Practical Words of Wisdom: Claire Deeks
Claire Deeks in an 'activated nutshell'
Claire Deeks is a mother on a mission. After over a decade as a corporate lawyer she’s following her passion of real food for kids which she blogs about at Dom’s Kitchen (named after her son Dominic).
Claire first got into blogging in 2014 sharing her real food journey with mums both in NZ and around the world. She now has over 35,000 combined followers on social media.
She’s now going on the road around NZ to bring the message of real food for kids (especially kids lunchboxes) around the country with her “Mothers On A Mission” tour which started October 12 in Auckland and will visit New Plymouth (her old home town) on 23 November!
I asked Claire to share with us some of her ideas on food and her tour...
What is your food philosophy?
I usually say; when asked how we eat, that we follow a “Paleo template” or that we “just eat real food”. The problem with the latter is that it can mean so many different things to people that it sometimes seems virtually meaningless. And of course the problem with using “Paleo” is that people will jump to conclusions and assume you do or don’t do things based on what they understand of that term. Nevertheless, using a combination of these terms (“Paleo” and “Real Food”) are the best ways I have to describe what we’re doing on the nutrition side of things.
“Paleo” is a template, a base from which we experiment to figure out what works best for us. Much of the actual food we eat now was not available in Paleolithic times. Eating Paleo – particularly what is referred to as “Paleo 2.0” therefore for me means that my family eats a sustainable, nutrient dense, toxin-free, whole-foods based diet that emphasises a wide variety of vegetables alongside moderate amounts of quality animal proteins and fats (free range / grass fed beef/lamb and wild raised fish etc) as well as fermented foods and bone broth plus (in moderation) local/seasonal fruit and nuts & seeds.
What are 3 foods you can't live without?
Well, if I was on a desert island I’d be taking never ending supply of top quality bone broth (homemade or I love The Essential Broth), organ meats like liver and vegetables. I really do love the taste of these and I know they’d nourish me. But on the day to day things I use a lot are bone broth, quality butter and eggs.
What are 3 foods Dom can't live without?
I feel like this needs a longer answer! If you just asked him he’d probably say: Icecream, smoothies and fruit. This would be: Nice-Cream (with base of bananas then flavoured with fruits or cacao etc), Green Smoothies (lots of veggies eg zucchini and spinach but with banana so tastes of banana) and any fruits. Things he will say he loves in the “healthy” side are broccoli, eggs and olives.
What is your number one tip for vitality?
Have a holistic approach to health. Yes of course I think what we eat is extremely important. So definitely eat to nourish your body and mind with nutrient dense foods. But also be mindful when you eat and mindful in life generally, move your body every day, get adequate sleep (which is likely to be more than you think you need!).
What are your tips for changes to a child's diet that will give them the best health?
Avoid the in-between foods that are not real foods. There’s a whole industry out there trying to convince tired and time poor parents that eating high sugar cereals and muesli bars and other snacks is the right thing to do. So definitely be careful with snacks. If you do use snacks try to rethink them in terms of being mini versions of a normal meal instead of some “in-between” special foods category. So when the kids come home from school starving think of some things you’d feed for dinner and make them up like a snack.
And just generally steer clear of high sugar foods and also stop using industrial seed oils - this is your canola oils, rice bran oils, sunflower, safflower, grapeseed oils and so on. These are being shown to be one of major causes of inflammation in our bodies (sugar being another big one). Good thing about switching out the oils is that your children likely won’t even notice. Great alternatives are olive oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil, tallow, lard, coconut oil etc.
What are the Mothers On A Mission events about and who would benefit most attending?
The tour kicked off on October 12 in Auckland and we’re visiting 12 locations throughout New Zealand speaking with aproximately 2000 mothers (and some fathers!).
At the live events mums will learn how to save time and money making delicious, healthy kids lunchboxes plus they’ll also learn tips and tricks for looking after themselves with well being tips for busy mums from our guest speakers.
The tour is inspired by the many mums across New Zealand who reach out to me on a daily basis. Mums who want to nourish their families with real food but, in a world full of highly processed and chemically laden foods, don’t know where to start and which brands to trust. Then, on the other hand, there are the mums who’ve feel they’ve got the food side figured out but can’t quite make it all work in real life and end up each week feeling exhausted and isolated. So with the Tour we’re focused on bringing these mums together to create sense of solidarity and help them transition their families to real food eating without it being a huge stress and overwhelming and without making the dinner table a war zone. There will be live demonstrations and awesome guest speakers - we want mums to leave inspired and ready to take back control in their kitchens whilst mindful of taking care of themselves!
What about guys, Dads and lunchboxes?!
Yes stay tuned - I know that there are a lot of dads who want more help in this area and we’ve got some exciting ideas for fathers and men generally on the whole real food /lunchbox side of things. Coming in 2017!
Mothers on a Mission Event Info, Dom's Kitchen links and also awesome prize....
For those in New Plymouth you can purchase tickets to this awesome event at:
For those who want to search for event in other regions check out:
Oh and while your all checking out the delicious recipes and other info please sign the Ditch the Health Star rating petition http://domskitchen.co.nz/
Two tickets are up for grabs to the Mothers on a Mission event in New Plymouth on the Wednesday, 23rd November 7-9pm. Doors opening at 6.15pm for you to check out health and wellness companies in New Plymouth who can provide local support for you and your kids.
Simply Like the Dom's Kitchen and Revitalizeme Laura Warren Facebook page and share this post on your timeline as well as putting a friend you'd like to take to the New Plymouth event in the comments.
Note from me :)
This is an event not to be missed. As parents we have a massive responsibility!
Wouldn't it be awesome if it was said of our generation in the years to come; that we were the one's that made a stand against feeding our children the 'non food' items that are dominating our supermarket and convenience store shelves. Companies that produce this rubbish will have to make a change if there products are not brought. So getting educated and putting your money toward whole ideally organic foods is going to make a huge impact on what's actually lining the shops and ultimately affecting the health and happiness of our future generations.
I've yet to meet a person who likes being sick, so let help our kids avoid ill health and embrace their future with bright eyes and vigor.
I look forward to seeing you all there!