My Pete Evans crush. And a story you must tell your kids.

I fell in love just a little bit with chef Pete Evans on the weekend. In a stalker-ish kind of way of course, not a forever-after kind of way. The first reason was that he swore on stage in front of a room of nearly a thousand mostly women. Brilliant.

Then there was his ability to cop all the criticism that’s been laid at his feet, or at his activated nuts actually, from the mainstream media about his diet and what he eats. In case you missed it, he was ridiculed after revealing in an interview his clean-eating high-nutrition ways, which included eating activated almonds. There’s been a few jokes about Pete’s activated nuts and it was great to see him throwing some of them around (jokes that is, not nuts!).

He was refreshingly candid, relaxed and beautifully off-the-cuff. It didn’t hurt any that he has a wicked smile and doesn’t look half-bad.

We were at the first ever Institute for Integrative Nutrition conference in Australia – we both studied the holistic nutrition course at the same time – and Pete was the first speaker.

He mentioned the fact that chefs – the people we rely on these days to teach us to cook – receive the same amount of nutrition education as doctors (the people we rely on for health and wellness advice) – zilch. Be mindful of who you choose to follow and emulate.

I nodded my head in agreement all along his presentation, but it was his points about sugar and looking after children that really made me feel he was the best thing since high speed blenders.

He talked of how he feels about his daughters – aged the same as my kids, nine and seven – eating junk food and sugar. He spoke of how he tries to teach them what real food is and how to differentiate between fake food and the good stuff. He could have been reading from my script.

Feeding kids sugar at parties and as ‘treats’ he likened to feeding them cocaine and creating addicts. The damage is being done early he said. And he’s right. Sugar is addictive. Handing out sweets to little kids isn’t spoiling them, it’s poisoning them (they’re my words) and setting them up to have a sweet-tooth, ill-health and weight issues.

He told the most awesome story about how he explained to his girls why he feels the way he does about it. I retold the story to my kids and even though they know how I feel, this story really helped them ‘get’ where mummy is coming from. I shared the story with some of the mums at school and they were going to share it with their kids too. It’s that good a story.

So I’m going to repeat it here. I don’t think Pete will mind. He seems a pretty cool bloke.

He said to his girls: “If I was to give you bunnies, as pets, and you knew that to look after them they needed fresh lettuce and vegetables and fruits – that they needed all that sort of food to stay healthy and live a long time, would you give it to them?”

The girls of course said: “Yes!”

Then he said: “And if you had some lollies or candy in your pocket, and you knew that if you fed it to your bunnies they might get sick, or it might hurt them, or stop them from living a long, long time, would you feed it to them?”

The girls said: “No! Of course not.”

“Well,” said dad. “You two are my bunnies.”

How beautiful is that! My kids understood immediately better than they ever have, why I feel the way I do about junk food and why I choose what I do for them. I have heard them talking amongst themselves about being my bunnies.



My bunnies


It is complete madness that we wouldn’t feed our pets products that would hurt them, but think nothing of giving it to our kids or eating it ourselves.

There’s another reason I quite like Pete: he listens to 80s music when he cooks. Man, could he get any better?

Follow him on FB here.


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Comments 20

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      Hi Kerry, thanks for the feedback 🙂
      I loved IIN for the most part. There were bits and pieces that didn’t gel with me, but I found most of the content very inspiring and the added bonus is being part of the IIN family – the connections made with other students and graduates has been invaluable. It’s a terrific movement.
      That said, I don’t think it’s for everyone (like anything else in life!). It depends on what you would like to do with it, why you want to study it, and what your background is.
      Feel free to email me if you’d like to ask more specific questions – I’m happy to answer them.

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      1. I can’t wait for my kids to get home from school for me to tell them the bunny story….i don’t eat sugar and they know that mummy is very healthy but it’s still a battle to get them to make better food choices at parties etc and I have to admit to buying them the odd sugary treat. After the bunny story though, I guess I’m “getting” it even more too!! Thank you, what a simple but so spot on kind of little story. My kids will love it!! I have also looked at the IIN course but not sure its for me, but loving reading your feedback, sometimes it takes for someone to word it a certain way and it hits home big time. Thank you and have a lovely, sugar free week 😉

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          Hi Joanna, thank for your comment.
          Parties are hard work! All we can do is continue to explain the problem and hope they will eventually respect themselves enough to make choices that are good for them (leading by example is awesome!).

          Everyone buys kids sugary treats – we were conditioned into the habit from our own childhood! But there are healthy alternatives – check out the Nutra Organics range (there’s a link on the website) if you haven’t already. Their bars are extremely yummy!

          IIN has a lot going for it, but for the investment you do need to be sure it’s right for you. Always happy to answer questions if you want me to – just email me. 🙂

  1. Thanks so much ! this is just a perfect way to describe it to children so that they will understand and make the connection.

    We tend to go by the motto of “party food is for parties” and I usually bin the overly generous lolly bags that they are sent home with them ! but at home we really don’t eat highly processed foods anymore since reading Sweet Poison and I Quit Sugar…we are not perfect but we are in a much better place than we were before I read those books !

