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A little about me and my Keto journey

a little about me and my keto journey

Hi there! This is my story…..

A food love affair

Born in 1963, I grew up surrounded by Italian food and beautiful, fresh, organic produce. After moving to the UK as a traumatised kid following a double family tragedy, my love for Italian cuisine continued. As soon as I was old enough to cope in the kitchen on my own, I taught myself how to make beautiful and tasty meals from scratch. My favourite dishes always featured plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. They also included home made pasta, pizza, bread, gnocchi, risottos and carbohydrate rich sauces. Not to mention cakes, biscuits and all sorts of sweet delights loaded with refined flour and bucket loads of sugar. Baking was my favourite activity.

a little about me and my keto journey
2016…vest and shorts are my staple summer wear…



It is safe to say that I was a true carbo-holic. I couldn’t even eat a salad without an entire box of breadsticks to go with it! I was convinced that my mostly home-cooked diet was the healthiest and best. Even my medical student text books said so, after all. When my children came along, I focussed even more on home cooking with fresh, unadulterated produce. I wanted them to grow up in a healthy way, on the high carb and low fat diet, in accordance with standard nutritional recommendations.

A cholesterol conundrum

I looked and felt healthy. My only medical issue was Familial Hypercholesterolaemia. My mum had a heart attack at an early age and had died suddenly when I was just a small child. This had led to my being tested and diagnosed with FH. My cholesterol levels increased year after year. Relentlessly. To way off the scales. I was given a very short life expectancy (mid thirties, maybe the 40s with a bit of luck) unless I took statins forever. That scared the hell out of me. Thinking of my two small children I started taking prescription statins and my cholesterol levels plummeted to ‘normal’ range. Phew! Or so I thought. Unfortunately, I began suffering with muscular pains and fatigue almost immediately. And it got progressively worse. Worryingly… I’m sure you’re aware that the heart is itself a muscle… 🙁

The dark side of statins

My GP refused time and time again to acknowledge any link between the pains and the statin drugs I was taking. He merely insisted that I “take them or die“. So I continued to endure the pain that apparently was ‘all in my head’. Until a few years later, when statin side effects started to be recognised. I became curious after reading that the cholesterol link to heart disease was a total myth. That led me to read more and more on the subject. The more I read, the more I became convinced that the whole theory of fat, cholesterol and heart disease was utter rubbish. Inevitably, I made the ultimate decision to stop taking statins, much against medical advice.

The myalgia disappeared almost immediately. I was pleasantly surprised and convinced I had made the right choice. But a worrying concern for my health kept niggling me. What if the doctors were right and I was a “ticking time bomb”?  What if I died suddenly and left my children without their mother when still so young? I didn’t want them to go through the hell I experienced in my own childhood. I kept banishing those thoughts to the back of my mind, though they kept creeping back to the forefront from time to time. So I continued to ‘watch’ my fats intake. Just in case.

The keto awakening

Then, a few years later, I had an epiphany: while reading about carbs, sugar, fat and metabolism, I discovered the ketogenicdiet’ and its too-numerous-to-mention health benefits. It seemed impossible and inconceivable. Fat is good for you? No way!!!! But the more I read about it, the more it made sense. It dawned on me that I had got it completely wrong. Now it was time to reverse the damage.

I started the switch by firstly cutting out added sugar – and boy did I see the benefits immediately! Then I cut out my beloved carbohydrate-loaded foods and found yet more benefits – less cravings, more energy, better hair and skin, to name but a few. Then I started being selective about the fruit and vegetables I was eating, avoiding the starchy, higher carb ones. Well! It was never my intention, but as a side ‘benefit’ I lost a lot of weight in just 6 weeks. 5 whole kg to be precise, and since I started at 56 kg and I am 5’6″ tall, it did surprise me! The biggest benefit, the one I was aiming for all along, didn’t disappoint: my HDL cholesterol increased and my triglycerides took a dive into normal range, for the first time, ever. Mission accomplished. Oh, and my serum CRP (C reactive protein) level is very low too, which indicates no inflammation. Extra bonus point! More recently, my new GP has told me that my stats (BP, heart rate, serum lipids, kidney and liver functions) are perfect and I am no longer at risk. I’m just like any person who doesn’ thave FH. Gone from a ticking heart attack explosive to zero risk. Woah! THANK YOU KETO!!!!!



