Category: Blog

Bye-Bye Gastronomy!

It’s time to say “Bye-Bye Gastronomy!” for me. 6 years ago, I left banking and decided to pursue my passion: Gastronomy. I love baking and coffee & cooking and I’ve been dreaming of my own place for many, many years. Although, I’m saying goodbye to the industry right now, it’s not a goodbye forever. Over the past years, I’ve met many people and had many different employers, managers and colleagues. I worked in many different places and I’ve realised one very important thing: I’m not a great employee. There are a lot of things, I want to do and it’s very difficult for me to compromise my beliefs, my values and my way of working. Because of this, it’s been difficult over and over again and it created an often challenging work environment.

What’s happening right now?

While I’m not regretting having made the change, it is time to turn the page and start a new chapter. My own place is still my ultimate goal, but right now I’m going to focus on enhancing my skills, making connections, spending time with family and friends and working in an environment, that’s more suitable for me. Ideally, this would be a remote job, that gives me the freedom to visit my family and friends more often. Though, there’s nothing concrete on the horizon yet, I’m sure it’ll sort itself out soon enough. I’ll also spend the time figuring out the bureaucracy of things, meaning I’m going to write my business plan. I’ll also focus on completing a Yoga Teacher Training as soon as possible and hopefully be able to visit many gluten-free bakeries on internships or part-time positions.

What’s coming next?

Although, I’m changing into a different work industry, I’ll be keeping my blog and Instagram. I’m going to focus on posting more recipes, finally working on my own cookbook (there are 2 in the pipeline) and monetising my blog. It’s very important for me to grow this business organically and not jump into anything while having a huge amount of debts on my accounts. The past years meant a huge financial struggle and it’s exhausting. Trying to find my way around self-employment within gastronomy, during CoVid, has been really tough and, I’m gonna be honest, I’m just really tired right now. So, while I’m figuring out what I want to work as next, I’ll focus on my blog, my recipes, my passion. I’m going to take the pressure out of it. And along the way, I’m very happy to freelance here and there or start some collaborations with people who inspire me.

Bye-Bye Gastronomy!

I’m saying “Bye-Bye Gastronomy!”. I won’t be far, so stay tuned for gluten-free recipes, city-guides, coffee portfolios and more! If you want to start browsing, start with my recipes, here!

Have a lovely day,

Caro from CarrotsKitchen

Week 5 – Last but not least: Fructans.

It’s time for Week 5 – Last but not least: Fructans. This means, that I’m almost back to normal now & most importantly onions and garlic are back in my dishes. YES!! This was literally the hardest challenge for me. Onions and garlic bring so much flavour and depth to meals, it was incredibly hard to cook without them. I’m only reintroducing non-grain fructans this week, which means any gluten or Amaranth as well as Lupin, Chestnut & large servings of Almond flour are left for next week.

What are Fructans?

They are often mistaken for fructose. Fructans are basically multiple fructose molecules chained together with an added glucose sugar molecule at the end of that chain. Check Monash University for more input.

Day 1: Week 5 – Last but not least: Fructans.

As a surprise to myself and probably most of you, I didn’t start the day with porridge. I did however have some leftover egg whites, from yesterdays Spaghetti Carbonara and therefore decided to make some egg White Omelette with Mushrooms, Bacon Bits and Spinach. Since we got up quite late and had a brunch rather than breakfast. We skipped lunch then and had Pasta for Dinner. I am currently testing Kerrygolds new Cream Cheese Selection (Thank you, Oh! Of the Day) and incorporated the paprika and tomato cream cheese into a veggie sauce for my pasta. It was really delicious!!

Day 2: Week 5 – Last but not least: Fructans.

Since we visited the Internorga today, I opted for my good old boring Porridge as breakfast. I knew there wouldn’t be a lot of things I could eat at the fair and I wanted to have a good base for the long day ahead. As I am a person that really eats a lot, I was obviously very hungry anyways by the time we got home and opted for my first Kebap in 5 weeks (without bread of course) on the way. I also wanna highlight that we tried a vegan meat alternative made with a 3D-printer – how cool is that?!

Day 3: Week 5 – Last but not least: Fructans.

I’m obviously reluctant to change, so I had porridge for breakfast, again. For lunch I made Gnocchi with green asparagus and it was the first green asparagus I had this year. Since they are high in fructans, I had to wait for this week to eat some. It was a tough few weeks, but it was a great reintroduction of asparagus. Dinner consisted of a Potato and Broccoli Bake.

Day 4: Week 4 – Workout Thursday.

Thursday is porridge Day. Or everyday is porridge day in my case haha. I had the leftover potato bake for lunch and a Rogan Josh paneer and cauliflower curry, inspired by a recipe from Jamie Olivers “5 ingredients” cookbook. I am cooking a lot of things out of this book. Since I love cooking more complex dishes, I usually use the recipes as a base and keep adding a few more ingredients. To all of you, that lack inspiration and don’t have a lot of time for cooking (or don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking), I can highly recommend this and other books from Jamie Oliver. You can buy it here, if you want (not an affiliate link – I just love it!).

Day 5: Week 4 – TGIF!

It’s Friday and therefore time for Yoga class. After that I had some porridge for breakfast and took my bike to meet a friend for some coffee. We went to Lowinsky’s and if you’re in or around Eppendorf I really recommend you to go there. Do order one of they gluten-free pistachio and dark chocolate cookies – they are to die for!!! I went for a little bike tour afterwards and once I got home I took a really long nap. It wasn’t only a lot of exercise, but also a lot of sun and I was feeling quite exhausted. Dinner, therefore only consisted of the leftover Paneer from yesterday.

