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celiacprincess17

College Search...

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Hi all. I'm new to the forumn stuff, but NOT new to a gluten-free diet. After 12 years, I'm pretty good about what to eat. Or what not to eat. I've traveled with the school and without my parents, so I can handle eating out.

I'm going to be a senior, and I'm dealing with the whole college search thing. I'm an only child so I have no idea what to do. Any suggestions on where to go? Or if not, what questions to ask as far as eating on campus? I know I'm supposed to talk to Health Services or Dining, but can you have microwaves or a fridge in a dorm?

Thanks,

Cass.


Diagnosed for 12 years and running. What was that, 1997? Yes, yes it was. Wow.

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Cass:

The latest issue of Living Without magazine has an article on this subject.

You might want to seek it out.

It had a lot of helpful tips on dining in college with allergies and how to get around them in the dorm, etc.

~Allison


Long history of IBS, and stomach/intestinal problems. Low on iron for all of my life.

Low on energy, with aches and pains in my joints and in my whole body for as long as I can remember.

Mostly lactose intolerant for all of my life (except for yoghurt)

Diagnosed in 2003 by naturapath as wheat intolerant. Tried it then fell of the wagon. In Feb. 2010 tried going gluten-free.

Went back to the poison in March, 2010.

Tested negative for celiac in April, 2010 (based on negative biopsy and normal tTG test). IgA tested 30-40 percent higher than normal.

Not going to fight the diagnosis because I refuse to go back to the poison. Happily gluten-free for health reasons as of April 2010, and not looking back.

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Allison,

I read it, thanks! (: I'm kind of hoping that someone has something to add to it.

Cass.


Diagnosed for 12 years and running. What was that, 1997? Yes, yes it was. Wow.

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Many schools have micro-fridge-freezers already on campus. Many also have a variety of dining choices on campus.

I would suggest that you (as annoying as it is) call each one's housing & food services departments (some schools that means one call, others it means more than one.)

I know, for example, Penn State, my alma matter, has the combo micro-fridge-freezer in the dorms at all their campuses and have for more than a decade now. i also know that they have a variety of dining options at their main campus.

Bigger schools will probably give you a greater option in regards to dining options outside of your room.

Some schools will even allow you to move to upper level housing that has full kitchens so that you can cook for yourself if they don't provide the options in their dining halls if you have the proper documentation from your physician. (for example - the penn state campus i went to had apartments w/ full stoves that you had to be 21 or a junior to live in.)

you may also even be able to get a single so you don't have to worry about cross contamination issue !!! - make sure to ask

the number one key is to be polite and keep good records of all your calls. ask for the name of the person you spoke to each time you call so that if you end up talking to different people you can reference back to a previous call (and then if you are getting differing info you know they don't know what they're talking about.)

GOOD LUCK!!!


-severe soy, wheat & yeast allergies 2006

-penicillin allergy 2008

-multiple other food & environmental allergies starting 1982

-non-iron deficient anemia - life long

-migraines 3/07

-negative celiac blood testing 10/09 & upper endoscopy biopsy 3/10

-negative GERD observation during upper endoscopy 3/10

-positive hereditary hiatial hernia during upper endoscopy 3/10

+continually working on gluten-free/CF/SF related to allergies & celiac like symptoms

+continually working on elimination of caffine, chocolate, & spicy foods related to hernia & heartburn

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It's been a long time since I was in college, but we were allowed refrigerators in our dorm rooms. You would ask the office that administers the residence halls. They can probably also answer your questions about the cafeterias and food services on campus. The school where I work now has a small grocery store in the student center and while it's overpriced, it does have a small gluten-free section. You can also check for a grocery store within bicycling distance of the dorms.

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Many schools have micro-fridge-freezers already on campus. Many also have a variety of dining choices on campus.

I would suggest that you (as annoying as it is) call each one's housing & food services departments (some schools that means one call, others it means more than one.)

I know, for example, Penn State, my alma matter, has the combo micro-fridge-freezer in the dorms at all their campuses and have for more than a decade now. i also know that they have a variety of dining options at their main campus.

Bigger schools will probably give you a greater option in regards to dining options outside of your room.

