First off, I am so sorry. As an avid peanut butter lover, I cannot fathom having allergies to something so wonderful. I bet it's hard. Having allergies, then coming to college where everything is basically prepared all together. It is even worse if your allergies are so severe that you can barely be in the same room as that food.

In order to help all my Horned Frogs who suffer from peanut allergies, I've investigated some ways to navigate the BLUU when it feels like you can't eat anything at all. 

The Simple Servings Station

Kelsey Emery

This station is your best friend if you have allergies, especially if you are a victim of the Big 8 (except fin fish). You won't find a drop of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, shellfish, peanuts, or tree nuts here. In addition, all the items found here will be gluten-free and all the sides are vegan. There is even a glass wall that prevents any cross contact.

Beware of the Bagel Station

Kelsey Emery

Be weary when approaching the bagel station, as you will find a whole bunch of peanut butter here. The open slab of peanut butter can cause you to have a severe reaction if you are very allergic. Even though it has its own container, there is no telling where else peanut butter remnants are lurking at this station, so be careful and know your own body. 

Try hitting up the yogurt station if you are craving some toast. Top with some berries and you'll have even the peanut butter lovers jealous. 

The Hidden Sources

pie, cream
Kelsey Emery

It can be obvious what to avoid when you're allergic to peanuts, but sometimes it's more complicated than that. If you are allergic to peanuts, you are more likely to have some issues with tree nuts. Pesto is made from tree nuts, so stay away from this if you need to. 

The smoothie machines may sound like an awesome place to get an allergy-free snack or meal. However, be aware that some people may add in nut milks, such as almond milk, into their smoothies. In addition, the desserts are not guaranteed to be made in a peanut-free facility. If you have a severe enough allergy, this can be problematic.

If you are craving something sweet, look for individually packaged desserts label "peanut-free." You can also try making your own desserts by utilizing the soft serve machines and toppings. 

Use Your Resources

beer, pizza, coffee
Ashley Peek

Check out the TCU's dining service website for weekly menus. This will allow you to plan ahead, so that you are not blindsided when you get to the BLUU. Just remember there are always plenty of options to DIY your meals if you don't see anything you like or there are too many things you cannot have.

Get Creative

banana, strawberry, sweet
Ashley Peek

There are plenty of ways to get creative at the BLUU. You just need an open mind, imagination, and some time. It also happens that some of the best BLUU creations can be made from the basic allergy-free ingredients. Get funky with a Fruit Loop bagel or try out some hamburger hacks, such as using lettuce instead of a bun. You'll be surprised how much you can do with you get a little creative.

If you have more detailed questions, you can visit TCU's dietitian, Lauren Swonke. She gives free consults to TCU students at the health center. One of her jobs is to help students with allergies navigate the BLUU.