Day 6: First Barbecue of the year!

Day in, day out, I start my day with porridge – so, today was no exception. As you might know, we got a new kitchen. Nevertheless, we waited 2 years to buy one, so I couldn’t be happier (I’ll be sharing the progress soon). The countertop is going to arrive next week, which is why we spent the entire day trying to drill holes into the kitchen wall of our Altbau flat (kind of oldish house with terrible walls!!). Anyway, we managed quite well and after that we went for our first barbecue this year. Following our current FODMAP state, we had no gluten. I made a soda bread from Arans “Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple” – check it out here. We also made my favourite cannellini bean salad and vegan wild garlic butter. My friend provided chickpea battered cauliflower, salad, sweet potatoes and some meat. It was outstanding!

Week 5 - Last but not least: Fructans.

Day 7: Sunday Funday.

It’s “Me-Time” Sunday again and I was very active this week. Therefore, I actually spent the day in bed, watched some Harry Potter and sorted through huge amounts of clothes, I wanna sell off. I had Porridge for Breakfast (big surprise) and I made some Italian inspired potato mash and meat balls for dinner (Recipe coming soon, too.). I also made some gluten-free oat cookies.

This was basically the last week for me. I’m still unsure if I should try gluten again or not, but I will let you know, if I do!!

In case you missed it, check out my reports on Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 and Week 4 of my low FODMAP diet.

Welcome to Week 4 – Reintroducing Fructose

Welcome to Week 4 – Reintroducing Fructose. Week 4, guys. Week 4, out of 6 – we’re getting there!!! 🙂 Explaining Fructose in detail is probably not necessary. Basically, it’s a form of sugar predominantly present in fruits. 🙂 I am reintroducing fructans by adding Sugar snap peas, Mangos, Honey & Fruit Juice

Day 1: Welcome to Week 4 – Reintroducing Fructose.

It’s day 1 of the 4th week, which means, I am halfway through! This also means, that I have re-introduced almost everything by now. This week I’m reintroducing fructans! Say hello to Mango and all the lovely fruits!! I’ve started breakfast with porridge (same old, same old).

Many of you are probably getting tired of having the same thing over and over again and also having something warm every morning, but I am a person, that actually needs warm food. I’ve tried the whole raw and uncooked diet, but really, my body isn’t responding to it very well. I almost always still feel hungry, if I don’t eat anything warm and my body cools down really easily, too. I could, however, eat an entire pot of curry, as it really energises me.

For lunch were some gnocchi and I had some tempeh and rice noodle stir-fry for dinner.

Day 2: Welcome to Week 4 – Reintroducing Fructose.

This morning, I went to my Yoga class and actually had to go home again – seems I’ve used all my included yoga classes this month! I was pretty sad about it, as I was looking forward to it a lot – it was also my favourite teacher in todays class. But anyhow, I went back home and reminded myself, of how well I did going to class that often already.

For breakfast I had porridge – who would’ve thought! Haha. For lunch we visited my dad and had some pasta with mushrooms, spinach and parmesan. Sort of a agilo olio tagliatelle, without the garlic… (Garlic is back next week and I CANNOT wait!!!). For dinner we had some brown rice, veggies and sticky ginger and sesame meat balls – YUM!

Day 3: Welcome to Week 4 – Reintroducing Fructose.

Today was a lovely day, where I did a lot of stuff at home. We just bought a new kitchen (literally paid for it seconds before I received the notice from my former employer – talk about timing!! :-D) and we’re still waiting for the countertop. Therefore, we started with building up the cabinets one by one, exchanging them for the ones we already had which we then sold off one by one – simply because there wasn’t a lot of space to do everything in one go! We’re sort of living in the heart of chaos at the moment. So, yeah, I did some cleaning, building, moving around, selling, re-organising and tidying up. It was also quite relaxing, to be honest. Breakfast was porridge, of course. Lunch were leftover meatballs with veggies and rice and for dinner we had some dinner rolls with cheese, Jamon and avocado.

Day 4: Week 4 – Workout Thursday.

The day started off with an early morning Yoga class. Afterwards, I had porridge for breakfast. As I am officially unemployed since Monday, I also had to visit the Agentur für Arbeit today in order to apply for unemployment benefits. Since it’s close enough, I went there by bike and enjoyed the ride in the sun. For lunch, afterwards, I had some cheese, dinner rolls, Jamon, great Italian olive oil (check it out here) and the most delicious sea salt from Mallorca. Seeing that the past couple of weeks have been quite stressful and I did quite a lot of exercise today, I was so tired I had to take a nap. I am really getting a lot better, but those are the moments, when I notice how tough it’s really been. Anyways, after writing this blog entry, I had some rice, chicken & veggies for dinner.

Day 5: Week 4 – almost weekend.

Hi and happy Friday! I am actually struggling to remember, what happened today, apart from my lovely chicken and rice stir fry for dinner and some avocado and cheese platter for lunch. I probably had porridge for breakfast (seeing as I almost never have anything different for breakfast :-D). Other than that, I don’t think I did much. I’m still feeling the slight ups and downs of all the reintroductions, so I’m really trying to take it easy. 🙂

Day 6: Hamburg Coffee Festival.

