Celiac Disease

I Think I’m Allergic To Something In My Food | Celiac Disease | Rant

I didn’t think I would be writing this blog, but I just started talking to my best friend about it and it feels so good to unload. I don’t have a solution to this problem nor do I have any idea what’s going to happen moving forward but I’m going to talk about it anyway. As some of you might know, I have celiac disease. To put it simply, my body violently rejects the protein called gluten. Gluten, as you might not know, is in ALMOST everything you see on a daily basis. Before my diagnosis, regular extreme stomach pain was something considered normal. For most of my life, I could never seem to place the cause of the pain. When I was about 15, I suddenly couldn’t tolerate milk. It happened overnight. The morning before I could eat my usual cornflakes and milk and the next morning not even ten minutes after the breakfast I found myself on the toilet. This had to be repeated before it clicked in my brain that: “Hey! Maybe milk doesn’t agree with you anymore.” Ever since then I tended to avoid most milk products but the stomach pain still came and went.

Once I came over to the Netherlands as an au pair, my host parents (both doctors) put the two pieces together and encouraged me to run some tests. They thought that I might be gluten intolerant with secondary lactose intolerance. My sensitivity to lactose base products came from the years of damage to my intestines from the gluten. At first, I went on a gluten-free diet (It wasn’t completely gluten-free. I had no idea.) and those intense stomach ache became something of the past. Or well not really. A lot of time passed between attacks which were really nice for me. I, however, wanted to run the blood test to ensure that I’m actually allergic to gluten before I make the semi-expensive lifestyle change. I went back onto a full gluten diet and almost instantly I was in so much pain. It was agony. We did the test and the results came in after I already returned to South Africa. The host dad simply said that I should avoid gluten at all cost and that’s what I did. I went down the long path of trying to figure everything out and with some trails and errors; I was able to fully adapt to the gluten-free lifestyle. Once I immigrated to the Netherlands, I made arrangements to see a doctor. I wanted them to go over the test and tell me if I’m gluten intolerant or if I have celiac disease. He took one look at those test results from two years prior and my diagnosis was final. It was a semi-hard blow. I have adjusted to the gluten-free lifestyle at that point but I had the motion in the back of my mind that I could switch back to a normal diet eventually. This obviously isn’t something I can do with medicine at the present moment. That being said the second I can take some pill and eat gluten without any problems, sign me up. Anyway, let me get to the point. My history with food and less than ideal response to something in my food is an ugly one. It took me a lot of work to gain back my trust in food after all the pain I always seemed to go through because of it and…these last few months I’ve been struggling. The added crazy hormones and weight gain because of the PCOS surely isn’t helping. I hate that I have no control over my body.

These last few months those painful stomach aches started and to my utmost horror regular intense bloating became a normal once more. It’s incredibly frustrating because I’m not doing anything different. My diet, the products we use, the meals we eat, has been the same for the last two years. But, suddenly I’m responding to something in my food? How is that even possible? It’s not a gluten attack. The area where I feel the pain is about the same but the level of intenseness (is that even a word?) isn’t the same. The pain is a bit different but it sure as hell isn’t nice. Honestly, I don’t know what to do anymore. Is it stress? Although saying that I wouldn’t consider myself sick with the stress. The blood tests I had done the other day showed I was in the normal range. Who knew they could even test that? Is it the paranoia? I honestly feel lost and just…in Afrikaans, we would say gatvol. It basically means I’m sick and tired of the same old bullshit. My problems with responding to food in the less than ideal way should be something of the past. The only food allergy I’m supposed to have should be all figured out by now. This is bullshit.

I just don’t know anymore. I’m frustrated that I seem to be back at the start line when it comes to my food allergy. Do I really have to go through everything I eat and try to figure out what I’m responding too? I just don’t know anymore. This bullshit is the last thing I needed right about now. This blog isn’t really going anywhere. I’m mostly just complaining. I guess I will ask the doctor the next time I see them although usually, I don’t really go to the doctor that often and I don’t really want to make an appointment just for this. It feels almost silly. I already have two almost silly appointments under my belt these last few weeks and I just can’t add a third one to the list. Sigh. I think I need to take a break, drink a cup of tea and watch some series on Netflix.

I’m sorry that this blog is kind of bleh. I don’t really know what to tell you. Heck, the only reason why I’m sharing this because I hope someone else struggling with celiac disease or a food allergy will have some tips for me.