Some schools will even allow you to move to upper level housing that has full kitchens so that you can cook for yourself if they don't provide the options in their dining halls if you have the proper documentation from your physician. (for example - the penn state campus i went to had apartments w/ full stoves that you had to be 21 or a junior to live in.)

you may also even be able to get a single so you don't have to worry about cross contamination issue !!! - make sure to ask

the number one key is to be polite and keep good records of all your calls. ask for the name of the person you spoke to each time you call so that if you end up talking to different people you can reference back to a previous call (and then if you are getting differing info you know they don't know what they're talking about.)

GOOD LUCK!!!

Oh boy. I have my work cut out for me. Do I have to wait until I'm accepted into a college before I call and ask questions?

And on an unrelated note, I saw in your signature that you're eliminating caffeine. Do you know if white chocolate has caffeine? I'm having issues with acne and that seems to be the problem (or, it went away when I cut down on it).


Diagnosed for 12 years and running. What was that, 1997? Yes, yes it was. Wow.

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It's been a long time since I was in college, but we were allowed refrigerators in our dorm rooms. You would ask the office that administers the residence halls. They can probably also answer your questions about the cafeterias and food services on campus. The school where I work now has a small grocery store in the student center and while it's overpriced, it does have a small gluten-free section. You can also check for a grocery store within bicycling distance of the dorms.

Oh that's neat. (: I didn't even think about grocery stores on campus. I'll add that to my list of questions. Thanks!

Cass.


Diagnosed for 12 years and running. What was that, 1997? Yes, yes it was. Wow.

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It was 10 years ago (god I feel old!), but I had a mini-fridge in my dorm room. I used the dorm microwave and dorm kitchen (I wasn't gluten free at the time). I also bought an electric skillet and did some of my own cooking outside (better than the crappy pans the dorm kitchen had).

As was suggested, talk to each of them about the housing and dining situation.

As for where to go - it really depends on you. I wanted something that I felt I fit in with. I cannot recommend highly enough that you do on campus visits (I did this with campuses as far as ~600miles away). There is NOTHING like getting a feel for the students, faculty, and area personally. It makes all the difference in the world.


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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It was 10 years ago (god I feel old!), but I had a mini-fridge in my dorm room. I used the dorm microwave and dorm kitchen (I wasn't gluten free at the time). I also bought an electric skillet and did some of my own cooking outside (better than the crappy pans the dorm kitchen had).

As was suggested, talk to each of them about the housing and dining situation.

As for where to go - it really depends on you. I wanted something that I felt I fit in with. I cannot recommend highly enough that you do on campus visits (I did this with campuses as far as ~600miles away). There is NOTHING like getting a feel for the students, faculty, and area personally. It makes all the difference in the world.

That's really good to know. If you don't mind me asking, did you have a roommate? I think it'd be cool to have a gluten-free roommate, so it might make the whole eating thing a little easier.


Diagnosed for 12 years and running. What was that, 1997? Yes, yes it was. Wow.

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One thing to keep in mind ....

The micro-fridges are normally in the suite-style dorms, where the meal plan is required. I was told that even with documented celiac, they couldn't make an exception. They put me in an apartment-style dorm where there is a full kitchen and i can just make my own food.


~ Becky

Diagnosed Celiac/DH in April 2010.

Gluten and dairy-free since 4/26/10.

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One thing to keep in mind ....

The micro-fridges are normally in the suite-style dorms, where the meal plan is required. I was told that even with documented celiac, they couldn't make an exception. They put me in an apartment-style dorm where there is a full kitchen and i can just make my own food.

So I don't get the meal plan, right? (I'm really, really new at the college thing...)


Diagnosed for 12 years and running. What was that, 1997? Yes, yes it was. Wow.

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Every place is different. At the U of WA they have 'stores' where you can buy packaged food with your meal plan card. They also have fast food type places where you can go during off hours and have them clean the grill before making your hamburger or eggs.


"But then, in all honesty, if scientists don't play god, who will?"

- James Watson

My sources are unreliable, but their information is fascinating.

- Ashleigh Brilliant

Leap, and the net will appear.

