Life as a Coeliac Student

Hello Gluten Free Guerrillas!, i've recently started a new chapter in my life what with starting university, and i've decided to keep a blog on what life is like as a 'coeliac student'. I will try and update it at least weekly but you will have to bare with me as i get used to uni life! I will try and keep it fairly short as I tend to write on and on, and end up rambling a bit which is no fun for anyone!

I will start off by giving you some background of me as a person. I am 18 years old, Studying Civil Engineering (with a foundation year) at Bolton University in Greater Manchester. I am originally from south London and as a result i am a very big Crystal Palace fan:). I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease as an 11 year old, and after reading various stories of some peoples horrible road to diagnosis, i consider myself very lucky to have been diagnosed at such a young age in relatively trouble free fashion!

What with this being my first time away from home, it was quite a daunting prospect for me to be to be living 200 miles from home as it is for any student... But with coeliac disease i can't help feeling it is that extra-bit tough to adjust to being away from an eating routine at home. Even at home i was quite guilty of being lazy and tending to cook the same sort of meals... meals with Jacket Potato, Gluten free spaghetti, Rice, Potatoes in pretty much any form, and my personal favourite, a fry up (with gluten free bread of course!). And as expected, this has carried on into uni life so far (I have only been here for 3 weeks). I should say i am not living in the University's Halls of Residence, i did not do well enough in my A-Levels to get into my first choice, and therefore joined Bolton late, and consequently i am living in a private student house. My housemates are all aware of my condition, (not that anyone knew what coeliac disease was!)

They are all pretty good about it, not that they have to do much about it. I have my own saucepans to cook with and i keep them in my room, i brought my own toaster along with me which is also in my room, so there is even less chance of getting 'glutened' than there was back at home!

This weekend will be my first visit home, and i have decided that when i get back i should start eating properly again! By properly i mean eating a variety of regular and healthy meals, instead of the same thing day in day out with little in the way of fruit and veg! While i am home i will take one of my gluten-free cookbooks home and will report back with how i have changed my student eating ways!

Thank you for reading my first post and feel free to leave any comments you like, whether you are near the area, know of any local gluten free restaurants to Bolton/ Manchester, or want to leave your thoughts/ questions to me. :)

4 Replies

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  • Hi Coeliac copper this all sounds great and you seem much more confident than in your blog the week before you started Uni' so good for you.

    A really good recipe that I read for coeliac is to cook some gf pasta and then microwave it later with Dairylea Cheese with a little saesoning and this makes a good easy meal for someone in your situation. And you can add tomatoes mushrooms etc. As for fresh fruit thats ready to eat and an easy one to include. I often buy a bag of grapes for when I'm on the move and munch them as I drive.

    As for eating out, worth checking out is Urban spoon;

    urbanspoon.com/t/341/1/Manc...

    I'm glad that you have got off to a good start so good for you and any questions just ask.

    Jerry

  • Another tip for you, if you share a microwave oven then a really easy way to clean it is by putting a pyrex jug with water and washing up liquid in it and put it on full power for around 90 seconds and that should steam clean it, it might need another minute, then wipe it out with a micro fiber cloth which absorbs a lot of moisture and this will help prevent cross contamination.

  • Great post! Hope you are enjoying student life and getting some learning in in between ; )

    Have you tried toaster bags yet? Great for staying over at other friends houses as you can use their toaster. Try Lakeland plastic & other places online.

    What's the take been of the other students in your house to CD?

    Do you have a dishwasher? If so you should be fine washing your pans in their vs keeping all in your room (mind you saves anyone scratching or burning yours).

    Another tip I'd recommend is trying a charity shop near uni for any great student cookbooks. Normally loads and they are cheap with frugal recipes. Also try BBC online for Food recipes. Especially veggie ones. You'll find it cheaper on a student budget and actually as filling as meat. Most currys work well with lots of veg like B'squash, cauliflower, potato, and you may win over some of the other housemates to GF food!

    Also there's a series of regional facebook pages called Coeliac in + city name e.g. Coeliac in Manchester, Coeliac in Leeds. Worth a look for fish n chip GF nights etc.

    Good luck & look fwd to the next post!

  • Hi Coeliac Cooper :)

    Hope you're finding Uni life as fun as I found it. I found out I had CD when I was in my first year of study which turned my world upside down. I also found myself having to learn how to cook again (Which I still am now) and could barely toast some bread, let alone make a good edible meal ;)

    I notice you're in the Manchester area (which I am too) and you mentioned you'd like to know of some gluten free restaurants in the area :) I made a list of restauarents in Manchester that cater for people with CD on my website glutenfreestudentcookbook.c... Also, I find Dough Pizza Kitchen (in the Northern Quarter) do the most amazing and healthy pizzas and pastas (As well as delicious desserts - highly recommend!) :D

    I really look forward to the rest of your posts and if you want any advice feel free to leave me a message x

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