Thursday, August 14, 2014

Celebrating Change, 100 Posts and Sophomore Celiac

Change. If this past year of mine - and my blog itself - boasts a theme, that's it. I've transformed from a gluten-eating, Papa-John-lovin' teenager to a dedicated celiac. Homemade banana bread, pizza, pesto and more has joined my previously bare cooking repertoire. I've even left home for the first time, surviving my freshman year at college

My first gluten free apple pie!
As I stared at my blog stats this morning, all I could think of when I saw the "105th post" marker was how I've changed since my fingers pressed "publish" for the first time over a year ago. I've never been the kind of writer to stay dedicated to one media - and the handful of unfinished journals stashed around my room prove it. When I started "Casey the College Celiac," I had no idea I'd hit over 37,000 views, share my thoughts over 100 times and make dozens of digital friends. Surprise! 

The bigger surprise? How much this blog has changed me. I've become an obnoxiously loud advocate for celiac disease, opening up my medical file for the entire Internet to explore. I treat my computer like a best friend, whispering insecurities - physical, dietary and everything in between - through my Arial front. Encouragement from strangers all over the globe has strengthened me more than the gluten free diet itself. 

Friendly support helped too!
Strangely enough, when I look back at my early posts (with the same bashful shame that a high schooler feels when reviewing their middle school yearbook), I can see sparks of my recent work. Worries about body image. Reviews of my favorite gluten free foods. And, of course, fretting over my upcoming freshman year of college. 

This year, college will be delightfully different. I have a roommate who already knows that celiac and I are a package deal. I have a car (in my school, freshmen and wheels are prohibited to cohabitate) to take me to some nearby gluten free grub. I even have a kitchen in my dorm this year! Midnight cookies are definitely on the top of my to-do list this semester.

My magnificent kitchen!
Sure, arranging gluten free accommodations with the PLNU cafeteria still triggers nightmares, and I'll still be pizza-less during club meetings. Yet, unlike last year, I'm healthy. I'm underweight, but my celiac is in remission, my spirits are up and my mind is refreshed. Not to mention that, thanks to last year, I like to think I dance the celiac-college jig pretty well. Come at me, sophomore year! 

I don't have long to wait. In less than three weeks, school will change my reading material from blogs to textbooks. Despite the hints of fear in the edge of my mind, though, I'm smiling as I pack my things. By the end of this year, I hope to be transformed again. Stronger. Smarter. Happier


Let's see where the road takes me now!
As for the blog, 100 posts is only the first celebratory number. (One thousand, I'm talking 'bout you!). Starting this sophomore year, I'm going to share more. Not only my struggles, but my successes. This baby is also going to celebrate more than just celiac - it's going to celebrate sophomore year, teenage adventures and culinary experimentation. 

When I started my blog and freshman year of college, I was equally clueless about the transformation I would experience. Now, I know change is coming. And I'm counting down the minutes.



What are you celebrating right now? What was your favorite year of school? Comment below!




8 comments:

  1. And now I'm about to start! I'm going to need your support! XOXO

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    1. When do you start? I couldn't be more excited for you! It's scary and stressful at first, but once you get in the groove and find your support system, it couldn't be better! :)

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  2. Casey, isn't it INCREDIBLE? How a blog can create such monumental change? How being so open via the internet, while scary, can be so incredibly rewarding? Your journey has been difficult, filled with hardships, but your spirit has never faltered, your words always wise, and you shine a light that lets others know, "it's okay to struggle, but you'll make it" As always, you are so mature and wise beyond your years, and I encourage you to keep on, keepin' on, sharing your struggled and most importantly your successes, because I KNOW you have lots of those. HUGS TO YOU MY FRIEND <3

    As for what am I celebrating? I JUST moved to a brand new city and got my master's degree :)

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    1. It is incredible and it's awesome that I have a friend who totally understands that! ;) HUGS BACK TO YOU!

      And congratualtions, girlfriend! I like how you're all ninja and just say, by the way, I just did something AMAZING too! Haha! ;)

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  3. Casey, I have been loving reading your blog. In your writing I can see many similarities in our journey's and the transformation that finding health, healing and blogging has brought. It is a wonderful thing. Best of luck as you kick off sophomore year!! I am so excited to hear you have a kitchen and a car up at school.... this literally makes life so much easier and a little sweeter too. ( If your friends are anything like mine they will be running to your dorm for delicious baked goods. Keep up the great work and happy 100th!

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    1. I'm so glad you're enjoying it and thank you for the luck and praise! Haha, yep, my roommate (also a foodie) and I joke that our gluten free goodies are gonna bring all the boys to the yard ;)

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  4. Love your blog Casey! I will be starting my junior year on September 1st at Texas A&M. Anyways, I am celebrating my health for the first time in my life! After being sick my whole life and it gradually getting worse, I started seeing so many different doctors in January 2014 to find the underlying cause, but just didn't get any answers... One doctor did not believe in gluten intolerance and another told me I would be tested for celiac and I noticed a few months ago that no celiac tests were on my lab paperwork... I gave up on those medical professionals and decided to see if gluten was the culprit. I have been gluten free for over a year now, but was still having some health issues. I finally found a doctor in May who did all the tests to find and fix the problem. I feel so much better! :) I have my 3 month check up next week and am hoping for all my tests to be normal for the first time ever. I also started a blog at the beginning of summer to document my gluten free college journey, allergies and allergy injections, recipes, and more. Good luck this semester!

    Jade Ruiz
    glitterandgluten.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much for the compliment and I'm so happy that you finally found the reason behind your health problems! Sometimes it seems like getting diagnosed is a battle itself! Good luck on your test and I can't wait to read about your journey on your blog! Have an awesome Junior year! :D

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