Celiac Disease, General Life Tips, Nutrition Tips

Traveling With Celiac Disease | How To Stay Gluten Free On Your Travels

So the one thing I hate about traveling is trying to figure out how I’m going to eat without getting sick. It’s not always easy and the fact that I can’t go out and try all the native meals which really sucks but there is no use crying over spilt milk. You just have to clean it and go on with your day. That’s all I can really say. Sometimes it can really suck to have celiac disease. Now I don’t travel a lot and when I do travel I have to think about quite a few things before I do so like what am I going to eat and how am I going to eat? Pretty standard if you ask me. Here is my tips on the matter.

  1. A Place With A Kitchen

First things first you need to stay at a place where you have access to a kitchen to cook your own meals. I know that doesn’t scream oh I’m on holiday but it’s better than being in so much pain and unable to enjoy your holiday because you got gluten in your system. I learned this one the hard way.

  1. Bring The Basics With

This one is pretty hand in hand with number one but I felt like I should milk this at least have enough to write for five tips. It’s super important to bring the basics with you on your trip. Shelf foods if you catch my drift. Pastas, rice, bread, sauce and etc. It’s no guarantee that the closest supermarket will have any gluten free foods so it’s better to be prepared. Here is an example of what I packed in when we went to Greece. I packed in enough food for the two of us as most holiday places to stay at kitchen is pretty basic so there isn’t an option of cooking pasta’s separate and etc. So it looked like a lot but it did come in handy and whatever is left you can always bring back home.

Sorry that this picture is so shit in quality. I had to screenshot from my Instagram. The original picture is long deleted.

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  1. Do your research

Doing your research before going on your trip can really save the day. See what restaurants you can find close to your hotel and how many of them have gluten free options. Now don’t expect a long list heck you will feel lucky to find one but you can contact them before going on the trip and ask if they can help you. There is still foods that’s naturally gluten free and if prepared right then you have no problems. I can’t promise that there will be something for you but it’s worth to look into. Unfortunately it’s just one of those things.

  1. Accept your fate

This sounds pretty horrible and even if you really try there is still a chance that you will get glutened. The best way to avoid it is to cook all of your meals and bring enough basics with so you only have to rely on vegetables and meat. But it can still slip through so be prepared for that. Take what normally helps ease the pain, I have a hot water sack that I hold against my belly when the stomach pain is really bad. It’s the only thing I have to ease the pain but maybe you have other things that helps you.

  1. Another tip that I can’t think off

Damn I really want five tips but I honestly can’t think of another tip sooooo let’s just act like I have another tip to share. Wait I have a tip! Just try to enjoy your trip and don’t be too hard on yourself. Although you didn’t need me to tell you that.

I hope this was helpful to someone. Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Nutrition Tips, Recipes

My Ultimate Favorite Gluten Free Cheesecake

My brother in law introduced me to this recipe on Christmas and let me just tell you this is; this cheesecake recipe is game changing. It is absolutely delicious like honestly I can’t stop thinking about it. My mouth is watering and I’m not even kidding. I love the lemon taste to it and it’s so fluffy and it makes my tummy happy. I’ve been craving this cheesecake for months now and boy what I would do to eat it now. I might give in soon and bake it but before that I figured how dare I keep this recipe to myself? I mean it’s not mine and it’s in Dutch but my English speakers from other countries should also get in on this.

So just to be 100% frank with you this recipe is from Albert Hein which is a supermarket here in the Netherlands. They have the recipe online and it’s in Dutch. Here is the link — https://www.ah.nl/allerhande/recept/R-R480244/glutenvrije-cheesecake

Anyway I’m just going to translate it and then when I finally gave in and make this recipe I will insert my picture of the cheesecake. Here goes. Awwh my mouth can’t stop drooling.

Gluten Free Cheesecake

Summary

  • Baked
  • Serves 8 people
  • 460kcal (nutritional value per serving)
  • 20 min preparation
  • 55 min in the oven

Ingredients

  • 75g unsalted cream butter
  • 150g gluten free cookies
  • 3 medium sized eggs
  • 1 lemon
  • 600g natural cream cheese
  • 150g white caster sugar
  • 16g vanilla sugar
  • 25g powdered sugar

Kitchen supplies

Spring form (Ø 22 cm)

Step for Step

  1. Preheat your oven at 175 ºC. Prepare your pan, you can use baking paper or butter.
  2. Melt the butter. Crush your cookies into fine bits. (I personally like a bit of a crunch in my crust so I will crush it till 80% fine and 20% with small bits.) Add the butter and mix it with the crushed cookies. Place the crushed buttered cookies into your pan and press it into the bottom and sides with a spoon. Split your eggs. Grate of the skin of your lemon and press the juice out.
  3. Mix in the cream cheese with your lemon juice, 3 teaspoons of lemon juice, mix in the castor and vanilla sugar. Add the egg yolks in. In a separate bowl mix your egg whites till the stiff point. Add the egg whites to your cream cheese mix, give it a gentle stir before transferring the mix to the pan. (You fold it into. You want it to keep the air in the batter. If you over mix it the cheesecake will be flat.)
  4. Bake the cheesecake in the oven for 50-55min. Bake it till it’s a beautiful golden brown. Leave the cheesecake to properly cool.
  5. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top of the cheesecake just before serving it. (This is optional. I decided against it because I felt like the cheesecake has enough sugar in it.)

