Important update!

 The real reason why I have not been active on Bend it Raw for the last few months is that I have actually created a vegan dating site!

Yes! Weird....I know. But it has happened, and I am all too pleased with how it is going.

 So far for only being active for 2 months and it has managed to bring in a following of 700 or so members, and I am expecting more to come. Also Vegan Mojo created a video on it...which I will link later since it is sort of a surprise. Actually, the whole thing is a surprise really. It is frankly a surprise to me that I even created it! So this actually deserves a fantastic blog post later, going over all the features of the site, ect. Lets just say I have been incredibly busy. 

 This whole journey actually started when I got sick with pneumonia for three months and had nothing better to do then lay in bed. I couldn't really blog about food, since that actually took energy (and making food which having pneumonia, that is pretty hard to do), but I still wanted to contribute something to the vegan community, since I am always having ideas run through my head...and a vegan dating website is actually one that I could do from my own bed, while sick. Basically it involved a ton of nerding. Because when you are healthy you don't really feel like nerding much, you want to go walk in nature and eat fruit and all that. But being sick provided me the perfect opportunity to nerd my heart out without being impatient 

I also wanted to provide a positive vegan community, unlike all the other vitriolic, cranky, trolling angry vegan communities online, such as the ones you would find on Facebook.

You know...the types of vegan communities where people are catty and gang up on each other?  For no good reason other then ego or boredom? Those communities. Those are just terrible places to express any form of expression without being attacked, and they are in the end draining to the soul. So here enters...Sweet Earthlings. My current lovechild of everything I want in a vegan community rolled into one site. Only it isn't officially done hold on guys, it is on it's way to be one of the most popular vegan communities out there right now. Not joking. So far it has been nothing but positivity on there, so I am excited. 

Anyway, this is my update. Do I love bend it raw still? Well honestly, sure. I love this being my base hub for all the things I am doing at the moment. But I also want to make it into something so much more. 

Also I changed my name. My new name is actually now Caroline Awne. Awne is my faery name, from when I was young and could actually communicate with faeries. Now I try but it isn't really the same. Faeries pretty much gave me that name, it means "Own" in Old English. Not sure exactly what that represents, but if anyone knows, I would pretty much be forever grateful. Also if you are vegan and want to help me work on vegan projects, feel free to hit me up. I am kind of overwhelmed at the moment with all the vegan things I am doing, and currently looking to form a team/ posse.

xoxo Caroline Awne

My Celiac Story. A private secret hell.

Imagine you are in Paris. Not a stereotypical cafe, but an actual restaurant where the locals drink in the front on high mahogany chairs on marble and in the back there are tables covered with glass and menus long as a time. The walls a sea-green color and you are sitting there with said menu.

But you cannot think. You are too busy trying to not lose complete and utter motor control of your own body. The florescent lights up above are humming and feel like painful knives and that you pray to god that you do not pass out in front of everyone in a country where you don't know anyone. Imagine your hands are clammy, and you start losing your vision. Imagine that your body feels tiny bits of nerve pain while you steadily lose feeling in your hands and fingers. You clutch your right hand to try to gain composure. The person sitting in front of you is talking but you can't hear them, and their words stress you out to the point of feeling like you are losing all hope of maintaining even a base line of being ok.

There in the middle of Paris in fall. I told my friend sitting across from me, I was not ok. I told him I needed to go lay down. We deserted the menus and ran back to the hotel on the hill, with the beautiful flowers, and the beautiful teacups lined with gold, and the friendly white cat that came to visit you in the garden. 

In the bed, I cried, "I need help. I need help. I don't know what's wrong with me. I need help."

I could remember in that modernly dressed beautiful room, that it literally surrounded me as I was drowning in air. I couldn't get oxygen to my brain, my joints hurt, my eyes numb, my chest burned, but more importantly I felt like I was struggling to just stay alive. Like every breath was an act of will to not fall unconscious. That at any second the fuzzy feeling of floating away was going to carry me off. And I had no idea why.  

My friend was grown impatient though. We had been in Europe for around a month already and I have had at least 8 situations like this occur on our trip. One in Dublin...perhaps three in London....but it was getting progressively worse in Paris. Upon arriving home a week later... the symptoms didn't go away. I would be able to tell that I was going to have an episode by the feeling in my hands growing numb. Every time I felt like I was going to die or pass out. And every time the medics would come to my apartment full of everything girly in the entire world...Art.... crafts....velvet blankets... look at all my books....and then say "are you on any drugs right now?". They eventually got to know me by "that girl, who always has panic attacks". 

Later that year, I started school for design. I had already done design work but I figured it would be a lovely experience. There is something inside you where you start to lose trust in yourself when you feel like you can't even keep it together in a social setting. And there have been times that I have felt like I was going to just collapse in class and I had to do everything I possibly could to just appear normal. But I didn't look normal. I would run to the sink and start guzzling water like my life depended on it. I would start slightly hyperventilating and just randomly leave the room.  

What I did not know that I had...What I figured out.... was not "just a panic attack". I was not , "just crazy". 

What this horrible thing that was happening to me, was nerve damage from undiagnosed Celiac disease. 

Celiac is an autoimmune problem. Anything cross-reactive with gluten can trigger it. My trip to Europe was full of bread, sweets, beer. What was actually happening to me was my body was going into an immune reaction shock. 

First celiac attacks your bones. It needs minerals, since your stomach can no longer absorb them. But then, it attacks your nervous system. 

