We thoroughly enjoyed our first interview and with foodies Chloe and Craig, well worth a read as you get THREE in one – a bargain! Chloe has a weight loss transformation with Keto (over 4stone), Craig and Chloe create some of the best Keto food known to man (recipes included) and thirdly they have an exciting new business in this space to tell you about.

Chloe Barlow is a Nutrition Coach and Keto baker. Husband Craig is a chef both in the Keto world as well as a decade of regular stints as Exec chef on spectacular yachts all over the globe.
While at home for lockdown, they have become a bit of an Instagram hit with a different meal each day to really inspire those that think it’s all just bacon, eggs & avocado.

During our Covid-19 enforced Zoom meeting, Chloe, Craig & I discussed many things – far too many for this post but what I can say is they are a cracking couple who have been through so much and realised that health and family come before anything. I got lots out of our talk and I’ll cover a few gems at the end.

Go Low Carb UK: When did you first learn about Keto and why did you choose to try it?

Chloe: I had followed a paleo lifestyle before but it wasn’t quite right for me. Craig has worked with Keto clients and knew how it worked. I researched in to how our ancestors ate and the history of food before the industrial revolution and the science just made sense.

GLC: What did you eat typically before you found Keto?

Chloe: I had yoyo dieted for years. I tried to stick to the ‘healthy food’ plate that is recommended along with exercise but my weight continued to become problematic. This lead me to try drastic diets which worked for a time but became frustrating and difficult to stick to. Craig ate a typical western diet, however working in busy kitchens and galleys meant food needed to be quick and not always the healthiest choices were available.

GLC: What have been the benefits for you?

Chloe: Initially weight loss was the main motivation but the benefits have been incredible. The increase in quality sleep, mental clarity and concentration has been remarkable. Gone are the days of needing something sweet with a coffee at 3pm just to get through to the childrens’ bedtime.

Craig: Having no brain fog, feeling fresh and healthy. Stress management improved and I undertake daily life and the challenges faced at work with increased energy and clearer thinking.

GLC: What’s your approach to this way of living?

Chloe: We avoid all grain and sugar, the only sweetener we use are erythritol/stevia mix.

We eat meat, not every day but at least twice a week. Focus on local produce and are incredibly lucky to be in Norfolk with some great suppliers of meat, fish and vegetables reared, caught and produced near to us. Consume dairy fairly regularly as this doesn’t cause us any issues in our diet.

Duck Green Curry [Craig Barlow]

Naturally we fall in to a pattern of fasting, sometimes OMAD [One Meal A Day] sometimes not.

Sometimes we have higher carb days, 50g-100g, maybe once every few months but we don’t use this as an opportunity for processed, high sugar foods.

We Drink coffee and enjoy it sensibly. I abstain from alcohol for the effect it has on our body, motivation, mental health and don’t feel its conducive to a healthful lifestyle, the advice is that there is no safe amount of alcohol. Craig drinks rarely. He will sometimes enjoy a drink after work but we found there are so many wonderful alcohol free alternatives available that it is very easy to live an alcohol free lifestyle.

I believe that a diet that focuses on nutrient dense foods doesn’t need supplements. However, some conditions and may require additional dietary support and we all lead busy lives and sometimes its easier to have a boost of these amazing foods.

Try to get the majority of our protein from collagen sources such as animal skin, bone broth, organ meats etc. If I’ve been in the gym or have a more plant based day I will put some collagen powder in my smoothie or Keto porridge. Collagen is great for recovery, skin and hair. Collagen in our bodies starts to deplete after we are around 30 years old.

We use MCT oil, it’s a brilliant clean source of fats. To get the benefits of one tablespoon of C8/C10 MCT oil you would need to consume 18 tablespoons of coconut oil.

GLC: Do you measure Macros/Ketones/Bloods or don’t you need to?

Chloe: I’ll measure occasionally with a ketone breath monitor. I sometimes track macros to make sure I’m around where I should be or to check carb amounts of certain foods in weight.

We always keep below 20g net carb per day and ensure that our main meal recipes are under 15g net carb and desserts or bakes under 5g. We feel this makes it accessible for keto tracking.

GLC: Is being in ketosis important to your results?

Chloe: We believe that being in nutritional ketosis means our bodies are performing at their best. We can see it and feel it.

GLC: Any heroes in the keto/fasting/nutrition space?

We love Matthew Caruana’s book ‘Everyone Deserves Dessert‘ it isn’t just for keto but for diabetics, sugar sensitive, low carb and gluten free people.

GLC: Any family / friends converted?

Yes! We love to entertain and it’s great surprising people when we say the food is keto, or when I bake we will share with friends and neighbours and they can’t believe there’s no sugar or grain. We converted my sister and quite a lot of our friends.

GLC: Keto for life?

CB: Absolutely.

Their exciting new business YourKetoLifeUK

It’s obvious that you and your husband have a flair for beautiful food. What are your backgrounds?

Craig is a Chef and has been in the food industry for 16 years and cooking Keto professionally for the last 3 years. I’m a life coach and have trained in ketogenic nutrition to combine the two.

Tell us about YourKetoLifeUK.co.uk and your business!

Our aim is to get Keto in to the mainstream. We want to show that a ketogenic diet isn’t restrictive, that you can make all your favourite foods Keto without compromising on taste. We want to take the confusion out of keto. It is scientific and it isn’t one size fits all but once the basics are mastered, we believe it is the key to a healthier lifestyle.