This is honestly such a delicious cheesecake. I can’t get enough of it. I definitely want to try to make it healthier in the future or find a way to make it with less sugar. I will keep you guys up to date with it! I’m going to start baking soon (we’re getting a proper oven) so I’m definitely going to share the really great recipes I’ve found or how I tweaked it to make it gluten free and possible sugar free. I don’t know yet. Anyway here is pictures of the mouth watering goodness. For some reason all of my photos with this cheesecake came out well bleh…If it wasn’t the lighting it was the layout. It just didn’t want to work with me.

Also why did I say definitely so much? I should Google for another word for it…Holy shit there is a lot. Like damn.

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Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Nutrition Class, Nutrition Tips

Nutrition Class 3 | Carbohydrates | Part 3/3

This is the last part of carbohydrates so if you didn’t read part one and two this might be a little confusing. This entire post is about SUGARS and can be read on its own.

Before I begin I just want to point out again that I’m sharing what I’ve learned from the course — https://courses.edx.org/courses/course-v1:WageningenX+NUTR101x+2T2016/course/ — and my own experiences. I will clearly indicate when it’s from the course, it’s the cursive writing, so there is no confusion.

Health Effects from Sugar

If you’ve been following me awhile you might remember the little short challenge slash project I was doing on my Instagram while I was doing this week. This week in the course was the most eye opening and started ‘slap of reality’. It was a bloody good point I was making and although I stopped after a few shares, I still keep this into account. It’s almost a year later and it still helps with my sugar consumption. I still 100% agree with all of my slap of reality posts so I’m going to re-share a few of my favorites.

Here is the picture to the first every slap of reality post.

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Knowing is one thing but seeing it is another and that’s my goal behind Slap of Reality. I want to show you just how much sugar is in your favorite goodies. Awareness is key. My goal is not to completely put you off from ever enjoying said treat. Now I’m going to throw the math at you. This snicker bar which consists of two 40g bars (but let’s face it you can’t just have one and leave the other one to feel lonely) contains 41,4g of sugar in total! So more than half of the actual sneaker bar is just sugar. To put it even more in perspective the total recommended sugar intake for myself is 65g. A healthy diet does in fact consists of sugar but the problem is that this sneaker bar that will take up more than half of my total sugar intake for the day is empty calories meaning it basically has almost zero nutritional value. My normal diet which consists alone of 65g (or that’s the goal) will be added to this 41,4g. A little bit of added sugar does little harm and thus can be part of a healthy diet but we are not informed or educated to properly interpret ‘a little bit’. And I’m sorry but 41,4g of added sugar is not a little bit 1g of sugar contains 4 calories which means in total the sugar alone in this sneaker bar is 165,6 calories. But I’m not done yet: I burn 13,536 calories in one minute of CONSTANT squatting. So this means it would take me 12 minutes and 23 seconds (give or take) of constant squatting to burn ONLY the sugar in this sneaker bar! It really makes you think doesn’t it? It’s no secret that I have a sweet tooth and an addiction to candy goodness but after learning about the negative health effects of sugar and the over consumption of it is eye opening. I’ve tried so many things in the past to cut down my sugar intake and this is probably the most successful. Seeing just how much sugar I would truly consume if I eat that sneaker bar and how much hard work it would take for my body to burn it is enough to make me rethink before eating my candy treats and that’s why I think ‘Slap of Reality’ is a clever way to reduce your sugar consumption

There is another slap of reality post I want to share so here goes.

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75,4% of this packet is sugar. That’s 24 teaspoons of sugar. It has zero nutritional value. My slap of reality series is truly eye opening and not once have I been able to eat or drink any of the products I took the time to work out how much sugar it contains. I finally made that switch to sugar free candy. This is probably for the first time in my fitness journey that I’ve been able to stay candy free for longer than 7 days because now there is just no way of escaping the facts. I encourage anyone to take those extra few seconds to read the label and then make the educated choice if you want this inside your body. There is healthier alternatives for almost everything highly processed on the market. Now I’m in no way shape or form trying to throw shade on any of the products I show in this series. They just happen to be my favorite brand and favorite candies. Again like I’ve mentioned before a small amount of added sugar (25g according to the World Health Organization) won’t be considered unhealthy but this packet of sugar, I mean candy is not it. If you really adore these packets of candies, split it up into smaller portions. I personally can’t see myself devouring an entire packet in one go ever again. Be smart with your sugar, your body will thank you for it.