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Ooh. So I ask about that before saying yes or no to the meal plan. Thanks (:


Diagnosed for 12 years and running. What was that, 1997? Yes, yes it was. Wow.

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Oh boy. I have my work cut out for me. Do I have to wait until I'm accepted into a college before I call and ask questions?

And on an unrelated note, I saw in your signature that you're eliminating caffeine. Do you know if white chocolate has caffeine? I'm having issues with acne and that seems to be the problem (or, it went away when I cut down on it).

no you do NOT have to wait to call for information. just go to their websites. often you can call the main switchboard and ask them to connect you to the housing/food service offices if you cannot find a direct link. but you should be able to get those numbers w/ a search of the university page too.

honestly, if they are rude to you prior to going, do you really think they will be any nicer once you are there?

it IS summer break though so you SHOULD take that into consideration. many offices will have limited hours or summer camps running right now so you may need to leave messages. i would give it 2-3 days before calling back.

as for eliminating caffeine - i have to continually work on eliminating it (i <3 my tea) more because of acid reflux than anything else. My understanding is that white chocolate does not contain any caffeine, and that milk and dark only contains minuscule amounts (vs. tea or coffee). you may actually be responding the to the sugar content, the cocoa butter & the milk solids found in white chocolate. (pretty much white chocolate is just made of those 3 ingredients.)


-severe soy, wheat & yeast allergies 2006

-penicillin allergy 2008

-multiple other food & environmental allergies starting 1982

-non-iron deficient anemia - life long

-migraines 3/07

-negative celiac blood testing 10/09 & upper endoscopy biopsy 3/10

-negative GERD observation during upper endoscopy 3/10

-positive hereditary hiatial hernia during upper endoscopy 3/10

+continually working on gluten-free/CF/SF related to allergies & celiac like symptoms

+continually working on elimination of caffine, chocolate, & spicy foods related to hernia & heartburn

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So I don't get the meal plan, right? (I'm really, really new at the college thing...)

again, this will depend on the school you go to.


-severe soy, wheat & yeast allergies 2006

-penicillin allergy 2008

-multiple other food & environmental allergies starting 1982

-non-iron deficient anemia - life long

-migraines 3/07

-negative celiac blood testing 10/09 & upper endoscopy biopsy 3/10

-negative GERD observation during upper endoscopy 3/10

-positive hereditary hiatial hernia during upper endoscopy 3/10

+continually working on gluten-free/CF/SF related to allergies & celiac like symptoms

+continually working on elimination of caffine, chocolate, & spicy foods related to hernia & heartburn

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no you do NOT have to wait to call for information. just go to their websites. often you can call the main switchboard and ask them to connect you to the housing/food service offices if you cannot find a direct link. but you should be able to get those numbers w/ a search of the university page too.

honestly, if they are rude to you prior to going, do you really think they will be any nicer once you are there?

it IS summer break though so you SHOULD take that into consideration. many offices will have limited hours or summer camps running right now so you may need to leave messages. i would give it 2-3 days before calling back.

as for eliminating caffeine - i have to continually work on eliminating it (i <3 my tea) more because of acid reflux than anything else. My understanding is that white chocolate does not contain any caffeine, and that milk and dark only contains minuscule amounts (vs. tea or coffee). you may actually be responding the to the sugar content, the cocoa butter & the milk solids found in white chocolate. (pretty much white chocolate is just made of those 3 ingredients.)

Oh thank you so much! That makes tons of sense. (: I may just start the question process and then follow up once school starts.

I'm with you on the love of tea. That really helps; a friend is actually allergic to caffeine.

I'll try cutting out (well, cutting back...) on sugar rather than all caffeine sources and see if that makes a difference.


Diagnosed for 12 years and running. What was that, 1997? Yes, yes it was. Wow.

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Ooh. So I ask about that before saying yes or no to the meal plan. Thanks (:

Yeah, it just depends. Honestly, I would call residence life for the colleges you're considering and find out. Some types of dorms require the meal plan. My school said they couldn't guarantee there wouldn't be any CC, but another college could be more helpful in that aspect. Also, I think most colleges now have options that they don't require it. I would go ahead and research that information for the colleges you're considering, and figure out what the best option would be.