So, I actually managed to go to an event – The Hamburg Coffee Festival. I went 2 years ago, though I was working there, then. I literally hadn’t seen as many people since the coffee festival 2 years ago, which was just before our first covid lockdown. While it was nice to see a lot of people again, it was also quite overwhelming, tbh. It was also my goodbye (for now anyway) from gastronomy. I’ll keep you postet, what comes next. 🙂

For breakfast I had porridge, of course and since I wasn’t home for lunch and I am still stuck on my low FODMAP diet, I skipped lunch and then had a big bowl of rice stir fry for dinner. 🙂

Day 7: A little me-time

My partner is mostly working on Sundays, which means it’s the one day of the week, I’m actually all by myself. I used to hate being alone, but during my mid-twenties I discovered I actually love spending time with myself. Therefore, on Sundays, I usually stay in. I don’t do much, except of literally spending time with myself, allowing myself to feel however I’m feeling, doing (or NOT) doing whatever it is I feel like and just breathing and finding my own balance.

I had a late brunch consisting of grilled cheese today and a tagliatelle carbonara for dinner – without cream (seriously people, don’t add cream!!!!).

Next week is gonna be exciting. We’re reintroducing fructose. I cannot wait and I hope I’m gonna feel okay with fructose!! Let’s see what week 4 is gonna bring – stay tuned!

In case you missed it, check out my reports on Week 1 and Week 2 of my low FODMAP diet.

Week 3 – Polyols are back!

Welcome to Week 3 – Polyols are back! Yay, Polyols! This weeks re-introduction means, welcome back avocados, mushrooms, stone fruits, celery, sweet potato, cauliflower and a couple of other things! This is the first week I’ve actually been looking forward to, as it gives me the slight feeling of “normal eating”. So, I’m very much excited about food this week,

What are Polyols?

Now, what exactly are Polyols? My personal guide these past couple of weeks has been the Monash University. The Monash University defines Polyols as:

“… sorbitol and mannitol. These are naturally occurring sugar alcohols (also called polyols) found in a range of fruits and vegetables including stone fruits and mushrooms. There are other sugar polyols that are added to commercial products such as chewing gums, mints and diabetic products. These include xylitol, maltitol and isomalt. …”

The Monash University also has an app, with recipes, easy to track FODMAPS and much more. If interested check it out, here. Otherwise, there is a lot of good information and recipes on their website.

Day 1: Week 3 – Easter Monday

Well, of course I didn’t realise it’s easter Monday and supermarkets are gonna be closed. Therefore, I didn’t plan ahead at all and didn’t do any shopping or meal plan! HA, what a start! Typical me, though.

Nevertheless, I had some scrambled tofu and buckwheat pancakes for breakfast, broccoli soup for lunch and a nice pasta for dinner. I was feeling a little tired (due to the stress of the past couple of weeks), but quite good.

Day 2: Week 3 – Polyols are back!

Today it was time for some reintroductions. I made a very yummy risotto!! with allllll the mushrooms I was able to find. In this case, as I love mushrooms, I took the reintroduction quite seriously. And, boy, was it delicious. (Recipe coming soon, hopefully! :-D).

I had more scrambled tofu for breakfast, as it’s quite filling actually. I also really enjoyed it – Kala Namak makes all the difference. Hopefully, I’ll get the recipe postet soon, too. As I was feeling quite full today, I listened to my body and skipped lunch.

Day 3: Week 3 – Polyols are back!

Back in Hamburg and therefore back to my Yoga classes! It was very good and relaxing. I had another interview today, so I wanted to feel as much myself as possible and Yoga always centres me a lot. I had a millet porridge for breakfast (Recipe coming at some point, too.). Dinner was the left-over risotto with half a black Angus steak on top. Oh yum! Oh, I almost forgot, we had low FODMAP Tuna Melt for Lunch – I mean, could it get any better? I told you, this week is gonna be great!! Thank god for the reintroduction of celery!!!

Day 4: Week 3 – Polyols are back!

Okay, I’ve got to admit, this week has been a little unorganised, food wise. So I’ve had left-over Tuna melt for breakfast, Pasta for lunch and some bread with avocado and cheese for dinner. Polyols were present in form of mushrooms, avocado and celery. It was delicious!! Other than that it was a quiet day, as I was in a relaxing mood. 🙂

Day 5: Getting creative with low FODMAP.

I started the day with a very early Yoga class and had a Porridge afterwards for breakfast. After that, I had to drop off mz remaining things at my old job, which was kinda weird, but also nice to see the team again. For lunch, I had some homemade Galettes which were just great. I decided to go for the traditional Galettes bretonnes complètes, in this case. If you haven’t tried them yet, please do. If you don’t want to make them at home, here’s a great place to go: Ti Breizh. As I made way too much dough, I had Galettes for dinner, too.

Day 6: Time to go leave the house again.

I had Galette for breakfast – big surprise! haha

As the sun was shining bright, today, I decided to go out and basically leave the house for the first time, since I started feeling worse again. It was also the first time, I went to a coffee shop since starting the low formal diet and tbh, it was a real challenge to find something acceptable to drink (other than coffee). I ended up having a cold brewed herbal iced tea, which was o.k. Moved on to the next coffee shop and actually had a coffee – YUM! Do check out Balz & Balz, when you’re in Hamburg. They are fantastic!! Dinner brought more Galettes (I’m kinda over it by now…).

It was a really good day and I felt a little like my old self again, which I enjoyed immensely. Yay, FODMAP diet!!!

Day 7: Hamburg Marathon and restorative Sunday.

So, I gotta say it: I made way too much Galette Dough. It’s day 3 and the 5th time I’m having Galette today. It’s too much to continue eating it. I had it for Breakfast & Lunch…. At least I got something different for dinner: YAY!!! Switching it up with a berry and yoghurt filling, this morning, was okay, but the excitement is looooong gone. For dinner I made some very quick Gnocchi (store-bought) with mushrooms, red pepper, cherry tomatoes and a spring onion greens.