In all honesty, switching to a completely ketogenic lifestyle wasn’t easy for someone like me who gets easily bored of meat-and-two-veg type dishes. Learning to cook with ingredients I didn’t even know existed before (Erythritol, Lupin flour, MCT oil, Guar Gum, Agar Agar, Locust Bean Gum, Acacia Senegal, Protein Isolate….) was a massive task. Never mind my determination to re-create (well, attempting to) what I was used to, i.e. Italian classics and desserts that didn’t look or taste like cardboard!

Coping with carb cravings

There have been – and still are – times when the aroma of freshly baked pastries or the sight of a gorgeous pasta dish take me back in time and I reminisce fondly. But there is never temptation for me. Those thoughts disappear in a flash and all I can think about is how I might be able to recreate whatever I saw or smelled – the keto way.

Nowadays I continue to be inventive, and my methods and choice of ingredients can be a little maverick at times. But my crazy way keeps carb cravings and doctors at bay 😀

a little about me and my keto journey
2016…date night with ketohusband for my 53rd birthday…

Variety is key to keto success

Understanding what ketogenic means, why ketosis is healthy and which ingredients to use in every day meals is a huge task in itself, never mind finding enough variety in home cooking to make this lifestyle sustainable! It’s no surprise that many people who are initially attracted to the ketogenic ‘diet‘ end up going back to eating ‘normal‘ food. They either get tired of eating the same stuff, or they can’t figure out what to take to work for lunch, or their busy lives don’t allow much spare time to cook. And let’s face facts: we are surrounded by tasty, attractive, convenience food that is sky-high in carbs, so temptation is always looming!

The aim of my blog is to make keto life easier by providing easy recipe ideas for every situation. Whether it’s breakfast, a packed lunch, a picnic, dinner for 1+ or a full-on Christmas family meal. And because desserts are what ketoers miss the most, my collection of sweet recipes very much prevails 🙂 

If I can help any reader switch to and maintain keto adaptation by blogging my recipes, I will have achieved what I set out to do.

Enjoy my recipes, and please subscribe so you never miss a post!

59 comments on “A little about me and my Keto journey

Helen Gregory

Antya, I’ve discovered your blog today and am so excited. The recipes look amazing! I’ve just ordered lupin flour and fiberflour and can’t wait to get cooking.

I started eating keto in July following a blood test which indicated my blood sugars had moved from the previously pre-diabetic range into the diabetic range. I immediately cut out sugar completely and my goal is to lose 5 stone. I was aiming for 2lbs a week: in 8 weeks I’ve lost just short of 18lbs meaning I’m losing around 2.25lbs a week!

In addition, a second blood test 2 weeks ago revealed that my blood sugar levels have dropped significantly to the bottom end of the pre-diabetic range, on the cusp of “normal”.

I’ve honestly never felt healthier. I love eating low carb and high fat and I never feel hungry .

Thank you for adding to my recipe repertoire!

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Hey Helen, welcome on board the keto train!!!!! You’re gonna have so much fun! Unlike other ‘diets’ this is a fabulous way of life. Brilliant choice and brilliant results already! Well done you!!!! P.S. There will come a point when you weight loss will stall… just drop the fat element a bit and you’ll continue to do well. Thank you so much for your kind comments. Best of luck. And do reach out if you need any help with anything. 🙂

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Lisa

Hi! I’ve just come across your website now and I’m so happy I did! Not only for the recipes but because I also have Familial Hypercholesterolemia. Your story sounds just like mine – I’m 33 with a little girl and have been made to feel like I’m a ticking time bomb as well. I actually started statins when I was 23 but stopped them 4 years ago. I’ve done a lot of reading and have been following Keto now for about 5 months. One question though – you said your lipids are now normal? All of my lipid markers are the best they’ve ever been EXCEPT for LDL which is actually higher on the diet. With FH I thought it will never go down? Maybe you didn’t actually have the gene mutation?

