Ah college… the best years of your life, right? A time of growing, learning, making friends and experiencing new things. While these “glory years” may be all fun and games for many people, there is an increasing number of college students being diagnosed with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance – and these diagnoses can be quite a burden when living in a dorm room or living the college lifestyle.
Today’s post is all about tips and tricks to get you through these “glory years” without missing a beat!
Many college campuses across the U.S. are expanding their food offerings to include gluten-free items. Do some campus browsing and find the dining halls or “mini-markets” that provide gluten-free fare. Be sure to also familiarize yourself with the staff cooking the food! Creating a relationship will help them to understand that certain foods are not tolerated by many students, and you can teach them about g-free options to include in the menu.
Go beyond your campus and explore the local markets and restaurants near your school. Chances are, you’ll find a few go-to stops that you can suggest to friends and family when they want to go out. Having these options will lessen your stress knowing you have options!
If you live in a dorm room, be sure to designate gluten-free zones between you and your roommate(s). Put your name on anything that is yours to avoid “missing” snacks when you get back from class, and be sure to explain to your roomies the dietary restrictions you are dealing with so they understand the need for separation in your dorm food goodies.
Lastly, always take snacks with you wherever you go. College life is unpredictable and you definitely don’t want to get stuck at the library without any food that you can eat. Create your own trail mix, pack string cheese and gluten-free crackers, make a GF sandwich or PB&J, bring fresh fruit and veggies – the possibilities are endless! Just be sure to have a snack on hand to avoid being “glutened” at that Thursday night study session!
While it is difficult and frustrating at times, once you figure out your own tricks you’ll be able to cruise through college without any worry. To give you a little more inspiration and courage, here are a few blogs to look at written by college students themselves living the gluten free life.
Stay positive and optimistic and you’ll be able to enjoy your college career to the fullest!