Student Profile: Colorado State University
Direct insight on a student's perspective to living on-campus with dietary restrictions. Maya is a student in CSU's Nutrition program, and an individual with a special diet. Hear her thoughts first hand:
Q: What are your dietary restrictions?
A: I have Celiac Disease, so I avoid gluten. (I am able to handle cross contamination) I also am lactose intolerant, so I try to consume less dairy.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you face when managing your dietary needs?
A: Sometimes, organizations and restaurants do not take my restrictions seriously. I have been served gluten and told it was gluten free. I always double check when I order and when I receive my food.
Q: Do you have any tips for other students facing similar challenges?
A: My recommendation is to be patient and understanding, but also assertive that this is not a preference, but an accommodation you need for your health. It’s a balance for sure, but it’s important to advocate for yourself.
Q: What could your college or university do to accommodate specialty diets on campus?
A: Colorado State does a great job labeling what contains which allergens. Occasionally when there is a menu change, everything is not updated, but overall, I have not had an issue if I check if there is gluten. My classmates who have special diets agree that we have a lot of options and a clear system marking what they can eat compared to other schools they toured.
Q: What is your favorite snack that caters to your dietary needs?
A: When I ate in the dining halls, I had a lot of cheerios with chocolate soy milk for dessert. I am passionate about weightlifting, so I liked getting more protein and satiety from my dessert.
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