Hi, I’m the founder of Wild Patch which used to be a gourmet chocolate business and luxury retreat based in the Dandenong Ranges (Victoria, Australia) and is now a blog dedicated to low carb ketogenic living and quitting a sugar addiction.
As a chocolate-lover and passionate ‘foodie’, establishing an artisan chocolate company was an interesting diversion during a long-standing career in education. After attending chocolate-making courses in Australia and Europe, I spent the next 8 years producing artisan chocolates made from the finest ingredients, taught chocolate-making and treated guests to my chocolates as well as freshly baked traditional sourdough.
Then I gave up sugar. Hmm. That was in the summer of 2012. I had only intended to go sugar-free (which of course also meant no chocolate) for 30 days. After all, I was a chocolatier for goodness sake. But within just a few days, I experienced such an improvement to my health, as well as effortless weight loss, that I knew I couldn’t return to the way things had been.
Intent on producing a product with a ‘healthier’ sweetener than sugar, I learnt how to make chocolate from scratch – ‘bean to bar’. From there, I developed a range of fructose-free chocolate which was sweetened with glucose rather than regular sugar. I produced, sold (and ate) fructose-free chocolate for the next two years.
In late 2014, however, I learned about LCHF (low carb high fat). After adopting a low carb ketogenic lifestyle, I experimented with making chocolate from a variety of alternative sweeteners, including stevia and xylitol. But even low carb sweeteners fed my sugar craving and led me to overeat sweet-tasting foods. I was also feeling conflicted making a product I no longer believed was necessary or advisable on a low carb diet so I stopped making or selling chocolates and closed my business.
I’ve now returned to my roots. Since 1981, I have had a career in education – initially qualified as a primary school teacher, then teaching literacy to adults and finally, lecturing in teacher training and language education at universities. I am a qualified interpreter in Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and an honorary fellow of the Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University, Melbourne. My doctoral research was on the linguistic rights of the Deaf and their need for access to bilingual education in schools.
Since 2014, I have undertaken my own study of low carb nutrition through the large amount of information available on-line and in print, and by attending workshops and conferences. In 2016, I became a Certified Banting Coach, learning more about the science and practice of LCHF and how to assist others with changing their lifestyles and improving their health. I am currently working with members of the Deaf community to provide support and guidance on low carb living, and ensuring that information about LCHF is made accessible to them by subtitling and interpreting material for them.
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling in the contact form below.
Wishing you every success on your health journey.