Celiac and the Dorm

When I learned I had celiac, I was living in a dorm. I had a microwave, a mini-fridge, a new diagnosis, and no clue what to do next. The dining hall tried to accommodate me, but everything was cross – contaminated and salad gets boring after the 276th consecutive meal consisting entirely of raw veggies with light Italian dressing. (There was only one gluten free dressing on campus, apparently.)

Luckily, I went through this by myself, but you don’t have to. With more celiac awareness than ever,  many campuses have their own celiac support group. If yours doesn’t,  like mine, see if there’s one nearby. My current town has one that’s hosted by the local gluten-free restaurant. 

Talk to your disability services and have them help you contact the dining hall. Our dinners were provided by Sodexo, so it was nice to have a liason between me and the huge company.

If your dining hall is inhospitable or even worse, buffet style, you may need to keep a few food items in your dorm.  You’ll want to anyway for snacks or late night cravings.

When I first entered the world of celiac, I was overwhelmed with gluten free junk food and had no clue what to buy. I tried so many brands and items and wound up throwing them most away. Now, I stick to brands I’ve tried, and eat as many naturally gluten free foods as possible. If I’m craving pretzels or bread, I know I won’t go wrong with glutino, udi’s,  or gratify.

A few other things that saved me during that awful first year of celiac were microwave rice pouches, corn and rice Chex, Greek yogurt, lentil crackers, and hummus. To this day, rice is my go-to when I can’t think of anything to eat.

When did you find out you had celiac? Was it a difficult transition?

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