Gluten free recipe; delicious spinach patties (also vegan). ENJOY

Gluten free recipe; delicious spinach patties (also vegan). ENJOY

Gluten free Healthy body Healthy mind

I never thought that gluten free and vegan cooking would be so easy. It is, and would like to share this super easy gluten free recipe. (serves 4, cooking time 20 minutes)

I used to be the worst cook ever, now I make gluten free, vegan stuff. HOW?

In the Netherlands, my friends always kindly said: ‘oh no José, you don’t have to cook, because I really like to cook. Just sit down and relax. Or cut this carrot.’.

I got the message.. I can’t cook. I’m terrible. Because my friends never let me practise, I stayed the worst cook ever. Thanks friends 😛

Then I traveled to New Zealand, I had to cook, because I was Couchsurfing. When you are Couchsurfing (staying at someones place for free) you want to give something back. And so I cooked…

Couchsurfing: one person doesn’t eat gluten, the other is vegetarian, and number 3 is vegan. Ok. Why not?

I was staying at this amazing place in Christchurch. John had 4 guests, beside me. Ok… this is going to be a challenge, I thought.

One. I have to cook.

Two. It has to be vegan

Three. it needs to be gluten free.

I won’t go into details and I’m not going to tell you what the kitchen looked like after I managed to put 12 delicious spinach patties on the table. Just follow the recipe…

Spinach Patties; Vegan & gluten free recipe

Ingredients (serves 4, cooked in 20 minutes)

  • 300 gr chickpeas
  • 1 big onion
  • 100 gr fresh spinach
  • 2 spoons of olive oil
  • 2 spoons of fresh oregano
  • 2 spoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 4 spoons of sunflower seeds
  • 2 spoons of pumpkinseeds
  • 2 spoons of chia seeds in water (or 2 eggs, when you’re not vegan)
  • 100 gr of gluten free flower
  • 100 gr of sesame seeds
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 spoon of sugar if you like (I didn’t use sugar)


  1. Mix 2 teaspoons of chia seeds with water (you use this mixture instead of eggs)
  2. Grind the chickpeas and onion roughly in a food processor
  3. Add the spinach, olive oil, soy sauce, (sugar), herbs and seeds and mix them in a food processor
  4. Add the flower, sesame seeds and chia seeds (they now have a similar substance as an egg)
  5. Season with salt and pepper
  6. Remove the blade from the food processor, wet your hands and make the patties
  7. Bake them in a pan with some oil until they turn golden brown.

BON APETIT, or as we would say in the Netherlands… EET SMAKELIJK!

Vegan, gluten free recipe, spinach patties while Couchsurfing
Couchsurfing at Johns place in Christchurch, where I made this recipe for the first time
Vitamins for ADHD – Vitamins can be a good substitute for ADD/ADHD medication

Vitamins for ADHD – Vitamins can be a good substitute for ADD/ADHD medication

ADHD/ADD Healthy body Healthy mind

From the moment I found out I had ADD, I wanted to find a more natural solution than medication. I read a lot about nutrition, vitamins for ADHD/ADD, so I wanted to try vitamin supplements. My doctor didn’t agree. Vitamins can be dangerous, she said, and there was no proof that it works. A year later, I (always been a bit of a rebel) tried. Can vitamins be a substitute for medication for ADHD/ADD? You’re about to find out 🙂

Note: I’m not a medical specialist, doctor or dietician. I write from my own experience.

I was using AD(H)D medication for a year

I got the diagnose ADD when I was 28, during my burnout. Immediately, I started with therapy. I was really impressed by the quality of this ADHD centre, and they suggested me to use medication. My first response was ‘no way, I’m nog going to use medication for the rest of my life’. I hate medication. It’s unnatural, and most of the times they don’t know much about the long term effects. I immediately thought of solutions like diet or vitamins for ADHD, but I wanted to listen tot the professionals for a change.
One of my best friends, who’s a doctor and who’m I really trust, said I should give it a try. I was really happy about the help I got at the ADHD centre and I was kind of desperate at that time, so because of those two, I decided to give it a try. Also, I was really curious how other people, without ADD/ADHD feel. Can it changed your life completely, as I had heard people say?