P.s. you look amazing!

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Lisa! Welcome to my blog!!! Another FH ticking time bomb…loool! My lipid profile is still showing elevated TC, HDL and LDL, but the improved ratios mean there’s no concern. Even if there had been no improvement, I still wouldn’t worry, because triglycerides are way more important. They are now recognised as a much better assessment risk for CVD, together with CrP – which indicates inflammation levels. Also, your LDL may well go down as you become truly keto-adapted (which can take up to 12 months, apparently) – at least that’s what anecdotal studies suggest. The one thing I cannot stress enough is how important it is to reduce inflammation with intelligent nutrition, by eating good, natural, unadulterated, low carb foods, healthy fats, good quality protein and fibrous veggies to improve your microbiome (another area that’s gaining a lot of attention lately, as it seems that our colony of friendly bacteria affects the whole body). You sound like you’re going through what I went through, except you’ve discovered low carb a lot sooner than I did. I wish you all the best!

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Lisa

Thanks for the response and well wishes! I see what you mean. All of my other markers and ratios are excellent, just like you said, so I know I shouldn’t worry but it’s hard! I have done lots of reading on this as well though and agree with you. Too bad modern medicine is behind on this. Anyway, it’s so nice to see someone in my situation doing so well. You are an inspiration! 🙂

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Constance

Just found your blog, and I like what I see. I’ve been arguing with my primary care physician about statins and their value (or lack thereof). Both my parents took them, both had increasing muscle weakness, and as you point out, and as I’ve pointed out to my doctor, “Isn’t the heart a muscle???” Both of them ended up with congenital heart failure, heart attacks and a stroke.

Anyway, I tried keto from Jan thru March this year and gained about 12 pounds. I’m trying it again right now and having a really hard time keeping my carbs to 50 gr/day. I’m hoping that you recipes will make the difference. I’m 61, and by my birthday in November I need to get my LDL down and my triglycerides down and hopefully lose a bunch of my fat. I take thyroid medicine and have since I was 50. If I could dump it, I would.

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Hi Constance! Thank you for your comments. You’re right to aim for triglycerides to be low, but you should also keep an eye on CrP, which is a strong indicator of inflammation. Keto sorted both for me. I have come across several success stories in relation to thyroid issues, but it’s not something I can vouch from personal experience. I am surprised you gained weight on keto the first time round. My advice is to use a macro assessment tool like THIS ONE to determine your parameters and then a reliable macro tracking app to make sure you don’t exceed anything. Try to stick to home cooked food, because packaged options often contain hidden carbs, and use treats occasionally, rather then daily, as they quickly pile on the calories. Oh and don’t bother with fat bombs and extra fats, otherwise your fat stores just won’t get used up. If you want to make sure about what to eat, check out my new Book. Very best of luck to you.

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Karen

Hello there from Perth West Australia! Stumbled on your blog whilst finding a ricotta spinach bake as I started LCHF .. Keto a week ago. I’m the same age as you and boy! I would love to drop 5-6 kgs so hoping this new way of life will help me thanks heaps .. very happy to read your story of regained health xxx

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Hello Karen and welcome to KETO world!!!!! My spinach and ricotta bake is particularly easy and satisfying, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. As you’re just starting out, you’ll have a lot to take in about keto/low carb, so I strongly advise that you keep meals simple to begin with and then get extravagant with variety once you’re keto-adapted. Reach out to me if you need any help along the way. Always happy to assist if I can. 🙂

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KAREN GLENDINNING

Hello again, thank you so much for replying xxx

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Lisa

It’s so nice to find fellow Keto people in the U.K. Most of the sites are American (I’m American but have lived here for 25 years). I have never heard of lupin flour so will try that. Thank you for this blog.

