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  1. Hello everyone! My mom recommended this site and I already feel comforted and not insane anymore reading what you guys have said about your experiences... so let me introduce you to my hell. So I was diagnosed with a gluten allergy in 7th grade and completely ignored it... not even knowing what gluten was. For example, one year my friends got me a huge box with 48 packs of pop tarts inside and I ate every single one in about a month. Let's just say I'm a pig. I always took pride in myself for being able to eat like a monster and still be skinny and an amazing athlete. I was an excellent swimmer and always went to States and Nationals with my school team, mind you while not being on year round teams at all. I think it was 2 years ago, yes, April 22, 2016, the doctor told my mom and I and that I have Crohn's disease and that I need to go on drugs immediately. Of course I was in denial for the next 6 months and still am to some degree and kept eating gluten in sadness, fear and denial. I went on Imuran for about 3 1/2 months but of course, the lovely teen that I am I didn't take many of the pills. My mom and I "doctor shopped" a lot because she has always been into the natural route and I love and trust her fully so I listened to her. I had a colonoscopy done and didn't eat much of anything. I remember there was a period of maybe a month where all I could keep in was white rice with butter. It felt like candy I'm not kidding. Anyways, we bounced around from 4 different doctors till we finally found an integrative medicine doctor who was willing to help and was certain he could heal me. I was finally ready to accept Crohn's and do what I could to heal myself naturally. I'd seen too many documentaries on our current food (What the Health and Supersize Me for example) and read too much online about the effects of long term high class drugs--the biologics like Humira etc. and was scared that my little body would't be able to handle it so why not try the natural route. So my current doctor did blood work and collected stool--as most do, and it came back that I was severely allergic to 60 out of the main 61 types of gluten or whatever the number is...I was a rare case for him and very severe. I also presented allergies to rice, eggs, most meats--I can eat cooked chicken and pork , allergic to most vegetables and most fruits, and seafood--I can have raw and cooked salmon, cooked sea bass, trout and raw tuna. So now I am left with not many options and a million supplements to take. So I have some questions for anyone willing to help me... 1) Does anyone else have severe food allergies like me and can you make any suggestions for recipes? I take SeaCure--a fish protein supplement in between meals but I need some protein to eat! I love to eat and have already lost yet another pound because I am just not getting enough nutrients even though they are gluten free and safe foods. 2) How long till my hair will get thick and beautiful again?? I read that Imran affects hair and makes you lose it and thin it out...how long will it take to heal that?? 3) My skin, especially my hands crack really badly and the lines are white with rawness and dryness. Help me! I use Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula which is gluten-free and because I can have coconuts. Anyone have any other good recommendations for gluten-free lotions? My hands are painful! 4) Has anyone been so severe like me where you haven't been pregnant but have hemorrhoids on the outside of your butt?? Super weird and uncomfortable...Have they ever gone back in? Also, what should I do to relieve the burning sensation they give me? Or that area in general? 5) I am only 19 but long to have a family one day and lots of children. If I healed myself by the time I was let's say 26, do you think I could have kids?? 6) Speaking of kids, I haven't had my period in over two years. When should I expect that to come back? 7) Does anyone else crack their hands, neck, fingers, back, knees, or toes? I do and I'm wondering if that could be related to joint/skeletal discomfort.. 8) When will my irritability go away? I used to be the happiest person on earth and never cursed but now it seems like it's all I do. I hate feeling this way!! 9) Do you have any recommendations like meal prepping or anything to help me? I am in college and have no time to do anything already...Have any fast and easy meals to make that will last the weekdays? 10) I have talked your ears off so I am so thankful if any of you read this far. I appreciate any advice and am so thankful for this website!! I attached my the list of foods that I can and cannot eat if any of you can make recipe suggestions off of the green and yellow foods. Yellows can be tried once a week or every few days if I can tolerate them. Otherwise they go on the red list--which are no-no foods. Thank you so much!! List of Food.docx
  2. I'm a college kid new to the gluten free diet and need some recommendations on good baking kits. I used to just buy brownie and cookie mix but its hard for me to find a good quick fix for parties etc.