    My 6 year old son said the other day “Mummy why don’t you sell McDonalds a Thermomix so they could make yummy healthy foods like you do” …..I WISH !! BUT wouldn’t it be good if they were making healthier options for the masses !!

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      Pleasure Michelle, thank you for the feedback.

      You sound very similar to us – my kids don’t get the full lolly bag allocation either, and I have to say, they don’t ask for it or miss it! Sweet Poison and IQS are great, informative reads and I think it would be great if everyone read them to get a sense of what’s happening. Nobody’s perfect – I aim for progression, not perfection!

      What a great comment from your son! You are obviously doing a great job if he’s already so aware at six. The healthy message is gaining momentum, especially in relation to sugar, so we can only hope (and continue to spread the word ourselves!) that things improve significantly sooner rather than later.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

  2. Stand in line, he’s mine LOL!!! But seriously, as soon as he swore I did a little invisible fist punch in the air and thought “yay, he’s real”. He was so genuine. Your blog post is just like you read my mind. I think there’s probably close to 1,000 women who fell in love with him on Sunday. Perhaps I was the only one crazy enough to chase him up the escalator and say hello & shake his hand after he left. (yes, I did that!)

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      Dam, I wish I had chased him! Well done!
      He was fabulous, wasn’t he? I’ve been impressed by interviews he’s done that I’ve read, but Sunday won me waaay over.

      Thanks for dropping by Jo and sharing the Pete Evans love 🙂

  3. Hi Rachael, i have been wanting to see Pete Evans talk for sometime now and agree with the whole sugar thing. I must confess of being a sugar addict and each time i try to reduce the habit i get horrible headaches, is there a way of dealing with these?? i dont do headaches well at all. When you talk sugar free are you just meaning processed foods or all carbs in general?

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      Hi Sally – Pete is well worth it if you get the chance 🙂

      I know sugar withdrawal can be hard to deal with (the fact that we withdraw from it is one of the ways you can tell it’s addictive!) but I promise it’s so worth it. For me, if the headache was really bad, I took paracetamol and stayed on the couch! But I also drank buckets of water with chlorophyll to help flush my liver, and ate a very clean diet – no coffee, no gluten, no dairy, no red meat – I was doing an overall detox when I stopped sugar. I had to sleep a lot for a couple of days too. There are different strategies you could use – it does depend on what you eat overall and what your body responds to.

      When I talk sugar-free I’m referring to the sweet stuff and processed foods. I eat fruit, but find most of it really sweet now so generally, it’s in a green smoothie. I use alternative sweeteners to bake for the kids, and for a healthy sweet treat should I ever feel like something.

      Good luck!

  4. I loved this read and also the story which, yes, I will steal too. I have to say, I do try to eat well and I am pretty strict with what my kids eat but I keep drifting back to that sugar addiction. They say it can take 8 times to quit smoking for it to stick (don’t worry I have never been down that path). I am wondering if its the same for sugar. I have quit 3 times now but as soon as I let just a small amount in, I am back in the depths of it.

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      Hi Michelle ~ that’s the tricky thing with sugar, small amounts matter to some people. It’s like with any addictive substance – alcohol, drugs, nicotine – once your body has a hit, it craves another. In the case of sugar, it sets off the same pleasure response as cocaine and you need a bigger hit each time to get the same pay off.

      There are strategies you can use to beat sugar cravings, and I know that if my diet is clean and full of nutrients, then I don’t go looking for a sweet fix.

      There’s also a lot of psychological and lifestyle factors that come into it. Often we look for a sugar-hit because we’re unhappy about something.

      Good on you for continuing to try. xx

  5. I just read your post and I must say that I am more than impressed. Your post was shared with me by my daughter and of recent times I have found that as we get older we especially need to change our ways, to a similar path as you describe.
    Changing our ways is harder than continuing on a path shown to us by our parents.
    I will, with my daughter, show my grandchildren by example a great way to lead a healthy life.
    Thank you for your inspiration and long live our bunnies !!!!

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      Hi Mick, thanks for that fabulous feedback and comment. You are so right – it is hard to change from what we were shown, but how fantastic for your grandchildren if they have not only parents but grandparents showing them a healthy lifestyle! Amazing!

      And yes, long live those bunnies 🙂

  6. I love the tone and wording of this article Raechel! I was one of the people who sniggered about Pete’s “activated almonds”, yet here I am today, completely converted!

    There’s no way I can’t share the bunny story with my two, it is perfect!! C and I had a showdown this morning about my healthy biscuits grr. They went to a party over the weekend and took home a lolly bag each…I let them have one thing (a chocolate coin) before hiding the rest. They haven’t asked for it since and I really think I’m just going to bin it…C still has lollies from a party in February that he hasn’t asked for either.

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      Hi Sara! Thanks for that lovely feedback. You absolutely must share the bunny story!!! Apparently Pete told it on Sunrise this morning 🙂

      My kids never get to eat the lolly bags. Maybe one so they feel like they fit in, but I throw the rest out. If for some reason they ask about it, I just tell them it went off 😉 .
      Stand your ground. You know what’s best for C and I. I hand out the healthy stuff – if they choose not to eat it, so be it. There are no other choices!

      So lovely to hear from you xxx

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