Thriving Gluten Free at College

Our Celiac college student blogger Julie Bourne shares her favorite Denver-area grocery stores for shopping for GF staples -- and what she likes to stock in her kitchen for quick, easy meals. With cafes and restaurants continually coming up with more and more gluten free offerings, it's getting much easier for us gluten free eaters to dine out. However, there's still no substitute for a safe, homemade meal! If you're a college student like me, it can be difficult deciding what foods to keep around, as meals need to be prepared quickly and easily. With our limited living (and cooking) space -- and limited funds -- I've found that it's best to enter the grocery store with at least a rough game plan. My strategy is to keep a regular collection of basic foods around so that I can make a variety of meals. I also make sure to frequent the most "gluten free friendly" grocery stores and markets that stock the majority of my favorite gluten free staples. As we know, the average student doesn't have a ton of time to be making extensive meals on a daily basis. (That's why many non-GF students rely on ramen noodles as... Read more →

Julie Bourne, our regular college blogger who also publishes her own Blog called The Campus Celiac, spent the summer in Seattle and shared with us some of her top restaurant picks for gluten free dining. You will find links within the article to her more detailed reviews of these restaurants on our website, GlutenFreeTravelSite, where you can also do a search to read dozens of other reviews of GF-friendly restaurants in Seattle. Simply visit our Search/Mapping page and enter "Seattle" or a specific zip code into the Search box. You'll get a list of places that have been reviewed. Click on any business to see it plotted on the adjacent map where you can click through to read the user-submitted review. While people probably don’t ordinarily associate Seattle with summertime, this is where I spent my summer, working -- and more importantly – eating! I always thought that I had it made, living in Denver, where there is usually an abundance of gluten free options at my fingertips. That was before I spent an extended amount of time in the city of Seattle, specifically the Capitol Hill neighborhood, which is the Pacific Northwest’s hipster mecca. I was working full-time right... Read more →

Julie Bourne, our regular Thriving Gluten Free in College columnist and publisher of her own Campus Celiac Blog, checks in this month with an update from her summer in Seattle, where she is employed full-time in an office setting and getting a taste of what life (and meal management!) will be like after college. Summer is in full swing and while school may be out, college students are keeping busy at their various work and internship opportunities. On top of gaining some “real world” experience for future career pursuits, full-time opportunities in particular can provide some insight into a work-focused schedule as opposed to the more static class-focused schedule we are used to. Personally, I’m spending my summer interning full time at a Seattle-based technology agency. My work days usually run from 10 am to 6 pm, meaning there are some necessary preparations that I must take to ensure that I am able to stay fed, energized, and gluten free (of course) throughout the day. My previous work was in floral design assistance where I was on my feet for an entire day, with little to no time to stop for a meal. As a celiac, I found that environment... Read more →

This month, our gluten free college blogger Julie Bourne shares tips on navigating the college social scene while maintaining a gluten free diet. You can read her past posts on this Blog as well as follow her on her own Blog, The Campus Celiac. While the primary point of going to college is to learn, receive a degree, and land a great job, I have found college to also be an invaluable time for getting my introverted self out of my shell. Socializing is a major component of the full college experience -- a positive thing but also something that can induce some level of anxiety for those with severe gluten allergies. Social activities like going out to the bars, eating dinner at a restaurant with friends, and dating can all bring some level of stress when gluten needs to be considered. However, this stress can be remedied with some simple know-how and preparation. As a recently turned 21-year-old, going out to the bars and deciphering the extensive menu of fancy drinks is a pretty new thing for me. I have generally found that the less complicated the drink is, the stronger the likelihood that it is gluten free. Ordering... Read more →

This month, our college blogger Julie Bourne, from University of Denver, shares with us her Top 10 Tips for making your gluten free experience in college a good one...right from the start. 1. Do your research well before starting classes. The sooner you learn about the gluten free awareness at your school of choice, the more at ease you will feel when you’re an official student on campus. I always recommend calling the dining hall directly to ask questions about their gluten free friendliness. You can also do a simple Google search and even read reviews of many colleges’ gluten free programs on GlutenFreeTravelSite. Once you do your research, you’ll greatly benefit from being familiar with your school’s GF offerings well before you even get on campus for the first time. 2. First things first: Schedule a meeting with the dining hall manager. Within the first week of being on campus, you should schedule a one-on-one meeting with the dining hall advisor. This will not only establish your face as one that recognizably belongs to a gluten free diner, but it will make you feel more comfortable eating in the dining hall. If you run into any issues, questions, or... Read more →

Our Celiac college blogger Julie Bourne, a student at University of Denver, goes "on the road" this month and shares her experience dining gluten free in Dallas, Texas, where she was pleasantly surprised by the range of gluten free dining options. I grew up visiting my extended family in Kentucky where my memories are flooded with biscuits fresh out of the oven, warm pies offered at every home, and the best fried chicken you could imagine. I haven’t been over to visit since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2010, but these memories surrounding nothing but glutenous foods of the United States' southern region would make any Celiac weary. While I cannot speak on behalf of Kentucky, I have been visiting my sister in Dallas, Texas for the last week or so and I have found this southern state to be significantly more gluten free friendly than I would have expected. As with any experience, dining out for two to three meals a day, there were some meals that were better than others (and some that sat with me better than others) but overall, I was very pleased to see such great variety of gluten free diners. It is... Read more →