Dex methylphenidad Retard, Ritalin, Dexamphetamine.

I remember the first time using Dex Methylphenidad Retard. At that time, I was dog sitting. After taking the first pill, I took the dog for a walk. I looked at the trees and they were so bright, so green, so sharp. My focus was absolutely amazing. Everything was beautiful. My first car-ride was awesome too. I drove to school, as I did twice a week. Many things I saw on the road were new to me. That was so weird, but astounding.

So this is how ‘normal people’, without ADD feel? WOW!

The first weeks of using medication were amazing. I was working on my thesis at that time. And wow, I could focus for longer than 5 minutes. It was so easy to organise all the data that I collected. My house was tidy, I had so much energy, I knew where my stuff was. Another great benefit was the fact that I could be in a crowded space (festivals or birthday party’s) without the feeling I wanted to run away. Normally, I was exhausted after a social event with lots of people. My energy was gone. Not with medication. It was easy. I could participate in conversations without my mind wandering off, or while hearing 4 conversations at the same time.

The side effects of ADHD medication that I experienced

You’re probably wondering ‘why did she use so many types of medication, when it worked so well?’
Well… It was great in the beginning. The side effects weren’t so bad the first weeks. I had a dry mouth, a dry skin and not much apetite. That was it. It was worth it.

After a few weeks, the really bad side effects came. With some types of medication I had extreme rebounds (mostly with Ritalin). That means that when, after a few hours, the medication got out of my system, the ADD symptoms became double as bad as they are without medication. I had a high hart rate, was extremely anxious or just pissed off. Everything was blur. I got a bit of a fever. I couldn’t do much for about half an hour, besides lying on the couch feeling miserable. When that happens every day, it sucks.

White poo, ‘I don’t care about whatever’ and blackouts because of the ADHD medication.

Dexmethylphenidad Retard got to my liver, up to the point where my poo was white. And I lost weight. I only used Dexamphetamine for about two weeks, because it made me feel like ‘I don’t care about anything’. In traffic I didn’t care about other people on the road or about traffic lights. I didn’t feel happy, I didn’t feel sad. I just didn’t care. At one point, I had a complete blackout. I was in the train, at a station where I wasn’t suppose to be. I don’t know what happened or how I got there. The next day, my doctor told me to reduce the dose. I told her I wanted to stop. It wasn’t me anymore.

I decided to stop using ADD/ADHD medication

After a year, The ADHD centre ‘released me’ because I learned enough. At the last session with the doctor I told her I decided I wanted to stop using meds. After trying 4 types of medication over the year, I was at a point where I didn’t recognise myself anymore. Where was my creativity? I wasn’t spontaneous anymore, lost my creativity and didn’t enjoy the things I enjoyed before, like playing music. My body felt week, I wasn’t fit like I used to be.

Let me state this: though I personally disagree with the way in which doctors describe medicine so easily and quickly, I’m really happy for the people who do feel good while using those meds. It’s just not for me.

After I stopped using ADD medication. The ‘Oh crap, I really miss the benefits of the medication’-stage

The first weeks without meds were okay. Probably, there were still some after effects. After a few weeks, I was back where I was before the meds. It was weird, I’d forgot how I felt without medication. It was terrible, I was totally upset. What to do? I don’t want to use that sh*t anymore, but I don’t want to feel like this either.

Google, your friend in need

In the Netherlands, there’s a diet for kids with ADHD. I heard about that and thought well, when it works for kids, why not try it out for myself. Unfortunately, the insurance companies don’t pay for ADHD solutions based on diet for adults, and since I had no job, I had to find a cheap solution. There must be other people struggling with this, I thought, so I tried Google.