Next week is gonna be exciting. We’re reintroducing fructose. I cannot wait and I hope I’m gonna feel okay with fructose!! Let’s see what week 4 is gonna bring – stay tuned!

In case you missed it, check out my reports on Week 1 and Week 2 of my low FODMAP diet.

Week 2 – Galacto-Oligosaccharides

Welcome to Week 2 – Galacto-Oligosaccharides. I’ve got a feeling this week’s gonna be a tough one for me. Firstly, it’s time for my first FODMAP reintroduction (Galacto-Oligosaccharides) and secondly, I can already feel unsolved issues creeping up and waiting to be dealt with…. Fingers crossed it won’t be too hard!!

Day 1: Week 2 – Galacto-Oligosaccharides

Well, today was one of those days… I miscalculated almost everything I did today… I got up feeling okay, though. For breakfast, I had coconut yoghurt, some granola and berries for breakfast, followed by a stew & my first reintroduced FODMAP!! I’ve simply added some split peas to my stew. So far I’m feeling okay, but I can tell my stomach is working.

I also got my notice today and I can’t say I’m completely surprised, yet I feel a bit sad, that my IBS is the reason to loose my job. I really hope, going forward, that I’ll be able to combine my health with a great job and not having to compromise on either anymore. This also leaves me with a very big question: “What am I gonna do now?”

Day 2: Week 2 – Galacto-Oligosaccharides

Today was a weird day. I had an interview, I had an argument with my soon to be ex-boss, I had the most amazing yoga session and overall I just felt really overwhelmed… I mean, how can so many entirely different things be happening at the exact same time?! Anyways…. I only had a little yoghurt and granola with berries for breakfast as I don’t like eating too much before doing exercise. For lunch was another bowl of lentil soup and dinner was some veggie stir fry with noodles.

Day 3: Week 2 – Galacto-Oligosaccharides

This morning, I REALLY wasn’t feeling well at all. My IBS was acting out a lot. Seems I have identified a sensitivity towards galacto-oligosaccharides. This means mostly beans and lentils. I used to notice not feeling perfect after having loads of lentils or hummus. So I guess now I know for sure. Now it also means I’ll have to find out how many I can eat without feeling sick… Anyways, I made a really great quinoa salad for lunch and a Massaman inspired curry for dinner. I’m going to dial down a little on this first FODMAP group for the rest of the week and get myself ready for the next FODMAP.

Day 4: Struggling with Galacto-Oligosaccharides.

I did it. I got up, I had breakfast & I went to yoga class. Struggling more with my IBS, due to the first reintroduction, it wasn’t easy. Yet, I pulled myself together and just went for it. I also drove out to my parents house for the extra bit of relaxation. I had the rest of the Quinoa salad and Massaman inspired curry for lunch and dinner.

Day 5: Goodbye Galacto-Oligosaccharides.

I didn’t even get up today and I also skipped lunch. Those galacto-oligosaccharides simply don’t agree with me. So, no more for me. From now an I’m going to eat only very few of them. Anyhow…. I had a porridge for breakfast and vegan shepherds pie for dinner. Due to increased IBS symptoms I didn’t get up to much else, today.

Day 6: No rest for the wicked.

Skipping lunch, yesterday, was a good call. My stomach calmed down and I was feeling much better today. So, off we went to have a coffee and keep moving a little bit. Here, at my parents, I don’t have a yoga studio close by, so I had to get my exercise from walking, which I did. I also decided I want to create more delicious low FODMAP dishes. It’s been mostly curries, as the few allowed components don’t leave a lot of room for creativity. So, I bought pasta, a couple of veggies, wild garlic and some stuff for baking low FODMAP brownies – YUM! Breakfast was a porridge – again! I know, porridge, porridge & even more porridge. It’s really good for me, though. Lunch was a rice noodle salad and dinner some more shepherds pie.

Day 7: Finishing week 2 of my low FODMAP diet.

I can’t believe it’s been 2 weeks already. One third is already done!! Yippie! To celebrate it, I started the day off with some more porridge. 😀 Lunch was some more of the rice noodle salad and then I went for a really long walk, around the nearby lake. I’m not gonna lie, it was a struggle. The shepherds pie is basically made off lentils and peas… so much for avoiding galacto-oligosaccharides. Due to easter, I couldn’t buy anything else, though and had to eat the rest of it. Anyway, to make myself feel better, I treated myself to a big bowl of pasta with spinach and mushrooms, some olive oil and chilli flakes helped elevate the dish and it was soooooo good. Let’s see what week 3 is gonna bring!

In case you missed it, check out my report on Week 1 of my low FODMAP diet.

IBS & Low FODMAP – Recipe for Success?

IBS & Low FODMAP – Recipe for Success? After the past 2 years of CoVid hanging over my head, not visiting family or friends and hanging on by a thread, financially speaking, my IBS got a lot worse, recently. I decided to re-take a 6 week low FODMAP diet, which is inspired by The Happy Pear. I was lucky enough to win it a couple of years back and it helped me a lot back then. To keep everyone in the loop & for those, who may want to try something similar, I decided to write down my progress & at the same time, revive my blog. I also think it’s a great way of highlighting the struggles of IBS and creating more awareness for this illness.

What’s IBS?

IBS stands for Irritable Bowl Syndrom. Basically, your stomach is very susceptible to stress. This may be, so called, positive as well as negative stress.

NHS UK has the following definition on their website :

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects the digestive system.
  • It causes symptoms like stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. These tend to come and go over time, and can last for days, weeks or months at a time.
  • It’s usually a lifelong problem. It can be very frustrating to live with and can have a big impact on your everyday life.
  • There’s no cure, but diet changes and medicines can often help control the symptoms.
  • The exact cause is unknown – it’s been linked to things like food passing through your gut too quickly or too slowly, oversensitive nerves in your gut, stress and a family history of IBS.

