As a bread lover, when my friend told me that she was allergic to gluten I could not help but feel pity. To my dismay, gluten is not only in bread, but it is also in pasta, pizza and the breading of chicken nuggets. Keeping this in mind, I decided to put myself in her shoes. For a whole school week, I challenged myself to eat in the dining hall strictly gluten-free. Here are some of my favorite meal combinations from the week.

Day 1: Turkey and Cheese Sandwich with Gluten-Free Bread, Potato Chips, and Cucumber

Alexa Vickaryous

When I first took a bite out of my sandwich, I was hesitant. However, to my surprise gluten free bread did not taste much different from normal bread. The only difference I found was in the texture, which was very crumbly and gritty. I definitely was not disgusted by this change and would recommend for anyone who is feeling adventurous to give it a shot.

Day 2: Egg Sandwich with Gluten-Free Bagel and Fruit

Alexa Vickaryous

On the second day during breakfast, I was tempted to grab a pre-made egg sandwich at Arnold. But after a quick revelation, I realized that I could easily duplicate this with gluten-free options. Luckily, I found a gluten-free bagel that made the perfect substitute to a normal bagel, put some eggs and cheese in it, and voila — recreated the egg sandwich!

Day 3: Grilled Chicken and Baked Potato with Cheese

Alexa Vickaryous

The third day, instead of having my regular, go-to side of mac n' cheese with my grilled chicken, I decided to eat a  baked potato to complement my meal.

Spoon Tip: Eating potato-based foods is totally the way to go when eating gluten-free. For instance, potato bread, potato chips, baked potato, etc are great gluten-free replacements

Day 4: Chips and Salsa

Alexa Vickaryous

Even though it was not "Taco Tuesday," I still went for the corn chips and salsa for my afternoon snack. Whenever in the mood for Tex Mex, be sure to get corn tortillas for burritos, tacos and quesadillas. Avoid flour tortillas to stay gluten-free.

Day 5: Frozen Yogurt with Sprinkle and Rice Krispies

Alexa Vickaryous

I ended my gluten-free week on a sweet note with my favorite combination for dessert —frozen yogurt with cereal. One of my favorite dining hall hacks is putting cereal in my ice cream to add the ideal amount of crunch. However, instead of using any cereal I used Rice Krispies which are gluten-free.

While this week was not the easiest, once I became aware of the foods to avoid it allowed me to get creative with my options. I learned that by choosing to eat a gluten-free diet indirectly causes you to stay away from processed foods, which contain lots of artificial flavors and chemicals that are not good for a healthy lifestyle. I may not be convinced to banish gluten from my diet completely, but I will definitely try to incorporate more gluten-free foods in my daily life in the future.