Quote of the week

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.


This cute ... I mean cool little rockstar is gracing the latest cover of the German magazine "Living with Down Syndrome". His smile is so darn contagious - an instant lift-me-upper! ;-)

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January 26, 2015 // Advice / Artist
I love being in my comfort zone - it's like laying on the couch with a warm blanket and doing nothing. Although this feels really great ... after a while it can get boring too. And truth be told,the comfort zone is a beautiful place, but amazing things rarely happen there and nothing ever grows there. It's outside where the magic happens. Earlier this year I said yes to a couple of things where my good friends aka advisors aka therapists ;-) only shook their heads in total disbelief: Why are you doing this to you? But something in my gut told me: get up, move your cozy couch and do it or go there. A ship in the harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are made for. 

Let's start this week with stepping outside our comfort zone and even better: Let's do something every day that scares us! Happy Monday, everyone!


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Sometimes there is a legitimate reason to munch on toffifees and to secretly buy this newspaper ;-) Here's to Valerie & Michael - woot woot!


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The sweet friendship of my big boy Nicolas and his long-time best buddy and partner-in-crime Theo featured in the Stuttgarter Zeitung for Kids - they are both so flippin' proud today. :)


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January 21, 2015 // Advice / Food / Gluten-Free
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Juliana's gluten-free world


Every now and then I receive e-mails that read like this: „Guess what. Luca was now also diagnosed with celiac disease. Do you have any tips or recommendations for us?" So I thought, why not do an open post about this topic which is obviously concerning more and more people.

 

When Juliana was diagnosed with celiac disease and lactose-intolerance in 2010 we were all crushed. My first thought was: is there anything left for this poor girl to eat? I worried so much that I even got a lumbago after her diagnosis. Yes, my body always reacts to a crisis. :) Since the world of gluten-free was completely new for us and also totally overwhelming, I bought a lot of books (including cookbooks) about this topic, educated myself, took every opportunity and became an expert.

 

There is something I learned in the last years. Whenever a crisis or problem occurs, don't run away and avoid it. Face it and educate yourself about it as much as you can. Knowledge is power! I read so much about nutrition and the effects on our body and mind that after a while I came to believe that this diagnosis might just have been a blessing to us. I always attempt to also find the good in a (bad) situation. Because now, we were forced to know about nutrition and to eat healthier. We gained a deeper appreciation for food. We discovered new favorite foods. Also, the effect it has on Juliana is just amazing. Juliana feels no longer so fatigue as she used to before her diagnosis, and she did a big milestone in the cognitive department, even her teachers could tell the difference. I also came accross of a lot of interesting researchs where cardiologists and neurologists were blaming gluten for everything from arthritis, and asthma to multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia. They are also assuming that wheat, carbs and sugar are our brain's silent killers. 

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The transition from eating wheat & co. to gluten-free was quite hard at the beginning. Sometimes it still sucks, because sometimes it's a real challenge. But like everything, you get used to it. At the beginning we compensated a lot of food with their gluten-free alternative. Luckily our nearby supermarket has a huge variety of Schär products. It's just amazing to observe that it's one of the fastest growing sectors of the food and restaurant industries. We can also recommend all the gluten-free products from Bofrost. The Prosciutto-Funghi-Pizza from Schär is Juliana's absolute favorite. You almost don't taste a difference. But our goal is to avoid as much as possible of wheat-alternatives (like cookies and bread), because although they are gluten-free, they are not necessarily healthy.

 

At home we are quite gluten free. At the beginning we bought a second gluten-free everything for everything. A new toaster, new cutting boards etc. In the meantime, only glutenfree goodies make it into our oven and toaster. Even the rest of the family doesn't miss it. The real challenge starts when you have to eat out. With Juliana on board I always carry something gluten-free in my bag. Eating in restaurants requires particular vigilence. Sometimes I find myself talking to the chef a lot and checking on everything. When we go on vacation, we always have an extra suitcase with gluten-free food for Juliana. In the meantime all of Juliana's friends know about her special diet. When she's invited to a party, they doublecheck with me beforehand. Most of them are so sweet that they order a gluten-free pizza for her or gluten-free cake from a special bakery. Going the extra mile for her just melts my heart.

 

Over the years we have collected quite a number of yummy recipes like our all time favorite cheesecake and Italian Chocolate cake - both cakes that don't require any flour at all. If you also have a favorite gluten-free recipe you can't live without, please always feel free to share it. :)