What are FODMAPs?

A diet low in FODMAPs is supposed to be of great help, as it is a nutrition free from many things, that are potentially stressful for your gut, in a sense that they are difficult to digest, cause bloating, ….

FODMAP is an acronym for fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols. They are basically short-chain carbohydrates, like some sugars, carbs & sugar alcohols, such as fructose, lactose and xylitol or sorbitol. They are mostly part of our everyday nutrition (though sometimes added to supermarket foods) and they tend to absorb water & ferment in your colon. This is all perfectly normal, though it means a lot of work for your gut – and if it’s already stressed, it might be an overload.

Please be advised, that it’s never a good idea to exclude certain foods from your nutrition altogether, unless you’re allergic or sensitive to a certain food and you have talked to your dietician about it. Sometimes, though, it might help to take a step back, do a reset & re-add FODMAPs step by step. Which is what I’m doing those next 6 weeks. Here’s my report of the first week.

Day 1: IBS & Low FODMAP – Recipe for Success?

On day 1, I actually had a lot to organise. Bake bread, make energy balls, do the shopping for the entire week, cook breakfast, lunch and dinner & not stressing out. Admittedly, the last part didn’t quite work out as well as I’d hoped. Of course, it was too much for one day. Nevertheless, I started my first week with some buckwheat pancakes, a broccoli soup & a vegan Bolognese. I had 3 energy balls & 1 coffee as a snack, in-between. I felt okay, though I definitely noticed the withdrawal from sugar. The past months had been tough and I fell back into old habits of snacking a lot. So, if nothing else, those 6 weeks will be great in the sense, that I’ll cut down my sugar intake. Let’s see about the rest.

Day 2: IBS & Low FODMAP – Recipe for Success?

Day 2 started out a bit difficult as the sudden change in nutrition made me feel really sick. Nevertheless, I forced myself to eat properly. I started out with a chia pudding, followed by some broccoli soup with bread and some vegan bolognese. I also had a coffee, a green tea & 1 Energy ball. As some of you might already know, it’s incredibly important to maintain a fix routine, when dealing with IBS. Not only in what & when you’re eating, but also the rest of your time. Which is why I decided to take up Yoga again. I’m integrating it into my routine. So, although I’m feeling pretty bad, I’m going to force myself to a Yoga session every 2 days – no matter how I’m feeling. This & eating at set times of the day is already way more routine, than I had the past couple of months. Hopefully, I’ll see some positive results soon. So there we have it, on day 2 I’m thinking: “So much for getting worse before getting better.”

Day 3: IBS & Low FODMAP – Recipe for Success?

I woke up and I actually felt okay. Today was the first day, though, were I was actually very hungry. I started with a chia pudding for breakfast and forced myself to a yoga class. It was actually very nice, but my stomach rebelled a lot. During the whole session people could hear the funny sounds my intestines were producing… At least we had something to laugh about. After Yoga, I had a veggie salad and IT WAS NOT ENOUGH! I was so hungry after, I had to eat a slice of low FODMAP bread & an energy ball right away. Still continued to feel hungry, though it was way better. Note to myself: Don’t eat a no carb salad for lunch after only having a chia pudding & doing some exercise. Tomorrow I will do better! It might also have been tricky today as I’m on my period, so my appetite is much bigger than usual. The greens were particularly good for my cramps, though.

Day 4: IBS & Low FODMAP – Recipe for Success?

Today, I started my day with a Quinoa Porridge & topped it off with some Kiwi, Orange & berries – YUM!! I had another soup for lunch & a curry for dinner. Overall, I was feeling a little more energetic today. However, I am still feeling the withdrawal from sugar quite strongly. I hope it’ll get better soon, because it’s really quite annoying. 😀 Other than that everything seems to be going okay: bloating has gone down a lot. Let’s see what the rest of the week brings! 🙂

Day 5: IBS & Low FODMAP – Recipe for Success?

Got up at 5:30, had a coffee, a (way too small) breakfast & went off to Yoga Class. I was so not feeling it today. My body still hurt from Wednesday, I was super tired & my breathing & stomach were completely feeling off. I really didn’t want to go. I know, though, that I won’t get any better, if I don’t do any exercise, no matter how perfect I’m eating, so how’s that for motivation!? Only issue though – how do you integrate morning Yoga into your day when you start working at 8 & there’s no class starting & finishing before that? I know, what you’re gonna say. You’re gonna say, I should just do Yoga at home. Sorry folks, not my thing. What about positions being corrected or the energy of all the people taking the class? Just not the same at home.

Day 6: IBS & Low FODMAP – Recipe for Success?

I tried to sleep in, as I felt really exhausted after being hungry all day yesterday, but the idea of breakfast made me wake up at 7:30. Ha! Well, I had a little coffee in bed and then I had a bowl of quinoa porridge. I ate so much, afraid I would feel hungry again, I actually overate! How’s that for moderation?! Nevertheless, I decided it’ll be a productive day, so I planned the second week. I don’t want to get into the position of not having anything planned and eating whatever. That would ruin the whole process. For lunch I went with a soup & dinner was a brown rice & veggie dish.