Looking back to that is a big ‘wow that’s insane’ moment. I really should start doing it again every time I want to stuff my face with a lot of sugars. I had a moment last year but now I take the sugar free option where I can. I also read the labels and explore my options for products with low sugar. Curing a sweet tooth doesn’t happen overnight. I mean I feel like even my new blog readers knows I’m a sweet tooth. I’m rewarding myself after one year of candy free by going to the northern lights. Now I’m even trying to follow a very low sugar diet. I will talk more about it some other time but let’s talk a little more about the course and what I learned from it. I mean this week inspired slap of reality which kind of forever changed the way I think of sugar and has made a massive difference in my overall health.

The next part comes straight from the course.

Sugar consumption

Many foods contain substantial amounts of sugar, often without us realizing it. Did you know that a blueberry muffin can contain up to 45 grams of sugar? And that a 12 oz (355 mL) can of regular Coke contains nearly 40 grams of sugar. Since so many foods contain sugar, how much sugar are we actually consuming?

table

Negative health effects of sugar

Why is the high sugar consumption in many countries considered to be bad? A number of valid arguments exist against consuming lots of sugar. An important concern is that added sugar is almost a synonym for empty calorie foods. Empty calorie foods are rich in energy (calories) but are relatively devoid of other nutrients and thus carry little nutritional value. The higher the consumption of empty calories, the less room there is for nutrient-rich foods, decreasing the nutritional quality of the diet.

Another concern is that sugar is often consumed in liquid form, for example in soft drinks or fruit juices. Scientific studies have demonstrated that consumption of a food in liquid form is less satiating than consuming the same food in solid form. For example, drinking apple juice is less satiating than eating an apple. High consumption of sugar-rich beverages may therefore lead to caloric excess and weight gain.

WHO’s current recommendation, which was last revised in 2002, is that sugars should make up less than 10% of total energy intake per day. The new draft guideline from 2014 also proposes that sugars should be less than 10% of total energy intake per day. It further suggests that a reduction to below 5% of total energy intake per day would have additional benefits. Five per cent of total energy intake is equivalent to around 25 grams (around 6 teaspoons) of sugar per day for an adult of normal Body Mass Index (BMI). The suggested limits on intake of sugars in the draft guideline apply to all monosaccharides (such as glucose, fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) that are added to food by the manufacturer, the cook or the consumer, as well as sugars that are naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates. The guidelines from 2002 were met by strong opposition in the USA from the US Sugar Association. The US Sugar Association urged lawmakers in the US congress to consider withdrawing funding to the World Health Organization.

Before I continue, the course goes into a lot of detail about sugar (there is another 16 pages worth of information) and I really don’t want to copy and paste everything so I’m going to try to keep it as short as I can. If you want to read everything (16 pages)

An ongoing sugar frenzy

At this moment, there is a lot of discussion about sugar and obesity. Many people believe that excess sugar consumption is a major culprit in the current obesity epidemic. The negative image of sugar is mostly confined to added sugar, not the sugar already present in foods such as milk and fruits. People such as Gary Taubes and many others have written books and generated lots of publicity claiming that the high sugar consumption is responsible for most of today’s health problems, especially obesity. According to them, eating sugar makes you ill and fat. They claim that most of our health troubles would simply disappear if we stop eating sugar. The anti-sugar movement preys on the inherent desire among the general public to appoint a convenient scapegoat to a particular societal problem. And with that I don’t mean to say that people such as Gary Taubes don’t have a point. I am just saying that people like to hear that a very complex problem has a very simple explanation. Accusations have also been raised against sugar as contributing to poor mental health, including depression, impaired learning ability, and anxiety, although these are very poorly substantiated. Other people have gone so far as to consider removal of dietary sugar as a universal panacea.

What is the view of nutrition scientists? Most nutrition scientists and health authorities have expressed concern, serious concern about the high sugar consumption in many countries, and recognize that efforts need to be undertaken to lower added sugar consumption, especially in children. However, they do not consider its avoidance a simple cure for obesity and are not necessarily happy with the singular focus on sugar in certain media and the hyperbole that inevitably accompanies a blind fixation. They are concerned that the overemphasis on sugar and fructose has distracted us from the importance of avoiding caloric over consumption, which ultimately is responsible for weight gain. Reducing sugar intake will certainly be helpful toward that effect but obviously there is more to the contemporary diet that demands our attention.

The course continues with the strategy that the sugar industry is taking which was quite interesting to learn. It then looks into replacing sugar by non-nutritive sweeteners. There is one last part I want to take out from the course before we call this sugar lesson a day.

