Sunday, August 30, 2015

Schooled: Gluten-Free Style

It has definitely been a while since my initial first post in this blog within a blog. I certainly had not intended the gap between posts to be so exaggerated, but my good intentions met several roadblocks as I made the monumental shift from "summer mode" to "back to school."  

Despite the fun I had this summer, I am really excited to be back in Baltimore, with new restaurants to try, sights to see, and the luxury that is being able to shop at Wegmans. However, with all of these pluses, my move back to college means that I have to transition back to being 100% on my own in regards to feeding myself now that my University's meal plan and I parted ways last semester due to repeat glutenings. 

Fending for oneself can be exciting; I truly love cooking, baking, and the autonomy of selecting what foods to purchase and try. I do not have to worry about cross contamination from my family or room mates, because I am in a single dorm, and can enjoy a dedicated gluten-free environment. However, between fifteen hours of classes a week, a part-time job, and other extracurricular commitments, I often find myself with little or no energy to even bring a pot of water to boil some days. Even worse, during my off campus excursions to local grocery stores, I oftentimes see a certified gluten-free label and forget to meticulously label-read, a practice that usually results in disappointment in discovering that I overlooked cross contamination or sneaky dairy.

As I get back into a semi-normal routine over the next few weeks, I look forward to easing back into collegiate life, except for certain aspects such as papers and exams popping up so soon into the semester. Starting my sophomore year, I already feel ahead of the game now that I know how to navigate Baltimore's public transit to frequent to grocery stores that stock my favorite foods. As with any change in schedule or scenery, departing from the norm is not easy, but definitely worth it due to the opportunity to find new experiences and greater gluten-free independence as a young adult.

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