Day 7: Last day of the first week…

Today was the first day, I actually felt like giving up. Giving up on my meal plan & cancelling my yoga class. I was feeling very, very sick. I just wanted to stay inside & hide under my blanket. Luckily, I had asked a friend to join me for yoga, so I couldn’t really cancel last minute. I took some medication & off I went. The first 15-20 minutes were exhausting, but after that, I got better by the minute during the class and I was so happy I decided to go. I got home and had a salad (gosh, I really DO NOT LIKE SALADS!!!) and a hot chocolate. I had the remaining rice & veggie one pan dish for dinner.

A recap on the first week

What’s important when dealing with IBS (or any other life impacting disease / struggle /…)? Well, healthy eating – of course. But it’s not enough. A healthy body also needs exercise & most importantly, a healthy mind.

I am “lucky” right now, really. Because I am off sick & I live in a country, where sick days are paid. So, although I’m feeling like shit and I am struggling a lot and barely manage to get out of bed right now and I completely ignore my friends or any other interactions on social media, I am lucky. I am lucky in the sense, that I can deal with my issues, that I have the freedom to force myself to go to yoga classes, do a 6 week meal plan & deal with my issues.

I mean, at the end of the day, the question is: “How can I lead a happy & healthy life, while working full time, living in a society with certain expectations, that I might not be able to fulfil (and do I event want to?) & at the same time being completely true to myself and therefore living a fulfilled & stress-free life?” That’s it for me, anyways… I figured out how my ideal life is supposed to look like. That’s the first (maybe the most important) step. Now it’s time to find a way to actually combine, what I need with real life and create a new reality for myself.

And here’s my final note:

This first week was tough and on so many levels as well… Nevertheless:

I managed to finish the first week. I did not give up, I am facing my shit & I am quite proud of myself. Also, I couldn’t have done this without my boyfriend, who decided to do those 6 weeks with me (although, he doesn’t need it). Thank you for the support! And thanks to my friends, for being patient again. For not pressuring me into leaving the house. And for your kind words.

Looking for Guest Posters & Collaborators

I'm looking for guest posters & collaborators for my blog!

Today, I’m calling on all gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian foodies & food photographers because I’m looking for guest posters & collaborators. In addition, I’m interested in wellness & health bloggers, lifestyle & zero-waste enthusiasts. Further, if you’re writing about anything else and feel you have something to contribute to my blog, please feel free to contact me.

I firmly believe, that helping each other is a key component in todays social media community. For me, an exchange of information is a big part of it – inspiring each other & being inspired by others. I mean, where’s the harm in promoting other bloggers & brands you believe in!? So, let’s help each other & let’s get the most out of social media. Certainly, there’s enough “space” for all of us & a stable community is a big part of a stable & happy life.

Therefore, I’m searching YOU! If you think it’s a fit for you and you’re interested:

  • fill out the form below
  • send me an email here; or
  • leave a comment, after this post!

You don’t speak English? No problem! I speak different languages. Next to German, I speak English, Spanish & some French. Therefore, feel free to contact me anyways & we’ll work something out together!

In conclusion, I’m looking for:

  • food bloggers (vegan, vegetarian, glutenfree)
  • travelling foodies
  • food photographers
  • wellness & health bloggers
  • lifestyle bloggers
  • zero-waste bloggers

I’m looking for guest posters & collaborators. You want to collaborate? Simply fill out the form below! 🙂

    I'm also looking for guest posting opportunities!

    Now that you know, what I believe in, I would also be honoured to become a part of YOUR community and write something for your blog. It might be a recipe, a post about my issues with gluten-intolerance, my experience as a third-culture kid or something travel related.

    Not sure if I’m a good fit for your blog? Find out more about me and my story here or simply comment below or send me an email. Additionally, you can find me on instagram facebook.

    Furthermore, as mentioned above, I can write in English, Spanish & German!

    Looking for guest posters & collaborators.

    I’m looking forward to meeting you & collaborating with you!!

    Hugs, Carolin 🙂

    Glutenfree Guide London by CarrotsKitchen

    Well, don’t we all know the pain, searching for a restaurant, coffeeshop, … that meets our dietary restrictions & allergies? The answer: The Glutenfree Guide London by CarrotsKitchen.

    Basically, I’ve started making my own list of glutenfree and quality approved eateries. Where else would I start, if not in the city, that stole my heart so many years ago? That’s right: the one & only – London City! So, below I’ve listed the first few places. As I’ll be back and forth (probably my entire life), I’ll go along and add more and more places to this list!

    Restaurants / Coffee Shops

    Leggero Soho

    Leggero is a fully glutenfree Italian restaurant – a very good one at that! They make their own pasta, delicious bread and many other things! Definitely worth a visit next time you’re over in London. They’re also at Mercato Metropolitano in Borough.

    Kalifornia Kitchen

    California Kitchen is not a glutenfree restaurant, but they have so many glutenfree options, it might as well be one. It’s a fully vegan restaurant and they have the most delicious bowls, amazing breakfast and very delicious coffee, with any kind of vegan milk you can imagine. Just off Tottenham Court Road station, it’s the perfect stop from a busy day shopping along Oxford Street.

    Pret-a-Manger

    While Pret-a-Manger is not at all a glutenfree eatery, they have implemented quite a few delicious glutenfree alternatives, from sandwiches to muesli bars, you can find almost everything important. Another bonus: Pret-a-Manger is really easy to find, everywhere across the city. Therefore, it’s perfect, for those, who just want to grab something on the go, no matter where they are.

    Senzala – creperie, bar & cafe – Brixton

    It’s been years since I first tried a Galette at Senzala. They’re simply delicious. They offer a wide range from classic from ham, egg & cheese to specials, such as the Senzala (I can recommend this one). Everything I tried there over the years was outstanding. And as they follow the original recipe and use buckwheat flour only, their Galettes are naturally glutenfree.