New Zealand research about vitamins for ADHD

A New Zealand research came up in the results, which showed results in where people with ADHD or ADD had good results using vitamins. ‘More research was needed’, but I didn’t care. I gave it a try. I thought, budgetwise, let’s start with only a few. So I start using:

This was about 9 months ago. I was ‘house-sitting’ (taking care of my sister and her boyfriends cat) and writing another thesis, this time for the online marketing course I was following. Their neighbours were really loud.. kids, music. I couldn’t focus. I had no energy.

After only a few days of using vitamins, among which Omega 3, B12 and Zinc, I already felt the difference.
The vitamins made me more clear in my head. The neighbours didn’t bother me anymore and I could focus on my thesis.

So, do vitamins for ADHD work?

I’m taking the vitamins for about 9 months now, longer than I stopped eating Gluten, as I wrote in my previous post. For me, it makes a huge difference if I take them or not. I have way more energy and focus. My head is more clear. My concentration improves, and because of that I don’t lose my stuff, I can be in crowded spaces, I’m more organised, and so forth… I wouldn’t say they give me the same results as the medication like Ritalin, but about 80-90% of it, and without side effects. I would recommend using vitamins for ADHD.

More research about vitamins for ADHD?

Scientists, pharmacy and doctors would say: ‘There’s not enough research to state that vitamins can help reduce ADHD symptoms’. They might even say that it’s not healthy to take vitamin supplements.

I’m surprised that there’s not a lot of research published or even done in the field of vitamins for ADHD. But on the other side, it doesn’t surprise me. Because who would benefit from this? Not the pharmaceutical industry, who are mostly the sponsor for medical research and who supply the medication.

What’s your story? Would you try vitamins, to help reduce ADHD symptoms?

I would love to hear your experience, so please share your story below! There’s so much information about ADHD, ADD, medication and natural solutions. Let’s help each other make the most out of our life with ADHD or ADD.

If you would like to try vitamin supplements for ADHD, this is what I’m using:

Note: buying cheap vitamins might not be the best choice, because your body can’t always absorb it or it contains things that are unhealthy. During my burn out I went to a doctor who not only studied medicine, but on top of that alternative medicine. He recommended the brand Lamberts. 

ADHD medication substitute vitamin supplements magnesium

ADD & Gluten free.. how I accidentally found out that my body doesn’t like gluten

ADD & Gluten free.. how I accidentally found out that my body doesn’t like gluten

ADHD/ADD Gluten free Healthy body Travel

Is there a correlation between ADD and gluten? This question came to my mind a couple of weeks ago, while couchsurfing and living the vanlife in New Zealand. So why not write my first blog post about this. Because that’s what ADD’ers do. They start somewhere in the middle of a story.. and the story never ends.

Welcome to my world 🙂

Medication and vitamins

In the beginning of 2016, after a year of using medication (Ritalin and more), I started using vitamins instead. According to New Zealand research, vitamins can help reduce the symptoms of ad(h)d. I started taking 7 different types of vitamins and minerals, among which Magnesium, Zinc, Omega 3 and Calcium. After a week, I already felt the difference. I’ll write about this discovery in another post. Almost six months later, I found something different that helps me a lot, to reduce the ADD symptoms.

My first ADD gluten free experience

During my first months on the South Island in New Zealand, I spend a lot of time at Johns place in Christchurch. John does Couchsurfing. He welcomes many amazing people into his lovely little relaxing home. We shared a nice time, did a lot of painting, played games, and we shared meals.

John is mostly vegan and doesn’t eat gluten, and so didn’t we. We were having a lot of rice, potatoes, soups, salads, vegetables, nuts and seeds, instead of bread, noodles, pasta, etc. This was different from what I was used to. I used to eat a lot of pasta and bread. But I absolutely loved the food we made at his place. He/we made the most delicious dressings, deserts, and other meals with rice or potatoes.

My energy was increasing, but I didn’t immediately think it was because of the gluten. Johns’ place is so calming, and because he’s such a lovely person and I felt so relaxed and welcome, I thought that must be it.