Sugar and tooth decay

Nowadays, excess sugar consumption is mainly discussed in the context of obesity. But before our society became obese, sugar already had a bad name for its connection to tooth decay. From a dentist’s perspective, a steady diet of sugary foods and drinks, including juice and sports drinks, can damage teeth and should thus be discouraged. Sugar itself is not directly damaging to teeth. Sugar provides the substrate for bacteria that grow in our mouths and produce acids. It is the acid that negatively affects our teeth by softening and gradually dissolving the hard enamel surface covering the teeth.

This part was interesting to me as well all know that I have some teeth problems and I blame it all on my really high sugar consumption the majority of my life. I’ve been meaning on seeing the dentist since the health insurance restarted this new year but I’m being a massive baby. I will probably surrender soon. I still loath seeing the dentist. The entire experience is horrible and I always got sick afterwards so honestly being adult sometimes sucks. But let’s finish this post before I get distracted.

The course continues talking about health effects of dietary fiber, lactose intolerance, diabetes and glucose intolerance. It’s truly a very informative and great source. I’m going to end this blog here as I feel like I’ve made my point. Sugar can be a silent killer. Keep your sugar consumption into account. I’m not saying cut all sugar out for the rest of your life I’m saying enjoy it in moderation and go for the healthier option when you can. Weigh loss will most likely follow. I hope you found this post enriching and educational.

Thank you so much for reading. I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!

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Nutrition Class, Nutrition Tips

Nutrition Class 2 | Carbohydrates | Part 2/3

Alright I’m going to write this as if you all already read part one and you’re coming from there. So you just read a little snip bit from the course I took. Here is the link to that said course — https://courses.edx.org/courses/course-v1:WageningenX+NUTR101x+2T2016/course/ — So the point of sharing all that information on the chemistry of carbohydrates to really show how important carbohydrates is for a healthy body. I’ve heard so many people with the warped idea that cutting out all carbohydrates is the way to go. This post is going to be about carbohydrates in your diet.

Again this blog will be a mix of my experience and advice with pieces straight from the course. I will clearly indicate when it’s from the course, it’s the cursive writing, so there is no confusion.

Before I begin the course goes into a lot of details, details I won’t go into here as well I don’t want to copy and paste the entire blog. I feel like that is stealing. I just really want to talk a little more and share information for those who don’t have the time for a 8 week course.

Carbohydrates in our diet

Now I’ve made it clear many times before that I love my carbohydrates but like with many things; there is a healthy version and an unhealthy version. You can get pastas, rice and breads that’s high in sugars and have a bunch of processed stuff added that isn’t necessarily good for your body. It’s those products that can make the weight go up although over consumption in carbohydrates can also affect your weight. Really there is a fine balance. You find people who respond well to a low carbohydrate diet and people who respond well to a high carbohydrate diet. The only way to know which side of the spectrum you fall in is with trial and error. In the beginning of my fitness journey I cut out ALL pastas, rice, potatoes, bread and all that jazz. Cookies and cakes (all things super delicious in this world) and was on a strict smoothie diet. I was on a very low carbohydrate diet and I had no energy in my body. I felt sick, slow and deprived. I didn’t have the energy for my workouts and would feel faint after a workout. I wasn’t starving myself, I just didn’t eat what my body needed.

I switched over to a high carbohydrate diet and the difference in my energy levels was a 180 degree difference. I did go to high and ate too much of the goodies which backfired and I gained weight. So there is a sweet line. I eat two portions per day of the big carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes) but I don’t go overboard with the amount. I also purchase the gluten free and very low in sugar option. My favorite new ‘pasta’ is made from rice and contains zero sugar and the calories isn’t high. It’s filling and gets the job done.

I don’t know about you but in the beginning I thought carbohydrates is only pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, pastries, cakes and etc. It didn’t occur to me that there is carbohydrates in other products, I mean who knew there is in bananas. I sure as hell didn’t. This course opened my eyes to many facts.

This next part comes from the course.

As you can see in the table below, many foods are high in carbohydrates. The predominant sources of carbohydrate in most people’s diet are starchy foods such as wheat, corn, rice, cassava and potatoes. The raw forms of these foods (e.g. whole wheat, brown rice etc) also contain substantial amounts of fiber, which is mostly lost during processing. Many foods are rich in carbohydrates due to their high sugar content, which is present naturally (as in fruits) or added during processing. Crystalline table sugar is 100% carbohydrate in the form of sucrose. Meat contains only very small amounts of carbohydrate in the form of glycogen.

Please note that the carbohydrate content of a food shown on the food label is calculated differently in different parts of the world, in particular when it relates to dietary fiber.

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The course goes into detail about the source of dietary fiber. I found this part to be super educational and eye opening so I’m going to copy and paste this part in.