This month, our gluten free college blogger Julie Bourne shares a few tips for fellow college students -- and anyone with limited time or funds -- about how to prepare quick and healthy gluten free meals with a handful of versatile ingredients. As I creep closer to my final year of college (where did the time go?!), I find myself experiencing more adult-like realities along the lines of paying rent, commuting on an everyday basis, socializing at friends’ houses rather than dorm rooms, and being forced to go to grocery store nearly three times a week. The convenience of being able to trudge downstairs to the dorm dining hall in my pajamas for every meal is now a memory of the past, and I have been getting used to packing lunches and attempting to cook healthy yet tasty dinners, along with making a detailed game plan before going food shopping to save time and money. In order to reduce the stress that can come with being increasingly responsible for feeding oneself, it can be helpful to stick to a general routine that can still be alterable to avoid monotony. For example, a staple food that I always have in the... Read more →

Julie Bourne, our Gluten Free College Blogger, has returned from her semester studying in Rome and is now back at University of Denver. She shares with us her favorite spots for quick and inexpensive gluten free eats at restaurants and coffee shops around the University. She's reviewed all the places mentioned below in depth on GlutenFreeTravelSite. Simply click on the links below to be taken to her reviews. As my Rome experience has come to its inevitable close, I find myself back in Denver for my return to speaking in English and clocking in some time in class! While it’s been hard for me to get back into the swing of things after such a fantastic time abroad, I’m happier than I can say to be back to my familiar territory. As a busy student, I spend a lot of time studying in coffee shops, grabbing meals to eat on the go, and going out for inexpensive lunches with friends. In the past couple of weeks back in town, I’ve compiled a few new places that I can recommend to my fellow Denver gluten-free diners. As mentioned above, I spend almost an obscene amount of time huddled in cozy coffee... Read more →

This is Julie Bourne's final Blog post from ROME, where she has been studying -- and eating gluten free -- for the semester. She shares with us some of her top restaurant picks...places she can rely on for a safe, gluten free meal in Rome. Stay tuned for her January post, when alas, she returns to her "home base" at the University of Denver. The first reaction that I get when I tell people that I am studying abroad in Rome is always the same: “How can you eat anything there? Don’t they only eat pasta and pizza?” The truth about Italy as a whole is that the vast majority of people who work at restaurants here understand the needs of people with allergies or Celiac Disease. Since Celiac Disease is so prominent in Italy (due to more aggressive efforts in diagnosis than in the U.S.), there is a good chance that your waiter has a sister, friend, parent, or cousin-twice-removed who also has Celiac Disease or “Celiaca” (che-li-aka), so they will do what is necessary to provide you with a safe meal. That does not mean, however, that you can go into any restaurant unprepared. A key phrase to... Read more →

Julie Bourne, a gluten free Blogger and college student studying in Rome this semester, joins us once again for her regular monthly column to share her thoughts on shopping for gluten free food in Rome -- and fixing healthy, easy, and affordable gluten free meals. Italy, being the mecca of all that is good in the eye of a foodie, encourages visitors to partake in the authentic Italian cuisine offered up at the abundant selection of restaurants. During my first few weeks in Rome, I took part in this vacationer ritual, going out to several Rick-Steves-approved restaurants to fill my tummy with classic Italian food (and I'll be sharing these -- and some of my other favorite dining spots -- in my post next month). However, this “honeymoon” phase of my time in Italy has come and gone as I am settling into life here as a temporary local. Whether I am navigating the Italian grocery store shelves, cooking a meal in my small and communal kitchen space, or preparing for a weekend excursion, I am discovering something new about eating gluten free in Italy every day. When it comes to grocery shopping, I’ve been doing it the Italian way.... Read more →

Our "Gluten Free in College" Blogger Julie Bourne joins us this month with a report on the gluten free dining scene in Rome, where she is studying abroad for the semester. Though it seems like I just left Seattle yesterday, I have already been in Rome for nearly a month. Where has the time gone? I now truly understand what people mean when they tell me to “savor every moment” of my abroad experience since it will be over before I know it. I like to think that I’m taking advantage of every day here. I can certainly assure you that I’m taking advantage of the plethora of gluten free foods available! It is a common misconception that Italy -- being the decreed land of pasta and pizza -- would be a miserable place for gluten free eaters, let alone those of us with full blown Celiac Disease. Quite the opposite is true: Italy happens to be one of the best options for gluten free travelers due to the prevalence and general awareness of Celiac Disease throughout the country. Before the age of seven, Italians are tested for a variety of diseases and allergies (Celiac Disease included), so nearly everyone... Read more →

This month, Guest Blogger Julie Bourne of the Campus Celiac departs for a semester studying abroad in Rome. As I find summer coming to its close, I am preparing for my long-anticipated four-month study abroad experience in Rome, Italy. From late August to mid December, I will be studying journalism and marketing at the American University of Rome in the historic Trastevere district of the city. I’m more than just a little excited, to say the least! The decision to study abroad is a big choice that college students may approach at some point in their time at school. Whether it is the time away from home, the differences in culture and language, or the challenge of meeting all new people, it can be tough to commit to spending a semester or a year abroad. For a student with strict food restrictions, the decision to go abroad is taken to another level of difficulty, as it can be intimidating to go somewhere that may have completely different foods and understanding of allergies than what we have in the United States. However, these students should not feel deterred from the prospect of studying abroad. With just a small amount of research,... Read more →