I’m Mika, half Danish, half Greek and a chef by profession. I attended Copenhagen Hospitality College (www.hrs.dk) for my education as a chef and later on I continued my studies in the field of Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management. I liked the idea of having a complete picture of the hospitality industry, not just the cuisine part.
I always say cooking chose me and not the other way round. I can’t remember myself not cooking at any point in time, even when I was a small child.
I have worked in many 5-star hotel kitchens, but nothing beats à la carte service, the adrenaline, the need for quick problem-solving. The fact that no two days of service are ever the same, the flames engulfing the pans, the dishes made based on unfamiliar ingredients that are not always available, the chemistry of each one when interacting with another and which combination of them will produce a specific character in the dish created.
The nickname Kitchen Ninja was given to me by a colleague in the summer of 2009, as he watched me chop vegetables while wearing a black headscarf. The Keto part I added later on when I started following the new lifestyle in 2013 after I received my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis.
The diagnosis hit me hard, although I had known for a while that there was something wrong. I had a million neurological symptoms that no one had connected. I was told I was perfectly healthy and started to think that I was going crazy. Although it is a harsh diagnosis to get, I felt a relief that I finally had a name for what I was feeling.
The realization of its consequences hit me even harder. When you are feeling constantly tired, sleeping 14 hours a day, unable to focus on anything or keep up with a simple conversation, when you can’t hold a knife because your hands are numb, your right eye is foggy and so is your brain, you can’t stand for long, that’s the end of being a chef. To cap it all, I had a relapse that put me in a wheelchair with my left side plagued by nerve pains, and I gained 55 kilos. The medications I was prescribed started piling up, and I swear, I don’t remember that time at all because of them.
Keto, weight training and supplements have been my way of dealing with MS. I’m off all the extra drugs and painkillers. I no longer have any form of MS pain; I walk with a crutch and even if I get tired my recovery rate is very fast, my brain fog is gone and I sleep 7-8 hours at night. I have lost 69 kilos. I can help others with my disease to get to know the diet and reclaim their health, and I can make up new recipes, just keto now. It has been a revelation for me! Now, although I love devising keto recipes such as cakes, bread, etc., I eat the keto carnivore version of this diet. Animal fat, fatty meat, and egg yolks as I find it more therapeutic for me. Usually, about 93% of my calories come from fat.
As a person, I don’t like to follow the masses, I don’t like narrow boundaries and as a child also hated to colour within the lines – seriously, how boring is that?! I have the same inclination with recipes. I hate following them. I feel hemmed in by their boundaries, even of those I devise; I rarely make them again, except if asked by someone to do so.
So, this is me! I’m happy you found your way here!
Feel free to contact me, if you so wish, with any questions or feedback, or perhaps if you need to have a favourite recipe… keto ninja-fied.
Lots of keto love,
Keto Kitchen Ninja
… And don’t forget, when in doubt, just add Butter..:-D