Thursday, March 17, 2016

Kittee for Days.

vegan gluten free blog kittee
Howdy! This photo makes me want to grow out my bangs.
Hey Bubs! I know a lot of you have known me for a looooOOOng time, and maybe know as much about me as my mom Wendy. But still, I thought it'd be fun if I rewrote my "about" page, since I haven't updated it in a long time and am in the mood to over-share.

Me-me-me: I'm going to be 48 in April, which makes me a Taurus, and to save you the math, I was born in the late 60s. Since this is mostly a vegan food blog, I'm very proud to say I've been an ethical vegan for 25 years (thank you for writing Diet for a New America, John Robbins). You might notice that I also sometimes double-space between sentences, although I'm working on that, but I grew up on typewriters, so give an old lady a break.

I currently live in Portland, OR with my main squeeze Dazee AKA DZ, AKA Mr. Kittee, and our beloved dog Vee, or Vee-7 Berns-Kerns when he's in trouble. We moved here from New Orleans, where we lived for 8 years (four before Katrina/The Federal Levee Failures, and four afterwards). That's a whole other blog.

Me and my fuzzy little bank robber!!
I started this blog, Cake Maker to the Stars, in 2007, after a few years on Live Journal, and after running a little vegan recipe corner on the now defunct Mr. Ridiculous, which turned into PakuPaku. When I'm in the mood, I love to create new vegan recipes, and I'm always up for eating. I'm pretty obsessed with food actually, and often trail off to sleep concocting up projects in my head. Generally, I wish my friends cooked for me more, but truly with my diet these days, UGH.

I grew up in the DC area and my entire family still lives there. Even though I love living on the west coast, I wish I could squish this country together to make getting to the other coast faster and easier.

I have a Master's degree in Education and used to teach Montessori school to the littles. I also worked in the natural food industry for about 13 years, but I haven't done either of those things for a long while now. Sometimes I miss both, but usually I don't. Most recently, I wrote a cookbook called Teff Love, [affiliate link] which won VegNews Magazine's book of the year in 2015! It's filled with my take on Ethiopian food. You can read more about it and see links to many reviews here!

Digging around thrift stores and estate sales are one of my most favorite things to do, and besides hoarding Pyrex, vintage Japanese treasures, vintage fabric and old sewing patterns, I also love to make things. Knitting, crochet and sewing are at the top of the list.

Soaking up the azaleas in DC, last spring.
I've been vegan for half my life, and I firmly believe I've kept on course so long for 2 main reasons. The first is because I'm passionate about why I'm vegan [animals! environment! me!], and because I've always enjoyed a really diverse and interesting diet. While I eat pretty healthy stuff--mostly whole grains, legumes, lots of produce and many nuts, I also prepare food with plenty of healthy fats, and I let myself indulge. The key to keeping veganism sustainable for the long run is to not overly restrict, because when that happens it becomes a diet and DIETS SUCK. Veganism is the way I choose to live my life, not a way I have to live my life.

I do refrain from certain foods (I've been off gluten since '08 and refined sugar since '15), but only because avoiding these foods dramatically helps me manage some chronic health issues. One being a sorta scary auto immune disease called Spondyloarthropathy, which manifests as arthritis in my spine (SI joints). I don't recommend restricting unless you have to! It not only makes me sad, but pretty much ruins everything fun for my close friends, too. Good news is I recently started on a drug called Low Dose Naltrexone, which is really helping so much. But that's also for a different blog.

Anyway, I think that's enough of a Kittee-Puke for the time being. Thanks for visiting my little crumb of the internet!