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Thank you Lisa, that’s very kind.

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Steph

Hi, I came across your blog while looking up ricotta bakes. I’m getting ready for bariatric surgery (the bypass, not the sleeve), and they recommend a high protein, low fat, low carb diet. But in all the reading, it looks like their diets are close to keto, so I’m slowly starting keto. I like the site, but your story really is inspiring, especially since you’re trying to recreate carb-y Italian dishes and stuff that my boyfriend loves and that I also enjoy. So thanks! 🙂

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Hey Steph, welcome to my blog! I hope you enjoy what you find here. I cook and bake for keto adaptation, so you’ll find most recipes are high in fat. low carb, medium/low protein. Unless your bariatric surgery leaves you unable to metabolise fats, there’s no reason to eat a low-fat diet (high protein puts strain on the kidneys eventually, so you don’t want that). Check with your medical experts, and then, unless they give you a valid medical reason not to adhere to a ketogenic diet, go for it! Best wishes!

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Virginia Papyraki

I recently discovered your blog!Amazing effort!I am in keto woe for the last 4 months and I find your detailed research over lupin flour absolutely interesting and helpfull in the way of having an alternative, apart from coconut and almond flour. We have used them as seeds/snacks here in Greece,traditionally in fasting periods (religion point of view) only. The flour is difficult to find but I will definately find the way!Your bread by the way (Amazing low carb keto protein) is …amazing!!Thank you for being here with all of us!Greece would love to get enlightened by your recipes, and your possitive energy I am sure!!Sleep on it…:)

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That’s so nice! Thank you 🌷Virginia! And thank you 🇬🇷Greece!

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Hi Virginia, sorry for the late reply, your message was put into the spam box by my over-zealous bots. Yes lupin flour is hard to find. I’ve just added a link to a supplier that delivers world-wide, and is also reasonably cheap, so just go the recipe box and use that if you want. Best wishes, and thank you for stopping by.

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AURORE JONES

Like Amy said I thought you were in your thirties. Gorgeous!

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Thank you Aurore ❤️. I read that cholesterol is anti-aging,so maybe there’s some truth in that. You look stunning, btw.

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Amy E Munoz

You are beautiful. I thought you were in your thirties. Good living and good eating!

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So very sweet of you Amy. Thank you and best wishes to you too!

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Hi QueenKETO. I am Aphrodite from Cyprus. Your website was recommended to me by a member of the Atkins UK forum as a place to look for great recipes. I’m so glad you are UK based and and not US! I am diabetic and need to lose weight and manage my blood sugar levels through diet. Ok, off now to explore your recipes! I agree with other posters, you look amazing! X

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Hi! Thank you for your lovely comment and a very warm welcome to my blog! I have several readers who no longer need insulin to manage their diabetes, so let’s hope you too can equal their success story. If there is anything you need help with, reach out to me and I’ll do my best.

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You’re welcome for the comment. I’m the same, I will be 70 next year but no-one will believe me and are convinced I’m much younger! Very flattering. I have several great grandchildren. I just need to lose some weight, get the Diabetes (type 2) under control and I may look even younger haha. Having looked at your recipes I will definitely be trying them. If I can’t source ingredients here in Cyprus, I can usually find them on Amazon. Way to go X

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Aphrodite

Oh I get it, we only get one reply each!?

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Hi! Not sure what you mean… You should be able to post as many comments as you like. May be a bug got in the way???

valerie

I have just found your site and am very excited I am on a keto diet as cancer treatment so I am very keen on learning more. I look forward to trying some of your recipes

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Hi Valerie! I applaud your deciding on keto for health. I’m sure you’ve done your research before coming to this decision, but if not, I highly recommend you read everything you can get your hands on in terms of cancer and nutrition, and use multiple approaches to aid your fight. I wish you all the best and if you need to get in touch for whatever reason, you’ll be more than welcome.

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Mimi

Wow your legs!!!!!! You look fantastic!!