Plant foods in their natural form usually contain substantial amounts of fiber. The table below provides estimates of the total fiber content of many foods. Most high fiber foods contain a mixture of dietary fibers, although the main type of fiber present can differ considerably between various foods. Processing of food often leads to loss of fiber. White rice contains much less fiber than brown rice. Orange juice contains less fiber than an actual orange. White bread contains less fiber than whole wheat bread. Sometimes, the colour can be deceiving. Many breads in the Netherlands are made to look like whole wheat bread, but its main ingredient is white flour, not whole wheat flour. Other breads are made to look like white bread (to make it more appealing to children) but have fiber added. Always check the list of ingredients. Animal products, including milk and milk products, contain little to no fiber. Sometimes, fiber is added to yogurt to create functional foods.

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The course continues with a lot more super technical information on how carbohydrates are digested and absorbed and the metabolism of carbohydrates. If you’re interested to learn a lot more about that technical part of carbohydrates then I would recommend you check out the course itself. There is one last part of carbohydrates from the course that I want to discuss. It was the most eye opening week from the entire course and something that made the biggest difference in my health and overall way of life. It’s about sugar! I hope you enjoyed this post! I tried my best not to be to technical like part one and not to copy and paste everything from the course. I really do want to share the information I learned without stealing the entire course.

Thank you so much for reading. I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!

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Oh here is the link to part three of carbohydrates — (Part three will go up in a week so just stay patient.)

 

Nutrition Class, Nutrition Tips

Nutrition Class 1 | Carbohydrates | Part 1/3

Alright guys. The moment has arrived. I’m going to get real technical with you all and share what I learned in my nutrition course last year… I’m going to break it down into three parts: Carbohydrates, Fat and Protein. Every part might be divided too but I will see how it goes.

I’m going to start with Carbohydrates because well I can’t go a day without my carbohydrates. The course was very technical so I’m going to take pieces from it and break it down but you’re more than welcome to take the course yourself! It’s on edx. Here is the link — https://courses.edx.org/courses/course-v1:WageningenX+NUTR101x+2T2016/course/ — I do want to point out that most of the technical information comes from this course because well this is where I learned all my technical things related to nutrition. I really just want to share what I learned for those who want to read real nutrition facts without doing a lot of effort. I will add some stuff I learned from my own experience but you will see once you scroll down. You see I know how much fake information is out there so information backed with resources and research is important to me. This course has this. Really if you have the time take this course. You will probably recognize bits and pieces from here if you do.

Before I start, the pieces I take from the course will be in cursive and my words will be well you know, normal. I will try my best not to overwhelm you between what I say and what the course say. I also don’t want to copy and paste from the course but there is a lot of important information.

Part one in the carbohydrates category we’re going to talk about the chemistry of carbohydrates. There is a lot of terms, I mean when I was going through all the information there wasn’t much I could say that the course didn’t cover. I had to rethink the structure of this blog quite a bit because how it was looking was basically a copy and paste from the course, two and a half pages of it. So I will be breaking it down and will clearly point out when I’m using material from the course and when it’s me talking, or well writing. You know the drill by now. Let’s just jump in!

I’m also going to make little graphs via PowerPoint to simplify what I can.

Chemistry of carbohydrates

When you’re very deep down in the fitness world you will probably hear macro counting somewhere down the line. This isn’t a guide how to macro count, heck I’ve never tried it so I can’t really explain the how’s. This is more a technical breakdown with a bunch of information about everything to educate you about how the body works and overall improve your nutritional knowledge. Macronutrients (or macros) is divided into three parts; carbohydrates, fat and protein.

1

What is carbohydrates? What is their chemical composition? The course answers all of this.

2Carbohydrates can be separated into simple carbohydrates, sometimes referred to as sugars, and complex carbohydrates. But for now we’ll concentrate on the simple carbohydrates, which can be separated into monosaccharides and disaccharides.

3

The monosaccharides are glucose, fructose and galactose.  

4The disaccharides are composed of these three monosaccharides. We have maltose, which is composed of two molecules of glucose. We have sucrose, which is composed of a molecule of glucose linked to fructose. And we have lactose, which is composed of glucose linked to galactose. All these mono and disaccharides exist in our diet with the exception of galactose, which is only present in our diet as part of lactose.

5The monosaccharides can be directly absorbed into our bloodstream so they don’t require any digestion. However, the disaccharides need to be broken down to the individual monosaccharides. This process is part of normal digestion and is called hydrolysis. We can break down the disaccharides into the individual monosaccharides through hydrolysis. And as an example we can have sucrose, which is an important part of our diet, it is table sugar, and it can undergo hydrolysis to yield the individual monosaccharides glucose and fructose. Through that process we are able to utilize the energy that is available in the disaccharides by forming the monosaccharides which can be subsequently absorbed into the bloodstream and used as an energy source.

Now that we’ve discussed simple carbohydrates with the help of the course we can now move onto next part. We will discuss a lot about sugars so try to keep track. I know this is a lot of technical terms that some of you might not be that interested in but stay patient. This is some great information.

