Back to School - wait, what?
Okay, I know for some of us - myself included - spring term isn't even over yet, but now is the perfect time to get in contact with your school. The best thing to do is to go through the disability resource office, who will act as your muscle, in a way, in dealing with housing/food services. Be proactive: start making phone calls, writing e-mails and making appointments - now is a critical time to start working out a game plan because it's just far enough in advance to escape the pre-autumn crunch and give you enough time to trouble-shoot with your school, as a team.
Let's face it, it is summer and your schedule is probably pretty open, so take this opportunity to start playing around with quick and easy meal options: make the microwave your new best friend. I know, the
microwave may not exactly be your favorite appliance, but it should be! There are so many options available now that didn't exist a year ago: GlutenFreeda's own burritos and instant oatmeal, Orgran's Pasta Ready Meals and Hain Celestial Group's Gluten Free Cafe line - just to name a few! In addition to our old standbys of Thai Kitchen's instant soups, Amy's frozen meals and FoodTek's microwavable ooey - gooey brownies and you are good to go - ready to supplement even the most seemingly hopeless dining plan!
Something else to keep in mind: most universities provide emergency packs with protein bars and other non-perishables in case of a crisis which, while a good thought, are totally useless to those of us with food intolerances/allergies! So before you head off to school, be sure to grab a handful of your favorite protein bars, etc. to replace the food provided in the kit. Don't have a bar of choice? Start trying them out now! I would recommend the Almond Crunch by PureFit or the Italian Chocolate Vanilla Almond Comfort Bar - both bars are delicious, filling and store well. These protein bars are great to have on campus in general, so once you find your favorite flavor, order a box to have on hand - a protein bar and a piece of fruit makes
for a quick and easy lunch on the go.
And now I am going to play Mom for a minute: I would highly recommend a visit to your doctor before leaving for school; malabsorption is always problematic for those of us with gluten intolerance and it is important to make sure you're starting off the school year in the best possible health. So talk to your doctor about running labs for your vitamin levels and ask for recommendations on supplements for while you are away at school. Again make sure the vitamins are gluten free I know
out Freeda Vitamins or Country Life have gluten free supplements.
If you have any questions, comments or ideas of your own - let me know! Feel free to contact me at this link.
- Kelsey Ganes, University of Washington student