How to Be Coeliac: University Edition


Áine Casey's photo essay on being coeliac among the gastrotypical.

It can be tricky eating gluten free and being a student.

For a start, gluten free food costs around double the price of regular food, which can be difficult on a student budget. If it were a choice, I really wouldn’t choose it, but mainly because there are no worthwhile gluten free doughnuts in the world, apparently.

In spite of this sad fact, I do manage to eat most of the student staples, sans super noodles. I’ve spent weeks on pasta-pesto alone, eaten terrible veggie fry-ups in search of the perfect hangover cure, and had weird combination meals of what was left in the cupboard rather than doing my Asda shop.

So without further ado, here are some of the things I eat, and some things people around me eat, with commentary, for your pleasure.


1. Leftover takeaway curry

I thought I would start with a student classic. A first week back at uni, forgotten how to cook for yourself basic. Ashamed to say, eaten in bed.

Swiftly moving on, to ...

toast and coffee.jpg

2. Gluten free toast with raspberry jam, and a coffee.

Classes have started and I’m attempting to get back in to a routine, so this is breakfast.

Also eaten in bed.

God I’m a slob, this may become an unintended theme.

Then we have ....

pasta bake.jpg

3. (Gluten-free) Pasta bake with courgette.

My best friend and I are both inexplicably obsessed with/addicted to the Sainsbury’s pasta bake sauce, and have been since we lived together in first year. Highly recommended.



4. "Winter warmer" soup, with gluten-free toast

... with loads of extra pepper.

This is my classic study lunch. My boyfriend and I make it in bulk, then I freeze portions of it for quick lunches. 

Next up is ... 

quick breakfast.jpg

5. Speedy Breakfast!

This mainly consists of a banana and gluten-free breakfast biscuits that I have convinced myself are healthy. It's fine.

Benefits: fast and mobile. This is best for days when I have a lesson before 10 am, becauce it's unrealistic to imagine I'd actually sit down and eat something in that scenario. 

Now for a quick look at what my friends and family eat:



6. Halloumi Skewers with sweet potato fries

This is my best friend’s lunch at 5 Degrees West, on a rare day where we were able to sit outside in the sun. 

Aidan's curry.jpg

7. Quorn-ma. That's right.

This is my brother’s (huge portion of) Quorn-ma and beer.

As far as I know, my brother and I coined the Quorn-ma (Quorn-chicken korma). He made this for himself and my mum, and after lots of my nagging, sent me a picture.

This is something I could eat, even though in this case I did not.

8. "The Gabe"

This is my other brother's breakfast (yes, I've outsourced a bit here): black Aeropress coffee and wholegrain toast with crunchy peanut butter. Both items indicate a discerning palate, obviously.

As you can see, Gabe only remembered to take the picture after having a bit.

gabe's toast.jpg

That's all, folks! Hope you enjoyed your snapshot view into my coeliac life.

Side note: Something I discovered while writing this piece is that it’s more difficult than you would think to remember to take a picture of your food, especially if you’re really hungry. You may have noticed that several pictures of half eaten meals were taken. Sorry about that.

by Áine Casey