Simple choices for gluten-free students

By in Culture

Eating gluten free is a lifestyle choice for some people, but for others, it’s a necessity. Some students may find themselves at a loss for where to eat gluten-free food on campus, so the Sheaf explains how to eat gluten free at the University of Saskatchewan.

The Government of Canada recognizes celiac disease as one of the most common chronic diseases in the world and estimates that one in every 100-200 people in North America may be affected. For these people, it is imperative that they maintain a glutenfree diet.

In Canada, gluten sensitivity is more common than celiac disease, affecting roughly 6 per cent of the population. On top of this, there are many people who choose to eat gluten free for the potential health benefits, but these benefits often come from eating more healthfully in general rather than from eliminating gluten specifically.

Whatever your reason for eating gluten free, you have options at the university. Louis’ Pub and Louis’ Loft both have a wide selection of gluten-free salads available, and Louis’ Pub also has rice bowls and nachos that are deliciously gluten free.

Choices cafeteria in St. Thomas More College offers different gluten-free options in their buffet every day — including soups, salads and desserts. They also have a gluten-free menu available for breakfast and lunch. What’s more, Choices is great for the student on a budget, as a meal at their buffet is only $10 for U of S students.

While these places are great options for the gluten-free student, eating out can be hard on the wallet, and it may not necessarily provide the healthiest of options. For a sustainable gluten-free diet, making your lunches at home and bringing them to school may be the best way to go.

When you mindfully prepare meals at home, you are able to focus on including a wide variety of whole foods, which will be healthier than buying all your meals at school. It will also be cheaper to buy individual ingredients and prepare meals at home — especially if you focus on foods like rice, beans and potatoes, which are all cheap and filling.

You could even spend a Sunday afternoon preparing all of your meals for the week, which is a huge time-saver and makes it easy for you to grab your lunch on your way to school. Here are some easy recipes that you can include in your lunches.

The first is simply brown rice with avocado, arugula and tamari sauce on top. This recipe requires minimal cooking, as the only thing you need to cook is the rice. For one serving, use a third-cup of rice and half an avocado. You can always change up the ingredients to include different vegetables, like broccoli or peas. You could also add beans or chickpeas to vary the flavour.

Some other options are either egg salad or tuna salad in a lettuce wrap or corn wrap. For these, all you have to do is prepare a large bowl of your chosen salad over the weekend and wrap it up each morning before you leave for school. You can include greens, sprouts, pickles or anything else you want in your wraps.

For gluten-free snacks, fruit or veggies with dip are great go-to ideas. You could also try out dried fruit, nuts, cottage cheese or Lärabar energy bars.

While eating gluten free at school may be a challenge, you can save yourself money and stress by preparing your meals in bulk at home. For those days when you just do not have time, or when you want to treat yourself, Choices cafeteria and Louis’ Loft and Pub all have tasty gluten-free options for you.

Lyndsay Afseth / Staff Writer

Graphic: Lesia Karalash / Graphics Editor