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nutbutters

Celiacs In College

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Wooh so we are special, so does that mean we get benefits i.e. scholarships for being celiac?

We are special despite this legislation. Not everyone is gluten-free.

I do not think so. Also, just because we are covered by the ADA does not mean we get "benefits." On the contrary, we have to advocate for ourselves in order to get basic things from our schools - meals that are good for us, a healthy lifestyle.

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I go to University of Notre Dame and they are very accommodating--but you have to know what you want, then ask for that specifically. We have 2 options at ND--we can either have a rotation of meals prepared for us every day at a certain time, or there is a gluten-free room that is stocked with gluten free products upon request and has a gluten-free toaster and george foreman grill that we can use (uncontaminated). These accommodations are relatively new and were driven by the gluten free students' requests and recommendations. I suggest going in with specific ideas and asking for either special meals or special products that can help make your meals better and make sure they are safe. It took me a while to realize that the peanut butter that everyone else uses is NOT safe because of contamination, so there's a lot to think about in a dining hall (careful with salad dressings too!)

I wish they had had those accommodations when I was at ND! And, for that matter, I wish I'd had a diagnosis... I couldn't walk back from North Dining Hall to my dorm room without getting sick to my stomach by junior/senior year. The health center gave me anxiety meds. They helped, but obviously not the root of the problem... I am so glad the ND community is becoming so aware :)

I have a friend who works for food services. If you don't mind, I'd love to pass along your positive feedback.

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When my grandfather went to college, he said there were no accomadations for his eating habits. From what I hear, most schools are very tolerant with these things (at least the ones I've looked into: Cornell, Brown, Johns Hopkins, etc) and it shouldn't be an issue. I haven't even been diagnosed yet.

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I literally just found out two days ago that I have Celiac Disease. I've gone through the extensive bureaucratic nonsense at the college to get a gluten-free meal plan set up, but I'm really concerned about cross-contamination and being unable to actually eat anything besides the bread, mac-and-cheese, and cereals they provide. For instance- tonight, I went to get a piece of chicken, and found that they had put the chicken in the same bin as the quesdilla's. I waited until they brought out a new batch of chicken, and ran up as the girl was putting it in the bin, and got a piece of chicken before she put it in, but she had used the spatula to push over the quesadilla's, does this mean that there was cross-contamination? Furthermore, the salad bar is always messy, and I'm paranoid that pieces of the fried chicken in one of the bins is going to be in the food. I'm so new to this, and it's just kind of stressful, does anyone have any tips? I feel like the dining hall staff is trying to be as accomidating as possible, but I just don't know if it's going to be enough. :(

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I literally just found out two days ago that I have Celiac Disease. I've gone through the extensive bureaucratic nonsense at the college to get a gluten-free meal plan set up, but I'm really concerned about cross-contamination and being unable to actually eat anything besides the bread, mac-and-cheese, and cereals they provide. For instance- tonight, I went to get a piece of chicken, and found that they had put the chicken in the same bin as the quesdilla's. I waited until they brought out a new batch of chicken, and ran up as the girl was putting it in the bin, and got a piece of chicken before she put it in, but she had used the spatula to push over the quesadilla's, does this mean that there was cross-contamination? Furthermore, the salad bar is always messy, and I'm paranoid that pieces of the fried chicken in one of the bins is going to be in the food. I'm so new to this, and it's just kind of stressful, does anyone have any tips? I feel like the dining hall staff is trying to be as accomidating as possible, but I just don't know if it's going to be enough. :(

hey Leah, have you talked to the head of dining services yet? That's probably a good idea, rather than dealing with different individual dining staff members who probably don't know about celiac and cross-contamination. If the staff gets a celiac briefing, they'll be better equipped to help you out. You might still have some problems with cross-contamination (I've seen them cook gluten-free pasta in the regular pasta water, etc.), so it's probably best to explain yourself every time you ask for chicken from a new batch or fresh lettuce leaves to remind them of what they've heard about celiac. But a talk with the head of dining might improves things a bit.

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Yeah, I did talk to the executive chef, but she didn't seem to believe me when I said that cross-contamination would be an issue, despite the fact that she assured me that she had a background in nutrition. There's another guy on my campus who has celiac disease, and the manager said that they avoid cross-contamination as much as possible and that everyone is educated about it, but most of the student workers don't seem to understand the importance of it. I'm in a dorm, and cooking my own food isn't going to be an option this semester. Does anyone know any easy to make meals that don't require much of anything?

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Yeah, I did talk to the executive chef, but she didn't seem to believe me when I said that cross-contamination would be an issue, despite the fact that she assured me that she had a background in nutrition. There's another guy on my campus who has celiac disease, and the manager said that they avoid cross-contamination as much as possible and that everyone is educated about it, but most of the student workers don't seem to understand the importance of it. I'm in a dorm, and cooking my own food isn't going to be an option this semester. Does anyone know any easy to make meals that don't require much of anything?

That is so so frustrating. You could try getting a rice cooker in your room, I have one in my room and it's super handy. Mine makes about 3 cups of rice at a time, which is a lotta rice. If you keep a can opener in your room, you can add canned beans (I use Eden Organic brand, which is definitely gluten free) and San-J Wheat-Free Tamari. Or skip the beans and add the tamari and a scoop of peanut butter (I use Jif) to hot rice; the peanut butter melts so it's like having an Asian peanut sauce. You can also steam vegetables in the rice cooker, or even meat, but that's pretty tricky in a dorm room that doesn't have a sink. Also, I buy big bags of gluten free pretzels, crush them up and add Sunmaid raisins and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips and carry the mix around in baggies as a snack during the day.

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