    Bakeries

    Vida Bakery Bricklane

    The Vida Bakery can be easily overlooked in the busy Bricklane. Especially on Sundays, when the Bricklane Market attracts oh so many tourists. Nevertheless, watch out for it, go inside and take a short break from the market madness; enjoy a coffee and some lovely glutenfree snacks. Everything homemade and a lovely service as well. 

    BeyondBread

    BeyondBread is a glutenfree bakery / coffee shop. Their profits range from many different breads, which are all delicious to the most amazing pastries. Do I have to say another word? No, not really… Tasty glutenfree pastry is a real rarity – so go off for a lovely weekend brunch and eat some pastry at BeyondBread!

     

    On my next visit, I am going to Niche Glutenfree Restaurant and Romeos’ Bakery, so they will be my next addition.

    If there are any other places I forgot or you want to see on the Glutenfree Guide London by CarrotsKitchen, just comment below or send me an email here.

    I’d be happy to hear if you try any of the above on your next visit. If you do, let me know what you think!

    Until then, happy eating,

    Carolin

    Finding glutenfree, vegetarian and vegan recipes

    Finding glutenfree, vegetarian and vegan recipes. It’s hard – yes. Below I’ll give you some ideas, where to look. Hopefully, you’ll be able to indulge in delicious glutenfree / vegan food directly this weekend! 

    Well, first of all I had to learn the basics. This step required a lot of research. I started off, using mostly Pinterest and Instagram as I couldn’t really decide on any book out there. All of them seemed to rely on additives and I just didn’t want any of that. I mean, why should we eat something, that’s not a natural product? Where could possibly be the benefit in that? So, off I went researching more, trying & failing and recipes I had done with usual flour for many many years.

    Kochtrotz a.k.a. Steffi

    I also thought about doing some glutenfree cooking classes. Unfortunately, we’re not really there yet, so I just had to stick to it. After a while, I found Steffi, founder of Kochtrotz. She has helped me a lot with the basics. I recently bought her book on glutenfree baking and I can 100% recommend it. You can buy it here.

    Deliciously Ella

    As for the vegan food, I usually buy my fruits and veggies seasonal and regional at the market. So I tend to just buy, whatever I can find and think about recipes later. I live by the philosophy “If you only use ingredients, you like, nothing bad can come out of it.” Unfortunately, that’s only 95% accurate. A great inspiration has been DeliciouslyElla, who’s recipes are not only vegan, but mostly glutenfree. You can find the book, I rely on most, below:

    In German 

    In English

    The Happy Pears

    This whole journey started, while I was still living in Ireland. Therefore The Happy Pears sort of initiated the start of it all. While they’re focussing on plant-based nutrition, they also do have glutenfree recipes. Once you’ve learned the basics on glutenfree flours, it’s easy to use their non-glutenfree recipes and turn them into your glutenfree version. All of their books are available on their website and on amazon:

    1. Book

    2. Book

    3. Book

    Im also working on my own cook-book, but this could be a little while. Until then – use the above! 🙂

    Finding glutenfree, vegetarian and vegan recipes. Now, it’s your turn.

    Happy Cooking,

    Carolin 🙂

    Cuba – Part II

    Hello and welcome to the second part of my report on Cuba.

    This report will tell you everything important about Playa Giron, Trinidad, Varadero and La Habana (part 2). This time I was travelling with my good friend Paula!

    Playa Giron

    Having heard about Playa Giron from my sister and my brother in law, I couldn’t wait to arrive at the “Bay of Pigs”.

    I was looking forward to some excursions, snorkelling and finally – the beach!

    We only stayed for 2 days, so we didn’t have time to discover everything that’s around Playa Giron. Nevertheless, we managed to go snorkelling, which was absolutely amazing and I can highly recommend it. There is one main centre for diving and snorkelling and it’s a different destination every day, so you really can’t go wrong with that!

    We’ve also done a trip to some hidden lakes/ caves, where we went swimming and we stopped at a lot of different places on the way to look at different little sea creatures.

    While we were there it was crab season (March-May). It was absolutely incredible to see it and I wouldn’t wanna miss this memory. At the same time, many of these huge crabs are being destroyed by cars, coming from and to the entire “Bay of Pigs” . As a consequence, I probably won’t go back between March and May.

    I would say, for anyone, that’s not looking for a diving holiday, plan it as stop going from La Habana towards Cienfuegos/ Trinidad – you’ll be able to see everything in 2-3 days.

    While in Playa Giron, we stayed at Casa Ivette y Ronel. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this Casa Particular at all. It was not clean at all (we had millions of ants in our beds and the entire room, and when we asked to change the bedsheets, we weren’t event looked at. After asking a few times and offering to do it ourselves, they gave us the bedsheets and left without saying a word). I haven’t seen Ivette and Ronel around much at all, they left for some travels and didn’t event say a word… Compared to other Casa Particulares, it was also quite expansive, especially the food, which was also not as good as in other Casas.

    In contrary, I can absolutely recommend Hostal Bahia. I met Adrian at Casa Ivette y Ronel and he was very nice and always helpful. We ended up spending one night for dinner at his house. While there, we met his family, which are really lovely and extremely welcoming. Adrian himself, speaks English, which is really helpful and a rarity. He spent years working in gastronomy in La Habana, which makes dining at his Casa Particular spectacular. If you want to spend some time in Playa Giron, you can book his Casa Particular through Air BnB right here.

