Gluten Free Guerrillas

Starting University!!

This saturday i will be moving 200 miles up north to begin a new adventure!! I'm beginning my Civil Engineering course and will be living in a house with 4 other students.. I've been thinking of a lot of things i might need to take with me, for example my own toaster (only for gluten free bread obviously!), a chopping board maybe?, frying pan? etc etc...

I've lived my whole life in a house where everyone is more than aware of my coeliac disease and danger of cross contamination, I was basically just wondering if anyone had any advice i might need about living in a house where people will (most likely) be unaware of what coeliac disease is, and other than informing them, what else should i bare in mind/ bring along with me now i will be living away from home!?

2 Replies

Well firstly coeliac copper well done for going to Uni' and civil engineering is a good subject. So I wish you well with your studies.

Now sharing a house with 4 other students is obviously causing you concern. So in the first instance you have to make your house mates aware of your condition, and when you all get together and have a house meeting the others are intelligent people and will be supportive but don't let this lull you into a false sense of security as you being a coeliac is prominent in your mind only and you have to allow for 'human nature' and imagine how others behave when in a hurry or after drinking too much alcohol or when they have friends around etc.

So I would keep gf items in your room so that only you use your toaster frying pan etc. I would also consider buying a mini fridge the sort that holds a few cans of beer to keep eg: butter in because again if there's only your's in the kitchen it may be used. I would also consider having a small microwave oven that again you keep in your room that way it stays free from cross contamination and you can use it to boil water for drinks when the kitchen is busy.

So my advice is to start off as you mean to go along so everyone knows that you have to do this and you are taking responsibility for your gf dietary needs from day one. This will stop frustration/friction later on. And the others will understand and respect why you need to do this.

We joke about risk assessements but thats exactly what you have to do and start off as you mean to go along because you do not want your studies to be compromised because of someone elses error.

And good luck.



Well said Jerry and congrats on Uni! We'll mull over and get back to you with some additional tips. Thinking back to our Uni days we know how careless and untidy students can be so we'll cast our minds back and consider the best tactical approach as you want to fit in as much as possible. You haven't mentioned what City you are moving too. But if you do we've also got some pals in a UK network and can refer you to some good twitter & facebook accounts where you can no doubt meet other coeliac students. Just remember you're not alone and they'll also give you first hand tips of the new area. The main thing to remember is don't expect everyone to remember or care. It's just that they'll be forgetful and busy. So as Jerry says - Toaster in bedroom isn't a bad idea (especially for those mornings after with a hangover!). Lakeland also do some great Toaster bags (you can grill bread in gluten toasters although you need to be careful of crumbs). Worth keeping to hand so you can use on the go. Go to Ikea and get their kitchen starter pack. So useful. Utensils, pans, etc.


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