Nutritionist Shannon Kelly has recipes you can swear by – literally
Warning: swears, cuss words and potentially rude and crude content ahead.
These days, there are more cooking blogs and “foodies” than you can throw an organic turnip at. And while most of these offer sound advice and even some half-decent recipes, very few make the kind of impression that has you coming back for seconds.
But that’s where Shannon Kelly, author of the blog Shannon’s Kitchen, differs.
A nurse who’s taken the nutritionist path to healthy living, Shannon not only practices what she preaches but is testament to good eating’s benefits after, in her own words, she became “so fertile [she] produced a small human by bloody accident”.
Filled with language better suited to the sidelines of a suburban football match, Shannon takes a balls out approach to both cooking, food and healthy living in general. And she’s not afraid to ask the big questions.
Brutally honest, funny and dare we say it probably offensive to more than just a few, it’s a refreshing take in an industry more predisposed to hugs and cotton wool-wrapped positive reinforcement.
And despite the deliberate provocation even in the recipe titles (the author has tried both the “vegetable noodles with spicy green pureed shit” and “sweet-arse chilli stir fry” and can categorically say both were excellent), there’s an even more positive message to be found: don’t take life so seriously. And don’t wear crocs.
The Juice Daily sat down with Shannon to chat about her work and how she’s quickly becoming the much happier Gordon Ramsay of food bloggers.
You have a background in health – specifically as a nurse – before you went down the nutritional route. How has this influenced your approach to the way you look at food and cooking?
Nurses are pragmatic – we don’t have time to dick around, so that has given me a ‘let’s get this shit done’ approach to cooking. Caring for people who are so unwell they look like an immobile Keith Richards has also made me more concerned about my health than my arse-fat levels. So when I’m cooking I’m not focused on kilojoules, I’m just trying to use healthy ingredients to create ball-tearing flavour.
I would assume that being a nurse has really honed your bullshit-ometer?
At work I was once splashed on the face with shit – actual shit. I’m not going to lie to you, my mouth was open a little bit and there was some contact there, so I am in a good position to be able to identify shit with confidence. Combine that with nursing’s need to research and its focus on evidence-based practice and you get a fairly savvy bullshit-ometer. This is a good tool to have around the Internet Machine where ‘experts’ abound and many silly sausages are too busy pulling their dick to question themselves.
What was the reasoning behind your decision to move into nutrition?
The link between diet and some disease was pretty clear in the hospital setting. Plus I had my own health journey with a reproductive disorder which I was able to gain control of through diet where medication had failed. My uterus and ovaries went from acting like a trio of geese to producing two small humans.
When you started Shannon’s Kitchen, did you have any idea what it was going to look/sound like or contain?
I started Shannon’s Kitchen as a place to keep my recipes and be a knob. A quote from my Facebook page probably says it best: “I started shannonskitchen.com for a giggle and to talk about food without being too much of an uptight doodlebug about it.
‘Healthy food’ sites that took themselves too f***ing seriously were chapping my fanny. Selling expensive shit and dabbling in woo: piss off. Promising a ‘perfect body’: my body has some bits that are really fun to smack and watch them shake, yet I have never had a problem getting quality dick, so those sites were lost on me. Promising to cure cancer with f***ing juice: now these crazy cats really need to quit and some need to cop some peen/labia-punches.”
What’s been the response overall?
The response to sensible, healthy food with a side of doodle jokes has been largely positive. There have been a few upset dingalings – some people don’t appreciate that I give zero f***s. They would prefer I gave some or even many f***s within a framework of ‘appropriate ladylike language’.
What do you think are some of the biggest myths about nutrition and healthy eating?
There’s a few doozies out there. ’Detoxing’ seems to be one that just won’t go away despite science repeatedly refuting it. I also believe that a one-size-fits-all diet is mythical. Every body is different. Some people can be vegan and thrive, someone else tries it and ends up with giant needles of Vitamin B12 in their butt.
Some people are trim and energetic on a paleo diet, someone else tries it and ends up pissing out a giant kidney stone making their wee-hole resemble Hiroshima. Some people can eat/drink anything without consequence, John Candy tried that and things didn’t turn out so ace. Healthy eating need not be complicated: eat a shit-tonne of plants (mostly vegetables); eat a variety; processed food ain’t good; go easy on red meat; drink water.
Kids can often be the harshest – and most honest – critics. What do yours think of your recipes?
My baby is still on a tit-only diet, but the 3 year old is as brutal as Gordon Ramsay. He devours my cakes and sweets. However, that adorable little jerk would prefer chicken nuggets over most of my savoury dishes. But he also believes milk tastes better out of the dinosaur cup so his opinion really can’t be trusted.
More importantly – how do you come up with your recipes? Is there a tick box that you follow?
There is only one tick box: it has to taste bloody excellent. I try to make recipes with more healthful foods like nuts, wholegrains, vegetables and fruits, so I usually don’t use table-sugar or flour. Nothing is strictly off limits though. Except ponies.
Are there any cooking blogs or chefs you particularly like reading yourself?
I would rather read a good book than be on the Internet Machine reading about food and health, to be honest. However, some no-nonsense blogs that I respect include Thinking Nutrition, Jamie Oliver and The Nutrition Guru & The Chef.
How bad are crocs.
Crocs are beyond outrageous.
Liked this? Read these!
Got something to say? Get it off your chest here
The Juice Daily is a Fairfax Media owned website