About Monya

 

Thank you so much for visiting this page! It means a lot to me that you are reading more about the person behind all the messy development, photo shoots and recipe writing here on Fats of Life®!

My name is Monya (my friends call me Monnie) and I started blogging as a hobby after my husband and I switched to the keto lifestyle in early 2018.

This website was originally called MUD & LOVE – and there is pretty cool story behind that bizarre title, but I won’t go into that now. However, I guess its worth mentioning that it was shortlisted as one of the top 8 culinary blogs in the UK in 2019 (UK Blog Awards). I changed the name at the end of 2019 after Funnyman suggested ‘Fats of Life’, which I simply adored. I trademarked it immediately.

I have a ‘day job’ (I am a self-employed culinary consultant) but I started this blog as a side-line gig because I could not bear to see one more post on Instagram of people eating only eggs, bacon and soggy tuna salads on keto! So, I used my knowledge (after completing Prof. Tim Noakes’ Nutrition Training that specialises in health and weight-loss) – along with my skills and imagination in the kitchen – to showcase how wonderfully decadent, interesting and exciting my husband and I eat at home – all while staying below 20g net carbs per day! You can read more about our journey if it interests you.

I am also a published cookbook author. My first cookbook KETO KITCHEN (published by Kyle Books, London) is available worldwide in paperback and e-book. Keto Kitchen was so well-received, I am thrilled to say that I have published a second book LAZY KETO KITCHEN!

 
My husband, Mark (referred to as Funnyman throughout the site) and I started the ketogenic lifestyle around the last week of May in 2018 – and lost all the weight we wanted to in less than 6 months – and kept it off! Best of all, we both experienced (and continue to enjoy) increased energy and mental clarity – along with excellent BMIs.

I have started shooting cooking videos (thanks to the ‘Rona lock-down which gave me the ‘gift of time’!). Be sure to check them out on my YouTube channel. They are all patiently shot and edited by my hubby (and worth a watch just for the blooper reel he slips in at the end! Tensions run high on amateur shoots! LOL!)
 


 


 

A little more about me…

For as long as I can remember, I have had a love affair with food. Prepping, poaching, peppering, cooking, chopping, snipping, salting. It has always been about food: my very first love. As a teenager, I watched my friends spend their pocket money on clothes and CD’s, while I bought food magazines and saved up for recipe books. When we all started working and earning money, they bought beautiful shoes, while I spent my hard-earned moolah hosting dinner parties.

In my early thirties, and after many years in graphic design, I completely switched careers and enrolled in culinary school. I never did so with the intention of becoming a chef in a restaurant (I still can’t be sure if it was because I cry if people shout at me, the infamous chef’s-ass, or simply the lousy hours) – I did it to learn more and get better. After graduating culinary school, I landed a great role as a development chef at the central test kitchen of a fantastic restaurant group in Cape Town (where I am originally from).

It was a short stint, because a little while later our lives changed completely… Funnyman, the dogs and I left South Africa and moved to the UK…

After moving to the UK, I worked at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen in Bray for 3.5 years. It was a very special time working with a very talented team. My role in the early days involved dish development (I fondly recall a project where I had to make bubblegum from scratch. It had to look like spaghetti and taste like apples!) along with recipe testing & styling. Over the years, it evolved into a recipe editing and media project management role. Now, as a self-employed consultant, I am very fortunate because I still get to see my homies at the Duck several times a month as I consult as the Group’s content editor (non-keto related) on many exciting projects. You can read a bit more about my professional career here.

I live with Funnyman (yes, he really is a travelling, professional stand-up comedian!) Mark, and our two beautiful pooches in Berkshire, England. I founded SOIGNÉ Consulting in early 2017 and I am kept very busy by clients from all over the world generating content and editing recipes. Every summer, I fill the role as a private chef to my favourite international athlete over the Queens and Wimbledon Tournaments (non-keto related) and when I am not pottering around in the kitchen or hard at work being Funnyman’s comedy muse, I can be found in front of my easel where I satisfy my other passionate hobby – but that’s a whole other website…”

 


 

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