My produce usually consists of; ■ Dairy-free Soft Vegan Nut Cheese ■ Vegan & Gluten-Free Savoury & Sweet Food & Snacks ■ Clean, Healthy & Flavourful Granola.
My ethos is producing and selling clean, healthy, flavourful foods from recipes I’ve cultivated, fit my background, and have perfected. Not everything has to be overly sweet to be good, and not everything has to be stuffed with refined/processed ingredients, chocolate or other common ingredients.
Being unique & adventurous is essential.
Experimenting with new flavours and foods is great fun. Come and find me at the markets if you want something adventurous to snack on.
Being fickle, creative and passionate is in my nature. I come up with a ton of ideas for business & pleasure to not create money. I pursue the ideas to be creative, improve my well-being, and to see where the idea takes me.
How I got into food
I was quite obese where my diet usually consisted of high-fat and high-sugar foods. I rarely cooked fresh and often prepared from jars or had a lot of takeaways.
In early 2016 I weighed myself and was shocked that I was 101kg. Suffice to say; something had to change as I have never been happy with my self-image.
I put myself on the 5:2 diet and ensured I eat cleanly as possible. This meant I cut out ALL sugars, all processed foods and reduced useless carbs such as bread in favour of healthier options.
Finding the right foods premade was challenging and so learning how to cook correctly was essential. Meal planning and prepping for the week was vital to ensure I don’t overeat. Spices and herbs played a vital role to keep my taste buds happy.
Breakfast was not straight-forward as I led a high-paced and stressful life. Granola was new to me, and it seemed like a good option until I looked at the ingredients in supermarket versions. Often full of process ingredients, high in added-sugars and bland. Calories per portion did not fit my goals too. I then looked into making my own, and this is where my journey started in working deeper with flavours, whole foods are more.
It took me five versions over a few weeks to perfect my Cinnamon Crunch granola to ensure it hit my nutrient goals regarding calories per portion, the right sugar levels and tasted good.
From there, I experimented further with different types of foods, spices, ingredients and more to create a wide range of dishes to help me lose the weight, keep my partner happy with flavourful foods and overall become a healthier person.
Doors are constantly opening. I never use to like tomatoes, mushrooms, nuts and more. Now I do, and now I want to experiment with new ingredients and share my food with others.
Starting from 101kg, I lost about 35kg in the space of a year. My health thanked me as it fixed a lot of problems with my body such as the constant need of medication for heart, gut issues with certain foods, breathing problems and more.
H0wever, I don’t have the best of relationships with food. I use to be a secret binge eater, and upon losing a lot of weight and looking better, I developed a new eating disorder without realising.
I was scared of gaining the weight and so became stricter with my diet, over-exercised and more. I got my weight down to 53kg which for my build was crazy low. However, I look in the mirror and still saw a fat person and tried to lose more to rid the tiny belly I had.
Suffice to say my body was under a load of stress and started to shut off a few bodily functions/hormones. Cycling 8 miles from work became impossible, my usual anxiety tripled in size, I lost a lot of muscle, and I genuinely didn’t feel that great.
My diet was filled with clean foods. However, I was never eating enough, and I was eating any fat.
My mind and body were under so much stress that it was one of the reasons I had to quit my job working as a web developer for an agency in Bristol.
Placed on a high-fat diet to correct the issues, I ate more on the promise of fixing my body. Which it did.
However, I still had to deal with an eating disorder. In the space of two months I gained 17kg, but this time I was see-sawing between the need to be strict and lose weight and overeating and unable to stop.
I am still in this battle and currently weigh (Aug 2018) 64kg. Working with food does make this harder, but I manage and health-wise I do feel better. However, I am still determined to have no belly despite having a 28-inch waist!
How I got into cheese
Though I liked cheese, it didn’t fit into my diet. Cheese is very high in calories as well as fat.
However, it was the perfect food while on the high-fat diet. I did become slightly obsessed with cheese and sometimes ate blocks of cheese in a single sitting, but I enjoyed myself (until I saw the scales).
While I was still freelancing as a web developer and marketing consultant, I wrote about cheese and food on this very website. Making cheese was fascinating, and so I wanted to learn.
Once I cracked it, I started running experiments with flavours and see what worked.
I specialise in soft dairy cheese at first. My flavours were praised by all in the markets however I was slowly making the transition to non-dairy cheese. This was because I was not getting the sales I desired to pay the bills and often had a lot of food-waste, but also it was affecting my health. I am slightly intolerant to dairy, and something in cheese triggers the need to overeat.
I’ve been experimenting with nut-based cheese and yoghurts using the same dairy culturing and fermentation principles and intrigued myself to see where this takes me.
Why I started a food business
I love to please people, and one way to achieve this is to feed people with fantastic food.
After years of working non stop with technology in high-paced environments, my mental health was suffering. I needed to simplify my life and cut out as much technology as possible.
Selling food locally seemed like the logical choice for me as I have loads of recipes and techniques under my belt that I believe in.
My ethos is to produce clean, healthy foods that are unique and tasty. My past with weight gain/loss, eating disorders and mental health gas directly affected foods I produce and sell. My food is both the product of my weight loss journey and marriage between being healthy and indulgent.
Keynsham, Bristol, United Kingdom