The low carb movement is building momentum, which is amazing, but it’s still very difficult to eat out and we have found that many restaurants aren’t familiar with keto or very low carb. We want to provide guidance for them, with menu plans, information and recipes.

“Our aim is to produce Keto alternatives that don’t rely on cauliflower, that taste if not as good, then better than traditional recipes”

How can YourKetoLifeUK help both the beginner and the more experienced Keto eaters?

We provide 30 to 60 day plan with a maintenance plan to use for life and combine this with a recipe guide. The personalised plan we offer is inline with one to one coaching.

Many people, myself included in the beginning, have a distorted and damaging relationship with food. I’m a foodie, a feeder and an all round lover of food, I believed I needed to eat less and move more, I would use food as a punishment or reward and this kept me going back to the same pattern of damaging and restrictive diets that we know don’t work in the long run. By using coaching alongside the personalised plans I believe that’s the key to success, mindset is everything!

For the experienced Ketoer we post our recipes on our instagram and Facebook pages and hope it gives the inspiration to try them and welcome all feedback, us low carbers have got to stick together!!

How can YourKetoLifeUK help restaurant & cafe businesses?

We believe that the research that is supporting keto and low carb is making waves in science and medicine. There is a real demand for low carb options. We want to help businesses realise this potential and want to provide the information, recipes and menu ideas to have low carb and keto options that are worthy of a specials board.

How can people contact you?

Instagram: @yourketolifeuk
Email: yourketolifeuk@gmail.com

Chloe’s advice for Go Low Carb UK’s beginners

Do your Research. The internet is brilliant for finding information on Keto. Youtube has some great videos and seminars on in depth research on saturated fats, cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Dr Ken Berry, Dr Phinny and Dr Jonny Bowden. If you chose a website such as diet doctor or ruled.me stick with one. As its not one size fits all the information may vary. This applies to Facebook groups too, there is a lot of conflicting information.

In terms of food, start simple. Pick a protein, pick a veg, pick a fat. This could be chicken thighs with skin, broccoli roasted with garlic and herb butter and toasted seeds.

Read ingredients. If it has more than 5 ingredients or has something you can’t pronounce it probably isn’t good for you. When you start avoid the middle aisles of the supermarket and get rid of the non keto foods in the kitchen, or at least relegate to them to one cupboard.

Exercise. Move in a way you enjoy, climb trees or go dancing or walk the dog. Don’t start a regime that it difficult to stick to and punish yourself. Mix it up, I love playing games from our childhood with our daughters in the park. ‘123 and in’ really gets me moving!!

Hydrate your body. Water is amazing, it flushes your system, clears skin, delivers oxygen, regulates temperature and it’s free! Herbal teas are great too, herbs and spices have been used medicinally since ancient times, utilise the benefits in food and drinks. You can grow herbs in the smallest of places, even on a windowsill!

Top 3 favourite keto dishes that are easy to prepare?

Click on the dish names to take you to the recipes

GLC: Finally, when coffee shops, bars, restaurants and fast food open again, any tips for best keto options on the high street?

Most restaurants are really accommodating when it comes to changing/replacing elements of food.

A good choice would be steak/fish/cauliflower steak with salad, dressing on the side. Ask for a side of overground veggies with butter. Avocado and halloumi, not coated or breaded is commonplace on menus too. You really want that Angus burger? Go bunless, add cheese and bacon. Careful of salsa or chutney or relish that is often laden with sugar.

A good option in the summer months are strawberries and cream (fresh, real) if Eton mess is on the menu the likelihood of strawberries or raspberries and cream is high.

Go Low Carb UK: Chloe and Craig thank you so much and the best of luck with Your Keto Life UK. As you say, Low Carbers need to stick together!

Key points I have taken from this

Keto lunch doesn’t have to involve cooking. You can batch bake Keto Bagels for the week and have Salmon and Cream Cheese, Ham & Cheddar, Tuna Mayo, a decent Peanut Butter & Cucumber (try it), Beef & Horseradish, Cheddar & Tomato, a Reuben, A Mozzarella, Tomato & Pesto, a….. you get the idea.

Alcohol. It puts your will power to sleep both on the day and the next one. It takes you out of Ketosis. It stops you exercising. I personally enjoy a drink occasionally but perhaps it’s just not worth it. I’m going to try a month without and see how I go!

Family and health is everything and the population is waking up to the impact of the standard UK (western) diet. The increased risk of Covid-19 for the metabolically sick means that businesses like Go Low Carb UK and Your Keto Life UK need to keep the good fight going and support individuals and hospitality clients alike in our own ways to reduce the impact of processed food, seed oils, grains and sugar.. and years of misinformation on nutrition.

A message to the Hospitality industry that Craig and I are very much part of: The possibilities of great food with Keto are there to be taken advantage of and it’s a not a passing trend. Chefs like Craig are in a great place to coach your development chefs on how to integrate Keto into menus. Bunless burger and a salad is ok but simply isn’t enough (We’re beginning to feel like vegetarians with a veggie lasagne option in the 90’s). Most Keto food also doubles as Gluten Free (but Gluten Free doesn’t mean it’s Keto).

Please feel free to contact either myself, Chloe or Craig with any queries on this post: frank@golowcarb.co.uk yourketolifeuk@gmail.com