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

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Sims 4 Meals

Remaking Sims 4 Meals | Normal Cooking Level One: Pan De Muerto (“Bread Of The Dead”) | Part 7

For a full explanation of what this challenge is, please follow this link here — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2018/10/29/challenge-remaking-sims-4-meals-introduction-and-index/

For the previous meal, please follow this link here — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2019/02/11/remaking-sims-4-meals-normal-cooking-level-one-franks-and-beans-part-6/

Pan De Muerto (“Bread Of The Dead”)

I desperately needed to go to the shops and buy some groceries so I figured I should look into the next Sims meal I need to make and buy what I need. Next up on the list is Pan de Muerto. I had no idea what it was. All I knew was the Sims character never got full after eating one serving and that it looks like some sweet pastry. Similar to the Franks and Beans, I needed to deep dive on the internet and figure it out. I was anything but excited when I saw it was bread, a Mexican bread to be precise. Gluten-free breads are a bitch to make and I knew finding a recipe would be anything but easy. Very soon in my difficult journey of trying to find a recipe that will be Cassy friendly, I stumbled on what the Pan de Muerto means. This next part is the introduction to the recipe I’m going to attempt.  Pan de Muerto (“Bread of the Dead”) is a traditional Mexican sweet bread that is commonly made during Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos). It is very important during this season, and the meaning behind it is as rich as its flavor.

I immediately chose this recipe because they truly explained everything but it wasn’t gluten-free. So, I decided to do some research on how I can replace the normal flour with my gluten-free flour and still have the end result be successful. As far as I know, if I add Xanthan gum everything will be good. Sure enough, I found a website that said just that and I decided to jump right in and make it. Before we start, I do want to add that I truly appreciate the meaning that comes along with this bread. I think it’s wonderful that they do this and I think more cultures should do this. We should all appreciate dead and thank them for being in our lives.

The recipe (link is below) is incredibly detailed and very easy to follow but that doesn’t mean it was easy to make. I took a lot of pictures (or well the Husband took a lot of pictures) so let’s get this started.

Step one is: place the eggs, margarine (I just used butter), salt and half of the sugar in a mixer bowl. You need to mix this for 2 minutes.

Next, you need to add the flour in small amounts while alternating with the water. Now, this is when I needed to use my hands. In a separate bowl, I had already mixed gluten free flour they recommend for bread and pizza and added the Xanthan Gum. The website I followed recommended 2 teaspoons for every cup of flour. The thing you need to know about Xanthan Gum is that you can’t mix it with an electric mixer. The mix/dough will climb up and clog the mixer so I normally fold the flour in (for cake recipes) and in this instance I used my hands. Also, this is just from my experience, the gluten-free and Xanthan Gum mixture is drier than normal flour and you will need a tiny bit more moisture. This is especially needed when the recipe you’re following isn’t a gluten-free recipe. The next step is to add the dry active yeast and mix until it’s well combined.

Step two is to add the butter, one at a time. You also need to add the orange zest, the rest of the sugar and the orange blossom essence (I just used orange juice).

You need to mix this well. I had to do this by hand as it’s not possible to use the electric mixer anymore. Once you add the Xanthan gum it’s game over.

Now it was finally time to knead the dough on your work surface. You need to knead it for a good couple of minutes until it’s nice and smooth. You then need to transfer the dough and cover it for plastic wrap. It needs to stand in a warm place until it doubles in size. I can see now that my dough looks quite different than the recipe I was following. Hers is smooth and sticky and it’s clear now mine needed more liquid. I do want to add that the butter that a greased the bowl with did help with that as it melted while I had it sit. My dough also didn’t double in size. A lot was working against my bread as it was 1) gluten-free and 2) hand mixed in almost every step where the lady in the recipe had a special mixture.

The dough rested for two hours before I started to shape them. I followed the instructions and decided to make two big ones instead of a lot of smalls ones. It was already 11pm and I just wanted to be done for the night. My dumbass didn’t think to adjust the amount of time so most of the bread turned out raw. I put the timer on for the small pieces of bread and didn’t take into account that my large bread will need more time. I did double the time but that wasn’t nearly enough. We only noticed just how raw they were the next morning and by then it was too late. In the end, we could only taste the top parts.

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Now, drumroll, please…Here is the finished result.

Our bread was also super dense but that might be because it couldn’t mix it as well and it’s still raw.