In the previous paragraph we talked about simple carbohydrates and we said that they are often referred to as the sugars, and that they include the monosaccharides and disaccharides. However, in colloquial terms, sugar is most often used to describe crystalline table sugar, which in chemical terms is sucrose. When we talk about blood sugar, actually we refer to glucose in the blood. There are also other sugars: invert sugar or inverted sugar is a mixture of equal amounts of glucose and fructose. Invert sugar is a little bit sweeter than sucrose and has a number of industrial uses including in the production of alcoholic beverages. It is also used by food manufacturers to retard the crystallization of sugar and to retain moisture in packaged food. A natural form of invert sugar is actually honey.

That my folks wraps up simple carbohydrates. Now we’re going to move onto complex carbohydrates. What is complex carbohydrates? The course will answer this.

Complex carbohydrates  are also referred to as polysaccharides and there are three main groups. We have glycogen, which is a very minor component of our diet. We have the starches, which are a very important component of our diet and we have fibres.

6So let’s focus on the starches and on specifically the amylopectin and the amylose component of the starch, because starch is basically a polymer of glucose. So, many glucose molecules link together in either a linear chain, which is called amylose, or a branched chain, which is called amylopectin, and together they form starch. Now depending on the type of food – rice, bread, corn – the type of starch is in a different conformation. But they all conform to the same standard chemical composition. It’s a mixture of amylose and amylopectin. So basically what you end up with after digestion is purely glucose.

I just quickly want to touch base on this topic. There is a lot of myths on starch that I had to double check to see if there was actually some truth to the matter. So my father is convinced that you can wash starch away after cooking rice, pasta and potatoes by washing it properly after cooking. You know till the water runs clear. He is convinced that starch is the thing in these foods that make you gain weight and by washing it away it’s healthy. I always found this a little ludicrous but I wanted to see if there is actually truth to this. So I turned to Google. Almost immediately I found two websites who followed my dad’s way of thinking. Here is the links — http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/remove-starch-potatoes-11537.html and http://www.ruchiskitchen.com/how-to-cook-starch-free-rice/ — If it’s in fact true I’m not entirely sure. If a research has been done I haven’t found it. Although I don’t really see the harm in rinsing off your potatoes, pasta and rice. Just rinse it with hot water otherwise you will make your food cold and no one really wants to eat cold food.

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In this next part we’re going to discuss dietary fiber with the help of the course once again. It feels a bit weird because this chemistry part is really heavily featuring the course but I mean it is what is. I can’t really make it my own. It’s facts you know and I learned these facts from the course.

What is dietary fiber? Dietary fiber describes a chemically diverse group of non-digestible carbohydrates. Most of the carbohydrates in our diet can be digested by the enzymes in the GI tract and can subsequently be absorbed into the bloodstream as monosaccharides. However, a portion of the carbohydrates present in foods cannot be broken down by the digestive enzymes and will reach the colon mostly intact.

There are a number of definitions of dietary fiber, but one of the more simple one’s is: Dietary fibers are dietary carbohydrates that are not subject to digestion by endogenous enzymes, but may be digested by bacteria in the colon. Dietary fiber is sometimes referred to as non-starch polysaccharides. However, this classification would exclude the lignins and resistant starch and is thus not fully correct. The most common classification separates dietary fiber into two main classes: the soluble or viscous fiber and the in-soluble or non-viscous fiber. There is another classification that distinguishes fiber between three categories: fiber naturally occurring in the food as consumed, fiber obtained from raw food material by physical, enzymatic or chemical means, and synthetic carbohydrate polymers. The reason for differentiating between fiber already present in the food, which is the first category, and fiber added to the food, which is the second and third category, is that the beneficial property of fibers naturally present in the food have been scientifically well-validated, whereas there are fewer data on potential health benefits of added fiber.

People are told to eat plenty of fiber as fiber supports proper function of the GI tract and prevents constipation, and in addition fiber has several other health benefits which we will discuss later in the course. Our daily fiber intake hovers around 20 grams in most Western countries but some people may not even reach 10 grams per day. Whereas intake of other people easily exceeds 40 grams per day.

And that concludes everything I wanted to share about the chemistry of carbohydrates. There is more information and explanation on this in the course, I mean the videos are really great but I feel like for everyday people this is enough. What I want to achieve in this post is to show how important carbohydrates are for your body. You can’t just cut it out and hope for the best. It’s your energy source and so much more. Without carbohydrates in your body…well let’s just say some things won’t go so smoothly. I will talk about it more in part two. I hope you found this ‘nutrition class’ slash lesson educational.

Thank you so much for reading. I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!

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Oh here is the link to part two of carbohydrates — (Part two will go up in a week so just stay patient.)