  3. Celiac.com 08/24/2017 - Despite the proliferation of gluten-free and other alternative dining options at many colleges across America, students on some campuses are feeling left behind. While many schools have worked to create dedicated gluten- and allergen-free dining space, a number of colleges and university seem to be lagging. For students on many campuses, the gluten-free revolution can't come fast enough. Recent stories about gluten-free dining halls have become common. Kent State and Cornell establishing the countries first certified gluten-free college eatery in the U.Michaela Abel, a senior with celiac disease was forced to cancel her meal plan during her sophomore year due to a lack of gluten-free options at Seattle U's main cafeteria, Cherry Street Market. For Abel, eating gluten-free is a necessity, not a choice. The school does attempt to offer gluten-free options, but at the end of the day, couldn't maintain consistent gluten-free conditions, which meant Abel got sick a lot, and eventually had to cancel her meal plan. Abel says she is fortunate to have a friend who offered her the use of a kitchen. Meal purveyor Bon Appetit caters six different campus eateries, and says all locations are set up to offer meals and snacks that meet a range of dietary needs, including at least one vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free option at all locations. Seattle University really doesn't try to hide their problem. Jay Payne, the General Manager of Bon Appetit at Seattle U, admits that conditions in on-campus kitchens sometimes make it difficult to ensure that food is not cross-contaminated. They are basically saying that it is difficult, so they haven't done it. Beyond that, those in charge largely offered up platitudes about how managers must take training modules that include gluten-free protocols. But, if the University fails to provide a suitable environment in which to employ those protocols, how are the students supposed to benefit? What some schools seem to get better than others is that providing gluten-free dining solutions to students is an issue of addressing disabilities, not catering to a dietary fad. The schools making the most progress seem to be the schools that understand the importance of the issue, and dedicating resources to solving it. Is access to gluten-free food a factor in choosing a college for you, a family member or a friend?
  4. Celiac.com 07/04/2017 - Once upon a time, maintaining a gluten-free diet was a challenge, especially for college kids. In many ways, it still is, as college students face numerous challenges that others do not. However, things are changing, and much of that change is being driven by colleges and universities seeking to better serve their students with food sensitivities and allergies. More and more, colleges in America are doing more to step up their food services for their students with food allergies and sensitivities. Cornell University has quietly worked to phase gluten out of its main dining hall. For the last several years, students and others have been enjoying various gluten-free meals at Risley Dining Room without fanfare. From rice noodles at stir-fry station, to gluten-free flour in the brownies and biscuits. A recent gluten-free facility certification from Kitchens with Confidence, allowed Cornell to re-introduce Risley Dining as a 100% gluten-free, tree-nut-free, and peanut-free kitchen. In 2016, Kent State University became the first university in the country to feature an entirely gluten-free dining hall on campus. The move to convert Kent State's Prentice Café to gluten-free facility has helped the university emerge as a leader in gluten-free campus food services. Meanwhile, out west, Mills College is working hard to make sure the meals are good to eat and good for the planet. Their dining facility serves local and organic ingredients as much as possible, and prepare food from scratch in small batches to keep dishes fresh and healthy. Mills' website describes their food as "fresh, locally sourced, and delicious." Food and drink website the Daily Meal regularly lists Mills in its 75 Best Colleges for Food in America, while the Princeton Review consistently names Mills as one of the greenest colleges in the nation. Other colleges and universities that earn high gluten-free food marks are Baylor University, Tennessee University, Georgetown University, Oregon State, Bard College, University of Wisconsin Madison, Southern Methodist University, University of Arizona, Ithaca College,Texas A&M, University of Notre Dame, University of New Hampshire, SUNY Potsdam, and Tufts University. Source: thecampanil.com
  5. Hello This is my first post! My name is Hannah and I am 21 years old, in my third year of college at a very rigorous academic university. I got my celiac diagnosis this summer and since then have really tried to take everything in swing. The diagnosis was VERY unexpected. Nobody in the family has it (but my mom is adopted) and I didn't have a lot of the "stereotypical" symptoms, more like a ton of fatigue, brain fog, and anxiety. But after the endoscopy, I was told that my intestines were very damaged, suggesting at a severe reactance and long history of the disease. I also have Hashimoto's. So having received a life changer out of the blue, I tried really hard to take everything in stride. Basically this is what the last 5 months have looked like: Can't eat that? Fine, whatever. Someday I'll find a gluten free version. Can't