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Ellie84 last won the day on December 4 2011

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About Ellie84

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  1. celiac disease is a relatively new disease, it was discovered shortly after the second world war. Before the nineties it was considered a rare disease and doctors didn't learn much about it. It has become more well-known since the nineties, so the knowledge about it is slowly increasing. It's still poor with most doctors though, so it can be useful to drop off a leaflet with information about celiac disease. The Dutch coeliac association offers these leaflets to patients to show to their doctors.

  2. Totally agree with you :) Going gluten-free was a necessity for me, but it also changed my lifestyle for the best. Before I went gluten-free my eating habits were bad, I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. When I rented my own place I gained nearly 10 kgs in one year (22 lbs). Going gluten-free made me have to plan my meals and choosing healthier options. A lot of junk/comfort foods I used to eat are either unavailable now or hard to come by and expensive. No more snacks on the go or stopping somewhere for coffee and cake. Cooking also changed: I can't use pre-fab stuff like sauces and spicemixes so I have to cook my own. These are tastier, contain less salt and no flavour enhancers.

    Going gluten-free also gives me the energy to exercise, I'm totally addicted to strength training now :) People often think that going gluten-free is very difficult and restrictive, they hardly see the positive side of it. As a matter of fact: I wouldn't want to go back to gluten even if I could.

  3. The holidays are always a time of mixed feelings for me. The days before I can get quite sad because my own family doesn't care about my diet. Whenever I visit my dad and his new wife I even have to bring my own snacks. Buying a bag of plain salted crisps is too difficult for them, even when I ask for it <_< I just don't feel welcome there, and since my diagnosis I've never spent Christmas with them again.

    There is a big upside to it all: my boyfriend's family is very supportive and they make a sport out of it to find tasty treats that everyone can enjoy. We were there yesterday and we used a table grill. They had bought fresh meats, chicken and fish which everyone could grill for themselves. It was delicious and gluten-free. For breakfast they usually buy luxury bake-off rolls from Schär for me. I can't express how grateful I am that they are so supportive. It makes me feel very loved and welcome. I can't tell them often enough how much I appreciate it :D

  4. My wife's chiropractor suggested we try the Estrella Damm Daura. It tasted pretty good, like normal beer but be aware the fine print reads that it contains up to 6 ppm gluten... Wine is still the safer bet...

    6 ppm is more than 3 times under the new legal limit for gluten-free here in Europe. The new legal limit is 20 ppm instead of 200 and for most coeliacs this is very safe.

    I consider myself to be sensitive, as I can't handle wheat starch under the 20 ppm limit, but I've never had a reaction to this one.

  5. That explains a lot... I've had severe reactions to some brands that were officially labeled as gluten-free. They used barley malt. The only exception to that is Estrella Daura, which is filtered to take proteins out. This is my favourite beer now. There are some brands that use sorghum or quinoa, but I find the taste too different from regular beer.

  6. Oats are only safe to eat if they were grown and processed in a wheat/rye/barley-free environment. Always look for a gluten-free logo on oats.

    My personal experience with oats is very good: I eat oat-products on a daily basis. A Dutch company has a product line of oat bread (which is very soft and tasty) and I often have oat flakes for breakfast. To me it's a great source of fiber and low-GI carbs.

    There are coeliacs who react to other grains as well, I know people on the Dutch coeliac forum who are sensitive to oats, teff or buckwheat as well. Eating these products causes no damage to them, but brings discomfort like indigestion.

  7. Oliebollen

    The new year will arrive soon, and with that the tradition of New Year's Eve. People in the low countries will start to bake oliebollen again. Oliebollen are traditional flour dumplings, usually filled with raisins. These are deep-fried and eaten with powdered sugar.

    This tradition comes from the pre-christian age in which Germanic tribes ruled the north and east of the Netherlands. (The rest of the country, everything underneath the rivers Rhine and Meuse was taken by Romans.) The Germanic tribes had a nature-based religion involving many gods, spirits and non-human creatures. In the darkest days of winter wicked things happened. The goddess Perchta would fly through the skies with evil spirits. To appease these spirits, food was offered, much of which contained deep-fried dough. It was said Perchta would try to cut open the bellies of all she came across, but because of the fat in the oliebollen, her sword would slide off the body of whoever ate them.

    So please be safe and remember to eat your oliebollen guys! This is how you make them:

    Recipe from Dutch Coeliac forum.

    You may want to bake these oliebollen outside, because you'll have to deep-fry them. The fryer will be on for a long time.

    Ingredients for a lot of oliebollen (30-40)

    1 kg all purpose gluten-free flour

    2 eggs

    22 gr dried yeast

    2 tablespoons fiberhusk

    1 lt lukewarm milk

    1 teaspoon of salt

    1/2 lt carbonated water

    200 gr raisins and 200 gr currents (put them in hot water before use and let them soak for a while)

    Powdered sugar for serving


    Deep fryer

    Oil for frying, sunflower seed oil is used most often. (Don't use fat as it will solidify on the oliebollen when they cool. It will give a greasy layer on them and this is not tasty at all...)

    Clean bucket or very large bowl

    Large ice cream scoop (needs to look like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kitchen-Scooper-Large.jpg)

    Clean teacloth

    Large wooden spoon for mixing


    Put half of the milk into a large mixing bowl or clean bucket. Add the flour in small portions and mix well. Also add the fiberhusk and the yeast. When all is equally mixed, add the rest of the milk, the salt and the carbonated water. Mix well again. Drain the raisin/current mix and add them to the dough. Mix again. Cover the bowl or bucket with a teacloth and put it in a warm place, let the dough rise for an hour.

