How do I eat Gluten Free at College?

by Rebekah Skelly
(Savannah, GA)

Eating Gluten Free at College Can be a Challenge

Eating Gluten Free at College Can be a Challenge

For the past four or five months I have been feeling really weird. I can't sleep, I feel sick after I eat almost every time, and I have constant stomach/digestive problems. I just got back to college after a two month long break and my symptoms have increased a lot. I am a freshmen, so I have to live in the dorms on campus and I am required to pre-pay for the college meal plan.

I just read over your site and decided to try a gluten free diet, but it seems impossible! Everything they serve at the college cafeterias have gluten. I don't have my own kitchen or even a car go to grocery shopping. I am so stressed from college and having all these problems, how can I even begin such an intensive dietary program without starving to death?

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Get creative...
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Hi Rebekah,

I'm so happy that you are considering starting a gluten free diet. With your digestive problems, I really think that it will help a LOT. I'll also recommend that you check out my Signs of Magnesium Deficiency page.

Magnesium is depleted whenever you are under stress and being a freshman at college AND dealing with health issues are both really really stressful. It may help to get you through the schoolyear a little easier if you start taking magnesium as outlined on my Magnesium Dosage page.

So, while I can completely understand how it can seem really frustrating at first, you are looking at all of the things in the cafeteria that you CAN'T have instead of looking for the things that you CAN have- and you can also supplement the cafeteria food with some non-perishable food of your own that you can take with you.

So, for instance- there is no reason that you can't keep apples, pears, bananas, dried fruits nuts, hard cheeses and nut butters in your dorm room for snacks or to supplement the foods that are available to you in the cafeteria.

Even if that is 'against the rules', you could potentially just keep a backpack around that is filled with those things and looks like its filled with school supplies.

Then, going to the cafeteria- I'm betting that they have oatmeal for breakfast. While store bought oatmeal is not 100% gluten free, most people can handle the tiny amount that is in oatmeal. Then you can supplement the oatmeal with nuts, seeds, dried fruit or fruit for extra calories.

At breakfast, if they have anything hot, they probably have eggs and/or bacon.

For lunch, how about a salad bar? Cottage cheese? Yogurt cups? Vegetable soup? While these aren't likely to be 100% gluten free, they'll be pretty close and you can supplement calories with fruit, cheese, nuts etc. from your 'stash'.

For dinner, it's likely that they at least have some sort of meat and some sort of vegetable and/or a salad, cottage cheese, vegetable soup, rice etc.

If there is a Trader Joe's anywhere near you, get a prepackaged product called 'Tasty Bites' that are a meal in a foil bag that is gluten free. Combine that, even cold, over prepackaged 'heat and eat' rice and you have a meal.

Some dorms don't yell if you were to have a rice cooker. If you can get one, then you can cook up rice, vegetables, hard boiled or poached eggs, quinoa for breakfast, etc. Lots of things you can do. Just get creative and think of all of the great things in the cafeteria that you CAN have!!

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Easy Immune

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