engage in meals with friends? It's okay, it's all about the company anyways, right? Got glutened? It'll pass. Eventually. Hopefully. Until it happens again. My friends tell me every time they eat something gluten free, like I should give them a gold star? At least they're trying to help in their own somewhat unhelpful way. I had to turn down a travel opportunity because they couldn't guarantee that they could get me gluten free food? That's okay, it just wasn't meant to be then, right? Right? RIGHT? *screams* Every situation I just push things away, trying to tell myself it's okay, it's fine, it's fine, it's fine... Because it kind of has to be, I have so many things to do and responsibilities. But I'm now at the place where I feel like I can't keep doing this anymore. My health is still shaky, I have gotten glutened a couple times, or I'll randomly feel horrible but not know why, other times I'll just totally forget to eat, my grades are dropping, and I generally feel overwhelmed. I was already bad at making sure I ate (I am always on the go, with a really busy college schedule) BEFORE the diagnosis (aka when eating was easy) so now that there are so many factors, it is really not helping. Additionally, I share a kitchen with my 4 other apartment-mates - it's not a gluten free kitchen by any means. Sometimes there are crumbs everywhere. I have my own cupboard and essential dishes as well as my own scrubby to wash my dishes, and I try not to touch anything, but I'm not sure if this is cutting it. Any tips on sharing an apartment with gluten-y people? Finally, I always feel guilty and annoying for constantly inconveniencing people. Like asking tons of questions, reading labels of everything, being that annoying person. I can't even ask servers to change their gloves without feeling bad about it... Thankfully my family has been super supportive. But I still feel guilty and like a hassle, along with trying to cope with all my own feelings of sadness and anger over the situation. I really would appreciate all and any advice! I don't really know anyone with celiac so I've been feeling very alone and incredibly overwhelmed. Would love to hear from anybody, even if it's just a "hello, I understand." Because I need that!
  6. Celiac.com 01/24/2017 - Coming from homes where gluten-free food is abundant and taken for granted, many college students struggle with maintaining their diets during their time on campus. That struggle is the focus of numerous efforts by campuses nationwide to provide solid, reliable and abundant gluten-free food options for their students. At a place like SMU, that can include kitchen dining halls that serve gluten-free foods, or gluten-free pantry in Umphrey Lee. To help students be more conscious about their food choices SMU posts the daily menus on its website, along with nutritional facts for each item. There are different icons such as Eat Well, Fat Free, Low Sodium, Vegetarian, and Vegan, but as yet, no Gluten-Free icon. SMU does offer students access to a campus dietitian, who can help them figure out how to eat a balanced diet on campus, and grant them access to the gluten-free pantry or help in special cases. Read more at: smudailycampus.com.
  7. This last semester my roommate and I had our dorm furniture arranged symmetrically. My half of the room was gluten free, hers was not. She left a muffin on her dresser so long with so many other things it became a big pile of slightly moldy crumbs by the end of the semester. Once I came home from church and found her still in bed with a doughnut right next to her on her bed sheet! Anyway, she's taking a semester off from classes, so the school isn't letting her stay in the dorms. She found a place nearby and I was able to request my room stay a private one next semester on the grounds of Asperger's and Misophonia, because I can't imagine having to ask a poor new student to deal with my sound sensitivities as well as my former roomie did. Now all the furniture is mine so I'm trying to de-gluten it (while wearing ziplock bags on my hands lol). I'm not planning on using any of her drawers, but I want her dresser to be my nightstand, her desk to have my old '90s TV/VCR combo on it with a Wii hooked up, and her bed to be bunked above mine. So far I've used Clorox wipes on everything. I know the only way to get rid of gluten is scrubbing/wiping, because gluten isn't a germ. (I figured a Clorox wipe would kill two birds with one stone since the furniture could probably use some sanitizing, too, along with wiping.) The furniture is wooden and feels sorta plastic-ish. I know wood and plastic are both porous, so I'm not sure how well these wipes can get gluten off. I wound up buying some plastic table cloths and put one over her old dresser for my nightstand, and I plan on putting one over her old desk after Christmas break before I put the TV and Wii on it. Do these measures sound like enough? Also, her bed. The mattresses at school are... I'm not sure what material. They don't feel like fabric. They're kinda like plastic? Or vinyl, but not so shiny and clingy? Anyway, I used Clorox wipes on her mattress and parts of the frame where her crumbs could have drifted. I even flipped the mattress over and wiped some of the bottom of it off. Is there any way a gluten particle I missed could... I dunno, drift down onto my bed when I stack them in January? Like some sort of toxic, invisible snow? 0.o Or is gluten too sticky of a protein for that to happen?
