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

An Unhealthy History | What I Used To Eat In A Day

Ideally a growing child’s diet should be filled with nutritious foods: vegetables, fruits, a good source of protein and etc. My diet as a child or well teenager was anything but a balanced nutritious diet. My entire diet was filled with sugar and junk food.

My day would start with breakfast before my body stopped digesting milk; I used to eat corn flakes with milk. Every now and again I would still attempt this because well it didn’t exactly clicked that I’m suddenly lactose intolerant. Otherwise I just skipped breakfast all together. The school day would start at 8am and the first opportunity to eat would be around 10:30am. I never packed lunch or anything to eat but I would go to the little pop shop the school had and bought the cheapest packet of chips. This was in South Africa and the brand is well known for its unhealthy additives. I would buy two and if I had money a packet of candy. Most of the time I would end up with a handful of candy and nothing else. They sold fruit; apples. I never thought of buying one. The second break was around noon and if I was hungry and had some snacks or money left my diet consisted of the same junk food as the first break.

After school I would go straight home and have my real lunch. I would pop in a packet of instant noodles. It’s so incredibly unhealthy. I can’t even begin to explain how much shit they add to it. I would not miss a beat. I loved my noodles.

Now dinner was never better. If my mom cooked vegetables I would not eat them. I just had the protein and carbohydrate. If the day came my mom wouldn’t feel like cooking dinner and I didn’t feel like cooking for myself I would go to the shop and guess what would be my new dinner? Chips, a packet of candy, soft drink, cheese (those yummy snack cheese) and maybe a burger.

Sometimes I thought about being a bit healthier and I would buy some vegetables, fruits and nuts but most of the time it went bad before I even considered eating it. It showed in my body. I never had energy and I felt sluggish. It was a horrible diet and I’m so happy I have that behind me.

IMG_2956

This photo was taken while I was in the Netherlands as an au pair. I went to the South African shop and bought all those goodies.  I ate it all in the same day. This was around the time I made my big turning point.

Links to connective blog posts:

The tooth fairy hates me. I have bad teeth health. – coming soon

What I eat on a good day | Healthy lifestyle – coming soon

Nutrition Tips

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:

IMG_2902

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