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Fran

Thanks for your story very encouraging
Do you get paid for your blog

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Hi Fran. Thank you for leaving a comment. Everything I publish on the blog is free. I do get a small commission from click sales (as most bloggers do), which goes a little towards the cost of running the blog. My time and effort is rewarded only by my knowing that people use the recipes and enjoy a better keto/low carb life as a result.

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Dani

I can’t believe you’re FIFTYTHREE! What the hell?? I don’t know if I love or hate you! Just kidding, you look amazing and so do your recipes and I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for sharing so generously. I’m considering going keto in the hope to heal some gut issues but still not quite sure if it’s the right path. But when I look at you and what your taste buds get to enjoy, I must say, it seems like a bloody wicked path to go haha!

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Hahah Dani! Thank you so much! It’s actually 54 now, I have two grown up ‘children’ in their 30s and an 11 year old grandchild. My extremely high, genetically faulty cholesterol has probably helped. I truly hope you’ll decide to take the Keto road and that your gut health improves. If and when you do, make sure to choose unadulterated, anti inflammatory foods and increase your omega 3s. Best wishes and thanks again.

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Fay

Hi, I came across your site while searching for recipes, and Wow am I impressed! I too had never heard of Lupin flour but will order some from Amazon in the next hour. I have been on and off a low carb diet for about 17 years, in it’s many guises. At first it was very difficult getting the right products, and I spent eye-watering amounts on import tax when I bought stuff from the USA Atkins sites. Then there were the scare stories, myths and food terrorists all trying to debunk each other – very tedious and off putting. Hence my on/off dalliance with low carb. BUT, it always felt more RIGHT than wrong when I did go low carb. So now, at the grand old age of 55 I have started again this week. I am now of an age where health issues are creeping in for myself and my husband, but I am sick of NHS doctors and their quick fix medications. That is why I am going with MY instincts on this and returning to low carb “keto” lifestyle. Your recipes, tips and advice are brilliant, especially from a UK perspective, and I have now subscribed and can’t wait to try out your recipes. I will do my best to post photos and comments as I go along. Can I also just say you look bloody amazing and at least 20 years younger than your age! You obviously have amazing genes!

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Hi Fay, soooo sorry for the late reply! I was just cleaning up my blog ‘bin’ and found your message (along with a multitude of spammer messages that are automatically diverted there). I don’t know what gave my blog bots the impression you weren’t legit…:( Anyway, Thank you for your lovely comments and sorry again. Hope you’ll forgive me.

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Becky

Hello! I just came across your Instagram page and site today and I’m so glad I did!! Thank you so much for sharing your story and all of these amazing recipes!

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Aawwhh! That’s so sweet Becky, thank you so much! I hope you try some of the recipes soon. If you like bread, I highly recommend Amazing Protein Bread Loaf; a bit expensive initially in terms of ingredients (whey protein isolate and good quality blonde psyllium), but you need very little quantity so they last a long time. Anyway, I’d love to know how you get on. Best wishes. 🙂

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Chris

Hi, I’ve just found your website and signed up for emails. Your recipes look amazing and I’m eager to try some of them. I’ve never heard of lupin flour before, please can you tell me where you buy yours from.
Kind refards,
Chris

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Hi Chris, thank you so much! I’m happy you found me! Lupin is quite difficult to source, but it’s an excellent option instead of the usual coconut flour (very drying) or almond flour (granular and sweet). I have 3 options:if you’re UK based, http://queenketo.com/recommends/lupin-flour/ if you’re outside Europe, http://queenketo.com/recommends/lupin-flour/ another option is http://queenketo.com/recommends/lupin-flour-3/ , it’s a Luxembourg-based online retailer, who has an excellent product, but to make the delivery costs worthwhile, you need to buy a few packs (use sponsorship code CmV5vIU8 for 5% discount). I hope this helps, and do remember that if you have a peanut allergy you should avoid lupin flour, just in case. Happy baking!

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Chris

Thanks for the info, I’ll probably buy from Amazon UK

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Erinn B.