  8. At the start of the 2016 academic year, Kent State University becomes the first university in the country to feature an entirely gluten-free dining hall on campus. Kent State restructured Prentice Café after administrators noticed that the number of students arriving on campus with gluten intolerance was rising each year. The new dining facility will meet the ever-increasing demand for gluten-free foods. An estimated 3 million Americans suffer from celiac disease, a genetic autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive process. When a person who has celiac disease consumes gluten, the individual’s immune system attacks the small intestine and inhibits the body’s ability to absorb important nutrients. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. It is essential for those with celiac disease and sensitivity to gluten to avoid products containing these ingredients. Some individuals who have not been diagnosed with an allergy or sensitivity to gluten also choose to restrict their gluten intake as a personal preference. Until recently, however, it has often been difficult to find suitable gluten-free food options, especially when dining away from home. Kent State aims to make college life easier for students who need or prefer gluten-free foods. At Prentice Café, all menu items are gluten-free. Although many campuses offer gluten-free products and some even offer gluten-free stations in their dining halls, Kent State is the first campus to offer an entire dining hall that is certified gluten-free. "Students’ needs have always been our top priority," said Rich Roldan, director of university dining services at Kent State. "Students have enough to worry about - they should not havve to worry about their food being safe to eat. It is important they can eat in a safe environment, which is why we decided to make Prentice Café a gluten-free dining location." Prentice Café earned certification from the Gluten-Free Food Services Certification Program, a food safety program offered through the Gluten Intolerance Group. The Gluten Intolerance Group is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the gluten-free community through consumer support, advocacy and education. Although gluten intolerance has gained attention in recent years, it can still be challenging to address the needs of students who have celiac disease or sensitivity to gluten. One issue is students’ reluctance to self-identify as gluten intolerant. Students are sometimes self-conscious about special dietary needs and often prefer not to feel singled out when dining on campus. This was something administrators considered when developing Prentice Café. "It’s important for students who have celiac disease or gluten intolerance to be able to have a safe location where they can go and not have to worry," explained Megan Brzuski, Kent State’s dining services dietitian. "There are many different menu items and options available for students to choose from at Prentice Café." Anyone is welcome to dine at Prentice Café, which is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. In addition to every item being gluten-free, the menu also features a variety of vegan and vegetarian dishes, as well as foods that support a healthy lifestyle. The café accepts meal plans, cash and credit cards. Prentice Café opened on Aug. 29, the first day of the fall semester. A grand opening celebration will be held on Sept. 7 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students, faculty, staff and all members of the Kent State community are invited to attend the event, which will include opportunities to sample items, as well as educational displays and prizes. The Gluten-Free Food Service Certification Program, a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group, is a proven model of established best practices for food service establishments offering gluten-free options. Certifications and protocols are customized to the specific needs of each food service establishment who works with the Gluten-Free Food Service Certification Program, including considered factors such as facility size, number of locations and the type of food establishment. For more information about the Gluten-Free Food Service Certification program, visit www.gffoodservice.org. For more information about Kent State’s Dining Services, visit www.kent.edu/dining.
  9. Hey everybody. Im new to this site, but have been diagnosed with celiac for about 2 & a half years. This fall i will be attending UCSB (class of 2019 wooo); I just received my acceptance this month. I was wondering if there are any celiacs who attend UCSB out there ? If so contact me I would like to know others like me. Im nervous for how my dining experience will be there. Also, any celiacs in SB area ? I would like to know of all the local glisten free friendly spots and good places to shop.
