Today, we introduce a new feature, Campus Spotlight. Each week, we will feature a SFTL contributor sharing something about her campus – it could be food, fitness, the campus vibe or life in the big (or very little) city – you’ll just have to read to find out! Want to write for us about your campus? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll get you started.
Welcome to gluten free life at U Miami:
Do you ever get tired of hearing “Wow, life must really suck for you!” “What do you even eat?”
“I would DIE if I couldn’t eat gluten.” “Come on, just one bite.” Well congrats, but like many of us, we don’t have a choice, and I’m alive, aren’t I?
Like many others, I am highly allergic to gluten (the protein inside of wheat, rye and basically everything like pizza, pasta, cookies… you get the gist), and I shouldn’t feel bad about my allergy or intolerance. I am a huge foodie, and going to school for the first time was anxiety-provoking enough. During my entire college search I kept in mind all my eating restrictions and intolerances, which is not what a typical college student thinks about when they are patrolling campuses nationwide. Prior to freshman year, the thought of going out for group dinners would give me agita, (anxiety) because I didn’t want to be the “annoying one” who switched around dinner reservations just to accommodate my allergies. Well, you’re in luck because the city of Coral Gables and the campus at University of Miami itself is GF-GF: Gluten-free, Girlfriend Friendly. So ladies, here’s the guide of how to own your allergy… the confident way.
UM’S Tossed: Beets seriously haven’t kaled my vibe here yet. With the new food court, I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t have my staple salad place to go to in between classes, but Tossed rises to the occasion. It has a variety of selections to choose from with the convenience of being on campus. The only downside is that it closes early, so get in line before you’re chopped.
Sebastian’s Café: A schlep (yiddush term for really out of the way) that is definitely worth it, as it is conveniently placed near the freshman dorms. Sebastian’s Café is in the Alumni Center aka it has to look good as well as be good to impress the alumni. The café has an assortment of salads, wraps and soups to choose from and you leave feeling with your stomach very satisfied. They also close early so I would suggest going in between classes.
Whole Foods: The Mecca. You know the expression, “you don’t know what you got until it’s gone?” Thankfully Whole Foods is within walking distance of the campus and an even closer walk from the freshman dorms. Whole Foods has everything, ranging from the latest trends of matcha powder to prepared foods when the dining hall just isn’t cutting it… it’s also a huge help to be able to stock up on frozen gluten-free foods when preparing for Hurricane Erika, but don’t go too crazy since I doubt it’ll all fit in your micro fridge.
Jugofresh: Drink your salad, no dessert… I believe that’s what Kanye said? Jugofresh is also a close walk from campus and is notorious for their acai bowls and amazing juices. The entire wall is filled with colored greatness of a variety of flavors to choose from. They seriously kale it. Whether you want to energize after your yoga or spin class, or you’re in the library and want a refreshing drink to get you through the day, Jugofresh has it. They also have a refrigerated section of salads and other prepared foods that are generally gluten-free. The employees are very knowledgeable and are more than willing to accommodate your allergy.
Places to avoid: Dining Hall during Late Night Dining. That Froyo you’ve been craving since it’s always Froyo season in Miami isn’t worth it… especially with no gluten-free cones. The dining hall at this hour is a danger zone that isn’t worth your while. Other than that, the majority of the places in Miami close weirdly early, which is somewhat of a blessing in disguise. If you feel the need to snack on something, definitely have snacks prepared in your room.
Being the wise woman that I am today now that I’m senior, (I know… where did the time go?) I have learned how to navigate the campus and survive college with a food allergy. I promise it can be done and being able to know the best places to go to prior to your arrival will definitely help you feel more confident… and nourished.
Jess Greene is a senior at University of Miami and a SFTL contributing writer.
Jugofresh photo by Abbe Kramer.