Since I have cut out gluten from my diet completely. I do not get the panic attacks that were literally debilitating and causing me much duress.  

On the other hand, it is a battlefield to avoid everything cross reactive with gluten that may inflame my intestines. I notice I do not absorb vitamins and minerals as well as I used to, even though my diet is one of the healthiest, most diverse, diets that anyone can possibly dream of.

That is why I do what I do. Without thinking about my diet every day, I could go back to feeling weak, helpless and dying. I do know that cutting out animal products in addition to cutting out wheat really helped my immune system more then anything. 

That is why I do what I do. Without thinking about my diet every day, I could go back to feeling weak, helpless and dying. I do know that cutting out animal products in addition to cutting out wheat really helped my immune system more then anything. 

The testing for celiac is really illusive and weird. Some think it only takes a blood test. Others say a biopsy, and then others say elevated reactive gluten proteins from just a stool sample can show. Mine was so bad, my naturopath said she had never seen someone so high with reactive proteins and told me to never eat gluten again. 

I am happy to find out what is wrong. I am not happy how our culture thinks gluten problems are a joke. Having a gluten issue like celiac can seriously cut your lifespan by decades, along with give you increased risk for cancer. I have obviously more blog posts to write about celiac. It is not going away in my life. Sometimes I feel the need to eat all raw foods to help heal my gut , and other times I eat regular gluten free junk foods because I enjoy actually having a life. Cealic disease really made me afraid to leave my own house. Imagine you have no control over your own body and at any random moment you can feel like you are going to die, pass out, or that your stomach will be so upset you will wish you were home. That was my life for 2 years until I found out what was happening to me. 

I know where I got celiac disease. That is for another blog post. I can pinpoint exactly what caused it, when, and how. I believe I was always allergic to wheat. But the use of IV antibiotics, and black box antibiotics that I used when I had a septic MRSA infection gave me a stomach bug that usually kills people called "c-deficile" . Basically I believe c-decifile gave me Celiac. There was a point in my life where I was eating donuts everyday for breakfast and was happy as a clam. That all changed after the c-deficile. 

I do not want to be an advocate against wheat. But I am an advocate against superbugs and anti-biotic resistant bugs that are caused by the meat and dairy industries overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture. I believe 100 percent, that animal agriculture is the REAL reason why I have celiac. Without the superbug that I had to battle in the first place, I would not have needed black box antibiotics which completely changed my gut and how my gut handles immunity. Immunity comes from the gut. Antibiotics and superbugs can actually change the DNA and the patterns of which things your immune system then attacks. Especially if the damage is bad enough. 

When I first went to a stomach doctor and told them I was I was having stomach issues. They said I had just irritable bowl, and I just needed to take it easy. If I had just listened to that man, and not have gone out of my way to go to a naturopath, I probably would be in a sorry state today.

When I visited my naturopath, I had never seen her before. I had struggled to walk to her office, and I was feeling weak and as though I was going to pass out. I literally broke down crying and begged her to help me. I had no idea what was going on. She told me I had candida. I told her NO NO NO...something is actually wrong , please find out....maybe my dog gave me a parasite....maybe I have an infection.... So she decided then to run tests, and it was THEN that I found out I was celiac. I called my stomach doctor and told him, I actually don't have IBS. I am celiac. He was in disbelief. I was in disbelief....that a STOMACH DOCTOR couldn't even figure that out. Even with the expensive useless ultrasound he demanded I get. 

Always always always ask questions. Be your own health advocate. Don't settle for what one doctor tells you. I can't stress this enough. Celiac disease will always be a thing that I have to think about. But I am at least glad, I know what is going on. So many people walk around and don't know they have it, and feel awful. When we decide as a culture and world to stop eating animals, that will be the day that we have decided that it is not worth us risking playing with these superbugs that may kill us very fast or very slowly. I anxiously await that day, and will fight until that day. 




What I ate today

Spring is for perfume, sundresses and more daylight hours drenching dinner tables topped with Asparagus lightly toasted with garlic and fresh lettuce with lemon soaking in the sun. 

Spring is for daydreaming over lunch with radishes and tea, with startched linen tablecloths. 

Spring is for me, though unfortunately not here yet, the daylight hours creep with the promise of sun, hitting my head in just the right way that might suggest a coming warmth, here in Seattle the sun is always a tease. But I know it is coming, and I am prepared. Mind, body and soul. 

So food! Let us talk food and pleasure. I ate for pleasure today, and I am not ashamed of it, nor am I afraid of gaining weight. In all likely hood I will actually gain a coy smile and a pep in my step.

Allow my to explain...

Today I ate...

  • Coffee with almond milk, lightly steamed with a beautiful flower design in the creama. 
  • A brown rice , pinto bean and guacamole bowl from Chipotle. Yes. Chipotle. (I ate it while walking down the street, basking in the sun.)
  • A glass of Port wine.
  • Half a bar of Theo dark chocolate
  • A gigantic bowl of fresh lettuce with half a lemon squeezed, pepper, and olive oil. Lots and lots of olive oil. And a bit of cayenne pepper.
  • Then two sunflower seed patties with teriyaki sauce and hot sauce. 

Do I feel awesome? Yes I do. I feel like rather the arbiter of pleasure and decadence. I even danced today. I also did no cooking so I can settle down and focus on my photography things. 

Tell me, what did you eat today? And did it make you feel amazing?