  10. Hi everyone, I'm 20 years old and want to share my story and my perspective, on some common issues for people with celiac. I have been gluten-free for various periods of time in my life, as I tried different diets to help get rid of fatigue, brain fog, and anxiety. When I look back, I can see now that I have been allergic to gluten ever since I was 13, maybe even before then. I ignored the symptoms for the most part, until at 16 I began to realize how I would feel different after eating certain foods. So I tried a variety of different diets over time: Atkins, Paleo, Vegetarian, Vegan, and Fruitarian. In between all of these diets I would try to go back and eat "normal" foods again, and would inevitably get sick, and the cycle would start over again. However, some of these diets, particularily Paleo and Fruitarian, made me feel really good. I realized what they had in common: they were gluten and dairy free. I did some research and figured out that I had celiac and was lactose intolerant. I've been on a gluten-free, vegan diet for about 9 months now. It's been tremendously successful for me. However, there are aspects of life that can be challenging for this lifestyle, namely college, work, travel, and dating. College is difficult because the beer&pizza stereotypes exist for a reason - college is full of it. The way I have gotten around it is to have a mini fridge, microwave, and large rice-cooker in my dorm room, which allows me to prepare essentially all my own food. Classes are also only a couple hours a day, so it's no problem. The problem for me right now is with work. I have two internships this summer back-to-back through-out the day. I leave my house around 6:30 am and don't get home until 5:00 pm. This represents a huge challenge to me, as I now have to either bring enough food to last me all day, or I have to bring some food and eat out at lunch. The problem is that there is essentially NO gluten free place in the area I'm working in that can provide me with 100% gluten free food on a daily basis. It's a challenge. Right now I'm just bringing enough food for the day, but it's hard to do. Travelling is difficult for obvious reasons. You can't prepare your own food most of the time, and you're constantly on the move. However, I've found it to be significantly easier than work. Since you're not tied down to being in any specific location, you're more free to hunt and explore for places that have gluten-free accommodations. A lot of people on here have expressed concerns about dating, and I would like to echo some of the advice already given on here. It's really about respecting yourself first and foremost. Celiac is a disease. It is a medical necessity to you that you are gluten free. When you find the right person for you (and you will), they honestly will not care about the restrictions this poses to them. Life is about people and human contact first, and food second. Having celiac has made me more aware, empathetic, and tolerant of others' struggles and disabilities, and it's made me realize that we all have them. Nobody is perfect, and that's the point. When you're dating someone, it's because they want to be around you, not because they like to eat pizza (and besides, there's always gluten-free pizza). So there's both hope and despair, for on the hand being gluten free has allowed me to live once again! It has represented the largest single change that has brought me the most clarity, and I'm very thankful for that. But on the other hand, it feels like it has severely restricted my ability to be free. My life has become more routine and structured and isolated, and I sometimes feel irrationally afraid of the world (filled with gluten). So it's bittersweet, and I'm sure it's a normal part of the process as I learn to live with this. It's really interesting how much diet truly does matter.
  11. My daughter is a HS junior and has begun her college search. She has been gluten-free for 9 years. She also has other food allergies. Obviously, the competance of the dining services will be a major part of her college decision. Does any one have any input on what colleges are really good or not good at handling gluten-free diets and food allergies? She is primarily interested in schools in the Northeast and possibly the mid-atlantic area. We would love some input from people with recent, first hand experience either attending college or who have recently visited. Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  12. I've noticed a lot of post from college students lately so I thought I'd let you all know what I did when I was in college (miss those days ). Personally, I lost a TON of weight when I was in college, 90 pounds to be exact. I switched my diet to a "bodybuilding" style gluten-free diet and worked my A$$ off, but the results I achieved were definitely worth it. I always prepared my food for a few days to a week in advance and then loaded it into tupperware containers. Tupperware soon became my best friend, and it will become yours. Whenever I was hungry I simply heated up my container of food (or ate it cold if I could stomach it and didn't have a microwave) and ate it! All of my meals consisted of meat or eggs for protein, a leafy green vegetable, and a few