The gluten road trip, HELL (called ADD) 😉

After some time at Johns place and other places, I went for a road trip on the South Island with Tanja, one of my best friends in Holland. The first week, I stayed on my new ‘diet’, trying to be gluten-free as much as possible. I felt good and I wanted to keep it that way.


Tanja and I both love healthy food and we were cooking each night. Cooking was a (mostly) enjoyable part of our #vanlife. But one day, we were driving many miles and we’re very tired. We decided to have pancakes for dinner. Soon after dinner, we went to bed. The day after, I had bread in the morning, with Pics Peanutbutter (yummie, the absolute best peanutbutter brand in the world) and in the afternoon we ate wraps (made from wheat).

My head exploded

We were heading to Abel Tasman. I was driving, and I was absolutely a horrible person at that moment (Sorry Tanja!!). We needed to get Diesel and drinking water, and I was almost screaming at Tanja, who had no clue of what was happening. I was totally raised, almost angry, not at Tanja but at the whole world. I wanted to scream, or hit someone, or do both at the same time. At some point, I almost wanted to drive my car into a tree. It felt like my head exploded. It felt like ADD+.

I couldn’t focus on driving, which annoyed me. I didn’t want to check where the petrol station was and where we could get some water. It was all just too much. I felt like screaming and crying at the same time. It wasn’t a new experience, I had that feeling before… but it was a while ago.

Tanja said ‘calm down.. you don’t need to act like this’. She knows about my ADD-stuff, but she wasn’t used to that behaviour (anymore). When we arrived in Tasman, we had a good conversation and I started thinking about why I was acting like this. Then it dawned on me.. that it might be the gluten.

‘Is there a correlation between ADD and gluten?’, I thought.

Gluten and refined sugar

It started to become clear to me that gluten have a similar effect on my body and brain as refined sugar. A year earlier, I already noticed that I can’t handle refined sugar, especially at night. I get hyperactive, not necessarily physically but in my head, but also hypersensitive and annoyed. In Dutch we would say ‘I get long toes’ (so people can easily step on them.. and you don’t want to know what happens next).

After a few weeks of trying to eat gluten every now and then, it became more and more clear to me. For me (!), eating gluten worsens the side effects of ADD. So I’ll stick to my gluten free diet (with tini tiny exceptions.. for cake, or deserts, when there’s a special occasion).

A gluten free diet, easy peasy!

Is it hard to be gluten free? Absolutely not. You just eat different things. I eat rice crackers, rice pasta, rice noodles, gluten free bread. My diet consists of a lot of vegetables, nuts, seeds, salads. You can have cheese, meat, eggs. Anything but cereals, especially wheat.

It can be hard when you are Wwoofing or Couchsurfing at a place where they have a lot of gluten. And I’m sure that, when I’m going back to Holland and have dinner with friends, they don’t want to cook gluten free all the time. And I just don’t want to be a difficult person. But my current experience is that most people are more than happy to provide gluten free meals.

Vitamins or gluten free?

The less gluten I have, the less I ‘need’  the vitamins. I take the supplements maybe every 4/5 days now, instead of every day. It saves me money (although eating gluten free can be expensive as well), and I don’t want to be ‘dependent’ on vitamins (though it’s better to be dependent to vitamins than to Ritalin or Concerta, is my opinion).

Dealing with the symptoms of ADD on a natural way

I’m so happy, because when I found out that I ‘have’ ADD (whether it is a disease, a hormonal imbalance or anything else), I didn’t want to deal with it the same way my doctor did. She wanted me to take Ritalin, Concerta, Dexamfetamine or Dexmethylfenidaat Retard on a daily basis. When the side effects were too bad, she wanted me to try other medication. She wanted me to try anti-depressants because these have shown good results in ADD research as well. Anti-depressants, seriously?

Now I’m encountering almost the same result that I had while using this crap, in a natural way.

I couldn’t be more happy:)

DAMN..this blog post turned out way too long.. and all over the place. Welcome to my world again 🙂

And please share your experience below!