Come back soon and tell your friends. And, if you want to get emails whenever I update, click here to subscribe.
xo kittee

26 comments:

  1. Cloven hoof bump!(Capricorn here) Glad to hear the LDN is helping. That's so cool you use to teach Montessori kids, they were so lucky to have you! I love your thoughts on what vegan means to you, I totally feel that too. If I'd held fast when I was 17 I'd be a 20 year vegan instead of a 4-ish year vegan to a 8 years-ish confused non-committal veganish-omni to now 8 year vegan4life! I reluctantly (heels dug in) stopped gluten in November due to a rash all over my face and other sadness but said to myself 'If Kittee can do this so can I!' That's funny about the typewriters <3

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    1. Thanks!!!!!
      Yea you can. Ending gluten is not the end of the world. It never really gets to me anymore honestly, cuz i feel so much better not eating it. I'm thinking I might start making and selling some Montessori supplies, since setting up the class environment was one of my favorite things about Montessori.

      xo
      kittee

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  2. I pretty much think you're the coolest.

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    1. Thanks Lacy! We need to meet in person sometime soon! I'm having folks over on Saturday if you wanna come.
      xo
      kittee

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  3. Pretty much all the fist pumps in the world right now.

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  4. I adore you and everything on this page!

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  5. "The key to keeping veganism sustainable for the long run is to not overly restrict, because when that happens it becomes a diet and DIETS SUCK." This resonates so much with me, Kittee, thank you for summing this up in one sentence so well!

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  6. I love this and I love YOU! I'm a Montessori kid and I also love typewriters and struggled to kick the double space habit. I also think you're super awesome and it's been far too long since I saw your happy face in person. I think it should be said that I'm an Aquarius. Vegan for the animals, WOOOOOOT!! :) xoxoo

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    1. I adore you too, Marika. It has been way to long. And, I was a Montessori kid, too! The reason I wanted to teach, I've got only happy memories from my schools and ugly ones from public school. :0<

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  7. Great intro! I've been reading you for a long time, but it is always fun to read about your life and your take on veganism.

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    1. Thanks Babette! I so wish I knew French so I could read your blog. Thanks for following my antics for so long!
      xo
      kittee

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  8. xoxo from a 19 year fangirl (pretty sure I started creeping in 1997). Maybe next year I'll mark the 20 year anniversary of fandom by finally cooking one of the recipes I printed out from your site back then. Thanks for being rad.

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  9. You sound sooo cool : ) I'm new to your blog—and I wish I could remember how I got here, so I could give out some credit—but what's important is that I got here. And you're rad. Thanks for sharing your story and your background, and may your journey into your refined-sugar–free life become more fun for you and everyone around you. My naturopath has recommended easing out of consuming refined sugars, but... we'll see. Haha. Cheers to you, and thanks for your sweet blog.

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    1. Hi Kris!
      Thanks so much for commenting. Good luck with the easing out! You might just find it makes a big difference and is worth it. I'll add your blog to my roll on the right.
      xo
      kittee

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  10. Great update! I so agree with you on the restriction thing, once I got more lenient I had so many fewer "failures". I can't believe we've never met, I live in NE PDX, has to happen eventually but until then I'm a longtime fan of your blog and Instagram. Oh, and "continent folding" is my dream to make it easier to visit my own east coast peeps.

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    1. Oh no! you posted anonymously.
      :(

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    2. Sorry! That was so a mistake!! My name is Ali, and I am terrible at this internet and social media stuff

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    3. Hi Ali!
      I live in NE, too! But closer to N, very close to the Williams New Seasons. Maybe we can meet at the bakesale I'm helping to organize in the next couple months!!
      xo
      kittee

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  11. I looooooooove this post!!!! Always fun learning a bit more about you.
    XOXOXO

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  12. This is a great update, Kittee! It is perfect — so full of personality and kindness. It made me count up on my fingers to see that I've now been vegan for 35 years. Yikes. Thrift stores and estate sales are two of my loves, too — our house is a testament to that. And I share your wish to make the left coast closer to the right — without harm to the middle, of course, since most of my dearest friends live there!

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    1. 35 years!!!! that is an amazing triumph. i hope you come down to pdx sometime this summer! it would be so nice to spend time together.
      xo
      kittee

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