 

 

 

Nutrition Tips, Recipes

Healthy Cottage Pie Recipe

I grew up with cottage pie and it is truly one of my favorite dishes to make. It’s home. There is ‘unhealthy’ ways to make it and there is way to improve the dish and make it healthier. This is my favorite recipe that can be deemed the healthier version. Oh before we jump in, here is a little history or background lesson.

This next part comes straight from Wikipedia. Do with this information what you will. Shepherd’s pie (made with minced lamb or mutton) or cottage pie (made with minced beef) is a meat pie with a topping of mashed potato. The dish can vary widely within its basic definition, whether as a home recipe or on a restaurant menu. The defining ingredients are minced meat (beef for cottage pie, lamb or mutton for shepherd’s pie) cooked in a gravy with onions and sometimes vegetables, such as peas, celery or carrots, and topped with mashed potato. Whilst not traditional, a common addition to either pie is to top the mashed potato with grated cheese.

Wikipedia goes into so much more detail about the dish but basically it comes from The United Kingdom originally and it’s a meat and potato dish. Now that you know what it is let me tell you how I make it.

Ingredients

  • Mince (Depends on your family/portion size. For two people I use 500g. When I feel like spoiling my husband even more I will add some bacon to the mix.)
  • Tomatoes (Medium sized tomatoes. Six to nine. Depends on how I feel.)
  • Peppers (If I feel like there isn’t enough vegetables in the meal I will add one pepper. For me it doesn’t really matter what colour it is. I do tend to go for the orange, yellow and red mix.)
  • Carrots (I always buy the medium sized carrots so I use 5 of them but if you buy the normal large carrots it’s about two.)
  • Onion (I use one but only because I’m not that big on onion. This can go according to your taste.)
  • Garlic (I use one glove but again this can go according to your taste. Garlic can easily overwhelm a dish so keep that in mind.)
  • Bolognese Sauce (I don’t think the brand really matters. I just buy the gluten free one our supermarket has to offer. The bottle is 400g.)
  • Soya Cream (I always get the 250g cuisine soya cream the supermarket stocks but normal whipped cream should be ay okay. I just tend to stay away from heavy lactose products as my body sometimes struggle to digest it. Coconut cream will also get the job done.)
  • Seasoning (I use Rosemary herbs, salt and pepper. If I feel like a little sting I will add some cayenne pepper.)
  • For sweetness I add 1 generous tablespoon of apricot jam. (I use a 30% less sugar brand. I also heat up some water and dissolve the jam in it before I pour it into my sauce. Otherwise it can get clumpy and won’t spread through the entire meal.)
  • Extras: If I feel I need more vegetables I will add some spinach but I tend to stay away from that one. In my mind spinach doesn’t go with this meal. The green ruins the nice and pretty red sauce. Taste wise I don’t think it’s noticeable. I also sometimes add 3ml of vanilla essence for flavour and a squeeze of lemon juice.)
  • Potatoes (Good old normal potatoes. I always get medium sized potatoes. I go fifty-fifty with the normal and sweet potatoes but you can do this according to your preference. Sometimes I skip the sweet potatoes all together. Portion wise I guess is just make enough. It’s better to have too much then too little but if I have to give it a number it’s about 4-5 normal potatoes (only if there is a few small ones in between the mix. Really I go according what looks enough) and 3 sweet potatoes.
  • Sweet Potatoes (I always have the option between the orange skinned and the purple skinned sweet potatoes from my local supermarket. The orange skinned potatoes is orange when cut open and the purple skinned potatoes is a yellow normal potato colour. I don’t know if that even makes sense but all in all I haven’t noticed a difference in flavour although saying that if I have the choice I go for the purple skinned.)
  • Butter and (Soya) Milk (You’re going to need butter and milk to mash the potatoes. I use soya milk because well I’m sensitive to lactose products but I don’t think it makes much of a difference. I use 25g-50g of butter (depends on how I feel like that night) and the rest just milk. It’s better to add little by little as too much makes your mashed potatoes runny.)
  • Oven pan

Step by step

  • I always start off with preparing all of my vegetables for my sauce. I cut up the onion, tomatoes, garlic, peppers, carrot and then add it to my favourite large sauce pan. I then switch over to skinning to potatoes and cutting them up in small pieces (I want them to boil through quickly).
  • I place the potatoes on a medium heat and with some olive oil I just let it sit and boil.
  • I then switch over to my sauce. I add the mince and the entire sauce mixture like I explained earlier. The Bolognese sauce, soya cream and seasoning. I give it a quick mix (Over mixing it with raw mince breaks it up to a point of you feel like you’re eating baby food. I still want chunks of meat.) I then put a lid on it and let it boil for 20-30 minutes on a low heat. I will give it a stir about halfway through but otherwise I leave it alone.
  • The potatoes should be done in 20-25 minutes. I then mash it and please don’t forget to add your seasoning. I always just use salt and pepper. Nothing fancy. All the flavour you want is in the sauce. I saw somewhere someone using the water that they boiled the potatoes with for the mashing. I haven’t tried it yet but be my guess.
  • I now take my oven pan and I will up half of it with my mince sauce (If there is left great you have leftover for spaghetti tomorrow night. You can also freeze it for another night.) I carefully put the mashed potatoes above this. One big serving spoon in three different parts of the oven pan. The side and the middle. Ones I feel like the mince mixture and the potatoes mixture is even I will even the potatoes out with a fork.
  • For one last extra flavour I add a layer of grated cheese. You can also add a layer of crushed chips (original flavour) on top of the mashed potatoes and then add the grated cheese. It gives it a nice extra layer of crunch. It’s not the healthiest but it is oh so good.
  • Then you just pop it in the oven for 30 minutes (or till cheese is nice and crispy) at 180˚C or 356˚F for my Americans. (Sorry for all the grams. Google it?)