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We did end up throwing most of it away as well it was raw and inedible but the little I could taste, I enjoyed. I don’t think I will make this again but I definitely want to play around with sweet bread in the future.

Now, how did Sims Susan make her pan de muerto? It was so easy for her it is considered cheating. She literally just mixed in her little mixing bowl for a few Sims minutes before putting it in the oven. And that was it. No kneading. No hours of waiting. Nothing like that. I’m not salty. At all. I’m not jealous of a game character. Not. At. All.

Okay, let’s compare our two.

Other than that my bread was raw and inedible, I did a pretty damn good job. I’m actually really proud of the outcome. At least it resembles the bread I was trying to make. That has to count for something. Okay, before we wrap up this blog with the rating, I do want to say one thing. I decided to always take a 3-month break every ten parts with all of my blog series. The reason for this is to switch things up. At this moment my website is just Sims Meals and Reviews and I love that but there needs to be a balance otherwise…it can get old real quick. At the moment my Mondays’ look like Sims Meal, something else, Review, Sims Meal, something else, Review, Sims Meals and etc. It’s a bit boring. Okay, now that is out of the way, let’s rate this puppy.

Taste: 8/10 – The little I can taste, tasted quite nice. I’m not the biggest fan of sweetbreads, a shock I know, but this one tasted quite nice. I really liked the orange taste.

Look: 9/10 – It definitely resembles a Pan De Muerto but you can tell it’s homemade.

How easy it is to cook: 3/10 – It’s anything but easy. I definitely made a lot of mistakes along the way but it requires a lot of time and effort. I’m lazy when it comes to cooking and baking. I want to mix for ten minutes and leave the rest to the oven.

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed this meal. The next one is a bit boring but aww well. This is still Level One of this challenge so I guess it makes sense. If you’re interested in making this bread, I definitely recommend you follow the recipe I used. It’s very detailed and only an idiot (me when it comes to baking bread) can mess it up.

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

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Recipe — https://www.mexicoinmykitchen.com/pan-de-muerto-mexican-bread-of-dead/

Xanthan Gum — https://nuts.com/cookingbaking/leavenerthickener/xantham-gum-gluten-free.html

 

Sims 4 Meals

Remaking Sims 4 Meals | Normal Cooking Level One: Chocolate Cake | Part 5

For a full explanation of what this challenge is, please follow this link here — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2018/10/29/challenge-remaking-sims-4-meals-introduction-and-index/

For the previous meal, please follow this link here — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2018/12/31/remaking-sims-4-meals-normal-cooking-level-one-grilled-cheese-part-4/

I postponed making this cake for a long time. I wasn’t entirely sure if my recipe will work and I didn’t want to make it only to have to remake it within days. I’m not the biggest chocolate cake lover. I don’t always love normal chocolate; my favorite is white chocolate so most chocolate cakes it just too much chocolate. Wow, that was a messy sentence. Take a shot every time I say chocolate. Just don’t drive anywhere afterward because you’re going to blackout before you get to the end of this blog. Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate. I’m just getting the party started. You’re welcome.

Long introduction aside, I just wasn’t excited to make this cake because 1) I wasn’t sure if the recipe will work and 2) I don’t love chocolate cake. I should probably explain why I was worried about the recipe. Finding a simple gluten-free cake recipe is incredibly hard. Most of the time it’s so overcomplicated that it’s just a bitch to make. I managed to find the perfect cake recipe that can be switched into any flavor, I’ve made it a lemon cake, a honey cake, and even a coffee cake. The recipe just always works with me, but I was worried that adding an entire bar of dark chocolate would take the recipe too far. The balance between dry and wet ingredients will be off and the cake will be a dense weapon of destruction. This is how my recipe works and no I will never share the recipe. It’s mine. I just don’t like to share my favorite recipes. This cake recipe, my milktart recipe, and my pancake recipe are going with me to my grave. I will divorce my husband if he ever shares my recipes.

You have two bowls in the beginning. The one bowl has almost all of the dry ingredients, the flour, the blended almonds and etc. The second bowl has the butter, sugar, eggs and etc. With this recipe, once you added all the eggs you start to fold in the flour with a little milk on the side. What I did was, I only used half of the milk that I normally add and added the melted dark chocolate at the end. I was convinced this cake would be a failure. The batter was very thick, hard to mix and it was just this thick blob that I had to spread with some effort to cover the entire pan. While it was baking, I was looking into a gluten-free chocolate cake mix as a possible plan b but I know I would’ve probably bought a normal cake mix at the shops and send the chocolate cake off with Onno to his work.