~ Becky

Diagnosed Celiac/DH in April 2010.

Gluten and dairy-free since 4/26/10.

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Alrighty. I'll do my research. (: Thanks for the advice!


Diagnosed for 12 years and running. What was that, 1997? Yes, yes it was. Wow.

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Hey there :)

When I came to FSU the school gave me the option of living in an apartment style dorm with upperclassmen so that I had a kitchen, or living in a regular dorm and working with the kitchen staff to figure out meals for each week. I opted to live off campus in an apartment with someone I already knew up at college though.

One thing I would definitely suggest is to check with the student disability resource center on campus. They can help you with any questions and put you in contact with the right people. On top of that, they are the ones (at FSU anyway) who provide documentation to your teachers of your Celiac Disease so that if you miss a class because of something related to celiac disease, you are excused.

Another thing I would definitely consider when looking into specific colleges is to make sure there are places to shop for gluten free food near by. You don't want to get there and then realize that you are going to have to have your parents ship you food every month.

Hope your search goes well!!

Taylor


<3 Taylor

Celiac since 1990

GO NOLES!!

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That's really good to know. If you don't mind me asking, did you have a roommate? I think it'd be cool to have a gluten-free roommate, so it might make the whole eating thing a little easier.

I was fortunate enough to get into the dorm that had all single rooms. They were tiny (9'x10' my freshman year), but they didn't require roommates. (I went to a small school - Harvey Mudd. If you're interested in math/science/engineering, I highly suggest checking it out.)


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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I am a student at the University of Iowa and was diagnosed early this year. The Dining halls on campus cater to my needs as well as to the needs of all Celiacs on campus. They provide us with menus with ingredients so that we can see which items are gluten free. As far as the refrigerator, all schools allow you to have one in your room. If the school does not have a menu, demand it, it is not worth guessing. Meal plans are the way to go, they are sooo convenient!

Zack

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I would not assume that getting into upper class dorms with a shared kitchen would be safer than being on the meal plan. I was in one dorm where the shared kitchen was AWFUL and another with friends where it would be have been a problem had I been symptomatic at the time. For a truly safe environment, a studio apartment would be your best bet. Especially as a freshman, it can be hard to control your roommate/suitemate choice. If you are very sensitive, you might want to consider this as a major deciding factor. There's just so much gluten-based food in dorm food that preventing cross contamination would be quite challenging, but if you're on the less sensitive end, you can likely eat safely as a lot of schools do a good bit of cooking on site (so they use real ingredients).

A larger school would offer more options, but a smaller school would likely mean you could "make friends" with most of the kitchen staff quickly and easily. Schools without a contracted provider (i.e. Aramark) may have more flexibility, and Bon Appetite has a reputation for being better quality and more responsive than Aramark.

In calling Dining Services, you should try to see if there is an RD on staff, and speak to him/her as well as whoever initially answers the phone. It may actually be wiser to speak to the office is disability services first, as they may be able to speed your connection with dining services. They may also know of other student's experiences and be able to connect you to them as well. I would definitely ask to speak to current students with celiac!


2/2010 Malabsorption becomes dramatically noticable

3/2010 Negative IgA EMA; negative IgA TTG

4/2010 Negative biopsy

5/2010 Elimination diet; symptoms begin to resolve on gluten-free diet round two (10 days)

5/2010 Diagnosed gluten sensitive based on weakly positive repeat IgA & IgG TTGs and dietary response; decline capsule endoscopy.

Now, what to do about my cookbook in progress? Make it gluten-free?

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Many schools have micro-fridge-freezers already on campus. Many also have a variety of dining choices on campus.

I would suggest that you (as annoying as it is) call each one's housing & food services departments (some schools that means one call, others it means more than one.)

I know, for example, Penn State, my alma matter, has the combo micro-fridge-freezer in the dorms at all their campuses and have for more than a decade now. i also know that they have a variety of dining options at their main campus.

Bigger schools will probably give you a greater option in regards to dining options outside of your room.