Thank you. Having lost 52 pounds since June, keto is now my lifestyle too. I love to cook and love to bake even more. I appreciated your journey post. I have been so successful, and I want to continue to be, but I had a bit of a hole in my life with not baking and cooking as much as I used to. I have been trying to keto-fy my recipes as well. Your doughnut recipe post was definitely resonant with me! I look forward to trying more of your keto-fied recipes and am on the lookout for some Thanksgiving modifications. When I think there will be no sweet potato casserole or corn dressing, I get a bit sad. Anyway, thanks again!

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Hi Erinn, thank you so much for stopping by and for your lovely comment. 52 pounds in just a few months is pretty impressive – well done! I know what you mean about not being able to have this or that – I have those reminiscing moments too. But I stay positive and think of all the foods that I enjoy now but couldn’t have before keto. Cheers to your healthy keto future, and may the baking force be with you 😀

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Sally

Your Yorkshire Puds brought the girl to the yard 🙂 Subbed almond flour (as the village shop had run out of lupin flour – hehe) and used arrowroot with a use by date of 1994. They were amazing – smiles all round. Inspirational to read your story. (Does your GP know what you’ve done? I haven’t told mine…. ) I’m starting to use ground flaxseed in my baking as it’s SO low carb and Aldi sell it ready ground and quite cheaply. Have you used it much? I’d love to see your recipes as I bet they’d be FAB-U-LOUS. Thanks for having this blog 🙂

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Hi Sally, my most sincere apologies for being soooo late with my reply! I was just cleaning up my blog ‘bin’ and found your message (along with a multitude of spammer messages that are automatically diverted there). I don’t know what gave my blog bots the impression you weren’t legit…:( Anyway, I do use flaxseed, but in limited amounts because unfortunately it gives me digestive (bloating) issues. Thank you for your comment, and my apologies once again. Hope you’ll forgive me. P.S. My GP knows and thinks I’m bonkers. hahahah

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Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge, your recipes really work! You are an inspiration, please keep on sharing!

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Thank you for the lovely comment. 💜

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celia

Thanks for sharing, your blog is great and your recipes are so easy to follow

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Thank YOU for your kind comment.

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Jordan

Thank you so much for the plethora of recipes, your blog has truly helped make my transition to a ketogenic lifestyle much easier!

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Thank you so much Jordan. It may sound cheesy, but it truly means a lot when I get comments like yours. Unlike the huge and successful food bloggers out there who have an entourage of helpers, I’m just a lone little blogger who does absolutely everything on her own, with no monetary revenues other than a few Amazon affiliate pennies. It is a costly, time consuming and often difficult ‘hobby’. My reward is knowing that I can help others be healthy. Being appreciated is the cherry on my keto cake. Thank you again.

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Thank you, thank you, I’ll follow you anywhere, from someone 70 pounds overweight. Love your effort and will think of you as I try your many recipes. Thinking of starting a Keto club (something like weight-watchers) where we all check in and make your recipes and share. Should be fun
K

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Hi Kathleen, soooo sorry for the über late reply! I was just cleaning up my blog ‘bin’ and found your message (along with a multitude of spammer messages that are automatically diverted there). I don’t know what gave my blog bots the impression you weren’t legit…:( Anyway, thank you for your comment, and my apologies once again. Hope you’ll forgive me.

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Just Brilliant and thank you for sharing.

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Sarah

Wow, just discovered your website – really interesting and I love the links to products. I’d never heard of Lupin Flour until an hour ago, but am about to place an order. Signing up right now! Thanks 🙂

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Hi Sarah! Thank you for your very kind comments. I love lupin flour! Let me know how you get on with it and if you have any questions I can help you with, feel free to ask. There are plenty of recipes waiting to be added to my blog, so if you want to be notified of them, sign up by email (I don’t and never will sell people’s addresses). Please mention queenketo if you make the recipe and you post photos.

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I think your blog is very interesting!

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Thank you very much! You can subscribe by email to receive notifications as soon as new posts are published. 🙂

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