Are You a Graduate Student with a Special Diet?

Are You a Graduate Student with a Special Diet?

In the nutrition world, there is a lot of discussion if going on a gluten free diet is really necessary for peoples’ health. For people with celiac disease, it is medically necessary and for people with a gluten sensitivity, it is advised to avoid certain gluten containing foods. For me personally, having celiac disease, I miss crispy French bread and NYC style pizza but my body is happier now that I am not eating gluten/wheat.

For years I went to many doctors trying to figure out what was wrong with my body. Everyone thought I had seasonal allergies and no one thought to take a blood test! Anyway, long story short, I was tested for every allergy under the sun where I live in Europe. In 2011, I was finally correctly diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called Celiac Disease. I also have several other allergies: peanuts (legume family), all nuts, apricots, peaches, celery, paprika and chamomile to name a few! It is a bit challenging to eat and be sure that I am not eating something that would harm me. Both Celiac Disease and the nut allergy I have to carry an epinephrine pen because of the severity of the immune response my body does when the food enters my body.

So, what is celiac disease? “Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. When people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small finger like projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body.” (Celiac Disease Foundation,

“Currently, the only treatment for celiac disease is lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet. People living gluten-free must avoid foods with wheat, rye and barley, such as bread and beer. Ingesting small amounts of gluten, like crumbs from a cutting board or toaster, can trigger small intestine damage.” (Celiac Disease Foundation,

Should you be concerned that you have Celiac Disease? No, this is a hereditary disease but if you are worried that you may have an allergy or an intolerance. You should check with your doctor and get tested.


What Canisius College has to offer students on special diets:

There are icons to help you choose the right foods for you on the “what’s on the menu” link on you D2L dashboard

Balanced SustainabilityVeganVegetarian

or you can access the special diet page at

Use this symbol when you are on a gluten/wheat free diet or look at the product and make sure its states that it is certified gluten free.

I wish I could attend Canisius College’s fantastic dining facilities. There are so many options for people with special diets and requests or concerns can be brought up to the dining hall staff at anytime.

In my undergrad, it was hard because the special diets weren’t common in 2002 and I had to get a lot of my food from care packages.

If you are on a special diet: always read the food product labels so you know it’s safe for you and if you don’t feel a food is safe for than don’t eat it.

How many have tried the vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options at Canisius College? Are they good? What are your favorites? I would love to hear what you recommend?

Snow Day!

Snow Day!

Hi everyone!

Happy fall- though it’s looking a lot more like winter here in Buffalo!  I’m on snow day number 3 from work.  The phone call on the first snow day was super exciting, but this storm is C-R-A-Z-Y!  I’m getting a little antsy being cooped up inside! The snow is pretty wild here, but as always, Buffalo shows what a great city it is in the midst of a huge storm.  There’s so many stories going around about neighbors helping neighbors, and people helping complete strangers.  People are helping out by making grocery runs for food on snowmobiles, firefighters are carrying people to hospitals, and neighbors are shoveling/plowing/snowblowing their neighbors driveways and their streets.  It makes me VERY proud to say I’m from Buffalo!  It also makes me take a step back and think about everything I usually take for granted, and be thankful I have a roof over my head, plenty of food in the refrigerator, and of course my family.

Backing up before all of our crazy snow, I was welcoming fall by going to the Holiday Valley Beer and Wine Festival.  Holiday Valley is located in ski country- Ellicottville, NY, about 40 minutes away from Canisius.  It’s a beautiful place with lots of things to do.  My friends and I have made this festival a tradition, and you should check it out next year if your in town!  You can sample over 100 beers from New York State, and enjoy fun music and great food.

The great thing about the snow days is that it’s given me a lot of time to catch up on school work.  Last week I registered for my classes.  The registration process was easy, because of our great advisors at Canisius.  Without that support I’m not sure that I would be as on track as I am.  I found out I should be graduating in August, WOW, time is flying by!

Hope your enjoying your fall!




Hello Again,

In costume for work- I’m Minnie Mouse!

Last week was Halloween, and it is so fun getting to work with children around holidays!  I work as a nutritionist in the city of Buffalo.  We, of course, like to make work fun, so we dressed up at the office, and so did a lot of the kiddos that came in.  Of course, it is a nutrition office so we handed out stickers and coloring books instead of candy, but all of the little frozen princesses, and incredible hulks loved it!  It makes work so rewarding to see these little things bring happiness to children’s faces.

Now, in Buffalo there was TONS of things to choose from when deciding what to do on Halloween weekend.  People did not let the chilly weather keep them from getting into costume and having fun!  Some friends and I chose to go to the Halloween party at The Connecticut Street Armory.  It is so cool the things you find in your backyard that you had no idea were there!  The Armory is a huge castle like building that was built in the late 1800’s for the 74th Regiment of the New York National Guard.  We were there to dance, check out everyone’s costumes, and have some Halloween treats, but seeing this building was very cool!  I definitely took a good look around, and thought about all of the history that is in that building.

Unfortunately, something I did not get to do on Halloween was eat ANY candy. Not one piece.  I got my wisdom teeth out a few days before Halloween (worst idea EVER), so candy was off limits.  My classes are in full swing right now though, so I got a lot of much needed work done while I was resting up (and not eating candy).

Happy Fall!

Do what you love…

Do what you love…

Hi everyone!

Today marks the day of my last blog. I cannot believe that the semester is nearing its end and that I will be walking for graduation on May 16th. I say walking because I am taking one more class this summer and then I will officially have my MS in Community and School Health. WOW! I feel old.

I just wanted to offer some advice to those of you exploring different Master’s programs in Buffalo or in other parts of the country. Do what you love! Find a subject area that interests you and pursue higher education in that area. There is nothing worse than waking up and dreading going to a job every day. You don’t just want a paycheck; you deserve other fulfillment (that money cannot provide). (more…)

Time is precious…

Time is precious…

Hello everyone!!!

In the words of my boyfriend, I would like to “switch up” the previous topics of my blogs and instead focus on the convenience of online classes. On Friday the 13th, I left Buffalo after work to spend some time in Horseheads, NY (outside of Elmira) with my family for my paternal grandfather’s 90th birthday. With the ease of online classes, I was able to really enjoy myself and spend time with family that I am only able to see at most once or twice a year.

Literally, as long as I have a computer, I can “go to school”. Everything that I need to be successful is there. Fortunately, the hotel that we were staying at had a hotel and free computer access, so I just hopped on there and took care of making a couple of posts for a class. Also, I did not have to worry about making it back for a particular class, so the stress was definitely alleviated and I could enjoy the time with my family.

There are few things more precious than time. The flexibility of being able to attend school and pursue a Master’s degree online is incredible! It gives me the feeling that I control my time and (more…)

What’s been going on?

What’s been going on?

Hello everyone!

Wow! What a difference a couple of weeks make? The weather now is more seasonable and gloves and coats appear to be more commonplace than shorts and t-shirts. One thing is a guarantee though…the most predictable thing about weather in Buffalo is that it is ALWAYS unpredictable. I guess it keeps it interesting.

We are already in Week 4 of the eight-week schedule. I can’t believe it! A couple of weeks ago, in Health Impacts on Academic Success K-12, we were presented with information regarding the Coordinated Health System. The coordinated health system encourages the collaboration between schools and families to provide the best for children. Some components include: health education, family and community involvement and health promotion for faculty and staff. This information was taken from the Centers for Disease Control and for more information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. The assignments for the week included responding to a discussion board on a video that was presented to us and completing (more…)