After about two years of symptoms, I finally went to a doctor to get tested for celiac. This was actually pretty daunting for me, as I don’t like needles. Sure enough, after a week the test came back… NEGATIVE? Just my luck. However, I clearly had issues with food, so now what?

The doctor gave me a little guide to FODMAPS, which are a group of carbohydrates that can be hard to digest. I spent the summer figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Of course to no surprise, gluten and soy are my biggest issues. I managed to eat mostly paleo through the summer, but getting in a good food routine while being back in beautiful Iowa City has been challenging. 

#DormLife hasn't always been my friend.

Sara Gallaher

Omelettes have saved my life in the dining halls. I live in the new dorm, Catlett, complete with a very modern-looking dining hall. However, living gluten-free still isn’t that easy. Luckily, the university offers dietitians you can meet with that will help with a few tips and pointers on what to eat or avoid on campus, especially in the dining hall.

I learned that there are a lot of food stations where they will order or prepare, upon request. However, there are a lot of "gluten free" foods that include soy. Many gluten free breads, pizza crusts and crackers have soy. 

BYO restaurants have become one of my go-to's but I can't always keep this up on a college budget.

Sometimes I go buy food to make for myself but prices can be crazy. You don’t realize how much high quality ingredients cost until you are a broke college kid trying to feed yourself.

I’ve noticed some places tend to mark up prices for gluten or soy free products. Last week I found Enjoy Life chocolate chips, for $7, like really?

A restaurant I have found downtown that offers gluten free options is Blaze. They have one mean gluten free crust. But I don't want to eat pizza everyday (even though it is delicious) so sometimes I opt for Chipotle's burrito bowls which are gluten free as well. Still, on a college budget, eating out gets really expensive.

Being gluten-free is not just a fad, gluten sensitivity and celiac disease is definitely on the rise. 

Delivery meal packages have become popular in the last two years and have been picked up as advertisements from our favorite celebs on social media. One company that has been taking the gluten free market by storm is  Gluten Free Meal Co., an Australian based company that offers fresh and homegrown meals to your doorstep.

According to beyond, it's estimated that 18 million people in the U.S. suffer from gluten sensitivity, and many more are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. So, as you can see, even though food options continue to expand, eating gluten-free can sometimes be neither fun, nor free. 

#SpoonTip: Check out this site for all your gluten and celiac questions.