    After this hour heat up the oil in the fryer to 180 C (350 F). Dip the ice cream scoop in a large glass of water and scoop a ball of dough into the fryer. Dip the scoop in the water again to prevent sticking and scoop more balls of dough into the fryer. Don't put too many balls in simultaneously, because they might stick. The oliebollen will turn themselves while baking, this is a fun sight. Bake the oliebollen for 5 to 8 minutes depending on their size, taste one to check if it has been cooked well. It should be soft but not sticky on the inside.

    Bake the rest of the oliebollen. Serve them covered in powdered sugar. Happy new year!


  8. We usually celebrate New Years Eve with our friends at our house. People show up somewhere in the afternoon to hang around, play a board game or read a book. Around 6 pm we have a dinner together, usually it's one or more varieties on "stamppot". This is a name for several Dutch dishes all consisting of potatoes mashed with a vegetable. You have carrot stamppot, kale stamppot, stamppot raw endives, and dozens more. Stamppot is traditionally accompanied by a smoked sausage called rookworst or meatballs.

    On the day itself we bake oliebollen, these are flour dumplings filled with raisins which are deep-fried and then eaten with powdered sugar. I make them gluten-free of course, and people like them even more than the wheatflour-version. I'll post a recipe later on :) Oliebollen have a very interesting history. From wikipedia:

    Oliebollen are a variety of dumpling made by using two spoons to scoop a certain amount of dough and dropping the dough into a deep fryer filled with hot oil. In this way, a sphere-shaped oliebol emerges.

    The dough is made from flour, eggs, yeast, some salt, milk, baking powder and usually sultanas, currants, raisins and sometimes apple pieces and zest or succade. The dough needs time to rise for at least an hour. Oliebollen are usually served with powdered sugar, or brown sugar.

    They are said to have been first eaten by Germanic tribes in the Netherlands during the Yule, the period between December 26 and January 6. The Germanic goddess Perchta, together with evil spirits, would fly through the mid-winter sky. To appease these spirits, food was offered, much of which contained deep-fried dough. It was said Perchta would try to cut open the bellies of all she came across, but because of the fat in the oliebollen, her sword would slide off the body of whoever ate them.

    During the evening we eat these oliebollen and other small snacks. During a celebration the table is filled with small snacks. Nuts, pieces of cheese and sausage, chopped fruit and vegetables, there's a lot to snack and people can pick anything they like.

    At the end of the evening there is the traditional "oudejaarsconference", this is a special show from a cabaret artist. In this show he/she looks back at the year past and reflects on it humourously. At midnight there is a countdown, at 0.00 promptly we open a bottle of champagne or bubbly white wine. A lot of kisses and handshakes follow. Gelukkig nieuwjaar!

  9. These are the things I eat as snacks or on-the-go:

    Eat Natural's gluten-free nut&fruit bars, especially before a heavy weightlifting exercise. Wouldn't use it as a daily snack because they contain quite a lot of sugars.

    Hardboiled eggs (you can store them in the fridge up to 4 days)

    A small helping of unprocessed nuts (10-15 nuts, might seem a little portion but they're very nutricious. Good for your unsaturated fats too :))

    Fruit or raw veg

    And here comes the junk:

    On special occasions something from the Schär brand. Do you have it in the USA? It's a company which is very popular in Europe, their products are widely available and very tasty. They have a wide assortment of gluten&wheat-free, some products are also lactose, egg or soy-free. My favourite snacks are the Twinny mini candy bars, the Pausa snack cake and the Nocciole wafers. These are sold in seperate small packages, so you can occasionally enjoy a sweet treat without eating a lot.

    Plain salted crisps are sometimes available in single-serving packages.

    You'll find that it's easy to find gluten-free junk food, but that healthy foods like "full-wheat" bread and un-sweetened cereals are more difficult to find.

    These are some of my favourite combinations for breakfast:

    Knäckebröd from buckwheat flour with unsweetened European peanut butter (peanuts, a little oil and a pinch of salt). Combined with a bowl of unsweetened quark with fresh fruit.

    Gluten-free oat flakes with seeds and dried fruits, accompanied by an egg and a glass of milk.

    Pancakes from a whole grain like teff, buckwheat or quinoa.

    For lunch:

    Dinner leftovers

    Stirfry of rice, vegetables and anything I can find in the fridge/freezer.

    Home-made soups (cheap, easy and you can add less salt)

    Salads from leftovers

    Bread is often expensive or takes a long time to make, so I rarely eat it. When I do I usually eat bake-off bread from Schär or the Dutch brand Mam's Mikske. They have produced a bread from pure oats, very tasty and nutricious.

  10. Maybe it will help to make her more involved in choosing and preparing food? I have fond memories of my childhood when we had our own vegetable garden. We could take fresh and tasty snacks right out of the ground. Not everyone has that luxury, but it may help little children to know where their food comes from and what it takes to prepare it. If you've grown or cooked it by yourself it's often a lot more interesting.

  11. In my case I won't touch a crumb because my symptoms are so severe. But two friends of mine hardly have any symptoms when they've made a mistake or "cheated". However, one of them got an endoscopy lately and still had Marsh 2 after 1 year on the diet. Even if you don't feel a thing, your body is getting ruined. If you're a celiac, taking your diet seriously is a matter of good or bad health. There's really no food in the world that's great enough to endanger your health for.