Whether you have Celiac disease or not, having a clean diet is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health, mental and emotional well-being. When you feed yourself properly, you just feel better. You wake up in the morning, ready to roll because you're a fucking rock star.
Unfortunately for us, eating clean is hard when you are stuck in the dorms at a college or on a limited budget.
Why does it suck? Because college is the four (ehhh, 4-6) years when you absolutely should be feeling like a fucking rock star.
Freshman year of college was a blur to me. Can't remember much of what went down. Was it because I was partying like the aforementioned rock star? I wish.
What did happen was a seriously bad case of brain fog. Student dining services were not nearly as celiac-friendly as they had said during the school tour and as a result, I ended up with a shit ton of hellish symptoms.
Come to the start of my second semester, I finally realized what was going on when, after being home for about 4 weeks, I was symptom-free but as soon as I got back to school I was fucked.
Here are some things that I did in order to help me make through the rest of my dorm livin' years in college.
Food in a dorm
Sorry bro, but you are pretty much out of luck here. Some dorms have kitchens in the lobby area and you can go down there but in my experience, it just wasn't that practical and was more of a pain than anything else. As a result, my meals usually came from the dining halls or my microwave.
Due to my certifiable status as a fitness enthusiast, a lot of my dorm room snacks were pretty heavy on the protein side of things. Protein can also provide the feeling of satiety which helped keep hunger away for longer. I had a lot of eggs, tuna, protein powder, almond milk, nuts and some gluten free granola (the KIND brand is lit).
If you can get a mini fridge into your dorm, DO IT. It helps you out by allowing you to keep more fresh food items on hand as snacks and by keeping your beer of choice nice and cool.
When it comes to the dining halls, shit is dangerous. Cross-contamination is a legit pain in my ass and so I try and avoid it at all costs. I stick to keeping things as fresh and unprocessed as possible. A.K.A. suck it up and hit the salad bar bro. A lot of dining hall food at my school came in contact with gluten (either purposefully or not) when it's being cooked up and so I tried to keep away when possible.
My college also had a chic-fil-a (fuck yeah) in the dining hall and their grilled chicken is certified as gluten-free and so I could just roll in there and snap up some of that.
Brown rice and black beans were a staple in my diet. I usually also added veggies and some guac to the mix, but the rice and black beans were always there as a cheap option to get me through long days when I got super hungry.
Food in an apartment
Well, congratulations my friend you seem to be one of the lucky ones.
The apartment life is a good life. In fact, that's my current set up and its dope. I have a bad ass room, my own bathroom and a massive kitchen in which I get to cook every damn Buzzfeed recipe I can get my hands on. I also get to crack open a beer whenever I want one, which I think I'll actually do right now.
But for real, apartments are sick.
Once you graduate to the apartment life, you then develop your newest life-skill.
Most of us have never done it before, and most of us still don't do it right years later. Whether you want to blame the corporations, the grocery stores, or the man; you still end up with a bunch of cheap food that will destroy your life or more expensive healthy food that you have to spend a decent amount of time preparing.
Oh and one more thing, you're gluten free. So basically that means you can cross at least half of the store off of your shopping list.
Seem overwhelming? It is.
Personally, I like to meal prep about 12ish meals on a Sunday (runs me ~50$ at Walmart) and then buy recipe specific ingredients for some recipe I find on Facebook.
You can do your own meals however you'd like, I usually do 6 chicken based meals with potatoes and veggies and 6 gluten-free pasta and bolognese sauce.
Once again, shit is dank.
I'll be making a meal-prep video in the coming weeks to show you guys how I like to get my base meals of the week done so keep an eye out for that. Also, you can check out recipes that I think are pretty easy but also tasty as hell over in our recipes section.
Last bit of advice:
If you are trying to optimize your health, improve your mood, improve your sleep and just be a happier person I would also HIGHLY recommend you go outside.
Just go and chill outside and I promise you will thank me for it.