 

The cake was a massive success and it actually turned out very nice. Onno loves it and has been the main person eating it. I had one slice for the picture and that was it. I’m not a massive chocolate cake person. For icing, I just used the gluten-free version of Nutella.

 

The Sims cake was really easy. No worries there. Susan mixed the batter and popped the thing in the oven and that was it. There really wasn’t anything complicated to it.

 

Susan’s cake was a two-tier chocolate cake with a lot of icing but I couldn’t be bothered to make a two-tier cake. We are only two people in the house and only one of us likes chocolate cake. It would be a shame to waste it. Susan’s chocolate cake seems to have sprinkles on the top. We were out so I skipped it.

 

Let’s do a fun little comparison between the Sims cake and the real thing.

 

Taste: 8/10 – If you would try this cake with your eyes closed you would easily be able to tell that it’s a chocolate cake. The taste is very strong but it’s not one of those moist almost wet chocolate cakes that melts in your mouth, hence why there isn’t a full score. I asked Onno what he would score this cake and he was just like tens, tens, tens across the board. I lie, he didn’t say that. He scored it 9/10.

Look: 8/10 – It is quite clearly a chocolate cake. It’s only nine out of ten because it’s not a two-tier like Susan’s. Wait, let’s make it 8/10 because of no sprinkles.

How easy it is to cook: 9/10 – Very easy. I just had to add some melted chocolate to my normal cake recipe. It was difficult to mix and transfer to the cake pan but that is the finer details.

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

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Part 6 — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2019/02/11/remaking-sims-4-meals-normal-cooking-level-one-franks-and-beans-part-6/

Celiac Disease, Nutrition Tips, Recipes

Gluten Free Oats and Muesli Honey Bites Recipe

Recently I started to play around with baking again. I used to bake all the damn time in high school, heck I would even come home and make scones. It’s something I love doing and something I really missed when we lived in the apartment. There was a few things I could still bake with our tiny mini oven but some things just wouldn’t turn out well. Anyway I love following recipes but every now and again I like to play around and create my own. I basically wing it. Most of the times it’s a massive fail, but every now and again we have a golden winner in the mist. These honey bites are a winner for sure. It only took me two attempts to get the recipe right. It’s so good that I want to share it with you all. Just a quick note, it’s a very filling treat and super delicious.

Gluten Free Oats and Muesli Honey Bites Recipe

Serves 16 Honey Bites/Balls

Preparation time 15 minutes

Total time 40 minutes

Store in an airtight container and eat within 2 weeks. (Ours never lasted longer than that.)

Ingredients

 

100g Maizena

100g Gluten Free Flour

1tsp Baking Soda

2tsp Baking Powder

1tsp Salt

260g Gluten Free Oats

400g Gluten Free Muesli (can be nuts & fruits muesli)

4 eggs

300g honey

Optional: Handful of raisins/nuts per choice

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven at 180˚C and place baking paper on top of your oven pan.
  2. In one large mixing bowl, mix your ‘flour’ ingredients lightly. ‘Flour’ mixture is maizena, gf flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. Make a little hole in the center of the flour and add your four eggs. Give it a light mix (doesn’t need to be completely mixed) and then proceed to add the oats and muesli.
  4. Add honey and mix. Mix until everything is coated and you can no longer see the white flour mixture at all. You will be able to tell when it’s properly mixed.
  5. Optional: You can add a handful of raisins or nuts per choice. You still want the mixture to be sticky and mostly coated with honey so don’t go overboard. If you do, just add more honey to save the day.
  6. Once everything is mixed, the honey bites are ready for the oven. Simply take a tablespoon to get the amount and then tightly press the mixture into a ball. You need to really compress this so be prepared for messy hands. You can also you an ice cream scoop for the amount.
  7. Place the balls with at least a 3cm distance between them on the prepared oven pan. Once you’ve rolled out all of your balls, drizzle some honey on top and then pop it into the oven for 15min – 25min or until golden.

Glossary

Tsp = teaspoon

Maizena is a binding agent. You can use it in sauces to thicken them. Without this product the honey bites will fall apart when you bite into them.

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That’s it! If you do ever end up making them, make sure to tag me and let me know what you think. My husband and I are obsessed with them and can’t stop eating them.

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

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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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