Alice Tumler on her gluten intolerance

Morning cereal, noodles for lunch and cheese bread in the evening: for many, this is a normal daily menu. Not for someone who suffers from gluten intolerance. He would suffer after eating these foods from proper digestive disorders, which can lead to further abdominal pain, fatigue and migraine. The reason: The Gluten gluten contained in the grain is not processed. The entire intake of nutrients is made more difficult. If the gluten in the intestine causes inflammation, the doctor diagnoses a so-called celiac disease. Many patients, however, struggle with the same symptoms without inflammation being detected. One speaks then of gluten sensitivity. A hypersensitivity that even ORF presenter Alice Tumler knows only too well. However, she got a good grip on the "culprit" and explains her strategy in an exclusive interview.


Meanwhile, there is also a large selection of alternatives. In the supermarket you will find a separate shelf with bread, pasta, sweet pastries and salty snacks, which do without the sticky white (see end of the article). Delicious gluten-free dishes are served in the restaurant Zum Wohl ( in Vienna's 6th district. With the app those affected can find restaurants and shops and can travel gluten-free. "MY COMPLAINTS WERE NO MORE SERIOUS …" WOMAN: When did you realize that you can not tolerate certain foods?
TUMLER: Two years ago. It became increasingly difficult to eat a plate of pasta or bread. My family doctor suspected celiac disease. I underwent clinical trials, all negative. My complaints were not taken seriously. Then I contacted a nutritionist. He let me test for food intolerances and checked the intestinal flora. This time the result was clear: gluten sensitivity. WOMAN: How do you imagine the symptoms with such sensitivity?
TUMLER: I got stomachache after the meal. At night, I often lay in bed with stomach and back cramps. This led to lack of sleep and chronic fatigue. After each meal, I needed a nap before I was fit again. For a year now, my gluten sensitivity has been so strong that I can no longer tolerate even the smallest amounts. If I eat some gluten-containing food, I will become weak within a few minutes and have to lie down. My breath is heavy, everything is spinning in my head, I'm getting hot and cold, and sometimes I have to vomit. The next two days I lie in bed with migraine. WOMAN: Surely you do everything to be symptom free!
TUMLER: Exactly! I had to completely delete the "classic" cereals wheat, spelled, rye from my diet. Since I completely abstain from gluten, I have no more problems, I'm great, and I feel really good again. WOMAN: But you have to change your diet extremely, right?
TUMLER: Yeah, you can not keep eating like you used to, but you get used to it quickly. Luckily, there are many alternatives to traditional wheat. Now my treats are often homemade or from the gluten-free shelf in the supermarket. During my last pregnancy, I ate kilos of biscuits, now I prefer to eat dried fruit and nuts. And I learned to cook again – in general, I cook much more often than before. When baking, it is not that easy to get good results with modified ingredients. But with some practice that works too.

When shopping, however, she has to look closely at the list of ingredients, gluten is contained in more products than you would think. WOMAN: What are you cooking?
TUMLER: On the internet, I always find great blogs on the subject, which serve as a source of inspiration for me. I am always looking for new recipes. At the moment I'm experimenting with chickpea flour, so you can make delicious Sicilian flatbread. What I always like to cook is salad made of special noodles. WOMAN: Do your daughter (Tia is four) and her husband insist on "real" noodles at home?
TUMLER: No, they always like what I do for myself. My daughter is allowed to eat everything, but at home I cook for her only gluten-free. I believe that the tastes we get used to as children serve as a reference throughout our lives. That's why I try to offer her many alternatives. We cook together as often as possible, because if she joins in, she becomes curious and wants to taste everything. Her new favorite dish is sweet lime avocado cream. If she eats something different in the kindergarten and with friends, or if she feels like having a fresh alarm clock, then that's no problem for me. My friend likes to get something "unhealthy" at noon, if we do not eat together. Nobody has to do without something.

The presenter loves to stroll through the French delis of her adopted city of Lyon. WOMAN: But you can not replace everything. What are you missing most?
TUMLER: A traditional Italian pizza that I sometimes even dream of! I found it hard at the beginning even with bread. I love fresh, crispy bread, you can not get it anywhere in gluten-free form. Fortunately, there are now in many supermarkets delicious variants with good ingredients such as quinoa, millet or chestnut flour. And you get great gluten-free pasta. The selection of gluten-free foods is getting better, the company Schär has a large range of great products. That makes it much easier today than it was 20 years ago. For pizza there are also special recipes, I have to try that soon. "I prepare well while traveling. I rent apartments with kitchens and find restaurants for myself using an app. " WOMAN: What do you eat while traveling?
TUMLER: The gluten-free offer is not optimal in all countries. I prepare well while traveling. Mostly, I cook as much as I can and take everything with me. I hardly live in hotels, rent apartments with kitchen. In my search, I use a gluten-free app that filters out addresses of hotels and restaurants that meet my needs. WOMAN: Is it annoying to ask for the ingredients?
TUMLER: At first I felt annoying. Now I have no qualms about sending a dish back to the kitchen unless I'm sure. But people are becoming more and more understanding. I warn the hosts and am always amazed at how much effort everyone makes. Thank you, my dear friends!

Gluten-free alternatives

The hardest thing is that gluten-free munchies taste crispy – the right combination of ingredients makes it. The rusks are, for example, a combination of potato and corn starch with rice flour. Rusk biscuits by SchГ¤r € 4,29, Buckwheat bread
Three times as much protein as wheat, the "pseudo-grain" provides buckwheat. In addition, it is particularly high in fiber (10 g per 100 g), which boosts the metabolism. From the seedlings can prepare many different dishes, including crepes, cakes and of course delicious bread, z. From Alnavit for € 2.65,

The Schär brand, for example, also offers gluten-free whole wheat bread baking mix
In order to be able to prepare fresh bread at home anytime, the range of ready mixes is getting bigger and more varied. The products are often enriched with superfoods like seeds or nuts. Eg G 'nut bread organic baking mix with chia seeds by Prokopp for € 16,90, cereals
First of all, oats also contain gluten, so it is best to mix your muesli yourself. Alternatives to the usual oatmeal are, for example, buckwheat flakes or classic cornflakes. Take care when buying and check the list of ingredients: Although the flakes are made from gluten-free corn, cereal salt is often added. For example, rice corn flakes from Spar Free from € 2.99, pasta
Gluten-free noodles always taste different, because the basic ingredient is extremely variable. You can make pasta from a variety of foods, most commonly corn or rice is used as a base, but also from buckwheat, millet or chickpeas you can make the pasta. For example, Enjoy Free for € 2,19,