meals of the day I'd add carbs in, usually Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Rolled Oats. Here's a sample of my daily meals: I've broke them down into macronutrients ( P = Proteins, F = Fats, C = Carbs ) PROTEIN/FATS/CARBS Meal 1 8 Egg Whites - 32/0/0 1 Whole Egg - 6/5/0 1 Cup Oats (Bob's Red Mill) - 12/5/54 Multi-Vitamin Total Macros - 50P/10F/54C Total Cals - 506 WORKOUT ((Post Workout)) 1 Scoop Whey - 24/1/4 1/2 Cup Oats (Bob's Red Mill) - 5/3/27 Total Macros - 29P/4F/31C Total Cals - 276 Meal 2 7.8 Oz Chicken - 51/3/0 8 Oz Sweet Potato - 4/7/45 1 Cup Broccoli - 2.5/0/6 Total Macros - 57.5P/10F/51C Total Cals - 524 Meal 3 7 Oz Canned Tuna In Water (Chicken of the sea brand, broth is made of soybeans) - 51/2/0 1 Cup Oats (Bob's Red Mill) - 12/5/54 1 Cup Broccoli - 2.5/0/6 Total Macros - 65.5P/7F/60C Total Cals - 565 Meal 4 7.8 Oz Chicken - 51/3/0 1 Tbsp EVOO (Olive Oil) - 0/13.5/0 1 Cup Broccoli - 2.5/0/6 Total Macros - 53.5P/16.5F/6C Total Cals - 386.5 Meal 5 6 Oz London Broil - 60/6/0 1 Tbsp EVOO (Olive Oil) - 0/13.5/0 Total Macros - 60P/19.5F/0C Total Cals - 415.5 Meal 6 1 Scoop CytoSport Complete Casein Protein Powder (Gluten-Free) - 24/1/3 ----- 2 Scoops on workout days - 48/2/6 2 Tbsp Natural PB - 7/16/8 Total Macros - 31P/17F/11C --- 55P/18F/14C (Workout Days) Total Cals - 321 --- 438 (Workout Days) Total Cals on non W/O Days -2664 - Total Of ALL Macros - 317.5P/74F/182C Total Cals on W/O Days - 3057 - Total Of ALL Macros - 370.5P/79F/216C I hope this can help some of you out. I know this seems like a lot, but I promise it was worth every second of my time that I put into it.
  13. Celiac.com 02/15/2012 - At the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting held in Washington, DC, Caris Diagnostics, a leader in anatomic pathology services, presented 15 abstracts highlighting new findings that reflect and expand Caris' commitment to gastrointestinal disease research. Highlights from the presentation include two studies, in particular. The first study, "High Prevalence of Celiac Disease in Women With Young Onset Collagenous Colitis," found that young women with collagenous colitis are eight times more likely than the general population to have celiac disease. That study was authored by Ahmed Bedeir, MD, Bhaskar Ganguly, and Mukunda Ray, MD, PhD. As Dr. Bedeir's finding is gleaned from the largest series of young patients with collagenous colitis ever reported, the study team recommends that women age 40 or younger who have a diagnosis of collagenous colitis also undergo an EGD with duodenal biopsies to exclude concurrent celiac disease. The second study, "Seasonal Patterns in Eosinophilic Esophagitis: An Analysis by Month of Diagnosis and Month of Birth," showed that, contrary to previous suggestions derived from smaller series, there was no evidence of monthly or seasonal variation even within known regions with diverse climates among our 10,000 patients with eosinophilic esophagitis. That study was authored by Jennifer M. Hurrell, DO, Amnon Sonnenberg, MD, and Robert M. Genta, MD, FACG. Regarding Caris' commitment to gastrointestinal disease research, Richard H. Lash, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Caris says that the "establishment of the Caris Research Institute as a structure for promoting and carrying out research has again generated a strong presence at the annual ACG meeting in Washington, D.C," adding that Caris remains "committed to leveraging our tremendous database and academic talent to answer important questions in the field of gastroenterology and are honored to have the opportunity to present our findings at ACG 2011." Source: http://www.carislifesciences.com/news/caris-diagnostics-presents-research-at-2011-annual-meeting-of-the-american-college-of-gastroenterology/
  14. Celiac.com 06/13/2008 - Students embarking on the college path often ride a roller coaster between sheer unadulterated excitement and deep-in-the-stomach dread of meeting new people and challenges. For the gluten free college student, a whole world of eating choices will await them in all sorts of different social situations. It is a new cornucopia of responsible choice. Perhaps the first challenge will be establishing a relationship with the people who manage the food services on campus. Although public understanding of Celiac disease and gluten intolerance are on the fast track, the level of training for gluten free food service is still on the slow track. A thorough understanding on the part of food management usually comes through one or more managers having a relative with the condition. Liability issues still concern corporate management of food service. Until the term gluten-free is clearly defined through FDA labeling laws, many companies are hesitant to establish true gluten free programs. After 30 years in food service, I can personally attest that most people in the food service profession want to provide good and healthy service to their customers. Many managers work much more than the typical 40 hour work week in just that endeavor. Making customers happy is an integral part of being in the hospitality industry. However, the biggest problem presented by the gluten free dilemma is the widespread contamination of wheat in products where