Today's Spotlight is Arielle Kimbarovsky, who was diagnosed with celiac at age 13. She is a sophomore at Boston University and is an amazing dancer and artist - an overall sparkly and bright gal!
“For me, the hardest part of the celiac diagnosis was adjusting socially, as many activities involve food. In college, that’s the hardest part - it can take a lot of explaining to pick a place to go eat with someone you just met. I can’t eat wheat, barley, oats, or MSG, but people often confuse these with starches like potatoes or rice. It’s more limiting to have celiac than just an intolerance, because it means I have to be extra careful about cross contamination with crumbs or sauces. I need to constantly advocate for myself with professors, the Office of Disabilities, and friends on how serious ingesting gluten is for me and communicating when I get sick from it.
Boston University does a pretty good job with gluten free kitchens and locked pantries, but I definitely have less choices than most students, and sometimes they aren’t the healthiest. Gluten free food is often full of empty carbs and sugars like rice flour, so it takes creativity to make things yummy and nutritious. This year, I’m in an apartment so it’s be much easier to control what I eat, and I love cooking for myself!
Most stores now carry gluten free options, but it’s often much more expensive. To stay healthy and get enough nutrients, I eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and plant based proteins. I try to make as much from scratch as possible and freeze it for long term use to avoid the preservatives, sodium, and sugars jam-packed into gluten free food.
I’ve learned to be flexible and stand up for myself from living gluten free. I’ve also discovered many great blogs and recipes (I love Pinterest!). But the most important thing I learned is how awesome my friends and family are about accommodating me, asking questions, and learning more about living gluten free.”