    Trinidad

    Arriving in Trinidad, I followed another recommendation from Reina (remember to book her Casa Particular, in La Habana, through my future booking page on the blog). This Casa Particular was outstanding. We stayed at Hostal La Navarra, in the middle of Trinidad. It was a beautiful old house and everybody was incredibly nice. Victoria (the house owner) had some family visiting and they were all including us as one of their own. The ladies running the kitchen were particularly lovely and the food was amazing (but be careful, there’s A LOT of it!!)

    As Victoria and her husband have been living in Trinidad throughout all their life, they know everyone and they organised lovely trips for us (which were way less crowded than other groups). So, really, if you’re looking for a place to stay, in Trinidad – book Hostal La Navarra, right here.

    Let’s talk about our day trips. The first day, we went horseback riding with a friend of Victoria’s husband. As they knew each other, we were lucky and got a tour only for the two of us. We first went to a sugar cane farm and afterwards, to a waterfall. The waterfall, unfortunately, was quite busy, but very cute and the most amazing thing – you can go swimming, too. As we were already out and about for a few hours and it was the beginning of the cuban summer, we were very happy to dive into the cold water.

    The next day, we decided to go off on our own and followed a tip from the Lonely Planet, saying you could get onto a boat and go all the way to La Boca. The best thing: it was just outside of Trinidad and closely located to our Casa Particular. We decided to check it out, but unfortunately, Lonely Planet was completely wrong here. We asked several people, we found at the boat stop and there’s no “shuttle service”. After talking to them for a while, someone offered to take us in exchange for 60 CUC, which was more, than we were willing to pay. It was also supposed to take at least 2 hours. We decided to take a taxi to La Boca instead (which took 10 minutes) and we spent a few hours at the beach there.

    La Boca, is a cute little fishing village and there are surprisingly few tourists. Nevertheless, I would recommend to visit some museums or antique houses in Trinidad. or even going to Playa Ancon instead, as at the end of the day, it is just “another beach”.

    We were also very excited about the nightlife in Trinidad. A good friend of mine, told me, that La Casa de la Musica, is amazing. When we arrived though, it seemed to be more for the older generation and hotel guests. It was overall very quiet. Maybe it was just unlucky – I’d definitely give it another go. We also went for a few drinks at Terraza Trinidad Colonial, where you can find amazing live music and very interesting musicians. I will definitely go back there, next time, I visit.

    Varadero

    On to Varadero, I have one main thing to tell you: If you’re looking for a relaxing hotel vacation, surrounded by other hotel travellers – Varadero is the place to be!! If you’re trying to emerge with the culture – don’t go!

    Yes, the beach is very beautiful. Everything else, to be frank, is not worth it. It’s overpriced, it is near to impossible to get a Taxi Collectivo (what means, enormous queues for the Viazul busses) and it’s really quite boring.

    Following another recommendation, we wanted to see Las Cuevas de Saturno and we were lucky I speak Spanish. Normally, you have to book Las Cuevas de Saturno in connection with a diving / snorkelling trip. As we had already done some snorkelling, we weren’t really in the mood again. I asked, if it’s possible to go to Las Cuevas de Saturno, without the snorkelling trip. After some negotiation, a taxi driver agreed to collect us first thing in the morning and drive us up there.

    The next morning, was also my friend Paulas birthday and I am more than happy, that I negotiated this trip for us. Surprisingly we arrived so early, that we were the ONLY ONES there!!! This was a really amazing experience: no queueing, no waiting and, the best: no other people in the water!

    La Habana (the second)

    La Habana – colourful, busy by day and night, full of surprises, yet not holding up to its promises.

    Over the last year or two, I have heard a lot about La Habana. Friends, who’d be travelling there or even some who got married. For me, personally, La Habana didn’t live up to the expectations. Don’t misunderstand me, La Habana is beautiful (or at least some parts are), but open borders, increasing imports and especially the incredible number of tourists, have taken it’s toll.

    New cars are slowly taking over, fast food can be found at every corner and rubbish is to be found everywhere on the streets. La Habana got run over by all these changes, without being properly prepared for it.

    While tourists, with a lot of money, stay at their expensive hotels, with 24/7 internet access, are transported comfortably by a taxi, from one town to another and can easily move around from one side of the town to another or even buy “all the food they want”, the cuban population is far from being that privileged.

    Unfortunately, Cubans often have to walk to work (no matter the distance).  They have to walk all the way to the motorway, waiting under a bridge in the heat, hoping someone will give them a ride in their car. All this, so they can visit some relatives in a different town or even collecting packages from the airport. This means, they have to take a day off of work, taking several busses and walk a long way to collect it – only to have to go all the way back, afterwards.

    Should you ever leave the main roads and the centre, you see a lot of poverty and living as well as health conditions, that are unacceptable. There’s a big problem with Diabetes, caused by all the sugary imports and the failure to raise awareness about it. Though all of this seems quite terrifying, I have never met friendlier and more welcoming people, than in Cuba.

    It is still a very beautiful city and people are kind and happy, but I think it’ll take some time to adjust to all the changes, in order to find a balance between the “cuban lifestyle”, which is full of music and dancing on the street and the busy life, the globalisation brings along. I hope the new government will bring positive changes and I will find a more balanced Habana, when I go back.

    P.S. For every foodie out there (and everybody else, who appreciates good food), make some time to go to La Guarida and if your hosts are lovely, just take them along with you. What seems to be too good to be true at this price, means an entire world to them. I will write a separate post on La Guarida soon.

    I will definitely go back and re-visit Trinidad, which for me, was the best part of Cuba: historic, old-fashioned cuban lifestyle and way less crowded, than La Habana.

    I hope you enjoyed reading my post (it’s way longer, than I expected) and I will  keep you posted on my travel experiences and recommendations.

    Carolin

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    Hamburg, Germany