it naturally should not be. The processed food additives in most commercial mixes and flavorings are a huge roadblock to immediate implementation of gluten free programs. Manufacturers are getting the message that customers want gluten free products and will provide them for commercial clients in time. Working with food service on cross contamination issues should be a pleasant experience. However, it will be a continual learning process for both food service management and the gluten free student. Campus food service is one of the primary employers for students on, or near, college campuses. Flexible hours and close location form a workforce that is beneficial for both students and employer. The temporary nature of food service staff may result in a different person on a food station much more often than would happen in a restaurant. The server may just be starting their full round of training and may not be knowledgeable in gluten free food handling. The gluten free student will have to be vigilant about cross contamination and talk frequently with the food service management. They will also need to have patience in working with service and cooking staff so that all may learn and benefit. The term “gluten free ambassador” is descriptive of being on the front line of changing how food is prepared and served for all gluten free students on college campuses. Just remember, college food service wants you as a customer. They will try to meet your needs and will learn along with you. Another opportunity for education and learning interpersonal skills will be with your roommate. I have never seen a spacious dorm room. The high value of real estate on most college campuses extends to the dorm rooms as well. There will not be a lot of room for foods or duplicate cooking appliances for cross contamination purposes. You should plan to discuss your needs well in advance with the University Department responsible for housing. The new college student will be presented with daily opportunities to go off the gluten free diet. However, the biggest temptation will be the variety of foods available to you in the college cafeteria. Seeing gluten-laden foods for the first time (for some students) can be a powerful draw to experiment and experience. It would be wise to create an action plan to prevent lapses into the gluten-filled world. Knowing that you have gluten free foods available in your dorm room or apartment to curb a snack attack is essential. You must be firm in your mind that your food choices are the same as any other person – you just actively choose the gluten free items. The college experience is a time of tremendous personal growth. It is also a time of great learning and life long friendships that shouldn’t be sidetracked by illness. Gluten free students will continually test and create new facets of a lifestyle that is only beginning to be felt on most campuses. Plan ahead and carry patience in your back pocket.
  15. Columbia Genome Center at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY: The Center is looking for families who have more than one member affected with Celiac Disease, to participate in a genetic research study. Information about the study is included below. All inquiries should be made to the Genetic Coordinator, Michele Pallai, at (203) 438-3582 or email: pallai@ibm.net. The Columbia Genome Center is sponsoring a research program at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons to identify the gene responsible for Celiac Disease. Professor of Genetics and Development, T. Conrad Gilliam, renowned for mapping the genes responsible for Wilson disease and spinal muscular atrophy, is leading the investigation. In addition to his own research staff, Professor Gilliam has access to all of the resources of the Columbia Genome Center for ancillary support of this project. Role of Families with Celiac Disease: The key to this type of study is the participation of families in which there are at least two family members affected with Celiac Disease. Participation of unaffected, as well as affected members may be needed. Those individuals who consent to participate will be asked to provide a sample of blood (20cc) for DNA analysis and give permission for release of their diagnostic records for review by Dr. Peter Green, Clinical Professor of Medicine. Blood collection can be done through a physicians office or a blood drawing laboratory. Participants will be provided with a blood drawing kit. The project will cover the costs of drawing the sample and its shipment. Guidance will be provided by the Genetic Coordinator, Michele Pallai. Who can participate in the study? Anyone representing a family with two family members affected with Celiac Disease can participate. Why should I participate? The involvement of multiple families will best enable the identification of the genetic cause of Celiac Disease. It is anticipated that this identification will lead to earlier diagnosis and effective treatment. What will I have to do? You will need to donate a sample of blood and release your diagnostic records. Any incurred costs will be reimbursed. All interested individuals should contact the Genetic Coordinator, Michele Pallai, at (203) 438-3582 or email: pallai@ibm.net.