Helen! X

  5. Recycled_Interiors on March 12, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Twin2_63 Recycled_Interiors indeed! that is true, thanks for your support 🙂

  6. Recycled Interiors on March 12, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    <3 Stacey Alexander

  7. Lila on March 12, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    I think a lot of the problem is that when going on these diets, particularly paleo, people feel fantastic. Instead of understanding that it’s cutting out the processed and artificial stuff doing that for them they think the diet is a success! or worse the rules of the diet are so restrictive that you can’t possibly get it right so when you inevitably fail, they author claims that it’s you not the diet adding a whole heaping pile of shame to people who just don’t need that.

    I also adore that you said Love deeply. I think Love Yourself Deeply is so important, seek out the unprocessed good quality food and love yourself enough to take care of your body go a long way to health and happiness!

  8. Brocante in the Barossa on March 12, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    will check out the blog post on this Helen….thanks for speaking up !

  9. Kim V on March 12, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Thanks Helen, a very good post.  Cheers, Kim V

  10. Candice Hazeldine on March 12, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Best thing I have read about food. Brilliant!

  11. Brocante in the Barossa on March 12, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    great post Helen…I am sick of the fads too. we just need to all eat more reasonably. Just watched my daughter and her baby (visiting here at my fathers this past week) and she feeds her baby girl whole foods, freshly cooked, not processed stuff, and no sugar added…she is still taking formula, but soon switching to milk on the paediatricians advice (she is just turning 1). She’s thriving !

  12. HeleneWild on March 12, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Thanks Helen, as always: sane, sensible advice, with a twist of humour and a generous sprinkle of passion and compassion.

  13. MiriamDoull on March 12, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    I like having the option of fast healthy takeaway food near my home and work that has at its basis unprocessed, whole food. The fact that these places are based on vegan or paleo or hippie or hipster “fads” doesn’t matter to me. Wherever it comes from it’s nice food.
    For me, I also like reading about the “fads” like these and no sugar etc, and using the ideas to think about my food choices. I don’t have the time or care to “sign up” to a whole way of life over it, but I do like having the introduction to ideas where I include the odd coconut water kale green smoothie and quinoa salad. I’m also searching for healthy treats to replace my chocolate fixation and dates and cacao seem like a good option!
    So I would respond to your (clearly upset) post by saying that I hope most people see an extreme diet as just that, and look to these things with some intelligence about their own healthy lifestyle choices. As you say, there are some good principles in there.

  14. RustyHoe on March 12, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    I’m also in the chronic illness, already reduced what I can eat though some complex digestive issues that come with it, camp so I am quietly high fiving you through the computer. It is beyond frustrating to have the various food cults tell me their diet can cure me and if I don’t want to partake I must want to remain ill. I must eat low fibre and high sugar and high salt, I have no choice if I want to have a hope in hell of functioning. It is belittling to be told otherwise. The current debacles have finally brought all this too light and I hope their are changes, but I fear the blinkers some wear on this issue mean that they’ll just defend defend defend. You can’t question the various food cults without getting your head ripped off. I don’t get that.Thank you for speaking out.

  15. Recycled_Interiors on March 12, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    RustyHoe you are so right about the belittling…sometimes people must eat what they can in order to function. I am high fiving you back and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  16. Recycled_Interiors on March 12, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    MiriamDoull that is so true. I think the issue is that lots of people don’t see it as extreme, especially when a celebrity is endorsing it and sadly fork out lots of cash to sign up. I agree and love the odd coconut water, green smoothie and had a quinoa salad on the weekend. I have no issue with those foods, it is about the “cultish” approach which cuts out food groups. Dates are extremely high GI of 103 (glucose is 100 and is what all GI is based around) so no good if you want to reduce insulin response and risks of type 2 diabetes 🙂

  17. Recycled_Interiors on March 12, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    HeleneWild thank you Helene 🙂

  18. Recycled_Interiors on March 12, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    @Lila yes!! Of course going off processed foods will make your healthier! And yes the negative effects of the eating pattern are then totally ignored….totally agree – good, healthy, whole, unprocessed foods are the way to go and loving yourself is so vital. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Recycled Interiors on March 12, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    oh thank you Candice Hazeldine!!

  20. Recycled Interiors on March 12, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    oh thank you Kim Brocante in the Barossa that is the perfect way to eat!

  21. Ilona Kreuzer on March 12, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Very True words spoken, well said.U0001f60a

  22. MiriamDoull on March 12, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    But at least dates have fibre! And I guess GI is another way of regulating food into good/bad…?

  23. Candice Hazeldine on March 12, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Danny Hazeldine

  24. Helen Edwards on March 13, 2015 at 7:24 am

    that is s true, the guilt produced is enormous! It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job of being their Mummy and they will have happy and healthy lives, thank you for your comments and honesty xx

  25. Recycled_Interiors on March 13, 2015 at 7:29 am

    MiriamDoull yes! True fibre does help and for someone with no other issues a small amount of dried fruits is totally healthy. GI is not about regulating food into good/bad, it is about how fast glucose, the energy powerhouse for our body, enters the bloodstream, therefore impacting your entire health. If you constantly eat high GI foods your body has no real work to do and has an easy supply of fast sugars, meaning a lot of work for your pancreas and much higher risks of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. And for those of us with diabetes it is a critical part of our management. A high GI food is almost impossible to match with insulin injections and moderate and low GI foods are recommended,  and for me with gastroparesis, very low GI foods usually recommended for diabetes, are tricky as they take longer than usual to empty and can be out of kilter with my injected insulin. It is complicated!