Annnddd that’s it folks! Here is a photo of my batch. If you make it and like it please let me know. I would love to see your response to it. If you don’t like it well hey we all like different things. Oh and sorry for the dark quality in the picture. It’s winter here and it’s pretty dark around dinner time. It also doesn’t help that half of our light bulbs aren’t working…

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Here is my husband’s review. I promise he is not lying for me at all (he is).

“Thinking back of this dinner on a Sunday morning makes me hungry, it’s one of my favourite meals! If you have not tried this you are definitely missing out. I especially like the variation with the chips on top, so the unhealthy one basically.”

Before I go the unhealthy version is basically no vegetables and using a lot of butter with your normal potatoes.

I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!

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Celiac Disease, Nutrition Tips

What Happens To Me When I Get ‘Glutened’ | Celiac Disease

There is quite a large difference between my body’s reaction with a small scale gluten and a large scale gluten. Both events are equally uncomfortable and something I wouldn’t like to repeat.

Small Scale

What I mean by a small scale reaction is just what it sounds. I got a small amount of gluten in my system as in traces of another product –we didn’t wash the pan correctly or I used Onno’s spoon by mistake. It could also come from a product made in a factory where they handle gluten. It’s small amounts. Heck it could even be from we used a pinch of spices that contains gluten or I prepared food on a dirty platform so some bread crumbs was on the table and it got on my food. It really could be the smallest thing and it would be enough. Here is two examples.

I went to a football (soccer) game with Onno and his family and bought a glass of water. No food and water is allowed to enter the arena so you buy what’s available. As you can guess the first thirty minutes after the gates open and before the game begins all of the service counters are beyond the point of busy. They pump out drinks and foods left and right. The main drink being served is a beer. They pour the drink in a clear plastic cup. All the drinks all served in the small cup. I always get water that they pour from a water bottle into the same clear plastic cup. I got gluten in my system and started to feel the effects just as we pulled out of the parking lot. There was some beer in my glass. I didn’t taste it but that’s the only thing that makes sense. The second time we went I asked to buy a bottle as I don’t really want to go two hours without a drink but they refuse to sell it. So I have yet to figure out just how I can enjoy a game with something to drink without getting sick. Another example is the popcorn at the movies. It was something I had to confirm as normal popcorn we buy from the shop never gives us a problem but alas the spice mixture they use at the movies contains gluten.

So now that you get a clear idea just how small the gluten could be to make me sick, I can tell you just how sick I get.

  • Stomach pain
  • Heavy stomach bloating
  • Nauseous
  • Exhaustion
  • Dizziness
  • Foggy Brain

The recovery from a small scale attack take two to three days. The stomach bloating which is so large and uncomfortable won’t go away for about four days. I will have some stomach cramps but it’s bearable (sometimes). Sometimes I will have blood in my next number two bathroom trip.

Big Scale

I haven’t had a big scale attack in a year if not more. The amount of gluten needs to be an actual normal product as in a donut, muffin, pasta, pizza literally anything that’s the usual thing you can get. Big scale attacks are extreme and so painful. I can barely put it into words.

  • Extreme stomach pain and cramps
  • Extreme stomach bloating (nine months pregnant type of stomach in minutes)
  • Extreme nauseous
  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Extreme dizziness
  • Extreme foggy brain

The recovery time from a big scale attack can take weeks. The attack is anything but bearable. I ball into myself and sob from the pain. For the next few days, all of my number two’s have blood in it. I also lose all of my appetite. It is anything but pleasant.

The point of this blog is really just to show that although some people follow a gluten free diet because they feel it would benefit them in weight loss other are physically allergic to the protein. If someone orders a gluten free meal don’t give them an attitude about it. Be respectful because honey if you gluten me for shit and giggles (it has happened before) I will punch you in the gut so at least you can feel half of the pain I do. Okay wow that is aggressive but it really does anger me. How hard is it to respect others? I’m going to end this blog here as I’m really not sure where this is going.

I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!

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