Some schools will even allow you to move to upper level housing that has full kitchens so that you can cook for yourself if they don't provide the options in their dining halls if you have the proper documentation from your physician. (for example - the penn state campus i went to had apartments w/ full stoves that you had to be 21 or a junior to live in.)

you may also even be able to get a single so you don't have to worry about cross contamination issue !!! - make sure to ask

the number one key is to be polite and keep good records of all your calls. ask for the name of the person you spoke to each time you call so that if you end up talking to different people you can reference back to a previous call (and then if you are getting differing info you know they don't know what they're talking about.)

GOOD LUCK!!!

One of my sons went to Rochester Institute of Technology and the other to SUNY Purchase and both had on campus apartments with full kitchens.

As freshman they were in a dorm but had refrigerators and there was a common area with a microwave.


Gluten free since 1990.

Diagnosed by duodenal biopsy.

You don't stop skiing because you get old. You get old because you stop skiing :-)

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So I don't get the meal plan, right? (I'm really, really new at the college thing...)

My celiac son is a 17yo HS Senior too and my daughter is a college student, so we have some experience.

Many colleges MAKE you buy the meal plan if you live in the dorms and even though you may not be able to eat much or any of the food. This could mean an extra $4000 a year, which is a rip off. As a parent, I don't want to pay that much! Even if you can eat some in the cafeteria, it is more like salads, plain meat, veggies, rice, which might be very boring over a whole year. (When we visited colleges, I would get bored in 2-3 days eating the same thing.) So depending on the college, you may have to register with the ADA/Disability office and get special priveldges, like not having to get the meal plan or to get a room with a kitchen.

Some colleges (Pomona and the other CMC colleges-including Harvey Mudd that Tarnelberry talked about- in California and UC Santa Cruz are some that I know about) have gluten-free labels on their food in the dining hall and seem like they'd be accomadating. My daughter's sorority house had gluten-free pizza, brownies, desert, etc., on a regular basis, but that is hard to predict ahead of time, because normally you don't know which sorority you'll end up at and her new sorority house (at a different school) doesn't do that.

Some of the bigger schools have franchises in the cafeteria like Jamba Juice and Subway. Maybe you'll get lucky and your school will have Taco Del Mar or Chik-fil-A in the cafeteria.

I think asking for a celiac room-mate is a good idea. After you're accepted at some schools, they have message boards where students post/advertise for roommates, so you can look there or post a message on Facebook, and you'll start "meeting" potential roomies ahead of time. Start looking as soon as you're accepted at a school and if possible post a message asking for a celiac roommate.

I think if you can ask the college for a room with a kitchen, that might be an idea, but the CC issue is a problem as most college kids aren't very clean cooks. The way around that would be to have your own pans and bowls and keep them in your room, and keep your food in your room too.

A microwave and a fridge should do you pretty well if you want to supplement the salads and such that you get in the dorm cafeteria. With the fridge/micro you can have soup (Progresso or Thai Kitchen) , chili (Amy's or Hormel), frozen dinners (Amy's), hot dogs, Indian curry (Patak's). There's also pre-cooked rice (Minute Rice or Trader Joe's or Lundbergs) and Annie's Mac-n-cheese. Plus keep yogurt, fruit cups, jello, pudding, pre-cooked bacon or ham, lunchmeat, hard-boiled eggs, cheese sticks etc. in the fridge. Peanut butter, popcorn, lara bars, pretzels and tortilla chips are easy to keep. Get a milk crate to put in your closet or under your bed and store your pantry items there.

Hope this helps! I'm crossing my fingers for my son and hope you do ok too.


Diagnosed by biopsy 2/12/07. Negative blood tests. Gluten-free (except for accidents) since 2/15/07. DQ2.5 (HLA DQA1*05:DQB1*0201)

Son, age 18, previously delayed growth 3rd percentile weight, 25th percentile height (5'3" at age 15). Negative blood work. Endoscopy declined. Enterolab positive 3/12/08. Gene results: HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201 HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0503 Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,1(Subtype 2,5) Went gluten-free, casein-free 3/15/08. Now 6'2" (Over six feet!) and doing great.

"Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance." Abigail Adams (1744-1818) 2nd First Lady of the United States

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