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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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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Celiac Disease, Nutrition Tips, Story Time

I Have An Autoimmune Disease | Gluten Is My Devil

My first indication of a food allergy was around the age of sixteen. One morning after inhaling my usual corn flakes my stomach gurgled and I had to make a run for the toilet. The next day the same thing happened. Stomach ache and diarrhea after my bowl of cornflakes. Soon even eating my usual amount of cheese over my instant noodles didn’t agree with my body. I didn’t have any idea what was wrong or why my body was reacting this way. This was also around the time extreme and very painful stomach cramps and bloating appeared in my life. It was only every now and again but I can vividly remember a third of them.

Eventually I got the memo and started minimizing diary in my diet. Nothing extreme really. I didn’t have the knowledge or the interested to be honest to make big changes. It didn’t seem serious. So I can digest milk? What’s the big deal? I didn’t even know about the term lactose intolerant till I was nineteen years old. I’m not even kidding. Food allergies was an alien subject to me. It was around the time that I came to the Netherlands as an Au pair when I made the big switch. It was my first week here and my host mother asked me what type of milk I like. Out of a whim I said soya milk because my body doesn’t respond well to normal milk. I hated everything about the plant based milk. It took me two years to like it, but that’s not the point.

Once I started cutting out diary, the results were pleasing. Less bloating, less toilet stops but my stomach pain didn’t stop. It was something that I just accepted. I didn’t know why I was in so much pain which was happening more by the way but in my head there was nothing I could do about it. Eventually the frequency of the very bad stomach cramps got worse and the toilet stops raved up again which was strange as I really was careful with my dairy. It was around this point where I was learning more about healthier food choices and started to take note of things. Basically I was taking an extra two seconds to think what I was stuffing in my body before inhaling the food. It was a great turning point in my life. I was introduced to smoothies and vegetables started occurring in daily meals.

So as I mentioned before I started to get off track…my stomach pain wasn’t behind me and I had no idea what could be causing it. I started to hate eating. I didn’t know what I could eat without some pain and discomfort afterwards. No matter how hard I tried somewhere something in my food would make me sick.

One day my host mother and I sat down at the dining table and we discussed my health. She mentioned that she and her husband (they are doctors) thought I might be gluten intolerant that caused my sensitivity to dairy. It was the first time in my life I heard the word gluten. I had absolutely no idea what it was or what it would mean for my future. At first I thought: “that shouldn’t be so bad?” . I can cut out bread and pasta. You can’t hear my laughter but I want you to know that this makes me chuckle every time. Gluten is in everything honey. As a self test I ate gluten free food and the result was amazing. I was in no shape or form 100% gluten free but the little changes made a big difference. It was very clear that my body didn’t like the protein called gluten. I however didn’t want to change my entire lifestyle without knowing for certain.

To test if you’re sensitive to gluten you need to have gluten in your body. It makes sense right? I ate gluten foods for two weeks and it came very clear to me that gluten was the devil and it hurts me like hell. I was anything but surprised when my test results came through. I will never forget the day I opened that email. 28 January 2016. It was the day after I landed in South Africa after my au pair came to an end. Attached to an email from my host father was my test results. ‘It was just like we thought. You need to cut gluten out of your diet completely.’ By the 1st of February I was officially 100% gluten free or well trying my utmost best. It took me a few fails before I got the hang of it. There was a few slip ups with family cooked meals and my lack of knowledge of certain unexpected gluten products. Did you know even a chocolate can contain gluten? I sure as hell didn’t. After three months I knew my way around labels and had my set gluten free meals. I adapted. I’ve only willingly ate gluten twice after the 1st of February and both times I’ve regretted hours later.

The longer I went without gluten the more sensitive I became to the protein. Today products that may contain gluten is a big no and god forbid if we mix up the pasta spoon while we’re cooking. Or using the same toaster. It took me a few months before I wanted to know more. Am I gluten intolerant? Do I have celiac? Am I going to be gluten free for the rest of my life or can I eventually eat some of my husband’s pizza?

On the 1st of September 2017 I took my results to my new doctor here in the Netherlands, he could tell me nearly instantly that I have celiac. It wasn’t a big deal at first. I mean I’m already gluten free. I know by now what products are trustworthy and what slip ups to look out for. It wasn’t something new, but as the news settled so did the emotions set in. It was just like oh holy shit this is going to be my life forever. I always need to check and ask about gluten. I can never try the native food when we travel. It took me few moments to adjust completely. Now I can learn more about celiac and in essence get to know my body even more.

If you want to learn more about celiac then please feel free to follow this link: https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/understanding-celiac-disease-2/what-is-celiac-disease/

Links to connective blog posts:

How to go gluten free: https://fitcouchpotato.com/2017/08/09/going-gluten-free/

What I used to eat at my unhealthiest time: https://fitcouchpotato.com/2017/09/04/an-unhealthy-history-what-i-used-to-eat-in-a-day/

Nutrition Tips, Recipes

How To Love Oatmeal | My Favorite Recipe

There are two types of people in this world.

  • People who hate everything there is about oatmeal.
  • People who love oatmeal more than anything in this world.