  26. Emmajane Phillpotts on March 13, 2015 at 8:16 am

    The small man Builds cages for everyone he knows. While the sage, who has to duck his head
    When the moon is low, keeps dropping keys all night long for the Beautiful Rowdy Prisoners. Hafiz
    Let’s not stick people in boxes and judge them, all things have good and bad, we cannot tell why people are motivated to do what they do or if the media is telling the truth- we will probably never know. Large sweeping comments never helped anyone. It puts peoples backs up, it creates people that lash out from feeling persecuted- no help to anyone. There are good and bad with the interior styling movement too but we cant throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. People still need to make their own educated decisions about their own health and wellbeing.

  27. Recycled_Interiors on March 13, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Emmajane Phillpotts totally agree Emmajane- and that is where balance, truth and facts are so important so we can all make informed decisions that work for us 🙂

  28. TerryFogarty on March 13, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    ” In regards to the current high meat and saturated fats Paleo fad, Cavemen died young with hardened arteries” Haha, what a load of rubbish.

  29. Flossie4242 on March 14, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I have Gastroparesis too and mostly limited to my feeding tubes now but when I can tolerate small amounts of liquid such as milk I do find I feel guilty or worried about the health aspects because of all the fear mongering when all that really matters is im consuming something at all! All these ‘celebs’ make me feel im completely doomed especially with the contents of my processed feed in a bag…

    • Helen Edwards on March 15, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      that must be very hard Flossie, I feel for you totally

  30. KathyIsaacs on March 14, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Emmajane Phillpotts Beautiful quote.  Must read some Hafiz.

  31. Lucielima on March 14, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    The fact that most of these fad diets work on the premise that one size fits all is what makes me doubtful. Great article. Thank you.

    • Helen Edwards on March 15, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      you are welcome and totally agree, thank you for sharing

  32. Pauk on March 14, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    while I totally agree with you. Talking about celebrity diets to make a buck and then using this to promote your own book and 10 week program is hypocritical.

    • Helen Edwards on March 15, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      Pauk this is a JOKE- it was sarcasm- I have no 10 week programme or book 🙂

  33. NatL on March 14, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Thank you for adding some common sense about this crazy diet fad thing that’s going on. That’s really what it’s all about- using common sense when you eat.

    • Helen Edwards on March 15, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      indeed, common sense and some rational thinking 🙂

  34. NatL on March 14, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    I had no idea about the sugar content in dates until I worked in the Middle East, where they were used for hypo’s. ( Unfortunately some didn’t realise that they needed to be given before the person lost consciousness!!)

    • Helen Edwards on March 15, 2015 at 2:05 pm

      yes that is so true!

  35. NatL on March 14, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    I’m also really pleased to see that the haters haven’t posted. I recently mentioned concerns regarding the safety of “Paleo Pete’s” bone broth for babies on Facebook & received a few unnecessary remarks about my obvious ignorance regarding his work etc. I understand that people make choices, but having something in print can lend a false sense of safety, with the assumption that’s it’s been clinically proven to be beneficial, when due diligence had not actually been done. That’s a reason it’s so concerning.

    • Helen Edwards on March 15, 2015 at 2:05 pm

      yes the issue is the blind way people follow and think he is the creator and the guru,and that if you are not part of the tribe you must want to be unhealthy, which is just not fair or true. I totally support clean eating and fresh unprocessed foods, but not within a part of a cultish approach.

  36. ccracer on March 15, 2015 at 6:25 am

    I used to feel much the same way until I found a low carb type one diabetes group on Facebook. They post pics of their cgms with a flat line at about 80 ALL day long. It is hard to argue with those results.

    • Helen Edwards on March 15, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      totally agree with low carb for great blood glucose control 🙂

  37. Recycled_Interiors on March 15, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    @ccracer yes I have no issue with that and choose lower carb myself

  38. Recycled_Interiors on March 15, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    @Pauk there is no book, it was sarcasm

  39. Recycled_Interiors on March 15, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Flossie4242 that must be very very hard

  40. TahnScoon on March 16, 2015 at 10:30 am

    I completely agree, and funnily enough was just talking to my daughter this morning about how much I love those fabulous old ladies you see who buzz around the place, active and full of energy (like one of my nana’s and two of my great aunts). They don’t bother with fancy diets, just eat a normal mix of everything, including a couple of biscuits with a cuppa – but I think it’s the fact they’re not stressing about their diets and staying productive and active that keep them happy and young. Tx

  41. Janz on March 5, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Well said. I too temporarily lost my satire radar and began disregard. Tried to sign  up for your “tips” though – met with “use a valid email address”  I had and wonder about signing up.

    • Helen Edwards on March 6, 2016 at 6:46 pm

      sorry about that Janz, can you have another try?

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