I fall in the fine line between the two. I don’t hate oatmeal but I don’t exactly melt in joy at the very idea of eating it. I’ve tried it many different ways, my main problem with it the texture. It’s just everything I hate in food. Now I’m also not deluded against the properties of oatmeal in my diet so hence I continued trying the porridge in different ways. Before I continue here is the health benefits of oatmeal. This way you can understand the driving force in my many attempts to love oatmeal.

Health Benefits of Oatmeal:

1* Oatmeal contains soluble fiber which stays in the stomach longer and helps you feel fuller, longer. This can prevent overeating later on in the day, which may help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid the health problems associated with overweight. Eating just a half cup of oatmeal a day is enough to reap the many health benefits of the fiber it contains. Fiber describes the portion of plant materials in the diet which humans cannot digest. It is an important component in maintaining gastrointestinal (GI) health by regulating transit time through the GI tract and adding bulk, increasing a feeling of fullness and preventing constipation. One cup of oatmeal contains about 150 calories, 4 grams of fiber (about half soluble and half insoluble), and 6 grams of protein. In addition to fiber, oatmeal is rich in thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium, and iron.*

Oatmeal can truly do wonders in your diet especially when your active. Now if you hate oatmeal cooked in a microwave or oven than my way will definitely be something. I like overnight oats. I love smoothies. One day I made way to much smoothie for lunch and was a bit unsure to do with the leftovers. That is until the light bulb when off. Why don’t I just replace the liquid element of the overnight oats with my smoothie? Pure brilliance I tell you. I’m not even kidding, it’s gold. It’s super easy.

Here is my Recipe to Success:

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½ cup of oatmeal (125ml)

1 – 1 ½ cup of smoothie (250ml – 375ml)

You can add fresh fruit if desired. Make sure to stir the heaven in a bottle correctly before storing it away in the fridge for 4-6 hours. You can get away with 2 hours in the fridge but the longer the oatmeal sits in the liquid the nicer it’s going to be. The liquid needs to be double the amount of the oatmeal. The more liquid you add the easier it would be to drink. So 1 cup will make the overnight oats thick and you would have to eat it with a spoon. 1 ½ cup will make the oatmeal drinkable.

It’s delicious. I really recommend you to give it a try. It will change your world. Obviously you will only love this if you love smoothies and you tolerate overnight oats.

I hope you will learn to love Oatmeal as I did,

if not there is always Muesli!

Source(s):

1* https://www.healthyeating.org/Healthy-Eating/All-Star-Foods/Grains/Article-Viewer/Article/208/health-benefits-of-oatmeal

 

Celiac Disease, Nutrition Tips

How To Go Gluten Free

The first subject I want to preach about in my nutrition tips section is something I’m very well rehearsed in. If the title wasn’t a dead ringer about the topic the next sentence will be a dead giveaway. So you want to go gluten free? I’m going to start of by getting technical and explaining a few things. Naturally with a help of a few well sourced websites.

*1 Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in many types of foods, even ones that would not be expected.*

There is three different reasons why someone would go gluten free: First number up is an immune disease called celiac. *2 Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. When people with celiac disease eat gluten, their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small fingerlike projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body. Celiac disease is hereditary, meaning that it runs in families.*

Secondly there is gluten intolerance or non-celiac wheat sensitivity. *3 People with non-celiac wheat sensitivity experience symptoms similar to those of celiac disease, which resolve when gluten is removed from the diet. However, they do not test positive for celiac disease.* So basically these individuals get a long list of unpleasant symptoms because of gluten in their diet and once they make the change they are as good as new.

And then the last runner up is just the simple gluten free diet. Recently more individuals  than ever identify themselves as gluten intolerant or celiac. This created quite a hype over a gluten free diet and what benefits it can hold for losing weight. It has caused the gluten protein to get quite a bad reputation and although I personally don’t care for the protein, if your body can digest and get the benefits from it than why cut it? Although I do recommend you read your label to see what else might be in your beloved pasta or bread.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way I can give you a few tips on how to go gluten free. You need to know that it’s pricey most of the time. So it will be near impossible to throw out all the products in your kitchen that might contain gluten and replace them with a gluten free options. I did this gradually, by starting with an almost complete gluten free diet with small amounts of gluten till I got the hang of it. You also need to know that gluten is in almost everything, products you won’t even think of. Always and I mean always read that label. You will become a professional at spotting the word gluten that I can promise you. The last tip I can give you is mostly for mental support. It’s very difficult to go gluten free especially if the choice is forced by a test result, so surround yourself with people in a similar situation. You’re going to need someone to complain and relate to when being gluten free is being a pain in your arse.

Best of luck!

I will post a blog about how I found out about my gluten sensitivity in the next few weeks. If you have any questions or just need a friend, you know where to find me.

Source(s):

(1) Read more at https://celiac.org/live-gluten-free/glutenfreediet/what-is-gluten/#TdMYcXbyZTmZ72Jr.99

(2) Read more at https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/understanding-celiac-disease-2/what-is-celiac-disease/#eXKXRYwI2Ew5CJ2h.99

(3) Read more at https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/understanding-celiac-disease-2/non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity-2/#ZDF4lwIS1esROTQ4.99